Table of Contents
Intramural-Recreational Sports Mission Statement
Spirit of Play
Staff Contact Information
Participant Safety and Injuries
Defaults and Forfeits
Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Policy
Ejections and Disciplinary Action
Intramural Sports (IMS) are organized with structured leagues, tournaments, and contests designed to meet the recreational needs of the University of Virginia community. Students, employees, alumni, and spouses are offered the opportunity to participate in IM activities as regularly as their interest and time will permit.
Through participation in IMS, individuals are encouraged to enjoy sports, reduce stress, keep physically fit, meet people, and have fun! IMS emphasizes and acknowledges values such as sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork. Oversight of IMS is the responsibility of the Director and Coordinator of Intramural and Club Sports and the staff assigned to each contest.
This Participant Handbook is designed by the Intramural-Recreational Sports (IM-Rec Sports) department to serve as an informative and procedural reference for persons involved or interested in participation in the Intramural Sports Program. It is the responsibility of those who participate in IMS to be knowledgeable of the information contained in this Handbook.
The Department of Intramural-Recreational Sports is an essential part of the University of Virginia’s quality of life outside the classroom. Our primary emphasis is to support the total development and well-being of members of the University community through educational, intramural, fitness, recreational and social programming in high quality, comprehensive, sports, fitness and physical activity based facilities. We serve the University community with a wide range of quality opportunities to foster personal, educational, ethical, social and physical development through engaging University students in leadership and participatory opportunities.
Team sport activities find their origin in the basic need for the spirit of play. Winning and losing are mere outcomes of this play spirit. Abusive language and manipulation of the rules are not a part of the game. What is part of the game is the pure satisfaction of participation, getting fit and enhancing friendships. Without your opponent, there is no game, no contest, no memories, and no fun. You are indebted to them as they are to you. The spirit of play is then based upon cooperation. Upholding high standards of integrity and fair play acknowledges this idea of cooperative competition. All players are encouraged to use good judgment in caring for the safety of others as well as themselves. The goal of lifetime sports for all players may have more meaning than that of a win or a loss, the memory of which often fades quickly. All players are asked to participate within the context of this SPIRIT of PLAY.
Matt O’Connor, Director, Intramural & Club Sports
Shane Ferrara, Coordinator, Intramural & Club Sports
Intramural Sports Office (AFC): (434) 924-3791
Article 1: To Be Eligible
All University of Virginia students are eligible to compete in the Intramural Sports Program. Faculty, staff, family members, and spouses are eligible to participate provided they purchase an IM-Rec Sports membership. Family members must be rising first year students or older. During the summer, students not taking classes must purchase a membership to participate in IMS.
Article 2: Professional Athlete Rule
Past or present professional athletes may not participate in their respective or related Intramural sport, activity, or event. A professional athlete is defined as a person who has been paid to participate in a sport, under contract with a professional team, included on a professional team roster, practiced with a professional team, and/or compensated for trying out for a team.
Article 3: Current/Former Varsity Athlete Rule
Intercollegiate varsity athletes are not permitted to participate on Intramural teams in their respective or related Intramural sport during the academic year, which includes Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. An individual retains his/her status as a varsity athlete for the entire academic year in which they practiced with their respective varsity team. A varsity athlete is defined as an individual whose name is recorded on the varsity roster during any part of the academic year. This includes participation on a varsity practice squad. Intercollegiate athletes may participate in Intramural programs other than their or related intercollegiate sport.
Article 4: Club Sport Athlete Rule
Intramural sports teams have restrictions regarding the use of club sport players participating in their respective or related Intramural sport. An Intramural team may have a maximum of two related club sport players on their roster. A club sport player is defined as an individual whose name is recorded on the club roster during any part of the academic year.
Article 5: Eligibility Status
Eligibility status is the responsibility of each individual participant and team captain. IM-Rec Sports does not assume the responsibility for the eligibility of participants, but will assist in the interpretation of the rules and question cases brought to its attention. IM-Rec Sports reserves the right to check eligibility when deemed appropriate. Teams may request to have eligibility checked; however, the request must apply to specific individuals.
Article 6: ID Policy
Each player must present a valid UVA student ID, current Recreation Membership Card or government issued photo ID to be eligible to participate. This must be done for EACH contest. Misuse of an identification card (borrowing, lending, counterfeiting, altering, etc.) is a violation of the University of Virginia Student Code of Conduct. The identification card will be confiscated and the individual attempting to use the card will be ineligible to participate. If the card belongs to another student, that student must meet with a professional staff member in order to regain possession of their identification card.
Article 7: Division of Competition
IMS competition is divided into several leagues: Co-Rec, Open, Fraternity, Men’s, and Women’s.
Article 8: Team Member Eligibility
It is the responsibility of the team captain to ensure each member of their team is eligible. Any questionable case should be brought to the Intramural Sports office so an official ruling can be made prior to the individual's participation.
- Each team member’s name must appear on the official roster on FusionIM. On-site registration is permitted prior to game time, and at any time during the game. Random eligibility checks will be conducted.
- Women are eligible to participate on men’s IMS teams, but may not play on both a men’s and women’s team in the same league.
- Male students may not participate in female-only leagues or tournaments at any time.
- Players may join a team at any time during the season, including playoffs, as long as they have not played on another team in the same league during the season.
- An individual may participate on only one team in each league for each particular sport. For example, a participant may be on a flag football team in the Fraternity League and in the Men's League, but may not play for two different Men's League teams.
- A participant is not permitted to transfer from one team to another after participating in one scheduled game without authorization from the IMS office. A player is deemed to be a part of a team if they sign in to play for that team. If a player is on more than one roster, his/her official team is the one he/she first signs in with.
Article 9: Illegal Participation
Teams found to have participants in violation of the above eligibility policies may have their games forfeited to their opponent regardless of the actual outcome. The participants in question may be suspended from that specific team or all Intramural activities for a length of time deemed appropriate. Participation is defined as stepping onto the field of play for any period of time during game play. The IMS office reserves the right to investigate the eligibility of any participant at any time.
NOTE: Captains that believe the opposing team has ineligible players are highly encouraged to file a formal protest. Refer to Section 11: Protests. Your help in making our Intramural programs as fair as possible is very much appreciated, and your formal protest assists the IMS office in providing you a fair and safe opportunity.
Article 1: Team Captain
When registering for a team sport, a captain must be designated. This person will be the main contact between the IMS office and the team.
Article 2: Responsibilities
The team captain is a vital link between the individuals participating in a sport and the IMS staff. For this reason, any person assuming the role of a team captain has a number of responsibilities he or she is obligated to. The captain is responsible for:
- Registering the team in FusionIM.
- Ensuring that all team members are eligible for participation
- Knowing deadline dates, the rules governing the sport, and being familiar with IMS Policies & Procedures in regard to forfeits, concessions, sportsmanship ratings, etc.
- Regularly checking e-mail messages for pertinent information.
- Keeping the team informed as to the rules, game site, time, opponent, and other pertinent game information.
- Submitting protests if necessary.
- Promoting and developing good sportsmanship (teammates and fans) before, during, and after all IMS contests.
- Assisting the IMS staff with an ejected teammate and referring that teammate to the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports after the incident. Should the original captain be ejected from the game due to conduct issues, a new captain will be designated by the on-site officials and/or supervisors. This designee will then assume all captain responsibilities.
Article 3: Rules and Eligibility Protests
All protests must be filed at the time of the incident in question by the team captain. Sports may have a specific set of rules regarding when a protest may be filed. Please refer to Section 11: Protests.
Article 1: Conduct
Clearly, sports are important to the participants, but that importance should not become so overriding that players lose sight of civilized behavior. Good sportsmanship is a requirement of all participants, players and fans. The playing site is not a venue for physical or verbal abuse. Students are required to adhere to the UVA Student Code of Conduct. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct can result in charges being filed with the Office of Student Conduct, as well as with UPD. The following are guidelines for participant behavior:
• Each team is responsible for the actions of its members and fans before, during, and after any game or event. Failure of a team to cooperate with officials, or to control and restrain any individual member or fan is cause for a team to be dropped from the league.
• In the event an individual and/or spectator conducts himself/herself in an unsportsmanlike manner during any IMS event, the on-site staff has the complete authority to take any action deemed necessary in order to keep the game under control. Depending upon the severity of the incident, the official or IMS supervisor may take the following action: give warnings, eject players from the game area, and/or forfeit the game. All disciplinary problems will be reported to the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports for further disciplinary action.
• Players and spectators who enter the playing area during a game to become involved in an altercation will be suspended immediately from participating in IMS. If players or spectators cannot be identified, then the team will be suspended. The length of the suspension will be for a minimum of one game and may be extended in accordance with the severity of the incident. Reinstatement in the program will be made when the student or team shows a willingness to support the basic principles of the program. This decision will be left to the discretion of the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports.
• Reports of unsportsmanlike behavior will be investigated by the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports. In doing so, the individual(s) and/or team(s) involved will be questioned and may be required to submit a written statement of the incident. Statements will also be obtained from the officials and IMS supervisor on duty. The Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports will rule on the individual(s) and/or team(s) involved. The range of penalties include: suspension from game(s) or season, temporary or permanent probation, temporary or permanent suspension from IMS and loss of IM-Rec Sports facility usage privileges.
• Ejected players, coaches, and fans must complete the necessary paperwork and remove themselves from the area (out of sight and sound) immediately. Failure to comply within one minute (60 seconds) will result in a team forfeit.
• Any player ejected from a game for any reason will face a minimum one game suspension and is subject to the rules set forth in Section 10: Ejections and Disciplinary Action.
• Any individual striking another player or official, or verbally threatening an official will be suspended indefinitely. All members of the IMS staff are employees of the University of Virginia. Abusing an official, verbally or physically, will result in the filing of an incident report with UPD.
• All Conduct Penalties will result in the Sportsmanship Rating of the offending team being reduced by at least 1.0 points (please refer to Section 8: Sportsmanship).
• Alcohol is strictly prohibited from all IMS events and/or activities. Players or spectators found in violation of this will be immediately ejected/removed and suspended.
• Tobacco (in all forms) is prohibited from IMS events and/or activities. Players or spectators found in violation of this will be immediately ejected/removed and suspended.
• Pets are not allowed at any IM-Rec Sports site. Persons will be asked to remove their pet from the premises with the understanding that they may return to the event or activity without the pet.
Article 1: Assumption of Risk Statement
Participants are encouraged to have a physical examination and obtain adequate insurance PRIOR TO PARTICIPATION in IM-Rec Sports activities. Individuals who participate in IM-Rec Sports activities will be doing so at their own risk. Participation in IM-Rec Sports is voluntary, and the University of Virginia is not responsible for any injury that may occur to participants. Student health and accident insurance information may be obtained through the Student Health Center.
Article 2: Photo Disclaimer
The IM-Rec Sports department may photograph or videotape participants and use these items in promotional materials. If you choose not to be photographed or filmed, please notify the staff.
Article 3: Safety
Proper attire should be worn for each activity. For your protection, as well as other participants, all jewelry and non-appropriate headgear must be removed before participating in an activity. Persons wearing casts or wrapped/padded appendages will not be allowed to participate if, in the judgment of IMS personnel, they are deemed to be hazardous or if they are specifically prohibited by the rules of a particular sport. Individuals will be required to obtain prior approval from the IMS supervisor for the use of orthopedic devices essential to protect an injury.
Article 4: Blood Policy
The following is the IM-Rec Sports department’s policy for bleeding during Intramural sports:
If an Intramural participant is bleeding, he/she will be removed from the contest immediately.
If an Intramural participant has blood on his/her clothing, he/she will be removed from the contest upon detection. The blood may or may not be his/her own. The participant is ineligible to re-enter the contest until the clothing saturated with blood has been removed.
Before any participant re-enters the contest, all bleeding must be stopped and any open wound or laceration must be covered. It is the suggestion of the IM-Rec Sports department that each player bring an extra pair of shorts and T-shirt. If clothing saturated with blood cannot be replaced, that individual will not be allowed to participate.
Article 5: Concussion Policy
Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate healthcare professional.
NOTE: No IMS staff member is certified to clear a player to re-enter a contest.
Signs of a concussion:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or loss of memory surrounding the incident
- Fatigue, nausea or vomiting
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Dizziness or ringing of the ears
Article 1: Payment Information
It is the responsibility of the team captain to register his/her team by the deadline date. Payment for all activities will be accepted online at https://www.go.recsports.virginia.edu/DivisionRegistration. Registration periods are outlined on the IMS schedule and web site.
Article 2: Online Registration
In order to add a team, join a team, or sign up as a free agent, you must first register with Net Badge credentials online at https://www.go.recsports.virginia.edu/DivisionRegistration.
Article 3: Creating a Team
- Click on "Register.”
- Click on the sport for which you would like to register, then the league, and then, if applicable, the division in which you would like to play.
- Click “Register.” You will then choose to register as a “Team.”
- Registering a “Team” will create an entire team in the sport, league, day, and time that you selected.
- Add your team’s name.
- Select whether or not you wish to play on the team.
- Click “Submit.”
- Click “Checkout” on the payment screen, enter your payment information, and click “Secure My Payment Information.”
- Click on “Manage Team.”
- To invite players to join your roster, to invite a co-captain, or to browse available free agents, choose the “Pending Roster” tab. Here you can add and invite players to your roster by entering their UVA e-mail address.
- You can also click the “Browse Free Agents” tab to see available free agents.
Article 4: Joining a Team/Free Agency
- Click on "Register.”
- Click on the sport for which you would like to register, then the league, and then, if applicable, the division in which you would like to play.
- Click “Register.” You will then choose to register as a “Player.”
- Registering a “Player” will allow you to join a team that is already created or to join as a “Free Agent.”
- Registering as a “Free Agent” will allow teams looking for additional players to see your information. IMS cannot guarantee team placement, but will do everything in our power to help find a team.
- Click on the icon labeled Join a Team.
- You can either search for the team through the leagues and divisions, or you can find the team name in the dropdown menu.
- You will need to enter the team password to add yourself to the team. Enter the team password, and click on Join Team.
Article 5: Rosters
For all teams, rosters will not exceed 20 available spots, unless noted otherwise in activity-specific rules. Once a roster spot is taken by a specific player, that person may not be replaced. If a team submits a roster with more than 20 players, the first 20 will be the only persons officially on the roster. Teams may add players throughout the regular season, both online and at the game site, and all participants on the roster must be eligible. Article 9: Team Name Policy
Article 6: Inappropriate or Offensive Team Names
The IMS office reserves to right to change any team name deemed inappropriate or offensive.
Article 7: Waitlist Policy
Teams that do not meet published entry and payment deadlines, or teams that cannot find a suitable day and/or time to play, are not guaranteed a place in the league/tournament. Those teams will be required to register on the online “waiting list” for that sport. Teams will be given priority based upon the order in which entries and payments are received.
Article 1: League Sports
Team sports are scheduled into leagues based on level of competition and organizational affiliation. Leagues consist of a regular season followed by a single elimination tournament. The size of each league is determined by the number of teams registered. Leagues may be combined based on the number of teams.
Article 2: Divisions
Each league consists of divisions which correspond with a specific time of play. There are a limited number of team spots in each division, so register early.
Article 3: Tournament Sports
Individual/dual and various team sports are scheduled into tournaments based on the level of competition. Based on the activity, teams will be placed in a single or double elimination bracket that will be posted online. Tournament schedules and structure will be based on number of teams and facilities available.
Article 6: Individual/Dual Sports
Individual/dual sports include: badminton, cornhole (bags), punt, pass, & kick, racquetball, squash, Kan Jam, free throw competition, hot shots, competition, and tennis.
Article 7: eSports
eSports leagues are organized into competition ladders during a regular season for three weeks in which participants must play at least three games to be placed in the elimination bracket for playoffs. Players must contact each other to set up games on their own time and must have the video game and system to be able to play in the league. Some eSport offerings include: Rocket League, Madden, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, NBA2K, and FIFA, with more being taken into consideration.
Article 8: Levels of Competition
Two levels of competition will be offered within the Independent divisions during the playoffs, based on regular season results, when possible:
Comp – Above .500 Rec – .500 and Below
The philosophy of IMS is to involve members of the UVA Community in an active recreational sports program. If a team forfeits a game, the objectives of the program are not met and participants are deprived of active involvement. This procedure is designed to minimize the number of forfeits.
Article 1: Default
Teams which anticipate a hardship in fielding a team for a game which has already been scheduled and cannot be changed should call the IMS office no later than 4:00pm the day of the game to default. A default will be recorded as a loss, but will avoid the designation of forfeit. Defaults will result in a 4.0 Sportsmanship Rating (please refer to Section 8: Sportsmanship). To default a game scheduled on a weekend, the team must call by 4:00pm, Friday afternoon.
Article 2: Forfeit
All games shall be played on the date and hour scheduled (including playoff games). Games lost by forfeit for any reason will not be rescheduled. Forfeits will result in a 0 Sportsmanship Rating (please refer to Section 8: Sportsmanship).
Teams must have at least the minimum number of players required present and ready to play as indicated by the specific rules for that sport to avoid a forfeit.
Teams which forfeit will be removed from the league and can be reinstated by paying the $25 forfeit fee. This fee can be paid by visiting or calling (434) 924-3791 the business office during regular business hours.
Article 3: Tournament Policy
A concession/forfeit in a single-elimination tournament is recorded as a loss and results in the team being removed from the tournament. A forfeit in a double-elimination tournament is recorded as a loss and results in the team being removed from the tournament. A concession in a double-elimination tournament is recorded as a loss, but the team will remain in the tournament.
Article 4: Rescheduling Policy
Rescheduling of games is possible, but is limited to time and facility space available. If a team wishes to reschedule a game, it is the responsibility of that team’s captain to notify the IMS office by 4:00 pm the day of the originally scheduled contest. The IMS office will assist in finding available dates and times, but it is the responsibility of the team captain to make arrangements with the captain of the other team
Article 1: Team Sportsmanship Rating System
In sports involving officials, the Sportsmanship Rating System will be utilized. This system was developed to make participants responsible for their actions. Both teams will receive a Sportsmanship Rating based on the scale detailed below. The officials will rate both teams on a sliding scale based on the following criteria:
4 – Excellent Sportsmanship: Players cooperate with the IMS staff and officials and other team members. The captain calmly converses with the Intramural Sports staff and officials and also has full control of his or her teammates and spectators.
3 – Good Sportsmanship: Team members complain about decisions made by IMS staff or officials, or show minor dissent, but may or may not receive an unsportsmanlike penalty. Teams that receive one unsportsmanlike penalty will receive no higher than a 3 rating.
2 – Mediocre Sportsmanship: Teams shows verbal dissent toward IMS staff, officials or the opposing team, which may or may not merit an unsportsmanlike penalty. Captains exhibit minor control over their teammates and spectators. Teams receiving two unsportsmanlike penalties will receive no higher than a 2 rating.
1 – Poor Sportsmanship: Teams constantly commenting to the IMS staff and officials or the opposing team from the field or sidelines. The team captain exhibits little or no control over teammates and spectators. Teams receiving more than two unsportsmanlike penalties or having a player ejected due to sportsmanship will receive no higher than a 1 rating.
0 – Unacceptable Sportsmanship or Forfeit: Team is completely uncooperative or forfeits. Captain has no control over teammates or himself or herself. Any team causing a game to be forfeited by result of unsportsmanlike behavior, or having multiple unsportsmanlike penalties or more than one player ejection, will receive a 0 rating.
Article 2: Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct includes but is not limited to:
- Attempting to influence a decision by an official or supervisor.
- Disrespectfully addressing an official or supervisor.
- Indicating objections to an official or supervisor’s decision.
- Using profanity, insulting, demeaning or vulgar language or gestures.
- Any form of baiting or taunting, including any form of taunting which is intended or designed to embarrass, ridicule or demean others under any circumstances including on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.
- Intentionally contacting a game official or supervisor.
Any individual who behaves inappropriately may receive any of the following:
Verbal Warning: Any individual that displays a minor sportsmanship infraction (i.e. cussing at him/herself) for the first time is eligible for a verbal warning.
Conduct Penalty: Any individual that displays a major sportsmanship infraction or hostile behavior (i.e. spiking the ball, taunting an opponent, or cussing/yelling at an official) may be eligible for a sanction.
Ejection: Any individual that displays a behavior that has intent to harm any other individual involved or has repeatedly verbally abused officials or participants.
NOTE: Any player who is ejected will be suspended. They must schedule and meet with the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports
Article 3: Playoff Policy
Any team wishing to make the playoffs will be required to maintain a 2.75 Sportsmanship rating. Teams must continue to maintain a 2.75 Sportsmanship rating throughout the playoffs. If a team falls below the 2.75 Sportsmanship rating at any point during the playoffs, they will be removed from the tournament. The team they were scheduled to play will receive a “win by forfeit” and advance to the next level. If this is the result of the semifinal games, the team that should advance will be declared the Champion.
Article 1: Intoxication
In accordance with University of Virginia policy, alcohol consumption and drug use prior to or during an IM contest is not only unsafe, but also a violation of university rules, and if you are underage, it is illegal. The IMS staff strictly enforces a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol and drugs during all IMS contests. Consequences for the violation of this rule may include but is not limited to: being prohibited to continue participating in IMS activities, ejection from IM-Rec Sports facilities, judicial referral, and, in egregious situations, arrest.
Article 2: Tobacco
Use of all tobacco products (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, etc.) is strictly prohibited on all IM-Rec Sports property. The IMS staff strictly enforces a zero tolerance policy regarding the use of tobacco in order to allow all participants a pleasant experience during contests and events.
Article 1: Ejections
The IMS Program reserves the right to eject any team, participant, or spectator who interrupts the flow of a game in any manner. Ejections may occur before, during, or after any contest. Individuals that are ejected from an IMS contest will be required to leave the facility/field and are ineligible for further competition (regardless of the sport) until meeting with the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports. Two ejections from one team in a game will result in an automatic forfeiture of that game.
Article 2: Reinstatement Process and Discipline
All ejected persons are suspended until they have met with the Director/Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports to review the incident. Any attempts to participate or attend games prior to this meeting or any action in violation of disciplinary action that has been levied will result in additional action being taken. An appointment to meet with the Director and/or Coordinator of Intramural & Club Sports can be made by calling (434) 924-3791 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments will not be made on the day of the next game or at the game site.
NOTE: Any games missed before contacting the Director/Coordinator will not factor into the suspension period.
The IMS staff realizes that, on occasion, an official may incorrectly interpret and/or enforce a rule. The purpose of a protest is to insure an equal opportunity for victory. A protest can be avoided through intelligent and constructive conversation among the team captains and IMS staff.
Protests will only be allowed for incorrect interpretation/enforcement of a rule and/or use of an ineligible player.
Protests will NOT be considered if they are based on a decision involving the accuracy or judgment on the part of an official.
If a team wishes to protest player eligibility of an opponent, they must do so before the start of the game, or once the player has officially signed in to the game. Eligibility Protests made after these two situations will not be considered.
Whenever a matter of protest arises during a game (other than player eligibility), the captain of the protesting team shall notify the official or IMS supervisor before play continues. Once play has resumed protests will not be heard.
The IMS supervisor will attempt to resolve the protest. If the protest cannot be resolved the IM supervisor will document the protest with assistance from the team captain.
If the protest is upheld, the contest will be replayed from the point the protest was lodged.
In the case of inclement weather, participants will be updated via email through FusionIM. In addition, we will post a banner on the IM-Rec website at www.recsports.virginia.edu about any changes to regularly scheduled contests. In the case of pop-up storms, decisions will be made on the field and announced through the previously mentioned channels.
Article 1: Tie-Breaker Criteria
The following criteria, in order, will be used to break ties for playoff seeding:
1. Sportsmanship rating
2. Head to head results
3. Point Differential
4. Coin toss
IMS is a student-run program that actively recruits students as officials. No experience is required, and we provide all training necessary. We work with your schedule so that you can work, play and attend class. Interested individuals must attend officials’ clinics at the beginning of each sport.
The Director and Coordinator of Intramural Sports will use professional discretion when necessary to make adjustments and exceptions to any IMS policy, procedure, and/or rule in the best interest of the entire program.