MAINE ASSOCIATION OF SOCCER OFFICIALS
CONSTITUTION (Amended November 16, 2021)
Article ONE. Name
The name of this association shall be “Maine Association of Soccer Officials,” hereafter referred to as “MASO.”
Article TWO. Purpose
The purpose of this association:
To promote, develop, and improve the game of soccer by providing training and education in rules knowledge, interpretation of rules and application
of rules in a firm, fair and consistent manner to student athletes and schools in the State of Maine.
To cooperate with other soccer associations, coaches, officials, and other organizations in all matters pertaining to the advancement of soccer as
provided by the By-Laws.
To unite in one organization the regional soccer boards within the State of Maine, to serve as their bargaining agent with the Maine Principals’
Association and to grant charters to these Regional boards.
To promote and maintain the highest degree of soccer officiating by following a standard set of mechanics, uniform interpretation, and consistent
administration of the rules of soccer as set forth in the National Federation of Soccer Rule Guides.
To render decisions on any matters referred to it by Regional boards.
Article THREE. Membership
Membership in MASO shall consist of Regional boards and their members, who are in good standing and who meet the requirements and qualifications
as provided hereinafter in the By-Laws.
The officers shall consist of the President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Article FOUR. Officers and Executive Board Members
The officers shall consist of the President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. A. President and Vice Presidents. The president shall have the duties and powers
specified in these By-laws and shall have such other duties and powers as may be determined by the Executive Board. Further, the president shall have
no vote except when a vote on any matter of the voting members of the Executive Board results in equally divided votes, at which time the president shall
cast a vote. Any vice president shall have such duties and powers as in the Bylaws, rules regulations and policies of the Corporation, and such other duties
and powers as may be designated from time to time by the Directors. In the absence of the President, he/she shall perform the duties of the President, as
well as at all other times preside over the AD HOC Grievance Committee unless he or she is a member of the same Regional Board as the Grievant.
B. Treasurer. Except as the Executive Board shall otherwise determine, the treasurer shall be the chief financial and accounting and record keeping
officer of the corporation and shall be in charge of its funds and valuable papers, books of account and accounting records, and shall have such other duties
and powers as may be designated from time to time by the directors. This shall include but not be limited to setting up and maintaining bank accounts in the
name of the corporation; disbursing those funds in accordance with procedures as established by the Executive Board; maintain a detailed an accurate
accounting of the income and expenditures; complete a yearly audit and submit a formal report to the Executive Board; arrange for and secure annual
bonding and indemnification coverage for the Executive Board; be responsible for and maintain membership applications, records, and all procedures,
notifications and records related to dues, fees and fines In addition it shall be his or her responsibility to record the minutes of all meetings and preserve
all the records of the corporation.
C. Secretary. The Secretary shall record or keep the records of all proceedings of the meetings of the directors and give notices as are required by these bylaws, such records, or documents shall be kept at the principal office of the corporation or at the office or of its clerk and shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of any director. In the absence of the Secretary from any meeting, a temporary Secretary chosen at the meeting, shall record the proceedings. The Secretary shall also maintain the Organizational History. The Secretary shall Coordinate with the Membership and Referee Development, Training and Examination Committees to ensure all Class 1 Referees’ test scores and assessments are recorded and available; and all testing and qualification criteria are met.
D. Past President, shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Board and serve as an advisor to the Executive Board. If the position becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant until such time the current president leaves the Office.
The officers shall be elected as provided by the By-Laws and shall hold office for two (2) year terms or until their successors are elected, with the exception
of the Secretary and or Secretary-Treasurer if the same person, who shall serve for four (4) years or until a successor is elected.
There shall be an Executive Board that shall include the following:
Article FIVE. Committees
The President shall appoint as necessary and for a time certain, a Chairperson for the following committees from the Executive Board. Committee work may be combined.
B. Ethics and Grievance
C. Fees and Uniforms
E. Recognition, Awards, and Publicity
The President shall appoint, for his/her term of office, a Chairperson for the following standing committees from the membership of Regional Boards,
A. Referee Development, Training and Examination
Special Committees or delegates may be appointed by the President as desired in the interests of the Association for a time certain.
Article SIX. Amendments
This Constitution and By-Laws may be altered, amended or repealed at any annual or special meeting of the Executive Board called for the purpose, of which the notice shall specify the subject matter of the proposed alteration, amendment or repeal or the sections to be affected thereby, by vote of the Board, subject to approval and ratification by the members. Thirty day (30) advance notice must be given. These By-laws may also be altered, amended or repealed by vote of a majority of the Executive Board members then in office. Further, the by-laws may be altered, amended or repealed at any annual meeting by a member of the Executive Board with 12 voting members present to establish a quorum for Constitutional Changes. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast by voting members present at the annual meeting subject to the following procedure:
a. Any member may propose changes to this constitution.
b. These changes must be submitted in writing, to the MASO Secretary-Treasurer no later than the Spring Meeting of MASO Executive Board
c. All proposed changes shall be reviewed by the By-Law (Constitution) Committee who shall make a recommendation regarding the proposed changes
to the Executive Board.
d. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the membership of all proposed amendments via an electronic email or other means including registered mail to ensure members have been notified. Electronic and or hard copy receipts of delivery are to be maintained.
e. The amendment or change shall be submitted for approval at the annual business meeting and must be approved by 2/3 of the quorum of 12 voting members present at the morning roll call of members.
f. Votes of individual members shall be recorded in the Minutes of the meeting.
g. All amendments that receive an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes cast shall take effect on December 1 of the year voted.
BY-LAWS (Amended November 16, 2020)
Article ONE. Management
Section 1. The Executive Board and Officers
The active management of the affairs of the MASO shall be delegated to the Executive Board. The Officers of the Executive Board shall be elected by a
majority vote of those present at the annual meeting according to these By-Laws and be duly recorded and installed at the Annual Meeting, with the exception
of the Immediate Past President and the President who shall assume their offices automatically, according to these By-Laws. They shall serve their tenure
until such time as their successors have been elected.
Section 2. Regional Delegates of the Executive Board
delegates to the Executive Board shall serve overlapping two (2) year
terms, except the office of Secretary who shall serve a four (4) year term.
These members of the Executive Board shall be elected by a majority of the regional board. When any vacancy occurs in any Executive Board office,
excluding President, the Executive Board is empowered to fill the same until the next Annual Meeting and, furthermore, shall do so within thirty (30) days
following the confirmation of said vacancy. If a delegate vacancy occurs, the Regional Board must fill said vacancy prior to the next scheduled meeting of
the MASO Executive Board and notify the MASO Secretary of who the person is.
Section 3. The Executive Board
Regional delegates to the Executive Board, pursuant to this revision, shall be elected: one (1) delegate for a one (1) year term and the remaining delegate
for a two (2) year term as decided by the Regional board. All succeeding terms shall be for two (2) year terms as outlined by the Constitution and these By-Laws.
4. Provision for Additional Delegate
The Regional Board from which the President of the Executive Board is elected shall be entitled to elect an additional delegate to the Executive Board.
Article TWO. Membership
Section 1. Categories of membership
REGIONAL Board: is defined as a Board organized to provide soccer officiating services to a geographically identified area as identified by
the MASO Executive Committee. The Regional Board must be granted a charter for its individual members to qualify for membership in the
National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association and the New England Intercollegiate Soccer Officials organizations. Only one charter my be
granted within each area without the express permission of the Executive Committee and must be based on an identified need within the area.
Charter Requirements are:
1. The Members of the Regional Board Shall be a member of MASO
2. The Regional member must have liability insurance
3. The Regional Board must have a Constitution or By-laws by which it operates
4. The Regional Board shall minimally have a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer (Both of whom may be one person)
5. There is an identified need for said Board in meeting the Goals and Purpose of MASO
B. Honorary Membership as a MASO member may be bestowed, by a majority vote of the MASO Executive Board, to those persons who have
distinguished themselves in the interest of soccer. They shall not have the right to vote or hold office and shall not pay dues.
Section 2. Regional Board Eligibility for Individual Members
Individual members must apply and maintain membership(s) in the Regional board which has jurisdiction over the territory in which they reside or officiate
and shall comply with the requirements of the regional and state boards as stated in Article Nine of these By-Laws.
A. For failure to comply with the regulation of the regional and state board or for any other conduct conclusively established to be contrary to the best
interest of soccer, an individual member is subject to suspension by the regional board and the MASO.
B. An individual member in good standing shall not:
1. Solicit games
2. Officiate for more or less than the prescribed game fees
3. Officiate with a suspended member or non-member of the MASO’s recognized boards in school soccer assignments
4. Accept games other than those through a designated assigner.
Section 3. Duties and Privileges of Boards
A. Board Purpose. Regional boards shall organize themselves to promote the purposes of the MASO within their area of their jurisdiction.
They shall conduct a minimum of four (4) regular and/or interpretation meetings a year devoted to rules study and officiating procedures and
techniques, as well as take those means necessary to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and officiating techniques of their members.
B. Board Finances. The regional boards shall have responsibility of collecting and forwarding the individual members’ MASO dues to the Treasurer
and shall have the right to levy other charges as may be deemed necessary. Dues must be sent to the MASO by January 15th for the ensuing officiating season.
C. Regional Board Official Interpreter. Each regional Executive Board shall appoint, or otherwise the Board may elect annually one of its members
who shall function as the Official Board Interpreter for the ensuing year. The Official Interpreter of member boards will be recognized as such by
the Official Interpreter of MASO and furthermore will receive all interpretive materials disseminated by the MASO and/or its Official Interpreter.
Regional Board Interpreters shall sit on the MASO Rules and Interpretation Committee.
D. Governing Authority. Regional boards shall be subject to the jurisdiction and authority of the MASO. When a board’s Constitution and/or By-Laws
are in conflict with the MASO’s Constitution and/or By-Laws, MASO’s Constitution shall take precedence. A copy of the Constitution of each
chartered board must be approved by the Executive Board of the MASO and placed on file with the secretary.
to the MASO. Regional boards shall elect their official delegates to
previously set forth in the Constitution. Each Regional board, through its official delegates, shall have two (2) votes only.
F. Regional Board Identification. The Chartered MASO boards are identified as follows:
1. Central Maine
3. Northern Maine
4. South Central
5. Western Maine
6. Eastern Maine
G. Creating New Regional Boards. New Regional boards may be created in the following manner:
1. A committee shall be appointed by the State Board who shall investigate the need for creating a new Regional board and report their findings
and recommendations to the MASO board.
2. The State Board may create a temporary Regional board and appoint temporary officers.
3. When the temporary Regional board is, in the opinion of the State Board, entitled to become a member of the MASO, a charter shall be
granted, and a territory assigned.
H. Consolidation of Boards. Chartered Boards may divest themselves of administrative authority of MASO responsibilities and game assignment duties
and consolidate those duties with another Board willing to assume those duties. Members of those consolidated boards shall still receive primary assignments
in that geographical area.
Section 4. Suspensions
Regional boards that are in violation of the MASO Constitution and By-Laws are subject to probation or suspension by majority vote of the Executive Board.
Section 5. [Annual Dues]
A change in annual dues may be recommended no less than once every three years and approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board.
Each Regional Board will be responsible for collecting and forwarding annual individual MASO Dues to the Treasurer of the MASO. Voting shall be
done as in Article Six, Section 2 be low.
Article THREE. Duties of the MASO Executive Board
Section 1. Implementing Rules & Regulations: Emergency Powers
It shall put into effect the rules, regulations, and policies passed by the Executive Board membership and to take official action in emergency situations
between meetings of the membership.
Section 2. Establish Dues Annually
It shall establish dues annually, in accordance with Article Two, Section 5 of these By-Laws.
Section 3. Act on Recommendations
It shall act upon recommendations of all committees
Section 4: Appoint the following positions:
A. State Rules Interpreter
When a vacancy occurs as a result of retirement, resignation or removal for cause, a State Rules Interpreter will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
Any MASO member in good standing may apply for the position. The Executive Board shall conduct a bi-annual review of the job performance with the position
every two years.
B. State Tournament Games Assignor
When a vacancy occurs as a result of retirement, resignation or removal for cause, the Maine Principals’ Association State Tournament Games Officials’
Assignor will be appointed by the Executive Committee. Any MASO member in good standing may apply for the position. The Executive Board shall
conduct a bi-annual review of the job performance with the position every two years.
C: Liaison to the Maine Principals’ Association
When a vacancy occurs as a result of retirement, resignation or removal for cause, the Liaison to the Maine Principals’ Association will be appointed
by the Executive Committee. Any MASO member in good standing may apply for the position. The Executive Board shall conduct a bi-annual review
of the job performance with the position every two years. The Liaison shall consult with the Fees Committee prior to each contract negotiation with the MPA.
Article FOUR. Duties of MASO Committees
Section 1. [Charge to Committees]
It shall be the duty of all committees to study problems and to make reports and recommendations to the Executive Board.
A. Constitution Committee. The Constitution Committee shall process amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws in the prescribed manner.
B. Development and Clinics Committee. The Development and Clinics Committee shall
organize and conduct clinics and recommend methods for the further development of
soccer. The MPA/MASO Rules Interpreter shall sit on this committee
C. Ethics and Grievance Committee. The Ethics and Grievance Committee shall
consider all matters brought to its attention and may be appointed on an AD Hoc
D. Examination and Membership Committee. The Examination and Membership Committee shall:
persons interested in officiating to apply for membership;
2. Coordinate recruitment strategy and activity amongst the Regional Boards,
3. Conduct follow-up interviews with officials who drop out of the program to define issues or problems that need to be addressed,
4. Establish a common “Application for Membership” process that may be used for the Regional Board recruitment process,
5. In coordination with the Referee Development, Training and Examination Committee: Establish the
membership testing criteria for Regional Class 1 and State Class 1 Officials as stipulated in Article 8 of these
E. Fees and Uniforms Committee. The Fees and Uniforms Committee shall propose recommendations for official’s fees and uniforms.
The MASO/MPA Liaison shall sit on this Committee
F. Nominating Committee. The nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers and representatives to the Executive Board, according to this Constitution and By-Laws.
G. Recognition and Awards Committee. The Recognition and Awards Committee shall establish criteria and awards for persons deserving recognition and select qualified recipients.
H. Records and History Committee. The Records and History Committee shall serve as custodial of records pertinent to the growth of the MASO. The Secretary of the MASO shall be a member of this committee.
I. Rules and
Interpretation Committee. The Rules and Interpretation Committee shall obtain
and disseminate the new rules and current rules interpretations
as received from the NCAA and National Federation of High School Rules Committee
to all Regional boards and members. The chairperson shall
be the MPA/MASO recognized Interpreter; And shall meet with the Regional Board
Interpreters at least once each year prior to the start of the
season such that
Article FIVE. Nominating and Election Procedures
Section 1. Regional Board Delegates to the MASO
Prior to the Annual Executive Board Meeting of the MASO, the Regional board shall submit to the MASO, in writing, its delegates to the Executive Board.
Should a vacancy occur, the Regional Board will, prior to the next scheduled meeting of the MASO Executive Board, appoint or elect a representative to
fill the vacancy and notify the MASO Secretary.
Section 2. Election of Officers by Executive Board
The Executive Board shall elect its officers at the Annual Meeting of the Board from delegates of the Regional boards.
Section 3. Delegate Eligibility
A delegate, to be eligible for the MASO Executive Board, must be a member in good standing of the Board they are representing and must maintain
said status for the duration of that term.
Article SIX. Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meeting
There shall be one (1) Annual Meeting of the Executive Board to be held late in the fall on a date and at a place set by the President.
Section 2. [Other Meetings; Quorum; Adequate Notice]
Several meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President. The quorum for any action of the Executive Board to be taken shall require
fifty-one (51) percent of eligible to vote members and officers present, and the delegates from five of the recognized boards providing adequate
written notice of at least fifteen (15) days has been given. (Note: Constitutional and By-law changes require a quorum of 12 voting members)
Section 3. Action by Vote. When a quorum is present at any meeting, a majority of the votes properly cast upon any question or election to an office
shall decide the question
Section 4. Presence through Communications Equipment. Unless otherwise provided by law or the Articles of Organization, members of the
MASO Executive Board may participate in a meeting of such board by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment
by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time and participation by such means shall constitute
presence in person at a meeting.
Article SEVEN. Order of Business
Section 1. [Parliamentary Authority]
All parliamentary business shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 2. [Order of Business]
The order of business shall be as follows:
A. Roll Call
B. Reading of the Minutes
C. Report of the Treasurer
D. Communications and Bills
E. Report of Committees
F. Unfinished Business
G. Election of Officers (in order)
H. New Business
I. Miscellaneous, such as welfare of organization of soccer
Article EIGHT. Soccer Membership and Classification Guide
Section 1. Categories of Membership
A. Regional Board Membership.
Individuals must apply for membership in a Regional board and shall comply with the requirements of said Regional board. Membership on more than one
MASO board may be granted upon approval of each Executive Board involved.
B. General Requirements.
1. Be 16 years of age at the time of application for membership.
2. Successfully complete a written examination specifically designed for soccer official candidates.
3. If the candidate is successful on the written exam, the Regional board has individual options on how it handles fitness testing and field training.
C. Specific Requirements for non-Class 1 officials:
If a candidate successfully completes a Regional Board membership test, the individual is assigned games as approved by the Regional board.
Regional boards will determine what type of activity will accompany the testing process such as clinics, manner of assigning, observation field testing, etc.
D. Specific Requirements for Regional Class 1.
1. After successfully completing Regional board membership and having officiated eight (8) games or more the previous season as a non-Class 1 official, the official may apply, with the written recommendation of his Board’s president, for Class 1 membership.
a. The candidate must pass a written examination developed by the MASO
Testing Committee and administered under the direction of MASO’s
Director of Referee Development.
b. Pass a field and fitness exam. Prior to taking the Fitness Test, the
candidate must present a physician’s statement or waiver of liability to
the Testing Committee. This fitness examination and field test will be
administered by the MASO Testing Committee. Fees and testing criteria
will be established by the MASO Executive Board.
2. Officials who are who are newly designated as Class I officials, effective August 2009, shall serve a probationary period of two years or until two satisfactory game assessments are completed. Assessment forms shall be submitted by a MASO recognized Assessor to the MASO Executive Board.
3. All Officials shall take the on-line NFHS Soccer Exam on the NFHS website which contains the MASO/MPA add-on questions and score at least 80%. That test may be repeated two times. If the official fails all three attempts, he will not officiate any MPA sanctioned playoff games during that season; and may not officiate any varsity games the following season until they pass the test.
4. All MASO officials will be assessed every three years to maintain their Class 1 status. Each official must apply to the testing agent to be assessed when time comes, and the testing agent will assign a MASO assessor to perform the assessment
E. State Class 1 Referee, Specific Requirements
1. MASO Class 1 official for at least 3 years prior to application
2. Member in good standing with primary board
3. Member’s board in good standing with MASO
4. Officiated in a minimum of 20 high school varsity (USSF U 15 and above and college games to be accepted) but of which 10 have to be high school varsity matches, in the two seasons prior to application. Due to declared emergencies, season cancelations or other unforeseen circumstance, exemptions may be made.
5. To have undergone and passed 1 formal assessment as a Center Referee (CR) and 1 as an assistant referee (AR) in a 3-person system in the year of application and then it would be a bi-annual requirement
6. Pass annually, with a grade of >85%, the NFHS on-line test
7. Pass MASO State Class1 fitness test. (USSF regional ref test and college test will be accepted)
8. Attend MASO State Class 1 Clinic/Play Off procedure presentation
9. Take NFHS courses:
1. Concussion in sports (free)
2. Heat Illness Prevention (free)
3. Officiating Soccer: Fouls and Misconducts (Fee to be determined by and payable to NFHS)
Section 2. Transfers
Officials transferring to a new board will be responsible for alerting the present board secretary who will forward a letter to the new board secretary
detailing the status of the official on the previous board.
Section 3: Crossover requirements NISOA and USSF to MASO
A. USSF Officials, who are currently active, wishing to become members of the
Maine Association of Soccer Officials:
1. Must enter at MASO Class 3 if there is two calendar years or less from the time they became a USSF Grass Roots Official and complete a MASO Approved Training course.
2. May enter MASO as a non-Class 1 if there is more than two calendar years have passed since he became a USSF Level Grassroots official. The applicant must complete a MASO Approved Training course; and successfully pass an exam approved by the Director of Referee Development at the completion of that training course
3. May enter as a MASO Class 1 official if they are a USSF Regional Referee or higher, Official and completes a MASO approved Training course; and passes the MASO Class 1 written and field tests.
A calendar year is defined as month to month over a twelve-month period, e.g. June 2007 to June 2008 would be one calendar year.
B. NISOA Officials, who are currently active, may transfer into MASO as Class 1 officials upon completion of an approved MASO Training Course, unless their former NISOA Chapter also officiated high school games using NF Rules; then additional MASO Training is not required.
C. Active Soccer Officials from other states who officiate using the National Federation of High Schools Rules in their state for interscholastic athletic association (Equivalent to the Maine Principals’ Association) sanctioned games may enter MASO as an official at the level equal to that assigned by their Regional board assignor.
Officials seeking membership in the Maine Association of Soccer Officials as noted above shall submit a letter from the President or Secretary of their current Soccer Board as to their standing. This letter shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of a MASO Regional Board Member who shall determine the validity of the request; and forward their recommendation for MASO status to the MASO Executive Board prior to August 1 or each year.
Section 4 Post season assignments to tournament games.
A. In order to be eligible to be considered for post season tournament games (preliminary, quarter finals, semi-final, an official must meet the following criteria.
1. Be a Class One official. Non-class one officials may be considered when no Class one officials are available.
2. Must have passed the current NFHS Soccer Exam online exam, taken on
the NFHS website which includes the MASO/MPA added questions.
3. Must have passed the Fitness Test
4. Must have attended the mandatory State Interpreter meeting in the
Regional Boards will assign the officials to preliminary, quarter-final and semi-final
tournament matches played within that Board’s jurisdiction.
B. The MPA assignor will assign all officials to Regional and State Finals. All Maine
Principals’ Association sponsored games; (Regional and State Final Games)
Officials must be State Class 1 Referees as in Article 8.1.E
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Discrimination Policy (Adopted November 16, 2020)
MASO is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all its members and prospective members. MASO prohibits discrimination or harassment
against any individual on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
Grievance Policy (Amended November 16, 2020)
We recognize that from time to time MASO members may wish to seek redress for grievances relating to your officiating. In this respect, our policy
is to encourage free communication between you and your Regional Board to ensure that questions and problems arising during the course of officiating
or membership can be aired and, where possible, resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of all concerned. At all times during this procedure confidentiality
should be maintained by all involved. Therefore, the following procedure is adopted where the matter constitutes an appeal against a decision of an official’s
The Ad Hoc Committee shall render a decision within 5 days unless concluded upon the day of the hearing.
· Should the member wish to appeal the Upholding of the Grievance by the Ad Hoc Committee, the member may file an Appeal, with copies of all findings and investigative reports to the MASO Executive Board Secretary, who shall schedule a hearing at the next MASO Executive Board Meeting.
· The MASO Executive Board may:
o Deny the Appeal
o Uphold the Appeal
Conduct Binding Arbitration of the
Outcome of a Grievance - Whilst any official who has raised a grievance will be told whether the allegations have been upheld or otherwise, they will not be advised of any disciplinary action taken against another official. Any matters of discipline relating to the findings being upheld following a grievance investigation will be dealt with as a separate issue and again confidentiality will be maintained.
Criminal History records Check Policy (Adopted November 2018)
The Maine Association of Soccer Officials, in conjunction with the Maine Principals’ Association and the Maine Department of Education, require that all active officials have an approved Criminal History Records Check conducted by the Maine Department of Education. Any official that does not successfully obtain an approved Criminal History Records Check may not officiate soccer with the MASO. Any appeal must be made to the Maine Department of Education.
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COMMENTARY ON LOCAL BOARD ACTIONS REDUCING MEMBERS IN CLASS (J. Nault)
Background: This commentary has been developed based on a MASO meeting discussion in regard to disciplinary action taken recently by a local board which reduced one of the member’s classification. Specifically, the referee was dropped from a Class 1 to a Class 2 for a specific period of time and had other sanctions imposed. The meeting discussion centered on the propriety of causing the demotion from a Class 1 status, given that classification is awarded by the MASO and not the local board.
The commentary reviews the various MASO governance documents, the general feeling of the group, together with some guidelines for structuring any local sanctions when members are reduced in class for a period of time.
A review of governance documents.
Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph A of the MASO By-Laws recognizes that local boards and the MASO may “suspend” an individual member “for failure to comply with the regulation of the local and state board or for any other conduct conclusively established to be contrary to the best interest of soccer.”
It would seem that local boards may discipline their members within the guidelines that may be set up by that local board so long as any action does not conflict with MASO governance. This provision (Article 2, Section, Paragraph A) is similar to the relationship between the US federal government and states which identifies powers for the central government, and the balance falling to the states. MASO would specify certain points of authority as defined in the Constitution, By-Laws, and Administrative Policies and Procedures, leaving local boards to operate in all other areas as they see fit.
Article 4, Section 1, Paragraph C of the MASO By-Laws recognizes an “Ethics and Grievance Committee (which) shall consider all matters brought to its attention.”
The purpose of this group is to hear matters that might subsequently be referred to the MASO for disposition or decide issues if this is the direction of the MASO. Matters involving individual members might be taken up by the Ethics and Grievance Committee if it can be determined that the person and the issue has “standing” to allow consideration. It’s very unusual for anyone or any group to ask for such a committee to be formed in order that such a grievance be heard.
Finally, Article 8, Section 1, Paragraphs A through E of the MASO By-Laws addresses Membership. It’s worth noting that individuals must apply for membership through a local board and satisfy the requirements of the local board. The MASO stipulates some general requirements (such as the minimum age of 18 at the time of application) but leaves much to the local board’s discretion in establishing requirements for non-Class 1 membership.
Paragraph E is very specific about the steps that must be followed to move to Class 1. Class 1 membership is conveyed by the MASO and not the local board. Local boards recognize the award of Class 1 status when referees transfer or continue their membership. The governance documents are silent on the matter of reducing members in class, however a strong argument can be made that only MASO can cause a reduction from Class 1 since it was only MASO that caused elevation from a Class 2 status. And the MASO has established a grievance committee to allow a hearing and recommend sanctions in the event such a reduction be decided as appropriate.
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