MAINE ASSOCIATION OF SOCCER OFFICIALS

GRIEVANCE POLICY

 

CONSTITUTION

 

Article ONE. Name

 

Section 1.

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:

 

Section 1.

To promote, develop, and improve the game of soccer in the State of Maine.

 

Section 2.

To cooperate with soccer associations, coaches, officials, and other organizations in all matters pertaining to the advancement of soccer as provided by the By-Laws.

 

Section 3.

To unite in one organization the representatives of local boards within the State of Maine and to grant charters to these local boards.

 

Section 4.

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.

 

Section 5.

To render decisions on any matters referred to it by local boards.

 

Article THREE. Membership

 

Section 1.

Membership in MASO shall consist of local boards and their members who meet the requirements and qualifications as provided hereinafter in the By-Laws.

 

Article FOUR. Officers and Executive Council

 

Section 1.

The officers shall consist of the President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer.

 

Section 2.

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, who shall serve for four (4) years or until a successor is elected.

 

Section 3.

There shall be an Executive Council that shall include the following:

  1. Two (2) delegates from each of the local boards.
  2. The officers shall be elected by and from within the Executive Council.

 

 

 

 

Article FIVE. Committees

 

Section 1.

The President shall appoint, for his/her term of office, a Chairperson for the following standing committees from the Executive Council:

 

A.    Constitution

B.    Ethics and Grievance

C.    Fees and Uniforms

D.   Nominating

E.    Recognition, Awards, and Publicity

F.    Records and History

 

Section 2.

The President shall appoint, for his/her term of office, a Chairperson for the following standing committees from the membership of local boards:

 

A.    Development and Clinics

B.    Examination and Membership

C.    Rules and Interpretation

 

 

Section 3.

Special Committees or delegates may be appointed by the President as desired in the interests of the Association.

 

Article SIX. Amendments

 

Section 1.

This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds (2/3’s) vote of those present and voting at the Annual Meeting provided said proposed amendments are submitted in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting.


 

MAINE ASSOCIATION OF SOCCER OFFICIALS

 

BY-LAWS

 

Article ONE. Management

 

Section 1. [The Executive Council and Officers]

The active management of the affairs of the MASO shall be delegated to the Executive Council. The Officers of the Executive Council shall be elected by a majority vote of those present 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. [Local Delegates of the Executive Council]

Local delegates of the Executive Council 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 Council shall be elected by a majority of the local board. When any vacancy occurs in any office, excluding President, the Executive Council 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.

 

Section 3. [The First Executive Council]

Local delegates of the first Executive Council, 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 local board. All succeeding terms shall be for two (2) year terms as outlined by the Constitution and these By-Laws.

 

Section 4. [Provision for Additional Delegate]

The local board from which the President of the Executive Council is elected shall be entitled to elect an additional delegate to the Executive Council.

 

Article TWO. Membership

 

Section 1. [Categories of membership]

 

A.    Local board membership shall consist of soccer officials from a local district and furthermore shall be admitted into membership upon the issuance of a charter from the MASO. The charter shall list the exact territory granted to the board. No other board may be formed in this territory without the approval of the MASO. The local board must be officially recognized by the MASO in order to become members of NEISOA and NISOA. A local board is defined as one organized to cover a specific area or territory as the Executive Council may authorize.

B.    Honorary Membership may be bestowed, by a majority vote of the Executive Council, 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. [Local Board Eligibility for Individual Members]

Individual members must apply and maintain membership in the local board which has jurisdiction over the territory in which they reside and shall comply with the requirements of the local and state boards as stated in Article Nine of these By-Laws.

 

A.    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, an individual member is subject to suspension by the local 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.  Knowingly accept a one-official varsity assignment

4.  Officiate with a suspended member or non-member of the MASO’s recognized boards in school soccer assignments

5.  Accept games other than those through a designated assigner.

 

Section 3. [Duties and Privileges of Boards]

 

A.    Board Purpose. Local boards shall organize themselves to promote the purposes of the MASO with the area of their jurisdiction. They shall conduct a minimum of five (5) regular and interpretation meetings a year devoted to rules study and officiating procedures and techniques, as well as take those means necessary to increase the efficiency, the effectiveness, and the officiating techniques of their members.

B.    Board Finances. The local boards shall have responsibility of collecting and forwarding the MASO dues to the Treasurer and shall have the right to levy other charges as may be deemed necessary. Due must be sent to the MASO by January 15th for the ensuing officiating season.

C.    Local Board Official Interpreter. Each board shall 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.

D.   Governing Authority. Local 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 Council of the MASO and placed on file with the secretary.

E.    Delegates to the MASO. Local boards shall elect their official delegates to the annual business meeting of the MASO on the basis of representation as previously set forth in the Constitution. Each local board, through its official delegates, shall have two (2) votes only.

F.    Board Identification. The MASO boards are identified as follows:

1.  Central Maine

2.  Mid-Coast

3.  Northern Maine

4.  South Central

5.  Western Maine

6.  Eastern Maine

7.  Acadia

8.  Downeast

G.  Creating New Local Boards. New local 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 local board and report their findings and recommendations to the MASO board.

2.  The State Board may create a temporary local board and appoint temporary officers.

3.  When the temporary local 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.

 

Section 4. [Suspensions]

Local boards that are in violation of the MASO Constitution and By-Laws are subject to probation or suspension by majority vote of the Executive Council.

 

Section 5. [Annual Dues]

A change in annual dues may be recommended and approved by two-thirds (2/3s) vote of the Executive Council.

 

Article THREE. Duties of the Executive Council

 

Section 1. [Implementing Rules & Regulations: Emergency Powers]

It shall put into effect the rules and regulations passed by the 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.

 

Article FOUR. Duties of 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 Council.

 

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.

C.    Ethics and Grievance Committee. The Ethics and Grievance Committee shall consider all matters brought to its attention.

D.   Examination and Membership Committee. The Examination and Membership Committee shall:

1.    encourage persons interested in officiating to apply for membership, and

2.    establish application criteria and examination procedures for local boards. The Exam Fee shall be established by MASO. Prospective Class I officials must score 85 percent correct on the State Class I Exam.

E.    Fees and Uniforms Committee. The Fees and Uniforms Committee shall propose recommendations for official’s fees and uniforms. The committee shall be the bargaining agency for MASO whenever applicable.

F.    Nominating Committee. The nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers and representatives to the Executive Council, 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.

I.     Rules and Interpretation Committee. The Rules and Interpretation Committee shall obtain and disseminate the current rules interpretations as received from the NCAA and National Federation of High School Rules Committee. The chairperson shall serve as the official rules interpreter for MASO and also at the annual regional interpretation meetings.

 

Article FIVE. Nominating and Election Procedures

 

Section 1. [Local Board Delegates to the MASO]

Prior to the Annual Executive Council Meeting of the MASO, the local board shall submit to the MASO, in writing, its delegates to the Executive Council.

 

Section 2. [Election of Officers by Executive Council]

The Executive Council shall elect its officers at the Annual Meeting of the Council from delegates of the local boards.

 

Section 3. [Delegate Eligibility]

A delegate, to be eligible for the MASO Executive Council, must be a member in good standing 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 Council 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 membership and/or Executive Council may be called by the President. The quorum for any meeting of the Executive Council shall require fifty-one (51) percent of bonafide members and officers, and for the membership, fifty-one (51) percent of the boards, providing adequate written notice of at least fifteen (15) days has been given.

 

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

J.     Adjournment.

 

Article EIGHT. Soccer Membership and Classification Guide

Section 1. [Categories of Membership]

 

A.    Local Board Membership.

Individuals must apply for membership in a local board and shall comply with the requirements of said local board. Membership on more than one MASO board will be granted under special conditions to be determined by the MASO Executive Committee.

B.    General Requirements.

1.  Be 18 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 local 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 local Board membership test, the individual is assigned games as approved by the local board. Local 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 Class 1.

1.  After successfully completing local 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. 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. it is necessary to also 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 Council.

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

 

 

 

 

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 Level 8 official and complete a MASO Approved Training course.

2.    May enter at MASO as a non-Class 1 if there is more than two calendar years have passed since he became a USSF Level 8 official. He 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 Level 7, 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 local 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 Local 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.

 

In order to be eligible to be considered for post season tournament games (preliminary, quarter finals, semi-final, Regional finals, State finals, an official must meet the following criteria.

 

A)   Be a Class One official. Non-class one officials may be considered when no Class one officials are available.

B)   Must have passed the current NFHS Soccer Exam on line exam, taken on the NFHS website which includes the MASO/MPA added questions.

C)   Must have passed the Fitness Test with at least one point in each of the three categories.

D)   Must have attended the mandatory State Interpreter meeting in the preceding summer.

 

Local Boards will assign the officials to preliminary, quarter-final and semi-final tournament matches played within that Board’s jurisdiction.

The MPA assignor will assign all officials to Regional and State Finals.

 

Amended 11/11/15

 

 

COMMENTARY ON LOCAL BOARD ACTIONS REDUCING MEMBERS IN CLASS

 

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.

 

Maine Association of Soccer Officials

POLICY FOR MEMBER GRIEVANCES

 

This article applies to grievances made from members of the Maine Association of Soccer Officials (MASO) against the disciplinary actions of member organizations.

 

The policy of the Executive Board of the MASO concerning complaints and grievances is to accept for review, ONLY those grievances that:

 

            1.         Identify the grievant relationship to the incident.

            2.         Are signed by the grievant.

3.         Are accompanied by written communication signed by a member of the grievant local board Executive Committee stating the disciplinary action taken by that Executive Committee against the grievant.

 

The MASO Executive Committee will:

 

Refer the appeal of the member to the Ethics and Grievance committee who shall then:

 

1.         Notify the official(s) involved that a complaint has been made and the nature of the complaint.

2.         Review the complaint or grievance which may include, but not be limited to, interviewing the complainant, concerned parties, game officials, coaches, MASO or local board observers, designated site manager, and whoever else might help in the inquiry.

3.         Conduct a hearing with the official and the board involved.

4.         The Ethics and Grievance Committee may:

            a.         Affirm the Discipline

            b.         Reduce the Penalty

            c.         Dismiss the Complaint.

 

Appeals

 

Any member of MASO whose grievance is denied by the Ethics and Grievance Committee may appeal the findings of the Ethics and Grievance Committee to the Executive Board of MASO.

 

1.         The officials must file a letter of appeal and the reason for said appeal within fourteen days of the decision of the Ethics and Grievance Committee. The appeal must be submitted to the Secretary of MASO electronically or by US Mail.

2.         The Executive Board will review the appeal and accept testimony from the disciplined official at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

3.         The Executive Committee may:

 

            a.         Affirm the Discipline

            b.         Reduce the Penalty

            c.         Dismiss the Complaint.

 

 Approved by 9-0-2 vote on 12/02/2007

 

 Table of Contents