Missouri Soccer Association - By Laws (updated & amended 5-10-2022)
ARTICLE I Name
The name of this organization shall be the Missouri Soccer Association, Inc., and will within this document be otherwise referred to as Missouri Soccer, or MSA, or State Association.
ARTICLE II Purpose
The purpose for which this Corporation is formed is to further and promote the sport of soccer through organization, training, and education; to aid, administer, assist and teach the sport of soccer for pleasure, recreational and other non-profitable purposes to and for citizens of the State of Missouri; to organize soccer teams to compete and participate in soccer; and to promote the sport of soccer through the establishment and development of soccer programs.
The Corporation may charge fees as set by the Board of Directors. The Corporation may also accept personal, corporate and governmental grants or gifts to secure the funds necessary to provide for programs, services and facilities in accordance with the Corporation’s stated purpose.
B. Nonprofit Status:
This Corporation is not organized for pecuniary profit, and it shall not have to issue certificates of stock or ownership certificates or declare dividends. No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any member, director, officer, or individual. The balance, if any, of all money received by the Corporation from its operations, after payment in full of all debts and obligations of the Corporation shall be held, accumulated, used and distributed exclusively for carrying out the stated purpose or purposes of the Corporation consistent with laws and regulations applicable to a tax exempt, nonprofit corporation governed by the provisions of Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, and Chapter 355 RSMO, Missouri Code, as amended.
ARTICLE III Territory
The territory of the Missouri Soccer Association shall be the State of Missouri, and additional territories with the consent of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and or the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). ARTICLE IV Location The Missouri Soccer office shall be within the State of Missouri as approved by the Board of Directors. ARTICLE V Organization Missouri Soccer shall operate pursuant to the laws of the State of Missouri and the United States. ARTICLE VI Affiliation Missouri Soccer is an affiliate of, and shall comply with the authority of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) referenced as “the Federation” herewith.
ARTICLE VII Administration
The Corporation shall be governed by its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Rules and Policies except when these are superseded by those of USASA or USSF.
A. The governing authority of this Corporation shall be vested with the Board of Directors selected through an open and democratic election process.
B. The voting members of the Board of Directors shall be composed of the elected officers and appointed members of the Corporation as provided in the Bylaws. Appointed voting members shall not exceed forty nine percent (49%) of the total voting membership. Non-voting members of the Board will be selected, as appropriate, by the Board of Directors.
C. The Board of Directors shall have the powers and authority as set forth in the bylaws, rules and policies of Missouri Soccer. They shall transact business in the name of Missouri Soccer.
D. The Board of Directors shall physically (in person) meet at least one (1) time annually at a time and place convenient to all members within or without the State of Missouri. Any member of Missouri Soccer may attend the Board of Directors meeting. All other state meetings may be accomplished electronically as deemed appropriate.
E. The United States Soccer Federation’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies, and requirements take precedence over and supersede the governing documents and decisions of Missouri Soccer and its members to the extent applicable under state law, and Missouri Soccer and its members will abide by those articles, bylaws, policies, and requirements.
F. Missouri Soccer will not join any organization that has requirements that conflict with the United States Soccer Federation’s articles, bylaws, policies, and requirements.
G. Missouri Soccer will (A) provide copies of original documents to the United States Soccer Federation, including copies of the Association’s constitution, bylaws, and other governing documents, (B) submit any changes to those documents to the Federation for approval not later than ninety (90) days after adoption, and (C) make copies of those documents available to its members.
H. Missouri Soccer will allow the United States Soccer Federation to review the documents and procedures of the Association, on request of the Federation, not less than once every four (4) years to determine compliance with these bylaws.
I. For dispute resolution, MSA shall utilize a Grievance and Appeals Committee. (Committee Structure and Procedure attached as a separate document amended at the end of this document)
ARTICLE VIII Membership
A. The membership in the Missouri Soccer Association, Inc. (Missouri Soccer) and the members of Missouri Soccer shall be open to any soccer players, coaches, trainers, managers, and administrators, not subject to suspension under United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Bylaw 241, Section 4, and to any amateur soccer organization in the State of Missouri.
B. Missouri Soccer will provide equitable and prompt hearing and appeal procedures to guarantee the rights of individuals to participate and compete. Those procedures shall include that all grievances involving the right to participate and compete in activities sponsored by USSF and Missouri Soccer and its members may be appealed to the Federation’s Appeals Committee that shall have jurisdiction to approve, modify or reverse a decision.
C. Missouri Soccer shall register with the Federation at least once each seasonal year the names and addresses of its players, coaches, trainers, managers, and administrators registered with Missouri Soccer and timely pay all dues and fees of the Federation.
D. Member responsibilities and voting rights
1. Members must register all players with Missouri Soccer and/or with an affiliate of USSF
2. Application for Membership must be made in writing to the Missouri Soccer office. The signed and dated application must be accompanied by payment of the affiliation fee; a copy of the affiliate’s constitution, bylaws and rules and regulations; a list of the Board of Directors; and (if any existing) the names of the Directors of Coaching and Referees as well as the name of the Risk Management Coordinator.
3. Only Members have voting privileges.
4. Each Member shall be apportioned votes based on the number of players each Member registers with the Association. The number of votes per Member will be based on the number of players registered during the prior seasonal year. The number of votes per Member is based on the following:
Number of Registered Players Number of Votes
1-500 - 1 vote
501-1000 - 2 votes
1001-1500 - 3 votes
1501-2000 - 4 votes
2001-2500 - 5 votes
2501 and above - 6 votes
5. Voting shall be restricted to those Members which registered players during the current season. Each Member must be in good standing and an active, paid member of Missouri Soccer to vote on matters that come before the members.
6. The Presidents of each Member will be allowed to vote at the annual meeting and at other times when a vote of the membership is called. Each member of the Board of Directors of Missouri Soccer will be given one vote.
7. Voting by proxy shall be allowed. Those wishing to vote by proxy must notify Missouri Soccer of their intent to vote as such giving the name of the person holding the proxy vote(s) prior to the start of the meeting.
8. All matters requiring a vote at the Annual General Meeting with the exception of these Bylaws shall be approved by majority vote of eligible members present at the meeting.
9. The Board of Directors shall annually recommend to the membership the procedures, rules and policies for Members for ratification at the Annual General Meeting.
10. The Board of Directors shall annually set the fee for Membership.
E. Players and Coaches
1. The Board of Directors shall annually set registration fees for players and coaches.
2. All Members shall abide by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Corporation, all rules, and policies as set forth by the Board of Directors, and all applicable rules, and policies of any association with which Missouri Soccer is affiliated.
3. No person shall be denied membership or participation in the activities of Missouri Soccer because of race, color, age, sex, religion, or national origin.
4. In order for members to receive benefits, they may be required to provide a valid mailing address, proof of DOB, and email address.
ARTICLE IX Annual General Meeting
Actions and policies adopted by the Board of Directors Executive Committee, or officers of Missouri Soccer shall be reported to its membership, or their authorized representatives, at least once each year at a meeting of Missouri Soccer’s membership, with notice and agenda of the meeting at least 15 days in advance of the meeting.
A. The Annual General Meeting of the Corporation shall be held no later than December 1 of each year at such time and place within the State of Missouri as designated by the Board of Directors. Notification to all members shall be made at least 30 days prior to the date of said Annual General Meeting.
ARTICLE X Special Meetings of the Members
Special meetings of the members may be called at any time, for any purpose or purposes, by the Board of Directors or a majority of the Affiliates.
A. Written or printed notice of a special meeting of the members, stating the time, place and purpose or purposes thereof, shall be given or mailed to each member entitled to vote thereat, at least ten days before the date fixed for the meeting. This notice may be sent electronically if a valid email address is on file.
B. The business transacted at any special meeting of the members shall be limited to the purposes stated in the notice.
ARTICLE XI Bad Standing and Removal of Members
A. Any member may be put into bad standing or removed for knowingly violating any USSF, United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), and/or Missouri Soccer rule, regulation, or policy, not following the Missouri Soccer Bylaws, and/or for non-payment of fees owed to Missouri Soccer or an Affiliate of Missouri Soccer, USSF, or USASA. Members may be put into bad standing or removed by 2/3 vote in the affirmative by those voting members present at a meeting at which the proposal for bad standing or removal is entered on the agenda.
B. Bad Standing may include one or more of the following actions: reprimand, suspension, restitution, fine and removal.
ARTICLE XII Disputes and Grievances by or Among Members: Hearings and Appeals (updated at end of doc)
A. Any complaint by Missouri Soccer against a Member or one Member against another Member or any complaint by an individual or a Member which alleges that (A) a Member has failed to comply with its membership requirements in the Association or (B) the Association has failed to comply with its membership requirements in the USASA or USSF, shall follow the procedures as specified in the Missouri Soccer Hearings and Appeals Policy. Further, Missouri Soccer and its Affiliates and Members shall comply with Federation bylaws and policies as defined in USSF Bylaw 701 and in Federation Policy 701-1 and with appeals procedures and guidelines as established in USSF Bylaw 705.
B. Exhaustion of Remedies. No Member of Missouri Soccer, official, league, club, team, player, coach, administrator or referee may invoke the aid of the courts of the United States or of a state without first exhausting all available remedies within the appropriate soccer organizations, and as provided with Missouri Soccer.
C. For violation of this Bylaw, the offending party shall be subject to suspension and fines, and shall be liable to Missouri Soccer for all expenses incurred by Missouri Soccer and its officers and members of the Board of Directors in defending each court action, including the following:
1. court costs;
2. attorney’s fees;
3. reasonable compensation for time spent by Missouri Soccer officials and employees in responding to and defending against allegations in the action, including responses to discovery and court appearances;
4. travel expenses; and
5. expenses for holding special Board of Directors meetings necessitated by court action.
ARTICLE XIII Board of Directors
A. The Board of Directors of the Corporation shall be elected by the membership at its Annual General Meeting. The number of Board members shall not exceed 5.
B. The officers of the Corporation shall be elected every four years by the Board of Directors. Officers shall include President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer.
C. Unless otherwise stated by the Board of Directors, the term of Board members shall be four years.
D. Any vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall be filled for the balance of the term by appointment of another person for the duration of the term by the Board of Directors, unless otherwise determined by the Board of Directors.
E. Directors may be removed by the Board of Directors for cause or without cause, or may resign.
F. Each Board member must attend at least three fourths of the Board meetings in a calendar year or may be subject to removal.
G. Committees will be established by Board resolution.
H. The Governance President of the Board of Directors shall produce a slate of Board members for nomination and approval at the Annual General Meeting of the Membership.
I. The Board will adopt and maintain a conflict of interest policy.
ARTICLE XIV Officers and Appointed Officials
• serve as liaison between the region and national affiliates and this Corporation
• serve as the Chair of all meetings of the Board of Directors
• establish committees and appoint committee chairpersons in order to administer and manage the programs of the Corporation
• serve as the representative of the Corporation in all matters
• be responsible for calling and serve as the chairperson of the Annual General Meeting
• shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried into effect
• shall be bondable • shall sign checks on behalf of the Corporation
• shall record the minutes and all proceedings of the meetings of the members and the Board of Directors • shall advise committees to record minutes and all proceedings of the meetings
• shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or its officers
• shall be bondable
• shall be responsible for the Corporation’s funds and shall insure that there are complete and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Corporation
• shall insure that all monies and other valuables are deposited in the name and credited to the Corporation in such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors
• shall oversee the disbursement of the funds of the Corporation as directed by the Board of Directors
• shall render to the Board of Directors, at its regular meetings, or when the Board of Directors so requires, an account of all transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation
• when directed by the Board of Directors, shall appoint an accounting firm to perform an annual review and filing of tax returns
• shall be bondable
D. Vice President duties shall include:
• Shall perform all the duties and exercise all the powers of the President during his/her absence or incapacity
E. State Referee Administrator (SRA) shall be appointed for a two year term by the President in concurrence with the Missouri Referee Committee. Duties shall include:
• act as the liaison between the referees of the adult divisions and Missouri Soccer
• outline and administer a program for the development of referees for the adult division
F. If deemed necessary by the Board of Directors, a State Risk Management Coordinator (SRMC) shall be appointed for a two year term by the Board of Directors. Duty shall be:
• be responsible for the administration of the State’s risk management program
ARTICLE XV Meetings of the Board of Directors
A. Meetings of the Board of Directors may be held at any given location within the State of Missouri.
B. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors may be held at such time and place as shall be determined from time to time by the Board but will not be less than 2 meetings per calendar year.
C. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President on ten days notice of each director, either personally, electronically, or by mail. Special meetings shall be called by the President or Secretary in like manner and on like notice on the written request of two directors.
D. The majority of voting power must be present to constitute a quorum in order to transact business at any meeting of this association. The President, District Commissioner, or other person duly authorized to preside at the meeting shall be counted as part of the quorum. A electronic communication option is allowed when deemed appropriate by the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XVI Notices
A. Whenever, under the provisions of these bylaws, notice is required to be given to any director or member, it shall not be construed to mean personal notice, but such notice may be given in writing, by mail, addressed to such director or member, at his or her address as it appears in the records of the Corporation, with postage thereon prepaid, and such notice shall be deemed to be given at the time when same be deposited in the United States mail.
B. Notices may also be delivered electronically.
ARTICLE XVII Special Programs
A. Missouri soccer shall adopt policies prohibiting sexual and physical abuse that meet certain criteria established by the United States Soccer Federation (subject to any contrary requirements contained in state or local law applicable to Missouri Soccer).
B. Missouri Soccer will maintain a Risk Management program which will include volunteer background checks.
ARTICLE XVIII Parliamentary Authority
A. “Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised” shall govern all activities of the Corporation except as limited by the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws. Such rules may be amended at any time by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XIX Indemnification
A. The Corporation shall indemnify any existing director, officer, employee, agent, volunteer or member of this Corporation to the fullest extent possible against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses, actually incurred by such person relating to his conduct as a director, officer, employee, agent, volunteer or member, except that the mandatory indemnification required by this sentence shall not apply: (i) to a breach of such person’s duty of loyalty to the Corporation; (ii) for acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or knowing violation of the law; (iii) for a transaction from which such person derived an improper personal benefit; or (iv) against judgments, penalties, fines and settlements arising from any proceeding by or in the right of the Corporation, or against expenses in any such case where such person shall be adjudged liable to the Corporation.
B. The Board of Directors may indemnify those of the Corporation’s employees, agents, members or volunteers who are not directors in all instances - including those which are excluded from mandatory indemnification under paragraph 1 - as it deems appropriate, so long as such indemnification is not inconsistent with law. Such indemnification may be provided by general or specific resolution, or by contract approved by the Board.
C. No amendment to or repeal of this Article XIX shall apply to or have any effect on the indemnification’s hereunder of any director, officer, employee, agent, volunteer or member of the Corporation for or with respect to any acts or omissions of such person occurring prior to such amendment or repeal.
ARTICLE XX Fiscal Year
A. The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be January 1 through December 31 unless otherwise established by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XXI Authority
A. Unless specifically stated herein, any circumstance, rule, administration process, or any other matter or procedure not covered by or under the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations or Articles of Incorporation, shall then follow the rules of USASA and USSF.
ARTICLE XXII Termination, Dissolution or Liquidation of Assets
In the event of termination, dissolution or liquidation of the assets of this Corporation, its assets shall be applied and distributed, consistent with Article 8 of the Articles of Incorporation, as follows:
A. All liabilities of the Corporation shall be paid and discharged, or adequate provisions shall be made therefore;
B. Assets held by the Corporation upon condition requiring return, transfer or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred or conveyed in accordance with such instruments governing the establishment of such requirements; and
C. Any remaining assets shall be transferred or conveyed exclusively for the purposes of the Corporation or to such organization or organizations operated exclusively for recreational, charitable, educational or other non-profitable purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as it may be amended, in such manner as the Board of Directors shall determine.
ARTICLE XXIII Amendments
A. Any proposed amendment to these Bylaws may be made by a Member, the Board of Directors or a member of the Board of Directors
B. Advanced Notice: Any proposed amendment to these Bylaws by a Member must be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors at least 90 days in advance of an Annual General Meeting at which the amendment is to be considered. Each proposed amendment shall be sent in writing by the Missouri Soccer Association to each Member and the Board of Directors at least thirty (30) days in advance of the Annual General Meeting.
C. Voting requirements: Any amendment to these Bylaws requires a two-thirds vote of the membership in attendance at the Annual General Meeting.
D. Priority. In the event of a conflict between the Bylaws of Missouri Soccer and the articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies, and requirements of USASA and USSF, the articles, bylaws, policies, and requirements of USASA and USSF will take precedence.
E. Effective Date: Unless otherwise provided, any amendment to these Bylaws is effective on that January 1 that occurs immediately after the amendment is adopted.
ARTICLE XXIV UNITED STATE SOCCER FEDERATION Bylaw 213.
STATE ASSOCIATION RESPONSIBILITIES (as amended to bylaws and submitted to USSF Legal Department 8-18-1999)
(a) In addition to the other requirements of these bylaws, a State Association that is a member of the Federation on September 1, 1998, must undertake all actions necessary to amend its bylaws and policies by August 31, 1999, to include the following:
(1) The State Association will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex or national origin.
(2) The Federation articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies, and requirements take precedence over and supersede the governing documents and decisions of the State Association and its members to the extend applicable under state law, and the State Association and its member will abode by those articles, bylaws, policies, and requirements.
(3) The State Association and its members will abode by the Federation's articles, bylaws, policies, and requirements on interplay.
(4) The State Association shall provide to the Secretary General of the Federation an annual report on the activities of the Association and most current annual financial statements within 90 days after the start of the Federation's seasonal year.
(5) The State Association will
(A) provide annually to the Federation copies of the State Association's constitution, bylaws, and other governing documents,
(B) submit changes to those documents to the Federation for approval not later than 90 days after adoption, and
(C) make copies of those documents available to its members.
(6) The State Association shall maintain its tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code.
(7) The State Association will allow the Federation to review the documents and procedures of the State Association, on request of the Federation not less than once every 4 years, to determine compliance with these bylaws.
(8) The State Association shall also comply with Article XXX.
ARTICLE XXX PROHIBITED CONDUCT POLICY
(As amended to By Laws 4-20-2018)
Prohibited Conduct Policy
This Policy applies to all Missouri Soccer Association (herein after referred to as "MSA") BOD, employees and extends to all of MSA operations. This Policy also applies to conduct by any subcontractor, supplier, customer or third party and their employees in their dealings with MSA.
MSA is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any legally protected status. Accordingly, MSA does not permit any form of unlawful harassment, discrimination or intimidation against anyone, including managers, supervisors, co-workers, executives, directors, officers, other employees, vendors, clients, customers or third parties. Protected status includes race, color, age, religion, marital status, sex, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, veteran’s status, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, protected activity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
The policy also prohibits harassment on the basis of the protected status of an individual’s relatives, friends or associates. MSA is also committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from all forms of child sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, bullying and hazing. Any violation of this Policy is subject to disciplinary action as provided in the Constitution or By Laws of this organization, within the limits imposed by USSF. Appropriate action also will be taken against any subcontractor, supplier, or customer found in violation of this Policy.
Prohibited Conduct: Harassment
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status. Among the types of conduct prohibited by this policy are epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping or intimidating acts based on an individual's protected status and the circulation or posting of written or graphic materials that show hostility toward an individual because of his or her protected status. Prohibited conduct can also include jokes, kidding, or teasing about another person’s protected status. While harassing conduct is unlawful only if it affects tangible job benefits and/or interferes unreasonably with work performance and creates an abusive or hostile work environment, this Policy forbids harassing conduct even when it does not rise to the level of a violation of law.
Sexual harassment deserves special mention. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
• submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual’s employment;
• submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting that individual; or
• such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance and creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment may involve individuals of the same or different gender. It may also occur between individuals of any employment status.
Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment and are prohibited by this Policy include, but are not limited to
• unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, pinching, or brushing against a person’s body;
• staring, ogling, leering, or whistling at a person;
• continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
• sexually explicit statements, sexual flirtations, advances, propositions, subtle pressure for sexual activity, comments, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
• graphic or degrading comments about a person’s clothing, body or sexual activity;
• sexually suggestive objects, cartoons, posters, calendars, or pictures in the workplace;
• suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations;
• harassing use of electronic mail, electronic or instant messaging, or telephone communication systems; or
• other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
MSA prohibits managers and supervisors from threatening or insinuating, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s submission to or rejection of sexual advances will in any way influence any personnel decision regarding that employee’s wages, assigned duties, advancement, evaluation, shifts, career development, or any other condition of employment.
Racial, Religious, or National Origin Harassment
Racial, religious, or national origin harassment deserves special mention as well, and is expressly prohibited by MSA. Racial, religious, or national origin harassment includes any verbal, written, or physical act in which race, religion, or national origin is used or implied in a manner which would make a reasonable employee uncomfortable in the work environment or which would interfere with the employee’s ability to perform the job. Examples of race, religious or national origin harassment may include, but are not limited to:
• jokes, which include reference to race, religion, or national origin;
• the display or use of objects or pictures which adversely reflect on a person’s race, religion, or national origin; or
• use of pejorative or demeaning language regarding a person’s race, religion, or national origin.
Child Sexual Abuse
Any sexual activity with a child is prohibited. This includes sexual contact with a child that is accomplished by deception, manipulation, force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the participants, and all sexual interactions between an adult and a child, regardless of whether there is deception or the child understands the sexual nature of the activity.
Any sexual interaction between an athlete and an individual with evaluative, direct or indirect authority is prohibited. Such relationships involve an imbalance of power and are likely to impair judgment or be exploitative. This section does not apply to a pre-existing relationship between two spouses or life partners.
Intentional, persistent and repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended, or have the reasonable potential, to cause fear, humiliation or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish or isolate the targeted athlete(s), as a condition of membership are prohibited.
Bullying does not include group or team behaviors that
(a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors, or
(b) promote team cohesion.
Coercing, requiring, forcing or willfully tolerating any humiliating, unwelcome or dangerous activity that serves as a condition for
(a) joining a group or
(b) being socially accepted by a group’s members are prohibited.
Hazing does not include group or team activities that
(a) are meant to establish normative team behaviors or
(b) promote team cohesion.
Procedures for Complaints, Investigations and Corrective Action
All BOD, managers and employees are responsible to help assure that we avoid misconduct. No one is exempt from this Policy. MSA cannot act to eliminate misconduct unless it has notice of the conduct. Furthermore, MSA staff and employees are responsible to help assure that the work environment, on or off-premises, is free from harassment. All employees have an obligation to promptly report any and all allegedly harassing conduct they are the subject of, that they learn of, or that they witness. Our Policy provides for immediate notice of problems to the persons designated in this Policy so that we may address and resolve any problems as quickly as possible.
An employee must report the harassing conduct to either:
• The person to whom you report (supervisor or manager);
• A member of the BOD;
• The Chief Executive Officer.
If the employee feels uncomfortable going to his or her supervisor with the complaint, he/she must report the matter to any other member of management as designated above. This Policy does not require reporting the misconduct to any individual who is creating the harassment or discrimination.
All complaints and reports will be promptly investigated. All persons serving in any function for MSA have an obligation to cooperate in any investigation of a complaint of misconduct, including providing any and all information concerning the complaint. Failure to do so may be a violation of this Policy. In determining whether an individual’s alleged conduct constitutes a violation of the Policy, the investigator will impartially look at the totality of the circumstances, which includes the nature of the misconduct and the context in which it is alleged. If an investigation confirms that a violation of the Policy has occurred, MSA will take prompt corrective measures. These measures may include, but are not limited to, an oral or written warning or reprimand, counseling, suspension, or discharge of the employee engaging in such misconduct. Such disciplinary actions will be noted in the employee’s personnel file.
MSA’s Non-Harassment Policy offers its employees greater protection from harassment than does the law. Consequently, employees who are found to have violated MSA’s Non-Harassment Policy shall be subject to corrective action, discipline or termination, even in cases where applicable laws may not have been violated and without regard to whether the conduct constitutes a violation of the law. An employee wishing to file a complaint outside MSA may contact either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the fair employment agency in his or her state of residence.
Complaints of harassment, investigation of complaints of harassment, and any corrective action taken in response will be kept confidential, except as disclosure is necessary to perform MSA’s investigation, and to inform the alleged victim of harassment of the outcome of any investigation.
MSA prohibits reprisal or retaliation against anyone for filing a good faith complaint of harassment, for supporting or assisting, in good faith, another employee in pursuing a complaint or in assisting in the investigation of a complaint.
Any member of MSA must report incidents of retaliation on the same basis as they are to report incidents of harassment. MSA will not retaliate or discriminate against anyone for exercising, in good faith, any rights under this Policy. Retaliation is a violation of this Policy.
Investigations of good faith claims may properly result in findings that include violations of the policy, no violation of the Policy, or inconclusive findings. However, anyone who falsely claims sexual misconduct or provides false information in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from any further association with MSA.
Training and Education
Any member of MSA that has contact with minor athletes must successfully complete the designated MSA training every two (2) years. The designated training can be accessed through links at https://mrdp.gameofficials.net
Sexual Abuse or Misconduct
The investigation and adjudication of matters involving allegations or reports of sexual abuse or misconduct, or other violations of this Prohibited Conduct Policy that involve prohibited conduct that is reasonably related to and accompanies an alleged violation involving sexualized behavior by Covered Individuals are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Center for Safe Sport (“USCSS”) in accordance with the requirements of the USOC and as set forth in the USCSS Bylaws or other USCSS governing documents. “Covered Individuals” are those athletes who directly register with MSA (not including professional athletes playing with a professional league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer) and those who are appointed or authorized by MSA to oversee those athletes; this would include coaches, administrators, medical personnel and the like. Rules and procedures to be followed by MSA in dealing with allegations or reports of sexual abuse or misconduct, and the enforcement of discipline or other sanctions issued by the USCSS, are set forth in the applicable SafeSport policies and disciplinary procedures of the USCSS or MSA.
ARTICLE XXXI Grievances, Disputes, or Appeals
Missouri Soccer Association Grievances, Disputes, or Appeals
All parties are entitled to a hearing with proper notification.
Any Grievance, Dispute or Appeal requires a $200.00 fee be paid to MSA. Should the grievance, dispute or appeal be upheld, the $200.00 fee shall be refunded to the party making it.
Once a grievance, dispute or appeal is been properly filed, the named chairperson of MSA shall notify all involved parties within 5 days of receipt of the grievance, dispute or appeal, the nature of the grievance, dispute or appeal, the names of all parties, including of a copy of the grievance, dispute or appeal and the date, time and place of the hearing. MSA may elect to hold the hearing virtual if the chairperson so chooses. Should a party notify MSA that they would accept electronic notices and records, an email from them to MSA indicating so is acceptable. The conduct of the hearing shall be as determined by the rules of MSA. Should any of the parties elect to accept electronic communication and waive written records, all proceedings shall be recorded and a copy of the recording must be made available if requested within 10 days of the hearing. A written or electronic record of the proceedings (called the “official record”) shall be kept by MSA.
A written notification of the decision shall be sent to all involved or interested parties in whichever communication method (written or electronic) the party elected to accept. If printed and mailed, the notice shall be sent by certified mail.
All hearing shall take place with 30 days of the notice of the grievance, dispute or appeal being received by MSA.
Exhaustion of Remedies Requirement
No Organization or individual member, or affiliated official club, league, team, coach, referee, player or the representative of any of them, may invoke the aid of the courts of any state or of the United States without first exhausting all available remedies with the appropriate soccer organizations and as provided by the subpart. A party violating this Policy is subject to the penalties of suspension and fines and shall be liable to USASA, MSA, and individual members for expenses they incur, as appropriate, in defending each court action, including but not limited to the following:
Reasonable compensation for time spent by USASA, MSA, League Members, Individual Members, officers and employees in responding to and defending against allegations in the action, including responses to discovery and court appearances.
Travel expenses Expenses for holding National Council or other meetings necessitated by the court actions.
An appeal filed with the Appeals Committee must be in writing and submitted within 10 days from the date of official receipt of the decision by the party making the appeal. Any Appeal requires a $200.00 fee be paid to MSA. Should the appeal be upheld, the $200.00 fee shall be refunded to the party making it.
The appeals procedure before the MSA Appeals Committee is started by submitting six copies of a notice of appeal, supporting documents and a summary of the arguments to the Chairman of the Appeals Committee in care of the MSA office. Should the appeal be done electronically, the original email and attachments must be sent first to the MSA office email address, the MSA shall distribute copies electronically to all members of the committee.
The party submitting the appeal shall mail copies of the appeal to all opposing parties and to the body whose decision is being appealed on the same day as the notice of appeal is sent to the Chairman of the Appeals Committee.
The MSA Appeals Committee, from whom the matter has been appealed shall, within 10 days of receipt of the appeal, mail or deliver a copy of the official record of its decision to the Appeals Committee in care of the MSA office and to the interested parties to the appeal.
Within 10 days of the receipt of the official record, all opposing parties may submit to the Appeals Committee in care of the MSA office and to the interested parties to the appeal any written arguments they wish to make in opposition to the appeal.
Within 10 days of receipt of the written arguments in opposition to the appeal, the party submitting the appeal may submit any written argument that party may wish to make in support of the appeal.
All materials previously submitted by all interested parties shall be deemed pertinent to the appeal and shall be made available to all parties involved. No party to the appeal shall be denied access to any information that could apply to the appeal.
Any given appeal must be heard by a minimum of three members of the Appeals Committee appointed by the Chair of the Appeals Committee.
The Chair shall ensure that all such appointed persons shall have no connection or conflict of interest regarding the specific appeal.
The Appeals Committee shall base its decision on the official record used by the body whose decision is being appealed; and
The Appeals Committee may not rehear the facts and circumstances but may remand the matter to the lower decision-making body for rehearing.
The Appeals Committee may deny an appeal if:
The party submitting the appeal fails to submit the appropriate fee as specified in this policy;
The appeal goes beyond the scope of the official record or presentation of the original action or decision; The appeal is filed by a party other than the original parties to the appeal;
The proper procedures have not been followed in appealing to the Appeals Committee; or
The information necessary to make a fair and just decision on the appeal has not been furnished.
The Appeals Committee shall render its decision regarding the appeal and submit the decision in writing to all interested parties within 30 days after the date of the last submission by the parties.
If a written decision is not issued within a maximum of 60 days from the date of the official receipt of the original submission of the appeal request by the party making the appeal, the party making the appeal may submit the appeal to the USASA Board of Directors.
When the Appeals Committee fails to issue a written decision within that 60-day period, the Committee loses authority to determine the appeal and the appeal fee may be applied at the next level.
A decision of the Appeals Committee, Organization Member or any other decision-making body within USASA shall stand and be in full force and effect until changed by a higher authority.
Failure to abide by any decision of the Appeals Committee is grounds for disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.