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Guideline - ARTICLE 9

Dispute Resolution

General Policy Suspension Hearing Procedures
General Due Process Procedure Removal Review

General Policy

It is the policy of the Region to resolve all disputes involving persons involved in the Region in an amicable way. Compromise should be emphasized whenever possible, and personality conflicts should be avoided. If disciplinary action is found to be necessary, it is the Region's policy to take only the minimum action necessary. All means available should be taken to avoid legal action.

It is the policy of the Region to avoid punishing the players for the conduct of the parents except when there is no other solution (e.g., where a parent cannot or will not cease his or her disruptive behavior).

It is the policy of the Region to avoid wiping out years of good memories of AYSO and good service to AYSO, and that suspension or removal procedures are to be used only as a last resort. Voluntary resignation is preferable to a suspension or removal procedure.

It is the policy of the Region to avoid publicizing the suspension or removal proceedings beyond those persons who need to know, and to respect the privacy of the individuals involved. However, the Regional Commissioner or Regional Board should notify the Area Director, the Section Director, the National Support Center or members of the AYSO Legal Commission of the pending proceedings pursuant to the operating regulations, and must comply with all applicable regulations and laws requiring suspension, abuse and similar events.

General Due Process Procedures

Disputes involving day-to-day activities of the Region should first be addressed and resolved, if possible, by the appropriate Board Member in charge of the activity and/or then by the entire Regional Board, if necessary. Disputes arising out of game conduct should first be addressed and resolved, if possible, by the Regional Referee Administrator and/or then by a disinterested Review Board appointed by the Regional Commissioner and/or then by the entire Regional Board, if necessary.

If it is determined that it is necessary that a person involved in the Region needs to be disciplined, or that his or her participation in the Region should be limited or terminated, then the Regional Commissioner or the Regional Board shall give notice in writing to such person of such intention. Such notice shall specify the action to be taken and the reasons therefore. Such notices shall further notify such person that he or she, upon request, will be given a reasonable opportunity to explain why such action should not be taken. Such opportunity to respond may be in person at a hearing, by telephone or in writing. The Regional Commissioner or Regional Board may appoint a disinterested Hearing Board or Committee of neutral persons to consider such discipline. After such opportunity to respond has been given, the Regional Commissioner, Regional Board, Hearing Board or Committee shall make its determination and announce it in writing to all persons concerned.

Suspension

The Regional Commissioner or Regional Board may suspend a person involved in the Region from further involvement in the program on notice (by telephone, fax, writing or in person) if there is found to be an imminent danger to the program by his or her continuing involvement, or if a crime has been alleged to be committed by such participant. Such a suspension must be followed by a disciplinary hearing described in Paragraph Two, above. A suspension is considered to be temporary in nature, and such suspension may be removed or set aside by a majority of the Regional Board at any time.

Removal

The Regional Commissioner or the Regional Board may remove a person (whether or not suspended) involved in the Region, including a Regional Board Member, from further involvement in the program. Such removal may only be made upon prior notice and after a determination is made that removal is appropriate, as the result of a disciplinary hearing described in Paragraph Two, above. Such removal is only permitted when there is found to be (a) a violation of the National Bylaws or of the rules, regulations, policies or philosophies of AYSO or (b) conduct which disrupts the Region's or AYSO's activities or programs.

Hearing Procedures

The disciplinary hearing shall be held at a neutral location. The hearing procedures shall be communicated to and understood by all parties prior to the commencement of such hearing. All interested parties are to be informed of the date, time and location of such hearing.

At the hearing the Committee or Hearing Board shall listen to the facts of the situation from all interested parties, and then adjourn to a private session where the decision will be reached. Under no circumstances shall the Committee or Hearing Board deliberate in the presence of the parties involved in the dispute. The Committee or Hearing Board will then decide the issues raised pursuant to AYSO operating regulations and these Regional Guidelines based on the evidence submitted, and by majority vote determine the appropriate action including whether no action should be taken against the individual accused, or whether such person should be given a warning or caution, or whether such person should be given a written reprimand, or whether such person should be suspended or removed from involvement in Regional activities. All interested parties shall be promptly notified of such decision after, in the case of removal, and where deemed appropriate, such individual is given an opportunity to resign voluntarily.

Review

Any determination made in accordance with this Article shall be final and binding on all concerned unless it is determined by the Area Director, or, if he/she is not disinterested, the Section Director, that such determination was arbitrary and capricious, or that the procedure was not fair, or that the person or persons making such determination are found not to have been disinterested. Any interested party dissatisfied with the decision or action taken by the Committee or Hearing Board may request a review of such decision by (in order) the Area Director, Section Director or National Board of Directors, as may be appropriate pursuant to the operating regulations relating to dispute resolution and due process.


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