Revised May 26, 2015
Article I - Name and location
1. This association shall be known as the Mid Coast Officials Association (MCOA) and is a multisport association currently sanctioned for nine (9) sports.
2. The mailing address shall be located in Brevard County, Florida.
Article II - Aim and purpose
1. In view of the inter-relationships between interscholastic athletic activities and school personnel, sports officials, athletes, the press and patrons, it shall be the aim and purpose of this association:
a. To maintain a membership of experienced and capable sports officials.
b. To maintain a high standard of ethics, encouragement of fair play and sportsmanship, and closer cooperation and better understanding among officials, athletic directors, coaches, players, press and spectators, all as prescribed by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and National Federation of High School Athletic Association (NFHS ).
Article III - Membership
1. Each member shall be registered with the FHSAA and with the MCOA as either PRIMARY or SECONDARY each year per sport and shall be in good standing with said associations.
1a. A member with PRIMARY designation shall have all rights and privileges conveyed by the MCOA constitution and by-laws, rules and guidelines set forth within MCOA's Constitution and By- laws (“document”) and are bound by all Articles, rules and guidelines set forth within said document.
1b. A member with SECONDARY
designation shall have all rights and privileges conveyed by the MCOA
constitution and by-laws, rules and guidelines set forth
within said document with the following exceptions:
A SECONDARY MEMBER
I. has no voting privileges for that sport.
II. is excluded from holding any office in the MCOA.
III. is excluded from holding the position of sports commissioner.
IV. is excluded from holding the position of sports secretary.
V. is excluded from holding any committee position.
VI. education, training and distributive FHSAA material(s) is the responsibility of the secondary member's primary association designation.
VII. is prohibited from post season regional and state tournament assignments with the MCOA.
VIII. cannot propose changes to the constitution.
IX. cannot hold a General Officers position in the MCOA.
1c. A SECONDARY member is bound by all Articles, rules and guidelines set forth within said document with the exceptions listed above.
2. Each member shall be registered with the MCOA each year and shall be in good standing with said association. Application for membership to MCOA shall be made by officials when they register for the first sport they will officiate for the MCOA for that year. All memberships expire June 30 each year. The designation of Primary or Secondary member for that sport shall be recorded on the day of that sport’s first scheduled game or event as designated by the FHSAA. After that date, a member may change designation from primary to secondary but not secondary to primary.
3. Good standing shall be defined as follows:
a. Being current with dues and fines for both the MCOA and the individual sport.
b. By the beginning of each school year, resolved all disciplinary actions, fees, and fines, from the previous school year.
c. During the school year, have resolved, by the end date of the sport that they are working, all disciplinary actions, fees, and fines.
d. Immediately having resolved any outstanding disciplinary actions, fees, and fines.
e. If a member is not current they shall be "not in good standing" and shall not be eligible to participate in normal MCOA or sport activities such as working contests or voting in elections.
f. MCOA, sport dues and fees will be deducted from the single pay check issued by the MCOA. MCOA dues will be collected for each sport worked and set by the Executive council. Sport dues will be set by the sports commissioner and approved by the executive council.
4. Each member shall abide by the Code of Ethics for Athletic Officials as published in the NFHS booklets and items published in the FHSAA manual.
5. Each member is responsible for upholding the traditions of good sportsmanship and remembering their responsibility in all situations.
6. Conditions for membership in this association are universally applicable. They are:
a. Compliance with all rules and regulations of National, State and local associations.
b. Successful completion of required Brevard County School Board security background check.
c. Current payment of ALL fines.
d. Good moral character.
e. In good standing with their previous associations.
7. No person is eligible for election to a Sports Commissioner unless that person currently receives and accepts game assignments in that Sport. In addition, that person must have been a primary member of that sport for the entire season.
8. No person is eligible to hold a General Officers position within the MCOA if that person has both a primary and secondary MCOA designation.
Article IV - Officers and duties
1. General officers of this association shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
a. President: Shall preside at all general meetings of the association. Shall conduct the meeting in a business-like manner according to the Roberts Rules of Order Revised. In addition, will execute all rules and regulations pertaining to the organization of business of the association. Shall handle all general MCOA correspondence. Shall have the power to sign checks. Shall have the power to enforce any action necessary for the good of the association, which is not covered or assigned by the constitution. Shall ensure that the association is sanctioned with the FHSAA during the designated time frame set by the FHSAA.
b. Vice President: Shall assist the President in all matters pertaining to the association and shall assume the duties of the President when absent. Shall serve as Parliamentarian at all general meetings. Shall verify that each sport commissioner has completed their duties and responsibility for their sport. Shall notify the treasurer that the sport commissioner has fulfilled their duties and responsibilities so payment can be rendered.
c. Secretary: Shall keep a written record of all general meetings and of all executive council meetings. Work with Web Master to insure all current and public MCOA documents are published on-line in a timely manner. Minutes of all Executive Council and General Membership meetings shall be submitted to the WEB Master for publishing no later than 30 days from the meeting. Shall handle correspondence as needed for the Executive Council, or as directed by the President.
d. The Secretary’s duties and pay shall be sub-divided into 3 periods of the school year.
1. Period 1 – July - November
2. Period 2 – December – February
Period 3 – March – June
Failure to adequately perform required duties described herein shall result in forfeiture of pay for that period.
e. Treasurer: Duties of the treasurer are as follows:
1. Shall establish and maintain a checking account in the name of the association, and be responsible for all financial affairs of the association.
2. Shall be responsible for the preparation, either in person or by outside agency, of all tax material for MCOA.
3. Shall Invoice contracted schools for (single-pay) charges for officials assignments of games in each of the nine (9) sports officiated by the MCOA, from the Start-of-Season Invoices received from the Sports Commissioners.
4. Shall balance End-of-Season invoices, received from the Sports Commissioners, i.e. Re-invoice or refund as needed.
5. Shall issue checks to sports officials from the Pay sheet data received from the Sports Commissioners and collect both MCOA/Sport dues from the information on the pay sheets.
6. Shall furnish all financial information to the Executive Council as requested.
f. The Treasurers duties and pay shall be sub-divided into 3 periods of the school year.
1. Period 1 – July - November
2. Period 2 – December – February
Period 3 – March – June
Failure to adequately perform required duties described herein shall result in forfeiture of pay for that period.
2. WEB Master/Arbiter Administrator: Shall maintain the official MCOA WEB site and provide access to all sports. Shall monitor the site to insure the integrity of a public WEB site. Shall administer the MCOA Arbiter license and assist Sport Commissioners as needed.
3. Executive Council of the association shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sport Commissioner of each sport.
a. The Executive Council shall conduct business for the association within the constraints of the constitution and by-laws.
b. All recommendations concerning Purposed Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws must be accepted by a majority vote of the council before the EC’s recommendations are presented to the membership for ratification.
c. A quorum must be present in order for any business to take place.
d. Set the current year MCOA general membership dues.
e. Approve the Sport dues from the recommendation of the Sports commissioner.
f. Shall have the authority to remove a member of the Executive Council or WEB Master/Arbiter Administrator for due cause by a two thirds (8) votes.
4. Sports Commissioner: There shall be a sports commissioner for each sport contracted. The commissioner shall preside at all meetings of their particular sport, conducting each meeting in a business-like manner according to Roberts Rules of Order Revised (with the exception of election process - see Article V, Item 2). Shall make all contest assignments. Shall document the status of officials as either primary or secondary on the date of the first scheduled contest of the sport season as designated by the FHSAA. The Sport Commissioner shall make any rules or guidelines, particular to their sport that are needed to administer the sport during the year. The Sport Commissioner shall ensure compliance with all applicable rules for their sport including, but not limited to, NFHS, FHSAA, MCOA, and individual sport. Shall appoint a secretary, if needed, to assist. If a secretary is not used, the Commissioner shall perform the secretarial duties.
5. Sports Secretary: There may be a sports secretary, if needed, for each sport. The Sport commissioner of each sport will determine the need for a Sports Secretary. The Sports Secretary will handle any duty deemed necessary by the Sports Commissioner, and will act under the supervision of said Commissioner. The secretary shall have the authority to act in the commissioner’s stead when authorized to do so by the commissioner or if the commissioner is incapacitated by illness or injury.
Article V - Elections
1. General officers shall be elected by a plurality vote of the primary members present at the General Membership meeting in May or June. All terms expire June 30 each year.
2. Sports commissioner shall be elected by a plurality vote of that sport’s primary members present at an election meeting and Absentee Ballot votes no later than two weeks after the State championship game for that sport. Nominations for Sports Commissioner shall be closed 2 weeks prior to the scheduled election meeting. Members shall be notified of meeting date, time, location and nominees. Should there only be one nominee (including incumbent) identified by the deadline, the election meeting shall be canceled and the single nominee elected by acclimation. All terms expire June 30 each year except for football which shall run from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
a. After nominations are closed, email requests for an Absentee Ballot shall be made to the Sport Election Chairperson.
b. Absentee Ballots must be returned by email to the Sport Election Chairperson, 7 days prior to the Commissioner Election Meeting, to be counted.
c. Each Sport Election Chair person shall ensure that only primary members vote in the election.
3. Sports commissioners may not serve as General officers.
4. Eligibility: Any primary member, with the exception of Article III, Section 8, in good standing is eligible to run for President, Vice-President, Treasury, and Secretary.
a. Candidates for Treasurer and WEB Master/Arbiter Administrator shall submit their name and qualifications based on the posted requirements to the President and/or Vice President at least 30 days before the General Membership election meeting. Based on those qualifications, the General Officers will determine which candidates to present to the membership.
b. Candidates for WEB Master/Arbiter Administrator shall submit their names to the President and/or Vice President and shall be appointed by majority vote of the Executive Council.
5. In case an officer or sport commissioner resigns or membership is terminated, a replacement will be selected as follows.
a. If the office of the President is vacated, the Vice President will assume this office.
b. All other vacancies will be filled by an appointment of the executive council until the next regularly scheduled election or special election can be held.
6. Members may hold only one office: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Sports Commissioner.
7. New PRIMARY members MUST attend no less than half of sport training meetings AND officiate no less than four (4) contests to be eligible to vote in Sport Commissioner elections or General elections. This requirement is for the first year of membership only. This requirement shall be waived if the official becomes physically incapable of officiating before fulfilling the requirements.
Article VI - Committees
1. Committees shall be as described in the most recent FHSAA Officials Guidebook. The sports commissioner shall appoint members of their sport, who are in good standing, to those committees by the date of that sport’s first scheduled game or event as designated by the FHSAA.
Article VII - Meetings
1. General membership meetings shall be held two times a year. One meeting will be held in September and one will be held in May or June. The actual date will be determined by the Executive Council.
2. Executive council meetings shall be held four times a year, once in each quarter. They may be called into special sessions by any member of the Executive Council.
3. Sports meetings shall be held before, during, and at the end of the season. The number of meetings shall be determined by the commissioner, meet FHSAA guidelines, and be sufficient to prepare members for the season.
a. The sports commissioner shall determine what is an excused absence and methods for making up absences of sports meetings.
Article VIII - Discipline
1. Basis for Discipline. Discipline may be imposed on a member for any of the following: violation of National or State rules, regulations, or guidelines including the rules for ethical conduct of officials; violation of the provisions of this Constitution and By Laws; and violation of rules or regulations established by a Sports Commissioner of any Sport for which the member is registered.
2. Types of Discipline. Discipline includes, but is not limited to reprimand, loss of assignments, suspension, conditional probation, and expulsion. “Loss of good standing” will result from suspension or expulsion and may be a condition of conditional probation. A fine may be imposed with other discipline except for expulsion. However, a fine imposed of and by itself is not considered disciplinary action and a member may appeal a fine under Article IX, Grievance Procedure.
3. Procedure for Imposing Discipline.
a. The President has authority to impose discipline on any member or may refer the matter to the appropriate Sports Commissioner for action. Each Sports Commissioner has authority to impose discipline on a member registered for that sport. Any imposed discipline can be effective immediately. The President or Sports Commissioner retains sole authority for a suspension either immediately or pending the outcome of an appeal process.
b. If the President or Sports Commissioner receives information which, if true, warrants disciplinary action, the President or Sports Commissioner will prepare a charge that specifies the violation of a rule or regulation alleged, the source of the allegation of violation, and the information supporting the allegation including the names of any potential witnesses along with the type of discipline to be imposed. A copy will be provided to the member, the President, and the Commissioner of any sport for which the member is registered.
4. If the member accepts the discipline imposed by the President or Sports Commissioner, the discipline will go into effect immediately. If the member decides to appeal, the member must notify the President or Sports Commissioner who issued the discipline in writing within 72 hours of receiving the imposed discipline
5. Due Process for disciplinary actions that are appealed.
a. For a matter on which the President acts, the President will appoint a panel of three members to conduct a hearing to rule on the appeal. For a matter on which a Sports Commissioner acts, the Commissioner will refer the matter to that sport’s Grievance Committee to conduct a hearing and rule on the appeal. The hearing will be conducted within 15 days of receipt of the charge by the panel or committee. The member is entitled to be present during the hearing; however, their presence is not required to conduct the hearing. The panel or committee will set the date and place for the hearing and provide notice of such hearing, and right of the member to be present. If the member cannot attend the hearing date, a reasonable effort will be made to reschedule the hearing so that the member may attend. However, the hearing must take place within the 15 day time period. In the event the member serves on the Grievance Committee that is hearing the appeal, he/she will be replaced by another member appointed by the Commissioner.
b. The panel or committee will prepare a written report summarizing the hearing and recommended action and provide that report to the President or the Commissioner within 72 hours of the hearing. If the finding is no violation, the matter is ended and no further action will be taken. If the disciplinary action is upheld the discipline will be imposed immediately or will stay in effect. The President or Commissioner will provide a written decision to the member within 72 hours of the panel or committee’s written report. If the member accepts the disciplinary action, the matter is closed. If the President initiated the disciplinary process, a copy of the written decision and panel’s written report will also be provided to the Commissioners of the sports for which the member is registered. If a Commissioner initiated the disciplinary process, a copy of the written decision and committee’s written report will also be provided to the President and Commissioners of other sports for which the member is registered.
c. The member may appeal a decision of the President’s panel or Commissioner’s Grievance Committee to the Executive Council. The appeal must be in writing and made within 72 hours of the president’s or commissioner’s written decision. The member may address the Council in writing, orally, or both. If the member chooses to address the Council in writing, the writing must accompany the appeal. If the member requests to address the Council orally, the Council will set a date for that purpose that is within 15 days of receiving the request. The Council may, but is not required, to consider new or additional evidence. Within 72 hours of deciding the written appeal or the oral response, the Council will decide the appeal in writing and provide the member with the written decision. The Council’s decision is final. The Council, for good cause, may alter the disciplinary action
d. If the Council, Panel, or Grievance Committee’s decision finds no violation occurred and, during the appeal process time frame, the member lost an assignment(s), the member shall be held harmless and receive payment for the assignment(s). The Council, Panel, or Grievance Committee that ruled on the appeal will determine the number of assignment(s) the member is entitled to in the event that the schedule of assignments had not yet been posted prior to the disciplinary actions being taken.
6. Reprisals against a member for using the disciplinary process are prohibited.
7. Whenever a time limit is provided and the action is by mail, receipt or dispatch will be presumed to be the postmarked date plus 3 days unless the contrary is shown.
Article IX - Grievance Procedure
1. Any member may file a grievance concerning the action of an Officer or Commissioner other than an action which is part of the Disciplinary Process under Article VIII. Actions under the Disciplinary Procedure are not subject to the Grievance Procedure.
2. Grievances must be in writing and submitted either to the President or the Sports Commissioner. The President may refer any grievance to the appropriate Sports Commissioner unless that Sports Commissioner is the subject of the grievance. The President may conduct, or appoint a panel to conduct, such investigation as is appropriate to establish the facts necessary to decide the grievance. The Commissioner will refer the matter to the sport’s Grievance Committee who will follow that Committee’s procedures. The President or Commissioner (or Grievance Committee) will decide the grievance and state the basis for decision in writing and provide a copy to the member. The President or Commissioner will ensure the prompt response to the grievant, but not more than 15 days unless more time is reasonably needed.
3. Within 15 days of receiving the decision, a member who is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal to the Executive Council. The member may address the Council in writing, orally, or both. If the member chooses to address the Council in writing, the writing must accompany the appeal. If the member requests to address the Council orally, the Council will set a date for that purpose that is within 15 days of the date of receiving the request. The Council may, but is not required, to investigate further. Within 15 days of receiving the written appeal or the oral response, whichever is later, the Council will decide the appeal in writing and provide the member with a copy.
4. Reprisals against a member for using the grievance procedure are prohibited.
5. Whenever a time limit is provided and the action is by mail, receipt or dispatch will be presumed to be the postmarked date plus 3 days unless the contrary is shown.
Article X - Assigning
1. All assignments shall be made by the sports commissioner. Once approved by the assignment committee per FHSAA, a copy of the full MCOA assignment schedule must be made available to each member of the particular sport, and all appropriate contractual representatives. Officials shall not accept any assignment changes (date, time, personnel, etc.) except through the sport commissioner or their designee.
2. Any member may request permission to be excused for a particular night prior to game assignment being published.3. No commissioner shall charge his or her members a booking/assigning fee as long as the MCOA is receiving administrative fees from the schools under contract.
3. Any complaints regarding assignments shall be referred to the sports commissioner. If no resolution is reached, the written complaint shall be forwarded to any member of that sport’s grievance committee. If still not resolved by the Grievance Committee it will be handled in accordance with Article IX.
Article XI - Dues, fees, and fines
1. Each member of the association shall pay general membership dues for each sport officiated and established by the executive council.
2. The sports commissioner shall determine the dues to be assessed for their sport in accordance with the MCOA Rules and Guidelines.
3. In the event of a shortage of funds, the executive council shall assess each member of that sport a proportionate share of the shortage. As much as possible, each sport should pay its own way.
4. Game fees, where applicable, will be those recommended by the FHSAA and agreed to by contract between the MCOA and local schools.
5. Failure to pay fines shall result in the withholding of assignments and possible disciplinary action by the sports commissioner.
Article XII - Uniforms
1. All uniforms requirements will be prescribed by the FHSAA.
2. Jackets, if worn, will be solid black in color except baseball or softball may wear conventional blue.
a. Patches and insignia of any nature, except MCOA logo, FHSAA logo or U.S.A. flag, will not be worn on the jackets.
3. The association may require additional requirements.
Article XIII - Changes
1. All changes or revisions to this constitution shall be submitted in writing, by a member in good standing, to the secretary of the association at least 30 days prior to the next general membership meeting. All proposed change or revision shall be posted on the WEB along with notification of the general meeting. Only proposed changes or revisions posted with notification of a general meeting, and only the proposed change or revision as written, shall be placed on the agenda for consideration. A majority vote of those members present shall determine passage. Minor changes to the constitution to correct spelling and grammatical errors or to make clarifications are allowed to be made by a majority vote of the Executive Council.
Article XIV - Miscellaneous
1. Any mention in this Constitution and By-Laws of in writing, written, etc will include electronic format.
Article XV - Addendum - MCOA Rules and Guidelines & Operating Procedures
1. The Rules and Guidelines and Operating Procedures shall be modified as needed by simple majority vote of the Executive Council.