Bay Arena mi­nor ad­dresses coach­ing dis­pute


Dear Editor:

In re­sponse to the ar­ti­cle head­lined “ Coach se­lec­tion process flawed, says Sey­mour,” that ap­peared in the Oct. 18, 2011 edi­tion of The Com­pass, the Bay Arena Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion (BAMHA) would like to have an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to Ni­cholas Mercer’s ar­ti­cle.

As a wise editor once said to me, there is more than one side to ev­ery story. The fol­low­ing is an­other side to this re­port in an at­tempt to set the record straight:

• The BAMHA fol­lows the Roberts Rules of Or­der in con­duct­ing its board of di­rec­tors meet­ings.

• The dis­grun­tled coach was not “passed over” for any coach­ing po­si­tion but, rather, had his ap­pli­ca­tion con­sid­ered along with sev­eral other coach­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

• Nepo­tism is not shown, as is one of the rea­sons for vol­un­teers, spouses/ part­ners of vol­un­teers and/ or par­ents / guardians of a child to not be present dur­ing dis­cus­sion and vot­ing on any res­o­lu­tion. As for friends or other rel­a­tives be­ing present dur­ing dis­cus­sion and vot­ing, it is not in­cum­bent to ask for their ab­sti­nence, as this would of­ten lead to less than a quo­rum re­main­ing to make clear deci- sions. How­ever, when such cases ex­ist, an im­par­tial com­mit­tee may be struck.

• Any mem­ber of this as­so­ci­a­tion, who acts in a man­ner prej­u­di­cial to the as­so­ci­a­tion, may be ex­pelled, sus­pended or dis­ci­plined through due process.

• To say “some­thing is bla­tantly done (with) dis­hon­est( y)” is to ac­cuse the BAMHA board of di­rec­tors of out­right ly­ing. We have found no ev­i­dence of any board mem­ber ly­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion or to other mem­bers of the board and that each board mem­ber acted in good faith for the ben­e­fit of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

• There is no rule, ei­ther writ­ten or un­writ­ten, that coaches could as­sume the same po­si­tion the fol­low­ing year. Coaches must ap­ply in writ­ing each and ev­ery year to be con­sid­ered to coach. Be­cause a coach was in this po­si­tion the pre­vi­ous year, is only one of sev­eral fac­tors con­sid­ered when re­view­ing a coach’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

• As the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee con­sid­ers ap­pli­cants for head coach, if the ap­pli­cant’s child is con­sid­ered to be among the Top-10 for the team, then and only then is the ap­pli­cant con­sid­ered as head coach for that team. This pro­tects the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee from nepo­tism and from hav­ing a child placed on a team that that child would nor­mally not be con­sid­ered for.

• There are many cri­te­ria out­lined for vol­un­teerism in the as­so­ci­a­tion. Among these are cre­den­tials, abil­ity to deal with play­ers and their par­ents, abil­ity to work with the tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor and the board of di­rec­tors, record of con­duct, etc.

• If a mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion feels there is a “ flawed process” or does not agree with any of the Ar­ti­cles of As­so­ci­a­tion or any of the by­laws and poli­cies of the as­so­ci­a­tion as out­lined in the BAMHA By­laws and Poli­cies Hand­book, they have the op­por­tu­nity to seek amend­ments at any gen­eral meet­ing of the as­so­ci­a­tion, by giv­ing no­tice prior to the meet­ing and mak­ing the pro­posal to the en­tire as­so­ci­a­tion.

• The BAMHA board of di­rec­tors nor­mally asks for board mem­bers to leave a board meet­ing and to ab­stain from vot­ing when it comes to de­ci­sions or rul­ings con­cern­ing the mem­ber, their spouse/part­ners and/or their chil­dren. This is tra­di­tion­ally used to pro­tect the vol­un­teer board mem­bers from be­ing ac­cused by mem­bers of con­flict of in­ter­est.

• The BAMHA has a web page that of­fers copies of both the BAMHA Ar­ti­cles of As­so­ci­a­tion and the BAMHA By­laws and Pol­icy Hand­book for any­one to read. These doc­u­ments are the only writ­ten doc­u­ments fol­lowed and abided by at our lo­cal level. Be­yond these are branch doc­u­ments from Hockey New­found­land and Labrador and national doc­u­ments from Hockey Canada that are also fol­lowed.

• All coach­ing ap­pli­ca­tions are pre­sented to the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee for their pe­rusal. It is up to in­di­vid­ual mem­bers to read these ap­pli­ca­tions. Noth­ing is with­held and no­body is “in­ten­tion­ally mis­lead” be­fore or dur­ing the vot­ing process. Nor­mally, this is an open vote car­ried out with a show­ing of hands. Un­der the cir­cum­stances it was put to a pri­vate bal­lot at the re­quest of the board, so as not to in­flu­ence the vot­ers.

• Typ­i­cal BAMHA board of di­rec­tors fash­ion is to fol­low pro­to­col to the best of our abil­ity by be­ing ac­count­able to our mem­ber­ship.

• Our all-star di­rec­tor per­formed his du­ties dili­gently dur­ing the se­lec­tion process by pre­sent­ing all ap­pli­ca­tions to the com­mit­tee for its pe­rusal and con­sid­er­a­tion.

Mr. Editor, like so many or­ga­ni­za­tions through­out our re­gion, the BAMHA is a vol­un­teer as­so­ci­a­tion that seeks out level-minded can­di­dates each year to run for our var­i­ous of­fices. These can­di­dates are nom­i­nated and elected each sea­son at our an­nual gen­eral meet­ing.

Many ca­pa­ble vol­un­teer di­rec­tors of­ten re­sign be­fore com­plet­ing their term or do not seek re-elec­tion at the end of their term for the sole rea­son of feel­ing as if a tar­get is placed upon their backs mak­ing them fair game for any and all dis­grun­tled as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers and me­dia alike. As well, many com­pe­tent mem­bers of our as­so­ci­a­tion will not seek or ac­cept nom­i­na­tion for any vol­un­teer po­si­tions on our board as they do not wish to be tar­nished in the me­dia for the very same rea­son.

Vol­un­teers should be proud of their ac­com­plish­ments, while mem­bers of or­ga­ni­za­tions should be grate­ful for the ded­i­ca­tion of time and tal­ent given by its vol­un­teers.

Perry A. Mercer is the im­me­di­ate past-pres­i­dent of the Bay Arena Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion board of di­rec­tors. He writes from Bay Roberts.

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