Bay Arena minor addresses coaching dispute
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.