Section 1. USA Water Polo, Inc.
USA Water Polo, Inc. (“USAWP”) is the national governing body for the sport of water polo in the United States. The Southwest Zone of USWP operates under the sponsorship and rules of USAWP. The Southwest Zone of USWP is the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Section 2. This Zone Policy & Procedure Manual
USA Water Polo Inc. provides a Zone Policy & Procedure Manual intended to provide all participants in USAWP Zone activities with information about the policies and procedures associated with their involvement with USAWP.
It terminates and replaces any previous zone policies, memoranda and any inconsistent oral or written descriptions of the Zones’ role within USA Water Polo.
Although this Zone Policy & Procedure Manual is intended to be as comprehensive as possible, no policy and procedure can anticipate every circumstance. Thus, should any questions arise regarding the contents of this Manual or Zone policies or procedures in general, the zone should contact USAWP staff, who can either provide guidance regarding the meaning of the provisions of this manual or cause USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer or Board of Directors to consider any policy issues that are not addressed in this Manual.
Section 3 Southwest Zone Unique Policies and Procedures
The Southwest Zone board may create policies and procedures that address questions and operations not already covered by the USAWP Zone Policy & Procedure Manual. Should there be any conflict between the zone policy and any USAWP policy then the USAWP policy will take precedence.
II MISSION & GOALS
Section 1 USA Water Polo Mission Statement
The mission of USAWP is to grow the sport of water polo throughout the United States and win medals in the Olympic Games, FINA World Championships and Pan American Games. In order to accomplish this mission, USAWP sponsors and organizes water polo competition and training programs from introductory youth Splashball programs through 60+ Masters competitions, as well as selecting and training the Men’s and Women’s National Teams. In addition, USAWP provides training to, and certifies, water polo coaches and referees.
Section 2 Zone Mission Statement
The Southwest Water Polo Zone of USAWP represents the essential organizing mechanism for Southwest Zone regional volunteerism within USAWP and beyond. Each USAWP Zone is expected to build the water polo community within its region by creating, sponsoring and overseeing leagues and qualifying tournaments, clinics, and other services. Zone activities should be self-supporting, except for certain national obligations, such as attendance at national assemblies, which will be funded by USAWP. As ambassadors for our sport, each Zone, in collaboration with the USAWP national office, should strive to enhance the growth of the sport throughout the country and to promote the sport at all levels.
Section 3. Goals and Expectations for Zones
Each Zone is expected to organize, develop and promote the sport of water polo using guidelines and goals set forth by USAWP under the direction of USAWP’s Director of Sports Development. The primary means of accomplishing this objective are:
• Encouraging increased water polo activity within the Zone by organizing competitions, assisting in the formation of new clubs within the Zone and facilitating training for athletes, coaches and referees;
• Informing USAWP members within the Zone regarding water polo competitions and developments within USAWP;
• Promoting USAWP member participation in the USAWP Olympic Development Program;
• Assisting in securing facilities for training and selection camps and regional training centers;
• Promoting USAWP member participation in national events by hosting national championships, national championship qualification tournaments, and regional leagues, events and camps;
• Providing oversight of local activities to ensure they are conducted in a manner consistent with USAWP’s Statement of Ethics and Values, as well as the policies and procedures within this manual and USA Water Polo’s Codes of Conduct for Athletes, Coaches and Referees; and
• Wisely using the resources available to the Zone to promote the sport of water polo and to increase the number of USAWP members in the Zone, and the quality of play, instruction and competition within the Zone.
III ZONE BOARD
Section 1. General Powers
Except as otherwise provided in these Policies and Procedures, the business of each Zone shall be conducted by the Zone Chair under the supervision of the Zone Board.
Section 2. Qualifications
Each member of a Zone Board shall: (a) be over the age of 18 years, (b) be a member of USAWP and (c) have his or her principal place of residence within the Zone. At the option of the Zone Board, and with the prior written approval of USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer, a Zone may elect to divide the Zone in geographic regions and to allocate one or more positions on the Zone Board to each of those geographic regions so as to ensure that all distinct geographic areas within a Zone are represented on the Zone Board.
Section 3. Number
Each Zone shall have at least five and no more than 10 members on that Zone’s Board of Directors, as determined by the Zone Board. Starting in 2015, the SW Zone Board will be comprised of 7 Board Members.
Section 4. Staggered Terms
Each Zone shall have two groups of members on its Zone Board, Group A Members and Group B Members. Each Zone Board shall be as evenly divided between Group A Members and Group B Members as possible.
Section 5. Initial Terms as of January 1, 2014
The initial term of office for the Group A Members of each Zone Board shall commence on January 1, 2014 and shall terminate on December 31, 2016. The initial term of office for the Group B members of each Zone Board shall commence on January 1, 2014 and shall terminate on December 31, 2014.
Section 6. Election of Zone Board Members
The members of the Zone Board shall be elected at the annual Zone meeting held during each even numbered year, i.e., 2012, 2014. Nominations for membership on the Zone Board must be received in writing by the Zone Chair at least 30 days prior to the election Any current member of USAWP who resides in the Zone conducting the election may nominate any current member of USAWP who resides in the Zone conducting the election, including the member making the nomination, for a position on the Zone Board. Only USAWP members in attendance at the annual Zone meeting at which an election is held may vote for members of the Zone Board, i.e., members may not vote by proxy or by telephone. For purposes of this provision, a Zone may elect to have its annual meeting at more than one location provided that: (a) the meetings are held at the same time, (b) the locations are connected to one another via telephone and/or video phone and (c) at least one Zone Officer, or other person selected by the Zone Board to supervise the meeting, is present at each location to verify that persons voting at that location are USAWP members and to tally the votes cast at that location. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the option of the Zone Board, and with the prior written approval of USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer, a Zone may elect to conduct the election of the members of the Zone Board by permitting USAWP members residing in the Zone to vote using USAWP’s on-line database. In the event that a Zone elects to conduct the election of its Zone Board using USAWP’s on-line database, then: (a) members of USAWP residing in the Zone must be informed of that decision via e-mail not less than 60 days before the last day to vote, including the deadline for submitting nominations for the Zone Board; (b) nominations for the Zone Board must be made not less than 30 days before the last day to vote and (c) all members of USAWP residing in the Zone must receive, via e-mail, a list of the persons nominated for positions on the Zone Board and instructions on how to vote not less than 20 days before the last day to vote.
Section 7. Eligibility to Vote
In order to be eligible to vote in an election for a Zone Board, an individual must:
(a) be 18 years old, or older, on the date of the election;
(b) be a current member of USA Water Polo sixty (60) days prior to the date of the election and on the date of the election and;
(c) be affiliated with a water polo club within the Zone in which the individual is voting or, if a member is not affiliated with any water polo club, have their principal place of residence within the Zone in which the election is being held. A member may vote in only one Zone in any election year;
(d) provide some form of proof of eligibility.
Section 8. Diversity
USAWP is committed to enhancing diversity at all levels. Accordingly, USAWP encourages each Zone to select diverse representatives on its Zone Board including, but not limited to, male and female Board Members, athlete, coach and referee Board Members, Board Members of different ethnic backgrounds and Board Members of different ages. Board Members from different geographies within the zone.
Section 9. Tenure
After the initialization of the tenures under the A and B group defined in 2013,the term of office of each member of the Zone Board shall commence on January 1 of the year immediately following the year in which the member is elected and shall terminate on December 31 of the third year following the year in which the term commences, i.e., the term of office shall be four (4) years).
Section 10. Board Member Attendance
Zone Board members are expected to attend in person all regularly scheduled Zone Board meetings, though for exigent circumstances and in recognition of the geographical distribution associated with our zone, a Board member may participate in a meeting by telephone.
Section 11. Resignation, Removal and Vacancies
A Board member’s position on the Zone Board shall be declared vacant upon the Board member’s resignation, removal, incapacity, disability, ineligibility, or death. A Board member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Zone Chair with a copy to USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified in the notice of resignation and, if not specified, upon receipt of the notice by each of the Zone Chair and USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. Zone Board members may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by:
(a) the affirmative vote of a super majority (not less than 66% of the Zone Board members other than the Board member whose removal is being voted upon or
(b) USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. Any vacancy on a Zone Board may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Zone Board. A Zone Board member selected to fill a vacancy shall serve the remaining unexpired term of the member’s predecessor in office.
Section 12. Zone Board Meetings
Each Zone Board shall meet not less than four (4) times per year, which meetings shall be spaced throughout the year. Zone Board meetings may be called by any one of:
(a) the Zone Chair,
(b) a majority of the members of a Zone Board or
(c) USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer.
Section 13. Notice of Zone Board Meetings
Written notice of each meeting of the Zone Board stating the date, time and place of the meeting shall be given to each of the members of the Zone Board. Notice may be delivered by U.S. mail, personal delivery, facsimile transmission or by electronic transmission (e-mail). Such notice shall be provided at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of all regularly scheduled meetings and at least two (2) days prior to the date of all special meetings. A Zone Board member may waive notice of any meeting, prior to, at, or after any meeting.
Section 14. Quorum
The presence of a majority of the members of a Zone Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The act of a majority of the Zone Board in attendance at a duly noticed meeting shall constitute the act of the Zone Board, except where these Zone Policies & Procedures specifically require a super-majority.
Section 15. Voting by Proxy
No Zone Board member may vote by proxy.
Section 16. Action Without a Meeting
Any action required or permitted to be taken at a Zone Board meeting may be taken without a meeting if each and every member of the Zone Board in writing:
(a) votes for such action or
(b) votes against such action.
Section 17. Transacting Business by Electronic Mail
The Zone Board may conduct business by electronic mail if, in the judgment of the Zone Chair or the Board, the urgency of the case requires such action.
Section 18. Agenda
The Zone Chair shall determine the agenda for Zone Board meetings and shall endeavor to circulate the Agenda to the members of the Zone Board in advance of each Zone Board meeting. Any member of the Zone Board may request that the Zone Chair add any item to the agenda of any Zone Board meeting.
Section 19. Conduct of Meetings
The Zone Chair or, in his or her absence, the Zone Vice-Chair shall conduct all Zone Board meetings.
Section 20. Minutes
The Zone Secretary shall prepare minutes of each meeting of the Zone Board.
Zone Board meeting minutes shall be sent to USAWP’s Director of Sports Development and shall be posted on the Zone’s website, within 10 days of the Zone Board meeting to which they relate, except for minutes related to disciplinary actions, which shall be deleted from the version of the minutes posted on the Zone’s website.
Section 21. Compensation
Zone Board members shall serve without compensation for their services in that capacity. The Zone may elect to reimburse Zone Board members for their out of pocket expenses incurred in furtherance of the Zone’s business.
VI ZONE OFFICERS
Section 1. Designation
Each Zone shall have the following officers:
(a) Zone Chair
(b) Zone Vice-Chair
(c) Zone Treasurer
(d) Zone Secretary
(e) Zone Representatives to USAWP Assembly
(f) Zone Head Referee
Section 2. Qualifications
Each Zone Officer shall: (a) be over the age of 18 years, (b) be a member of USAWP and (c) have his or her principal place of residence within the Zone.
Section 3. Selection of Zone Officers
The Zone Board shall select each of the following Zone Officers:
(a) Zone Chair
(b) Zone Vice-Chair
(c) Zone Treasurer
(d) Zone Secretary
(e) Zone Representatives to USAWP Assembly.
The Zone Board’s selection of the Zone Chair shall be subject to the approval of USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. The Zone Chair, Zone Vice-Chair and Zone Secretary must be members of the Zone Board. The remaining Zone Officers may be members of the Zone Board, but need not be members of the Zone Board. USAWP’s Director of Referees shall appoint the Zone Head Referee, subject to the approval of the Zone Board.
Section 4. Tenure
Each of the Zone Officers shall hold their office from the date upon which their appointment is made, or when required to be ratified, from the date upon which the appointment is ratified. The term of office of each of the Zone’s Officers shall end on the earlier of:
(a) January 1 of each year following an Olympic year and until their successor is appointed and, when required, such appointment has been ratified or
(b) the Zone Officer’s resignation, removal, incapacity, disability or death;
(c) the Zone Officer’s ineligibility defined as the same requirements of a voting member within the Zone.
Section 5. Resignation, Removal and Vacancies
An officer’s position with the Zone many be declared vacant upon the officer’s resignation, removal, ineligibility, incapacity, disability or death. Any officer other than the Zone Chair may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Zone Chair and USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. A Zone Chair may resign by giving written to notice to each of the members of the Zone Chair’s Zone Board and to USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer. A resignation shall take effect upon the date specified in the notice of resignation, or, if no date is specified in the resignation, when notice of the resignation has been delivered as provided in this Section.
Any Zone officer may be removed by USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer, at any time, with or without cause by USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer delivering a notice of such removal to the officer being removed and to that officer’s Zone Board. Any Zone officer may be removed at any time, without or without cause, by the affirmative vote of at least 66% of the Zone Board. The Zone Head Referee may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by USAWP’s Director of Referees.
Any vacancy in any Zone office shall be filled in the manner provided for the selection of the office for which a vacancy exists.
Section 6. Authority and Duties
The Zone Officers shall have the following authority and duties, in addition to those specified by the Zone Board:
(a) Zone Chair –
• Coordinate USAWP activities within the Zone Chair’s Zone with USAWP’s Director of Sport Development;
• Work with the Olympic Development Program (the “ODP”) regarding ODP Zone and Regional Teams;
• Manage Zone Championships, which will serve as National Championship Qualification Events within the guidelines set forth by USAWP;
• Communicate with USAWP members within the Zone;
• Support the Zone Head Referee and Zone ODP Referee in securing officials for Zone and National Championships;
• Work with the Treasurer to develop the Zone budget;
• Work with USAWP’s Regional Directors to create advisory/volunteer committees for Zone leagues and Zone events;
• Act as the Chair of the Zone Board;
• Work with Regional Directors in the establishment and supervision of Sections and Section Chairs;
• Facilitate the development of existing USAWP clubs within the Zone and the creation of new USAWP clubs;
• Promote more playing opportunities for Zone Members;
• Assist USAWP in such other respects as USAWP may request.
(b) Zone Vice-Chair – In the absence of the Zone Chair, assumes the
duties of the Zone Chair.
(c) Zone Treasurer – In consultation with the Zone Chair, develops the Zone annual budget and maintains the Zone’s financial records.
(d) Zone Secretary – Maintains minutes of all Zone Board meetings
and performs such other duties as may be specified by the Zone Chair.
(e) Zone Representatives to USAWP Assembly – Represents the Zone
at the USAWP Assembly, including voting for members of the USAWP Board of Directors.
(f) Zone Head Referee –
• Facilitates Zone referee recruitment, training and
• continuing education;
• Oversees assignment of referees for all USAWP sanctioned
• events within the Zone;
• Becomes familiar with current Referee Rating/Certification
• Program and the process for establishing & maintaining levels of Rating/Certification;
• Abides by the policies and procedures of the USAWPR as set forth by USAWPR’s Education and Evaluation Committee;
• Becomes a conduit for communication among all Zone referees, the Zone Board, USAWP, the USAWPR and USAWPR’s Education and Evaluation Committee;
• Maintains records tracking all registered referees in the Zone, their contact information, referee certification levels and other pertinent data;
• Attends the Annual ODP Conference for Coaches and Referees;
• Provides periodic reports to the Zone Board regarding matters pertaining to referees within the Zone.
Section 7. Compensation
No officer of a Zone shall receive compensation for his or her services as such; provided that the expenses of any Zone officer incurred in connection with the Zone’s business may be reimbursed.
Each Zone may establish such committees as the Zone Board may determine to carry out the business of the Zone including, without limitation, committees charged with carrying out the business of the Zone within a specified geographical area of the Zone. All such committees shall have such authority and duties as the Zone Board may specify and shall be composed of individuals appointed by the Zone Board.
VIII ZONE MEETINGS
Section 1. Purpose
Each Zone shall hold a meeting open to all USAWP members resident within the Zone at least one time per year, during the fourth quarter of the year, and at such other times as may be determined by the Zone Chair, the Zone Board or the Chief Executive Officer of USAWP. The purposes of the Zone meetings shall be to:
(a) provide a forum in which the Zone Officers can report to USAWP members within the Zone regarding the Zone’s accomplishments and plans for the future,
(b) conduct elections to the Zone Board at the Zone meeting held during each even numbered year and (c) discuss such other and further matters as may be determined by the Zone Board or USAWP’s Chief Executive Officer, or requested by one or more USAWP members residing in the Zone.
Section 2. Place
Each Zone meeting shall take place at a time and place to be set by the Zone Board. In considering the location of a Zone meeting, the Zone Board shall give due regard to selecting a location that is likely to promote attendance by the greatest number of USAWP members within the Zone and to alternating locations for the meeting within the Zone so as to equitably spread the burden of travel to Zone meetings among USAWP members within the Zone. Zone meetings may take place at multiple locations provided that:
(a) the meetings are held at the same time,
(b) the locations are connected to one another via telephone and/or video phone and
(c) at meetings at which Zone Board members are elected, the election process described in III Zone Board Section 6 will apply.
Section 3. Agenda
The Zone Board shall publish an agenda for each Zone meeting on the Zone’s website no later than thirty (30) days prior to the Zone Meeting.
Section 4 Notice
Except in cases of exigent circumstances, notice of each Zone Meeting shall be provided to all USAWP members within the Zone via e-mail and by posting notice of the meeting on the Zone’s website at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. All such notices shall include:
(a) the date time and place(s) of the meeting,
(b) a proposed agenda for the meeting,
(c) information as required to allow persons receiving notice of the meeting to participate in the meeting via teleconference,
(d) the telephone conference
calling number and access code (if required) for persons desiring to attend the meeting via telephone conference call and
(e) such other and further information as the person providing notice of the meeting deems appropriate. In cases of exigent circumstances, notice of the meeting shall be provided as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Section 5. Remote Participation in Zone Meetings
The Zone Board shall provide a means for USAWP members to participate in each Zone meeting via telephone conference call including:
(a) assuring that conference calling equipment capable of permitting remote participants to hear the discussion at the Zone meeting is available at the site of each Zone meeting,
(b) assuring that conference calling equipment capable of permitting persons in attendance at each Zone meeting to hear comments made by remote participants and
(c) providing the telephone number and access code (if required) to all Zone members in the notice of the Zone meeting. Persons remotely participating in Zone meetings pursuant to this Section shall not be permitted to vote on matters considered at the Zone meeting unless at least one Zone Officer, or other person selected by the Zone Board to supervise the meeting, is present at the location from which such person is participating.
Section 1. USAWP Codes of Conduct
USAWP has adopted Codes of Conduct that prescribe the conduct expected of USAWP athlete members, coach members and referee members. Those Codes of Conduct are subject to periodic amendment by the USAWP Board of Directors. The Code of Conduct in effect at the time of an alleged violation of a Code of Conduct applies to the alleged violation, even if the Code of Conduct has been subsequently amended. Zone members are expected to abide by the USAWP Codes of Conduct. Zones shall not adopt their own Codes of Conduct.
Section 2. Enforcement by Zone Chair
Zone Chairs are authorized to enforce USAWP’s Codes of Conduct within their Zone by suspending the USAWP membership of an athlete, coach or referee who the Zone Chair determines to have violated the applicable USAWP Code of Conduct, provided that such suspension shall not be for a period of greater than seven (7) days.
Section 3. Enforcement by Zone Board
A Zone Board, by a majority of a quorum of the Zone Board, may enforce USAWP’s Codes of Conduct within its Zone by suspending the USAWP membership of an athlete, coach or referee who the Zone Board determines to have violated the applicable USAWP Code of Conduct, provided that: (a) the person alleged to have violated a USAWP Code of Conduct is afforded a hearing before the Zone Board, which hearing may be by telephone conference call and (b) such suspension shall not be for a period of greater than thirty (30) days inclusive of any previous suspension imposed by the Zone Chair for the same alleged infraction.
Section 4. USAWP Grievance Process
In the event that a Zone Chair or a Zone Board determine that the suspension of a USAWP member’s membership for a period of greater than thirty (30) days may be warranted for a violation of a USAWP Code of Conduct, the Zone Chair or the Zone Board may file a grievance against the person who is alleged to have violated USAWP’s Code of Conduct in accordance with the grievance process specified in USAWP’s Bylaws and Codes of Conduct; provided that no fee need be paid in connection with such grievance. Such grievances shall be heard and determined by a Hearing Panel appointed in accordance with USAWP’s Bylaws and the determination of the Hearing Panel may be appealed as provided in USAWP’s Bylaws.
Section 5. Appeal from Zone Chair and Zone Board Enforcement
Any member of USAWP who is suspended in accordance with these Policies and Procedures may appeal such suspension by filing a grievance in accordance with USAWP’s Codes of Conduct and Bylaws, provided that no fee need be paid in connection with such grievance. Such grievances shall be heard and determined by a Hearing Panel appointed in accordance with USAWP’s Bylaws and the determination of the Hearing Panel may be appealed as provided in USAWP’s Bylaws.
Section 6. Suspension
Any suspension of a USAWP’s membership in accordance with the provisions of these Policies and Procedures shall be effective worldwide, and not just within the Zone that imposes the suspension.
During the course of their duties, the members of Zone Boards and Zone Officers may become privy to confidential information including, but not limited to, information pertaining to: (a) USAWP’s members, such as their names, ages, gender and contact information (including e-mail addresses, post office addresses and telephone numbers) and (b) disciplinary proceedings. Zone Board members and Zone Officers shall maintain the confidentiality of all such information and shall not disclose any such information except as may be necessary in the performance of their official duties on behalf of the Zone in which they serve. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Zone Board members and Zone Officers shall not use any confidential information that they may obtain as a result of their position in a Zone for any commercial purpose including, but not limited to, selling mailing lists including USA Water Polo members or sending mass solicitations to USA Water Polo members for the purchase of any product or service.
Section 1 USAWP Policy May Vary
These base USAWP Zone Policies and Procedures have been adopted by USAWP’s Board of Directors and may be amended by USAWP’s Board of Directors at any time.
Section 2 Resolution of Conflict between Zone and USAWP Policy
The Southwest Zone Board may amend and append those rules and policies as necessary as long as they do not conflict with explicit existing rules and policies published by USAWP board.
Section 3 Board Groupings and Termination Dates for 2014 Board
For the purpose of transition to the zone policies adopted in 2014, the following Group A positions are open to election in 2016:
Joe Linehan 2016 – Group A
Robert Albach 2016 – Group A
Jim Linehan 2016 – Group A
All other members are Group B members and will be comprised of all new board members newly elected in 2014 including the two additional board members. Those positions will be open to election in 2018.
XII Change History
Version 2 – 2014 October 20 Board Expansion
The zone board voted unanimously to expand the number of board members to 7. Modifications were made to III Section 3 and XI Section 3 to reflect the change.
Version 2 – 2015 February 8 Board Groupings
XI Section 3 was rewritten to remove references to former board members and only identify those board member positions (in Group A) that are open to election at the end of 2016.