U.S. Soccer Grievance Synopses
GRIEVANCE SYNOPSIS: COLUMBIA BASIN SOCCER ACADEMY v. WSYSA
CBSA, a club located in the state of Washington, asked to join a local association that was part of Washington State Youth Soccer Association. CBSA wished to serve as a competitive club, but had not yet put together any teams. The local association rejected the request, stating that it already had a competitive club in its region, and that a second club would have a "detrimental impact" on the competitive club.
The USSF Board of Directors appointed a hearing panel to consider the grievance. The panel submitted a recommendation to the Board, and the Board adopted this recommendation. The Board ruled that the grievance must be denied, because CBSA had not yet put together teams or chosen players so that it could apply as a "club" for membership. The Board ruled that "unless and until CBSA puts together its teams, and subsequently is denied the opportunity to play within WSYSA, CBSA has nothing to grieve."
The hearing panel also stated, and the Board agreed, that once "CBSA has teams and players, WSYSA has an obligation to provide a mechanism for affiliation" and rejected "WSYSA's claim that a club can be turned away because it determines that there is no 'need' for the club in a certain area."
GRIEVANCE SYNOPSIS: ILLINOIS STATE SOCCER ASSOCIATION V. ILLINOIS YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION
ISSA, the adult State Association in Illinois, filed a grievance against IYSA, the youth State Association in Illinois, alleging that IYSA violated USSF bylaws and policies, USYS rules, and its own rules by registering adult soccer players. The Executive Committee of USSF appointed a grievance panel to hear ISSA's grievance. The panel then made a recommendation to the USSF Board of Directors and the Board adopted it.
The Board dismissed ISSA's grievance. Although the Board did not expressly find that IYSA had registered adult players, it held that such registration does not violate any existing USSF bylaw or policy as long as IYSA continues to meet its membership requirements as a youth State Association. The Board further found that it did not have jurisdiction over ISSA's claims that IYSA violated USYS and IYSA rules. The Board did, however, express concern regarding the effect registration of adult players by a youth State Association upon the organizational structure of soccer. It reasoned that such registration would call into question the definitions and goals of State Associations under which soccer in the United States has operated for many years.
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