Grievance and Sanction Policy and Procedures
The Heart of American Volleyball Region (“HOA”) is responsible for establishing and enforcing policies, procedures, rules, and regulations to protect the integrity of activities and events sanctioned by USA Volleyball within Kansas and western Missouri (the “Region”). HOA members have an obligation to know and comply with rules, regulations, guidelines, policies and ethics codes of the Region and USA Volleyball (referred to herein as the “Rules & Regulations”).
When a member is uncertain whether a particular situation or course of action is a violation of the Rules & Regulations, the member has an obligation to consult with knowledgeable authorities because a lack of awareness or misunderstanding of the Rules & Regulations is not a defense to a charge of wrongdoing.
When HOA or a member believes that another HOA member has violated the Rules & Regulations, then a grievance must be submitted to the HOA office.
The grievance should:
- Include the name, phone number and e-mail address of the member submitting the grievance (the “Reporting Member”).
- Identify the rule, regulation, policy, or procedure that may have been violated.
- Include a brief description of the conduct or activities (“Alleged Wrongdoing”) that are the basis for the grievance.
- List the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses (if known) of all persons with direct knowledge (“Witnesses”) of the Alleged Wrongdoing.
The Reporting Member may ask HOA to keep their identity confidential, however doing so may limit HOA’s ability to investigate the matter.
Upon receipt of a Grievance, HOA may investigate a grievance by contacting the Reporting Member and/or Witnesses to seek additional information (“HOA’s Investigation”) to the extent necessary to verify the facts alleged in the grievance. Any member with direct knowledge the Alleged Wrongdoing must cooperate and provide all relevant information in response to HOA’s Investigation. If a Witness refuses to assist with HOA’s Investigation or withholds relevant information, then such conduct may be used as the basis of a separate grievance.
The HOA President will make the determination as to whether a violation of the Rules & Regulations or Codes of Conduct has occurred and impose sanction(s) as appropriated under the circumstances. Sanctions may include, but not be limited to, warnings, probation, financial penalties, suspension from participation in HOA related events, or expulsion from HOA membership. The sanctions resulting from a grievance may be imposed against members, teams, clubs and/or coaches. If the circumstances require, the HOA President, in his/her sole discretion, may imposed sanctions immediately without further investigation.
Any party sanctioned as the result of a grievance (the “Sanctioned Party”) will receive written (or electronic) notice of the President’s determination and a detailed explanation the sanction(s) imposed (if any) with reference to the Sanction Review Process set forth below.
Sanction Review Procedures
Any sanction may be submitted for review. During the review process, the sanction(s) will remain in effect unless the Sanctioned Party receives written notice from the reviewing entity that enforcement of the sanction will be stayed during the review process.
Commissioner Review. Within 5 business days of receiving a notice of sanction, the Sanctioned Party may submit a written request to the HOA office for review by the Commissioner. Along the written request for review, the sanction party shall submit a sealed packet containing 1) a copy of the President’s determination, 2) a detailed statement of issues to be reviewed, and 3) a copy of any additional documentation for the Commissioner to review (the “Disputed Issues Packet”). The Commissioner may contact the HOA President and/or the Sanctioned Party to ask questions about the basis for the sanction and/or the issues to be reviewed. After the Commissioner completes a review of the Disputed Issues Packet and has received adequate responses to any questions (if any), the Commissioner will have the authority to reconsider and affirm, modify, or vacate the President’s determination. The Commissioner’s decision will be sent to the HOA President and Sanctioned Party by mail or electronically.
Appeal Panel. Within 5 business days of receiving the Commissioner’s decision, the Sanctioned Party may submit a written request to the HOA office for review by a three-member appeal panel chaired by the Vice-Commissioner and two other members selected from available members of HOA Board with one member chosen by the Commissioner and the other member chosen by the Sanctioned Party.
The Appeal Panel will provide the Sanctioned Party with three available dates for a one-hour hearing that will be conducted in person or through video conference. The Sanctioned Party will select one of the three dates and notify the HOA office of the selected date. No less than seven (7) days prior to the hearing date, the Sanctioned Party shall submit digital copies of 1) the President’s determination, 2) the Commissioner decision 3) a detailed statement of issues to be reviewed, and 3) a copy of any additional documentation for the Panel to review (the “Appeal Packet”) to the three members of the Appeal Panel.
At the hearing, the Chairman will summarize the facts recognized by the Panel based on the Appeal Packet and then give the Sanctioned Party the opportunity to address the panel and explain the basis for the appeal and any reasons why the Commissioner’s action should be altered, amended, or dismissed. This appeal process is available to HOA members to ensure a fair hearing of all issues, but it is not a court of law, therefore attorneys will not be involved at the hearing.
The Appeal Panel has the power to reconsider and affirm, modify, or vacate the sanction, and shall have twenty-four (24) hours after the hearing to issue a decision. This Appeal Panel’s written decision shall be sent to HOA and the Sanctioned Party by the Chairman via email. The decision of the Appeal Panel is the final action that will be taken on behalf of the HOA Region. The only other recourse available for a Sanctioned Party is to submit a claim to the RVAA after the completing HOAs Sanction Review Procedures with the sole issue being a question of whether the HOA Region’s Grievance Procedure and Sanction Review Procedures afforded the Sanction Party inadequate due process.