SOA Constitution and By-Laws

Article I: Purpose

The purpose of this Association shall be as follows:

(1) To assist the Board of Directors and Regional Supervisor(s) in the recruitment, training, and development of competent, experienced officials for the Southwestern Officials Association.

(2) To foster a high standard of officiating for assignments made by the Regional Supervisor(s); to encourage fair play and sportsmanship; and to develop a closer cooperation and understanding among officials, athletic directors, coaches, players, and press.

(3) To work closely with the Association and Board of Directors so as to improve and maintain a high level of communications and understanding between the schools and the Southwestern Officials Association.

(4) To adopt and undertake such activities as the Board of Directors, Regional Supervisor(s), and membership shall deem necessary to effectuate these purposes.

(5) The following sports will be involved in the Association: Football & Basketball.

Article II: Powers

In order to carry out the above purposes, this Association shall have the following powers:

(1) To elect a Board of Directors to direct the affairs of this Association with the aid of the Regional Supervisor(s).

(2) To grant the Board of Directors authority to assist the Regional Supervisor(s) in conducting annual clinics, conducting negotiations on behalf of the Association and to offer recommendations to the Regional Supervisor(s) for the general improvement of the officials.

(3) To meet annually or on call of the President of the Association.

(4) To disseminate such information as the Association shall from time to time deem necessary for the further accomplishments of its purpose.

(5) To assess dues and such other assessments as the Board of Directors and regional supervisor(s) deem necessary; and to employ adequate means for protecting the members financially, physically and morally.

Article III: Membership

(1) Membership in the Association shall be held only by persons of high moral character, who are interested in providing fair and impartial officiating.

(2) The requirements of membership shall be provided in the By-Laws of the Association.

(3) Registration with NCHSAA is required before an official will be allowed membership in the Southwestern Officials Association.

Article IV: Board of Directors

(1) The Board of Directors shall be made of a minimum of five (5) to a maximum of seven (7) member officials, President, Vice-President and Secretary along with up to four other officials. The Treasurer may or may not be a member of the board of directors. The Treasurer will serve at the discretion of the board and will be approved on a yearly basis. Of the number of official representatives only four (4) members will have voting privilege. The person charged with conducting the meeting (president or vice-president) shall only cast a vote in case of a tie. Schools from the represented conference (s) are to have four (4) voting members. (i.e.: superintendent, principal, athletic director, coach)

(2) Officials which desire to serve on the Board, must be a member in good standing of the Association, as well as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA),  for a period of no less than five (5) years.

(3) The Board Members shall serve alternating two (2) year terms, voted upon annually.

(4) Each elected Board Member must attend three (3) of the four (4) regular scheduled board meetings during the sports year, or shall be replaced with another member from the Association by the existing Board of Directors.

Article V: By-Laws

The power to adopt or alter the By-Laws of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Directors. The By-Laws may be amended by simple majority vote of the Board of Directors attending a regular or duly called special meeting.

Article VI: Duration

The duration of the Association shall be unlimited.

Article VII: Amendments

This constitution and the By-Laws may be amended at an annual or called meeting by the President of the Association, and by a majority vote of those members present.

Code of By-Laws of the Southwestern Officials Association

Article I: Name and Office

Section 1. Name: The name of the Association is the Southwestern Officials Association.

Section 2. Principle Office: The principal office of the Association shall be located at the resident address of the President of the Association.

Section 3. Mailing Address: The mailing address of the Association shall be the same as the address of the principal office.

Section 4. Other Offices: The Association may have other offices at such places, as the Board of Directors deem necessary.

Section 5. The Regional Supervisor(s) and Supervisor of Officials is one in the same.

Article II: Membership

Section 1. Classification: There shall be only one type of membership in the Association, and all members shall possess the same privileges and responsibilities.

Section 2. Qualification: Subject to the requirements of the Article, any person who is registered with the Association and who agrees to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws, and other rules and regulations of the Association, shall be eligible for membership.

Persons desiring membership who have no previous experience shall be accepted for the first year as provisional members. If qualified after the first year and completion of officiating games designated by the Regional Supervisor(s), regular membership into the Association will be applied.

It shall also be a part of the section that provisional members must have reached their eighteenth (18) birthday prior to the start of the first sport of that season.

Persons requesting membership after moving into this Associations area must provide the President with credentials as to their qualifications.

No said member of the Association may be a member of any other association, during that same sport.

Hardship cases pertaining to qualification can be brought to the Board of Directors in person or through the President.

Section 3. Membership Deadline: All current and prospective members for each sports season, must register with the NCHSAA and the Association no later than the 'local association' meeting date for each sport. Individuals requesting membership beyond the local association meeting date, must be approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Suspension & Expulsion: Any membership may be withdrawn or suspended, without notice, by the Regional Supervisor or President for delinquency in dues, unethical or immoral conduct, conviction of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or felony, refusal to work any game assigned, or for any other willful violation of the By-Laws or any rule or regulation adopted by the Board of Directors. Any member who has their membership suspended or withdrawn may appeal to the Board of Directors as a whole, whose decision will be final and irrevocable.

Section 5. Assignability: The membership of the Association shall be non-assignable and non-transferable.

Article III: Membership Meetings

Section 1. Place of Meetings. Meetings of the Association shall be held at a place selected by the President or Regional Supervisor, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Annual Meetings: The annual meeting of the membership for the election of members of the Board of Directors and transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting, shall be held at a time specified by the Board of Directors. It shall be a condition however, that this meeting be held prior to the first regular scheduled game of the first sport for that season.

Section 3. Special Meetings: The President may call special meetings of the Association or Board of Directors.

Section 4. Notice of Meetings – Waiver: Written or printed notice, stating the place, date, and hour of the meeting, and in the case of special meetings, the purpose for which he meeting is called, should be delivered not less than seven (7) or more than thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting, either personally or by mail, signed by the President.

If mailed, such notice shall be deemed delivered when deposited in the U.S. mail addressed to the member at his address as it appears in the books of the Association with postage thereon prepaid. Waiver by a member in writing of such notice of a membership meeting, signed by him whether before or after such meeting, shall be equivalent to the giving of such notice.

Section 5. Voting: To be eligible to vote, each member must be registered and in good standing with the Association, and he must be fully paid in his dues to the Association. Each regular member shall be entitled to cast one vote for each member to be elected to the Board of Directors. Each member must be present or submit in writing to the Board of Directors his casting vote.

Article IV: Board of Directors

Section 1. Number & Qualifications: The number of the Board of Directors shall be made of a minimum of five (5) to a maximum of seven (7) member officials, (president, vice-president, secretary along with up to four other officials). The Treasurer may or may not be a member of the board of directors. The Treasurer will serve at the discretion of the board and will be approved on a yearly basis. Of the number of official representatives only four (4) members will have voting privilege. The person charged with conducting the meeting (president, vice-president) shall only cast a vote in case of a tie. In order to ensure representation of all the sports of this Association, it is recommended that at least one official from each sport be present on the Board. The membership shall elect officials to the Board of Directors. The number of representatives to the Board from the conference served shall be four (4). In order to ensure representation of the conference, members shall consist of one (1) superintendent, one (1) principal, one (1) athletic director, and one (1) coach. The conference shall select representatives to the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Qualifications: Officials which desire to serve on the Board, must be a member in good standing of the Association, and the NCHSAA, for a period of no less than five (5) years.

Section 3. Term of Office: Officials elected to the Board of Directors shall serve for a two (2) year term. Members shall serve alternating terms, voted upon annually.

Section 4. Vacancies: A vacancy created by an official on the Board of Directors shall be filled by an appointment by the President, upon final approval by vote of the Board of Directors, to serve out the unexpired term of the member causing the vacancy.

Section 5. Removal: Elected members of the Board of Directors may be removed from office for any cause deemed by the board to be in the best interest of the Association, by a majority vote of the board at any regular or special meeting. If any board member is removed, a new member may be elected at the same meeting to fill the unexpired term of the removed member. No elected board member shall be subject to be removed from office at a board meeting unless he has first received seven (7) days written notice of the meeting which notice states that among other matters to be considered is the subject of his removal from office.

Section 6. Compensation: The Board of Directors shall not receive compensation for their services other than reimbursement for basic expenses associated with Association business, such as postage, needed materials, telephone calls and travel. Each Board of Director requesting compensation must submit a detailed expense report with receipts to the President of the Association for approval, which will then be forwarded to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association for record of payment.

Section 7. Duties: It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Board of Directors to adopt such rules and regulations as it deems to be in the best interest of the Association in carrying out the purposes and objectives of the Association set forth in the Constitution.

Article V: Board of Directors Meetings

Section 1. Regular Annual Meetings: The annual meeting of the Association shall be on the third Thursday in the month of March, which shall be considered the annual meeting of the membership. The Board of Directors will designate the date of the meeting.

Section 2. Regular Meetings: The Board of Directors shall meet four times during the fiscal year for regular meetings. The meetings will take place as follows: Prior to the start of the football season; Prior to the start of the basketball season; Following the regular annual meeting; And prior to the end of the school year. Official meeting notification to Board Members shall be by email.

Section 3. Special Meetings: The President or any Board Member may call special meetings. A meeting may be called for the purpose of business only pertaining to officials, youth leagues, or elementary sports not covered by the conferences represented on the full Board. In this case, only the official representatives to the Southwestern Officials Board and anyone deemed necessary for the meeting should be present.

Section 4. Notice of Meetings: It shall be the duty of the President to notify all members of the Board of Directors at least seven (7) days prior to a meeting.

Section 5. Quorum: Four (4) members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business.

Section 6. Voting: Except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws, the act of the majority of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors.

Section 7. Informal Action: Action taken by a majority of the members without a meeting is, nevertheless, Board of Directors action. This action can be taken by the President when conditions warrant.

Article VI: Officers

Section 1. Regional Supervisor(s): The Regional Supervisor(s) shall supervise all officials and delegate this authority where he deems necessary. He shall keep accurate records of all officials of the Association and shall make all game assignments. He shall make assignments for varsity games only when the member of the Association meets with the general statutes of the North Carolina High School Athletic Officials Association in reference to classification when conditions warrant, after which officials should be assigned on a seniority basis when conditions warrant. He shall make assignments for all sub-level varsity games to the new members of the Association and all members who have not advanced to the varsity level, when conditions warrant. The Regional Supervisor shall preside at all Association Meetings of that sport and attend all meetings of the Board of Directors as requested.

Section 2. Appointment of Regional Supervisor(s): The position of the Regional Supervisor(s) shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve a two (2) year term of office by the first of June. In the event the office of the Regional Supervisor(s) is vacated during a season, the Board of Directors shall have the authority to either name a replacement to finish that sports season or accept applications for the position and select the most qualified applicant. The Southwestern Officials Association shall follow guidelines set by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association when, at the end of a term, an incumbent Regional Supervisor(s) is to be replaced by a new Regional Supervisor(s). The guidelines and procedures for this process can be found on the NCHSAA web site (www.nchsaa.org).

Section 3. Association Officers: The number of official representatives to the Southwestern Officials Association shall nominate and elect the following officers: President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. All officers of the Board shall be selected from the officials Association.

Section 4. Duties of Officers: The Association President shall be the principal officer of the Association and shall preside over all meetings of officials and Board of Directors. The President shall call and schedule all meetings.

The Vice President shall serve in the absence of the President and will automatically become the President in the event of the Presidents departure from the Board of Directors, if a member from the board is not selected. 

The secretary will take and record the minutes of all meetings and will handle all Association correspondence, which shall then be sent to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, each presiding board member, regional supervisor (s), and members of the Association. 

The Treasurer will handle all finances of the Association. The Treasurer may or may not be a member of the board of directors. The Treasurer will serve at the discretion of the board and will be approved on a yearly basis.

Article VII: Dues - Fiscal Year

Section 1. Association Registration Fees: Each member shall pay annual dues in the amount of seventy (70) dollars per official, per sport to the Association. Forty-five (45) dollars of each paid member shall be given to the Regional Supervisor(s) for expenses, with the remaining amount retained for Association use. Annual dues for non- sanctioned NCHSAA games are at the discretion of the Regional Supervisor(s).

Section 2. Delinquent Dues: The failure of any member to pay his annual dues shall be grounds for suspension or forfeiture of his membership by the President or Board of Directors. All members’ dues must be paid before August 01st for football and October 15th for basketball. There will be a late penalty of twenty-five (25) dollars for all dues paid after these dates. All current Board of Directors are exempt from Association dues, including the appointed treasurer.

Section 3. Assessments: Assessments may be made by the President or Regional Supervisor(s) as deemed necessary.

Section 4. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of the Association shall be from Football to Football with each given school year.

Article VIII: Association Committees

Section 1. Selection of Committees: All committees shall be chosen by the President and Regional Supervisor(s). All committees shall be appointed by the March meeting, or by the first organizational meeting of the sport. Each committee must have at least three (3) members of that sport with the President and/or Regional Supervisor(s) serving as ex-officio members.

Section 2. Names of Committees: The following standing committees shall be appointed: (a) Review and Screening Committee, (b) Training Committee, (c) Grievance and Discipline Committee.

Article IX: Responsibilities of Committees

Section 1. Review & Screening Committee: This committee must review each new official up to three (3) years, on the level which he has officiated and the type of games he has worked. The committee must also screen these officials on their past and current officiating experience.

Section 2. Training Committee: This committee must aid the Regional Supervisor(s) on the physical aspects of the sport for the official, and also on the knowledge and mechanics involved.

Section 3. Grievance and Discipline Committee:
(a) Filing and Notice. Any grievance, which any member of the Association has against the Regional Supervisor(s), Board of Directors, Officers, or any member of the Association must be filed with the President of the Association in writing, mailed or emailed, and in reasonable detail.
The President must within seven (7) days of the receipt of the grievance, call a meeting of the Grievance Committee of that sport to be held not less than ten (10) days or more than twenty (20) days from the call. At this time the President must send copies of the call along with a copy of the grievance filed to the person or persons complained of. At the time of the hearing, both sides of the said grievance shall have the right to submit evidence from witnesses, affidavits or letters. Courtroom rules of evidence shall not apply. Depending upon the nature of the grievance, the Grievance Committee may in its discretion act as a mediator in an attempt to settle the grievance or may act as Judge and Jury and make some determination of the grievance. In that event the Grievance Committee must make a decision within two (2) days of the hearing, and must submit in writing a copy of said decision to the President of the Association, who shall then forward copies to the complaining parties or party, and complained of parties or party.

(b) Appeal: Either party may appeal the decision of the Grievance Committee to the Board of Directors in writing, to the President of the Association within seven (7) days of the notification of the decision of the Grievance Committee. In the event the said Notice of Appeal is filed, the President of the Association must call a meeting with the Board of Directors within ten (10) days of the receipt of the Notice of Appeal and must notify all parties concerned in writing. The Board of Directors shall determine the matter in the same manner as the Grievance Committee. The decision of the Board of Directors by a simple majority or quorum present shall be final.

(c) Discipline: In the event that the Grievance Committee or Board of Directors find at a grievance hearing that a party has violated these By-Laws or other regulations or rules passed by the membership or Board of Directors or find that person has done anything to bring the Association to public disrepute or has violated the Code of Ethics as defined in the By-Laws while representing the Officials Association, the said Board of Directors or Grievance Committee may in its discretion suspend or expel or fine this person, or may instruct the Regional Supervisor(s) not to book this individual for certain periods of time or in certain games. However, in no event may a fine exceed fifty (50) dollars or a suspension last longer than one year. In the event this said person is expelled from the Association, they shall be expelled for life.

(d) Suspension Pending Hearing: The President of the Association may order the Regional Supervisor(s) to suspend the bookings of an accused member pending the hearing herein before set forth.

(e) Additional Fines: In addition to the procedures set forth in this article, the President of the Association shall have the right to fine or suspend members without the approval of the Grievance Committee or Board of Directors for the failure of said members to pay annual dues by the predetermined date, immoral or unethical conduct as an official or member of the Association, or any other violation not covered in the said By-Laws.

Article X: Amendments

Section 1. Scrimmage Fees: The Regional Supervisor(s) of each sport shall appropriately bill each member school for any scrimmage contest. The money collected from this scrimmage contest will then be given to the Treasurer of the Association for deposit thereof.

Section 2. Travel: Travel will be paid based upon mileage one way to a school from a central location being Franklin, North Carolina 28734. Mileage will be paid only for games meeting the following criteria: Any NCHSAA sanctioned playoff game after the second round, any honorary game such as but not limited to, (East/West All Star Games, Shrine Bowl and North South All Star Games) as well as any other assignment made by the Regional Supervisor(s) that may arise and should be included in this section. The following format should be used to determine the correct amount of mileage due: 0-75 miles = $25.00 76-125 = $50.00 126-175 miles = $70.00 176-225 miles = $85.00 226+ miles = $100.00
Travel by sport: Football and Basketball

Football: Mileage will be paid by the above rates. One travel check will be paid to the owner/driver, unless, the size of the crew (i.e. five, six or 7 man crew and clock operator) dictates the use of two vehicles, then two travel checks will be written to the owner/driver of the vehicle(s).

Basketball: Mileage will be paid by the above rates. For Western Regional assignments, which are generally for two games on different days, travel will be paid based upon the number of games. If there are two game assignments then two game travel checks shall be paid (one for each assignment).

NCHSAA State Championships: Mileage will be paid by the above rates and guidelines for each sports mileage will be in effect. Football and basketball crew members will also receive a travel per diem of $50.00.

Regional Supervisor(s) Travel: Regional Supervisor(s) of the Southwestern Officials Association shall be reimbursed for travel necessary to attend required NCHSAA meetings or events, based upon the above rates. Basketball and Football Regional Supervisor(s) will be granted travel if they have a crew working in a NCHSAA Championship game or an official in an All Star contest in which they attend. The Regional Supervisor(s) will be granted the same benefits as the crew (mileage and per diem).

Section 3. Shrine Bowl Donations: A donation of $200.00 will be made to the Shrine Bowl Committee for the years in which we have an official participating in the Shrine Bowl game.

Section 4. Officials Awards: Nominations for Official of the Year Award, in each sport, shall be submitted to the President from the membership at large. Nominated officials will then be submitted to the board for a decision thereof. The Lifetime Service award will be a board decision only, may only be given to an official after ten (10) years of service, and is which is fully retired from officiating.

Section 5. Playoff Assignments and All-Star Games: The Regional Supervisor(s) will recommend playoff assignments to the board of directors (third round and up for football and basketball), as well as recommendations for after season contests (ie: East/West, Shrine Bowl) for approval.

Section 6. Annual Awards Dinner: The Annual Awards Dinner shall be held in conjunction with the Regular Annual Meeting during the month of March each year, at an alternating venue. The date, time and location shall be decided by the board.

Amended & Approved: 04/20/2017
SOA Board of Directors