Constitution of the Louisiana High School Officials Association (LHSOA)

 ARTICLE I – NAME AND LEGAL STATUS

SECTION 1    Name.  This organization shall be known as “Louisiana High School Officials Association (LHSOA).

SECTION 2.   Legal Entity Status.     The LHSOA shall be established in the State of Louisiana as a Non-Profit Corporation.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The LHSOA is formed to continuously improve the quality of high school officiating in the State of Louisiana. Improvement will be pursued through various initiatives including:

A. To increase participation in officiating and to assist statewide projects in recruitment and retention of officials.

B. To serve as a single voice for LHSAA member officials for promotion of their rights and welfare.

C. Provide structure and consistency for improvement by all officials in all sanctioned sports.

D. To promote rules knowledge and mechanics, as well as closer cooperation among officials, coaches, players and administrators through a high standard of ethics, fair play and sportsmanship.

E. To have a representative group of officials in which ideas of general interest may be discussed and to which they may be referred for the friendly exchange of information resulting in better relationships.

F. Promote fair play, understanding and respect among officials, players, coaches, administrators and the LHSAA.

G. Provide structure and promote consistency among all officials associations in all sports.

H. Fostering a high standard of ethics, close cooperation, and better understanding among officials, athletic directors, principals, coaches, players and the media.

ARTICLE III – AUTHORITY

The LHSOA was created as a sub-group of the LHSAA. The Executive Committee of the LHSOA is authorized to appoint the Executive Committee members and to conduct all business affairs of the LHSOA.

ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1.   Membership.   Membership in the LHSOA is made up of all officials who are members of a Local Officials Association and registered with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA). All members must comply with the eligibility requirements of the LHSAA.

SECTION 2.   Term of Membership and Benefits.     An official’s membership and benefits in LHSOA is valid for one year from the time her/his most recent sport registration is accepted by the LHSAA.

SECTION 3.   Conduct and Discipline.

A. Members are expected to perform their duties competently and conduct themselves in an ethical manner. The Code of Ethics of the National Federation of State High School Associations is to serve as a guide for officials conduct.

B. Misconduct and/or unethical behavior shall subject members to discipline. Any discipline shall be imposed by a majority of the Executive Committee of the LHSOA after a hearing, at which the member has a right to be heard after due notice.

C. Discipline for misconduct or unethical conduct imposed may be:

1. Reprimand

2. Suspension from officiating a particular sport for a designated period of time.

3. Suspension from officiating any sport for a designated period of time.

4. Expulsion for the Association.

D. Any discipline imposed by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association shall be reciprocal with this Association.

ARTICLE V – ADMINSTRATION

SECTION 1.   Executive Committee.  The LHSOA will be governed by the Executive Committee, which shall oversee the activities, finances, and property of LHSOA and Sports Divisions.

SECTION 2.   Sport Divisions.   A Sports Division is hereby created for each LHSAA sport that requires the use of officials. Each Division shall carry out the purposes of the LHSOA for its respective sport. Each Division shall enact its own by-laws, which must not conflict with this Constitution, and must be ratified by the LHSOA Executive Committee. In instances where a Sports Division has not enacted by-laws, or has created by-laws in conflict with this Constitution, or has failed to have its by-laws ratified by the LHSOA Executive Committee, the Chair of such Division will be subject to immediate dismissal from the Executive Committee by a majority vote of the President’s Committee.

SECTION 3.   Local Official Associations.    A Local Official Association is an association of member officials that exists to provide officials for LHSAA contests. Each Local Official Association must be recognized and approved by the LHSAA.

SECTION 4.   Sport Division Chairs. Each Sport Division will have a Chair who must be a member of the LHSOA Executive Committee. The process for selecting the division Chair, term of office and responsibilities, shall be defined in the by-laws of the respective sport division.

ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

SECTION 1.   Duties of the Executive Committee.     The Executive Committee will strive to meet the purposes of the LHSOA at the direction of the Officers of the LHSOA, and serve its member officials throughout the State of Louisiana.

SECTION 2.   Membership on the Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of representatives from each LHSAA sport, the LHSAA Director of Officials and the Immediate Past President. There are 4 representatives from Football and Basketball, 3 each from Softball and Baseball and two each from Volleyball, Soccer and Wrestling. The divisions by geography are specific per sport. They are divided in the following manner:

Football by Local Associations

Area 1:                        Shreveport, Monroe.

Area 2:                        Lake Charles, Lafayette, Alexandria.

Area 3:                        Baton Rouge, River Parishes.

Area 4:                        New Orleans, Thibodaux, Hammond.

Basketball by Local Associations

Area 1:                        Monroe, Minden, Ruston, Winnsboro, Shreveport.

Area 2:                        Alexandria, Lake Charles, West-Central, Tri-Parish.

Area 3:                        Opelousas, Lafayette, Thibodaux.

Area 4:                        New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond.

Baseball by Local Associations

Area 1:                        Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe, Winnsboro.

Area 2:                        Lafayette, Lake Charles, West Central, Alexandria.

Area 3:                        New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Thibodaux.

Softball by Local Associations

Area 1:                        Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe, Winnsboro.

Area 2:                        Lafayette, Lake Charles, West Central, Alexandria.

Area 3:                        New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Thibodaux.

Soccer by Geography

Area 1:                        North Region, Alexandria and surrounding parishes North to State lines.

Area 2:                        South Region, All areas South of Alexandria and surrounding parishes.

Wrestling by Geography

Area 1:                        Greater New Orleans area.

Area 1:                        Shreveport, Lafayette, North Louisiana.

Volleyball by Association

Area 1:                        Shreveport, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Iberia.

Area 2:                        Kozminski, Capital City, Ponchartrain

SECTION 3. Removal of Executive Committee Members. By majority vote of the President’s Committee, any member of the Executive Committee may be removed from his/her remaining term for failure to adequately execute his/her responsibilities as a member of the Executive Committee. Reasons for removal include repeated absences from Executive Committee meetings, including both physical meetings and teleconferences, and/or a general lack of participation in Executive Committee business resulting in inadequate representation for the member’s Sport Division. Dismissal decisions of the President’s Committee are not appealable.

SECTION 4.   Sport Division Representatives. The Executive Committee shall contain a minimum of two representatives from each Sports Division. Each Division will select its representative to the Executive Committee in a manner consistent with its by-laws. Each representative will serve on the Executive Committee for a term of three years or two years. Each of the initially appointed representatives to the Executive Committee shall serve either a three or a two year term. After the initial terms each representative shall be appointed for a two year term. Initially there will be four representatives for Football and Basketball, three each from Softball and Baseball and two each from Volleyball, Soccer and Wrestling.

SECTION 5.   Officers. The LHSOA officers are its President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President. All officers, with the exception of the Immediate Past President, shall be chosen by election of the Executive Committee members for a term of one year beginning on July 1 of each calendar year and ending on June 30 of the next calendar year. The LHSOA officers shall collectively be known as members of the President’s Committee with responsibilities and authority as noted in appropriate sections of the Constitution.

SECTION 5 (a) Duties of the President. The President shall preside at all meetings of LHSOA and the Executive Committee. She/he shall execute all orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee and shall perform all duties incident to his office as well as those that may be required by the Executive Committee. She/He call special meetings of the LHSOA and the Executive Committee. She/He shall provide for the appointment of standing committees and appoint special committees as needed. She/He shall, with the advice and consent of the full Executive Committee, fill vacancies for any office for the remainder of that office’s term. The President, at her/his option, may relinquish her/his position on a Sports Committee and appoint an otherwise qualified official to the Executive Committee to sit in her/his stead as a voting member of the Executive Committee.

SECTION 5 (b) Duties of the Vice President  . The Vice President shall perform all duties of the President in his absence and all other duties incident to the office as well as those that may be required by the Executive Committee or the President. Upon a vacancy in the Office of the President, the Vice President shall become President for the remainder of the term.

SECTION 5 (c) Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary shall issue notice of all meetings of the LHSOA and the Executive Committee. She/He shall record and maintain minutes of meetings, maintain custody of all legal documents including the LHSOA Constitution and a copy of the by-laws of each Sport Division, as well as LHSOA membership roster. She/He shall serve as custodian of records for LHSOA. She/He shall perform such other duties incident to the office or which may be required by the Executive Committee or the President.

SECTION 5 (d) Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall maintain custody of all monies of LHSOA and shall deposit them in a bank designated by the Executive Committee. She/He shall have the right, together with any other Officer designated by the Executive Committee, to sign all checks, drafts, notes or order for the payment of money. She/He shall keep accurate accounts of all LHSOA finances, which shall be open for examination by the Executive Committee and all LHSOA members at any reasonable time. She/He shall also render at all meetings of LHSOA, and when otherwise requested by the Executive Committee, a written account of the finances of LHSOA. She/He shall prepare such returns as may be required by Federal, State or local authorities. She/He shall also perform the usual duties incident to the office or which may be required by the Executive Committee or the President.

SECTION 6.   LHSAA Director of Officials.  The LHSAA Director of Officials shall serve on the Executive Committee as an ex-officio member. She/He shall have all rights and privileges of a member of the Executive Committee, but she/he shall have no voting power.

SECTION 7.   Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President shall serve on the Executive Committee as an ex-officio member. She/He shall have all rights and privileges as a member of the Executive Member.

SECTION 8.   Removal of Officers.   It will require a two- thirds vote of the members of the Executive Committee present at the meeting to remove an officer from their term prior to it’s scheduled conclusion.

ARTICLE VII – MEETINGS

SECTION 1.   Executive Committee Regular Meetings. The Executive Committee will meet at least twice each year and will hold additional meetings as it deems necessary, or when called for by the President. Meetings shall be scheduled in advance of the LHSAA winter and spring meetings at a time and place designated by the President in conjunction with the LHSAA Director of Officials. A majority of the Executive Committee must be present in order to conduct business. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent version of Robert’s Rules of Order.

SECTION 2.   Sport Division Meetings. Each Sport Division will hold at least one annual meeting and will hold other meetings as it deems necessary. The Chair of each Sport Division is responsible for organizing, scheduling, and leading division meetings. Failure of a Sport Division to hold at least one meeting annually will subject the Chair to immediate dismissal from his/her position as Chair of the respective Sport Division by a majority vote of the President’s Committee.

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1.   Amendments to the LHSOA Constitution.       The Executive Committee may amend this Constitution by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting wherein notice of the proposal was made to the Executive Committee members at least 14 days prior to such meeting. Thereafter, an amendment will become effective upon a date selected by the Executive Committee.

SECTION 2.   Amendments to Sport Division By-laws.         Amendments to Sport Division by-laws shall be defined by the by-laws of each Sport Division.

ARTICLE IX – RATIFICATION

This Constitution shall take effect upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the committee members present at a Constitutional Convention as called by the Chairman of the Constitutional Committee. The Constitution shall become effective on a date agreed to by a majority vote of the committee. The Constitutional Committee shall also appoint the members of the Executive Committee for initial terms of the LHSOA.