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Portia's Report from the USOC meeting

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  • #41
    I'm in the process of reviewing the Ted Stevens Olympic & Amateur Sports Act, the USOC Constitution, and the USOC By-laws to determine what the procedure is from here on for the USET's challenge to the AHSA's status as NGB. I'll post it when I have it all figured out.
    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


    • #42
      Twister, here is the part where they discussed the welfare of the horse and that it has not been an issue between the AHSA and the USET --

      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Marie Walker -- Have there been issues with the protection of the horses in the past?

      Balch -- Yes, then he mentions the horse killing scandals that involved some of the owners and the elite athletes, and how the AHSA defended its actions in expelling those people in court.

      Marie Walker -- But that wasn't an issue between the AHSA and USET?

      Balch -- Oh no. There have not been any issues between the AHSA and USET about the welfare of the horse. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

      The point was that, despite the friction between them, the AHSA and the USET have never accused the other of not protecting the horses or of not being dedicated to the protection of the horses.
      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


      • #43
        Anne, I read that part but I thought you were inferring there WAS something between them. My apologies for misreading your meaning!


        • #44
          It seems to me simply an extension of the same dispute as that with the NHJC. Accountability

          When there is a very small town a town meeting can solve all the questions because the whole town fits into one meeting room. As the town grows and the population expands this has to be handled in different ways.

          In our old town there were commissioners and each was in charge of something. So, if the sewers were plugged and the water was over running into your house you knew exactly who to call and tell them to get it fixed.

          I was given as a gift by the NHJA a copy of a 1940 AHSA Rule Book.It has a total of 168 pages. There were at the most approximately 25 horse shows in the whole country each month. In it there was the total calendar of Member Shows, all the judges and officials and all the points accumulated by those in the AHSA Medal Class. In this book William Steinkraus was out of the ribbons with 41 points. They listed everyone from the winners down to those who had only earned 1 point.

          I discovered that way back then they used the same point system we use in our awards program (i.e. 6,5,4,3,2,1) My old barn in West Orange was already on the list running several shows a year.

          My point is that yes! times have changed. The AHSA now recognizes over 2500 horse shows a year and with this addition of members comes the need for a new system of communication.

          I believe the AHSA has the frame of mind to change and has obviously turned the lights on all the dark corners and is making every effort to keep us all informed through this new electronic media as well as the mail.

          The USET on the other hand seems to be choosing to stay behind in the 20th century and ignore the opportunity to get us all involved and interested in what they do, why they do it and how they do it.

          Whatever the technicalities of procedure, wherever the money comes from, to me the basic issue is to recognize that the USET cannot any longer function in a vacuum separated from the people that it supposed to represent on the team. There needs to be a clear path of qualifications from the bottom to the top.

          Is it possible for the USET starting from scratch to do that, probably. But, why waste all the time and effort that has gone into the AHSA to start from scratch and do it over, and perhaps not as well.
          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


          • #45
            I've looked at the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the USOC Constitution, and the USOC Bylaws and have figured out where we go from here. For those who are interested in the legal details....

            The USET has filed a challenge to the AHSA's status as the National Governing Body for equestrian, and has asked that it be named the NGB in place of the AHSA. I believe the USET filed that challenge on Feb. 22, 2001.

            The AHSA has 20 days from the date it received the USET's written challenge to either file an answer to the challenge or file an objection to any jurisdictional or procedural defects in the challenge.

            If the AHSA files a jurisdictional or procedural objection, that objection must be decided by the hearing panel within 50 days after the filing of the challenge. The hearing panel decides the issue based upon written submissions and oral argument, not an evidentiary hearing, and must issue a written report with its findings.

            If the AHSA does not assert any jurisdictional or procedural objections, it must file an answer to the challenge within 20 days of its receipt of the challenge.

            Within 10 days after its receipt of an answer, the USOC President must appoint a hearing panel made up of 5 members of the Board [the President has already done so], and shall notify the parties of the identities of the panel members, the date for the hearing before the panel, and the date for the subsequent hearing before the Board of Directors.

            The date set for the initial hearing shall not be less than 40 days after the date of the notice of hearing.

            Within 20 days after the date of the notice, the parties shall simultaneously exchange and file with the hearing panel: (a) copies of documents to be introduced at the hearing, (b) witness lists, (c) a summary of the anticipated testimony of the witnesses, and (d) a prehearing memorandum summarizing the positions of the parties.

            Within 30 days after the date of the notice, the parties shall simultaneously exchange and file (a) rebuttal documents, (b) lists of rebuttal witnesses, (c) summaries of the rebuttal testimony, and (d) a list of stipulated facts the parties have agreed upon.

            The evidentiary hearing shall be held before the Hearing Panel beginning on the date set in the President's notice and such other days as are necessary to complete the hearing. However, the entire hearing should not take longer than a total of 5 days. In the hearing, both parties will be afforded the opportunity to present written and oral evidence and testimony, and oral argument.

            The hearing shall be open to the public.

            Within 150 days after the filing of the challenge, the Hearing Panel shall prepare and submit a full written report to the USOC Board of Directors summarizing the evidence from the hearing, and forwarding any written materials that the parties have requested by forwarded to the Board.

            At least 15 days before the scheduled Board of Directors meeting for the hearing of the challenge, the USOC CEO shall mail all of the Board members a copy of the report of the hearing panel and the other materials requested by the parties. At the hearing, the Board may elect to receive further oral and written evidence or rely upon the report and and materials submitted by the hearing panel.

            At the hearing before the Board of Directors, the USET must establish by a preponderance of evidence that --

            (1) the USET meets the criteria for recognition as the NGB for equestrian; and

            (2) either --

            (a) the AHSA does not meet the criteria of being the NGB (set forth in Art. IV sec. 4(C) of the USOC Constitution) or fulfilling the duties of the NGB (set forth in Art. VII sec. 1 of the USOC Constitution), or

            (b) the USET more adequately meets the criteria of being the NGB and fulfilling the duites of the NGB, and provides or is capable of providing a more effective national program of competition than the AHSA for equestrian.

            The USOC Board of Directors must issue its final written decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing before the Board on the challenge.

            The hearing before the USOC Board must be completed not later than 180 days after the filing of the challenge, and the Board must issue its final writted determination no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

            Based on these requirements, the USOC must issue its final decision within 210 days after Feb. 22, 2001.[/b]

            In its determination, the Board may do only one of four things. The Board may either:

            (a) uphold the right of the AHSA to continue as the NGB;

            (b) revoke recognition of the AHSA as NGB and declare a vacancy for the position of NGB for equestrian;

            (c) revoke recognition of the AHSA as NGB and recognize the USET as the NGB for equestrian; or,

            (d) decide to place the AHSA on probation for a specified period of time not to exceed 180 days pending compliance of the AHSA, if the AHSA would have retained recognition except for a minor deficiency in one of the requirements for NGB status.

            If the Board chooses probation, then within 30 days after the expiration of the probation period, board shall hold a subsequent hearing to determine compliance. If the AHSA has not complied, the Board shall revoke recognition of the AHSA as NGB and either declare the USET as NGB or declare a vacancy in the NGB for equestrian.

            Any party to the challenge who considers itself aggrieved by the determination of the Board may, within 30 days of the determination, file a demand for arbitration.

            The arbitration details will follow in my next post.
            "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


            • Original Poster

              I do hope the reason this thread was just lost is that you were writing all that!

              Thanks again and again!!

              co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


              • #47
                Oh my gawd, it was lost? Bite your tongue. I'm printing it out now -- no way I can reproduce it!
                "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                • #48
                  Portia ------- Is there a possibility of mediation prior to the final disposition of this ???? It would seem that cool heads need to prevail and the USET IMHO should take advantage of this if there is a opportunity to do so. I would think that if for no other reasom the large membership of the AHSA and the fact that it has a diverse membership would appeal to the board as more representative of the Olympic ideals. ----- We have not discussed very much what is expected of the NGB. Are they in charge of all team events and rules and regulations pertaining to them including drug testing ????
                  Allyn McCracken
                  Sport Horse Breeder


                  • #49
                    There's no provision for mediation in the Bylaws, but there is always a possiblity of settlement. The AHSA made clear that it's offer of having the USET join with it in an unified organization is not only still open, but is its preference. The USET does not seem interested in that opportunity, however.

                    I'll post the arbitration stuff now. Finally, something smack dab in the middle of what I do everyday!
                    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                    • #50
                      OK. arbitration is what I do the vast majority of my time in my paying job. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] So here's what happens if, after the USOC Board rules on the NGB question one of the parties decides to challenge that decision in arbitration.

                      Arbitration under AAA Commercial Rules

                      The Sports Act and the USOC Constitution provide for arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association in effect at the time of filing, with certain statutorily provided exceptions and requirements. These exceptions are:

                      1. The arbitration will be determined by a panel of 3 arbitrators;

                      2. the arbitration hearing shall take place at a site selected by the AAA unless the parties agree to another site; and

                      3. the arbitration hearing shall be open to the public.

                      Number 3 is a significant exception; arbitrations are generally very private.

                      (While the USOC has a special contract with the AAA for arbitration of athlete grievances, this would not come under the special rules for such arbitrations.)

                      Unlike the USOC Constitution and Bylaws, which sets out definate time limits by which things must be done -- apparently with no wiggle room to extend the deadlines -- the AAA Commercial Rules allow substantial flexisbility in when things get done.

                      A demand for arbitration must be filed within 30 days of the date of the USOC's decision.

                      When a demand for arbitration is filed, the AAA shall confirm notice of filing to the parties [this is generally done very promptly]. The parties then usually will have an administrative conference with the AAA case administrator to get the AAA familiar with the circumstances of the case and deal with preliminary procedural matters.

                      Within 15 days after the AAA gives notice confiming the filing of the of demand for arbitration by the claimant, the respondent must file its answer (and any counterclaims it may want to assert). If no answer is filed, the respondent is deemed to deny the claim.

                      After the filing of the claim but before the appointment of the arbitrators, the parties may assert new claims or counterclaims to AAA; they cannot file new claims after the appointment of arbitrators except with the arbitrators' consent

                      Immediately after filing the answering statement, the AAA will send out to the parties a list of names of potential arbitrators chosen from the AAA?s commercial arbitration panel.

                      Under the current version of the AAA Commercial Rules (effective Sept. 30, 2000) and given that the statute does not dictate a method by which the arbitrators shall be selected except in accordance with the AAA rules, all of the arbitrators shall be neutral and independent. I know it sounds strange, but a typical (and in my opinion wasteful) practice in US arbitrations is to have two non-neutral party-appointed arbitrators and only the third arbitrators, the Chair of the Arbitral Panel, is required to be neutral and independent.

                      The parties should try to agree on the arbitrators, but if they are unable to do so, each party shall within 15 days from the transmittal date of the panel list, strike the names objected to, set out an order of preference for the remaining candidates, and return the list to the AAA, and set out an order of preference for the remaining candidates.

                      Based on the order of mutual preference of the parties, the AAA shall invite the potential arbitrators to serve. If for any reason the appointments can?t be made from the list, the AAA can appoint the arbitrators from other members of the AAA commercial panel without submitting additional lists to the parties. There is no set time limit by which the AAA must finalize the appointments, and it can turn into a somewhat lengthy process.

                      The appointed arbitrators must then make written disclosures of any potential conflicts of interest or facts which might reasonably create an appearance of bias or interest. If a party objects to an arbitrator?s service based on the disclosures, the AAA shall determine whether the arbitrator shall be disqualified. Again, there is no set deadlines for this process to be completed.

                      There is no set deadline by which discovery (to the extent allowed) is to be completed. Neither is there a set deadline by which the parties shall file pre-hearing briefs, or for the arbitration hearing to occur. After the Panel is constituted, there will usually be a pre-hearing conference in which preliminary matters are addressed including scheduling.

                      The parties by agreement may extend the deadlines provided by the rules, and the Panel has the power to postpone any hearing dates or to extend any of the dates set in the rules, other than the date by which the Arbitral Award must be issued.

                      Discovery in arbitration is limited in comparison to what is available in the courts. The AAA Rules do provide for the exchange of information by the parties pursuant to the order of the Arbitration Panel, but there is no absolute right to extensive discovery as in the courts.

                      Each party may be represented by counsel or
                      by any other authorized representative in the arbitration proceeding. The parties may offer written and oral evidence. However, arbitration is not subject to the same rules of evidence or procedure as a court proceeding. There is no set limit on the length of the hearing, but the Panel can set a time limit.

                      After the evidentiary hearing, the usual practice is for parties to file post-hearing briefs. If post-hearing briefs are to be filed, the hearing shall be declared closed on the date for such filing. The hearing may be re-opened at any time before the award is made.

                      A decision by the arbitrators shall be by majority vote, unless the parties agree that the concurrence of all the arbitrators shall be required.

                      The Award shall be made promptly, and unless otherwise agreed by the parties or specified by law, no later than 30 days form the date of closing of the hearing.

                      Within 20 days after the transmittal of the Award the parties may request the arbitrators to correct any clerical, typographical, or computational errors in the award. However, the arbitrators may not redetermine the merits of any claim already decided. The parties have 10 days to respond, and the arbitrators shall dispose of the request within 20 days after the request for modification and any response thereto.

                      I'm sure you're all pretty well sick of me by now. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] But if you want, tomorrow I'll post the details of what the requirements are for the NGB under the Sports Act and the USOC Constitution and Bylaws.
                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                      • #51
                        Portia, we are NOT sick of hearing from you!!! This work that you have been doing on this forum is of such great benefit to all of us here, and I am sure to many who are lurking. I know, for sure, that it is helping me to understand a very complicated process. Please - do continue!
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu


                        • #52
                          I can't imagine working all day and then doing this stuff at night. I noted the hour of your posts.... You better get some sleep girl!

                          But, what I cannot also imagine is how the USET thinks it can fulfill the requirement in your 29b): be the governing body for equestrian sports in the US (that is my paraphrase, obiously).

                          HOW does it think it can suddenly manage all the horse shows, horse registrations, licensing of officials etc. etc? Does it plan on hiring the AHSA to do this? If I were the ASHA I would tell the USET "No, thanks. Start your own organization from scratch and see how well you do."

                          It just boggles my mind that the USET even thinks it has a chance of success here. There must be some very big skeleton in the closet that makes it even worth trying to pursue this fight....
                          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                          • #53
                            Sorry, Twister, for not getting back to you, and thanks, Portia, for answering Twister's question. Can you believe it? I actually had to work yesterday and didn't get to check this thread! I'll try to do better today.


                            • #54
                              Portia, you are incredible!!! Posting all of this information, is time consuming to say the least. We keep telling you Thank you, but it doesn't seem enough for the work you are doing [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                              • #55
                                SALAAAM SALAAM oh godess of wisdom! We humbly beseech you to continue your exploration of the web of rules and regulations of USET/AHSA machinations. We are the lowly and illiterate .Thank god for you Portia because I consider myself to be intelligent well educated but TOTALLY out of my realm here!


                                • #56
                                  Thanks for your comments, DMK and JulieMontgomery. I agree with you about the narrowness of the donor base at USET being a problem. Old organizations move slowly, but they will move with time. If any of you are involved with pure-bred dogs, remember the long process to have women delegates? Old organizations move at a glacial pace, but they get there. Perhaps the resistance to being answerable to many as opposed to a select few making all decisions without oversight is the crux of the matter. A very wise woman I know who was involved in many AKC dealings taught me a lot about being patient and inexorable when dealing with these old-guard organizations. When faced with gentle unyielding pressure to change AND allowed to save face, much will be accomplished. I think the same will happen here.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Good point, AnneFS, but I do think that the USET is not the old guard some of us remember. Far from it - most of those people are long gone. The powers in place now are what my 85 year mother would call, well, not appropriate for these boards, and it has to do with new money, power, and conspicuous consumption.
                                    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                                    • #58
                                      You're right, Weatherford, my term old guard wasn't right. Old guard being Bert deNemethy (for example). The days when the horse was given to the team and Mr. deN. tried various riders on it and he decided who rode the horse, the owners didn't give the ride to a certain person and then take the ride away if they felt like it.

                                      I think I have a point somewhere, though, [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] about changing the way things operate. The current crop wants to do things the old way, those days & ways are passing; they probably fought long & hard to finally get to be the 'in' group and don't want it to change now after they finally got in the exclusive club. So saving face is going to be important.


                                      • #59
                                        There's got to be some billable hours here ------- Count on me to help when you get ready to import that all important HEARTBREAKER semen -----
                                        Allyn McCracken
                                        Sport Horse Breeder


                                        • #60
                                          that is our situation right now. The door is still open for the merger. The USET has been invited to the table. It is clear that if they shut themselves out it's not because anyone wants them out.

                                          I am certain that no one objects to their sitting in the special box at the Olympics, or any other perks that important people acquire. No one has told them they had to give in, and they are welcome to join with the rest of us. They will have appropriate representation and the Athletic Act seems very fair as to protecting the rights of the athletes.

                                          The issue is that the AHSA is willing to comply and the USET doesn't seem to be able to do so. If they develop a plan that might work it would be redundant to that of the AHSA. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
                                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org