Constitution and By-Laws
Fairfield County Football Officials Association, Inc.
(as of 11/12/2015)
Article 1: NAME
The name of this association shall be the Fairfield County Football Officials Association, Inc.
Article 2: UNIFORM IDENTIFICATION
Each member of the Corporation shall wear on the left shoulder of his uniform an insignia bearing a football and the initials FCFOA.
Article 3: PURPOSE
1. The purpose of the corporation shall be: to promote, to the highest degree, the American game of football; to maintain the standard of football officiating and the uniform interpretation of National Federation football rules; to maintain a high standard of integrity and sportsmanship and encourage the spirit of fair play; to cooperate with other organizations and schools officially connected with American game of football in furthering its interest, beliefs, and ideals.
2. To unify the football officials of Fairfield County, New Milford, and the city of Milford, Connecticut into a competent, well-disciplined qualified group.
3. To cooperate to the maximum with the principals, directors of athletics, and coaches of schools serviced by the FCFOA, Inc., in order that the spirit of football may be advanced and maintained on a high plain.
4. To coordinate activities with all other football associations in the State of Connecticut, and to keep the mechanics of football officiating on a smooth run, efficient scale that brings prestige to all concerned.
Article 4: OFFICERS
The officers of the Corporation shall be President, First Vice-President, Second Vice- President, and Secretary/Treasurer.
Article 5: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall consist of the four officers of the corporation, five District Directors, and the immediate Past President of the Corporation.
Article 6: COMMITTEES
1. Examination Committee: The President shall appoint an Examination Committee; two (2) members of the committee shall be of the Board of Directors. The Examination Committee will administer all examinations to the general membership and the prospective new members. All tests must be taken and turned in no later than the next scheduled meeting of the Corporation after the annual clinic. (11/04) The Examination Committee is also responsible for recruiting and
training members. (11/82) Two members of the Examination Committee will not have to pay the annual dues in lieu of services provided the Corporation. (11/05)
2. Nomination Committee: The Nomination Committee shall consist of District Directors of each of the Corporation’s five (5) districts. The President shall appoint one of the District Directors to serve as Chairman. The committee will nominate a slate of officers for the ensuing year.
3. Better Officiating Committee: The purpose of this committee is to:
a. Promote and stimulate better officiating by:
i. Directing Clinics
ii. Conducting the rules portion of the bi-weekly meetings
iii. Rendering rules interpretations
b. Review qualifications of officials for:
i. Team membership
ii. Swing list
iii. Officiating position(s)
c. Review and report to the Board of Directors:
i. Ratings of officials
ii. Game films
iii. Complaints of coaches, Commissioners, and/or other officials
d. Select officials that are in good standing to referee the CIAC playoff games that are assigned to the FCFOA.
i. Crew Assignments will be developed from the approved list. A majority vote of the eight committee members is needed to approve members/crews for assignment to the State Playoffs. (11/10)
ii. Provide a list of the selected officials (crews) from the FCFOA to the State Football Board no later than November 1st of each season (11/10)
4. The membership in the Better Officiating Committee shall be composed of:
a. Chairman of the Rules Interpretation Committee
b. Chairman of the Bi-Weekly and Clinic Committee
c. Chairman of the Examining Committee
d. The Liaison
e. The President
f. The First Vice-President
g. The FCFOA Commissioner (11/88)
h. The Sub-Varsity Commissioner(11/91)
5. The committee members shall select the Chairman of this committee except that the FCFOA Commissioner shall not be eligible for Chairmanship of this committee.
6. Audit Committee: This committee shall consist of a Chairman and two association members appointed by the President. The purpose of this Audit Committee is to examine the Corporation accounts annually and report their findings at the Annual Meeting. (11/82)
7. Other Committees: The President shall appoint any committee not mentioned above which he deems necessary for the efficient running of the Corporation.
a. Liaison: The Liaison will be appointed by the President and he/she will serve during the length of that presidency. The Liaison may be reappointed by the incoming President and there will be no term limitation to how long the Liaison can serve.
i. The Liaison will be responsible for attending the Connecticut Football Official Association meetings and reporting back to the President the results of said meeting.
ii. As needed, the Liaison will be responsible for developing a list of FCFOA members for induction into the Connecticut Football Officials Hall of Fame. The list will be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval no later than October 1st of each season prior to the induction banquet. The Liaison will ensure that each Board member approved nominee completes the necessary application/biography/photo and ensure that each application is submitted to the appropriate State selection committee before the established deadline.
iii. When State Playoff games are played in the geographical are of the FCFOA, the Liaison will act as the host/liaison between the site the game is being played and the officials assigned to the game(s). If there are multiple games he/she can appoint an assistant to cover the game(s). (11/10)
Article 7: MEMBERS
1. Any person residing in Fairfield County, Connecticut or the City of Milford or New Milford, Connecticut, desiring to officiate in the game of football may become an active member by given satisfactory proof to the Examination Committee of his qualifications and by meeting the requirements set forth in Article 17 hereof.
2. Any active football official may be a member of one or more football associations. Only an active member may transfer his FCFOA Inc. membership to another recognized association.
Article 8: DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
1. PRESIDENT: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Corporation and the Board of Directors. He shall, under the direction of the Board of Directors, conduct all negotiations in behalf of the Corporation, and shall make every effort to further the policies and standards adopted by the Corporation. He shall be an exofficio member of all committees.
2. TO INCLUDE: The President will not have to pay the annual dues in lieu of all the services he provides for the Association. (11/98)
3. FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT: In the absence of the President, the First Vice- President shall perform the duties of the President
4. SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT: The Second Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President and First Vice-President.
5. SECRETARY/TREASURER: The Secretary/Treasurer shall keep a record of all meetings of the Corporation and the Board of Directors. He shall attend to the correspondence of the Corporation. He shall publish and mail annually to each member a complete roster, together with full name, working position, and an address of the members. The Treasurer shall be custodian and guardian of all the funds belonging to the Corporation. He shall be prepared to present a written statement of the receipts and expenditures at each meeting. For such services his dues shall be remitted and shall receive $2000.00 per annum. (11/12)
Article 9: DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall be charge of and shall manage the affairs of the Corporation, shall hear and act upon all suggestions and complaints made which, in any way, effect the game of football or the Corporation and shall have full power to act upon any questions arising between meetings of the Corporation except otherwise provided for. The Board
of Directors shall instruct the Audit Committee to examine annually and report at the Annual Meeting.
Article 10: MEETINGS
1. Bi-weekly meetings of the Corporation will be held throughout the football season on Tuesdays, commencing prior to the regular season, on a date to be determined by the Board of Directors.
2. The annual Business Meeting of the Corporation will be held during the final bi-weekly meeting.
3. The annual Banquet will be held after the conclusion of the regular and Fairfield County post season games. The President and Banquet Chairman will select the date and location
4. Special meetings of the Corporation or the Board of Directors may be called at the discretion of the President, a majority of the Board of Directors, or by at least 25 percent of the membership who are in good standing. Special meetings of the Board of Directors will be held at such times as the President shall direct, and the President
must call a meeting when requested to do so by at least five (5) members of the Board of Directors.
Article 11: ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS, DISTRICT DIRECTORS, AND FCFOA COMMISSIONER
1. The election of officers, District Directors, and assigning Commissioner will take place during the Annual Business Meeting. (11/88)
2. The Nominating Committee will present a slate of officers and a candidate for the position of FCFOA Commissioner. Nominations for the office will be open to members in good standing. Election will be by secret ballot. All officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the members who are present and in good standing. (11/88)
3. Each District Director will notify each member of his district, not less than one week prior to the Annual Business Meeting, of the date, time, and place for a district meeting to be held for the purpose of electing a Director for such district. The nominations shall be elected by a majority vote of the district members present and in good standing. The Director elected from the district will take office at the conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting. The district director shall serve as a member of the Nominating Committee. (3/88)
4. The Officers and Directors elected will take office at the Annual Business Meeting. They shall hold office for a period on one or such time as their successors are elected or appointed. If, at any time, an office becomes vacant, the Board of Directors shall appoint a member of the Corporation to fill the vacancy. The member so appointed shall hold office until the Annual Business Meeting. Elected officers and District Directors, with the exception of the Secretary/Treasurer, may hold the same office for a period no longer than two (2) consecutive years.
5. No member may be elected or appointed to an office unless they are in good standing and have met their meeting requirements as outlined in our Constitution and By-Laws. (11/87)
Article 12: DISTRICT
The Corporation districts will consist of the following five (5) groups of cities and towns: District One: Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Newtown, Ridgefield, Sherman, New Milford and New Fairfield.
District Two: Milford, Monroe, Shelton, Stratford, and all other members who are
Connecticut residents but do not reside in Fairfield County. (11/00) District Three: Bridgeport, Easton, Redding, and Trumbull
District Four: Fairfield, Norwalk, Weston, Westport, and Wilton
District Five: Darien, Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, and non-Connecticut residents.
Article 13: QUORUM
A quorum shall consist of 51 percent of the members in good standing, three (3) of whom on the Board of Directors. A quorum of a meeting of the Board of Directors shall consist of a majority of the directors.
Article 14: DUES AND COMMISSIONER FEES
1. The Board of Directors prior to the Annual Business Meeting will determine the annual dues for the following season. Dues shall be payable by January 1 of the following year (by Active and Probationary members). Any member paying after January 1 will be fined an additional $20.00. These fees will cover insurance premiums, the Annual Banquet, and Scholarship Fund Contribution. (11/07)
a. At the end of the football season the Secretary/Treasurer will send out bills listing the Dues and Commissioner Fees owed to the FCFOA for varsity, sub-varsity and youth assignments. (11/2015) These dues/fees are to be paid within 30 days after they are sent out or a $25.00 late fee will be added to the bill for each additional 30 days or part thereof that the bill is not paid. (11/03) If money is owed to any member for overpayment of the Commissioner’s fee the Secretary/Treasurer will reimburse the member. (11/98)
2. Further be advised that no post-season assignments will be assigned to a member unless all the above conditions are met including turning in of the annual examination and the manual examination. If the annual exam and manual examination is not turned in to the chairman of the Examination Committee by the first scheduled meeting of the Corporation after the annual clinic (11/05) a fine of $25.00 will be added to your annual dues. (11/03)
Article 15: ASSESSMENTS
When in the judgment of the President and the Board of Directors, additional monies are needed for the Corporation in order to maintain efficient operation; special assessments may be authorized providing that the assessment is approved by two-thirds vote of the total membership present and in good standing.
Article 16: APPLICATION FEE
The application fee shall be one hundred ($100.00) dollars. (11/07) Plus $25.00 for a background check of the applicant, done by the Connecticut State Police. When any new applicant passes the written examination and the background check, he/she shall be considered a probationary member. If any applicant does not pass the examination or background check he/she will have $20.00 remitted. (11/06)
Article 17: NEW MEMBERSHIP
1. The Corporation will recognize competent officials who transfer from other recognized football associations in the United States. The transferee must have an endorsing letter from the Secretary of the association from which he departed. Such
endorsement will be directed to the President and approved by the Board of Directors.
2. A member in good standing must sponsor a new applicant for membership in the Corporation.
3. The applicant must have successfully passed a written exam prepared by the Examination Committee and given no later than September 10th of that year of his application. The Examination Committee shall correct the written exam and a mark of 85 percent or better will be required for passing.
4. Upon passing the written examination, a new applicant must officiate no less than five (5) junior varsity games under the supervision of the Examination Committee or their representatives before November 30th of that year. A new applicant must work as a member of a chain crew for no less than three varsity football games before November 30th of that year.
5. If all requirements are successfully met, the candidate may then be recommended for full membership by the Examination Committee or by any Corporation member to the members at the Annual Meeting. A two-thirds majority vote of the members present and in good standing will be required for acceptance. (11/83)
6. New applicants may not be assigned to varsity games during the first two (2) years following their acceptance as full members of the Corporation. The President and the Board of Directors must approve any exceptions to this rule.
Article 18: GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Corporation shall be Active, Probationary, Retired, Honorary, and Provisional. (11/88)
1. ACTIVE MEMBERS: are those members in good standing. An active member must maintain residence in Fairfield County, City of Milford, or the Town of New Milford unless granted dual membership. The Board of Directors may authorize, by majority vote, an exemption from the residency rule to any member who makes an application for exemption to them in writing. Only active members will enjoy the privilege of voting on Corporation matters. (11/13)
a. To be in “good standing” an active member must:
1. Have no financial obligation owed to the Corporation for the current or previous years. (11/13)
2. Annually attend the State Football Clinic, FCFOA Clinic or a clinic of any recognized NFHS football official organization. Proof of attendance by a member to a clinic other than the State or FCFOA clinic must be obtained from the secretary of that organization and provided to the FCFOA secretary. (11/13)
3. Annually take and pass the NFHS Football Officials Rules Examination and Manual Examination. (11/13)
4. Attend 4 of the 6 general membership meetings, unless such attendance has been excused by the Executive Board after written notification has been received from a member. (11/13)
2. PROBATIONARY MEMBERS: include all new applicants who have met all requirements of the Examination Committee and those members so designated by Article 21. They shall be allowed to discuss any motion put to the membership, but will not be allowed to vote on any motion. (11/83)
3. RETIRED MEMBERS: include any member of the Corporation who ceases to be an active official, provided he has been a member of the Corporation in good standing for a period of 10 years. (11/83)
4. HONORARY MEMBERS: include any person who has honorably distinguished himself in the game of football and meets the following requirements:
a. Shall be retired for active officiating
b. Must have served as an active official for ten (10) years
c. Must be recommended by the Board of Directors and obtain a two-thirds vote of the membership
d. Said recommendation and vote shall take place at the Annual Business Meeting
5. The Corporation Secretary will issue membership cards yearly to each active and probationary members of the Association in good standing. Retired and Honorary members will be issued a membership card so designating.
6. DUAL MEMBERSHIP: Active members in good standing with their parent association may apply for dual membership to this Corporation which will grant him membership as an active member in the Corporation including the right to vote. Such dual member must meet all of the requirements of the Corporation including attendance requirements. (11/83)
7. PROVISIONAL MEMBERS: Include all members who have missed more than three (3) of the Corporations regularly scheduled meetings in any one year. Any member declared provisional shall be ineligible for all post-season assignments including Thanksgiving Day.
a. In addition, the Commissioner shall be informed of those members who are in the provisional status and he shall remove them from one (1) assignment during the following year. The Commissioner shall submit a report to the Board of Directors prior to the Annual Meeting which addresses the requirement.
b. The sanctions required by this Section are not subject to relief by the Board of Directors. (11/88)
Article 19: LEAVE OF ABSENCE
An active member may request a leave of absence, stating the reason in writing, for a period of, not to exceed, one (1) year. A two-thirds majority vote of the membership shall be required for approval. Dues, (minus any Corporation cost) and attendance requirements will be waived during the leave of absence period.
Article 20: VOTE PRIVILEGE
Active members in good standing will be the only members who may vote of Corporation matters.
Article 21: ATTENDANCE
1. Conscientious attendance of the Corporation by all members is essential to the maintenance of the professional character and integrity of the Corporation. It is also recognized that situations arise such as illness, business trips, family emergencies, etc., which may make attendance at a particular meeting impossible. The Corporation will schedule a minimum of six (6) meetings per football season. It is expected that each active, dual, and probationary member will attend these meetings. (11/83) (11/86)
For the missing of meetings, the following sanctions shall apply:
a. For missing the annual clinic a fine of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars shall be levied. For missing two (2) or more meetings a fine of ten ($10.00) dollars shall be levied for each meeting missed. (11/00)
b. For missing more than three (3) of the six (6) regularly scheduled meetings, a member shall be declared a provisional member for the following season by the Board of Directors. (11/88)
Article 22: DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
Complaints may be brought against any member by any member of the organization. Such complaints must be submitted to the President in writing and must specifically include the date(s), time(s), person(s) involved and the nature of the alleged violation of the Corporation Rules. The President shall submit the complaint to the Board of Directors who shall set a date for a hearing on the complaint. The Board of Directors must notify the accused member of the complaint brought against him in writing at least seven (7) days prior to a hearing at which the member will have an opportunity to defend himself. The Board of Directors after hearing all the facts shall submit to the Corporation membership a written report, which will include its recommendations. A two-thirds majority vote of the Corporation membership is necessary to uphold any suspension or fine. Members may be suspended from active membership or fined for the following reasons:
1. Violating the Corporation and By-Laws of the Corporation
2. Soliciting football games
3. Failure to appear at assigned games
4. Non-payment of dues
5. Working with an official who is not a member of an approved board
6. Conduct unbecoming of an official
7. Conduct that may bring disgrace to the Corporation
Article 23: EXPENSES
The expenses incurred by the officers of the Corporation in attending special meetings to conduct business of the Corporation or meetings of the Connecticut Football Officials Association, on behalf of the Corporation, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Corporation. Reasonable amounts for meals and travel expenses shall be paid at the rate per mile permitted by the IRS Regulations.
Article 24: SUGGESTED ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Meeting called to order
2. Roll call of officers and members
3. Bi-Weekly clinic and rules interpretation
4. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting
5. Report of the Treasurer
6. Report of the Board of Directors
7. Report of the Secretary
8. Report of the Committees
9. Unfinished Business
10. New Business
11. Report of Nominating Committee
12. Nominations and elections of officers
13. President appointment of committees
14. General Discussion
Article 25: GAME ASSIGNMENTS
If any member accepts an assignment to a varsity, junior varsity, or freshman football game, he must attend the game and perform all duties of an assigned official. If the Board of Directors determines that the assigned official has failed to perform all the duties, the official may be fined the fee of the game.
Article 26: AMENDMENTS
1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws may be made only at the Annual Business Meeting for that purpose and shall require two-thirds majority vote of the members present, and in good standing, and voting.
2. Proposed amendments must be presented in writing to the Corporation Secretary ten (10) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting or Special Meeting. The Secretary will then notify the membership of the proposed amendments before the Annual Business Meeting takes place.
Article 27: CODE OF ETHICS AND PRACTICE
The football official has a distinct opportunity to apply his talents for the service of the sport and society. That this service may be performed efficiently and in a manner consistent with the high standards of sportsmanship, dignity, integrity, and honor of chosen avocation, it is the duty of every official:
1. In his relationship to the public to:
a. Interest himself in the game of football and apply his special talents, knowledge, training, and skills, that recreation and interest may be safeguarding and the game advanced through improvements of mankind.
b. Cooperate with others in the promotion of higher standards of officiating.
c. Support legislation in the boards tending to advance the qualifications standards, legal standings, and public recognition of all football officials, and propose legislation to deprive the officials of any of his rights.
d. To refrain from associating himself with or allowing the use of his name by any questionable character.
2. In his relationship as an official he shall:
a. Act for players and coaches in all matters as a faithful agent and arbitrator with fairness to all concerned.
b. Treat as confidential, his knowledge of affairs, technical processes of coaches or players where their interest requires secrecy.
c. Refuse to accept financial or other compensation for the discharge of his duties from more than one source.
d. Cooperate with fellow officials and boards in dissemination of general officiating information and experience.
e. Recognize legally licensed registered officials of any State Association and extend to them the same courtesies and considerations consistent with those of his own Corporation.
f. Avoid using unfair means in gaining recognition or to injure unjustly the reputation of another official or his character in order to secure or hold a favorable advantage.
g. Not accept work as an official on the basis of solicitation; from schools, managers, or athletic directors. Such practice is a direct affront of the Constitution and By-Laws, and detrimental to the game of football. Practice of this sort is grounds for suspension.
h. Hold himself ready at all times to instruct on rules interpretation and position assignments.
i. Employ the proper use of the uniform at all times. He will be responsible for the condition of his uniform and see it reflects the best interest of his Corporation and fellow officials.
Article 29: FCFOA COMMISSIONER
1. The term of office will be two (2) years. A Commissioner may be re-elected to office. The Board of Directors may remove him from office for malfeasance of duty.
2. The Commissioner will develop varsity assignments schedules. Varsity schedules must be mailed to officials by September 1st of the football season. (11/10)
3. The Commissioner will distribute rating cards to the schools assigned.
4. Remuneration: The fee for the Commissioner will be twenty-five hundred dollars ($3,000.00) (11/12) and all reasonable expenses directly associated with assignments will be reimbursed. Receipts must be provided.
5. All assignment records shall be presented to the Audit Committee by December
15th. Upon approval by the committee, the Commissioner shall be paid said fee
6. The Commissioner is not an officer or a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation.
7. The Commissioner will commence his position with his election on the night of the Annual Business Meeting. (11/98)
8. The Commissioner at his discretion shall appoint an assistant whose duties will be to assist in the assignment of sub-varsity games, and the associated administration tasks. The position when utilized shall carry a stipend of $2,000.00. (11/12)