Grievance Proceedure

Purpose:

To establish a policy and procedure for grievances within the United Soccer Club (USC) so a process is available to communicate grievances and allow for appropriate and timely resolution. No UNITED SC parent, player, coach, team, club or team official may invoke the aid of the courts of the United States or the State of Tennessee without first exhausting all available remedies within the appropriate soccer organizations. Grievances involving individuals, teams, clubs or leagues outside UNITED SC shall be dealt with according to US Club Soccer.

The USC Board of Directors strongly encourages the resolution of grievances and conflicts at the team or lowest level whenever possible. The Board recognizes that certain situations may not be satisfactorily resolved at the team or lowest level possible, requiring intervention at a higher level within the club organization. Consequently, this document outlines the USC’s policy and procedure relating to the resolution of grievances.

Applicability:

The procedure contained herein is applicable when resolving grievable issues, as defined below, involving players, parents, coaches, and other individuals who serve USC.  Failure to follow these guidelines will be grounds for corrective actions of up to and including expulsion from the UNITED Soccer Club.  In certain situations, players may be penalized for the actions of their parents or spectators/supporters found to be associated with them.

Description of Grievance:

Grievances may include, but are not limited to, incidents during USC sponsored events, inappropriate behavior by a coach, player, parent or other individual affiliated with or attending a USC sponsored event.  Issues specifically related to team formation/composition and team management matters such as coaching philosophy, decision making, style and playing time should be resolved by speaking directly with the coach. The USC Board of Directors does not consider team formation/composition and team management matters to be grievable issues.

Grievance Procedure:

Step 1. Discuss and report the grievance with the head coach of the appropriate team.  If this is not feasible or fails to satisfactorily resolve the issue, then proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Discuss and report the grievance to the Age Group Coach.  This can be accomplished by personal notification or email.  If this is not feasible or fails to satisfactorily resolve the issue, then proceed to Step 3.

Step 3. Discuss and report the grievance to the Executive Director and the Coaching Committee.  This can be accomplished by personal notification or email.  If this is not feasible or fails to satisfactorily resolve the issue, then proceed to Step 4.

Step 4. The final step is to write a formal grievance to the USC Board with the detailed  grievance along with a detailed explanation of actions taken to date to try and resolve the situation and which addresses Steps 1, 2 and 3 above. The detailed written grievance should include:

  1. Date of the grievance filing/submission
  2. Name, phone number and e-mail address of the person filing the grievance
  3. Name of player(s)
  4. Team identification, including:
    • Name of team
    • Age group
    • Name of head coach
  5. Complete description of issue (include as much detail as possible, including date(s), time(s), location(s), names of witnesses, etc., if relevant)
  6. Detailed step by step explanation of actions taken to date in an effort to resolve the problem

The USC Board will determine if the actions taken to date were appropriate and no further action is required; or whether the grievance requires further investigation. If the Board determines that further review is necessary, a three member Grievance Task Committee will be appointed by the USC Executive Board to investigate and present recommendations to the full Board.  The individual filing the grievance is welcome to be present at any Board meeting, including the meeting during which their grievance is presented.  However, the Committee reserves the right to deliberate in private if they feel the situation so requires.

Grievance Task Committee:

The Grievance Task Committee shall meet to consider the grievance within seven (7) days of the Task Committee’s formation with a final report to be provided to the board within fourteen (14) days of the Committee’s receipt of the grievance. Throughout the Task Committee’s efforts the President of UNITED Soccer Club shall be kept informed of their progress and serve as a point of guidance if any concerns arise. The committee’s process should be as follows:

  1. An investigation will take place to interview and conduct a collection of facts with  coaches, players and all parties involved, to determine what transpired during the said grievance concern
  2. A committee meeting shall be conducted to review the concerned grievance and all  those involved shall be notified of the meeting and shall be requested to be present.      The committee shall discuss all issues to determine the degree and severity of the behavior and the subsequent recommendation for corrective action(s), if necessary
  3. The committee shall complete a written report on the facts identified during their  investigation along with recommendations which they will present to the Board within fourteen (14) days of receiving the grievance

Potential Offenses along with Potential Corrective Actions:

Offenses may include, but are not limited to, misconduct/unsportsmanlike behavior, disrespect, vulgarity, endangerment to others/fighting, verbal and/or physical harassment.

Corrective actions may include, but are not limited to, verbal warning, accompanied by a meeting with Board members; Suspension from all USC participation for a specified period of time; Suspension from USC participation for remainder of season; and other actions as deemed appropriate by the Board for the particular situation.

Board Review and Determination:

The USC Board will review the recommendations of the Grievance Task Committee and determine the appropriate action(s) to properly address the grievance. The USC Board decision stands as the final action at the club level. The USC Board will reply in writing to the submitter of the grievance on its findings and final determination.  Upon conclusion of the final determination, the USC Board will create a case file consisting of all documents associated with the investigation and fully document the final disposition.

Confidentiality:

USC recognizes the sensitive nature of certain grievances and will take all reasonable steps to insure that the information reported and gathered through investigations shall be kept confidential and only shared with those individuals with a need to know in order to resolve the grievance.  All parties directly involved and/or affected by a filed grievance and who are allowed to continue to be members of USC, will not and should not be subjected to future retaliatory-like actions as a result of the filed grievance.