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Mason SAY Soccer

Due Process Procedures

The Due Process Procedures provide a defined method for which individuals who feel they have a grievance against Mason SAY Soccer decisions or actions. The procedures do not affect the existing protest procedures involving game incidents as described in the SAY Rulebook SAY Organizational Rule #9, nor are they intended to be a vehicle for changing or overturning any game situations.

Step 1: A complaint or appeal must be filed, in writing within seven (7) days of the incident complained of or decision being appealed. The filing will be with the Mason SAY Board via email to [email protected]

Step 2: A hearing must be held within five (5) days of the receipt of the filing by Mason SAY Soccer. The complainant and other parties of the complainant’s choice will be allowed to be present and present evidence or argument. The person whose decisions or actions are being complained of or appealed will also be heard.

A hearing board composed of three (3) persons may be specified by Mason SAY Soccer. Only disinterested non-bias parties may serve on the boards at any level.

A decision will be communicated to all parties in writing within 3 working days

Decisions of the initial hearing panel can be appealed at the Mason SAY Soccer level. In all cases, appeals must be submitted, heard and replies to must be made in the time frames indicated above and in writing. Submit the appeal via email to [email protected]. The panel will include a secondary panel of three (3) disinterested non-biased persons that did NOT hear the initial hearing.

You can ONLY appeal to SAY National if ALL criteria is met: (1) you went through the initial hearing and the appeal process at the Mason SAY level. (2) the case is NOT covered by the Mason SAY Codes of Conduct and Ethics with a specified penalty. (3) a $50 deposit is submitted to SAY National, which will be returned if the appeal is accepted at the SAY National level. Submit your appeal to Doug Wood, SAY National Executive Director at [email protected]

Game Protest Procedures

An “official protest” concerning any incidents which occur during the game may be lodged by the head coach, only if it is alleged a SAY PLAYING RULE was incorrectly applied or enforced by the Referee. Judgment calls by Referees may not be protested. For example, no “official protest” may be made concerning the Referee’s judgment as to: Who committed the foul, or EVEN IF a foul was even committed; Whether a goal was or was not scored; Which team should be awarded the ball when the ball goes out-of-play over the goal lines or the touchlines; Allowing or failing to allow an “advantage”, etc.

Step 1: An informal, but official, verbal protest must be made to the Referee(s) by the head coach at (preferably) or close to, the time of the incident; but in all cases, it must be made before the Referee(s) have left the playing area. A simple or vague complaint about a call or calls will not suffice - the words “official protest” must be used, and the reason for the protest must be made clear. If this is done at the time of the incident, a mistake by a Referee can often be easily rectified without the need for any further action. Any coach who has made an official verbal protest may withdraw that protest at any time. The opposing coach must be notified of the protest by the Referee(s) before leaving the playing area.

Step 2: File an official written protest form by midnight the following day via email to [email protected]

The Protest Committee consists of the referee coordinator, member at large, and an impartial certified referee. If the referee coordinator or member at large are involved in the protest, an impartial Board Member shall be appointed by the Mason SAY Board.

A decision will be communicated to both teams within 72 hours.

Decisions may be appealed to the Trustees on the Mason SAY Board. Submit your appeal to [email protected] within 24 hours of receiving the decision.

Decisions from the Mason SAY Appeal panel are FINAL and cannot be overturned by SAY National.

Additional Notes

    • A protest concerning an illegal team or ineligible player may be made at any time, by any person, and does NOT require the payment of an official protest fee.
      • If it is determined that an illegal team, or that an ineligible or illegal player has participated in a game, that game shall be declared a Forfeit, along with any additional sanctions as part of our Code of Conduct. The forfeit penalty will apply not only to the game that originated the protest, but also to all games in which the illegal team or ineligible/illegal player(s) participated.
      • Exception: Teams declared “not-at-fault”. If it is determined that the variation is the result of ignorance or an error of “good faith”, the Mason SAY Board will declare the team to be “not-at-fault” and correct the situation in a manner that causes the least harm to the players and/or team.
    • All parties involved will receive copies of all complaints in writing to prepare for future hearings.
    • All parties involved will receive copies of the organization’s procedures and any additional forms or documents relevant to the proper appeal.
    • Failure to provide proper notification or given full access to the complaints and procedures will result in an automatic appeal to the next appropriate level.
    •  Situations which the Mason SAY Soccer does not wish to decide, or situations involving more than one District may also be submitted to the next level—which is SAY National.
    • The person(s) whose decisions or actions are being complained of or appealed can choose to be present, or not, at the place of the hearing.
    • The hearing can be by email exchange, phone call or in person to provide a speedy hearing.
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