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Constitution and by-laws

Preamble

The Minnesota Rugby Union is the governing body for the sport of Rugby in the state of Minnesota and is recognized by USARFU and the Midwest Rugby Union as the Local Area Union that organizes, administers, and promotes the growth of rugby in the state of Minnesota. The elected officers of the Minnesota Rugby Union shall represent its members before other administrative bodies on a regional, national and international level and will administer rugby games between regional bodies and visiting clubs as appropriate. The Minnesota Rugby Union has exclusive jurisdiction over its members in matters pertaining to the administration of rugby in Minnesota.


Article I

Name and Objectives

1.    The name of the organization shall be the Minnesota Rugby Football Union, hereafter called the Union.
 
2.    The objective of the Union shall be to administer and foster the development of rugby among all members.
 
3.    The Union shall be a member of the Midwest Rugby Football Union (MWRFU) and the United States of America Rugby Football Union (USARFU) and accept the rules and procedures of these governing bodies.
 
4.    The Union shall promote the fellowship and good spirit, which is the tradition of the sport.

Article II

 Membership

1.    All clubs in the state of Minnesota, and at the discretion of the membership, certain clubs outside of the state, will be eligible for membership. (A club is defined as any group of players that have joined together for the purposes of playing rugby.)
 
2.    All clubs, temporary, and individual members belonging to the Union shall be bound by the by-laws and constitution of the Union.
 
3.    The Union may grant temporary membership to clubs, which form for a limited period of time. At the time of application to the Union, the temporary club must define the length of their membership and when approved a time will be specified.
 
4.    The Union may grant individual memberships for a specified period of time, but at no time can individual memberships be greater than 1/3 of the total number of member Union clubs.

Article III

Competitive Structure

  1. SENIOR CLUBS
    1. The union shall oversee and advocate for all senior clubs competing in divisions whose competitive leagues are administered by the Midwest Territory Union and USA Rugby.
    2. The union shall organize and administer local competitive leagues for all member clubs in Division 4 to ensure eligibility and development for advancement into the Midwest Championship Series.
  2. COLLEGIATE
    1. The union shall organize the Northern Lights Collegiate Conference to encourage the introduction, teaching, promotion, and understanding of the sport of Collegiate Union Rugby throughout The Conference, and to undertake other activities incidental or conducive to the furtherance of the mission.
    2. The union and Northern Lights Collegiate Conference will have concurrent jurisdiction over its members in all matters pertaining to the administration of rugby activities to include, but not restricted to; competitions, discipline, player & team eligibility, and related matters.

Article IV

 Management

The governing body of the union will be the Board of Directors, which will consist of the designated representative of the Referee Society, a designated youth representative of the Minnesota Amateur Rugby Foundation (MARF), and the following elected officers;
 
President (Elected in even-numbered years) The President will serve as the chief executive officer of the Union and exercise general supervision of the officers and agents of the Union. The president will chair all general meetings of the Union and of the executive committee. The president will represent the Union and its members to both the MWRFU and USARFU and will be the person responsible for the dealing with these organizations.
 
Vice-President (Elected in odd-numbered years) The Vice-President will serve as the chief operating officer of the Union and will chair any meetings the President cannot attend. This officer will oversee the administration of the Union's internal events and projects.
 
Secretary (Elected in odd-numbered years) The Secretary will be responsible for the correspondence of the Union and shall maintain and circulate rosters of all members and officers. The secretary will keep and publish the minutes of all general and executive committee meetings. The secretary shall also maintain the general playing schedule for all member clubs.
 
Treasurer (Elected in even-numbered years) The Treasurer will administer the financial affairs of the Union and the Northern Lights Collegiate Conference, and will prepare reports for the executive committee and on an annual basis to the membership. The treasurer shall maintain records in such a manner that they can be audited by an external entity.
 
Technical Director (Elected in odd-numbered years) The Technical Director shall develop programs to generally improve the level of play among all member clubs. The technical director will develop and maintain a roster of all club coaches and their level of certification if certified. The technical director will also be responsible for select-side representative teams for the LAU jurisdiction.
 
Disciplinarian (Elected in even-numbered years) The Disciplinarian will be responsible for the disciplinary policies of the Union and the Northern Lights Collegiate Conference for administering these policies and procedures. The disciplinarian will respond to all requests for disciplinary action in a timely manner.
 
Men’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner (Elected in odd-numbered years) The Men’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner will be responsible for developing and maintaining the league schedule for all collegiate men's clubs in the Northern Lights Collegiate Conference. The Men’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner is also responsible for communicating with the collegiate member clubs and act as a representative to college programs and administrators.
 
Women’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner (Elected in even-numbered years) The Women’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner will be responsible for developing and maintaining the league schedule for all collegiate women's clubs in the Northern Lights Collegiate Conference. The Women’s Collegiate Conference Commissioner is also responsible for communicating with the collegiate member clubs and act as a representative to college programs and administrators.
 
Collegiate Representatives (Elected every year) Two collegiate representatives will be elected by the membership for the purpose of providing direct opportunity for collegiate issues discussed at executive committee meetings.

Article V

 Board of Directors Procedures

1.    Officers shall be elected in the designated year at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Union. The term of office shall be two years. No person shall hold more than one office.
 
2.    Officers are eligible for re-election.
 
3.    Should any office become vacant the president shall appoint a replacement to finish the term. If the presidency becomes vacant, the vice-president will become president. Such action must be confirmed by a 2/3rd vote of the remaining officers. It must also be confirmed by of the members at the next meeting of the membership. Should no appointment be made, there will be an election to fill the office at the time of the next meeting of the membership.
 
4.    An officer may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the members. An election will be held immediately to fill such vacancy.
 
5.    At Board of Directors meetings, each officer shall have one vote. The president shall have a casting vote in the case of an equal number of votes on a matter before the committee. For a binding vote to be taken, all of the elected members must be in attendance at the meeting.

 

Article V

Meetings

1. The Union will hold at least one meeting of the entire membership each year. The annual general meeting (AGM) of the membership will be held in January of each year.

2. The secretary at the president's request may call an extraordinary meeting.

3. Members shall be notified in writing 30 days in advance of any meeting.

4. A good faith effort will be made to notify members of all executive committee meetings.

5. All meetings of the Union are open to any members.

6. At the general meeting of the membership a quorum will consist of a majority of the elected officers of the Union and delegates or their proxies from a majority of the member clubs. Each member is allowed to have one member speak for and vote on behalf of the member club.

7. Proxies must be delivered to the secretary in writing.

8. Each member club shall have one vote.

9. All matters, except those concerning the constitution shall be decided by a simple majority. In the case of a tie, the president shall cast a vote.

Article VI

Dues

1. MN Union dues shall be voted on each year at the annual general meeting of the membership. The budget will define the payments to be made by member clubs.

2. Referee Society fees not do need approval by the membership. All clubs will also be responsible for the payment of fees to the Referee Society each year.

3. All clubs will also be responsible for the payment of dues to the MWRFU and USARFU each year.

Article VII

Alteration to the Constitution

1. The constitution may be altered by 2/3-majority vote of the members.

2. Members will be notified in writing of any proposed alterations to the constitution at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled meeting where such alteration will be considered.


By-Laws

The by-laws will serve as a guide for officers and members on how the Union will conduct its affairs. By-laws can be adopted and modified by a simple majority of the members at a general meeting where a quorum is present.

Article I

Committee Procedures

1. The Union can form standing, temporary, and sub-committees as appropriate. Each committee will have at least two members.

2. Unless indicated below, membership on a standing committee requires approval of the executive committee.

3. Each committee will prepare plans as applicable as well as a yearly budget for their activities. These committees shall keep minutes, correspondence, and files of their activities and provide to the secretary for publication in a timely manner.

4. Committees may create sub-committees to assist them in specified portions of their duties.

Article II

Committee Structure

The following are the standing committees of the Union:

1. Finance Committee. The treasurer will chair the finance committee and including the vice-president will prepare the budget for the Union and review all committee budgets. The finance committee must approve all expenditures greater than $500. The finance committee will monitor the enrollment of clubs and individuals in the payment of dues.

2. Select-Side team Committees. The technical director will chair these committees. There will be a committee for each Minnesota select-side team. The representative select-side committees for collegiate teams shall include the appropriate collegiate liaison. The committees shall select coaches and team managers and will oversee the administration of each select-side program. The technical director is encouraged to include former select-side players on each of the committees.

3. Disciplinary Committee. The disciplinary committee shall be chaired by the disciplinarian and including the technical director this committee will develop and administer the disciplinary policy covering actions on the field and between clubs in establishing and honoring fixtures scheduled. The Union will adhere to the disciplinary policies of the MWRFU and USARFU. All member clubs shall receive copies of the Union's disciplinary policies and procedures at the annual general meeting of the membership.

4. Communication and Publicity. The secretary will chair the communications and publicity committee and will develop and publish a newsletter and publicity plan for the Union. The secretary will also be responsible for a handbook for all members.

5. Strategic Planning. The strategic planning committee will be chaired by the president and will monitor and report on the strategic planning activities of the larger rugby community for the benefit of the Union members.

Article III

Policies

1. Membership.

  1. Members in good standing. In order to play clubs in the Union or at the regional and international level, a club must be in good standing with the Union. Clubs in good standing will be declared by the Union on a regular basis. Clubs, which play other clubs that are not in good standing with the Union, will be subject to disciplinary action.
  2. Suspension. For non-compliance with the laws of the game, eligibility rules, or the constitution or by-laws, membership of any member may be revoked by the executive committee for up to 8 weeks. A longer revocation will require action of the members at an annual general meeting. All adverse decisions may be appealed to the MWRFU or USARFU.

2. Members-at-large. For the purposes of recognizing, honoring, and including individual members who have aided the efforts of the Union, a membership-at-large may be extended. Such members will be nominated by the executive committee and approved at a general meeting of the membership. Such membership may be for one or two years and will be exempt from dues. In all other respects, the individual member will have the full rights and duties of all other members.

3. Collegiate Eligibility. The Union will generally follow the collegiate eligibility rules as prescribed by USARFU. Deviations from these rules will only be allowed with the approval of the appropriate collegiate liaison after consultation with the executive committee.

4. Men's and Women's Collegiate League Championships. The Men's and Women's collegiate league champions will be determined by league play. The following are the general rules for these leagues.

  1. There shall be at least two divisions and each team is required to play all of the teams in their division in an 80-minute match in either the fall or spring season. All games must be completed by the All-Minnesota Tournament in October.
  2. Standings will be based on a point system, two points for a win, one for a tie, zero for a loss. A forfeit will be deemed such by the appropriate collegiate liaison and will count as one point.
  3. The Union will work to assure that all matches are officiated by certified referees at a minimum grade of C-3.
  4. The winning team shall report the score of the match to the appropriate collegiate liaison within two weeks of the scheduled match. Scores that are not reported will be counted as a loss for both teams.
  5. The collegiate eligibility rules will be enforced for all league matches.
  6. The appropriate collegiate liaison will be the director of the league and will rule on all matters concerning league matters.

5. All-Minnesota Tournament. The Union shall host the All-Minnesota Tournament in the fall of each year. There shall be no other matches of Union collegiate teams on this weekend. If the executive committee so decides, the tournament may be operated by another entity by bid.

6. Insurance. The Union shall abide by all liability and health insurance requirements of the MWRFU and USARFU. All members will have health insurance and liability coverage to participate in matches played in Minnesota.

7. Tournament Policy. Any team wishing to host more than two other clubs on the same date must apply to the vice-president to host such a tournament. Such application shall give the general description of the event. Clubs hosting without such approval will be subject to disciplinary action.

8. Tours. The vice-president must approve all incoming and outgoing tours. The vice-president will then forward all such requests to USARFU for their approval.

9. Fields and Kits.

  1. The laws of the game regarding kit and field specifications as described in the IRB Rugby Referee and Laws Handbook will be followed in all matches. Each team will receive a current IRB Rugby Referee and Laws Handbook at the annual general meeting of the membership.
  2. All questions of appropriate kit will be judged and ruled upon by the referee officiating the match.

Last updated February 2000

No changes at 1/01 AGM