Rules of Operation

Section 1 - Mission Statement

To promote sportsmanship, teamwork, respect and dedication to the sport through discipline and effort.

 

Section 2 - Rules of Operation

These Rules of Operation set out the current policies of the Club as they apply to its Teams, its players and the player’s parents / guardians. While they are intended to be comprehensive, the Rules are not exhaustive and the Club reserves the right, in its discretion, to make such changes and additions from time to time as it deems appropriate. Notice of any changes and/or additions shall be given to the Head Coach and Manager, and, when appropriate, directly to parents/guardians on a timely basis.

Section 3 Association Organization & Structure

3.01 Association’s Legal Status
(a) The Vaughan Panthers Minor Hockey Association (the Association’) was incorporated as a non-share capital corporation by Letters Patent issued by the Province of Ontario on August 24, 1995 and operates under these Rules of Operation and the Rules of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (“GTHL”).

 

3.02 Association Directors and Officials

(a) The Association is governed by a Board of Directors, some of whom also act as Association Officials. The name and position of these individuals are listed in Appendix A.

 

(b) Association Directors are primarily responsible for reviewing the general performance of the Association and its Teams. This includes reviewing and approving:

 

(i) The Association’s budget

 

(ii). Significant Association operating policies

 

(iii) The Association Officials’ performance of their duties and responsibilities

 

(c) Association Directors have no direct responsibility for liaising or interacting with Team Officials and parents/guardians and do not deal directly with Team affairs unless they are a member of a committee appointed by the Board of Directors to hear and/or review matters pertaining to a Team.

 

(d) Association Officials are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Association and its Teams and all other matters in any way relating to the GTHL, its members, other hockey organizations and governing bodies.

 

3.03 Binding Decisions

(a) Unless specifically set out in these rules no decision, authorization or approval granted by an Association Official will be binding on the Association unless it is in writing and signed by two Association Officials. A list of Association Officials is provided in Appendix A.

 

(b) For greater certainty, no decision or approval granted by the President or the General Manager alone will be binding on the Association except as expressly set out in these rules or listed as follows:

 

(i) Tournament attendance

 

(ii) Practice ice

 

(iii) Sponsorship cresting

 

(d) Any decision or approval sent by email must be originated by each of the co-signers to be binding on the Association.

 

3.04 Association’s Teams

(a) Unless otherwise determined by the Association or the GTHL, the Association will register and operate 19 teams in the A and AA division of the GTHL, comprising of Minor Atom, Atom, Minor Peewee, Peewee, Minor Bantam, Bantam, Minor Midget, Midget Junior, Midget and Under 21 in the AAA division (each referred to in these Rules as the “Team”). The Association may also, at its sole discretion and with the approval of the GTHL, register Additional Entry (AE) teams.

 

(b) Under no circumstances will the Association be responsible for any obligations, financial or otherwise, incurred by a Team, unless such obligation is approved and contained in a document signed by two Association Officials. A list of Association Officials is provided in Appendix A.

Section 4 - Association Finances

4.01 Permitted use of Association funds

(a) The Association is a non-share capital corporation, and cannot have any shareholders who are entitled to profit from its operation. All monies earned by the Association must be used to meet its ongoing obligations or otherwise retained and applied for purpose(s) set out in its Letters Patent. The monies may not be directly or indirectly be paid out, loaned or otherwise distributed to its directors, officers or members or any persons not dealing at arm’s length with any of them, unless specifically disclosed in the financial summaries of the Association.

 

(b) Regardless of such disclosure, any such payments or distributions may not contravene applicable law(s) or the rules of the GTHL.

 

4.02 Registration and Sponsorship fees

(a) Player Registration Fee

 

(i) The Association shall determine the Player Registration fee at the beginning of each year to cover the basic cost of playing hockey during the regular season and playoffs. This fee shall include, but not necessarily limited to the cost of practice ice, GTHL team registration, GTHL Insurance, annual banquet for the player and Team Staff, Association awards, team picture, and Association administrative charges.

 

(ii) The fee shall be made known to the player and the parent/guardian of the player at the time of registration.

 

(iii) Payment terms for this fee shall be set by the Association at the beginning of each season and must be met in order to register the player with the Team.

 

(b) Team Assessment

 

(i) The Association shall determine the Team Assessment at the beginning of each year to cover the cost of game jerseys and game socks and Association sponsorship.

 

(ii) This fee shall be made known to the Team prior to the commencement of the tryouts for the following season.

Section 5 - Teams

5.01 Team Officials

(a) Each team will have the following Team Officials:

 

(i) A Head Coach appointed by the Association.

 

(ii) Up to two (2) Assistant Coaches appointed by the Head Coach and subject to approval by the Association.

 

(iii) A Trainer appointed by the Head Coach and subject to approval by the Association.

 

(iv) A Team Manager appointed by the Head Coach and subject to approval by the Association.

 

(b) Each request for appointment as a Team Official shall be accompanied by a resume setting out in

detail the qualifications and experience of the applicant, along with references.

 

(c) Criteria for Appointment
Each Team Official must be a person of good character and reputation and possess such credentials and qualifications as mandated by the GTHL and the Association, in its discretion, believes necessary to reflect the image and values of the Association within the GTHL and the hockey community at large.

 

(c) Head Coach Responsibilities

 

(i) Subject to the limitations of the team budget and compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and policies, including those stipulated herein or otherwise adopted by the Association from time to time, the Head Coach of each team will be responsible for the content, scope and implementation of any programs established for the Team as well as the conduct of the players and Team Officials.

 

(ii) Where a Team is called upon to perform an action under the rules and policies set out in these Rules, such action shall be performed by the Head Coach or such other Team Official as the Head Coach may designate with the approval of the Association.

 

5.02 Payments to Team Officials

(a) Any person acting in his or her capacity as a Team Official may receive payment for his or her services and, in addition, may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the performance of such services.

 

(b) Unless otherwise agreed to by parents/guardians representing at least 75% of the players on the Team, the Team may not make any payments in respect of fees or reimbursements in excess of the amounts allowed for in the Team Budget for such year.

 

5.03 Team Officials are Not Employees or Agents of the Association

(a) Although appointed and/or approved by the Association, neither the Head Coach nor any other Team Official is or should be construed to be an employee of the Association. The Association is not responsible for acts of theft or embezzlement by any Team Official, nor is it responsible for any other of a Team Official’s actions or omissions of any nature or kind, whatsoever and howsoever caused.

 

(b) Team Officials are not agents of the Association and therefore have no authority to speak for, incur obligations, financial or otherwise, grant any approvals or accede to any requests on behalf of the Association.

 

5.04 Treatment of a Player when Parent/Guardian acts as a Team Official

 

(a) If a child of a Team Official is a player on the team, the Head Coach shall cause such player to be treated in a manner consistent with the treatment accorded to other players of similar ability.

 

(b) Any dispute regarding the treatment of such player shall be referred to by the parent/guardian of such player to the Association’s General Manager in accordance with Section 9 of these Rules.  If the Association determines in its discretion that the treatment of such player is not in the best interest of the Team, a warning shall be issued to the Head Coach and other Team Officials involved.  If such treatment continues, notwithstanding such warning, the Head Coach or other Team Official involved may be suspended or replaced.

 

5.05 Team Meetings

(a) The Head Coach will meet with the parents/guardians at least four (4) times each season.  The first meeting should be held right after the tryouts.  Subsequent meetings should be arranged to coincide with the delivery of the Team’s budget and/or financial summaries referred to in Section 6. The purpose of the meetings will be to review the matters of interest relating to the Team, including its financial affairs.

 

(b) Additional meetings may be held if requested by the Association, the Head Coach or parents/guardians representing at least 30% of the players.

 

(c) Notice of matters to be discussed at each meeting shall be given to one parent/guardian of each player at least 4 days prior to the date of the meeting.  Meetings will be held at a location convenient to the majority of the attendees and will be chaired by the Head Coach.

 

5.06 Sponsorship

(a) Teams are encouraged to solicit support from corporate sponsors in order to reduce the financial burden on the parents/guardians.  As consideration, the Team, at its sole cost, may grant sponsors the right to place their names and/or logo on equipment, gear and clothing used by the Team.  To ensure consistency and quality, the General Manager must approve all sponsorship cresting. With respect to team jerseys, only one (1) sponsorship patch shall be allowed, the location and size of which must be approved by the General Manager.

 

5.07 Supplementary Team Rules

(a) The Team may adopt policies and rules in addition to those contained herein.  No such policies or rules shall be effective unless approved by the Association and a copy provided to each of the Team players and one of their respective parent / guardian.  Once effective, any such policies and rules shall have the same effect as if embodied in these Rules of Operation.

 

(b) The parent/guardian must acknowledge in writing that he or she has received a copy of the Supplementary Team Rules by submitting a signed Acknowledgment of Receipt to the Association concurrently with the delivery of the registration card for such player.  The prescribed form of the Acknowledgement is set out in Appendix C.

Section 6 - Team Finances

6.01 Team Bank Accounts

(a) Each Team shall maintain a bank account under the Team’s name with a bank satisfactory to the Association.

 

(b) The Team shall have at least three (3) signing authorities for each bank account which will include at least one Team Official and at least two parents / guardians who are unrelated to and independent from any Team Official or Association Official.  Alternate signing officers shall be designated to sign in the absence of the primary signing officers. The names of the Team’s authorized signing officers shall be provided to the Association.

 

(c) All cheques and withdrawals from the Team bank account shall require two signatures, of which one shall be the signature a Team Official and the other one of the parent / guardian representatives

 

6.02 Team Receipts and Expenditures

(a) All revenues of whatever nature or kind belonging to the Team including team fees, sponsorship contributions and proceeds derived from fund raising activities shall be deposited into the Team’s bank account without prior deduction immediately on receipt.

 

(b) All expenditures owing or incurred by the Team shall be made only by cheque drawn on the Team’s bank account in accordance with subsection 6.01 of these Rules.

 

6.03 Team Budgets

(a) Submission of Team’s Preliminary Budget to Association for Approval

At least 14 (fourteen) days before the date fixed for the start of tryouts, each Team’s Head Coach shall submit a Preliminary Team Budget to the Association for approval.  The Preliminary Team Budget must be prepared in accordance with the form set out in Appendix B and must include:

 

(i) Proposed Team revenues including sources.

 

(ii) Proposed team expenses

 

(iii) Reasonably detailed explanatory notes for each budget item.
All having regard to the information available at the time of submission.

 

(b) Details of Payments to Team Officials

 

(i) If the team opts to pay its Team Official(s) in accordance with paragraph 5.02 of these Rules, the Preliminary Team Budget must indicate the amount of the payments and reimbursements to be made to Team Official(s).

 

(ii) If the Team is responsible for only a portion of such payments or reimbursements, then only the amount for which the Team is responsible shall be set out in the Preliminary Team Budget and the liability of the Team shall be limited accordingly.

 

(c) Submission of Approved Preliminary Team Budget to Parents/Guardians

 

(i) The Approved Preliminary Team Budget shall be provided to a parent/guardian of each proposed player prior to or on the date fixed for the signing of the player’s registration card.

 

(ii) The parent/guardian must acknowledge in writing that he or she has received a copy of the Preliminary Team Budget by submitting a signed Acknowledgment of Receipt to the Association concurrently with the delivery of the registration card for such player.  The prescribed form of the Acknowledgement is set out in Appendix C.

 

(d) Submission of Final Team Budget for Approval by Association and Parents/Guardians

 

(i) Prior to the commencement of the regular season, the Team Officials will review the estimated items in the budget and prepare the Final Team Budget for approval by the Association and the parents/guardians of the players on the team.

 

(ii) In order to change the amount of a budgeted item the Team shall call a meeting of the parents/guardians to review and approve the amended budget which will then become the Final Team Budget.  If no changes are required, then the Approved Preliminary Budget shall be the Final Team Budget.

 

(iii) No changes shall be allowed unless approval is obtained from the parents and guardians representing at least 75% of the players on the Team.

 

(iv) The Final Team Budget, as approved, shall be signed by all the parents/guardians who voted for the changes and shall be sent to the Association as acknowledgement of the revised amounts.

 

(v) Clerical errors are excluded from this requirement.

 

6.04 Team Financial Summaries

(a) The Team shall produce two (2) interim financial updates regarding the Teams Finances and Budget in the form set out in Appendix B for the periods ending on September 30th and January 31st, and shall provide a copy for a parent / guardian of each Team player within 10 days of the period end. These financial summaries shall be available for the team meetings to be scheduled as outlined in

 

paragraph 5.05.

(b) Within 4 weeks of the Team’s last event, the Team shall prepare a final, year-end statement of the Team’s revenues and expenditures and provide a copy to a parent / guardian of each player

 

6.05 Use of Team’s Surplus Funds

(a) Monies received for sponsorship and advertising will be used first, then monies collected from the parent(s) / guardian(s).

 

(b) If there is a surplus of funds available to a Team at the close of the GTHL season in any year, the disposition of such surplus shall be determined by the parents/guardians representing 75% of the players on the Team and shall be restricted to either retention by the Team for use in the following season or a limited distribution to the parents/guardians determined as follows:

 

(c) Distribution of Surplus Funds

 

(i) The amount eligible to be refunded to a parent/guardian shall be based on the amount personally paid by the parent/guardian directly to the Team, and the maximum refund amount shall not exceed this amount.  For greater certainty, any amount paid through a corporation controlled by the parent/guardian shall be eligible for refund and included in this category.

 

(ii) All other funds collected and/or paid by a parent/guardian to the Team shall be considered ‘Sponsorship Monies’ and shall not be available for distribution.

 

(iii) All monies carried forward from any previous year and from any source shall be deemed ‘Sponsorship Monies’ and shall not be available for distribution.

 

(iv) It shall be the responsibility of the signatories of the Team’s bank account, as outlined in paragraph 6.01, to maintain records and appropriate documentation of the funds collected to verify the calculation of any distribution, and to obtain approval from the Association prior to any disbursement.

 

(c) Retention of Surplus Funds

If the Team fails to make such a determination by April 15th of such year, or the parents / guardians determine that the surplus funds are to be retained for the following season, the surplus funds shall be transferred to the Association immediately for safekeeping.  Following receipt of substantially all the registration cards for the Team for the following season, the surplus funds shall be returned to the Team as then reconstituted and shall be used to offset that season’s expenses.

 

6.06 Dispute over Team Finances
Any complaint by a parent/guardian arising out of a Team budget or financial summary must be referred to the Association for resolution in accordance with the procedure set out in Section 9 of these Rules.  The decision of the Association shall be binding on all parties.

Section 7 - Rules Relating to Parents / Guardians

7.01 Notices, Approvals and Authorizations

(a) Any notice given to or approval or authorization granted by a parent / guardian of a player shall be deemed for all purposes to have been given to or granted by all of the parents and/or guardians of such player.

 

7.02 Payment of Fees

(a) The parents/guardians responsible for each player shall make all payments required of such player on a timely basis in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Association and/or the Team.  Failure to make such payments at the time or times prescribed may result in the suspension of the player until payment is received by the Association and/or Team, as applicable.

7.03 Standard of Conduct

 

(a) Parents / guardians are expected to conduct themselves generally in a manner which best exemplifies the standards and values of the Association.  This means that parents / guardians must demonstrate respect, courtesy and civility in all dealings relating to their child’s involvement in the Association’s hockey program, including dealings with:

(i) The Association and any of its Teams

(ii) Other parents/guardians of players

(iii) Opposing teams

(iv) Game officials, and

(v) Fans and spectators

 

(b) Provocative and inflammatory types of behaviour, including the use of profanity, threats and verbal or physical confrontations shall not be tolerated.

 

7.04 Sanctions for Misconduct

(a) The Association reserves the right to discipline any parent/guardian who violates this standard of behaviour or whose actions, in the opinion of the Association, denigrate, damage or bring to disrepute the image and reputation of the Association or its Association and Team Officials.  Such discipline may consist of prohibiting such parent/guardian from attending team functions, practices or games for such period as the Association, in its discretion deems appropriate.  Failure to abide by such sanctions may result in the suspension or release of the player for whom such parent/guardian is responsible.

 

7.05 Additional Standards and Sanctions Imposed by the GTHL

(a) Parent/guardians should be aware of the standards of behaviour and possible sanctions for their breach mandated by the GTHL and contained in the GTHL Rulebook.

Section 8 - Rules Relating to Players

8.01 Player’s Obligations

(a) Players shall:

(i) Represent their Team with dignity at all times

(ii) Always play to the best of their ability within the spirit of true sportsmanship

(iii) Show respect for the rules of the game, the game officials and their decisions, and their opponents

(iv) Use their best efforts to maintain composure while on the ice

(v) Refrain from trash talking or making improper gestures, whether on or off the ice

(vi) Demonstrate respect for their team mates and treat them fairly and equally

(vii) Demonstrate respect for their Coaches and other Team Officials

(viii) Make a commitment to the Team, its program and its goals

(ix) Attend all games and other events prescribed by the Team in accordance with the rules established by the Head Coach from time to time

(x) Where equipment is provided by the Association or the Team, use only such equipment (including sweaters and socks) and ensure that it is maintained in a proper state of repair and not altered in any manner

(xi) Abide by the Team dress code at all times

(xii) Refrain from using alcohol and prohibited drugs

 

(b) The foregoing list of obligations is not exhaustive and may be supplemented by the Association or the Team from time to time upon giving the player and his or her parent/guardian reasonable notice.

 

8.02 Sanctions for Breaching Obligations

(a) The Association, in its discretion, reserves the right to restrict the ice time, suspend or release any player who is found by the Association to have breached any of the foregoing obligations.

 

8.03 Player Injury

(a) Neither the Association not the Team is responsible for any injury suffered by a player, whether on or off the ice and howsoever caused.  The GTHL maintains insurance which may be applicable in certain events. Parents/guardians are urged to contact the GTHL for an explanation of such coverage.

(b) The GTHL issues protocols and procedures that are to be followed in case of player injury.  It is the responsibility of the Team Trainer and Team Staff to ensure that these protocols and procedures are followed without exception.

 

8.04 Allocation of Ice Time

(a) The Head Coach shall make all decisions regarding the amount of ice time afforded to a player in reasonable exercise of his or her discretion, having regard to the best interests of the Team

(b) Any player denied reasonable ice time, or parent / guardian thereof, shall be entitled to request and obtain an explanation for such decision without fear or threat of repercussion, provided such request is made in both a civil and appropriate manner.

(c) If a player is denied reasonable ice time on a continuous basis and is not satisfied with the explanation provided by the Head Coach, the player or the parent / guardian of the player may request that the issue be referred to the Association for determination in accordance with the procedure set out in Section 9 of these Rules.  The decision of the Association shall be final and binding on all parties.

 

8.05 Playing with Affiliated Teams

(a) The Association will determine the Affiliated Teams at the beginning of each season and in accordance with the GTHL rule.

(b) Whenever practicable, players should be made available to the Affiliated Team so long as it does not conflict with the players’ primary responsibility to their own Team.  The Head Coach will select the player(s) having regard to the reasonable requests of the Affiliated Team.

 

8.06 Permission to Skate

(a) Permission to skate with other GTHL, OMHA or Alliance teams shall be granted at the discretion of the Club and shall only be binding if signed by the President or General Manager of the Club.  The Club may require the player to attend one or more tryouts before granting such permission.

 

8.07 Subsidies

(a) Subsidy Request

(i) The Association may consider written requests to subsidize all or a portion of a player’s registration fee.  Such subsidy, if any, will require compelling circumstances and a clear demonstration of need and will only be granted to individuals who exemplify the standards and values of the Association.

(ii) The Association may require the Team in question to match the subsidy.

 

(b) Repayment of Subsidy

(i) If a subsidized player wishes to obtain a release prior to the end of the season, the Association may, as condition of granting such release, demand and obtain repayment of the subsidy.

 

8.08 Releases

(a) Circumstances in which a Release may be Granted

(i) Once a registration card is signed, the Club will not grant a release to a player except under compelling and unusual circumstances which necessitates the severing of such player’s relationship with the Team, having regard to the best interests of all concerned.  The Club will make the determination of the existence of such circumstances in its absolute discretion.

(ii) No release shall be binding on the Club unless it is in writing signed by the President or the General Manager of the Club.

 

8.09 Refund of Association’s Registration Fee where Release is Granted before November 15

(a) This section does not apply to releases mandated by the GTHL on application by the player nor if a player voluntarily withdraws from a Team or discontinues attending practices and/or games.

 

(b) If a player is released by the Association prior to November 15, the Association shall, within 30 days following the granting of the release, reimburse the player a portion of the registration fees paid by the player determined as follows:

(i) Determine the total amount of registration fee paid by or for the account of the player (the “Initial Amount”).  For greater certainty, any amount paid through a corporation controlled by the parent / guardian shall be included in this category.

(ii) Deduct the Administrative Expense of $300.00 from the Initial Amount to determine the refundable portion of the Association registration fee (the “Balance”).

(iii) Determine the “Incurred Expenses” by the player prior to the release by determining the proportion of the ‘Balance’ allocable to the games played by the Team to the date of release.  Multiply the ‘Balance’ times the number of games played by the team prior to release, and divided by the number of games in the season

(iv) Determine whether the player is required to repay any subsidies granted by the Association in accordance with paragraph 8.07 of these Rules.

(v) Deduct the Incurred Expenses and any required Association subsidy repayment from the Balance to determine the net amount to be refunded to the player (the “Refund Amount”).

(vi) The Refund Amount, if any, shall be reimbursed to the person(s) who made the payment on behalf of the player on a pro rata basis provided that the player has no outstanding financial obligations to the Team.

 

8.10 Refund of Team Fee where release is Granted before November 15

(a) This section does not apply to releases mandated by the GTHL on application by the Player nor if a player voluntarily withdraws from a Team or discontinues attending practices and / or games.

 

(b) If a player is released by the Association prior to November 15, the Team shall, within 30 days following the granting of the release, reimburse the player a portion of the Team fee paid by the player determined as follows:

 

(i) Determine the total amount of fees paid by or for the account of the player (the “Initial Amount”).  For greater certainty, any amount paid through a corporation controlled by the parent / guardian shall be included in this category.  This excludes any sponsorship monies that were raised by or on behalf of the player.

(ii) Calculate the “Preseason Expenses” already incurred by determining the player’s allocable share of the cost of any preseason off-ice and on-ice training programs and preseason games.

(iii) Calculate “Tournament Expenses” incurred by determining the player’s allocable share of the cost of preseason and in-season tournaments in which the player participated.

(iv) Calculate the player’s “Equipment and Clothing Expenses” by determining the total cost of the equipment and clothing provided to or on order for a player.

(v) Deduct the player’s incurred Preseason Expenses, Tournament Expenses and Equipment and Clothing Expenses from the Initial Amount.  The remaining amount represents the proportion of the player fees attributable to “In-Season Fees”.

(vi) Determine the “In-Season Expenses” incurred by the player prior to their release by determining the proportion of the player’s In-Season Fees that is allocable to games played by the Team prior to the date of release.  Multiply the ‘In Season Fees’ times the number of games played by the team prior to release, and divided by the number of games in the season

(vii) Determine whether the player is required to repay any subsidies granted by the Team in accordance with paragraph 8.07 of these Rules.

(viii) Deduct the incurred In-Season Expenses and any required repayment of Team subsidy from the In-Season Fees to determine the net amount to be refunded to the player (the “Refund Amount”)

 

(c) The Refund Amount, if any, shall be reimbursed to the person(s) who made the payment on behalf of the player on a pro rata basis provided that the player has no outstanding financial obligations to the Association.

 

(d) The obligation to make such payment rests solely with the Team and the Association shall have no responsibility for any such payment.  If a dispute arises regarding the amount of such reimbursement, it shall be referred to the Association for resolution in accordance with the process set out in Section 9 of these Rules.  The decision of the Association shall be final and binding on all parties.

 

8.11 No Refunds in any Other Circumstances

(a) If a release is mandated by the GTHL or a release is granted on or after November 16th in any year the released player shall not be entitled to any repayment of the Initial Amount.

 

(b) If a player voluntarily withdraws from a Team or discontinues attending practices and/or games, the player shall not be entitled to any repayment of the Initial Amount.

Section 9 - Dispute Resolution

(a) The following procedure shall apply in the event the Association is requested to resolve a dispute or complaint arising between a parent/guardian of a player and the Team:

(i) The request for such resolution shall be in writing, it shall set out the issue(s) and argument(s) in reasonable detail and it shall be addressed to the General Manager unless urgency or circumstances require that another Association Official be contacted.

(ii) A copy of such request shall be given to the Team Head Coach or Team Manager and the Team shall have 5 days to deliver its written response to the parent/guardian and the Association, setting out its position in reasonable detail.  The Association may extend the time for such response if it believes, acting reasonably, that additional time is needed.

(iii) The Association may cause a meeting to be held of all interested parties as soon as practicable after receiving the Team’s response.

(iv) The parties shall attend such a meeting in person without legal counsel or other representation.

 

(b) The Association shall issue a statement in writing setting out its decision, including the reason(s) relied upon in reaching its decision, within 10 business days following such meeting.  The Association may extend the time for such response if it believes, acting reasonably, that additional time is needed.

 

(c) The decision shall be binding upon all interested parties.