Amend Bylaws to Clarify Priority of Athlete Well-being

Article 2.3 - Governance Philosophy.

A proactive statement was added to this section to affirm the Board’s support for USA Gymnastics’ efforts to promote a safe, healthy and positive sport environment.

2.3       Governance Philosophy. To encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of gymnastics.

    (b) In doing so the Board will support USA Gymnastics’ efforts to promote a safe, healthy and positive sport environment.

    (c) In turn, individual USA Gymnastics Board members provide leadership, vision, independent thinking, the ability to rally individuals and groups in support of our mission, the wisdom to listen to members and constituents, and the foresight to approach athlete well-being and diversity as opportunities and not as obstacles. We will work together to fulfill our vision and mission through the ‘heart and soul’ of our organization – our members – in a family-like atmosphere.

Article 2.4 – Qualifications for Service (new)

Leadership standards were created for all individuals serving in a leadership capacity at every level of the organization, including criteria for disqualifying an individual for/from a leadership position, and for the ongoing duty for leaders to disclose any issues that may be contrary to the standards set for leaders.

2.4       Qualifications for Service.

    (a) Leaders within USA Gymnastics are charged with, and responsible for, executing and furthering the mission of USA Gymnastics. It is a privilege to serve in a leadership role and as such, USA Gymnastics has established minimum qualifications for leaders to ensure their ability to support, demonstrate and advance USA Gymnastics’ governance philosophy and its mission. In this context, “leaders” and “leadership” of USA Gymnastics are defined as:

    • Directors and Officers;
    • Members of Standing Committees and Special Committees defined in Article 6;
    • Any individual serving in any elected capacity on a national, regional or state-level USA Gymnastics committee; and,
    • Any individual representing USA Gymnastics in a leadership capacity including but not limited to: international representatives, national coaching staff members/clinicians, medical staff members, meet directors or meet referees, presenters at national or regional congresses, or instructors for USA Gymnastics University.

    (b) Leadership Criteria. All leaders in USA Gymnastics must be at least eighteen years old with the ability to work in the United States now or in the future with or without sponsorship; must complete USA Gymnastics’ required criminal background screening; should have the highest personal values, judgment and integrity; and a commitment to USA Gymnastics and its mission.

    An individual is ineligible for a leadership role if they:

    • Have any felony conviction;
    • Meet the criteria described in Article 9.2(a), Special Categories of Misconduct;
    • Served a significant period (i.e., a year or more) of ineligibility for an Anti-Doping rule violation;
    • Have been found to have committed a safe sport violation that resulted in suspension, termination or revocation of membership privileges;
    • Received an interim sanction that resulted in suspension of membership;
    • Failed to successfully complete USA Gymnastics’ required criminal background screen; or
    • Are on USA Gymnastics’ List of Permanently Ineligible Members.

    (c) Duty to Disclose

    1. Affirmative Duty. Individuals have an affirmative duty to disclose any of the infractions detailed in 2.4(b), above, in advance of consideration for a leadership role. Additionally, individuals must disclose for similar consideration any judgment/adjudication/violation or comparable disposition of a legal proceeding inconsistent with the principles and expectations described herein.
    2. Ongoing Duty. Leaders have an ongoing duty to disclose. If a potential or existing leader is under investigation for, or has been formally accused of, any of the infractions detailed in 2.4(b) above, that individual will be asked to suspend their candidacy or leadership role until the investigation or accusation has been adjudicated.
    3. USA Gymnastics Ethics and Grievance Committee shall be the designated entity for receiving disclosures and shall be authorized to resolve questions and disputes in the application of these qualifications for service. The Ethics and Grievance Committee will report all such resolutions to the Board of Directors.

Article 4.1 – Authority (of the Board)

The following was added or modified to the list of Board functions:

  • Monitors the Corporation’s compliance with safe sport programs;
  • Implements orientation procedures for new Board members to educate them on the business and governance affairs of the Corporation and to evaluate Board performance;
  • Maintains a Board handbook that includes the Bylaws, all pertinent polices, and other documents that Board members need to be effective.

Article 10.5 – Interim Measures (new)

Interim measures to protect athletes and the membership were added to provide the corporation with the ability to invoke interim measures when specific criteria are met.

10.5        Interim Measures

At any point before a Complaint is resolved under the provisions of this Article 10, interim measures may be imposed to ensure the safety and well-being of the gymnastics community or where an allegation is sufficiently serious that an Adverse Party’s continued participation could be detrimental to the sport or its reputation. (For complete details, see Article 10.5 in bylaws.)