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BC Soccer Voting Structure Shiteshow

Regs

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So a few weeks ago I think it flew under the radar a bit but BC Soccer had a vote to change the voting structure to be in line with CSA directives. It was voted down by the membership.

From what I can gather, this is a struggle between youth and adult.

And now the fallout is gonna be potentially drastic.


Potentially could see sanctions from CSA across all soccer or just specific targets, i.e, no adult league soccer. WTF?!?!?!
 

Canucks4Ever

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...

There is a lot more than how BC Soccer is characterizing this in their video.

This is less a "struggle" and more of a lack of collaboration.

Although BC Soccer would seemingly like to paint it that Adult are somehow holding soccer in the Province hostage.
 

uniballer

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So a few weeks ago I think it flew under the radar a bit but BC Soccer had a vote to change the voting structure to be in line with CSA directives. It was voted down by the membership.

From what I can gather, this is a struggle between youth and adult.

And now the fallout is gonna be potentially drastic.


Potentially could see sanctions from CSA across all soccer or just specific targets, i.e, no adult league soccer. WTF?!?!?!
WTF. CSA has turned into a STRATA!!!!
 

mtkb

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The CSA wanted nothing more than to eradicate the youth districts and turn things into a free-for-all - because in their estimation that unshackles the high performance types which is all they really care about anyway. But, having been successful in forcing the for profit youth academies to be granted membership in BC Soccer (with all the attendant benefits like participating in leagues), they now want the youth vote to trump the adult vote because that currently suits their purposes better. Must have been some pretty interesting discussions with some of the youth district chairs...

The other thing I find fascinating is that a) the CSA thinks it can just direct people to vote a certain way to rubber stamp a by-law change (shows how much respect they have for people at the grassroots level) and b) that BCSA continues to enable this bullshit and stump FOR it instead of standing up for their own members - the people they're supposed to be serving.

Glad I got out of it - turkeys abound...
 

Canucks4Ever

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So, further on this for anyone playing catch up…

Some may have seen a post from BC Soccer on Twitter on June 2 noting that "Members vote down significant proposed bylaw amendments". Now BC Soccer has released this video that, while some are applauding it for its apparent efforts at “transparency”, it really provides a very one-sided synopsis of the situation.

Here is my understanding of the situation for anyone interested.

BC Soccer Association (BCSA) is made up of both Youth Members and Adult Members and has been since 1998 when the two groups amalgamated under the BCSA banner. Prior to 1998 Youth and Adult were separately governed with Adult under BCSA and Youth under something known as BC Juvenile Soccer Association (BCJSA). When BCJSA went bankrupt in 1998, Adult and BCSA came to the rescue and brought everyone under one roof. The BCSA as a Society under the Societies Act in British Columbia rewrote its bylaws to create two classes of members: Youth Members and Adult Members.

Each side had an internal calculation for determining the weight of its members votes based on registrations (ie VMSL has more sway on the Adult side than RASA and a Youth district like Vancouver Youth Soccer would have more sway than say a youth district from Northern BC).

Notwithstanding their internal voting structure, the bylaws were written so that Adult had 50% of the total votes in BCSA as a Society and Youth had 50% of the total votes.

BCSA has carried on in this manner since the amalgamation and there has been an unwritten handshake agreement that Youth does not vote on (i.e., interfere with) Adult-only issues and Adult does not vote on (i.e., interfere with) Youth-only issues. In other words, in matters that affect both Youth and Adult, both groups vote, such as the appointment of directors and any changes to the bylaws, but other than matters affecting both groups, Youth traditionally abstains from voting on Adult issues and Adult traditionally abstains from voting on Youth issues. I am not aware of any time ever where this has caused a concern. (i.e., one group, Adult or Youth, has never used its votes to affect an outcome to the contrary of the wants of the majority of the group the motion was impacting.)

A quick note on how BCSA operates as a Society - as is the default set out in the Societies Act, there is a requirement of 50+1% to pass an Ordinary Resolution and a requirement for a 2/3 majority to pass a Special Resolution (such as a change to the bylaws).

Notwithstanding the above framework, the number of individual Youth players has always far exceeded the number of Adult players. Current estimates have it at approximately an 85/15 split Youth to Adult. That said, BCSA has continued to operate with no tangible issues for either Youth or Adult based on the current voting structure.

Voting structures that do not reflect player numbers are the norm in world soccer. FIFA members (UEFA, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OCEANA, etc.) all have the same vote regardless of their size. Within CONCACAF, Canada, with 10% of the players the US has, has the same vote as the US. There is nothing fundamentally wrong or flawed with the current voting structure of the BCSA. It is not now, and has never been, a problem that Adult with 15% of the players has 50% of the BCSA vote. No credible concern based on the voting structure has been revealed (because there has never historically been a concern).

Enter CSA, who have evidently been "reforming" the Provincial Associations in the name of "equity" and "good governance". The CSA has recently completed a voting structure reform for the Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) voting on CSA matters wherein it increased the votes for the smaller PSOs and decreased the votes for the larger PSOs. Further, the CSA has not dictated any specific changes to BCSA.

In a letter to BCSA and its members from President Nick Bontis, the CSA informed BCSA that its structure is "inequitable" and not in line with the CSA's policies pertaining to good governance and, therefore, must be reformed or else BCSA could be determined to be a member not in good standing with CSA.

BC Soccer snapped into action and proposed a one-size-fits-all formula which would see members given 1 vote per every 2500 players they have registered, resulting in a 74%/26% vote split between Youth and Adult, rendering Adult as essentially irrelevant (because Youth would have a super-majority and would be able to pass any motion they wanted). BCSA gave no explanation for its choice of the number 2500, only that it reached this formula after "extensive consultation with stakeholders". During said "consultation", Adult members have, apparently, sought clarity on what exactly CSA is trying to remedy and what, if any, CSA bylaw, rule or policy the current BCSA voting structure violates but none has been forthcoming.

To the surprise of no one, CSA signed off on BCSA's proposed reforms to their bylaws on the basis of the purported extensive consultation and an SGM was called to vote on the changes with BCSA essentially threatening its members to either vote in favor of the amendments or face the wrath of CSA.

Having received no clarity on the motives behind these changes, nor provided any real forum to debate potential alternative options, the Adult leagues used their 50% vote to defeat the Special Resolution on June 1 that would reduce Adult to a vote share rendering them essentially irrelevant.

So where to now?

Apparently, the sky is falling.

There are all sorts of rumours swirling that CSA will be "punishing" BCSA imminently as a result of its "inequitable" voting structure. Speculated sanctions go as far as to predict a full shut down of all soccer in BC including training. More modest speculation is that if BCSA is held not to be in good standing as a member with CSA, that could mean no Nationals for Adult or Youth. Perhaps because of this, there is now a rumour floating that BCSA may now try to suspend the membership of the Adult members. To do so they would need to trigger Clause 4.4 of the BCSA bylaws and the grounds for that appear tenuous, although the language is loosely worded enough as it pertains to "serious violations" of CSA "bylaws, rules or policies".

This sort of scenario seems to be what BC Soccer is alluding to in their video when they say if it does not pass again, they will deal with it “internally, through our own judicial system”.

For the Adult members, if they feel that BCSA is trying to force them unfairly into acting in a certain manner there is something under the Societies Act called an oppression remedy that they could seek. These options likely lead to getting the lawyers involved and both sides potentially becoming entrenched.

My understanding is that the Adult members are amenable to change but only as a result of real consultation and open dialog. They would also like more clarification on why CSA is so determined to "fix" a system that has shown no evidence of being broken.

Some keyboard warriors have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the outcome and accuse Adult of basically holding the BCSA hostage. These voices are only growing louder after the release of this video wherein BC Soccer appears to strongly intimate that Adult Soccer is, for no reason at all, going to cause the ban of all soccer in BC.

It all appears to be somewhat of a Tempest in a Teapot, so to speak, though, because, as mentioned, no one can point to any incident where Youth was in any way disadvantaged due to the current voting structure.

Adding further to the Tempest in a Teapot suggestion, BC Soccer has quietly, in the name of "good governance", consolidated power in its Board of Directors to the point where the only matters actually voted on by the membership are elections and bylaws. Approval of Financials and Budgets and Rule changes, etc. are now handled internally by the BCSA Board and members have no say.

While things appear to be escalating, BCSA admits in their video that the CSA has taken no steps as of yet. Further, the CSA has given BCSA until its November 2022 AGM to resolve this issue.

It would be rather seismic if CSA were to suspending BCSA as a member and CSA would need to provide the grounds for their disciplinary action. Ironically, this might actually help narrow the issues, given that BC Soccer has so far either been unwilling, or unable, to explain what exactly the specific breach of CSA rules, bylaws or policy is, beyond simply just “inequity”.
 

GoF

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Not a good look for Canada Soccer to force a vote and then threaten sanctions because it didn't go their way. Why have a vote if they're going to force it through anyway? Legally did they have to?
 

Canucks4Ever

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Not a good look for Canada Soccer to force a vote and then threaten sanctions because it didn't go their way. Why have a vote if they're going to force it through anyway? Legally did they have to?
CSA only said the structure had to change to become "more equitable".

Nothing further on why it was not equitable nor on how it needed to change.

BC Soccer came up with their plan - 1 vote per 2500 players and CSA said that will fix whatever the "problem" is.

So the CSA is mandating change, but not WHAT the change needs to be. The "WHAT" (ie the 1 per 2500) was BC Soccer's brainchild.

That's what got voted down.

Adult are, I am told, happy to sit down and brainstorm ideas that could potentially appease CSA. So far BC Soccer has basically said it's this one plan or nothing...
 

Regs

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Some keyboard warriors have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the outcome and accuse Adult of basically holding the BCSA hostage. These voices are only growing louder after the release of this video wherein BC Soccer appears to strongly intimate that Adult Soccer is, for no reason at all, going to cause the ban of all soccer in BC.
Yup. Warriors with no skin in the game ever. Or warriors whom once played adult but now hold positions within youth orgs - pretty disappointing but also knowing the cesspool of youth soccer politics, not entirely shocking.
 

Gurps

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You nailed it Regs. Youth soccer is a cesspool of politics. The things I have seen and witnessed is pathetic.

Its why I grab a coffee and just stand in the corner by myself when my kids play.
 

utah

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So, further on this for anyone playing catch up…

Some may have seen a post from BC Soccer on Twitter on June 2 noting that "Members vote down significant proposed bylaw amendments". Now BC Soccer has released this video that, while some are applauding it for its apparent efforts at “transparency”, it really provides a very one-sided synopsis of the situation.

Here is my understanding of the situation for anyone interested.

BC Soccer Association (BCSA) is made up of both Youth Members and Adult Members and has been since 1998 when the two groups amalgamated under the BCSA banner. Prior to 1998 Youth and Adult were separately governed with Adult under BCSA and Youth under something known as BC Juvenile Soccer Association (BCJSA). When BCJSA went bankrupt in 1998, Adult and BCSA came to the rescue and brought everyone under one roof. The BCSA as a Society under the Societies Act in British Columbia rewrote its bylaws to create two classes of members: Youth Members and Adult Members.

Each side had an internal calculation for determining the weight of its members votes based on registrations (ie VMSL has more sway on the Adult side than RASA and a Youth district like Vancouver Youth Soccer would have more sway than say a youth district from Northern BC).

Notwithstanding their internal voting structure, the bylaws were written so that Adult had 50% of the total votes in BCSA as a Society and Youth had 50% of the total votes.

BCSA has carried on in this manner since the amalgamation and there has been an unwritten handshake agreement that Youth does not vote on (i.e., interfere with) Adult-only issues and Adult does not vote on (i.e., interfere with) Youth-only issues. In other words, in matters that affect both Youth and Adult, both groups vote, such as the appointment of directors and any changes to the bylaws, but other than matters affecting both groups, Youth traditionally abstains from voting on Adult issues and Adult traditionally abstains from voting on Youth issues. I am not aware of any time ever where this has caused a concern. (i.e., one group, Adult or Youth, has never used its votes to affect an outcome to the contrary of the wants of the majority of the group the motion was impacting.)

A quick note on how BCSA operates as a Society - as is the default set out in the Societies Act, there is a requirement of 50+1% to pass an Ordinary Resolution and a requirement for a 2/3 majority to pass a Special Resolution (such as a change to the bylaws).

Notwithstanding the above framework, the number of individual Youth players has always far exceeded the number of Adult players. Current estimates have it at approximately an 85/15 split Youth to Adult. That said, BCSA has continued to operate with no tangible issues for either Youth or Adult based on the current voting structure.

Voting structures that do not reflect player numbers are the norm in world soccer. FIFA members (UEFA, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OCEANA, etc.) all have the same vote regardless of their size. Within CONCACAF, Canada, with 10% of the players the US has, has the same vote as the US. There is nothing fundamentally wrong or flawed with the current voting structure of the BCSA. It is not now, and has never been, a problem that Adult with 15% of the players has 50% of the BCSA vote. No credible concern based on the voting structure has been revealed (because there has never historically been a concern).

Enter CSA, who have evidently been "reforming" the Provincial Associations in the name of "equity" and "good governance". The CSA has recently completed a voting structure reform for the Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) voting on CSA matters wherein it increased the votes for the smaller PSOs and decreased the votes for the larger PSOs. Further, the CSA has not dictated any specific changes to BCSA.

In a letter to BCSA and its members from President Nick Bontis, the CSA informed BCSA that its structure is "inequitable" and not in line with the CSA's policies pertaining to good governance and, therefore, must be reformed or else BCSA could be determined to be a member not in good standing with CSA.

BC Soccer snapped into action and proposed a one-size-fits-all formula which would see members given 1 vote per every 2500 players they have registered, resulting in a 74%/26% vote split between Youth and Adult, rendering Adult as essentially irrelevant (because Youth would have a super-majority and would be able to pass any motion they wanted). BCSA gave no explanation for its choice of the number 2500, only that it reached this formula after "extensive consultation with stakeholders". During said "consultation", Adult members have, apparently, sought clarity on what exactly CSA is trying to remedy and what, if any, CSA bylaw, rule or policy the current BCSA voting structure violates but none has been forthcoming.

To the surprise of no one, CSA signed off on BCSA's proposed reforms to their bylaws on the basis of the purported extensive consultation and an SGM was called to vote on the changes with BCSA essentially threatening its members to either vote in favor of the amendments or face the wrath of CSA.

Having received no clarity on the motives behind these changes, nor provided any real forum to debate potential alternative options, the Adult leagues used their 50% vote to defeat the Special Resolution on June 1 that would reduce Adult to a vote share rendering them essentially irrelevant.

So where to now?

Apparently, the sky is falling.

There are all sorts of rumours swirling that CSA will be "punishing" BCSA imminently as a result of its "inequitable" voting structure. Speculated sanctions go as far as to predict a full shut down of all soccer in BC including training. More modest speculation is that if BCSA is held not to be in good standing as a member with CSA, that could mean no Nationals for Adult or Youth. Perhaps because of this, there is now a rumour floating that BCSA may now try to suspend the membership of the Adult members. To do so they would need to trigger Clause 4.4 of the BCSA bylaws and the grounds for that appear tenuous, although the language is loosely worded enough as it pertains to "serious violations" of CSA "bylaws, rules or policies".

This sort of scenario seems to be what BC Soccer is alluding to in their video when they say if it does not pass again, they will deal with it “internally, through our own judicial system”.

For the Adult members, if they feel that BCSA is trying to force them unfairly into acting in a certain manner there is something under the Societies Act called an oppression remedy that they could seek. These options likely lead to getting the lawyers involved and both sides potentially becoming entrenched.

My understanding is that the Adult members are amenable to change but only as a result of real consultation and open dialog. They would also like more clarification on why CSA is so determined to "fix" a system that has shown no evidence of being broken.

Some keyboard warriors have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the outcome and accuse Adult of basically holding the BCSA hostage. These voices are only growing louder after the release of this video wherein BC Soccer appears to strongly intimate that Adult Soccer is, for no reason at all, going to cause the ban of all soccer in BC.

It all appears to be somewhat of a Tempest in a Teapot, so to speak, though, because, as mentioned, no one can point to any incident where Youth was in any way disadvantaged due to the current voting structure.

Adding further to the Tempest in a Teapot suggestion, BC Soccer has quietly, in the name of "good governance", consolidated power in its Board of Directors to the point where the only matters actually voted on by the membership are elections and bylaws. Approval of Financials and Budgets and Rule changes, etc. are now handled internally by the BCSA Board and members have no say.

While things appear to be escalating, BCSA admits in their video that the CSA has taken no steps as of yet. Further, the CSA has given BCSA until its November 2022 AGM to resolve this issue.

It would be rather seismic if CSA were to suspending BCSA as a member and CSA would need to provide the grounds for their disciplinary action. Ironically, this might actually help narrow the issues, given that BC Soccer has so far either been unwilling, or unable, to explain what exactly the specific breach of CSA rules, bylaws or policy is, beyond simply just “inequity”.

Good info but Christ...How many keyboards do you go through in a year??/
 

dezza

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Yup. Warriors with no skin in the game ever. Or warriors whom once played adult but now hold positions within youth orgs - pretty disappointing but also knowing the cesspool of youth soccer politics, not entirely shocking.

warriors whom once played adult but now hold positions within youth orgs that pay them 6-figure salaries

FTFY
 

mtkb

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Not a good look for Canada Soccer to force a vote and then threaten sanctions because it didn't go their way. Why have a vote if they're going to force it through anyway? Legally did they have to?

This will end up in court. The adults won't just lie down and the CSA's approach is so contrary to principles of natural justice that I suspect someone will go after them. This gets messy in a hurry, however, because the BCSA is clearly adversarial to the adults here, which means separate lawyers for each. Come to think of it, I'd go after the CSA for the heavy-handed approach, and the BCSA for failing in their duty to stand up for their current members...
 

freddy

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This will end up in court. The adults won't just lie down and the CSA's approach is so contrary to principles of natural justice that I suspect someone will go after them. This gets messy in a hurry, however, because the BCSA is clearly adversarial to the adults here, which means separate lawyers for each. Come to think of it, I'd go after the CSA for the heavy-handed approach, and the BCSA for failing in their duty to stand up for their current members...
If only we knew a lawyer . . .
 

Canucks4Ever

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Props to @Regs for trying to change the narrative on Twitter. BCSA's messaging looks to have worked and there is clearly a growing perception that Adult are resisting a "CSA mandated" change in order to hold on to money or power or both.

For clarity - there is no money involved. The BCSA Board of Directors controls the budget and the dollars directed/allocated to Adult are in no way connected to its percentage of the membership/voting stake.

There is also little to no "power" involved. As stated, the BCSA Board of Directors has consolidated power in the board itself and no votes of the membership are required to pass rule changes, set fees, approve financials or conduct other regular business. The only things voted on are directorship positions and by-law amendments. This internal structure in and of itself might well raise some questions about what exactly is "good governance", but that is not the central issue at the minute.

Circling back to the question @GoF had, and tying into the narrative running wild on Twitter, the CSA has not mandated the 1 vote per 2500 registrants, that is just BCSA's solution to an "equitable voting structure". For example, Ontario Soccer does its votes based on the hard dollars of Membership Fees retained by each member.

So, Adult do not agree with the 1 per 2500 players structure and want to negotiate something else. BCSA have so far been unwilling to do so and now seem to be trying to play a public relations game to get Adult to cave.

Adult's main sticking point is that 1 per 2500 players formally makes them irrelevant in the BCSA structure (some may feel BCSA already treats Adult as irrelevant...) and essentially the BCSA would really no longer serve them.

While Youth have more players (approx. 90,000 to 15,000) one could argue that Adult has more "investment" in BC Soccer in the sense that the vast majority of Adult players have all played for somewhere between 15-60 years and have consistently paid dues etc. to BCSA. In addition to playing, the Adult members by and large do the majority of coaching, refereeing and administrative work that allows BCSA to function at both an Adult and Youth level.

There is also the fact that last time Youth were wholly in charge in the 90s, they bankrupted their governing association. Given the in-fighting and self-centred approach that various Youth districts can have, that is not beyond the realm of possibility again.

The Adult side has its rights as members of the association and they just want to be consulted and collaborate on finding a solution. Yes, they want to maintain some amount of influence, but they certainly do not want to be "holding hostage" soccer in BC...
 
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mtkb

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Canucks4ever has it I think pretty much bang on, I think.

The adults have broken ranks on the handshake agreement. Not often, but it's happened. To memory, it's happened a few times when someone new showed up at the meeting and didn't know about the agreement. But beyond that, I believe some of them broke ranks over the out of district limits for youth soccer, and I have a vague recollection of Laurie with the bloc of adult women votes doing so on a specific issue as well (and that mattered, because it was close until her giant bloc tilted things). They may have broken on the youth academy issue too, but that was after my time there.

Don't see how BC can suspend the adults. I think the CSA would have to suspend all of BC for not doing what they were told to do. Good luck.

Funny how "equitable" and "good governance" are so often code for the exact opposite...
 

Canucks4Ever

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This will end up in court. The adults won't just lie down and the CSA's approach is so contrary to principles of natural justice that I suspect someone will go after them. This gets messy in a hurry, however, because the BCSA is clearly adversarial to the adults here, which means separate lawyers for each. Come to think of it, I'd go after the CSA for the heavy-handed approach, and the BCSA for failing in their duty to stand up for their current members...
It honestly might. I know some Youth Districts have already contacted lawyers and BCSA has been consulting with their lawyers.

Adult could seek relief for Oppression from BCSA and they could also try to take Derivative Action (which would see them step into the shoes of BCSA) to seek relief from CSA.

That all, of course, gets very messy, very quickly. You are right though, Adult seem unlikely to back down, irrespective of how much BCSA tries to position things that they are the sole cause of this problem and is setting up to blame them for any sanctions from CSA that may end up coming down the line.
 

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