36 U.S.C. § 220522 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 36. Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations § 220522. Eligibility requirements
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General.-- An amateur sports organization is eligible to be recognized, or to continue to be recognized, as a national governing body only if it--
is incorporated under the laws of a State of the United States or the District of Columbia as a not-for-profit corporation having as its purpose the advancement of amateur athletic competition;
has the managerial and financial capability to plan and execute its obligations;
an application, in the form required by the corporation, for recognition as a national governing body;
a copy of its corporate charter and bylaws; and
any additional information considered necessary or appropriate by the corporation;
agrees to submit to binding arbitration in any controversy involving--
its recognition as a national governing body, as provided for in section 220529 of this title, upon demand of the corporation; and
the opportunity of any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator or official to participate in amateur athletic competition, upon demand of the corporation or any aggrieved amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator or official, conducted in accordance with the Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association, as modified and provided for in the corporation's constitution and bylaws, except that if the Athletes' Advisory Council and National Governing Bodies' Council do not concur on any modifications to such Rules, and if the corporation's executive committee is not able to facilitate such concurrence, the Commercial Rules of Arbitration shall apply unless at least two-thirds of the corporation's board of directors approves modifications to such Rules;
demonstrates that it is autonomous in the governance of its sport, in that it--
independently decides and controls all matters central to governance;
does not delegate decision-making and control of matters central to governance; and
is free from outside restraint;
demonstrates that it is a member of no more than one international sports federation that governs a sport included on the program of the Olympic Games or the Pan-American Games;
demonstrates that its membership is open to any individual who is an amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official active in the sport for which recognition is sought, or any amateur sports organization that conducts programs in the sport for which recognition is sought, or both;
provides an equal opportunity to amateur athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in amateur athletic competition, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin, and with fair notice and opportunity for a hearing to any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official before declaring the individual ineligible to participate;
is governed by a board of directors or other governing board whose members are selected without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, except that, in sports where there are separate male and female programs, it provides for reasonable representation of both males and females on the board of directors or other governing board;
demonstrates, based on guidelines approved by the corporation, the Athletes' Advisory Council, and the National Governing Bodies' Council, that its board of directors and other such governing boards have established criteria and election procedures for and maintain among their voting members individuals who are actively engaged in amateur athletic competition in the sport for which recognition is sought or who have represented the United States in international amateur athletic competition within the preceding 10 years, that any exceptions to such guidelines by such organization have been approved by the corporation, and that the voting power held by such individuals is not less than 20 percent of the voting power held in its board of directors and other such governing boards;
provides for reasonable direct representation on its board of directors or other governing board for any amateur sports organization that--
conducts a national program or regular national amateur athletic competition in the applicable sport on a level of proficiency appropriate for the selection of amateur athletes to represent the United States in international amateur athletic competition; and
ensures that the representation reflects the nature, scope, quality, and strength of the programs and competitions of the amateur sports organization in relation to all other programs and competitions in the sport in the United States;
demonstrates that none of its officers are also officers of any other amateur sports organization recognized as a national governing body;
provides procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of grievances of its members;
does not have eligibility criteria related to amateur status or to participation in the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, or the Pan-American Games that are more restrictive than those of the appropriate international sports federation; and
demonstrates, if the organization is seeking to be recognized as a national governing body, that it is prepared to meet the obligations imposed on a national governing body under sections 220524 and 220525 of this title.
Recognition of paralympic sports organizations.--For any sport which is included on the program of the Paralympic Games, the corporation is authorized to designate, where feasible and when such designation would serve the best interest of the sport, and with the approval of the affected national governing body, a national governing body recognized under subsection (a) to govern such sport. Where such designation is not feasible or would not serve the best interest of the sport, the corporation is authorized to recognize another amateur sports organization as a paralympic sports organization to govern such sport, except that, notwithstanding the other requirements of this chapter, any such paralympic sports organization--
shall comply only with those requirements, perform those duties, and have those powers that the corporation, in its sole discretion, determines are appropriate to meet the objects and purposes of this chapter; and
may, with the approval of the corporation, govern more than one sport included on the program of the Paralympic Games.
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