MHSOA Constitution And By-Laws


of the
Mid-Hudson Soccer Officials Association, Inc.


Table of Contents  

Article I - Name
Article II - Affiliation and Territory
Article III - Purposes
Article IV - Membership Requirements
Article V - Responsibilities of Membership
Article VI - Dues
Article VII - Officers and Directors
Article VIII - Duties of Officers and Directors
Article IX - Board of Directors
Article X - Election of Officers and Directors
Article XI - Expulsion of Members
Article XII - Dissolution
Article XIII - Non-Inurement
Article XIV - Amendments

Article I - Assignment Classifications
Article II - Uniform Requirements
Article III - Meetings and Procedures
Article IV - Committees
Article V - Fines and Suspension
Article VI - Awards
Article VII - Amendments



The name of this organization shall be the Mid-Hudson Soccer Officials Association, Inc., hereinafter referred to as the Corporation. The Corporation may be referred to by the acronym "MHSOA".


Sect. 1 - The Corporation shall maintain an affiliation with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. (hereinafter referred to as NYSPHSAA).
Sect. 2 - The territory of the Corporation, recognized by the NYSPHSAA, shall be primarily the Dutchess and Ulster Counties (Mid-Hudson) Region of New York State.


Sect. 1 - To recruit, educate and unite the registered New York State Approved Soccer Officials in the territory.
Sect. 2 - To promote the uniform interpretation and administration of the NFHS (National Federation of High School Associations) rules of soccer by all Corporation members.
Sect. 3 - To collaborate with soccer coaches, school administrators, and other officials' organizations in the advancement of soccer in the territory.
Sect. 4 - To adhere to the Constitution, By-Laws, rules, annual registration, and regulations of the NYSPHSAA, and through its soccer committee, make recommendations for improvement to the game of soccer.


Sect. 1 - To obtain active membership in the Corporation, the candidate shall:
A. Submit a membership application, along with the new member class instruction/test administration fee which is non-refundable and the annual Corporation dues which may be refundable ONLY if the Board of Directors has agreed to waive the dues because:
• the class instruction/test is being taken for educational purposes with no intent to become an active official or
• the active member candidate is suddenly unable to officiate matches during normal game times because of a change in work schedule or for other unforeseen circumstances and chooses not to proceed with the required BOCES clearance processes to become a member of the Corporation.
B. Pass the appropriate examination as a New York State Approved Soccer Official.
C. Complete the requisite fingerprinting or other BOCES approved clearance in order to be listed on the Corporation Roster.
Sect. 2 - To obtain or maintain inactive membership, active members must:
A. Submit a written request to the Secretary/Treasurer providing the reason for the change in status along with the annual inactive membership dues.
B. Be accepted into or approved to remain at inactive status by a majority vote of members.
C. Be aware they will not be assigned games except in an emergency.
D. Understand such membership is limited to two consecutive years unless the official is called to military service, which shall increase the limit to four consecutive years.
E. Be advised that their names will remain on the Corporation roster but without voting rights.
Sect. 3 - To return to active membership status, an inactive member shall:
A. Advise the Secretary/Treasurer in writing and pay the active membership dues.
B. Satisfy all other membership requirements and responsibilities.
C. Be accepted by majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Sect. 4 - A member will be considered "not in good standing" if the member's actions do not conform with the Corporation's "in good standing" requirements.
A member "not in good standing" shall:
• be ineligible for new game assignments.
• continue to attend Corporation meetings but may not vote or participate in any Corporation business.
MHSOA members "in good standing" must:
A. Fulfill all member responsibilities as specified in Article V - Responsibilities of Membership.
B. Fulfill administrative requirements as may be established by this Corporation and by all applicable Sections and private schools.
C. Not be delinquent on payment of dues or fines
D. Not be currently suspended.
E. Adhere to the NYSPHSAA's "Five Point Plan" which states an approved official "in good standing" must:
1. Observe the constitution and by-laws of their local and state officials organization.
2. Attend interpretation meetings and clinics of the local organization each year.
3. Give satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the mechanics of officiating and of competent performance related to the specific sport.
4. Pass the annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) or other approved rules examination.
5. Be listed with the NYSPHSAA, Inc. Executive Director.
Sect. 5 - Members are permitted to hold Dual Membership with other area associations.
A. MHSOA members may join outside associations as Dual Members but must continue to adhere to all MHSOA membership requirements as well as to abide by the outside association's dual membership rules.
B. Officials who are members of outside referee associations may join the MHSOA as Dual Members. These officials shall pay MHSOA Dual Member dues, can not vote, and must adhere to the requirements of this Constitution and By-Laws.
Sect. 6 - Life membership may be granted, by majority vote of the membership, to members who have demonstrated great dedication and made significant contribution to the Corporation and/or the local soccer community. Life members shall not pay annual dues nor have voting privileges nor officiate games.


Sect. 1 - Corporation members shall conduct themselves honorably at all times on and off the field and maintain the dignity of their profession.
Sect. 2 - Members shall not accept an assignment or officiate a match,
A. During the regular or post-season, if the member is:
• Related to a player or coach on a participating team or
• Works at the school location of a participating team.
B. At any time, if partiality could be perceived because of a close personal or adversarial relationship between the official and a player, coach, team, school or school district.
Sect. 3 - Members must recognize that meeting attendance is an important obligation of membership in this Corporation. All members must attend an annual Interpretation Meeting and adhere to the requirements as specified in the By-Laws.
Sect. 4 - Officials are to assure their uniform is clean, neat, complete and in conformance, including proper badge, with all NYSPHSAA and MHSOA requirements. [See By-Laws for specific Uniform Requirements.]
Sect. 5 - On the field officials shall control players effectively by being courteous and considerate. Members will work closely in positive support of their fellow officials and never speak negatively of a fellow official in the presence of players, coaches or others outside the Corporation.
Sect. 6 - Members must officiate in accordance with the contractual terms in place between the Corporation and all applicable Sections as well as agreements made with private schools.
Sect. 7 - Members are encouraged to provide both positive and negative WRITTEN comments on a partner's game performance to the Interpreter. The use of a form, if provided on the Corporation web-site, will be the preferred process.
Sect. 8 - If unable to officiate a confirmed game assignment, a member must contact the assignor at the earliest opportunity. If a member does not inform the assignor and does not officiate a confirmed game assignment, it is considered a "no-show". Violators shall be fined as specified in the By-Laws. Violators may be suspended for repeated violations.
Sect. 9 - Officials are to read the NFHS Code of Ethics and incorporate them into their game preparations.


Sect. 1 - Active, Inactive and Dual membership dues will be determined annually by a majority vote of members.
Sect. 2 - Dues for the following year must be paid on or before December 1.
Sect. 3 - Officers, Directors and Life Members shall not pay dues
Sect. 4 - Members having completed 30 years of Active Membership shall not pay dues.


Sect. 1 - A President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Interpreter and four Directors shall be elected by the active members every two years. Officers and Directors must be active members in "good standing" to be elected.
Sect. 2 - The term of office for the eight elected members shall be two years.
Sect. 3 - Any vacancy occurring in the elective offices of this Corporation, with the exception of President, shall be filled according to the procedures specified in Article XI. A vacancy in the office of President shall be filled by the Vice President.


Sect. 1 - President - shall preside at all meetings of the Corporation and chair the Board of Directors. The President shall supervise the administrative affairs of the Corporation, appoint such committees as are required to promote the work and purposes of the Corporation, and be the spokesperson on all Corporation matters unless otherwise delegated. The President shall assume, discharge or delegate such other duties normally empowered to an organization president. The President may assign such duties to the Board of Directors or the general membership.
Sect. 2 - Vice President - shall:
• In the absence of the President, assume and perform the duties of the President.
• Serve as chairperson when the Board of Directors meets to determine the assignment classifications of members.
• Assure the accuracy of information on the Corporation's web site by acting as the managing interface to the web site administrator. This duty is to include the receiving, reviewing and approving of all entry/removal content from any source.
Sect. 3 - Secretary/Treasurer - shall:
• Keep minutes of all meetings and attend to all correspondence of the Corporation.
• Keep the books of all accounts, assure expenses are submitted in writing with receipts attached, deposit all money in the general fund of the Corporation and issue checks when authorized by the membership.
• Submit a financial report at each meeting of the Corporation
• Provide, at the end of each season, income and expense projections for the following year.
• Recommend the appropriate Active, Dual, and Inactive membership dues and recommend the appropriate level of fines to cover the Corporation's expenses.
• Submit the list of approved officials' names, addresses, telephone numbers and assignment classifications of members in good standing, along with a copy of the MHSOA By-law related to assignment classifications, to the Secretary/Treasurer of the NYSPHSAA and other assigning and regulating groups as required.
• Send written notification to any member who is fined or suspended. The reason for the fine or suspension, as well as what action is required to return the member to good standing, will be detailed in the notification.
• Report the names of members not in good standing, suspended or expelled and the reason for this action.
Sect. 4 - Interpreter - shall:
• Attend NYSPHSAA meetings, conduct soccer clinics for prospective officials prior to the first official meeting of the season.
• Conduct a rules interpretation clinic for all members.
• Conduct 3- man clinics for the Corporation.
• Supervise the administration of the rules examination.
• Represent the Corporation at coaches' meetings and serve as the official contact for the Corporation on questions of rules and procedures.
• Receive, review, compile and utilize WRITTEN partner's game performance information submitted by active Corporation members to help mentor, better focus instruction and provide input to the full Board of Directors during their assignment classification verification process.
Sect. 5 - Directors - shall audit the financial records of the Corporation on an annual basis and present the audit results and recommendations to the membership. Directors will assist the Officers in conducting the affairs of the Corporation as members of the Board of Directors.


Sect. 1 - Shall be comprised of the four elected Officers, the four elected Directors and the immediate Past President. A vacancy in the position of Past President shall not be filled.
Sect. 2 - A quorum for the transaction of business shall be five Board of Directors (Board) members.
Sect. 3 - Shall have the power to:
• Conduct the affairs of the Corporation between regularly scheduled meetings.
• Serve as the Review Committee for any school or party against any member or officer of the Corporation. Shall hold hearings on such complaints and members shall be given full opportunity to be heard in their own defense.
• Immediately suspend members of the Corporation for violations of this Constitution and By-Laws.
• Determine that a member is not "in good standing" as specified in Article IV - Membership Requirements, Sect. 4.
Sect. 4 - Shall recommend:
• New/changes in policies and activities.
• Members for consideration to the Mid-Hudson chapter of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.
Sect. 5 - Shall:
• Accept or reject requests for excused absence at the meetings and rule on fines as specified in the By-Laws.
• Verify assignment classification and membership status.


Sect. 1 - The Nominating Committee shall seek, interview, vet and recommend one candidate for each elected officer position and four candidates for the Board of Directors positions. This 'slate of candidates' shall be presented at a meeting of the Corporation immediately preceding the meeting at which elections are scheduled to occur.
Sect. 2 - Following the presentation of the 'slate of candidates' by the Nominating Committee, nominations from the floor may be made for inclusion on the ballot at the Election Meeting providing the nominee has agreed to serve if elected.
Sect. 3 - The Corporation web site shall be updated immediately following the Nominating Meeting so that the membership has the names and position to which each has been nominated at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the voting. If this is not possible, the Nominating Committee must notify the membership of this 'slate of candidates' by email.
Sect. 4 - Whenever the expression "vote of members" is used in the Constitution and By-laws of this Corporation, it shall be understood to mean by vote of active members 'in good standing' present at a duly constituted Regular or Special Meeting, a quorum being present.
Sect. 5 - The election of officers and directors shall take place at a Regular or Special meeting providing the proper notice/list of candidates has been communicated to the membership. Write-in votes shall be allowed.
Sect. 6 - The order of voting during the election process shall be:
» President
» Vice-president
» Secretary/Treasurer
» Interpreter
» Board of Directors
Sect. 7 - The candidate receiving the most votes for a contested office shall be the winner. The four director candidates with the highest number of votes shall become the Board of Directors. A tie vote for any officer position or the fourth director position will require an immediate re-vote of the tied candidates only.


Sect. 1 - This Corporation has the inherent right to make and enforce its own rules and punish an offender, the extreme penalty, being expulsion. Reasons for expulsion include, but are not limited to, violations of the Constitution and bringing the Corporation or the game into disrepute.
Sect. 2 - When a charge is made against a member, it shall be referred to an Ethics Committee appointed by the President. If the Ethics Committee report recommends expulsion, it shall present a resolution stating the charges and fixing the time of the trial.
Sect. 3 - The Secretary/Treasurer shall send the accused a written notice to appear before the Corporation and at the same time furnish the accused with a copy of the charges. A failure to obey the summons is cause enough for summary expulsion.
Sect. 4 - The Trial shall be conducted using Part II, Article XIII, Section 75. Trial of Members of Societies, of Robert's Rules of Order as a guide.
The expulsion of a member shall require a two-thirds vote of members present at a properly convened meeting.


Upon the dissolution of the Corporation, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the Corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.


Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Certificate, no part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officer, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensations for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of the Corporation. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for political office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or by (b) a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.


Amendments to this Constitution may be made by a two-thirds vote of members. Notice of amendments must be presented to the membership at least ten days prior to any vote.

amended: 10/23/2019
amended: 09/04/2018
amended: 10/23/2017
Enacted: 09/21/2010



Sect. 1 - Members shall be designated into assignment classifications by the Board of Directors. The Board will review the previously attained experience and credentials of new members and determine the appropriate initial assignment classification. Transfer-in members must present a letter from their former association outlining their ranking, the number of games worked, the current status of their membership, as well as any other pertinent information.
Sect. 2 - The assignment classifications are:
Class 3 - Primarily assigned matches between Modified teams and may be assigned JV matches. An official who has not refereed twenty matches as a High School Official or as a USSF Referee must be so classified. An active member with twenty or more matches may also be designated Class 3 if the Board of Directors judges the official to be in need of improvement in interpreting and enforcing the rules of the game and/or managing and communicating with players, coaches, or other officials; or if a member has not officiated in two or more immediate past seasons or who may be judged guilty of having violated any section of Article V - Responsibilities of Membership.
Class 2 - Primarily assigned matches between JV teams and between Modified teams, but may be assigned Varsity matches. An official who has refereed twenty matches but fewer than forty matches as a High School Official or as a USSF Referee may be so classified.
Class 1 - Primarily assigned Varsity matches, but may be assigned JV and Modified matches if needed. An official who has refereed 20 Varsity matches as a High School Official, may be so classified.
Class 1A - Primarily assigned Varsity matches, but may be assigned JV and Modified matches if needed. An official that has 3-man experience may be considered for 3-man games with BOCES.
Sect. 3 - Members may appeal their assignment classification, in writing, to the Board of Directors.
Sect. 4 - The Board of Directors will notify members immediately following their initial and, during the officiating season, of any change in their assignment classification. Also, the committee shall annually review/classify each active member at the conclusion of the Fall season.


Sect. 1 - Each member of the referee team must dress alike. Shirt color, sleeve length and sock color must match.
Sect. 2 - The Primary uniform shirt is the NISOA Gold Grid. The Secondary uniform shirt is the NISOA Orange Grid. Any referee shirt is acceptable so long as all members of the referee team match.
Sect. 3 - The Primary uniform sock is black with three white stripes. A colored stripe that conforms to the uniform shirt color is acceptable so long as all members of the referee team match.
Sect. 4 - Black shorts are to be worn at all times. Long pants and warm-up pants are not permitted.
Sect. 5 - Hats and sunglasses are discouraged unless they are required by the referee, to better see, to officiate the game; or for health reasons.
Sect. 6 - Each member shall possess the primary shirts in both long and short sleeves.
Sect. 7 - All, except first-year members, must also possess the secondary uniform shirts in both long and short sleeves.


Sect. 1 - Meeting notifications as well as all other written communications to members may be accomplished via e-mail or regular mail.
Sect. 2 - A quorum for the transaction of business at a Regular or Special Meeting of the membership shall be 50% of active members in 'good standing'.
Sect. 3 - Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all meetings of the Corporation except as otherwise specifically ordered herein.
Sect. 4 - The Board of Directors shall schedule a minimum of three (four during an election year) Regular Meetings and one Annual Dinner Meeting between July 1 and November 30. A Regular Meeting schedule, with all mandatory meeting dates indicated, shall be announced immediately following their winter meeting. The date for the Annual Dinner Meeting will be determined at the second Regular Meeting of the Corporation. The Board of Directors will endeavor to schedule and notify the membership of the date/time/location of all special purpose meetings or training sessions as soon as such dates are firmed.
Sect. 5 - Active members must attend all Regular and Special Meetings. The agenda of these meetings shall normally include a mix of education and business content.
Sect. 6 - The initial Regular Meeting shall be called the Interpretation Meeting. All active members must attend this meeting as required by the NYSPHAA Five Point Plan. If unable to attend the MHSOA Interpretation Meeting, the active member may attend the Interpretation Meeting of another NYSPHAA Referee Association and submit written certification to the MHSOA Secretary/Treasurer.
Sect. 7 - At the third Regular Meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present one slate of officers and directors who have agreed to serve if elected.
Sect. 8 - In an election year, the fourth Regular Meeting shall be called the Election Meeting.
Sect. 9 - If priority/important matters require membership review/approval prior to the initial Regular Meeting of the following year, the President may schedule a Special Meeting which may be at the venue and prior to the Annual Dinner Meeting.
Sect. 10 - An active member unable to attend a Regular or Special Meeting must advise the Secretary/Treasurer in writing of the reason for the absence prior to or within 24 hours following the absence. An active member who fails to attend a Regular or Special Meeting without being excused shall be assessed the fine specified in By-law Article V - Fines and Suspensions.
Sect. 11 - Outside Dual Members may attend MHSOA meetings but are not required to do so. However, they must attend an Interpretation Meeting per NYSPHSAA requirements, as well as comply with the attendance requirements of their home association.


Sect. 1 - The Corporation will maintain a standing Ethics Committee. The President shall appoint three Corporation members, one of whom shall be chairman. Among other duties this committee may develop and apply guidelines for ensuring ethical behavior and for resolving ethical conflicts in the Corporation. The Ethics Committee shall make recommendations to the Board of Directors and to the membership in matters of suspension and expulsion of members. It shall rule on members' eligibility to officiate contests when a conflict of interest is perceived.
Sect. 2 - The Corporation will maintain a standing Nominating Committee. The President shall appoint three Corporation members, one of whom shall be chairman. The committee shall solicit and interview potential candidates for the positions of elected Officers and Directors.
Sect. 3 - The Corporation will maintain a standing Appeals Committee. The President shall appoint three Corporation members one of whom shall be the chairman/chairwoman. The Appeals Committee shall hear all Corporation members that wish to appeal any suspensions. The Appeals Committee shall have the recommendation power to either decrease or increase a member's suspension. The recommendation shall be presented to the President for approval of the Board of Directors.


Sect. 1 - Fines
A. Failure to take the online rules examination and provide proof of satisfactory results, by the date set by the Board of Directors. [Constitution, Article IV - Membership Requirements, Sect. 5, E.4.]
Members will lose all games previously assigned and will not be assigned any additional games for the remainder of the season.
B. Failure to pay all fines assessed or the annual membership dues on time. [Constitution, Article IV - Membership Requirements, Sect. 5, C.]
C. Failure to attend a meeting as specified in these By-Laws, "Article III - Meetings and Procedures".
$40.00 per unexcused absence
D. Failure to participate in a peer rating system, as established by the membership [Constitution, Article V - Responsibilities of Membership, Sect. 7] $50.00
E. Failure to officiate a confirmed game assignment (No-show). [Constitution, Article V - Responsibilities of Membership, Sect. 8]
Equal to fee of confirmed game assignment
F. Fines may be waived by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Sect. 2 - Suspension - A member:
A. Shall be suspended for any serious violation of the Constitution.
B. Shall be suspended for officiating a match for less than the established fee. [Constitution, Article V - Responsibilities of Membership, Sect. 6]
C. May be suspended for repeated violations of the Constitution or By-laws.
D. May be suspended for failing to officiate in the approved uniform. [Constitution, Article V - Responsibilities of Membership, Sect. 4 and By-Laws, Article II - Uniform Requirements]
E. May appeal their suspension by submitting a written request to the President within 30 days of receiving a suspension notification. The appeal will then be forwarded to the Appeals Committee for consideration. All fines and suspensions shall have a "stay" until a decision by the Appeals Committee is heard and approved by the Board of Directors.


Sect. 1 - The President shall appoint a member from the Board of Directors to solicit nominations for the Tony Mastreani and Bill Garvey awards and for any other such recognition the Corporation may consider merited. The appointee shall coordinate the awards process including the posting of qualified nominees on the Corporation web site for membership vote with sufficient time for the Board of Directors to tally the votes and purchase the awards for their presentation at the year-end Corporation Dinner.
Sect. 2 - *** Tony Mastreani Rookie of the Year Award ***

This award recognizes a first or second year official for his/her enthusiasm and love of the game of soccer. The award consists of a plaque, up to $50 in value, and the waiver of the Corporation's membership dues for the next season. Nominees will consist of all eligible first and second year members.
Sect. 3 - *** Bill Garvey Coach of the Year Award ***

This award recognizes a head coach from a team that the Corporation services who is professional, courteous and exhibits a high level of sportsmanship toward his/her team, the opposition and match officials. The award consists of a plaque, up to $50 in value, and a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant. Nominations should be submitted to the member of the Board of Directors that has been appointed by the President. Coaches nominated for this award must not have won the award within the past 5 years. The nomination must contain the coach's name, school and level of competition (Girls/Boys - Varsity, JV, Modified) with information supporting why that coach should win the award.


Amendments to these By-Laws may be made by a majority vote of members.

By-Laws last updated: October 23, 2019
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