1.1 The name of the Association shall be the Racquetball Association of Ireland, “Cumann Liathroid Leadoige Na h-Eireann”. Referred to as the RAI where necessary in this constitution.
The Association shall be non-political and non-sectarian and have the following objectives.
2.1 Promote friendly relations between its members and to establish, maintain, conduct and promote interest and participation in the sport of racquetball.
2.2 Foster and promote participation in physical fitness programs through the sport of racquetball.
2.3 Provide, organise and supervise coaching clinics and referees programs and other educational programs of instruction in connection with the sport of racquetball.
2.4 Provide, organise and supervise tournaments and competitions of every nature for members of the Association and others in connection with the sport of racquetball, and to offer, grant and contribute towards prizes, awards and distinction in connection with such tournaments and competitions.
2.5 Provide for the sending of a worthy member(s) to tournaments and competitions of an international nature.
2.6 Represent and protect the interest of Irish Racquetball nationally and internationally.
2.7 Provide premises and other conveniences and facilities for the members of the association, and to equip, furnish and maintain same.
Membership of the Association is open to clubs and individuals who agree to abide by its Constitution, Bye laws and Rules as written.
Clubs are entitles to the following privileges:
4.1 To take part in competitions organised under the auspices of the Racquetball Association of Ireland, its provincial councils and clubs.
4.2 To represent the Racquetball Association of Ireland as specified on an International level in events of the (1*) European Racquetball Federation and (2*) International Racquetball Federation and other International events approved by the Racquetball Association of Ireland.
1* Referred to as the E.R.F. where necessary in this constitution.
2* Referred to as the I.R.F. where necessary in this constitution.
4.3 To appoint two delegates to attend and vote at General Meetings of the Association (individual members have no voting rights);
4.4 To receive Newsletters, Circulars, Notifications, Information etc., issued by the Association.
For organisational purposes the structure of the Association is as follows.
6.1 The Management and Control of the Property, funds and affairs of the Association shall be vested in the following committees:
6.2 Executive Committee
6.3 Provincial Councils
6.4 They shall be formed by the body as authorised in this constitution and shall consist of the officers as specified below. When their term of office expires, they may offer themselves for re-election. They shall be responsible for Racquetball in their jurisdiction as outlined and shall have the power to set up at their discretion temporary sub-committees which shall exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be delegated to them and who shall conduct their affairs according to the rules laid down for them.
7.1 Committee shall have as officers a President, Vice President, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer, Tournament Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Development Officer and Youth Development Officer.
7.2 Each Provincial Council shall be entitled to delegate a representative onto the Executive Committee.
7.3 Executive Committee members shall be elected at AGMs and shall hold office until the next AGM.
7.4 Provincial representatives are not elected at the AGMs.
7.5 A club may have a maximum of three members on the Executive
8. Provincial Council Committee Formation
8.1 Provincial Councils shall have as officers a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, General Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer as well as one member from each properly affiliated club in that Province.
8.2 Provincial Council Executive Committee Members shall be elected at Provincial AGMs and shall hold office until the next Provincial AGM. The Provincial Representatives to the National Executive Committee shall be appointed at the AGM of its Provincial Council.
9.1 Committee and General Meetings of the Association shall be held in accordance with requirements and standing orders relating thereto.
9.2 The secretary of that governing body shall call National and Provincial General Meetings.
10.1 AGMs shall be held at a venue and date appointed by the Executive Committee. At least one calendar months notice in writing of the AGM shall be given to member clubs and Provincial Councils. The governing body shall submit to the AGM the full, proper and audited accounts of the previous year together with their Annual Reports. At the National AGM the Executive committee shall submit to the meeting the independently audited reports of all committees and sub committees appointed by the Executive.
10.2 It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to furnish accounts in time for this audit. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to furnish proper and accurate minutes of the last AGM. for approval as well as proper and accurate minutes of any Extraordinary or Emergency General Meetings which have occurred since the last AGM. for approval, proposing and seconding.
The governing body may at any time, by giving 14 days notice in writing to member clubs and provincial councils call an Extraordinary General Meeting for the purpose of considering and question affecting the interests or constitution of the association and shall be bound to do so within two months of the receipt of a written requisition signed by half the total number of member clubs. The purpose of the meeting must be specified in the form of a resolution and circulated along with the official notice calling the Extraordinary General meeting.
11.1 Clubs and Provincial Councils must receive one calendar months notice to enable them to submit notices and nominations.
11.2 Clubs and Provincial Councils must be advised of all nominations and motions 10 days prior to the AGM.
11.3 Each Registered Club who has paid their affiliation fee 3 months prior to the AGM. has two votes.
11.4 Clubs / Delegates may only vote at AGMs on production of voting cards.
11.5 Each Provincial Representative has one vote.
11.6 Each member of the Executive Committee has one vote until his/her position is lost.
11.7 Members of the Executive Committee have the right to speak and vote.
11.8 The President has casting vote in tied decisions.
11.9 Proxy voting is forbidden and nominees must be present to accept positions.
11.10 Nominations for positions will be accepted from the floor of the meeting
11.11 Positions unfulfilled at AGMs or vacated during the course of the lifetime of any Executive Council can be filled by co-option. Provincial Councils should be consulted before any vacancy is filled.
11.12 No motion of which notice appears on the agenda shall be proceeded with in the absence of the club in whose name its stands.
11.13 The resolutions and motions passed at AGMs may not be rescinded or varied unless by notice of motion at the next AGM.
(a) Attendance and Standing Orders
(b) Presidents Address
(c) Minutes of previous AGM (and Extraordinary General Meetings if any occurred)
(d) Officers Report
(e) Director of Coaching Report
(f) Provincial Representatives Reports
(g) Election of Officers
(h) Notice of Motion
(I) Any other business
11.15 At AGMs, during debate, speakers must announce their name and club before they address the Chair and may not speak on a motion for more than three minutes unless invited to do so by the President.
11.16 The President shall have the power to adjourn the Meeting or settle points of discussion not otherwise dealt with in Standing Orders.
11.17 On the question of procedure, or interpretation of Standing Orders, the ruling of the President shall be final.
11.18 A resolution shall be decided by show of hands, unless a secret ballot is demanded by the President or by three Member Clubs present and entitled to vote. Resolutions adding to, altering or rescinding the Constitution or any part thereof shall be decided by a Two Thirds majority of voting Members present, all other resolutions shall be decided by simple majority. In the case of equality of votes, the President shall be entitled to a casting vote.
11.19 It shall be competent for any Member to move without comment the resolution “That the question be now put”. If such resolutions are seconded and supported by a majority of members, the Chairman shall call upon the proposer to make his reply, after which the question shall be put forthwith without further debate.
11.20 Breaches of Order (National AGM)
(a) A Member is guilty of a breach of order who:
§ Uses objectionable words, and refused to withdraw them and offer a satisfactory apology.
§ Uses offensive words in respect of another member.
§ Willfully disturbs the orderly conduct of the business.
§ Disobeys a lawful order from the Chair.
(b) Any person who commits a breach of order may, on being declared by the President to be guilty of a breach of order, be penalised on resolution of the meeting, by being ejected from the Meeting.
12. Standing Orders (National AGM)
12.1 The proposer of a resolution or an amendment thereto may speak for three minutes.
12.2 A delegate speaking to a resolution or an amendment must not exceed two minutes
12.3 The proposer of a resolution or an amendment may speak a second time for two minutes before a vote is taken, but no other delegate may speak a second time to the same resolution or amendment.
12.4 The President may, at any time, consider a matter has been sufficiently discussed, call on the proposer for a reply and, when that has been given, a vote must be taken.
12.5 Standing Orders shall not be suspended for the purpose of considering any matter not on the Agenda, except by the consent of a majority equal to two thirds of those present and entitled to vote.
13. Duties of Officers elected at National AGM
President Preside, Chair Executive Meetings, Direct Association on policy, planning implementation and administration.
Vice President Sub for President, and to assist President in carrying out his/her duties.
General Secretary General Work, Correspondence, Cospoir, dealing with IRF, ERF, Olympic Council, Club Communications and provinces.
Assistant General Secretary Minutes, Information, Working with General Secretary or on duties defined by council
Treasurer Controls Finances, Reports Quarterly to Executive on state of Finances; signs all cheques; monitors all financial plans and programs.
Public Relations Officer Creating an awareness of Racquetball under the guidance of the RAI(Publicity, Results etc).
Tournament Secretary Responsible for all tournaments at National Level, draws and seeding lists as required; sanctioning all events; setting standards for court facilities; controlling the official calendar of Events; reviewing all applications for regrading.
Development Officer Developing and promoting game in conjunction with Provincial Councils, implementing the strategy and future planning program as defined by the Executive.
Youth Development Officer Development / Coaching involvement at under age levels along with assisting the development programs of the Association; Chairperson of Juvenile Sub Committee.
14. Provincial AGMs: Format/Agenda Standing Orders
14.1 Provincial AGMs must be held every 12 months as designated by the Provincial Executive. Clubs must be advised of intention to accept motions and nominations 4 weeks prior to the AGM and be advised of the motions and nominations 10 days prior to the meeting taking place. Clubs have one vote at the meeting. Officers have one vote each and Provincial Representative also has one vote. No one person has more than one vote except the Chairperson who has a casting vote in the event of a tied vote
14.2 The rules governing such meetings and agenda should be consistent with the format used for the national AGM and Clubs voting must have been affiliated to the RAI one calendar month prior to the meeting.
15.1 Meetings shall be called by the Secretary, who shall specify 7 days prior to the meeting, the agenda for the meeting. The minutes for the previous meeting must be included along with such notice.
15.2 The quorum for National Executive Meetings shall be half the elected officers with the President and/or Vice President in attendance.
15.3 Standing Orders rule 11.21 of the AGM will apply when necessary.
16.1 There will be a Juvenile Sub Committee responsible for Juvenile affairs under the wing of the RAI
16.2 The Executive Committee will be empowered to appoint such other sub-committees as required
17.1 Meetings shall be called by the Secretary, who shall specify the agenda 7 days prior to the meeting. The minutes of the previous meeting must be included with such notice.
17.2 The quorum for Provincial Executive Meetings shall be half the elected officers with the Chairperson and/or Vice Chairperson in attendance.
18.1 The Association shall be a member of the International Racquetball Federation.
18.2 The Association shall be a member of the European Racquetball Federation
18.3 The Association shall be a member of Cospoir and present Annual Audits to that body as required.
Affiliations to the Racquetball Association of Ireland
18.4 Annual Subscriptions to the RAI shall be as resolved by the AGM from time to time.
18.5 Clubs or Individuals shall not be entitled to any privileges until their subscriptions have been paid.
18.6 Players must be affiliated as individuals or members of paid up affiliated clubs before being allowed to take part in open tournaments or competitions.
18.7 Tournament Organisers must contribute €1.50 per player towards International Funds from all tournaments sanctioned by the RAI.
19.1 The calendar of Events is the responsibility of the Tournament Secretary.
20.1 An affiliated Club must have a minimum of 8 members.
20.2 Members transferring from Club to Club must notify the Association General Secretary in advance, and a copy of this notification must be sent to the club he/she is leaving before he/she commences to play for any new Club. A player transferring from one club to another must be a member of his/her new club for six months before being permitted to play in the All Ireland Club Championships.
21. Director of Coaching & Coaching Development
21.1 The Executive shall appoint a Director of Coaching. Clubs shall be notified of the position of National Coach and be invited to nominate suitably qualified persons for the position. The position of National Coach shall obtain for two years before coming up for renewal.
The duties of the Director of Coaching shall be to develop a coaching strategy for the Association, assist with Team Managers in the preparation of National teams, assist tutors and coaches attend courses as determined by NCTC and the RAI, grade and monitor the progress of new coaches at club and provincial level. The Director of Coaching is required to present a report to the AGM of the Association. Normal expenses as paid the members of the Executive shall also be paid the National Coach.
22.1 Before dissolution of the Association , the Executive Committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting of all its members.
22.2 If upon the dissolution of the Association, there remain after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any assets whatsoever, these will be kept by three trustees appointed by an Extraordinary Meeting of the Association. Any such assets will be transferred to a new Association fostering racquetball in Ireland so long as it is officially recognised by the Irish Sports Council or any such body nominated by the Irish Sports Council to act on its behalf.
In Open Provincial, Open Club or Open International Events all valid members of National Associations shall be eligible to compete.
Participation qualifications can be acquired by:
(a) Having a minimum of 6 months bona fide residence in the area prior to the date of the championships.
(b) Being a member of a club in that area.
23.3 Competitions in General
Members of Clubs within the Association shall be eligible to compete in all competitions under the jurisdiction of the RAI, ERF and IRF.
24.1 Expenses will be paid to Executive Committee Members who travel by car at the approved rate.
24.2 If more than two Members travel together only one set of petrol expenses is payable.
24.3 No meal allowances will be provided.
24.4 Committee Members traveling by public transport will be refunded in full for such travel expenses.
25.1 All matters involving the grading of members shall be in accordance with the bye- laws of the Association.
25.2 Members shall not publish grades other than those recorded in the National Tournament Secretaries Seeding or Grading Lists.
25.3 Players will be seeded in Open and National Competitions in all grades except “D” and Novice (e.g. the top 4 seeds be kept separate until the Semi Final Stage).
25.4 In Open Events in Open and National Competitions seedings will be as per the seeding list. Only the top 4 players off the list need be seeded.
25.5 In “B” and “C” Events in Open and National Competitions the seeding of the top 4 players will be at the discretion of the Tournament Secretary.
25.6 Seeded players or pairs are exempt from preliminary round games except where the entry is less than 8.
25.7 The following is the promotion process in singles competition:
A player who wins a novice event is promoted to D.
A player who wins a D event is promoted to C.
A player who wins a C event is promoted to B/C.
A player who wins a B/C event is promoted to B
A player who wins two B or B/C events is promoted to Open. (except for players who are 50 years of age or over).
Note: This promotion process is confined to singles events at sanctioned tournaments.
A player winning an event above his/her current grade can apply to the Executive Committee for promotion to be restricted to a single grade. The Executive Committee must approve any such application.
A player winning a European Tour event can apply to the Executive Committee for promotion to a comparable RAI singles grade. The Executive Committee must approve any such application.
25.8 Up graded players will remain in their new category for at least three years before becoming eligible for regrading. Applications for regrading will be considered between the 1st January and 1st March each year. Application must be in writing to the Tournament Secretary stating competition history and reason for application.
25.9 The seeding list will be used as the approved guide for all Open Tournaments sanctioned by the Racquetball Association of Ireland.
25.10 The seeding list will cover the results of all open tournaments sanctioned by the RAI, i.e. open, overage and underage.
25.11 The seeding list backdates to cover the previous twelve months tournaments with no duplication of events within.
25.12 Seeding points will be allotted as follows:-
25.13 Seeding points are doubled for National Championships.
25.14 Draws consist of :
25.15 Up-to-date seeding lists will be sent to host clubs before each Open Tournament and to all clubs at the end of each season.
25.16 Women may play in Men’s singles events (except in the National Championships). They may play in three divisions below their current Womens’grades.
25.17 A player returning to competitions who has previously won an Open tournament will be placed/seeded at either no.3 seed or no.6 seed for the next 3 consecutive tournaments or until a seeding position proper, i.e. top 8 is established.
26. Gradings, Promotions and Rules (Doubles)
26.1 Doubles pairs must wear matching colours.
27.1 Deleted 2000 AGM
28.1 The Association Executive will use panels of players under the wing of International Development to support and supplement the recognised and approved means of choosing its International Teams.
29.1 Membership of the Association shall be on the clear understanding that no official of the Association shall be liable for any claims arising out of a Competition or Events held under the auspices of the association.
30.1 The Association will hold the following National Championships each year for Men and Women:-
Open : all Players
B : all Players except Open Players
C : all Players except Open & B
D : all Players except Open B & C
Novice : all Players except Open, B, C, D
Singles Overage : 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+
Novice is defined as:
(a) A division confined to players who have never won a singles event at a sanctioned tournament.
(b) A player who wins a novice event at a sanctioned tournament is no longer a novice and is promoted to a “D” category player from that time onwards. He/she is not eligible to play on novice team events from that date.
(c) Winners of Overage, Open, B, C, or D Singles events are not considered “Novices” for the purpose of this category.
Open & B
Doubles for Open Tournaments shall be 1. Open Doubles 2. C/D/Novice Doubles.
In Junior National Championships the progression of competitors will be from Provincial to National level. The winner and runner-up, 3rd & 4th placed players in each Division at Provincial level will go forward to contest the National Championships.
Junior “B” Singles: National Junior B Singles Championships to be held each year. Format to be decided by Executive.
The Association will hold a Junior Irish Open Championships each year. Format to be decided by Executive.
30.1 Promoted players will be permitted to take part in the National Championships following the tournament in which they were promoted at their last known category before promotion i.e. they may move back one singles division only and irrespective of outcome, revert to promoted category after national championship.
§ There must be 8 entries before a Men’s National Championship Singles event can be held in any category.
§ There must be 4 entries before a Women’s National Championship Singles event can be held in any category.
§ There must be 6 entries before a National Championship over 35 Singles event can be held.
§ There must be 4 entries before a National Championship over 45 Singles event can be held.
§ There must be four entries before and National Championship Doubles event can be held.
30.4 The awards for National Championship Events are :-
(1) 1st Golden Medal (s), 2nd Silver Medal (s), 3rd Bronze Medal (s)
(2) A bronze medal will be awarded to losing semi-finalists when 8 or more Singles players or 8 pairs participate.
30.5 The Executive Committee will notify Clubs that they are open to applications to host National Championships at least 6 weeks before the venues are decided.
30.6 Players playing in national Championships (which are being played over a weekend) are only allowed to take part in a maximum of two events during that weekend.
30.7 In the National Championships, all competitors must have been resident in Ireland for a period of at least 6 months prior to the Championships.
30.8 Players taking part in National Championships or Open sanctioned Tournaments must be members of clubs affiliated to the Association or have individual memberships of the Association.
31. National Team
31.1 For International teams a Team Manager and two Selectors (know as the Selection Committee) will be chosen by the Executive of the RAI to organise panels of players from which they will pick teams to represent Ireland at World Championships and European Championships.
Clubs shall be notified of the positions of Manager and Selectors and be invited to nominate suitably qualified persons for the position.
The above positions shall obtain for one International Championship before coming up for renewal.
Players to be selected on panels must be;
Players on the panel cannot be members of the Selection Committee.
31.2 The team selected should elect their own Captains (one Male, one Female) to liaise with the Manager as required.
31.3 To represent Ireland in International Competitions a member of a Club must prove
Irish nationality by producing an Irish Passport. Where there is a problem of joint nationality such competitors may only represent one country and thereafter be subject to the E.R.F and I.R.F Rules on such matters including having to wait 2 years since his/her last international representation if changing countries.
31.4 A code of conduct will apply for National team members and officials taking part in International events. This code of conduct to be signed by participants and officials upon appointment. Failure to sign will lead to automatic forfeiture of position.
31.5 Players who have emigrated, are permitted to submit themselves for inclusion and/or selection on national teams provided that: -
§ They are full members of an affiliated club here in Ireland.
§ They have taken part in two Open events in Ireland in the previous 12 months.
§ They have not represented any other country in the previous two years.
§ The applicants be approved by and meet the standards set by the Executive of the RAI
32.1 Proof of age must be produced.
32.2 Underage Events: these competitions shall be confined to players who are under the age required on January 1st of the tournament year.
32.3 Overage Events: age is determined as of the first day of the tournament.
33.1 On matters of procedure and Playing Rules not specified in the conditions or Bye Laws, the I.R.F. Rules shall be the Legal and Technical Rules accepted by the Association.
34.1 Seeding points are only available at tournaments where permission has been applied for and granted by the Tournament Secretary of the Racquetball Association of Ireland.
34.2 Clubs wishing to host Tournaments and requesting permission from the RAI should apply in writing to the General Secretary or Tournament Secretary stating the Dates, Events and Facilities.
34.3 Women’s events at Sanctioned Tournaments (excluding National Championships) be played on the “Olympic Format” (Recommendation at 1997 AGM).
34.4 Men’s Open events at Sanctioned Tournaments will provide a second competition for first round losers. (Recommendation at 1997 AGM)
34.5 All Open tournaments, sanctioned by the RAI must include an under 18 boys and under 18 girls singles event and an Over 40 Men’s and Over 40 Women’s singles events.
34.6 Sanctioned Tournaments will be included in the Calendar of Events.
34.7 Tournament organizers must adhere to the Constitution when running tournaments.
35.1 There must be at least 4 Singles entries or 4 Doubles pairs in an event before a competition is held at Provincial Level.
35.2 Penalties for late arrival at competitions are as follows:-
§ a player not in court 10 minutes after official starting time forfeits the 1st game
§ a player not in court 15 minutes after official starting time forfeits the complete match.
35.3 In all tournaments the loser referees the next game.
35.4 Lensed eye guards are compulsory in all tournaments, no exceptions permitted. Failure to wear lensed eyeguards during a game will result in immediate forfeiture of game in progress and/or completed.
36. All-Ireland Club Championships / Inter Provincials
36.1 The club hosting the All-Ireland Club Championships finals will be permitted to enter teams in each event without having to play in the Provincial Qualifiers.
37.1 The regulations as set out in the Racquetball Association of Ireland Disciplinary Procedures and Notice of Due Process (Appendix 1) shall deal with all disciplinary matters.
38.1 The regulations as set out in The Doping Control Policy of the Racquetball Association of Ireland (Appendix 2) shall deal with anti doping matters.
38.2 The penalties that will apply in the case of a positive result or refusal of the doping control shall be those penalties as set out in the (a) the International Racquetball Federation Constitution (b) the International Olympic Committee Anti Doping Policy Document.
38.3 The Racquetball Association of Ireland accept the International Olympic Committee list of Doping Classes and Methods as amended from time to time.
39. Code of Ethics & Good Practice for Children’s Sports
39.1 The Racquetball Association of Ireland is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members. Every individual in the Racquetball Association of Ireland should at all time, show respect and understanding for their rights, safety and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Association and guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport, Our Duty to Care (DHSS, Child Care Unit NI.