United States Fencing Association
Capitol Division By-Laws

Approved by the Membership on December 18, 1993
as Amended July 30, 1995, July 25, 1996, July 19, 1997, August 9, 1999, July 29, 2000, June 23, 2001, June 23, 2002, July 20, 2008 and July 18, 2010

Article I
Name and Affiliation

The name of the Division shall be the Capitol Division of the United States Fencing Association, Inc.

The Division shall hereinafter be referred to as "THE DIVISION" and the United States Fencing Association, Inc. shall be referred to as "USFA"

THE DIVISION is an administrative unit of the USFA, with jurisdiction over the following geographic areas: the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in the State of Maryland.

THE DIVISION is subject to general supervision and control under the provisions in the USFA Bylaws and Operations Manual.

The fiscal year of THE DIVISION will be that of the USFA.

Article II
Purposes and Objectives

The purposes and objectives of THE DIVISION are:

1. To support, enhance, and develop the sport of fencing.

2. To provide local competitions and tournaments.

3. To assist Divisional fencers to reach their full potential in fencing.

4. To aid and assist the USFA in all objectives and purposes.

Article III

Section 1. Any person residing within the boundaries of THE DIVISION or representing a fencing club who regularly practices within this same area shall be eligible for membership in THE DIVISION. No member of THE DIVISION may be a member of any other division of the USFA.

Section 2. Classes of membership shall be the same as that designated from time to time by the USFA.

Section 3. Membership may be transferred into this Division provided that the transferee has a current valid membership card from the USFA.

Section 4. Any member in good standing, 18 years old or older at the time of a membership meeting (or ballot due date) shall be qualified to vote.

Section 5. Annual divisional dues shall be determined by the USFA with the concurrence of THE DIVISION. THE DIVISION may, upon majority vote of the membership, add an additional fee or dues for the Divisional expenses.

Section 6. The Executive Committee of THE DIVISION shall prepare the fencing schedule and shall determine the conditions and restrictions governing the qualifications, entries, and conduct of all competitions under its jurisdiction.

Section 7. Fencers who are found to have entered a competition without being members of the USFA or who have failed to pay the entrance fee for a competition or any other DIVISION-sponsored event for which a fee is required will be removed from the competition or event. If the offense is not discovered until after the conclusion of the competition, the offender shall pay the amount due and reimburse THE DIVISION for any debts or fees incurred due to the offense and shall forfeit any awards and/or classifications earned in the competition. Any fencer who attempts to enter a competition or event that is sanctioned by THE DIVISION and who is in debt to THE DIVISION shall be subject to an entry fee equal to the amount of the debt in addition to the entry fee normally assessed.

Section 8. THE DIVISION will conduct fencing tournaments which include all those which determine DIVISION and sectional championships, are qualifying tournaments for regional or national championships, or are part of regional or national circuits. THE DIVISION may sponsor other tournaments as determined by the Executive Committee. For each Division-sponsored tournament the Executive Committee will:
a. Set entry fees,
b. Set a budget covering manager and referee fees, awards and incidental items,
c. Arrange for the site at which it is to be held,
d. Negotiate the fee for the use of the site,
e. Provide meet manager(s) and referees, and
f. Have the provider(s) of scoring machines, strips and other meet supplies and equipment ensure that these items are in place and in working order.

THE DIVISION's Clubs may sponsor their own tournaments. THE DIVISION will have no financial responsibility whatsoever for these tournaments. With Executive Committee approval, club-sponsored tournaments may be posted on THE DIVISION's schedule of competition. Clubs may use DIVISION-owned equipment for their tournaments under conditions determined by the Executive Committee.

Both DIVISION-sponsored and club-sponsored tournaments will be considered official if they meet all the following conditions:
a. The venue, dates, and times of the tournament shall be published on the DIVISION's schedule of events at least 30 days prior to its scheduled date. The posting will designate the club-sponsored tournament as OFFICIAL.
b. There is a member of the executive committee or a named representative of the committee present at the tournament. (The designated meet manager of division sponsored tournaments will be considered to be a 'named representative'.) The purpose of this representative is to assure that the tournament is held in accordance to USFA rules.
c. The meet manager transmits to THE DIVISION Secretary the tournament's results within two weeks or, in the case of qualifiers, in time to be reported to the USFA, whichever is sooner; and
d. For DIVISION-sponsored tournaments only, the meet manager transmits her/his report, along with the tournament's entry fee receipts to THE DIVISION Treasurer within the same two-week period. For privately sponsored tournaments, the meet manager transmits the tournament's entry fees collected under the conditions of Article III, Section 7 above, minus the entry fees normally assessed, to THE DIVISION Treasurer within the same two-week period.

Article IV
Officers and Duties

The officers of THE DIVISION shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. All officers shall take office the first day of August next following their election, and shall hold office until the following July 31, or until their successors are elected and have justified.

The duties of the officers shall be as follows:

Section 1. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of THE DIVISION and its Executive Committee, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to that office and are not inconsistent with these By-Laws. The Chairperson has the responsibility for filing with the Secretary and the Treasurer of the USFA the annual reports called for under the Corporate By-Laws of the USFA and the standing votes of the Board of Directors. The preparation of these reports may be delegated to the Secretary and Treasurer of THE DIVISION. The Chairperson may, from time to time, assign officers and members of the Executive Committee to chair standing or ad hoc committees. The Chairperson shall be ex officio member of all committees. The Chairperson of THE DIVISION is responsible for the custody and maintenance of all Division equipment.

Section 2. Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson, in the absence of the Chairperson, shall perform the duties of the Chairperson and any other duties assigned by the Chairperson and/or the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Secretary. The Secretary shall conduct all official correspondence, keep a record of the meetings of THE DIVISION, issue notices to members of all meetings, and perform such duties as may be assigned by the Chairperson of THE DIVISION or any other proper authority. The Secretary shall be official custodian of the records of THE DIVISION.

Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall, with the assistance of the Executive Committee, present a budget for the following fiscal year at the Annual Meeting. Changes made upon the budget shall be presented at the next Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall keep the accounts of THE DIVISION, receive all monies, fees and dues, pay all bills approved by the Executive Committee, and preserve all vouchers for such disbursements. The Treasurer shall, at the Annual Meeting of THE DIVISION, submit a report of the financial transactions of the preceding period. All disbursements shall be made by check from the Divisional checking account. Such disbursements must be supported by receipts stating the nature of the transaction and the payee. All funds of THE DIVISION shall be maintained in an FDIC/FSLIC insured account under the name of THE DIVISION, checking and/or savings. No amounts above $300.00 will be dispersed without Executive Committee approval, and no amounts over $1,500.00, not part of the budget presented at the Annual Meeting, will be dispersed without the approval of THE DIVISION's membership by a majority vote. Said vote may be taken by either mail or at an Annual or Special Meeting. The Treasurer will provide upon written request of at least ten (10) members of THE DIVISION, current financial records within one (1) month of the request. The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairperson of THE DIVISION or other proper authority.

Section 5. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined for any year upon majority vote of the members of THE DIVISION voting, in person, at the Annual Meeting. In the event of such a vote, the candidates for the office of Secretary and the Office of Treasurer, nominated pursuant to Article VII of these By-Laws, shall all be deemed candidates for the combined office.

Section 6. Any officer of THE DIVISION may be removed from office by the following procedure:
1. A petition by twenty five (25) voting members of THE DIVISION, and
2. An election in which the officer receives less than a majority.
3. The election may be held at either an Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting of the Divisional membership.

Article V
Management by the Executive Committee

Section 1. Composition. The management of the Division shall be vested in an Executive Committee consisting of the officers of THE DIVISION, three Members-at-Large (if not already an officer of THE DIVISION), and one representative from each USFA member club within THE DIVISION whose membership, as of the first day of the membership year, consists of at least five members of THE DIVISION. The method for determining club representatives is at the discretion of the member club. The official contact of the member club must inform, in writing, the name of its representative to the Secretary of THE DIVISION. All members of the Executive Commitee (officers, members-at-large, and club representatives) must be members of the Capitol Division of the USFA during the season in which they serve.

Section 2. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of one-third (1/3) of the members of the Executive Committee or three (3) members, whichever is the greater.

Section 3. Meetings. Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on a regular basis at such time and place as shall be designated by the Chairperson, and shall be also called upon the written request of three (3) or more members of the Committee. All Committee members shall be given not less than forty eight (48) hours prior notice of all special meetings. All meetings except those in which disciplinary action is to be taken or contemplated against any Executive Committee member or Divisional member shall be open to the Divisional membership.

Section 4. Email. Motions before the Executive Committee may be proposed and voted upon through electronic mail. Motions may be made by any member of the Executive Committee, but only those sent by the Secretary, or Acting Secretary as defined below, may be voted upon. If the Secretary is unable to fulfill the duties prescribed herein, then the Chairperson shall appoint another member of the Executive Committee as Acting Secretary to fulfill the duties under this Section. Upon request, the proposer will provide, in a timely fashion, the name of any member of the Executive Committee whom the proposer knows has expressed an opinion about the motion. The Secretary or Acting Secretary must forward all Motions received for voting within two weeks of the date of receipt, and a period of one additional week shall be allowed to complete the voting process, although the motion may be considered approved or rejected upon receipt of a majority vote. Votes shall be sent to the Secretary or Acting Secretary via electronic mail or telephone and the Secretary or Acting Secretary shall count the vote as valid upon reasonable assurance of its authenticity. Any member of the Executive Committee who fails to submit a vote in the prescribed time shall be considered to have abstained. The email sent from the Secretary or Acting Secretary will have a subject that identifies it as a motion, a brief descriptive title of the motion, and the date and time for the cessation of voting. The body of the email will clearly state the motion, who is proposing the motion, and voting instructions.

Section 5. Any member of the Executive Committee who fails to perform his or her duties may be removed by the Executive Committee using the following procedures:
a. Written notification of the causes for removal must be provided to the entire Executive Committee, including the member to be removed.
b. At any meeting in which the removal of any member of the Executive Committee is contemplated, three quarters (3/4) of the members of the Executive Committee must be present.
c. The member so charged has the right to appear at the meeting and present any arguments against removal.
d. The member who is contemplated for removal has no vote at this meeting.
e. Three quarters (3/4) of the Executive Committee members present at the hearing must vote for removal before the member is removed.

Section 6. Vacancy in Office of Chairperson. In case of a vacancy in the office of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall become Chairperson.

Section 7. Vacancies in other Offices. All other vacancies in offices of THE DIVISION or vacancies of Members-at-Large from THE DIVISION shall be filled by the Executive Committee by the following procedure:
a. At any Executive Committee meeting where a new member is to be voted upon, three quarters (3/4) of the members of the Executive Committee must be present.
b. Three quarters (3/4) of the Executive Committee at this meeting must cast votes of approval before the new member of the Executive Committee is so approved.

Section 8. Vacancies in Club Representatives. All vacancies of representatives from each USFA member club within THE DIVISION to the Executive Committee, as provided for in Article V, Section 1, shall be filled by the club. The method for determining club representatives is at the discretion of the member club. The official contact of the member club (as registered with the USFA) must inform, in writing, the name of its replacement to the Secretary of THE DIVISION.

Section 9. Agreements and Contracts. The Executive Committee has exclusive authority to authorize agreements and contracts with any party to provide clinics, courses, seminars, or similar events for THE DIVISION. All such agreements or contracts must be made in writing between THE DIVISION and the provider and must define all fees and compensation. Significant modifications to agreements or contracts must be approved by the Executive Committee.

Article VI
Meetings of the Members

Section 1. Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting of THE DIVISION shall be held in June or July. The date, time, and place for the Annual Meeting shall be designated by the Chairperson. Members will be notified of the annual meeting, with at least fifteen days advance notice, through the division website and through notification of designated club representatives via electronic flyers.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special Meetings may be called at any time and place by the Chairperson, and shall be called by the Chairperson upon written request of not less than twenty (20) members of THE DIVISION. On receipt of such a request, the Chairperson shall schedule a Special Meeting within thirty (30) days. THE DIVISION members must be given two weeks advance written notice of such Special Meeting. Notices of Special Meetings shall specify the specific business to be acted upon.

Section 3. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of seven voting members of THE DIVISION present in person or by proxy, and a majority vote shall control, except as herein otherwise provided.

Article VII

Section 1. There shall be a Nominating Committee of THE DIVISION comprised of the club representatives to the Executive Committee, as provided for in Article V, Section 1.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate for each office established under these By-laws. The Nominating Committee shall also nominate three candidates for the offices of Members-at-Large. If the Nominating Committee fails to report a complete slate of candidates, the Executive Committee shall select candidates for each un-nominated office.

Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall report to the Secretary of THE DIVISION not later than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting, but no later than May 1, of the year in which elections are to be conducted. The Secretary shall provide to each USFA. member club within THE DIVISION a notice of the nominations filed by the Nominating Committee, but in no event shall notice be given later than May 15 of the year in which elections are to be conducted. If any person nominated by the Committee at any time chooses to withdraw from consideration or for any reason becomes unable to stand for election, the Nominating Committee shall promptly meet to select a substitute candidate for the position. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be available upon request to any member of THE DIVISION.

Section 4. Additional nominations may be made on the written petition of not less than two percent of the voting membership of THE DIVISION as of the close of the preceding membership year. No petition shall serve to nominate a candidate for office unless the original of all parts thereof is received by the Secretary no later than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the Annual Meeting.

Section 5. At the Annual Meeting of THE DIVISION, if no additional timely nominations have been made for any office, then the nominees of the Nominating Committee for such office or offices shall be certified by the Secretary as having been unanimously elected. If two or more nominations are made for any office, voting for the candidates shall be by written ballot to be mailed to all voting members of THE DIVISION. Members will have at least two weeks from the date of mailing to return the ballots to the Chairperson of the Election Committee to be appointed by the Chairperson of THE DIVISION. The Election Committee should have a representative from each of the member clubs in THE DIVISION and is not to include any person running for office on the ballot. The Election Committee shall meet to count ballots and announce the result of the election, in writing, to the Chairperson of THE DIVISION. The candidate receiving the largest number of the votes cast shall be declared elected. If the voting in an election for any office results in a tie, a lot shall be cast and the winner declared elected.

Section 6. If there are two or more nominations for any office, all duly qualified candidates for that office shall be provided copies of the membership list and mailing labels upon the payment of a price reasonably determined by the Treasurer to represent the cost of generating the materials.

Section 7. Members in good standing may give their proxy only to any other voting member, in good standing, of THE DIVISION. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted for election of officers. All proxies shall be in writing and shall be submitted for verification to the Secretary of THE DIVISION not less than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the Annual (or Special) Meeting. The person designated in the proxy must be in attendance at the Annual (or Special) Meeting in order to exercise it.

Article VIII
By-Laws, Rules and Policies of the USFA

All by-laws, rules, regulations, and matters of policy concerning the conduct of competitions as set forth in the fencing rules and manual of the USFA are hereby incorporated as part of these By-laws without action by the Executive Committee or members of THE DIVISION.

Article IX

These Capitol Division By-Laws may be amended at any Annual Meeting of the membership. An amendment receiving a majority of all votes cast by the members voting in person shall be deemed as adopted, subject to approval of the USFA.

The Secretary of THE DIVISION shall submit by-law revisions to the USFA National Office within 90 days of the revision.

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Raymond Finkleman fencer@fencer.com
Last revised July 20, 2010