Bylaws set out the way that the Society is organized and the rules surrounding its activities. Only include those items that are essential to running the organization in your Bylaws and keep them general. The details should be left for Policies and Procedures because changing Bylaws is a challenging and time-consuming process.
Bylaws must be submitted to Hockey Alberta upon formation, every three years thereafter, and as changes occur. They must be approved and filed with the Province of Alberta, under the Societies Act, if you are incorporating.
Your Society’s Bylaws need to address the following:
- How does someone become a member? Is one family a member or is it each individual?
- How are members removed? Failure to pay, behavior issues, etc,
- What are the rights and responsibilities of the member?
- General meetings
- When is the annual general meeting?
- What is decided at the AGM?
- Are elections staggered and if so which positions are elected in which phase?
- How are special meetings triggered and called?
- Do you have regular meetings?
Directors and Officers
- What are the positions that serve on the Board of Directors?
- How are they appointed? What is the term duration for each position? How many terms can one serve? How is a Director removed?
- What are the general duties of each position? (Do not put in specific job descriptions because if changes need to be done to the JD then you must change the Bylaw.)
- What powers do the directors/officers have?
- Accounting for funds: who is responsible and what are the expectations?
- How will audits be managed?
- The overall financial management of the organization
- How are minutes and other records kept?
- How can someone inspect records, once again make this statement broad?
- How are changes, additions, or deletions done?
The Society’s seal
1. It is strongly recommended that your Bylaws include a provision on dealing with conflict within your organization as it is the Society’s role to manage conflict. This provision should not go into great detail rather a simple statement on how conflicts are to be managed.
2. Your Bylaws cannot contradict the bylaws of Hockey Alberta or Hockey Canada. Some of the more common bylaw-related issues Hockey Alberta sees include:
- Being too specific in information related to meeting dates, grievance procedures, player movement, and citing of specific Hockey Alberta or Hockey Canada regulations.
- Unclear definition of who comprises your membership
- Hard statements that are not consistent with Hockey Alberta or Hockey Canada rules and regulations such as “_____ is appealable to Hockey Alberta”
- Unclear or flawed nomination process