36 U.S. Code § 220522 - Eligibility requirements

An amateur sports organization, a high-performance management organization, or a paralympic sports organization is eligible to be certified, or to continue to be certified, as a national governing body only if it—
(1)
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;
(2)
has the managerial and financial capability to plan and execute its obligations, including the ability to provide and enforce required athlete protection policies and procedures;
(3) submits—
(A)
an application, in the form required by the corporation, for certification as a national governing body;
(B)
a copy of its corporate charter and bylaws; and
(C)
any additional information considered necessary or appropriate by the corporation;
(4) agrees to submit to binding arbitration in any controversy involving—
(A)
its certification as a national governing body, as provided for in section 220529 of this title, upon demand of the corporation; and
(B)
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, which arbitration under this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with the standard commercial arbitration rules of an established major national provider of arbitration and mediation services based in the United States and designated by the corporation with the concurrence of the Athletes’ Advisory Council and the National Governing Bodies’ Council, 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 standard commercial rules of arbitration of such designated provider shall apply unless at least two-thirds of the corporation’s board of directors approves modifications to such Rules;
(5) demonstrates that it is autonomous in the governance of its sport, except with respect to the oversight of the organization, in that it—
(A)
independently decides and controls all matters central to governance;
(B)
does not delegate decision-making and control of matters central to governance; and
(C)
is free from outside restraint;
(6)
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, the Paralympic Games, the Pan-American Games, or the Parapan American Games;
(7)
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 certification is sought, or any amateur sports organization that conducts programs in the sport for which certification is sought, or both;
(8)
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;
(9)
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;
(10) ensures that the selection criteria for individuals and teams that represent the United States are—
(A)
fair, as determined by the corporation in consultation with the national governing bodies, the Athletes’ Advisory Council, and the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association;
(B)
clearly articulated in writing and properly communicated to athletes in a timely manner; and
(C)
consistently applied, using objective and subjective criteria appropriate to the applicable sport;
(11)
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 certification 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;
(12) provides for reasonable direct representation on its board of directors or other governing board for any amateur sports organization, high-performance management organization, or paralympic sports organization that—
(A)
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
(B)
ensures that the representation reflects the nature, scope, quality, and strength of the programs and competitions of the applicable organization in relation to all other programs and competitions in the sport in the United States;
(13) demonstrates, based on guidelines approved by the corporation, the Athletes’ Advisory Council, and the National Governing Bodies’ Council, that—
(A) its board of directors and other such governing boards have established criteria and election procedures for, and maintain among their voting members, individuals who—
(i)
are elected by amateur athletes; and
(ii)
are actively engaged in amateur athletic competition, or have represented the United States in international amateur athletic competition, in the sport for which certification is sought;
(B) any exception to such guidelines by such organization has been approved by—
(i)
the corporation; and
(C)
the voting power held by such individuals is not less than ⅓ of the voting power held by its board of directors and other such governing boards;
(14)
provides procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of grievances of its members;
(15)
does not have eligibility criteria related to amateur status or to participation in the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Pan-American Games, or the Parapan American Games that are more restrictive than those of the appropriate international sports federation;
(16)
demonstrates, if the organization is seeking to be certified 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;
(17) commits to submitting annual reports to the corporation that include, for each calendar year—
(A) a description of the manner in which the organization—
(i)
carries out the mission to promote a safe environment in sports that is free from abuse of amateur athletes (including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse); and
(ii)
addresses any sanctions or temporary measures required by the Center;
(B)
a description of any cause of action or complaint filed against the organization that was pending or settled during the preceding calendar year; and
(C) a detailed statement of—
(i)
the income and expenses of the organization; and
(ii)
the amounts expended on stipends, bonuses, and services for amateur athletes, organized by the level and gender of the amateur athletes;
(18)
commits to meeting any minimum standard or requirement set forth by the corporation; and
(19)
provides protection from retaliation to protected individuals.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

220522

36:391(b), (c).

Sept. 21, 1950, ch. 975, title II, § 201(b), (c), as added Nov. 8, 1978, Pub. L. 95–606, § 2, 92 Stat. 3050.

In clause (1), the words “a State” are substituted for “any of the several States” for consistency in the revised title.

In clause (3)(B), the words “upon application” are omitted as unnecessary.

In clause (10)(B), the words “hold at least 20 percent of the membership and voting power on the board” are substituted for “the membership and voting power held . . . is not less than 20 percent of such membership and voting power held in that board of directors or other such governing board” to eliminate unnecessary words.

The text of 36:391(c) is omitted as executed.

Editorial Notes
Amendments

2020—Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(a)(2)(A)(iii)(I), (II)(ff), struck out subsec. (a) designation and heading “General” at beginning of section, substituted “An amateur sports organization, a high-performance management organization, or a paralympic sports organization” for “An amateur sports organization” in introductory provisions, and struck out subsec. (b) which related to recognition of paralympic sports organizations.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(a)(2)(A)(iii)(II)(aa), (bb), substituted “certified” for “recognized” and “certification” for “recognition” wherever appearing in subsec. (a) prior to redesignation of subsec. (a) as entire section.

Par. (2). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(1), inserted “, including the ability to provide and enforce required athlete protection policies and procedures” before semicolon at end.

Par. (4)(B). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(2), substituted “which arbitration under this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with the standard commercial arbitration rules of an established major national provider of arbitration and mediation services based in the United States and designated by the corporation with the concurrence of the Athletes’ Advisory Council and the National Governing Bodies’ Council” for “conducted in accordance with the Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association” and “standard commercial rules of arbitration of such designated provider” for “Commercial Rules of Arbitration”.

Par. (5). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(3), inserted “except with respect to the oversight of the organization,” after “sport,” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(a)(2)(A)(iii)(II)(cc), substituted “the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Pan-American Games, or the Parapan American Games” for “the Olympic Games or the Pan-American Games” in par. (6) of subsec. (a) prior to redesignation of subsec. (a) as entire section.

Par. (10). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(5), added par. (10). Former par. (10) redesignated (11).

Par. (11). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(4), redesignated par. (10) as (11). Former par. (11) redesignated (12).

Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(a)(2)(A)(iii)(II)(dd), in subsec. (a)(11) prior to redesignation of subsec. (a) as entire section, inserted “, high-performance management organization, or paralympic sports organization” after “amateur sports organization” in introductory provisions and substituted “applicable” for “amateur sports” in subpar. (B).

Par. (12). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(4), redesignated par. (11) as (12). Former par. (12) redesignated (13).

Par. (13). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(6), added par. (13) and struck out former par. (13) which read as follows: “demonstrates that none of its officers are also officers of any other amateur sports organization recognized as a national governing body;”.

Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(4), redesignated par. (12) as (13). Former par. (13) redesignated (14).

Par. (14). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(4), redesignated par. (13) as (14). Former par. (14) redesignated (15).

Subsec. (a)(14). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(a)(2)(A)(iii)(II)(ee), substituted “the Pan-American Games, or the Parapan American Games” for “or the Pan-American Games” in par. (14) of subsec. (a) prior to redesignation of subsec. (a) as entire section and par. (14) as (15).

Pars. (15), (16). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(4), redesignated pars. (14) and (15) as (15) and (16), respectively.

Pars. (17) to (19). Pub. L. 116–189, § 7(b)(7)–(9), added pars. (17) to (19).

1998—Pub. L. 105–277, § 142(m)(1), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and inserted heading.

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 105–277, § 142(m)(2), added par. (4) and struck out former par. (4) which read as follows: “agrees to submit, on demand by the corporation, to binding arbitration conducted in accordance with the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association in any controversy involving—

“(A) its recognition as a national governing body, as provided for in section 220529 of this title; or

“(B) the opportunity of any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official to participate in amateur athletic competition, as provided for in the corporation’s constitution and bylaws;”.

Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 105–277, § 142(m)(3), added par. (10) and struck out former par. (10) which read as follows: “demonstrates that—

“(A) its board of directors or other governing board includes among its voting members—

“(i) individuals who are actively engaged in amateur athletic competition in the sport for which recognition is sought; or

“(ii) individuals who, within the prior 10 years, have represented the United States in international amateur athletic competition in the sport for which recognition is sought; and

“(B) the individuals described in subclause (A) of this clause hold at least 20 percent of the membership and voting power on the board;”.

Subsec. (a)(14). Pub. L. 105–277, § 142(m)(4), inserted “or to participation in the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, or the Pan-American Games” after “amateur status”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105–277, § 142(m)(5), added subsec. (b).