BYLAWS OF THE TEXAS CANOE & KAYAK RACING ASSOCIATION
(Updated and passed by the Board on September 27th, 2023)
The mission of the Texas Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (“TCKRA”) is to promote paddle sport racing in the State of Texas. The club also promotes environmental awareness and stewardship of our local waterways. The TCKRA aims to create a community around the sport by offering opportunities for beginners, enthusiasts, and competitive racers alike to socialize, learn about the sport, train and race together.
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
Membership shall consist of Individual, Family, Business, and Honorary as defined below:
Individual Membership is available to any person age 18 as of January 1 of the membership year. Privileges include the right to hold office and cast one vote on association business matters.
Family Membership shall consist of the members of a household. The household dependents other than the parents or guardians must be less than 18 years of age as of January 1 of the membership year. Dependents age 18 as of January 1 of the membership year must obtain their own Individual membership. Family Membership privileges include two votes per household and the right to hold office.*
Youth Membership is available to any person under 18 years of age as of January 1 of the membership year. Privileges include the right to cast one vote on association business matters.*
Business Membership is available to any organization and includes the privilege to advertise through T.C.K.R.A. publications and will include one free listing per year, if desired. No voting privileges or rights to hold office are allowed.
Honorary Membership is available to any individual/organization approved by at least five board members. No voting privileges or rights to hold office are allowed. *Members must be at least 16 years of age to vote and at least 18 years of age to hold office.
Membership is valid for one calendar year, regardless of when dues are paid. Dues paid in a calendar year are good for the remainder of that calendar year. Members in good standing as of December 31st will continue to receive communications and newsletters from the club until March 15th, at which time non-renewing members will be dropped from the rolls.
DUES (effective Jan 1, 2024):
Individual Membership $25.00
Family Membership $40.00
Youth Membership $10.00
Business Membership $50.00
Honorary Membership Complimentary
ARTICLE II – ELECTION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
The Board of Directors shall be elected yearly as follows:
Board elections shall be held at a meeting annually scheduled to follow the Jr. Texas Water Safari, or the closest proximate date possible. The exact date and time of the meeting to be determined and announced by the president with as much advance notice as possible. Any member wishing to be named on the ballot for the board election must submit their names or be nominated by a member prior to the start of the election. The president will announce when the election begins and when no further submissions or nominations will be taken.
The form of the ballots is intentionally not specified. Members shall vote for ten board members with two alternates. Ballots are not required to have votes for all positions to be valid, but in no event will a vote for a single person be counted more than once per ballot. Each individual or individual lifetime member over the age of 16 shall be entitled to one ballot. Each family membership or lifetime family membership shall be entitled to two ballots.
The four officers – President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary – shall tally the votes. Any irregularities in the voting shall be resolved by agreement of the officers. To the extent the officers are unable to agree on how to resolve any issue with the voting, the President shall serve as the tie-breaker with the authority to resolve the issue.
The top ten vote-getting individuals shall serve as the board for the following calendar year. The next two top vote-getting individuals shall serve as alternates. An alternate shall have the same rights and duties at any meeting in the absence of a regular board member. In no event shall the acting board exceed ten members.
The Secretary shall certify the results of the board election and publish the results.
The four officer positions – President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary – shall be selected from the incoming board during a special board meeting/vote in December, organized by the outgoing president. Meeting/voting attendance shall be comprised of the outgoing president, the outgoing officers, the incoming board members, and incoming alternates.
If there is only one volunteer for an officer position, they are automatically elected; otherwise, each position is filled by a majority vote comprised of no less than 6 affirmative votes. Absentee votes shall not be excluded, and repeated rounds of voting shall be held if necessary.
Newly elected officers shall immediately assume their roles. The term of the incoming board shall begin after all four officer positions are filled, or on January 1st, whichever is earliest.
Any unfilled officer position or vacancy that arises among the ten board members after January 1st shall be filled promptly by a special election among all TCKRA members.
ARTICLE III – DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND APPOINTED POSITION
President – Represents the Club, calls and presides at meetings.
Vice President – Assists the President in the discharge of all duties and presides in absence of the President.
Secretary – Receives and records membership applications and dues and forwards the dues to the treasurer. Maintains membership rolls. Transcribes all minutes of meetings. Minutes of all meetings will be emailed to all board members whether present or not.
Treasurer – Collects all monies due, has charge of the funds of the organization, keeps a correct record and account of all monies received and paid out, Newsletter Editor – Prepares and distributes newsletters.
There shall be standing committees for the following:
Membership – Actively seeks out new members and develops programs to attract new members. Welcomes new members.
River Cleanup – Organizes, schedules and coordinates the fall and spring river cleanups.
Newsletter – Serves as editor, responsible for all content, of the TCKRA newsletter, which shall be published at least four times annually.
Requests for volunteers to chair each committee shall be made by the President at the same meeting where officer elections are held. Committee chairs can, but are not required to be officers or board members. Other committees for other purposes may be formed by the president or by vote of the board.
ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS
For a meeting to be official, such that official business of the club may be conducted and voted upon, there must be a quorum. A quorum shall consist of at least six members of the board, which may include alternates.
In addition to the board and officer election meetings held in September and December after the Jr. Texas Water Safari and December Solo Races, respectively, or to the closest proximate time possible, there shall be at least two other general membership meetings throughout the year. One of the two general membership meetings shall be held before March 1st.
The general membership meetings shall be scheduled by the President, with the input of the board and in consideration of the members. In the absence of an action to schedule a meeting required by the bylaws, general membership meetings may be scheduled by a majority vote of the board.
Notice of all club meetings is to be published in the newsletter, on the TCKRA website and social media pages or by email to the members. Notices of meeting should be made at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
The club shall conduct business and vote on all matters that require the expenditure of more than $250 or that affect the fundamental business or purpose of the club. Voting on all club business can take place by email, telephone, or paper ballot.
Emergency meetings may be called by any officer and may be held when normal notification procedures are impossible. Attempts should be made to contact all board members with enough advanced notice to give a reasonable opportunity to attend the emergency meeting.
ARTICLE V – RECOGNIZED CANOE CLASSES
TCKRA adopts the latest USCA canoe specifications and methods of measurement (http://www.uscanoe.com/Content%20Images%20and%20Docs/Documents/USCA_Competition _Rules_2014.pdf) and recognizes the following classes:
(C-2) COMPETITION CRUISER and PRO BOAT
UNLIMITED – Human muscle powered crafts with up to six paddlers.
UNLIMITED TANDEM – Same as the Unlimited class with the exception of only two paddlers.
UNLIMITED SOLO – Same as the Unlimited class with the exception of only one paddler.
Canoes and kayaks must have securely fastened or permanently built-in flotation to provide buoyancy when filled with water. Float or air bags can be used in kayaks only. Flotation is securely fastened when a canoe can be turned upside down or submerged and the flotation stays in place.
ARTICLE VI – CLASSIFICATION OF COMPETITORS
The TCKRA classifies competitors according to guidelines set forth by the USCA. Race directors will have the discretion to add/remove classes based on attendance. For specific guidance on USCA classes, see link below:
All classifications imply both male and female competitors. For the Open category, female competitors may elect to race with male competitors.
ARTICLE VII – ANTI-DISCRIMINATION
The TCKRA does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed or religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), age, physical or mental disability, or veteran status. We welcome all who love to participate in paddle sports.
ARTICLE VIII – STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The TCKRA shall host State Championship races for all recognized classes of canoes and kayaks in both flatwater (still water with no discernible current) and downriver formats. State Championship races may be held in conjunction with other TCKRA State Championship events or other private races. The schedule for all State Championship races shall be set as early as possible and in no event beyond the date of the first meeting of the calendar year. Volunteers will be accepted to serve as Race Directors for all State Championship races.
The Race Director of each State Championship race shall organize and host the race, announce the date and location as early as possible and make reasonable efforts to promote the race. The Race Director shall be prepared to recognize winners of the following categories, at a minimum:
In all State Championship races, a class will be created where there is at least one competitor to fill the class, even if the winner of the class will not receive official recognition. Race Directors are strongly urged to encourage youth participation and arrange in advance for youth inclusive competition. Race Directors have final discretion to determine race classes in advance, beyond the minimum required. Race Directors have the final authority over all State Championship race results.
All competitors are responsible for measuring their canoes or kayaks before the race and ensuring that their boats meet the specifications of the class entered. The TCKRA reserves the right to jig all boats, before or after the race, to ensure compliance with the rules. If the boat fails the inspection before the race starts, the competitor will be allowed the opportunity to make the necessary repairs or alterations so that the boat will pass inspection, but in no event will a race be delayed for such purpose. If a boat is found to be illegal after the race then the competitor(s) will be disqualified. Any issues related to boats complying with specifications are under the authority of the Race Director. The Race Director’s decision on these matters is final.
ARTICLE IX – EXPULSION
The Board reserves the right to expel a member for improper conduct such as violating provisions of these bylaws or poor sportsmanship.
Prior to entertaining any discussion regarding expulsion, a $20 fee shall be paid to report accusations and name the accused, after which, the board must promptly vote whether to proceed with an expulsion hearing. If such vote passes by a quorum majority, the president shall promptly schedule and announce the date and location of the expulsion hearing as well as the particular accusations made; no vote shall be taken regarding an expulsion until at least fourteen days have passed since such notice was knowingly received by both the accused and all board members. The accused shall be given an opportunity to address the board prior to the vote.
Expulsion for violating provisions of these bylaws requires a board majority vote of at least 6 votes (out of 10 board members/alternates); expulsion for any other reason requires a super majority vote of at least 8 votes (out of the 10 board members/alternates).
Expelled persons will lose all privileges of membership and not be allowed to receive awards in any TCKRA sponsored event, including State Championship races, for the period of one year. If either the initial vote to proceed or the formal super majority vote fails, the $20 fee shall be promptly given to the accused, otherwise, the $20 fee shall be utilized towards purchasing a membership for the accused at the end of the expulsion. Non-members may also be “expelled” by the same process. At any time, a board majority of 6 votes (out of the 10 members/alternates) may reverse an expulsion or otherwise reduce the penalty thereof.
ARTICLE X – RULE INFRACTIONS/RACE PROTESTS
Protests can be filed at all TCKRA Championship races or races that are run and sponsored by TCKRA.
Protests may include un-sportsmanlike conduct, canoe or kayak specification infractions, safety infractions, and race course infractions.
Written protests must be filed by a race contestant no later than 1 hour after the contestant completes the race or prior to the awards ceremony whichever comes first, and must be accompanied by $20 non-refundable fee. Protests also can be filed verbally by the race director or any race official. All boats that are eligible to place should remain at the race site for 30 minutes following completion of the race. All decisions on protests will be made by the Arbitration Committee and will be final.
In a protest, prior to a decision being rendered, each side will be allowed to voice their position. If the offending party leaves the race site, the Arbitration Committee will render a decision based upon available evidence. Also, the committee may call other contestants or TCKRA members to provide additional information concerning the infraction.
When protests are upheld, a time penalty, place penalty, or disqualification may be rendered. The Arbitration Committee may not require a penalty in cases where the infraction is minor.
The Arbitration Committee shall consist of at least three of the following: the TCKRA President (Chairman), Vice-President, Secretary, Treasury and Race Director. In the absence of any of the named TCKRA officers, the Chairman or the Race Director (if the Chairman is absent) will recruit TCKRA Board members to serve for named members. If the Chairman cannot recruit a combination of at least three TCKRA Board Members and/or TCKRA members to serve on the Committee, the protest will be dismissed and no action will be taken.
A committee member cannot participate in an arbitration of a protest if they are one of the principals in the dispute.
The chairman votes only in the case of a tie and a simple majority of the committee is needed.
ARTICLE XI – AMENDING THE BYLAWS
Proposed written amendments to the TCKRA Bylaws can be considered at any time. Written amendments are immediately passed by a supermajority vote of eight board members and/or alternates during any board meeting or by an email/electronic vote scheduled by the president. Officers will gather the amendments passed into a final version, and publish it to the board with changes highlighted/noted, after which a 14-day review/discussion period applies. Any objection by 3 board members and/or alternates will reverse the amendment(s); otherwise, the changes become final, and shall be promptly published and updated on the TCKRA website.