Atlanta Travel Team Bylaws

Bylaws: As Revised December 2016

Governing Document of the NFFLA Travel Team Governance Committee  

and the Atlanta Travel Team program

I.  HISTORY AND SCOPE

The Travel Team Governance Committee (TTGC) was formed to reform the way Atlanta selects its traveling teams to the Pride Bowl and Gay Bowl tournaments.

The goals of the Committee for itself and for the travel team program are as follows:

  1. Field competitive tournament teams â?? drafting the most competitive team first; then second, and onâ?¦
  2. Implement a transparent and fair selection process for teams and captains which is sustainable and structured
  3. Provide an avenue for player development
  4. Forge ONE ATLANTA â?? city unity in tournament play
  5. Provide Board of Directors with recommendations for recruiting strategy for league
  6. Develop funding framework for travel teams

The TTGC shall be responsible for implementing and managing the selection process of captains and players for the annual Pride Bowl and Gay Bowl tournaments.

II.  TTGC Composition

II. A.       TTGC Chairperson

The Vice Chairman of the NFFLA serves as the Chairperson of the TTGC, as outlined by the NFFLA bylaws.

II. B.       NFFLA Chair Representative

The Chairman of the NFFLA shall sit as an ex-officio member of the TTGC and have responsibility to (1) break any tie votes, (2) authorize any travel team or TTGC expenditures being requested from NFFLA funds, (3) direct any broad communications from the TTGC to media, sponsors, or the NFFLA, and (4) ensure that any travel team solicitations for sponsorship do not conflict with existing league sponsorships.

II. C.       Other TTGC Members

The balance of the TTGC is formed of members recommended by the TTGC Chairperson and approved by the NFFLA Board of Directors. Committee members shall serve a full calendar year term, from January through December.   There shall be no limit on the number of consecutive or non-consecutive terms a committee member can serve. Midterm vacancies on the TTGC can be filled if needed via the same process of nomination by the TTGC Chair and approval by the NFFLA Board.

III.  TEAM STRUCTURE

The TTGC will sanction as many travel teams as the league can support.   The travel team draft shall be structured so that the most competitive team is fielded first (A team), followed by a second team (B team) and so on.

A single captain shall lead each team and shall have sole discretion over the roster and management of the team.   Each team captain shall appoint at least one co-captain.

The NFFLA Travel Team program is administered by the TTGC, which acts as a general manager of the travel team process by assisting the teams with logistical issues, administering the travel team drafts, and communicating with the NFFLA and the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL).    

The Chairman of the NFFLA shall provide oversight of captainsâ?? use of NFFLA funds by requiring a simple accounting of funds raised and expenses incurred during each travel season.

IV.  PLAYER ELIGIBILITY AND DRAFTS

It is the intent of the TTGC that our travel teams represent the NFFLA. Therefore, in order to be eligible to play with the Atlanta travel team program (in either Pride Bowl or Gay Bowl), players must have registered and   participated in a minimum of 4 games during either the most current or prior NFFLA season. Any appeals can be made to the TTGC for consideration of special circumstances, such as injury, job movement, etc.

Chicago Pride Bowl is an open tournament. However, the TTGC strongly encourages NFFLA players to play with the NFFLA-sanctioned teams in Pride Bowl, in order to help continued league growth and preparation for Gay Bowl. Beginning with Pride Bowl 2017, the TTGC asks that any NFFLA player who wants to play with another city or another team other than the NFFLA-sanctioned team in Pride Bowl submit a waiver request to the TTGC at the time of the all-call for players in the Chicago tournament. Starting in 2017, any NFFLA player who does not submit a waiver request, and then plays for another city or an non-NFFLA-sanctioned team, will be ineligible to participate in that yearâ??s Gay Bowl representing Atlanta.

V.  Captain selection AND PLAYER SOLICITATION

In early January each year, the NFFLA and the TTGC will publicize an all-call for captains for both Pride Bowl and Gay Bowl.  Potential captains must submit their candidacies to the TTGC for both tournaments of that calendar year. The TTGC will also ask for volunteers for co-captains at this time. Interested candidates shall submit a mission statement about their qualifications, vision and goals. Deadline for submission should be about the third week of January.

In early February each year, the TTGC shall select captains in a manner of its choosing for that calendar yearâ??s Pride Bowl and Gay Bowl.  In the event that there are no candidates who are able to captain for the entire year, the TTGC can issue a secondary all-call for candidates for individual tournaments.

The TTGC shall announce captains for the year by mid February, before any NFFLA new player meet and greet events.

In early July, the TTGC shall review captain performance at Pride Bowl by distributing and reviewing a player survey (and other informal inputs).   In the event that the TTGC determines either or both captains unfit to continue after midyear, the committee shall remove the captain(s) and initiate a new all-call for other candidates.   As it is intended that the captains selected at the beginning of the year serve through Gay Bowl, this midyear removal process should only be enacted for cases of gross misconduct, negligence, and/or incompetence.

By mid July each year, following the review of captains, the TTGC shall issue another all-call for players interested in going to Gay Bowl. The TTGC shall then conduct its Gay Bowl draft no later than July 31, with an aim to do so earlier to give more time for preparation.

Following the conclusion of a Gay Bowl tournament, the TTGC shall conduct a survey to incorporate feedback from all teamsâ?? players. All captainsâ?? terms automatically end upon completion of Gay Bowl, and must be re-appointed each year by the TTGC in the manner outlined above.

VI. DRAFTS

The TTGC will hold two separate drafts during each travel season â?? one prior to Pride Bowl (Chicago) and one prior to Gay Bowl.   Following Pride Bowl, all rosters will be dissolved and the team selection process will begin anew for Gay Bowl.   The TTGC will publish all deadlines related to draft declaration, eligibility and timing to the entire NFFLA and other interested parties.

The draft consists of two separate pools of players: the QB draft pool and the position player draft pool.   To be considered as a QBâ??either starting QB or backup QBâ??for any Atlanta travel team, a player must indicate his/her desire to be in the QB draft pool in the TTGC prescribed timeframe.   To be considered as a non-QB position player for any travel team, a player must indicate his/her desire to be in the position player draft pool in the TTGC-prescribed timeframe.   A player who submits his/her name for the QB draft pool but isnâ??t selected as a QB is eligible to be selected as a non-QB position player.  

The TTGC will set a period of at least one week preceding the first travel team draft for players to declare their intention to participate in the QB and/or regular draft pool.   The TTGC will also enable players to declare their intention to participate in the QB and/or regular draft pool again in the weeks preceding the second travel team draft for Gay Bowl.

Any player who volunteers for the Travel Team program and is not drafted is automatically released to play with another city of his choosing. The timing of the release shall be determined by the TTGC, but the committee shall aim to do so in a reasonable time period to allow undrafted players to join other teams in a timely fashion.

VI. A.     Draft Timeline & Procedure

The travel team captains will be selected by the TTGC from a pool of applicants.   (See Section V for details of Captain Selection process.)   The travel team drafts may only occur after team captains have been chosen and announced by the TTGC.

Pride Bowl draft:

The TTGC will publish all deadlines related to draft declaration, eligibility and timing for the initial travel team draft to the entire NFFLA and other interested parties.   The TTGC will open a player declaration period of at least two weeks before the draft occurs.   Once this declaration period has been held, the TTGC will notify all travel team captains of the full list of eligible players.   The draft will then proceed as follows:

  1. The A Team captain selects his starting QB from the QB draft pool.
  2. The B Team captain then selects his starting QB from the QB draft pool.
  3. The A Team captain then has the option to select a backup QB from the QB draft pool.
  4. The B Team captain then has the option to select a backup QB from the QB draft pool.
  5. Any remaining players from the QB draft pool automatically become a part of the non-QB position player pool unless they specifically state otherwise.
  6. The A Team captain then selects his roster of 14-17 total players (to include the captain himself, the starting QB, and the backup QB, if selected) from the regular draft pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.
  7. The B Team captain then selects his roster of up 14-17 total players (to include the captain himself, the starting QB, and the backup QB, if selected) from the remainder of the regular draft pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.
  8. Any C Team captain then selects his QB and a roster from the remainder of the pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.   Note that the C Team does not participate in drafting from the QB draft pool before the A and B teams have selected their full rosters.
  9. Only players who have timely declared themselves eligible for the draft will be allowed to participate on any team.   If drafted, a player must either play for the team that selected them or become ineligible for participation on any team.   A drafted player is prohibited from refusing to play for the team that selected them and instead playing for a different team participating in that yearâ??s Pride Bowl or Gay Bowl.
  10. Any player who has declared eligible for the Pride Bowl draft, but who is not drafted, goes to an Undrafted Reserve List.  After each participating captain has fulfilled his minimum (14) of drafted players, the TTGC Chairperson will assess the number of Undrafted Reserve players and the likelihood of being able to form and send an additional team to the upcoming tournament.   In cases where an additional team will not be possible or permitted, the TTGC Chair will give each captain the right to add to his team from the Undrafted Reserve List on a one-for-one basis up to a maximum of 20 players. For this process, selections are offered in successive order to each team (for example, A has the option to select one additional player, followed by B, then C if applicable). It is solely at the captainâ??s discretion whether to participate and draft additional players in this manner after each team has fulfilled its original draft roster (14-17). Gay Bowl draft:All team rosters are dissolved before the second travel team draft.   The second travel team draft will be held in the weeks following Pride Bowl (Chicago) â?? no later than July 31 -- and will be optimized to enable the city to put its best team forward to win a Gay Bowl championship.The TTGC will re-open a player eligibility declaration period lasting at least 5 days prior to the second travel team draft.   Once this declaration period has been held, the TTGC will notify all travel team captains of the full list of eligible players.   The draft will then proceed as follows:
  1. The A Team captain selects his starting QB from the QB draft pool.
  2. The B Team captain then selects his starting QB from the QB draft pool.
  3. The A Team captain then MUST select a backup QB from the QB draft pool.
  4. The B Team captain then has the option to select a backup QB from the QB draft pool.
  5. Any remaining players from the QB draft pool automatically become a part of the non-QB position player pool unless they specifically state otherwise.  
  6. The A Team captain then selects his roster of 14-20 total players (to include the captain himself, the starting QB, and the backup QB) from the regular draft pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.
  7. The B Team captain then selects his roster of 14-20 (to include the captain himself, the starting QB, and the backup QB, if selected) from the remainder of the regular draft pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.
  8. Should the Atlanta travel program receive a bid from the Gay Bowl host to bring a third team to the tournament, the C Team captain will then select his QB and a roster from the remainder of the pool of players who have notified the TTGC of their intent to participate in the draft.   Note that the C Team does not participate in drafting from the QB draft pool before the A and B teams have selected their full rosters.
  9. Only players who have timely declared themselves eligible for the draft will be allowed to participate on either team.   If drafted, a player must either play for the team that selected them or become ineligible for participation on any team.   A drafted player is prohibited from refusing to play for the team that selected them and instead playing for a different team participating in that yearâ??s Gay Bowl.
  10. Any player who has declared eligible for the Gay Bowl draft, but who is not drafted, goes to an Undrafted Reserve List.   After each participating captain has fulfilled his minimum (14) of drafted players, the TTGC Chairperson will assess the number of Undrafted Reserve players and the likelihood of being able to form and send an additional team to the upcoming tournament.   In cases where an additional team will not be possible or permitted, the TTGC Chair will give each captain the right to add to his team from the Undrafted Reserve List on a one-for-one basis up to a maximum of 20 players. For this process, selections are offered in successive order to each team (for example, A has the option to select one additional player, followed by B, then C if applicable). It is solely at the captainâ??s discretion whether to participate and draft additional players in this manner after each team has fulfilled its original draft roster (14-17).

VII.  PLAYER UNAVAILABILITY

  1. A player may be determined as â??unavailableâ?? due to season-ending injury or another case of definite absence (i.e., moving away from Atlanta area, work conflict, etc.).   Should this occur, a captain may remove said player from his roster with notification to the TTGC Chairman, resulting in an open spot on his roster.   Once a player is determined as â??unavailableâ?? and removed from a team roster, he may not re-join any team or otherwise participate in that given tournament. VII. A.    Replacement PlayersAfter the initial draft and upon declaration of an open roster spot to the TTGC Chairman due to player unavailability, the captain of the affected team shall gain the right to fill the open roster spot with any declared, undrafted player from the Undrafted Reserve List.  This is done on a first-come, first-served basis by the captain reporting the roster addition to the TTGC.  In addition, if the A team roster loses three players, the A team captain will gain the right to fill the open roster spot with a member of the B team (or C team). The A team captain can select a maximum of two players from the B or C team rosters, on a one-to-one basis, starting with the loss of the third player from the A roster.The A team captain may not take the B team starting QB.The captains of the affected teams shall work together to make an appropriate roster change within 7 days of the unavailability being confirmed.   An extension of this decision-making period may be granted by a majority vote of the TTGC. The A team captain may not select a player from the B or C teams within 30 days of any tournament. Should the injury or unavailability occur on the B team roster, the B team captain will gain the right to fill the open roster spot with a member of the C team at the B team captainâ??s sole discretion.   The captains of the affected teams shall work together to make an appropriate roster change within 7 days of the unavailability being confirmed.   An extension of this decision-making period may be granted by a majority vote of the TTGC. The B team captain may not select a player from the C team within 30 days of any tournament.Furthermore, should a replacement player be selected for the A team from the B team roster, the B team captain retains all of the rights provided in this section for filling the open spot generated on the B team roster.   VII. B.    Quarterbacks and CaptainsA quarterback may only be selected to replace an unavailable quarterback.   Otherwise, quarterbacks may not be selected as replacement players. No captain of any team may be selected as a replacement player under this â??Player Unavailabilityâ?? provision. VII. C.    ProtestsShould an affected captain wish to challenge a roster change made under this section as inappropriate, that captain may protest the change to the TTGC. The TTGC will issue a final decision, which may not be contested further. VII. D.    Final RostersRosters shall be considered final and no further roster changes shall take place under the â??Player Unavailabilityâ?? provision within 30 days of either tournament.   Final rosters shall be provided to the Vice Chairman of the NFFLA no later than 30 days prior to either tournament, who in turn shall provide to the appropriate tournament officials.

VIII.   SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT

A supplemental draft shall be held if necessary, at the discretion of the TTGC.

IX.  SPONSORSHIP

Individuals intending to solicit sponsorship funds for the travel teams must obtain approval in advance from the NFFLA Board of Directors to ensure no conflict of interest with existing league sponsorships.

X.   Captain RETENTION / REMOVAL

All captainsâ?? terms automatically end at the conclusion of Gay Bowl. The captain selection process begins anew each year.

If an appointed captain resigns or is removed before a tournament is played, the TTGC will initiate a Captain Selection process to appoint a new captain.

A captain may be removed by a vote of the TTGC (majority vote). The TTGC shall give great deference to team input before taking this action. Any team may also petition the TTGC to remove a captain from his post at any time. This petition must be signed by half of its team members drafted. If there is a tie in the TTGC voting, the captain is retained. If a captain is removed from a given team, any co-captains are automatically released from co-captaining responsibilities as well; the new appointed captain can then appoint a co-captain(s).

Any captain or co-captain who resigns from their duties is still eligible to remain with the team as a player in that tournament, pending approval by a vote of the respective team.

If a captain is removed from their duties by either the TTGC or a team vote, the team shall also decide whether that captain shall remain with the team as a player. This decision rests entirely with the team and is not a TTGC decision.  If a team decides the removed captain shall not be eligible to remain as a player on that team, that player has the option of joining a lower team pending approval by the lower team captain.

The Captain Selection process is completely at the discretion of the TTGC.  The TTGC will, however, alert the NFFLA of the selection criteria and procedure prior to initiating the process.


XI.  Changes to these ByLaws

These bylaws may be modified, altered or added to by the TTGC.  The TTGC will endeavor to drive consensus on any of these changes.  Any changes to the bylaws, however, require at least three-fourths vote by the TTGC members. If there is a tie, the proposed changes do not pass.   

Every scenario that may arise cannot possibly have been addressed by these bylaws.  If a scenario does arise that is not addressed by these bylaws, the TTGC will address it in as fair a manner as possible.




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