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Temescal Aquatic Masters

Conflict Resolution &

Grievance Policy


Section 1:

Membership in this organization is open to any person who has an active membership with Temescal Aquatic Masters, is a member of USMS and the Pacific Masters Swimming Association, and meets the swimming ability standards approved by the coaching staff. Membership is unrestricted as to race, creed, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, disability, national origin, age or place of residence. For the purposes of filing and responding to grievances, persons shall have a current membership in good standing with our membership coordinator. 


Section 2:

The Board of Directors of Temescal Aquatic Masters Swimming Association hereby adopts United States Masters Swimming Association (USMS) By-Laws Article 402 -"Conduct of Members," and any violation of USMS Article 402.4 "Unsporting Conduct" shall be considered "misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the organization (corporation).” (Article 402 can be found at the end of this document.) A member may be formally reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended and/or expelled for misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the organization (corporation) or contrary to its purpose.


Section 3:

When a conflict between members arises, the members may: 

  • Work out differences among themselves,

  • Ask the coach on deck to intervene, 

  • Or contact the head coach, if one is employed by the organization. 


If a member’s complaint has not been remedied by the coach’s or head coach’s attempt to reach a resolution, or if the member making the complaint considers the alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the organization, the member may bring a formal action—in writing to the board—with another member, as outlined in Section 4. Within 3 days of the member’s unresolved complaint being shared with the coach and/or the Board, the President or other designated officer of the Board would contact the named party to notify them of the complaint, share the written Grievance Policy and Conflict Resolution process, and answer any initial questions. 


The member filing the complaint has the option to consent to a conflict resolution process. If the conflict resolution process is subsequently refused by the accused member, the matter will be referred to the Board of Directors for review, and the following Grievance Policy process will be initiated: 


  • There will be a panel consisting of 3 members drawn from the Board of Directors. 

  • The panel will be convened within 15 days of the accused member’s response. The purpose of this panel is to establish the facts associated with the allegation(s) and to make written recommendations for action to the Board of Directors. 

  • The panel, once convened, has 14 days to investigate the facts and make written recommendations to the Board. At the start of this two-week period, the Board President will notify both parties in writing that the matter has been referred to the Board for review. Both parties will also be given a timeline that the Board will utilize to investigate and make any determinations regarding the matter. 

  • The full board will meet in a closed session within 14 days of receipt of the panel’s accounting of the facts and recommendation(s) for action to make a final determination of any action to be taken. Both the concerned party and the other interested party(ies) may appear before the Board, individually, during the closed session prior to the Board’s final determination.

  • If the other parties in the complaint fail to respond within 7 days from the date of notice—which shall consist of an email and a phone call—served by the Board, the Board may make a finding in closed session, and may take such action as appropriate to address  the situation.


Actions that the Board may take in response to a complaint—whether responded to or not responded to—include dismissal of allegation(s), formal reprimand, probation, suspension and/or expulsion from the organization. The decision of the Board will be final.


In no event shall any such matter remain before the Board more than 30 days.



402.1 Conduct of Members

Standards of Conduct - The mission of Temescal Aquatic Masters is to promote fitness and health in adults by offering and supporting Masters swimming programs. The opportunity to participate in Masters swimming is made possible by USMS. Members accept that this opportunity to participate is a privilege and as such shall conduct themselves with integrity and in a sporting manner. In matters relating to Masters swimming, members shall respect and protect the privileges of others who share this mission; therefore, the privileges of membership and participation may be withdrawn or denied if the conduct of a member or prospective member is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who participate in it.


402.2 Compliance With Rules and Regulations

It shall be the responsibility of all members to comply with the rules and regulations of USMS and the applicable rules, constitution, and bureau decisions of FINA.


402.3 Enforcement

Any prospective member may be denied membership, and any member may be denied membership, reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended, or expelled from Temescal Aquatic Masters if such member engages in any unsporting conduct listed in Article 402.4.


402.4 Unsporting Conduct The following shall be considered unsporting conduct as it relates to Part 4:

Adopted by Board Resolution 08/09/17


402.4.1 Violation of the opportunity to participate in Temescal activities.


402.4.2 Discrimination in violation of Section 1, in the Temescal Aquatics Etiquette and Grievance Policy


402.4.3 Any act of fraud, deception, or dishonesty in connection with any USMS related activity.


402.4.4 Knowingly providing false information including name, date of birth, age, or gender on USMS membership applications or meet entries.


402.4.5 Any non-consensual physical contact, obscene language or gesture, or other threatening language or conduct directed toward swimmers, volunteers or staff in connection with a Temescal Aquatic Masters or USMS event.


402.4.6 Any nonconsensual sexual conduct, pattern of unwelcome sexual advances, or other inappropriate sexually oriented behavior or action by a USMS member toward a member or any other person participating in any capacity whatsoever in the affairs or activities of Temescal Aquatic Masters or USMS.


402.4.7 Any act, conduct, or omission that is detrimental to the image or reputation of USMS, an LMSC, Temescal Aquatic Masters or the sport of swimming.


402.4.8 Causing a credible and material risk to the safety of USMS members or others who may be present during USMS or Temescal Aquatic Masters activities. A lifetime ban, declaration of permanent ineligibility, or permanent resignation of membership from a member organization of United States Aquatic Sports may be considered as evidence of a violation of this article 402.4.8.


402.4.9 Aiding or abetting another to engage in any of the foregoing violations.


Adopted by Board Resolution 08/09/17 



Section 4: Conflict Resolution Process

The Facilitation session consists of several steps: 


1. Initial Contact + Scheduling a Meeting: After an interested party sends an email to ask for a conflict resolution process, the Board has 7 days to respond in writing with suggested meeting days and times for the interested parties to come together for an initial meeting. The suggested meeting times shall not be any more than 10 days after the Board’s written response to the interested party’s initial request for a conflict resolution process. All interested parties shall respond in writing within three (3) days with their preferred Zoom meeting times. The Zoom meeting shall occur no later than seven (7) days after the facilitator and the interested parties agree on the online meeting time. The issue(s) at hand will not be discussed in the initial scheduling email, The email will, however, include a set of Conversation Norms (see below) for review.


2. Initial Zoom Meeting: At this initial Zoom meeting, the facilitator (e.g. Board President or other board member, or hired facilitator, depending on the needs of the situation), will meet with all of the interested parties to: 

  • Explain the conflict resolution objectives and process

  • Review the conflict resolution timeline

  • Explain the role of the facilitator


The issue(s) at hand will not be discussed in the initial Zoom meeting. However, the facilitator will review the Conversation Norms that were sent in the initial email. The interested parties may offer any feedback on the norms during the Zoom meeting. After the Zoom meeting is concluded, the facilitator will send the Norms to the interested parties for signature. 


3. Individual Sessions: Within 7 days after the conclusion of the Initial Zoom Meeting, the facilitator will meet individually (by phone, online, or in person) with each interested party. Anything that is said during these individual meetings will be treated as confidential and will not be shared at the next joint facilitation session without consent. The facilitator will take notes on the sessions that will be kept confidentially by the Board. 


3. Joint Facilitation Session: Within 7 days after the conclusion of both Individual Sessions, the facilitator will meet together, in-person, with the interested parties. This joint session will be held to help the interested parties to discuss, work through and resolve their problems. The discussion in this session will focus on what needs to resolve the conflict. If the process is used in place of a formal grievance, and a resolution is reached, then the facilitator will assist the parties in developing a written resolution agreement that will be signed by the interested parties and filed with the Board. 


Conversation Norms

To establish a tone of neutrality and fairness, these norms offer a framework for keeping the conversation respectful and balanced. Each party has a chance to contribute to what the norms are to ensure the inclusivity of the boundary-setting process.

Examples of effective Conversation Norms include:

  • Have a willingness to find a solution

  • Assume best intentions

  • Listen respectfully to the other person’s point of view 

  • Come with an open mind

  • Speak to each other in a collegial manner and avoid insults 

  • Share the mic. Step up and step back.

  • Avoid terms that have coded meanings and show implicit biases. 

  • Be open to feedback and direction from the facilitator

  • Establish confidentiality expectations that will be included in the written resolution agreement

If the norms are not followed, the facilitator has the option to end the meeting at their discretion.


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