Sport Law & Strategy Group Newsletter - November 2012

Published November 14, 2012

Sportlaw LogoSport Law & Strategy Group Newsletter

vol 8(3) - November 2012

This edition of our newsletter features updates on the Federal NFP Act and the Ontario NFP Act (ONCA) and addresses frequent questions about social media policies. We have also included tips for sport leaders in the areas of leadership, member misconduct, and transgender inclusion in sport. November 2012 marks our company's 20th year of service in the Canadian sport industry and Rachel has written a short article about reaching this milestone. Finally, we are excited to announce the publication of a brand new handbook titled Values-in-Action: Igniting Passion and Purpose in Sport Organizations authored by Dina Bell-Laroche! The handbook would make a great (and instructive!) holiday gift for Board Members.

Our quarterly newsletter has brought you important content in the following areas: legal updates, new legislation and case law, governance tips, risk management and values management practices, social media, communications strategies, as well as all kinds of other planning and strategic advice. We published our last newsletter in June 2012.

We send our newsletter every three or four months. The content includes summaries and links to material that we have posted on our website - plus updates on current events and other news. You can also join our Facebook page and get immediate updates.  If you don't want to receive the newsletter - no problem - just choose to unsubscribe at the bottom of this message.

ONCA - Ontario NFP Act Updates

All provincially-incorporated sports organizations in Ontario will be required to comply with the new Ontario Non-for-Profit Corporations Act. (Read more about the Act here). This means that all PSOs in Ontario - and likely many local or regional sport organizations as well - will need to review their bylaws and governance structures to comply with the new legislation. Third-party organizations have identified a handful of problems with the ONCA but we have responded to these problems, specific to sport organizations, in a recent post. The ONCA does not come into force until July 2013 (an extension of six months from an earlier date) and organizations will have three years to comply. But complying may not be as straightforward as it may sound. We encourage all Ontario-based organizations to browse the section of our website dedicated to the ONCA and contact us with any questions.

Federal NFP Act Updates

Compliance with the federal Not-For-Profit Corporations Act started in October 2011 and we are thrilled to see so many NSOs and MSOs taking this transition process seriously. On the 'Resources' sidebar of the section of our website dedicated to the NFP Act, we have posted a few samples of NSO-produced Terms of References, new Governance Structures, and Reports to Members. Organizations are learning that most of the major changes need to be done before the transition to the new Act and we recently wrote about this complex two-step process. We also added an insightful look at the new required timing of the AGM. NSOs and MSOs that have not started the process yet (or are encountering minor or major obstacles) can contact Rachel Corbett ( We can help set your organization on the right path.

Transgender Inclusion in Sport

Many NSOs and MSOs have their head offices located in Ontario - which means that these organizations must be in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Did you know that the Code was recently amended to include 'gender expression' and 'gender identity' as grounds for discrimination?  In short, this means that NSOs and MSOs, and provincial sports organizations in Ontario, will need to have the tools and policies to address transgendered participation in their sports. Forward-thinking organizations not located in Ontario may want to consider inclusion even before it becomes required by law. Rachel Corbett wrote a blogpost showing how organizations can begin to address this developing issue. Rachel also had an article published by LawNow magazine on the topic of gender identity in sport. The CCES has also released an ethics paper on this issue.

Social Media Policy

Increasingly, sport organizations are wondering whether they need a social media policy. Organizations want a mechanism to both guide and discipline members if they post content to social media (usually Facebook, Twitter, and personal blogs) that the organization feels is misconduct. In this blogpost titled Does Your Organization Need a Social Media Policy? we have overviewed what a social media policy should do and how organizations can take a more comprehensive approach to solving social media issues.

Leadership Tips

In this blogpost, Dina wrote about her experience with board diversity (including the 30% challenge), the difference between 'Board of Directors', 'Board of Governors', and 'Board of Stewards', the widening gap between staff and board members, and other challenges facing sport leaders today.

Your Organization's Response to Hazing and Member Misconduct

Kevin commented on the similarities between two sport organizations' recent responses to hazing and member misconduct - and suggested a third, less controversial and more transparent approach for organizations that need to handle hazing or member misconduct. In brief, organizations should stick to their policies and uphold the values of the organization above all other considerations. Read more in the blogpost on our website.

20 Years of Service

November 25th 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the existence of the Sport Law & Strategy Group (formerly the Centre for Sport and Law, and prior to that the Alberta Institute for Sport and Law). During these 20 years, we have served hundreds of sport organizations in Canada and contributed to thousands of projects. Rachel has written about some of the highlights of working on the cutting edge in the Canadian sport industry for two decades.

Risk Management Update

What's new in risk management? In this update, Dina reviewed some exciting risk management initiatives and highlighted the Sport Law & Strategy Group's Risk Management Program (RMP) which has entered its fifth phase.

Case Law Index

Twenty years of service means twenty years of writing articles addressing important issues. You can already view the list of our writings arranged by topic - but now you can see the cases we have referenced in each post in our new case law index. This index is most useful for sport law students but also relevant for practitioners curious about the evolving common law. Each case reference is also linked to the actual case, when available, posted on the CANLII legal database.

Integral Coaching

The Sport Law & Strategy Group now offers Integral Coaching Services. What is integral coaching? It is a holistic human development methodology that involves working with others and helping them unleash their full potential. Dina recently completed an intense five-month certification course and sees many benefits of integral coaching for dynamic and progressive sport leaders. Read more in the blogpost on our website.

Values-in-Action: Igniting Passion and Purpose in Sport Organizations

Dina Bell-Laroche has authored a brand new handbook titled Values-in-Action: Igniting Passion and Purpose in Sport Organizations. In the handbook, Dina combines her years of experience working with sport organizations and new literature on managing-by-values to produce this practical and informative guide for sport leaders. The handbook contains information for how organizations can identify, define, and live their values - and provides a step-by-step guide for how a sport leader can use these values to improve the organization. Templates and instructions are included.

Until January 1st, 2013, we are offering the book at a flat rate of $20.00 which includes taxes and shipping and handling. An order form is also available on our website. The handbook would be a perfect (and instructive) holiday gift for members of your Board of Directors!

Our newsletter is distributed three or four times a year.

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