Claims Committee Overview
The purpose of the Claims Committee is to provide a detailed and precise method; for seeking timely enforced corrective action of ethical, rule, and code violations.  Furthermore, the role of this committee will be as a last resort where High School Tennis Coaches and Schools have previously made every effort towards a reasonable solution and are unsuccessful.

A detailed and formulated process has been created by which such a committee will be constructed, be engaged, make evaluations, make recommendations, be evaluated by the board, and be retained. 
Below is brief overview of such a committee.

 It is the overall intent of the vast number of people that comprised this proposal that such a committee will not have to be used.  But, in which cases situations cannot be resolved, then, such a process has been clearly defined and can be utilized to retain fairness, ethics, rules, and the code of tennis by which schools participate.

Claims Committee

  1. The Board of Directors shall reserve a time at every June Board meeting to appoint 5 board members to the Claims Committee.   The Board will also select one alternate member to serve as interim in cases where a member has conflicted interest or there is an absence within the Committee.
  2. The 5 members of the Claims Committee may serve multiple terms if re-appointed by the Board, but (re)appointing and voting of these members shall occur at every June Board meeting.  Those appointees will then serve for the next fiscal year.
  3. The 5 Claims Committee members will internally appoint a chair and make it known to the Board of Directors after doing so.
  4. The Chair will lead the committee while facilitating the hearing and submittal process of claims and responses. The Chair will also present a brief overview at every Board meeting from the previous season: accounting for the Committee’s proceedings.  During this meeting; amendments to the Claims Committee process can be heard, voted on, and implemented as needed.
  5. Prior to submitting a claim to the Claims Committee, a documented effort must be made to resolve the issue with the opposing coach or team.  If the coaches, athletic directors, or league of the respected schools cannot resolve the issue then, a claim may be filed.  These documented efforts shall be included with all claims.
  6. Upon receiving a claim, the merit of the claim will be evaluated by the Committee.  If the claim is found to be of merit; the accused coach/school will be notified by the Committee Chair within 2 days.  The accused will then have 3 days to submit a response to the Chair. If more than 2 unmerited claims are filed by any one coach/school with-in a 1 year’s time or less, that coach/school may not file another claim until after 1 year has past from the time of their first claim.
  7. The Claim:
    1. All claims filed shall outline the incident, how the incident violates the MHSAA coaches manual, USTA rule book, or the tennis code of ethics. The claim should detail all parties or schools involved or present and provide any evidences to help support their claim. If the claimer wishes to also verbally represent their evidences, it must be indicated on their submission. 
  8. The Response:
    1. The response should specifically address the claim and all parts therein.  All responses must be submitted to the Committee Chair within 3 days after notification; and should include details and evidences that support their response.  In addition, if the coach/school wishes to verbally communicate their evidences, they must indicate so on their submission.   The response should also include an overall position and response in defense to the claim against them.  Incorporating any intuition and non-measurable data (perhaps how they made their line-up).
  9. Claims And Responses Specifically Involving Line-up “Stacking”
    1. The claim must outline what flight(s) are “stacked” with multiple match and score proof.
    2. The response to the claim must have the flight positions of the flights in question with every match score from the current season (Submission deadline: 5 days after notification).
    3. In addition, the response shall include dated challenge matches for line-up verification of those flights.  (The TE-25 Challenge Match Form is recommended;
    4.  If previous season flight positions and challenge match results are helpful, coaches are encouraged to include as they deem necessary.   
    5. Both the claim and the response are encouraged to include contact information of fellow coaches for lineup verification. All information gathered in this process will be kept confidential and anonymous.  When contacting coaches for verification purposes, the committee personnel will explain the confidential and anonymous statement and will encourage contacted coaches not to further discuss the matter.  
  10. In all cases, following both submissions, the committee shall render a decision before 10 days, and make a submission to the MHSAA for possible implementation.  If necessary, the committee shall recommend potential disciplinary action and or other corrective courses of action to the MHSAA. No courses of action will be mandated prior to the MHSAA making a final decision.
  11. The committee may recommend to the MHSAA, dependent on the severity, type, and occurrence of the offense(s), administering formal warnings, line-up changes, defaulting certain flights, forfeiture of contests, potential loss of regional/state seeding, All-State disqualification, post season coaching or team ban, or a probationary period for that coach or school.  Penalties are administered to the school, but are tied to the coach as well.
    1. A coach put on probation will remain on probation for one fiscal year after a violation, (for either girl’s or boy’s seasons) and the probation will remain with a coach coaching for multiple schools or multiple tennis programs (i.e. Coach/School does not have probation removed because the coach takes a different coaching position within the same school or because he or she becomes a coach within a different program or school or the school removes the coach).  Regardless of any coaching change, schools and the coach will remain on probation for one year following institution of probation.
    2. If the offense is deemed to be more of a violation by the school, than that of the coach, the school may be put on probation separate from the coach, and that will remain with the school’s tennis program for one fiscal year; no matter who the coach is for either the boy’s or girl’s program. If the coach leaves and goes to another school during this time the probation will not follow that coach.
    3. During the period of probation the school or coach must follow a specific corrective action plan to retain eligibility as detailed by the Committee and approved by the MHSAA.
  12. Ruling Guidelines:
    1. First Offense:  Immediate corrective action, loss of point(s) for flight(s) if applicable, and a formal disciplinary action letter to Athletic Director and Coach.
    2. Second Offense:  All of (a.) Including possible loss of regional/state seeds and or forfeit of contests.
    3. Third Offense: All of (a.-b.) and one time post-season ban of coach and or team.
    4. More than three offenses: All of (a.-c.) and multiple post-season bans of coach/team.
    5. *All offenses may include the probationary period at the recommendation of the Committee.
    6. Any school/coach on probation may not host a regional tournament. 
  13. All rulings are final only after the MHSAA enforces such judgments. The recommendations from the Claims Committee may be enhanced or lowered at the discretion of the MHSAA.