CODA Executive Proposed Amendment to By-Law 20

By June 23, 2019July 8th, 2019No Comments

The executive committee of the Canadian Optimist Dinghy Association (“CODA”) is proposing a change to the association’s bylaw dealing with the selection of sailors to teams participating at various international events organized by the International Optimist Dinghy Association (“IODA”).


The purpose of the change is to clarify the selection requirements pertaining to residency and citizenship and to ensure opportunities to compete at these internationals events are provided to sailors that are active participants in Optimist sailing within Canada.


Background information is presented below.


The families of all members in good standing will soon receive an email with a link to vote on this proposed b-ylaw change


CODA by-laws require that a proposed change to a by-law must be approved by at least 2/3 of the votes cast with a minimum of 20 percent of the membership voting.
If you have any questions please contact a member of the CODA executive.  


In addition to various administrative tasks, the objectives of CODA include:
– promoting the building, sailing and racing of International Optimist Dinghies in Canada; and
– to serve as the Canadian authority for the selection of national representatives to international events

The criteria used to select sailors to teams representing Canada at IODA World and Continental Championships (each an “IODA Event”) is contained in the CODA bylaws.

Currently the only requirements are for the sailor to:
–       be a member of CODA;
–       be 11 years of age or older at the time of the IODA Event; and
–       meet other eligibility criteria set by IODA

Sailors that meet these criteria are offered a spot on a team based on their standing at the Canadian Optimist Dinghy Championship (“CODC”) in the season prior to an IODA Event.
The CODA by-laws do not set any requirements or provide guidance regarding citizenship or residency.

Over the past several years there are examples of sailors that hold a Canadian passport yet live outside of Canada and by virtue of their standing at the CODC have been granted a spot on Canadian teams attending various IODA Events. While this is permitted by the existing selection rules, members of the CODA executive committee are of the view that a verifiable connection to the Optimist community in Canada is essential to meeting the objectives set out above; a sentiment that is echoed by our members’ parents. There is a strong feeling that sailors representing Canada at IODA Events should be active members of CODA as evidenced by their participation in club training programs in Canada, attendance at clinics sponsored by CODA and racing in local, regional, national and international regattas.

The CODA executive committee has discussed this issue at length and we believe that a clarification to the by-laws on the issue of residency and citizenship is required. The following addition to by-law 20 is proposed:


To be eligible for selection to an International Team, sailors must meet the following eligibility requirements (“Eligibility Requirements”):

i.            be a member in good standing of CODA;

ii.            be 11 years of age or older at the time of the International event;

iii.            have finished in the top 60% of the fleet at the CODC or in the event that Canada is the  host nation of the North American Continental Championship, in the top 80% of the fleet at the CODC to be selected for that event;

            iv.            meet eligibility criteria established by IODA from time-to-time and

v.            comply with the Residency Requirements defined below*.


Canadian citizenship is not an Eligibility Requirement however it is expected that sailors resident in Canada will be active CODA members as evidenced by their participation in club training programs in Canada, attendance at clinics sponsored by CODA and racing in local, regional, national and international regattas. The executive committee of CODA will have the final authority in determining whether or not a sailor meets the Residency Requirements.


*The term Residency Requirements means:

i.    Canada must be the sailor’s primary residence for no less than six months prior to the CODC used for the selection of International Teams; and

ii.  Canada must continue to be the sailor’s primary residence from the time of that CODC until the IODA Event; and

iii.  The sailor must intend to live in Canada for no less than six months following the IODA Event they are selected to attend.


Members who believe their personal situation warrants exception from the Eligibility Requirements, including the Residency Requirements, may file a written request (the “Exemption Request”) to the executive committee of CODA describing why they should be exempt from one or more of the Eligibility Requirements.


The Exemption Request may be submitted at any time prior to the CODC used to select teams attending IODA Events the following year, but must be received no later than September 15 in the year of that CODC. The CODA executive committee will create a review committee (the “Review Committee”) to assess the Exemption Request and make a final decision. This committee will be composed of members of the executive committee of CODA and one impartial third party. The Review Committee will have absolute discretion to approve or deny the Exemption Request based on the facts provided by the sailor and other information obtained by the Review Committee during their assessment. The Review Committee’s ruling will be final, without any right of appeal and will be provided to the applicant within four (4) weeks of receiving the Exemption Request and in any event no later than September 30th of the year of the CODC used to select teams for IODA Events in the following year.


The amended By-law 20 in its entirety is attached. Please note that other changes have been made to the current form of this by-law but they are for clarification purposes.

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