During the recent Congress of the PanAmerican Team Handball Federation, some important changes were made in the Statutes and in the Competition Regulations (in addition to the Competition System, as previously reported). Similarly, it was decided to introduce Regulation, including a Disciplinary and Ethics Tribunal.
The key change in the Statutes amounted to a clear separation between the function of the Executive Committee and the Council. The Executive Committee now has only five members and is set up to be able to function in a true executive capacity with frequent meetings and communications, especially regarding operational matters. The Council, which includes the Executive members, 4 Vice-Presidents elected by the four regions, the Representative to the IHF Council, and the Presidents of the Commission for Organizing and Competition and the Commission for Rules and Refereeing. The Council will have more of role in policy matters, and it also ensures a wide representation of all parts of the Continent. In addition, an Office attached to the President, with a General Manager, should be able to ensure a major improvement in communications related to competitions and other operational matters.
The Competition Regulations also were firmed up on some points. It is now clear that the member federations can count on as many as 10 participants in each PanAmerican Championship. (The PanAmerican Games are beyond the control of the PATHF and have their own rules on this point). This means that federations cannot push for a larger number for a specific event, nor do they run the risk that an organizer declines to handle this size. It is a different matter that for the junior and youth categories we might conceivably find that there are sometimes less than 10 teams entered.
Strong emphasis has been added to provisions under which federations register teams for a PanAmerican competition. The deadlines are now firm, and there are strong penalties for late withdrawal or non-appearance, as this generally causes great problems and wasted resources for both organizers and other participants. It was also decided that, in an effort to encourage a broader spectrum of member federations to volunteer as organizers, the organizers will now be able to charge up to US$30 per person and day to cover food and lodging. Previously this was supposed to be covered through the participation fees.
Finally, on the basis of the negative experience with the handling of disciplinary matters in the absence of a solid regulation, and therefore with a risk of inconsistencies in decisions and procedural flaws, it was agreed that the PATHF must establish formal and comprehensive regulations. These will cover violence, misconduct and other offenses related to games and competitions, but also administrative violations in the relations of member federations with the PATHF and regarding their obligations in the area of competition. There will also be a separate segment focusing on ethical conduct and possible violations. The key body in this area is the independent Disciplinary and Ethics Tribunal. During the course of a competition, there will the traditional ‘Disciplinary Committee’ as the first level, typically with a member of the Tribunal serving as ‘Jury’ in the case of appeals. For situations outside competitions, the Tribunal is the first and the last entity to handle reports of violations. Its decisions will then be without scope for appeal.