American Cricket Federation
By Jamie Harrison
I can say without fear of contradiction that the American Cricket Federation (ACF) has created the most perfect governance structure of any cricket body in the world, and this governance structure will ensure the future success of the game in America for generations to come. Here’s what I mean:
What typically attracts megalomaniacs and dictators to elected office is the promise of title and power. ACF has removed much of the incentive for such persons by creating a power structure whereby authority rests in a group collaborative, with eleven board members working together to set policy. In this group, no one has more power than any other member.
Yes, the board has a chairman, but this person’s power is limited to running the meetings by Robert’s Rules of Order; he doesn’t even get to vote, unless there’s a tie.
The ACF board is comprised of six directors drawn from specific geographic zones, four “at-large” directors, and one Independent Director. None of these individuals has any more power than the other, meaning that consensus and compromise become key to getting things done. No more dictators. No more bribes and threats.
ACF also has its Advisory and Judicial Committee, which operates independently of the Board of Directors. It runs its own meetings and elects its own chairperson. It is made up of: Player and Club Representatives, Women’s Cricket Representatives, College Cricket Representatives, Hardball League Representatives, Softball League Representatives and (Youth) Development Representatives.
The purpose of this committee is to act as a “think tank,” brainstorming initiatives and potential programs, hearing about problems or unresolved issues, and conducting investigations, as it deems necessary. It then reports to the Board of Directors, and can add items to the official meeting agenda.
The AJC also oversees all judicial proceedings within ACF; members of the board of directors are not permitted to take part in this process, so as to create a second layer of accountability.
It should also be noted that no one may serve on the Board of Directors or the AJC for more than eight years, and the terms of office are staggered so that the entire board doesn’t turn over at one time. This ensures stability, as well as keeping an alliance, or “junta,” from sweeping into power all at once.
Also, there are no appointments made to open ACF offices. If a vacancy arises, the constitution mandates a free and fair election to fill that seat. No closed-door, horse-trading, back room deals at ACF – ever.
So, who has the power to elect ACF officers? In short, everyone. Leagues, clubs and individuals all have the right to vote in ACF elections, with league votes counting for 10, club votes counting for 5 and individuals members going at a rate of one. This ensures that all voices are heard, and it eliminates the threat of bribes and coercion by making the electorate so large that the reward is not worth the price.
ACF also has a CEO who runs the day-to-day operations of the organization (as the ICC mandates) but his authority comes solely from the Board of Directors. He is an at-will employee, who can be removed without cause or notice by the board. Once again, you see checks and balances on the power of individuals or cliques.
Lastly, the ACF governance model has returned power to the people by eliminating the corrupt regional administration system so adeptly used by USACA to threaten and coerce league submission. There will no longer be powerful local chieftains who wield power over leagues simply by virtue of their fealty to the USACA president. No longer will the hosting of regional and national tournaments be subject to the whims and prejudices of regional viceroys. From now on, every bid will be selected on its merits alone.
As you can see, the American Cricket Federation has built a national governance structure that ensures transparency, fairness and equally representation for all. Only those who seek personal power or private gain will find fault with this carefully constructed, and might I say near-perfect, constitution.
And because of the constitutional protections inherent in this glorious document, you can rest assured that the future of American cricket will look nothing like its past.