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Writing any petition is serious business and needs to be thought through thoroughly. When putting one together, it is important to think about the justification for the petition and the potential message that will accompany it. While a strong petition has the potential for changing a great deal, a weak one can have the opposite effect and cause a great deal of embarrassment and loss of stature. To petition for the removal of a bad community sports or other little league coach, try to refrain from character and personal attacks. Examples of strong justification are the coach's number of losing seasons coupled with poor treatment of players, consistent unsportsmanlike conduct or behavior unbecoming of a leader or role model.
Rally support. A petition is a circulated document used to acquire signatures in order to support a movement for change. It carefully outlines the reasons which suggest change. Before writing a petition intended for circulation, gather a number of individuals who share the same sentiment. The more individuals supporting the move for a petition, the greater chances of success.
Collectively identify justification. As a united effort, organize a list of reasons which justify the removal of a bad coach. It is not enough to say you do not like them. There must be a reason as to why the coach is sub-standard. If possible, quantify the justification with supportive numbers. An example might be, since the coach took over, the team has lost 53 games and won seven in three seasons. The more quantifiable justifications that can be included, the stronger the petition becomes.
Take the list of justifications and organize them in a logical sequence as you draft the petition. Include each of these as a separate paragraph in the draft. Be careful of the word selection and avoid attacking anything personal about the coach. Stay away from justification statements that point toward individual traits and remain true to facts.
Gather the group once again and read the petition to them. Include their ideas for phrase changes or wording. The more input everyone is able to give, the more each is able to take ownership of the document. Sharing ownership increases support. When all are agreed on how the petition should read, present it to a lawyer for a legal review. The lawyer will ensure that the petition is void of slander or other offensive language that could find you liable in a character suit.
Following the legal review, produce copies of the petition and distribute them to the group for signatures. Assign areas to each person so that the entire involved community is covered. The more signatures that are gathered, the more the decision makers will be pressured to implement change.
Present the petition in the same manner you would to someone who would potentially sign as a supporter. Present only the facts as these cannot be refuted. A 7-53 record, repeated game expulsion, and other examples of misconduct would make a coach's rebuttal more challenging.