Official Minutes


7:00 PM -- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2006
McLean Community Center
McLean, VA


Attendance:  Board Members: Jim Garner, Austin Auger, Art Davis, Mark Faherty, Frani Hess, John Hirschmann, Dan Jacobs, Bill Marlin, Don Riedlinger, Ron Whalen; Non-voting Board members: Janet Auger, John Ertter, Boots Hall, Linda Klopfenstein.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:57 pm by Jim Garner, General Chair.

Agenda: Jim provided the Board with a proposed Agenda.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the September 27, 2006 meeting. The motion passed with one abstention, Don Riedlinger.

General Chairman Items:  The General Chair, Jim Garner, began the meeting by informing the Board that he had recently sent a letter to a club requesting payment for fines that had been levied for entering four swims that did not meet the qualifying times at the 2006 PVS Senior SC Championship Meet.  The sending of the letter had been delayed while confirming that we had the correct mailing address for the club.  The Board also advised that letters had previously been sent to this club and returned as undeliverable.  It was determined that the letter was being mailed to the same address as the club had provided the PVS Registrar as the club address.  The treasurer, John Ertter, will now mail an invoice.  Pending receipt of payment  the Board requested that Art Davis, Administrative Vice Chair, notify the PVS Registrar to not process the club's 2007 club registration until further notified to do otherwise. 

Garner reported that Paris Jacobs was not able to attend tonight's meeting nor will she be available for the November Board meeting to report to the Board on the 2007 Swimposium.  In her absence, she asked Garner to report to the Board that she had contacted George Mason University and will be able to book the rooms in December.  She plans to make similar arrangements to how the 2005 Swimposium was conducted.  While she is open to co-hosting the event with VSI, she agrees that further discussion needs to occur to assure that the size of the Swimposium will remain manageable.  The attendees offered suggestions as to the various topics to offer in the various tracks.  It was suggested that some variation in the specific topics highlighted in the various tracks be sought in order to make the Swimposium attractive to those who attended in 2005.  It was noted that the current budget does not contain any funding for either the Swimposium or PVS Camps since neither had been contemplated when the 2007 budget was prepared in April 2006.  (While the Swimposium will occur in the next fiscal year, funds will be needed this year to fund planning, deposits and publicity.)  Hirschmann asked the Board to consider the need to give notice to the House of Delegates, with specific information regarding the proposed budget amendments.  [Subsequent research indicated that the By-Laws do not require such notice to be given, but it was determined that an informal notice should nevertheless be provided to the House prior to the meeting.]  Ertter stated that he would prepare such numbers and report back to the Board.

Senior Division:

2006 ConocoPhilips National Championships:  Riedlinger informed the Board that six clubs had applied for travel assistance on behalf of sixteen athletes who participated in the 2006 ConocoPhillips National Championships.  The Board was advised that their applications had been reviewed and they all satisfied the requirements for reimbursement.  One was submitted as an "appeal" and the basis for the appeal was noted as "college."  The Board was advised of the specifics of the situation and agreed the circumstances satisfied the intent of the "college" provision.  It was noted that the amount of travel funds set aside for this meet was $9000, with a cap of $450 per swimmer.  The Board approved payment of $450 per athlete to the appropriate clubs for these athletes.

2006 USA Swimming Junior Championships:  Riedlinger informed the Board that seven clubs had applied for travel assistance on behalf of sixteen athletes who participated in the 2006 USA Swimming Junior Championships.  The Board was advised that thirteen of the applications satisfied the requirements for reimbursement, while three did not.  The Board was provided with information as to why the 3 athletes did not satisfy the requirement and concurred with the findings.  It was noted that the amount of travel funds set aside for this meet was $3750, with a cap of $250 per swimmer.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to follow the Committee's recommendation to provide assistance on behalf of thirteen athletes and deny reimbursement to three athletes.  The Board approved payment of $250 per athlete to the appropriate clubs for the remaining thirteen athletes. 

2006 US Paralympics National Championships:  Riedlinger informed the Board that two clubs had applied for travel assistance on behalf of two athletes who participated in the US Paralympics National Championships.   It was noted that while the travel reimbursement requirements for this meet had been approved by the Board last September, they had inadvertently never been published on the PVS website.  One athlete for whom support was requested had satisfied the 9/6 requirement of the SC season in the absence of having this information.  It was noted that the amount of travel funds set aside for this meet was $1350, with a cap of $450 per swimmer.  The Board approved payment of $450 per athlete to the appropriate clubs for these athletes.

Disability Award:  Prior to the meeting, Riedlinger had provided all members of the Board with his proposal for PVS Criteria for Swimmers with a Disability Award.  He informed the Board the criteria had been developed with the assistance of Julie O'Neil, US Paralympics Swimming Manager.  In reviewing the criteria, Riedlinger pointed out that 1 point would be earned by "qualifying" for a Can-Am Series Meet--as opposed to participating.  He explained that he did not wish to impose a financial hardship by requiring participation.  He also emphasized that records can (and have been) set at able-bodied meets and that either the coach or the swimmer must apply for the award.  He concluded by stating that the award should be meaningful--therefore, if no one is entitled to points, no award would be given.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to adopt the criteria effective with the 2006-07 season.

Following the vote, Riedlinger informed the Board that USA-S had established an Incentive Program for Inclusion of Swimmers with a Disability in Sanctioned Competition at the LSC Level.  He asked that clubs hosting PVS sponsored meets not apply for the incentive since he did not think that PVS needed to take funds from the limited resources being made available.  Clubs conducting club sponsored meets are welcome to apply.

Qualifying Times for Distance Events;  Bill Marlin, PVS Distance Coordinator, asked to speak about possible modifications to the PVS Entry Times and Criteria for Distance Freestyle Meets / Events.  This was based in part on reviewing entries into the 1000Y Free at the October Open.  The Board was advised that the distance times and criteria rule did not provide a "safe harbor" for a few swimmers who could reasonably be expected to swim the event within 15 minutes for 1000Y/800M or 25 minutes for 1650Y/1500M but did not meet either the distance QT or the alternate QT at the next shorter distance.  This prohibited qualified swimmers from competing.  As an example, he offered the situation where a swimmer had swum the 500 Freestyle in a high school competition, but not in a PVS meet.  Noting that  the policy had been instituted to preclude the entry of swimmers who were not ready to swim the distance within the time standard, he asked the Board to modifying the policy to enable the Distance Coordinator discretion in allowing exceptions.

The Board granted the Distance Coordinator the authority to use his discretion, when provided with satisfactory evidence by an athlete's coach, to permit a swimmer to enter an event as well as to determine the appropriate seeding placement.  Marlin, Hirschmann and Riedlinger were authorized to develop specific language.

Treasurer's Report / Finance Division:  Financial results for the period ending September 30, 2006 had been provided to the Board prior to the meeting.  With his transmittal, Hirschmann had pointed out that PVS's financial records to support the audit for the year ending August 31, 2006 had already been provided to the auditor.  PVS's current assets on hand as of September 30, 2006 were $645,230.  This number reflects approximately $50,000 in athlete registrations whose portion payable to USA-S has yet to be invoiced.

Ertter advised the Board that the previously outstanding zone collectible has now been received.  He also requested and received permission to provide templates of PVS's independent contractor contracts to the treasurer of another LSC to assist them in implementing some of the procedures in place by PVS.

Age Group:   PVS Diversity Team:  Prior to the previous month's meeting, the Board had been provided a copy of a request that had been sent regarding the possibility of the formation of a PVS Diversity Team for competition in a meet in Goldsboro, NC, Memorial Day Weekend 2007.  Riedlinger explained to the Board that the meet appears to be similar to the Black History Meet in that it is an approved meet--that the meet is conducted under USA-S technical rules--but that the swimmers are not required to be members of USA Swimming.  Times from the meet are entered into SWIMS.  In light of USA-S's interest in promoting diversity and, if the meet manager will permit PVS to consolidate a team, Riedlinger stated that he believed that PVS should promote the meet.

Continuing the discussion, Garner provided the Board with information he had acquired from the Maryland LSC regarding its prior year participation in the meet.  In addition to supporting the formation of a team, the LSC had provided some financing for outfitting and transportation. 

The Board endorsed the concept in principal and requested Don Riedlinger and John Hirschmann to obtain further information how such a team might be conducted and how support might be provided.

Athlete Representative: Frani Hess opened a discussion about exploring ways for athletes to communicate with other athletes.  She agreed to a recommendation that a posting be provided on the PVS website encouraging athletes to contact their athlete representatives with any comments or concerns.  Noting that such a posting had been done in the past, Hirschmann volunteered to update the one that had been used previously.  To further encourage athlete participation, it was suggested that suggestion boxes be made available at PVS sponsored meets.  While no specific details were addressed, the Board endorsed these concepts.

Hosting 2008 Eastern Zone Long Course Meet:  On the matter of the 2008 Summer Zone meet, Bill Marlin reported that he had no new information to bring to the Board's attention.  He was hopeful of receiving information from the 2006 meet host to aid with the financial planning.

Financial Support for Sectional and Zone Meets:  The Board next turned to the matter of its position on providing financial support to PVS clubs hosting either Zone or Sectional meets.  Hirschmann stated that he thought support should be requested prior to a club submitting a bid to the zone.  Riedlinger pointed out that, in the case of Sectionals, PVS  some times has had limited participation in part due to where the sectionals have been held and also because of our own championships meets.  He stated that he thought the Strategic Planning Committee should undertake a review of the potential impact on PVS Championships if Sectional support was provided.  As for Zones support, Riedlinger noted that PVS already provided substantial support.  Hirschmann reported on the financial support these meets get from USA Swimming, including increases that had been approved starting in 2007.  The Board requested that the Strategic Planning Committee investigate the matter and report back.

No discussion occurred on the topic of increasing the zone coach stipend.  It was requested that Paris Jacobs submit a report and her recommendations at the November Board meeting.

PVS Zone Coordinator:  Bill Marlin informed the Board that a new zone coordinator had not been selected.  Paris Jacobs is preparing a step-by-step manual to assist in the transition.  It was recommended that Marlin and Jacobs consult with the prior years' zones coaches for potential candidates.  It was stressed that it was highly desirable that the selection be made prior to the SC Zone meet so the incoming coordinator could serve as an "understudy" prior to and at that meet.

PVS Athlete Camps:  Marlin updated the Board as to the status of PVS sponsored camps noting that the Camps Coordinator would like to hold at least one one-day camp this year.  Investigations have begun on pool availability and contacts have been established with individuals from other LSC's who have run successful camps.  Realizing that  the Board will need to petition HoD for funding, he asked about the availability of prior camps' financial information.  Ertter volunteered to investigate PVS's historical financial records and provide information to the Camps Coordinator.        

PVS Athlete's Behavior at 2006 Eastern Zone Age Group LC Championship:  The Board reviewed written documents prepared by two individuals pertaining to what was alleged to have occurred.  The Board discussed what actions had been taken when alleged matters had happened at past zone meets and whether it would be dealing with this matter in a consistent manner.  As a result, no action was recommended to be taken against the athlete at this time.  The Board determined that there was a need for it to review the steps and the promptness by which it enforces the PVS Code of Conduct.  The Board also requested that the rights of the head coach and/or zone team manger to take prompt disciplinary actions under the Amateur Sports Act be clarified. 

Operations Division:  Boots Hall informed the Board that the Officials Committee had scheduled an Advanced Starter Clinic for November 11th.  Pat Lunsford, from USA Swimming, will be the guest presenter. 

Prior to the Board meeting, the Board had been informed that Dave Macedonia resigned his position as Safety Committee Chairman.  The Board unanimously approved the recommendation of the General Chairman to select Peter Nichols as his replacement.  Ron Whalen, Operations Vice Chairman, advised the Board that he would take the necessary steps needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Administrative Division:  Garner informed the Board that John Hirschmann had requested that the meeting's agenda include a discussion of the appointment of a Deputy Registrar.  Hirschmann explained to the Board that he felt it important to provide back-up to the current Registrar should she be unavailable.  Garner stated that he would transfer the prior Deputy Registrar's permissions to Janet Auger and, also, Bill Stephen's permissions to Art Davis. 

Hirschmann then passed out to the Board copies of the PVS Services and Resource List.   Noting that some positions were vacant and some chairmen were less active than others, he asked the Board to consider appointments for some of the positions and/or whether some positions should be eliminated.

Old Business:  Competition Committee's request for the Board to consider modifying Policy & Procedure regarding the scheduling of meet bids was deferred.  Hirschmann and Riedlinger are to confer.

Riedlinger reported to the Board that he had researched what Maryland Swimming had done regarding adequate staffing of officials at meets.  In order to bid a meet, the club must provide evidence of 4 certified officials and 1 timing system operator for each planned course of the meet.  The minimum complement of certified officials is defined as 1 Referee, 1 Starter, and two Stroke and Turn Judges.  Clubs not meeting the requirement to have at least one referee and one starter per course shall have a minimum of two stroke and turn judges and may secure the services of non-member referees and starters provided they are committed to working all sessions of the meet.  He continued by stating that he did not wish to adopt a policy that established minimum officials for bidding a meet, but, instead, wished the Board to consider if it should establish a minimum number of officials working a meet, and, if so, was it interested in establishing penalties.  The general consensus of the members was that, while they wished to ensure that meets were adequately officiated, they were not interested in imposing fines especially since the Officials Committee was still developing means by which officials actually working at meets are accurately tracked.  The Board concluded the discussion by deciding it wished to go on record with the following statement:

The Board of Directors has received concerns that some PVS meets may have been conducted without a sufficient number of Officials to provide for fair and equitable competition.  Except at Distance meets, it is the expectation of the PVS Board of Directors that all PVS sanctioned meets be conducted with no less than 4 certified deck Officials (Referee, Starter, 2 Stroke & Turn Judges), as well as sufficient table workers and the required number of Timers, which depends upon the timing equipment being used.

This will be disseminated to PVS via the Flash Mail system.

New Business:  In September, the Board had received a letter from Mark Eldridge requesting additional information on the recently adopted PVS Officials Requirement.  Garner reviewed his proposed response with the Board.  Riedlinger asked to go on record that he thought Eldridge had made some strategic points that the Board had failed to consider when it approved the requirement and that he had found his thinking refreshing.  It was acknowledged that Mark's proposal that support be measured in terms of sessions worked by officials, rather than certified officials, and number of meet entries or actual swims, rather than registered athletes, had merit; however, the former is not known with any degree of accuracy and the latter may not be readily available.

It was noted that Jim Thompson started tracking which officials were working what sessions two years ago.  He achieved about a 50% response rate the first year and, unfortunately, a lower response rate last year.

As a result of this and the earlier discussion regarding adequate officiating at PVS meets, and in recognition of the importance of accurately tracking officials actually working at PVS sanctioned meets, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to refund $20.00 per meet to PVS host clubs that submit Officials' sign-in sheets for all sessions.  Approval to grant the refund will be issued by Jim Thompson.  John Ertter was requested to work out the details of how the program will be implemented with Jim Thompson. 

Next Board Meeting: The Chair announced that its next Board meeting will be held at McLean Community Center on Wednesday, November 8th at 6:30 PM.

Adjournment: The Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:47 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Auger
PVS Administrative Assistant