POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Chairman: Thirl Crudup, Members: John Ertter, Jim Garner, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Bill Stephens, Greg York. Non-Voting Members and Guests: Linda Klopenstein, Don Reynolds.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by the General Chairman, Thirl Crudup, at 7:30 pm. He provided the Board with an agenda.
Approval of Minutes
Hirschmann reported that no comments had been received on the draft minutes that had been circulated prior to the meeting. The Board approved the minutes of its meeting of October 23, 2002.
Garner reported that as had been proposed at the October meeting -- he had contacted Don Riedlinger and Pamela Starke-Reed and they had both agreed to serve as co-chairs of the PVS's Adaptive Swimming Committee.
General Chairman's Report
Thirl provided registration numbers for the 2003 registration year. He reported that PVS had already registered (as of November 19), 4286 athletes, 312 non-athletes (approximately 103 are coaches and remainder non-coaches -- primarily officials.) 21 PVS clubs had registered for 2003. Hirschmann noted it appeared three clubs had registered for which he had not received information to determine if information on the website and flash mailing list needed updating.
It was noted many clubs still had not reregistered for 2003. Thirl indicated they would be contacted to make sure they knew that they needed to do so in order to avoid having their club's registration status cease as of December 31, 2002.
Thirl noted that Sumie had successfully registered all of the above with USA Swimming and only one athlete and one non-athlete discrepancy had occurred during the automated portion of the process. This was a significant improvement over PVS's experience with it prior registrar. It was also noted that USA Swimming had invoiced for these registrations and had been paid - the amount involved being in excess of $100,000.
It was noted that while most PVS clubs were actively registering their athletes -- this was not always the case, including in particular clubs with multiple training sites where not all sites were actively registering their athletes. It was observed it was improbable that there were no new athletes which need to be registered prior to their first competition or training with a club for more than 30 days.
It was reported that Hy-Tek in Meet Manager and Team Manager provides many tools to allow PVS's registration files to be compared with athletes entered into meets (Meet Mgr) and athletes associated with a team (Team Mgr). There is also a capability within Meet Mgr to flag situations where an athlete's registration numbers is not consistent with the legal name and/or date of birth in the meet file. USA Swimming has also created similar tools. A determination still needs to be made whether the PVS registration file (in a .re1 format) can be provided on a team specific basis in that format.
Thirl stated that Sumie was continuing the announced practicing of returning to clubs unprocessed registration submissions whenever they are incomplete. This does not preclude resolving minor "de minimus" errors when it would be more efficient to resolve them over the phone than to return them.
The Board also had an extended discussion as to how it might make the registration process work better. This included working with its clubs in order to make the process go smoother. This might include direct contact with some clubs on a 1 to 1 basis. Having more formal training with club registrars and the meet managers to make them more familiar with the tools available to them and the registration requirements of PVS and USA Swimming was also discussed. There was discussion whether to still do it this autumn versus just focus on the clubs apparently having the greatest need for the moment. The general consensus was to defer any formal training until Spring 2003. Incentives to get clubs to attend, who from a club should be encouraged (required) to attend and possible impact of the new processes USA Swimming is planning to implement for direct registration was also discussed.
Thirl reported that the position of Strategic Planning had been vacant since Greg York resigned that position in order to become Age Group Chairman -- a vacancy created when George Massey resigned as a result of leaving the area.
Thirl proposed that the Board approve the filing of the vacancy with Frank Persico. If approve by the Board, they would serve until the next House of Delegates meeting in May 2003. The person elected at that time would serve the remainder of the term, which runs until August 31, 2004.
He noted that Frank had previously demonstrated interest in this position as he had unsuccessfully run to fill the position in 2001. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Officials Committee and Chairman of the PVS Board of Review. Professionally he is Vice-President and Chief of Staff at Catholic University. Previously, he was Associate Dean of CU's law school.
The Board unanimously approved his selection. He will serve until the next House of Delegates meeting.
Neither athlete representative was present. No reports were received.
Administrative Division Report
Bill Stephens provided a written report to the Board at the meeting. He did not discuss it at length with the Board. He noted that it was also written to communicate with the general PVS membership regarding where PVS is in regard to filling the Administrative Assistant position and obtaining an office from PVS administrative affairs could be conducted.
Bill reported that he had appointed two individuals to assist in the activities of the Division. Tyanna Ertter has agreed to become Records and Top 16 Chair. Lyn Hellman has agreed to become Awards Chair. The Board concurred with these selections.
Bill advised the Board that he thought PVS should in the future give more thought to getting involved with the following types of activities.
These items were not pursued further at this meeting.
Bill made the following motion regarding when a registration would become official. " Moved, that registrations received by the PVS office or administrator are considered accepted as of the date of electronic or postal delivery for purposes of determining membership in PVS and USA-S. However, if there are mistakes or discrepancies in the registration applications, they may be returned to the club or member for correction before they are entered into the PVS database."
Bill stated "The purpose of this motion was to make clear that membership begins when the applications are received by PVS and that they are not rejected or considered un-accepted just because there may be discrepancies regarding correct payment or because clerical errors must be resolved before the membership can be entered into the database. This definition is of particular importance in regard to insurance coverage for athletes who are practicing."
The Board discussed the desirability of this motion and the fact it would assure for insurance purposes that insurance coverage would go into effect immediately upon receipt by PVS. It was noted this was similar to the practice generally followed by the insurance industry. Others observed that this might adversely impact the current cooperation being received from clubs who understand that PVS will now not process their registrations until the data being submitted is properly formatted and complete and registration funds are received. In order to not have any change in policy not have this unintended consequence, a friendly amendment was to revise the motion so it would read as follows.
"Moved that registrations received by the PVS office or administrator are considered accepted for insurance purposes as of date of the electronic or postal delivery, provided payment is made in accordance with PVS policy. However, no further processing of the registration application will occur until funds are received." The Board APPROVED this amended motion.
Bill also mentioned three areas where he hoped to plant "seed ideas" with the Board for discussion at a future Board meeting.
The first involved investigating the possibility of establishing an additional membership tier so that swimmer training with clubs, but not competing in PVS meets, could become members at a reasonable price. He noted that athletes on some PVS clubs are now obtaining insurance thru other more economical means and not becoming members of USA Swimming in order to avoid the higher registration costs.
The second involved sharing with the Board that he had become aware of two situations (involving four clubs) where sanctions for dual meets had not been applied for prior to the meet. He noted that if this is not policed, it could become a source of major revenue leakage for the LSC.
Finally, the third involved dealing with the current level of dissatisfaction being felt within some portions of the officiating community. This included problems they had experienced in the past (now resolved) receiving their registration, recognition and appreciation for the volunteer services they perform, the quality of officiating and computer support equipment that PVS sometimes provides and introducing new equipment without prior consultation or familiarization training.
The Board did some "brain storming" as to steps that might be undertaken to improve this situation. This included various items (ranging from pins, pens to collared shirts) that could be given to them by the LSC in appreciation of their volunteer service. It was suggested by one Board member that they might be compensated, but others reported that this discouraged by the national officials committee and frequently had the impact of leading to a "closed shop" and significantly reducing the number of officials working meets.
There was also considerable discussion of the frustration officials sometimes experience working with PVS equipment and how this can impact on their morale. The hope was expressed that PVS strive to provide properly functioning equipment that the officials have had an opportunity to use before and know how to operate. The undesirability of introducing new equipment at major meets and/or without adequate testing to make sure it will properly interface with other equipment was highlighted.
Bill also introduced Don Reynolds, an attorney, to the Board. Bill explained that Don had come to observe a PVS Board meeting. The Board had previously discussed that it might be valuable to have legal advise available to it on certain occasions.
The PVS Webmaster had submitted a written report in advance of the meeting. No further discussion occurred
John Hirschmann had provided a written report in advance of the meeting. He had noted in the transmission of his report that there were several items on which he would be seeking Board guidance.
One was the matter of conducting PVS Senior LC Champs. It had been reported at the October Board meeting that the preferred pool had already been tentatively reserved by another LSC. Garner reported that PVS had been contact with that LSC and they had declined are offer to consider the possibility of conducting a joint Senior Champs meet. They also stated they understood our needs and would be withdrawing their request to rent GMU on those dates. Accordingly there was no need to discuss this matter further.
Hirschmann also reported that some issues had arisen in conjunction with balancing entries for the PVS November Open. He reminded the Board the objective has been to have approximately the same number of splashes/lane at meets which PVS conducts in multiple sites. For this meeting, less than complete and fully processed information had been available from one of the host clubs. As a result, it was not possible to review session length and so balance in session length and number of splashes could not be fully achieved. Accordingly, it was recommended and the Board approved that for multi-site PVS meets, host clubs would be required to submit a complete Meet Mgr file to the Operations Chairman by 10AM on the Friday following when entries are due. The Operations Chairman would advise the host clubs of any reassignments by 10AM on the following Monday.
Hirschmann also advised the Board that in his role as acting sanctioning officer, he had been made aware of a dual meet for the first time, ten days after the meet occurred. While such meets are under most circumstances, automatically sanctioned, there is requirement to request such sanctions in advance. The Board voted to fine the club who failed to seek a sanction in a timely manner, $100.
Hirschmann also noted that a club that is sponsoring another meet had advised it no longer wished to make the meet open to all PVS clubs, the basis on which it had been originally sanctioned. It was noted that this meet would likely be the last opportunity for PVS athletes to qualify for major meets. Accordingly, the Competition Committee members of the Board indicated they did not think it appropriate for PVS to agree to such an amendment in the sanction. It was also recognized that insufficient water might be available to handle all anticipated entries. Accordingly, the Board agreed the LSC should advise the club that the meet should remain open to all club, but that they would understand if the meet announcement indicated that only the first "x" swimmers or splashes could be accepted.
Finally, Hirschmann reported to the Board that he had been asked to review a Coaches Continuing Education grant submitted to the Board in October. He noted that this program has apparently been inactive in recent years, as the application form has not been updated for several years. It was recommended that the application be approved, although it was noted it was not in technical compliance regarding what time of the year it was submitted or when the course was taken relative to when the application was submitted. The Board voted to approve payment of the $500 requested by the applicant.
The Board also discussed steps that could be taken to revitalize this program.
John Ertter provided two reports to the Board in advance of the meeting. They included PVS's financial condition as of November 15, 2002 and financial activity of the LSC from September 1 to November 15, 2002. The later was compared with PVS's budget for the full fiscal year.
The report showed PVS had assets on hand as of November 15 of $403,947. This includes $4728 in the Dave Davis fund and $5031 held in escrow as a prepayment by a member club. It was observed that PVS had already received over the 75% of the budgeted registration revenue for the year, but it is still less than 25% through the fiscal year, with most of its annual expenses still to be incurred.
John advised the Board he planned to file PVS's FY02 Form 990's with IRS on the following day. Copies were provided to those Board members who requested them. It was noted that the report would also be available upon request.
Ertter also reported to the Board on problems he has been collecting meet entry fees for certain PVS sponsored meets. He had provided a memo to the Board on this matter prior to the meeting.
He noted that one club had not submitted a substantial portion of the funds it should have collected for a meet it hosted on behalf of PVS in July. There was no evidence that the club had expended effort to collect those funds. It was also noted that the same club had not provided PVS with entry fees for another meet it hosted In October, even though those funds should have been transmitted within 10 days.
Others observed that once a meet is over, a host club has less leverage to work with to collect meet entry fees. It was also reported that the prior Administrative Office had apparently offered to collect these fees for the clubs. It was also noted that the LSC does have the authority to deny PVS clubs entry into future meets for failure to pay meet fees in a timely manner.
It was proposed in the future that for PVS sponsored meets, host clubs be instructed to not process entries until the meet entry fees have been paid.
It was then pointed that this conflicted with current PVS policy states (see O-10) that
"Meet entry fees are due with the meet entries. Any club that has not remitted the Club entry fees to the Meet director by the conclusion of the meet will be assessed a one hundred dollar ($100.00) late fee and no further participation in PVS programs will be accepted until the past-due entry fees and the penalty fee have been paid."
It was then proposed to amend this policy so it would only state "Meet entry fees are due with the meet entries".
Clubs would be notified of the failure to pay with a copy sent to the PVS Treasurer. Others observed that with most meet entries now being submitted electronically, the entry fees are submitted separately by US Mail and therefore arrive at least a little later.
It was also pointed out that most clubs now submit their entries electronically via e-mail. Therefore, it is no longer possible to submit them concurrently with the entries; they need to submitted via snail mail and arrive a few days later. Also, until entries are finalized, the exact amount due cannot be determined.
There was also discussion of the need of Meet Directors to process entries in the interim, possibly balance entries with other sites, send programs to the printers, etc. The undesirability of either having a substantial number of entries seeded into a program that are subsequently withdrawn for non-payment and/or entry athletes late in the process when their fees are paid was also discussed.
It was then proposed that meet entry fees be due prior to the commencement of the meet or the swimmers would not be allowed to the swim
It was observed that given recent past practice of the LSC, this could be viewed as a major change by several PVS clubs. It was agreed that an education program with PVS clubs needs to be undertaken first and that PVS should first plan to implement it at the January Open.
No report was submitted. Jim indicated he had nothing to add that had not been previously discussed
Age Group Chairman
Greg York reported that there was no consensus on whether PVS should start to travel as a team to the EZ Long Course meet (rather have swimmers travel on their own as is current practice.)
The Senior Coaches Representative gave a report. He was invited to submit it in writing after the meeting so it could be posted to the website and fully reflected in these minutes.
Linda K noted that one club had resubmitted three requests for athlete assistance in connection with the summer 2002 Phillips 66 National Championships. Linda noted that they had not (contrary to PVS policy) provided this information (in terms of an "appeal") in their initial submission. Linda briefed the Board on the submissions and the Board discussed the merits of the requests. Each was voted upon separately. One request was approved and two were denied.
Linda also brought to the Board's attention a proposal she had circulated prior to the meeting regarding what would proper travel assistance to provide since the meet will be at the University of Maryland (within PVS's boundaries.)
PVS has recently paid $450 for travel to USA Swimming National Championships. Clubs have indicated that primarily that about half their costs are for travel and half for lodging. Linda proposed that PVS would pay $75 per event entered up to a maximum of three. Two amendments were made at the meeting. One would only authorize payment if supported by lodging receipts equal to or greater than the amount requested. The other removed the limit of three (only four individual events are permitted at Nationals.) Both amendments were accepted and the Board approved the amended motion.
Linda noted PVS had received a request for travel assistance in connection with a national training camp. She reported it was in conformance with PVS requirements for providing such assistance. The Board authorized its payment. The actual payment requires submission of receipts (or copies) for actual travel expenses, including airline ticket stub and the amount of reimbursement paid by USA Swimming.
Linda also reported to the Board that four travel requests had recently been received from another club. They had apparently been sent initially to an old PVS fax number and had not been forwarded to the current PVS administrators. The club has a history of timely filing its travel assistance requests. The board felt the fact their request was received late was due to circumstances surrounding the transition of the PVS administration office and was beyond the club's control. Therefore, the club should not be penalized. Linda reported the requests satisfied PVS's requirements. The Board approved the requests.
John Ertter stated he has recently had several checks returned to him in connection with registration. He asked that the board authorize a $25 charge for returned checks. The Board approved a motion to this effect.
The Board agreed its next meeting would be Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at 7pm. Greg York said he would confirm that River Falls is available on that date. [Note: The meeting was subsequently rescheduled to January 22, 2003 at 7pm]
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m.