POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim VanErden, Ronald Whalen, and Greg York. Non-voting members and guests: John Ertter, Ward Foley, Boots Hall, and Pamela Starke-Reed.
Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at 7:06 pm by the General Chair. He had provided the Board with the attached updated agenda for the meeting. A prior version had been circulated prior to the meeting and Board members invited to suggest additional items.
Jim Garner made a presentation to John Ertter and John Hirschmann for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of PVS last year as a result of the need to transition from the administrative services previously provided by Tatoodles. He indicated that a similar presentation would be made to Thirl Crudup for his service on behalf of PVS.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the October 8th Board meeting were approved as amended. The revision pertained to clarifying that a fee schedule showing what would be required to recover all of PVS's direct costs related to renting PVS's equipment was only being prepared for possible Board use.
General Chair's Items - Jim confirmed that the January Board meeting would be held on Wednesday January 14th. This will allow the Board to consider items from the Sunday, January 11th Competition Committee meeting. Whether a meeting is held in December will depend on how much progress is made at tonight's meeting.
Jim indicated he would like to initiate a Swimposuim in the fall of 2004. Bill Stephens noted we might still be able to arrange one with USA Swimming in that timeframe. Many noted it was important for PVS to decide amongst the options available, what topics it wanted to ask USA Swimming to include in our gathering. It was noted that the information provided by USA Swimming indicated that a 6-10 month lead-time was needed to have a successful gathering. Also, a lead person is needed to take charge of overall planning, publicity, etc to assure it would be successful.
A committee of Don Riedlinger, Boots Hall, Bill Stephens and Bill Marlin was appointed to recommend topics for a PVS Swimposium and to also hopefully recommend somebody to assume overall leadership for such a gathering.
Bill Stephens reported a club leadership gathering would be held in the VA LSC this spring. This should also provide an opportunity for PVS clubs needing (or wishing) to attend.
The Board was advised there had been an exchange of correspondence on whether the Disability Inclusion Policy adopted in June, 2003 was intended to be required in the meet announcements of all clubs sponsored meets or was just strongly encouraged.
Some suggested this decision should be made by the PVS House of Delegates, others noted that PVS's Board clearly has the authority to set the conditions necessary to obtain a sanction. The Board was refreshed regarding the wording currently be placed in most MA's. Hirschmann reported that he was now placing the language in the MA's of PVS sponsored meets and the clubs were generally agreeing to have it placed in club-sponsored meets. One club has not responded to a request to include it.
It was clarified that this language was intended to cover the administrative requirements pertaining to informing people as to how the meet would be conducted. PVS officials should not need additional training as the requirements for judging athletes with a disability have been found in Section 105 of USA Swimming Rules and Regulations for several years.
A motion was made that this language be required in all PVS sanctioned meets, if the meet is either sponsored by PVS or hosted by a PVS club. Motion PASSED.
Concerns with obtaining sufficient officials for some venues of the PVS November Open were addressed. Reports were provided that suggested the problem applied to more than one course. It was felt that despite staffing concerns, it was important to proceed and conduct all sessions as best as could be done. It was no longer practical to consider restructuring the meet into a two (rather than three) venue meet.
It was acknowledged that the difficulty in sometimes obtaining officials was another factor that should be considered in addressing the future role of PVS versus its member clubs in sponsoring future meets.
The Board was reminded that rescheduling issues after the Redskins schedule was released resulted in the RMSC Invitational and the PVS November Open occurring on the same weekend.
Senior Division - The Board was informed that PVS did request and received two slots at the LSC Adaptive Swimming Chairs workshop on January 23-24, 2004 in Colorado Springs. The concern now is whether participation will be great enough for the workshop to proceed. A decision is to be made on December 1, 2003.
Riedlinger presented and discussed how swimmers with a disability should be selected and entered into the 2004 SC Eastern Zone Meet. He stated he sought input regarding how it is done in other parts of the country. Most do so by placing significant importance on their degree of participation in local meets. This helps "build the base" by helping to make others with a disability aware they are welcome in swimming. He noted other criteria such as performance, allowing swimmers not eligible for Nationals to be considered.
He noted he had included a requirement to document the disability, acknowledging this is not widely done in the USA. He noted that many of PVS's disabled swimmers are older than 18 - thus are not eligible for this meet. The deadline for applying will be made consistent with all other PVS swimmers applying to participate on the team.
A motion was made to adopt Don Riedlinger's proposal as submitted. Motion PASSES.
Administrative Division - The Board was advised that the Registrar's contract is not yet ready for formal Board approval Bill and Jim had met with Sumie yesterday. Some specific revisions need to be made to her contract given both the changing role in doing meet reconciliation and changing environment created by the new USA Swimming integrated SWIM database.
Bill reported that the work of getting swimmers, coaches and officials registered is getting done.
There was discussion about what to do with deck entries and in particular what to do if there registration status could not be verified. A question was raised whether PVS needed to do this versus desired to do so.
There was some discussion about how to check registration and what might be done if either an unregistered swimmer (or one whose registration cannot be verified) shows up. This included the possibility of registering them at the meet and possibly holding it in escrow until a determination can be made as to whether they are already registered.
Bill S informed the Board that Sumie was resuming meet reconciliation. There was some discussion whether we need to do both a pre and post meet reconciliation and whether the file to do reconciliation should be sent to the Meet Manager or whether the Meet Manager should send the file to the Registrar and have the reconciliation done there.
It was noted that USA Swimming is continuing to make changes to the recently initiated SWIMS software and this is making Sumie's job more challenging at the moment.
Hirschmann reported he had completed "clearing" just over 50% of the swimmers whose times did not load automatically based on a consistent name and registration number. He noted of the 88 swimmers cleared to date, 26 involved noise in the data (inconsistency in the names or registration number), 25 involved the athlete not being officially registered as of the date of the swim, but now being registered, 34 not being registered and 3 situations where the times involved were not eligible to be loaded. He also observed many occurrences involving the same team rather the "problems" being widely distributed throughout the LSC. He noted he would be able to report back for possible future action for athletes who apparently swam in our meets as unregistered.
The Board noted unregistered athletes were apparently participating in PVS meets. It asked that the situation continue to be monitored. Many were hopeful the situation should improve now that the beginning of season surge in the need to register new athletes had passed.
Bill Stephens reported on internal promotional program activities being undertaken within PVS. New letterhead is now available and was made available to those Board members foreseeing a need to use it.
Bill reported he was proposing to use the new USA Swimming logo on a limited basis. He observed that some of the technical and licensing requirements made it unattractive to do so. 1000 decals using the PVS logo had been ordered - some were needed for Don Smith to label our equipment and the rest were made available to help promote PVS or as a small thank you.
Boots reported that 88 white officials polo shirts had been distributed and more were being ordered. Most name tags have been distributed, as have been bells for starters. She has also obtained 8 briefcases at the clinic for LSC officials chairs, which she proposes to distribute to Meet Referees agreeing to serve at major championship meets. She noted she has received many requests to buy the shirts, but has emphasized it is a thank you for agreeing to serve as an official.
Bill Stephens also talked about primary demand marketing. He noted USA Swimming has been asked to help us do things we can't do ourselves - at least economically - examples cited were high quality swimming photos, preparing PSA's on competitive swimming, etc. He noted PVS was in an analogous position and it should consider doing things that the clubs can't do effectively for themselves. It was acknowledged it should not be club specific. A goal might be to attract more people from soccer and other youth sports to swimming.
Some questioned why would PVS clubs want to pay to have PVS help its competitors. It was explained the goal was to increase the number participating in competitive swimming - not to move swimmers from one club to another. The function was similar to a convention and visitors bureau trying to attract people to a particular area - not to direct business to a particular hotel or restaurant. Others pointed out there is already considerable material on how to promote the sport in the club toolbox that USA Swimming makes available to all member clubs upon request.
It was suggested that PVS concentrate its marketing efforts on the summer leagues and reaching the swimmers and parents on the opportunities and advantages of participating in year round swimming.
The Board was advised that the transition of phones, the PVS post office box, etc was essentially complete. The two PVS phone numbers are now both cell phones. There is some checking going on why people are calling and not leaving messages. Sumie will get a fax number for use of the Registrar
The Board was advised the copier (originally leased by Tatoodles in 1999) would not be moved because of its weight -- 250 lbs. It was acquired when PVS was still doing high volume family mailings. PVS will keep it in storage until September when it will be returned for its residual value. The lease signed was a financial lease - therefore early cancellation is not possible. It was agreed that a possible better use of PVS funds would be to possibly acquire a cheap copier to satisfy its much more modest current needs.
A report from the PVS Webmaster was circulated prior to the meeting. It was not discussed at the meeting.
Athlete Representative - No athlete representatives were present nor did they submit written reports. A Board member indicated they had been in recent contact with the Senior Athlete Representative recently and she had indicated interest in continuing to serve. However, she was no longer reachable by e-mail. It was observed that she has not participated in any PVS Board activities since April 2003.
Jim Garner said he would contact her and explain the importance of her becoming active again if she did not want the Board to consider declaring the position vacant.
Treasurer's Report/Finance Division - PVS's financial statements for the period ending October 31, 2003 had been sent to the Board in advance of the meeting. PVS's assets on hand as of October 31 were $590,903, including $4,452 in the Dave Davis fund. . It was noted there had been considerable registration activity in October, which is largely responsible for the very substantial increase in the cash on hand. It is anticipated that at least $135,055 was owed USA Swimming in connection with registrations that PVS has already processed and received funds on behalf of USA Swimming. A copy of additional information submited by the Treasurer to the Board is attached.
No Board members indicated they had any questions on the current statements.
John Ertter reported that since the statements were circulated, all October Open entry fees have been received. He noted that there are still some challenges in accounting for deck entries. This is part due to the fact cash received cannot be attributed to a particular club. It was explained the PVS began the practice last year of comparing pre-meet Meet Manager files with post-meet files and presuming the difference in the number of entries was due to deck or late entries.
Since some clubs accept entries accept entries as timely after submitting a file to PVS for the purpose of balancing entries at various venues, PVS will now be inviting clubs to submit an updated file just prior to meet to establish a new pre-meet baseline.
The Treasurer was asked to look into ways to present comparable figures from the prior fiscal year in subsequent financial reports provided to the Board.
John Ertter reported that the CTS (Model VI) would be shipped on November 24. Jim Garner said he would like to obtain it at convenient time to document its features
He also advised the Board that new procedures have been put in place at Kinkos to tighten the procedures as to who can charge and advising the Controller promptly as to who was charging and for what purpose.
It was acknowledged that except in limited circumstances, most Board members and other convention attendees had not yet been reimbursed while John E awaited authorization from Linda Klopfenstein as to the exact amount to be paid. Jim Garner said he would contact Linda K regarding the status.
John reported that he was enforcing the requirement that clubs requesting reimbursement for meet hospitality submit receipts to document their expenses.
A query was made whether payment should be made to an individual where there was uncertainty whether they exercised their vote. The Board was advised the individual had reported they had not exercised their vote, but would still like to be reimbursed. The Board discussed their degree of participation in the convention and in various PVS activities during the convention, including sharing their knowledge of convention activities with the PVS delegation. A motion was made to reimburse the individual up to 1 convention share ($250.) A motion was made to amend the motion to pay up to 2 convention shares ($500.) This was defeated. The original motion (to pay one share) then PASSED.
It was acknowledged there was confusion regarding reimbursement policy for convention and that Linda K had agreed to make some recommendations. The possibility of making reimbursement more of an entitlement and not require documentation that expenses met the cost incurred was discussed. It was observed almost all attendees expenses exceed the maximum claim allowed.
Strategic Planning - Jim VanErden provided a draft written analysis entitled "Preliminary Analysis of Optimum Number of Sanctioned Swimming Meets For Potomac Valley Swimming." This was done in response to a request he had received from several Board members to evaluate the role of PVS versus its clubs in sponsoring competition in the LSC.
Jim V summarized for the Committee what was contained in his preliminary report. This included several questions the Board may wish to address, possible principles for setting a meet schedule, some summary statistics for the past 6 years, a synopsis of PVS's current policy for setting its meet schedule and that of other LSC's whose policy could be located by a survey of LSC homepages.
Jim V suggested that the Board should first focus on having clear objectives, then move on to the outcomes needed to support those objectives. It was noted the amount of competition provided might be constrained by the availability of pools, officials, etc. The financial feasibility of any proposal will also have to be assessed.
It was agreed that ultimately it was important for the PVS House of Delegates to discuss and vote on whether there should be a fundamental change in PVS versus its member clubs sponsoring meets. It was suggested it would be useful for the Board to block out a substantial period of time at a future Board meeting to discuss this topic.
Issues that need to be discussed include what should PVS's role be if there are only club sponsored meets -- for example, what (if any) is PVS's role in protecting one meet that has received a sanction from competition from another similar meet. Another matter is PVS's responsibility to provide competition to small clubs to assure that their athletes can compete. It was noted that currently some PVS clubs run much larger meets (longer timelines per session) even though it was originally stated that clubs would provide more "time friendly" meets than the meets PVS was conducting at the time.
Another observation was that currently PVS loses money on its large championship meets. If PVS can no longer continue to make money on meets like the Opens, it will need to find another source of income.
It was suggested that after the Board members have had some time to review and provide input/suggestions, then circulate to the coaches and providing them an opportunity to caucus and discuss at an occasion like between sessions at the Tom Dolan Invitational Meet.
VanErden noted this might be helpful in proceeding to develop 2004-05 competitive calendar. Hirschmann observed that the lead-time in arranging pools rentals , was such that PVS would need to proceed with the calendar approved by both Competition and the PVS Board in September.
Age Group Division -- Greg reported to the Board that the required PVS Eastern Zone SC outfitting level had definitely been cut back. Items previously included in the required package (e.g., swimsuits) would now be added to the spirit package and still be available for sale. The vendor PVS has used for outfitting is comfortable with this change in arrangements.
Greg advised that no conference call has yet to occur involving the special committee appointed to discuss how the Eastern Zone meet might be restructured. Kerry Ellett is chairing that committee. It was agreed Greg could ask to have the level of outfitting be part of that Committee's agenda, including in particular agreeing to have LSC's agree to a common outfitting standard or code.
Boots reported that Jamy Pfister is the new Eastern Zone Officials Chairman.
Greg reported that Linda Crudup is still willing to help with Eastern Zone arrangements, booking hotels, getting bus transportation etc., but definitely wants to phase out her involvement after many years and no longer wishes to have lead responsibility for the zone team. It was agreed the LSC needs to identify a new zone team manager. A possible person to assume this role was discussed.
There was discussion whether to have the team eat in the hotel or in restaurants near the hotel. It was generally felt eating elsewhere would be more economical, however the logistics of transportation and supervision might be more difficult, even if the restaurant were within walking distance of the hotel. The possibility of finding a hotel that would allow an outside caterer to come in was also discussed. No decision was made.
Greg indicated the Mini Clinic is currently tentatively scheduled for January 24th from 7-10AM at Oak Marr.
Coaches Representatives - There was discussion about the status of enforcing coaches' registrations. It was generally felt that the informal checking that is now frequently being done is being effective and we were satisfying our responsibility to make a reasonable effort to enforce the requirements. The desirability of having at the meet a list of currently registered coaches, certifications that are about to expire, have recently expired, etc. would be very useful. It was important for the coaching community to know that PVS is checking and they need to be prepared to show their credentials when asked.
We should also be working to make it easy for clubs to know the registration status within their clubs, alert them to situations about to expire, etc.
It was acknowledged there was an open item from the October Board meeting. Specifically the statement that "It was agreed that the item Bill Stephens has prepared along with Jim Garner's material related to meet procedures be circulated by both sending it out via PVS Flash Mail and posting it to our website." Bill Stephens said he would address the matter.
Bill Marlin said he was addressing the need to establish criteria and a selection process to pick the PVS 14/U outstanding coach for recognition by ASCA He has the needed form and needs to get together with Todd to establish the proposed criteria
Next Board Meeting -- Jim Garner indicated that at this point due to the hour that the Board would meet in December. After discussing dates at which Board members could be available, it was agreed to next meeting would be Wednesday, December 3 at River Falls. Start time would remain 7pm.
At this point, Jim asked if any time sensitive items remain to be discussed. In response to a query, Jim indicated he would add whether PVS should retain an attorney to the December agenda.
Operations Division - Ron Whalen reported that the Equipment Manager's contract was not quite ready for Board approval. He asked if any Board members had any remaining concerns. None were expressed. Ron advised that the Personnel Committee had met and was addressing whether the equipment manager should be required to transport our timing equipment to PVS sponsored meets where the facility being used does not have that capacity. If so, his compensation would be appropriately modified.
Ron also emphasized that the equipment rental analysis is intended as a basis for discussion. He noted they are intended to show what the costs are and what we should charge if we intend to recover all our costs. It is not a recommendation to do so. He also noted if we were in the equipment rental business we would also be including Don Smith's compensation in the calculation.
John Ertter said we should have a formal contract with non-PVS parties who rent our equipment to assure we either get our equipment back in same shape as it was issued or we receive appropriate compensation.
Old Business - No old business was discussed.
New Business - No new business was raised.
Adjournment -- The meeting was adjourned at about 9:25 pm.