POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, Ethan Bassett, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim VanErden, Ron Whalen, and Greg York. Non-voting members and guests: John Ertter, Ward Foley, Boots Hall, and Linda Klopfenstein
Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:50 pm by the General Chair, Jim Garner.
Jim had provided the Board with a proposed agenda just prior to the meeting. He invited input regarding additional items that should be added to the agenda.
Approval of February BoD Minutes - Jim requested approval of the February 17 Board minutes. No revisions were requested and the Board approved the minutes as submitted.
General Chairman - Garner reported to the Board that Bill Marlin was reelected as the coaches representative for a term from September 2004 to August 2006. Todd Benedick, as the incumbent coaches representative, conducted the election. No nominations other than Bill Marlin had been received prior to the election. One other person indicated a desire to run during the second of the two weekends the election was being run. It was agreed that in the future it would be best if coaches (and athletes) were encouraged to mark ballots even if at a point in time - it appears a candidate will be running unopposed.
Bill Marlin advised the Board that due to personal circumstances neither of the current coaches representatives may be able to attend the September 2004 USAS convention. PVS may need to address who will represent PVS in this capacity at convention.
Garner indicated he would advise the individuals who received At Large Appointments for House of Delegates of their appointments (which were approved by the Board at the February Board meeting) and confirm that they would be able to attend the May 26th House of Delegates meeting. [Note the House meeting was subsequently rescheduled to May 25th.]
Garner informed the Board about a e-mail he had received about what was regarded as inappropriate behavior (lack of effort and swimming in a non-competitive manner) in order to avoid swimming fast enough to have return for finals. The Board discussed this and generally agreed that while it did not approve of such behavior, but noted that under current USA Swimming rules (as contrast to HS Federation and NCAA) it does not have the tools to penalize an athlete for doing so. It was also observed this is frequently done to avoid having to return for finals - which is required if the athlete is attempting to use the swim to qualify for PVS travel assistance. It was agreed that is would be useful for the General Chairman to send out a note about sportsmanship PVS expects of its athletes.
Senior Division -- The review of applications to receive reimbursement for travel to the 2004 Spring Nationals was deferred since they were not due until after the initially scheduled March Board meeting. It was agreed that the three clubs that submitted applications would be advised that the applications would be reviewed at the April Board meeting.
There was discussion about the structure of PVS Distance Meets and whether any changes in the format, QT's, etc should be made. It was noted that the number of entries into these meets has risen significantly in recent years making more challenging to provide sufficient pool time, continuous warm-up/warm-down, etc. It was felt that it was desirable to first get Competition Committee input regarding possible changes in the format and/or entry criteria of this meet. - Hirschmann noted that plans for the 2004 LC meet this May are set and pools have been rented for SC 2005. Other options for future, including renting an indoor pool for LC 2005 can be pursued.
The Board was advised that some coaches raised concerns about the format of the PVS Spring Senior Championship Meet which was run in a SCY prelims /LCM finals format this year. A frequent question was what percentage of our athletes needed a LC opportunity at that time of the year - others were finding it challenging how to translate morning swim experience to the evening if the course changes in the interim.
Others pointed out that other coaches liked the format (including those visiting from other LSC's).
There was also discussion about the Spring Championship Meet, which had been held the previous weekend. and reports that meet had insufficient officials for some sessions. It was noted that 5 courses were being swum simultaneously that weekend at three venues within PVS (including the Sectional at UMD) - making getting sufficient officials more challenging. There was also discussion whether the host club had made an adequate effort to obtain enough officials.
Others noted that PVS has no formal standards regarding the responsibility of the sponsoring (versus visiting) clubs to provide officials for a meet. (The only written requirement is for the host club to provide at least a timer per lane.) It was also pointed out that USA Swimming rules contain standards regarding the minimum number of officials required at a sanctioned meet.
The Board asked Boots Hall to make further inquiries at what actually happened including the level of staffing and provide a report back to the Board.
It was also observed that while clubs have the option whether to attend meets hosted by PVS clubs and to request sanctions to create a new meet, PVS is also impacted by the quality of meets its member clubs conduct as it can impact (favorably or unfavorably) athlete performance, enthusiasm, retention, etc.
Another Board members present advised the Board that the March Madness meet had been well staffed by officials, who were well qualified.
The Board was also advised that the Meet Director had removed swimmers from the Spring Championship Meet because their entry times were too fast relative to the qualifying times. Apparently, he did not inform the clubs submitting those entries that he had done so, thus some athletes traveled to the meet site without knowing they would not be able to swim. There was discussion whether a sponsoring club is required to notify the submitting teams or whether this is a courtesy that is normally extended. The question of whether there is any requirement to return entry fees under such circumstances was also raised. Apparently, there was a much larger than normal number of entries submitted for swims that were not eligible to swim.
The Board was advised that the team who finished 2nd in a relay at the Spring Championship meet had put in a "protest" regarding taunting by a member of the first place team for clearly failing to make less than a full competitive effort. It was observed that normally a protest should first be considered by the Referee at the meet. It was not clear if a formal protest had been filed and if so what kind of relief was being sought.
The Board agreed it was not a matter for it to decide and in addition it had not been presented with a formal written protest nor any indication of the relief sought. The Board suggested that if felt more formal action was needed the matter should be referred to the Board of Review. Alternatively a discussion with the coach of swimmer(s) who allegedly did it might be a more appropriate path to pursue.
Administrative Division -- Stephens briefed the Board on the status of the Registrar's Contract. He also reported to the Board that Sumie was currently out of town on a brief vacation. The Board asked if PVS has an Assistant Registrar who can at least address time sensitive matters in Sumie's absence.
Bill reminded the Board that registration fees for athletes, coaches and officials would be going up a dollar in 2005 as part of the dues increase motion passed at the 2002 USAS convention. The question was asked whether PVS would pass this increase on its athlete or absorb the $1 increase - thus reducing its share of athletes registration fee to $24. Some spoke in favor of having PVS absorb the increase, others noted that once PVS agreed to absorb the increase - it might be difficult to regain the decrease - particularly since the USA Swimming dues are scheduled to increase $1/year for the next 10 years. It was suggested this issue be made part of the 2005 budget preparation, when PVS's overall revenue needs for 2005 would be better known.
It was noted Sumie will need to tell USA Swimming what PVS's rates for 2005 will be. The hope was expressed that they could be asked to wait until PVS completed their budget preparation and noted they had agreed to wait in prior years until the Board and/or House could act on the matter.
It was agreed that it was important to make sure our clubs know what the dues rates will be for 2005. Some were not aware that the dues were going up $15 last year until after they set the rates they would charge to participate in their program.
Bill passed out an updated proposed policy on meet reconciliation and assessing fines resumption for failing to properly register athletes and/or using incorrect information to enter an athlete into a meet. There was no discussion at Board meeting about it. Board members were encouraged to read it after the meeting and provide input.
Bill also reported that Sumie had a long list of discrepancies that needed to be resolved as a result of doing reconciliation for the just completed Speedo Championship Series Meet. Non-PVS teams entered into the meet were the primary source of the discrepancies detected. Bill also noted that Sumie can report to the Meet Director the discrepancies that should be corrected, but she does not have direct access to the Meet Manager file to effectuate the changes herself.
He also reported that registrations are still trickling in - and that PVS is experiencing modest growth in its membership base.
Bill also reported on the planned USA Swimming Splash Tour for the summer of 2004, five trailers (rather than the one trailer in 2003) would be touring the country. He invited Board members to make suggestions on where in the local area that might effectively tour. He stated there would still be time to provide input at the April Board meeting.
Bill reported that it appears from the registration data base that PVS is down to only 3 coaches whose certifications appear to not be current - and it is not clear whether they are still coaching.
He also indicated while vast majority of clubs and coaches are cooperating, there continues to be a few problems from coaches or clubs who challenge the need to provide credentials or make sure athlete registration records are completely accurate.
Athlete Representatives -- Ethan Bassett was present, and advised he did not have information to report to the Board or any action items for the Board.
Treasurer's Report/Finance Division -- Hirschmann also reminded the Board that they had received PVS's financial reports as of February 29, 2004 earlier in the month. PVS finances continue to be in very good shape. PVS assets on hand as of that date were $553,338, including $4,457 in the Dave Davis fund. The Board had no questions on the financial results reported.
Stephens asked whether the financial results could be organized more along the organizational structure of PVS. Ertter indicated the current format was needed to satisfy the requirements of the taxing authority. Hirschmann also noted that a major shift in budget categories could also make it more difficult to make multi year comparisons of how PVS was raising revenue and making expenditures. It is also not practical to do during a fiscal year - given the budget had been approved using previously specified accounts.
Hirschmann reminded the Board that John Ertter and he needed input within the next two weeks from the Board regarding any new initiatives they want reflected in the draft FY 2005 PVS Budget that will be presented to the Board for their adoption. He advised that one Board had submitted their request in response to the prior request that was made at the February Board meeting.
The Board was asked whether a FY 2005 should include funds for an audit. It was noted the cost would now be somewhat less since the auditors were now familiar with PVS as an organization, how our financial records were kept, etc. The Board agreed it would seek input from the House of Delegates on this matter. Ward recommended that PVS have an internal group do the review this year and that a full audit only be done every third year as permitted by PVS's by-laws.
Questions were raised as to how PVS was doing implementing the recommendation by the auditor to provide for paper trail between registration activity reported by the registrar and receipts recorded by the Controller. The Board was advised that specific procedures had not been put into place. Hirschmann did however advise the Board that he had done a comparison as of February 29 (when transaction activity is very low) and had found that the revenue reported by John Ertter compared very closely with the revenue that would be expected based on the registration numbers provided by the Registrar. Riedlinger stated he thought the Board had indicated a desire to have formal tracking procedures put into place.
Hirschmann also noted that a complication is athletes transferring in and out of the LSC. Transfers out are apparently no longer part of registration counts, but we have collected revenue on their behalf; and transfers in are part of our counts for whom we have not collected revenue.
Strategic Planning -- Jim VanErden provided a brief report to the Board. He noted he was continuing to work on the role of PVS vs Clubs in sponsoring meets. He was hoping to be able to discuss some possible future changes at the May House of Delegates meeting.
Jim VanErden also reported he had handed out a questionnaire to officials at some recent meets in order to gain their input. He also observed that PVS's ability to conduct as many meets as is desired by some can be constrained by the number of officials available to run these meets.
Age Group Division -- The Board was advised that some questions had arisen about the need for all SC PVS Zone athletes to stay with the team at the meet hotel. This has arisen because of the proximity of the meet pool to PVS territory and the preference of some athletes to stay in their own home and others only having one swim either early or late in the meet.
Some had expressed concern that these requirements had not been announced until the team selection process was well under way. It was agreed that it would be better in the future that information be made available earlier and that the coaches of swimmers who may make the team help educate their swimmers what the requirements will be. The fact the this was the first time the meet was almost within PVS boundaries and that PVS did not house its team at a hotel when the meet was in PVS in 2000 and 2001 may have been contributing factors.
The Board affirmed that it supported the requirement that all athletes stay at the team motel for the duration of the meet, unless excused from the requirement by the Meet Manager and that the previously announced procedures should continue to be followed.
The Board was also advised that some significant changes in the format of this meet are likely to be on the agenda of the Eastern Zone meeting to be held in Portland, ME in May. Input of the participating teams at the zone meet will be sought.
Coaches' Representatives -- It was acknowledged that for PVS to nominate a 14/U outstanding coach to be honored by ASCA at their annual convention - criteria and a selection process are needed.
It was agreed it would be desirable to find out what other LSC's do. Also, we need to find out if the selected coach needs to be member of ASCA to get the award.
It was agreed it was important to make clear to PVS coaching community that this is ASCA award, not a PVS award.
It was clarified that PVS is not going to be expected to pay for the trip to the ASCA convention to receive the award.
Operations Division -- Hirschmann advised that no host for the PVS Senior/Age Group I Meet on June 13 at PGS&LC had previously been awarded. MACH has now submitted a request to host that meet. The Board approved awarding the meet to MACH.
Whalen reported that a proposed Equipment Manager contract had been sent to Don Smith for review the prior day. He also gave the Board a general overview on the status of the contract.
The Board discussed the quality of performance that is desired from the Equipment Manager. This includes that meet boxes are complete and the all equipment sent to a site is believed to be in good working order. Regular maintenance of the equipment is expected. Backup printer cartridges should be compatible with the printers sent to a meet site.
It was also reported that over the past weekend - PVS (including the Sectional meet at UMD) had 5 courses going concurrently. While three courses had their own electronic timing equipment, all courses required some level of support from PVS - e. g.,radios, meet boxes, etc. In particular, it appeared PVS's inventory of radios was less than was desired by all the sites.
Hirschmann pointed out there will be need for 4 sets of timing equipment next March when the Spring Championships and March Madness meet are both scheduled for the same weekend and both meets will run two courses simultaneously. PVS current policy is to have enough equipment for 3 full sets of timing equipment. (This is contrast to this year where the March Madness meet was held GMU, which has its own timing equipment.) He also indicated he was not planning to propose PVS buy an additional set of timing equipment for this one-time occurrence.
The basis for fee schedule for renting PVS equipment was discussed. Calculations done by Whalen had shown that the rates currently being charged are significantly less than what would be charged if PVS were attempting to recover the full cost. It was agreed that PVS should agree to subsidize the rental of its equipment to the same degree as it has in the past. That degree of subsidy should be calculated and made part of PVS policy.
The need to establish a PVS requirement for hard copy of the Colorado (or Daktronics) print out and HyTek Timing Adjustment was briefly discussed. It was agreed Garner would follow-up on the status of this effort.
Old Business -- There was no old business to come before the Board.
New Business -- Riedlinger made a proposal regarding publishing in PVS Policy and Procedures the criteria for Outreach Membership. He had provided proposed language to the Board prior to the meeting as follows:
A-2. OUTREACH Membership
Outreach membership offers qualified individuals the opportunity to become a USA Swimming year-round athlete member at a reduced fee. The National fee for Outreach membership is reduced (currently set at $5.00) and the Potomac Valley LSC fee is totally waived. The goal of this program is to provide opportunities in swimming to economically disadvantaged youth in the United States. Outreach membership thru Potomac Valley is available to individuals who receive Free School Lunch.
He asked that his initial motion be amended to agree with criteria currently being used by the PVS registrar - namely that both those eligible for free or reduced school lunch programs be eligible to receive a reduced athlete membership (currently $5) to register as an athlete.
Others noted that the PVS General Chairman in the past had funds in a discretionary fund that he could use for this purpose. They were advised that this fund has not been part of recent PVS budgets. The Board voted to approve adding this section as amended to PVS's P&P.
There was also some discussion whether PVS should do more to publicize the program and/or encourage its member clubs to offer other forms of financial assistance to financially disadvantaged athletes. The limited financial capacity of at least some of our member clubs to provide this type of assistance was also noted. Others notes that not all those eligible may wish to apply over concern about the stigma associated with it - however, it was also noted that the access to the names of those athletes is treated as privileged information and access is very limited.
Adjournment -- The Board adjourned at approximately 9:20 pm.
Next Board Meeting -- The Board agreed that the next Board meeting would be Wednesday, April 28th.at 6:30pm at River Falls.