POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, Ethan Bassett, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim Van Erden, Ron Whalen, and Greg York. Non-voting members and guests: John Ertter, Boots Hall, and Linda Klopfenstein
Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:55 pm by the General Chair, Jim Garner.
Jim had provided the Board with a proposed agenda prior to the meeting and had incorporated additional items as a result of input from the Board.
Approval of March Board of Director Minutes - Jim requested approval of the March 29 Board minutes. The Board approved the minutes as submitted after making minor typographical corrections.
General Chairman's Report - Jim reported he had received a note from George Homewood, General Chairman of VA Swimming and Meet Referee complimenting Greg York for his excellent service at the Zone meet. George indicated that Greg's maturity and willingness to assist was very much appreciated.
The Board was informed that Boots Hall and Jim Van Erden would be going to a "Train the Trainers (Referee/Facilitors workshop)" that USA Swimming is conducting in May.
The Board also reviewed who on the PVS Board was going to the United States Aquatic Sports convention in September and would be entitled to a vote at the annual USA Swimming House of Delegates meeting. It discussed who should be recommended by Jim to receive an at-large vote from the USA Swimming President at convention.
Treasurer's Report/Finance Division -- The PVS financial results and supporting schedules as of March 31 had been distributed to the Board earlier in the month. The Board had no questions on those reports. PVS assets on hand as of that date were $522,191, including $4,460 in the Dave Davis fund.
Review of 2005 Proposed Budget -- Hirschmann presented the proposed PVS budget for fiscal year 2005 to the Board for its review. The proposed budget had been distributed to the Board in advance of the meeting along with supporting schedules and the significant changes highlighted.
Hirschmann noted that the results now expected for the current budget year are much better than was expected when the budget was adopted. He noted that the difference was not due to one or two accounts, but to differences in several accounts - almost all favorable. He further observed that when the fiscal 2004 budget was prepared last April, John Ertter had only taken over direct responsibility for keeping the books for six months and thus did not have full year's worth of experience with which to work to project expected revenue and expenses. Thus, we think the 2005 budget estimates are more realistic than was the case with the benefit of hindsight for 2004. It does assume that some program activities that did not occur in 2004 will resume again in 2005 (e.g., camps). Given the expected gain in 2004 was also a consideration as to why a budget with a modest deficit for 2005 is being proposed for adoption.
As part of this proposal, sanction fees for club sponsored meets are being proposed for reduction from $.55 to $.45 per entry.
It was clarified that the various dues increases are those previously approved by USA Swimming. These additional funds will be sent to USA Swimming - none of the additional funds will be retained by PVS. As noted later, the PVS share (currently $5) of the dues for coaches and officials is proposed to be discontinued in 2005.
A motion was made and seconded to adopt the budget as submitted. There was then an opportunity for discussion on the various line items in the budget.
Questions were asked on the basis for seeking $70,000 for contractor services. It was noted that the line item currently fund contractor services provided by the Controller, Registrar and Equipment Manager. $63,600 had been budgeted for 2004 and about $54,000 is expected to be spent since a fourth administrative person has not been hired and PVS has decided it does not need to maintain a physical office.
Some Board members stated they felt asking for $10/athlete for contractor services was very small amount, given what they pay to train and given the quality level of support they expect from and are currently receiving from PVS.
They also expressed the view that people are willing to pay for quality services noting the quality of our website is outstanding and is an essential part of our communication system. Also PVS financial services are currently excellent and have been responsible for improving our revenue flow by assuring funds due to PVS are collected.
John H advised that he wants to cut back in the amount of time he spends volunteering to run both PVS website, load times into the two searchable data bases, handle pool contracts, sanctioning, prepare minutes, etc. as well as serving as Treasurer. He indicated in the absence of a volunteer to step forward to do the activities he has been performing (many of which were done by Tatoodles prior to August 2002) PVS will need to acquire additional administrative support that most likely will have to be compensated.
It was also observed that people are generally less willing to volunteer their services than in the past. The Board agreed to accept $70K for Contractor Services in the proposed 2005 budget.
Hirschmann also noted that the budget includes funds for doing an audit for the current fiscal year, 2004. Because the auditor is now familiar with PVS and its accounts as a result of having done an audit for 2003, the audit should be somewhat cheaper this year. PVS by-laws require that an audit be done at least once every three years. In the interim two years, an audit committee can perform the function. John E also expressed the view that it will not save that much money over a three year period as the auditor will need to also review in the interim years when they do another audit in three years. Ertter stated he felt the Board would be well served by continuing to have an audit. It was agreed that this item will be highlighted when the Budget is transmitted to the House.
Funds were also included in the budget to allow the attorney retained by PVS to review items such as contractual services agreement, pool rental agreements, type of minutes kept by PVS, clarifying who has responsibility for our equipment when it is lent to PVS member clubs and other approved parties. It was clarified that PVS has specific plans for these funds, the money is not being budgeted for a hypothetical need. Ertter clarified that our attorney is now formally on retainer.
There was also discussion as to whether we want to keep travel reimbursement in the budget. Some felt it takes too much Board time to review challenges and approve (disapprove) payments and there are sometimes extended discussions on who should get funded - particularly if an appeal has been filed. It was suggested that a smaller token amount be paid. They also noted we have had problems with swimmers not making a competitive effort - so they can get credit for the swim and not have to come back for finals. They stated they hoped the money that would not be spent could be used to reduce sanction fees for club sponsored meets.
It was noted the amount included in the proposed budget is what the Senior Chair recommended. Riedlinger also reminded the Board that most LSC's provide this kind of travel assistance on behalf of their athletes competing at this level, and they need to go to this type of meet to obtain the competition they need. While the money is paid to clubs whose athletes attend the meet, many clubs forward the money to the families in order to reduce the cost they previously paid to attend the meet.
The Board took no action to change the amount in the recommended budget for travel assistance. It did note that the next Competition Committee occurs prior to the House meeting and Competition (if it wished) could provide the House with its recommendations on the matter.
Whalen recommended if travel assistance is dropped, travel assistance for athletes going to the Disability Championships not be dropped in the process. Riedlinger responded that it was his general impression that disabled athletes like to be treated like all other athletes to the maximum extent possible and that should also apply to how PVS funds travel assistance.
Bill S recommended adding to the budget some promotional items. He indicated he would like to buy some banners to help identify PVS championship meets. Another item might be to get special backstroke flags. He stated his objective is to make the meets feel different for the swimmers.
Bill also indicated he wanted to do a brochure to help benefit the PVS swimming program. He noted that he unfortunately had not been able to brief the concept to the House last year since personal circumstances limited his participation at that meeting.
The general feeling was that a simple general brochure pointing out the advantages of competitive swimming.-including training throughout the year and then pointing to the PVS website might be appropriate It was observed that many of our teams are not well equipped to handle their marketing. However, others indicated that they had the general impression from the clubs that they don't want PVS doing marketing on their behalf - particularly if it is club specific in any way.
Others noted that PVS went to considerable effort a few years ago to produce and put out a handbook - however, PVS hardly sold any and we still have a considerable inventory. They also noted that USA Swimming has produced a brochure to help promote the idea of year around competitive swimming. There were also questions whether our clubs have the capability to expand (acquire additional water for training) to take advantage of the additional demand that a brochure might produce. Finally, it was noted the best time to make use of such marketing is during the summer league season and with the Olympics this years, interest will be increased and this would be an optimal time to be prepared with any efforts we might undertake.
Hirschmann noted that the budget being proposed will discontinue the $5 PVS charge for registering coaches and officials. He noted the Board had asked earlier this year that the charge be dropped since they felt it was inappropriate to charge our volunteers extra so they can serve as an volunteer. Since coaches are in the same membership category as the officials, their registration fee is being proposed for reduction.
Bill S recommended that we also continue the increased support to our officials that was begun this year. Boots reported that the officials are very happy with the PVS polo shirts they are being provided.
Hirschmann reminded the Board that this budget does not provide for buying a 4th set of timing equipment, even though it appears based on the currently approved competition schedule that 4 sets will be needed on one occasion next March. The House has previously authorized 3 full sets of timing equipment plus prudent spares. Given current priority criteria, it will first be provided to meets open to all PVS athletes and then those being conducted on an invitation basis.
There was also discussion whether we had adequate funds in the Expendable Equipment Parts and Supplies including what activities needed to be funded from this account. Ron Whalen indicated he would like to make sure there are funds to allow Colorado Timing to do an annual maintenance visit and check-out, repair all our equipment in order to increase the likelihood that when our equipment is issued, it will be in good working order. After discussion, it was decided to add $2000 to this line item - 7400).
The Board APPROVED the budget it received for review (after adding $2000 to account 7400) and submitting it to the House of Delegates with a recommendation that they approve its adoption.
It was agreed to that some items be clarified when the budget is transmitted to the Board. Ertter will revise it and Garner, Hirschmann and Riedlinger will review before it is sent to the House.
Senior Division -- Travel Assistance It was reported that 18 athletes clearly qualified to receive travel assistance for participation in the USA Swimming Conoco-Phillips National Championships during February in Orlando. In addition an appeal was submitted for one athlete who was noted could only participate in two events at PVS meets. Hence they had not met the event participation requirement. It was however observed that this athlete had participated in other meets outside the LSC during this timeframe - thus depriving PVS athletes of their participation which is one of the objectives of the travel assistance program. Motion to disapprove appeal PASSED
A motion to approve travel assistance to the 18 athletes who qualified PASSED. It was noted their clubs would only receive $325 per athlete due to the limit of $5750 that was authorized for athletes going to this meet.
The Board was advised that Michael Pliuskaitis had submitted a request to have travel assistance approved for athletes participating in the National Club Swimming Association (NCSA) LC Meet this August in Stanford. It was observed that funding for this meet (if it were to be approved) should be included in next year's budget since requests for travel reimbursement would not be due until September. Mike had reported that he estimated the cost of taking an athlete to the meet would be almost $1,000.
The Board noted it had been asked to support providing travel assistance to this meet (both SC and LC) in the past and voted to not do so. It had also arisen at prior House of Delegates meetings. Others noted that the NCSA meets are not supported by USA Swimming and other meets that are supported such as the Grand Prix meets do not receive travel assistance support from PVS. The Board CONCURRED that travel to this meet should not receive travel assistance.
[Given its timing, if PVS decides to provide travel assistance to athletes going to USA Swimming Junior Championship being resumed in August 2005, that will be part of PVS's 2006 budget.]
PVS LC Senior Champs Qualifying Times -- Don reminded the Board that Competition at its January meeting had approved a recommendation to set the QT for the PVS Senior LCM Championship at 105% of Super Sectional QT. The Board had initially deferred taking action on this recommendation in order to allow for additional analysis of the potential impact, including possible discussion at a special Competition Committee that could be held during the PVS SCY/LCM Championship in March. However, the analysis that was initially run had problems and the special meeting was not called. It was felt announcing the qualifying times should not be delayed until the May Competition Committee meeting and subsequent Board action on whatever recommendation was made.
Don noted the proposal was intended to balance competitiveness in all events. In the past our meets had been orientated toward to having more heats of the shorter events and less of the longer. It was noted that in setting Sectional QT's, they were currently not worrying about attempting to have the same number of men and women's heats. PVS has attempted to take this into account.
It was noted that these adjustments would also have an impact on who could swim at the PVS Junior Long Course Championship Meet. It was also observed that there were events where it was possible with a time to swim the PVS Senior LCM meet but not the same event in the 13-14 age group events at the PVS 14/U Age Group LCM meet. Most felt this was inappropriate. [Subsequent analysis after the Board meeting indicates that this situation will not occur with the proposed QTs.]
Don noted that as a results of making these changes, 9 events would have their QT's relaxed, 8 would be tightened and the rest of the events would have their QT's left unchanged.
Motion to accept having QT's for PVS Senior LCM Championship meet be 105% of the Eastern Zone "Super Sectional" meet PASSES.
Meet Sanctions -- Hirschmann reported that Virginia Swimming (VSI) was planning to submit a request to receive a sanction for their 14/U Age Group LC Champs on July 30-August 1 at GMU-Fairfax. The meet would only be open to VSI athletes. The Board authorized this sanction to be issued when the the formal request is received.
Hirschmann also reported that Virginia Swimming (VSI) was planning to submit a request to receive a sanction for their Senior LC Champs on July 9-11 at GMU-Fairfax. VSI would like to be able include non VSI athletes in this meet.
It was agreed that if PVS athletes attended, that would take swimmers away from the Senior LCM meet which will be at GMU/Fairfax one week later. Some PVS coaches have expressed interest in being able to attend this meet since it will occur two weeks prior to the Super Sectional rather than one week prior - when the PVS meet is scheduled. A consideration is our responsibility to allow our swimmers to compete in the meet which best serves their competitive needs versus maintaining the viability of our own PVS Senior Championship meet - both competitively and financially. It was also observed that if a PVS club had asked to have this meet sanctioned on a timely basis, it would have been sanctioned since no PVS sponsored meet is scheduled for that weekend.
A motion was made to grant this sanction request to VSI swimming when it is formally requested, provided the meet announcement makes it clear it is to be open to non-VSI teams on first come-first served basis, (as distinct from having specific teams invited by VSI.) Motion PASSED.
New Eastern Zone Meet Format -- The Board noted that PVS would be asked to vote at the Eastern Zone meeting next week on task force recommendation to restructure the short course zone meet. The most significant recommendations are to no longer have 15-18 year olds in the meet and to permit each LSC to enter up to three athletes per event in the remaining events for each age group - 10/U, 11-12 and 13-14, and add a consolation heat into finals. The Board discussed what position it should take.
Two coaches on PVS Board that were present at this Board meeting want to keep 15-18 year olds in the Eastern Zone Short Course meet. They felt it would be hard to take them out of the meet. The athlete representative present also felt it would be beneficial to keep them in the meet. They noted that some 15-18 really "step up" by having a chance to shine at a meet of this type. They observed that PVS 15-18 year old athletes at the recent EZ meet turned in some excellent personal performances. It was acknowledged that this happens despite the fact most LSC's frequently go quite low on their "Top Times" list to fill positions in the 15-18 year old age group. This rarely happens in the younger age groups.
Others acknowledged that while individual 15-18 athletes clearly benefited by going to this meet, that it might be of greater benefit in developing future swimmers to allow the third fastest swimmer in each event of the younger age groups from each LSC to attend.
Several felt there was confusion on what is purpose of the Sectional meet -- and as a result athletes were confused whether they should be keyed on the Sectional or the Zone meet. Most felt the Zone meet is a development meet. They also noted that they thought it might be useful for the 15-18 year old qualifying times for Sectionals be relaxed.
It was consensus based on the discussion that PVS as a delegation would not be endorsing the proposed restructuring of the Eastern Zone short course meet that will be submitted for consideration at next week's Eastern Zone meeting in Portland, Maine.
Approval of 2004-05 SC Season Awards to Host PVS Sponsored meet -- Don Riedlinger presented the requests that had been received for the Board's consideration. Requests to submit bids had been sent out by Flash Mail in March with submissions initially due by April 9. He first asked for approval to the two meets for which no competiting bids had been received. These were the PVS January Distance Meet at Lee District (January 8-9, 2005) which was awarded to SDS and the PVS SCY Championship Meet at PGS&LC (March 3-6, 2005) which was awarded to CUBU. The Board approved these awards.
Don then sought approval for meet hosts for the PVS October Open on October 15-17, 2004. Don recommended approval of PM hosting at Lee District with CUBU and FAST at Fairland. While other bids were received, these clubs bid these meets as "priority bids." The Board approved these awards.
The next item was approval of the PVS January Open Meets on January 22-23, 2005. Don recommended approval of RMSC hosting at MLK with PM and FISH at PGS&LC. These clubs bid these meets as "priority bids." The Board approved these awards.
Don advised for the November Open multiple bids had been received. Two bids were recommended for award on the basis of being priority bids - OCCS at Mt Vernon and MSSC at PGS&LC. Two bids were received for the remaining course at PGS&LC. The recommendation was to award the meet to MACH. The Board approved these recommended awards. Hirschmann advised the Board that as a result of the Redskins schedule being released in mid-April, the November Open at PGS&LC has had to be delayed by one weekend to November 19-21, 2004. It was not possible to move the Mt Vernon dates so the meet will be swum on different weekends at two venues.
Riedlinger recommended that OCCS be awarded hosting of the 14/U JO Championship Meet at GMU on March 10-13, 2005 They were entitled to this meet as a priority meet. The Board approved this award.
Riedlinger pointed out to the Board that no bids for the PVS February Distance Meet had been received. The club that hosted the meet last year has so far elected not to submit a bid. The Board was also reminded that while not all PVS sponsored meets are necessarily hosted as well as would be ideally desired, in most cases multiple bids to host meets are not received. It should be recognized that in most cases clubs hosting meets for PVS are trying to run a quality meet for PVS within the constraints of the staff and volunteer resources available to them.
Marlin indicated he would contact the club that bid to host a PVS Open meet to advise them that they did not receive an award, and to see if they were interested in bidding to host the February Distance Meet.
During the course of this review, there was also a discussion of the performance of some clubs in both hosting meets for PVS and in conducting club sponsored meets. The Board felt it has not been provided with specific information that would allow it to deny a priority bid on the basis of performance. The view that the "market place" should serve to help assure a quality club sponsored meet by reducing attendance in future years if there is not quality was also discussed. The Board also felt there were a couple of situations where it might be useful to invite clubs to come to a Board meeting so concerns could be discussed with them - this involves both situations involving PVS sponsored and club sponsored meets.
The Board was also advised that reports it had received at its March meeting regarding the number of officials at the Spring Championship meet were inaccurate. The meet director had advised thru Boots Hall that all sessions had at least a minimum of one Referee, one Starter and 4 Stroke and Turns. Many sessions had more officials. Also, the Board was advised that the coach of the swimmer who made less than a competitive effort when swimming on a relay had apologized to the coach of the team against whom they were competing and also had the swimmer write a letter of apology. It was acknowledged that this meet had less experienced officials available than normal due to the Sectional meet also occurring that weekend at a nearby pool.
The Board expressed the view that it would be beneficial to get reports on what clubs did to get ready for meets and post meet reports on how well the meet was conducted so it would have a better basis on which evaluate meet performance and have a more objective basis for making decisions about future meet awards.
Strategic Planning -- Jim Van Erden gave a brief report and distributed the results of survey he had completed of Officials He indicated the conclusions that could be drawn from it are very similar to what he obtained from his survey of the coaches. It provided information on why officials indicated they volunteered to work meets. Jim again expressed the view that the capacity of PVS to have meets (club or PVS sponsored) continues to be constrained by how many officials there are available and willing to work meets.
Jim also advised that he would be seeking the House's guidance on those circumstances when a club sponsored meet could be approved and receive a sanction, even if submitted for sanctioning after the last deadline permitted by PVS's Policies and Procedures. The specifics were discussed and endorsed by the Board at the February Board meeting.
Coaches Representative -- Jim Garner reported to the Board that a request for a Coaches Continuing Education grant had been received and the coach involved has submitted a report pertaining to the training. However, it was noted that the coach involved also received a grant last year and since they were not a PVS EZ SC Head or Assistant Coach, they were not entitled to receive it two years in a row. The Board agreed to defer acting on this request until July or August to see if other grant applications would be received that would otherwise not be funded. Bill Marlin concurred with this approach.
Age Group Division -- Due to lateness of the hour and time spent reviewing the proposed budget, this agenda item was deferred.
Administrative Division -- Due to lateness of the hour and time spent reviewing the proposed budget, this agenda item was deferred.
Athlete Representative -- Due to lateness of the hour and time spent reviewing the proposed budget, this agenda item was deferred.
Operations Division -- Due to lateness of the hour and time spent reviewing the proposed budget, this agenda item was deferred.
Old Business -- No old business came before the Board.
New Business -- Don Riedlinger requested that his report on the success of PVS swimmers at the recently completed U.S. Paralympics Trials Selection /National Disabilities Championship meet be accepted as a report to the Board and made part of the minutes of this meeting. The Board agreed to this request.
Adjournment -- The Board meeting adjourned at approximately 10:05 pm.
Date of Next Board Meeting -- The Board did not discuss the date of the next Board meeting.