AS APPROVED at the PVS Board Meeting -- January 13, 2005

POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

6:30 PM -- WEDNESDAY November 17, 2004
River Falls Community Center
Potomac, MD

Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, Ethan Bassett, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim Van Erden, Ron Whalen, and Greg York. Non-voting Board Members: John Ertter, and Linda Klopfenstein Guests: Mark Eldridge, Pete Morgan

Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:56 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 into the agenda as a result of input from the Board.

Approval of Minutes -- The minutes of October 20, 2004 Board of Directors minutes were approved after asking that they be clarified to state Kerry Ellett was still interested in serving as camp coordinator, but was no longer interested in conducting camps.

Senior Division -- Don Riedlinger reported on the Special Competition Committee Meeting which had been held on November 8th for the purpose of rexaming how PVS sets its competition program and the possibility of establishing it from a "blank slate.". The minutes of this meeting has been completed in draft prior to the Board meeting and had been made available to the Board as background information.

Report from Special Competition Committee Meeting -- In brief, he noted that Peter Karl had chaired a PVS Competition Scheduling Task Force task force. The Task Force had circulated a questionnaire in the October timeframe in order to get input from as many coaches as practical and had held a meeting on October 25th to formulate what recommendation to make to competition. The Task Force recommended looking at the PVS competition schedule as a "blank slate," recognize that most teams conduct a 12-15 week intense training cycle and desire a rested meet at end of each cycle. This would lead to most teams to want a rested meet in December and March. It was further observed that February and March have many external events (meets) that PVS cannot control the scheduling of (i.e.,. high school championship meets, Speedo Championship Series, Nationals, etc.) December only has the USA Swimming Open as an alternative for its better swimmers.

Therefore, it was the recommendation of the Task Force to move the PVS Senior Championship meet from March to December. The motion passed at Competition with 4 yeas, 3 nays and 1 abstention. (Only 8 PVS teams were present to participate in the voting.)

Riedlinger also reported to that the Competition Committee then made a motion to amend it prior motion and recommend moving the PVS Senior Championship to the January timeframe. The vote on this motion was 4-4 (Riedlinger as chairman then broke the tie by voting against it.)

Therefore, the motion from the Competition Committee that is before the Board for its consideration is to whether move the PVS Senior Championship meet to the December timeframe. The full motion from the Competition Committee is as follows:

"Move Senior Championship to December timeframe
PVS Open and Distance meets: no change
PVS 14 & Under Champs: no change
Add a new PVS Championship Meet to serve PVS athlete not covered by Sectionals (to be scheduled in same general timeframe as Sectionals with QT's NFT Sectionals. (NST OT's would be set to get desired meet size.)"

The Board then discussed the motion at some length, focusing on the recommendation to move the Senior Championship meet to the December timeframe. Amongst the items discussed were

  • The impact this would have on the various club sponsored meets currently held in the December timeframe.
  • The impact on pool availability - including GMU.
  • What competition opportunities would be provided for Age Group swimmers - including those that now participate in the Dolan meet.
  • Lack of specifics in the Task Force report on how these other meets and programs would be effected.
  • If PVS's largest clubs do not support the new format, will it be a true PVS Championship meet or will it provide the competition sought.
  • Is the issue really that the Dolan meet is a club sponsored meet rather than a PVS sponsored meet. Some feel it is important for PVS to sponsor the meets that satisfy the "basic needs" of its swimmers - leaving for the clubs the need to fill in the rest of competitive program.
  • Addition of Sectionals has impacted the quality of the PVS Senior Championship Meet, therefore, there is a need to restructure this meet to make it a high quality meet again.
  • December is a better timeframe than late February/March to satisfy requirement to participate in a PVS sponsored meet in order to receive travel assistance.

Many stated they felt the several club meets currently on the schedule in December are satisfying their needs. The clubs currently sponsoring meets in December felt it was important that the schedule continue to include meets that serve the needs of its athletes. That is an important factor in why they have bid to sponsor those meets.

The possibility of having all clubs currently hosting meets in December timeframe sit down and discuss how format could be "fine tuned" in order to better serve needs of PVS's athletes was discussed. This included whether timeline would permit addition of third heat at finals for 15/Over age bracket or possibly 13-14 age group as well. The clubs present indicated their willingness to address the issue.

It was noted that since only 8 clubs participated in the Special Competition meeting and given the closeness of the vote - did not indicate that there was a broad based consensus that the current competition program needs to (should) be restructured. Others indicated they felt there was a need to make a radical change in PVS's current competitive program. It was also noted the proposal to restructure the current competition program comes primarily from teams not hosting or managing meets - particularly in the December timeframe.

One large club noted it would support a Senior Championship in December with an Age Group Championship Meet in the same time frame. They noted it is better to have the Championship meet then since that is a better time to satisfy the PVS sponsored meet requirement in order to receive travel assistance.

Others indicated they liked the idea of a PVS Senior Championship meet in December, but not if it needed to come at the cost of having a major impact on the other meets and programs currently being offered in the at timeframe.

The question was called. The Board voted 1-8 (Stephens in favor) to support the recommendation from Competition.

Hirschmann advised the Board that since the PVS Senior Championship meet would not be in December, given the need to proceed with pool rentals, a decision needs to be made on what weekends, PVS wishes to conduct its spring 2006 PVS 14/U Age Group and Senior Championship meets.

The Board then agreed that PVS would proceed to schedule its 2005-06 Open and Distance meets on the same basis as they were scheduled in 2004-05, consistent with that part of the Competition Committee's motion.

The Board then discussed when to conduct the PVS Senior Championship. It was advised that Metro's would end on Saturday, February 25, 2006 and that the Southern Eastern Zone Sectional is scheduled for March 16-19, 2006. The NCSA Juniors are expected to be held March 20-24 or March 21-25.

It discussed primarily whether to have PVS Senior SC Championship on March 2-5, 2006 or March 9-12, 2006. The consensus was given the timing of other meets, the best dates for the PVS Senior Championships would be March 9-12, 2006.

The Board then proposed placing the PVS JO 14/U Age Group Championships on the following weekend - March 16-19, 2006. [Whether the dates for this meet would allow enough time to complete selection of the 14/U athletes going to the Eastern Zone Meet - scheduled for March 30 - April 1, 2006 was not addressed.]

A motion to have these meets on these weekends was then made, seconded and passed.

Dual and Tri Meet Sanctioning -- A motion was then made by Hirschmann to amend C-8 of PVS's Policy and Procedures so it would read

"Dual and tri meets between USA Swimming clubs will receive automatic sanction by the PVS Administrative Assistant if all of the above criteria are met, the request is received by the PVS Administrative Office on the prescribed forms at least seven (7) days before the meet, and the proposed meet does not conflict with any PVS scheduled meet for the equivalent age or level of ability and the meet involves less than 1200 entries."

This motion had initially been introduced at the September Board meeting and tabled at that time. Hirschmann explained that it had been motivated by difficulty in determining the intentions of a large club with regard to meets they have held for several years in close proximity (date wise) to the October and November Opens. In the past, they have bid to hold a meet through the normal process - however this year they did not do so. Therefore, PVS proceeded on the basis these meets would not be held and the PVS Open would have to absorb the extra entries. It also had to address whether the meets would have the capacity to accept the expected number of entries and it also declined to invite non-PVS teams in the expectation the meets could be oversubscribed. Team assignments were made and publicized on that basis. However, shortly before the meet they requested a sanction for a tri-meet that got over 4000 entries. PVS had to redo team assignments as a result in order to balance the expected size of the three sites.

The club involved stated it did not believe it was "skirting the rules" by applying for a sanction on the basis that it did.

Others spoke against the motion. They felt it does not address the problem. PVS should know what its needs are the Open meets regardless of clubs plans for its own meets. There is also not now in place a mechanism for clubs to declare their intentions with regard to participating in the Open meets. Also the potential still exists for small clubs to set up several small dual or tri meets that would have the same impact as a larger dual or tri meet. The rule will be much more restrictive on a large club because of its size - in contrast small clubs can take most of their athletes and still not exceed the proposed 1200 entry limit. Therefore, they did not feel the motion adequately addresses the problem. Small clubs will not be subject to the same discipline as large clubs.

Others noted that larger clubs, because of their size, unavoidably have a larger impact on PVS meets - making the importance of knowing their intentions more critical to permitting orderly PVS planning.

Whalen spoke in favor of the motion and recommended that PVS go to stricter structure like MD and VA do - have a meeting where the entire LSC competition schedule is set and then stick to it. Teams should not be able to put meets (particularly those that will involve a large number of swimmers) on the schedule at the last second - given the impact they are likely to have on other meets already on the calendar for a significant period of time and where significant financial commitments to rent pool time, etc. have been made.

Many coaches have indicated that what they need to know is the schedule and their competition options well ahead of time. This motion is being offered in an attempt to put some structure and discipline into the scheduling process - it is not intended as "anti" club or "anti-large club" motion.

There was also discussion that such a rule could discourage innovation in meet design and PVS should not be discouraging innovation. Also, PVS should not be concerned if it takes a financial loss on its Open meets.

It was acknowledged that there is not a desire to put controls into place for control sake, but much of the problem is created by poor communication and difficulty in getting responses back regarding what are people's intention regarding future meets. The possibility of changing the financial structure for compensating teams was raised.

The question was called. The motion was DEFEATED 2-5 (Hirschmann and Whalen voted in favor.)

One club said it would work on getting an early declaration by clubs of their "intent to participate" in meets. Others noted that when it has been tried in the past - it has been met with very limited success.

There was also discussion of whether there are adequate meets in the early February timeframe. PVS does not sponsor any meets in this timeframe and the clubs hosting meets are apparently are having problems locating sufficient water to host meets to satisfy the needs of our athletes in that timeframe - particularly those still trying to qualify for the SC Championship meets. One meet that apparently accepted too many entries in order to help satisfy the demand was discussed. Because meets were getting oversubscribed, clubs were concerned about being excluded at the last second with no alternative place to go, It was also noted that few (if any) PVS clubs have control over water they use and thus their ability to host a meet is limited by their ability to rent water from a "third party" or being able to "clear the calendar" of non competitive swimming activities in their own facility.

Executive Session -- The Board met in Executive session for the purpose of discussing the currently on going discussion with VSI regarding what is the appropriate LSC for certain member clubs to register. Jim reported that their had been a proposal made by Jeff Gudman, National Administration Vice President of USA Swimming, as whether there was interest in having further discussion between the two LSC's and the directly impacted clubs, before the matter could potentially go to a Board of Review. Jim also noted that George Homewood on behalf of VSI had already accepted the offer and Jim had indicated he would respond after having an opportunity to discuss it with his Board.

There was discussion as to who might represent USA Swimming at the meeting, whether having others at the meeting would be useful, what their role would be, etc. It was clarified while it is hoped the meeting would lead to a successful outcome, it would not be binding on either party.

It was suggested and subsequently agreed that it was important that the PVS House of Delegates be informed of these developments - since some of the proposed solutions could impact on the competition program, the ability of PVS clubs to have training facilities outside of PVS's boundaries, etc. [Such a communication was prepared and subsequently sent to the PVS House of Delegates and to PVS Flash Mail recipients by Jim Garner on December 5th.]

Garner also briefed the Board regarding a separate matter -- the desire of one of its clubs to change its affiliation to an adjoining LSC. It was noted that in order for them to do so, the provisions of Section 6-E of the USA Swimming rulebook would have to be satisfied. This includes approval by both the potentially losing and gaining LSC's In addition, the phrase in 6-E regarding "where no other club geographically intervenes" may well be applicable. PVS has also been informally advised that if other teams wishing to remain in PVS are also training at the same facility, this provision can probably not be satisfied.

The Board resumed meeting in open session.

Treasurer -- John Ertter reported on the situation with City Capitol leasing and our efforts to try and return the copier to them now that the 5 year financial lease with them has expired. It was agreed that given the firm's reputation, it might be necessary to get legal guidance on how best to proceed.

It was agreed Jim Garner would contact the PVS attorney about the possibility having him contact City Capitol leasing in an effort to resolve the problem.

Hirschmann advised that the financial statements for PVS as of October 31, 2004 had been sent to the Board prior to the meeting. PVS's current assets on hand as of October 31, 2004 were $776,327 including $4,466 in the Dave Davis fund. It was emphasized that these figures do not reflect the fact that PVS owes USA Swimming approximately $213,000 for their share of registration fees collected by PVS in October, which will be paid to USA Swimming once they invoice for their share..

Administrative Division -- Bill Stephens informed the Board regarding the status of the Registrar's contract - there had been a recent exchange of e-mail regarding its specific content - he indicted he still needed to discuss some matters with the Registrar and thus he is asking that the Board not take action on it at this meeting. A new proposed contract would be circulated prior to the next Board meeting.

Stephens also reported that the registration data to date for 2005 did not indicate we were getting the post-Olympic bounce that some were hoping for or expecting. Some noted our ability to do so might be limited by the amount of additional training space in areas of our territory where the demand was likely to be greatest.

He also discussed some examples of PVS use of public relations to increase interest in participating in competitive swimming might be an appropriate activity for PVS to undertake.

Operations Division -- Whalen reported that Don Smith is ready to sign the contract for the year. He had not signed the month to month contract that the Board had approved at its prior meeting. The Board indicated it was also comfortable with (preferred) entering into an annual contract and to have it be effective as of September 1, 2004 and PASSED a motion to this effect..

The Board also indicated it would welcome there being an assistant available to work with the Equipment Manager and to be available to help out when needed on busy (multiple site weekends and in an emergency.) The Board was advised that there was somebody interested in working with him - but no specifics were known.

It was also agreed that Don should be paid for services rendered prior to September 1 - in particular those items on which there is agreement he should be paid. However, there was discussion whether based on his prior contract, he should be paid for services provided on weekends where there were only non-PVS sanctioned meets.

It was agreed it would be best to move to a new written contract where the financial arrangements could hopefully be carefully addressed to minimize any potential future confusion.

The Board indicated that it wished to emphasize to the equipment manager the importance of making sure properly working equipment is sent to the meets. It has received reports of non-working equipment being delivered to meet sites - including meets being sponsored by PVS. The Board indicated it felt that using the meets to find out if the equipment was working properly was not an appropriate way to test the equipment and was not fair to the meet hosts, athletes, officials and others at those meets.

Athlete Representative - Ethan Bassett advised the Board that it is not clear what commitment to serve the Junior Athlete Representative to the Board is prepared to make. There was discussion regarding what were his specific intentions regarding continuing to serve. The Board, if necessary, could declare the position vacant. Garner invited input as to who he might nominate to fill the vacancy, should one occur. [The athletes could under PVS by-laws elect a successor should they choose to do so.]

Coaches Representative - The Board was advised that one of its coach representatives cannot attend PVS Board meetings, if they are scheduled on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening - due to other obligations. The Board agreed to not have its meeting on the same night every month in order to maximize the opportunity for all elected Board members to participate.

Strategic Planning - Jim Van Erden indicated he did not have anything he wished to report to the Board. He noted due to other commitments, he has not had an opportunity to finish up writing up the results of the special meeting the Board held on setting strategic goals in late August. He indicated he hoped to be able to finish it up shortly.

Age Group - There was a brief discussion regarding the fact the Camp Coordinator position is occupied, but there has been little activity in that area. Some were concerned that others are not volunteering to serve in that capacity since they see that the position is full. Various alternative strategies to pursue were discussed.

Swimposium -- Bill Marlin reported that Paris Jacobs had contacted Marriott about the possibility of having the Swimposium at one of their facilities. USA Swimming has been told that PVS would like to have a Swimposium in late September or early October.

Old Business --
Eastern Zone 2004 Long Course Meet
--

It was agreed Chris Houtt should be reminded that his written report on the summer 2004 meet would still be welcomed. In submitting his report, he should feel free to point out both things that went well and those that he feels need attention or could be improved. He should feel free to submit it on a confidential basis to the PVS Board if he would like. It was mentioned that in the future, PVS may wish to make submitting a report to the Board regarding the Zone meet a condition for receiving the Head Coaches' stipend.

New Business -
Fines for Unregistered Swimmers --

Hirschmann provided the Board with a report regarding the number of non-registered athletes who have been identified as a result of his post meet loading of swimmers times into SWIMS. (This is in contrast to the Registrar's pre-meet reconciliation the meet entry file for unregistered swimmers and inaccurately entered (spelling, DOB, etc differences.)) Hirschmann advised that in general the results have been very good and that relatively few non-registered and inaccurately entered ("noise") swimmers have been identified. However, there is a pattern where a couple of PVS clubs have had a significant number of swimmers show up with problems. Hirschmann advised he routinely reports these situations back to the Registrar for resolution as he identifies the apparent problems. How and to whom the feedback is now currently going was discussed

One of the clubs involved was present at the meeting and requested more specific information regarding the athletes that had been identified. This information was provided the following day. Most felt that problems currently being reported were isolated, and involved a few specific problem(s) with a couple of clubs that could hopefully be addressed and resolved. The vast majority of clubs are having their swimmers "flagged" for attention either not at all or very infrequently. [It appears the problem was addressed as there were no significant number of problems involving this club during the remainder of 2004.]

A separate question was raised as to whether Sumie Is sending out the coaches, their registration cards promptly. Bill S gave a report on the status - noting the initial effort had been concentrated on registering and reregistering the athletes for 2005. He noted that now that the bulk of athletes registrations had been processed, coaches and officials registrations were being processed on a current basis.

Next Board Meeting - The Board agreed it did not need to meet in December. It was agreed to have its next meeting on Thursday, January 13th - this will hopefully allow other Board members to attend and will allow the Board to address action items coming from the January 9th Competition Committee meeting.

Adjournment - The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:35 pm.