The meeting was called to order by Competition Chairman, Jim Garner at 2:10p
In attendance were Jim Garner, Chairman; Greg York, Age Group Chairman; Ward Foley, AAC. Eric Moore, AVST; Rick Curl, CUBU; Christian Doud, MACH; Chris Huott, MSSC; Dave Tonnessen, OCCS; Bill Marlin, PM; Peter Karl TCSD, Rod Montrie, TCSD; Victor Abrahamian, VSC; Thirl Crudup, PVS, John Ertter, PVS; John Hirschmann, PVS; Boots Hall, PVS; Bill Stephens. PVS.
Comments from the PVS Officials Chairman
Jim Garner indicated the PVS Officials Chairman, Boots Hall would like to make a few comments to the Committee. Boots advised the coaches that it was her impression that many of the officials are feeling "burned out" by the many meets on the schedule, including various club sponsored and dual/tri meets. As a result some meets have been poorly staffed.
Some coaches observed that clubs should not be hosting meets if they do have a group of officials to staff them, including those who can handle table assignments as well as Stroke and Turn, Start and Referee.
Boots noted that 6 Stroke and Turn clinics had been provided this year and had been well attended. The Committee was now working to set up additional clinics for January - primarily on the MD side. She also noted that coaches are often in the best position to help us recruit new officials, as they know the parents with the interest that would attend a clinic with a little encouragement.
A coach pointed out that officials also must perceive they have the opportunity to advance . This is also important to being able to recruit and retain officials. Receiving leadership assignments at major meets like the currently occurring Tom Dolan meet is important part of the retention process.
It was also suggested that PVS might consider adopting a rule similar to what some other LSC's have - that you cannot get a sanction to conduct a major meet unless your club has at least x officials, some of which need to be certified at higher levels. This type of rule is sometimes phased in over a few years. Others suggested that PVS should let the market take care of itself - if clubs do not run good meets, their meets will be less well attended in the future.
Minutes of September 2002 Meeting
The chair requested approval of the minutes for the September, 2002 CC meeting. The minutes had been circulated prior to the meeting. No changes were requested.
A motion was made to adopt the minutes of the September 2002 Competition Committee meeting as submitted. Motion to adopt the minutes PASSED
Reports from Board Members
Thirl reported on membership. PVS currently has 4431 athletes registered for 2003. 25 clubs have renewed for 2003. Registrations were being promptly processed as received and registration cards were returned to the clubs (for future distribution) and directly to PVS officials. This means that 12 clubs have not done so. They are receiving reminders of the need to do so before December 31 (actually earlier given the Registrar's absence at the end of the month.) There was also discussion that a couple of clubs were not expected to renew for 2003.
Bill Stephens reported for the Administrative Division. He highlighted that in contrast to last year, club, athlete and non-athlete (coach and official) registrations are being processed in a timely manner. He also stated that he viewed the role of the division to help others and the member clubs
John Hirschmann reported that pool rentals are also in place this year. The pools for the 2003 LC season have been confirmed. Finalizing arrangements for pool rentals for PVS sponsored meets for the 2003-04 SC season are about to commence.
Age Group Swimming
Greg York reported that there was now some concern that the QT's set for this spring's Age Group Championship may have been set too slow and that there may be more heats than are desired. He noted that there were more heats in the age group events of the Dolan Invitational than had been anticipated.
He reviewed with the Committee the selection criteria that had been agreed to at the Fall Competition Committee meeting and subsequently agreed to by the Board. (see minutes of those meetings for details)
It was noted that athletes would now be allowed to apply until the last day that QT's could be obtained for the age group in which they are interested in competing. Hirschmann observed that this might significantly delay determination of who made the team as both the team applications and times from the last meet(s) would have to be processed before this determination could be made. He indicated that he understood the desire to allow athletes to apply "late" if they discovered they had swum fast enough to make the team, but could delay announcement of the team. He proposed that $10 surcharge be applied to all athletes who applied less than approximately two weeks prior to the initial final selection meet. It is hoped this will cause the vast majority of team applications to be submitted ahead of time. The Competition Committee endorsed this approach and recommended to the Board that they approve it. [Note; The Board subsequently did so by electronic vote commenced on December 20, 2002]
Selection of Eastern Zone SC Assistant Head Zone Coach
Greg York reminded the Committee that at their fall meeting they had elected Evan Stiles as Head Coach and Mike P as Assistant Head Zone Coach. As noted in the Fall Minutes, Mike P had been elected in recognition of his extensive coaching experience, even though he did not have prior zone coach experience. Because Mike Pliuskaitis did not have prior zone experience (which is a stated requirement) the PVS Board did not approve his selection.
Greg invited the Committee's input as to how an Assistant Head Zone Coach should be elected. He suggested he be authorized to conduct an election at the Dolan Invitational meet with each club receiving one vote as they would in a Competition Committee meeting. Greg reported that Jeff Haynie, HACC, Harry Hink, VSC, Peter Sczupak PM and Rory Lewis had asked to be on the ballot for this position. It was agreed that Mike Pliuskaitis would also be placed on the ballot if he still wished to be included.
John Ertter gave a brief report on PVS's financial condition and reported that PVS was very healthy financially. He stated he had reviewed carefully activity by the prior administrative staff and had not detected situations where PVS's funds had been used improperly. He did however note that he had detected several situations where PVS had failed to collect funds owed to it.
Separately he noted that he was now analyzing meets to determine whether all meets fees were paid, including that time trials are properly accounted for at their higher meet entry rate. He said the analysis was also showing that PVS was clearing very little profit from PVS sponsored meets. He also observed that PVS was increasing its pool rental budget significantly from last year in order to provide suitable venues for its meets - particularly championship meets. This is partially influenced by the need to rent significantly more water for its LC championship meets.
He highlighted one PVS sponsored meet where a very significant percentage of the meet entry fees payable to PVS had not been collected by the host club. He noted this was placing a significant additional burden on the Finance Chairman.
John reported that PVS had made major progress in having clubs now pay their registration fees with their applications and that the problem PVS previously had with a large number of registrations for which PVS only held a receivable had been essentially eliminated.
John stated PVS was now turning its attention to making sure that meet fees for PVS sponsored meets were being collected in a timely manner. He reported that the Board at its November meeting had voted to make clear that it is PVS policy that meet entry fees are due prior to the beginning of the meet. He acknowledged that this is a departure from the past practice where entry fees were not due until the conclusion of the meet and PVS Administrative Office frequently assisted in post meet collection efforts. John Ertter emphasized that it was PVS's view that one of the Meet Director's responsibilities is to assure collection of all meet entry fees and their prompt remittance to PVS.
It was acknowledged that with most clubs now submitting their entries electronically, meet entry checks needed to be transmitted to Meet Director's separately. This means that clubs in turn must get their meet entry fees to the Meet Director promptly.
Several expressed concern that it was very important that PVS publicize this change in policy/practice. Several expressed concern about the need to turn away swimmers from competiting in a meet because their club had not paid their meet entry fees. One stated this change might be sufficient to cause him to reconsider whether he still wished to be a Meet Director for a PVS sponsored meet.
Long Course 2003 Schedule
Hirschmann reminded the Committee that the schedule for PVS sponsored meets had been approved by both the Competition Committee and the PVS Board in the fall. He had recently invited all PVS clubs to submit requests to receive sanctions for club sponsored meets during the PVS 2003 LC season.
He provided the Committee with a calendar showing the meets requested and the PVS sponsored meets that had already been approved.
Three requests for club sponsored meets were received:
The Early Bird LC Meet is being moved to Fairland. The date is tentative pending confirmation of pool availability. These meets have been on the PVS schedule in prior years. The Competition Committee endorsed these meets and recommended that Board sanction them.
Short Course 2003-04 Schedule
Hirschmann reminded the Committee that the schedule for PVS sponsored meets had been approved by both the Competition Committee and the PVS Board in the fall. He had recently invited all PVS clubs to submit requests to receive sanctions for club sponsored meets during the PVS 2003-04 SC season.
He provided the Committee with a calendar showing the meets requested and the PVS sponsored meets that had already been approved.
Several requests for club sponsored meets were received:
Note: *The exact date of the Christmas Championship Meet is dependent on when other meets are scheduled in December. The Winter LC Invitational meet may be moved to avoid a direct conflict with Spring Nationals. The dates for the Spring Championship and March Madness may be reconsidered to avoid a direct conflict with Speedo Championship Series (fna Sectionals.)
All the meets requested have been on the PVS schedule in prior year(s). The Competition Committee endorsed these meets and recommended that Board sanction them.
It was also noted that several meets historically on the PVS schedule had not been proposed. In response to a question, it was observed that the Board could still consider these requests. However, it would be without benefit of the Competition's Committee recommendation and no opinion was offered whether the Board would agree to do so.
A question was raised about clubs bidding to host PVS sponsored meets. It was explained that this is a separate process and such requests would be evaluated by the Senior and Age Group Chair and the Coaches representatives before being submitted to the Board for their consideration. Hirschmann indicated he had not received enough bids to cover all the meets PVS sponsors during the LC season and encouraged clubs that were considering the possibility to do so. He noted such requests were due by December 30. [Note: This deadline was subsequently extended to January 10.]
It was also noted that the Zone had decided to swim the Spring 2004 Sectional LC since that is an Olympic year. There was discussion whether in light of this, PVS should swim what would otherwise be its SCY Championship Meet in LC format. The consensus of those present was they would prefer that format.
There was also discussion whether since the Sectional meet is going to be later than normal (March 25-28, 2004) whether PVS should flip the dates of the PVS SCY(or LCM) Championship Meet and the 14/U JO SC Championship Meet. The former is now scheduled for March 4-7, 2004 and the later for March 11-14, 2004 Hirschmann indicated initial contacts with pools regarding water availability had already been initiated. He would explore what was feasible since some venues would provide better warm/warm-down capability than others.
PVS LC Championship Meets
Hirschmann reviewed with the Committee currently planning for the PVS LC Championship meets. In contrast to prior years, the Age Group LC Meet would now be a 14/U rather than a 12/U meet on the second weekend. Also in contrast to prior years, it would be swum on a prelim/finals basis rather than on a timed finals basis as in the past (July 17-20) The PVS Junior Champs meet would now be swum between prelims and finals on the first weekend (July 10-13.) All three meets will be swum at GMU.
Hirschmann also explained in order to minimize conflicts with summer league swimming, no competition during the 14/U LC Championship was planned for Saturday morning. He also stated that initial thinking was to have the format be very similar to that planned for this Spring's 14/U SCY Champs, except that obviously the 100IM will not be offered. Thus, some minor shifting of events to balance session length might be made. He also noted so as to avoid a conflict with Saturday morning summer league swimming, initial thinking was to switch the Thursday and Saturday program relative to the SCY format. It was acknowledged that one problem with this format was that it would place the two distance events (800/1500M Freestyle) on back to back days (Sat/Sun).
Some coaches expressed considerable concern about such a format and felt swimming the 800 and 1500 freestyle on successive days would not allow those swimmers appropriate recovery time.
It was agreed that alternate formats (order of events) for the PVS LC 14/U Championship would be investigated. It was also suggested the 200 stroke events might be swum on a timed final basis.
It is planned that QT's for this meet be set similar to how they were done for the SCY 14/U Championship meet. Based on the desired number of heats, the pysch sheet for the prior meet was used when the time standard needed to be tightened. When it needed to be relaxed to get more entries, a Team Manager data base containing all times received in electronic format was consulted to select a time that would likely produce the number of additional swimmers desired. In no case, however, would the time standard be taken below a given performance standard (eg halfway between A and BB).
Since this methodology was being used for the first time this spring, it was agreed that QT's for the LC meet would not be release until actual experience with this methodology could be reviewed following the 14/U SC Championship in early March.
Garner also indicated until the QT's for 13-14 year olds in this meet were established, it would be premature for him to address how the PVS Junior Championship QT's and/or format might need to be modified so it could be completed between prelims and finals of the PVS Senior Championship meet.
Donald Reidlinger and Pamela Starke Reed (who were recently appointed as PVS's Co Chairman for Adapted Swimming) made a presentation to the Committee. Their interest Involved getting more swimmers involved who would benefit from the adaptive swimming involved as well as how to provide competitive opportunities for these athletes at PVS meets.
They indicated one of their first activities would be survey all PVS clubs to determine what they are currently doing to support adaptive swimming. They would also be sharing with the clubs information available to them on how to include adaptive swimming in their program.
They shared with the coaches their observations that having such swimmers involved in a club program can be of benefit to all athletes. It was noted one adjoining LSC was using an inclusion process successfully.
Open Water Swimming
Garner reported that Kurt Thiel, as PVS Open Water Coordinator, is continuing to make plans for a PVS Open Water meet next spring. This would be done prior to hosting the National 5K Open Water race on August 10, 2003 - immediately following Nationals at UMD. Kurt hopes to conduct the meet in the Potomac River with access/egress from a marina near the Key Bridge. He has been actively working on getting permissions from all the involved parties, which likely will include the DC government and the National Park Service.
Alternate sites will be considered if the Potomac River course is not available. Lake Montclair where PVS previously held an Open Water meet was mentioned. It was noted this would involve more travel from UMD where Nationals are being held.
Kurt's background, skill and awareness of safety issues were noted and complimented.
Two topics were discussed
Bill Stephens presented additional information concerning current and future administrative arrangements within PVS. He reported that Sumie Emory has been on board since late September as Registrar. The Board was reassessing what should be the role of an Administrative Assistant and whether PVS has a need for a permanent physical office.
He noted that he believed the PVS office had over committed in the past and undertaken to do functions that the clubs should have been doing for themselves. Therefore, PVS would be expecting clubs to be doing more - ie submitting their registrations in the proper format rather than have PVS fix them, submitting fees when due, etc.
He stated he hoped PVS would find ways to teach the clubs how to help themselves and indicated he was interested in promoting membership identity and encourage athletes, coaches and officials to identify with PVS in addition to their club and USA Swimming.
PVS Eastern Zone LC Team
Greg York reported he had been discussing with other PVS coaches whether PVS should change how it chooses and selects the team it sends to the summer LC meets. As background, he noted that any PVS athletes who achieve one or more QT may enter the meet. They are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals. In contrast, some other LSC's within the EZ travel as a team to the Long Course Champs (as all teams do for the SC Champs.) The exact selection criteria vary - e.g., have made 4 individual QT's, two fastest swims in each events, etc.) Others who made the meet qualifying time, but did not meet the "team" qualifying criteria could continue to attend on their own.
Based on his discussions, Greg recommended that PVS start participating in the EZ LC meets using more of a team approach. He recommended that PVS team consist of those athletes (who wish to be on the team) who have the two fastest times for each event. They would travel as team, eat and be lodged as a team. They would be expected to stay for the duration of the meet.
Comments were made that some athletes may only qualify in one event and concerns were raised about the challenges of having such athletes present for the duration of the meet. Others suggested that he official traveling team consist of swimmers who achieved 4 or more QT's. There was general agreement that if PVS sent an "official team," they would be expected to travel, lodge and eat together. Other athletes who made QT(s) could still enter the meet, but would have to make their own travel, lodging and dining arrangements.
It was also suggested that PVS funding for the SC and LC Zone Teams be equalized and that this might involve some decrease in the support currently provided the SC team. John Ertter observed that given the financial health of PVS, it might be possible to increase overall zone funding, if it was judged to be a desirable program objective.
No decision or formal recommendation was made at this meeting. Greg indicated he would continue to seek input on this matter. It was recognized that before such a change could be implemented a more formal and complete recommendation would have to be developed for presentation to the board.
The Committee discussed various times to have the Spring Competition Committee meeting. It was agreed having it during the Maryland State meet would probably cause conflicts similar to what happened for this meeting. Having it on an earlier weekend also presented conflicts. No definite date was agreed upon, though it will probably be on weekday evening, sometime after the Eastern Zone Spring Meeting on May 10. Scheduling should be coordinated with that for the PVS House of Delegates meeting that will also be occurring in that timeframe.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:30pm