POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, Todd Benedick, John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim VanErden, Ronald 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 7:15 pm by the General Chair, Jim Garner.
Jim had provided the Board with the attached slightly updated agenda for the meeting. A prior version had been circulated prior to the meeting and Board members invited to suggest additional items.
Approval of Minutes - Jim requested approval of the December 3 Board minutes Riedlinger asked that two items in the minutes be clarified and it was agreed to do so. The minutes were adopted after agreeing to these two changes.
General Chairman items - Jim indicated he had received a request from USA Swimming as to whether PVS wished to nominate anybody for the annual outstanding service award, i.e., the Conoco Phillips Award. Jim asked that Board members advise him directly of any suggested nominations.
The Board was informed that AS Tepper had become a life member of USA Swimming and had additional discussion about the life membership program.
The situation of in water versus on deck starts at a recently conducted meet was discussed. The Board was advised that a rule change was passed at the 2003 USAS convention so that starting May 15, 2004 all starts will have to be in the water, unless the water depth is 4' or greater. It was agreed that consistent application of any water safety rule is very important - coaches of teams should not have the right to make individual decisions.
A request had been received to allow an individual to take pictures for profit of athletes only upon their specific request of the swimmer or their parent. Bill Marlin indicated he had done this before meet and the photographer knows how to work in a manner that will not interfere with the conduct of the meet. Any pictures taken would only be posted publicly with the athletes' parents permission.
The Board indicated it had no objections. It did however remind the host club requesting approval that the contract with the pool has provisions dealing with the need to obtain authorization to use vendors.
Competition Division - Don Riedlinger presented to the Board for their review and approval various recommendations from the Competition Committee meeting on January 11.
Don first presented the names that had been elected to be the four Assistant PVS EZ SC coaches -- Mark Faherty, Chris Huott, Susie Hutchinson and James Taschek. He also presented the PVS EZ LC coach -Chris Huott and the PVS Asst EZ LC coach - Eric Adams. It was noted that Eric Adams was not nominated until the day of the Competition Committee meeting, however no other names had been nominated and no objection was raised at Competition to accepting the nomination. The Board voted to accept these nominations.
Don also reported that Competition had voted to elect the four assistant PVS EZ LC coaches at the May Competition meeting, with the chair to accept nominations until a date (to be publicized) just prior to the meeting. The Board voted to accept this selection procedure.
Don then reported that Competition had voted make the requirement for reimbursement for travel to the 2004 Olympic Trials, participation in six PVS sponsored swims between September 15, 2003 and July 6, 2004. It was explained that the original proposal was to have it occur between January 1, 2004 and July 6, 2004, but this was amended after it was pointed out that there would be limited opportunities to participate and PVS was late in establishing the requirement. It was also observed that since the Spring sectional at UMD would be a PVS sanctioned meet, presumably swims from that meet would also count. It was also noted the 6 swims could all occur at one meet. The motion to endorse this requirement was defeated.
A motion was then made to have it be 6 swims in at least two meets. This motion was adopted.
The requirement for travel assistance to the summer 2004 Conoco Phillips National Championships in August was then addressed. Competition had recommended that it be the requirement used for the past few seasons of 4 swims in PVS sanctioned meets (at least two of which were in PVS sponsored Meets) during the 2004 LC season. However, given the timing of the PVS meet - in particular the proximity PVS sponsored meets to the Trials and that PVS Senior LC Champs would start 1 day after Olympic Trials end, it was proposed that for swimmers to qualify for travel to and participate in OT's, this would also satisfy the requirement for travel to Nationals. The Board accepted this recommendation.
Riedlinger and Hirschmann then reviewed the requests that had been received from clubs to sponsor meets and for which a PVS sanction was being sought.
The first item raised was a recent request from VSC for a sanction to hold a March Madness Mini Meet Invitational 8&U at South Run on March 20-21, 2004. This request had initially been received on January 7, 2004 via a sanction request mailed to the PVS Administrative office.
There was extended discussion on the pros and cons of issuing this sanction. The items of primary concern were that the request had been received well after the deadline in P&P for requesting such a meet and the fact it would be held on the same weekend as the Mini Championship sponsored by RMSC at Olney. (P&P provides that requests for sanctions during the period January-April, 2004 could have been submitted at the Winter 2003 Competition meeting (held in December 2002) or the Spring 2003 or the Fall 2003 Competition Committee meeting.
It was also observed that 8/U events had only recently been added to the March Madness meet and that when these events were added - it was done without notice to the LSC and came as a surprise to RMSC when they saw a sudden falloff in their entries.
Others noted that the RMSC Olney meet site was a considerable distance from some VA practice sites and the parents of many younger swimmers might not elect to participate in a meet that far away. Others noted that their team would go the Olney site and/or they would have those swimmers living closest to Olney to go to that site.
Some noted that exceptions had been made in the past, but the only example cited was the Tom Dolan meet. Others noted those circumstances were different as the meet was requested before the last stated deadline and also it was not in direct conflict with a similar meet on the same weekend. Others observed it was time for the Board to start enforcing its rules and not continue to accept untimely requests.
It was suggested that if RMSC had no objection to the meet being sanctioned, the Board should not raise an objection. It was agreed that Garner and Riedlinger would contact RMSC and determine their position on that matter. After that information was available, the Board could conduct an electronic vote based on knowing RMSC's views.
Hirschmann acknowledged that Competition's views on this bid had inadvertently not been sought since it was not part of either the 2004 LC season or 2004-05 SC season, which were the periods of times for which sanction requests had been sought.
The motion to sanction the meet was defeated by a vote of 3-6.
Regarding the sanctioning of meets and need for Board approval, Hirschmann advised the Board that CUBU earlier that day had submitted an amended meet announcement which he had posted to the website to move the CUBU 14/U Winter Qualifier Meet on February 7-8 from GMU/Fairfax to American University and changing the meet from a two to a three session format. (This was necessitated when CUBU learned the GMU/Fairfax facility was not available as it had anticipated.)
The Board did not address whether a new sanction needed to be issued on the basis that this constituted a "substantive change" in the meet announcement.
The Board next addressed the requests for sanctions for club sponsored meets during the 2004 LC season. A summary of these meets and how they fit into the overall schedule was provided the Board. The Board was advised three requests had been received. These were a request from FISH for a new age group LC meet on April 30-May 2 at GMU/Fairfax, a request from MSSC for a Long Course Invitational Meet on May 1-2 and the 28th Annual Maryland State Long Course Invitational on June 4-6 at Rockville. The Board approved the sanctioning of these three meets.
It was also reported that no request had been received for the Bunkey Lewis Mini Meet. CUBU had indicated at Competition that it was attempting to obtain Rockville for May 15-16. Garner advised that he just learned that CUBU had confirmed that Rockville was available on those dates. The Board voted to sanction this meet.
The Board then addressed the requests that had been submitted for club sponsored meets during the 2004-05 short course season. A summary of these meets and how they fit into the overall schedule was provided the Board. The Board was advised that sanction request for all meets on the 2003-04 schedule had been received, except for the three meets previously sponsored by RMSC and the CUBU 14/U Qualifier which had not been requested. In addition, three new mini meets to be held in conjunction with, but on separate weekends from the Rock and Roll Meet, February Challenge and March Madness meet had been requested.
It was also pointed out that four of the requested meets were on the same weekends as PVS sponsored meets. These are the Eastern States Senior Circuit #3 and Snowball Splash Mini Meet which would be on the same weekend as the PVS January Distance, (January 7-8, 2005), the Winter Gator Mini Meet which would be the same weekend as the PVS February Distance Meet (February 20-21, 2005) and the March Madness Mini Meet which would held on the same weekend as the PVS 14/U Age Group Championships (March 12-13, 2005.) It was observed that a waiver had been given in the past for the Senior Circuit Meet and that the three mini meets would be attracting different athletes than the PVS sponsored meets occurring on those weekends. The Board voted to support these waiver requests. There was one vote in opposition.
The Board then voted to sanction the following list of club sponsored meets during the 2004-05 Short Course season.
Riedlinger then presented requests that he had received to host PVS sponsored meets during the 2004 Long Course season. These had reviewed prior to the meeting by the two coaches reps, the Age Group and the Senior Chair. The following bids were presented.
The Board voted to approve all the awards.
It was noted no formal request for the PVS Senior/Age Group I at PGS&LC on June 13 had been received.
Don Riedlinger then presented the Competition recommendation to revise the QT's for 2004 PVS LC Senior Championships so all the QT's would be 105% of QT's for the EZ Super Sectional meet in Buffalo. The original motion made by the Senior Chair was to only relax some time standards so none would be faster than 105% of the Super Sectional QT. This recommendation was however amended by Competition. It was reported that as a result the QT for 9 events would be eased and 8 would be tightened. The remaining events would be essentially unchanged.
Since the Competition meeting, Garner had done additional analysis as to the likely impact. He acknowledged his analysis assumed all who qualified would participate, but did not allow for those who would enter with non-conforming times.
It was acknowledged there were various points of views. Some felt PVS should follow the national championship protocol and attempt to have approximately the same number of entries in all individual events. Others noted it had been PVS practice to set QT's with the expectation entries in the shorter distance events should be greater than the longer distances. There were also different points of view as to the desirable length of the preliminary sessions. Some liked them short to maximize recovery time for those coming back in finals, others hoped to allow more athletes to qualify to help them remain motivated and want to continue in the sport.
It was also agreed that the interaction with the PVS Junior Champs needs to be better understood - particularly since it is scheduled to occur between prelims and finals of PVS Senior Champs.
It was also noted that no athlete input on this recommendation had been received.
The Board decided to table action on this recommendation. Instead it was agreed to share the results of additional analysis of the impact of Competition's recommendation on the PVS Senior and Junior LC meets, expected session lengths, number of entries expected, financial impact, etc. with Competition - hopefully at a special meeting that could be scheduled for between sessions at the PVS Senior SCY/LCM meet in March. It was felt that waiting for the May Competition meeting to sort this out would be too late.
Administrative Division - Bill Stephens apologized for the fact he had failed to distribute the Registrar's Report as of the end December.
He said he had postponed efforts to put in place a contract with the Registrar. He indicated that Sumie felt her efforts had increased by about 50% this year over last. He indicated it was not clear how much of this was due to the transition to SWIMS and the need to learn new procedures as well as develop and put into place new procedures for the clubs to use. He was waiting to see how the workload on the position would change now that the transition was largely over.
Bill reported that Sumie had done pre-meet reconciliation for the upcoming January Open for all three sites. He reported that almost all of the problems (discrepancies identified) involved just two clubs - one of which primarily involved "noise" in the data due to the club using different data files to keep its registration records versus what was used to enter its swimmers into meets. It was also noted that encouragement from the General Chairman was useful in assuring meet directors were submitting the file of entered athletes for review prior to the meet.
Bill distributed a proposed 4 step procedure for doing pre-meet reconciliation to make sure that the swimmers in PVS sanctioned meets are both registered and entered into the meet with a name and swimmer ID that is consistent with the official registration data base. This included modifying PVS procedures so that athletes would be required to be properly registered by the date meet entries were due, rather than the first day of the meet. It was suggested that the details of this proposal be refined and then resubmitted for formal consideration by the Board.
Bill also reported that additional items had been ordered for presentation to the Outstanding Athletes (where there were duplicate recipients.)
He also reported the list of coaches whose certification or registration was not current had been shortened considerably. It was observed that several coaches at the Competiion Committee had encouraged to keep monitoring this situation, including checking at meets to make sure that the coaches on the deck at meets do have a valid registration card visibly with them.
The question of whether PVS was giving enough attention to the marshaling requirement was also raised. This includes making sure warm-ups were being conducted properly and assuring unauthorized individuals (i.e. parents and other spectators) were not on the deck. It was hoped the Safety Committee could give this matter additional attention. It was felt that there were parents that would be willing to help perform this function if asked. It was, however, noted that for insurance reasons, to be a marshal you must be registered with USA Swimming as a non-athlete at a cost of $45. The possibility of approaching USA Swimming about creating an additional membership class for just marshals at a lower registration rate was raised.
It was reported that Arlington County is planning to build a new pool. Concept approval for it is felt to be about 2 to 3 years away. It was expected that the pool was mostly likely to come on line in 2009. Bill indicated that evidence of PVS support from time to time might be useful and it would be best if the spokesperson were somebody from Arlington County.
As regard to the possibility of PVS contributing money, most felt it was unlikely PVS would want to do so -- this did not necessarily mean it might not consider helping to find others who would wish to be sponsors.
Bill Stephens advised that Sumie had paid for a second copier with her own funds. Jim Garner indicated he did not feel this was necessary and he was instructing the Controller to pay for both copiers if the necessary supporting documentation - including serial numbers was provided.
John Ertter reminded the Board that the copier is capitalized equipment. Therefore, in addition to needing information to properly record the equipment on PVS records, he needs information on serial numbers so that he may include it on the schedule of equipment insured by PVS. Information for the annual renewal of the policy is about to be submitted.
Athlete Representative -- Jim advised that Status of Senior Athlete Representative - apparently nobody has been able to reach the Senior Athlete Rep. Garner indicated he now plans to leave the position empty until the next athlete election (which will occur in July.)
It was also noted that the Junior Athlete Representative has not been present for the past three meetings. It was agreed he should be reminded of the importance of his participation in Board meetings and the participation requirements in order receive PVS financial assistance to attend the next USA Swimming convention.
Treasurer's Report/Finance Division - The financial statements for the period ending December 31, 2003 had been circulated to the Board prior to the meeting. PVS assets on hand as of December 31 were $570,948, including $4,455 in the Dave Davis fund. The Board did not indicate they had any specific questions on the statements. However, a question was raised regarding registration and whether the revenue collected to date was indicating athlete registration might be down from last year. They were advised that the number of registered athletes was down about 600 from the end of the last fiscal year. Comparable numbers from this point in time last year were not readily available. Most felt that based on past experience, that this difference was likely to be overcome before the registration year ends in August. It was noted a significant number of registrations had already been received in the first two weeks of January.
The Board was provided in advance of the meeting with copies of the completed audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2003. It was agreed that they should also be posted to the website and a copy should also be provided to USA Swimming and the Treasurer of USA Swimming. Jim Garner advised he had also attended the final meeting with the auditors in conjunction with this audit and that he could assure the Board that the auditors were very comfortable with the quality of PVS's accounting records. The cost of the audit was still expected to be in line with what had been budgeted.
PVS had also received a management letter in conjunction with the audit. Copies of that letter were provided to the Board as well and the status of implementing those recommendations were discussed, including the fact that some had already been implemented.
The possibility of converting to accrual accounting at the end of each fiscal year was discussed. John Ertter recommended that we do so (beginning at the end of FY 2004) and indicated that after the initial transition it should make it easier to present PVS's financial condition and make year to year comparisons.
It was also noted the PVS by-laws call for an annual audit by either an audit committee or an outside auditor (the later at least once every three years.) John Ertter and John Hirschmann indicated that they would probably be recommending we continue with an annual audit by an outside auditor. They indicated the cost would be somewhat lower now that the audit firm was familiar with PVS, our program and how we keep our records.
John Ertter distributed two pie charts that had been prepared by the auditor. The one on revenue showed that 58% of our income came from Membership fees and 25% from Meet Entry Fees. The other showed 38% of our expenses pertained to registration fees paid to USA Swimming and 33% pertained to support of PVS meets.
John Ertter advised the Board he will be out of town January 24-31. If checks need to written during this period, John E should be contacted well in advance. (Note: John Hirschmann will be able to issue checks in an emergency situation.)
Age Group Division - There was considerable discussion pertaining to PVS's preparation to send a zone team to the Eastern Zone SC meet in Manassas. Greg reported that Linda Crudup still planned on helping do this, including accepting the application forms for swimmers wishing to be on the team. It was acknowledged that Linda has been doing this for 10-12 years, even though she only had a swimmer on the team for a short period of time.
Other parents have helped as zone coordinators, but generally they are not willing to commit until they know if their child is going to make the team.
A motion was made to put the head zone coach in charge make hotel, transportation, food arrangements. Others indicated that receiving the team applications, answering inquiries, determining who is accepting slots on the team, etc. is a full time job for a month, which occurs during the championship season. Therefore, it would be very difficult for an active coach to assume these responsibilities.
The duties also include establishing the team budget, setting the entry fees required after taking into account the financial support being provided by the LSC. In addition team entry fees will have to be collected and accounted for. The uniform also has to be established and an order form created and processed. While the LSC decided to significantly reduce the outfitting each athlete will automatically get, including in particular no team swim suit, a decision still has to be made on the specific optional items that will be provided for the athlete to order at their own expense.
The Webmaster was asked if he would post something on the website. He indicated he would if he were provided specific copy to post. He indicated he did not have the time nor the specific knowledge necessary to create it.
John E indicated he can do some of this and has knowledge of what vendors were used by virtue having made the payments to them.
The motion to have the Head Coach take responsibility for doing this was withdrawn. It was suggested that Linda Crudup be asked to write up job description that could be posted in order to help recruit a zone team coordinator. The Board asked that it be given a status reports in two weeks (by January 28) regarding the status of preparations and the specific duties she was agreeing to carry out for the PVS EZ Short Course Zone team..
Coaches' Representatives -- It was acknowledged that the criteria for selecting the PVS 14/U outstanding coach to be recognized at the annual ASCA convention in September still needed to be developed. Bill Marlin and Todd Benedick are charged with working on this.
Strategic Planning -- Jim Van Erden reported that he had prepared a questionnaire and taken about 100 copies to the Dolan and PM Holiday Invitational Meet. He had handed out about 40 - about 12 of which have been returned. He indicated he wanted to make at least one more effort to obtain more responses.
Jim V did share with the Committee some of the responses he had received to date.
Jim V indicated he would make the form available for posting on the website, including introductory material. He also indicated he could do a parents version. Some questions were raised as to whether they are there part of our constituency. Some felt we may have multiple customers whose needs we need to attempt to satisfy.
Jim V reiterated that the Board needs to schedule time to have an extended discussion on this topic. A special meeting just for this purpose may be needed. It was suggested that Jim may need to make a radical proposal in order to help "flesh out" what PVS thinks its long term policy should be.
An important issue continues to be the role of PVS versus its member clubs in providing competition opportunities.
Operations Division - Ron Whalen indicated he had nothing to report.
Garner indicated he had talked with others regarding their recollection of the intent of the House with regard to the rates PVS charges when we rent our equipment for non PVS sponsored meets. Jim reported that they were anxious that PVS recover at least a portion of our fixed costs - not necessarily all of them.
Ron explained he had not been in a position to work on finalizing the equipment manager's contract.
It was agreed the Officials Committee needs to get material to the Referees and key table workers about the importance of retaining a written record in some format so that if a pad time is not accepted, there is still a record of what it was in the event questions arise as to the basis for determining the Official Time.
New Business -- Bill Marlin proposed an alternative hotel for the PVS delegation to stay at the 2004 USAS convention. The Board agreed it would be more desirable for PVS to stay at the convention hotel. This would eliminate the need for rental cars to go back and forth. Also, regular interaction with representatives from other LSC's is one of chief benefits of convention attendance. The ability to do this would be substantially reduced if PVS stayed offsite.
An inquiry was made whether it would be possible for PVS to obtain a credit card to make payment of convention expenses easier. It was felt now that PVS has audited statements it might be possible without requiring a Board member to co-sign for the account. No decision was made to proceed with this matter.
Riedlinger indicated he would be attending a USA Swimming meeting on Adaptive Swimming January 23-25 in Colorado Springs. He stated he believed Pamela Starke-Reed would be attending as well. Don and Pamela were advised to submit their reimbursable expenses to the Controller.
John Ertter stated he would take steps to engage an attorney for PVS as agreed to at the December Board meeting.
It was agreed that the date of next PVS Board Meeting will be Tuesday, February 17 at 6:30pm. The Competition Committee has decided to have its May meeting on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00pm. (This will allow it to be after the Eastern Zone meeting on May 8). The Board agreed to set the date of the 2004 House of Delegates meeting as Wednesday, May 26 at 7:00pm. All meetings will be at River Falls.
It was agreed the Board would discuss appointments to the Nominating Committee at the February Board meeting.
Adjournment - The meeting adjourned at approximately 10:00 pm.