MIDWINTER MEETING REPORT AND MINUTES
Minutes - 1997 Winter Meeting Eastern Region AWSA January 11, 1997 West Atlantic City, New JerseyCLOSED SESSION In Attendance - EVP - Roger Hammel Directors - Paul Allebach, Bill Baker & Rick Norford Council - Virginia - Ralph Hall & Steve Lohr Delaware - Ed Nichols Pennsylvania - Barry Sangrey & Doug Robbins New Jersey - Jim Meis New York - Alan Frederick Mass. - David Allen New Hampshire - Steve Wurtz Vermont - Mark Dingman Absent Council Maryland - Bob Morris New York - Bob Burtch Mass. - Howie Emerson Connecticut - Ken Jones Maine - Bob Letourneau West Virginia - Carl Schmauch
Meeting called to order at 8:20 AM
Approved motion for alternate councilman (John Wagner) to be seated with voice but without vote.
Agenda reviewed & approved.
Minutes from Summer meeting - draft previously mailed to all council and posted on AWSAEast. Approved.
Treasurer's Report - Approved as read.
EVP Roger Hammel gave a report which covered the following:
* Thanks to all volunteers.
* Last year as EVP - nominating committee will need to find candidate
* Remaining time will concentrate on governance - documenting our process. Budget process and Policies & procedures in guidebook.
* Newsletter & tournament schedule biggest activities since summer. Do not plan to have a newsletter in spring. Will use website.
* USOC status and interaction with USAWS reorganization. Issues explained in handout Q&A on the subject.
* Info gathered for submission to AWSA HQ on each state federation contacts.
* Requested emphasis in each state federation for hosting future Waterskiing State Games. HQ emphasized US Olympic tie-in.
* More and more council is connected via E-Mail. List growing.
* Tournament schedule read and approved.
* Emphasis on judges & officials clinics.
* WSTIMS usage - praised NY, Conn, Pa & Va where most tournaments were scored with WSTIMS. No other states used WSTIMS.
* Preliminary discussion of Rule 1.12 & auto speed control to be held in open session.
Steve Lohr gave the budget committee report.
Steve Wurtz moved and Ralph Hall seconded approval. Motion passed.
Budget as proposed by committee (Attachment 6) was approved, including a non recurring $2000 expenditure for Jr. Development
David Allen moved that we extend the budget committee responsibilities to look into investments that will pay more return, and to put its recommendations into force. Council has a moderate to small tolerance for risk, and the budget committee will take that into consideration. Motion passed.
Rick Norford moved and Bill Baker seconded to reimburse Seeding Committee representative $200 for personal computing platform required of the position. Passed. This type expenditure will be reviewed year by year, and was not approved as an automatic ongoing expenditure.
Council voted & affirmed the following individuals to represent the East at Regionals and Nationals.
REGIONALS OFFICIALS Chief Judge - Rick Norford Asst. Chief Judge - Sarah Allebach Chief Driver - Doug Robbins Invited Judges - Rege Mahoney Joe Deltondo Bill Baker Roger Hammel Ed Nichols Al Sanfrandre Invited Drivers - Ralph Hall Tommy Johnson Ken Jones Paul Allebach (Alt) Chief Scorer - Marie Baker Asst Chief Ann Lohr Tech Controller - Curt Kiser Chief Safety Martha Maxwell Asst Chief Safety - Erik Ekloff Announcers - Peter Harzewski, Doug Halkenhauser (Other interested announcers are invited to sit in.) NATIONALS OFFICIALS*** updated Appointed Judges - Roger Hammel and Bill Baker Assigned Judges - Ed Nichols John Buck and Joe Deltondo Scorer - Jim Grew (RSH will attempt to find addl. suitable East scorer) Drivers - Appointed - Lee Mershon Assigned - Ralph Hall*** Developments since Council Meeting - 1997 Nationals has been moved to West Palm Beach - no schedule change. Rick Norford has been asked by AWSA to be the Chief Judge and has accepted. He will be replaced by Ed Nichols at Nationals as an Assigned judge, and Roger Hammel will be Appointed. Additionally, Marie Baker has withdrawn her name as Scorer in order to assist the West Palm Beach club with their administrative work. Jim Grew, of the Southern Region will take her place. ***
Council approved the bid of Timberlake in Sparta, Va to host the 1998 Regionals. Timberlake plans to hold a 4 1/2 day Regionals instead of 4 days. Banquet tickets will not be transferable, but Timberlake will "repurchase" any ticket presented before a reasonable cutoff date.
Rick Norford moved to allow Twin Lakes the option to handle banquet tickets similar to idea proposed by Timberlake. Passed.
Bids for the 1999 Regionals are open as of the summer meeting. Bids should be submitted to RSH or Doug Robbins prior to July 1, 1997 for consideration at the summer meeting.
Council discussed a request that F tournaments be grouped together and listed on a single page. Idea not approved at this time, and we will retain current policy - if an F tournament is listed, fee is similar to N class - $65. If not listed, East region has no sanctioning fee.
Council approved funds ($400) to move and host the AWSAEast Website onto a standalone server (Bealnet). Motion passed. Jim Meis will handle move which will increase exposure and hits from search engines that do not "see" the page on Compuserve.
Rick Norford moved and Bill Baker seconded to have EVP appoint a committee or group to deal with towboat problems at the regional tournament. Ideas included establishing standards for towboats to meet, conducting clinics for promo representatives, creating a log to remain with each promo boat and be signed off by chief driver. Passed. Council also mandated use of 3 boats per manufacturer to avoid problems of pulling a manufacturers boats due to a failure. Additional discussion in open session, generally reaffirmed decision in closed session. Adjourned to Open session.
OPEN SESSION - total of 39 persons attending.
Minutes referenced on Webpage.
Treasurers report read.
EVP report given - similar items as in closed session.
Tournament Schedule read
Officials for Regionals and Nationals were announced
1998 Regional Tournament site selection of Timberlake announced.
Also announced that bids are open as of summer meeting for 1999 Regionals. To be received by Doug Robbins prior to July 1, 1997 if consideration given at summer 1997 meeting.
Jim Meis gave a report and working demonstration of AWSAEast website and answered questions about the site. He was able to show the current features, and provide the audience with a description of what the site will evolve to, including immediate postings of tournament results, Eastern Region standings, discussion items, announcements, schedule changes and other items. He emphasized that the site is by and for the members, and it will grow and be enriched as members provide input and items that they want to see.
Committee reports were given by the following committees:
Budget Committee - including council recommendations and decision.
National E&F committee - much discussion during this report about the need for and expense of a new HQ location. Members were concerned with the ability to fund the ongoing operations of the project - projected $65K annual addition to the AWSA budget.
Jr. Development - Results from 1996, and plans for 1997, including USOC funded clinics.
Skier's Rating Committee - no massive changes expected after much input and discussion. Steve Lohr thanked skiers for their inputs.
Safety Committee - concerns raised about lack of safety directors in certain areas, desire to have Safety Committee explore ways to have the safety directors job be spread over more than one person, and the team would collectively meet all qualifications, but no single person would necessarily meet all items.
Rules Committee - 1997 is a moratorium year, with no changes. Ralph Hall discussed important IWSF changes that affect skiers in L & R Record tournaments since these tournaments must be run under IWSF rules. Discussion held on relaxing trick codes on declared lists, which was generally supported.
Technical Committee - Jim Meis gave report on Corson Video Jump and process to incorporate technical innovations at class C tournaments before they are tried at Class E,L or R. Some discussion about speed control was held.
Towboat Committee - discussion on motion made in closed session re: having EVP appoint a committee or task force to examine and solve the issue of towboats not being properly set up for Regional tournament. The discussion generally supported recommendation, but concern for creating more bureaucracy was stated.
Steering Committee - Hammel explained issue involved with USOC and USAWS and the overlapping timing of each transition. Q&A handouts generally answered any questions.
Judges & Scorers Committee - Hammel gave report (for Bob Burtch) about need for clinic every 4 years, emphasized clinic next day on Jan 12, and encouraged states to host clinics to cover folks who weren't able to attend the Jan 12 clinic.
Nominating Committee - Hammel gave report (for Bob Burtch) that nominations were open for AWSA National Director & EVP. Also nominations open for National USAWS Director, assuming USAWS is implemented.
Waterways - John Wagner spoke of some success of Conn waterskiers on public lakes getting permits. One permit has been issued, and the other clubs will essentially clone the successful permit application. Additionally, John indicated some success in getting legislative officials to go back to the previous permit process. This is indeed good news.
Ed Nichols asked Council why AWSA couldn't display successes of this variety in the Water Skier. He postured that it was a significant benefit that recreational skiers get from being a member, and that AOPA - Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association proudly displays their victories in a prominent place in the magazine. Roger Hammel will bring this up under Regional suggestions at the National BOD meeting later in January.
IAC Committee - John Thacher spoke about process for selection of teams. L & R Tournaments besides the team trials will be counted in selection for the National teams, except the Junior team.
Awards committee - Special award to Nancy DeJesus will be presented at local tournament this summer.
Sports Medicine - Jean Giove reported that she intends to perform tests on East Region Juniors for heart rate prior to and during competition.
NCWSA - Collegiate - EVP Hammel referred to written report from Rusty Richardson. Rusty offered suggestion that collegiate skiing is a good way of gaining new members, and he asked the region for its continued support.
Old Business - None
New Business - None
Council held open discussion by audience and council on Rule 1.12, and also auto speed control devices. Handouts consisting of reprinted articles from InSkiing were used as discussion aids. Participants felt it was beneficial and healthy to discuss these items in an open forum. Some of the major comments or "conclusions" are below:
* Group wanted to see boat speedo tracings and jumper position along with the radar tracings on the InSkiing handout. Not sure of jumper position vs. Speed tracings, whether speed increased when jumper was coasting parallel, or in cuts on countercut and to ramp.
* Speedos by themselves are useless, some have significant dampening.
* Question re: pitot speedo itself - could it spike because of an anomaly, and not be reading correctly ?
* Jumper must be a top end jumper to handle an "acceleration speed model", otherwise dangerous. Lower end jumpers - desire constant speed model. Some disagreement among audience. Jumpers generally "wanted the juice" to build into the ramp.
* Concern raised about chopping throttle too quickly in second segment and "hanging it on the prop" to get an "in time". Discussion that backing off too radically creates slack line.
* In looking at deviations, G/B 1 &2 have such widely varying speeds, driver does not get dialed in. Do you include in analysis ? General reaction is no.
* Discussion on wording of "intent" in rule 1.12. Consensus - that "intent" was misleading, and performance was what mattered.
* Question raised as to how widespread the abuse of 1.12 was? No firm answers at this time. RSH will refer to Tech committee. Group felt that actions to be taken were different if widespread vs. Only a few drivers. Don't beat all the drivers up if only a few are a problem.
* Group consensus - Keep Rule 1.12, but use common sense. If sanctions imposed, first step should be a warning with no punitive actions. Concern that first step will be punitive.
* Sometimes a boat's sweet spot is below actual, and it is difficult to move. Other discussion that any actions should observe driver over several events and multiple tournaments before actions taken.
* Concern with times, and not speeds. If a driver is pulled down, he/she should get back to actual, but that will result in a slow side time. To overcorrect and go above actual for remainder of course will yield good times but penalize skiers. Concern therefore on wording of rule or interpretations. Example of a person running off right side of hiway, they don't overcorrect and drive left of center so their average placement evens out. (And in so doing, run headon into the tractor trailer coming the other way.)
* As the skier's intensity increases, so must the driver's, but be in synch with the skier. Don't penalize driver for wanting to be in synch with the skier, when "waiting on" the skier.
* Discussion continued with an official complaining that the drivers often ended a run saying they had to "wait for the skier" at ball 6. The official interpreted this to mean that the driver slowed down so the skier could make the course. The drivers explained that "waiting for the skier" meant that the driver had to adjust (delay) his rhythm for giving gas to match the skier's late pull to avoid accelerating when the skier was not pulling. "Waiting on the skier" was further defined as delaying the rhythm of giving gas to match the skier's "late" pull, with the objective of maintaining a constant speed. A more productive discussion of the fine points of giving an excellent slalom pull with excellent times followed.
* There was some support for adoption of IWSF rule that a skier can not improve score on a slow time if they fall. This places risk on skier and driver who run slow. Pushback that if driver makes up time in latter part of course, skier could get penalized if driver exceeds actual for latter part of the course to make average time closer to. Overall, surprising moderate support for this rule.
* Statement that abuse of 1.12 is by drivers who are not confident of their ability to run actual times and yet feel soft. Thus they opt for soft pulls. Maybe a training issue.
* Attack problem without changing the system. Deal with drivers one on one. Use drivers Committee, verbal discussions, warnings etc. Before punitive actions taken.
AUTO SPEED CONTROL
* May yield patterns that are fast at longer lines, and slow at shorter line lengths.
* Concern that they are not ready for prime time yet, and concern at IWSF action that mandates their use.
* Generally a wait and see attitude, but skeptical that the myriad issues can be solved by 1998.
Meeting adjourned at about 6:00 PM.