Minutes for 1999 Summer Meeting

Twin Lakes, Monroe, New York - July 30, 1999
(to be approved by Council at Midwinter Meeting)

The meeting was called to order by EVP Steve Lohr at 7:50 p.m. at the Regional tournament site. Steve welcomed all of those present, and introduced the council members and also several representatives from other sports divisions. The minutes from the summer meeting were approved, and the treasurer's report was accepted as presented.

Steve then gave a short EVP's report. In summary, he reported a good winter meeting in January, but an on-going crisis in volunteerism. Steve recognized Ralph Hall, Debbie Wagner, Ann Lohr and Jim Meis for their tireless hard work on behalf of the Region. As for headquarters, he stated that they have been unable to get the membership software to work, but they are working day and night to cope with the situation. Telephone calls go unanswered as demands on their time increase.

Steve reported that the following questions would be coming before the AWSA Board at their meeting in Bakersfield, CA. (1) Should the U.S. Open be included within the Traditional Nationals as it once was? The large chunk of time taken by Wakeboarding at the recent U.S.Open was one of the reasons for this question being considered. (2) Should skiing in the Regional tournament be a requirement for skiing in the Nationals?

Steve then introduced the Directors and asked for committee reports. A number of written reports were available to the members, and several committee members gave short oral reports.

BYLAWS, Bill Harris - The draft copy of the new bylaws for the Eastern Region has been circulated among the membership and posted on the web page. Efforts have been made to make them easy to work with by eliminating time restrictions and by streamlining them wherever possible. It was recommended that they be adopted now, and then, if necessary, changes could be made at the Winter meeting. A voice vote of the membership was taken, and the new bylaws passed easily.

COACHING, Tom Hinman - He reported having attended an excellent USOC sponsored workshop. New manuals have been prepared which are very helpful, and Tom encouraged everyone who is doing any coaching to get certified.

JUDGES QUALIFICATIONS, Joe Deltondo - Joe noted that there have been several officials upgraded, and that a few more upgrades are in the works.

SITE SELECTION - The site for the 2000 Regional tournament will be Lake Holly in Sparta, Virginia. The bid from Twin Lakes for the 2001 and 2002 Regionals has been withdrawn. The group at Avon, Connecticut has submitted a bid for 2001. Bids are still being accepted, and will be a topic for discussion at the winter Regional meeting.

NOMINATING, Rick Norford - Rick stated that AWSA (sport division) is in need of a treasurer.

SKIERS RATING COMMITTEE, Gordon Gay - A new list of ratings will be available at the upcoming Nationals.

TIME AND PLACE, Bill Baker - The next AWSA Board of Directors' meeting, scheduled for January, will be held in San Antonio, Texas.

TOWBOATS, Paul Allebach - The towboat tests will be held in September at Short Line Lakes in California. The focus will be on speed control, with some thought being given to merging the towboat, speed control and drivers committees into one, due to overlapping issues. The Drivers Committee must decide on the direction for future driver testing, now that virtually all tournaments are using speed control.

WATERWAYS - Steve Lohr reported that John Wagner had represented and served the sport well, by testifying in Washington D.C. on behalf of water skiing on public waters.

WEBSITE, Jim Meis - Jim asked for everyone to send information, and he will post it promptly on the East's webpage.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES, Bill Baker - He detailed the three teams chosen over the July 4th weekend to represent the U.S. Steve Lohr gave special thanks to both Bill Baker and Jon Thacher for the time and effort they have put forth as members of this committee.

Following a 15 minute break for pizza which was supplied for the entire group, Steve Lohr gave the report submitted by the Regional Nominating Committee. For the position of Director, no other candidates' names besides the incumbent, Bill Baker's, were submitted. For the position of Executive Vice-President, no other names besides Steve Lohr's were put in nomination.

Paul Allebach reported that he would be unable to attend the USA Water Ski board meeting on August 9 in Bakersfield, CA, and that our alternate, Jerry Stansberry, would not be able to attend the meeting either. Therefore, Steve proposed that the Region elect a new alternate representative to the USA-WS Board, for the August 9 meeting. Steve suggested that Bill Baker be chosen as the alternate, since he would already be in Bakersfield for the AWSA Board meeting. In January, the Council could address the question of who will fill the alternate position permanently.

Bill Harris made a motion that the nominations be closed, and it passed. The slate was elected as presented by acclimation of the members. Steve Lohr asked that serious efforts be made to find the right candidate to fill the EVP position next year. He then opened the floor for comments and questions from the membership. Steve requested that members offer their comments as direction, and not tie the hands of the directors by asking for a mandate on an issue.

Tom Hinman pointed out how important it is for the East's skiers, especially juniors, to have the National be more than just an "E" class tournament. They really need this opportunity to ski in an "L" and "R". He asked the directors to do whatever they could to upgrade the Nationals classification for all divisions and all three events.

Al Sanfanandre suggested AWSA change the rules governing the trick ski length/width ratio. He would like to see it increased to 33% so that current wakeboards would be legal for the tricking event. Discussion followed regarding NSL tournaments and wakeboarding.

Gordon Gay said he would like to see the slalom rules changed to allow a skier the option of taking his second round of skiing immediately after he finishes his first round performance. Gordon also encouraged everyone to add an "intermediate" division to their tournaments (rather than using the term novice), and include it in their guidebook advertisement.

Ron Ramsey commented that Virginia's Federation sponsored tournament drew a large number of juniors. Fritz Hasler offered the opinion that our difficulty in drawing new competitors stems from the high cost of the sport.

Discussion turned to the Junior Development teams, and Steve explained that the A team consists of Nationals competitors, and the B team is made up of skiers who qualify for Regionals. The program is structured to have individual states working with new skiers at the grassroots level. Local clinics in turn feed better skiers to the elite clinics. Jim Meis observed that grassroots efforts only succeed in the long run if there is a place for new skiers to ski. We need to get skiing back on public water.

Steve Lohr talked about the new Hall of Fame building project which is in need of everyone's financial support, and also mentioned that skiers worldwide are being asked to contribute to the funding of our Athens 2004 push to get water skiing into the Olympics. The IWSF webpage carries more information.

Lee Mershon asked what experience other people have had using the hotel booking agent. He reported that the deletion of the normal listing of hotels for tournaments in the guidebook had created a bad situation for him. A show of hands indicated that problems dealing with MSI were widespread.
Lee then asked the Directors to do a re-evaluation of the political situation since reorganization. In particular, he would like them to look at how the recent U.S. Open was run. Lee reported that the Rules Committee is suggesting a slalom rules change so that a gate would be considered missed only when a skier clearly skis outside the buoy. Running over or grazing the buoy would be OK. He likened the ruling to that of tennis where a ball striking the line is considered "in". Jeffry Armstrong will be presenting this item to the IWSF also.

Steve Lohr asked that everyone think about what Winter meeting format would draw more participation. What location, presentations, clinics or other ideas should the region try? Please pass along your ideas.

Jim Meis made a plea that all skiers make every effort to register before the late entry date. The large number of late entries this year created major difficulties for Twin Lakes. General discussion followed regarding entry fees, late fees, deadline dates, sponsorships, banquet costs, etc.

Chief Judge Bill Baker talked briefly about the schedule of events for Saturday, using both lakes. Gordon Gay commented on the excellent and conscientious job Steve Lohr has done as EVP, and the group gave Steve a round of applause. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.