January 31 - Feb 1, 1997
Treasurer and Financial
The AWSA financial picture is improving. 1996 saw AWSA finish in the black, primarily through good expense control and prioritization of critical work projects. Excess of revenue less expenses was slightly more than $100,000, on a budget of slightly less than $2 million, including all sports divisions with funds controlled through HQ.
Key positives were special income programs from AT&T and VISA (AWSA VISA Card), funding help from USOC and the Regions for Pan Am Championships, positive public affairs contribution, and cost containment in publications expense. On the negative side, membership expectations were not met, US Open had a budget shortfall with change of venue from Chicago, a few programs were over budget, and new towboat tests, while positive, did not meet goal. Since 1991, this is the second highest positive net cash flow, especially considering 1995 was slightly in the red.
Executive Director's & Headquarters Report
* AWSA has moved one more step toward becoming recognized as the NGB of Water Skiing. If accepted at the USOC BOD meeting on Feb 15, this will mean increased elite athlete formula funding for testing and training, and is another significant step toward Olympic Games status for Water Skiing.
* There will not be a dues increase in 1997, even with rising insurance costs.
* The AWSA & USA Water Ski web page is up and running. The URL is USAWaterski.org. News items to be displayed on this page.
* The Water Skier magazine will be expanded to 48 pages from 40 pages.
* As has been reported on the Webpages, the 1997 Traditional 3 Event Nationals has been moved to West Palm Beach. HQ and the West Palm club have worked hard to effect this necessary transfer.
AWSA President's Report
* Wakeboarding has been included on the membership application as a "committee", and can be checked to gauge skier interest in Wakeboarding. AWSA has formed the wakeboard committee to develop acceptable rules for premier wakeboarding competitions, e.g. US Open, US Masters etc. This effort has been funded by a grant from Water Ski Industry Association
* President Andrea Plough will appoint a small committee to develop some style guidelines for use of E-Mail among members. ( No implications on who has "style", and who doesn't....) At this point we don't know who will be in charge of the committee. East EVP apologizes to Jim Jaquess for listing him as the committee's head. The East's EVP apparently was getting his leg pulled by another region's EVP, who shall remain nameless
* Andrea stressed the need to use & promote the AWSA and USA Water Ski names at our tournament.
* American Water Ski Educational Foundation (AWSEF) building fund has reached in excess of $400k in donations, and land has been purchased for the new HQ building. After some discussion and questioning by the BOD, the BOD decided to delayed discussion until after the AWSEF Executive & Finance (AWSEF-E&F) meeting Saturday morning.
AWSA - Executive & Finance
* In future, a "report" will be mailed to all AWSA Directors following each of the 4 quarterly AWSA E&F meetings. This report will essentially be the meeting minutes, with sensitive material (disciplinary details, staff reviews etc. ) deleted.
* E&F has decided to publish AWSA financial summary information in the Water Skier.
* In 1997, the traditional Guidebook format will be followed. We anticipate some Guidebook changes in 1998 as a result of going to USAWater Ski, and decisions of what Sports Divisions need the traditional Guidebook.
* E&F stressed the need for ALL AWSA members and clubs to have signed releases of participants in an AWSA activity. This includes tournaments, clinics, official practice sessions and other AWSA activities.
* US Open will include a Wakeboarding event.
* Women still are not part of the full Pro Tour, so women skiing at 36 will be handled on a rules exception basis.
* Towropes - new performance standards are delayed until January 1998 due to hardships on selected manufacturers who have already made up towropes to meet the existing minimum standards.
* Mark Crone - Pro Skier & Pro representative to BOD - is spearheading testing of auto speed control devices. His Newsletter - InSkiing has covered some of the preliminary issues and items to date.
Committee Reports & Sport Division Reports (only those items impacting skiers with potential changes are listed. Committee reports will eventually be posted on USA Water Ski.)
* Rules - Declared trick lists will be relaxed. Skiers will not be penalized for most "spelling errors" or other errors/omissions in their declared lists. Specific details will be covered in the Water Skier.
Women jumping 5.5 foot ramp (per newly adopted IWSF rules) in the USA must have jumped 132 feet on 5 foot ramp in record competition. Details to be in Water Skier.
* Judges, Drivers, Scorers & Tech Controllers - Standardized letters for Officials - Judges, Scorers & Tech Controllers, and Drivers, will be sent out with renewal. These letters deal with BOD intentions regarding Rule 1.12 - use & abuse of tolerances, and suggest a disciplinary process be developed. Andrea Plough appointed this committee.
* Dave Clark did a presentation on the Corson Video Jump system, and is working on process which will ease its use in Class C tournaments. Dave is shooting for acceptable accuracy systems which can use a single camera, and has developed a spreadsheet tool to assist the site owner and chief judge in gauging suitability and accuracy of the system.
* Skiers' Rating Committee - The committee changes on age classifications were approved by the BOD, to be effective after the 1998 Nationals. (Yes - 1998 not 1997. Workload at HQ and the committee's as far as ratings and administrative items were limiting factors against the earlier date.) The committee recommended and BOD approved an age group classification that shortens the age group span as skiers age. E.g. Men 6 is a shorter span than Men 3. Proposal is M/W3 - 35-44, M/W 4 45-52, M/W 5 53-59, M/W 6 60-64, M/W 7 65-69, W/W 8 70+
Rating Committee will continue to work on the issue of controlling National's size via ratings or other.
* USOC committee - The recent problems with simultaneous transition of AWSA to USA Water Ski and transition from Affiliated USOC organization to NGB status was covered in detail. Tony Baggiano does not expect major difficulties, and will meet with the US Olympic Committee to gauge and determine any problems they have with USA Water Ski organization and by-laws. He will report back to the President by March 15 with specific recommendations and a detailed process and schedule to allow a smooth and speedy transition to USA Water Ski. Brenda Nichols, former Eastern Region skier and current Pro Skier living in Florida has been elected to the USOC Board of Directors. Tony felt that this bodes well for Water Skiing becoming a full member of the Olympic community.
* AWSEF - New HQ & Hall of Fame Building - Harold Hill, former AWSA president has just accepted position of Treasurer of the Building fund at the preceding Friday's ASWEF E&F committee meeting. Harold gave a report on the status of fundraising and creating a specific "Management" plan of action, complete with details and budget. Bottom line, after the presentation and after much discussion & questions, most issues were left for future resolution. AWSA BOD members expressed significant concern re: lack of detail & visible progress on getting a full and comprehensive plan of action (Project Management) schedule with milestones and critical decision points completed.
The AWSA E&F and AWSEF E&F committees will meet jointly to resolve the open issues. One Honorary National Director bluntly stated that until AWSEF & AWSA comes together (goals, objectives, benefits and feasibility for the "greater collective" organization), this building will not happen.
* American Barefoot Club - ABC is once again in the ESPN Extreme Games !