Greetings Eastern Region – on January 29, 2022, I attended my first AWSA Board of Directors meeting which was held in Auburndale, Florida. Doug Robbins, Ralph Hall, and John Wilkins also attended. Several others attended virtually. Overall, the meeting was well-attended and productive. While the official meeting minutes will be posted on the USA-WSWS website, below are some of my notes from the meeting:
Nate Boudreaux (USA-WSWS Exec. Director) – The NGB focused its energies on several fronts, including a revamping of the 25-year-old IT system. As the membership component is completed, they will now focus on improving the sanctioning system. Insurance with a new carrier provides better coverage for the whole organization and for LOCs. Nate encouraged LOCs to be more proactive in supporting “Get On The Water Week,” which typically occurs in July. USA-WSWS waives all sanctioning and guest membership fees for USA Water ski & Wake Sports affiliated clubs that host basic skills learn-to-ski events, giving clubs the ability to better reach those who might not otherwise be able to participate. USA-WSWS will explore finding a security company that can complete background checks without using a social security number. (note: regarding SafeSport, at the USA-WSWS Board meeting on January 30, 2022, the Board approved the following language: SafeSport training is required for all active USA Water Ski & Wake Sports members (18 years of age or older) who compete or participate in sanctioned tournaments or have regular contact with any athlete or other Participant who is a minor. This compromise language permits LOCs with only adult members who do not compete in tournaments to be excused from the training; however, taking the training is highly encouraged).
Lyman Hardy (AWSA President) – Ski Club of the Palm Beaches submitted a bid for the 2023 U.S. Nationals. The World Games will be held in Birmingham, AL. Because of financial and facilities issues, the event will likely be a C tournament. USA-WSWS will contribute $5,000 towards webcasting the U.S. Nationals, but substantially more funds are needed. The host club will take the lead in raising the funds.
Cynthia Logan (treasurer) – AWSA budgeted for a deficit in 2021, but came out ahead because many programs were cancelled due to Covid. The 2022 budget is the same as 2021.
JR Dev – a budget was submitted for the first time. Because cash flow can be problematic as it’s tied to certain events, the Board gave the AWSA President discretion to spend up to the budgeted amount.
Dana Garcia (Pan Am/IWWF-TC committee) – U.S. declined to participate in IWWF’s effort to oversee judge qualifications; the U.S. wants to maintain control/oversight of U.S. judges. New exemption created permitting slalom and jump skiers to choose a boat (like trick skiers do already) during tournaments. Two skis cannot be attached for tournaments. One position has been funded for an aspiring Pan Am official to attend the games to gain experience.
Hang Longo (announcer) – PLEASE fill out bios for Nationals!! Also, please encourage folks to become announcers.
Jim Jaquess (awards) – motion passed to establish objective criteria for AWSA awards and to define and create awards each year as appropriate.
Jeff Clark (bylaws) – the Eastern Region’s amendments to its bylaws passed (which means that how our Council will be composed will be memorialized in our P&P). “Standing” committees will now be called “designated” committees and the remaining will become “special” committees. The purpose is to reduce the number of committees subject to the requirement that each committee be composed of at least 30% Elite athletes.
Robert Howerton (Judges & Scorers) – YouTube took down many training videos from USA-WSWS which contained proprietary elements. New video and written judge’s tests will become available in March. The committee is also looking to improve overall trick judging (not just trick calling).
Richelle Muhlitner/Jerry Jackson (Rules & TC Committees) – for tricks, E class tournaments remain, but to set a National record, criteria must be the same as L class (6-flip limit, no practice falls). There were many other technical rule changes; please consult USA-WSWS website. For example, a BPMS (boat path monitoring system, e.g., SurePath, is required for R sanctioned tournaments).
Towboat – promo boats are in VERY short supply as other (wake sports) boats are taking priority in production. Mastercraft will have none; Malibu very limited; Nautique unknown.
James Cawthorn (Safety) – renewed priority towards concussion training/awareness. New safety clinic format introduced which will be half virtual/half in person.