AWSA Eastern Region Update from the EVP

Let’s Kick-Off 2021 with a Refreshed, Renewed Spirit!

Your Eastern Region (ER) National Directors, Ralph Hall, Doug Robbins and John Wilkins along with me your EVP, all attended the AWSA Board of Directors Winter Meeting this past weekend.  Some great ideas and important decisions were made to help shape our sport and the American Water Ski Association.

AWSA Website
The Board indicated that they were in favor of the Executive Committee proposed creation of an independent website that presents AWSA, Slalom, Tricks and Jump skiing in a more accessible and attractive format.  The hope is to provide a more welcoming introduction to our sport and provide the information that our skiers are looking for.  This is not an attempt to break away from USA WSWS, but a more focused site that can include more AWSA centered information with less digging.   Jeff will request bids and hopes to use the URL.

Jeff Surdej and the Executive Committee are working on a streamlined process for setting up a tournament format that automates handicapping to allow for competition at smaller tournaments.
Nationals Webcast
The Board approved $5000 from the AWSA budget to help fund a 2021 webcast of Nationals.  USAWSWS is also kicking in $5000.  The hope is to raise the remainder from Gofundme and ad sales from sponsors.  There were 70,000 views of the 2020 Nationals webcast, from viewers all around the country and the world.
Nationals Bids
Both Bell Aqua in California and Okeeheelee in Florida have provided letters of intent for 2023.  Since neither provided detailed written bids, the request for bids will remain open until the end of May.  The Board will then vote on a site at their next meeting.
Pan Am Judge Requirements
The Pan Am Council felt that the US 5 year Senior Judge requirement was too strict.  The AWSA BOD agreed.  Now any Senior Judge may test for Pan Am.  Eastern Region Senior Judges, please consider taking the open-book (IWWF Rule Book) test and add Pan AM judge to your set of credentials.  Contact me or Dana Garcia if interested.
Rules Change
Rules related to mandatory Elite status “Level 10” were removed.
In certain cases skiers may still ski in both Elite and Age division for purposes of Overall scores.
Approved Towboat Use
Record Capability (Class E, L, R) tournaments and Class C tournaments may use any prior year USA Water Ski Approved Tournament boat equipped with Zero Off (rev R or rev S). The LOC and Chief Driver are responsible to ensure the boat is in good operating condition, including required insurance. (This is not limited to current year approved manufacturers)
Reimburse Boat Owners for Costs Incurred for Use
A Local Organizing Committee (LOC) must reimburse a boat owner(s) for use of a boat for any event (excluding Regionals and Nationals), on an hourly basis. This provision includes promo boats, individually owned boats, club owned boats, etc. The recommended reimbursement rate is $25 (Twenty-Five dollars) per hour of use, recorded from the boat’s hour meter. The boat must be an Approved Tournament Towboat with valid insurance as required by USAWSWS. The boat owner has the option to decline reimbursement and/or make other arrangements.
* All payments from the LOC to the boat owner are reimbursement for costs incurred and not compensation for tax purposes. Reimbursement by the LOC to the boat owner is separate from any consideration a towboat owner may receive from a manufacturer.
(The towboat committee chair agreed that implementation of this rule is dependent on review by Risk Management regarding possible insurance ramification to the boat owner as this could be construed as a boat for hire)
Summer Board Meeting
Set to be virtual and held on Aug. 4th at 3pm ET.
Full meeting minutes will be forthcoming and I’ll post them when available.
See you at the Lake!  Jim Powell (AWSA ER EVP)

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