Are you willing to boycott USA Fencing over the new Safety Policy requirement

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Strytllr, Jul 18, 2013.

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Would you be willing to boycott USA Fencing over the new Safety Policy requirements

  1. I would be willing to boycott my Personal Membership

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I would be willing to boycott my Club Membership

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%
  3. I would be willing to boycott my Personal AND Club Membership

    5 vote(s)
    12.2%
  4. I will not boycott

    30 vote(s)
    73.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    I will repeat my assertion from the previous post: I am NOT against the requirement of a Safety Policy or that coaches, officials and volunteers should have the proper training.

    I am only calling for a boycott for the need for every "volunteer", from high to low, to pay for a membership fee for the right to just help out a little.

    Please respond...I'm very curious.
     
  2. darius

    darius Podium

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    I suspect it's hard to boycott when the NGB is also your insurance broker.
     
  3. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    It doesn't have to be. there are plenty of options.
     
  4. MyrddinsPrecint

    MyrddinsPrecint Podium

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    In related news, Money grows on trees!! :mutant:
     
  5. IronJoe

    IronJoe Rookie

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    Every other organization I know of deals with this issue with a simple $15 background check for adults working with children. So $15 is too high and maybe USFA should do their on checks for $10 say....its not that hard.
     
  6. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    How do you go from "everybody else charges $15" to deciding that means the proper price is $10?
     
  7. IronJoe

    IronJoe Rookie

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    because the other firms are in the business and I would think that it could be done less than retail.
     
  8. David Sierra

    David Sierra DE Bracket

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    I do think we are being stiffed on the price of the screenings.
     
  9. Allex

    Allex DE Bracket

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    I do not fence any longer or belong to a Club, so that option is obsolete for me. Being a Parent and a Ref - guess $45 is reasonable - did I get this "new policy" correctly?
     
  10. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    Unfortunately some of us have bills to pay and those bills get paid by people that expect strong national and international results. Boycotts just take even more money from our pockets while we should be working.
     
  11. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    Boycotting is simply not an option for a competitive athlete with serious ambitions. USA Fencing is the facilitator, qualifier, and licenser for anything above local competitions.
     
  12. pillow

    pillow Podium

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    Boycott is not the answer. What is the answer is for Don and or Val to get with it, and respond to the membership asap. They can send out an email blast explaining this new policy right away, as we are in a "Stay & Play" situation, directly as a result of the crappy communication skills of our leaders at the USFA, which is SOP unfortunately. The policy needs to be explicated, possibly revised and the fees need to be modified. Those of us on f.net are ahead of the curve, so that means the majority of the membership doesn't even know what's going on with this problem. Always reactive with the USFA BoD and NO, never any sense of proactive thinking.
     
  13. MyrddinsPrecint

    MyrddinsPrecint Podium

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    The tone that I heard on the call was one of frustrated resignation. (Others might disagree, but it seems other non-BOD-Fnetters aren't talking about their experience of the call, and I know some regulars couldn't or didn't make it due to the time and short notice). There were good, pointed questions being asked, and it seems that not everyone was happy with the exact policy we ended up with, but it also seemed that people speaking on the call were of the opinion that as distasteful as they felt individual parts of it might be, that they were backed into a corner, insurance-wise.

    There was some discussion about how to educate the board and the membership on the policies-- one piece of that is that Val (IIRC) wants a robust FAQ on the website, so that when questions come in, rather than re-answer them many times via email, there is a central place for those answers. As much as this is going to be terrible for some clubs (and not a very big deal for others), I anticipate this being somewhat of a nightmare for the National Office.


    What this isn't is a surprise to people who have been paying attention to the actions of the BOD over the last year-and-a-couple-months. Now, I realize that's a very small group of people, but we know it includes pillow, since it was on the agenda for the BOD meeting in September that pillow posted about as "very interesting", and was also discussed at BOD meetings and their respective threads for at least several months before that. There has been a whole lot of push back on this for, off the top of my head, at least a bit over a year. (Based on information from Brad somewhere in one of the threads from this week, I believe there was discussion of this, and thus I assume push back, for even longer than that, and I either wasn't paying attention or forgot).

    Don't get me wrong-- I think it's a pretty messy policy, and I think it's unfortunate that it was created and approved in the way it was. But I don't think the people who were in charge of creating and voting on it like it all that much more than anyone else, and I don't think this is going to go away because people don't like it and say so loudly. I think eliminating the policy or mitigating the damage or making the more.... arbitrary?.... parts of the policy affect a smaller population of people, or anything like that is going to involve a bunch of smart people getting very creative. I think if the solution was as simple as "find another insurance company for the organization" or "say no to the policy"...... we would have done that already.
     
  14. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    I've been fencing more and reffing less so this is along with other this season's nonsense is yet another impetus to ref even less - if at all.
     
  15. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    Thank you. That's a very good summary. I would be willing to be in any group of creative people willing to make a go at that.

    As I have said, i'm not against the main portions of this policy. In our current time and in this country, this is now the number 1 concern regarding adult/minor interactions. I am in favor of increased training and decreased situations in which bad things happen to innocent people. I am simply against the required membership enrollment of thousands of volunteers to make this happen.

    Let me offer a possible alternative to whatever board members might be reading these comments:

    If you HAVE to charge for these training sessions (and I still think that's unnecessary), make them a separate fee AT the training session instead of demanding a useless membership. You can still keep your records of who's taken the class, etc. All that changes is that anyone can walk in, pay for the training, receive the training and go do whatever they need to do to volunteer. All without any hassle.

    Just an idea...
     
  16. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Something that came up in a post-practice discussion last night: shouldn't USFencing start shopping around for alternative insurance providers now for the 2014-15 season, so they can have a real prospect of getting a better deal in place and not get blindsided by something shortly before renewal time? This seems to be the second year in a row where insurance issues cropped up towards the renewal deadline- a good indication that it's an area that needs to be attended to in a more proactive manner. Similarly, coming up with a less onerous version of the SafeSport recommendations that would satisfy USOC requirements without making life h#ll for club operators and local tournament organizers should be started on ASAP.
     
  17. bigdawg2121

    bigdawg2121 is a Verified Fencing Expertbigdawg2121 Podium

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    IMHO creating a policy that won't make life heck for club operators would first require the policy to actually be aimed at creating safe sport environments rather than insulating the organizations (NGBs and NOCs primarily, then clubs) from liability.
     
  18. AllezCat

    AllezCat DE Bracket

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    Should? Of course they should. But what makes you think they will? The national office has no incentive to do any better at this than they have in the past.

    If the national office approached these things the way they should, we wouldn't have this, we wouldn't have PSA or THS, they wouldn't have proposed Stay-and-Play, we wouldn't have Railstation, we wouldn't have had Hang-A-Star, etc., etc.

    I find myself wondering if the emergency timing of the decision was due to:

    • The insurance company springing this on us at the last minute. In which case, whose job was it to determine whether the insurance company's requirements would be acceptable before committing this far?
    • The national office procrastinating about finding an acceptable insurance company.
    • They knew the requirements would be onerous and unpopular, so they delayed presenting it to the Board so that the Board would have to make a snap decision without any input from the membership.
    I think door #3 smells fishiest, but who knows.

    While we're at it, I hereby predict that the promised training program will:

    • Not be available until well after January 1, 2014
    • Be online-only, and extremely poorly designed
    • Cost at least $25 (on top of the membership fee) to complete
    As for volunteers for tournaments, I've come up with a marvelous idea: hire only minors. Then they don't need to be background-checked professional members. Might affect the quality of the event, but at least you can get enough of them...
     
  19. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    I have volunteered at NACs in the past, but will not under the new guidelines. Voting with my feet, in a way, since boycotting fencing is out of the question- I personally don't care about a background check, but I disagree with the policy and it's implementation. I'll boycott volunteering.
     
  20. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    The poll is flawed as are all such including the idea of boycotting. If we want to fence nationally/internationally how can we boycott the NGB?

    One understands and respects the need but not the document/policy as presented which to borrow a term seems to me to be mistakes of well-intentioned people.

    As stated previously, my opinion is that the policy/document as presented is so flawed as to be worthless even as fertilizer. My personal intention is to ignore it. Maybe it'll go away or be fixed or replaced. But I do not intend to let it disturb my love of the game or relationships with coaches and other fencers.

    If someone wants to start a thread in the "Water Cooler" about what uses one could make of the "the USA Fencing Safe Sport Policy" may I suggest the start of a stand up comic routine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

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