June 12th Board of Directors Meeting

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by David Blake, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. David Blake

    David Blake Made the Cut

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    A USA Fencing Board of Directors meeting will be held via conference call at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 12.

    Non-Board members are invited to listen in to the call using the toll-free number and access code below, although active participation is limited to members of the Board.

    OPEN SESSION
    USA Toll-Free: 888.431.3598
    ACCESS CODE: 6290370


    http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0040/4473/BOD_2013-06-12_Agenda.pdf


    David Blake
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  2. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    Personally, I am opposed to only allowing petitions for JOs:

    ALL fencers should not be punished simply because SOME fencers are “abusing” the petition process by petitioning for ridiculous reasons. It is quite possible that there is a legitimate reason why a fencer could not attend his Div 2 qualifier--and he should not be forced to have to attend a Div 2 ROC that might at that point require expensive travel and extra time. There are also legitimate reasons why a fencer might have to miss the one Div 1A ROC that is within a reasonable distance from his or her home. it is also quite possible that that fencer planned to attend the ROC close to his home (did not see a reason for flying all over the country to attend others beforehand) and then fell and injured himself…Why should they be denied the possibility of petitioning?

    Those people who are applying for things “that are explicitly disallowed” should simply have their petitions denied.

    PERHAPS the rules that state those things that clearly do NOT constitute a valid reason for petitioning could be part of the petition process (i.e. You have to download the rules and sign something that says you have read them as part of your emailed application?).

    Petitioning currently costs $100. How long does it take for someone to shoot an email back to a fencer who has said he wants to petition “because he feels he could have done better at the qualifier” or because “he was fencing at another event” or “attending an out of town school?” If loads of these petitions are currently being received, to me that seems like a profit item! Not to mention that if that fencer’s petition is legitimate and it gets approved, then we get those fencers’ entry fees. More profit!

    Even though I am sure this was not the motivation behind this proposal, to approve it would simply be another way of forcing regionalization down our throats.
     
  3. fencerX

    fencerX Rookie

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    Wow. It's amazing how Committees and board members can put out such poorly worded motions, even in a single sentence.

    State actively (and unambiguously) what's actually being proposed, not a side effect, please.

    "Eliminate qualification by petition for the Summer National Championships"

    The rationale and appendix mention processing petitions for SN is a burden and is being "abused". Abused by whom and how?

    Wasn't the burden one reason the BoD bumped the non-refundable fee that must accompany any petition to $100 -- an amount more than the USFA pays most referees for an entire day of work? Sure, making the process more efficient for cost savings (e.g. email only is mentioned) is certainly good, but scanning paper documents for distribution really adds up to $100 in staff time already?

    What effect would this motion have on revenue? How many petitions were processed? How much money was brought in? Is that at least X * $100? I've heard about petitions that were denied but without the "non-refundable" fee being kept. Could the abuse here be that the N.O. isn't following procedure and the getting the money first?
     
  4. Asibov Sobelo

    Asibov Sobelo Made the Cut

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  5. fencerX

    fencerX Rookie

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    Who is Don Anthony nominating? And this time is it someone actually qualified for the Independent slot?


    Who and why?

    Under the revised bylaws, Vice President(s) are Officers but not members of the Board.
     
  6. pillow

    pillow Podium

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    Right. So clearly the Agenda is not telling the whole story, which is not surprising. All the more important for interested parties to listen in to the meeting.
     
  7. AllezCat

    AllezCat DE Bracket

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    I disagree with the petition motion for a different reason: it allows no recourse in case of administrative screw-up. Scenario:

    • I fence a ROC in November. The organizers tell me I got the last qualifying spot. Yay!
    • For whatever reason, the national office doesn't update the qualifiers list for six months (like happened this year).
    • Because I was told I qualified, I don't spend a lot of money traveling to other ROCs.
    • At my Divisional qualifier, I have a rough day and miss qualifying by a couple of places. But hey, I was already qualified anyway.
    • It's eventually revealed that the November ROC organizers miscounted, or dealt with a foreign fencer incorrectly, or the results got invalidated somehow.
    • So because of that error, I'm not qualified and there aren't any more opportunities because it's so late. If I had known in a timely manner, I could have gone to another ROC.
    There ought to be some sort of petition process available to deal with situations like this.

    Other motions: I like the youth DE format change. Personally I would have Y12's fence to 10 instead of 15, but whatever. Better that than the 2-out-of-3.

    The acceptable-tournament-formats motion should also explicitly indicate whether splitting an event into two events midway through is acceptable or not.
     
  8. erik_blank

    erik_blank Podium

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    I have to say that I'm pretty interested in the new tournament formats being proposed, especially the 'sharks and minnows' format. Since I don't get to fence in competitions all that much, this seems to be a good way to help people that are 'semi-recreational' fencers get more time on the strip and also provide a 'deeper' field for the higher skilled fencers to get more time on the strip with people of their caliber as they hit the second round of pools.

    I've been seeing thisformat in Fencing Time for a couple of years and had never gotten the opportunity to use it in any of our local competitions. If this passes, I'm going to try to push through a Sharks and Minnows competiton for our division, hopefully hosted by our club. Biggest problem I see for this is time. Two rounds of pools can make things sticky...
     
  9. fdad

    fdad Podium

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    The NO seems to have denied all petitions for D1A - if that is the policy then they should return the petition fee. The explicit rule about an out of town schools does not apply when ROCs are ALL out of town. There are valid reasons why someone can't get to any ROC during the season. Since you can get into JOs via points why not just claim that circuit give multiple qualification options too and eliminate petitions for JOs too? Seems like they would prefer fencers just claim to live outside the USA and register in the pre-qualified "National" division like many living in the USA have done and been allowed into events without qualifying.
     
  10. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    For Div II/III SN events, C and below fencers not only can qualify at their local division qualifiers and ROCs, but they can also petition, while B+ fencers who wish to fence Div IA can only qualify at ROCs and cannot petition.

    Earning a B or A, may not be worth it for some.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  11. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    I asked a Board member and was told there is no additional information about the appointments of an Independent Director or Vice President(s) given to them. This of course makes it difficult to do any research or discussion of the topic in advance of the meeting. Hopefully candidates will be presented and ther selection deferred until the July meeting.

    It's disappointing the number of committees which don't have any report submitted. Hopefully this doesn't mean they haven't had anything to do over the past month, unless that's expected for them.
     
  12. NipperDad

    NipperDad Made the Cut

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    Not a fan of full 15-point bouts for y12. It might be OK for the very top tier of kids, but they're already doing y14 and don't need the exposure. For everybody else, that's a long bout. I'd maybe keep the y10 change (which I think is good) and modify y12 to standard 10 points in 2 periods with the break at 3 minutes regardless of score.

    Sharks and minnows would be perfect for youth events, since there often aren't enough ranked or rated kids to produce even a semi-accurate initial seeding. Too bad they'd be wiped out by having that second round of pools. Man, a sharks and minnows event with 15-touch bouts for y12 - they'd be dropping like flies by the end.
     
  13. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Because it "creates an unnecessary burden on office staff and volunteers". Clearly this is well on its way to becoming our Prime Directive:

    "Nothing within these Articles Of Federation shall authorize US Fencing to permit any function the effect of which is to discommode or discomfit any official, volunteer or member of staff."
     
  14. darius

    darius Podium

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    You can make an aggressive cut after the 2nd round - generally promote the top 8, 12 or 16. If you're running several events in one day, definitely make a tournament plan that accommodates the amount of time pools take, and build your schedule from there.

    I would not do it in a local RYC type event, where even with mixing genders, there can be 9 events in one day.
     
  15. BaronArtz

    BaronArtz Made the Cut

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    http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/d...-12_Agenda.pdf

    I find this very interesting. In the face of the truly catastrophic financial condition of USFA, the agenda items listed for the June 12, 2013 BOD meeting would appear to be superfluous, petty and entirely myopic. As supporting evidence, I refer to the latest published financials in USFA's website, i.e. the balance sheet as of Jan 31, 2013 (http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/695201-budget-reports), showing current assets of $678K and current liabilities of $1,599K. USFA 12 months ago and today is a insolvent organization with a delinquent credit rating.

    A situation like this can only be resolved through strong, expert management.

    Here are the questions that need to be asked:

    1) What has Val Belmonte done in the last 12 months? He was brought in 12 months ago, based on his expertise in fund raising and business development. As you know, there was an election recently. When asked specifically 'what has the association done well during the last year', no one of the candidates said - we brought in strong management. It is remarkable that nobody is focussing on this.

    2) Is the question about the contributions of Mr. Belmonte even fair? Was it even possible to do anything for the association's business development, given the delinquent financial condition of the organization? Would any serious corporate or other sponsor not pull away in horror, looking at what the number are? Which leads to the following question:

    3) Was Val Belmonte set up to fail? And let me be more specific: did Sam Cheris set it up so that Val Belmonte would fail? A little bird, whose opinions have been quite accurate in the past, tells me that Val is not likely to have a second year with the association. Remember, you read it here first.

    4) So then, let us ask what the contributions of Sam Cheris might have been? Mr. Cheris was/is in charge of finance, was he not? Has Mr. Cheris donated personal funds to the association? And if so, how much? If not, why not? Has Mr. Cheris organized a fund raiser, a raffle, a charity run, anything to raise funds, no matter how modest?

    5) And the same question applies to the board members: how much have they donated? Have they raised funds from third parties? I understand that some of these people are not independently wealthy but that is no excuse: what have they done, individually and as a a group?

    All I am seeing is a group of petty bureaucrats focussed on epee wires, capteurs, and minute tournament rules and regulations. The agenda items for the June 12th meeting don't even BEGIN to address the problems of the association.

    Overall, this is truly, a sad spectacle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  16. bbower

    bbower DE Bracket

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    At $100/petition I'm nearly positive that you could hire a temp to handle every aspect of the petitioning process from start to finish, and still have more than enough money left over to buy a steak dinner for every member of the bout committee for every day of nationals.

    Given the USFA's financial position, how is it possible that any motion that affects the finances of the organization doesn't include a thorough analysis of the effect on those finances.

    Seriously, there are a bunch of people willing to pay $100 for petitions that can be insta-denied, AND WE'RE TRYING TO STOP THEM!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??
     
  17. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    AND we are trying to prevent the LEGITIMATE petitioners from registering for the VERY EXPENSIVE events at Nationals! Are we TRYING to NOT make money?
     
  18. Allex

    Allex DE Bracket

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    B. A. - no babaloney, and as someone who frequently disagrees with Sam's points of view (respectfully), as well as, being privy to more current numbers - this year's financial results and fiduciary process are not in the same Universe with the previous ones. The reports are more timely, accurate, responsible, honest, and objective. The extremely aggressive/optimistic budget will most probably be exceeded by double digits IMHO.
     
  19. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    Specifically, I believe the plan was to end this fiscal year with a negative balance of about $300k. From all I've heard, we are roughly on track for that plan. It will be a bit behind plan for sure because we decided to pay $20k towards Zonals this year instead of to the USOC and deferring that payment until this fall. Being conservative, that indicates next year we'll finish with a positive balance of a few hundred $k. There will then be the usual budget battle whenever a surplus is perceived, and we'll see where that goes.
     
  20. mgriff

    mgriff DE Bracket

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    The simple expedient of requiring positive budget variances to be matched by reductions elsewhere makes all the difference.
     

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