Yankee Board Meeting Minutes

Monday, July 7, 2003


Board Attendees: Judy Katalina, Ann Riedl, Joe Loyall, Debbie Finnigan, Lynn Jones, Paul Santos, Helen Taylor

Other Attendees: David Castanon, Glenn Corwin, Steve Webster


Meeting started at 6:55


This was the first meeting of the new Executive Board. Each member introduced him/herself. Judy gave a brief history of Yankee and discussed the responsibilities of the board. She explained the relationship with NERVA. She described the appointed Yankee positions. Judy introduced an idea of having board liaisons for each appointed position.


Registrar liaison: Ann Riedl (registrar: Judy Katalina)

Bookkeeper liaison: Lora Loyall (bookkeeper: Dori Senerchia)

Web editor liaison: Helen Taylor (web editor: Tom Sweeney)

Referee Assignor liaison: Judy Katalina (referee assignor: Glenn Corwin)

Newsletter editor liaison: Joe Loyall (newsletter editor: TBD)

Ratings chair liaison: Debbie Finnigan (ratings chair: Ann Riedl)


Each board member should send e-mail to the appointed position holder informing that he/she is his/her liaison to the board.


Secretary Report (Joe)

        We reviewed the minutes from the last meeting. Judy pointed out that some detail was omitted from one of the items. The detail was in the notes from the meeting and Joe will add it to the minutes. The minutes from the last meeting were accepted with this change.


Treasurer's report (Judy for Lora)

        Judy handed out the income statement for last season. All of Yankeeís income came from membership fees. We went into last year with retained earnings from previous years of $44K. Last year we: Lost $3400 from championships; Lost money on Grass Roots scramble tournaments; Spent $24.5K on gifts (jackets) for all members. In total, we lost $14K last year, with just a couple of things not in the books yet (stipend for bookkeeper during the second half of the season and one gym rental).

        The board needs to start thinking about what to fund this year, such as clinics.


Registrarís report (Judy)

        Total membership this year ended at 1943. Last year we finished with 1703 members. This was the largest jump in years and the largest number of members in Yankee since 1994.

        Judy handed out a sheet detailing the ratings makeup of the membership for 2003.


TD report (Debbie)

        Debbie doesnít have the end-of-year numbers yet. She and Judy will put this together.


Referee report

        Glenn Corwin is going to be the new referee assignor.

        Glenn described how he is going to do things. He is going to have a few requirements. First, tournaments need to be scheduled a month in advance (this is not a problem for Yankee, but for girls JO). If a tournament is canceled or reduced after Wednesday, the TD must still pay referees. E-mail is Glennís preferred contact method. After Wednesday, he prefers that TDs use the phone (i.e., no Friday night e-mails).TDs and Refs can sign up for tournaments on the web: refs to indicate the dates they are available, TDs to say how many referees they need.Glenn intends to have referee assignments sent out Monday night.

        Steve Webster introduced some proposals for alternative referee staffing programs. He explained that we have about 100 referees, with about 50 of them active on any given weekend. He is working on how we spread ourselves thinner because on any given weekend, the referee assignor is working hard to get enough referees.

        The first proposal is to have a supervisory referee only at some tournaments. That referee will work a reduced schedule and supervise the play on all courts, with his primary being training and supervision. The work teams will provide both R1 and R2 referees and they must be accredited. An accredited referee will not need to be certified and will have no uniform requirements; they will just need to pass the Referee Test C. Basically, the tournament will have one referee and all the rest accredited player refs. Steveís not sure whether this will work at all levels and at all tournaments. Tournaments at the draft will need to be designated either supervisory tournaments or regular tournaments and, presumably, supervisory tournaments will be cheaper, since accredited referees will not be paid.

        Steveís second option is to allow tournaments in which referees are brought in to work only semifinals and finals. This could only happen with a supervisory tournament.

        We discussed whether to offer these options at the Fall draft, when TDs can run friendship tournaments. People will need time to take the exam. We decided to make it available at the Fall draft. Steve and Debbie will put together a note to send out to the TDs.

        Steve also has a proposal to raise referee fees. He says that more referees are grumbling about low referee pay. Division I college referees get $170/match for approximately 3 hours of work. Div. III college referees get $100. High school referees get $81 for 2 matches (best 2 of 3) Ė max 6 games. Steve handed out a proposal that he put together. We discussed Steveís proposal. One issue is escalating tournament costs. Steveís proposal would cost approximately $10 more per team. We discussed whether all referees should be paid the same or whether better referees should be paid more. Steve agreed that some regions pay their referees by their level of certification. He hasnít favored that because when he works a tournament, he is working side-by-side with a lesser referee. The work is the same; the level isnít different on the court. Steve might do it better, but the work is the same. Steve explained that he is expecting this to be a six year plan. He is not expecting a raise next year or the year after (it has been four years since the last referee pay raise).


NERVA Report (David/Judy)

        Yankee sent 65 teams to Nationals this year.

        David explained that the National Board meets twice a year. It met at Nationals in May. The National fiscal year is November to November (when we run tournaments in September and October, we run under last yearís policies). The National Board wants an on-line registration system, but they donít have a vendor or system yet.

        The National Board would like everyone that coaches juniors to have the equivalent of a background check. One issue is whether they have a vendor in place to do the background check. If it happens, the region will pick up part of the cost to get it in place at first. It will apply to coaches, club directors, and anyone who oversees juniors. It wonít apply to referees, since they are at events, not practices.

        There is going to be a new national championship for the height disadvantaged. The maximum height of players will be fixed and there will also be an international championship. There is very strong support for this from some countries and it will be a 2008 Olympic event, so the National Board is following the international lead. The added national championship will probably push out another existing championship, probably regular coed, which doesnít fill. We need to think about whether we want to offer tournaments and championships at a height restricted level and how we would enforce it.

        Helen asked whether we have any input into the single elimination format. The bottom half teams faced single elimination on the third day. The Nationals tournament organizers say that single elimination with a 7 team pool is similar to double elimination with a 6 team pool in number of games played. One of the problems is that the people that run the tournament are pretty disconnected from the National Board. However, David says we have a lot of pull because of our large number of entries, so he can take this issue back to the National Board.

        Other things David didnít like: 7 team pools, back-to-back matches.He thinks 6 team pools with double elimination would have worked better.


Ratings report

        All re-rate letters have gone out. There were quite a few re-rates over the summer.

        Paul Bradford has resigned as menís ratings chair. We need another menís rater and a ratings chair. We need someone that can be completely unbiased. We also want to add a couple more Menís raters. Brett Crandall has volunteered to be menís ratings chair. Other suggestions should be sent to Judy.

        We should also think about nominations for the ratings committees. Nominations for Women raters should be sent to Ann. Nominations for Men raters should be sent to Judy.


Newsletter Report

        Joshua was going to send a proposal for an on-line newsletter. In recent years, the newsletter editor position has had high turnover. A question tabled from last meeting was whether we could have an on-line newsletter and give people an option to have a paper newsletter mailed to them.

        We donít have a paper newsletter editor right now, but have a couple of people who are willing to give it a try. Joshua will do it if it is an on-line version. One of the concerns is how many people will request a paper newsletter. If itís more than a few (say 200, which is approximately 10%) then printing and mailing them can still be quite a large job. David estimated that there are a few hundred people that do not use the web on a regular basis. Managing the process of getting a paper newsletter to those that request it, and only them, could be difficult. Steve asked whether we would have a website with living content where, when an article comes in, it gets edited and put up on the web? Or would it be a PDF newsletter, with a deadline and a file goes up on the web?

        Judy will take these questions to Joshua. We will need to send a letter to all the members to indicate our intentions to do a web-based newsletter and, if they want a paper copy, to send back a US Mail address.


Web editor Report (Tom Sweeney via e-mail)

        The summer schedule is up and on-line.

        Tom has just completed the work on making the PAVO and USAV Referee Test A accessible from the web. Refs who are certified by both organizations will be able to take both tests at once on-line or they can take them individually. The test itself is being hosted at the PAVO web site and we'll have a link to it from ours.

        Tom will be working on the Test C and Test D versions (new referees and JO referees) over the summer and we'll be hosting those on our site again. Looks like more regions will be signing up to use the test system again this year. In addition, we'll also be doing the Scorekeeper test. NERVA has been receiving income from the referee tests that Tom has put on line. We get money for each test. The tests are graded automatically. This money has been used for new training programs and clinicians.

        Over the summer Tom plans to do some administrative cleaning of the site, and might work on a redesign of the homepage. Glenn Corwin and Chris Lanfear have created a nifty new logo for NERVA.  It's a sharper image of the old one (NE imposed over a volleyball) that is red, white and blue with 6 stars in it to represent each of our states. 

        Steve Webster has made some requests for cleaning up the referee web page a bit, and for adding some new functionality. Tom will be tackling that this summer as time permits. 

        In the two years that we've been at the new site, we've taken 86,000 hits to the main page, and a bunch more to pages under the covers.


Qualifier/Championship Report (Tom Sweeney via e-mail)

        Championships went pretty smoothly. There was some finding more gyms due to space and cancellation problems, but swapping out of teams/dates was kept to a minimum.  The vast majority of teams that requested a date got it. 

        There wasnít much feedback Ė positive or negative Ė on this yearís championship process. The biggest complaint was about having to write new checks for the qualifiers. There were also a few grumbles about the team qualification criteria for the championships. 

        We had a big increase in teams at the Menís and Coed levels over last year, a slight increase over last year for the Womenís side, and possibly the most teams ever that participated. 338 total teams participated this year. That's up from 278 last year, and 305 the year before. Men were 127 teams, up from 96. Women were 89 teams, up from 82. Coed were 122 teams, up from 92. Most levels at least matched last years numbers.  A few sank: Menís BB went from 12 teams last year to 11 this year.  Womenís C+ surprisingly went from 25 teams last year to 19 this year.  Neither the Womenís C or B levels changed significantly as one would expect. All of the coeds went up by 3 or 4 teams with the exception of the B level, which went up by 8 teams.  Since it was only 15 teams last year, that was a pretty big jump. The big gainers this year were the Menís C and C+ with the C going from 19 to 34 teams and C+ going from 20 to 30 teams.


Old/New Business:

Grass Roots Committee/Scramble Tournaments

        Joe will add a GRC report to the agenda for each meeting from now on.

        We have offered a free first round pick for each date a gym is offered for scrambles.

        We discussed whether we should have T-shirts and whether they should be numbered. Judy is going to contact the guy who does the T-shirts. We decided the shirts should be numbered and they should be given to everyone that plays. We also discussed how much we should charge for scrambles. Debbie will run some numbers and figure this out.


Extra jackets

        We have about 150 extra jackets from the Yankee gifts last year. We discussed what to do them. A couple of ideas were to give them to new members at scramble tournaments or give them as prizes.


Tournament Draft

        The tournament draft will be Friday, September 5, 7 pm, at LSHS.The first tournament will be September 13.

        We should send out a message to the Yankee TDs after the draft is announced, asking for contact information to be sent before the draft.


TD Suspension

        A tournament director who was on probation this season was consistently late with membership forms, week after week, and as much as a month late. He would also put rosters on the wall with no numbers. As both of these are violations of his probation, he has been suspended from running tournaments for this coming season (fall and spring). The letter has gone out but Judy hasnít heard back from him.

        Another TD, who sometimes runs tournaments for the suspended TD, was put on probation for the coming season (fall and spring).

        In another incident, at a Menís BB qualifier in early April, a player gave this TD a check made out to Yankee for championships, in case his team qualified. The TD cashed it and deposited it into his account. The player wrote another check to Yankee for the championship. Judy has repeatedly asked the TD to pay the player back for the last 6 weeks. The TD keeps saying he will do this but it has not happened yet.


We tabled a number of items until the next meeting:

        Change in personal ratings to coincide with tournament names

        Championships for next year

        Proposal for TD responsibilities and a late policy. Debbie sent out a proposal.

        Reviewing the Yankee Rules & Policies. Board members need to read the R&P.

        Reviewing the appointed positions and stipends. Judy will send out a list.

        Reviewing the numbers of teams allowed at levels for the upcoming draft and whether women should still count as a whole point toward Coeds. Debbie will put together a report on tournaments, levels, etc.

        Getting rid of the 10 foot attack at Coeds B level and above.


Next meeting, Tuesday, August 19 at LS.