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Shortsighted Replies on Breaking USAWS apart.


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I have been reading a bunch on this breaking USAWS away from AWSA.

 

I don't think that it is the correct course.

I do think that USAWS needs to be overhauled. Putting an overhaul plan together would be much more efficient than starting a new organization. If the membership does not think that the olympics are part of the waterski plan....they need to quit wasting time on it. NOW!

 

Driving:

There should be a base driver rating. This rating will be good for sanctioned practices and grassroots events. Towed watersport wide. Once you get the rating, you have it for life. Barefoot, slalom, trick....wakeboard you name it.

 

Beyond this rating there should be different class ratings for disciplines. There needs to be a better system of keeping these ratings than attending a specific number of tournaments in a year. Do people forget how to drive after they have taken the time to get a rating? Why do we penalize a person if they have not been to a tournament in a few years? Life happens.

 

Insurance/Membership.

Pay for what you are:

 

Every member should buy the base membership. The insurance only covers you up to events pulled by the base driving category.

 

If you are a show skier (and you do show skiing tournaments & practices).....you pay the showski fee. If you show ski and slalom you pay the higher of the fees.

 

Safety Tracking

 

I know the show ski team here has had many claims. Guess what....winning is the only thing they care about. Lightning? Who cares.

 

USAWS needs to track high risk closer. If there are more claims because of certain risk taking then that needs to be figured into the membership fees above.

 

Real Business.

 

Its time to run USAws like a real business. Just because somebody is a waterskier that does not guarantee them a job at USAws. Kill the magazine. Kill the regional tournament guides. Hey....everybody uses smartphones and ipads.....get with technology.

 

Last year I ran a tournament. Online tournament signup...."cool" I thought. This will make it easy! Well. After I logged everything in I posted the stuff all over the net about my tournament. Guess what..... The online system didn't work. They had a glitch. All of my time wasted. I was the guinea pig trading emails with their "tech guru".

 

 

A lot to lose..........

 

 

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Responding to your point on real business, is that not part of the problem? How many people that run USA Waterski actually come from some kind of watersports background? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there are many. I realize that not many competitive skiers aspire to run USAWS one day, but I feel like that is what we need; someone that understands what works in the real world and what will not.

 

I completely agree with you on the magazine... I remember reading in another thread how much the magazine cost to publish and couldn't believe how much money is going down the drain.

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Most tournament Skiers appreciate and utilize the regional guide as a hard copy resource. I keep one in the office and one at home, we utilize it quite often on site at tournaments and at the lake for reference and information.

 

As a AWSA member I see very broad benefits for The AWSA to go off on it's own. Sport emphasis and resources are dedicated to three event and out side sport group ideals and agendas do not come into play in day to day business. With USAWS board running the show the AWSA is and has been at the Mercy of the other sport groups needs and intentions.

Year after year less money is available for international three event teams, programs for junior development are being down sized. AWSA is being made to ad-hear to policy's that it should not due to the other sport groups misadventures and lack of good safety practices.

I have read that their will be a change of leadership and that new AWSA leaders will be put in place...That wont be of much good as long as their are USAWS directors and leaders that remain in power. I wont name names but as long as these men and women at The USAWS level remain the AWSA will continue to decline.

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Most tournament Skiers appreciate and utilize the regional guide as a hard copy resource. I keep one in the office and one at home, we utilize it quite often on site at tournaments and at the lake for reference and information.

 

Ok so then they should make it an option to get the regional guide. I throw mine in the trash.

 

AWSA is being made to ad-hear to policy's that it should not due to the other sport groups misadventures and lack of good safety practices.

 

Sport emphasis and resources are dedicated to three event and out side sport group ideals and agendas do not come into play in day to day business.

 

More opinion. How would you fix it? What would make sense?

 

So your kids do not wakeboard? Barefoot? What if they did?

 

I personally think if AWSA and USAws were two different entities then you would find AWSA having less and less $$.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Talking and discussing these maters on forums such as the BOS for many is very good feed back and I know that their are those at the USAWS and AWSA leadership level that read these threds. However for a number of posters on threds like this I know that many of them have never been even to their own state or regional meetings let alone to a national meeting nor sit on a national committee, To me for many of you that post without real participation is like talking politic with out voting! Still their are many who hide behind screen names even on this forum, I know Horton knows who they are but many of us do not know who those that post with out installing their real names at the bottom, Those posts become irrelevant as any kind of feedback.

 

Their are many issues within the whole USAWS/AWSA spectrum that impact each other and my list is very long but here are a few.

 

One of the first things that need fixed for the betterment of the sport is to stop with the knee jerk reactionary decisions and stop allowing the needs of one sport group to impact another.

 

Let monies received by a sport group remain with in the sport group and not disbursed to other sport groups.

 

The marketing of our three event sport and it's elite athletes on a national and world wide basis is rather poor in comparison to other NGB's.

 

One of the best ideas was to not allow an individual to sit in any particular leadership position for more than two terms. Before our current AWSA president the former president was president of both AWSA and USAWS at the same time! that should never happen again! committee members should not sit on more then two committee's at any given time. Their are many that sit in leadership roles that have remained on these committees and in these leadership positions for over 20 years and refuse to let or mentor others to sit in their places.

 

Our Elite athlete advisory on committee and board level is a joke! I know the AAC Chair has sent out many requests for our elite athletes to step up and contribute and volunteer at this level for committees and board representation with very little success, so then a very small number of these athletes contribute and they are spread very thin, Those elite athletes that volunteer individually sit in many positions on many different committees and are perceived in many way's to have personal agenda's or just don't find the time to make educated decisions.

 

Want to make a difference? Want USAWS to hear you and make a positive impact on the sport? Go to your State, Regional and national meetings encourage your fellow skiers to do the same. Talk to your state and regional directors about your concerns and ideas that you may have.

Put your name at the bottom of your posts so as that those at the leadership level that read this know who you are!

 

Cheers!

 

Jody Seal

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Hmmm, what has risk?

 

20 skiers, 20 lines in the water, someone standing on top of other people 20 feet in the air, or criss crossing under multiple tow ropes at 35 mph, or having multiple skiers jump off a ramp at the same time while a ski boat crosses underneath them......hmmm.....

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Jody's statement is not opinion. It's fact. Other disciplines had/have little driver certification and/or safety programs. Hell, you could get in a 120mph speed boat and pull a speed skier without any type of credential. Still can because last I saw as they only basically require a driver's license and any state mandated boater safety course. Makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me. And essentially the same for Barefoot. And have you ever actually looked at what they teach in the show ski driver student guide? Go look at a 3 boat turn, where their instruction is for the outside boat to cross over to the inside track and the inside to go out. All three paths converge at one location with skiers in tow. Seriously?

 

Injuries happen, there's no denying that as it's a sport. Brett Yager a few years back being killed in the handle incident, while tragic, was an injury accident. The barefooter who hit the boats at the Malibu Open was a combination of a driver and skier mistake. That could have been averted. Same with the death in show skiing last year. That could have been averted. Those aren't just injury accidents. Those are mistakes made by the drivers and/or skiers which result in serious injuries. You would typically not see that type of mistake in 3 even skiing.

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Jody's statement is not opinion. It's fact. Other disciplines had/have little driver certification and/or safety programs. Hell, you could get in a 120mph speed boat and pull a speed skier without any type of credential. Still can because last I saw as they only basically require a driver's license and any state mandated boater safety course. Makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me. And essentially the same for Barefoot. And have you ever actually looked at what they teach in the show ski driver student guide? Go look at a 3 boat turn, where their instruction is for the outside boat to cross over to the inside track and the inside to go out. All three paths converge at one location with skiers in tow. Seriously?

 

Actually:

 

Every sport has to have the same safety certification, go look at the rules a bit closer.

 

I have a class A show driver cert. Its not just pulling 3 boat patterns. Its not simple to get.

 

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@behindpropellers

regional guide: Kill the printed guide yesterday. There is no excuse for spending money printing a guide that can easily be made a searchable document online. If people want hard copies they can print it off on their home computer.

 

Magi zine: Kill the printed magazine as well. I work in the printing industry and I watch as more and more print shops close and its sad to see the jobs go. My phone is 10 times more useful then a magazine is as it can show me up to date information. If people still want the info then they can make it all online. They already have been utilizing RR Donnelly's digital magazine so why still send me a hard copy?

 

Insurance: This is an interesting idea, not sure how it would be executed exactly. I could see that being a route that would be worth exploring at the very least. It would be interesting to see how they break down the premiums. But now how long before the slalomers and trick skiers say "hey, those jumpers are messing up our premiums, we need to get rid of them as well"

 

Safety Tracking: This is something I really think needs to be done. I bet the results would surprise you, show skiing probably has a higher injury per participant but its probably a lot closer then everyone thinks. Most clubs are not dangerous morons that ski during lighting storms like the ones you mentioned. And if they actually are skiing in lighting someone needs to call child services on them, they are going to kill their kids. Most show skiers are the most anal safety conscious people I have ever met. I prefer 3 event as it is more open, less regulated.

 

@ShaneH you are wrong about the drivers certification for show skiing.

 

@jodyseal I post anonymous for a reason and will not be giving out my identity. But yes, I am on my states water ski association, I have been on regional boards, have run many tournaments and been involved with multiple pro events over the years both as an organizer and as a sponsor. If the powers that be read forums to find out how to govern...well thats just disapointing. The noisy bird gets the worm is not how the best decisions are made, that just pacifies those that speak the loudest instead of governing for the majority. Maybe the loudest talkers here are in the majority, I have not seen that in my region, as the majority could care less about the new rules.

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ODBF, What did I say about show ski driving that was incorrect? I never once said anything other than look at what they are teaching, which puts boats and people in the same places. FWIW...... I have had a show skiing driver cert before. I drove in ski shows long before I ever learned to ski a slalom course.
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Off topic, but I'll bite.

 

My real name, though listed in my profile and in my signature, is largely irrelevant in the water ski community. Far more people know me as "east tx skier" than would ever recognize me if my login was my name. In communicating with people off this and other forums, I have had to add the ETS designation under my actual name just so they would know who I was. I have never hidden behind it nor used it as a tool for saying things I would not say to someone under my own name. Rather, I have embraced it. But, like many, I am wary of the web. Plus, I have used this handle on probably eight different forums over the years and have become attached to it. I never thought to tell someone their thoughts were irrelevant simply because of the name under which they were posted. If they are of substance, so be it.

 

Probably worth mentioning that I'm a Bob Dylan fan. You may chose to acknowledge him only as Robert Allen Zimmerman or disregard his music and the works of a host of other entertainers, musicians, and writers because they choose to use a pseudonym. ;) Do you think Jacob Cohen is funny? I thought he was great in Caddyshack and Back to School.

 

Don't you hate it when things like this drag us off topic. Me, too.

 

 

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@East Tx Skier very well said!

 

@jody seal So be it.

 

@shaneh the show ski driver training manual i saw at no point showed skiers and boats in the same place. Boats do follow each other in the show course and if there is a fall the following boats are supposed to be far enough back that they can drive around without causing their skiers to fall because of sudden boat turns. The training program is not perfect by any means and I am all for more safety in the sport.

 

I am not saying their is no danger in the sport, there is, quite a bit if those involved do not follow the rules and use their heads. That is why I liked @behindpropellers idea about separate insurance levels for the different sports disciplines. I don't know much about insurance premiums and how they are calculated, maybe we would lose some of our purchasing power by splitting 6 thousand people off into a separate policy but its worth a look at the very least.

 

@richarddoane is it apathy or contentment?

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Doug did you ever sell the golden rudder? Funny stuff!

 

It is always easier and it is more polite to converse with one another when all know to whom they are conversing with. It also brings a higher level of legitimacy to the thread when all involved is identified.

Personally I think that these forum threads have been beneficial as I know for a fact that their are leaders in this sport that actually do read this and utilize it as a instrument to what members in the organization are thinking. Is BOS a limited group that participate? These threads are read around the world and at least they are giving some skiers some fodder to think about and possibly react too in a positive way. I know I wont comment on anything more posted by those that remain anonymous. You might go to Ski Fly where anonymity is the rule!!

 

And Jacob could not get no respect!

 

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@Jody, yes, I absolutely did. Those American Pickers dudes came by my house and gave me top dollar! ;)

 

I understand your point on the names. But forums rise and fall by how much care is taken by the members and moderation to keep things civil. By way of the obvious example, this forum benefits from all members having to go through Horton (I know, any club that would have ME as a member ....) But it keeps the numbers down (and manageable) if only for the fact that it's not as easy to register. Size alone makes things a lot more manageable and like a small family that doesn't see one another too often, it keeps things civil.

 

Even the MC forum was really civil back in 2003 (it still is to a point). But back then, there were only a handful of us posting over there. Not many used their real names, but most of us knew each other's names. And if anyone got out of line, it would get handled pretty quickly by the members. My how things have changed there.

 

This forum is like that one once was. But I don't think it's only the names in the profiles and signatures that make it that way. Sounds like Kramer wanting everyone in Manhattan to wear name tags.

 

Who knows? He may have been on to something.

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Hmmm... I have twice attempted to add my name to signatures- but I don't play well w/ computers so I thought further efforts a waste of time. My name and officials ratings have appeared on the e-mails sent to Bob Crowley and copied here. Other than some folks in the Pacific Northwest, most would not know who I am. My PB is laughable. I coach better than I will ever ski. No matter.

I feel strongly that content is the most important element of any post, whether I agree or disagree with the position. It is human nature to immediate discount any opinion from an individual you have previously disagreed with, or personally dislike. I have seen sites that engage or allow pretty much unlimited sniping, and the issues and topics get drowned in 'noise'- to no one's benefit at all.

Re: this thread- Jody makes good sense for term limits, committee participation, et al. I use the regional Guide every year and keep one on hand when scoring or registrar. (I don't do Facebook, and I don't have an I-phone-)

Headquarters is obviously disconnected with 3-event membership. They waste/lose money on the magazine, running Nationals, and Olympic inclusion, for instance. What agenda is paramount, i don't presume to know, but it is oviously NOT in the interest of 3-event. Are we the 'cash cow' keeping USAWS afloat? I think so. Do we get our money's worth? I think not.

The real question is- can we remake USAWS? or do we exit and organize our own NGB?

 

Ron Martin

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I think term limits are a very good idea, keep new blood flowing into the leadership positions. Its very important to get new ideas flowing at the highest levels and our current leadership has shown they are adverse to change. I am all for Jodys idea for term limits.
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Re; Term Limits. I agree. When I agreed to serve on the AWSA board, I stated it would be for two 3-year terms (assuming I'm re-elected in two years). Period. Not only do I not want the burden of serving long-term but also we need new individuals to step up and bring their passion and knowledge to the governance of our sport. If you really want to see change, put the term limits on the Executive Committee and President.
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