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Do you support USAWaterski being part of the USOC ?


RichardDoane
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A few years ago the past ED of USAWaterski did a summary of the USOC benefits, let me try and find it b/c the yes or no above only relates to trying to get into the olympics but there is much more to it than that. it would at least help voters weigh the pros ad cons b/c if we are doing it just to try and get into the olympics than we are wasting our time for sure.
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Looking back on the archives of the usaws web site one can find an audit document from 2015. in this document it provides financial information that shows the last usoc grant was 2014 of $4500 and nothing in 2015.'wonder about the last 4 years? Why the little funding from this so great associate of ours? In the beginning of this union back in the mid 90s the carrot sum was rather large $40k, $50k maybe even as much as $150k. If I am right why jump through so many hoops for what maybe today zero financial support? Just asking for a friend!

 

 

 

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Our affiliation with the USOC comes with some requirements in the leadership of our organization. One of those is the requirement of elite athletes to sit on all committee's, the sport divisions boards and sit on the general board of usaws. This requirement also gives them a very heavy vote especially on the board level.

After many years of my self being on a few committee's and the bod of awsa I have a few observations on this.

Our elite athletes are very few in this sport so they are spread very thin. This requires an elite individual to participate on many committees and even on multiple boards.

Again my observation these athletes a lot of times they fail to attend meetings where their participation and vote is crucial.

These athletes also tend to be uniformed and make decisions that are not in the best interest of the membership as a whole but more in the best interest of either themselves or the elite level athlete.

I know there are a couple of these elite athletes actually do a great job. The AAC chair and a couple others but they again are spred thin.

Leaving the USOC would negate this mandate. I dont know if that would be a beneficial idea or not for awsa. As a member I would want the elite athlete participating in our leadership and committees in some fashion or another but I do think currently the system is a failing proposition under the current association with the USOC.

 

Going to give credit where credit is due. Mr. Freddy Kruger has been a great representative as chair of the AAC for many years and continues to be informed and involved.

 

 

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This is a great discussion. I wonder how many other sports that the USOC is involved with where as the orginazation governs not only the activities of the elite athlets but all of those participating in the sport to the grass root level. It seems there is a difference in needed governances. There is a definite opinion expressed here, so maybe the problem can begin to be addressed. The first step is to admit all is not well in our orginazation.

 

Good stuff.

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I voted no but I don't have any idea what the costs/benefits associated with being part of the USOC are. I am not aware of any but one would hope there are some. If the objective is to get water skiing into the Olympic Games then USA Waterskiing should leave because that is never going to happen. Especially if it brings large additional costs and overhead.
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@disland - you are correct, this poll suffers from being lopsided by design, but if our organization has to contribute financially and gets nothing in return from the USOC except for additional burdens/headaches to our members, then that return on investment is also pretty lopsided IMO.
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@RichardDoane It is just one question. Perhaps we need a more complete survey. I can not tell if @JeffSurdej is banging his head hard enough on his desk so we should get to work on that.

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ok this is by no means my wording or work, I asked former ED Bob Crowley to do this analysis a few years ago based on the continued questions I receive regarding what does being a part of the USOC do for us. Also this was in word so not sure how the formatting will be below

 

USOC AFFILIATION AND RECOGNITION

BENEFIT / COST ANALYSIS

2016

I believe some folks lump together our USOC affiliation with the efforts that have been made for Olympic Games inclusion. These are two separate issues. Only the IWWF can pursue Olympic inclusion. USA Water Ski can only support the effort. But we can have USOC affiliation and receive the benefits of affiliation.

This is intended to provide the benefits and costs associated with USA Water Ski’s affiliation with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). A financial summary is at the end of this presentation.

 

RECOGNITION:

1. United States Olympic Committee

a. Recognition and Status. USA Water Ski is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the only National Governing Body (NGB) for all towed water sports in the United States. Under Federal law, the USOC is the only entity that can designate “National Governing Bodies” for sports in the United States. It is important for USA Waterski to be part of the recognized “world of sports”, and our affiliation with the USOC makes this possibility easier to achieve. Additionally, water ski athletes have been honored by the USOC. USOC recognition gives USA Water Ski a “presence” that it would otherwise only gain with great difficulty. BENEFIT AT NO COST

b. Marketing Advantage. Using the USOC affiliation is beneficial in our marketing programs. No other towed water sports entity can have a relationship with the USOC. BENEFIT AT NO COST

c. NGB Collaboration and Information Sharing. We share information about insurance, marketing, membership programs, staff salaries, governance, etc. with other federations and have a baseline for best practices. BENEFIT AT NO COST

 

2. International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation

a. IWWF Affiliation. The IWWF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international governing body for water skiing worldwide. In order to be an IWWF national federation, the federation must be recognized by the USOC as the NGB. BENEFIT AT NO COST

b. World and International Tournament Participation. Affiliation with and recognition by the USOC is needed for USA Water Ski to field teams for international and world tournaments, including the Pan American Games and World Games. BENEFIT AT NO COST

 

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES:

1. U.S. Anti Doping Agency (USADA)

a. Anti-Doping Testing and Programs. As a result of the NGB designation, USA Water Ski and our athletes participate in the USADA (the US Anti-Doping Agency) testing programs, which are required for our athletes to be eligible to participate in international competitions. The USOC works directly with the USADA, a separate organization, to promote and ensure clean play in U.S. sports. IWWF high ranking athletes are in a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and participate in out-of-competition testing throughout the year. Athletes have available to them many resources to be aware of the various illegal performance enhancing drugs. BENEFIT AT NO COST

 

 

b. In-Competition Testing. The IWWF requires drug testing at all world championship events. When hosting a world championship event in the United States, the LOC is responsible for payment of fees associated with USADA testing. With USOC affiliation, USA Water Ski may receive complimentary testing at world championship events hosted in the United States for sports recognized in the Pan American Games program (AWSA, Wakeboard). If not for our affiliation with the USOC, we (the LOC) would have to pay for all IWWF/IOC mandated drug testing services at world championship events. BENEFIT AND POTENTIAL SAVINGS TO AWSA and USA-WB LOCs ($5,000 - $8,000 range, depending on number of tests required by IWWF)

 

2. Safe Sport Initiative

a. Program Participation and Resources. As a result of the NGB designation, USA Water Ski is able to participate in the USOC Safe Sport program, designed to offer protection to our athletes/members in the areas of sexual misconduct, harassment and abuse. The new Safe Sport entity is designed to provide investigation and resolution of any misconduct within the water ski community. Participation is required by the USOC for NGB recognition.

b. Cost for Safe Sport Entity. Each USOC NGB must contribute to the Safe Sport entity. The cost is anticipated to be $10,000 per year. For this expense, the Safe Sport entity will manage any litigation regarding sexual abuse or misconduct in our sport. This should be viewed as similar to an insurance program. It is necessary to have and will be highly beneficial and a cost savings should a claim ever come forward. BENEFIT and COST ($10,000 annually beginning in 2017)

 

3. Pan American Games (and other multi-sport events)

a. Pan American Games. By being a recognized NGB, the USOC allows our athletes to compete in the Pan American Games. The USOC covers all expenses for the U.S. Team participating in the Pan American Games every four years (travel, entry fees, lodging, meals, background checks, etc.) and provides all team athletes and staff with Pan American Games apparel. Pan American athletes become eligible to receive EAHI during the years in which they are on the Pan Am Team. BENEFIT FOR ATHLETES AND TEAM STAFF (estimate savings of $10,000)

b. Other USOC Events. By being a recognized NGB, the USOC provides the pathway for participation in other events such as the Olympic Festival and World Games. This allows our sport to be recognized at the same level as the Olympic sports at those multi-sport mega-events. BENEFIT FOR ATHLETES AND TEAM STAFF

 

4. Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI)

a. Six athletes currently receive EAHI valued at an approximate value of $6,000 per athlete per year. This is an annual program in which athletes are eligible based upon Pan American Games and IWWF Rankings. BENEFIT TO ATHLETES ($36,000)

 

 

5. Operation Gold

a. The Operation Gold Program has provided direct athlete funding since 2001. The program was revised in recent years to only apply to the Pan Am Games (2011, 2015, etc.) or World Championships (2013, 2017, etc.) during the odd year. USA Water Ski has been able to use an event that mirrors the World Championships in other years – the Masters in 2012, 2014 and 2016 – in an effort to provide support for our elite athletes. Prize money is limited to one award per athlete with the athlete winning more than one medal receiving only the highest individual amount.

b. Pan American Games prize money for 2015 was as follows: 1st Place - $2,850; 2nd Place - $2,350; 3rd Place - $1,800.

c. In non- Pan American Games years, the award is as follows: 1st Place - $2,500; 2nd Place - $2,000; 3rd Place - $1,500, 4th Place - $1,000. BENEFIT TO ATHLETES ($15,000 - $30,000 annually)

 

6. Corporate Partnerships

a. Hilton Partnership. USA Water Ski receives a quarterly check from Hilton for support of their marketing efforts. Our members receive discounted rates for all Hilton family properties (15%) that are better than the AAA/AARP discounted rates (10%). MEMBER BENEFIT; BENEFIT TO USA WATER SKI ($7,000)

b. United Airlines Partnership. United Airlines provides discounts and various services for members. MEMBER BENEFIT.

 

7. Educational Sessions and Support

a. USOC Educational Programs. Several NGB educational opportunities are offered to all Olympic and Pan American NGBs including the following where the USOC pays for one USA-WS representative to attend (room, board & travel):

 Marketing symposia to help NGBs collaborate on marketing initiatives

 Best Practice Seminars for NGB staff

 Olympic Assembly

 Coaches symposia

 Legal symposia

 Sports Link

BENEFIT TO USA WATER SKI (Cost to attend would be $800 per session per person)

 

8. Other Athlete Services

a. Additional Services. Opportunities and services are available to our sport including the following:

 Injured athlete use of Olympic Training Center facilities and medical staff for rehabilitation.

 Use of Olympic Training Center & dorms for clinics such as the AWSA Sr. Officials Clinic in 2006. There is a daily per person cost for room/board to use the Olympic Training Center.

 Support for athletes looking for employment through the Athlete Career Services Dept.

BENEFITS TO USA WATER SKI AND USA WATER SKI ATHLETES but not available to non-NGBs

 

 

9. Insurance Requirements

The USOC has established minimum insurance requirements for all NGBs. The USA Water Ski Insurance Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of our insurance program and no changes to the coverage limits were recommended. A significant number of member clubs require a certificate of insurance in order to gain access to their local waterways. The coverage provided by USA Water Ski meets the needs of 99% of our member clubs and for the clubs that we do not provide the minimum requirement, we have found a way to provide the additional coverage needed. MEMBER CLUB BENEFIT

 

10. Team USA Website

USA Water Ski is included with all Olympic and Pan American sports on the USOC website.

 

11. USOC Representation

a. NGB Council. USA Water Ski is represented with an equal vote at the USOC NGB Council and has access to information that supports all NGBs.

b. USOC AAC Representative. USA Water Ski has voice and voting rights through our athlete representatives on the USOC Athletes Advisory Committee.

 

12. Developmental Grants

In 2014, the USOC provided USA Water Ski with an NGB developmental grant to support our technology efforts. This was used to purchase computers and cell phones for those who were using their own personal computers and devices for USA Water Ski business. (BENEFIT $4,500 in 2014).

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

FINANCIAL BENEFIT FINANCIAL COST

Operation Gold Awards

2016 - $28,000 to U.S. athletes (Masters)

2015 - $12,650 to U.S. athletes (Pan American Games)

2014 - $18,000 to U.S. athletes (Masters)

2013 - $12,000 to U.S. athletes (IWWF World Championships) Safe Sport Program $10,000 paid by USA Water Ski beginning in 2017

Elite Athlete Heath Insurance

$6,000 annual benefit to U.S. athletes

Developmental Grants

$4,500 (in 2014) to USA Water Ski

Hilton Partnership

$7,000 annual benefit to USA Water Ski

USADA Testing

$5,000 - $8,000 savings in testing fees when event is approved by USADA as a world championship event

Pan American Games Participation

$10,000 savings to attend – funded by USOC

 

 

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As @oldjeep alluded to it appears that most of the benefit goes to a small group of elite athletes. In addition for some of the benefit at no cost items I am not sure what the real benefit is. For example USOC recognition giving USAWaterski a presence I am not sure has any value.
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For me the question is what has it cost us to be part of USOC. What is the real cost benefit analysis?

 

Correct me if I have this wrong but my understanding is as follows...

AWSA had to unify the other "towed sports" to meet the requirements of USOC. As a result AWSA became just part of the larger USAWS&WS. The result is we have lost control of our destiny. The reply is always that we are stronger together especially in the case of insurance but a bigger bureaucracy is NEVER better.

 

AWSA should be run like a nimble small business without a corporate office restraining our actions. If there is one thing to learn from INT is that one guy (Rick Stocks*) was trying to make money so he treated it like a business. Every member that left was money out of his pocket.

 

Think about this. Members vote for the AWSA board and then that board votes for the USAWS board (or something like that). Do we need all these layers of decision making?

 

Most of us define ourselves as slalom skiers or 3 event skiers. Do we ever want anyone from ANY other sport of discipline making decisions for the sport? I want to be a part of an organization run by 3 event skiers for 3 event skiers. If Showskiers want to team up with us JUST for insurance - whatever as long as we do our thing and they do their thing.

 

(*Rick always claimed it was not for profit but seriously...)

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The problem is that 99.9% of waterskiers don't give 2 rips about any of those things. Except for a discount at Hilton and UA. And even then, the internet has made even those costs a commodity for most of us. You've got some elite skiers that go to Worlds and Panams that benefit and they're the only ones!!!! This is such a lopsided thing it's crazy.
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@BoneHead and they are literally pro athletes.

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and where is @jdarwin when we need him?

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Second time this week I've had to give myself an off-topic

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One advantage of being associated with the USOC for AWSA is with insurance (GL, PA, and D&O) and our ability to secure competitive insurance rates on your behalf. I would venture if AWSA were to go off on its own, it would be a challenge to get the same insurance coverage at the same premiums.

 

Obviously, as the national governing body only USA-WSWS can send teams to represent the US in international competitions sanctioned by IWWF, etc. – so AWSA would lose that opportunity as well.

 

Our only “cost” to be part of the USOC is our payments to SafeSport ($9,000/year) - there are no dues to the USOC (there are dues to IWWF and Pan Am Confederation - $1650). On the surface it may look like most of the benefit is going to six athletes (I agree) however we’re looking at things in the near future w/ the USOC that would benefit USA-WSWS more as a whole - like using the USOC website platform ($40-$50k/year in revenue) and utilizing NGB Partnership Services shared services like HR and finance (meaning we wouldn’t need a paid finance person on staff – a $50,000+ annual savings, etc).

 

The thing about having to get background checked and SafeSport certified in order to compete in international competitions for Team USA we have to realize that without the USOC relationship and recognition as the NGB, we wouldn’t be able to compete in those events anyway (at least not as Team USA).

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Reading the iwwf rule book , in rule 4 nowhere is it stated nor implied that a team for international championship must be associated with any ioc/ usoc nor any other affiliate of either enity. Just that a national team's country be associated with the iwwf.

The only international championship that is connected to a Olympic type organization is the pan am games. That championship Is only for the americas, North , South and Canada.

 

The insurance aspect is secondary only for personal injury during competition. Many times in board meetings the insurance issues have arisen where very well educated members have stated that other event insurance could be attained for competitions at lesser cost then what is currently maintained.

 

The safe sport initiative looks good on paper but whether it can sustain a decision after a legal challenge will remain to be seen. Usaws and awsa does not have a good track record once the legal beagles get involved in a disciplinary action.

 

It still looks as though the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

 

The sales pitch was good though!

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I don't think the "6" skier reading is accurate. How many skiers ski in Senior Worlds? Junior Worlds? Pan Ams, Can Ams, etc. It sounds like all these opportunities would go away as a AWSA dis-affiliated with USAWS would not be part of the IWWF.

 

So nobody from the US could set World Records? Nobody from the US could be on the world rankings list? I'm pretty far down but admit that I enjoy seeing my name on the list and moving up a bit on it over the past few years. And I'm not not quite good enough to ski in the Senior Worlds, but it is a realistic goal of mine if I am able to continue improving and stay healthy (and some of my better competitors die off). I ski in the little 'ol East but know a bunch of skiers who have competed in some of these tournaments and our region is better off for it.

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I could be wrong but I don't think that skiers would be unable to compete at world events as individuals or be on the rankings list but there wouldn't be funding available or the money identified above. Individual skiers can currently go compete in those events not as part of the US team. I would expect the same is true of world records. I don't know what setting a world record has to do with being part of the USOC.

 

As I said though I could be wrong about my perspective on all of this.

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@Chef23 I'm specifically looking at this section from above: "The IWWF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international governing body for water skiing worldwide. In order to be an IWWF national federation, the federation must be recognized by the USOC as the NGB."

 

If we aren't part of USAWS, we wouldn't be "recognized by the USOC," thus not a IWWF national federation. Not sure how scores or participants from a non-IWWF national federation (which we wouldn't be if we weren't part of USAWS) could be included in IWWF rankings or events.

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@jcamp What that means is that there wouldn't be an official "US Team" recognized. Individuals who are qualified would be allowed to compete. The US could also put together a team but it's unlikely it would be formally recognized since it wasn't part of the official process. Either way, the primary point is the affiliation with USOC does provide some benefits including "paving the way" to compete at some of these major events.

 

As for the "6 skiers" comment. That basically deals with the USOC provided health insurance. It may apply to other contact points as well. The health insurance is a pretty big bit of support for those who get it.

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@klindy I still contend that scores set in competitions sanctioned by non-IWWF entities would not be eligible for the IWWF world rankings list (or IWWF world records). Thus US skiers won't be able to be qualified for the worlds and other international unless they compete out of the country in other IWWF national federations.

 

Just one complication that I can think of off the top of my head is the R and L tournament requirements that a Pan American judge be there. That is not likely to happen. USAWS would claim that they are THE NGB in the US and pressure the IWWF to not allow Pan American judges to participate in non-USAWS events. I'm sure there are other similar obstacles.

 

Looking at it another way, would the IWWF have ever accepted INT scores for the world rankings list? Would USAWS have ever allowed its judges or its certification process to be used by INT to submit scores to the IWWF list? No, they would't have.

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Come on guys go look at rule 4 on the iwsf rule book. USOC/IOC has nothing to do with weather a team or competitor can ski in a world championship. The only requirement is that the national governing body of that team or competitor be affiliated with the iwwsf. Same ideology as with r and l competition and records.

 

Pan am games are the only team event where the affiliation with the USOC/IOC is required. Pan am games do not allow for individual competition.

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From @Jody_Seal's post: "The only requirement is that the national governing body of that team or competitor be affiliated with the iwwsf."

 

From earlier in the thread: "In order to be an IWWF national federation, the federation must be recognized by the USOC as the NGB."

 

Am I missing something here?

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I went to the rulebook. The very first line reads: "Each Federation which is affiliated with the IWWF shall have the right to select a team of skiers to represent their Federation in the World Championships."

 

Any new organization would have to be recognized by the USOC in order to be affiliated by the IWWF. Same probably goes for scores to get onto the world rankings list or into the worlds as a non-team member.

 

Also, rule 16.02 reads "Records may be set only at tournaments homologated as a Record Capability Event by the IWWF, a Confederation, a Federation, or the Tournament Council of the IWWF." Any record set at a non-USAWS sanctions event would not be recognized as an IWWF world record.

 

And @Jody_Seal while we are "chatting," do you still have that yellow 197 for sale?

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