Central Zone Conference Call

Thursday, April 8, 2004

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EDT


Present: Ron Van Pool, President, USA Swimming BOD; Julie Bare, Central Zone Director; Eric Nelson, Central Zone Director; Betty Kooy, Central Zone Secretary; Pat Hogan, USA Swimming Staff; Carol Burch, USA Swimming Staff; Larry Herr, USA Swimming Staff; Randy Julian, USA Swimming Staff; Arlene McDonald, Indiana; George Bruce, Missouri Valley; Gerry Pfau, North Dakota; Jerry Herzog, Oklahoma; John Robbins, South Dakota; Mary Losee, Midwestern; Paul Jones, Jr, Michigan; Sarah Tobin, Lake Erie; and Tom Jones, Arkansas.


Ron Van Pool opened with comments regarding the whys of the call. General Chairs want more communication. Conference calls to each Zone are being tried. Staff will give remarks regarding their programs. All may ask questions and discuss.


Randy Julian is working with Central Zone LSCs. He will visit ND and SD, MW and IA in the near future. The Club Leadership program is being offered for new programs as well as older programs. There is no fee if done through the LSCs. There is a $500 charge to an individual team. Arlene asked if his visits were random or invited. Randy indicated that they are both. He will visit all CZ LSCs.


Carol Burch informed those present that a General Chairs’ meeting had been put in the budget for next year. The memos for the Presidential At-Large delegates to Convention went in the mail. Convention information will go out in May. LSCs are asked to have a policy regarding the minors going to Convention (a medical release form, attach them to an adult for supervision, and a release from the parents are recommended). Legislative deadline is May 15. April 9 is the deadline for the Safety Chairs’ meeting. April 15 is the deadline for the referees’ meeting in Dallas over the Memorial Day weekend. Cost is $200 registration fee and travel. USA Swimming will pay for hotel and meals while in Dallas. Membership is ahead of last year for the time of the year.


Pat Hogan discussed items going on with Club Development. Some of the dues increase programs include: Staff increase with Bob Steele and Jon Urbancek starting part-time in September as Master Coach mentors; interviews are being conducted for facilities development director; the Director of Field Services will be hired at the end of the long course season; a sports performance consultant will be added to staff; Elaine Gross has been hired for video resources; an assistant will be hired. There are about 20 projects in the works including 2 motivational videos that will be available to all clubs; there is a diving safety study (racing starts) which will be on the website; new equipment is being purchased in the video area
There was discussion of the HS/Club relationships. MO and MN are working through their legislatures. Connecticut has asked for help. Missouri is concerned as to whether they will get anything done and have hired a lobbiest hoping that this will put pressure on the HS activities association to make concessions. If not, it will force the legislature to act. The position of the NGB is that HS swimmers are expected to meet HS participation requirements but beyond that the HS activities associations do not have the right to tell a swimmer or any athlete what they can do with the rest of their time.
Sarah Tobin stated that things are working in Ohio within ‘specific rules’. Pat says contact him with HS problems and concerns.
Expanded coach education with web-based conferencing will launch in September and will be done monthly. The Club Recognition Program is evaluating clubs and being used to strengthen club programs.
There will be a major redesign of the USA Swimming Website – to make it more available and accessible with sections for Coaches, Parents, Clubs, Athletes, Swimmers, Volunteers with information readily available!
10-12 classes have been scheduled for Club Leadership schools. The Club Excllence program applications are due April 16. Paradigm Clinics will be at Lake Placid bassed on Boomer clinics. The Boys in Sport committee is meeting every three weeks via conference calls as a way of putting a focus on the issue and sharing suggestions.


Larry Herr discussed the new website. The website and the SWIMS database will be more and more connected. It will launch in 6-8 weeks. Ability to preprove times from all LSCs, recon to preprove registration, an event checker much like the recon program, other added features are on the list. Hopefully the lessons from the past have been learned. Navigation will be improved and role-driven.


Recruiting and retention was discussed. What is the LSC role for helping clubs recruit and retain swimmers? The May/June issue of Splash will include an article on recruiting and retention with an emphasis on the phenomenon of increased registrations in the Olympic years and that young coaches need to watch the US athletes do some fantastic things in Greece and capitalize on their success. Retaining of officials was also discussed.


Support from USA Swimming back to the LSCs for unique programs was discussed. MN has a model program for retention and wishes to share with USA Swimming. This has been passed to the Education Committee. Also discussed was the problem of one club that has been audited by their state for not paying sales tax on meet entry fees. That particular club faces a penalty plus back taxes. It was suggested that each LSC be aware of their state regulations regarding sales taxes. Being a 501 3C entity does not exempt that entity from state sales taxes.


LSC Websites have a lot of information on them. The Counselors’ Committee is looking into some privacy issues. When posting information relative to registration be very judicious as to what is put on the websites. (USA Swimming is receiving challenges.) As the ID# is a critical part of the swimmer identification, this has critical implications for the new website and its launch date. Most LSCs are posting their by-laws on their websites. Those that are not doing so currently have plans to do so in the near future.


Regarding the conference call format, most were pleased with the knowledge gained and it was suggested that this be done once a quarter to keep the General Chairs of the LSCs informed regarding activities at the national level.


Meeting Adjourned.



Betty Kooy

Central Zone Secretary