I'll be posting here weekly what I know of Board activity.
Four new people were elected to the Board. Another person was re-elected. We have a new President, VP of Competition, and Recording Secretary. Remaining on the Executive Committee were the VP of Clubs and the VP of Finance.
President Kris Beecroft charged a new Communications Committee / Task Force with a mission to find a good solution for two-way communication between the Board and the membership of Orienteering USA. Boris Granovskiy is taking the lead and is in active conversation with a number of OUSA members interested in helping. Please contact him if you have any ideas on this topic, or any other communications matter for OUSA.
Board member Greg Lennon raced for Team USA at the World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships in Lithuania last week and also met with IOF MTBO representative Sandor Talas to discuss US MTBO development.
The Finance Committee has scheduled two meetings this week. VP of Finance Pat Meehan reviewed the monthly finances on Friday with Kris, Executive Director Glen Schorr and OUSA accountant Robin Shannonhouse.
The Executive Committee is planning on a biweekly meeting.
We have been reaching out to the committee heads and others whose roles are listed on the OUSA website. We are asking about who is on the committee, what the committee has been up to, what they plan to do, and any suggestions for change.
Mary Jane Stout had previously stepped down from Safety Committee Chair, and there has been no replacement to date. She has written a list of ongoing tasks and uncompleted tasks that a new Committee should take on. These are under discussion.
Ed Scott is retiring as Boy Scout Liaison. He did phenomenal work getting the Scouting manual changed, and, in particular, effected change in the language about the orienteering merit badge. It’s much more aligned with our sport now. Ed’s son created the website www.scoutorienteering.com
If anyone has suggestions for who might take on Scouting and other outdoor youth organizations, please let us know.
Cathy Yekenevicz handled anti-doping for several years. Now, she recommends changes commensurate with the move to electronic systems: that a person close to each team handle communication about anti-doping, temporary use exemptions, and the like. Alex Jospe, VP of Competition, will determine next steps.
The Environment and Land Access Committee is important, as these topics are central to OUSA’s mission, and we are seeking recommendations for a new Chair.
FLO had to cancel a training camp due to the hurricane in Florida. The junior training camp scheduled for Minnesota will be converted into a coaching clinic run by US Coach Erin Schirm to support local orienteering growth. There are a couple training camps in the works; contact Erin for details.
Alex Jospe has talked with Boris Granovskiy, Erin Schirm, and Ed Despard as part of the Sports Working Group, to discuss ideas for small changes that will have big effect on our National Event structure.
Kris has been meeting with OUSA staff and members since her election to President. She is arranging a Board retreat this fall to allow in-depth review of goals and the best ways to achieve them, and inform our 2017 budget.
Kudos to Ed Scott and his work over the years to support O in Scouting. MASOC was/is a massive undertaking. He will be hard to replace. I'm glad to see that the Scout badge is now more aligned with the sport. We get many requests from scout groups to give O training and in the past I've been hesitant to encourage that because of the difference in the objectives but now with the re-alignment, its more worth O club's time (from a promoting the sport of O point of view) to work with Scout troops.
Speaking of scouts, I'm not sure if this it the right place to bring this up, but I think the new Board should look into increasing the number of permanent courses as a way of growing the sport and reaching out to new people. I think permanent courses have gotten the short shrift in the past because they are not really on the radar of the competitive O'ers who are most active in the administration of the sport. The scout connection comes in because a permanent course is a great scout project - and I suspect many of our courses were built that way.
This is not a new idea, but perhaps a new administration can give it a new start.
BAOC has several permanent courses built by Scouts. The problem we have is that the scouts move on and the course markers fall into disrepair. The markers are usually one-off and no one wants to construct more.
One problem with permanent courses is the trail that forms to every control. Better is something movable. I created some movable markers using real estate sign holders, some NFC tags, QR codes and control code on an orange and white background, all laminated to the sign holder rod. Easy to stick in the ground, portable, rugged, a few bucks a piece of materials, quick to assemble. It's only good for places not visible from a trail, i.e.Yellow and higher difficulty, and forest rather than lawn, not busy locations. But many markers will fare poorly if accessible to those inclined to cause damage.
Yes, permanent courses take work, just like any event, and there is no instant gratification of seeing people use it, but I think it is worth investing in. Is there really so much traffic that elephant tracks form to the controls? If they get that much use, it would be worth the effort to redesign them from time to time. Or you could design multiple courses with multiple approaches to the same control, or just present it at a Score to alleviate this. With the popularity of geocaching, I would think permanent courses could make a comeback. Perhaps we need to put a cache in each one...
I've seen significant tracks to permanent controls many times. Easy movability is what I was suggesting. Some markers are more movable than others (which also raises the risk of theft, but makes it easier to move the locations yearly).
@jjtong, it's not so much that there is a huge volume of traffic, but that use of the same route is periodically repeated. Vegetation recovers quickly after a single day O event because it is allowed to heal, traffic-free. Even if there is not a lot of traffic volume, the repeat injuries to the same vegetation, and repeat soil compaction over time, eventually lead to a path forming.
Mike is so right. At the Canmore Nordic Centre permanent course we have installed around 100 "posts". Each year we set courses that use about 40 of the posts. This way we try to address the problem of trails forming. It is somewhat effective.
More effective is that we are starting to use more and more the posts that are on the trails, as most people who seem to be doing the courses are beginner level in any case.
AZ's method seems easiest as you only need to install the markers once (and maintain them) and just change the maps regularly. Much simpler to print new maps than to move around 30 posts every year. And if someone does happen to come back with a copy of an older map, it will still work.
AZ, mike point taken, thanks
BFLO does a great job with annual "Map Hikes" which use 4" x 4" (?) plastic O placards that are quickly wired to a tree. They are a small club but have one person for each park to place/remove controls each year. They sell the maps for each park (there are 5 or 6) and reward those that complete multiple [score-o format] courses over the year. I think they are getting popular because there have been signs of light "trails" to a few of the controls this year. For training, this is much better than a permanent course.
Recent activity of which I am aware:
- The Grievance Committee is chaired by J-J Cote, and also includes Charlie DeWeese and George Minarik. The Committee meets only when there is a grievance to consider.
- We have started to hear from people in response to our requests for help on committees, but still need to fill positions. Let us know if you are interested in, or can recommend people for outreach to scouts and other outdoor youth organizations, environment and land access, and any other committee. Allison Brown and Peter Goodwin are interested in the environment/land access committee. Brian Coleman from RMOC is interested in helping with the scouting liaison role; he works with the National Jamborees and teaches orienteering one week each year to scout leaders at the Philmont Scout Ranch in NM; he works with Ralph Courtney and Don Winn from NTOA on that.
- We are in discussion with Bill Langton, Chair of JTESC, and Erin Schirm, about whether and how to revive the Safety Committee.
- Peter Goodwin will be taking over background checks. Please refer to the Safety Handbook on the OUSA website to know who needs background checks.
- Bob Turbyfill created our current coaching certification program as well as skill certification levels posted on the OUSA website. We will post the information about the coaching levels online; currently those refer to the OUSA coaching manual that is not available electronically. Chuck Ferguson and Bob are both interested in continuing to contribute to OUSA coaching certification. Erin is developing an approach that incorporates knowledge of child and athlete development. We would like to see that committee revitalized and working together to support an updated coaching certification program.
- The Finance Committee held three meetings, and is focusing on the following areas: (1) aligning transaction categories with budget categories, and integrating the team fund accounting into our main accounting system, (2) understanding and reporting on our current financial status and recent trends to help in creating the 2017 budget and beyond, and (3) updating our financial policies. In the most recent meeting, we discussed our current operating reserve fund policy and updating it to be sure we can cover restricted and designated funds as well as operating expenses. We have also spent some time researching the endowment. The committee will provide the Board with financial reports and information in advance of the retreat to inform discussions about 2017 budget priorities.
- The Executive Committee plans to meet this Thursday (tomorrow).
The Board retreat has been scheduled for Dec 3-4 in Virginia, with a goal of taking a deep dive into OUSA priorities and operations. Kris is building the agenda based on feedback from board members. The retreat will start with goals and vision with reference to our mission statement. We will discuss finances and marketing, and other topics.
Kevin Teschendorf clarified with the insurance company that insurance works as most of us understood: any club-approved orienteering activity is covered, regardless of whether a certificate has been requested. (The purpose of the certificates is to explicitly name additional insured, usually the landowners.) OUSA aims to equitably divide up the cost of insurance by charging clubs proportionately to the number of official starts they have in club events. I spoke with Kris, and it’s likely that we will want to publish information about the insurance with a clear explanation of what is covered by the insurance, and recommendations about how to deal with things like training events. I’m also interested in reviewing the cost of insurance and comparing that to the amount we charge clubs. We also need to take another look at the team insurance for 2017.
Thanks, Barb! I really appreciate these updates.
Thanks. So far a few people have expressed appreciation for the updates; a few others have responded with offers to help out in one way or another; and a couple people have expressed concern that too-frequent updates will result in people not listening. My personal opinion is that we need to share this informal update, because even within the board we don't always know what is happening, and people can choose to just not read it if it is too much. For this update, I did not do what I did the first time and send it to all the club contacts, partly because of those concerns and also because the official monthly update went out recently. I will share this update with the club contacts in a consolidated way with the next update.
I appreciate the updates and the current cadence works for me.
These are great. Keep it up. In a month or so, more has been provided from the board than in the past forever.
It's nice to have a periodic summary like this. Once a month or so seems like a decent interval to stay in the loop but not so often that you'd be tempted to skim or ignore..
We already have a monthly newsletter that Glen has been generating for a while - and continues to generate. Here, I'm providing more detail, with a focus on topics that non-board members might want to contribute to as well, and currently I feel that once a month is too long for a real conversation to develop and for us to keep moving on some things. Maybe it will settle back down once the dust settles. I bet it will.
This is great. It's nice to know what's going on! A lot, it seems.
I have been trying to collect notes on OUSA policies
into one place; it's pretty informal, but here is what I currently have
Great document, Barb, what a excellent step towards making this information accessible.
I wondered if the bit beginning "Hired and non-owned auto liability coverage" was intended to be a separate bullet item.
The Environment and Land Access Committee is starting up again. We are seeking additional members, particularly in the area of fulfilling OUSA’s mission to “promote enjoyment of, and respect for, the environment.”
Betsy Hawes manages the Little Troll program, which is aimed at younger children in clubs. She sends materials (cards and stickers) to clubs that request them. Children who complete a String-O or White course at an OUSA club event, accompanied by a parent, earn a sticker. After earning enough stickers, you get a patch.
The Sanctioning Committee is headed by Tom Nolan; other members are Boris Granovskiy, Cristina Luis, Dennis Wildfogel, George Walker, Peter Dady and Steve Shannonhouse. Tom sent the Board a report on October 25th describing the process, recent activity, and ideas for what needs improvement. (The report was posted on BOD-net.) BAOC has bid for the US Ultralong Championships. Two A events have been sanctioned in the last month, and two are under consideration. The sanctioning application form has been updated.
Tom points out that we need more support for clubs hosting national meets, and more oversight to ensure that plans are carried out. It would be good to have Event Consultant, Event Controller, Course Consultant and Course Controller working on every meet; it may be that OUSA could centralize some of those functions, and some may warrant payment. Tom also suggests that advance planning and active recruitment of clubs would improve our national offerings and make things easier for clubs.
The Equipment Committee is now headed by Ed Despard; he is recruiting additional members. The Committee manages electronic timing equipment available for rental to clubs. Currently there are 75 epunch boxes and about 250 SI cards. There are expenses of several hundred dollars a year to maintain the equipment, for example installing new batteries. The equipment useful for smaller clubs and/or for clubs putting on a large meet. For example, TOC uses them for the February meet, and they will be used for the June meet in Idaho. Ed is interested in moving management of the aging equipment out to a club, and looking into acquiring new equipment that is not generally owned yet by clubs. Please contact Ed if you are interested in being on the Committee. We are enormously grateful to Valerie Meyer for obtaining, maintaining, shipping, and otherwise caring for the equipment for many years!
US Army Col. Mark Read is the Chair of the Military Development Committee. He has identified two promising growth opportunities. USMA has been the only service academy with an orienteering team for far too long. USMA is actively partnering with the Naval Academy to build a team there; Quantico OC has also supported this effort. He is also working with the Coast Guard Academy to build a team. Another opportunity is Army ROTC; there the goal is to connect ROTC programs with clubs, and to help ROTC programs understand the many benefits of orienteering to their mission of leader development. Please contact us or Col. Read if you would like to help out with these efforts.
Greg Fasig has joined Brian Coleman on outreach to Boy Scouts.
Sara Mae Berman was the last Chair of the Convention Committee, holding that role for about ten years. During that time, Conventions were held in NH, GA, CO and NY. Conventions are a wonderful way to bring OUSA members together from around the country, to share ideas and build skills -- and have fun! Since Sara Mae stepped down, the Committee has been inactive. We would like to reactivate this Committee - please do let us know if you are interested!
We are seeking members to join Bob Turbyfill and Chuck Ferguson in supporting Erin Schirm as he revamps the coaching certification program. Erin has some really exciting new ideas, and will build on the great program built by Bob, Chuck and Mary Jo Childs, among others. We are looking not so much for people with skills in coaching - but also people with project management, marketing and logistics skills to help roll out the new program. Contact Kris Beecroft if you would like to contribute in any of these ways.
The next Executive Committee will be held November 10th. We will hear from the VP of Competition and talk about committee reporting structure.
The Board will meet by phone in November and again in December. An announcement will be made with an agenda once the time and date are finalized. The November meeting will probably address a championship bid, OUSA organizational structure, check signing authority and insurance. The December meeting will probably be about the 2017 budget, and review of recent decisions and recommendations from committees. In addition, Board members have been invited to a retreat in early December to talk about our goals and how to get there.
At NAOC, Board members Ian Smith, Boris Granovskiy, Kris Beecroft, and Executive Director Glen Schorr, met with Tom Hollowell, the President of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF). Topics included holding the World Games in Alabama in 2021, the possibility of hosting WMOC in the USA in 2022, World Orienteering Day, relationships between OUSA and IOF, and marketing and publicity. For more information on those discussions, please contact Ian Smith (who took notes), or any of the other attendees.
It would be good to have Event Consultant, Event Controller, Course Consultant and Course Controller working on every meet
Has this ever happened so far? I think the standard setup has been that A-meets get a Course Consultant, and championship A-meets also get an Event Controller.
WREs get an IOF controller. I'm not sure we have event controllers for championships that aren't WREs. (National [A] meets do have a course consultant assigned.)
What's the gain in having both consultants and controllers for an event?
The difference between a course consultant and a course controller is reasonably large. The consultant advises the course designer about courses and the controller can dictate changes. This issue, however, for a course controller is that you can't dictate anything if you haven't been on the ground and seen the area. For the NAOC2016, Stefan Bergstrom was the IOF event advisor who played a similar role as a course controller (except he dealt with the entire event, not just the courses). In his role relating to the courses, he visited Hanover twice before the event with his expenses paid by NAOC2016. If the OUSA goes to a "controller" model for National Meets, it will increase the cost for those holding the events. It may be good idea to make this change but it may also increase the difficulty for clubs to run events.
To be clear, I didn't advocate that sanctioned events staff all those positions. One of my goals was to increase feedback from events. I merely pointed out that there is a rule requiring feedback from the OUSA controllers and consultants, if we appoint them. But clearly there are other ways to achieve that goal.
Thanks for the comments and clarifications.
It would be good to have meaningful post-event analysis, with feedback to the hosting club and the sanctioning committee, regardless of whether there are officials with oversight or providing support. If we could also build up a stable of communicating controllers and consultants, some of the "lessons learned" would be more likely to be retained for future events.
Having event controllers is the only way now to get an acceptable quality for maps/courses on the national meets. The system of honest feedback is ruined entirely by domination of big-loud-mouth WASPs in here and elsewhere inside USOF, when one is not allowed to use less then "wonderful", and "good" is considered an insult.
Anyone who wants to can send me feedback on any sanctioned event at the OUSA sanctioning email address. If you want your comments to be unattributed, I will respect your wishes. I will not take into account largeness of mouth or ancestral religious beliefs.
why all the attention to feedback from national events? my impression over the years is that national events are liked by those who attend. There have been occasional mistakes made over the years, but overall the events seem fine.
If you do want easy feedback, I would suggest doing what I do from time to time, scan attackpoint training logs of those who attend an event. I thought this gave me a very good indication of what people thought of a particular event. There are many comments about courses, map and the overall production.
As for PGoodwin's comment that using controllers "may also increase the difficulty for clubs to run events", I don't know why that would be. Having a controller available could actually make hosting an event easier on a club and with OUSA covering the costs of the controller it wouldn't be a financial burden either.
Whether having OUSA pay for the controllers is a good idea or not is something that can be debated. However, previously, OUSA has not paid for controllers. For the NAOC2016, NAOC 2016 paid for all the costs of the equivalent of a controller although the duties were for the entire event. This would have to be an additional budget item in the future.
Why would a hosting committee/club for a major event like NAOC not want as the best controller/consultant they could get? Why cut corners for a few bucks?
There was no question about the NAOC2016 paying for this. Actually, an IOF Event Advisor is required for WRE events and paying for the expenses for these people is required by IOF. We had a great event advisor and his assistance was important for insuring the quality of the event. We had many checks and balances related to the event quality but the event advisor helped make things easier. On a slightly different topic, one thing that the US orienteering community needs to do is to get more IOF event advisors. If you have interest in becoming one, it would be worth looking into it. There are only two event advisors in the US while Canada has eight. This means that the US doesn't have local advisors and people have to travel greater distances (which costs money).
Vote PG for event advisor.
I'll second the nomination for PGoodwin for event advisor.
@jman: I'm not sure Mr Goodwin is the PG to whom Gord was referring...
...But I agree with you that he'd be an excellent IOF Event Advisor.
Peter Grollman? He moved back to Switzerland.
I'm surprised that having an IOF Event and Course Advisor for NAOC didn't catch the problems with the sprint map and WRE sprint courses
Just north of #109 (#1 on Blue), the crossable wall actually connects to the building to its west (the sidewalk doesn't go through). This wall is along the best and most obvious route, and it's not mapped correctly. Yes, it's a small problem, and yes, the route is legally passable both as mapped and in real life. But sprint races are won by mere seconds, and this caused some competitors to make slight hesitations ("What is this? Is it legal to cross?"). This should have been caught and fixed.
But the biggest blunder was #64 (#21 on Blue, #20 on Red WRE). The map is not even remotely close to accurate here. The bridge ends at the side of the building
, so there's no way to access the control via the bridge. Looking at the routes on RouteGadget, at least one person attempted to cross the bridge before realizing that the map was wrong.
The only remaining access into the control was via a narrow, rocky slope
. This would normally be fine, except that this was a dogleg for the Red WRE courses, meaning that Red WRE runners are trying to go back up this as Blue and Red WRE runners are trying to go down. Not only was the map inaccurate here, but placing a dogleg control here was poor planning. Since both WRE courses went here, I'm shocked that this happened.
In the grand scheme of things, these issues were minor, and I only raise them because it's an IOF event where an IOF event controller/advisor was paid to prevent these sorts of things from happening.
The lesson from the NAOC sprint map should be to choose a mapper who is familiar with, and agrees with ISSOM before hiring them to make you a sprint map. A sprint mapper should probably have competed in at least one sprint on an ISSOM map, and should have an understanding of the importance of detailed drafting and clarity as it effects runners at speed.
I don't disagree, Ed.
But it's more than just mapper. With the bridge example, the mapper was there (and got it wrong), and the course planner was there (and didn't notice that it was wrong, and didn't think about the resulting narrow dogleg issue), and the paid IOF controller came over twice, and didn't catch the map and design issues.
No map is going to be perfect, but a course designer can help notice errors and either fix them or avoid them. No course design is going to be perfect, but an IOF controller can help fix them. This example went across three separate desks (two of which were paid for).
I guess today is the day.
I trust you will have a 'good win', Peter.
Whether having OUSA pay for the controllers is a good idea or not is something that can be debated
Given OUSA's budget issues, that would be a rather short debate.
And, if you did have the money, you should first pay the people actually putting on the meets, rather than a controller. If you do that, you'll get more meets. Econ 101.
Ok, so here comes the sanctimonious chorus of "you should want to volunteer for orienteering". No, you should want to volunteer for the local food bank or disaster relief and on behalf of others in society who have had really bad luck thru no fault of their own, not affluent people running around in pajamas. Ignore the economics at your own peril (which, of course, has been done forever, and look where we are).
Oh, and where are we gonna get the money to pay rank and file workers to put on more meets? I'll leave expense repurposing as an exercise for the reader.
CascadeOC hired an event director in late 2014. We set an all-time high for club starts in 2015. We're going to break that record in 2016.
In order to pay for this, we had to raise some entry fees. And yet we're still getting the same amount of people coming out, which means that we were undervaluing the product beforehand.
Also, an indirect result of the perma-director is that we can expand our offerings and have more events. For example, there wouldn't be SART if we didn't have our event director, because that freed me up to organize new things.
Could you pls summarize what the event director does, how much time they spend, how you pay them (by the hour? full time?), and how they interact with volunteers? Feel free to point me elsewhere if you've already explained this!
Yes, that's very interesting. I've seen professionally run weekly events in Oslo by a man who ran them as a one man show. I hadn't known (or forgot) that a club in North America made a paid meet director work in an ongoing way.
"And, if you did have the money, you should first pay the people actually putting on the meets, rather than a controller."
I think the previous comments were about paying the controller's expenses, not paying the controller him/herself. I would think that most clubs would pay for volunteers' expenses, whether external or internal to the club. I would also hope that most clubs would see enough value in having a controller to warrant paying his/her expenses.
As for paying for his/her time (or any other event organizers time), that's definitely a different issue.
Here's how I think about it: You get people who are willing to do all the jobs. Some will be able to afford to volunteer their time. Some people will need to get paid, because this is their only work, or they otherwise need the money. Others will not only be able to volunteer, but also make additional donations of money. We are all in different life situations, and we all want to help orienteering to succeed.
Some important roles really benefit from having someone who is competent and has a certain amount of time. Often it works well to pay people covering that sort of role. I don't care whether it is controller, meet director, marketing person, national coach, accountant, communications person -- we will get some of these functions done by volunteers and others by people who are paid. There are many roles that are important to the organization, especially if we want to do a better job of fulfilling our mission.
@Pink Socks From your website, I see that your event prices are similar to my own club's, though your event attendance is far higher. So, hiring a yearling meet director might be affordable with higher attendance, perhaps from building a bigger interscholastic league like yours.
$17 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch
$20 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch
Become a member for $5-20
Buy your own e-punch for $38
The OUSA Board will meet Nov 28, 2016 8:00-9:30pm EST.
The meeting will take place by phone and is open to all OUSA members, as required in our by-laws.
Please contact Glen Schorr (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are not on the OUSA Board, and plan to attend, so that we can make sure we have sufficient call-in lines. Glen has already sent invitations to all Board members. Please make sure you have the call-in information.
Ultralong Championship bid from BAOC, O in the Oaks, March 25-26 2017
Rules change request from JTESC
Insurance requirements of team athletes for out-of-country travel and competition
Safety guidelines for club-sanctioned activities, for insurance risk mitigation
Reports from Committees as time allows
Is the JTESC-requested rule change posted somewhere for advance viewing?
Not yet. We don't know if we will get it in time for this meeting, but I put a placeholder in the agenda in case we do.
I hate trite statements like this, but perhaps randy's point is simply that you get what you pay for.
There is also a bid from LAOC for the Trail-O champs and Relay Champs - March 18-19, 2017.
We will be having a COW (California Orienteering Week).
Barb, can you please tell us what the JTESC rules change request is all about? All the other items in the meeting agenda
have at least some supporting material, but not the rules change request. I assume the Board members have been told and some justification has been provided, right? How can the Board represent the opinions of the membership on a rules change unless *everyone*
is told what the issue is and why a change is being requested? If this will be on the agenda then it needs to be made public now. Only 5 days left until the meeting. Otherwise the Board should defer ruling on it until there is time for some discourse. Leaving it for a few minutes of discussion among a few handfulls of members who manage to dial in to the phone conference before a final decision is made doesn't strike me as appropriate. The rules apply to everyone, and everyone should have the opportunity to weigh in if they want.
You might recall that I brought up this very issue during the elections this summer. Not one Board member - new candidates or standing members - said a word about it. Is the OUSA BOD a board of representatives or simply a board of deciders with a 3-year mandate?
Thanks, Eddie. The JTESC rules change proposal has been posted.
The stated intent is to make better use of the Junior Development Team as a high performance program. Erin made the Junior National Team a meaningful year-round working team starting in 2013. It looks like JTESC would like to expand that approach to the Development Team.
I agree that the community should have adequate time for discussion.
I do think that it would be good to get the conversation started tonight, so that we can hear from JTESC more about the rationale behind the proposed changes.
Thanks Barb. Here's a direct link to the JTESC rules change proposal
(pdf doc in the meeting agenda supporting documents). Can you also post this to Clubnet please? With only a few hours left until the meeting, can you (or Kris) confirm that no vote will be taken on this rules change request until a later date so there's time for everyone to consider it outside of the Board meeting itself?
I appreciate seeing the JTESC's stated intent, but there is no justification provided for any of the specific rules changes here. Its simply a table of the old wording and the proposed new wording for 5 rules. I'd like to see an explanation for each of the changes, and the justification for doing so. In other words, how and why each change is necessary to support the stated intent. What is it about the old rule that needs changing?
Taking a step back, it would be nice if the JTESC would have made public its plan to revamp the junior team structure before
(somewhat covertly) asking the Board for rules changes it feels are needed to implement it. Maybe a plan has been published somewhere and I've missed it. A number of other orienteers - some even part of regional and club junior programs - have e-mailed me over the past few days to tell me they too are wondering what these changes are all about, so I don't think I'm the only one in the dark here.
The minutes of the Nov 28 Board meeting
have been posted. There was a discussion of the JTESC rules change proposal, but no vote was taken. According to the minutes:
We discussed a rules change request from JTESC (see Appendix); however, there was no formal motion and we expect JTESC to work with the rules committee to present a proposal prior to the December 12 meeting. The proposal should be posted on board-net for discussion. Erin stated that there is urgency because the JNT applications for 2017 can’t go out until the Board has ruled on the proposed changes.
First of all, why would this proposal only go to Board-net for discussion? Why can't it be posted for the entire community to see? At the very least this should go to Clubnet as well, and be posted on the OUSA website. I feel that *any* rules change proposal should be announced and made publicly available at least 3 weeks (preferably longer) prior to any Board decision so that the community has a chance to discuss it, and even contact board members about it if they choose. I'd like to see the Board formalize this rules-change process. I suspect this might have to go in the bylaws, but maybe there's a way the Board itself could make it so. Maybe the Board can discuss this at the retreat in VA this weekend?
Second, the minutes mention a Dec 12 Board meeting but the next meeting I see listed on the OUSA Board page
is Jan 13-14 at the GNC. Is there a time, place and preliminary agenda for the Dec 12 meeting? Thanks.
The updated rules change request was posted to Board net tonight. The Dec 12 meeting is a phone meeting and the agenda was posted for that on Nov 28 on Board-net. It is also available here
. There will be another meeting on Dec 19, by phone.
Recognzing that the retreat this past weekend was not a formal BOD meeting, will there be any kind of public summary of what was discussed?
Yes, there will. Our secretary is working to compile something right now; no formal notes were taken as it was not a formal BOD meeting. Thanks for your patience!
As Barb is compiling the summary, I will just say that I was so happy with how the weekend went. The Directors got to know each other much better, which should help going forward, when we need to discuss things in depth, make tough decisions, and understand each other's opinions. It was also encouraging to see that we all have very similar visions for OUSA. I can say that of the Directors who were there to the very end (a few had to leave a little early to get home), everyone left the room energized and ready to pull up their sleeves to tackle some big initiatives. I also want to thank the Directors for spending their time (and travel money) to make this retreat a success. Every single Director made it to the retreat and sat in a meeting room for two days, even though there was no opportunity for orienteering.
I'm a little disappointed that there was no meeting room mini-O!
Actually, I misspoke. Alex pulled together an impromptu lunchtime O course around the campus using an aerial map.
I posted a summary of the retreat
Please note that the agenda for the 12/19 board meeting (2 weeks from tonight) has been updated to include proposed rules changes from the Senior Team ESC. Details are here
Viewing summary on Boardnet apparently requires group membership. Plz post elsewhere...
Since there's a list of upcoming and recent BOD meetings on the OUSA site, perhaps minutes and summaries of past meetings can be posted there?
Minutes of past meetings
-- link is at the bottom of the main OUSA website.
@Guy: Board-net group membership is open by request to all OUSA members who wish to view the board discussion (read only). This is the current official communication mechanism for the Board. Boris, Ian, Janet and Alex are working on other ideas, which I think will come out soon, but I don't plan to create something different in the meantime.
OUSA community (including YahooGroups) links are here
Summary of the retreat, as posted on Boardnet...
Thanks to the board members for participating in the retreat this weekend.
I wanted to share with other readers of this forum what we did.
For me, a big goal was to develop good relations with everyone on the board, particularly in the wake of our contested elections, when there were many differing opinions and even some fear about what candidates might do, or not do, if they won. I felt this was the major success of the weekend. We learned more about what is important to each other. We had some time to socialize. We worked cordially together to take a deep dive into some aspects of OUSA, and gained a lot of respect for each other. We developed the foundation for good working relationships going forward.
We started with discussion about OUSA's mission. We found that it still generally represents what we consider to be OUSA's mission, and talked about aspects that might benefit from being spelled out more clearly. We reviewed IOF's mission and goals, and talked about how that might relate to OUSA's. We discussed what we'd like to see 5 years from now, and shared some ideas about how to implement it.
We then dived into understanding OUSA's finances. To do so, we drew primarily from the published financial statements from 2011 through November 2016, as well as the Team Funds accounting that captures the teams' board-designated funds. We will provide more information about our observations in a separate communication. Our goal is to send that out tomorrow.
We talked about the current committees, and the status of each as determined over the past couple of months in phone calls and emails to committee chairs. We talked about how to decide which to keep, which to eliminate, which to add, and how to organize the committees so that there is better communication with the Executive Committee and the Board. We also looked at the bylaws as they relate to committees. This will be ongoing work for the EC and Board over the next months.
We heard updates from a couple of areas in more depth.
Ian Smith, representing the Communications Task Force, gave a presentation with several technology options they are considering to recommend to the board, for better communication between OUSA members, committees and the Board.
Greg Lennon gave a presentation with some information and ideas on marketing. He then gave a presentation about membership and the membership database, and several people stayed longer for a demo.
The participants felt it was a useful and education weekend, and feel excited to take this information as useful background and motivation going forward.
We have started discussion on board-net about the budget. I posted a couple of docs that Pat sent out, on the "upcoming board meetings
" page at the OUSA website.
Pat sent out the 2017 budget proposal yesterday; I posted it this morning to the upcoming board meetings page
. I also posted the JNT application (draft), and updated the JWOC selection criteria.
The accounting lists separate entries for payroll, junior team coach, and executive director. What are these entries? Are the junior team coach and executive director lines their expenses, and their pay is under payroll? Also, why aren't the costs for the junior team coach under restricted (junior team funds)?
Which accounting are you referring to?
On the upcoming board meetings page, the link for "information about OUSA finances", page 4, Statement of Activities Jan-Nov 2016, under Expense.
Thanks. I think that is a mistake and it should have been under restricted. I will adjust when I get a chance. Thanks for looking so carefully!
Actually, I'm not going to rush to fix it - the point was to give an illustration of what the statement of activities should look like; you can do the math for that change. Yes I believe jr team cocah and ED lines are their expenses. Payroll is pay.
Hey Barb, I really appreciate having all of this supporting material with the board meeting agendas.
There's a Sr Team ESC rules change proposal on the agenda for the Dec 19 meeting and it is related to WOC selection. It would be nice to have the ESC's proposed 2017 WOC selection criteria included with the supporting materials (I believe this is referred to as the "Team Selection document" in the proposed change to rule G.1.7.10 here
). By rule this is due no later than Dec 31, but just as with the JTESC proposal it will be important to have for any discussion of the ESC's rules change proposal. Can you get that from the ESC and post it with the other supporting material? Thanks!
Next board meeting: Monday 12/19, 7:00pm EST. (This is one hour earlier than previously planned.)
Next board meeting: Saturday 1/14/16, 2-5pm EST, at the Georgia Navigator Cup. more info here
Hey Barb, I see a line in the GNC board meeting agenda under section 5:
Rules change request by the senior team: change "2 weeks" to "1 week"
Do you know what this is referring to? Specific rule number and justification? Thanks.
The change was made without any input from the Sr Team ESC, and was counter to our rules change request.
I have provided a link from the "upcoming board meetings
" agenda page to what I know of the relevant information.
Thanks Barb. I followed the link to the googledoc and logged in, but it says the file is locked. Can you make it publicly viewable?
Think I did now, thanks - my error.
The ESC has finally provided some input regarding its proposed re-change to the wording of rule G.1.7.6. The Board approved a change to this rule just over 3 weeks ago, and the ESC is proposing that it be changed again. Comments from the ESC chair can be found in Barb’s document
with tomorrow’s Board meeting agenda. Here is the text from the ESC:
The ESC Chair communicated to me [Barb] the following comments:
1. The procedure for making this decision was not right. The ESC was not informed of the proposed change from 1 week to 2 weeks and did not have the chance to comment on it. If the change was made in response to the Attackpoint discussion, the Board should have been aware of Erin’s reply which should have been weighted heavily.
2. With respect to the Athlete Agreement: it states that each athlete should “maintain an annual plan that is reviewed by the personal coach on a regular basis; a copy of said plan will be submitted to the designated ESC member for review, preferably within 2 weeks of submitting this Athlete Agreement.” The 2 weeks here refers to a different task (submitting the plan to the ESC member) than the 1 week in the rule (turning in the athlete agreement). Regardless, someone who really wants to be on the Team should be familiar with the requirements prior to team trials, and be ready to comply. The ESC has been, and will continue to be, understanding of athletes’ situations, and is not out to be unfair to anyone.
3. The ESC supports Erin’s statement and hopes the Board will agree to make the change.
It is not clear to me what was “not right” about the procedure for the Board’s decision. A rules change was proposed, an amendment to that proposal was also made with a rational argument to support it, and the Board approved the rules change with the amendment. I asked twice, publicly, on both AP and Clubnet before the Dec 19 Board meeting that the ESC provide additional justification for the change, but the ESC apparently provided none. I also provided my own justification for the amendment, and all of that was sent out on Boardnet before the Dec 19 Meeting. Erin did post in the AP thread, predicating his post with the words “Im speaking for myself here…” If the ESC shared that opinion and felt it should have been weighted as such it should have said so then, not now - 3 weeks after the decision was made. Furthermore, Erin himself (an ESC member) was in attendance at the Dec 19 meeting (minutes here
Regarding the ESC’s argument #2 above that the 2 week period stated in the Athlete Agreement is a different task than the 2 week period (as the rule currently states) in rule G.1.7.6, I quote directly from the text of the rule:
c) In compliance with the athlete agreement set forth by the ESC and approved by the Board Member in charge of teams.
A two week grace period shall be allowed to come into compliance with said policies.
Section c) – “compliance with the athlete agreement” - is one of the said policies that the two week grace period applies to. Since the submission of the annual plan is, in fact, part of coming into compliance with the Athlete Agreement, then a two week grace period (or longer) is entirely appropriate for Rule G.1.7.6. That was the logic for the Board-approved amendment to the original change proposal, and that logic has not changed in the intervening 3 weeks.
It is disingenuous of the ESC to state that it has been and will continue to be understanding of athletes’ situations and be fair to everyone while at the same time proposing (for a second time) unreasonable time limits for those athletes to come into compliance with team policies – policies for which they are under no obligation to adhere to prior to being given an appointment. If an athlete is able to qualify for the team without already having an annual plan in place, so be it. Such an athlete should then be given a reasonable amount of time to comply with team policies. The ESC has still not provided a rational argument as to why a shorter one-week grace period is materially necessary.
Therefore I’m asking the Board to deny the ESC’s proposed change to rule G.1.7.6 and leave it as it was approved at the Dec 19 meeting.
The rule change (just) passed, and I'll wait for Clare and the rules committee to post the official language. The substance of what the Board voted for is this:
- If a person not on the US national team is selected for the WOC team
- They have 1 week to sign and submit their athlete agreement (per G.1.7.6)
- And two subsequent weeks to submit their training plans, as written in the text of the athlete agreement.
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