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Should AWSA break away from USAWS


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I did a small unscientific poll of my ski buddies. Most dont even know the difference. The question remains. Why do we need these guys? What would be the impact of breaking away? Is there any contract that would have to expire or be negotiated out of?

 

My personal opinion is we don't need them. Two organizations must be more expensive than one. And they surely aren't giving us any money. So lets bail.

 

Dave Island

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Dave - ask any member of USAWS/AWSA/NCWSA what benefits they derive from being a member. Most pay their $80 so they can compete in tournaments. My feeling is that we could pay a couple of folks to work out of their homes to manage the entire organization. It's really not that complicated. $100k for a smart, media savvy individual to oversee organization and sponsorships. Another $50k for someone to manage the day to day. We spend another $50k to outsource the I.T. tasks (website/online sanctioning) and you still have over $500k in discretionary funds based on the current AWSA income. Most of the tasks associated with AWSA are performed by volunteers. WSTMS was designed/managed by a volunteer. As was our ranking system. I'm certain I'm overlooking something but not a $500k expense.
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Slalom39 - check the usaws budget - it's a $242k expense. Large, yes. But it covers a fair amount of risky activity that AWSA does not perform (ski racing for example).

 

OK, let's throw the insurance in the mix. Still $250k in the black.

 

What is needed here is someone to look at the USAWS budget and develop a business plan that addresses what it would take to run AWSA as a separate organization. At a high level, I just don't see money as being the primary obstacle.

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I get a little card that is my ticket to admission at the 12 or so tourney rounds I ski per year. I get a magazine I like to read. My scores are logged so that I am able to see where I compare nationally and set goals to be better the following year.

I get far more value from this site in the end than my membership in terms of developing as a better skier.

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I dont fully understand the difference either, but I do know that I got injured in a tournament a few years ago and USA Waterski insurance was great. They were much easier to deal with then my primary health insurance, at the time, and covered every dime that my health insurance didnt.
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I feel the value lies in solidarity. More semi-like-minded individuals working together at least has the *potential* to be a huge positive.

 

We're small as it is. Making ourselves smaller feels dangerous to me at a political influence level.

 

Also, consider if we were the small discipline. Would we just disappear if the largest disciplines abandoned our organization?

 

As many have pointed out, ski boat companies would have trouble staying in business with only skiers, and would surely be bankrupt if only tournament skiers were the market. But they can charge a fortune for giant wakeboard vessels and make ski boats for us mainly for bolstering their reputation. Although this doesn't relate to USAWS, I point it out as a general example of how "other disciplines" have value to us. If we start getting picked off in small groups, our future could be bleak.

 

I know very little about USAWS and I don't doubt it could use some reform (what organization couldn't?). But I think we should be awfully careful in assuming that we aren't getting anything just because we can't easily stamp a dollar figure on it. What's *really* worth it is being able to do this great sport at all.

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I'm with 6balls and Shane.

We 3-event skiers get- With USAWS...

A card. A magazine with lots of stories about non-3 event disciplines... Right to pay to enter tournaments. Right to be a volunteer official. Right to pay to attend clinics to remain a volunteer official. Right to pay to sanction a tournament. Right to buy insurance to hold a tournament or use your boat in one. National ranking list. No doubt there are others. Oh wait- we got that with AWSA too- USAWS did not use to to exist and run AWSA-

Were we worse off then? I wonder.

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@Horton Actually I was wondering if that poll does say anything other than this is an "intellectual discourse is a good thing" crowd. (And that's great, btw!)

 

I voted for the discussion being a good thing, with little-to-no predisposition on the issue. But I can't see how learning more and discussing it as truthfully as possible could ever be a bad thing!

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@Than Bogan

I am trying to encourage dialogue.

 

I am pretty sure there are good things happening within the organization that are totally un-appreciated. That is as unfortunate as the flip side.

 

I would bet there are some things that if the average member understood they would laugh / cry with bewilderment.

 

I hope members contact their regional and national after reading BOS and ask about it. I hope this site is a instrument of positive change.

 

 Goode  KD Skis ★ MasterCraft ★ PerfSki ★ Radar ★ Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

Drop a dime in the can

 

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Contrary to what some may perceive, I'm not advocating a departure from USAWS as much as I am advocating the need for change. USAWS has a $1.7mil budget. Of that, AWSA receives $34k in direct funding. What I mean by that is the AWSA BOD has oversight of $34,000/year. That's it. The USAWS board which is made up of 3-event, wakeboard, hydrofoil, kneeboard, etc., is charged with the entire $1.7mil budget. USAWS has a labor cost of over $500,000 annually. An overhead cost of close to $250,000 annually. I believe most of the $1.7mil USAWS receives can be attributed to AWSA's inclusion. I believe we deserve a commensurate level of influence in the way our governing body conducts itself and how funds are allocated. Communication is the key. USAWS has not been forthcoming with information. Had they explained the rationale behind the “background check” for drivers, perhaps it would have been better received. Our regional representative on the driver’s committee was unaware of this development. That’s inexcusable in my view. USAWS cannot continue to operate in an autonomous fashion and continue to expect unfettered support from its largest constituent; AWSA.
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@MattP - tough question to answer. The total sport division allocation from USAWS is $78,904. AWSA receives $34,350. As another example, kneeboard receives $426. Hydrofoil receives $317. For the rest of the $1.7mil, some of it is subjective (labor allocation for instance).
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Not to deviate from the topic at all or bash any one out there but,... do we consider kneeboarding a discipline of waterskiing? Yeah I know there are people out there that can do flips and stuff...cool Is there any international competitions that give the US recognition? The only event listed on IWSF tournament list for this year for kneeboard is US Nationals at Lake Robin (Masters site). If there is not international competition should they be supported by USA waterski? I see it something like this. There has been some push to get scooters into the Summer XGames, the hard core traditionalist have been holding them out, personally I agree. There are guys who can do flips and spins but its a scooter....

 

Just a thought and again not to piss anyone off or anything I have spent some time on one and can pull of some tricks but at the end of the day what is it. I guess this argument could be played towards hydrofoil as well..

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From the Board mtg. Minutes:

ABC: 520 Active Members,25 sanctioned tournaments, 6 GrassRoots tournaments and 2 skier clinics in 2011.

AKA: 146 Active Members and conducted 14 sanctioned tournaments in 2011.

AWSA: 8200 Active Members, 546 sanctioned tournaments, 128 GrassRoots tournaments and 83 skier clinics in 2011.

NCWSA: 887 Active Members, 41 sanctioned tournaments and 2 GrassRoots tournaments in 2011.

NSSA: 5397 Active Members, 10 sanctioned tournaments and 73 skier clinics.

NWSRA: 432 Active Members, 12 sanctioned tournaments and 2 GrassRoots tournaments in 2011.

USA‐WB: 1053 Active Members, 17 sanctioned tournaments, 16 GrassRoots tournaments in 2011.

USHA: 108 Active Members, 3 sanctioned tournaments, 3 GrassRoots tournaments and 2 skier clinics in 2011.

WSDA: 88 Active Members, 3 sanctioned tournaments, 1 GrassRoots tournament and 16 skier clinics in 2011.

 

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WSDA receives $29.45 per active member. AWSA receives $4.20 per active member. If AWSA received the same quota as WSDA, we would receive $241,527. Or, another way to look at it; WSDA pays $7040 in dues and receives 36.8% back thru allotment. AWSA pays (approx) $656,000 in dues and receives 5.1% back in allotment. If we received the 36.8%, it would amount to $253,216. Hmmm.
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It was my understanding that the insurance payouts were mostly the result of incidents during covered practices and not actual sanctioned events. In that case, I would argue that AWSA has the highest exposure. However, I do see Jody's point that going around 6 buoys is probably less risky than a dock start pyramid or 80mph behind a v-drive.
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Actually my point is that the show organization is what ate up the lions share of the insurance payouts in 2011with the Barefoot division contributing next highest in insurance payout. Insurance costs like this should not be spread out equatable among all the sport groups but rather premiums incurred by the group with with the higher incidence of accidents paying the highest premiums.

 

Any one know anything about Outlaw sprint cars and how they came about? Some good parallel's of what we are facing today. Now the Outlaw sprints sanctioning body has a much higher member ship and exposure for their classes then that of the original sanctioning group. I think it was USAC.

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Jody, that is exactly right. The other organizations are benefitting financially from 3 event skiing being a part of USAWS especially when it comes to insurance. But when one benefits, another has to take a hit. Well, that's us.

 

The big incident was a show skiing practice where the skier hit a boat being driven by a person with a DUI on his record and then died.

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Isn't it only fair for us, the wealthier group (there are more of us paying dues) to subsidize the less wealthy groups, to support the programs they need, and to provided access to the insurance they need but can't afford, or would choose not to buy for themselves?

Lpskier

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Isn't it only fair for us, the wealthier group (there are more of us paying dues) to subsidize the less wealthy groups, to support the programs they need, and to provided access to the insurance they need but can't afford, or would choose not to buy for themselves?

 

Hell No!!

The single biggest difference between Tournament competitive 3 event water skiing and the rest of the "Sport Groups" (except maybe wakeboard) is that like wrestling, football, tennis and any other mainstream sport Ours also is a true athletic disciplined competitive sport whereas the rest of them are pastimes, life styles or a show production dedicated to entertainment.

Why should my AWSA memberships dues and the monies I or my club generate go to help Airchair or show ski. Personally I think that Disabled and Collegiate be incorporated into AWSA also rather then them being a separate sport group's, That's another argument all together.

I like many other long term members are finding it harder each year to rationalize why to continue spending my hard earned money for what I get in return. Like others have said I can ski anytime with my boat and my friends with out USAWS. Keep in mind I go out I take a long time, World / National driver -Judge A World / national level scorer , Stop sponsorship funding for about 5 athletes. Not to mention the hundreds of hours each year I and my family provide in volunteer to the sport. We are real close!

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I agree, Jody. I too think Disabled and Collegiate should be brought under the AWSA. And I'm real close to too. Me pulling out may only mean one driver/judge/scorer leaves. It certainly won't hurt my wallet's feeling to stop pulling boats all over the place. I'm a drop in the bucket. But the drops start adding up.
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I think one of the purposes of USAWS was to provide cross discipline potential. I have a ski jump, but do not go over it - too old to start. I do however show ski, slalom, wakeboard, wakesurf, and occasionally kneeboard.

 

I believe you would find that most of the B/G1 to M/W1 skiers are also wakeboarders. In the INT you can compete in slalom and wakeboard on the same day, same organization. USAWS and the AWSA has not responded to the change in culture and facilitated new combinations of events to draw the next generation of skiers.

 

So, from a discipline perspective, I am AWSA - because I have to select one. I do, however, cross over many lines within USAWS.

 

So, instead of breaking apart AWSA from USAWS, perhaps we should be discussing a re-organization to react to the change in culture we see around us.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but back when we were just AWSA wasn't the real reason to consolidate and create USAWS an attempt to further the cause of Olympic acceptance? That was a failure and a waste of many $$$ and much time. It ain't gonna happen, so why not go back to where we were before that shot in the dark.
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Ok, maybe I'm out to lunch, but the parts where they say, "Having a broad membership base has allowed USA Water Ski to participate with the Water Sports Industry Association and represent all of our sports." , and the part that says, "Additionally, USA WS has developed programs that cross sport lines that benefit all towed water sports".

 

Really means, ....with AWSA subsidizing all of the smaller, water sports, they can all be part of us and play now!.

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Coming from another angle, all towed watersports will live and die by regulation at the local and national level. If we segment, we loose political power and representation. Just try getting a slalom permit in a public lake in Michigan, get a marine event permit to have a tournament on public water, trick ski without a PFD on, ski within 100-feet of a shoreline on a private lake, ski short-line (anything less than 60-feet of rope), etc. All of these are issues in one jurisdiction or another.

 

Breaking AWSA off from USA WS would lead to diminished representation as a special interest group and a slow death of our sport due to regulation. While I agree that AWSA pulls along most other sports, other than show skiing, we need to have everyone together to preserve the overall sport of towed watersports. In the long term, from a big-picture perspective, it is worth it.

 

We really need to have a very low cost membership that gets more people on the rolls. The wakeboarding community has their own organization that does not participate with USAWS from a special interest perspective. It would be useful to have those people on the membership rolls - even though they will consume very few services.

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