League Meeting Minutes - 10/16/18
Bocage Racquet Club, Baton Rouge Country Club, Country Club of Louisiana, Greystone, Jambalaya Park, Kenilworth, Magnolia Woods, Mirabeau Park, PARDS, Pelican Point, Southern Oaks, Tara Club, and University Club.
Teams Not Represented:
Fenwood, Lake Sherwood, and YMCA of BR
President Rob Dowie began the meeting shortly after 7:30pm. Attendance was take and introductions of representatives were made. Secretary Daniel Wendt made notes of approximate team sizes, new representatives, and contact information.
Review of the 2018 Season
The President began discussion with an overview of the previous season. He made note that, as it has been for the past few years, several complaints were made against teams; however, due to the structure of the League, the officers have no actual authority other than explaining the rules of the League to the offending teams. Complaints included:
- How many individual events swimmers can be entered in – League rules say the default is 2, but BOTH coaches can agree on 3 in advance of the meet
- Diving from shallow water – League rules say that swimmers may not dive in water shallower than 3 ½ feet.
- Swim Meet Day and Time changes – at the end of last year's Winter meeting, the Leauge voted to change the default meet day to Saturday (from Thursday). Clubs could host Thursday meets, however, if both coaches agreed to it in advance.
- City Meet complaints – discussed later
- League structure complaints – discussed later
The President then opened the floor to comments and concerns.
A representative from Kenilworth opened discussion with comments about City Meet. She understands that LSU controls a lot of aspects of the meet, but Greystone was able to have food, AC, and better facilities than JPP, which she thought made the experience a better one than the previous year. She suggested in the future that, regardless of whether LSU can host the meet or not, there needed to be a backup plan just in case something goes wrong with the NAT. The President commented that the meet ran as smoothly as possible, partially because it had to. Greystone gave guidance that had to be followed, which forced the meet to run on a very specific timeline. He also mentioned that a club with food service, shade, and AC does make for a better experience than Jambalaya Park Pool, which is under a lease agreement with his company, SELA Aquatics. That helped the meet flow from session to session. The representative from Greystone mentioned that a lot of the issues she noticed could have been prevented had there been time to prepare more than about a week in advance. She said that Greystone had the facility mapped out and planned where to put tents to make things run as smoothly as possible. She said that Greystone did not ask for extra money for the event, actually took a loss operating it, but wanted to showcase Greystone and give their largest swim team ever a great City Meet experience.
A question arose from a Kenilworth representative regarding the role of TAQ and the League and collection of money. The President explained that the League does not have any organizational documents, does not set the guidance for City Meet, and does not collect money. TAQ has run City Meet, whether hosted at the NAT or not, and all of the money charged goes to running the meet – most of which are staffing costs, ribbons, and trophies. This is different from many other Leagues. The Greater New Orleans Country Club Swim League has a paid staff, the League organizes their Championship Meet themselves, and they do not outsource. Another League in the area bids out their Championship Meet. One good thing about working with TAQ is that they do what the League asks them to do in terms of running the meet. In the past, the League has not sent guidance so they have reused meet invitations from other meets they run. This led into a discussion of the League, our structure, and future philosophy.
A representative from Kenilworth said that the League should have money available for things that might "come up" during a season, such as paying a facility to host City Meet. Clubs should not be asked to take a loss of an event. Another representative from Kenilworth mentioned that parents should be club representatives at League Meetings, not coaches or staff. She did note that finding volunteers is difficult to do. The President made note that it's all about the philosophy – some clubs have a view that parents should not have to do anything and that they would rather pay someone to handle things for them. Other clubs have the opposite approach. Generally, he finds that clubs where it's "all about the pool" have a different philosophy on volunteers and sending representatives to League meetings than clubs where the pool is viewed as an "amenity." Coming together and finding the common ground is going to be a process if the League wants to formalize structure. A representative from Kenilworth asked what the mission and vision of summer swimming was. She said that summer league was not club swimming and our guidelines should reflect that.
The President called for the creation of a Rules Committee. The Committee will go through a rigorous process to write new rules and laws of the League. The process should be such that the League will be a formal entity, registered with the appropriate authorities, and that membership will be based on those who show up to the meeting where the Charter will be agreed upon. After that meeting, he will seek non-profit status as a sports association, establish the bank account, and begin record keeping for members in the new League.
The President will send an email to clubs asking for nominations to represent the clubs on the Committee by a deadline to be determined. The President will choose the Committee and send contact information to the Committee Chair. The Committee will not be restricted and can organize their own meetings and discussion topics as they choose. He will impose a deadline for the Committee to submit their work to the League.
2019 Season Schedule
The President began discussion by looking at the calendar. He noted that Memorial Day is earlier in May than it usually is and school schedules let out earlier in May instead of after Memorial Day. A representative from Magnolia Woods noted that a longer season would be nice. The representative from Greystone said her parents want a longer season, possibly extending into the middle of July. The President brought attention to the fact that many clubs employ year round swimmers as coaches and that state meets begin in the middle of July. Formally extending the season creates a difficult situation for those individuals. A representative from Kenilworth said you could do City Meet at its usual time and have a "for fun" meet later in July. The President mentioned that his company does that already for the teams in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to swim against each other. It is possible that could be opened up to outside teams. Outside teams also have the independence to organize meets on their own as they choose.
The President outlined the following possible schedule:
- June 1st - first meet and then on the following Saturdays
- City Meet – June 28-30
A representative from Kenilworth asked about hosting on Thursday instead of Saturday. The President said that clubs still have the option under the old rules to agree to change meet days. That should be preserved in the Rules Committee discussions.
The schedule was approved unanimously.
Open VP Position
Heather Shaw, the former Vice-President of the League moved out of town for a new job. Her position is currently open and the President asked whether it should be filled now or when elections happen in the Spring. The League agreed to leave the position vacant and elect new officers in the Spring based upon the guidance of the Rules Committee.