April 18, 2022 Board Update
by USA Racquetball
Safe to say, Racquetball is up and running once again as we move to more “normal” times across the country!
The USAR National High School Championships and USAR National Intercollegiate Championships are now in the record books, and the Board and Staff couldn’t be happier that these young players had the opportunity to compete again after being compelled to take a couple of years off from national competition. It did our hearts good, and we hope you have been able to enjoy live streaming as well as the after-event coverage on the USAR website, the Serving Up the News monthly newsletter, and the biweekly Real Racquetball Show.
Looking to the future, a number of Board members participate on the National Events Committee, and we are excited to pitch in and help our hardworking staff members at the USAR National Doubles & Singles Championships (May), the USAR National Junior Championships (June), and of course, the US OPEN this fall.
USAR has taken a hit in membership, which is not unusual with so very many organizations dealing with hard times due to the pandemic. Now that so many indoor and outdoor events are scheduled for the coming months, whether or not you plan to compete soon vs. a few months down the road, please renew your membership now if it’s expired, or gift a friend or family member with a membership. With support from new or renewed memberships that amount to $5/month per player, USAR as the National Governing Body will be able to continue to provide ever-improving programs and competitive events for you and for everyone who values racquetball on the local, state, and national level. Please help!
Something to think about: Committee needs are analyzed every year directly after the Board’s Annual Meeting (this year on May 25th at the USAR National Doubles & Singles Championships). For the list and description of committees, please visit www.usaracquetball.com. Choose About/Bylaws and review Article IX, 903.0. If you find you have specific interest in one or more committees and would like to know more, i.e., time commitment and what to expect from committee service, please write using one of the contact email addresses at the end of this article. Alternatively, seek out a Board member in Texas at the end of May. We’d love to say hello!
MEETING HIGHLIGHTS -- USA Racquetball Board of Directors -- March 28, 2022
Twelve Board members were in attendance via Zoom. U.S. Team Committee Chair and Legislative Committee Member Larry Haemmerle joined the meeting to provide updates.
Following are some points of interest:
Executive Director Update (Mike Wedel)
Pre-read document provided in advance of the meeting. Updates included:
- USAR National Doubles & Singles Championships -- May 25-29, College Station, TX. Board members were encouraged to get their entries in and promote the tournament in their areas.
- Referee and Instructor Program Testing Upgrade: A new stand-alone platform website continues under construction.
- Regional Championships -- five signed and scheduled to date.
- USAR Stadium Court plans during and after The World Games in Birmingham, July 2022.
- Membership Update: 5,106 and increasing since the pandemic critically impacted membership levels beginning in the second quarter of 2020.
- Continuing to seek nominations for Real Racquetball Champions
BUDGET/FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE (Steve Czarnecki)
Profit and loss over the first two months of the year remain behind budget, in large part due to the postponement of National Doubles. Membership and sanction fee revenue are similar to early 2021 and have not yet seen the progress toward recovery budgeted for. However, there are many sanctioned events coming in the near future, along with the combined USAR National Doubles & Singles Championships in May. The Finance Committee continues to monitor trends and will address possible 2022 forecast revisions upon the close of the first quarter.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE (Cheryl Kirk)
All sports’ National Governing Bodies under the USOPC are subject to periodic review on a rotating basis of their bylaws, policies, and compliance requirements. As USAR moves forward to attain recertification with the month of June targeted for completion, the Board voted on and approved Bylaws and Policy revisions brought by the committee for consideration.
These recent revisions (and all policies) can be viewed at www.usaracquetball.com -- About/Bylaws and About/Policies. The revised policies are Statement of Ethics/Code of Conduct; Grievance Procedures Policy; Conflict of Interest Policy; and Whistleblower Policy. All revised documents bear the date of 3/28/22.
An update was provided regarding required additional SafeSport education/training for the Board and Staff as part of the USOPC recertification process -- all Board and Staff members are registered for a MAAPP training session on April 20th.
US TEAM COMMITTEE (Larry Haemmerle, Chair)
Larry presented an update on USA Racquetball’s delegation to the Pan American Racquetball Championships in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, April 6-17 (travel dates included). Larry also briefed the Board on the upcoming selection process for Head Coach of the National Junior Team in light of the resignation of Charlie Pratt as he assumes a new coaching role as a father in May.
Next Meeting: Monday, April 25, 2022
GET TO KNOW YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The makeup of the USAR Board of Directors is diverse and robust, including four state association presidents, two pro tour representatives, the NMRA president, several business owners, and three elite racquetball athletes. They bring a wide range of skills and knowledge gained from multiple areas of business, educational, and racquetball experience.
Visit https://www.teamusa.org/usa-racquetball/leadership/board-of-directors to view Board members’ photos and profiles. Just click on each photo to see the profile, and click on the name to send an email.
Please visit the USAR website at https://www.teamusa.org/usa-racquetball -- About/Bylaws, Article VII, to learn about Board of Directors Position Categories: At Large Elected, Board Appointed, Executive Appointed, and Athlete Representatives.
We hope you are finding this newsletter feature informative, and we always welcome suggestions and/or questions to include in future updates. Please contact Stewart Solomon (VP) or Cheryl Kirk (Secretary).
If you have questions about the Staff’s activities, please contact Mike Wedel.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone!