February 15, 2022 Board Update
by USA Racquetball
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.
MEETING HIGHLIGHTS -- USA Racquetball Board of Directors -- January 31, 2022
Twelve Board members were in attendance via Zoom along with Executive Director Mike Wedel.
Following are some points of interest:
Executive Committee Update (Dan Whitley)
Report and discussion on the upcoming National High School Championships.
Executive Director Update (Mike Wedel)
Mike reported on a variety of topics. They included:
- US OPEN planning -- status update
- National Event Calendar -- 2022 and beyond (update in this newsletter issue)
- Referee and IP Testing Upgrade -- status update
- Membership Report -- after the considerable impact on USAR membership brought on by the pandemic, numbers are moving in the right direction, surpassing 5,000 for the first time in many months
- The Real Racquetball Show -- ongoing appeal to the Racquetball Family for nominations, i.e., local people dedicated to doing extraordinary things to grow the sport in communities across the country. Nominations can be sent to Connor Shane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dates for coming shows are featured in the Quick Hits section of this newsletter.
Finance Update (Steve Czarnecki)
Initial estimates for 2021 financial performance include an operating profit of $30,000. This result was supported by strong US OPEN financial results and two Payroll Protection Plan grants. Membership revenue continued to significantly lag behind prior years and did not meet budget projections.
Finances for 2022 are off to a challenging start with the postponement of the USAR National Doubles Championships and likely pandemic-related impacts on the school-based competitions of the USAR National High School and National Intercollegiate Championships.
USAR Committees in essence are work groups charged with tackling improvement initiatives as well as analyzing issues and making recommendations to the Board of Directors. Three committees reported on their recent work at the January Board meeting, and several recommendations were presented for the Board’s consideration.
The Scholarship Committee met several times in January to assess applications sent to USAR before the 12/31/21 deadline. Fifteen were submitted, and a recommendation was presented to the Board of Directors to award three scholarships. The Board approved the recommendation. Please see the article in this newsletter for the announcement recognizing the recipients.
The National Events Committee, led by USAR Executive Director Mike Wedel and National Events Director Connor Shane, met on January 26th. Six Board members serve on this committee, and they were in attendance to providefeedback and advice for Connor as he updated the group on current work.
The U.S. Team Committee met on January 27th to formulate recommendations based on recent changes announced by the International Racquetball Federation concerning international competition formats and a rule change. (IRF Letter) Two recommendations were presented to the Board at the January meeting:
Motion toratify the U.S. Team Committee’s recommendation that the USAR National Singles & Doubles Championships in May 2022 be the sole event for qualifying the U.S. [Adult] Team for the 2022-2023 season that begins June 1, 2022. Add Mixed Doubles as a U.S. [Adult] Team Qualifying division at the USAR National Singles & Doubles Championships. Discussion was held, and the Board voted and passed the motion.
Motion to ratify the U.S. Team Committee’s recommendation to use rally scoring and the IRF appeal rule change (the latter effective 1/1/22) for Team Qualifying divisions at the USAR National Singles & Doubles Championships in May 2022. Discussion was held, and the Board voted and passed the motion.
Strategic Plan Initiative
A portion of the meeting was held in closed session as the Board focused on the current Strategic Planning initiative nearing its action-planning phase.
Next Meeting: February 28, 2022, via Zoom
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!