NCSRA Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 10, SCLA, 7:00-9:20 PM


In attendance:  Ghirma Meres, Pres.; Hunt Richardson, VP-Tournaments; Kemp Prugh, VP-Leagues; Rohith Shetty, Membership Dir.; Bill Fenton, Sec.; Jaydeep Karandikar, Div. 3 Coordinator; John Eisaman, Div. 4 Coordinator; Dan Shostak, Arlington Y Sport & Health; Meherji Madan, Potomac Squash Club; Chris Zimmermann, Pentagon; Natalie Grainger, Results the Gym


Old Business


1.  Approved minutes of April 4th meeting. 


2.  Juniors Report.  Ghirma reported that Brian O'Hora will be sending a letter in September to parents of all junior players, using his own email directory and contacts provided by other area pros.  Along with other content, the letter will describe the benefits of NCSRA membership and encourage players to join.  Hunt said the letter should go out earlier because players and their parents will be planning for the fall before September.  Dan suggested membership should also be promoted among urban squash juniors. 


3.  Membership report.  Ghirma welcomed Jaydeep as the new div. 3 coordinator, Chris as the representative for Pentagon, and Rohith, attending his first meeting as membership director.  Rohith said the current membership is 462, and Ghirma noted that, in his previous report, Rohith had indicated that the membership included 51 juniors and 55 women. 


4.  Leagues report.  Kemp distributed the results of his survey of coordinators and captains regarding the Order-of-Merit rule.  He received a relatively small number of replies and they were ambivalent in their assessment of OOMs, though the conclusion was moderately in favor of continuing with them.  Recommendations for improving OOMs included more frequent updating and better explanation in the rules or notes to the rules.  Three of four respondents in divs. 5 & 6 advocated letting the lower divisions depart from OOM order if both captains agree, and one in div. 4 suggested such flexibility should also be allowed there.  Discussion:  Chris questioned the utility of OOMs.  Hunt felt some past problems with lineup shuffling could only be solved with OOMs.  Kemp suggested fairness could be achieved if the two captains simply arrived at match sites with their lineups already written down.  Bill questioned whether we had a problem that justified OOMs, arguing that few complaints had ever been made and most of them had been limited to the top two divisions.  Meherji moved that OOM should be eliminated and teams should rely on sportsmanship and club ladders in setting their lineups.  The motion was seconded by Bill and tabled for discussion at the June meeting. 


5.  Fisher Cup.  John and Ghirma summarized the success of this year's Fisher Cup and suggested two changes for next year:  Better planning for refreshments at match sites, and ordering plaques early enough to have them at the awards dinner even if the winners' names were not engraved on them.  There were 116 players in this year's tournament, and over 50 people attended the party, which was generally successful even though the space was not really adequate.  Net cost of the party was $419 ($615 collected and $1,034 paid out).  Natalie suggested we might want to establish an entertainment committee to plan such events, and said Christy Teziak would be ideal for that. 


6.  Web.  Meherji suggested that contacted info for members should be available on the web, either for use by players seeking matches or for tournament administrators looking for referees.  This led to a lively discussion of the relative importance of access and privacy, with some feeling that email information should not be put on the web without the explicit approval of each member, while others felt the information should be posted unless members explicitly asked to be left off the web.  Dan argued that we needed to create a policy on database use. 


7.  WISPA.  Natalie said Union Station has approved plans for a glass court even.  Unfortunately, the only dates in 2006 that can work for both Union Station and WISPA are in August.  She asked approval for a letter to members, asking them whether they would support an August event.  The funding requirement is approximately $75,000, which includes $15k for the court, $15k for the stands, $30k for the venue, and $15k for prize money.  Natalie will send Ghirma a draft of her letter, and he will forward it to members. 


New Business


1.  USSRA.  Kevin Klipstein, USSRA President, joined the meeting by conference call.  Kevin announced some changes planned for the national championships.  (The skill-level competition will be split from the age-group competition, and the USSRA will try to raise some prize money for the top draw.  Eventually, this will become the U.S. Closed Championships.)  Kevin also said USSRA is still working on improving its online rating system, and are planning to offer injury insurance for players and considering hiring a communications director to handle member relations.  New major announcements were made.  First, the USSRA share of member dues will be increasing from $35 per person plus fees ($2.50 for online transactions), to $45 including fees.  Second, members who join from an area served by a local SRA will automatically be assigned to that SRA based on their postal code. 


2.  National junior team.  Ghirma circulated a letter from David Canner, who will be representing the NCSRA on the 8-player U.S. National Team traveling to New Zealand for the junior world championships this summer.  The U.S. Olympic Committee has withdrawn funding support for squash, so the players are seeking funding support from their local SRAs.  The Board approved a contribution of $500 and will circulate the letter to members.  Natalie also said David would like to arrange some fund-raising exhibitions around the city, and some Board members said they would try to set those up at their clubs. 


3.  Dan distributed a motion advocating that the NCSRA commit itself to holding no sponsored event on major religious holidays.  The motion was tabled for discussion in June. 


Next meeting:  Thursday, June 8th, SCLA, 6:45 PM (NCSRA members welcome).