Executive Board Meeting
Sunday November 2nd, 2014
Executive Board Members Present: Marty Adams, Jessica Christian, Tom Cook, Eric Evans, Scott West, Miles Etter; Others present: Gary Blodgett
Eric began the meeting at 10:03am.
I. Miles reported on the probationary members. Shared the list of mentees and their mentors and feedback from them, this season. One probationary member was added along with the mentor. There has been improved effort to communicate and support our new members. Discussion centered on the possibility of having new officials in sooner, so they would be able to attend the annual meeting, have a better opportunity to connect with a mentor during the season, and have better opportunity to schedule games.
Eric motioned that we have clinics for new officials earlier in the summer and that the details be worked out by the exam committee.
Scott seconded. Vote was 5 - 0 in favor.
Plans for reminding members about paying dues for 2015, resulted in a notice to go out with minutes in early November, another reminder first week of December, and personal reminders the third week in December.
II. Miles reported that currently 20 members have paid their dues for 2015. Our balance in the account beginning in October was $6,000.00. Estimated bills to be met were $3,200.00 with a balance of $2,800.00. Checks to be deposited were $600.00 for a balance of $3,400.00. Estimate of dues to be paid is $10,000.00, for am estimated balance of $13,400.00.
Miles stated that our annual bills will be covered with the reduced fees of $75.00.
III. Eric reported that he had the list of Semis and Final Officials and would send it out. Discussion about DSC used in the finals, focused on certification and qualification for officials to work these games. As assignors, Frank and Gary are and were responsible for these decisions.
Discussion also centered on recognition for those who do semis. It was decided that we should continue to recognize these officials. We reduced the process for this recognition at the annual meeting this year. We did save time and were able to keep this recognition. We have mugs for these refs for two years at least and will revisit the idea of not awarding mugs when the stock is gone.
Eric motioned that we continue to recognize officials who do semis and after the supply of mugs is gone we eliminate mugs for semis.
Marty seconded. Vote 6 - 0 in favor.
IV. Tom shared the results of the survey emailed to members regarding Bylaws changes concerning the physical fitness test and the online rules test.66 members responded to the questions posed by Eric. The results were 57 in favor and 9 opposed for the physical fitness test and 54 in favor and 12 opposed to the online rules test.
Discussion ensued about the fitness test, NISOA's test and its coming modifications, USSF's fitness test, the current VSOA test and its plusses and minuses. Purpose and use, modifications, and liability were also part of the conversation. Eric reported that the NFHS insurance policy, which all active members have, covers injuries that occur at the test and liability coverage for those conducting the tests. Issues that arise are, missing the test, getting assignments late as a result of annual meeting fitness test participants, limited availability of the test, and qualifying as exempt as a result of recent fitness testing. Points of agreement: the board agreed we should include the physical fitness test, Gary Blodgett and Tom Cook will establish what the test will be and the VSOA Board of Directors will approve it, and the board supported that no assignments will be made if the test is not completed. The NISOA fitness test will count as meeting our VSOA requirement as will a test conducted by another soccer referee association in another state. Completion of a late fitness test must be arranged through the assignor and may involve a small fee to cover the expenses/travel of the person conducting this late test.
Eric motioned that we have bylaws include a physical fitness test approved by the VSOA Board of Directors as part of active member requirements.
Miles seconded. Vote 6 - 0 in favor.
Eric asked that we discuss the online rules test and after that decision make an official amendment to the Bylaws. The Board agreed.
The online rules test were discussed. Availability, tracking process, positive reasons for members participating with rules test, and what, if any, were expected results.
Eric motioned that the bylaws include the NFHS soccer rules test as part of mandatory active member
requirements with no minimum score for the time being.
Tom seconded. Vote 6 – 0 in favor.
Eric then motioned that VSOA Bylaws Article 4. Members, Section 2. Active Members, be amended to read:
Active members' annual requirements include dues, attendance at the annual meeting, completion of a physical fitness test approved by the VSOA Board of Directors and the NFHS rules test, and any other requirements mandated by the Vermont Principals' Association.
Scott seconded. Vote 6 - 0 in favor.
V. Eric discussed the concussion test, members who participated this year, process, tracking and administration, validity is for two years, and the VPA planned to make it mandatory for soccer in the near future.
VI. Jessica brought information for members interested in committees.
Examining Committee is currently Frank Martel and Gary Blodgett. Discussion around committee responsibilities.
Eric motioned that Frank, Gary and Marty Adams serve as the members of the Examining Committee.
Jessica seconded. Vote 6 - 0.
Fees and Dues Committee is currently Bill Duval and Miles Etter.
Eric motioned that Bill and Miles serve as members of the Fees and Dues Committee.
Scott seconded. Vote 6 - 0.
Grievance Committee is currently Stan Blicharz, Matt Fitzgerald, Terry Harlow, Joe Gonillo, and Rick Desorda.
Discussion regarding member interest.
Eric motioned that Stan serve as Chairman, and Matt, Joe , Rick, and Scott Slocum serve as the members of the Grievance Committee.
Jessica seconded. Vote 6 - 0.
Scholarship Committee is currently Randy Dewey, chairman, Ed Deegan, Terry Harlow, and Kurt Hagis. Discussion about changing the current form and reviewing parameters for qualifications.
Eric motioned Kurt Haigis serve as Chairman, Ed Deegan, Terry Harlow, and Terry Boone serve as members of the Scholarship committee.
Marty seconded. Vote 6 - 0.
The Nomination Committee is currently served by the Past President, Scott West and last years past President, Kirk Abrahamson . At last November's Executive Board Meeting, Marty motioned that the outgoing President and past President comprise the Nominating Committee. Kirk seconded and it was unanimously approved. The Board discussed a change to the Bylaws to include that the Nominating Committee would automatically consist of the outgoing President and the Past President to serve as this committee for that year, and agreed to discuss this topic in the future.
Eric motioned that Scott West and Eric Evans serve as the Nomination Committee. Miles seconded. Vote 6-0.
VII. Eric briefly discussed a meeting in March. All agreed that the EB should meet on Sunday March 8th, 2015
VIII. Dick Stewart Officials of the Year Award discussion….whether to open it up to members who have won this award in the past. Decision was keep as is.
Dick Stewart Award for 2014 for the South: Kirk Abrahamson North: TBA
IX. Eric reminded us of the conflict of Interest Statement that the VPA now has. Discussion ensued about situations of conflict of interest and a question as to the VSOA needing a Statement for Conflict of Interest. It was decided that Eric will verbally address this concern at the annual meeting. It was also noted that assignors do their best to ensure that officials are working games without conflict of interest.
X. Board discussed recruitment and how today's communication options can
best be utilized. Frank's television interview was acknowledged as a very positive piece. Connecting more with television, continuing advertisement in newspapers. trying to expand newspaper exposure to articles explaining the need for officials, connecting with marketing firm, sports media connections, (nsnsports), and finding other ways to reach the people who may have interest in officiating soccer were some suggestions for replacing an aging membership.
XI. In other business, discussion focused on money the board permitted to be spent for observation and assessments. The VSOA Board budgeted $900 for "observations, assessments, evaluations" in 2014. Miles explained what Frank had done this year and Gary shared what he had done.
Eric motioned that “observations and assessments” should more broadly include fitness tests and clinics (except for New Officials Clinics where participants pay for these clinics) and that leaders of these events will be compensated for their time and mileage: fitness test (mileage only), assessments ($50 per game for assessing 2 officials, no mileage), clinics ($25/hr and mileage).
Miles seconded. Vote 6-0.