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USA Water Ski out of touch with members?

DirtDirt Posts: 1,711 Open or Level 9 Skier
edited January 2010 in News & Other Stuff
<p>
Has anyone else had issues with USA Water Ski being out of touch with what it's members want/need? I just tried to renew my membership and the website would not let me. I have a general policy of not putting money into businesses that have bad websites or poor customer service. A couple issues besides this one annoy me. The ZO issue is ridiculous. We need to promote this sport not kill it with expensive crap. The other is drivers/judges ratings. You don't drive for a couple years and you have to do it all over again in order to volunteer your time for free.
</p>
<p>
I have a few Airline Transport Pilot ratings with the FAA and if I don't fly for a few years, I renew my medical, pass a biennial flight review (showing proficiency) and I am back in the air as if I had never stopped flying. Why does a sport like water skiing require more than the FAA. This is ridiculous. I still drive. I have not forgotten how to judge. Do judges/drivers have to pass an annual medical and prove their vision and hearing are still good enough? Then why do we have to jump through all of these hoops to volunteer?
</p>
I learned everything I know not to do from Horton

Comments

  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    You have touched on an issue I've been lobbying about for some time.  We need officials, but the way we grow them is more like a hazing ritual crossed with a sensei who never is satisfied.  It does not take too much training to count to six and determine whether the ski went on which side of the buoy.  Jump is computerized.  Trick, a different story - that takes a lot of experience to judge high end trickers.  So far, there has been no tangible action, but there has been a lot of discussion.  Keep the conversation going.  We need to have people involved.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • robscholl-OFrobscholl-OF Posts: 290 Baller
    <p>
    I agree with the judge/driver issue.  Just to get to a regular judge and assistant driver has been a long road for me.  All the stuff I have/had to do just to volunteer to sit in a tower / drive a boat.  I can see why some people choose not to do anything but show up and ski.  There is no real reward except knowing that without people judging and driving, there would be no tournaments.  I also do it because I have a three event kid and weekends can get long sitting around for two days and only skiing twice. 
    </p>
    <p>
    As far as the AWSA web site, I logged in yesterday and renewed for 2010 with no problem.  It was very easy for me so I don't know if I just got lucky or they just don't like dsmart.  OF 
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,032 Administrator
    <p>
    not all that smart
    </p>

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  • GKGK Posts: 141 Baller
    <p>
    USAWS customer service is usually excellent if you give them a call after running into a problem.  If you need to be re-instated as an official, call Traci Baylon and explain the situation, she may re-instate you on the spot and give you the season to make up for any missing clinics or events.  I think they've made becoming an official about as easy as possible.  I think there has to be some level of "requirements" to maintain the integrity of new officials (not that some people couldn't just jump in and start counting buoys).  They do have some "fast track" options for some people.  My biggest problem with the official process is the fact that people have to keep track of the paperwork.  Shouldn't be that big of a deal, but for a person who only goes to 2 or 3 tournaments a year, it can be tough to keep track of a single piece of paper.  Now on the other hand, if someone isn't willing to hang onto their paperwork, their heart probably isn't all that much into officiating.  It could go either way.  It would be nice if aspiring officials could be tracked in the computer system like all the other officials.  That would take care of the paperwork issue.  We've brought it up to USAWS in the past but evidently for the amount of computer programming it would take, it's not real high on the priority list which is understandable.
    </p>
    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    Traci Rocks.
    </p>
    <p>
    The fast track is a nice option but I have been looking for a Judges clinic since last spring and have come up empty.
    </p>
    <p>
    Not many clinics in the mid west. They need to make them quicker and available to the skiers. If more money is generated from anything it ought to be put towards this issue.
    </p>
    <p>
      
    </p>
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,711 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Thanks all, except Horton. I'll call now.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,675 Mega Baller
    As a Scorer, I know that the people officiating/judging/driving are put into the computer as the skiing group is scored.  There were some problems in the past, but they have been resolved so getting credit for helping out is now part of the batch file we upload to the tournament results website.  The paper trail is a safeguard for keeping personal track of your performances, and judging/driving/scoring work for upgrading reasons.  Traci @ USA Waterski can send you a batch file that will show you what events you've worked at, and what other requirements you still need to upgrade your officials ratings.  It's not a perfect system, but it's gotten alot better than in previous years.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    You can access the information you need as far as credits needed to move forward in the USA site. Its in the members section.
    </p>
    <p>
    I agree with RD, it has streamlined the last few years. If you are an offical and worked an event, just check in with the scorer to make sure your name is in there.
    </p>
    <p>
    Talk to the scorer and see if the assistant positions are full. If not, get your name on there and help out so you get the credit.
    </p>
    <p>
    You need to assist Chief in all J/D/S to advance.
    </p>
    <p>
    The big bad issue is if you are not a fast tracker, you must do regionals and nats to advance. That can add a few dollars to the tab. Of all the rules, that should be dropped. It should read any ELR and not Regions or Nats.
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,711 Open or Level 9 Skier
    <p>
    You all were right. I called Melanie and there was/is a problem with the head of household on the renewal page and  they had an old email address which would not validate. She fixed it in less time than it took me to complain to you all. They are still working on the HOH part of the website. I then talked to Traci and she was very helpful with the driver/judge part. We started out at redoing everything which made me cringe but she offered a much less painful alternative. Thanks.
    </p>
    <p>
    Off topic, anyone tuning in to the Marcus Brown/Seth video chat at 6PM PST?
    </p>
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    Judges and scorer's clinic solution:
    </p>
    <p>
    GoToMeeting - I hold several training sessions a year successfully via the web.  You do have to keep it short in length and high on visual stimulation, but it works well if you do not have to drone on and on and on and on....
    </p>
    <p>
    In my opinion, you should be able to become an assistant judge, driver, or scorer in a few tourmanents.  Senior, in the next season.  It would go a long way to add members and keep them excited about the sport.
    </p>
    <p>
    In fact, it would not take too much to have a CD-ROM or web-based program like the I-Drive for judges, scorers, and drivers.  The experience part will just have to come on site, but the academics can be packaged in several different ways.  
    </p>
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,711 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Boarditup, do you have any web clinics scheduled? I would like  to attend one. I like your web-based/CD program idea. It would save a lot of time. I could do the academics at home and they could have appointments for the driving time instead of two full days of clinic (if they are still two days for 3 events).
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    Sorry - my classes are work related, not waterskiing related.  I have not been able to achieve a judge, scorer, or driver rating in the past 4-years of AWSA tournaments.  Even though I host tournaments on my site, I have too many responsiblities to "ticket punch" and make it work as currently written.  I even have a full suite of jump computers and a separate scoring computer on the shelf.  If I were authorized, I would be happy to put it together and teach.  However, I am not.  Maybe in a few more years.....
    </p>
    <p>
    It is a shame not to leverage technology to the fullest.  It does take some money and I don't think USA WS is ready to break out the checkbook, yet. 
    </p>
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,989 Infinite Pandas
    <p>
    Easy path to a senior judge rating - get an open rating! That's all you need.
    </p>
    <p>
    A level 8 (EP) rating gives you an automatic assistant judge rating.
    </p>
    <p>
    You do need the paper to keep track of things like rope handling and dock starting, but the record of your judging, safety or driving work goes in automatically with the tournament data. It is up to you to check that your name is on the worker's list but that is pretty easy.
    </p>
    <p>
    Maybe I'm jaded by the old days where it was nearly impossible to get a judges rating (and still ski - or have a life). But today it is really easy to get a rating to work. Work a lot, make sure your name is on the list, go to a clinic (entertaining) and you will soon be rated!
    </p>
    <p>
    Hardship exceptions to currency requirements are often granted. And headquarters (Traci) is really responsive and helpful.
    </p>
    <p>
    AWSA (USA Waterski) is a big entrenched bureaucracy, but aren't they all? Lots of really good ideas (some mine) have been ignored or shot down but there has been evolution. While things could have gone better, things could be a lot worse. And it is an organization made up of really good people.
    </p>
    <p>
    Eric
    </p>
  • GKGK Posts: 141 Baller
    <p>
    Yeah, the computer tracking is great if you're already a rated official.  It's the people who don't have a rating and are working towards an assistant rating that can not be put into the computer system.  They have to track their requirements to become an assistant by hand and that typically takes 3 seperate tournaments.
    </p>
    <p>
    I agree, it would be great to get some clinics via webcast.  OWSA is hosting a judges, scorers, safety, CPR, and drivers clinic this spring if you're close to Ohio.  Online registration is up for everything except for the drivers clinic which is still being planned.  <a href="http://www.skiowsa.com/">www.skiowsa.com</a>
    </p>
    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    I would suck to flt to Ohio to get rated but I may have to get out of state. With Nats comming to the midwest you would think there would be a huge push to get everyone possible qualified.  
  • Thomas WayneThomas Wayne Posts: 550 New Baller
    edited February 2010
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    "<em>I would suck to flt to Ohio to get rated...</em>"
    </p>
    <p>
    Whoa, slow down there big fella!  Didn't anyone ever tell you to <strong>not </strong>lead out a negotiation with your best offer?  Start with the small guns, like a cheese platter or something.  Save that<strong> </strong>major concession in case your really need it to... you know, make the  deal go down (so to speak).<img src="http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-undecided.gif" border="0" alt="Undecided" title="Undecided" />
    </p>
    <p>
    TW
    </p>
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    TW,
    </p>
    <p>
    My sales carrier would be pretty short.
    </p>
    <p>
    MIDWEST,
    </p>
    <p>
    If you want help judging at Regions and Nats, get me a clinic.  
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
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