I too am an outlier here. Sure USS could be more responsive to everyday members but they do provide a basic set of standards that we can all race under and expect as fair a competition as reasonable. The price for a club PRO or club Judge class is less than $50 and is managed by volunteers who are well trained and understand the expectations. I have been in club PRO, Advanced Race Management and club Judge classes and came away with a lot more than I went into them with. I don’t think it was a waste of money and I believe that more sailors should take these classes. It will make you a better competitor.I'm not sure that the call that 'everything should be free' will be very persuasive.
I think more fundamental questions should be along the lines of:
Who does US Sailing represent?
Who are the President and Board accountable to?
Should the President and Board be elected or appointed?
Should nominations for the Board come from the members and member organizations... or from the Board?
When there is only one candidate nominated for each role, then it is not an election, it is an appointment. When the candidates for the Board are nominated by the Board.....then the Board effectively appoints itself and is accountable to itself.
For example you might not get very far complaining about courses and certification, if the person in overall charge of the organization you are complaining to is the person who designed those certification courses.
It would be a bit like complaining to the US Department of Treasury about the malpractice of Goldman Sachs, only to discover that the Secretary of US Treasury is a partner at Goldman Sachs......Oh Wait!
However.......despite the potential flaws in governorship, I will stand up and say a few good things about the output of USS.
Our club values knowing that when we interview certified instructors or pay for new recruits to get certified that they are all trained to a minimum standard that is appropriate.
When we decided to provide adult sailing lessons, the course and hurdles to become accredited seemed appropriate and suitably demanding. The members and non-members attending those classes are entitled to expect a minimum duty of care and skill level. We don't mind paying the cost of that training and we certainly dont expect the rank and file membership of US Sailing to pay for the cost of our training at our club.
I have extensive rules experience and have sat on dozens of local protest committees. I have always been a competitor first and foremost so I never got certified as a judge. More recently I thought it would be useful to get certified to give some time back to the sport I love. I attended an advanced judging course in Annapolis and have completed the various online tests. I cannot remember how much it cost but it seemed reasonable and I was happy to cover the cost. I dont think other US sailing members should pay for my education. I found the course to be fun, interesting and useful. I enjoyed networking with a great group of people.
So my experience of the work of US Sailing in terms of training volunteers and professionals has generally been favorable. Sorry if that does not fit with the narrative of this thread.
In order to understand the allocation of expenses , we also have to understand the sources of income. Only $ 2 million of the $ 17 million expenditure comes from member dues.I think the funding allocations by category probably accurately represent the organization's priorities. I'm happy that so many people at US Sailing give their time, energy, careers, and hearts to sailing. However, if I were king I'd probably choose different budget allocations, shifting funds towards grassroots programs.
(The table below is pulled from the 2021 financial report found here: https://www.ussailing.org/about/our-organization/financials/.)
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Not sticking it in the eye of US Sailing, but our little club is suffering terribly from lack of racing, motivation and energy. Couple of us "hard core" racers (we bother to fly the kite) have kept the race program on life support, but majority of club could give a shit. They mostly want private access to the lake, pool and amenities. Sailing and comradery be damned. Can't help but think a visit from some mucky muck is USS might kick start the program again. We have a high ranking officer from USS member, so its not like he/they are unaware of the need. Would serve them well to hold a series of virtual town halls with their clubs and see what the issues are and try and help fix them. No medals awarded, however.
OMG. We must belong to the same club...at least in spirit.Racing is dead here, in all but name. Right now there are still a couple of events, with declining participation and dependent on attracting out-of-towners. The only "racing" here is PHRF cruising class pursuit starts. The youth program is going fairly well, and while there is some demand for adult classes I don't see any actual work going into supplying that. We have RC and rules seminars attended by the same old usual suspects, and they hail this as a great sign of success. It has never occurred to any of them to invite new people, to study what the barriers are, and work at increasing participation.
No doubt, I was frustrated to see the new direction and see pretty much all I cared about off the list. Looks all like marketing and no action.
That said I got the youth racing manager to live insta cameo from an inflatable seahorse windward mark at an open skiff event. And later had a kid hit him with a pie. So maybe there’s a light in there? And the redirect of JO events (away from champ status) has been really fun this year?
It sounds like you either did not sit through the safe sport online course, or were not paying attention. It explains exactly why coaches and race officials need this training.Jeez people… The point was one shouldn’t have to sit through a SafeSport lecture about something obvious just to run races. Not for having gotten lectured for actually doing it.
There are tons of volunteer roles where USS does not offer or recommend training.I feel better now. I woke up this morning and saw a pile of notifications about responses to this thread. I ignored them all day figuring I was getting torn apart. I’m pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I fully understand that instructors teaching the various US Sailing courses should be compensated. I paid my annual membership to support just that. What bothers me is that there are tons of volunteers out there that don’t need the training.
Based on the sheer amount of youth regattas we run, I’m fully on board with background checks and the associated cost. I’d be cool with something like a $25 fee to apply where you just take the final test. They could even have an option for “non-profit” certifications for the various roles. I’ve never charged a dime for my work. Last weekend I was working in the sketchiest conditions I’ve seen in years for a club 30 miles away even though none of our boats were there. It was interesting because my helper was a fellow RC chairman for his club. He brought up all the same grievances I just did.
No, you shouldn't have to sit through a SafeSport lecture about something obvious, just as factories shouldn't need to be told to do something obvious like provide protective equipment for their workers, nor should it be necessary for the law to step in and require ships to do something obvious like carry enough lifeboats. ... and yet, here we are.Jeez people… The point was one shouldn’t have to sit through a SafeSport lecture about something obvious just to run races.
take it up with Congress, not US SailingNo, you shouldn't have to sit through a SafeSport lecture about something obvious, just as factories shouldn't need to be told to do something obvious like provide protective equipment for their workers, nor should it be necessary for the law to step in and require ships to do something obvious like carry enough lifeboats. ... and yet, here we are.
Maybe my post was unclear: In a perfect world, we wouldn't need regulations and enforcement to compel us to do the right thing. But this is not a perfect world, and so we do. I have no complaint whatsoever about SafeSport training being required.take it up with Congress, not US Sailing
Indeed.How about a US Sailing where volunteers come together, share ideas, their ideas are heard in various committees, circulated during 3 or 4 day meetings where 300 to 400 volunteers from around the country come together, those ideas are percolated, and come up to a 53 person Board of Directors who pass the item, then it is sent to the professional staff in the office to execute? All areas of sailing represented. All voices heard. Many important awards made for excellence - Sportsmanship, Rescues, Teaching, Race Committee, Judges, etc.
This used to exist, the process was called bottoms up management. This is the US Sailing I believe all of you wish for today.
I dont know whether we need a Board of 53 again. That might be a bit unwieldy but perhaps there could be a senate of approx 50 representatives of the various stakeholders, who the Board is accountable to. If we have a 10 person board, then the board members should be elected , and the nominees should not be appointed by the existing board.