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FigureSpins
05-10-2012, 07:47 AM
Every registered coach does have a paper rulebook; they have no choice in the matter. Several years ago, the USFSA instituted a mandatory annual registration fee for coaches. That fee included a background check and an annual hardcopy rulebook. The fee offsets some of the printing costs being reported in the financial statements. Ditto for the background check, which was expanded to include Basic Skills instructors this past year. (A different, mandatory fee; somewhat lower, but with a service charge as well.) Fortunately, an individual coach only has to pay for one of these two registrations, but it's on top of their USFSA membership fee. (Plus CER course fees, PSA membership fees and insurance - coaching gets expensive at this time of the year, when they all expire.)

This year's Governing Council meeting book showed a proposal to eliminate the printed rulebook for coaches. No word on whether that will lower our registration fee or not; the budgeted income figure ($200k) stayed the same, so I guess they were going to keep the fee the same; the background check expense jumped in the proposed budget from $18k to $80k, with no explanation. I haven't checked to see what the outcome was of the proposal.

I have the pdf version of the rulebook (free) on my iPod and computer, which I use 90% of the time for planning, but I carry the Tests book for rinkside use. When I need to check something in the first two parts of the rulebook, I use the electronic version. The Search feature of Adobe Reader/Acrobat makes it easier to find keywords than trawling through the printed version. However, it's easier to review the printed page/pattern with a skater during a lesson.

sfahrut
05-10-2012, 01:54 PM
We also have to pay USFSA membership. May-June is very tough financially. A lot of fees to pay at once. We can do CER exams earlier but it is not the biggest expense.

Rochelle
05-10-2012, 02:48 PM
I have not seen a hard copy of a rulebook in a rink in ages. Pretty much every one I know uses the searchable PDF version of the rule book that they keep on their laptops, iPads, and the like.

They also must not be aware that test judges and competition judges have a copy on the panel at events. We currently can't use phones/personal electronic devices on the stands when judging, per current US Figure Skating rules.

Morry Stillwell
05-10-2012, 11:50 PM
[QUOTE=crzesk8dad;3562698]More financial analysis from Ice Skating International:

http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archive/commentaries/2012%20Governing%20Council%20Financial.htm

Where does our money go?

There was an excellent presentation by the US Figure Skating Treasurer of the financial affairs. The results of our Foundation investments were also well explained.


What did it produce? One medal at Worlds? Really? It takes more than money to produce medals. Tallent and dedication have more to do with acievement than US Figure Skating monitary contribution.

Why does it take $100K to produce rule books? This has now been solved. The Rule Book will now be on line. As a Referee and Judge I do not need the whole Rule Book. Rules of Sport and Competition Rules as a separate section are a great idea.

These and many other questions, are ones that we, as dues paying members of U. S. Figure Skating, should have the answers to. We should demand it.

The Governing Council debated and made decisions on most questions that were presented at the meeting.

Morry Stillwell
05-10-2012, 11:55 PM
U.S. Figure Skating Governance - Reader Comments re: Exhibit D

http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archive/commentaries/2012%20Governing%20Council%20Reader%20Comments.htm

In my opinion #GCSC12 Exhibit D could have been written by Ottavio Cinquanta and is USFS attempt to mirror ISU GC unaccountability to it's members. If I were a delegate to #GCSC12 I would be voting NO and working the floor to get Exhibit D defeated.

I did work to defeat Exhibit D. The final vote was very heavy against the approval of Exhibit D.

Both US Figure Skating and the ISU Council is very accountable to it Members and Member Federations.

Morry Stillwell
05-11-2012, 12:00 AM
I went out once and read the IRS 990 form USFSA has to file for the Memorial Fund. All I can say is that it did NOT encourage me to donate...

Memorial Funds distribution goes only the Athletes. Just what spicifically is wrong with the Memorial fund?

barbk
05-11-2012, 03:24 AM
Is the Memorial Fund different from the USFS Foundation? I found the foundation's 990 from a couple of years ago, a nothing stuck out at me as unreasonable. None of the directors receive any compensation. They pay some investment management (money management) fees, but those didn't look especially high compared with the funds under investment.

nylynnr
05-11-2012, 04:07 PM
Is the Memorial Fund different from the USFS Foundation? I found the foundation's 990 from a couple of years ago, a nothing stuck out at me as unreasonable.

I believe -- Mr. Stillwell may correct me if I am wrong -- the initial article that began this discussion had nothing to do with the Memorial Fund. The article discussed the management of funds that had been specifically set aside in a foundation set up to help offset operating expenses. Mr. Rossano raised concerns about the long-term viability of this foundation, given that USFS is drawing down a certain amount of the fund's earnings (not capital) annually. His second article, written after attending the governing council, states that the finance committee presented an update on the foundation, which showed it was earning 6%, with USFS drawing annually on a portion of those earnings (again, not capital) and leaving a 2.5% margin for cost of living/inflation.

No one can foretell the future and certainly it is appropriate to raise reasonable questions, but it's worth noting that in these financial markets, many foundations in the U.S. would be thrilled with this type of performance. No idea what the poster meant as to the 990 for the Memorial Fund.

Debbie S
05-11-2012, 05:40 PM
Memorial Funds distribution goes only the Athletes. Just what spicifically is wrong with the Memorial fund?Maybe Carolla is referring to administrative expenses? Perhaps Carolla would like to explain more. Yes, all charities have admin expenses, but they should be kept to a minimum. I haven't read the Memorial Fund's tax filings, so I don't know, but the figures on RISE in the article linked by the OP should make people pause. The USFSA effectively lost $1 million on the project? The purpose was to raise money. Was it really advisable to spend $1.5 million on a fundraiser, particularly given the current (well, last year, really) economic climate?

nylynnr
05-11-2012, 06:31 PM
Yes, all charities have admin expenses, but they should be kept to a minimum. I haven't read the Memorial Fund's tax filings, so I don't know, but the figures on RISE in the article linked by the OP should make people pause. The USFSA effectively lost $1 million on the project?

Don't know anything about losses on the film project, but according to USFS statements RISE production costs were not paid for by Memorial Fund or USFS operating monies, and neither was the RISE launch event. Film production costs were underwritten by specific donors, I believe some names are scrolled during the film's ending credits.

Certainly accounting transparency and project accountability are good things, but I don't believe the Memorial Fund finances figure into the concerns raised in the original article.

Morry Stillwell
05-11-2012, 06:35 PM
Maybe Carolla is referring to administrative expenses? Perhaps Carolla would like to explain more. Yes, all charities have admin expenses, but they should be kept to a minimum. I haven't read the Memorial Fund's tax filings, so I don't know, but the figures on RISE in the article linked by the OP should make people pause. The USFSA effectively lost $1 million on the project? The purpose was to raise money. Was it really advisable to spend $1.5 million on a fundraiser, particularly given the current (well, last year, really) economic climate?

The Memorial Fund is completly separate from the geneal budget funds. It is managed by US Figure Skating Volenteers.

RISE was created as a tribute to the Athletes and Official lost in the plane crash. Fund raising was only part of the project. Moneys are still coming in from the project. Yes, I am prejudiced, I knew all of the members of that team and skated with many of them. Regardess of finances, I firmly believe that remembering that team is worth the cost

Debbie S
05-11-2012, 06:53 PM
Don't know anything about losses on the film project, but according to USFS statements RISE production costs were not paid for by Memorial Fund or USFS operating monies, and neither was the RISE launch event. Film production costs were underwritten by specific donors, I believe some names are scrolled during the film's ending credits.I do remember hearing that film costs were being underwritten. From the article, I thought the expenses mentioned were additional expenses absorbed by USFSA. I guess it wasn't clear.


RISE was created as a tribute to the Athletes and Official lost in the plane crash. Fund raising was only part of the project. Moneys are still coming in from the project. Yes, I am prejudiced, I knew all of the members of that team and skated with many of them. Regardess of finances, I firmly believe that remembering that team is worth the costI saw RISE and thought it was a wonderful production. I didn't question whether RISE should have been made; I suspect there are quite a few expenses not directly related to the production and promotion of the film. But if the costs were underwritten by sponsors, I suppose it doesn't matter (unless the money spent crowds out future donations to USFSA/Memorial Fund, but that would be hard to track). Glad to hear money is still coming in.

Visaliakid
05-12-2012, 05:37 AM
With the soon-to-be published actions from the just concluded 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council within the next week or so, I believe that it is also appropriate that everyone should get a look-see at USFSA's past three years of IRS filings, beginning with:

2010 Form 990 (the latest year available) which is for the 2009-2010 tax year. (It appears that USFS lost over 2 million dollars in revenue for this reporting period.)

http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/840/768/2010-840768715-0738ed55-9.pdf (http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/840/768/2010-840768715-0738ed55-9.pdf)

IceNetwork Revenue and assets figures are on page 27.

The 2009 Form 990, which is for the 2008-2009 tax year

http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2009/840/768/2009-840768715-05f83b15-9.pdf (http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2009/840/768/2009-840768715-05f83b15-9.pdf)

Scroll down to the "Related Organizations and Unrelated Partnerships" Schedule R Form 990 section to see IceNetwork total income and end of year assets figures.

The 2008 Form 990, which is for the 2007-2008 tax year

http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2008/841/558/2008-841558040-048f446b-9.pdf (http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2008/841/558/2008-841558040-048f446b-9.pdf)

There is no earlier required filing information on IceNetwork as the law apparently did not require it prior to 2009 filing. A tax accountant is researching this for me presently and when I learn more, I will report on this.

crzesk8dad
05-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Is the Memorial Fund different from the USFS Foundation? I found the foundation's 990 from a couple of years ago, a nothing stuck out at me as unreasonable. None of the directors receive any compensation. They pay some investment management (money management) fees, but those didn't look especially high compared with the funds under investment.

Yes, the Memorial Fund was set up as a tribute to those lost in the 1961 crash, it provides funding to the athletes. It is self supporting, the funds given to the athletes come from investment income.

The USFS Foundation is the money that was set aside, starting several years ago, prior the ending of the ABC television contract. Fortunately, there were those on the board who were visionary and the decision was made to place some of the ABC income aside, to provide a fund for future revenue shortages.

Remember ABC used to write USFSA a check each year for "exclusive rights", which included Skate America and Nationals. That, no longer, happens with NBC. Today it is a revenue sharing agreement.

Both sides sell the advertising and sponsorships, the costs of running the event (and putting on TV) are deducted and what is left is split by USFS and NBC. If my numbers are correct, USFS receives from today's revenue share, with NBC, about 20-25% of what used to come from the ABC "exclusive rights" agreement.

At least, that is how I remember things...if I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll find out from someone at FSU! :lol:

skatesindreams
05-12-2012, 07:07 PM
^^^
Thanks for the information.