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  1. #1

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    U.S. Figure Skating Financial Accountability

    More financial analysis from Ice Skating International:

    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archi...0Financial.htm

    Where does our money go? What did it produce? One medal at Worlds? Really? Why does it take $100K to produce rule books?

    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.
    Happy Skating!

    Crzesk8dad

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    While I think the rulebook figure is ludicrous and USFS is clearly spending more than they need to on many things, I never thought my membership money was going to the "production" of World medals.

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    the rulebook figure is crazy! The US Dressage Association and US Equestrian Federation asks when you pay your due if you need a hard copy, and encourages you to say no. I think one of them even charges $5 shipping to encourage use of online resources.

  4. #4

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    U.S. Figure Skating Governance - Reader Comments re: Exhibit D

    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archi...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.
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

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    Paraphrasing some of George Rossano's remarks... IceNetwork - Rise - New Membership Software - Athlete Development... Where does the money come from (to fund these programs); is there a profit/loss; and where does the money go? A proper accounting has never been given the delegates (on these programs).

    Quoting Rossano: Once projects are approved by the delegates, they disappear into the mist, with no detailed accounting back to the delegates afterwards of what we got for our money.
    Governance:

    Voting to adopt Exhibit D will insure the Power will be centralized in the Board of Directors, who will continue to meet and conduct business annually. There will be no debate, no discussion, no vote by delegates (in non GC years); there will be no annual opportunity to bring up, discuss and vote on new business; Athlete representation will be limited to athlete board members.

    Financial:

    Accepting Exhibit D will bring the potential for the Board and hired Staff to deviate from the Budget; without approval of the voting membership for up to 2 years. The Budget will be driven by the Board of Directors and Staff with limited-to-no transparency or accountability to club member represented delegates.

    Club Participation:

    Clubs will participate in “Education Only” meetings being Reliant on biennial electronic communication. Requests for Action will be at the discretion of Board of Directors allowing the Leadership to be insulated from the general membership with no consideration for Individual members.

    Exhibit D needs to be swiftly defeated!
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  6. #6

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    USFS Governing Council Update:

    Exhibit D has been sounded defeated. ‎309 in favor, 626 opposed. It needed 2/3 vote to pass.

    Source: A post on my Facebook site by delegate attendee Timothy McKernan.
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by crzesk8dad View Post
    Why does it take $100K to produce rule books?
    It doesn't. George misunderstood information presented in the meeting book - the meeting book itself uses incorrect terminology, but George apparently skimmed. According to the meeting book for Governing Council, the costs of assembling the "rulebook" for the Governing Council meeting are $123,950 per week; this includes sending a printed copy of the meeting book, as it's typically called, in a 3-ring binder, to every official delegate whether or not they actually attend. This is absolutely not the same thing as the "rulebook" that contains USFSA rules that we use to verify, say, USFSA rules. (If you have access to the meeting book, this is on page 124).

    A closer read of the budget suggests costs of distributing the actual *rulebook* at $20,000 for 2012, which includes printed copies to test chairs and judges who request them; it also indicates revenue from sales of the actual *rulebook* at close to $20,000, with a proposed reduction in both rulebook-related expenses and revenue to closer to $7,000 in 2013.

    Moreover, George's point on his blog that he hasn't seen anyone with a paper copy of the rulebook because everyone uses PDFs on electronic readers is (hopefully) entirely incorrect, because electronic devices aren't allowed on the judges' stand: we're all required to have paper copies to use on the podium - although since USFSA stopped distributing them for free, we've become increasingly reliant upon the accountants to supply a rulebook if it's needed. (Tech panel officials tend to each have a self-created binder with the four trees' worth of information required for tech panel rule verification.)

    I consider George a friend and frequently admire both his points and his courage in standing up to da establishment. I can't believe that I'm actually defending any part of the budget or "USFSA as USFSA does," but I think George is very wrong this time and I'm disappointed that he made a big deal out of something that would have been cleared up with about two seconds of critical reading - which he is more than capable of doing.

  8. #8
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    The US Figure Skating FAQ sheet on the USFS website breaks the cost of the rulebook down as follows

    "3. Regarding the cost of the rulebook, $123,950 is significant. Can you provide a cost breakdown? What will happen to staff time if it is avoided?
    Yes, the expense of printing the annual rulebook plus the expense for binders is listed on page 111 of the GC Meeting book budget - $64,345 – under 2012 approved budget 5325-002 COS RULEBOOK BINDERS; the expense of shipping the rulebook is $41,000 – this is listed on page 111 within the expenses under 5329-002-5154 SHIPPING AND REIMBURSED SHIPPING; the expense of shipping the rulebook to Judges, page 113 - 6306 JUDGES – 002 RULEBOOK/ DIRECTORY TO JUDGES is approximately $3000; the expense of shipping the rulebook to Test Chairs, page 113 - 6409 TESTS – 001 Tests – RULEBOOKS TO TEST CHAIRS is $2700; necessary staff time required to make rule revisions and additions, and ship the rulebook – approximately $15,000. If there is no rulebook, staff time will be committed to other"

    The FAQs also say in years the rulebook was not printed the annual cost of the rulebook would be $0

  9. #9

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    Regarding accountability and IceNetwork. Does it really operate at a loss? Is it owned by US Figure Skating or is it a completely independent news source? If so, then why is IceNetwork putting out articles on how wonderful skaters or new dances teams are from other countries. There seems to be a lot of promotion of Canadian skaters. I have never seen Skate Canada promote a US team. It's OK to cover the winners of events but to do puff pieces is not fiscally responsible. This opportunity to "puff" should be for US skaters only. This should help promote US Skaters world wide and build a bigger audience for USA skaters so that down the road more ticket sales are generated and maybe even more judges awareness internationally. Just sayin...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by keep n spin n View Post
    If so, then why is IceNetwork putting out articles on how wonderful skaters or new dances teams are from other countries. There seems to be a lot of promotion of Canadian skaters. I have never seen Skate Canada promote a US team. It's OK to cover the winners of events but to do puff pieces is not fiscally responsible. This opportunity to "puff" should be for US skaters only.
    I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree with this. I'm interested in skating, and I want to see and hear all that is going on. I think we get too little Canadian coverage, not too much and this idea that only Americans should be covered is narrow-minded. We don't exist in a skating vacuum.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by keep n spin n View Post
    Regarding accountability and IceNetwork. Does it really operate at a loss? Is it owned by US Figure Skating or is it a completely independent news source?
    From the IN web site:

    "Ice Network, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Figure Skating, has the exclusive rights to U.S. Figure Skating's interactive media properties and is a joint venture between U.S. Figure Skating and MLB Advanced Media."
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    From the IN web site:

    "Ice Network, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Figure Skating, has the exclusive rights to U.S. Figure Skating's interactive media properties and is a joint venture between U.S. Figure Skating and MLB Advanced Media."
    Too bad it isn't mlp Advanced Media - imagine what we might see!
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  13. #13

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    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...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by VALuvsMKwan View Post
    Too bad it isn't mlp Advanced Media - imagine what we might see!

    It would be a lot more sparkly and snarky for sure.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  15. #15

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    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.
    ???? He must be around wealthy coaches. All my coaches have the book. My primary coach regularly pulls it out--seeing as it is not easy to remember the manuevers on all tests in all disciplines and the primary and secondary focus for each (different for adults and kids in many cases).
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  16. #16
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    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.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 05-10-2012 at 08:09 AM.

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    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.

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    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.

  19. #19

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    [QUOTE=crzesk8dad;3562698]More financial analysis from Ice Skating International:

    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archi...0Financial.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

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Visaliakid View Post
    U.S. Figure Skating Governance - Reader Comments re: Exhibit D

    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archi...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

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