Lightweight Committee Conference Call

Lightweight Committee Conference Call

CRCA Lightweight Conference Call Minutes

Present: Bucknell – Steve Kish, Georgetown – Jim O’Connor, Lehigh – Liz Meltzer, MIT – Claire Kostrewski & Holly Metcalf, Radcliffe – Heather Cartwright, Stanford – Al Acosta, , Wisconsin – Erik Miller

Update Regarding Lightweight Athlete and Lightweight Coach of the Year

After our last conference call, Steve had passed along our proposed changes to the CRCA Board of Directors.  Board member Bill Zack had responded with some thoughts that need to be addressed. Specifically, we need to make sure our voting for lightweight athlete and lightweight coach of the year follow the protocols for all the other CRCA awards.  If we want to do something different, we need to have it approved by the Board.  Steve will forward Bill’s comments to the new chair or co chairs once they take office.

Update regarding sharing of Lightweight Athlete Selection Protocols

Steve had worked to recruit a committee member to take on this project but was unsuccessful in two separate attempts.  As a result, he decided to wait and pass it along to the next chair.  The idea is simple execute another round of sharing regarding the systems that each program is currently using.

Update regarding outreach of the IRA-CRCA Weigh-In Procedure

Without any success in recruiting a committee member to get involved with item #2 above, Steve decided to wait on this item as well and pass it along to the next chair.  Again, the idea is to work on establishing consistency among the weigh-in procedures of all the championship regattas (WIRA, PCRC, SIRA, Northeaster Regionals, USRowing Nationals).

Co-Chair needed for the CRCA Lightweight Committee

After being involved as chair, co-chair or contributing committee member since January of 2003, Steve has definitely decided to remove himself from an active duty.  Erik Miller and Al Acosta volunteered to be nominees for the CRCA Board of Directors in the hopes that we could have a lightweight coach as a board member but neither was elected.  Steve was also not re-elected to the Board.  So, we will definitely be looking for a new Chairperson for the Lightweight Committee once the new board is put in place at the USRowing Conference, tomorrow, December 4, 2008.  None of the new or current CRCA Board members actually run a lightweight program that competes at the IRA.  Steve did mention that the new DII-III At-Large board member (Susan Parkman of Willamette University) has raced a vl4 or vl8 in the past.  Regardless, it was suggested that we find a co-chair from among the IRA programs.  The BOD has been agreeable to this situation in the past.  Although there seems to be no protocol in the CRCA bylaws for electing a co-chair, our committee decided to go ahead and hold an internal election for who we would submit to the BOD as a candidate for co-chair.  The election will take place by email over the coming week.  Al Acosta and Erik Miller were nominated.  All 2009 IRA affiliate members will be solicited for a vote.

Update regarding IRA Meeting at the Head of the Charles

Erik and Liz emphasized that we need to have a presence at meetings such as these.  Based on the new IRA rules, we need to form a Lightweight Women’s Selection Committee for the 2009 IRA comprised of four IRA affiliate school coaches (2 EAWRC, 1 Pac-10, 1 at large not affiliated with Pac 10 or EARC) and two administrators (1 from an IRA affiliate school with an eligible lightweight women’s team, selected by the ECAC, and the IRA Director or his/her designee who will serve as a non voting member of the committee).  An email vote will be conducted in the coming week for the 2 EAWRC coaches and the 1 at large position.  The Pac-10 position is already filled as there is only one IRA affiliate Pac-10 program (Stanford).  Finally, each of the affiliate programs will be asked to check with their administrator to see if they would be willing to serve on the committee.  That group will be presented to the ECAC as specified in the rules for forming the committee.

Discussion regarding the relationship of lightweight women’s rowing and the IRA

Concern was expressed regarding the fact that lightweight programs such as Lehigh, Bucknell and Duquesne will essentially have to pay a $2,000 entry fee if they are selected because they do not have men’s openweight or lightweight programs to help absorb the cost.  The majority of the discussion focused on looking into the future and conceiving ways to secure the future of a lightweight women’s championship.  Steve mentioned the idea of somehow unofficially coexisting with the NCAA Women’s Championship.  He had floated the idea to Gary Caldwell of the ECAC who responded that the idea had been presented at some point and the NCAA’s response was unwelcoming.  Jim presented the idea that we need to find a way to be self-supporting, with a corporate sponsor to help us keep the doors open at the IRA or wherever.  In other words, we need to take control of our future by raising the necessary funds and support.  Holly Metcalf suggested involving USRowing and seeing if they would be willing to find a way to help our situation.  There was also a suggestion to move the nat’l championships to the Eastern Sprints, which would probably require racing on Saturday afternoon/evening as the regatta is already maxed out for events in one day.  Both Wisconsin and Georgetown were opposed to the idea of moving the nat’l championship back three to four weeks from its current date.  Steve submitted the idea of working with another regatta around the same date that we currently work with, such as the USRowing Youth Invitational in Cincinnati

Submitted by Steve Kish