Looks like USTA is finding new ways to mess up in VA

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JRstriker12, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Good sleuthing AQ! Sorry I didn't reply earlier in the TWMAC thread, I was away from my computer. I posted the link to the petition there and here:

    http://www.one-member-one-vote.com/sign-up-petition.php

    I also sent you an email...typical of the ones that have been circulating around up in these here parts. Just if you're interested. It has the same link to the petition.
     
    #51
  2. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Normally, yes. And I hope that does still happen.

    The thing is...I'm in nursing school. And working two jobs. So, I haven't kept up on a lot of tennis stuff like I normally do, and I worry that I will get left out of the loop I guess? Not sure. For instance, I wasn't scrambling (or being asked) to be on teams after the ratings came out late last year...I was studying for a final. And people were forming teams and I was thinking...'really? Its...December.' I don't know...I guess I've just had a lot more other stuff going on? I know I'll have a strong 3.5 MD and DC team...would be nice to have one in my home state, too! :)
     
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  3. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I suspect you're correct there, catfish. When you cannot see through the glass because of the fog, it's probably because it's been steamed up by blowing huffs...and the smell of...money.

    This is a lot of hoopla that our area of VA has heard little about. I try to stay abreast of the goings-on but this one has flown completely under my radar. But after reading the list of petition signers, I can see where our local association (RTA) as well as several big/prominent clubs & players have signed on. I wonder why this information hasn't been more passed around.

    From this graphic on the petition website (don't know who started it), it really does look like VA is the only District to be affected by the 40% rule proposed for Bylaw 5. The proposed amendment for Bylaw 14 looks like a "bone" to make the one for #5 appear "consistent" -- when it's virtually impossible for any one Section to reach the 40% limit/level.

    I did/do find it interesting that two Sections (Mid-West & Southern) are significantly larger than all the rest. I've often wondered why Southern was so large -- geographically and in membership numbers.

    If they really want to address some of the "disparity" issues, they need to take an even bigger picture look at the whole map.

    Side note: I found if difficult (impossible) to get to the "Sections" map on usta.com going through their website-menus.

    This is the main "About Us" page. (Sorry I can't do screen shots on this computer). Notice there is no link to/for SECTIONS.

    Now, after doing a Google-search, I get a reference to this page for USTA-Sections.

    Main Organization Page: www usta.com/About-USTA/Organization/Organization/
    Section Page: www usta.com/About-USTA/Organization/Sections/Sections/

    Looking at those two URLS, you'd think there be some way to get from the first (main) page to the Sections one.
     
    #53
  4. Local Girl

    Local Girl New User

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    Only organization members (CTAs and others) have voting rights so they were the only ones to receive the email from the MAS president. League players who are USTA members can't vote at the section or district level. The only way to have a "voice" is by petition to the district/section.
     
    #54
  5. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Good call, Local Girl. After diving into the complicated mass that is our National and Section Constitution and Bylaws, the web becomes even more tangled.

    Currently, at least to me, there is no one-member-one-vote policy. As Local Girl points out, "the only voting members of the USTA/MAS shall be its District Delegates" (Article V, Section 2 of USTA/MAS Bylaws). And if you look at the voting breakdown of the USTA/MAS Board on this issue -- I'm not quite sure how "voting" strength even came into play (if it did at all). The USTA/MAS BoD is comprised of 9 members, only two of which voted no (the VA Delegate and the 2nd VP).

    While I continue to agree that our Section has a disparity in membership totals, I fail to see how Virginia's voting "power" is excessive. The BoD members are equally divided with three each from DC, MD and VA. If the BoD voting members vote in accordance with true membership, the Call would likely have failed since VA has 57% of registered members and DC & MD combined have only 42%.

    Something's still not adding up.

    Again, I'll say our Section(s) could be divided up much differently to give a more equal footing to each representative group but I feel this apparent round-about way of doing it is the wrong approach.
     
    #55
  6. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Unless I missed something, it's not really clear what votes they are talking about. They are asking players, clubs, etc to sign a petition so that they (VA BOD) maintain their voting strength. But what exactly are they voting on? Also, do they ask the players, clubs, etc for input when they vote on their behalf? Sorry, but something sounds fishy here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
    #56
  7. Local Girl

    Local Girl New User

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    The vote of the VA District Delegate is more heavily weighted since VA has more "member organizations". According to the MAS by-law, the VA District holds a meeting with it's voting members on the issues that will be brought before the MAS board. The district delegate is supposed to vote at the MAS meetings according to the majority decision of the "member organizations".

    This is different from my section where all the member organizations just vote on their own at the section's annual meeting.
     
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  8. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    LG, you seem to be well-versed in things USTA-Sectional. Any chance you might share more of what you know (even off-board)? I can be contacted through TT. I'm not formally involved at any level of USTA and don't have any skin in this game other than one of "fairness" and doing what seems best for most. I know a lot of people in the Richmond tennis community and the buzz is rising. I'd like to be well-informed of what's really going on (if that's at all possible).

    I, too, thought the votes would be weighted and so was/am confused by some of the "PR" put out by the one-member-one-vote folks (whoever they are...I'm always skeptical of groups that won't identify themselves by name).
     
    #58
  9. Local Girl

    Local Girl New User

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    The reason MAS wanted USTA nationals to amend the national by-laws is to get around having the MAS districts vote on "realigning" the organization membership votes. MAS knows that VA with the most votes would "kill" the MAS proposed by-law change at the local level for sure.

    I seriously doubt USTA nationals will amend their by-laws since nationals likes to maintain a "hands-off" approach when it comes to the internal dealings of the sections. And this MAS issue clearly is a political manuever against VA.

    IMHO MAS would've been better off changing its by-laws to allow all the member organizations to vote independently on all section-related issues instead of having the district delegate votes be weighted. This to me would be fairer to the other districts with less organization members. Of course if this were the case, then you can be sure MAS itself would be campaigning for proxies from the VA member organizations.

    For now, the VA petition is a good counter-measure. At least nationals will hear the other side of the story.
     
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  10. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Any word on what happened at the Annual Meeting over the weekend?
     
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  11. Local Girl

    Local Girl New User

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    #61
  12. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Duh! (not at you, Local Girl....at MAS!)

    Thanks. I'd been checking it earlier in the week and hadn't done so lately. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with, if they end up in arbitration again...or what.
     
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  13. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    #63
  14. Local Girl

    Local Girl New User

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    Yep. MAS just made themselves look stupid and incompetent to Nationals. Clearly the solution is to have each of the member clubs vote on their own.
     
    #64
  15. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    I'm still very confused by the whole thing!
     
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  16. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I am bumping this thread to see if any of the other Obi-Wans in this crowd know where this matter stands. Weeks ago, I sent an email to USTA/VA through their website asking for an update. Last published one is from March...and the semi-annual meeting is fast approaching in September. Par for the course: I've not gotten any kind of response. Not even a standard, or to be expected....we're working on it.

    Anyone know anything?
     
    #66
  17. Angle Queen

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    Bump.

    Attended a "Town Hall" Meeting this past weekend, ostensibly to get an update on the Changes and Challenges facing USTA/VA. I thought we'd be hearing more about the overall league restructuring but what we got was a highly scripted (IMHO) presentation of what's happening between USTA/VA and USTA/MAS. And it's not good. USTA/VA is definitely SOL.

    USTA/National approved the By-Law changes (after punting them back to the section...not getting resolved and, hence, were approved). USTA/VA sued. And lost. Entered arbitration (over methods to offer/vote on an alternate slate of officers). And lost. Or certainly are losing.

    Apparently, there's some March 31st deadline to come up with something but the two camps (USTA/VA and USTA/MAS...read USTA/DC & USTA/MD) are at complete and utter loggerheads.

    I still don't fully understand the whole voting dilution/limitation to 40%...but here's the bottom-line, at least to me: Despite having 10 times the number of registered USTA players as DC, their voting capabilities are nearly equal.

    This is ALL about THE MONEY. Clearly, USTA/VA (and MD to some extent) are subsidizing the USTA/DC District. And they want to keep it that way. Suggestions to divide Virginia (into a north/south and keep DC and MD) as well as create three more equally-sized districts with, e.g. Central VA/Metro DC/MD, were apparently rejected. USTA/VA can't do anything to themselves without getting approval of USTA/MAS....who apparently won't approve anything because it'll disrupt the cash-cow they are milking. We can't leave USTA/MAS -- either to become our own section or join forces with other states (like NC/SC/WV/TN) -- and are destined to stay just like we are. Crazy stupid and the very definition of Up A Creek.

    I may have gotten a few of the nuances wrong...but the general flavor/consensus was that...we're screwed.
     
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  18. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Wow. Seems like a crappy situation. I just wonder if I'll see any changes once I actual get back to playing USTA?
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Virgina sends all these whiny emails complaining how they are being mistreated.

    Just because you are the biggest doesn't mean you get to run roughshod over everyone else. California doesn't get to boss Wyoming around just because California is bigger. If you are going to have a union, you have to look out for the rights of the minority.

    I appreciate that USTA is tring to look out for the little guy a bit.
     
    #69
  20. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I've yet to get one of those emails. In fact, I get no emails from USTA/VA.

    California is so big, the state is split into two separate Sections. They are not, cannot, trample on Wyoming.

    And the Mid-Atlantic Section is grossly misaligned. Last I saw of numbers, there was no other Section with such a disparity in the size of the individual districts. Please, Cindy, go back in this thread and look at some of the suggestions I put forth. They're some of the same ones (apparently) USTA/VA has suggested too. But to no avail. I don't know, and we weren't told, why certain elements of potential resolution were rejected. I think I've been a loud critic of USTA/VA's (sometimes) holier-than-thou attitude, but continuing to underwrite such a small District as DC just doesn't make either financial or functional sense.

    I think it's been a bit of heavy-handed politicing and mud-slinging by just a few who have caused all the commotion. Wish I knew what'd really started it all -- why a duly designated delegate...suggested an amendment at Nationals that the entire MAS BoD never had approved anyway. Literally 100s of thousands of dollars have been spent on both sides to litigate this matter. How many racquets or lessons could that have bought for kids with an interest...or public courts to be resurfaced? It's grandiose pig-headed power grabbing...by everyone involved. :(

    /rant over

    for now......
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I admit I haven't kept up with the politics of it all. I play primarily in MD, with a bit of DC. If I never played another match in VA, I'd be fine with it. You can see why my initial instincts are not to care one whit how badly VA thinks it has been treated.

    When I talked about California and Wyoming, I wasn't talking about USTA or tennis.

    I was talking more generally about how our system of government is set up so that big states cannot overpower little states (e.g. each state gets two Senators regardless of size). There are legitimate reasons to do things that way. If you don't, the minority will be outvoted again and again and they will eventually cease to exist or will revolt.

    In tennis, USTA feels it is important to be a national organization. To do that, they have to preserve the interests of the smaller states/leagues.

    It sounds like they may have handled this correctly. VA is complaining but is not leaving. That suggests that USTA may have struck the right balance.
     
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  22. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Please be careful here. Earlier in this thread, I talked of designing a power structure similar to our US structure: a senate...yes, with two equal votes per state regardless of size...but also including a house...with voting powers divided by the sheer population numbers. A balance seems prudent.

    My point is...Virginia cannot leave. ANY change, including a redistricting or succession, must be approved by....you guessed it....MAS. Ain't happenin'.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I get it. I do.

    I think VA just has to realize that USTA has spoken, complaints have not helped, a lawsuit was unsuccessful. I cannot believe this is still going on. I think we're done and done.

    No, VA cannot leave. Which suggests that USTA struck a proper balance in its goal of preserving its "union."
     
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  24. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    You're right. As a District. But personally, I am done.

    The way to "leave" is to "not join." This is my last year of USTA play (for a variety of reasons). And had I not made a personal commitment to a good friend and long-time captain, I wouldn't even play this year. $90 for ~3 matches. No, thank you.

    We've a local tennis association here that I'm going to throw my weight behind. I think ALTA formed because of a big disagreement with USTA and I think our area is big enough, strong enough, to do something similar. Maybe not at first, but I'm certain we can create enough playing, competitive opportunities...for a reasonable price and logistics...that it'll suit me just fine...for many years to come.
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Duplicate . . . .
     
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  26. Topaz

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    How were MD and DC being mistreated exactly? How did VA run roughshod over everyone else?

    Why would MD care if VA split into North and South? Geographically, it makes a TON of sense. Heck, MD districts is closer to home for me than VA districts.

    Whiny emails? You mean...ones full of facts?

    What did VA ever do to you Cindy, jeez.
     
    #76
  27. Topaz

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    OMG...I would LOVE this! I'm very tired of celebrating a successful season by having to spend $ and time to travel to Huntington to play a post season tournament. Despite there being a majority of players in NOVA, not one post season tournament is held up here. Some players had a big talk with some of the officials at Tri-Sectionals a few weeks ago, and while they agree, it seems we are powerless.

    As I mentioned to Cindy, I *love* playing MD districts, because I actually get to stay at home and sleep in my own bed. But for VA, I never get to do that, no matter which tournament it is.

    North/South would make so much sense though...with NOVA, Loudoun, Shenandoah in North; and Richmond, VA Beach, Charlottesville, and a few other areas in there.

    VA districts is a brutal tournament, too...we have to go through more just to get out of our state than some teams have to do to go to Nationals. And that disparity was very well reflected at Nationals this year.

    And, while you guys were talking about analogies with the government, the one that I thought most appropriate is another based on population...electoral votes. Not every state has the same amount, because not every state has the same population. While I would not want to see any minority mistreated, I don't see how VA separating itself would hurt MD and DC...unless they need VA way more than some seem willing to admit.

    Like Striker, I think it will be interesting to see how, if any, effect this has on us schmucks actually on the courts.
     
    #77
  28. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Granted, I only made it to VA beach once for districts (was it districts? - or whatever playoff they held down there) - it was a fun excuse for a trip (though the weather was horrible on the days we had to play - non stop rain).

    But for all you USTA junkies, I can see how making that sort of trip could wear thin each year.
     
    #78
  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, I don't mean emails full of facts.

    I mean emails whining about VA losing power without giving me any reason why I should care. "Stand with us!" Without any explanation. Sent to someone like me who rarely plays in VA.

    I don't care if Va split itself. I believe that VA routinely outvoted the smaller states on things like where Sectionals would be held. I figure if USTA is going to all this trouble to redistribute power, I bet there is a good reason other than hatred of VA.

    Has anyone taken the time to understand this?
     
    #79
  30. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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