Finally had some time to sit and read the "message" from our District President.
I'll start out by saying I think his message falls somewhat flat because some important details are left out. Name names, Wayne. Who
is this “Mid-Atlantic Delegate to USTA” that, without Board approval, proposed these call items and how and why were they allowed to do so (which National rules did they slide it in on)? Call them out in public, revoke their status as Delegate and maybe even their USTA membership.
Give dates. When was this "Semiannual Meeting" in New York? When is the next national meeting...for our “comments” to be in by? If you want to be all about "transparency and honesty" then give us all the facts.
And while you're at it, take a good long look in your own mirror. Last year, USTA/VA alone sucked $18 from each and every player for each and every league they played in. Was that information on the USTA/VA website? No, not that I could find (our local area broke down the almost $40 each signup costs). That same website does little to explain why the fee is so high except to say that it funds a long laundry list of things we rarely hear about. (link: http://www.virginiatennis.com/leagues/faqs.html
) Is the District’s budget posted anywhere on-line?
About the specific proposals, it's hard to judge them without all the data.
Are the “potential” call items #1 and #2 a package deal? Exactly which Districts are to be divided? It would seem like the proposal must have some specifics.
At least in Item #2, we are given the breakdown that USTA/VA comprises “57% of the membership.” Do we assume that’s individual, unique members...or does it represent the aggregate number of players and their opportunities? Take someone like CindySphinx or Topaz. Live in one District, play in another. Are they members of both? If not, why not? If they’re paying “league” fees that go to that District, shouldn’t they have a say in how that District is governed?
(OK, maybe DC is a bad, bad, bad area to have this discussion of “paying” without being represented.)
And how is/was Item #3 even an issue at a National USTA meeting? It’s supposedly a proposed change to the Mid-Atlantic Section by-laws. Wouldn’t that have to be taken up by USTA/MAS (and then, perhaps, sent to National for final approval)?
Taking a step-back, I’ll have to admit I think the VA District is perhaps either too large, especially in relation to the other districts within our Section...or...the overall section is misconfigured. I'm not in the Washington area (DC proper, NOVA or MD) so you may think me crazy....but I think that players being allowed to play in two (or even three) different districts during the same “season” is crazy. If DC doesn't have enough (tennis) population to adequately field teams at many levels...well, then fix it. Maybe it's time to recognize that our "boundaries" really don't fall along "state" lines anymore. Other sections have bitten the bullet: one that comes to mind is the Missouri Valley-Heart of America District (with an area around Kansas City).
Would dividing up and diluting USTA/VA penalize the District for doing its job of "growing the game"? Eh, maybe. But if they want to maintain the current "structure" of one district/one vote (if that’s even it at all)...that's just not going to work long-term for everyone. Our own national congress (as messed up as those jokers are sometimes) is probably structured properly if we're going to stay mired in State boundaries. One voting group based on geography, the other on “population.” Perhaps that would be a better middle-ground to seek.
Bottom line, though for me, USTA cannot have it both ways: pushing to have increased “participation” but then limiting the voting power of those increased (or larger) areas.
Thanks, JRS for posting this issue. I never would have otherwise seen it. If I can get more details (from USTA/VA), I’ll gladly push them out to the other captains in the Richmond area I know (and there’s quite a few of them).