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Jacksonville Business

Chair Report - January 2006
George Mathews

As most of you know, the USATF Annual Meeting is the place where we
conduct a major portion of our business for the year. This year in
Jacksonville, Florida, your delegates and officers worked very hard to
represent the best interests of USATF Masters Track & Field members.
This included over 16 hours of strictly Masters Track & Field meetings,
a two- hour joint meeting with LDR members, six-seven hours of
executive committee meetings, six hours of regional coordinators
meetings, 8eight hours of Board of Directors meetings, six+ hours of
the awards committee, plus other committee meetings, four hours of the
General Competition Division of which Masters T& F is a part, and
another five hours of General Meetings of the all USATF delegates.
Hopefully we have figured it out. The minutes and reporting in National
Masters News will give you many details that you may,or may not, wish
to know. Thank you to all who contributed their time, talent and
treasure. 
I would like to comment on what I believe were the most significant
matters. 
RESTRUCTURING 
This is might have been the most controversial issue brought forth at
the meeting. This is not a new subject, but has come up on the radar
screen because of amendments that were proposed to our Law and
Legislation Committee this year. There were three that dealt with the
downsizing of the USATF Board of Directors. They all proposed a much
smaller Board, around nine members or so, that probably wouldn't
include a seat for Masters Track & Field. This is of course most
disturbing to our membership. Also, the exclusion of the word Masters (
the word " All " doesn't seem to make it with our members) in the new
USATF mission statement. The reference to the support of the
professional athlete didn't go over very well either. 
The downsizing of the Board is in direct relation to the wishes of the
USOC to have the Federations make their Boards similar to the USOC's.
Besides the small number of members, it is not constituency based. This
would be a big change for the USATF Board, which is constituency based. 
We must not over-react and or be hasty in any reaction to these
"proposed" changes. We still have another year before anything would be
done, and it couldn't take effect until after 2008 according to Bill
Roe, USATF president.  The Masters Track & Field Executive Committee
has asked me to establish an ad hoc committee to study this situation
and look at all our options. This is already under way.
USATF MEMBERSHIP INCREASE 
This was really a hot topic! Much lobbying and testimony was
introduced at the General Competition committee by all sides. The youth
committee made very provocative positions to not increase the
membership fees. There was some significant sense that the adult
members could stand an increase. Several members of the Associations
Committee felt that an increase would reduce membership and convinced
Allen Roth to do a study on the effect of an increase on membership. I
believe that is an impossible task and don't believe the increase will
have any effect on membership. If USATF membership isn't worth $30 a
year, then we aren't much of an organization.
 
The Masters Track & Field Committee voted to support a $10 a year
increase in membership fees, $20 to $30. The major concern we have is
in how the incremental dollars are applied to our committee. The USATF
National Office put out a discussion draft on this called Membership
Restructuring. There is some very important information in this
document, and it is to be used as a baseline starting point for
negotiation. The bottom line is that the Masters Track & Field
Committee wants a higher share of the incremental so we can realize the
plans laid out in our Strategic Plan. The discussion draft asked for
input on the subject to bill.roe@usatf.org and/or Karen Krasak at
n2track@aol.com, and I ask for a copy at george.mathews@adelphia.net.
The decision will be made by the USATF Board of Directors and won't
take effect until 2007 at the earliest.
 
USATF MASTERS TRACK & FIELD ( including race walking) NOW GOES DOWN TO
AGE 35 FOR MEN AND WOMEN 
This was a very hard fought rule change to comply with the IAAF/WMA
change. Apparently Masters LDR has some commitments for future races
which would be impacted by this rule change. Finally, after many
appeals, Masters LDR was given until 2010 or 20 11 to comply. Masters
Track & Field, including masters racewalking starts at 35 years of age
starting in 2006. 
There many other important matters dealt with that I don't have space
to comment on. After reviewing the official and unofficial minutes, if
you see something you want to comment on please feel free to contact me.
 
Thanks For a Great 2005
Happy Holidays
And a Faster, Higher and Longer 2006

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