Board of Directors Meeting - March 13, 1999

Meeting Minutes

Official notice of meeting given Feb. 16; pre-meeting agenda sent Mar 8.

The first board of directors meeting of the Montana Association met on Saturday, March 13, in the Executive Board Room of the Grant Creek Inn, Missoula. In attendance were Bill Brist (President), Mavis Lorenz (Masters Chair), Dave Skelton (Youth chair), and Pam Sikkink (Registration Chair). Stu Melby was absent due to illness in his family that took him to the East Coast. The meeting was called to order by Bill Brist at 12:15 PM, after a preliminary discussion on Roberts Rules of Order and a statement that all future Montana Association meetings would follow these rules to maintain order and give everyone an opportunity to participate in discussions. The bylaws state that a quorum is any member present at the board meeting and that motions must pass by 2/3 of the quorum.

Bill gave welcoming remarks to attendees and read the purposes and responsibilities of the board of directors from the bylaws. Bill reiterated that the board's main purpose is to "direct and supervise this association, to help foster and promote, nurture, improve, supervise and oversee….the disciplines of track and field, cross country, long-distance running, and racewalking in the state of Montana."

The minutes of the 1998 annual meeting were approved by the directors present. Committee reports followed.

The President's report from Bill was a summary of his goals for 1999.

His first goal is to "devise and maintain an active and productive Board of Directors, as stated in the bylaws." Bill illustrated this goal with a diagram of the present administrative organization of USATF Montana, including officers, administrative committees, sports committees and special committees. Bill showed the present make-up of the board currently filling many of these positions. The present board consists of only 8 people for a possible 15-20 positions. Bill will work to find people truly interested in working the remaining positions before making appointments to them. He stressed that the board is a decision-making board, rather than a planning-board. Planning should be done in committees and taken to the board for approvals of actions. Dave discussed the Athlete's advisory elected members of the board. He has athletes who may like to take one of these positions, however, they must be elected by the general memebership. Potential athlete's advisory nominee (open division): Russ Skelton.

Bill's second goal is to increase membership in the association. Ways to do this are on the agenda for later in the meeting.

Bill's third goal, as president, is to make our association the envy of other associations in USATF. In other words, to conduct our activities in a highly professional manner and strive for top quality in all our activities.

The Vice-President's report could not be given. Board member was not present.

The Treasurer's report was given by Pam. She summarized the income sources for the association and costs to the association from membership, clubs and sanctions (in a general way). Most of the income for the assocation comes from individual membership cards (i.e. $6.50/card stays with association). Other revenue sources are of minor importance to the operating budget (for example, only $5 of each club fee stays with the association).

The special committee on Coach's Education presented a report on the Coach's Clinic in Great Falls in 1998 and USATF Montana participation in it. Pam gave a summary of the cost of the clinic in registration fee ($125) and in expenses ($300 TV purchase, ~$25 banner materials, $40 videos from national office, $30 motel fee). Pam described the USATF display that was presented in 1998. Bill described the coach's clinic operation, programs, displays and advantages for USATF. We discussed the philosophy giving away door-prizes at the clinic. Options include: a single drawing at the end of the clinic; daily drawings; or no drawings. The purpose of signing up to win prizes is to get a mailing list for the association, so the money on prizes has to be weighted against this product. Dave (amended by Mavis) made a motion that USATF-Montana be represented at the coach's clinic in Great Falls, Aug. 4-6, 1999. The motion passed unanimously. Pam made a motion to offer one prize at the end of the clinic, which was seconded by Bill. The motion was withdrawn after discussion on the types of prizes we might offer. Mavis made a motion that we offer a drawing everyday. The motion was seconded by Bill. Dave suggested we give three hats away during the coaches clinic - one each day (~$7/hat). After discussion and call for question, the motion passed unanimously.

The Master's Athletics committee report was given by Mavis. She reported on a great newsletter for masters athletes put out by Becky Cicily (spelling?), who is the Northwest Masters Representative. Mavis also reported that next year, 2000, the Outdoor Nationals for Masters will be in Eugene, Oregon, and in 2001 the Nationals will be in Baton Rouge, LA. The state Senior Olympics will be June 11-12 in Helena. Mavis requested that we put a discussion on the agenda at the next annual meeting about reviving the state master's championships. Mavis also requested the board to think about replacing her as Masters chair at the next annual meeting as she would like to resign. She feels that the board needed more input from an athletes point of view (she is competing less due to injury) and also needs someone who can devote the time to organizing one more meet for masters athletes in the state. Her request was taken under consideration but discouraged by all board members present.

The Long-Distance Running committee report was given by Bill. He reported on the status of the 1998 Road Race Series tally of results. Currently six races are missing results and post sanctions for the series. Bill explained the complexity of the format of results coming in from various races that made tallying the results very difficult. He also said there are some complaints from athletes about the way the series is conducted (i.e. the methods of assigning points). He conceded that the association does not get many memberships each year because of the series. Most series participants buy a membership card for some other purpose and use the series as an added benefit of membership (i.e. they buy card for Le Griz or Simplot Games or Marathon and not specifically to participate in RRS). Bill suggested some methods to promote the series better and also to better track how much membership it is actually bringing in. Several new policies will go into effect for the series this year. First, anyone wanting to compete will have to fill out a separate application for the RRS and sign up for it like an event. This way only those who wish to compete (not all USATF members) will be considered in the standings. The rationale is to treat the series as an event, rather than as an added incentive, so that it is worth the financial and labor investment. Bill made a motion that USATF Montana continue to support the road race series with financial backing totalling $400 (continuance of previous years' amounts). The backing includes money for brochures, awards, and postage. Dave seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. As far as state championships in the LDR committee, only the ultramarathon has been represented and a 5K. There is presently no state championship event for marathon, half-marathon or other distance events.

Officials committee report was not given because the board member was absent. However, Bill discussed the use of officials at several USATF meets and how we can best respond to needs. Questions involved the official's certification process (addressed by Pam) and the process of offering officials clinics (also addressed by Pam). There were questions on working cards for officials and how to keep track of officiating for records when renewal is necessary. Bill reported on the Mountain West Classic plans for this year. Because of financial reasons, the Mountain West Classic, according to Bill, will have only high-school events this year. There will be no collegiate competition. This event will need officials to help with the races (end of September). The college competition will be at UM this year with a good field of teams represented.

Track & Field committee report could not be given because board members were not present. Stu was called out of town for a family illness to the East Coast and could not make it back in time for the meeting.

The Youth Athletics committee report was given by Dave and was a fairly extensive summary of the plans being made for the Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships being held in Bozeman on June 11-12. Dave has made a 3-year commitment to the Youth chair position (subject to the election of a new president in two years). His goal is to double our present membership in youth programs in three years. He presented challenges to the association to match and assist with this goal both financially and with labor for the next three years.

Dave had his own printed agenda for his part of the meeting to discuss: guidebook, awards, souvenirs, expenses/entry fee, schedule of events, officials, JO championships (timing, delays) and the meet program. Prior to discussing plans for the championship itself, however, Dave discussed the present bid process for state championships and focused on several problems. He commented on the unhealthy east/west location controversy and the need for the youth championships to take advantage of other cross-country meets (such as college meets) that might provided added experiences and positive memories for athletes competing in these championships. He stressed the need for criteria on bid approval, making the process more than just a formality of filling out the paperwork. He wants meets that receive USATF Montana approval to have to do more to promote their meet than just put notices in the local paper. He wants criteria developed so that host clubs will have a check-list of things they need to do to put on the state championships in Junior Olympics. He also wants some info on what else the kids will be offered by the particular club that hosts the meet (i.e. positive experiences or associated activities), what kinds and amounts of officials, the timing equipment used, etc. Mavis made a motion that the Youth Chair provide criteria for bidding for a J.O. meet (both in track & field and xcntry) for consideration at the annual meeting. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

For the championship, Dave presented a poster that he is having made for the championships featuring a youth athlete and all relevant info on the meet. Dave said they wanted to put a USATF champion on the poster and were trying to get Muffy Schmidt (xcntry and track & field champ), Bozeman for the picture. The poster and guidebook would be sent to 149 track coaches (possibly 200 if both boys and girls) in the state high school, plus put in Universal athletic stores in the state. Discussion concentrated on focusing on athletes for the poster that were club oriented (i.e. wearing Bozeman Track Club uniform) rather than a high school uniform.

Dave produced an extensive guidebook that was sent to all board members to review and comment on. The goal of the guidebook is to get the younger kids involved and it is to be sent to high schools, bigger school district middle and grade schools, and to sporting goods stores. Comments on the guidebook and some of its philosophical background took a considerable amount of time for the board members to discuss. Some of the discussion focused on clarification of writing in the guidebook, some on correcting errors, and some on basic philosophy of some elements in the guidebook. Winners of the coed relays will be given "ARETI" awards, in recognition of Rob Stark and his philosophy in life. ARETI is Latin and means (approximately) "Never give up, never say die", which is a motto Rob has had with his illness and one that athletes of all ages can use and remember him by.

Dave also discussed his philosophy of wanting all participants to come away from the meet with something. He requested participation awards from the association. He also requested the association pick up expenses for the team championships for USATF clubs placing in top 5 of scoring (boys and girls combined). Pam made a motion that we pick up the expenses for these items (up to $250) plus the bulk mail to mail guidebooks to our own membership (not schools or coaches). The motion was seconded by Bill. Discussion focused on Dave's other expenses for this meet and how he was going to meet them. They came to considerably more than $250. However, Dave has some potential sponcers and feels he has expenses covered (if he gets at least 100 athletes), except for the participation ribbons and USATF club team trophies. Mavis called for the question and the motion passed unanimously.

Dave requested the track and field poster put out by the national office from Mary Aude but hasn't gotten a firm commitment from her on whether he can get these posters for the championship. He plans to have "role-model" athletes available at the meet to autograph these posters for participants and needs to know if he can get some.

Dave went over schedule problems with the meet. Specifically, these centered on when and how long the multi-events would take, if the coed-relays should be Friday or Saturday night, and if the prelims for the 100 and 200 could be moved to Friday night. Conflicts centered on some districts still being in school on Friday, needing travel time to get there, and having the main events that athletes needed to advance to regionals in placed before the "fun events" of the coed relays.

Dave has made some arrangements for accommodations of a minimal number of officials. If board members are going to attend the next board meeting in Bozeman, they should let Dave know soon so he can find them rooms. Pam needs to check certified officials that should be recommended to Dave for working this meet.

Dave discussed need to look ahead and find an affordable timing system to utilize if/when he bids for regionals in 2000. Bill gave him information on Montex Timing. However, Pam explained that Montex Timing was no longer in existence and they would have to talk to Art Sikkink and Kim Haines for fee information.

Dave showed the program being planned for the JO meet. It is a very nice, professional looking program that comes with job assignments. Many board members have assignments to create various parts of the program. Board members present at the meeting already have their job assignments. Others should contact Dave for their jobs (particularly Mary and Stu). Dave is to get Bill a list of entrants to get "state champions" section completed. Pam is to write summary of Montana Association programs, check regional map, work on rule highlights and Montana club listing, and get list of records. Stu is to help with state champions writeup and help get athletes for grand marshalls. Mary is to write a summary of JO program. Bill also is to write letter from president. All contributions are due two weeks before meet, typed and preferably on floppy disk or attachment to e-mail. If not in this condition, deadline is mid-May.

Dave discussed a "Coach of the Year" philosophy to be awarded at the state championship. Discussion centered on criteria for selecting persons for this award, how many awards would be given, how we would determine where nominees for this award came from (high school, private, home school, USATF, etc), and how we would determine "positive influence" to USATF as a criteria. Dave made a motion that USATF Montana appoint a committee to design criteria for the selection of a/an individual(s) who have made outstanding contributions in the state of Montana. Pam seconded. Dave will lead committee formation. The criteria will not be ready for this year's championship but should be ready for next year's. Mavis called for question and the motion passed unanimously.

Dave is planning grand marshalls for the championship. He would like two representatives from UM and two from MSU, preferably Big Sky conference champions, to sign posters and help with award distribution. Stu and Dave need to work on this.


Old business from the annual meeting included a discussion on the bid process for future Junior Olympic meets. Bill made a motion to appoint an adhoc committee to develop criteria for accepting Junior Olympic bid applications. Pam seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The present bid form will be redone to add an event name and will be used as in the past for all bid applications.


Bill discuss the need to create interest for clubs in putting on a championship, as this is the main way to increase membership. Suggestions were offered for clubs, such as Flathead International, to put on the meet in other locations; however, this was not the preferred alternative to offering championships. Other suggestions included combining youth/open/and masters all in meet if it is planned for one (such as track and field), but sanctioning the events separately. Bill reported that in talking to Stu, Tom Raunig is always open to athletes coming into his meets in distance events. Dave suggested and open division in conjunction with youth for next year.

In new business, the Snow Joke 1/2 marathon presented a bid application to be declared a 1/2 marathon championship. The bid application was denied because Pat did not require all participants to have a USATF card this year, as is required of all state championships. Pat will be notified that we will be glad to have the 1/2 marathon added to the championships if he is willing to have all participants get USATF cards.

Promotion of USATF cross country championships at the Mountain West Classic was discussed. This item was put off until the June meeting to consider what to do.

Dave gave a report on the regional youth chair's and president's get-together at the Simplot Games. Both Bill and Dave reported on how differently the three associations approach USATF youth championships and programs. The meeting was positive in that the presidents and youth chairs agreed not to try to change each state's differences, but to try to focus on improving and building the region in spite of the differences in operational methods. All association youth chairs agreed that the regional meet MUST BE built up to have credibility and that they all wanted to avoid traveling to meets that aren't worth the coach's and athlete's time. The example, unfortunately, that was brought up was a Montana regional track & field meet held in Billings in the recent past. Athletes and coaches arrived at this meet to find no officials or administration present to run the multi events. When the personnel did show up for the main meet, it was poorly run. Consensus of the associations was that this is not a healthy situation in the association or region. Youth chairs all made a commitment to help run regional meets (for example, by each bringing over 3-5 officials to help). For 1999, Dave said he will charter a bus that will start in Missoula and work its way across the state to Billings before going to Sheridan (site of this year's regional), to help get Montana kids to regionals. Adults will act as chaparones if parents would like to send their kids but can't go themselves.

Youth chairs from the three associations agreed for 1999 to send champions in cross country directly from association to nationals.

Bill led a discussion on the problems and financial advantages of our delegates to national convention. Bill made a motion to amend our directive regarding funding for delegates to the national convention to include the stipulation that ALL delegates that receive association funding must perform the following duties to receive consideration for future assistance:

  1. attend meetings at the national convention set forth by the board of directors for committee position;
  2. submit a typed report that may be presented to the board of directors; 3) help with at least one association event in this calendar year (non-meeting event);
  3. other. Discussion included requiring a two-year minimum involvement in the association, and several other requirements from delegates to make sure that delegate representatives are helping our association in the most worthwhile way and that the limited association funds are used in the most economical way. There was also discussion on giving priority to sports committee chairs who wanted to go but hadn't priority over those who had gone numerous years in a row. Mavis amended Bill's original motion to create an adhoc committee to form criteria for selection of convention delegates. This motion was seconded by Dave and passed unanimously. Bill, Pam and Mavis all volunteered to work on this.

Discussion for increasing membership included getting out another issue of the newsletter and putting out at least three issues per year. Current items for inclusion in a newsletter are: youth report, starting new clubs, list of current races sanctioned, Mary article on "eastern views", Mavis article on Master's corner, Stu/Dave/Bill article on "where are they now"? Newsletter items sent to Pam on disk or e-mail attachment only and will be accumulated in newsletter format. Newsletter will not go out unless contributions are made by others and there is enough to warrant sending it out.

Next board meeting is tentatively set for June. Members want to have this meeting in conjunction with state JO championships because many board members will be there anyway. Bill will call missing board members to find out their preferences for this meeting.

Dave made a motion that the meeting be adjourned at approximately 7:00 pm. Mavis seconded and the motion passed unanimously.