APTA Board Meeting

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The new APTA website – overview and ideas to consider:
Paul Wiggin gave a detailed report on the new website and led a general discussion. The site has gotten off to a great start and will continue to grow in size, quality and contribution. He suggested that the general mission of the website is to support the APTA Mission.
1) The APTA wants the site to be the repository for things such as the rules of the game and the history of the game.
2) The APTA wants the site to support the “grow the sport” and “increase player enthusiasm” parts of the APTA Mission. News items and instructional videos will help support this aim.
3) The site’s cost is approximately $7,000 to create and about $1,500 per year in ongoing costs. This provider does not give the APTA a perfect platform, but for the price is reasonable.
4) The APTA now has the ability to process credit card transactions for a “$3.00 fee per transaction plus a credit card fee of 2.95% plus $.25 (a decrease from previous years).
5) Paul described various proposals to enhance the website in coming years.

Fund Raising:
Todd Ward gave a presentation and led the discussion. He mentioned a couple of different avenues to consider, specifically:

Endowments: The APTA needs to raise consciousness among members about how easy it is to set up an endowment to the APTA. Every issue of Platform Tennis Magazine should have an advertisement in it promoting donations and endowments and the APTA could publish the names of people who donate as a way to thank them and as a way to encourage others to do so.
1) Paul Wiggin can find someone to write the language for these advertisements.
2) Tina Kelly will write the PTM articles re: bequests, etc.

Corporate Giving: The “packet” to sell our sport to corporate sponsors needs to be updated. Tina will work on this. Also, Mike Cochrane and Todd Ward will get price quotes for a marketing and fundraising video.

Tennis Palooza:
Jason Gray gave a detailed report on the very successful Tennis Palooza event in Las Vegas, thanking the APTA, Premier Platform Tennis, Viking Athletics and all the volunteers. He reported that our court and booth were staffed and crowded from Thursday through Sunday. There were clinics, giveaways and lots of traffic.The Tennis Channel will consider a tape delay broadcast of our Nationals finals which would be a wonderful opportunity for us. Sally Cottingham reported that the APTA spent $9,400 on this project and the PPTA put in $10,000 (raised through the raffle). Also, Premier donated time and cost for the superstructure and Viking donated products.

Sally Cottingham reported that the APTA is in a very solid cash position with $278,000. For the Fiscal Year ending on March 31, 2007, the APTA income was $228,151, down from $279,096 in Fiscal Year 06-07. This $50,000 drop in income can be explained by two factors. Fiscal year 07-08 income does not include $30,325 in League dues for the 07-08 season which were not received prior to the closing of the books. Fiscal year 06-07 receipts included two extraordinary items, (a) a $20,000 pass through for the Nationals and (b) two one-time donations in the amount of $12,025 for junior development. Actual Expenses in 07-08 were $196,712, down from $214,358 in Fiscal 06- 07.

Platform Tennis Magazine:
1) Sally Cottingham reported that the APTA now has a signed contract saying they own the content from both past and future magazine issues. Also, the APTA now has their logo on the front cover. It was expressed that the final issue each year should have the National Champions on the cover.
2) Also, the APTA should begin celebrating the 75th anniversary of the APTA (Nov. ’09).
3) The APTA will get past issues of PTM posted on the website.

Tim Mangan expressed that Rich Lombard has done a great job with the Seniors events.
1) The 45-55-65 Nationals will be at Centercourt on February 27-March 1.
2) The 50-60-70 Nationals will be held at Fox Meadow on March 20-21.
3) The Mixed Nationals will be on March 14, 15 at Indian Trails.
4) Tim discussed other issues regarding Senior Nationals such as number of matches, number of teams required and other logistics.
5) It was the consensus of the Board that tournament directors have the flexibility to have a 90+ category in their tournament if they really want that instead of requiring them to have it as a 95+.

Chapel Hill:
1) Peter Lauer reported on Chapel Hill which now has 80+ players 55 players in the league. They had a mixed tournament, a men’s tournament and other events.
2) The University of North Carolina is about to build 3 courts and so the game is growing.
3) The Chapel Hills folks are still working on raising the money to pay back the loan — still need about $17,000.
4) It was the consensus of the Board that all of their league players should be required to be individual APTA members.

Exhibition Tour:
Todd Ward gave a report on last year’s exhibitions. Currently, the focus for next season is on Minneapolis, Atlanta, University of North Carolina and Charlottesville. Saturday, May 3

1) Long Island will host the next Junior Nationals.
2) Marjorie Hodson and Patty Hogan have run this tournament, and run it well, for about 10 years. Last year, there were 256 participants spread across boys and girls 10, 12, 14 and 18 year age groups.
3) Long Island will run it this coming year.
4) The APTA would like to see this tournament move around each year the way the open Nationals do.
5) After discussion, it was unanimously approved that the APTA allocate $2,000 in the budget to support the Junior Nationals.

Other Tournament Questions:
1) A motion was raised to add a National Championship for 125′s. The motion was defeated.
2) A suggestion was raised to lower the number of participants required for a tournament to be deemed a National Championship. After discussion, Mark Fischl asked for a motion, but none was offered.
3) A suggestion was raised to put in a requirement for 145+ tournaments that states that one of the two players must be at least 75 years old. No motion was offered.
4) A suggestion was raised to limit the number of matches a player is required to play in a day — especially for Senior tournaments. One suggestion is to limit it to 3 matches per day per tournament.
After considerable discussion, the group concluded that this should be left up to the discretion of each tournament director who has to deal with the weather and court availabilities.

Election of Officers:
The following slate of officers was proposed, moved to be elected and unanimously approved: Mark Fischl for President; Scott Bondurant for Vice-President; Sally Cottingham for Treasurer; Bill O’Brien for Secretary

The Nationals in Cincinnati:
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the schedule for APTA Nationals. Numerous concerns were raised, including: the increased skill levels of participants, changes in the sport, matches lasting longer, increased physical load on the players and venues with fewer courts, and increased difficulty in court scheduling.

The Cincinnati Nationals Committee requested to push the men’s President’s Cup competition back to Thursday (instead of the usual Friday) and then schedule 2 of the men’s'open Nationals matches on Friday, 3 on Saturday and the usual 2 on Sunday.

It was moved that, as a one-year pilot, the APTA will hold the men’s and women’s President’s Cups on Thursday March 5, then start the women’s open with 3 matches on Friday morning, and then start the men’s open with 2 matches on Friday afternoon (along with at least the first 128 back-draw match) followed by a 4th match for the women. Then, the women would play the usual 2 matches on Saturday morning and the men will play 3 matches on Saturday followed by their usual 2 matches on Sunday. At the end of this tournament, the APTA will evaluate how well this worked and discuss it again at next year’s Board Meeting. The motion was carried 13 to 1.

In 2005, a resolution was adopted prohibiting the Nationals from being held the first weekend in March. It was moved and unanimously approved to set aside this rule for one year only (to accommodate what Cincinnati wants to do). It was then moved that the APTA eliminate the rule prohibiting the Nationals from being held the first weekend in March (with the understanding that the APTA would “encourage” directors to avoid that week if possible but ultimately leave the decision in their hands). The motion carried 6 to 4.

The APTA Website:
As a follow up to the prior day’s discussions, the following proposals were moved and voted on:
1) It was moved that the APTA budget $2,500 for e-mail blasts this coming season. The motion carried unanimously.
2) It was moved that to put $24,500 into the budget to cover work on all 9 of the proposals set forth in the handout provided. The motion was carried unanimously.
3) A search committee consisting of Paul Wiggin, Mike Cochrane, Scott Bondurant and Ann Sheedy will define the “news” job and try to fill that slot.

The Rules Committee met to consider a couple of suggested changes:
1) The Committee recommends that the APTA legalize the “double hit” or “carry” when a player has struck the ball BEFORE it reaches the screens. They suggest that the double hit or carry still be illegal when the ball is hit AFTER it has come off the screens. The group wanted to change the Committee’s recommendation by making the “double hit” or “carry” a legal shot as long as the shot is hit in one continuous motion. The group wanted to make the wording the same as it is in tennis. The motion was carried unanimously.
2) It was also recommended that the APTA change the rule which currently states that any ball that is hit off the screens and then comes back over the net to the hitter’s side be a loss of point for the hitter not apply to a ball hit off of the side screen. It was moved that the above mentioned rule be amended to clarify that only shots hit off the back screen, and nicks, which then come back over the net to the hitter’s court will result in loss of point to the hitter. That is, any shot which is hit off the side screen and which then comes back to the hitter’s court is a legal shot. The motion was carried unanimously.
3) The lob bouncing out of the court issue was raised. After discussion, it was determined that any recommended change should go through the Rules Committee.
4) A rule to limit the amount of time allowed for “warming up” prior to a match and which perhaps also lays out the procedures for a warm-up was discussed. After discussion and general agreement, it was determined that any recommended change should go through the Rules Committee.

Player’s Committee:
It was suggested that foot faults still need to be addressed. Tournament directors (and players) don’t want to be the “bad guy” by enforcing the foot fault rule. It was moved that the APTA require that each Regional President will designate at least one tournament in their Region to have a roving foot fault judge at that tournament. The motion was carried unanimously.

What about having a roving foot fault judge at the Open Nationals? It was moved that the APTA require the Nationals Committee each year to provide a roving foot fault judge for the Open Nationals. The motion was carried unanimously.

Hall of Fame:
The following list of candidates for the Hall of Fame Committee: Tim McAvoy, Bob Brown, Steve Baird, Chuck Vasoll, Patty Hogan, Deirdre Redden and Walt Peckinpaugh were nominated. The motion was carried unanimously. Also, Tina Kelly was unanimously appointed to the position of Representative of the Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation on the APTA Board to succeed Rich Lombard.

It was moved that the APTA provide $2,500 to the Cincinnati Nationals Committee for awards. The motion carried unanimously.

Junior Rankings:
A committee chaired by Mike Gillespie will address junior rankings.

College Program:
A discussion about promoting college programs took place but no conclusions were reached, nor did anyone step up to take this subject on.

Liability Release:
Beach Kuhl and Bill O’Brien will pursue how to get liability releases when someone fills out the paperwork to join or renew APTA membership.

Executive Director, Ann Sheedy:
1) In order to get a list of all known courts, Ann will send each Regional President a list of the courts she knows and ask them to identify any clubs or private courts that are not on the list.
2) Ann wants to put together a better presentation on how to start or rejuvenate a platform tennis program. Tina Kelly and Ann will do this.
3) Ann will look into changing the mailing of Platform Tennis Magazine from “standard” postage to “Periodicals.”
4) For a dub gift, the APTA is going to send out large outdoor thermometers to member clubs.

Sally Cottingham led the discussion.
1) It was moved that the APTA budget $1,000 for promotional materials and $1,000 for printing. The motion carried unanimously.
2) It was moved that the APTA include $10,000 in the budget to support exhibitions and clinics. The motion was carried unanimously.

Fund Raising:
Rob Coster and Peter Lauer agreed to lead an effort to define the job description for a fund raising “Development Manager.”

2009 Meeting Date / Adjournment:
Mark Fischl: Next year’s meeting will be on May 8 and 9, on Long Island.

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 10, Issue 1, September, 2008