After leaving SES NY, I rushed home only long enough to catch a few hours shut-eye before hopping on a plane to Orange County, CA, where the airport appears to have an identity crisis or split personality. It has so many names -- all correct it appears -- that it is hard to make sure you are coming into the right place. I always call it the John Wayne anyway. The reason for the trip -- the spring meeting of the US Rowing referee commission.
As the newly elected New England regional representative, I had very little idea of what to expect from this meeting. In a word, it was a long, long and productive meeting. Here are just a couple of the topics discussed.
- Sub-Committee Reports
- Commission Liaison Reports
- Appointments of new members to committees, etc.
- Discussion on the future plans for the database,used for the recent officials data call
- How officials would be appointed and funded for Nationals
- Advancement criteria and testing for those moving from assistant referee to referee
- Training materials
- Costs of becoming and staying a referee
This laundry list does not do justice to the discussion. Some elements were more interesting than others. For example, it is the intent to continue with the clinicians' teleconferences. It is simply a matter of scheduling. There was discussion of moving the clipboard publication to an online distributed item.
There is a serious effort to make sure that there are adequate training materials for all levels in the sport. Training and the need to continue with the development of a larger and increasingly capable referee corps ran through the entire discussion. The sport has grown so much that most regattas are so large that they present serious administrative challenges both for the organizations hosting them and for the officials.
There is lots more that can be said about this two day meeting, but these are some of the highlights. The official minutes will come out in due time. Tom Mannle, the secretary for the commission, carefully took minutes of the proceedings. I just wanted to give you the highlights.