NCYSA – Risk Management & New Membership

I know many of you are probably bored to tears by my NCYSA Annual Meeting recaps, but considering how often folks feel like things all happen in smokey back rooms, I figured I’d shed some light on the parts I was in. There’s also some useful info here that may help leagues that couldn’t send anyone. But this is my last recap for this past meeting. Promise.

On Saturday, there was some very useful information presented about the membership committee and also risk management.

As I mentioned in the AGM post, the membership committee has a new chairman who has implemented some changes. Previously, the membership committee not only ensured new associations met the necessary requirements for membership, they also made recommendations supporting or opposing the applications. Having gone through the membership process and having to appeal to the NCYSA board in the face of a negative membership committee recommendation, due to the opposition of a league 20 miles away, I see this as a welcome change. Under their new structure, the committee will no longer make recommendations. Instead they will serve to assist leagues as they apply for membership, ensure all the necessary requirements have been met, and coordinate the communication with leagues that are within 30 miles of the applying league. When leagues come up for approval to the board, the committee will simply note if they meet the requirements and if there is any local opposition to their application. The reasoning behind this is that the NCYSA Board of Directors approve or deny new applications so the committee felt it was best if they served to assist them in making their decision and not prejudging the applications. Personally, I think this is a good thing. During our application process it made no sense when we met all the criteria that this committee decided to oppose our membership application due to the concerns of a league 20 miles away.

One other change is that applications for new membership or higher levels must be in 90 days before the next board meeting (previously it was 60).

After the President’s meeting, the Risk Management folks talked about what to expect in 2007. Starting this year, all recreation league volunteers need to go through risk management like their Challenge and Classic peers did last year. Our league went ahead and ran all our coaches, including recreation, through risk management last year so we got very familiar with the process (I think we processed 175 profiles last year) Anyway, here is what to expect in 2007.

Youth Leagues USA, the company that designed the system, will be releasing a ‘new’ version for the 2007-2008 season later this year. Then the process of league registration (referred to as ‘Step 1’) is done by the league presidents allowing volunteers to update their profiles.

All volunteers, even those who already have a profile online, must update their profiles. There are a few gotchas to be aware of, so if you’re a league Risk Management coordinator, these may come in handy.

When a ‘returning’ coach/team manager updates their profile, most of the fields will be filled out. However, they will still have to type in their email address and street address. The email address is left blank simply because people often change addresses and by forcing them to re-enter it, they’re more likely to have a current email address (vs. seeing the field prefilled out and skimming over it) The address field is left blank simply for security reasons.

Since each person’s profile is keyed to their last name, I asked what women had to do if they got married and changed their last name. The short answer was it couldn’t be handled right now so they should continue using their maiden name for now. I expect it’ll be addressed in a future version (just a guess). Currently the last name and date of birth are locked and can’t be edited anyway.

When you have new volunteers submit a profile, stress that they should include their middle name. This reduces false hits (since they don’t use Social Security Numbers) and can reduce the turnaround time. While existing volunteers with a current profile won’t need another check until 2008, you should encourage them to enter their full middle name (last year it was just the middle initial) to ensure their information is complete and accurate.

One interesting situation has to do with referees. They link their risk management profiles to the NC Soccer Referee Association since they aren’t directly linked to a league and are agents of the NCSRA. However, many recreation associations schedule their referees directly so they need to know that all the referees have risk management profiles online. Since their profiles are linked to the state association, you can’t verify they have an approved profile online. One of the other presidents had a very good idea. After the referees have completed Step 2 for the Referee Association, have them also complete Step 2 as a league ‘volunteer’ for your league. This will link their risk management profile status into your league as well so you can verify each one and ensure all your recreational referees are approved in the NCYSA risk management system.

Well there you have it – more than you EVER wanted to know about what we league administrators deal with all year! :) 

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