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This may be the most important message from the NAA in this century!

From this link , from the President of the NAA, posted circa 3/14/2007:

To the Membership of USA Archery:
In recent weeks there has been a great deal of concern over some of our announcements in policy regarding team selections, discretionary selection, required training events, athlete support and the resident athlete program.

While all of the concerns are real, many are based on misperceptions regarding these policies, the way they were written and the motives behind them. Many were announced too late in the season, did not address athlete’s rights, and were not reviewed by the Board of Governors.

These policies have now been reviewed by the USOC, the Board of Governors and the Athlete Ombudsman to make sure they comply with all policies and the rights of the athletes.

In the future, all policies will be fully reviewed and approved by the Board of Governors and Athlete Representatives prior to posting. We will also develop a committee to oversee the actions of the High Performance Program so that the concerns of athletes, coaches and members will be addressed before they become a problem.

Many concerns addressed by the athletes have been resolved at this time.

1.
There will be no discretionary selection by the National Coach or High Performance Manager this year. We may develop a policy that will allow up to 25% discretionary selection for some minor events in the future, with clear guidelines along with committee review and dispute resolution.

2.
The required training events for the World Championship team have been reduced from two, to one. While we feel that this required training is critical to the future of our teams, the announcement was made far too late, and was done without adequate review from the athlete representatives and without any procedures for resolving issues if an athlete cannot attend for any unforeseen circumstances.

3.
The statement in some documents that indicate that 50% of the World Team or Olympic Team will come from the Resident Athlete program has been removed. While it is our hope that the RA program will be successful, our primary goal is to win medals at the Olympic Games, and we need to support our athletes that have the greatest potential of meeting that goal. This statement along with some of the written procedures created the perception that USA Archery was trying to create a situation where RA’s would have an advantage over other highly ranked athletes. While this was not the intention, it certainly became the perception. We hope that the adjustments in these policies will remove those concerns.

4.
The allowance for the State and Regional Rolling Ranking Tournaments has been removed. The Board will review this type of event for rolling rankings in the future, as long as it creates an even and fair playing field for all.

5.
The National Head Coach and the Resident Athlete Program have the full support of the President, Executive Director, and the Board of Governors of USA Archery. We strongly believe in this program and its ability to produce our best athletes in the future.  We need archers that are willing and able to commit to a full time training program under the direction of a full time coaching and support staff. These athletes are taking time out of their life, postponing school, careers, families and income in order to train full time to help us meet our goals of Olympic success. We are able to tremendously leverage our available funding with a great deal of support from the USOC for this program. Funding for the Resident program is provided by the USOC, and includes travel to some USAT, National, and Trials tournaments, and one international event.

6.
The first round of the Olympic Team Trials will not be held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. This has been put out to open bid. We are discussing the possibility of moving the finals events to another field at the OTC or another location in the Chula Vista area.

7.
The team round participants at World Ranking Events will be based on the top 3 finishes of the Qualifying round at the event. If a team must be selected prior to the qualification round, the team selection will be based on the current rolling ranking. In that event, notification will be provided in advance of the tournament.
 

Athletes are reminded that they have representation on the Board, and I feel that your current representatives are the best you have ever had. They really are looking out for your best interests, listening to your concerns, and working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. It is unfortunate that these policies and changes were posted without the review of the Board and athlete representatives. USA Archery will strive to ensure that this type of situation does not occur again. Please continue to send your concerns to your board members so we can all help the USA become the best in the world.

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from this link: (on the USA Archery website)

Facts about USA Archery

FACTS ABOUT USA ARCHERY’S DIRECTION

Archery is progressing world wide. With the level of competitiveness in today’s world,  USA Archery (USAA) must continually look for ways to improve if we want to keep up. In fact, we want to be on the cutting edge. We want to be the world leaders. To do so we have to be innovative. We must embrace the changes necessary to bring us to a new level.

We have to initiate better ways of developing athletes and coaches. We have to employ methods of training and preparation that will give us a better chance at having athletes on the medal podium. In a nutshell, change is necessary. If we continue to do things the way we have always done them, we cannot expect things to ever get any better.

As is fitting with its mission statement, USAA took a close look at the trends in international competition and explored ways to strengthen the position of the U.S. What the Board determined was that USAA was in need of a national system for training competitive archers and needed a National Head Coach and High Performance Manager to help move us in a new and improved direction. Fortunately, USAA was able to hire one of the premier coaches in the world. It is the intent of the USAA Board to allow its staff to conduct the daily workings of the organization and to allow the NHC to implement programs to move us in a new direction, one that will increase the probability of success.

Now that new programs are being implemented and the direction USAA is taking involves change (inevitably), we are experiencing resistance to those changes by members who are uncomfortable with change and/or misinformed about the facts. This document is written in an effort to state the facts and, hopefully, dispel the rumors and inaccurate information that is being passed about the archery community.

General Facts

USA Archery procedures now require that every decision, policy or document created by the High Performance Team goes first to the Executive Director and then the Board for review before being implemented or publicly posted.

We constantly check with the USOC to make sure that our policies do not violate athletes’ rights (as protected in the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act). The High Performance Manager (HPM) keeps in touch with the USOC on a regular basis and often discusses the High Performance Plan with our USOC Sports Partners. The USOC has recently made it clear that none of the recent policies being implemented by USAA are in violation of athletes’ rights. Furthermore, the USOC is in support of the direction USAA is taking and the actions of the National Head Coach (NHC) and HPM.

In the world of not-for-profit organizations, such as a National Governing Body (NGB), it is the norm for a Board of Governors (BOG) to develop the mission, philosophy, general policies and direction for the organization and then hire and empower staff to conduct the day-to-day business of achieving those goals. The USAA BOG is not required or expected to make every decision or approve every individual action in the process of conducting normal business as an NGB but they do have full authority and responsibility to review policy changes. As long as the actions being taken are in accord with the general policies and direction supported by the BOG, for the organization, then review and approval by the Executive Director is appropriate.

The Resident Athlete Program

The RA Program is only one program within the USAA High Performance Plan. Resident programs are a common practice of many NGBs. The USAA RA Program is fully supported by the USOC. Funds provided by the USOC in support of our RA Program are earmarked for that purpose and once approved cannot be re-directed at will to other programs. In other words, no funds are being diverted from other USAA activities in order to support the RA Program.

USAA and the USOC believe that an RA program is a worthwhile investment. Full-time training under the guidance of a good coach is an effective way to develop competitive athletes. It may take time to develop them and not every athlete will thrive in that type environment, but overall, it’s an approach that makes sense. By no means is it the only program being supported. USAA has also implemented programs for supporting non-RA athletes.

The primary goal for USAA and the USOC is to win medals in the Olympics. The USOC will be happy if that happens, regardless of which athletes (RAs or non-RAs) accomplish it. The same is true for the NHC and HPM. If any USAA athletes are successful, they are pleased.

It is true that the NHC is responsible for coaching the RAs. It is part of his job description. There is nothing in the NHC’s contract, however, that ties any incentives or bonuses to the performance of RAs. The NHC is responsible for the National Program, not just the RA Program. Naturally, the NHC, USAA and the USOC would like to see the RA Program have success. However, the NHC, USAA and the USOC would also like to see archery athletes, in general, have success. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive and the High Performance Program, as implemented by the HP Team, addresses many programs, including Elite Athlete Development for non-RAs.
 

Facts about Athlete Support

The level of funding support being given to non-RA archery athletes in 2007 is greater than in the previous 4 years. Here are some facts regarding Direct Athlete Support (DAS - a USOC program):
In 2003, the DAS program paid out a total of $43,775 to archery athletes. This was distributed to 14 different athletes.

In 2004 (an Olympic year), the DAS program paid out a total of $79,104 to archery athletes. This was distributed to 16 athletes, with the top 3 getting the lions share.

In 2005, the DAS program paid out a total of $43,100 to archery athletes. This was distributed to 15 athletes.

In 2006, the DAS program paid out a total of $75,100 to archery athletes. This was distributed to 24 athletes.

In 2007, the DAS program has a total of $166,000 available. There will be at least 14 different athletes receiving funds. Depending on fluctuations in the rankings it could be more.

In each case stated in the bullets above, the top ranked athletes get the most support and the amount of support decreases as ranking decreases.

Another funding fact: RAs do not receive monthly stipends from USAA or from the USOC. The only exception to this is that the USOC has identified six athletes that it is directing stipends toward (based on their past performance and medal potential; i.e. internationally competitive scores). Of those six athletes, two are currently RAs. The other four are not RAs. In return for receiving USOC support funds in the form of monthly stipends, these athletes are required to submit a training plan and quarterly reports on their training. They can also submit forms to request further funding support in the form of reimbursement for expenses associated with training and competition.

RAs receive support normally associated with an RA program: free room & board at the OTC (unless they live offsite, then they only get meals); sport science and sport medicine support; and travel expenses to some USAT events. These are not new practices, but have been a part of past RA programs. RAs are required to submit the same forms as those athletes receiving USOC DAS stipends.

Elite Athlete Support – USAA has made $20,000 available in 2007 for non-RA, elite athletes to aid in travel support to go to the CV-OTC to get training help from the NHC.  This is separate from the DAS mentioned above. The non-RA elite athletes can also request to have their personal coach come to the CV-OTC with them and USAA will provide travel support. This has already occurred on several occasions in 2006 and 2007.

Non-RA Elites can also submit to the USOC for reimbursement of travel & training expenses, up to a maximum amount of $7500 per person.

Elite athletes will be funded to the following events in 2007. This is open to all athletes who qualify for the team through open selection process. The first 3 events will consist of those athletes that qualify for the World Target Team.

Italian Grand Prix
Turkish Grand Prix
World Target Championships
Pan Am Games
Beijing Test Event
 

Facts about Team Selection:

Team selection to the Olympics, World Championships and Pan Am Games is and always will be based off of open trial results. All selection procedures are approved by the USOC (in the case of Olympics and PAG) or the BOG (in the case of World Championships).

Team selection to other international events, such as Grand Prix and World Cup events will be based on approved selection procedures. Generally, said these procedures utilize the rolling rankings as a primary selection tool.

Occasionally, the NHC may wish to use an international event as a training opportunity for groups such as a World Target Team, Olympic Team, Junior Elite Team or RA Team. Wherever possible, effort will be made to see that other top\ ranked athletes are not excluded from participation in that event.

Occasionally, training events prior to the World Target Championships or Olympics may be required of the World Target Team or Olympic Team, respectively. By making this requirement, USAA is asking athletes to make a commitment to preparation, due to the level of importance of these events.

USAA wishes to see our teams and our individual athletes have success, including, but not limited to RAs, however, no unfair advantage is given to RAs in the team selection process. No attempt is made to make it more difficult for non-RAs to qualify for a team.

USAA members are invited to check the website for information or to contact USAA staff directly to get the facts regarding any questions. USAA athletes are also encouraged to contact their Athlete Representatives to get information or clarification. All USAA athletes (RAs or non-RAs) are encouraged to contact their athlete representatives or BOG representatives if they have any concerns. This allows the Athlete Reps to gather the facts and distribute the information to their constituents.

The USAA staff, including the NHC and HPM, wishes everyone to know that our doors are always open. We welcome input and discussion. We encourage you to come to us for the facts or, at least, follow the suggestions in the previous paragraph.

Thank you!

General Contact – (719) 866-4576 office; (719) 632-4733 fax; info@usarchery.org , bcamp@usarchery.org.

A listing of individual BOG member contact can be found at www.usarchery.org or in the USA Archery magazine.

 

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