Lightweight Committee Conference Call

CRCA Lightweight Conference Call Minutes

Present: Bucknell-Kish/Strum/Wolleben, LMU-Conway, St. Mary’s-Younts, Stanford-Acosto/Sweet, Wisconsin-Miller, Lehigh-Meltzer, MIT-Kostrewski, UCF-Muhl, Buffalo-Ostermeier

Past Items to Revisit

Lightweight Women’s Sculling Head Race – E. Miller: Erik asked who would be interested. LMU, Stanford, Lehigh, Georgetown, and Bucknell said yes. UCF is a maybe.

Lightweight Education opportunities – S. Kish: Steve is still working on it, possibly trying to organize something for the conference in Wisconsin.

Adaptive Rowing Issues – T. Lawver: Tone sent a document to Gary Caldwell and Cecile Tucker that discusses issues such as allotting for additional launching and docking time. He said that the crux of the plan was to mandate equal access to competition, but to prevent anyone from using adaptive rowing as a crutch.

Increasing the outreach of the IRA-CRCA Weigh-In Procedure

Sara Mai reported that the WIRA and PCRC are willing to adopt the procedures, but there were a couple of questions. The group agreed that the following answers reflect how the IRA would rule:
1. What happens to crew if someone doesn’t make weight? The crew does not race.
2. If one person doesn’t make weight can a certified and weighed-in spare race? Yes.
3. What’s the time limit for how close you can weigh in? The same rules apply as they would at the IRA: The earliest would be 3pm the day before. You can wait as close as 3 hours before. Once you step on the scale the first time, you have one hour in which to try a maximum of two more times to make weight. This assumes that your first attempt came in at or below 132.0lbs.
Dusty is still in the process of talking with SIRA’s.  Will still in the process of talking to Northeast Regionals and USRowing Nationals.

Website development

Dan is going to update the list of coaches and provide it to Tone.  There was discussion about who should have access to the website and whether we want a message board to be part of it. The response seemed to be negative overall towards a message board, because there was concern about people who are uniformed posting to the site. Kris from UCF said it might be a good idea for outreach.

Re-confirmation of regular job assignments for spring 2008

Claire-collection and review of pre-IRA weigh-in forms-YES
Nicole-coordination of CRCA LW awards-YES
Steve-seeding poll-YES

Adjustments to the CRCA-IRA Collegiate Lightweight Women’s Weigh-In Procedure

Final discussions were had regarding a possible change to the IRA weigh-in procedure from three weigh-ins to five weigh-ins. The original reason for considering going to five was to get the rowers weighing-in more often and thus promote the idea of maintaining 130lbs instead of dropping weight for the few times they have to weigh-in. The discussion then turned to the idea of moving the date back to March or staying with April 1. Sara Mai, Claire, and Kris expressed that they would like it moved back into March since they start racing in the beginning of March and will start weighing-in regularly then. Erik said that they will have to weigh-in one time without a race since they don’t have the five races that would be required with the move from three to five. For the group that has a limited number of races and might not have five at all or after April 1, Erik and Kris mentioned that they would solve the problem themselves by weighing-in before a Saturday morning practice. The question came up about whether pushing back the start date to March 1 hurts anyone since you’re not required to start weighing-in that early. Some people agreed that the date makes no difference. Steve supported the idea of increasing to five weigh-ins, but maintaining the April 1 date or simply pushing it back one week to the last weekend in March. Three weigh-ins after April 1st is basically the same thing as five weigh-ins after March 1st…. the change does not increase the frequency of weigh-ins. There was no additional support for that idea. The committee supported the idea of moving the date to March 1st. The vote, to keep the current three-weigh-ins after the last weekend in March, or to change it to five, will be taken on Friday, February 8th. As for whether the start date will be moved to March 1 or not will depend on what the IRA supports. Steve will touch base with the IRA immediately. Sara Mai also asked for a clarification regarding the “week” between countable weigh-ins. It was clarified that it’s ok if you race on a Sunday and then the next Saturday for example, it doesn’t have to be exactly a calendar week.

Future of the IRA
Discussion focused on the possibility that the IRA might be looking into some or all of the following changes: limiting the number of entries, no small boats, no club teams, no lightweight men, moving the event to Sacramento, California every two or three years.  The committee discussed the need to formulate a proposal for the IRA Stewards on how the lightweight women’s events should continue to be incorporated into the IRA rather than waiting for the Stewards to discuss it first. Steve reported that he and Cecile have discussed what would need to be in a proposal and given that Al and Paul have already worked up a selection criteria proposal in response to the October conference call, all their ideas would be compiled into a document to submit to the Stewards. A draft of that proposal will be distributed to the Lightweight Committee and voted on before presenting in to the Stewards. The point was made that we need to emphasize that the current lightweight women’s championship is a regionally diverse true national championship and that it provides a unique competitive opportunity. The need to maintain the four reflects the growth of the sport nationally, as well as the depth of many of the programs that participate – and their need for second or even third boat racing opportunities at the National level.  Nicole initiated a discussion about the American Collegiate Rowing Association and its inaugural championship that will have a Women’s Lightweight 4+ for which only club teams will be eligible.

IRA Lwt 4+ Qualification Criteria

This will be included in the potential proposal to the IRA Stewards.

Creation of criteria for invitation to the IRA in the VLWT 8+

This was included in the discussion described in the Future of the IRA.

Submitted by Kate Strum.