by Al Myers, USAWA Secretary
The 2016 USAWA Annual Meeting was called to order by President Denny Habecker at 7:00 PM Friday night on June 24th, 2016 at the residence of Frank Ciavattone in Walpole, MA. Before the meeting Frank hosted the membership was appetizers and pizza so the meeting started with everyone on a full stomach. Roll call was taken and these USAWA members were in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Jeff Ciavattone, Rocky Morrison, Chad Ullom, Dean Ross, Art Montini, Frank Ciavattone, Aidan Habecker, Judy Habecker, Bob Geib, Susan Sees, James Morrison, Cassie Morrison, and Lindsey Beary. The minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting were read by myself. Bob moved to accept the minutes with a second by Chad and the minutes passed unanimously. I then gave the Financial Report which showed a $1000 loss for the USAWA for 2015, but I attributed that to the costs of the website redesign and the purchase of drug tests. The drug tests will be carried over into the next year and the website costs should be amortized over the next 5 years at which time the website will need another redesign. I pointed out that the bank account balance is exactly the same now as when I started as Treasurer in 2009. I also discussed the details of the 2016 budget which I prepared and was prior approved by the Executive Board. Dean moved to accept with a second by Chad and it passed unanimously. I then gave the Directors Report as Website Director. I described the changes made to the website and how it will allow further expansion and improve access speed. I encouraged others to participate in the website by contributing blog stories. Frank moved to accept, it was seconded by Bob, and it passed unanimously. I then gave the Awards Director report. A big part of the Awards Program is to give out the USAWA annual awards which are presented every year at the National Championships to recognize outstanding lifters and their accomplishments. Frank moved to accept, with a second by Dean, and it passed unanimously. As Records Director I gave the Records Report. I stated that our record list is now online for free download, and I try to update the list every 1-2 months. I encouraged others to let me know if errors are ever noticed as it is easy for me to correct them. Frank moved to accept the report. Chad made a second and it passed unanimously. Next up was the Officials Report by Official’s Director Joe Garcia. Joe was not in attendance but had forwarded his report to me which I gave on his behalf. Joe encouraged others to join our Official’s ranks and take the rules test. He also encouraged rulebook training for the current officials, that could take place as a clinic or training sessions before meets. Dean moved to accept, a second was made by Rocky, and it passed unanimously. Chad Ullom gave the Drug Testing Report as Drug Enforcement Director. He stated that we are continuing with an aggressive drug testing program that tests at many meets throughout the year. No positive tests were found during the previous year. Judy moved to accept the report with a second by Dean. It passed unanimously. Postal Meet Director Denny Habecker gave the Postal Meet Report. Denny stated that 15 lifters competed in our Postal Series in 2015, with 6 lifters doing all of them. He encouraged more participation. It was mentioned that we now allow lifters to do the postal lifts on any individual day during the 3 month quarter instead of just in the last month like it has been in the past. Chad moved to accept the report, a second was given by Dean, and it passed unanimously. The next agenda item was a report by the IAWA Technical Committee Chairman Dennis Mitchell regarding issues being discussed by the IAWA Technical Committee. Dennis was not in attendance so no report was given. The next item was discussion and vote on a new proposed lift by Bill Clark, the Reg Park Bench Press (2 bar bench press). The rules of the lift were preapproved by the USAWA Executive Board as required by our rules, and had passed the Executive Board’s approval prior to being presented. The written rule was read to the membership. The lift involves bench pressing two barbells according to the rules of the Bench Press. There was minimal discussion on the proposed lift. A vote was taken and it passed by majority vote with 10 yes votes and 3 no votes. As required by USAWA rules for a new USAWA approved lift a vote was taken to propose this new USAWA lift for IAWA approval. This passed by majority vote with 11 for, and 2 against. It will be forwarded to the IAWA Technical Committee Chairman to officially present it to the IAWA. Next agenda item was the presentation of rule changes. I presented a listing of several items that were presented to me over the previous year for additions/changes to our rule book. Below is the list:
- Add 2” vb and 2” plates to Bearhug rules
- Change finger lifts rules in regards to ring and height to be in compliance with IAWA(UK) rules
- Add to III Drug Testing: “The Lifter will be notified no more than 48 hours prior to the test, and must make arrangements for the test to be performed within 48 hours.”
- Add to bar specs: Max diameter of bar 1.25”.
- Add to VIII: “It is recommended not to publically announce an event before the sanction is officiated. Announcing an event prior to proper sanction may result in failure of meet sanction.”
- Add to section on drawing of lots: “It is recommended that if lots are not drawn that the order of lifting be done by age, with order of lifting set from youngest lifter to oldest lifter.”
- Add to calling to the platform: “The clock begins when the announcer declares that the bar is loaded”
- Add to General Rules: “Regulation bars are to be used for all lifts unless stated otherwise in the individual rules of the lift.”
- Thors Hammer: The Vertical bar used must by 18” in length with a 1/2″ tolerance (instead of max 18”)
- Fulton Bar: Change minimum diameter to 1.9” (instead of 1-15/16”).
Chad moved to accept these rulebook changes with a second by Art. There was no discussion and the vote was unanimous in favor. I then presented a couple of bylaw changes. These were the proposed changes:
Add to Article 7 Election
“In lieu of the elections a motion may be made to retain all current officers and executive board members in their current positions. This motion must pass by majority vote.”
“Each executive board position must be elected and voted on individually.”
Chad moved to accept the changes, with a second by Dean. There was no discussion. Amendments/changes to bylaws require a 2/3 vote. A vote was taken and the vote was unanimous in favor. Next order of business was New Business. Art brought up a discussion of limiting Record Day meets or individual lifts for records after meets to be limited to 5 records maximum. He explained that he has always only allowed 5 lifts for record at his record day meet and that he feels that is enough. Discussion afterwards was all in favor of this. It seems most lifters are getting tired of lifters using record days to set large number of records with submaximal effort to just set and pad their record count. Also included in this was discussion of how these lifters interfere with the lifting of others at record days because of the extra loading and judging they require beyond everyone else. Art then moved to make this a new rule and it was seconded by Dean, and passed unanimously. Frank brought up the 6 week advance meet sanction time that our rules now require and how he would like to see it decreased. Frank stated that with his club of young lifters he often doesn’t know their schedule that far in advance and setting meet dates for everyone to be able to attend is difficult. I explained to the membership why the 6 week sanction deadline was put into place to start with: 1. to allow anyone ample opportunity to be able to attend if they wanted, ie get an airline ticket if needed, 2. allow the Executive Board time to review the sanction request, 3. To make our event schedule and sanction process look legitimate by not allowing last minute meets to take place. A compromise was reached and Frank moved to decrease the sanction deadline to 30 days. Jeff gave a second and it passed unanimously. Judy then brought up her concerns regarding entry deadlines on meet entry forms not being enforced. She explained how this really causes issues for meet directors who need to be able to plan for the number of lifters that attend with t-shirt and awards purchases. I explained how I feel this needs to be the meet directors responsibilty and a meet director should be able to refuse lifters that do not enter by the deadline if they want, with full support of the USAWA. I proposed that we add a line to the rulebook stating,”If meet directors refuse entry because of a lifter not entering by the stated entry deadline on the entry form, the USAWA will support this decision and no appeal can be made.” Judy moved to include this statement in the rulebook, a second was made by Dean, and it passed with unanimous vote. There was no other new business. The next agenda item was accepting bids for the 2017 USAWA National Championships. Bob Geib made a bid to host next years National Championships in Vermillion, Ohio on one of the last two weekends in June, the traditional time for Nationals. There were no other bids. A vote was taken to accept Bob’s bid and it passed unanimously. At this time the meeting agenda was completed, and Chad made a motion to adjourn the meeting. It was seconded by Dean and it passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 8:30 PM.