North American Flyball Association

dgsmithI'm going to wait for the influx to settle a bit - perhaps 5 more mins of open chat
BC_SamMay I request that those signing on please sign on with real names so that everyone knows who is speaking. Code names are nice for those that have them memorized but they just hide you from we who are not so well informed.
Chris_THTHIs everyone from the BOD going to be on the chat tonight?
BC_SamNo I have just received a call from Lee and he is on a drug sting and won't be able to be with us. This is where the music starts playing "what you gonna do when they come for you"
dgsmithOK, I'm going to start the banner ad. Those with questions can start sending them to me. I'd like to handle any other quick questions anyone might have before we get to a predictable topic for tonight...
BC_SamThank you Dale for setting this leadership chat up and thank you all for attending. Your input is vital on many topics and is appreciated by all for the good of flyball.
dgsmithOur first question this evening is on BSL Funds. Zac_Bordering-On-Insanity has the floor
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityWill NAFA Fund other Regions that are facing BSL?
BC_SamNAFA will consider funding in any region to aide in the fight against BSLs. Into that decision will come how effective will it be, how can we join with people in other sports in that region to make things happen and what is the level of local support for the fight. Probably other parameters as well
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityHere is a breakdown of equal shares per Region based on income produced for NAFA over the 2004 and 2005 Season. Column 1 Region Column 2 Avg. Income per year Column 3 Equal Share baseline was Region 1 $5,000 Region Avg. Income per Region using 2004 and 2005 BSL Fund Allocation 1 $ 13,490 $ 5,000 2 $ 17,980 $ 6,664 3 $ 24,510 $ 9,084 4 $ 11,450 $ 4,244 5 $ 11,090 $ 4,110 6 $ 10,020 $ 3,714 7 $ 10,540 $ 3,907 8 $ 9,590 $ 3,554 9 $ 7,650 $ 2,835 10 $ 7,300 $ 2,706 11
Zac_Bordering-On-Insanitysorry for the format on the chat. Would the funds be based on what each region produced for NAFA as Income?
glenn.hamiltonI'm a late arrival. Zac, what are you asking?
BC_SamZac the decision to send funding into a region to fight BSL will be made on many levels as I said earlier. Funds will not just be based on what each region produces.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityThen how can the profits be used equally for each Region? Isn't each Region entitled to their fair share?
BC_SamNAFA doesn't expend funds on a fair share basis each time it spends. It address needs and issues on an as needed basis. Over the entire course of events things get spent for the good of all in as fair a way as possible. If you take any narrow survey of expenses you can make a case for there being inequalities. But that isn't a fair view.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityRegion 4 has many BSL on the table. I was just wondering how to address this issue with NAFA.
glenn.hamiltonIf I could add a point .. the NAFA donation didn't go to a specific region but to a larger coalition of organizations fighting BSL in Canada.
BC_SamZac what are the local groups doing to combat the issue? What is the plan and who all is participating? Just having legislation isn't enough but rather there has to be grassroots support, a plan in place and an organization that is committed to the fight. So submit those basics along with how far along the BSLs are and we will consider how we can effective address the issues in your place.
BC_SamWhat we don't want to do is write a check to a person that has no plan or to a group that is half hearted in their fight. And honestly sometimes we find out about legislation way past when we could be effective. Along with this we have to be careful that we don't cross any legal lines and get involved in the political process. We need to walk carefully to be supportive without being drawn in over what we may accomplish.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityCan NAFA have a form or checklist that each area/region or person can fill out for the BoD? This will close my initial question.
BC_SamI think part of what we are looking at is how the locals are at getting their point across. If they can get the message to us, a supportive group, how will they sell the idea to an alien audience. The checklist is a crutch and we are looking for people who can effectively sell the idea
dgsmithNext question is from Ally
dgsmithAlly-DogZworth> I have a question about the 40k, 50k etc pins.. do you know when they will be available? Also, how do we get duplicates? My husband and I run the dog.
BC_SamDuplicates of the current pins are available from the RD in your region. The 40 and above pins are under design by Board and I haven't had a report to be able to pass it along. Ally we are scheduled to have a face to face meeting in Detroit August 12 (I believe) and a report is due then.
Ally-DogZworththanks.. I guess I'll ask again in a couple of months
dgsmithNext question - This starts our discussion of the Conflict of Interest items
dgsmithChris_THTH> As a "RD" for Region 11- FL, GA - If this proposal goes thru, does the BOD realize that we will no longer have a judge for AL, MS, TN, FL and GA? This would be a huge financial burden to the teams in this area. Just in FL/GA there were over 20 tournaments a year for the last 3 years
Chris_THTHOne more thing to add, are the rules committee members on this chat?
scottNETThree of the four are present
dgsmithThat would be Kris (Chair), Glenn and Scott with Todd absent
BC_SamChris First I can't speak for the BOD because at this time the BOD may have many opinions. Second many things are being considered and it should be noted that what has been put out there is a work in progress. Your caution is well noted
kris_pickeringI am Chair of the Rules Committee, Chris, and the policy that was circulated is a draft. The issue is whether to set out a clear conflicts policy and if so where to draw the stated lines. The categories we considered are Directors, ED, RD, Supervising Judges and Judges. The feedback we have received has been immensely valuable.
Chris_THTHI know that this is a small region and we are just growing flyball down here. To add an expense of having to fly in a judge, where we already have a great supervisor judge and people in training to become judges is a big issue. I feel that if you are on the BOD, then fine make the rule. Then I could see that rule. But to include judges and "RD"s doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. This is just my feeling.
scottNETThere has been quite a bit of discussion regarding judges on the 'list'. Not many people have made comment on the RD beyond don't include them. Can you elaborate why the RD should not be included
Chris_THTHThe time that "RD's and judges put in is immense, we are not paid by NAFA, we don't have any privileged information, we do it for the love of the sport and our dogs and I think most people would agree with this. Nor do judges or "RD's have any financial incentive to do it. Like I also stated we are a small growing region, who love this sport and it's for the love of our dogs.
dgsmithThe challenge I see with the RD is outside their role at tournaments. We look to them to be our advocate in the region. They help new teams get started, help encourage teams to host and help expand flyball in their region. We'd like them to be an advocate of NAFA - not just flyball in general...
scottNETAdditionally, they get emails from people looking from teams. Those emails are generated by hits from NAFAs website. In an ideal world those people should be sent to NAFA teams. Additionally, as an RD, I know that Sam often circulates things the BOD is discussing to his RDs to get their opinion. That information is priveledged.
glenn.hamiltonI believe that RD has a very strong presence in how the NAFA product is shaped and presented in a region. It is important that the NAFA representative is focused on that goal.
Chris_THTHOK, two points here. Do I get e-mails from the NAFA chat and our own webpage about teams in the area, yes. I continue to support NAFA and represent it to the best of my ability yes!
dgsmithI think the issue here is ensuring that someone doesn't get in a situation that they need to advocate both NAFA and U-FLI, for example. I don't personally think attending in or competing in an event requires advocacy
Chris_THTHFocused on the goal of NAFA, yes. Focused on the fun of flyball for your dog, yes. Some regions "RD's" are stronger, but do you want to punish those people for playing U-FLI, seems a bit silly to me.
dgsmithRestated, I personally don't think competing in or attending any event from any organization is an issue
Chris_THTHI agree
scottNETChris, I want to make sure that you understand what the policy states. No one is telling an RD where they can play. We are not telling them that their club can't hold a tournament for a competing event. All that is being said is that if you hold a NAFA position such as RD, you can't hold a position with a competing organization. So, no you can't be RD in NAFA and a TD in U-FLI.
kris_pickeringOne of the purposes in addressing things by rules or bylaws is so things get addressed and resolved by principles that generally apply to everyone - the point is not that any person has acted badly or dishonorably. The point is not punishing anyone but setting standards in advance for what NAFA officials should and shouldn't do. For me, for example, it is clear that going on the NAFA board of directors - which is also volunteer work - means I cannot go on the board of a competing organization. Paid or not, NAFA deserves my 100% loyalty. The issue is whether, with other official positions, what is the entity and its membership entitled to expect.
Chris_THTHI would think it would be just the BOD and that's it.
dgsmithbordersandjacks> So another team member on the RDs team could be the TD? Or would the whole team be exempt?
dgsmithdogsrule> Does NAFA consider a judge as holding a position in NAFA so that would mean that they could not also be a judge for U-FLI
kris_pickeringIn answer to Dogsrule, the issue of applying the draft policy to NAFA judges is one of the points on which the feedback has been the greatest. The issue has not been decided, currently, but we're trying for feedback on why or why not apply it to judges and if not to judges, whether it should apply to supervising judges, because of the larger training and policy shaping role they occupy.
dgsmithTNTVal> In regards to RDs, the BOD approves them. If the BOD does not feel that person would best represent NAFA, then that person would not be RD. RDs are not elected, they are appointed and approved by the ED and BOD - hence no COI.
glenn.hamiltonTo TNTVal: As Kris has stated, by defining the COI policy up front, a person considering the RD, ED, or Board knows the requirements of the position
Chris_THTHAgain, you need to think about the clubs and what it would mean to NAFA if you apply this policy 5 Southern states without a judge. Is NAFA going to help teams that are barely breaking even pay for a judge to be flown in?
dgsmithMargaret_BITP> So an RD's team could have several U-FLI tournaments and no NAFA tournaments as long as the RD wasn't TD?
dgsmithFlyerHyperFlight> I feel that unless you are hold a direct decision making position you should not be included in the COI. A person on Honda's Board shouldn't be able to sit on Chevrolet's board but they can drive a car made by the opposition
glenn.hamiltonFlyer, let me ask this. Should/would a regional manager for Honda be covered by the corporate conflict of interest policy?
dgsmithdogone> And to follow up on Chris' comment - what's going to happen when we can't get supervising judges down to the South to measure and to train new judges?
scottNETI am going to say this one more time and hope that I am clear. When this was first brought to the rules committee, EVERYONE on the committee was very clear in that they did not want delegate who got to play where. You are more than welcome to determine where you wish to play. The only issue we examined was whether you could be a representative of NAFA and another organization
Chris_THTHHi Scott, I think that if you are an honest, upstanding hard working volunteer, then this should not even be an issue.
scottNETChris, since you asked me a question, I will ask one back. Do RD's hold a position of influence within the region?
Chris_THTHInfluence depends on who is listening? As an Rd, the region can go against what I think or say, we have no recourse.
dgsmithJenny_Staton> What brought on the push for the Conflict of Interest Policy?
kris_pickeringThe Board and its members received questions and raised them among themselves whether and to what extent we as directors and other NAFA officials should, consistent with our fiduciary obligations, participate in an official way with a competing organization. Those questions came up with some frequency and there was no answer b/c it wasn't something NAFA had encountered previously.
glenn.hamiltonLast year the rules committee tightened up the bylaws for board member conduct. This year, we looked at other areas withing NAFA and drafted the proposal accordingly.
dgsmithdogwood> If I may respond to Glenn's question of Hyper...a regional manager for Honda would not normally MAKE policy, they would enforce the policy which Honda dictates to them. If they didn't, they would be fired. It should follow then, that RD's, who do not MAKE policy, should be exempt from the policy, as they are enforcers and messengers of NAFA policy, as are judges.
Gerry.BradshawNAFA had no reason to address a COI before there was another organization competing with it in flyball. What might be a better question to ask is how NAFA managed to go this long without a COI now that it is not the only game in town.
Chris_THTHI would like to know who in the rules committee came up with this policy and what was the reason for it to include Judges?
glenn.hamiltonThe Rules Committee agreed unanimously to bring this draft to the board for discussion.
dgsmithOK, lets rein this back in a bit. Are there any Q's I've posted in the main window which have not yet been answered. If so, you are welcome to restate them now.
dittopunkno one has answered why this issue was pushed so quickly
scottNETThe concept of a COI has been discussed for a few months, as Kris indicated. As our bylaws state, policy questions go to the rules committee. So, the rules committee was charged with examining the issue. We had lots of questions regarding who should be included. We drafted the policy you have seen, knowing it would be revised.
Chris_THTHYes, I want to know why it included all judges? What is NAFA going to do about the Southeast if this rule is enacted? Is the BOD willing to pay for a Supervising Judge to come down to these 5 states, when we want to have a tourney or a new person wants to become a judge?
scottNETChris, it sounds like the one judge you have does all 20 of the tournaments in Florida. Is that correct?
glenn.hamiltonChris, should a judge candidate be prepared to travel to another region to learn?
dgsmithreno.beeno> I've seen some answers about why to address a COI, but I don't see anywhere an answer as to why the rush. This rule change seems too important to address in about 1 weeks times period.
Chris_THTHScott, our Supervising judge is the greatest or he wouldn't keep being asked to come back, if you want I can go thru and look at the statics and tell you how many he has judged in AL, MS, TN, FL and GA, which FL and GA are not even his region.
Margaret_BITPI'll ask my question again. So a RD's team could put on several U-FLI tournaments and no NAFA tournaments as long as the RD wasn't TD?
scottNETthat really wasn't what I was looking at. I was more concerned that you have a judge who is doing too much and the region really needs to look at a push for more judges
Chris_THTHGlenn depends on if they can financially afford it. I know the 2 that are thinking about it can't.
glenn.hamiltonChris, a quick review of your region for 2006 shows 5 SJ's that have traveled from out of region to judge.
Chris_THTHYes they have Glenn, that was to help get new judges trained and started. If you also look those SJ's where brought in by one club (no offense to that club), but they have the backing of a Dog club behind them. Most of the other clubs in the region are on their own financially.
scottNETI want to address the 'rush' question. The impetus for the current COI policy question was what level of involvement can a BOD member have in another organization? Given the close for nominations is the end of next month, we felt is was appropriate to pass the COI policy prior to nominations. Anyone who runs for the BOD should know in advance (not after) what the expectations of the position are. Then, the question was posed as to whether any other positions in NAFA posed a conflict of interest
glenn.hamiltonAdditionally, the Bod always uses the summer months to define the rulebook changes. Any COI policy will need to be included in the upcoming rulebook.
dgsmithOK, one more time. Are there any questions that have ALREADY been posted to the floor which have not been answered?
Chris_THTHMy question to the BOD, what will be done if this is approved and you leave Region 11 & Region 14 without a supervising judge. Is NAFA going to pay to have a judge flown in, like we did for Alaska?
glenn.hamiltonMargaret: Your question is a very valid one and one that we will be discussing. I don't have an answer for you at the moment. There is no supervising judge in Region 2. We have over 30 tournaments a year up here.
barbaraFloridahow many judges do you have ??
glenn.hamiltonBarbara - currently 4
barbaraFloridathanks - we have NONE
herocdxThe question about who initiated this policy was never answered directly, someone had to pose this issue.
Jenny_StatonIf we have an RD or Board Member on our team, is it simply them that's banned from being a TD or is it the entire team?
kris_pickeringMargaret, it is difficult to legislate by rule what an individuals team members can or cannot do, and it is also hard to say whether this should be done by rule or handled on a case by case basis. That's part of the concern at that end of the spectrum.
kris_pickeringHero, the question came up from many different people, including internally, among us as board members. So I am not sure it came from any one person, honestly. We were just seeing the question of conflicts of interest arise from many different corners. Until last year, NAFA had no conflict policy and no real need of one.
dgsmithOK, I'm going to catch up on some other pending questions - some of which may have been partially answered
dgsmithdogsrule> Reading NAFA's purpose, it states in essence that NAFA exists to promote the sport and to encourage national and international competition. I don't see how excluding judges promotes that vision.
glenn.hamiltonWe are not excluding any judges.
scottNETJudges was a hotly debated topic among the committee. In essence, the judges are the most important position within the sport. They are the most public of our positions, they uphold the quality and integrity of the sport. The question was posed whether to include them. We could not come to any agreement, so we decided to send it to the BOD with judges included and let the FULL BOD hash it out
Chris_THTHI don't think this is a good idea Scott, As many have pointed out, agility has judges that judge in many different arena's, why can't we?
dgsmithannette.flugstad> Question for the floor -- Aren't there other options here? COIs almost always exist. The question is what to do about it. Hasn't anyone thought of disclosures and recusals as ways of dealing with COIs when and IF they occur as opposed to outright denial of someone being able to serve in other situations. Certainly not EVERYTHING NAFA does/deals with is in direct competition with another organization?
kris_pickeringannette, that is an excellent point and one we debated before and after Rules Comm. worked on this. There are issues that are better handled on a disclosure level. For example, should I as a board member play U-FLI with my dog? That is something we felt should not be legislated. Could it be an election issue? Sure! But it did not seem to be a disabling conflict. At the other end, I should not as a board member hold an interest or position in another org. that competes with us, where my loyalties would be divided and I'd be tempted to misuse information or ideas. That should be settled by rule, I think, in advance of a dispute.
dgsmithreno.beeno> Why is this rule being decided by the BOD and not put to a vote by the clubs like the jump height change proposal?
scottNETThe BOD is free to send by-law changes to the delegates, if it so chooses. Rules of racing changes, like jump heights, MUST be sent to the delegates.
scottNETChris, The policy was posted so that we could have your input. That was the point.
dgsmithZac_Bordering-On-Insanity> > Will the Judges/BoD members be required to sign a document stating that they do not have a Conflict of Interest? Zac_Bordering-On-Insanity> Can this policy be applied lawfully from state to state and province with no or limited recourse of a potential lawsuit?
Chris_THTHSo now that the BOD members have heard people speak, what are you thinking?
reno.beenoSo this issue may be brought to the clubs and not decided by the BOD? Human nature is to have a knee jerk reaction to a change when they initially feel they have no input. Couldn't it have been posted in that manner...i.e. the BOD is being presented with this issue to discuss (and not necessarily vote on) and then be presented to the clubs for opinions. I still don't think a week's time is sufficient to get enough feedback from the masses who participate in flyball.
Chris_THTHI agree Reno, maybe this should be brought to the delegates.
scottNETActually, it couldn't be decided fully by the clubs. We would be soliciting your input prior to the BOD vote. Changes in the by-laws require a 2/3 vote of the BOD. The previous BODs that set up our policies determined that by-law changes are handled by the BOD. Changes in rules of racing are handled by the delegates. I can not speak to why this policy was set. You would need to speak to the individuals that were on the BOD at that time.
Chris_THTHI still think, since this is such a hot topic, it be brought to the delegates, as it effects clubs financially.
reno.beeno...and as U-FLI expands if will affect more and more regions and therefore will affect NAFA and its leadership and judges more. It think this is a topic for the delegates.
dgsmithOK, getting ready to close out the COI topic - post any other questions to dgsmith now if you have them
dgsmithherocdx> Can the board member who suggested this COI policy in the first place be known? Elections are coming up and I find it a valuable consideration for my delegate votes.
scottNETHero. I know that it was put on our agenda, but I really don't know where the concept first originated.
kris_pickeringNo single director suggested it. It was fielded to Rules and as Chair of Rules, I convened two separate rules committee meetings where we couldn't agree on the exact form this should take. So the draft that we'd considered was forwarded to Board as a whole with a unanimous recommendation that it be debated at the Board level. I am the chair of the Rules committee, so I will claim responsibility, by virtue of that job title.
herocdxI feel this was answered as much as it is going to be, but my concern would be if the initiator was also a judge as there could lie a COI in itself
dgsmithZac_Bordering-On-Insanity> how is this policy going to work across the states and Canada?
Chris_THTHCan someone tell us who was missing on the Chat from the BOD?
scottNETTodd, Lee, Mike and Brian are absent
dgsmithOK, 5 mins max to the end of the COI discussion
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityDoes Michigan laws cover this policy?
kris_pickeringZac, Michigan laws govern our corporate governance as we are a Mich. non profit, so as it applies to board members, yes.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityHow does the policy then apply to all the judges across the US and Canada? Would local state rules come into play? If so this could open open up a can of worms for enforcement
kris_pickeringIt would depend in my judgment on what's enacted, if anything, that applies to judges.
dgsmithI'll let Kris (or someone) answer Zac's last Q and then we'll close out COI for this evening.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityAB 1689: No Discrimination for Private Off-Duty Conduct In this unheralded amendment to the Labor Code, California declares a public policy to protect employees from adverse employment decisions based on the exercise of their constitutional rights. More particularly, the statute gives jurisdiction to the Labor Commissioner to hear claims of employees who are discharged, disciplined or demoted for off-duty , off-premises lawful conduct. The implications of this statute are potentially far reaching, as the legislative pronouncement paves the way for a new class of wrongful discharge tort claims. In the meantime, if you maintain policies that regulate (or have the effect of regulating) off-duty conduct, for ex. This was from California...
scottNETI can only speak for myself regarding this policy. I have heard what everyone has to say regarding who should be covered on this policy. Furthermore, everyone on the BOD has the best interest of NAFA at heart and I believe that they have also heard you
dgsmithOK, I have two other questions pending.
dgsmithherocdx> When or if the subject changes before the Chat is finished, I would like to know if NAFA has or will consider having an area available (like the tournament area) on the website for a hosting teams to post their upcoming tournament package information like seed charts, welcome letters and racing schedules so everyone can look to one central location for tournament info and a club doesn't have to have a website to get the info out quicker.
dgsmithThis one I think is for Lisa
LisaPi remember this suggestion from the website survey. i think it's a cool idea. i would have to work with dale on access stuff like how would people upload files to the site etc. but in general it would offer a cool service
barbaraFloridasame way results are posted... have a form, fill in the links and send it for posting
LisaPi don't want us to get into the web hosting biz like Kathryn Hogg tho
LisaPyeah barb great
dgsmithrobin.marion> Question regarding the NAFA News. Is there ever going to be one published again. On the website, September 2005 is the last one. Thanks
glenn.hamiltonIs there is a need for a NAFA News with the web site evolving like it has?
robin.marionEven board minute meetings would be nice. Last one was Jan 28
BC_SamWe have put our efforts into the web site and the NAFA News has suffered. I am sure there will be another published but be sure to stay tuned to the web site for the up to date information. The March minutes should be up shortly
glenn.hamiltonThere is one outstanding teleconference that was made available for posting recently.
LisaPthat's true, i got that the day before i got the COI policy - need to put that up
BC_SamI would like to say thanks to all of you who have commented and those that have written beforehand. Your opinions have added to our knowledge and made a difference in the outcome. But it hasn't ended as you have come up with good ideas and things we need to think about. All of us value your input and we will carefully consider your feelings in this and all matters. Thank you for caring about flyball and attending chat
Chris_THTHThanks to all that have attended
dgsmithThank you all for being well-behaved this evening. This was our largest chat and I think we covered some good information. Thanks for showing your interest in our sport and our Organization.
barbaraFloridawe appreciate the opportunity
dgsmithThis will conclude the moderated portion of the chat. Feel free to chat opening in the main window
kris_pickeringI also thank everyone for attending. Your input matters, greatly.
scottNETI'm going to stay for a few minutes if anyone has further questions
reno.beenothank you to the board members for listening and answering's wonderful to have such a responsive group of people.
glenn.hamiltonGood night all and thanks for the input!
reno.beenoHow is the veterans program doing in the various regions? My almost 10 year old whippet sure does love the continued opportunity to run.
barbaraFloridawe haven't tried it yet...need to poll the clubs and see how many teams we could *make*
scottNETIt is slowly building steam. A number of regions are offering it regularly , while others are not. The key to vets is the fact that the 90 day rule does not apply
reno.beenoI sort of begged the TD to offer it as soon as it was offered...if you build it, they will come :-)
scottNETOne idea I had which I haven't had time to implement was to have individual vet entries to my tournament and then to have a random draw to create vets teams.
barbaraFloridaA key to vets is how many *old* dogs do you have still able to run ?? or been around long enough to be that old ?? Flyball has only been here for 9 years and most of the early dogs were so poorly trained, they didn't last that long.... (no offense -- ours included)
reno.beenoSounds reasonable for dogs that run with any dog in almost any position on any that sounds negative doesn't it? It sort of's been working out in this region to set up teams with the people who know the dogs. Julie's taken on that responsibility in the big way.
barbaraFloridanow, that is *experience* reno <G>
reno.beenoYup...she knows all the people and the dogs so well that it works out really well. We even have some regular division teams jealous of the 20 second times some of the vets teams are running :-)

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