Minutes of October 4, 2008

General Membership Meeting


468:    The mandatory general membership meeting of the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association was held on Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at Bertona Hall, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington.


            Board President: Vern Smith

            Board Executive Secretary: Gail Shelton

            Division I Rep: Brandon Fortier

            Division II Rep: Kevin Martin

            East Rep: Vern Smith

            Metro Rep: Ryan Kelly

            West Rep: Rob Hawley

            North Rep: Ken Hopkins

At-Large:  Tony Olney


            Division I – Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Curtis, Garfield, Issaquah, Lakeside, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Northshore, Puyallup, Seattle Prep, Skyline, Vashon


            Division II – Blanchet, Highline, Kings Way, Klahowya, Lake Tapps, Lynnwood, Nathan Hale, North County, North Kitsap, Overlake, Port Angeles, Redmond, Roosevelt, Sammamish, Snohomish, South Kitsap, Stadium, Tacoma, Three Rivers, Wenatchee, Whatcom


469:    Roll was taken and Vern asked each program to turn in or email the 2009 Program Information sheet to Gail. 


470:    Vern reminded the membership about the ground rules for speaking – everyone can speak once on every topic; but if someone wants to speak twice on the same topic, they must wait until everyone else has had the opportunity to speak once.  Also, he reminded the membership to be brief when they speak.           


471:    New members to the league and their representatives were welcomed and introduced – Selah (no representative because it was his wedding day), Skagit Valley, Three Rivers and Wenatchee.


472:    The present WHSBLA Board members were introduced:  Brandon Fortier – Division I rep; Rob Hawley – West side rep; Ken Hopkins – North side rep; Ryan Kelly – Metro rep; Kevin Martin – Div II rep; Tony Olney – At-large rep; Vern Smith – East side rep and current Board President; and Gail Shelton – Secretary Treasurer.  Each team has two reps – division and region – who represent team’s interests.  Teams are encouraged to call their reps or email them to express concerns and views.


473:    Once the provisional members from eastern Washington become regular members, it is expected that an eastern Washington rep will be added to the Board and a second At-large rep.  Per the By-laws, the Board must maintain an odd number of members.


474:    The first order of business for the membership was elections of regional representatives.  Write-in ballots are allowed.  Each candidate was given a short time to describe why they want to be a member of the Board.  Candidates for election were:

                        West side rep:  Rob Hawley, unopposed

                        Metro rep:  Ryan Kelly, unopposed

                        North side rep: (1) Peter White (2) Ken Hopkins

                        East side rep: (1) Henry Valentine (2) Vern Smith


475:    Ballots were tabulated by Gail and Tony and election results were announced by Tony:

                        West side rep:  Rob Hawley

                        Metro rep:  Ryan Kelly

                        North side rep:  Peter White

                        East side rep:  Vern Smith


New Business: 


476:    Leslie Cornelison resigned as Secretary/Treasurer for personal reasons, so once again the Board is looking for candidates to fill this appointed position.  Vern asked members to ask qualified and interested people to contact Gail before November 1ST.


477:    Dues will remain the same as in 2008 - $10/player for regular members and $5/player for teams in their first year with the league.


478:    Negotiations continue with WALOA and is hoped that agreement will be reached before year end.  For budgeting purposes, teams should plan for a 10% increase in referee’s fees, but negotiations continue.   Playoff costs are similar to last year:  first round or rounds, each team splits the cost of refs.  Semi-final refs are paid for by WHSBLA.  Last year the WA Chapter split the cost of refs for the two final games.  This year, WHSBLA will ask the Chapter to pay for all refs at the finals.


479:    Important dates:

January 1, 2009 -New teams to the League can begin practicing (Skagit Valley, Selah, Three Rivers and Wenatchee)

March 2, 2009 – First day of practice for remaining teams

May 30, 2009 – Championship Day

August 1, 2009 – Dead period begins for all teams


480:    The survey results indicated overwhelmingly that membership wanted no change to the Division I-II alignment.  The Board explored many other options, but felt the League is not ready to go to a strictly regional alignment, 4A/3A or other system.  The Board will be meeting to determine how to integrate Selah, Wenatchee and Three Rivers into the League.  All options will be considered and the Board asked that Division II members send suggestions to Kevin Martin, Division II representative.  Division II will have 10-14 games depending on the alignment and Division I will have 13 games.


481:    The Board voted to reassign Northshore and Seattle Prep to Division I and Lynnwood and Roosevelt to Division II.


482:    Brandon asked all teams to send their blackout dates to him as soon as possible.


483:    Defining JV and Frosh/Soph teams means that a program can field sufficient players so that a doubleheader (V and JV) or (JV and Fr/Soph) can be held on the same day and at different locations.  If projected numbers do not support this type of schedule, do not sign up for a JV or Frosh/Soph schedule.   Players can play 4 quarters in one day.  League rules specify that JV players can be any age, but Frosh/Soph players must be 9th and 10th graders only.  You must have ten practices before competing – this includes Saturdays, but not Sundays.


484:    The Board adopted a limit on the number of regular season games a team can compete in during the season.  The decision was made in an effort to emulate similar game limits in WIAA sports.


            From the new edition of the Handbook:

10.4.0             REGULAR SEASON CONTEST LIMITS - 20 games plus one jamboree.


10.5.0             JAMBOREE – A lacrosse jamboree is a series of abbreviated contests during which a squad may play in no more than three (3) abbreviated contests in one day.  Each abbreviated contest may consist of no more than four, 10-minute RUNNING CLOCK quarters – OR – two, 20-minute RUNNING CLOCK halves.


10.5.1                          In excess of the one allowable jamboree under rule 10.4.0, each subsequent day of a participation in a jamboree counts as 1 game towards the 20-game contest limit.


485:    No new games will be scheduled after the first two weeks of the season because      it becomes a nightmare for the treasurer, the scheduler and WALOA.  If a game needs to be moved or a new opponent needs to be brought in, but the game has already been paid for, that is acceptable.  You cannot add games that have not already been paid for.


486:    Contact Peter White if you are interested in attending the Cavalier Invitational in Lynden on March 14 & 15.  It will host Division I JV and Div II Varsity teams.


487:    Any changes to the Handbook or Addendum will be highlighted in the new edition and it will be out before the February meeting.  All WHSBLA documents – Handbook, Addendum, By-laws, Board and General Membership minutes etc. are always up to date an posted on the League website.


488:    The survey overwhelmingly supported (20-3) the effort toward WIAA sanctioning.  Tony has been in contact with the WSLA representative who chaired their effort last December.  WSLA was resoundingly defeated by the WIAA committee.  However, they have been advised to keep applying each year and to try to keep educating ADs across the state about lacrosse.


            The Board has determined that an application will be presented in December to WIAA on behalf of WHSBLA.  The Board will be reaching out to all coaches for assistance in this effort.  It is important that every program builds the best relationship possible with ADs trying to inform them that the more programs are involved, the less impact it will have on the AD.  Because lacrosse players own their own gear, the financial impact is not nearly what it is for football.  Tony was asked to publish the 53 members of the WIAA voting committee which is made up of ADs from all over the state.


            Even if lacrosse becomes a WIAA sanctioned sport, the WHSBLA Board will still exist because there will be clubs to organize who are not picked up by their districts immediately.  Schools do not have to accept a sport when it becomes sanctioned and teams who are not part of WIAA cannot play teams who are.


489:    The Board adopted, with modifications, a WIAA rule addressing situations where a coach unilaterally refused to play a game:


            From the new edition of the Handbook:

12.6.0             REFUSING TO PLAY – Teams are obligated to participate in a contest to its normal conclusion unless the contest is terminated by mutual consent of the coaches and officials involved due to unusual weather or game conditions, or situations which could be hazardous to participants or spectators.  Any coach is prohibited from unilaterally refusing to play.


12.6.1             Any coach unilaterally refusing to play will be suspended.  The length of suspension will be determined by the WHSBLA Board.  The game in question will be ruled a forfeit.                    In the case of a Varsity JV doubleheader, if possible, the play of the JV game shall be adjusted (shorten duration, cancel or reschedule) so that the varsity game is played per rule.  Any adjustments must be agreed upon prior to the start of the first game of the doubleheader.



Teams cannot start games without ten players, so if a coach doesn’t have an eligible team, and the game can’t be rescheduled, it is a forfeit.


490:    The 2008 Questionnaire was reviewed by Vern.  Only 23 questionnaires were returned.  It is very important that every program return the Questionnaire – without feedback, the Board can only assume everything is running smoothly.


491:    Gail spoke to comments on the questionnaire regarding the WA Chapter.  There seems to be confusion about the roll of the Chapter.  The Chapter does not get involved with scheduling or the day-to-day running of any league in the state.  The WA Chapter providesservices for its members – both men’s and women’s lacrosse.  The State Championships are hosted by the WA Chapter and funds from that event provide equipment grants, clinics, convention, grants to the National Convention, first aid/cpr classes etc.


492:    There were some good suggestions on the questionnaire for the Coaches Convention.  Gail will pass those on to the Chapter President as well as suggestions for the 2009 championships.


493:    Mike McQuaid was hired by the Chapter, WHSBLA and WSLA to raise awareness of lacrosse across the state.  The Questionnaire revealed mixed reviews of the effort.  The Board believes he raised the awareness significantly and understands it is a cumulative effort.  The Board will be asked again to participate in this effort, although it will be more expensive that 2008.  The information Mike has available to him depends on how diligent teams are in providing that information.  Assign someone from your team to call the information or text it to Mike before the deadlines.  If you aren’t seeing articles in your local papers, you should contact your editors, because many local papers are carrying the stories that Mike prepares.


494:    The survey indicates the worst part of coaching in 2008 was the disrespect shown to coaches, timekeepers and officials.  This behavior reflects a small handful of coaches, but the Board encourages everyone to be more mindful and try harder to respect players, coaches, officials and fans.


495:    There were very few complaints about scheduling matters.  With 422 games scheduled and one scheduler it doesn’t leave much room for complaints.  It is important that each team has a central contact person for scheduling that Brandon can contact.  If teams are willing to play during their Spring Break week, it will open their schedule up.  Travel issues will be important in Division II and the Board is mindful of those issues.  Brandon will be working with the Board on playoff schedules and will have them ready for the new Addendum.


496:    Rob addressed the complaint from the survey that decisions were made without membership notice.  Before a Board was put in place, coaches were required to attend one meeting a month (WA Lacrosse Council) during the off season.  When the league started to grow, that model wasn’t useful and the same 5-6 coaches were coming to all the meetings to make decisions.  Under the WHSBLA Board structure, each team has two representatives who they should communicate with about their concerns and issues.  The Board established 3 subcommittees in 2008 and invited the membership to help guide policy on the Board.  The membership has not stepped up to fill the committees so they have been disbanded.


497:    Kevin reviewed the officials’ evaluation forms and impressed on the membership the importance of completing them after each game.  It helps WHSBLA provide feedback to WALOA and also helps select officials for the playoffs and finals.  Coaches are asked to complete two forms after each game (1 for each official).  The form is the same form being used by the college coaches.  Of 844 officials assigned in 2008, WHSBLA received feedback for 96 – 11%.  Chris Long, WALOA representative said the information is helpful to WALOA and they send out a veteran official to review the official.  If the evaluation is correct, they work with the official and Smitty tried to make sure they weren’t assigned to big games.


Old Business


498:    Three subcommittees have been disbanded for lack of membership participation:   

                        Coach Assistance Subcommittee

                        Compliance Subcommittee

                        Program Assistance Subcommittee


499:    Vern reminded all coaches of the coaching standards which go into effect in 2010.  Each program/AD is responsible for keeping track of hours.  The policy has appeared in previous minutes, but will be posted on the website.


500:    The new jersey rule will be effective 2010.  NFHS adopted this rule in 2006, but WHSBLA chose to move the deadline to 2010.  Every Varsity team will be required to have the new uniforms and WALOA will be enforcing the rule.  You can find the rule in the annual report and the Handbook.


501:    Question:  The League needs a central website that expresses news in boy’s high school lacrosse and because WHSBLA has its own website it has the ability to be a news source.  Would it be possible for Brandon to put his popular “Weekly Beat” on the whsbla.org website?  It gets news out to the kids quickly kids and draws players and parents to the website.  Vern asked that it be put on the agenda for a future meeting.


502:    The Chapter is looking at new venues for the championships and WHSBLA has agreed to work with them.  While the Board cannot run the championships, it will put this matter on the October Board agenda.  There were concerns expressed by the membership that the Chapter is leaving Memorial Stadium and rotating the games to different high schools.  Many feel a move to a high school stadium would be a step backwards for the championships.  Vern agreed the Board would discuss the following and take the results to the Chapter Executive Committee:

                        Venue concerns

                        Timing of games – prime time and back to back


503:    If any coach has a question about rules during the season, please contact Chris Long from WALOA.


504:    The next general membership meeting is a mandatory meeting for head coaches.

            Saturday, February 7, 2008.  The time will be announced.


505:    The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm.


                                                                                    Gail Shelton, Executive Secretary