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USAC/ABS Membership fees???
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lambone


Mar 21, 2006, 9:49 AM
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USAC/ABS Membership fees???
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Really...

Why make the kids and their parents pay for two seperate memberships for the same damn comp format?

We went to a USAC comp this weekend, and guess what, it was no different then any of the ABS comps last fall, only there was NO prize box for the kids.

So the kids allreay paid their ABS membership for the year, but to compete in this USA bouldering comp, they need to pay again for a new membership, only it's more then twice as expensive...

:?


olderic


Mar 21, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Re: USAC/ABS is a raquet [In reply to]
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I think there is a combined membership for $65 although that just seems to be the sum of the $20 ABS and $45 USAC - these are the kids prices, not sure about the adult versions.

You really need to rant about the entry fees too.


bob123


Mar 21, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for your support [In reply to]
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Nice of you to ask about the difference between the Bouldering and Sport Climbing seasons.

Apparently you went to a bouldering competition which was included as part of the sport climbing or roped series. Some regions prefer to have more comps and sometimes include gyms which favor bouldering. I believe the next scheduled competition in your region will be a roped event.

The Bouldering Nationals were recently completed at the Boulder Rock Gym in Colorado. There were approximately 250 youth competitors at the Youth Nationals. The Youth Nationals was held at the same time that the Adult ABS Nationals was held at the Spot, also in Boulder.

The Sport Climbing Series (roped and speed) began nation wide in February. There are more than 90 individual comps in the Sport Climbing series. The series will culminate with the July Youth Nationals at ClubSports in Portland. The US Youth National is the largest climbing competition in the world with approximately 400 competitors from all over the US.

We are currently working on a North American Continental Championship. Top competitors will be invited by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The Continental is an every other year event and will occur around Thanksgiving weekend. The event will include Youth categories and Open category Adults.

Most of what USA Climbing manages to pull off happens because of a large group of dedicated volunteers. Less than 50% of the USAC budget comes from financial support from the outdoor industry. Unlike other national federations we get zero dollars from the any local, state or the federal government. The majority of our funding which supports 3 total staff, an office, phones, computers, maintaining the web sites, organizing the series, tracking the points, and interfacing with the rest of the world climbing community is funded through membership dollars.

Competitors generally don't understand that the gyms keep 100% of the entry fees they charge for the comps. USA Climbing and the ABS charge $125 per comp as a sanctioning fee.

Thanks for your support.


madriver


Mar 21, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Re: USAC/ABS is a raquet [In reply to]
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In reply to:
We went to a USAC comp this weekend, and guess what, it was no different then any of the ABS comps last fall, only there was NO prize box for the kids.

...the real difference is that USA Climbing has merged with ABS thereby creating hyper competive comps that were once a "laid back have a good time and climb scene". That also had some really great prize packages. I hope it works out for all. ABS was run by climbers for climbers. The gyms had a free hand in how strict or not so strict a format they wanted as they saw fit. USA Climbing is about rules, parents, and competition. ABS was about the freedom of bouldering. The two are not compatable. I was once told that the problem with the old ABS format was that Chris Sharma wouldn't make the National Bouldering Team....heh....somehow I don't think Chris really cares.


lambone


Mar 21, 2006, 3:08 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS is a raquet [In reply to]
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bob123,

with all that said i still don't think you have answered the concern that kids have to pay for a seperate USAC membership (be it a season membership or one day membership) for another BOULDERING competition, when they have already paid for a ABS membership.

These are not only my concerns as a coach, but the parents concerns, which basically think they are getting ripped off.

A bouldering competetion is a bouldering competetion. Calling it by another name so you can charge another fee to the competitors is wrong, IMHO.

My offered solution, schedule your bouldering comps during ABS and roped comps during USAC season. Or charge one membership fee for bouldering comps.

Also, BTW...the next USAC comp which is a roped comp is in Seattle,Wa...an 8 hour drive from Southern Oregon. Not really possibble for us unless we make it a three day trip. It is a real disadvantage being in the far corner of a huge region.


bob123


Mar 21, 2006, 3:48 PM
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USAC/ABS is Wonderful [In reply to]
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I personally agree that bouldering comps should not be mixed into the roped series. However the rules permit this to provide flexibility for the Regional Coordinators in getting a season together. Some (of the 15) regionís canít manage to get enough gyms to host comps without including a bouldering gym.

The drive/distance issue is a problem. Pacific NW is a big growing region. There is always the possibility that it could be split into Washington and Oregon.


lambone


Mar 21, 2006, 4:00 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS is Wonderful [In reply to]
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As a gym owner and manager, why would I ever hold a roped USAC comp as opposed to a bouldering USAC comp?

I am sure you know the difference from a gym's perspective as far as labor involved in running the comp, also you basically have to shut down the gym to throw it.

In reply to:
Competitors generally don't understand that the gyms keep 100% of the entry fees they charge for the comps. USA Climbing and the ABS charge $125 per comp as a sanctioning fee.

oh really? I distincly remeber cutting a check to ABS for 1/4 of the days total revenue for the ABS comp we held last November. The competitors don't care whether their money goes to the ABS or the gym, they just care how much it costs...so the extra ABS fees limit how much the gym can charge for the comp. Ours was $20 a head...and most members thought that was too expensive.




I would expect that given the choice less and less gyms will throw roped USAC comps if given the option between roped and bouldering, because bouldering comps are so much logistacly easier to thow, and less costly.

I considered getting on the USAC schedule this season but decided not to because I was told that it had to be a roped difficulty comp, and I wasn't sure that I could round up the setters nescesary for good comp routes. Then later I found out that all the comps in Oregon are bouldering comps...not roped comps.

Now I struggle with explaining to parents and kids why they need to pay membership again for more bouldering comps. Your system is confusing and frustrating for gym owners and coaches.

At the same time I am glad some national organization exists and am thankful that you folks put alot of hard work into it.


bob123


Mar 21, 2006, 4:34 PM
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ABS is great [In reply to]
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Apparently you did not have many ABS members at the comp. The check you cut to the ABS for 25% of your entry was probably the $5 one day membership fees. Being part of the national series means all competitors are required to be ABS members (full or one day members). Other than membership fees the ABS only charges the gyms $125.

I agree that there has been some confusion this 1st season with the merger of the ABS & USA Climbing. The two organizations evolved separately and with different traditions. Give it some time for the wrinkles to be ironed out.

Everyone should keep in mind that this is a relatively new sport which is still defining itself. Join the organization, volunteer to help, you'll better understand the challenges and can make a difference. USA Climbing is not some mega for profit corporation, it's volunteers within the climbing community working together to organize the sport.


lambone


Mar 21, 2006, 8:36 PM
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Re: ABS is great [In reply to]
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we had 50 competitors at our first comp. at $20 each, $125 is %12.5 of the gross revenue.

What did I get for that $125? A link on your web site to our gym. I think that is all...plus a list of rules on how to promote your sponsors.

$125 may not be alot of money to your orgainzation...but for a gym barely covering overhead...it is significant. for each competitor...the $5, $20,$45,$65 is significant.

"relatively new sport"

???

Competetive climbing has been going on since the early 90's...what do you need 20 years to figure it out? 30?

ok, I'm flaming you now. But I don't want that to take away from my main point that competitors and their parents are ot happy to have to pay for a second membership to do more bouldering comps (which they thought they had allready paid for).

I have spoken with the regional coordinator about this, and a guy in your office, I think his name was Chris.

Regards,
Matt


tyson16v


Mar 23, 2006, 6:24 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS Membership fees??? [In reply to]
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matt,
as an old friend of yours, let me help you through this.
you have literally just started in this whole thing. i realize that it is hard for you to understand all of the whats and whys of how this organization works and why it works that way. but trust me when i say there is a reason for all of it.
alot of people think that the money that is being processed through the association is going into somebodys pocket. this is by far, not the case. all work done by anybody for USAC is done on a volunteer basis. all moneys collected go back into the competitions and helping the organization run better.
i understand that your parents are angry to have to pay for membership, but that is what it takes to make things run right. have you ever played on a select soccer team, or have any of your kids been in gymnastics or ballet, or even after school daycare. it costs 3x as much as what usac asks.

In reply to:
Competetive climbing has been going on since the early 90's...what do you need 20 years to figure it out? 30?
it is funny you should bring this up, like you were there or something. i was there and competing at the time, and trust me, it is way better than it ever has been.
you are acting like your team and everyone in the country is getting screwed by USAC and ABS. if you have issues, please come onto the coaches forum on the usac website and ask http://www.usaclimbing.org/forum/index.php
or for christ sake call me up, we are friends, and i am your divisional coaches coordinator, i coach for a living, and work with usac very extensively. please let me put your mind at ease.
it just sounds like you are lacking information and understanding of the situation, let me help you.
i love it that you opened up your own gym and are super psyched for team and youth climbing. it is something i hold dear to my heart, but please dont come onto this forum of all places and bash the organization.
at least not until you have all the facts. and then if you still feel the same way, go ahead and bash us.
but seriosly, call me up at the gym, i would love to hear from you.

word,
tyson


lambone


Mar 23, 2006, 8:09 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS Membership fees??? [In reply to]
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Hi Tyson old friend. Thanks for the insight, I appreciate your words man.

I do understand that USAC is a not for profit organization run by volounteers. I apologize If I "bashed" on the organization. I realized my original post was a little harsh and I edited it a bit to tone it down. I don't mean to be insulting to anyone involved or downplay the amount of work and effort that goes into the whole thing.

My input here is just a reflection of our recent experience. You are correct, we are new in the game. We are infact a new team, the first competetively driven climbing team in Southern Oregon. Several of the boys have done ABS comps for a while now though.

I started climbing over 16 years ago and have been around gyms and competetions the whole time, although not a competitor I do have a sense for how it has been run in the past. I've witnessed and been a part of running comps in Chicago, Cali, Seattle, and now Oregon. Because I opened a gym 6 months ago doesn't mean I am a noobie to gym operations.

You guys may not like that I have raised critisism about the membership here. But keep in mind that I am only echoing the concerns of the competitor's folks. It was difficult explaining to them why they need to pay again for bouldering comps, when they all have ABS allready. Like it or not, that is the truth and bottom line. Parents don't really understand how the two entities are different when they fly under the same banner and have the same bouldering format. You have to try and appreciate that. They don't mind paying for a membership. They don't understand why they need two different memberships for the same type of comp. comprende? I am still not clear...and still can not give them a good explination....other then "sorry, that is just the way it is."

At the same time it is important for the organization to know that my team were not as psyched about their first USAC comp. Because each route must be judged by offcial judges, there were long lines and the kids did not get much climbing time. They spent alot of time waiting in line, even more so then at ABS regionals in Tigard. Plus there was no comp box. So the membership is more, but they don't get to climb as much...and no chance to win free shwag at the end.
:?

There is no way our team can make it to 9 USAC comps. That is what it would take to make the $45 membership worth it to them. So they have to pay the $5 fee, and can't get their scores ranked on the web. That kind of bums them out.

You guys want to make the organisation better right? then listen to the feedback of the participants, they are the future, and there is room for improvement.

My gym is the only gym, between Davis, Ca and Portland, Or egon that has the facilities for a USAC roped comp. That is a 600 mile span between two big cities with one gym with lead capacity in between (since the Crux only wants to have bouldering). I'd like to host a USAC roped comp and look forward to it. But because of our location and the set-up of our current region I am hesitant...because I don't think we will cover the cost of routesetting and lost business.

Would you bring your team from Seattle? I doubt it, but I don't blame you, it is the same reason we can't come to Seattle...it's too darn far away. What we need is a Northern California - Oregon region that includes Redding and Shasta County. But I don't expect the organization to change regions anytime soon, just for us at least.

Anyway I hope what I am writting makes sense, and I hope people aren't taking offense to it.

Cheers bro, I look forward to seeing you again. hopefully at the Circuit...right?

~Lambone


tyson16v


Mar 23, 2006, 9:27 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS Membership fees??? [In reply to]
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matt,
thank you. by no means did i mean you were a newbie to climbing and competition, ive run comps with you buddy.
as a matter of fact there is a large discussion on the coaches forum that you should be a part of :wink: about redesigning regions. and you are right, it would be hard for my team to come down to a comp that is around 8-9 hours away. pretty much the team goes where i tell them to, and if you are gonna hold one, i would make sure that we are there. to support you and your new team and as well help with the enthusiasm that is generating in southern oregon.
i know the comps are rough sometimes for the kids, the lines are long and it doesnt seem like you get anything out of it. the way we look at it as a team, is that you get experience. you get comradery(?sp) between climbers, and you help build community for the youth the same way you and i know it and have always known it from before. plus, if they do good enough, they will be able to compete at divisionals, and nationals. that in turn is huge, and a really good time. i understand that your first usac comp wasnt what you were expecting, and i understand the frustration of the parents, but what they need to do is go to the website and learn about the difference between the seasons. i never have this problem with my parents, but they for the most part have been around for a while, and those that havent fit right in with the others pretty quick.

i just have so much fun with this, it really is the biggest part of my life. coaching and the kids is something i never thought i would have, and now it is what brings me joy. i would love to see it happen for you too.

i would also like you to voice your opinion in the coaches forum over on
http://usaclimbing.org/forum/.
you are right, we want to make the association better, and the only way to do it is by listening to parents and climbers and coaches.
but when you come into this forum, it is falling on deaf ears, and just sounds like random ranting. go to the source, we have close to 100 registered coaches in USAC that are sharing information all the time. come over and join us, we are there for you, because its people like you who make up the bulk of the association. otherwise we would just be chillin by ourselves.


lambone


Mar 24, 2006, 5:24 PM
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Re: USAC/ABS Membership fees??? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
matt, i just have so much fun with this, it really is the biggest part of my life. coaching and the kids is something i never thought i would have, and now it is what brings me joy. i would love to see it happen for you too.

totaly bro, it has been a huge learing experience for me too, in a different way then starting a business, but maybe just as important. I have never delt with kids on such a close level before.

Sometimes after a long day of dealing with gym stuff I hardly have the energy/motivation for the kids practice...but their energy motivates me. Sometimes it is a welcome break from bills, accounting, and managment issues.

I definately would like to learn more about coaching from you guys because I could learn alot. Specificaly I think my kids really need to start more general phsycal training along with climbing just for the fun of it.

Anyway, take care, see ya soon!


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