TAC Meeting Minutes

Oct. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

USATT’s Tournament Advisory Committee met via teleconference on 18 September 2014. The meeting began at 4:00 pm Mountain time, and was concluded at 5:20 pm. 

Attendees

  • Larry Rose, Chairperson
  • Tom Wintrich
  • Wendell Dillon
  • Lee Kondo
  • Larry Thoman, National Sanctioning Coordinator
  • Tiffany Oldland, USATT HQ Liaison

Barney Reed was absent. 

Tournament Reporting 

Larry Rose suggests that the Tournament Report Instructions be amended to more clearly state that USATT would prefer a single payment from the tournament director that includes the sum of USATT’s portion of all membership transactions and the event processing fees. The key addition is the statement: “Submission of individual checks and credit card payments for memberships is discouraged." 

TAC recommends that this be done by 1 October. 

Rail Station 

Wendell Dillon noted that when he ran his most recent tournament, Rail Station was still not providing up-to-date membership expiration information for the individual rating file and the officials list. TAC requests that this be resolved, as it will limit adoption of the system. 

5-Star Sanction Process 

Larry Thoman reports that there has been a recent request for a 5-star sanction. The committee discussed the requirements for granting a 5-star sanction, and plan to implement the following beginning immediately. 

In order to validate that any event requesting a 5-star sanction is of the highest quality, the National Sanctioning Coordinator will appoint a representative to do an advance inspection and interview. This is in line with what ITTF does prior to their events. The goal of the advance inspection and interview is to validate that the tournament will clearly meet the quality described in the star-rating worksheet to ensure that the event will meet the 51 point minimum. This would include a site inspection, showing the planned layout of tables and barriers, validation of lighting needs, description of the tournament organization plan, including the staff list, umpire list, etc. 5-star events will be required to submit their tournament results electronically. The NSC and TAC will review the representatives report of the inspection, and a majority vote of the TAC will be required to grant the 5-star sanction. 

Additionally, the Tournament Guide will be updated to require an International Referee or a National Referee for any 5-star sanctioned event.  

Approval of the 2014 Tournament Guide 

The TAC approved the latest updates to the 2014 Tournament Guide, which now includes the star-rating FAQ. 

Request for waiver of sanction fee 

The Westchester Table Tennis Club has requested a 5-star sanction for the North American Tour Grand Final. TAC plans to implement the advance inspection described above. Key staff members Will Shortz and Bruce Liu have requested that the sanction fee for the event be waived. Their description of the event follows: 

This closed event is for the 16 players who've earned the most Tour points during the year. The list of 25 tournaments on the Tour is here. The list of prizes, rules, and current leaderboard are here

The highlights of the Final: 

* $10,000+ in prizes, including $3,500 first; every one of the 16 players takes home at least $200;

* Complimentary room for two nights at a local hotel for out-of-town players;

* Free food and drink from Friday evening through Sunday lunch for the players and officials;

* Parties and entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights;

* Up to $300 in travel reimbursement for anyone traveling by plane;

* Complimentary transportation to and from the airport (for anyone flying), and between the hotel and the venue. 

We plan to live-stream the event and generate as much publicity for table tennis as possible.

The Tournament Advisory Committee has never been given the authority to waive sanction fees, so we are passing this request on to USATT HQ and Board of Directors. 

Prizes other than cash and their effects on sanction fees and star level 

Some recent requests for sanction have included non-cash prizes in their sanction request processes. Based on unanimous agreement, TAC has modified the Star Level FAQ to state that the prize money calculations for purpose of star level and sanction fees shall be done as follows:

  • Cash, other legal tender, checks--full value
  • Gift certificates--50% of stated value
  • Products–50% value of manufacturer's retail price 
  • Trophies, Medals, other Awards - no value

TAC plans to implement this as of 1 October. 

Live Streaming 

David Del Vecchio has requested the following actions to promote and implement the USATT video streaming program: 

1. Update the sanction request form to include:

     Live streaming program checkbox :
                    [  ] Yes, I would like to live stream this tournament through the USATT Video Streaming Program ($50/event + $100 refundable equipment deposit) 

2. Add media usage agreement to the sanction request form (this is for all tournaments, regardless of whether they will have live streaming):

USATT encourages local promoters to obtain media coverage of the event. USATT owns exclusive rights to all TV, video, motion picture, and any other visual media and their reproduction for all USATT sanctioned tournaments and events. USATT hereby grants a waiver to its exclusive rights to Tournament Directors and Affiliated Clubs who host a sanctioned event, and the sponsors of those events, provided that media generated by the event is used only for noncommercial promotional purposes (including such uses as: posting or streaming video on the internet, publishing photos of the event in a local paper or club newsletter, and swapping photos and videos of the event with club members and friends). Any paid or commercial usage of event media would require separate explicit approval by USATT. 

The tournament director and club agree to obtain signed USATT Release and Waiver of Liability and Media Release forms for ALL participants.

3. Update the USATT tournament waiver for participants to include language for photo and video release:

I hereby give my full permission for the use of my and/or my minor child's name, picture, image, likeness, actions, voice, or other personally identifiable information, including any photographs, audio, video recordings, or other materials captured in conjunction with the in the sanctioned events. I grant USA Table Tennis the right to use such photographs, audio, video recordings, or other materials for news, promotional, or other purposes, and I waive all rights of privacy or compensation, which I may have in connection with such use. I waive the right to inspect or approve the use of my and/or my minor child's name, picture, image, likeness, actions, voice, or other personally identifiable information and hereby release, indemnify and hold harmless USA Table Tennis and its agents from and against any claims, damages or liability arising from such use.

4. Update the USATT Tournament Guide to mention video streaming opportunities. 

We are not aware if USATT legal representatives have reviewed the language above. The information was passed to Lee Kondo to review and discuss with Dennis Taylor. The live streaming issue was tabled until we hear further. 

Topic for next meeting 

Larry Thoman suggested a full review of comments received relating to the Star Rating System.