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News and Updates from the UWH Committee

Hello USA UWH Community,

Your Committee has been working for some time in concurrence with a baker's dozen or two of advisers from all around the country on an issue: USA UWH has grown to reach a sort of awkward size. We are at a point where further growth is going to likely cause some logistical issues, but we are not quite large enough to need additional structure to continue as we are. Basically we are in the classic chicken and an egg situation: Encouraging growth and allowing free adaptation to that growth until USA UWH is hindered by a lack of concrete rules or setting a structure for USA UWH to grow/reach for and encouraging the growth to fit that structure.

An obvious question, and one that has been raised by more than a few people, is why go through the effort to create a more comprehensive set of rules now. Their compelling argument is that USA UWH will change as it grows and we should focus our attention and effort solely on that growth rather than putting limits/constraints on current players and tournaments.

However, it is the view of this Committee that providing a clear set of criteria for how that growth will be envisioned, encouraged, and brought into our community is the best course of action. This view is part of an evolving proactive plan towards growing our organization and the actions which will support the future development of hockey. We believe we are establishing a new baseline for which discussion and actions concerning future changes will be based.

To help guide us into the future the UWH Committee has been putting together a “Big Picture Plan for USA UWH” that attempts to account for where we are heading without dramatic consequences to the enjoyment of the sport for our current participants. This plan is long and detailed and very much a “living document” and therefore isn’t attached to this email, instead the link is provided for those who are curious. It is expected that this document will grow even more as more people add their thoughts and ideas. To that end we welcome your input and critiques of this plan, after all it is your UWH experience we are trying to maintain and improve in the years to come.

The content for this “Big Picture Plan” is rooted in the newly developed Mission Statement for the UWH Committee, and will provide a comprehensive resource for our 2 & 5 Year plans to be based on. The Mission Statement has been added along with other proposed administrative and competitive changes to the attached USOA UWH Committee Rules. Also attached are proposed modifications to the USOA UWH National Championships Bid Standards & Requirements. The 2 & 5 Year Plan is currently being assembled from the "Big Picture Plan" as it exists now and a draft will be released in the next few weeks.

Please note that no action has been taken to implement these plans or proposals as of now and these proposals will not apply to any immediate competitions, including the 2017 National Tournament in Cincinnati. The message the UWH Committee intends with this announcement is to seek your participation in shaping how these plans and proposals will eventually come to be. They represent changes which will bring the USA closer in line with other sports organizations around the country and the world. We have incorporated several sets of UWH rules from places such as Canada and New Zealand into them.

If you have ideas/comments/criticisms please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Committee. We can best be contacted at usauwhgov@googlegroups.com. Additionally, the UWH Committee will be available at the upcoming Nationals in Cincinnati to talk over the plans, both at the tournament and also during the Annual Meeting/Symposium. We encourage your participation throughout this process.

To continue receiving Committee related messages in the future please make sure you are a member of usunderwaterhockey@yahoogroups.com.

Thank you very much for your attention and I look forward to further cooperation between the Committee and the UWH community as we work to make our sport, and the experiences we get from it, even better.

Sincerely,

Eric Straily
USA UWH National Director
USA UWH Committee Chair

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