I would think that in the current state of affairs, a system of checks and balances, though more cumbersome, might add some transparency and some accountability. I suggest that we pick and choose relevant portions of US governance to achieve these goals. (Though we wouldn’t portray it to the world as a copy of US governance.)
Regarding your elected vs. appointed concern – why not both? Think bicameral governance similar to our US legislative branch; one as a House of Representatives and the other as a Senate. The Senate could have NGB appointees, one or two per country, for equal representation per nation, regardless of the nation’s population or swimming prowess. The House could be elected, and could be weighted more toward each nation’s population – or at least its swimming population.
I think we ought to mandate term limits. Not age limits, term limits. “X” number of terms and then they are out, at least for a term, before their nation can get the representative back in place. I hadn’t thought about whether a term should be a quadrennial in line with either the World Championships or the Olympics; or some other length.
Athletes should certainly have a voice. Should they have two voices: from professionals and from amateurs? There is a big difference between the post graduate pro, and the up and coming HS/college athlete. And there would also be differences in their abilities to express themselves, to have time and resources to be at governance meetings, and the fact that their perspective will change over the four year course of their terms. Stealing from our legal system, we might want a version of a Guardian ad litem; a neutral advocate whose job is to represent the best interests of the “child” – in WSA terms, the amateur athlete.
I haven’t put enough thought into it yet, but would WSA benefit from an Executive, Legislative and Judicial branch? The Executive branch could be a small board – along the line of a corporate Board of Directors. Or follow the model of an Executive Director leading the day to day work, but reporting to a Board of Directors. That BoD could either be an Executive Branch BoD, or the Exec. Dir. could report directly to a leadership committee made of key members of the bicameral congress. The legislative branch would be the bicameral congress described above. And then the Judicial branch could be an ombudsman board that one could liken to our Supreme Court, or we could turn to an international court of arbitration to settle any impasses between the executive and the legislative branches.
One of the many dilemmas is that if we make WSA governance too big, there will be complaints. But if it remains too small, or has no checks and balances or re-election accountability, we risk ending up right back where we are some year down the road.
The old AAU model didn’t work. The current model doesn’t work. Hopefully the third time will be a charm.
Head Coach and Executive Director of HEAT Swimming, Missouri
As I see, Option 2 is fairer.
Fernando Lope Romero
Director Téchnico, Escuela de Natación NelsonVargas, México D.F.
It’s been my experience in large organizations that member votes are either bias or uninformed. There are too many people involved in the votes.
Alternatively, you could have the current board elect new members; however, it’s easy to get a very political board. The very thing we are working against!
I don’t think election is a great way to organize the board
Conclusion: I think nomination is the better alternative. You will want a cohesive board, however, and I think the best solution is to have the nominee be approved by the board. Maybe this is close to board elections, but I think having the WSCA/PSA/WOWSA pick their nominee provides greater input outside of the WSA.
Just my thoughts.
Aquatics Coordinator, International Community School Bangkok, Thailand
Option 2 is the best in theory, I don’t know that Options 1 and 2 are that different in practice. After nominations (option 2), who/how would selection/voting process take place?
Head Coach, Thornlie & Districts Swimming Club, Western Australia
I would suggest the 1st option (elected) is better in my opinion.
Head Coach Kolbotn Il Norway
I think Option 2 will be more beneficial to swimming, aside of geographic diversity, when someone is nominated, when they go in front of your search committee, I guess, they can also be rejected and the members from WSCA, PSA and WOWSA can seek for someone else that can be a ‘better fit’ to the board in turn. It’s like recruiting the right swimmers for the ideal chemistry on the team!
If the members come elected… you may not be able to search any further until their term expires.
Once again, Tip o’ the Goggles for your, incredible and unconditional, leadership in this monumental task!
Swim Gym Technical Director