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08-01-18 10:33PM
rbi is offline Click Here to See the Profile for rbi Click here to Send rbi a Private Message Find more posts by rbi Add rbi to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
rbi
Hitting Paint

 

Registered: May 2014
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USA Curling Dues Increase Now?

Can anybody explain why USCA is announcing a 10% dues increase right now for the coming year ($3 per adult curler)?

Our club does budgeting in the summer months, and we did that budgeting without any warning that there would be a dues increase. Why was this hike not announced earlier?

The reasoning for the increase appears to be "we're investing more in juniors". Was this investment not known earlier?

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08-02-18 02:32PM
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bjacks217
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Aug 2013
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Good questions

Last edited by bjacks217 on 08-02-18 at 08:15PM

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08-02-18 05:59PM
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rbi
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Thanks. But is that only for club presidents, region officers and national directors? I don't think I'm invited then.

It seems odd that the "planned surplus" in the budget is $31K, presumably including this new dues increase. With approximately 20K adult members a dues increase of $3 amounts to approximately $60K.

So it seems like there might've simply been a significant budget deficit that is being addressed with a dues hike. The official letter from USCA actually says something similar...

"In July 2017, the USCA Board approved a budget with a deficit for the 2017-18 season. The Board agreed to take on the budget challenges presented it due to the fact that there were priorities for more junior program investment and crucial Olympic year competitive program initiatives that were not fully funded by the U.S. Olympic Committee that might have otherwise cut into grassroots programs."

So I think what happened here is that USCA found themselves in a budget hole, decided (in 2017) to run at a deficit and then decided to plug that deficit with a dues increase. That's irritating given all of USCA's past claims that HPP costs are separated from the grassroots costs when clearly HPP/competitive program costs led directly to a "grass roots" dues hike.

I just wish they had announced the 2018 hike in July 2017 when the deficit was accepted and left all the comments about the juniors out of the after-the-fact explanation.

Last edited by rbi on 08-02-18 at 06:04PM

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08-02-18 10:59PM
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southerncurler
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Jan 2015
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^I can’t really disagree with any of that.

1) the USCA shouldn’t be allowed to run at a deficit

2) dues increases should be announced at least 1 year before being due

This smells fishy, and I imagine that the statement from the USCA isn’t entirely true.

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08-03-18 09:51AM
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AlanMacNeill
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It's not at all uncommon for the USCA (or any other Olympic Sports organizing body) to run at a deficit in an Olympic Year. The Olympics are expensive, and the USOC doesn't foot all the bills for getting ready for it.

As stated in the note, they made the decision last year to stay the line on dues and accept the deficit, funding that out of reserves. The actual deficit which was run over the course of the year was actually less than the anticipated and budgeted for deficit.

Now they are replacing that money, and trying to proactively build slightly higher reserves over the next few years so that when the expensive bill comes in 2022, they've got the money set aside to be able to afford that.

And, at the same time, they are trying to pour some resources into the U-18 and Junior programs, as they believe that is the key to success in 2022/26/etc. Again, I can't fault them for that view, and I'm much happier they're doing this then making cuts there.

I also note that they've indicated their plans for the HPP over the next quadrennial are going to be more focused on getting resources to HPP teams...I think that's a good direction to take, although we will, of course, see how that plays out when the granite hits the ice.

Yeah, the announcement is maybe a little late...but...this is the time when next season's plans start to become real and budgets need to be finalized.

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08-04-18 09:44PM
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RockDoc
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Registered: Apr 2005
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The timing of these changes is always lousy, because it is too late for most clubs to adjust their planning budgets. I agree that dues increases, if they cannot be announced in May, should be postponed until the following June. It would have been helpful to have a callout from the USCA to anticipate a dues increase so that these "compulsory" increases can be incporporated into dues and club budgets. Clubs operate on tight budgets, too, and a 10% increase will hurt.

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08-05-18 09:09PM
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southerncurler
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Jan 2015
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USCA membership will undoubtably be larger this coming year than last year. The “right way” to handle this in my mind would keep dues the way they were and see what the membership bump would have provided this year, then next year you can add to the reserves as needed. I guarantee you won’t hear about a dues decrease next year, if they overrun budgeted. Again the dues “process” is rediculous and in need of a little bylaw oversight. 10% in one year is a pretty big middle finger to all the clubs that just went through huge recruitment drives around the Olympics.

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08-05-18 09:14PM
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RockDoc
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Registered: Apr 2005
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No $&!t. You scratch a 30% increase in membership and get hit with a 10% increase you have to pay for all of them, too. For clubs that offer discount provisional memberships, it makes the profit margin thin. $58 in national and regional dues plus insurance, is a lot of overhead...

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