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Director’s Message – November

Director’s Message – November

As we approach the end of this calendar year, the current administration of IPRO is completing year seventeen.  During a time when our sport is experiencing negative growth in some areas, our organization fortunately maintains a presence within the industry.  Significant are:

  • There are close to 30 countries represented in the IPRO database
  • We have increased our membership in the recent past.
  • We are re-accessing members who have been dormant
  • Interest in procurement of insurance is up

The state of the industry is fragile!  Clubs in the USA and Canada continue to redefine their mission and courts have become a moving target of this stance.  Court construction continues; yet, transitions and closures follow in the wake.  IPRO and other organizations must continue to build on their bases,  providing learning and sharing opportunities from activities which are meaningful.  The strongest instructor is out of business without programming skills!  Programming is produced with an infrastructure maintained by venue owners/operators who have a vision for success.  We have some hope in the USA with a changing administration.  Rhetoric does not work.  Youth must be served!  While the development of elite players is not the only means for measuring success; the recent squad of US and other junior players at the Cali, Colombia IRF World Junior Championships showed the dearth of programming efforts across the board for the lower age categories.  All of us need to work diligently with the venues to enlist and sustain youth in the clubs; both to ensure the legacy and to create a strong business model for venues which includes the indoor court sports.

Another area of concern is the comprehension and application of rules.  A large segment of the playing community is not knowledgeable of the rules across the board; including USA rules, IRF rules, and Professional Organization rules.  The building of knowledge in this area is critical for the success that we demand.  A recent move by the IRF was to eliminate from the equation tournament players as officials during an event.  That is, during an event, all players in the draw will not be part of the officiating crew.  Because most of us are players, we will still be part of the crew only during events in which we are not actively participating as players.  In order to provide this service, budgetary concerns enter the forefront.  For example, in order to have provided a seamless World Junior Championship in Cali in October, over $60,000 would have needed to be available.  Costs cover training, transportation, housing, food, and incidental fees during the week long event.  We had one-half of the monies allotted; therefore, we were scrambling at a time when all the focus should have been directed toward the efficient operation of the Championship.  There was even dialogue about reverting back to having players be part of the officiating mix in the future.  THIS CANNOT HAPPEN!

In closing, please welcome Robust Marketing Solutions to IPRO. We are confident that our constituency will appreciate their skills with the upcoming website.

Many thanks for the support,

Gary

Quote of the month : ‘Seek enjoyment in all pursuits’