League paid membership
Idea shared by Tina Ward - July 15, 2016 at 1:28 PM
Under Consideration
I have seen many of our local leagues adopt the idea of the league paying for the sanction/membership fee for it's bowlers. We have found an increase in league participation when the bowler isn't having to pay that additional fee up front. They are still technically paying for their membership through their weekly league fees. It would be nice if there was an option to say that the league paid those fees instead of the bowler paying those additional fees. We have some of our women bowlers who pay the extra fee to join both state associations, so I'd like to be able to put in when a bowler does pay for some of the sanction and when the league pays for some of the sanction. 

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You would just set that up as a weekly fee, like you would a sponsor fee or paying the secretary.  

Do understand that the league could certainly choose to pay everyone's membership and that the money for the membership cards is due, in full, when the bowler first bowls.  So if the league chooses to "loan" the bowler their USBC card dues and get reimbursed in installments with the weekly dues, there's nothing wrong with that.  However, I'm not sure if there is any repurcussion of a bowler who bowls for 3 weeks and then quits.  The league would have already paid that member's dues. USBC, once they got paid, can't give the league a refund or void the membership card.  

While creative, it's something the think about with the different situations.
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I talked my large (28 teams) league to pay the sanction fees out of league funds for the simple reason that handling all of the differing memberships for a group that large is just cumbersome for me (it's the only financials that I do). It's easier when we're cutting one check for the full national/state/local for all 112 bowlers and I only need to do crossovers (locals) as needed for subs or newcomers as appropriate.
 
Our rule is that it covers the initial team rosters, and that anyone subbing, or filling a vacancy mid-season, must cover whatever fee is appropriate (in my case, it's almost always only local association fees).
 
I did run into one problem last season. The league does allow one week's arrearage in dues, and out of the 112, only 5 paid nothing the first night. Four caught up on week 2 and were all long-term members and were no worries...but there was one. He didn't inform his team he wouldn't be able to bowl week 2 until the day after that session, and I and a captain communicated him when he told them on short notice that he couldn't bowl week 3 (unforeseen work conflict). I reminded him that he'd have to pay for those nights, and he declared himself out at that point.
 
We did do a suspension hearing, and he was suspended indefinitely under violation of USBC Rule 17b-3, Failure to pay fees due for participation in a USBC league or tournament. Technically, we could have declared the first night's match forfeited on a standpoint of eligibility, but the board decided against taking that action.
 
For 2016-17, I'll be proposing that while we could maintain the permission to be behind one week in dues, that a bowler must pay one full week's dues the first night he bowls.
 
This is just one possible situation, and while we did not have a perfect set of rules, we addressed it promptly and properly.
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I had another thought concerning this approach.
 
At the 2016 USBC Annual Meeting, legislation was approved requiring non-merged local and state organizations to merge. That would have to be completed by August 1, 2018 (it will not surprise me if there is not at least some effort to delay this requirement at the 2017 or 2018 meetings).
 
With that, there would no longer be separate women's organizations and it wouldn't be necessary to track such extra payments, if offered. The certification area in BLS-20## would thus be simplified once this is absolutely completed. (As far as the merits for their being separate or merged associations, I am silent...I am not in any way opining, just stating what would be the case once such mergers are effected.)
 
Once merged, it should be a relatively simple matter to check the box in the BLS certification area to consider all bowlers certified/sanctioned and not track financials and simply budget a one-time payment of a dollar amount equal to the full certification fee multiplied by the number of league members. Such a dollar amount would be manually figured, but need only be entered once per season, and would only need to be re-calculated if either the league changes size or dues amounts increase (do I dare say decrease?).
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