More Questions for the USAWP CEO Chris Ramsey

Richard Hunkler, PhD.
Water Polo Planet

It has been 17 days since I presented Chris Ramsey with a dozen open ended questions in my article, “Chris Ramsey the Honeymoon for Being the USAWP CEO Is Over!” and as of today he has not answered one of the questions. In an article called “Seven Deadly Sins Leaders of Sport Federation Should Avoid!” I addressed several reasons why I thought such lack of communication between sport federation leaders and members of the sport federation could occur and I quote:

“There is no excuse for the leadership of a sports federation not to answer legitimate questions proposed by the members of the organization. It really doesn’t matter where the question comes from – an email, a message board, a telephone call, or even snail mail. When the leadership refuses to answer questions it sends out the following messages to the membership: 1) the leaders don’t know the answers; 2) the leaders don’t want the members to know the answers; 3) the leaders are too busy to give members the answers; and/or 4) the leaders believe they do not have to give the members answers.”

Chris Ramsey did send me an email saying that prior to my article he and Mike Graff had planned to do a conference call with me and in the next couple of weeks they would be pleased to do that if it was of interest to me. In my response to Chris I told him 1) telephone calls to him involving change had not been very successful in the past; 2) what type of CEO I thought was needed at this point in time; 3) I was unhappy about some decisions he had made recently; and 4) I wanted answers to my questions before I would agree to a conference call.

And still to my chagrin I have not received an answer to one of my questions or to my email from Chris Ramsey the CEO of the USAWP. In the mean time I received numerous questions for Chris to answer from WPP readers. Before I present those questions to Chris and to you the readers of the WPP website I must remind you of what Sophocles said, “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news." or as Shakespeare had one of his characters to say in Henry IV, part 2, “Don’t shoot the messenger!” In other words please don’t blame the person who brings bad news about the CEO in the form of astute questions. I did not write these questions but I certainly agree that they should be asked and answered. The new questions are as follows:

  1. The USA won 2 silver medals in Beijing over 1 year ago. Why can't you get several new sponsors out of this?

  2. When will we start seeing membership growth promised by the strategic plan in 2008?

  3. It is impossible for potential new members to find a local club with the data base we are using so everyone uses the Water polo Planet message board. When can we expect an overhaul of this to make it easily searchable for new players?

  4. The European professional teams are tightening up restrictions against foreign players and there are now very limited opportunities for US players to play overseas. Have we given any thought to a competitive US professional league to keep up the performance our Men’s and Women’s National teams?

  5. The new USAWP website is hard to use and impossible to find anything since going to the new format. When will we see some updates?

  6. How did we mismanage referee training to such a degree that SCAF no longer has anything to do with USAWP?

  7. The membership has not grown since your hiring. After three years your solution appears to be hire, at what cost, a retired Disney person with no understanding of the sport, to "promote" it?

  8. Referees throughout the USA register and pay for WPA courses, at the much higher cost, at the non-member rate. What is it you are doing to convince them that participation in USAWP is worth anything?

  9. Collegiate club water polo is a huge market. Why have you elected to cede this market to the CWPA? Don't you have a well paid central office staff and this staff is unable to out-compete one person, Dan Sharadin? 

  10. There are regions of the country (Texas and Chicago) with potent HS and age-group water polo that do not recognize USAWP as being of value.  What are you doing in such markets?

  11. The national coach of a competing foreign country, with less than 10% of our population, and with less than 5% of our water-polo-playing membership, cannot understand why the USA, with its HUGE "pipeline" of athletes aged 15-18, does so poorly at the Junior Level internationally. Doesn't this speak badly of our ODP program?

  12. Coaches and coaching is the lifeblood of the sport. How exactly are we developing more and better coaches?
Get involved and demand answers from your CEO. If you don’t care about thes dozen questions then send me some questions that you do care about and I will post them in an article. Email Coach Hunkler at [email protected]