Why Are JO's Always in California

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Allen Lorentzen
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby Allen Lorentzen » Sat May 08, 2010 3:44 pm

Torchbearer wrote:...I do know that despite the pool situation and whatever role this might play, there are Many swift swimmers and Many good divers from outside California who represent the U.S. internationally each year, while almost all of our top water poloists hail from Cali. Why is this? and how can our National JO Program play a role in alleviating the current situation so young athletes from Ohio, Indiana, the Carolinas and Nebraska have a chance at reaching the top in water polo?


Swimmers and divers are competing against the clock or total score, and advance on an individual basis. I suppose they don't even have to have another competitor present to make their time or score.

The combination of low pool availability and relatively low interest in water polo in parts of the country mean they will have a tough time putting together full teams to compete against each other. This must make it difficult to generate enough interest to finance the travel necessary for a team to advance to attend JO's - therefore making it difficult for a few elite athletes to be recognized and offered advancement in the National system.

It's not up to JO's to alleviate this situation, but up to the local teams to recognize their own elite athletes and perhaps sponsor them through the Zone ODP process and beyond. Obviously this takes more time and travel in some areas, but that's just the way it will be for awhile, or forever... IMHO

Why don't some zones even field as many teams as they are permitted? Do they have enough teams to qualify but choose not to travel? Is it travel cost? I believe that when JO's are held in one location with many teams "nearby" (California) it would be reasonable for a portion of the tournament fees of the "locals" to be used to offset the expenses of those traveling from much further away. Perhaps teams from Michigan, New York, etc. could at least have their tournament fees waived. That alone might be a savings of $50 per family/coach. Would that make a difference? I don't know. Would that break USAWP? I doubt it. The tourney fee would probably just be increased to offset the scholarship/sponsorship.

What are the recent statistics regarding the number of California and non-California teams attending JO's?

htoring
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby htoring » Sun May 09, 2010 10:03 am

WHY SHOULD J O’S ALWAYS BE IN CALIFORNIA:

THE TOTAL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL PROBABLY BE MADE IN SEVERAL POSTS-

FIRST, IT IS NUMERICAL AS WELL AS LOGISTICAL. AT THE LAST JUNIOR OLYMPICS HELD IN FLORIDA, THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 350 TEAMS (354 I BELIEVE). AND, OF THOSE TEAMS, NEARLY 90% OR ABOUT 307 TEAMS WERE FROM CALIFORNIA. EACH OF THESE TEAMS SPENT (AS AN AGGREGATE OF PLAYERS AND THEIR FAMILIES) A MINIMUM OF $40,000 FOR THEIR FLIGHTS, LODGING AND CAR RENTALS ALONE.

NOW, HERE IS THE REAL KICKER—

THE FOLLOWING YEAR, I SPOKE WITH A CLUB DIRECTOR FROM ONE OF FLORIDA’S MAJOR CLUBS AND ASKED WHY THEY WERE NOT COMING OUT HERE TO J O’S.

ANSWER: WHY SHOULD WE SPEND ALL THAT MONEY TO GO TO CALIFORNIA TO PLAY 6 OR 7 GAMES!

MY RESPONSE WAS—FOR THE SAME REASON THAT 307 CALIFORNIA TEAMS CAME TO FLORIDA LAST YEAR—TO PLAY AND BE A PART OF THE JUNIOR OLYMPIC TOURNAMENT—USWP’S MAJOR COMPETITIVE EVENT OF THE YEAR.


THE SECOND PART OF THIS RESPONSE IS LOGISTICS—WHILE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN FEBRUARY (IN FACT, MY FAVORITE EVENT), THE AREAS ARE NOT SET UP TO RUN A MAJOR TOURNAMENT SUCCESSFULLY. INADEQUATE POOLS AND THE LACK OF EXPERIENCED INDIVIDUALS TO STAFF A DOZEN POOLS AT THE SAME TIME AS WELL AS THE OVERRIDING FACTOR—THE W E A T H E R !!! THE NECESSITY TO RUN ON TIME IN AN EVENT THAT HAS 1000’S OF ATHLETES AND THEIR FAMILIES SCHEDULED TO DEPART ON THEIR RETURN FLIGHTS ON A SPECIFIC DAY AND TIME IS PARAMOUNT.

COMING NEXT—PART TWO—THE REAL REASON ---– ECONOMICS!

wpwp
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby wpwp » Sun May 09, 2010 7:17 pm

Well I understand that it is an economic issue (MONEY) among other things. But if JO's are always in Calofornia at least the entry fee should be waived for the 1st place qualifier from other zones outside of California. USAWP can take it a step further- Each team from the home zone that does not have to travel, pay hotel costs, etc... should have to pay an additional entry fee to make up for some of the teams that have to travel. I do understand that its a tremoundous amount of money for 90% of the teams to travel out of the zone, it sure would be a lot cheaper to come up with an additional fee per club then the entire club travel.

htoring
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby htoring » Sun May 09, 2010 10:59 pm

PART TWO:

WHY J O’S IN CALIFORNIA: A DISSERTATION

THE REAL REASON (IN MY OPINION) IS ONE OF SIMPLE ECONOMICS.

USING MY PREVIOUS EXAMPLES OF 307 TEAMS GOING FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE FLORIDA TOURNAMENT
******* THE COST OF GOING TO FLORIDA THIS SUMMER AS OF THIS MORNINGS AIRLINE SCHEDULES, ETC.

TEAM COST: /PLAYER AND COACH

FLIGHT $ 465
ENTRIES/MISC. $ 75
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION $ 85
HOTEL $ 325
TOTAL PLAYER/COACH $ 950 X 16 = $ 15,200

FAMILY (ASSUME 3/FAMILY AND 10 OF 15 PLAYERS FAMILIES PER TEAM TRAVELING)

FLIGHT $ 1,470
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION $ 400
HOTEL (MODEST) $ 625
TOTAL FAMILY BASIC $ 2,495 X 10 $24,950

****TOTAL TEAM EXPENSES (BASICS ONLY) $40,150
GRAND TOTAL –307 CA TEAM EXPENSES (BASIC AND MINIMUM) $12,326,050

## ADJUSTED TOTAL CALIFORNIA EXPENSES $ 3,714,700
ANNUAL SAVINGS TO CA TEAMS $ 8,611,350

## ASSUME ALL TEAMS AND FAMILIES STAY IN HOTELS. HOWEVER,
DEPENDING ON LOCATION WITHIN CA, PROBABLY 50% WILL USE HOTELS

** NOTE: THESE COSTS ARE SIMILAR FROM ALL WEST COAST MAJOR CITIES

**** THESE NUMBERS ARE FOR CALIFORNIA TEAMS ONLY— THE MAJORITY OF THE OTHER TEAMS ATTENDING WILL HAVE SIMILAR EXPENSES REDUCED BY LOWER AIRFARES.

COMING NEXT—PART THREE--- THE SOLUTION (IN MY OPINION)

htoring
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby htoring » Sun May 09, 2010 11:01 pm

WPWP-- YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK-- CHECK OUT THE NEXT IN THIS SERIES--
COMING TOMORROW: PART THREE-- THE SOLUTION

LF
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby LF » Mon May 10, 2010 12:52 am

Wpwp- why would teams from the home zone have to pay extra? Where do you think all of those volunteers running the event come from- the home zone! They spend, literally, hundreds of hours putting this event together. It is a huge under-taking.

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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby Water-Polo-Fan » Mon May 10, 2010 4:00 am

I can't help but disagree with the poster who stated JO's in Michigan was a complete disaster. To whom? I sincerely loved that particular year and the event in Ann Arbor. The hosts can't control the weather and from I've been told, Ann Arbor was subjected to the worst humidity they had seen in many years OR since! Thankfully the pools were all indoors but unfortunately two of the venues they only had fans to swirl around hot humid air! The Natatorium at the University of Michigan was a fine venue and was air conditioned so I had ZERO complaints there! I also enjoyed and was in awe of a football stadium that was at that point had the largest seatingcapacity of any stadium I had ever seen. Certainly made me understand why the products of programs like that are prepared for the NFL. Wow!

The folks that organized the event in Michigan did the very best they could for their first time and since I've never experienced a JO's as a player, coach OR referee where there were ZERO problems I don't single out the Michigan JO's for the relatively mimimal issues they and as a collective group WE all suffered. To show you how minimal it was I can't begin to even remember what problems we had other than the heat and humidity.

The people of Ann Arbor couldn't have been more hospitable and I absolutely loved my time there and had hoped to revisit the next time they got a chance to host. So far, no such luck.

My whole point to this was to throw out there that as a resident of California I expect to travel from time to time. The folks that donate their time/efforts to make the event go off without a hitch do so valiantly and I applaud them for their efforts. Cost is a major concern and in today's world it's magnified 1000% so I understand the logic in having the fewer travel to the masses but I also see the value in fairness and the ability to show our youth the differences in how other parts of our fine country manage to live in the areas they too love and thrive. It's too bad the economy is so poor today it makes it extremely tough for many teams/individuals to travel WHEREVER JO's may be held.

rscottblake
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby rscottblake » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:09 am

Hi,

Figured I'd throw in my 2cents as well. I've been on the organizing committee for the NJO up here in Northern California in 1996, 1999, 2005, and 2007 with various roles and responsibilities in each one. I wholeheartedly agree with Hank (I assume htoring is hank, I apologize if it is not) in that ***in it's current format*** California is the only place it will work based solely on available close facilites that are obtainable. While the cost per team analysis is compelling, there are a lot of other factors included in running the event that pretty much make it mandatory to host it somewhere close enough to the families of players that are willing to shell out the $30ish at the gate to see their kid play for a week. The finances of the event are odd to say the least, but sales/hotel incentives and gate money are critical to making it work for the site hosts. Here in our zone about 20% of the teams in any division are from the zone, and another 15ish % are probably from Central, which is right next door, then a bunch from Southern Cal, which is not a bad drive or possibly a cheap flight if you're coming up as a spectator. Probably less than 10% of the teams are from out of state. That proximity equals lots of spectators (gate fees), lots of hotel rooms, lots of t-shirt sales. Make those flights 2 to 3 times as much, and that group of spectators that would have stopped by even for a weekend or a single game are happy with a phone call. Then all the revenue from those streams goes down (significantly) to the point that the hosts are under water. Do a quick and dirty P/L with the number of teams, entry fees, number of games, ref fees -- then you can come up with a few variables about pool costs, desk costs . . . Then some of the more interesting questions may arise.

I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Hank at one of the venue's I was overseeing in 2005 and one of the comments he made (that we were very proud of) was that venue's were close enough together that when the schedule worked out, one age group (say 18s) could be loaded up in a van and driven over to a new pool to cheer for 14s or 12s, something that had not been possible in other state locations (at least until that time) due to proximity of pools. I recall in the last FL NJOs, I did not attend, but one of the coaches from around here said he put over 1000 miles on the team van over the 9 days -- that's a lot of in the car time.

Frankly, I agree 100% that events need to be run in other places, but this particular event is too big unless you can get about 14 pools available for 9 days, which is difficult to do even here where there is an abundance of great facilities. Now with the costs of water skyrocketing around here, I don't know what they'll do next time around.

I for one am looking forward to reading "htorings" ideas for a solution -- alas, I am afraid that many groups involved in the running of the NJO are addicted to the influx of cash it provides and it will be difficult to push new ideas through.

~scott

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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby momofpoloplayer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:09 am

One way to lessen the number of pools is of course to lessen the number of teams.

Since the trend in years has been to increase the number of teams [and thus necessitate the number of pools needed to run the event as it currently is], another option might be to further divide JOs. Currently there are separate JOs for boys and girls. A further division might be pre-high school and high school JOs in different locations. So 10s, 12s and 14s in one area, 16s and 18s [maybe 20s?] in another].

Feasible?

htoring
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby htoring » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:50 am

CIAO FROM ITALY-

YES, SCOTT--IT IS ME- AS IN HANK TORING--
MY GRANDSON CODY AND I HAVE BEEN IN ITALY TRAINING SINCE CIF SWIMMING CONCLUDED. ACTUALLY, I AM NOT TRAINING, UNLESS YOU CALL CLIMBING 327 STAIRS TO GET TO THE POOL THREE TIMES A DAY PRACTICE.

BACK TO THE POINT OF THE MESSAGE- I WILL WRITE THAT 3RD IN THE INSTALLMENT AND SEND IT IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO-- IT HAS BEEN BUSY DAYS LYING ON THE BEACH- EATING ITALIAN FOOD AND WATCHING LOTS OF POLO.

WE SAW MERRIL MOSES PLAY LAST WEEK AND WILL WATCH PETER VARELLAS AND HIS SAVONA CLUB PLAY PRO RECCO TOMORROW EVENING IN THE DIV 1 PLAYOFFS. NOT A BAD LIFE

OFF TO THE POOL-
CIAO
HANK TORING

wpwp
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Re: Why Are JO's Always in California

Postby wpwp » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:48 pm

I also have a lot to say on this subject, but one thing that was brought up was the fact that players from different age groups like to watch there players on different teams. This is a great thing. We travel from one the places other then CA and since the boys and girls basically go out at the same time US Water Polo charged the girls for watching the boys team. They made the girls pay around $10 for each game they watched. How about any JO participant gets to watch for free. Ory anyone under 21 gets to watch for free.

What do you all think?

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