by Al Myers
The 2014 Meeting of the USAWA was called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker at 6:00 PM at the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois on June 20th. Roll call was taken with these USAWA members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, Dean Ross, Randy Smith, Helen Kahn,Tim Piper, Mike Murdock, Dennis Mitchell, Eric Todd, Logan Kressly, and Lance Foster. Al Myers, USAWA Secretary, read the 2013 minutes in an abbreviated form as they were 5 pages long. Dean moved to accept the minutes, Randy gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Treasurer’s report was given next by USAWA Treasurer Al Myers which included a summary which showed a yearly profit for the USAWA over the past year. The budget which was approved at a prior time by the Executive Board was explained. Dennis moved to accept, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The special directors reports were next on the agenda. The Website Director, Al Myers, gave a report on the success of the website over the past year, and how it now contains over 1300 blogs and all the meet results from the past 5 years plus much USAWA historical information. Randy moved to accept, Tim gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Awards Director, Al Myers, then gave a report of the USAWA Awards Program. He explained how the USAWA budget money of $750 is used to buy the yearly awards and the special awards, given on behalf of the USAWA. Tim moved to accept the report, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Official’s report was next on the agenda. Since the Official’s Director Joe Garcia was not in attendance, and he had not given a report to anyone to give on his behalf in advance, no report was given. The Drug Enforcement Director’s Report was next. Chad Ullom, the Drug Enforcement Director, was not in attendance but the report was given by Al Myers who does all the duties for this position anyways. Al explained that the USAWA does testing at over half the USAWA competitions, and just recently purchased more testing kits. He stated our drug testing is more extensive now than ever before in the history of the organization. Eric moved to accept the report, with a second by Dean, and it passed unanimously. The next agenda topic was the official appointment of a new Records Director and Postal Meet Director. Since the last USAWA meeting Records Director Joe Garcia and Postal Meet Director John Wilmot have resigned. The Executive Board had appointed Al Myers as the Record Director and Denny Habecker as the Postal Meet Director to act in an interim basis for these positions during this past year until official appointments could be made. Dean moved to appoint Al Myers as the Record Director and Denny Habecker as the Postal Meet Director, with a second given quickly by Randy. There was no discussion. The motion passed unanimously. Next up was the discussion and vote on two new proposed lifts. The first lift discussed was the Thor’s Hammer, a lift proposed by Thom Van Vleck as an OTSM lift in the USAWA. The written rule by Thom Van Vleck was read to the group, and discussion ensued. Most seemed confused and dazed by the way the rule was written. Many questions arose that were not addressed in the written rule as presented. Most were in agreement that the lift, as verbally described and performed at Thom’s recent OTSM meet, was a very good lift, but the presented written rule had way too much fluff and not enough technical details. It seemed at this point that the lift was going to be rejected on this issue, but Al Myers moved that he would rewrite the rule with specific technical details, and once it met the Executive Boards approval, would be accepted as a new USAWA lift. Dean gave a second, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and it passed unanimously. Al then moved that prior records set at Thom’s OTSM meet in the Thor’s Hammer be accepted as USAWA records retroactively. Tim gave a second, and it passed with majority vote. Mike Murdock was the lone no vote, and Randy abstained from voting. The next new lift, the Kennedy Lift proposed by Al Myers, was next presented. Al read the written rule that he wrote for the Kennedy Lift, that was performed at the Dino Challenge in January as an exhibition lift. There was no discussion or questions on any aspects of the written rule, Dean moved to accept it, Eric gave the second, and it passed unanimously. Eric moved to accept prior records set in the Kennedy Lift at the Dino Challenge, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The next agenda item was the discussion and vote on rulebook changes. Al read a list of changes that have been brought up during the prior year, which included: 1. allow knee bend in the shoulder drop, 2. matters of appeal should be presented to the secretary in writing who will then present the issue to the executive board for a vote to be decided by majority, 3. allow the chain to touch the body in the teeth lift but not be supporting the weight, 4. for the Anderson Squat, rules of the squat apply to bar position on the back, 5. Remove the rulebook wording of allowing rosin as this is often confused with tacky, 6. Add “if a lifter fails at an attempt, the lifter may call for the same weight on the next attempt”. Discussion centered around the proposed rule change on the shoulder drop. The question was asked who proposed this rule change, and Al responded that it was requested by Thom Van Vleck, which brought laughs from several in the group. Arguments in favor were given to include the safety issues of having the knees bend. Since Thom was not in attendance and could not support his argument to the group, Al explained that having the legs straight can make the lift dangerous, as he had witnessed Chad have a near death experience doing the shoulder drop at Thom’s place with straight legs. Al then mentioned that this whole Chad catastrophe was filmed and is now on YouTube. Arguments against included causing a deviation away from the written IAWA(UK) rule which also requires straight legs. Denny moved to accept all the proposed changes, with the exception of the shoulder drop change which would be presented to the IAWA Technical Committee to be discussed and voted on. Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The last agenda item was asking for bids for the 2015 USAWA Nationals. Denny stated that York Barbell has expressed an interest of us hosting a meet there next year in conjunction with their strength extravaganza. Denny had presented this to the EB prior and had full support on this bid. Al moved to accept this bid, with Denny acting as the meet director. Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. At this point our allotted time was done in the meeting room. Dennis moved that the meeting be adjourned, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 7:00 PM.