VYI COMMISSIONER GUIDELINES
The Chief Operating Officer of the facility type they are associated with has the responsibility to appoint VYI Sports Commissioners (Commissioners). Sport commissioners are approved by the VYI Board of Directors, after being appointed by the Chief Operating Officer and serve at the discretion of the COO. When a commissioner is appointed, Board members usually get to know them at Board meetings, and most of the commissioners have had several conversations with a Board member, either in person, on the phone or via email, about how VYI handles the operations and finances at VYI. Commissioners are expected to ensure a well-run season for their sport and to work with their COO to budget accurately, obtain facilities, properly utilize available software, and solve other problems related to their sport and to the overall VYI club.
Once the President/COO/Board get to know a new commissioner they are usually given wide latitude in how they conduct their program and the COO gets involved only if the commissioner attempts to spend outside their budget, or have a personnel issue within the league which might affect the club, or requires a dispute resolution as outlined on this WEB site, or there is a code of conduct violation which is not effectively dealt with. Commissioners are expected to report on their sport, whether in or out of season, at each scheduled Board meeting. Attendance at a number of meetings, held every fourth Tuesday of each month, is required.
I. COMPLIANCE WITH FAIRFAX COUNTY RULES
Every commissioner, prior to the start of each season, is expected to familiarize themselves with any Fairfax County regulations that apply to their sport and to comply in full with these regulations. These consist of regulations related to field usage and maintenance, storage of equipment, food in gymnasiums, accidents causing destruction of County property, and the proper training and use of Building Directors for any gym-related sport.
II. ATTENDANCE AT VYI MEETINGS
Every commissioner is expected to appoint a co-commissioner or assistant commissioner, to be approved in advance by the COO and presented to the Board for final approval at a regularly scheduled Board meeting. Further, every commissioner, and/or their appointed assistant, is expected to attend four mandatory Board meetings per year which are scheduled in August, November, February, and May which coincide with the beginning and end of most sport seasons as well as the scheduled time for presentation of annual budgets before the start of a new fiscal year on July 1. Commissioners are expected to attend VYI’s annual awards ceremony each June.
III. CONDUCTING A WELL-RUN SEASON
Sport Commissioners are expected to utilize VYI software programs to have parents register children for a sport activity. The commissioner is expected to manage the season to provide a useful and safe sport activity for participants and to ensure that the sport meets its budgetary goals. The commissioner is expected to solve most administrative problems presented without outside assistance, but when faced with a problem related to the overall club, or one that reflects on the club, the commissioner is expected to consult the COO in all decision making related to that issue.
Commissioners are expected to run a fair, competitive and safe program for all of their participants and to do their best to impart knowledge of their sport to each participant. Participation rules should be implemented by commissioners if there is any chance of discrimination or favoritism regarding playing time.
IV. ACCURATE BUDGETING & FINANCIAL CONTROL
A Sport Commissioner is expected to provide a separate budget for every season conducted for their VYI sport to the VYI Treasurer, by no later than May 15, preceding the start of the next fiscal year on July 1. This is scheduled to ensure a budget is approved by Board of Director vote before the start of the fiscal year. This can be accomplished through one budget where each sport season is appropriately delineated within the budget where the fees for that sport are derived equally for all participants. However, when a sport provides a House program and a Select program, for example, where the fees for those activities are different, the Sport Commissioner must provide a separate budget to the Treasurer for approval prior to the start of the season.
VYI does not allow one sport/season to subsidize another, so each sport/season must stand on its own, absent Board approval to function otherwise. VYI offers mainly House sports programs where all kids who wish to can participate. Any Select programs that are offered are carefully watched to ensure the most fair and unbiased selection of players. Each Select program must stand alone and the House program may not subsidize a Select program. Programs are designed not to compete with each other for practice and game space during a given season.
Budgets must delineate all expenditures in a readily understandable manner using the formatted EXCEL spreadsheet provided by the Treasurer. For specific categories where a single expenditure exceeds $500 a separate line item must be created and that item may not be included in a summary item. For example, if one line item of equipment costs over $500, it must be separated from other items and a line item added to the spreadsheet.
Any item of $500 or more, added after the budget is approved by the Board of Directors, must be approved by the Treasurer, before the money is spent.
B. Other control
While commissioners are not expected to collect funds from their registrant families, they may be required from time to time to not allow participation in their sport for a registrant without payment in full. To that end, commissioners are required to be familiar with the “Owed Not Equal Paid” report for their specific season and sport and to address issues as required by the Treasurer and COO.
V. OBTAINING FACILITIES
For every season that a Sport Commissioner requires facilities from Fairfax County to operate a VYI program, the Sport Commissioner must coordinate that request in advance with their COO. This ensures that no new sport season conflicts with an existing season and ensure that facilities are allocated fairly within VYI sports.
Sport Commissioners must have all facility schedules approved by their COO before completing the official Fairfax County online facility request form.
VI. UTILIZE AVAILABLE SOFTWARE
VYI offers useful software to assist commissioners in managing their sports at two separate websites; www.vyi.org and www.admin.vyi.org.
VYI uses the website creation software and registration system programmed by League Athletics and a credit card processing program offered by authorize.net. VYI Sport Commissioners are expected to fully utilize the available software at League Athletics website for registering participants and families. Commissioners are expected to actively manage their website within guidelines offered by VYI. VYI's Vice President-IT helps on request.
VYI does not want commissioners to deal with any checks or cash, if at all possible, so commissioners are discouraged from collecting funds directly. At any fund raising event, a member of VYI's Executive Committee is usually present to collect money. Registration programs within League Athletics should be used for the collection of program fees and other funds via credit card. This should save considerable time for the commissioner. Other software has been created and resides at www.admin.vyi.org to help manage the Building Director requirement and some other admin functions. The software resides on the VYI server located in the VYI Equipment Building and is accessible via the WEB.
Commissioners are expected to ensure that every coach who spends time with children in their program completes a coach application at this WEB site and completes a Background Check at least once every two years.
A. LEAGUE ATHLETICS
1. Well before each season, a Sport Commissioner must create a new registration form or clone an old version of an existing registration form to use for the current sport season.
2. The Sport Commissioner must create a new Season, Divisions, and Teams for the new season usually re-using past information and modifying it appropriately.
3. Once coaches are selected, the Sport Commissioner must ensure that every coach completes a House Application applicable to the current season and is fully up to date on both a background check and in the case of gym sports, have completed a Building Director test. Coaches who have not completed these requirements must not be allowed by commissioners to participate with any children. Commissioners are expected to check this very carefully. Commissioners are also required to complete an annual application and background check.
4. Once registration is completed and the Sport Commissioner and coaches for that Season are selected, and teams are put together, every coach and participant in the league for that Season must be assigned to a Team. This ensures that all participants are not forgotten and all are assigned to a team.
5. Once a schedule is established for games, the Sport Commissioner, or his or her co-commissioner, is responsible for entering the schedule into League Athletics so that games can be tracked by participants and their families. This also allows the Sport Commissioners to cancel individual games for team violations and to automatically notify families of such cancellations. This also allows result to be tracked so that they are reported at the League Athletics website.
This website was created to add functions to help a Sport Commissioner and other league officials to manage their programs. Information for this website is downloaded from the League Athletics website and is usually updated at Midnight each evening.
One report that is available is “Registrations by League” so that a Sport Commissioner can see his registrations and sort them by a variety of means as required.
Another report is “House Coach Applications” to show a Sport Commissioner which coaches have completed the application process. There is an “All” report as well as a “Valid” report to show who is fully vetted and ready to start the season.
There is a “Coaches” report which uses the coaches assigned to Teams and displays whether they are valid or not. There is also an “Assistant Coach” report that identifies an assigned coach’s validity to participate.
For gym sports, a report called “BD Test Not Taken” is available which identifies those parents who volunteered for but have not taken the test. This is important as Fairfax County relies on VYI to ensure that assigned Building Directors are properly qualified. If not, the County could easily take away gyms or mandate added exorbitant fees that VYI must then pay for County personnel to monitor gyms. There is also a report called “Building Director Test”, which shows a complete list of who has taken the test and when.
A separate section of the website allows coaches to assign the parents on their teams to a given practice or game as Building Directors. This website then automatically notifies the parents assigned the date and time of their required participation based on the level of detail regarding schedules entered by the Sport Commissioner.
Another report that is available is “Owed Not Equal Paid” which the Sport Commissioners can use to monitor their sport registrations to ensure all participants are paid in full or fees are properly waived.
Other reports and sections relate to monitoring VYI’s scholarship program.
VII. OBTAINING EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS
Commissioners are given wide latitude in purchasing equipment required for their sport as long as it is within the budgeted amounts. Commissioners are expected to sign out equipment and otherwise reasonably keep track of it during the sport season. VYI does not want equipment to remain in the school gyms when a season is over. All commissioners must take steps to collect the equipment and return it to the VYI Equipment Building or other approved storage locations. Cages were built in the VEB so that equipment would be stored safely and securely at the end of each season, until a new season starts. Before the new season, after coaches are selected, the equipment is issued to each coach or school. If the school is agreeable to keeping the equipment during a season, that is fine, but it needs to be returned to VYI at the end of each season. This is an important requirement for each commissioner.
VIII. OTHER PROBLEMS THAT MAY REQUIRE COO INVOLVEMENT
There are a myriad of issues that a Sport Commissioner should consult a COO about to ensure the decision is in the best interest of the VYI club.
A. Any issue that concerns unacceptable behavior at VYI activities or requires disciplinary action of a coach or parent must be brought to the attention of the COO.
B. Any issue related to facilities overlaps with other VYI sports must be brought to the attention of the COO.
C. Any issue with a reported problem with a Fairfax County facility must be brought to the attention of the COO.
D. Any injury must be brought to the attention of the COO.
E. Any threatened lawsuit must be brought to the attention of the COO.
F. Any alleged or actual incident of child abuse must be brought to the attention of the COO.
g. Any incident of unpaid fees where a participant is still actively participating must be brought to the attention of the COO.
The above requirements related to sport commissioners are well known throughout VYI and are Board approved. VYI does not consider these requirements for sport commissioners to be burdensome and considers them simply good management of a rapidly growing and expanding club. In our fiscal year just completed VYI had over 7000 participant seasons in 2017, so clearly the organization must be actively managed to succeed.
VYI strongly supports the improvement of school facilities which VYI sports may utilize. For example, VYI spent considerable funds to improve volleyball as a sport within Fairfax County by adding floor connections, stanchions, nets, and poles in a variety of schools. In addition, VYI has actively supported the Town of Vienna and Fairfax County schools by helping to support the installation of turf fields for football, lacrosse, cheer and rugby, building tracks at elementary schools for track and cross country, buying mats for use in wrestling, donating a significant sum to help the Town of Vienna build the Town gymnasium and improving basketball court facilities at many schools in our area.
VYI offers college scholarships, which are presented each June during a banquet held at Westwood Country Club. The scholarships are given to those participants who maintain a 3.0 GPA, have excellent character, and who supported VYI over their grade school and high school years. A minimum of five years playing a VYI sport is usually the standard, and volunteering, not for pay, is also carefully considered by the VYI Scholarship Committee.
The VYI Board consists of elected officials and the various appointed sports commissioners. Elected officials usually have a great deal of experience and many current officials are members of VYI's Hall of Fame. Membership in the Hall of Fame is usually restricted to those persons who have committed a significant number of hours to VYI both at the sport and administrative level, usually over a minimum 20 year career. Sports commissioners are usually persons with a special interest in their sport either related to their own child or personal experience.