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SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD CHANGES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How is the special achievement award program changing?
Effective the 2014-15 season, local associations will be able to choose awards and create a structure that fit their membership. USBC national no longer will set requirements for special achievement awards and will discontinue sending special achievement, year-end league and association championship tournament awards to associations.

In this new model, associations will have the flexibility to create or expand local programs. USBC will contract with a top national vendor to provide volume discount pricing for local associations. This allows local associations to take advantage of USBC's purchasing power without being forced into a "one size fits all" model.

2. Why is USBC changing the special achievement award program?
The change will put the awards program in the hands of those who know and understand the needs of their members. USBC leadership understands it cannot provide a robust awards program from the national level without a significant impact to the dues structure. The current "one size fits all" model does not meet our members' needs.

USBC has conducted several test programs and surveyed associations about awards structures. Many associations currently run outstanding awards programs and would prefer to set their own standards for earning awards.

3. Does this change affect high score awards for 300 games, 800 series and 11-in-a-row?
High score awards were considered separate of the special achievement awards. Starting Aug. 1, 2014, the high score awards given to USBC adult members for a 300 game, 800 series or 900 series will become once-in-a-lifetime awards. The 11-in-a-row award has been eliminated.

4. Does this change Sport Bowling awards?
No.

5. What awards no longer will be sent from headquarters?
The bag tags and lapel pins for average-based game and series awards, association championship tournament awards, and end-of-season league awards.

6. Are local associations required to provide awards?
No. Local associations are not required to provide awards.

7. How do associations decide what awards bowlers might want?
Local associations are encouraged to get feedback from bowlers and center managers about achievements to be recognized, what price level of awards fit your area and what types of awards might be appropriate. Associations may want to survey members to get formal input.

8. Will associations have to enter local special achievement award scores in WinLABS?
No. One of the potential benefits of this change is allowing associations to create a simpler system that requires less data entry. WinLABS and the new processing system in development will support local associations creating custom awards programs.

9. Does USBC need to approve a company the association might want to use to purchase award items?
No. Associations may purchase awards through the vendor recommended by USBC or select a vendor of their choice.

10. What type of award options will be available through USBC's vendor?
Associations will receive discount pricing on a variety of items through USBC's recommended vendor. The selection will be designed to allow associations the option of selecting low-cost awards as well as higher quality items.  USBC staff will work with several association leaders to create options that give flexibility and complement popular current local awards programs.

11. What are the logo restrictions?
Associations only may use their approved local USBC Association logo for awards. Examples of the approved logo:

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12. Can associations provide more or fewer awards than the current requirements?
Local associations will have total flexibility to create an awards program that meets the needs of its members.

13. If a local association uses USBC's recommended vendor, how are orders placed and what will be the payment options?
The specifics will be introduced by Summer of 2013.

14. What budget planning steps should my association take as a result of this change? Is there a suggested timeline?
First, your association board of directors should determine the wants and needs of the members when it comes to an awards program. The change will not affect the awards until August 2014, giving you time to review what your association would like to offer, estimate costs and budget accordingly.   

15. Will the special achievement award applications be changing?
Since each association will be able to create its own awards program, there no longer will be a standard special achievement award form. Local associations are encouraged to develop an awards application to fit its program.

16. What steps should local associations take to implement a new awards program?
A good first step is to create a committee to investigate options. Consider what accomplishments to recognize, how to recognize them and which vendor you would want to use for awards. Ask the committee to present a proposal to the local board. The local board is responsible for determining what award program best meets members' needs. Finally, implement the program after the board approves.

17. Can state associations purchase awards from USBC's approved vendor?
Yes, if state associations want to provide special achievement awards, they may use USBC's approved vendor or another vendor of their choice.

18. What if a local association runs out of awards?
Just as they do today, local associations should monitor inventory levels and place replenishment orders in a timely fashion to avoid running out of awards.

19. How much will the awards cost if purchased from a USBC-recommended vendor and will they be the same awards as today?
USBC's vendor will offer a variety of options and price points. At least one of the choices will be a low-cost category. There may be additional savings by ordering in larger quantities, which may also reduce shipping costs.

20. How much should local associations spend on their special achievement awards?
Currently, USBC national spends about $0.50 per member on special achievement awards. Whether a local association decides to spend more or less may vary depending on the preference of its members.

21. What will USBC National do with the $0.50 per member it is saving with this change?
USBC membership typically falls by 120,000 members annually, equaling about $1.2 million in revenue loss every year. The awards change will help offset only some of that loss as $.50 per member is about $1 million.

22. Do local associations have to increase dues as a result of this change?
If the bylaw proposals are adopted, each local association will make its own determination of what the dues structure will need to be for their membership. There will be associations that decide against increasing dues because they already provide an awards program that meets their association's needs.

23. If the legislation is rejected, will this change still occur?
Yes. The legislation does not affect the awards program change.

24. What is the timeline?
May 2013 - USBC Convention and Annual Meeting. Workshops will be presented to explain the change. Delegates will have the option to take action on the bylaw proposals affecting local dues.

Spring/Summer 2013 - USBC will announce a recommended vendor for special achievement awards. Local associations should begin developing their awards program and budget.

End of 2013 - Local associations should finalize elements of their awards program.

Spring 2014 - Awards should be purchased to guarantee delivery for 2014-2015 season.

August 1, 2014 - Local associations begin implementation of their awards program.

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