Mike Hecker
MSHSNSCA President

October 25, 2009

Minnesota Nordic Ski Association Coaches Fall Conference Recap

We have just completed one of the most eventful Fall Conferences in recent memory. Two proposal’s were voted on, our vendor fair was a huge success, plus we had one of our largest membership turnouts.

It’s hard to put into words how grateful I’m am to everyone who helped put this together. The folks at the Mora Nordic Center were simply amazing. They put on “World Class” event for us. From the venue, to the food, to their hospitality, we could not have asked for anything else. If you have never been to Mora’s Nordic Ski Center or visited downtown Mora, plan a trip there this winter. The food, quant shops, hospitality, and oh yeah, skiing, will have you coming back year after year.

So for those of you who we unable to attend the conference,  this is what we accomplished:

Multi-Event Proposal. This proposal did not pass. The voting was close and I want to thank Rollie and his committee for their efforts over the past couple of months to bring to the membership a “complete” proposal we could vote on.

Team/Individual. Of the 5 options that were available, our membership elected the “Hybrid Option.” [same qualifiers (team of 7, top 8 individuals) for State, but everyone can score team points at State Meet -- Ed.] I will start the preparation of this Proposal to the High School league. The due date is March 1, 2010. My target will be to get a draft to our membership by December 15th and a revision, if necessary, by January 15th.  The final piece will be handed out and posted on the Internet prior to the State Meet.

Travel Limitations. On behave of our membership, I will write and present a “letter of concern” to the High School League on our inability to access early snow in the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin. As Bob O’Hara stated, we have one voice as an Association but as individual participating schools, we have 90+ voices from our Athletic Directors and School Boards. If we each do our part and contact our A.D.’s and School Board’s, combined our voices can make a change.

Section Qualification Recommendation. As an association, we narrowed down and simplified our recommendations that will be presented to the High School league. Dean Grace and Bonnie Fuller-Kask, representing Duluth East, will provide us with a revision of the proposal that is on our website and presented at the meeting. This will then been presented to the High School League.

Team Uniforms. The high school league approved our uniform rule change. The new guidelines were handed out at our meeting. Make sure when you are ordering new uniforms, you let your vendor know the size limitations. Logo verifications will be completed at both the Sectional and State meet.

State Meet Courses. This winter we will be skiing the Silver for skate “first”, and a combination of Cedar and Gold for classic pursuit. This is our last chance to see if we can alleviate the crowding caused by our True Pursuit format and create a challenging course for our athletes. The classic pursuit will be 4 lanes wide at the start this winter. We will post maps on our website for those of you who did not get a chance to receive a copy at the conference. At the conclusion of the State meet, I will be sending out a survey on how well you felt the courses worked. Our Spring Conference will determine what changes, if any, should be proposed for a vote the following fall.

Team Participation/Fund Raising. Dave Johnson and Ben Dubay presented ideas on how to share Fund raising ideas via the Nordic Coaches website to support the effort to keep our programs strong and viable.

Again, thank you to everyone who made this Conference possible. My commitment to you is to keep moving our Association forward and create a World Class State Meet for our athletes.

Best regards,

Mike Hecker
President Minnesota Nordic Ski Coaches Association