The AWDF v. USCA Smackdown – A Recap and What Comes Next – UPDATING

**I am updating this post as more documents and correspondence are sent my way. If you have any correspondence with any of the players in this situation or other documents that you think would add to the understanding of what’s happening, please feel free to send them my way**

If you’ve been on the internet at all recently, you’ll have seen the drama going down between the American Working Dog Federation (AWDF) and the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA).

This all goes a lot further back than this latest drama, but I’m going to do what I can to give a coherent run down of the relevant precipitating events, beginning with the breakdown of discussions between the AWDF and USCA regarding the running of a combined WDC/AWDF National Championship for 2018.

December 21, 2017

Anne Camper (AWDF):

This is an update on the AWDF Championship and FCI team selection for 2018. The AWDF was negotiating with USCA on the possibility of a combined WDC/AWDF event, with those negotiations reaching an impasse a few days ago. Now that negotiations are over for this year, we can relay information. In September, the AWDF learned that Jim Alloway, President of USCA, intended to start an organization in competition with the AWDF and have USCA host the championship. The AWDF contacted Jim to see if we could reach a mutually satisfactory agreement to cease the formation of the competing organization and combine efforts to host a single all breed championship. After extended negotiations the process broke down when USCA would not accept the agreement negotiated between Jim and the AWDF by an agreed upon deadline. Although this deadline has passed for this year, the AWDF intends to reopen negotiations to see if we can reach an agreement for a combined event for 2019 and beyond. The AWDF event for 2018 is now back in the planning stage, with the dates (likely the end of May) and location announced soon. The presidents of your organizations have been engaged in discussions. I encourage you to contact them for more information.

Happy holidays, all the best to you and your families

This was, as far as I know, the first hint that USCA’s Jim Alloway was looking to create an all-breed organization to compete with the AWDF.

In March 2018, the FCI announced the termination of their agreement with the WUSV.

WUSV

That same month, the formation of the American Working Dog Council (AWDC) was announced by Jim Alloway and USCA. In an attempt to force people to join this new organization, the USCA passed a measure that would charge a $100 non-member fee to all non-USCA/non-AWDC members at all USCA sanctioned trials. No other information is known about the AWDC at this time, to my knowledge.

EB Ballot: 05-18 Approve Increase Of Trial Fees For Non-USCA Members

Motion:  by Vadim Plotsker, Vice President, seconded by Nathaniel Roque, Director of Judges, to restructure the additional filing fees for non-USCA members or handlers who belong to a breed or sport club that is not a member of AWDC (American Working Dog Council), and enters a USCA club trial.  The additional fees are placed on all titles that USCA offers.  This motion will supersede motion EB #10-13.

Effective April 1, 2018, all non-USCA members or handlers that are not a member in good standing with a breed or sport club that is a member of AWDC, will be charged an additional $100 filing fee for entry into any USCA club trials.  Members of GSSCC (Canada) will be exempt from this additional fee.  This fee will be the responsibility of the non-USCA or non AWDC members entered in the local trial.  The fee is not the responsibility of the hosting club.

Background:

In a single year, USCA holds over 300 trials, numerous training, and classification seminars all across the United States.  Our trials are open to all handler/dog teams with an FCI recognized score book.  As a result, non-members derive a direct benefit from significant resources expended by USCA.  Currently the filing fee for a USCA member in a USCA club trial is $4 and a non-USCA member pays an additional $25.  The additional $25 is paid by the non-USCA member, not the host club.  Effective April 1, 2018 the fee will increase to $100 per entry for a non-USCA member who are not a member of a breed or sport club of the AWDC.  This fee will continue to be the responsibility of the non-member entered in the trial and not the host club.

The below chart is just an example and actual entry fees may vary.

USCA / GSSCC / AWDC Members Trial Fees

BH $50

AD $30

IPO1 $65

NON (USCA / GSSCC / AWDC) Members Trial Fees

BH $150

AD $130

IPO1 $165

VOTE RESULTS:

YES: 15 – President Jim Alloway, Vice President Vadim Plotsker, Secretary Michele Clubb, DOJ Nathaniel Roque, DAL Mike Diehl, Laurie Coppola, Dennis Vander Linde, Gary McGillivary, RD’s Mark Chaffin, Don Yelle, Pedro Jimenez Jr, Carissa Kuehn, Hal Lymus, Teresa Cowart, and Debra Krsnich

NO: 1 – RD  Dena McGown

NFD: 2 –  NBW Michele Scarberry and RD  Mark Scarberry

No Response: 1 –  RD Chris Thompson

MOTION PASSED March 19, 2018

More information was shared several days later, via an e-mail from Jim Alloway:

Non-member Fee Increase

Good evening . . . below is the factual information about the most recent USCA EB-Ballot, #05-18 – “Increase of Trial Fees for Non-Members.” There is a large amount of misinformation being disceminated about this e-ballot, so the following is provided for clarification. I do apologize for the poor timing. This email should have been sent a week ago. Please share this with all concerned.

Why the fee increase?
USCA recently raised non-member trial fees from $25 to $100 per trial. This makes this fee equivalent in cost to a yearly membership in USCA. The fee increase serves several purposes:
Makes it more cost-effective for non-USCA members to join USCA than to just trial at USCA trials without actually becoming a member.
Preserves USCA resources for USCA members. Currently non-members enjoy a large number of USCA resources for only $25. This includes access to top judges, helpers, tracklayers, and more club trials than any other organization in the country.
Has the benefit of providing more resources for specific USCA programs that benefit the whole membership, such as the youth, helper, and judges programs.
The primary purpose is to ensure that USCA members are receiving the most benefit from the organization, without having member resources being allocated to non-members for such a nominal fee. Currently, non-members receive significant benefits from USCA while only paying an extra $25, compared to the member’s $100 annual dues.

Here is a quick snapshot of the math and analysis of the fees:
DVG Yearly membership: $100
USBA Yearly Membership: $45
AWMA Yearly Membership: $30 or $50 family
UDC Yearly Membership: $50 or $65 family

If someone joins one of the above clubs, they pay less than $100 a year for membership (other than DVG). If they only enter one or maybe two USCA club trials a year at the $25 non-member fee, they are still at or even under the $100, depending on the club they join. So they are getting a huge bargain by joining another club vs. USCA. By not joining USCA and entering our trials, they get the benefit of our judges, helper, and tracklayer programs for under what our members pay a year.

As of this fiscal year (9 months), 82 people have paid the $25 for being a non-USCA member entering our trials. During this same time period just under 2,000 people have entered our trials as USCA members.

USCA hosts 300 trials every year, has the highest number of internationally-recognized licensed judges of any IPO organization in the US, and has the top helper, judges, and tracklayer programs in the country. Non-members enjoy all of these aforementioned aspects of USCA for much less than what members pay, taking advantage of USCA’s resources without becoming part of the organization. This is not fair or equitable to members. With this e-ballot, that loophole is closed, and now in order to enjoy the benefits of USCA, non-members can either join USCA for $100, or pay an extra $100 per USCA trial.

Who is affected by this fee increase?
This change in fees ONLY affects non-USCA members. It does NOT affect USCA members or GSSCC members (with whom we have a reciprocal agreement). GSDCA members or other WUSV member organizations besides GSSCC would have to pay the additional fee in order to enter a USCA trial (unless the member was also a USCA member).

This fee increase only applies to club trials, as only USCA members can enter our championship events. This means, however, that the fee structure for club trials must change come April 1st. All non-member prices on trial forms should reflect the additional $100 fee. For example (using hypothetical amounts here):

Trial fees (USCA members)
BH: $60
IPO 1-3: $85

Trial fees (non-USCA members)
BH: $160
IPO 1-3: $185

Where is this extra money going to? We read that USCA is buying Jim Alloway a brand new Porche 911 . . .
No Porsche for me . . .the fees go right back into supporting IPO for USCA membership. The funds from the $100 non-member fee will be allocated to the youth program, helper program, and judges program, all of which benefit USCA membership as a whole.

Does USCA want to run off non-GSD’s?
Absolutely not. If USCA did not care about or support breeds other than GSDs then we would exclude them from USCA membership / events and/or make a fee increase for non-GSDs. I personally have non-GSDs in my local club and would never support a campaign to exclude non-GSDs from the organization.

What’s this whole thing about clubs joining the AWDC to avoid the fee?
This information has been public, not “secret” like so many people are claiming on social media. The AWDC is a separate, all-breed working dog organization that is NOT affiliated with USCA, even though it was started by me in response to the failure of the AWDF to provide safe and high-quality championships to its members.

To be clear: the AWDC was not started by USCA, and USCA currently is not a member. You can read more about the purpose and intent of the AWDC HERE. The AWDC’s mission is about doing what is best for the dogs, handlers, and sport, and providing the best and safest championship trial experience for its member clubs.

USCA has chosen to honor the decision of any organizations that join the AWDC, by dropping the non-member entry fee back to $25.

Is USCA a member of AWDC?
No. USCA currently is not a member of the AWDC. The general membership would have to vote on whether or not we become a member of the AWDC.

Does becoming a AWDC member mean a club would have to revoke AWDF membership?
No. Working breed and IPO organizations (USCA, DVG, AWMA, etc.) can be members of both AWDF and AWDC. People are encouraged to derive the maximum benefit from both AWDF and AWDC.

Why was this info not communicated earlier? Why did I have to read about it on social media first?
This is entirely my fault. As most of you know, I am no longer able to devote the 30+ hours a week to the presidency that I once did. I have a full-time job that I love and it takes more of my time than what my old business did. Because of that, things fall through the cracks at times. This is not because of lack of care / concern for the animals and people of this organization. I am still so very proud to be your president and it disappointments me to let you down. I know that I did on this one and I am sorry. We are actively taking steps and precautions to make sure these are minimized in the future.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me, Michele Clubb, or our USCA Vice President Vadim Plotsker. Questions about the AWDC can be directed to me.

Please remember to update trial forms for trials after April 1st with the $100 non-member fee.

Thanks for all that you do for USCA!

Jim Alloway
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

Following several days of rumors and conjecture and (I’m sure) lots of e-mails, Jim Alloway reached out again re: the AWDC:

All:
Thanks for all of the questions/comments/concerns. I appreciate the emails of support as well as those that are upset/confused/disagree. I’ll try to consolidate as many of the emails / questions as I can below.

What is the AWDC? Who started it? With the help and input from a very small group, I started the American Working Dog Counsel.

Why did you start the AWDC? (There’s an assertion that being president of USCA is not enough and this is your attempt to “control” more).

Some of the thoughts/accusations floating around are really funny – this is the most amusing and couldn’t be more inaccurate. The truth is actually much more boring. I do not want to be president of two organizations and in fact, as many of the USCA members know, I have been doing less and less over the past year with more delegation within USCA thanks to the increased efforts of many volunteers.

AWDC was formed for a few reasons but with a singular mission – to ensure that all competitors could compete in a fair, safe, and professionally run all-breed event. Feedback from many competitors (as well as spectators, vendors, event staff, etc.) over the last decade has been that we have too many big events condensed into a small window and we should consider consolidation. Secondly, over the past five or six years, I’ve felt (and received hundreds of similar phone calls/texts/emails) that the AWDF championship was in decline without any real urgency to ensure that it improves. While there are occasional bright spots, the end grade has not been favorable. I felt that my attempts to convince the leadership of AWDF (and that is not a criticism of any single individual – this has been an issue for years) that we should improve the quality of the AWDF and / or combine it with USCA’s WDC were futile and not well received – issues such as crafting the flight schedule post draw, disrespectful treatment of judges and staff, and lime-covered tracking fields were the tipping points this year.

The feeling that options with the AWDF were limited triggered the AWDC formation.

This was an action independent of USCA for two reasons . . . (1) we were advised by the FCI that it would be better, should the invite to the FCI Championships change in the future, to be an all-breed organization, not to a specific breed club, and (2) I am well aware of the perception of USCA – some historically factual, some not (both the good and the bad). We did this independently without USCA support to ensure that negative reaction could be blamed on me – not on USCA. We were well aware during the formation that USCA’s EB or GB might not approve of the new organization. This was considered and would be fine if there was a decision not to support the new organization.

As far as the “control” aspect – seems like such a bad word but it is, in some regard, the truth. I wanted to make sure that there was “control” to ensure an exceptional competitor experience – period. There was every intention from the beginning to work cooperatively with other clubs so that judges / helpers / tracklayers / staff / group etc. were all acceptable and as good as we could get.

Did you want AWDC to end all AWDF activities?

Not at all – whatever other benefits the clubs of AWDF derive should and would remain. I had no intent of negatively impacting those nor the long-term sovereignty of the AWDF.

This was only about hosting a combined championship. I had every hope and belief that the FCI would move the championship invitation from AWDF to AWDC. While I was aware that this would be initially upsetting to some, I believed in the greater result. I believed that those most upset would not be competitors and that following the first event people would see this to be great for the dogs and competitors. The initial idea was that this would be at no/low cost to the member clubs.

Why did you start negotiating with AWDF then?

AWDF called me and asked me about AWDC. I told them the same as above. We then started negotiating as a compromise that could meet everyone’s needs. I was open to that, as previously stated, all I cared about was a singular world-class event for competitors. At that point, AWDC activity stopped and we proceeded to negotiate.

Why did you not do it with USCA member input/support? Where is the transparency?

Over the past 5 years of being president, I’ve done my best to ensure that the members are kept in the loop of all USCA business. I can’t think of any USCA business that the EB, the office, or me knows and doesn’t share with the membership. Again – I don’t make organizational decisions – the bylaws prevent that.

On this AWDC issue – this was me acting independently of USCA. I felt that over the years that I’ve had plenty of competitor / member feedback about the quality of the AWDF event and that I understood their frustrations and needs. I believed that there would be great support for the singular trial vision based on that input. Of course, there was every chance (as did happen to some degree) that when the board was informed of my individual actions, they would not approve or ratify. I had expected that once AWDC received a formal go ahead from the FCI that I would be able to convince all member clubs of the benefit as well.

Is USCA reverting to the era where a very few control the organization?

USCA is a democracy. I do not make any decisions independent of the USCA Executive Board (20 strong independent thinkers that do not always vote the way I would like) or the General Board (all clubs are eligible to vote at the annual general board meeting and overturn anything the EB does) nor do I derive any income or a salary. Even the committees that I appoint often have contrarian thought to mine and yet, we always go with the majority . . . we do the best for the most even if that means individuals are occasionally upset or don’t get exactly what they want (me included).

I apologize to anyone that was offended or put off. I want to stress that there was singular intention here – a professionally run, fair, safe, trial where every competitor had equal opportunity for success.
I hope this helps. If there are any questions / issues / concerns please feel free to call or write me.

Thanks to each of you for all you do for our dogs.

Jim Alloway

 

You’ll want to note Mr. Alloway’s repeated assertion that he was acting independently of USCA in the forming the of AWDC and that the USCA is not a member of the AWDC or in any other way related to the AWDC.

I’m curious why an organization (USCA) would vote to implement and then waive a non-member fee for members of a supposedly completely separate and independent organization (AWDC), effectively requiring membership in said completely separate and independent organization?

Christopher Smith did an excellent run down in this post on Facebook, in which he also produced the Articles of Incorporation for the AWDC, noting that they were done through USCA’s office manager (Debbie Sweeney) and provide USCA’s address as the address for the AWDC.

articlesAWDC

So why the insistence that USCA was uninvolved in the creation of this organization when this is demonstrably untrue?

As you would expect, this attempt by Jim Alloway (and the USCA) to circumvent the AWDF with the FCI went over rather poorly.

Which leads us, finally, to the most recent flurry of e-mails and press releases:

October 13, 2018

As you may have already heard, on October 12, the AWDF delivered a memo to USCA President Jim Alloway expelling USCA from the AWDF. This decision was the result of a charge brought forward after USCA decided to implement a policy of charging non-USCA members an extra $100 unless they belonged to an organization that was in direct competition with the AWDF – the American Working Dog Council. The charge outlined a series of actions that USCA took to undermine the AWDF by creating this competing organization, including approaching the FCI with their idea. The charge was upheld by the AWDF’s Board of Inquiry and their recommendation was expulsion. After extensive discussion and deliberation by the executive board, the BOI’s recommendation for expulsion was upheld and these points of implementation were communicated to USCA and AWDF member club delegates:

1. As of October 12, 2018, USCA is immediately suspended from voting privileges within the AWDF.

2. As of October 12, 2018, USCA delegates or other USCA representatives are immediately suspended from participating in all AWDF meetings.

3. As of October 12, 2018, USCA will immediately cease selling or distributing scorebooks that contain reference to, or the logo of, the AWDF.

4. As of October 12, 2018, USCA will remove reference to the AWDF on their website or any other marketing or correspondence information.

5. USCA will inform their members and member clubs that the AWDF will continue to recognize titles earned at USCA club trials officiated by USCA judges until January 1, 2019.

6. Effective January 1, 2019, USCA membership in the AWDF is fully revoked, and all privileges associated with that membership are terminated.

7. Excluding the AWDF IPO and FH Championships where membership in an AWDF club is required, AWDF clubs will allow USCA members to enter AWDF club trials with their current USCA membership and with USCA scorebooks (issued before the date of this memo) until June 30, 2019.

8. The AWDF will Immediately notify the FCI regarding the expulsion of USCA from the AWDF.

The leadership of the AWDF wishes to communicate to all of you that this decision was not taken lightly and that we were thinking of the impact on each of you as competitors. There will be a conference call with each of your organization’s AWDF delegates this week so they are best prepared to adapt to this decision and answer your questions.

– Anne Camper

 

There are some questions we anticipate that you will have can answer now:

I am a USCA member, what does this mean for me and my dog if we want to trial next year?

We assume that USCA will continue to hold trials as usual but they will need to verify this. If you earn any title at a USCA trial after January 1, the title will not be FCI recognized. Additionally, if you earn a title at a USCA club trial after January 1, it will need to be repeated at a FCI recognized trial/AWDF trial before you can trial for your IGP 2 title at a trial offered by an AWDF member club.
I am not a USCA member, but the clubs I trial with often are, what does this mean for me and my dog if we want to trial next year?

USCA will need to address how they will handle entries from members of other organizations. However, as described above, any titles earned at a USCA club trial will not be recognized by the AWDF or the FCI.

I own a German Shepherd, how will I be represented in AWDF or have my titles FCI recognized?

You would need to join another AWDF member club and trial in those organizations.

I want to qualify for the FCI World Championship, what do I need to be aware of?

Only members of an AWDF member club are eligible for the FCI World Championship because the qualifier (the AWDF Championship) requires membership in an AWDF member club.

Will titles earned at a USCA club prior to January 1, 2019 still be FCI recognized?

Yes.

To which, Jim Alloway (USCA) responded in a series of e-mails and releases:

AWDF Update

AWDF’s BOI (Christopher Smith, Monty Ellison, Amanda Hoskinson, Mike O’Donnell) supported by the AWDF Executive Board (Anne Camper, Annetta Cheek, Lisa Freeny, Annie Wildmoser, Carol Karchnak, Ivan Balabanov, Ted Hartman) has made the unfortunate decision to expel USCA from AWDF membership. The primary factors that lead to the expulsion were:

USCA (allegedly) knowingly working to damage the AWDF by requiring membership in another (defunct competing) organization to avoid non-member fees.
USCA’s pattern, dating back to 2009, of behavior that disregards AWDF agreements.
USCA’s desire, dating back to 2014, to control the AWDF championship and replace it with a championship controlled by USCA.

It is regrettable that this has happened. Every action by me and/or USCA was done with the sole intent of making a trial experience better and safer for our dogs and more deserving of “championship” recognition for our members. Any allegation or suggestion that USCA wanted to harm breeds or events in this country are not true.

AWDF offers erroneous opinion as to the motivating factors behind any efforts to create a competing organization. As I’ve stated many times, the new organization was singularly focused on a single, world-class, safe championship to benefit dogs and competitors. There was never any intent to compete with anything else that the AWDF provides. If it ultimately led to AWDF fortifying and improving their championship, that would be great as well. However, I had little faith that there would be any improvement until the new organization had formed, for the following reasons.

AWDF had not taken complaints seriously enough about the poor quality of their championship.
This culminated in a horrible experience for many competitors and even endangered dogs’ health.

AWDF, following their awareness of the existence of a “competing” organization (AWDC), did not file BOI charges, but instead, negotiated for a joint championship. Only later were BOI charges filed. USCA in our response to the BOI charges felt very strongly that the members of the AWDF were biased against USCA and would not be fair and impartial. We stand by those beliefs.

The reality is that this affects less than 1% of USCA’s membership. For those members that wish to compete at the AWDF championship to earn a spot on the FCI team, USCA is working on solutions that will not burden those members financially and still allow USCA to support those members should they make the FCI team.

Moving forward:

AWDF will continue to recognize USCA titles given by USCA judges until January 1, 2019.
USCA members will be allowed to enter other AWDF member club trials until June 30, 2019.

USCA’s executive board will be discussing more thoroughly in the weeks to come. I promise to keep the membership officially informed at every milestone as we navigate this situation. USCA provides the best product and services to working dog enthusiasts in the United States and this situation will not change that.

Thank you,

Jim Alloway
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

 

Dear USCA Members,

A few things:

I understand and am empathetic to all of the questions/anxiety/frustration surrounding AWDF’s recent decision to expel USCA. I will do my best in the days to come to answer as many of them as possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have all of the answers at this time.

I would never want to wittingly do anything that harmed our breed, sport, or organization. Often times there are good motives behind action or policy and it doesn’t pan out as intended. I personally apologize to each of you and other breed organizations for actions that I or USCA may / may not have taken that have caused harm. I do hope that through future dialogue, we can rectify and come up with workable long-term solutions for the benefit of the majority.

I am working with the FCI and have (at the time of this email) unsuccessfully reached out to AWDF for further discussion and proposed resolution.

As we are all aware, it is often times impossible to disprove accusations made against a person. I have always been forthright with the membership and will attempt to clarify some of the recent accusations / sentiment that have come to my attention.

USCA is full member, in good standing, of the WUSV and USCA has no intention of leaving the WUSV.

AWDC was an organization that was started for the sole purpose of putting on an exceptional championship for those seeking a spot on the FCI team or wanting to show at a great National event. I felt it was a last resort. Regardless of accusation, I did not start it for any reason other than a singular mission – to ensure that all competitors could compete in a fair, safe, and professionally run all-breed event.

I’ve attached a document that was circulated months ago as a point of reference and answer some of the questions for completely (see link in comments)

The AWDC, while some may view as a factor, is not the proximate cause of the USCA expulsion. AWDF was fully aware of the AWDC and subsequently began cooperative, productive, negotiation for a single all-breed championship in the spring following the AWDC formation. Even following BOI charges being filed by AWDF, the AWDF president and I were still discussing the concept of a single Spring all-breed championship in 2019. Following beginning negotiation with AWDF, AWDC has disappeared.

Yes – if I believed that the improvement of the AWDF championship could have been accomplished by less divisive, controversial means, I would have chosen that path.

No – I don’t believe that everything I do is perfect and I do realize and hold myself accountable for the mistakes I make.

Any notion that I’ve stolen USCA funds is ridiculous. I’m sorry I even have to address that question.

Any notion that I enjoy this or want to “control” more is equally preposterous. As I’ve stated, for over a year, I have been planning my succession from USCA president and have always believed in the democratic process.

I hope this helps at least a little. As I stated above, as new information is discovered and more questions answered, I will be in touch.

Jim Alloway
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

Anne Camper (AWDF):

October 16, 2018

A few points to clarify the recent AWDF decision on expelling USCA are:

1. The decision was because of USCA’s efforts to undermine the AWDF by creating a competing organization to the AWDF (the AWDC). It has nothing to do with extra fees, etc.

2. USCA leadership worked with Frans Jansen, the president of the FCI Utility Commission to gain recognition for this organization without knowledge of or discussions with the AWDF.

3. USCA leadership attempted to recruit AWDF member clubs to join the AWDC followed by the USCA board imposing a fine on competitors if they did not belong to the competing AWDC (vote taken on March 19, 2018).

4. The actions of USCA leadership with support of the USCA board to undermine the AWDF is contrary to the basic tenants of the AWDF, which represents breed and sport clubs in the US.

5. The decision was reached through a process outlined in the bylaws that included gathering of information by the BOI to substantiate the charges, USCA’s rebuttal to the charges, a BOI vote, and then a decision of the AWDF executive board.

There was, I believe, ANOTHER e-mail from Jim Alloway re: this situation, but as a non-member of USCA, I haven’t been able to get ahold of it in its entirety. If someone has it (or other relevant documents) and would like to send it to me, I’d be happy to add it.

What does this all mean?

Not a whole lot, at the moment. We’ll have to see how things really shake out between now and January to see what the impact will be.

As of now, any titles earned at USCA trials after January 1, 2019 will no longer be recognized by the FCI or the AWDF.

It will be interesting to see how USCA clubs handle this when it comes to holding trials, and how USCA will handle this when it comes to non-USCA members/scorebooks.

As a member of a DVG club with an AWMA scorebook, I’m mostly just over here sipping my coffee. But, most of the trials in my area are USCA affiliated, so, depending on how this goes, my trial calendar for 2019 may look a lot different than I had anticipated.

As a newbie to the sport that isn’t privy to all of the historical context that I know plays into this, but that I’m not going to take the time to run down, this all looks like a power-grab by one person (Jim Alloway, with the obvious cooperation of the USCA board) gone horribly awry.

I can’t blame the AWDF for their actions because, from where I’m sitting, Jim Alloway (and the rest of the USCA board) didn’t leave them much choice.

Right now, I see two pathways to solving this whole thing ASAP for the membership:

  1. DVG makes some emergency rule changes which allow a streamlined process for USCA clubs and members to switch affiliation. Overnight, DVG becomes the IPO power player in the US and USCA is dead in the water.

or

2. USCA boots Jim Alloway (and his loyalists) off the USCA board for good as a show of good faith, before seeking reconciliation with the AWDF.

Do I think any of that is going to happen?

No, not really.

But here’s the issue as I see it: IPO is a teeny, tiny sport in the United States. We cannot, as a sport, afford any giant rifts. It would be for the benefit of everyone if egos and personal ambitions could be set aside in favor of the greater benefit of the sport.

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