You may remember back in mid March that Surfing America announced that the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) would no longer be a member organization, therefor making athletes who only compete in NSSA events ineligible for the USA Championships in 2009.
At the time, new membership criteria adopted at an October 2007 Surfing America meeting--which includes paying organization fees of $750 plus $39 individual member fees, using a full panel of certified judges at all championship events held in 2009 and beyond, and including the Surfing America logo on all member organizations Web sites--didn’t go over too well with the NSSA’s board according to Executive Director Janice Aragon.
“"The NSSA believed that its members should have had the choice to join Surfing America, but not be required [to do so] in order to become a member of NSSA," Aragon said. “The board deemed that this should be the choice of each individual separately. In addition, a large majority of the NSSA membership does not participate in the surfing America program and the board felt it wasn't fair to mandate any additional costs to the membership without it being their choice."
In conjunction with the March announcement, Surfing America also announced the creation of a new invitation-only "prime events" series for 2009, which were designed to act as a pilot program on the West Coast under the Western Surfing Association. These contests consist of four-man instead of six-man heats and use computer scoring and certified judges only.
The change sparked concerns among young contest surfers and their parents. Those who wanted the chance to compete in the ISA World Games and become members of the PacSun USA Surf Team quickly adapted their contest schedules, and WSA Prime Events took immediate precedent for many of the country’s top amateur surfers.
Now, the latest development is that the NSSA has decided to comply with the new membership criteria. Stay tuned to Transworld Business for the latest on what this means for all the member organizations, amateur surfers, and up coming contests. Weigh in on the subject below; Transworld Business wants to know your take.
Here Is The Press Release
San Juan Capistrano, Calif. - November 25, 2008 - Surfing America, the
National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States, and the National
Scholastic Surfing Association (“NSSA”) announced today that NSSA has
rejoined Surfing America as a Member Organization.
“This is a tremendous and historic day for Surfing America and the sport of
surfing,” said Mike Gerard, Surfing America’s executive director. “NSSA is
an extremely important piece to the American surfing landscape. And, as
Surfing America operates under a philosophy of inclusion, to have such a
large and prestigious organization outside of the system was troubling.”
NSSA executive director, Janice Aragon, mirrored the sentiment. “I believe
we are making a very positive statement to the sport," she stated. “The NSSA
is committed to promoting Surfing America and its mission in a highly
visible way--and we're more determined than ever to help and encourage the
USA Surf Team to achieve gold!”
NSSA has agreed to join forces with other Surfing America Member
Organizations to promote open communications, unify the national structure,
and to help achieve greater international results for American athletes. As
a result, all members of NSSA will also become members of Surfing America
and will be entitled free basic member benefits. “The NSSA truly believes a
united approach with Surfing America will benefit everyone involved," added
Aragon. "And we look forward to feeding our best athletes into the Surfing
America system. We’re all here for the same reason–and that’s to serve the
sport we love and to contribute to the lifelong success of its aspiring
Other Member Organizations include the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA),
the Western Surfing Association (WSA), the Texas Gulf Surfing Association
(TGSA), and the Hawaii Surfing Association (HSA).
Additionally, as a result of NSSA's reengagement, dozens of qualified NSSA
athletes will be invited to participate in the 2009 SIMA Surfing America USA
Championships. NSSA, like all Member Organizations, will have sole
discretion with regard to determining which of its athletes receive
invitations. Other paths to the USA Championships include the new WSA Prime
Series as well as through WSA, ESA, TGSA, and HSA.
The 2009 SIMA Surfing America USA Championships are scheduled for August
25-30, 2009 at the Huntington Beach Pier, CA.