Friday, June 4, 2010

Lamentations of a League Secretary/Treasurer

As the fall/winter leagues end, my job as a league secretary/treasurer has ended for the season. I was the secretary/treasurer of the Huntsville All Star League. I had done this previously many years ago. The bowling center did this job in the previous years, with no charge to the league. However, difficulties arose over the years as many people trying to keep the records and books for one league led to many errors. They wanted a league member to resume these duties.

During the league meeting, I was nominated for the position. Knowing there was a demand with no other person wanting the job, I accepted provided the fee of $1/person/week was accepted. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Economics 101. Low supply with high demand leads to high prices. Maybe I should have asked for more. Why? Computers and league secretary software do all the work. Why can you command such a salary?

By my calculations, I think holding this particular office cost me 5-8 pins in average. Pin Palace was the lowest scoring house in the Huntsville USBC last season. Only 4 people averaged over 220 in the whole bowling center last season. Walking to the line and having 8 boards of area would allow me to think about where that extra $25 went. A huge contrast compared to the other centers in the association. Concentration was required on my game instead of counting funds and ensuring accurate league fund record keeping.

Let me be clear. I would be league secretary for no expense. The league is paying for my duties as league treasurer. This is the job for which I can be suspended by the USBC for any irregularities. League secretary software is easy to manipulate averages, games, wins, etc. I require all this data anyway to update the Huntsville All Star League website. I had the bowling center provide me with the league files in the previous years to maintain the website. The treasurer side of the software is adequate once you have collected the funds. This is the 'pain in the a**' part of bowling nights. Some bowlers seem to think that they can bowl without paying. What other industry provides a service for a promise to pay at a later date? I ask, beg, command for late league fees. Some teams even forget to deliver the pay envelope to me. I would like to bowl also. I don't want to spend the evening counting funds, and ensuring accurate records of each team's pay envelope.

Here is a personal pet peeve about team fees. I only care about the team t0tal payment, not each individual's weekly payment. I talk to the team captain about whether the team is ahead or behind in payment. I would think it is his responsibility to interpret this information for use to divide among the team members. I get a question from one bowler concerning their payment history and I have to interpret their pay envelope when it is hardly entered neat and legible. I try to anticipate this at the beginning of the year by interpreting each team's record keeping system. This is done so I can prove whether a bowler is $20 or $50 behind in league payments.

The other part of being a league secretary that makes me very nervous is the end of year payouts. Yes, I am taking the entire leagues' prize fund as one check and cashing it. I walk out of the bank with over $20,000. I am on edge until the prize fund is paid out.

It is stressful. The All Star League is competitive and I would very much want to be in the midst of the competition. Like the other members, I want to bowl. I don't want to count money, find the miscalculation, and pay the bowling center. I want to bowl well. If the league members get into a nice rhythm of accurate record keeping, and timely delivery of the pay envelope, I could reduce my fee for the less stress and work. However, I charge for my time and frustration. I'm thinking about raising my rates next year.

Any one else have a league secretary/treasurer story?