Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NYSSWA in dire straits

I read this post on John Moriello's blog at the New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) website this afternoon, and it appears as if the organization may not make it through the fall season because of budget troubles.

The NYSSWA is responsible for putting together the state rankings for high school teams each and every week during the schools, using a team of volunteers from around the state to feed them information.

The NYSSWA charges $40 a year in dues for a subscription to a weekly eight-page newsletter that includes the rankings, lists of records and stories about high school sports from around the state.

When the organization starting posting the rankings online, subscriptions plummeted and NYSSWA President Neil Kerr, who assembles the newsletter, makes copies and mails the issues every week, has been funding it out of his own pocket in recent years.

Writes Moriello:
"We need to enroll 100 new members by the end of this month to make sure we get through basketball season and probably another 50 on top of that by the end of the year so that the membership list is large enough to make doing the newsletter worthwhile and to assure that we'll have enough in the bank to at least reach Memorial Day."

He continues:

"Otherwise we're almost certainly heading down the path of shutting things down, and to be honest I don't envision anyone else being able to step in with weekly rankings or end-of-season all-star teams."

It's easy enough for local media members around New York to put together their rankings of teams from in-section from week to week, but the NYSSWA rankings were a useful tool to see how teams are likely to match up in regional and state-level contests. Plus, it's just fun to see how other people from around the state think our teams stack up against the competition.

If you're looking to help out and keep the weekly state rankings and postseason All-State teams afloat, click this link for information on how to subscribe.

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