Districts


What is a District Laser Association?

District Association boundaries are usually national boundaries, although occasionally small countries either amalgamate with other small countries or get looked after by larger countries. In North America and Australia only, Districts are single states or an amalgamation of states.

District Associations are usually run by volunteers who have been elected at the District’s Annual General Meeting.

What are its aims and objectives?

The main objective of District Associations is to serve Laser sailors in their area by organizing and co-ordinating events, communicating with the sailors about local, regional and international events and by promoting Laser sailing.

How can these objectives be achieved?

1) Organizing and co-ordinating events:

  • For the majority of sailors, club racing, regional regattas and the national championship are the most important events throughout the year. The District Association’s task is to co-ordinate the annual racing calendar, liaise with the individual clubs about their racing and regatta schedules and organize an annual district championship. Maintaining regular contact with the clubs in your district makes regatta scheduling easier. Once the calendar for the year is finalised, make sure to communicate it to your members as soon as possible so sailors can arrange their personal sailing schedule for the season. Once the regattas are over, results should be published for sailor’s information.
  • A qualification scheme should be set up for sailors who wish to qualify for ILCA world championships.

2) Communicating with sailors: Spread the word!

  • Communication with the sailors is paramount to running a successful District Association. Sailors need to be kept up-to-date with the racing calendar you produce, as well as international events and other news relating to the Laser class. How you communicate with your sailors really depends on which method you find most effective and reaches most sailors. Most districts have a website which contains important information such as calendar activities, international events, qualification criteria, contact details etc. In addition, you may want to send out either emails and/or printed newsletters to your sailors with the most important news.
  • In addition, ILCA publishes the LaserWorld magazine quarterly and the Laser Handbook annually which will send this to you for distribution to all your members.
  • Communication is a two-way process – sailors will want to speak to you about regattas, racing rules or other matters related to Laser, so it is important to let your sailors know the best way to contact the District Association and who is responsible for which area (see section ‘How should the District Laser Association be run?’ for guidance).

3) Promoting Laser sailing

  • Running a District Association is as much about serving the existing Laser sailors as about attracting newcomers to the Laser class. A strong membership base will result in bigger regatta attendance and therefore enhance racing quality. It also means that prices for boats and spares with local dealers should remain stable.
  • Actively promoting the Laser can take many forms. You may want to promote Laser to a certain group of sailors like women, masters or youth in your district and may organize events, training camps or prizes that will target these groups. Or you may want to promote a specific rig like the 4.7 and get in touch with the Optimist class in your district to organize joint events or advertise the 4.7 rig at Optimist regattas. Please see the section ‘Useful Hints and Tips’ for feedback and ideas from other Districts who have successfully promoted the Laser.

Contact details for each District Laser Association is available through the ILCA Contacts page.

Although most of your work will be focused on the activities and sailors in your district, there will also be a regular exchange of information between your district and ILCA.

Communication:

ILCA will communicate any important information or news through its website as well as sending out International Circulars via email to the International Contact on the District Report form as well as any additional officers as specified by you.

You should contact the ILCA office with any questions you have.

Membership:

ILCA will contact you in August of every year and ask you to fill in a District Report Form. The District Report Form contains information about membership, contact details and how you would like to receive our publications. Once received, ILCA will issue an invoice for membership fees for the year which is payable by 30th September.

Publications:

ILCA will send you handbooks for all your members in December for the coming year.

ILCA sends out the newsletter LaserWorld quarterly. You can choose on the District Report Form if you would like to receive it by post, by email or both.

ILCA World Championships:

Sailors who wish to attend ILCA World championships must first fill in an application form through the ILCA event website. A District Representative is responsible for confirming whether sailors are members of the District Association and must take action on each application for entry by either accepting and ranking or declining the application. This is done through the District part of the ILCA event website for which the District Representative will be given login details to perform these tasks.

Regatta Information:

You should inform ILCA of your local and regional regattas by contacting the ILCA office and providing the following information / documents:

  • Entry Form
  • Notice of Race
  • The start and end date of the regatta

ILCA will then add the regattas to the Fixtures list for your region which is published on the ILCA website.

It is a good idea to get in touch with other District Laser Associations in your region to exchange information about Laser sailing, promotions, events, and generally to help each other out when necessary. ILCA will of course always be there with a helping hand, but sometimes a fellow District officer from your region might have a better insight into sailing in your area and is able to offer more tailored advice.

You might want to organize a joint event with a neighbouring District or organize training camps at a club in another district.

In regions where there are several District Laser Associations within a substantial area, ILCA may establish a Region. A Region is responsible for co-ordinating inter-District activities and events such as regional championships or Cup series. A Region also represents its member Districts at the ILCA World Council Meeting and may put forward any collective ideas, requests or issues for discussion. Currently, ILCA has established the Regions of Central and South America, North America, Asia Pacific and Europe

Depending on the size of your district, the amount of work generated can range from a couple of hours a week to almost a full-time job. How many people are involved in doing this work depends not only on the size of your membership but also on the availability of skills, time and interest. If you can or need to delegate tasks, that’s fine. The important thing to remember is to be a leader and get other members involved in all activities.

The roles and responsibilities of District Committee members are set out in the ILCA Constitution and may give you a good indication of how to share areas of work and responsibilities. Please bear in mind that this covers all possible aspects of running a District Association, so some tasks may not apply to smaller districts:


District Chairman

Acts as main contact person for National Sailing Federation.

Acts as main contact person for International Laser Class Association (ILCA).

Co-ordinates all activities of the District Association within the District.

Represents the District at Annual meetings of the Region (in accordance with ILCA constitution).

Organises and chairs the Annual General Meeting of the District.

Organises/oversees the District’s qualifications for regional and world events

District Vice Chairman

Acts as District chairman if chairman is unable or refuses to act in his function.

Functions as the Sailing Secretary of the District which entails the following responsibilities:

  • Development of the District’s racing programmes of all kinds;
  • Supervision of sanctioned events;
  • Co-ordination with other Sailing Secretaries of all inter-District racing

District Secretary

Maintains the members data base (address list).

Sends out membership cards to members if applicable.

Checks membership at regattas.

Responsible for correspondence with members, i.e. sending out newsletters on a regular basis, handbooks once a year and ILCA’s LaserWorld newsletter quarterly.

Any other responsibilities assigned to them by the District Chairman.

District Treasurer

Determines who can become a member in accordance with paragraph 10 of ILCA constitution.

Collect membership fees from members in accordance with paragraph 11 of ILCA constitution.

Maintains all District financial accounts.

Prepares the annual financial statement for the membership

District Measurer

Must be assessed and qualified by ILCA and the National sailing association.

Assist the ILCA chief measurer in the conduct of his responsibilities and the enforcement of the Rules.

May act for more than one District.

Has the authority to rule on all questions and challenges relating to the Rules and Interpretations of the chief measurer, but he may not issue Interpretations except with the prior approval of the chief measurer.

Additional Officers

You may appoint additional officers to carry out duties, for example some Districts have a Youth co-ordinator, Masters co-ordinator or Women’s co-ordinator.

Committees

You may also appoint committees to carry out certain functions and duties; the District chairman must be a member ex-officio of any committee established.

Here are some examples of activities other districts organize to keep Laser sailors interested in the class as well as promoting Laser in their area:

  • Organizing championships for specific groups (women, masters, youth, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Laser Standard).
  • Organizing Laser regattas together or following on from Optimist regattas.
  • Attending Optimist regattas and let Optimist sailors try out the Laser 4.7.
  • Running Laser 4.7 clinics during Optimist regattas.
  • Displaying rigged Laser boats at a shopping centre on a Saturday and invite interested local shoppers to a regatta on Sunday (perhaps combine with a BBQ or similar event).
  • Introducing sailing to children in schools and to pupils in high school as part of physical education programme.
  • Organizing training programme for beginners combined with the production of a training manual and power point presentation for sailors to watch at their club.
  • Producing promotional material like t-shirts, key rings, caps etc to give out at regattas.
  • Creating a Laser video, brochures etc.
  • A handicap system at club regattas so all sailors have an equal chance of winning.
  • Offering special prices on Laser 4.7 equipment specifically for Optimist sailors.
  • Attractive prizes for specific age groups and gender (youth, masters, women etc).
  • Combine regattas with social events like BBQs, discos, fancy dress parties etc.
  • Organize training camps and clinics for sailors and coaches, send invitations to members and sailing clubs.
  • Liaise with local Laser dealer about sponsorship of prizes (for example a sail or other spares).
  • Organizing a Cup series which combines several local regattas.
  • Seminars on healthy eating and exercising for sailing fitness.
  • Seminars on mental training for sailors.
  • Seminars about sailing rules, meteorology and tactics.
  • Organizing a Student Championship (fleet racing).
  • Organizing a Play-Off Championship (match racing).
  • New Year regatta in combination with a youth training camp.

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