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SCCA membership for local events

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edrach View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edrach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: SCCA membership for local events
    Posted: November.12.2007 at 6:59pm

Rumor has it that local rallycross events will require all entrants to have SCCA membership.  I don't see any discussion of that aspect in the 2008 proposed rules, so I'm calling it a rumor for now. 

However, the discussion came up at both Oregon Region and Pacific Region meetings recently so there seems to be some truth to it.  Anyone have any comments or information about this?

Ed Rachner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichardMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.12.2007 at 9:15pm
Yes, the SCCA now requires you to purchase a weekend membership to compete in any rally, RallyCross or Solo. Some of us do not think this is a really good idea but it is a fact of life. Therefore, we are trying to minimize the effect it has on the individual competitor. The cost of a weekend membership is only $10 so we may simply make this the difference between a member entry and a non-member entry.

Basically, this is not an Urban Legend but a rule passed at levels higher than me.

Richard Miller
Southwest Division RallyCross steward
but not speaking for the SCCA in any way
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edrach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.12.2007 at 10:19pm

Originally posted by RichardMiller RichardMiller wrote:

Yes, the SCCA now requires you to purchase a weekend membership to compete in any rally, RallyCross or Solo. Some of us do not think this is a really good idea but it is a fact of life. Therefore, we are trying to minimize the effect it has on the individual competitor. The cost of a weekend membership is only $10 so we may simply make this the difference between a member entry and a non-member entry.

Basically, this is not an Urban Legend but a rule passed at levels higher than me.

Richard Miller
Southwest Division RallyCross steward
but not speaking for the SCCA in any way
Thanks for clarifying this.  I do have two comments.

Yes, I agree with you that it is not a good idea.  I can only speak for rallycross, but I think the same thing applies for rally and maybe Solo.  Adding an additional charge to a potential new contestant is stupid.  More entry fee never got you more entries.  This might be tolerable for the regions that have vibrant, high entry programs since they could "absorb" the $10 "fee", but will be a death knell for the regions that are still struggling to establish a viable program.  Stupid idea!  (Sorry, normally I'm more tactful than this).

Secondly, nice of the  "higher levels" to pass this without announcing it to the general membership.  It would also have been sensible to have some discussion as to the reasons and to get feedback from the membership.  Sounds to me like they were justifiably unsure how this "fee" would resonate with the membership....or maybe they knew what the response would be.

Stupid idea!

 

Ed Rachner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cmorrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.12.2007 at 10:47pm
I concurr with Ed's comments ... totally ...

I would also note that I paid SCCA membership dues to run in National Event
May 6 this year ... and I still have not received a membership number or card
...

For an organization trying to get more participation at the entry level in both
autocross and rallycross ... this doesn't make any sense to me ...

Charlie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mikeatscca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 9:59am

Hang on guys!

The Weekend Membership program is really nothing more than a name that lends some cache to running a SCCA event. The fee for the Weekend Membership is no different than what Regions currently charge as a differential between a SCCA members and non-SCCA members running an event. This is not an addition to that and is to be used in lieu of that differential. $5.00 of the Region's non-member (Weekend Member) entry fee comes to the office to support the added direct marketing activity here to the WM and the remainder stays with region.

A few other things about the program:

1. It is good for four consecutive days: Friday-Monday. This means if you run a  RoadRally on Friday night and purchase a WM for the extra $15.00 for non-SCCA member entry, you can run a Solo on Saturday and a RallyCross on Sunday on that same membership. Regardless of Region or where the events are held.

2. It serves as $15 coupon off your SCCA membership. Two if them can be applied within 60 days for a $30 discount. If you are a First Gear or Military member, that means your cost to join is only $15!

3. Full insurance coverage.

4. One current issue of Sports Car magazine per WM purchased.

5. Any number of WMs can be purchased, but if you are a regular competitor then in most cases purchasing a full SCCA membership will be a better financial deal for you.

6. Better visibility for Regions to identify the non-member participants. Currently, many regions don't have the resources in time or membership to actively pursue their non-member participants and encourage them to stay involved. The program will identify those participants, and Regions will get weekly updates with those names and contact information to use as they please. On this end, materials will be send to the WM that will include SportsCar, local region contact info and schedules (if known), plus other information. There are also plans to actively communicate with those WMs via e-mails to ensure their interest in the SCCA stays high.

7. Many Regions have already instituted some sort of membership requirement prior to the announcement of this program and those  doing so require a full SCCA membership be purchased. That is not how this program works.

8. This program has been in effect for the Club Racing department since June with no adverse affects.

9. The program will go into effect on Jan 1, and applies to RallyCross, Solo, and RoadRally events. There is a further discount for RoadRally in that the WM fee only applies for the car, regardless of how many non-SCCA competitor members are on that team. Theoretically, a team with two non-SCCA members can get two for the price of one! Further, EACH non-member of the team is eligible for the discounts mentioned above!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or e-mail anyone in the Membership department, Solo, or Rally departments or contact me directly. We will be glad to answer questions and address any concerns.

Mike

 

 

Michael E. Dickerson
Region Development Manager, SCCA
800.770.2055, ext 358
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LD71 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 7:55pm

Mike,

I wouldn't slide that "3. Full insurance coverage." in there so lightly.  I'm sure that most of us give little thought to this stuff---but prospective competitiors should know that SCCA has the best insurance program going--$15 for the insurance coverage is a true bargain--it's cheap and not availabel elsewhere.  Amd then all the other stuff you listed is added benefit.

LD71 

Larry DuLude

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edrach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 9:26pm

Mike, Thanks for clarifying and detailing what the Weekend Membership actually is about.  I could take issue with most of what you say, but I will only elaborate on what I said before and ask another question.

I still feel that adding up to $15 to the entry fee for non-members will discourage new-comers, persuade some others to find other places to spend their automotive funding, and cost some regions significant loss of entry.  Obviously we don't agree on that, but I had to repeat it.

I find the comment of full insurance coverage interesting.  Haven't we been paying for insurance coverage all along for our events?  Is the coverage mentioned in paragraph 3 better coverage or more coverage?

In addition, I'm curious as to what full insurance coverage actually means to me, the competitor, and to the club holding the event.



Edited by edrach
Ed Rachner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichardMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 9:51pm
Ed,
It is not adding $15 to the entry fee for non-members. Depending on how the individual regions handle it, the added fee should never be more than $10. And if the region wants to forgo the added $5 of that fee which goes to the region, it can be only $5. And if the region is feeling especially rich, they can absorb the $5 that goes to national and make the entry fee the same for both members and non-members.

As to the insurance, I hope some one who can explain it with more clarity than I can will do so. But as I understand it, members get more medical coverage and death benefits than non-members. Non-members may sue for further coverage just as members may but the liability release makes it harder for any of us to win such a law suit.
Richard Miller
          
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edrach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 10:11pm

Richard.  Thanks for the reply.  I thought I said "up to" $15. 

I'm currently a member of ORG and PRG (with Oregon being my region of record).  Both groups are grappling with how to minimize the fallout of this.  ORG has a pretty vibrant, healthy program for rallycross (and rally) and will likely absorb as much of that $15 as possible. 

PRG, however, has a rallycross program in its infancy and is still trying to make the program economically viable.  I'm not sure what they'll be able to absorb, but they are working on it.

I would think that SCCA took a significant hit in membership when they abruptly dropped the Performance Rally Program (correct me if I'm wrong).  And I understand the necessity to find a way to counter that loss.  But adding to the entry costs for newcomers in rally and rallycross is not a way to attract and retain them.

Ed Rachner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cmorrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.13.2007 at 11:36pm
Richard & Mike,

thank you for your replies ..

In reponse to Mike's list:

1. At least in OR & WA there are very few Rallyx and Solo events that are
scheduled so one can participate in both in a 4 day period ... Friday night
Road Rallies ... yes ... I would also add that It's my perception &
observation that not many do both solo and rallyx ...

3. I understood that the entry fees fully covered our insurance ... please
correct me if I'm wrong ...

6. Really ?? WA & OR have on-line registration for solo ... and both PRG &
ORG and NW solo have participant & member lists in computer data bases
...

8. Club racing costs a lot more to field a car and participate in than the
basic rallyx and solo events ...

So what does an event entry fee and membership in PRG or ORG fee cover
that a required SCCA membership is going to enhance for more money?

thanks

Charlie





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mikeatscca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.14.2007 at 10:58am

This is a great dialog, and I appreciate all of the concerns and issues. The decision wasn't made lightly nor taken without a great deal of research into all of the regions' programs. It was developed over more than a year of looking at region entry fee differentials and other dynamics.

The Northwest is clearly doing a great job in capturing those non members. It may be then that the data generated is redundant. What wasn't happening at the national level was recognition of those non-members so staff could actually assist the regions to help keep them involved.

I have always felt one of the things we should do to help regions more was efforts such as direct marketing and (arggghhhhhh!) phone calls to prospective members. I did that work in two regions, and never felt comfortable doing 'cold call' selling SCCA memberships at I was a volunteer. Heck, I did that in my day job, so why would I want to do that at night? I have to imagine others would agree, or maybe there are some who are weird enough to enjoy that sort of thing.

The previous temporary membership program that was a freebie to Regions was a dismal failure. Our conversion rate after sending over 13,000 Temporary Memberships was less than 3% total over three years. That is slightly under 400 conversions. Not real strong in my book.

It may be that the program will not work as we hope it will, and we will be monitoring very carefully its effects. It is a new era and I am glad to see that most everyone is approaching this with an open mind and doing their best to try make the program work! The SCCA membership is resilient and dedicated, and I am reminded of that every day. Keeps us on our toes to do the best we can to serve that Membership.

Further to clarify on the insurance issue. As Larry noted, non members do not have the same coverage as SCCA members. It is significantly reduced as Richard mentioned (SAAB drivers maybe strange, but they do know stuff!) To understand the details, please contact Pego Mack (RallyCross) or Deena Rowland (Solo).

Mike

Michael E. Dickerson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeMalsed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November.14.2007 at 5:24pm
Just to toss my .02 in -

#6 is also a bit of a red herring - with sites like motorsportreg.com out there giving registration for free (myautoevents.com used to be free, but are now charging $35/event or a cut of the fees) there's no reason NOT to have online and persistent record keeping.

Comparing us to Club Racing (or any other racing program, for that matter) is not really valid. We're still fledgling and growing. We don't have the exposure in SportsCar or GRM that AutoCross or Club Racing get.

We get most of our competitors (at least here in Cali) from casual people coming out to try it. Additional cost (whether you want to call them additional costs or not. . .) discourages them.

If you want to have me absorb the cost out of my event revenue (which is what you're recommending - using the discount I already give to subsidize this WM) or having the customer absorb the cost - it's still an additional cost.

This may be okay for those events which have regional support (or WANT regional support) - our SoCal events don't get regional support and, honestly, I've never wanted regional support for my Glen Helen events. I break even - but don't have the margin to absorb another $200 (minimum) that my baseline 40 entrants would cost me to provide them with WMs out of my funds - and we have almost zero SCCA membership.


Which, really, leads to the real issue - actually a dual issue:


1. Why is this happening? Why require membership? In another sanctioning body (comparable size, different sport) they tried this and eventually it came out that this was to be able to report better membership numbers as regular membership numbers were declining. I do not know if this is why SCCA is going in this direction.

2. Why do we not have regular memberships? Mike said that only 3% of previous WM's went regular. . . why is that? Has anyone actually investigated this?

Honestly, I would not be a member right now had I not won a year's membership at the 2006 Nat'l Challenge. I would not have been Div Steward for a short time, and I would not be a member now (especially as I was unable to make the Nat'l this year, being in Seattle giving a presentation.)

Has anyone asked why members leave? I know why I won't renew - I see very little value in the membership. I can go down the lists that tend to be given and my responses are either "meh" or "I can get that elsewhere".

for instance, I can get equivalent (and in some aspects, better) insurance for my events, which cover everyone (member or no) from another agency - which is what I will be doing next year.

for instance, I hardly read SportsCar. It's primarily AutoCross and other Tarmac type racing - hardly anything regarding RallyCross and nothing regarding Rally.

I made a suggestion that we actually ask people why they are not SCCA members or why they do not renew.

I also made a suggestion that we find out what things - trivial or substantial - would add perceived value to the membership.

SCCA membership, for RallyCross or AutoCross isn't the same as for Club Racing or other forms - which is included in the process of getting a license and such. (assumption - I don't road race - just what I've been told. . .don't jump down my throat, please) so it really needs to be treated differently.
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