Hello Wisconsin! I am an Associate Director of the newly formed Wisconsin Sports Services(WSS), I am also the Wisconsin USSSA State Basketball Director. What is USSSA? Only the largest national multi-sport organization in the country with over 3.8 million participants playing in USSSA programs annually, and we want to get Wisconsin in on all the benefits and opportunities that the Wisconsin Sports Services can provide through our partnership with the USSSA.

Low registration fees ($25/team/yr.) - optional insurance packages to fit the needs of your team/organization - team recognition at the national level - coordination of local, state, regional, & national events - team webpages - player & team tracking - tournament history - etc. are just a few of the benefits of being a part of USSSA Basketball.

Did I mention the WSS is a non-profit organization? We?re aimed at building cost-effective youth basketball programs that can support every player at every level, throughout the entire state! That's good news for all players regardless of talent level and in many ways, our programs are your programs. Every event we coordinate enlists a local youth organization to host the event as a fundraiser for that organization. Typically, our hosts make 2 to 3 times more than we do on any given event, and rest assured, our non-profit status ensures that the money you pay to play in our events goes back in to creating a bigger and better program for all!

So does WSS create teams? No, the WSS does not create teams, as we believe it would be detrimental to our organization and our mission if we were to compete with our participants. Our goal is to create a strong structure for youth basketball in Wisconsin while utilizing our technological resources to enhance the participant?s experience i.e. making it cool for the kids! After all our motto is, ?Youth Sports Done Right?.

P.S. Watch for our upcoming spread in the May issue of WSN Illustrated!
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Interesting website. I have a couple of questions if you can answer.

1- as a non profit company, where can I find your financial statements to verify? I would also like to know where I can find the status of the MYAS financials to verify. I am assuming there is nothing neing hidden and you will ne happy to provide them to show gross revenue compared to expenses and just where the money goes.

2 - As someone who has run a local basketball club, and done fund raising, i am surprised a non profit has 9 employees.
Comsidering the amount of money generated by a tournament, and you are saying 2/3rds stays with the local club, and you can pay full time employees. I have to wonder just what the purpose of the non profit is.

3 - you have also stated you do not go where you are not needed. i am confused as to what need that you see we have?
are you saying the folks here are doing a terrible job, and need the Wisconsin sports service to come in and show us how to run things?

I would appreciate you setting us straight on this
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Thanks for responding to our post. We'll be happy to answer your questions.

1. All legitimate non-profits have to have an independent audit every year and must file a 990 with the IRS, which becomes a matter of public record. You won't find any financials for the WSS as we held our first event in early March and opened the office doors in Madison on April 1st. Technically, the WSS has only been in existence since the 1st of the year. FYI, the WSS is an extension of the MYAS (Minnesota Youth Athletic Services), which has been doing business in Minnesota since 1991. All of the necessary forms and documents have been filed and processed in both the State of Wisconsin and the State of Minnesota for the MYAS to "Do Business As" the Wisconsin Sports Services in the State of Wisconsin. Once the WSS is able to stand on it's own two feet, we will most likely file for separate non-profit status. The start-up funds for the WSS are being provided by the MYAS.

2. Your experience with non-profit organizations is probably related more to small community organizations and you are correct that most of them don't have many employees. However, when you look at Statewide or National non-profits it is common and ordinary for those organizations to have a significant number of employees. We have been able to survive based on a large volume of participation. We don't need to make a lot of money off of a few teams, we try to make a little on a lot of teams to support our programs. FYI, in Minnesota last year, we ran over 200 events and had over 150,000 kids participate in our programs.

3. We believe that the Wisconsin youth sport volunteers are just like Minnesota youth sport volunteers. They are all good people trying to do good things for their kids. However, they also have full-time jobs and have barely enough time to do what they do for their local organization. They don't have time to take on a statewide initiative for the standardization of playing rules, regulations, eligibility standards, coaches education, officials training, volunteer training and organizing regional and statewide competitions. We intend to create the "network" where everybody can save time and money. All of our services and events are optional, so people can pick and choose the services and events that they desire.

We aren't exactly certain what motivates your line of questioning but the MYAS and WSS is an open book and there is nothing to hide. We also realize that we are the new kid on the block and it will take some time to earn people's trust. If you have more detailed questions or require more detailed answers, we would suggest that you contact our office and we would be happy to sit down with you to discuss whatever you desire. We look forward to your questions and suggestions. If anyone else would like more information about the WSS and our programs, go to our website at wisportsservices.org or give our office a call at 608-210-1710.
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Klink -
thanks for taking the time to reply.

And I will grant the same courtesy in responding.

My motivation for the question is as follows. While I don't believe there are any nefarious agendas in the works, I do question what the agenda of an entity is that says it is a non-profit, when it looks like a business. I have no problems with any business that is looking to get started. But I would like to know what qualifies WSS as a non-profit. Maybe my idea of a non-profit, is a an organization that has its members as the priority, and not the employees. Using a non-profit status, and then paying employees by using that label, just doesn't ring true to me. 9 Full time employees, yet according to your own words, you haven't gotten started yet. That just doesn't sound like a non-profit. So, the money must be coming the MYAS right? If that is the case, then I don't understand the purpose of a non-profit in Minnesota, to then set up sports in Wisconsin? Again, something to me just seems off.

If I am wrong, my apologies, and just color me jaded and cynical.

The other is the idea of a Minnesota group, coming into WI and saying they are needed to help us out here. Non-profit, or private business aside. As if we in WI cannot possibly manage youth sports in the state. I cannot comment on Hockey as it seems to be more popular on the northern part of the state, and maybe in that sport, there is a definite benefit. Baseball, I think it is covered pretty well across the state. Basketball, I do believe there are many successful leagues and tournaments that do not require state wide control, from folks in Minnesota.

Now, maybe that isn't your agenda or your intention, but that is the message I received, and that others I have discussed it with have perceived. I wonder how well your "filling a need" is being received by the Great Northwest Basketball League. Is there something specifically not being done, that the MYAS felt they needed to fix? Or again I ask the question is this just a business opportunity to make money? Which is fine, and no objections to a business with a good product coming in, but if that is the case, then just say it. If not, I just have to wonder why you think we in Wisconsin need the "MINNESOTA Youth Athletic Services" to run Wisconsin Youth sports?

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I'll simply add that I have heard nothing but good things about the GNBL


PS. Many Mn schools also take part and host games as part of the GNBL


"The name All-Northwest itself means something to readers of the Leader-Telegram." ?

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I have no issue with the GNBL. If it succeeds, it must work. The main point to me is that I don't see the GNBL advertising to be a non-profit. It might very well be, but it looks like a business, and seems to run like a business.
perhaps I am just overly-sensitive to another state, telling us we need them.
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