Rules of fairness are the heart of CYO, says the director.
Sr. Krista von BorstelI sat at a volleyball championship game early on in my CYO career and met Michele Wiitala for the first time. She was a volleyball coach and was lamenting the fact that the team that was winning was not playing one of her girls which was a major infraction of a basic CYO rule.
Executive Director, CYO/Camp Howard
“What value is there in winning a CYO championship and not playing all of your players?” she asked.
Wiitala had no vested interest in the particular contest. She was an interested coach who was watching the championships. Not being a volleyball coach myself, or knowing the intricate rules of the game, yet obliged by my position to help enforce the philosophy of the program, I asked her for help. We addressed the situation with the coach and the girl got into the game and played her due time. What if we had not been there?
I recognized a gift in Michele Wiitala that could serve CYO well and I asked her to take part in our newly formed Rules and Compliance Committee. We needed people who had the courage to deal with difficult situations in a consistent manner to help uphold the integrity of the program. It is not an easy job, yet Wiitala does it as well as it can be done.
Playing time is only one of the issues dealt with by the Rules and Compliance Committee at CYO. Over the past several years we have had many topics to deal with and most issues require investigation and meetings with people. Sometimes the issues require legal assistance. Most always they require many hours of time and effort. Most of the time, issues are resolved in a positive manner and everyone leaves with a good feeling. Sometimes they result in no-win situations.
Seasoned coaches who have been around the block a few times make the best members of Rules and Compliance. They are able to sit back away from the situation and see the bigger picture. A coach might be caught up in the emotion of an issue and cannot see beyond it. The R&C members gently coach him or her through the situation, helping unveil other avenues or shed fresh light.
Generally, two Rules and Compliance members deal with an issue and make a ruling on it. CYO then communicates the ruling to the parties involved and everyone moves on. CYO has been very fortunate to have several first class individuals work in this capacity behind the scenes. In addition to Michele Wiitala, we have also had Jeff Barron, Mike Plass, Joe Rivelli, Damon Vickers and St. Mary Sister Michael Francine Duncan.