William Barlow Jr.
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The election of Bill Barlow, Jr., to the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 1993 brought honor to a man who had been more closely identified with organized water skiing for over 35 years than anyone else in the history of the sport.
His career as a skier was mediocre, to say the least, but his contribution to tournament water skiing as an official, and information source, and an authority on rules and protocol, nationally and internationally, has been without equal.
Barlow has held practically every office there is to hold in the American Water Ski Association, including terms as president from 1963 through 1966 and chairman of the Board of Directors in 1966-69 and in 1977-79. He has been honorary vice president since 1980.
At various times, Barlow has been chairman of the Rules Committee, the Technical committee, the Judges' Qualification and Classification Committee and the Executive and Finance Committee, as well as a member of other standing committees.
However, it has been Barlow's leadership on AWSA special committees where he has made his greatest impact on the sport. In 1974-75, he was chairman of the Cash-Prize Study Committee, which was instrumental in launching the association in the direction of a viable program of cash prizes for Open Division skiers. The year before, he chaired a special Blue Ribbon National Tournament Study Committee, which gave important direction tour National Championships which had been allowed to grow almost out of control.
Barlow was chairman of the first National Tournament seeding Committee in 1965 and continued as head of the Committee or as a member for nearly 20 years. He was also chairman of the Association's special committee that drafted the rules for Record Capability Tournaments, thereby bringing under control a proliferation of national records that was reflecting negatively on the sport.
In 1966, as a committee of one, Barlow drafted the AWSA's legislative/paper position, which has remained, with minor modifications, the model for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
Barlow's service in the World Water Ski Union (later the International Water Ski Federation) has included membership on the Executive Board from 1961 to 1971 and again from 1975 to 1978. He was chairman of the World Technical Committee in 1960-61 and from 1964 to 1971, and a member of the committee for another ten years beginning in 1975. For so many of those years, he also headed the Group I (Western Hemisphere) Technical Committee. In 1987, he was elected chairman of the International Water Ski Hall of Fame Selection Committee and continues in that capacity.
One of the founders of the American Water Ski Educational Foundation, Barlow served as its president from 1968 to 1971 and chairman of the board in 1988-89. He also served as chairman of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 1981 to 1989.
Now holding the title of Senior Judge Emeritus, Barlow has been one of water skiing's outstanding tournament judge's for many years. He was Chief Judge of the U.S. Nationals and World Championships in the same year, 1967. He was Assistant Chief Judge of the Masters in 1975-76-77, and Chief Judge for the first Group I (Pan American) Championships in 1966 and again in 1968.
Born February 11, 1934 in Oakland, Calif., Barlow was educated at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1956. He is a Certified Public Accountant with offices in Oakland.
In addition to his interest in water skiing, Barlow enjoys the hobby of book collecting. He has what is probably the In addition to his interest in water skiing, Barlow enjoys the hobby of book collecting. He has what is probably the largest private collection of books and other material printed by the John Baskerville Press (1707-1775), and he occasionally operates his own printing equipment, the Nova Press.
Barlow concentrated on officiating after competing six years in the Nationals, with third in mixed Doubles in 1957 and an eighth in Men's tricks in 1960 as his best efforts.