I've been reading this post with much interest and have a few thoughts. I think it's important to note the various moving parts:
1) Customers, End users - the racers and their families - the people who pay for USSA memberships and race programs
2) USSA - responsible for providing timing and results for paying members
3) Vola - enterprise making money from license fees ($250 per year) from any mountain that uses their software (or hardware) as encouraged by USSA - to the point where few mountains are using anything else
4) Mountains - the folks responsible for trying to implement new software and hardware
I'm a parent of 2 USSA racers and have been for multiple years. I even have a child attending a ski academy in VT. We're committed to the sport. I share the exact same sentiment and frustration as hirustler, and within the hundreds of parents I see at every race in New England, it's always the same opinion - this Vola system is not working and USSA doesn't seem to care. Now, I understand Vola does work for some mountains and programs across the USA. However, for any of you that have a good experience with it, imagine for a moment you have not and how you would feel having no visibility into race results. You know what's it's like and how important is is to the racers and families. Trust me when I tell you nearly every mountain in VT, NH, ME, CT, NY, and MA have all been extremely frustrated with Vola and have been even more frustrated dealing with upset racers and their families. I'd also like to point out, we in New England, are die hard skiers and would do a good deal to support the sport - 7 ski academies producing Olympic athletes should speak for itself. None of the mountains with academies (Stowe, Okemo, Sugarbush, Killington, Snow, Sunday River, etc...) are having much luck with Vola. They're not mom and pop operations. They have budgets, revenue, and dedicated admin support. Not to mention the hundreds of local mountains that drive the sport (Butternut, Berkshire East, Blandford, Washusset, Mt. Southington, Sundown, etc...). Multiply that times a lot across the country and that's how many smaller, local mountains and their racing revenue and membership generating families are unhappy. So, if you are in the minority of clubs and racing programs where Vola is working, please understand for most of us, it is not. If you'd like to know what it's like, don't watch Vola during your child's next race and wait 3 or 4 days to see the results on USSA. That's how it feels.
For the avoidance of doubt, I can assure you this is not an issue of stupid users who don't know how to refresh their browsers or URL's to see the actual live results. Come on, there may be a few people who fall into that bucket, but that's not the real issue. Doctors, successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and racers who grew up in the tech age, all know how to use software and see race results. We had no problem on live-timing.com. It's also worth stating that for the 5 minutes of a race I did see when Vola was working (literally for 5 minutes), some of the features were better than live-timing (minus the lack of archived data). However, if it's not working, who cares what new features they have?
During one of the races, I was in the race admin dept. and they showed me first hand how Vola was not working as the race admin team were desperately trying to make it work. This is not a club or mountain issue. Again, live-timing was not an issue, Vola is. If there are pieces of hardware or software updates that are necessary, that should be worked on in the off season, not during the season. The clubs and mountains have proven it's not practical or realistic to fix and teach as you go vs. during the off season.
Since this is already a long enough post, here's the bottom line. USSA has a responsibility to all their paying members, the mountains, their vendors (Vola), and skiing enthusiasts, to resolve the issue. We members don't care what the details are, who's to blame, or why it's been challenging. Fix it or refund my USSA membership dues. If you don't acknowledge the problem and communicate the solutions and how you're on it, you're not fulfilling your obligation to your members or the sport of ski racing. If USSA feels the Vola issues are minimal and not experienced by the majority of the mountains, send out a survey to your members and publish the results. You'll see this is a widespread problem and frustrating many of your loyal USSA members. If the majority of mountains are having issues, maybe the integration is too complex for our local clubs. If that's the case, Vola is not the best fit and an alternate solution is required. We want to continue supporting USSA so please support us.
As a service to all those people that have been frustrated with this issue, I'm pasting this link and emailing it to USSA. Please do the same and spread the word to any racing families, clubs, or members who have also been disappointed and frustrated with the new Vola system.