Jeff Strahota’s Convention Recap (scroll down to view other delegate reports)


Thursday, September 25, 2008


New Delegate Orientation 730-815a

-        introduction of USMS board and committee chairpersons

-        review Roberts Rules of Order


Colonies Zone meeting 830-10a

-        introductions

-        review bids

o      2008 SCM – Rutgers

§       NJ LMSC presented order of events proposed by Rutgers.  Suggestions were made to pass along to Rutgers to:

·       Move 50s and 200s of each stroke together (ie not have 50s and 100s or 100s and 200s together on the same day)

·       Shorten Sunday – the 1500 will have a very lengthy Sunday, a travel day for most of the zone

o      2009 SCY – GMU – bid approved

o      2009 LCM – no bids at this time

§       middlebury vt expressed interest in hosting event

§       bidding period extended to December 1

o      2009 SCM – no bids at this time


Fitness Education 1030-1130

-        reviewed Check Off Challenge program and bids

-        reviewed Go-The-Distance program

o      Mary Sweat is looking from some assistance automating some of the monthly data dumps

o      Jim Matysek has indicated that his group was working on 10 data projects this year, and that automation for GTD could come to fruition by the year’s end


Communications 1245-2p

Reviewed some of the modes and methods of reaching out to members

-        websites – USMS is continuing to support LMSCs, particularly small LMSC’s and clubs to ensure they have the tools for a website if they want one

-        places to swim – lots of concerns about this tool on the website – search by zip code is a data project that should be completed sometime later this year

-        meet events database – new tool developed by USMS

-        sanctions/calendar/end-to-end – not updated regularly, and very labor intensive.  Tool to be developed by USMS

-        awards – newsletter of the year may be out-of-date.  Perhaps websites to be awarded

-        tasks for 08-09

o       website mentoring – improve existing websites and launch new ones for those without sites

o      lend out expertise to LMSC Committee workshop for those areas/teams without much web help

Championship I 215-345p

Austin Recap – meet ran really well; no complaints; were very happy with the feedback; ran a profit

Oregon recap – meet ran well; ambulance issue; ran a profit

Clovis 2009 – 2x50m pools, with three equal courses for distance events

-        The main pool being used is 7ft all the way across; will have two 25y courses running side by side simultaneously, separated by 2 lanes. 

-        One side of the main pool will have grandstands along the length, covered by tents; the other side will be grandstanded along ¾ of the length, pointing both sides, and also covered with tentage

-        More information is available on

-        Hotel information is coming very soon

Indy 2009 LCM

-        potential 5 day format, with a potential relay only day

-        order of events, day for relays and whatnot are still up for discussion

-        Gold Medal Sponsor will increase to $80 to accommodate the extra day and will be tax deductible

Bid – Ga Tech 2010 SCY

-        same facility as 1996 Olympics

-        only issue is that there will be only 8 lanes from 1 w/d pool

Bid – Puerto Rico 2010 LCM


OW/Long Distance I   4-530p

-        25k event was very well received by the folks who did it as well as the team and town that put on the event

-        lots of discussion about the new suits and how to police them

-        the committee discussed that USMS is pretty much stuck enforcing whatever rules FINA/USAS adopt regarding what is legal

-        race directors will have a link to a document that will tell them what IS legal (anything not on that list is illegal), and it will be up to them to police


Club Model Workshop 7-845

Coaches Present: Carey O’Brien, WCM; Chris Campbell, Mountain View Masters; Chuck Burr, Team Ridgelea; Chris Hutchens, Indy SwimFit;

Hosted by Chris Colburn


Recurring themes: good leadership; love swimming; bring swimming to others


i.                 How to keep coaches informed

a.      Internet resources

b.     Certification

c.      Use diversity of coaching staff to benefit

ii.               Managing staff

a.      Rejuvenate coaches with scheduling

b.     Create lesson plans for every: season, month, week, day

c.      Work with swimmers - swimmers set direction of what they’d like to work on first

d.     Clinics (coaches clinic for coaches; stroke clinics for swimmers)

iii.             How to keep the long-time swimmers coming back

a.      Help them find self-worth and accomplishment

b.     Fitness goals

c.      What you put in, you get out

d.     Keep coaches involved – make EVERYONE feel good – everyone is important

e.      Do something new and different to keep people interested and returning

iv.             How to find the next generation of coaches

a.      Rob Butcher’s executive plan

b.     NCAA link

c.      Women over 50 are an untapped resource

d.     Treat coaching like a business

                                                    i.     Sell the masters idea to swimmers, local government, facilities, etc

                                                  ii.     Training and development

                                                iii.     Benefits



Friday, September 26, 2008


House of Delegates 1 – 8-9am


Rules Proposals 9-10am

Most of the discussion revolved around rule change proposals 30 and 31, for championship meet scoring

-        Pacific Masters’ proposal is to have separate and unique “regional team” and “local team” divisions, so that smaller clubs don’t get left out

-        Ohio Masters’ proposal is to have a system that rewards participation and quality.  Participation is based on the current system – total points – which rewards teams who have a large quantity of people.  Quality is based on points per swimmer, which rewards those clubs whose swimmers consistently score points at the meet.


Coaches presentation 1030-12

Coaches present: Mark Moore, Mission Viejo; Allan Honote, Long Beach Grunions; Nancy Reno, Conejo Simi Masters


Discussion of each club’s history and membership

Focused on Club Management role of head coach

-        marketing

-        budgets

-        hosting events

-        triathlon link

-        social events


Sports Medicine Presentation 1230-130p

Jim Miller – the Swimmer’s Shoulder

-        see separate file of notes;

-        also, presentation is on the USA Swimming website, under medical


House of Delegates 2 – 1345-1645


Club Assistant Presentation

On-Line Registration

-        new system built and launched in late fall 2007, went live mid January and after some bumps to ensure data correctness, went fully live in February

-        In April, online registrations made up 50% of registrations

-        Running at least 1000 registrations a month since February

-        2008 growth over last year, numbers alone, was 6% (last two years was <2%)

-        Renewal – early November - encoded links will be sent out to each person, directing them to click a link, confirm address, name, preferences, etc.

-        Updates

o      update addresses, names, etc., so that it will real-time update USMS’s database for other things, such as the magazine and other mailings

o      For registrars, will have some additional tools and links for use of club data

Recognition and Awards – presentation of

            Ransom Arthur Awards

            Dot Awards

            Club of the Year – Woodlands

IGLA – IGLA champs not accepted

Rulebook – designs are up for vote; Meg Smath is the dedicatee

Pan-America – 2009 meet in Vera Cruz mexico

Task Force reports

Club Development – part of Rob Butcher’s 3-pronged approach

Endowment Fund – one grant for 08 and 09


Committee reports

EC report – questions regarding moving the postal swims from teams to the national office

Fitness – nothing not in my earlier report

Communications – newsletter of the year award presented

Coaches report – Kerry O’Brien awards presented; Speedo Coach of the Year award presented

Registration – reviewing improvement of online entry

Sports Medicine – Jessica – no business other than to approve notes


Championship Bids 5-545p


Georgia Teach – 2010 SCY Nationals, May 20-23 2010

Video Presentation and PPT (with pictures) Presentation


San Juan, PR – 2010 LCM Nationals, August 9-12 2010

PPT with pictures presentation

Mon-Thursday meet, with a 8/13 OW swim



Saturday, September 27, 2008


Championship II 8-10a

Reviewed rules proposals that affect Championship Committee

most were approved with 16+ votes

two big ones were recommended to send to the House of Delegates for a vote


Encouraging bids

-        generate a public list of facilities, publish this list and provide information of how to get on the list

-        simplify bid packet

-        championship committee search bid

-        focusing on soliciting bids for 2011 and beyond


Postal Swim Workshop 10-1030

Rob Copeland came by to explain that under the new executive plan, these will eventually fall under the scope of the executive office.  Most of these require mostly very repetitive data administrative work.  It is their hope that most of this can be automated, which is under current and future technology plans. 

Delegates who had submitted bids for some future events expressed their grave concern, as for them, these, especially the 1 hour postal swim, are huge fundraisers for their small teams.


Club Development Workshop 1030-12

Hosted by Mel Goldstein, Indy Swim/Fit


Common Traits of Successful Clubs

-        club leadership (Board of Directors)

-        coaching

-        consistent pool time

-        financial stability

Benefits of your club:

-        on deck (as opposed to in-water) coaching

-        structured workouts

-        camaraderie, social

-        motivation

-        clinics


-        word of mouth

-        flier at pool

-        newsprint

-        adult learn-to-swim

-        credibility (ASCA Certification)

How to combat anti-USMS sentiment by USA-S folk

-        take risk (financial) away from the club/site

-        position as fundraiser for larger group and/or for age group team

-        volunteer at USA-S meets

Club Challenges:

-        competing clubs in the same pool/area

-        board support

-        evening workouts

-        100% volunteer

Developing Fitness Swimmers

-        find a team mom

-        post-workout breakfast

-        buddy system

-        be welcoming

-        noon workouts

-        Masters 101/Intro to Masters – drill info; glossary

-        novice meet

-        take away the pressure – don’t bring a suit; informal meets; relays

-        form social groups

Developing Triathletes

-        swimmer vs. runner competitions

-        hour swim

-        improve one person’s swim, and they tell their friends-- WOM

-        give them attention, respect their needs, explain the benefits of swimming


House of Delegates 3 – 1245-615p

Mostly a review and vote on rule changes.  See website for synopsis of discussion.



2008 Convention Report

Ann Svenson, Vice Chair, Open Water & Long Distance Committee


In addition to overseeing 11 national championship events in 2008, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors had asked the committee to submit possible rule changes regarding allowing wetsuits in open water national championships.  This change produced 66 amendments to the Long Distance rules, Section 3 of the Rule Book.  Committee business at convention took so much time, I was unable to attend other committee meetings.  I was also supposed to lead a task force on the Postal National Championship Events (One Hour Swim, 5K Postal, 10K Postal, 3000-yd Postal & 6000-yard Postal).


The Executive Committee proposed that starting in 2011, the Executive Director would take

over the Postal events, crafting them into “marketing” events for USMS.  The Postal Workshop was thereupon cancelled.  Note for Potomac Valley: the One Hour Swim, created by DC Masters in the late 70s, is now the largest USMS national championship with 2000+ competitors each year, and profits that go along with that.


As for the rule changes regarding wetsuits, after much contentious debate on the floor of the House of Delegates, the final vote was not sufficient to overturn the recommendation of the Open Water & Long Distance Committee not to approve a change that would have allowed wetsuits to be worn in national championship events with separate categories for those swimmers (national champion, All American, records in cable swims).  Wetsuits are still allowed in non-championship open water swims, but with a new restriction in a rule that was passed:  if the water temperature exceeds 78 degrees, wetsuits will not be allowed in USMS-sanctioned swims.


2010 Long Distance Championships Awarded To:



From Dave Diehl:


The following are the significant rules changes for 2009:

1. Deliberate Delay of the Start or Misconduct: Only the referee may disqualify a swimmer for delaying the start, for willfully disobeying an order or for any other misconduct taking place at the start.(Article 103.8.8A)

2. Recording Disqualifications: The swimmer’s name is no longer required on a disqualification slip. Articles103.10.2 and 103.10.3)

3. Official Time from an Initial Distance of the IM: An official time for butterfly can be achieved from the first one-fourth of the individual medley (butterfly). (Article 103.13.2)

4. Bids for National Championship Meets: Bids for national championship meets shall be submitted no later than 60 days prior to the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, and if no timely, certifiable bid is received, the Championship Committee shall continue to solicit bids. (Article 104.3.1D)

5. Scoring for National Championship Meets: Club scoring will be tabulated in two categories; Regional Club and Local Club.  A Regional Club is a club made up of swimmers who represent the club at nationals, but at competitions in the LMSC, represent an entity or subgroup (such as a workout group) that is different than the one they compete with at nationals. (Article 104.5.6)

6. Personnel Required to Run National Championship Meets:
• A meet referee and administrative referee who meet qualification standards established by the Officials Committee;
• One deck referee, one starter, and one chief judge for each course;
• Sufficient stroke and turn judges to provide fair and equitable jurisdictions; and
• Sufficient administrative officials (including timing equipment operators) to ensure that rules and procedures are followed for seeding, determining official times, preparing results, and documenting records.
• The meet referee may modify or combine assignments except that the deck referee and starter may not be the same person, and lane timers may not operate two similar timing devices simultaneously.
• All officials shall be certified in the capacity to which they are assigned.(Article 104.5.10)

7. Guidelines for Officiating Swimmers with a Disability:
Reference to the use of an ID card for swimmers who have an International Paralympic Committee-authorized classification has been deleted, and the language of the guidelines has been updated. (Article 108)



From Jeff Roddin:


2008 Convention major points in no particular order:


1)     2008 Colonies Zone SCM Championships will be at Rutgers on December 5-7, 2008.

2)     2009 Colonies Zone SCY Championships will be at GMU on April 24-26, 2009.

3)     2010 SCY Nationals awarded to Atlanta/Georgia Tech (only bidder).

4)     2010 LCM Nationals awarded to San Juan Puerto Rico (only bidder).

5)     Club scoring awards at Nationals:  overall Top Ten regardless of club size is going away.  Separated Men’s, Women’s and Combined categories are going away.  Scoring awards will simply be two categories:  “Regional” teams and local clubs (top 10 for each).

6)     For a very large LCM Nationals the meet director now has the option to seed 200m events by time and not by age group in order to cut down on the timeline (men and women will still be separate).

7)     Online registrations are here.  For renewals the Registrars will have the ability to send out email “blasts” to all members giving each member a unique link to renew themselves.

8)     Top Times/Event Rankings on the USMS website is separate from USMS Top Ten.  Just because a time is in the rankings does not mean it meets requirements to be eligible for USMS Top Ten.  However, the long term goal is to merge these two together so Top Times is a running tally of the official Top Ten and at the end of the season it becomes final.

9)     Rob Butcher was hired as the new USMS Executive Director.  Rob is a former PV swimmer (TERR).

10) There will be a dues increase of $5 for the 2010 registration year.