Streamlines...From the National Office
Spring, 1997

CHAMPIONSHIP

Sandi Rousseau - Chair

The following is a brief update on the status and expected progress of the Championship Committee's projects and subcommittees:

1997 SC NATIONALS
Federal Way, WA
The entries are completed and there are 1,437 swimmers. PNA is working hard to put on a great meet and we can expect fast times in the Federal Way pool and a reasonable length of day.

1997 LC NATIONALS
Orlando, FL
The individual entry form has been published along with a new relay entry form, due to the addition of the longer distance relays for the first time at Nationals. Please let Larry Peck know if you are planning to enter the longer relays, so that the number of awards ordered can be estimated more easily.

BIDDERS FOR 1999 NATIONALS
Bid packets have been sent out to those who have requested information. "In" area bids will be from the West for short course and Central for long course. Anyone else interested in bidding should contact Sandi Rousseau.

Championship Committee members have updated the Meet Manager's Manual and the Entry Processing Workbook this year. We continue to discuss the topic of centralized entry processing for our nationals and how it would make our nationals a "quality" experience for everyone participating.

Dr. Jim Miller - Liaison
The Committee continues to evaluate its role in centralizing the "paper side" of the championships with attention to the lessons to be learned from the 1997 Pan Pacs. I serve as coordinator of medical care for the national championships which fall under both Sports Medicine and Championship Committees and find that both national championships are working hard on the medical care aspects.

COACHES

Michael Collins - Chair
Dr. Jim Miller - Liaison

The Coaches Committee is organizing on-deck coaching for the National Championships as well as continuing to work on the Coaches Manual, overseeing coach mentor programs, etc. We hope that each one of you will have the opportunity to interact with a coach trained by the Mentor Program. To date the zones have been very slow to respond to the Mentor Clinics, but we are re-contacting them as this time. Education and communication are cornerstones to the success of our growth and enjoyment of our sport. Our members constantly tell us that is what they value the most.

CONVENTION

Michael Heather - Chair

To date, we have prepared meeting schedules and forwarded them to USAS in January and February and will be arranging for transportation, computers and copying closer to the Convention in September.

FITNESS

Joe Tesmer - Chair

We are currently gathering bids for 1998 Fitness Events. Applications will be mailed to all LMSC Chairs and Fitness Chairs during April.

We are seeking nominations for the first annual Fitness Program of the Year Award. We will present the award at the Convention to the group, club or LMSC which had the best program for fitness in the last year. Applications for this award will also be mailed in April.

We are looking at changes in USMS legislation which would allow more individuals to take part in fitness events.

As always, we are exploring ways to get the word out on the great values of fitness through swimming, to all adults.

Everyone should be aware of the great packet of fitness articles available.

INSURANCE

Colleen Driscoll - Chair
Suzanne Rague - Liaison

This year we will have a member of the committee to serve as a liaison between the Insurance Committee and the Fitness Committee thereby making it easier for the Fitness Committee to make decisions when there are insurance issues which need to be addressed.

We will also be requesting and compiling a list of commonly asked insurance coverage questions and providing answers in order to keep the lines of communication open and to take some of the "mystery" out of insurance.

We will continue to evaluate our different insurance programs along with our insurance broker and renew where appropriate.

AD HOC TO INSURANCE SAFETY EDUCATION

Forrest Sullivan - Chair

In December 1996, two 3 x 5 Warm-Up Procedures Cards were sent to each LMSC Safety Coordinator to be used as a guide for Local Meet Safety Marshals.

We submitted a recommendation to make Safety Education a standing committee for the 1997 legislative changes.

In January 1997 each LMSC Safety Coordinator was sent a Loss Control Bulletin published by K&K Insurance Group, Inc., one of USMS insurance providers dealing with Planning For Emergency Evacuation. This information is pertinent for individuals conduction local swim meets and a request was made that it be given the widest possible dissemination within their LMSC.

INTERNATIONAL

Paul Windrath - Chair

Pan Pac Championships:
The meet has attracted fewer people than we originally thought. At this time we anticipate 1,000 people will come to the meet. We are expecting each day's competition to be completed sometime around 12 -1 pm each day.

Mel will host a Master's Open Forum on Thursday June 28th. Among the topics will be discussion about the FINA Age Determination Rule, FINA World Record Recognition, and FINA and the 19- 24 age group.

Ginger Pierson and Suzanne Rague have been processing entries in a timely manner with some help from Sandi Rousseau regarding reports. Given the large number of special events for this meet, the record keeping has been more involved than originally anticipated.

USMS has contracted with a number of excellent USS officials to provide the officials for this meet. All have experience at USMS National Championships.

FINA Rule Proposal Status:

Sandi Neilson-Bell continues to work on the following rule proposals to be discussed at the Pan Pac Open Forum and at Convention:
FINA Rule 1: Should FINA change the age determination date from your age as of the end of the year in which the meet is held to your birth date?
FINA Rule 2: Should FINA recognize masters would records achieved during an age group meet?
FINA Rule 3: Should FINA officially recognize the 19-24 year age group within Masters?

New Project:
To create a book that details how each of the masters swimming countries handle registrations. the book would include examples of registration cards, descriptions of the cards, deciphering of the cards, information about their insurance coverage (if any), what the national registration body is, etc.

Once compiled this information would be helpful to USMS clubs handling international events and may even be helpful to future World Championship processors.

LEGISLATION

Bill Earley - Chair

The LEGCOM has completed its final revision of Part Four of the Rule Book, "Athletes' Rights, Hearings and Appeals." It will be submitted for inclusion with this year's Convention Delegate Package along with other proposed changes to our parts of the Rule Book. At this time no proposed Legislation changes have been received. The deadline for Legislation change proposals to Committee Chair is July 10th.

LONG DISTANCE

Sally Dillon - Chair

The big news is the completion of the Open Water Manual in January. Available through the National Office, it is intended to help teams and LMSC's put on an open water event. It will be revised on an annual basis and updates will be sent to those who order it.

Information for the annual Long Distance Calendar has been compiled and will be distributed, along with entry forms for nine 1997 National Long Distance Championships, the first week of April. The 1997 One Hour Swim has been successfully completed with 1140 entrants (over 200 more than in 1996) and 188 relay teams.

Forms for bidding for the 1999 National Championships were distributed in February. Contact Sally Dillon if you did not receive one.

Suzanne Rague - Liaison
All of the 1997 LD Championship event directors have been contacted. The Long Distance All Star and All American lists were completed and submitted to SWIM Magazine

MARKETING/PUBLICATIONS

Nancy Ridout - Chair

Marketing has been active since the convention concluded. We started in right away in preparing for the advertising supplements to SWIM Magazine. In spite of our preparedness this year, changes were needed by SWIM and we had to start over again in November. The result was the supplement clipped on to the magazine. We hope everyone enjoyed this format and is taking advantage of these opportunities provided by our sponsors. Don't forget, it's a two-way street - we receive sponsor support but our sponsor's expect our support in return.

Letters were sent to each club in December outlining the revenue sharing of our MasterCard and PrePay Phone Card programs. Follow-up letters will go out this month to club describing how to participate in the PrePay Phone Card plan. 10,000 collector cares have been printed and are waiting to be used. Clubs can order any number of packets of 10 to distribute to their members and supporters. Places To Swim is ready for its third publication and all of our posters have been sold and we have ordered more. Also reprinted because of low stock are decals and brochures.

Our sponsors for 1997 to this point include Kast-A-Way (Gold Medal), Competitor Swim Products (Gold Medal), Pfizer, Inc. (Bronze Medal), and UltraSwim (Bronze Medal). Powerbar negotiations are still in process. Scott Rabalais has given Marketing space in each issue of SWIM this year which is very much appreciated. I am trying to highlight a couple sponsors or opportunities each time. I have met with our new representative from MBNA (MasterCard) and they will be present at the Short Course Nationals with a special gift for anyone who signs up there - something everyone will like! Our USMS Web page has really taken off and we hope to have a link to each of our sponsors there soon.

OFFICIALS

Hugh Moore - Chair

Newsletter and Officials Business Cards Distribution:
USMS Officials Committee Newsletters have been distributed to the Officials Committee Chairman of each LMSC as well as to each LMSC Chairman. Officials Business cards were included with the February issue. The purpose of the "Business Cards" is as a reminder for USS officials of the differences between USS & USMS Rules. On the reverse side, the cards contain other important reminders for officials, including how to purchase Rule Books and the minimum number of officials required at meets. If you need more, please contact Hugh Moore.

Communication:
Members of the USMS Officials Committee will be contacting the LMSC Officials Committee Chairs. The purpose is for an exchange of ideas concerning: suggestions for improvements to the newsletter, suggested rule changes, ideas for activities for USMS or LMSC Officials Committees, methods to improve officiating, problems that you have in obtaining enough officials, competent officials, Officiating articles to share.

Consistent Officiating:
We are working on consistency of Officiating. Our goal should be to be consistent in the way we officiate the technical rules, regardless of the size of the meet or the "level" of the meet.

The minimum number of officials has been established to allow smaller meets to exist. The requirement of two officials should be the exception not the normal procedure. There should be enough officials to 1) allow an orderly flow of the meet 2) provide adequate breaks for all officials 3) observe and disqualify swimmers for most rule infractions.

Meet Reports:
We have updated the "Meet Report" which was included with the February Newsletter. LMSC's could distribute it to meet referees or meet hosts. It's purpose is to record pertinent information concerning each meet. Please forward copies of the results to Hugh Moore.

Suzanne Rague - Liaison
The focus of this year's efforts is communications with the LMSC's and submitting articles to Swim on Officiating and swimming rules.

PLANNING

Nancy Miller - Chair
We are investigating the possibility of having a USMS commemorative stamp issued. Stan Prazier will be meeting with his congressman's staff concerning this matter and will let us know about the likelihood of a bill being sponsored for this purpose.

David Hefner, our facilitator, is already working on his presentation to the delegation for 1997. The committee and audience left no doubt during our session in Orlando that they wanted him to return.

During the 1996 convention, a small group of us met to discuss further plans for the proposed USMS Foundation. Over the past few months we have made good progress and hope that we will be able to report to the 1997 Convention that the USMS foundation is finally in place.

Planning will not be responsible for a workshop at convention this year. Planning and Sports Medicine will be alternating years for presentation.

I recently had the pleasure and privilege of being on of the on-deck coaches at the first Masters swim camp to be accepted at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The idea for the camp came from a discussion during the Sports Medicine Committee meeting at the 1996 Convention. Judy Bonning headed the camp, assisted by Nancy Schlueter, Cathy Copeland and myself. The camp ran for 4 days and we had 2 two-hour water sessions daily, were taped underwater and heard several talks on various topics by USS/USOTC speakers. It was a great experience to be able to participate in this pilot project.

It was suggested in Orlando at our committee meeting that a survey be conducted before the 1997 Convention to determine the "hot" topics on people's minds, such as the top ten objectives for USMS. This would be a mean of focusing delegates' ideas and prioritizing issues before arriving at convention. It would also give some direction to our facilitator.

AD HOC (TO PLANNING) COMPUTER ON-LINE

Jim Matysek - Chair

The USMS web site (www.usms.org) is now hosted by Mindspring Enterprises, a National Internet Service Provider. We have also just completed an affinity marketing agreement with MindSpring. With this agreement, our fees for the web site are waived and we also have the ability to offer our members quality services with reduced fees. USMS members can now sign up for Internet access with MindSpring with a reduced sign-up fee of $10 (normally $25). MindSpring is a very service oriented company, and has been consistently rated as one of the top service providers nationally. Information on how to sign up for Internet access will be available at the USMS web site and mailed to each LMSC. In addition to these services, any USMS member now has the ability to sign up for a free E-Mail alias in the USMS domain, even if they have internet access through another provider. With an alias, your friends can address your E-Mail to yourname@usms.org and you will receive it just as if it were addressed to your mailbox.

The USMS web site content continues to grow. We recently added a complete on-line version of the USMS Rule Book for our swimmers convenience. In addition, up to date versions of the events calendar, national records, top 10 listings including all 3 courses data from 1993-1996, past nationals results from 1994-1996, and many other items of interest are always available on line.

Who reads the USMS web site, and how often? MindSpring provides us with handy statistics that show the following: On average, about 120 people per day visit our "home" page, and as they cruise through our web site that contains over 250 files, they download a total of over 3,000 files per day, or over 11 megabytes of data! People from over 40 countries have visited our site, including Croatia, Singapore, South Africa, Ethiopia, Lebanon and many other faraway places. The most popular sections are the training section that provides many past articles on swimming and training techniques (coaches and other authors - please send more!), and the competition section that lists the events, records, Top Ten and National's results.

In addition to the USMS site, many of our clubs and LMSCs are also going on line with their own web sites. We now carry a listing of 24 LMSCs and 51 USMS clubs in 26 states that have their own web sites available. Check the "World of Swimming" section of the USMS site for these listings.

We would like to set up methods for disseminating information on the web site prior to and following this year's Convention. Also, if any of the committees would like space on the web site to use as a communication tool for committee activities or have announcements to the general public, contact Jim Matysek at matysekj@usms.org.

AD HOC (TO PLANNING) BUSINESS MANAGER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Betsy Durrant - Chair
Nancy Miller - Planning Chair

We are looking at the needs of USMS and what, if anything, is needed to improve the way the organization conducts its business. We are in the process of discussing the nuts and bolts issues of hiring a Business Manager/Executive Director: part - vs. full-time; how to pay his or her salary and benefit package; the best uses for such a person; and what their actual job description might be.

We plan to have a proposal ready to present to the Planning Committee at convention. Our goal is to have the proposal ready for the pre-convention packet (mid-July). We would like the membership to be aware of the proposal before we get to the House of Delegates. We hope membership will attend the Planning meeting to help modify our report.

RECORDS AND TABULATION

Walt Reid - Chair
Suzanne Rague - Liaison

Top Ten reports for the 1995/1996 Long Course Meters and 1996 Short Course Meters seasons were compiled and printed in a timely manner.

REGISTRATION

Barbara Larsen - Chair

The Registration Committee has been waiting for the LMSC Handbook Part 2 to be distributed.

A letter/questionnaire is being mailed out May 1st to all Registrars.

RULE BOOK

Meg Smath - Chair

We are generally pleased with the 1997 USMS Rule Book, although disappointed in the delay of printing and distribution.

1997 is a legislation year, please concentrate on parts 2, 4, 5, and 6 for possible house keeping amendments this year. Try to get amendments to Meg Smath by June 1st who will assemble all the amendments for all the committee members and get them to Bill Earley (Legislation) by July 1st. The goal is to have Bill agree with us that our proposed amendments are indeed merely housekeeping and give Meg his O.K. We can then go ahead and make the changes for the 1998 Rule Book and spare the Legislation Committee and the House of Delegates some debate at the Convention.

If you notice any errors in the rule book throughout the year, please let Meg know.

Tom Lyndon has proposed that we do a "mini rule book". It would be a pamphlet that would have only what officials and meet directors need to know to run a meet. Basically just article 101. We have sent the idea on to Mel, Tom Boak (Rules) and Hugh Moore (Officials) for feedback.

SPORTS MEDICINE

Jim Miller - Chair

During this year I have had the pleasure of working with individuals on the Sports Medicine Research Committee in a closer fashion due to my serving as the acting chairman of this committee. This action follows David Costill's withdrawal as Chairman, due to time commitments, not only from his human performance laboratory at Ball State, but with his position with NASA. We wish David all of the success, but certainly miss him in his position and miss his leadership

Currently the committee is working the formation of the Foundation. We are looking at ways of interacting with other committees in pushing along this formation. This will find projects in the future to enhance enjoyment and performance within our sport as well as contribute to the health of our members

The Sports Medicine Committee is ahead of schedule on the production of articles form SWIM Magazine. We are also in the process of scheduling an educational presentation for this year Convention in Burlingame, CA.

I look forward to making this an active, exciting committee in the months to come.

RULES

Tom Boak - Chair

The Rules Committee is patiently waiting the July 10th deadline for emergency amendments.

AD HOC RECOGNITION AND AWARDS

Mary Lee Watson - Chair

There is great suspense and excitement!!! The nominations for the 1997 Ransom Arthur Award are in the hands of the committee and the April 15th deadline for voting is upon us.

Who will the winner be???

I can tell you this much, the nominees are all well qualified to be the recipient of this award, but you will have to await the Short Course Nationals in May to hear the winner announced.

Who will it be???

Is there someone in your club or LMSC that you feel has given of his or her time and talents to further the programs of Masters Swimming above and beyond the call of duty? Someone you feel is an unsung hero who deserves kudos? Send a brief profile of this person to Mary Lee Watson at 6613 Rolling Fork Drive, Nashville, TN 37205-3916.

ZONE

Stephanie Walsh - Chair

The Zone Committee focus has been toward the upcoming elections for Executive Committee and Zone Chairperson.

Executive Committee Elections:
Guidelines were sent to members of the Executive Committee, and all LMSC Chairs and Newsletter Editors in January. Letters of Nomination which include: Position, Name of Candidate, Address, contact numbers, LMSC, LMSC Chair's name and contact information, Committees on which candidate has served and Conventions attended.

Once the above information was received (no later than February 28th), consent-to-run forms, questionnaire and evaluation forms were sent.

Listed are the Nominees for the various positions which will be elected at Convention in Burlingame, CA in September:

President - Nancy Ridout and Jim Miller
Vice President - Sandi Rousseau and Jack Geoghegan
Secretary - Betsy Durrant and Paul Windrath
Treasurer - Jeanne Ensign

Congratulations to all of them. It's a great group to choose from and USMS wins with any combination of them.

There will be a Candidates Forum in order for the voting delegates to familiarize themselves with the candidates. The Zone Committee will host this forum to be held Thursday evening of the Convention.

Zone Chairperson Election:
Each zone may nominate one candidate for the position of Zone Committee Chair. A letter of nomination with other pertinent listed in the nomination guidelines are due to the Nominating Chair no later than August 1, 1997.

All information will be included in the Delegates' Convention Packet. At the Convention, Zone Representatives will hold elections in each of their zones. The 1997 elected Zone Rep will participate in the voting for Zone Chair at the Zone Committee Meeting.

The elected Zone Chair becomes a part of the Executive Committee.

AD HOC COMPUTER REGISTRATION/TOP TEN

Suzanne Rague - Chair

Hy-Tek has made progress in adding enhancements to their Meet Manager in response to requests from Masters meet directors. No LMSC's have purchased the Hy-Tek software package using the USMS subsidy since the convention.

AD HOC LEGAL COUNSELORS

Jeanne Crouse - Chair

We have added a new member, Christine Winn. If anyone else is interested in joining the committee, please let Mel or I know.

Within the next month, I will be informally caucusing members of the House of Delegates who are attorneys to learn their areas of expertise. My goal is to compile an informal "director" of members' legal specialties so that we can draw upon this knowledge in the future.

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