USMS OFFICER REPORTS
Some of the items that I have delt with so far include: setting up the new committees and chairman and reading with great interest their goals and objectives for the year, reviewing the USMS label policies and establishing the one that will be used in the future (club contacts and Board of Directors are available for purchase, individual labels are not available for purchase to other than an LMSC, club, officer or committee chair for official USMS business, or a sponsor with this benefit written in the agreement; with permission of the President, labels may be sold to someone doing research in an area that would benefit our members), following up on unfinished business of the Marketing Committee and the former Executive Committee, writing 2 articles for SWIM Magazine, proofing 4 issues of the magazine and helping our new editor get started in her new undertaking, working with Tracy to keep our organization running smoothly, and dealing with many other issues and problems that come up more frequently than you might imagine.
The Executive Committee has had 3 very productive conference calls (November, February and May). We have addressed the concept of the Professional Management committee, selling labels, liaisons and committees, the USMS Foundation, LMSC visits, contracts, convention schedule, ISHOF nominee selection and USMS involvement, sponsorships, history project, web sites and long range marketing plans.
The Executive Committee put together this years Convention Schedule, which you should have recently received in the mail. You will notice a change in the schedule that was in response to comments from both this year's new delegates and long-time delegates. You will see that there are quite a few changes in philosophy and, consequently, the schedule. Jack Geoghegan was instrumental in "revamping" the schedule with input from the rest of the Executive Committee. The Convention will have a theme (which is not fine tuned at this writing), which we hope will be incorporated into the committee meetings. USAS is presenting a seminar on Wednesday evening they have asked all the NGB's to attend. We have included it in our schedule, plan a big social in our hospitality suite afterwards to renew friendships, meet new delegates, and get up to date information on the convention and swim schedules.
Betsy Durrant is working on a committee report form which will serve as the minutes. All the committee chairman will need to do is fill in the appropriate spaces. Every committee will meet, including each ad hoc committee. The social being planned by the Ohio LMSC sounds outstanding. USMS will host another social in the Hospitality Suite after the banquet on Saturday. We are arranging for a larger suite that will hold all of us comfortably and allow us air to breathe! Sunday will include a general discussion as well as brunch.
Those of you who support the USMS PrePay Phone Card Program, which also benefits your club, will be happy to know that the per minute rate has been lowered to 25 cents. The new 25-cent rate is competitive with all phone credit and debit cards. And as an extra benefit, for each minute of calling time, USMS and your swim club share 5 cents. The FCC has recently enacted rules that requ8ire long distance carriers to reimburse pay-phone owners 35 cents for every call. the use of any credit or debit phone card from a pay phone (including your USMS PrePay Phone Card) will incur this charge. this cost does not apply to non pay-phone calls. If you would like cards for yourself or your club, contact Tracy at the USMS National Office.
In January, I had the privilege of being invited to The Olympic Training Center, in Colorado Springs, by Hill Carrow, USMS Marketing Committee Chairman and Vice President of Olympic Properties and Director of Corporate Partnerships and Services. What an experience! I was given a VIP tour of the facilities, an opportunity to be tested in the flume, and the distinct pleasure of meeting with the new Executive Director of USS, Chuck Wielgus. Chuck, Hill and I had a productive and lively discussion centering on the ways USS and USMS could cooperate for the betterment of swimming. We discussed opening up our respective publications and web sites for sharing messages of interest to both groups, joint marketing efforts with appropriate sponsors, possible office and/or meeting space for USMS, and USMS Training Camps at the USOC Training Center. Many of these joint ventures are in the process of being utilized and we hope that the spirit of cooperation and joint efforts will be evident throughout the aquatic community in the very near future.
I have also had the immense pleasure duty of congratulating each Pool and Long Distance All American for their achievements. Another honor was to offer my congratulations to Jayne Bruner and Graham Johnston on their nomination and selection into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. They are to be inducted on May 9, 1998.
United States Swimming works throughout the year to provide you with a program that will help you to stay healthy and fit and to provide you with an opportunity to have fun, meet new friends, and achieve new goals. If you have some ideas or suggestions for new activities or enhancement of current ones, please don't hesitate to share them with me. I can be reached at President@usms.org or at 580 Sunset Parkway, Novato, CA 94947, (415) 898-3467.
My main focus has been to re-organize the convention so that the delegates have more time to interact on major issues as well as get to the committee meetings they want to attend.
I have also met with the LMSC Officers in New England, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York (and hope to reach the others in the Colonies Zone soon) to discuss national issues and bring back their input to the Executive Committee. I look forward to being in attendance at the International Swimming Hall of Fame inductions of fellow teammates, Jayne Bruner and Graham Johnston on May 9th.
Delegate registration packets for the 1998 USAS Convention in Cincinnati, OH were sent to last year's delegates. Please pass it on to your replacement if you are not going. Also, new delegates will get one when delegate forms are returned to Betsy Durrant, the USAS Secretary (not to be confused with Tracy Grilli, Executive Secretary).
All members of the Rules, Legislation and Long Distance Committees should have received a packet. If there have been any additions or deletions to these committees over the past few months, would the respective chairman please contact Betsy immediately.
Over the past few months as USMS Treasurer, I contine to pay the bills and the good news is that there have been no financial "surprises". In the first four months of the year, USMS has collected just over one half of our projected income for 1998, which is the same as past years.
- Since convention I have been working with number of our sponsors, their contracts and new ideas that will benefit USMS and our membership. We are currently working with:
- TYR - who will provide National Record Certificates to those swimmers breaking USMS National Records
- Barracuda - who is a leading manufacturer and distributor of swim goggles (please contact the National Office for the name of the distributor in your area)
- Ultra Swim - hair and skin care products formulated to remove damaging chlorine
- The Finals - who is the sponsor of the USMS Pool All Star Team
- NIKE - who is providing the NIKE Champions Stroke Clinic for our members (please contact the National Office for the name of the distributor in your area)
- Alamo Rent-A-Car - who offers great rates for quality cars and provides USMS with a rebate for use
- Kast-A-Way Swimwear - a long time sponsor and supporter of USMS and is the official supplier of USMS logo apparel
- Speedo - since 1985 has been the exclusive supplier of deck apparel to the USMS, to place an order or request a catalog, contact Kast-A-Way Swimwear
- USMS Pre-pay Phone Card - .25 cent a minute rate, 2.5 cents of every minute goes to your club and 2.5 to USMS
- Quest International - the nations leading hotel discount program, for each registration and use, a fee is paid to USMS
- MBNA MasterCard - for each registration a fee is paid to USMS, your LMSC and/or Club
- Mindspring - USMS receives a $10 affinity payment per member that signs up and our Website and 3 dial up accounts are free
Since communication is vital to the organization, my priority since convention has been to improve the maintenance process of the LMSC Officer data base so that it is more accurate. It will require a combined effort of the National Registrars, Executive Secretary, Computer On-Line Committee, Registration Committee and Zone Reps. I am in the process of presenting a proposal to the above people and once the plan is worked out and approved, I would like to implement it as soon as practical. Once the plan is in place, we will work toward making it more efficient.
USMS COMMITTEE REPORTS
The Championship Committee has been busy with assisting Indianapolis and Ft. Lauderdale in preparations for the 1998 Nationals. We are also interacting with potential bidders for Nationals in 2000 and having discussion regarding rules proposals for convention.
Meet information and entry forms for the past two Nationals have been put on the USMS website. Indianapolis is the first meet to have more information posted on the web after the entry deadline and prior to the meet dates. As of April 28th, the team divisions and team roster have been posted and we are hopeful that the heat sheet and timeline will also be posted prior to the start of the meet. A new Championship Discussion Forum was also designed by our Webmaster, Jim Matysek, and we hope that it will encourage more input about our national championship meets.
In it's first six months, the new USMS Coaches Committee, chaired by Scott Rabalais, has been hard at work continuing work of the past committee, creating new projects and assigning committee member to various tasks. The committee's mission, basically stated, is better swimmers, better coaches and better programs.
Leading the list of projects is the creation of a national database for Masters Coaches. Through this database, coaches will be sent information on committee services along with the latest in coaching trends. Other new projects include: NIKE Champions Clinics, Altitude Training Camp and working with the On-Line Committee to place more committee information on the USMS web page.
Continuing projects are Mentor Coach and Swimmer Clinics, USMS Coaches Manual, Snooper Loan Program, Video and Book Libraries, On-deck coaching at Nationals and convention, Coach of the Year Award and a cooperation with MACA.
COMPUTER ON LINE
The USMS web site continues to grow, passing the 10 MB mark in February. Our number of visitors and file transfer bandwidth also continue to grow steadily. We are currently averaging about 270 visitors per day to our "home" page, and transferring about 28 MB worth of files per day to our visitors. Access statistics are updated monthly at the On Line Committee status pages. For E-mail aliases, we currently have 738 total aliases registered, including 475 personal aliases, 222 LMSC officer aliases, and 41 aliases for the board of directors, zone reps, and special assignments (out of 50 listed).
An E-mail forwarding service has been established for the members of the On Line Committee, to facilitate communications, and the committee status pages have been updated to reflect current and future projects and current committee members.
Following the elections at convention and elections from many LMSCs, the national officers and LMSC officers were updated on a number of pages at the USMS site. It is suprising how large an impact these changes have on the site, and we continue to look for ways of reducing the number of pages that need to be updated for such changes.
One issue that has come back again is whether official USMS information belongs at the USMS site or is to be allowed to be presented at multiple independent sites.
The status of activities regarding specific sections of the USMS web site are shown below:
Added committee reports from the 1997 convention for all reports that were made available electronically. for next year's convention, we need to establish a file server location where committees are to store their reports to facilitate this activity. Also added the fall issue of Streamlines...From the National Office (Executive Secretary's note: now that I am reading and typing this report, I realize I did not send Jim the Winter issue - Ooops!). 1998 Rule Book updates have been received and are in the process of being incorporated into the web. The appendices and section 1 on the web have all been updated. the new technical rules changes have also been incorporated, and Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat versions of the specific rule changes have been provided.
Calendar of Events
The event listings have continued to be kept current on the web, with hundreds of events listed. In addition, Lynn Hazelwood has documented the database structure used for this activity, and has added several fields to include more information with each listing.
an update to the USMS lending library listing was made. Plans for updates on Coaches Committee projects are being formed.
All short course nationals information, including qualifying times, meet entry forms, team divisions and team rosters, has been made available on the web. Results.net, an area where anyone can add a link to their own meet results has been added. The USMS records listings were updated in October and February. The top Ten listing for 1997 Long Course Meters had been added to the swimgold site, as well as a complete listing of all All Americans since 1972.
Databases On Line
There are currently on line, searchable databases available for 6 topics: 1997 Long Course National results, USMS records, LMSC information, LMSC officers, the member directory and Places to Swim, as well as a test database for Top Ten, including all data for 1995 Top Ten listings. There is currently a separate file for each LMSC, which ties in to all of the on line databases to provide LMSC-specific information.
Numerous fitness and training articles have been gathered from various sources and are being prepared for the web site. Dan Frost is working with the Fitness Committee to identify other projects for the web site.
Places to Swim
The Places to Swim database with an on line search facility was added to the site at the time of Convention, and has been continuously updated since then. Our plan is to provide Tracy Grilli with a method of outputting the database information for the next "book" publication.
Two over-budget requests have been approved so far this year. The committee is also reviewing the following items:
- organization and presentation of USMS accounts in the financial statements
- collection of information for the 1998 budget
- organization and presentation of FOG
- follow-up on financial procedures recommended by the Finance Committee
The Fitness Committee is busy getting into the communication business. Our direct communication to the USMS Fitness swimmers will appear in a new column in SWIM called USMS Focus on Fitness. It includes a "Wavemaker" award that recognized a swimmer(s) that makes a difference in their community with their swimming. Please send on nominations to us!
We are also working on building lines of communication to fitness swimmers through the USMS website fitness section, the coaches on our pool decks, LMSC fitness chairs and newsletters.
We are currently accepting nominations (through July) for our annual Fitness Award and bids for new fitness events.
The Insurance Committee has been studying and reviewing the insurance needs of USMS. At this time the committee has been reviewing: loss runs quarterly and monitoring losses, upcoming renewal coverages and premiums, coverage changes and additions. We are also working as the liaison to the Safety and Fitness committees, assisting them when insurance issues arise. Our goal is to educate the USMS membership on insurance coverage. We are also be available to respond to questions from LMSCs and USMS members.
Since the convention, the only interesting item has been the new rule changes by FINA, USS and USMS. I am sure that you have these changes. If not, contact Tracy at the National Office and she will sent them out to you).
I also received the following information by fax from Ivan Wingate of Aussie Masters:
"After much to-ing and fro-ing, the 1999 Pan Pacs Masters Swimming Championships are to be held at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, on 16-24 October 1999. It is expected that Water Polo and Diving will participate too, but has yet to be confirmed. Contact person is: Mr. Malcolm Stokes, Administrator, AUSSI Masters Swimming - WA, P.O. Box 564, Claremont WA 6010, Australia.
The Challenge Stadium is the venue that hosted the recent 8th FINA World Championships. there are three 50 m pools and two 33 1/3 m pools, which enabled all four disciplines to be conducted concurrently."
The dates for the VIII FINA Masters Swimming World Championships to be held in Munich, Germany are July 27 - August 9th, 2000.
As 1998 should be a quiet year for the USMS Legislation committee as far as amendment proposals, we will be working on a number of projects throughout this year and up to convention of 1999. Subcommittees have been created to do the following:
- Work with the other USMS committees in reviewing and updating committee descriptions in the rule book
- Review the USMS LMSC Handbook for consistence with the code
- Work with the Insurance Committee to review the accuracy of the liability release statements published by the LMSCs on their entry forms
- Review sanctioning of fitness and postal events
- Work with the USMS Finance Committee to review and update the financial sections in the code as needed
- Clarify the USMS requirements for LMSC Bylaws and work with the LMSCs in order to help them to meet those requirements
As you can see from the above, many LMSC Chairmen can expect to be hearing from us over the next two years. Now might be a good time to review your LMSC bylaws and proofread the liability release statements in your newsletters! As always, the chairman and members of the Legislation Committee are available to assist you in interpreting and applying the USMS code.
A questionnaire was sent to the committee members that concerned issues the committee will be dealing with over the next year. It is desirable to resolve issues before convention, whenever possible. Much has been accomplished, some issues are still unresolved and some new ones have "surfaced".
Paperwork and evaluations for the 1997 National Championships are complete. Attendance for 1998's first event, the One Hour Swim, is up significantly with a record 1778 competitors.
The 1998 LD Calendar and list of National Championship Events is updated and available. Thanks goes to Lynn Hazelwood for her ongoing and diligent work on the calendar.
The May/June issue of SWIM has a big focus on open water swimming. Susan Ludwig, the USMS editor, has written an article and all of our National Championship Events should be "highlighted". The All American and All Star teams will be included. Thanks goes to Peter Crumbine and Marcia Benjamin for compiling the lists. We will continue our efforts to get significant coverage in SWIM for our National Events.
The Long Distance National Championship patch was purchased and has been distributed to the one Hour Swim recipients. There was an adjustment made to the original design.
The decision for All Star Selection will stand as it was determined at Convention. To be eligible, a swimmer must compete in at least 3 National Championship events, of which one must be an open water event and one must be a postal event.
We are in the process of revising the Cable Swim Guide.
BIDS FOR YEAR 2000 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: Bid packets were sent out in February, so event directors should have them. If you need one, or did not receive one, contact Lynn Hazelwood at 11714 Decade Court, Reston, VA 20191-2942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past year, I have been busy with some LD projects that should assist us in the future. I read FOG, thoroughly, assisted Carl House with the All American project. Along with other influences, I have been inspired to:
- Develop LDOG - operating guidelines for the Long Distance Committee
- Make a "bid summary" over recent years to see how often teams are bidding for events and how popular certain events are compared to others
- Redo the criteria for our event evaluations
- Reorganize the Long Distance "file box" and "track down" missing documents. This project has been particularly tedious by I am pleased with the success so far. I am looking for:
- All American lists from 1979,81, 82, 83 and any years prior to 1977
- National Championship results from 1977 and 1980 One Hour Swim, all years prior to 1985 for the 10K Postal and all years prior to 1986 for any other events
- I won't consider LDOG finished until I can find the following:
- LD/Open Water "calendars" for 1977,78, 81, 82
- Rules Proposals for 1993, 91 and all years prior to 1991
- Minutes of LD meetings for all years prior to 1984
If you can help "rounding-up" these items for our files, I'd truly appreciate it.
RECORDS AND TABULATIONS
The Records and Tabulations Committee is considering changing the Top Ten reporting calendar to get the Top Ten Tabulation out to the swimmers a little earlier.
At the present time, the Top Ten reports swims for the twelve months ending May 31st for SCY, September 30th for LCM and December 31st for SCM.
The tabulations from the Top Ten recorders in the LMSCs would be due to the Top Ten Committee by June 30th for SCY (2 weeks earlier that before), by October 20th for LCM (no change) and January 26th for SCM (10 days earlier).
With this proposed schedule the Top Ten books could be published in August (instead of September for SCY), December for LCM (no change) and March for SCM (instead of April).
These new schedules, if approved, would make the Top Ten more timely to the swimmers and also resolve some scheduling conflicts that we now have with SWIM Magazine.
The USMS National Registrars, Diane and Bill Black's contract has been extended one year to accommodate the possible changes from the recommendations of the Professional Management committee. While we are not hiring a National Registrar this year, we still need to clarify an evaluation process for the position. We are just beginning this process and will call on committee members and registrars for input.
I have received 40 responses on our brief registration software survey. The following is the breakdown of responses - USMS software - 18, Leo Letendre's software - 15, other software - 3, manual - 4 ~ Disk - 19, E-mail - 14, Paper - 7. It is preferred that submittals be sent on disk or via e-mail. The electronic transfer cuts down on errors of data handling.
There is a standard format for the printing of registration cards. The USMS software and Leo Letendre's software automatically print the cards correctly. Please refer to page 3 of the Registration section of the LMSC handbook to verify the card format.
The committee is working on the Mini Rule book, in which a draft will be available to the committee members by May 1st. This is a year when we need to go out for bids for the rule book. Anyone in the organization is encouraged to assist in finding printers to submit bids. I can provide bid forms on request.
Submittals for the Rule Book cover design are due by September 15th. Send a finished design (not a preliminary sketch) to Meg Smath at 171 Creekwood Way, Nicholasville, KY 40356-8761. It should be 5 1/2 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches high. It must use the phrases "United States masters Swimming" and "1999 Rules" in the design, as well as the USMS logo (including the trademark symbol). The design can be a line drawing or full-solor photo, anything goes.
Anyone in the organization is welcome to sell ads for the rule book. If you are interested or know of someone who is, contact Mary Lee Watson at 615-595-6973 or 109 Cottonwood Drive, Franklin, TN 37069.
As many of you may already know, FINA adopted several rules changes at their meeting held during the World Championships in Perth. the rules committee of United States Swimming has reacted to the FINA changes by adopting changes to their rules. The changes involve adding a 15 meter limit to underwater swimming (similar to the backstroke) for both butterfly and freestyle, and allowing a dropped shoulder on the butterfly and breaststroke turns. They also remove the requirement that the swimmer's feet be equidistant from the front of the starting block prior to the command "take you mark". Since we do not follow the same starting rules, this change is not relevant.
According to our rules (Article 601.4.5B), changes made by USS between conventions are automatically adopted by USMS unless we decide to alter, amend or repeal them.
Contact the National Office for a copy of the rule changes and/or a "cut and paste" format of the rule changes (for your 1998 Rule Book).
The Safety Education committee has written one article on safety at the pool for SWIM Magazine, and an open water article is scheduled for this summer. Members of the committee are busy at work on various projects, including compiling safety related information for newsletter editors, writing a "job description" for the LMSC Safety Education Chair, and gathering information for a proposed safety section in the LSMC Handbook.
We would like to be able to give a handout to all LMSC newsletter editors with short safety related "tips", clip art (must not be copyrighted), or short paragraphs on safety related topics. These would be wonderful filler items for those small blocks of leftover white space.
Articles are continuing to be published and we are working on protocols for testing to be conducted at the Masters Altitude training camp in Colorado Springs.
Zone Committee Chairman - Election Year 1998
At the 1997 USMS Convention, Articles 504.1 and 504.2 were amended to include the Zone Committee Chairman as an officer of the corporation, to be elected by the membe4rs of the House of Delegates on the even numbered years as opposed to the other officers being elected on the odd numbered years. Therefore this will be the first year in our history that the House of Delegates will elect the Zone Committee Chairman.
As our present Zone Committee Chairman, Hugh Moore, has indicated his intention of running for re-election for this office he has asked me, Richard Smith to handle the election so as to avoid any conflict of interest.
Nominations for the office of Zone Committee Chairman are now open and the following rules will apply:
- Nominator and nominee must both be currently registered with USMS
- Nominee must have convention experience and served on a committee
- Limit nomination to one page (8 1/2 x 11). Plus same for limit of one letter of recommendation.
- Nomination must be LMSC approved
- All nominations must be received by July 1, 1998
If there are pictures that various people have that they would like to share with the historian, they can be sent to Edie Gruender at 3329 N. Valencia Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85018-6610. If they are of a special event, please make notation of the occasion with a stick-on label on the back.
If there are special new articles, magazine or newspaper, that our swimmers would like to share, I would be most happy to receive them at 4309 Surita Street, Sacramento, CA 95864-3107.
Edie and I are sharing the responsibility of the Historian's book. At convention, we will put all our information together and have a great display of the past year of Masters swimming.