1998 USMS Convention

USMS Committee Reports

CHAMPIONSHIP - Sandi Rousseau

The Championship Committee has continued its focus on activities and procedures to enhance our National Championship Meets. We have assisted Greater Indiana Masters in Indianapolis, IN, in hosting the Short Course National Championship Meet, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, in hosting the Long Course National Championship Meet.

This year was the first year for getting the heat sheet, meet roster, team divisions, and timeline on the USMS web site prior to each meet. This proved to be very popular and quickly became accepted as the "standard" for our Nationals. The USMS webmaster continues to post the meet results daily and has designed a nationals discussion forum. Since specific meet questions are common the forum, we have asked meet hosts to provide someone in the organizing committee to regularly check this site and to answer questions. We are currently discussing internet entries and distance event check-in for the near future.

Our subcommittees continue to update the Meet Manager's Manual, Meet Liaison Guidelines, Entry Processing Workbook, and Meet Contract on a yearly basis.

Meet liaisons are currently working with Santa Clara Swim Club and Minnesota Masters regarding the 1999 Short and Long Course National Championships in Santa Clara and Minneapolis respectively. We will also be reviewing and hearing several bids from excellent facilities for the 2000 Nationals.

COACHES - Scott Rabalais

The Coaches Committee has continued the successful projects and activities of the previous committee and established a few of its own in a very productive year.

Continued projects include:

Mentor Coach and Swimmer Clinics - Two clinics were held in early '98: Boise Idaho, and Miami, Ohio. Clinics are scheduled in Richmond, VA., on September 19-20 and in Long Island, NY, at the Goodwill Games pool on October 25th.

USMS Coaches Manual - Updates were sent to over 200 manual owners, and an additional 40 manuals were sold in the first seven months of the year.

Snooper Loaner Program - The program continues to provide a valuable teaching tool, with both Snoopers out on a rental continuously during the year.

Libraries - Both the Video and Book Libraries were administered by the Coaches Committee, with a wide selection of books and tapes being offered.

On Deck Coaching - Assistance was provided during warm-up at the Short Course and Long Course Nationals, and coaches plan to run workouts at the annual convention.

Coach of the Year - The award will again be presented by the committee during the House of Delegates meeting.

Masters Aquatic Coaches Association - The Committee continues to work closely with MACA in promoting education and professionalism in Masters coaching. A plan for issuing hospitality privileges for coaches at nationals has been established thorough MACA and the Championship and Coaches Committees.

New projects include:

National Coaches Database - Contact information on over 450 coaches has been obtained through various sources. Information obtained includes name, address, phone, fax and e-mail address.

Newsletter - The first issue of Coaches Committee Quarterly, a four-page publication for all Masters coaches on the database, was published in July. Each issue consists of multiple answers to three questions posed to a panel of Masters coaches, along with committee news.

SWIM Magazine Feature - A regular column, Ask the Coach, will appear in SWIM Magazine. The column will include several answers from coaches to a pertinent question or issue offered by readers. The first column is set to appear in the September/October '98 issue.

NIKE Champions Clinics - USMS is teaming with NIKE to sponsor a series of technique clinics for USMS and USS swimmers. The first, run by Olympian Jeff Rouse, was held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, on September 19 with the second, conducted by Olympian Kurt Grote, in Long Beach, California on September 27.

Altitude Training Camp - Plans are underway for a training camp at Colorado Springs, Colorado, in early February at the International Center for Aquatic Research. The Coaches Committee will propose that two coaches, selected by the committee, accompany the athletes and disseminate the information to the Masters community following the camp.

USMS Web Site - A prominent coaches section and forum is now displayed on the USMS web site. Committee material has been presented to the Computer On-line Committee to post information on many of the committee projects on the USMS site, and a coach's forum has been established.

Convention - A Coaching Seminar, hosted by the committee, is scheduled for the convention on Wednesday, September 30, from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. A panel of experienced Masters coaches will offer information on a variety of topics, and all delegates, coaches and convention attendees are welcome to attend, free of charge.


Three things are sure in life: death, taxes, and that the USMS site will continue to grow beyond our expectations. Since this time last year, our average daily statistics on the site have increased from 150 to 585 visitors per day to our "home" page, and from 16 to 54 megabytes of files transferred per day throughout the site. Since last convention, we have added a new long distance area, a totally revamped coaches area, a new interactive discussion forum, the USMS working calendar, a basic web page with a standard set of information for each of our LMSCs, the places to swim database with an on line search facility, a central location for results from meets all over the country, and a collection of documents regarding the history of USMS. These major new areas are in addition to continuing to expand the standard set of information by adding 3 new top ten publications, updating the new All American, Relay All American, and Records listings, posting heat sheets and results for short course and long course nationals and results for the world championships, and constantly updating the extensive list of swimming events across the country.

With all of the new additions and many hours of work maintaining and updating the existing set of information, there are still many more things that can be done on the web site. The two most often requested features from our members are the ability to register on line and the ability to enter national championships on line. These tasks can not be accomplished by our committee alone. An important need for both is the ability for USMS to process credit card transactions. This need will be discussed with the finance committee, and the two requested features will be discussed with the registration and championship committees. We hope to have an agreement on whether to pursue these requests and if so, a planned timetable for when to achieve them, and an understanding of what is needed to be done by whom by the time we leave the upcoming convention.

The explosive growth of the web site has also driven the need for more people to be directly involved in generating web content, and a better understanding of how to work together to create a cohesive site when we are all geographically isolated. We have several volunteers from the committee who are taking responsibility for different areas of the site now. We have also had some involvement in LMSC web site maintenance issues. We will be spending some time in the committee meeting this year documenting the roles and responsibilities with regards to USMS and LMSC web site maintenance, and a general web creator's 'code of conduct' that should be helpful for LMSCs who embark on a web project.

We will dedicate a portion of our committee meeting this year to setting the priorities for future new content on the site. There are many possibilities for new content, and we need to have a plan for what is implemented in what sequence. Come prepared with your ideas and wishes for the future of usms.org.


As you may or may not know, most of the work done by the Convention Committee is done at Convention. I have been in contact with USAS and have reserved a room to serve as our hospitality suite as well as the numerous rooms needed to hold our meetings. I have also communicated with those of you who are running meetings with what you need for space, room set up and audio/visual equipment.

Once at convention, the members of the committee will meet and will be assigned various tasks that will assure a smooth and enjoyable convention experience for all.


The Finance Committee started the year by issuing copies of the 1998 budget, the USMS Financial Operations Guidelines and reimbursement request forms were distributed to all committee chairs and others with cost center authority. Several over-budget requests were received and approved. The Committee continued to review FOG, focusing on clarity and read-ability. All cost center heads were contacted in mid-July requesting their input on revenue, costs, inventory, and capital items for the 1999 budget by mid-August. The month and a half between then and the convention well be spent reviewing these submissions into a preliminary 1999 budget, and prioritizing items for review at the convention.


1998 Goals - Over the last year The Fitness Committee has made steps to improve communication and provide support to the portion of our membership who, for whatever reason, are swimming without the benefit of a coach on deck and/or teammates in their lane. Our focus remains on the noncompetitive aspects of our sport.

Project Status:

Fitness Package - The Fitness Package continues to be updated and is available on disk.

Fitness Award - No nominations for the Fitness Award were received this year.

Fitness Swims - No bids for Fitness Swims were received this year.

LMSC Newsletter Package - The first LMSC Newsletter Package was sent to all LMSC newsletter chairs with "swim fitness related blurbs" for use as filler material.

LMSC Fitness Chairs - No communication to LMSC Fitness Chairs took place.

Focus on Fitness - Communication directly to the membership was initiated through our regular Focus on Fitness column in SWIM Magazine.


Once again we have secured competitive renewal pricing and broad coverages due to our favorable loss history. We have worked with our insurance broker to secure "locked in" multi year premiums in the event insurance premiums increase. Currently it is an extremely competitive insurance market and we want to keep our premiums in line with the rest of the market while maintaining our extensive coverages.

In addition, we have added coverage where both our insurance broker and ourselves saw the need.

We continue to respond to the many questions from our USMS members and have touched base with both the Safety and Fitness committees to see if we could add any assistance.

In an effort to keep our members apprised of their insurance coverages, we have compiled some frequently asked questions and will distribute the "Three Minute Insurance Quiz" at Convention to test our member's knowledge. Responses will be reviewed and answers will be provided at the end of Convention.



What a great adventure! I left on Sunday, June 14, 1998 for my trip to the VII FINA World Masters Swimming Championships held in Casablanca, Morocco. My flight consisted of three planes for a total of 13 hours flying time arriving on Monday, June 15th. After checking into our hotel I went to the pool for a swim and to pick up my credentials and heat sheet. The 2m deep pool was great and the water temperature was perfect. There was plenty of beautiful tiled deck space and seating for 5,000 in the stands.

On June 16-17 I attended our FINA Masters Technical Committee meetings. The starting time for the competition was changed to 9 am with warm-ups from 7:30 - 8:45 am and for 2 hours after the competition each day. Warm-ups also were available at the 50m pool across the street and in the 25m pool behind the diving well. Registration for the Congress on the 18th was to be at 9am with the meeting starting at 10am. There was to be a FINA lunch for everyone attending at the conclusion of the Congress. Our 2nd FINA Masters Officials list will end at December 31, 2000. These lists are for a 4-year period. Our 3rd list will be from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2002. Names may be submitted for Referees and Starters from each country by December 31, 1998. there is an age limit of 60 years. We have asked the Bureau to extend the age limit for Masters but have been denied each time. However, there is no hope because at the World Championships in Perth in January, the Bureau allowed the age limit of Synchronized Judges to be 68! The Germans are going to issue a brochure this fall for the VIII FINA Masters Swimming Championships to be held in Munich in 2000.

On Thursday, June 18th, the FINA Masters Technical Congress was held with 27 countries present. The USA was represented by USMS President Nancy Ridout and Masters Diving Chairman, John Deninger. New rules passed for Swimming include:

  1. The Warm-Up must be supervised.
  2. When using the forward start, the referee's whistle shall indicate that the swimmers may take their positions with at least one foot at the front of the starting platform, or pool deck or in the water with one hand having contact with the starting wall.
  3. Any swimmer starting before the starting signal has been given by the Starter, shall be disqualified (Supersedes SW 4.1)
  4. Swimmers who had to be disqualified must be listed with time and coded reason for disqualification in the results. (The code has to be fixed and has to be published so that translations into the various languages can be made and nationally published before the event.)

FINA will publish an addendum with all of the Masters Rules as passed at this congress. The rules become effective two months after the date of the Congress. In attendance were the President of FINA, Mustapha Larfaoui, the Honorary Secretary, Gunnar Werner, the Honorary Treasurer, Dr. Julio Maglione and the FINA Director, Cornel Marculescu. Mr. Larfaoui pointed out that the strong Masters Federations must help the young Federations. We are here in Casablanca and the first time in Africa in order to help promote Masters Sports. Information comes from the swimmers, the clubs and the Federations. The FINA Masters World Championships are a Window of Quality for the rest of the World.

The Opening Ceremonies were held on the evening of the 18th at the pool. They consisted of the parade of the 49 countries by Moroccan officials in their shorts and shirts provided to all officials for the event. They held cards for the countries. Then a few welcoming speeches and Moroccan music and singing.

Swimming and diving competition started on Friday, June 19th. Omega - Sport Electronic Timing - was a huge timing system and had been used for the FINA World Cup. The impressive system consisted of several computers, television monitors in the four corners of the pool, and it took four persons to operate the equipment. Results showed the reaction time of your start except for the 50's. The Moroccans were friendly, gracious, hospitable, and always there to help and do anything you asked. The Moroccan Federation members took an active role in the Championships insuring ample support at all venues.

There were approximately 1900 swimmers from 52 countries. The swimming went well with few exceptions. The 400 free ended up being deck-seeded because of language difficulties as not all swimmers understood the confirmation check-in. The competitors were heard to comment on how nice everything was going and that it was much better than anticipated. Due to the reduced number of swimmers the days were shorter and the meet was run in a more relaxed atmosphere. There were a sufficient number of officials and there was a turn judge on each lane at both ends of the pool. 47 World Records were broken by swimmers from 11 different countries.

During the swimming events the diving events were being contested at the same time. There were 94 divers competing from 20 different countries. Due to the slickness of the diving boards, most of the divers wore socks so as not to slip. The diving judges came from the divers themselves as did most of the announcers. The table help was manned by Moroccans and also many of the divers. They managed to run a very impressive show and were there many nights after the swimming was finished. 19 of the 20 countries competing won medals.

On June 28th we went to Mohamadia for the Open Water Swim. The lunch provided at the Yacht Club was superb. The seas were rough and so the course was shortened for safety. A nice buffet dinner was provided for everyone. Due to clerical problems, the final results had to be finalized the following day. 214 swimmers started with 71 women and 143 men. Out of 22 age groups competing, there were winners from 16 different countries.

Synchronized Swimming started on June 25th while the 800m Freestyle was being swum in the mail pool. There were 62 Synchronized Swimmers competing in the figures from 9 different countries. Competition continued for the next 3 days. As we went to Mohamadia for the Open Water on the 26th, I didn't get back to watch the Synchronized until the 27th and the teams competed on the 28th. The team competition was very impressive. The Synchronized Swimming rules were changed at the Congress and they now will be similar to the Elite Synchro rules. No more long, tedious figures! The medal count for the Solo, Duet, Trio and Team competition awarded medals to seven of the 9 countries.

Water Polo started on the 27th and the first day it was held in the pool across the street. But they moved the tournament to the main pool for the last three days of competition. There was a little problem in the beginning as the schedule had to be changed 5 times due to a variety of reasons. However, when it go started, it went great! There were 24 teams entered and 62 games were played. 14 different countries entered teams. The majority of the referees were from Morocco and the Moroccans also ran the table. It seemed to me to be a pretty calm tournament compared to other tournaments that I have witnessed! The competition having been concluded on June 30th, it was time to return home. I left on July 1st and had to spend the night in Brussels returning home on July 2nd. We ran into a little problem leaving Brussels as the computers for the Atlantic crossing were down and we sat parked for 2 1/2 hours while they worked on them. But we did arrive home just a little late.

In looking back at the competition, and I did swim and win five events, the most fun was swimming the 400 free. I sat on the bench in lane 4 and the lady in lane 5 was from the Netherlands. She spoke good English and we had a nice conversation. The race was seeded on time and so I didn't really know her age and didn't ask. After diving in we were right together the first length. I lost a lot on the turn (my turns are pretty slow) but I caught her by the end of the hundred. That continued for the rest of the race but I thought I had her at the end of the 7th length. However, she caught me at the end and beat me by an inch! She turned to me and said, "I couldn't let you beat me, you're 10 years older". We each had fun swimming that race together. In the 800, we swam in the heat before me and so I checked her 400 and 800 time. That gave me something to shoot for in my lane 8 seed as I could easily read the score board. I was one second ahead of her 400 time and 2 seconds ahead at the end of the 800. It made for good competition.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the highlight of the trip for me was watching my son Larry, 45, win two World Championships. What a thrill! We both won the 800 free and he also won the 100 free. My daughter Janice, 47, managed to make a length of the pool in the 50 free and wasn't last! Sure wish she would work out. She also did a terrific job refereeing some of the water polo games. The European teams had never seen a woman referee before. She had a blast!

My impressions of Morocco - large thriving metropolis - much traffic - loads of people on the streets - mostly men at the sidewalk cafes - much horn-honking - lines on the road meant nothing - small cars - lots of red Petite Taxies - weather cooler than expected. The food at our Hotel was very good. I had a couple of dinners at the Hyatt - just like home! Also at McDonalds once. Stopped for Dunkin Dounuts a couple of times. Had a great Moroccan dinner at a real Moroccan restaurant.

A GRAND time and MANY fond memories!


The Legislation Committee has undertaken a number of projects this year, many of which should culminate in amendment proposals at the 1999 convention.

Jack Buck is heading a subcommittee that is working with USMS committee chairs to review standing committee descriptions for format, accuracy and membership requirements.

Steve Peterson and others reviewed the LMSC Handbook for consistence with the code and shall be working with Tracy Grilli to implement any changes.

With the help of the Insurance Committee, Bill Earley and Jerianne Donnelly reviewed sanctioning requirements for fitness and postal events. We have also been exploring ways to coordinate the review of the use of the liability release statement with the Insurance Committee.

Richard Smith is working with the USMS financial powers in order to review the financial sections of the code for consistency with actual practice.

Jerianne Donnelly will be working with her sub-committee and the LMSCs to standardize the LMSC bylaws.

The code has been scrutinized by members of both the Legislation and Rule Book Committees for housekeeping changes that shall be reviewed and acted upon by the committee at Convention.

No emergency legislation amendment proposals we received by the July 10th deadline.


In 1998, the Long Distance Committee entered the electronic world with our own pages on the USMS web site. Committee member Lynn Hazlewood did a wonderful job designing our site. The web site address is http://www.usms.org/longdist/. The committee's Open Water Manual, published initially in 1997, is available on the web site and is still available as a "hard copy" through the National office. In addition, Lynn has summarized some of the information found in the USMS publication The Organization and Conduct of Cable Swims and added a chapter about "Cable Swims" to the Open Water Manual.

As "keeper of the long distance file", I have assisted Carl House (and associates) in the project to have all USMS All Americans identified. 1977 has been determined to be the first year a Long Distance All American team was selected. Thanks to contributions from swimmers throughout the U.S., I now have the lists of All American teams for all years with the exception of 1982. Other important document (i.e., missing results from National Championships, correspondence) have turned up. I have been able to put together various "histories" of long distance activities which will help the committee in future decision making. Finally, LDOG is available to the committee for the first time this year (that's Long Distance Operating Guidelines).

Earlier this year, 35 long distance swimmers were selected for the third Long Distance All Star Team, based on results from the 1997 National Championship events. All Stars will receive a gift of recognition from USMS sponsor, NIKE. At the 1997 convention, the qualifications for the 1998 team were amended to require that All Star candidates "must compete in a minimum of three National Championship Events, of which one must be an open water event and one must be a postal event". Swimmers receive points through 10th place in each of the ten National Championship events contested. Marcia Benjamin is the "official tabulator" for the All Star Team.

Also recognized this past Spring were 144 Long Distance All Americans who achieved this honor by placing first in one of the Long Distance National Championship events. Peter Crumbine is the committee's "official tabulator" for the All American team.

The annual Long Distance Calendar was distributed in early April. Hundreds of events from across the country are listed on the calendar and it is maintained by Lynn Hazlewood. It is also available on the web site. The calendar and entry forms for the 1998 National Championship events were mailed to a number of LMSC officers.

"Timely" bids for the 2000 National Championship events were due to the chairman August 31. "Untimely" bids will be accepted prior to the committee's meeting Thursday afternoon and will be considered if no appropriate "timely" bid has been received. bid selections will take place at Friday's meeting.

Finally, Lynn, Peter, Alan Levinson and I have diligently worked to revise the Long Distance Rule's pages in an effort to make them better organized and more easily understood. I hope you will take time to carefully read the 29 proposed changes submitted by the Long Distance Committee.


The USMS Marketing Committee has had a fairly productive 1997-98, however, there is a great deal of room for improvement in participation by committee members, a problem that has its root and solution with the Committee Chair and which the Chair expects to remedy at this year's Convention in Cincinnati.

With the September 1997 election of new USMS officers, the selection of Committee chairs and Committee members by USMS President Nancy Ridout took place during the remainder of 1997. Thus the Marketing committee as currently established was ready to begin work in early 1998.

USMS President - Twice during 1998, meetings were set up in Colorado Springs for USMS President Nancy Ridout to plan and move forward on marketing initiatives with Committee Chair Hill Carrow.

The first meetings took place January 28-29, 1998 with the primary goal to explore and initiate a stronger relationship with United States Swimming. Towards that end, a tour and review of USS facilities and those of the US Olympic Committee was provided and a meeting with Chuck Wielgus, new (since 1997) Executive Director of USS was held. The meeting had the following results:

  • Consideration of joint marketing initiatives
  • Discussion of potential sharing of office space
  • Appointment of Masters liaison within the full-time USS staff
  • Groundwork laid for future Masters clinics and training camps utilizing The Flume, Olympic Training Center Pool and related facilities
  • Improved communications and cooperative relations with USS

The second meeting took place June 3, and included Mel Goldstein, Past President of USMS and who serves as our volunteer marketing committee staff. The goals of this meeting were to align the efforts of the volunteer staff and committee, to initiate increased communication, and to agree upon a direction for maximizing the value of the committee and staff in the future. One of the key results of this meeting was the decision to draft an initial marketing plan that can be refined by the marketing and executive committees for positive growth in USMS marketing over the next three years.

"Staff" Report - During his terms as President of USMS Mel Goldstein was very active in the marketing of USMS to various entities which support USMS and our mission. As Past President he has devoted much of his time and energy to building relationships with these National Sponsors, and seeking new sponsors.

Over the past few years USMS National Sponsors have contributed in excess of $52,000 each year in support of USMS programs. With this in mind, Mel felt there was a certain responsibility that USMS had to these National Sponsors. So this year he worked with the USMS Championship Committee to expand the Championship Meet Agreement:

  1. to be more definitive as to the responsibilities of the meet host with respect to the National Sponsors attending our National Championships
  2. to insure that the interests of the USMS National Sponsors were taken care of.

USMS landed three new sponsors this year, TYR Sports, Inc., NIKE Swim, and Barracuda Sports Products. These new sponsors complement the existing USMS National Sponsors, and provide various services and money to USMS. In addition to working with the existing sponsors, much time was spent trying to secure additional sponsors who are interested in supporting USMS. Mel is hoping by convention he will be able to announce additional new sponsors.

Present USMS National Sponsors:

Kast A Way Swimwear ~ MBNA ~ Speedo ~ Finals
Barracuda ~ Alamo ~ NIKE ~ TYR ~ Pre-Pay Phone Card
Destinations Unlimited ~ Mindspring

Marketing Plan - The USMS Marketing Plan is in draft form and will go through additional drafts after input from the Marketing Committee and USMS executives. The Marketing Plan is expected to be finalized at the 1998 USMS Annual Convention.

The Marketing Plan is focused both on growing USMS participation (Membership Marketing) and expanding the organization's revenue base (Sponsorship Marketing). Instrumental to the successful execution of the plan will be the efforts of six new Marketing Committee subcommittees (following) and the Marketing Committee volunteer staff - Past President Mel Goldstein (see above).

Subcommittees - The Marketing Committee is in the process of establishing six subcommittees which are essential to the work of the committee and are integral to the execution of the marketing plan.

The six subcommittees proposed are as follows:

  1. Membership Marketing
  2. Research & Planning
  3. Brand Marketing
  4. Sponsorships
  5. Development
  6. USS Initiatives

These committees and their leadership and composition will be major points of discussion at the annual convention.

Committee Leadership and Participation - During the last seven months the Committee chair has come to the realization that he will remain forever time-challenged in his US Olympic Committee job. In order for the Committee, therefore, to be successful, the burden of achieving committee goals by necessity will fall much more heavily on the Marketing Committee team members.

Thus, the creation of subcommittees, to activate and mobilize the committee members, and facilitate their planning and implementation of committee initiatives both enhances member participation and insures committee success.

In addition, the chair has called upon Clay Evans, SCAQ Masters Coach and Masters promoter extraordinaire, to serve as Committee Vice Chair. Clay will add another important layer of energy and leadership to the committee which in turn enlarges the committee's opportunity for success.

The Committee Chair looks forward to the 1998 USMS Convention where the activities of the USMS Marketing Committee will begin to move up to a whole new level.


At the upcoming Convention, the committee will be reviewing the following projects:

  1. Reviewing the USMS approved certifying bodies for appropriateness.
    Judy Gillies has developed a test, that in conjunction with the USS test will help officials candidates with their understanding of the USMS rule differences. This will be under review by the committee.
    The committee will be working on reviewing, on a regular basis, the certifying of officials by other governing bodies, approved by USMS.
  2. Discussion of the effects of the FINA rule changes on USMS.
  3. Finalizing the San Diego-Imperial and USMS Certification process.
  4. Developing legislation ensuring compliance with officiating requirements of USMS.
  5. Review of Rule Proposals for 1998
  6. FINA Officials List #3

The committee encourages input from all delegates on these items and discussion of concerns that any LMSC may have experienced during the past year.

The Chairman encourages all officials that work USMS meets, to attend and observe the USS Officials meeting on Friday, October 2, at 10:00 am


Three major "projects" that the Planning Committee has concerned itself with have all left the umbrella of this committee and are now "on their own".

The USMS Foundation is now the Ad Hoc USMS Endowment Fund Board of Governors, Douglas Church, Chairman. Doug has written an annual report (which appears later in this convention packet) and their meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 1st ~ 5:15 - 6:00 pm.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Business Manager/Executive Director is now the Ad Hoc Professional Management Committee, Hugh Moore, Chairman. Committee members are the USMS Board of Directors. Hugh has written an annual report (which appears later in this convention packet) and their meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30th ~ 4:30 - 5:30 pm.

As you all know, the Ad Hoc Computer On-Line Committee is now a standing committee, Jim Matysek, Chairman. Jim's report (which appears earlier in this convention packet) and their meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 1st ~ 4:30 - 6:00 pm.

Over the past year, committee activity has been relatively quiet. We are currently in the process of working with USMS President, Nancy Ridout in developing a list of potential projects that will lead USMS into the year 2000.


Review of Last-Year's Work:

General - The change of Committee Chairman seems to have been accomplished without major problems. I would like to thank Walt Reid for his cooperation to make this change possible and for providing the necessary continuity.

Records - Approximately 175 Applications for Record were processed year-to date. 130 in Short-Course Yards, 34 in Short-Course Meters and 10 in Long-Course Meters. That is before Long-Course Nationals.

The vast majority of these applications are complete and do not require follow-up. My thanks to the Top-Ten Recorders and the Meet Directors for their excellent work.

All Record Applications are still processed by Walt Reid.

The most recent Short-Course Yards Top-Ten Tabulation contained 36 "NV" potential records (not verified), 27 for individual events and 9 for relays.

The records are updated quarterly and are available on the web at http://www.usms.org/comp/records.php

Top-Ten Tabulations - Three Top-Ten Tabulations were prepared, one for each course.

The use of e-mail has significantly speeded up the process and reduced the effort required. When a submission is received, it is scanned for potential records, which sometimes are just errors. With e-mail corrected data is received in one or two days. The Top-Ten Recorders have been very responsive in this process.

Only one or two submissions required keying-in. All the others were in electronic form and arrived by e-mail, a few by regular mail on disk. For the most recent SCY Top Ten, over 50,000 individual and 3100 relay data records were submitted by the Top-Ten Recorders; the final list included 4778 individuals and 776 relays.

Betsy Durrant, who handles the tabulation's subscription process, reported that the membership has come back to the 600-650 level. The Top-Ten web site does not seem to have had a negative impact.

Top-Ten information is available on the Top-Ten web site when the list is finalized and sent to the printers.

Errata - Errata to the Top-Ten Tabulations are made only once for the previous publication and published in the next edition.

When a correction is made, it is placed on the web site immediately rather than waiting for the next publication.

All Americans - Assistance was provided to Tracy Grilli, the Executive Secretary to verify the accuracy of the All-American listings.

Three lists were compiled independently and compared in this process.

Rule Changes - The Committee has proposed a change to the Rule Book in regards to the deadline for Top-Ten submissions from the Top-Ten recorders. Submissions for SCY would be due on June 30, two weeks earlier than before, LCM October 20 (unchanged) and SCM January 26 instead of February 5.

This change would allow us to publish the SCY and SCM books one month earlier and solve a problem we are having with the publication deadlines for SWIM Magazine. Other changes that we submitted concern the language used for having splits count for Top Ten and Records consideration.

Senior Olympics - The management of Senior Olympics has not been cooperative in providing swimmers results to USMS.


The Registration Committee agreed to a one year extension of the current National Registrar contract. the current contract expires in December 1999. A survey of Local registrars on software use for registration suggested that some uniformity is needed. Registration software evaluations were performed.


Tom Lyndon proceeded with a draft version of the "mini-rule book," which was approved at the last convention. Copies were sent to the other members of the Rule Book Committee and the Executive Committee for comment. I am taking the "no news is good news" approach and assuming that all approve of the format Tom designed, since I have heard no comment back on the format.

The announcement of the contest to design the rule book cover was printed in the July/August edition of SWIM magazine (thanks, Susan Ludwig). So far we've received entries from two designers, and a request for information from a third.

A bid form has been sent to Gateway Printing, the company that has printed the last several rule books. They will provide estimates for both the "full" rule book and the "mini" rule book. A bid form has been sent to another person. Each member of the committee is also supposed to solicit and submit a bid. We will award the bid at the convention.

Housekeeping proposals have been sent to the chairmen of the Rules, Long Distance, and Legislation Committees. Most of the Long Distance submissions have already been approved, and the computer files adjusted accordingly.


The proposed changes to the rules of competition which have been received in a timely manner are included in this convention packet. During the last year, the rules committee acted upon the changes in the rules based upon those made by FINA and subsequently adopted by USS. The committee chose not to modify the USS changes and thus the changes became part of the rules of competition for USMS. A number of oversights in making those changes by USS are expected to be addressed by USS at the convention. We will address these changes during the convention.


Our objective is to make Masters swimming safer and healthier for our members. To accomplish this we have had two articles published in SWIM Magazine, one on safety in the pool (March/April issue, "For a Safer Swim" by Julie Paque) and another on open water safety (July/August issue, "Tips for New Swimmers" by Dan Gray). We have received, courtesy of Peak Insurance, a summary of the frequency of incidents for the period May, 1985 to March, 1998. We will be using this information to best direct our education efforts.

A letter was sent to all committee members in March, soliciting ideas on issues relating to safety education, and determining the interest of individual committee members. Tasks are being assigned based on interest and include: compiling a list of safety related "fillers" for newsletter editors, making a job description for the LMSC safety chair, outlining a proposed safety section for the LMSC handbook, and addressing the many issues relating to open water safety (water quality, training of safety monitors, hypothermia, escorts, etc.).


1997 - 1998 has seen the production of high-quality articles by our committee members, and I continue to appreciate those who have been so prompt in their response to the committee needs as well as to those of SWIM Magazine. The talent that exists both on this committee and within our organization is largely an untapped reservoir.

At the same time, the committee has seen a frustrating issue develop surrounding the concept of our USMS altitude training camp being supplanted at least in part by the efforts of U.S. Swimming in establishing their gold, silver, and bronze camps this summer. It had been my hope that we would work together with USS in producing altitude training camps, with USMS at the helm of the development process. I think this would be appropriate not only because we understand our athletes and their particular needs, but also because the opportunity for research and for development of protocols and recommendations to the organization at large would exist far more readily within our population of athletes. I remain committed to my feelings that U.S. Masters Swimming and U.S. Swimming together would offer a profound opportunity to our combined athletes and believe that either organization working independently is neither as strong nor as effective as it certainly would be if working in concert with the other.


Hugh Moore's Zone Committee annual report is written in the USMS Officers Reports section under Zone Chairman.


The Past President, Mel Goldstein, forwarded the names of five women and four men to me for consideration. These names were circulated among the nine members of the committee and Jayne Bruner and Graham Johnston were selected to be our 1998 ISHOF nominees. Suzanne Rague compiled the documentation and Jack Geoghegan carried the nominations to Fort Lauderdale for the selection process. Our nominees were approved and Jayne and Graham were inducted in ceremonies in May (at the time of our National Championships). Tom Boak offered to chair this committee and I gratefully accepted his proposal to streamline the process of nominations. He will present a nomination form and clear instructions regarding nominating a swimmer and the detail required to support each nomination for the committee to fine tune during its meeting at the convention. This will allow the nominees and the selection committee a fair choice in determining future ISHOF honorees.


As our organization continues to grow, so do the varieties of legal challenges that confront us. To assist USMS in handling these issues, this committee is conducting a survey of delegates who are lawyers and asking them to identify their legal expertise. (Note to attorneys who are USMS delegates: A short survey will be available at Tracy Grilli's table in the registration area. Please complete the survey and return it to me at convention or return it to any of the addresses provided.) This process will enable legal counsel to draw upon the individual strengths of members while maintaining a central point of responsibility. All members should benefit from the creation of an additional pool of talent; at the same time, we hope the availability of multiple individuals as resources will minimize the time required of those members to share their knowledge. The Legal Counselors' Committee intends to complete this process by the end of 1998.

At this convention, we also have been asked to discuss the direction our organization will take into the 21st century. In particular, the Legal Counselors' Committee will discuss at convention the ways in which we can share our individual legal expertise to enhance our organization's ability to face upcoming legal demands for the benefit of all members.


The committee was comprised of all members of the USMS Board of Directors plus members with special assignments. In December 1997, members were asked to help identify organizations that are similar to USMS in one or more aspects (size, volunteerism, non-profit, etc.). A list of over eighty organizations was created as a result of this survey. During February and March, the organizations on the list were contacted. They were asked to identify the purpose of the organization, approximate number of members, services provided to members, what hired positions they use, duties of those positions, salaries, hiring process, reporting structure of employees, annual membership dues, and funding methods to cover paid positions. Twenty organizations responded.

The responses to the survey of similar organizations were compiled into a database. The database has two purposes. If USMS decides to pursue more paid positions we can use the experience of other organizations that is reflected in the database to help us properly administer the new position(s). The database was also used to help create a list of tasks that other organizations pay people to perform. This list was used in another survey that was distributed in early May to the members of the ad hoc Professional Management Committee. This survey asked members if they felt USMS should make plans to expand its paid positions in the foreseeable future. If they answered yes, they were asked how soon and to rate each of thirty-eight tasks listed in terms of how soon (if ever) they felt USMS should consider paying for performing the task.

Thirty-three of thirty-eight respondents indicated that USMS should be working toward expanding paid positions. Five indicated that USMS should not plan on expanding positions in the foreseeable future. Of the thirty-three people who feel that we should expand, nineteen felt that we should expand within the next two years. Twelve more indicated that we should be expanding in five to six years. One respondent showed ten years and another listed twenty years.

As a result of the survey of committee members, the committee will be debating the following proposal at their meeting at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, September 30. The committee could decide to send the proposal to the House of Delegates, with or without amendments, or it could defeat the proposal.

The USMS House of Delegates authorizes the USMS Executive Committee to expand the current USMS national office by January 1, 2000.

The office shall be headed by an Executive Director who shall hire the necessary employees to complete the tasks assigned to the office.

The Executive Director shall be hired by and report to the Executive Committee and shall not be allowed to make USMS policy. The Executive Director, with concurrence of the Executive Committee, shall hire and oversee all employees and contractors. The Executive Director shall be in charge of the operation of the national office.

The initial annual budget for the combined office shall be no greater than $200,000.

The national office will perform the tasks currently performed by the National Executive Secretary, National Registrar, and Controller.

Additionally, the office will provide improved services to USMS members and LMSCs by:

  • Soliciting and providing liaison support to national sponsors
  • Providing assistance to national committees as requested by committee chair or Executive Committee
  • Providing assistance to LMSCs as requested by LMSC chair or Executive Committee
  • Performing tasks assigned by the USMS Executive Committee

More details on this proposal and the survey of the Board of Directors are available here.


This year's Ransom Arthur winner was chosen from a field of highly qualified candidates. The coveted award plaque was presented to Bill Tingley at Short Course Nationals by President Nancy Ridout. The distinctive gold Ransom Arthur pins awarded to all former recipients at the 1997 convention were greatly appreciated. The call for nominations for the 1999 recipient will be issued in February, 1999.

The nominations for the 1998 USMS Service Award were called for in March through mailings, SWIM Magazine and newsletters. August 1st was the deadline and a slate of fine nominees is being processed. Those selected will be presented a certificate and a colorful cloisonne pin at convention.


Pursuant to the action of President, Nancy Ridout, the Board of Governors of the USMS Endowment Fund was established in December, 1997. The initial Board of Governors consists of the following individuals:

Douglas Church, Chairman, Roy Abramowitz, Hill Carrow, Jeanne Crouse, Betsy Durrant, Jeanne Ensign, Jack Geoghegan, Mel Goldstein, Jim Miller, Nancy Miller, Hugh Moore, Suzanne Rague, Nancy Ridout, Stephanie Walsh

The Board of Governors has been charged with the responsibility of establishing the Endowment fund as a permanent philanthropic arm of United States Masters Swimming and as a means of receiving and administering gifts, grants, bequests or other expressions of generosity from within and without Masters Swimming.

At the request of the Executive Committee of USMS, Local Masters Swim Committees were asked to include a "check-off opportunity" with the dues statements in order to facilitate an opportunity for members to donate $1.00 at the time of renewing their annual membership. A report on the amount of money collected pursuant to the check-off will be provided during convention but it would appear from initial reports that somewhere between 10% and 20% of all members took advantage of this opportunity.

The first meeting of the Board of Governors will be held at Convention and this will be our first opportunity to discuss internal organization, fundraising opportunities, criteria for grant awards and other issues pertinent to the future success of the Endowment Fund. Ms. Teri Hansen, President of the Legacy Fund, will be in attendance at our meeting currently scheduled for Thursday, October 1st at 5:15 pm, to give a brief presentation on Legacy Fund and its relationship to the Endowment Fund and, in addition, materials will be available for consideration and discussion regarding various matters of importance to the organization of the Board of Governors.

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