USMS Convention notes
Bob Singer and Sarah King represented AD-USMS at the USMS-US Aquatic Sports Convention in Jacksonville, FL September 26-30. The full convention notes and documents are available here. Sarah and Bob couldn't cover all the simultaneous meetings and workshops. The notes on their participation follow below.
2018 Convention Notes: Adirondack
9/26/18 Thursday House of Delegates 8:30
Discussion of our dropping membership, down 5% this year. It’s not a change in renewals, but a reduction in new members. Our membership is older. The largest age block is 45-59 years old and the average age is 50. We need to get younger members and provide opportunities for older members. College Club swimming is one way to attract younger members. No single cause or single remedy to the reduction in numbers.
This year there were 400 sanctioned events and 2/3 of participants in those events were women, though only 50% of members are women. This past year was our largest National Championship ever. College club has grown really fast, 126 clubs. 4500 swimmers.
Convention Task Force is trying to improve the experience. Convention includes House of Delegates, Committee meetings, workshops, networking, and educational activities. According to our bylaws, HOD is required to include election of leaders, approval of budget, and development of new rules. To improve they looked around to evaluate the Convention activities,
- Electronic voting,
- Standardizing documents to review new rules,
- Evaluate the composition of the HOD by standardizing how committee members are made automatic delegates,
- Simplifying delegate preparation documents,
- Preserve networking opportunities,
- reduce the overall time of the Convention.
Laura Winslow, Volunteer Task Force
Investigate and make recommendations regarding how to optimize USMS resources.
- Convened to optimize volunteer roles
- Volunteer Roles
- Volunteer Engagement
- Understanding Volunteers
- They sent out a survey. Survey results will be made available.
- Results shared with Board with prioritized proposals.
- What functions should be at the National Level with staff, some at the National level with volunteers, some local.
- How to recruit volunteers.
Presented on Club Swimming. Club swimmers are college age swimmers who are not at a college with a team or at colleges with highly competitive teams. CCS caters to competition, fitness swimmers, and fun swimmers. Has a Times database and Time Standards. USMS provides leadership and continuity. High turnover of officers is bridged with USMS support and training. $250-$750 registration fee per club. 126 clubs, 152 events, 4500 swimmers. No charge to swimmers.
A bridge to USMS provides reduced cost memberships to CCS members who want to join USMS. CCS is perceived as a very strong recruiting tool to engage more young athletes in Masters swimmers. With an average age of 50, USMS needs some new blood.
Election committee. At Large Directors on the slate for this even year.
Jeff Strohoda is the only candidate for Colonies Zone. Each candidate from each zone gave a presentation, followed by a Q&A. Since Jeff was our only candidate there were no decisions for us.
Colonies Zone meeting,
Molly Grover, Chair of Colonies Zone
Compliance survey showed good compliance on behalf of our LMSCs. Mandatory compliance goals were all met, targets goals were almost all met, but the survey was hard to fill out. If a question is NA don’t leave it blank or No.
Problems with compliance:
- Unregistered swimmers in sanctioned events
- All LMSC officers must be USMS registered members
- By-Laws must include who is responsible for reporting Top Ten, World, and USMS records.
- Meet results must be uploaded within two weeks submissions should include a PDF too.
Short Course Meters Zone Championships to be held at Worchester Polytechnic Institute December 7th-9th, 2018. This meet also doubles as New England Zone Championships. Short Course Yards Zone Championships to be held at George Mason University April 5th-7th,2019. Soliciting bids for Long Course Meter Zone Championships.
We endorsed Jeff Strahota as our candidate for colonies zone at large director.
Open Water Committee
Bob Bruce, Chair.
Goal: Promoting and Developing Open Water swimming.
The committee lost three members who quit to care for aging parents.
We went around the room to identify issues. Generally, cost and difficulty of sanctioning and the sense that sanctioning is not necessary emerged as issues.
Terry White is chair
130 USMS Officials have been certified since the program started in 2016. Only 26 of them are USA officials. 57 are starters. Starting January 1 2019 they will be certifying Referees.
Officials Chairs and LMSC Chairs are encouraged to recruit new USMS officials. Terry White can provide the list via email. Officials@usms.org
Just like USAS, certification needs to be redone every two years. You can take the USA renewal exam.
There are a few issues developing from using a USA test to approve USMS officials. For example, one of the questions in the USA test asks about teaching kids to dive. USMS does not require diving.
Open water referees are done through the OW Committee. They are considering folding OW Referees into the Referee program
They discussed holding clinics to train.
Long Distance Committee
Ali Hall, Chair
Tentative national champion hosts announced
- 10 mi Kingdom July 25 in Newport
- 2 mile Mirror Lake in Lake Placid
- 10 k in lake George, Town of Hague
- Davis Aquatic Masters doing 2 mile swim
- Indiana masters doing 2-mile cable.
...more OW swims announced...check minutes for details.
R4. Relay Ages are different for SCY and LCM. Rules committee split their vote, so no change was recommended. Current format has relays aging up in ten year increments, not five year increments. This was pretty controversial. A lot of people felt that all relays should be categorized as the sum of all the ages, as is now done for LCM. This change was not approved.
R8 drones are prohibited over completions
R11. Watch times had been prohibited for records. They are backing away from that now and allowing watch times.
R15. Heat sheets at Championship meets are supposed to be available at registration. Should be at check in.
LD13 personal buoys in Open Water will be required at the discretion of the event host. Not permitted for National Championship. Lots of discussion.
Former Presidents are currently on the HOD. After some pretty heated discussion, it was decided to keep the former presidents on the Board.
Long Distance Committee.
Discussion of the Safety Buoy rule LD13. They reworked the language a bit to clearly prohibit buoys on the course in a national championship “On the course” is left up to the event host, since some swims require a second wave to start before the first wave is over.
All American: A person who wins a long distance championship event in their age group.
All Star: Swim at least three championship events including a postal, and an Open Water. You get points for placing: 11 for first, 9 for second, down to one point for tenth place.
Bid selection process for National Championships.
Why do it? More people come, fund raising opportunity, better competition, USMS helps with publicity and swag.
How. See USMS.org
National Championships rotate between areas, East, Central, West. Bids close July 1. Bids based on area, ease of access, date of event, previous experience of host.
Session on Volunteers Survey Results from the Volunteer Task Force.
Detailed results will be posted on line.
Volunteers generally satisfied, without any age differences. 60% report being satisfied, because of the mission, social aspects. Good leadership increases satisfaction.
Areas to improve: Volunteer and leadership training and mentoring, inclusiveness and diversity.
Volunteers need to understand the task and then asking them,
Watch for burnout,
Leader development and succession plan.
Volunteers focus on mission, respect for leaders, time required, the variety of tasks, and the schedule of meetings. Least important are swag, recognition, training, and mentoring. Lack of mentoring though makes volunteers unhappy.
Current volunteers find training g less important than prospective volunteers.
Volunteers are happiest with most of what is going on now. Recruiting success is paired with identifying what people can do and pairing them with the right tasks.
Why aren’t we getting volunteers. Top answer is “nobody asked” and “I didn’t know you needed anyone” 68% said they would volunteer if asked.
Sports Medicine talk
Tanaka is a sports medicine researcher who has presented at Convention before. A very engaging speaker.
Older swimmers are getting much faster. An 85 year old today could have won the 100m in the 1896 Olympics. Increasing training volume improves performance more in older than younger swimmers. Cross training, running or cycling, reduces injuries.
Swimming does not improve bone mineral density. Nor does cycling.
Oddly, weight and body fat do not decrease from swimming. Running and cycling are more effective for weight loss (sorry!). Basal metabolic rates are similar between runners and swimmers. Intake increases in swimmers. Caloric burn in water increases almost 50% between 90F and 68F, but appetite is stimulated by colder water so no weight loss occurs in colder water than warmer water.
Swimming is very effective at reducing blood pressure. Exercise increases arterial flexibility. Swimming reduces mortality rates, more than runners (probably). One study shows increased risk from swimming. Another shows a 41% reduced risk with swimming.
Osteoarthritis hampers exercises like running, but swimming remains available.
Swimming reduces pain from arthritis. Swimmers enjoy exercise more than other sports. Swimming increases brain blood flow.
There is much less research on swimming than other sports.
Adult Learn to Swim
More than 18 million pools and hot tubs. One third of Americans can’t swim 25 yards. Majority of drowning victims are adults. Every day 10 people drown in the US. Children of adults who can’t swim don’t learn to swim SSLF works to reduce adult drowning accidents through education, financing, community outreach. Adult Learn To Swim month is April. Started 2013.
Swimming Saves Lives Foundation grant selection criteria
Grant dollars must go directly to the program, gear, lifeguards, pool time.
Last year there were 80 applications, 27 earned a ten of ten points on the published criteria.
New criterion: If you’re connected to a USMS Fitness Series event you get a point.
Some programs use required community service time to get high school students to help instruct ALTS.
Saturday. Important actions of the House of Delegates
This was a long session (seven hours). Lots of speeches and passion, but only a small number of decisions. Highlights follow. All these issues were previously raised in committee.
R4. Change relay age from current differences between SCY and SCM/LCM. Currently the youngest swimmer in SCY sets the age of the relay. By adding all the ages it would benefit small teams and older swimmers. Comments mentioned that records would no longer be valid. The committee did not recommend the change and the HOD did not achieve a 2/3 vote for change. Current differences will be retained. SCY age groups are based on the youngest swimmer. Meters are based on sum of ages in 40 year increments.
A FINA rule to require marking the deck at 15m was adopted.
As a side note, tech suits are prohibited for swimmers under 15 years old except for national championships.
All the LD rules were adopted, including LD13, the use of buoys at the discretion of event hosts
College club Swimming was discussed at length. This program is growing very fast and provides a bridge to USMS membership. The fee for the CCS was confirmed at $25 per year. See the college club swimming website at https://www.collegeclubswimming.com
Several proposed changes to the privacy of the National Board of Review deliberations were defeated. Meetings can still be private
A proposal to remove past presidents from the Board of Directors was made. It was defeated, so past presidents remain as lifetime board members.
The one event fee will go to $20. This goes into effect with the new budget January 1.LMSCs have the discretion to add a local fee to this. The strategy is to keep the OEVT fee to slightly more than half the annual membership fee.
Bob Singer, Chair,