USMS holds its annual convention for meetings of the House of Delegates and various committees in the fall of each year; this year’s meetings will be held Sept 14-18 in Jacksonville, FL. The meetings are public, but only members of the House of Delegates can vote on motions brought to the floor.
Every LMSC is allocated a certain number of delegates based on its size, and our LMSC has three: Lisa Bennett (Registrar), Pam Dameron (Fitness Chair), and Charlie Tupitza (Vice-Chair). The policy by which we choose our representatives is described here. There are four other LMSC members who are attending convention by virtue of their positions in USMS: Betsy Durrant (LMSC Newsletter Editor; member of USMS Finance Committee), Jim Miller (Past-President of USMS), Patty Miller (LMSC Chair, member of USMS Legislation Committee), Chris Stevenson (LMSC Top Ten Recorder & Webmaster, chair of USMS Records and Tabulation Committee). Charlie Cockrell (LMSC Treasurer and Officials chair, chair of USMS Officials Committee) would normally attend but cannot this year. Since this is an odd-numbered “Legislation” year, that means that the focus will be on the organization and governance of USMS (as opposed to the rules of competition, the subject of meetings in even-numbered years). The pre-convention Delegate Packet contains information about what will happen at the meeting. If you have opinions or concerns you’d like to share with your representatives before the meeting, please contact us. Below are some of the highlights of some of the major issues that will be discussed and voted on at Convention. Proposed legislation changes are numbered (eg, L2 or L5).
Proposed USMS Mission Statement
The USMS Mission Statement is being changed (L1) to say that our mission is “to promote health, wellness, fitness and competition for adults through swimming.” Not everyone cares about mission statements, but since it describes the organization’s core purpose it is worth thinking about whether you think this is what USMS is, or should be, about.
The Fate of Workout Groups
“Workout group” is a term that is widely used to describe “sub-units” of larger clubs; however, they are not well defined in the Rule Book or the Guide to Operations. What are currently called “regional clubs” can consist of multiple “workout groups” that exist for identification purposes within an LMSC. We do not currently have these groups within our LMSC but there may be interest in creating them at some point.
USMS wants to have better tracking of and communications with these groups, and created a task force for officially describing these organizational structures and procedures related to them. They came up with a new term, “Chapter,” to define the groups (L2) and decided that the details of operational procedures should be described in the Guide to Operations. The USMS Board of Directors proposed a mandatory $20 annual fee to register a Chapter, which would then be eligible for all same benefits as the parent club. These benefits and other details are in the Task Force report (beginning p. 64) and come at some cost to USMS.
Note that this proposed fee is to register the Chapter (there is a similar national fee — currently $30 — to register a Club); it is NOT an additional fee to be charged to individual swimmers who register to join the Chapter.
The Illinois LMSC came up with an alternative term (“Club Team”) and definition (L3). Furthermore, they proposed (L8) a new Article officially describing the membership of this group and addressing the issue of a membership fee: there will be no annual fee to register a Club Team unless the group decides it wishes to receive the same benefits as the parent club.
One-event registrations (and its associated fee) allow swimmers to participate in a single USMS-sanctioned event without joining USMS for the entire year. In our LMSC, this year we allowed one-event registration to compete in the Jack King and Chris Greene open water events; in the recent past, we also allowed one-event registration for the Jim Montgomery swim/coaching clinic.
The Michigan LMSC proposes (L5) that one-event registration no longer be offered for pool events, arguing that it creates more work for the event host and LMSC volunteers. It would also be consistent with the practice of USA Swimming.
The Legislation Committee (L6) and Long Distance & Open Water Committees (L6a) propose slightly different formal definitions of the fee structure for one-event registrations. The LD/OW definition would not allow for a local (LMSC) fee for one-event registrations.
The LD/OW Committees also proposed (L4) that “USMS” — I’m not sure if this is the National Office or the Board of Directors or some other group — will decide whether to offer one-event registrations for a sanctioned open water event. Currently the decision about whether to offer one-event registration rests with the LMSC.
Open Water Sanctions
The LD/OW Committees have (L10) rewritten the rules for granting sanctions for Open Water events; please compare to the wording in Part Two of the latest Rule Book and report any questions or concerns.
- Elections will be held at Convention, and two offices are contested: President (candidates are Nadine Day and Michael Moore) and VP of Community Services (candidates are Al Prescott, Jody Smith and Laura Winslow). All other candidates are running unopposed for their office.
- Even though this isn’t a “Rules” year, some changes are being proposed for pool and long-distance competitions. Most of these were designated as “emergency” changes and require a super-majority vote to pass the House of Delegates.
- There will be a number of workshops offered: (1) Officiating Masters Swimming, (2) USMS.org Tips and Tricks, (3) Qualities of a Successful Masters Program, and an Insurance workshop. Do any in particular interest you? Let us know and we will make sure to have someone there taking good notes.
- Want to know what USMS has been up to in the past year and plans to do in the immediate future? Check out the reports from the Executive Committee, the National Office, and other Committees. More detailed descriptions of activities can be found in the official meeting minutes.