USMS Convention Wrap-Up

Mark Kutz Wins Coaching Award, VMST Wins Bid for Long Course Zone Championship Meet

The United States Aquatic Sports, which includes USMS as a member, held its annual convention in Greensboro Sept 12-16. There was some great news for our LMSC at the Convention. First of all, VMST was chosen to host the 2013 Long Course Colonies Zone Championship! Mark your calendars: the meet will be held June 22-23 in Richmond at the GRAP Collegiate School Aquatics Center. This facility houses the same pool that was used in Omaha for the 2008 US Olympic Trials. Swim in the same pool that launched Michael Phelps’ 8-gold-medal performance in 2008! Safe to say the waters will be churning with some fast swimming.

And VMST’s Mark Kutz won a Kerry O’Brien coaching award! Originally named the Grass Roots Coaching Award, it recognizes coaches who are building masters swimming communities throughout the country. Mark coaches a tight-knit group of masters swimmers at the NOVA Aquatics Center in Richmond. Congratulations, Mark, on a well-deserved honor!

The Virginia LMSC sent four delegates to the meeting, and they were joined by 5 other LMSC members who were there in other capacities. There were many public committee meetings, discussions of strategic goals, officer elections, and the House of Delegates met to debate proposed rule changes and to approve the 2013 budget. A number of useful workshops were also offered.

Many of the main events are described on the USMS website, and in the committee meeting minutes. A new USMS promotional video (below) was shown to the HOD for the first time. Many of the proposed rule changes were also approved; Rules Committee chair Kathy Casey has summarized the most important changes and these are listed below the video.



  • Swimmers starting in the water must have at least one foot on the wall and one hand in contact with the wall or starting block. (Articles 101.1.1 and 103.8.5)

Swimwear for Pool Competition:

  •  Medical identification items may be worn in competition. (Articles 102.12.1E and 102.13.9)
  •  Snorkels and neoprene caps are prohibited. (Articles 102.12.1E and 102.13.9)


  • If the secondary timing system is a fully integrated video system, a tertiary system of one stopwatch per lane is not required. (Article 103.17.2C)
  • When overhead video cameras replace timers, other meet personnel shall perform other duties normally performed by timers. (Articles 103.11.2A&D, 103.11.3B, and 104.5.10C)
  • If there is a touchpad malfunction and fully integrated, stationary overhead cameras are operating properly as the secondary system, then the video camera time shall be the official time without adjustment.  (Article 103.17.3D)


  • For non-standard meets the LMSC and/or meet host may establish the scoring point values to suit the format of the meet.  (Article 103.19.3)

National Championship Meets:

  • All bids for a national championship meet shall be submitted to the chair of the Championship Committee no later than July 1 (or the next business day if July 1 falls on a Sunday or holiday). (Article 104.3.4)
  • The Championship Committee may limit participation in the 800/1000 or the 1500/1650 freestyle to only those who meet the national qualifying time for that event. (Article 104.5.3C[2])
  • A swimmer shall notify the meet host of a valid club transfer prior to the first event in which that swimmer competes. (Article 104.5.4A[3])
  • Eliminated the option of swimming two-to-a-lane in freestyle events over 200 meters.

Pool Measurement:

  • Record applications and Top 10 submissions shall not be accepted unless certification of course length accompanies them or is on file with USMS or FINA. USA Swimming verification of pool length certification will be accepted if it meets the USMS requirements for pool measurement. (Article 105.1.6A&B)
  • Structural changes to a pool include resurfacing. (Article 105.1.6C)
  • If a bulkhead is used and the initial pool length certification for all lanes is on file, the measurement rules and policies of FINA shall be the standard for events sanctioned by a FINA Masters member federation other than USMS. (Article 105.1.7E)
  • If a bulkhead is used and the initial pool length certification for all lanes is on file, the measurement rules and policies of USA Swimming shall be the standard for Top 10 eligibility for events sanctioned by USA-S.  The measurement rules and policies of USMS shall apply for dual sanctioned events. (Article 105.1.7F)

All-American and All-Star:

  •  All-Star criteria were added to the rule. (Article105.4)

Facility Standards:

  • Water temperature from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius (77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) shall be maintained for competition. [M*, NC] (Article 107.6)
  • The rule requiring a line marking the midpoint of a long course pool has been deleted.


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