USMS

USMS News from Convention

The USMS House of Delegates (HOD) meets once a year as part of the annual USAS (US Aquatics Sports) convention, which also includes the national governing bodies for USA Swimming, Diving, Synchro and Water Polo. This year the meeting took place Sept 30-Oct 4 in Kansas City, MO. The USMS House of Delegates has three main responsibilities that can only be done at this meeting:

  • elect new officers,
  • pass the annual budget, and
  • pass new or amended rules governing USMS competitions and procedures.

In addition, these face-to-face meetings are when LMSC volunteers from across the country get to meet and exchange ideas about best practices by attending workshops, committee meetings, or informal networking. We also recognize volunteers for their service.

Changes in Leadership

There were two big news items on this front. Just before convention, Executive Director Rob Butcher announced that he would be leaving the organization on Dec 31 to become president and CEO of Swim Across America. Nadine Day, the previous USMS president, announced this on the USMS website the week before convention. Rob has been the director of the USMS national office since 2008 and has done an outstanding job. A task force has been formed to search for his replacement, and the process is now underway.

The other big news is the election of our own Patty Miller as the new President of USMS! Patty was the USMS Legal Counsel and was also the chair of our LMSC for two terms (the maximum allowed). Congratulations, Patty!

LMSC member Chris Stevenson was also re-elected as VP of Local Operations. Please check out the complete list of elected officers.

Other News

A lot goes on at convention, and you are encouraged to check out this year’s Convention information page for all the details you’d ever want, including the meeting minutes of all the committees. A few of the more important items:

  • The 2016 budget was passed. It is probably worth reading the proposed budget to get a sense of where your membership money is going, though of course you should compare the proposed to the actual budget for more detail.
  • A few years ago, USMS’ insurance costs increased greatly as a result of an open water incident and settlement. Those costs had been swallowed partly as a general expense and partly through greatly increased sanctioning fees on open water events. This year a new across-the-board sanction fee structure was approved as a means to spread the cost of insurance among all its beneficiaries (ie, both pool and OW events). The new sanction fee structure is explained here. From the perspective of our LMSC, the main impacts are (for non-championship meets):
    • $50 for every sanctioned pool event
    • $100 for every sanctioned OW event, and an additional $5 per participant fee (up to a maximum of $1000).
  • The LMSC will be billed based on this formula, and it is up to the LMSC board to decide how (or if) to pass any or all of this to the event hosts. This allows LMSCs flexibility to support new/smaller events without imposing an additional costs while requiring larger, more successful events to partly pay for the insurance benefits they receive.
  • Virginia is part of the Colonies Zone, and we had our own meeting. We elected a new Zone chair, Natalie Taylor from the Potomac Valley LMSC. The SCY Zone Championship meet was also awarded to the George Mason University Patriot Masters (GMUP) for the weekend of April 8-10. GMU has been the host of short course zones for the past few years, and they have run a very well organized and successful meet.
  • The winning bids for USMS 2017 national championships were announced. The spring SCY championship will be at Riverside, CA, while the summer LCM championship was awarded to Minneapolis, MN. The long distance national championship winners were announced in these meeting minutes of the Long Distance committee (see table at the end). The closest OW national championship were the 2.4-mi and 10-mi swims in Chattanooga, TN, scheduled for June 3-4, 2017.
  • The last item that might impact our members is a rule interpretation to clarify what constitutes “freestyle” in the individual medley and medley relays. In particular, a swimmer is NOT ALLOWED to push off on the back when starting the freestyle leg of the medley; this is in contrast to freestyle events, where this action is allowed. Please read this memo for more information about the IM, as well as this clarification for medley relays.

 

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