Regional or Local Club? A Proposal to the LMSC

In the January newsletter, there was a proposal to change VMST from a Local to a Regional Club, allowing other LMSC clubs to compete under the VMST umbrella in out-of-state meets. The newsletter article is reprinted here to ensure a wide distribution in the LMSC.


A number of years ago, USMS changed the scoring at national championships, and created two categories: Regional Clubs and Local Clubs. These terms are defined in the USMS Rule Book as:

“For competition at national championship meets, a regional club consists of a club made up of those swimmers who represent a club at nationals, but at competitions within their LMSC, they compete for an entity or subgroup (such as a workout group) that is different than the one they compete with at nationals. Local clubs—For competition at national championship meets, a local club consists of a club that does not qualify as a regional club.”

At this time, all clubs/teams in our Virginia LMSC are Local Clubs. Even though VMST covers the state, it is considered Local because VMST swimmers never compete in smaller groups, but rather always as VMST.

A New Proposal

A proposal was made at our annual LMSC meeting to change the Virginia registration process to form a Regional Club. This would allow swimmers to represent their workout group or some other subgroup at local meets. At out-of-state meets, zone meets, or national championship meets, however, the workout groups or subgroups would all swim under one umbrella group (the Regional Club). New England does this quite successfully, and as a great benefit, has a very competitive annual LMSC championship meet where the smaller workout groups compete against each other. At nationals, they compete as New England Masters for the most part. Clubs within the LMSC are not required to compete under the Regional Club and can remain independent if they choose. Additionally, at local meets at the meet director’s discretion, the regional club would be able to compete as a regional relay team.

Whether the Virginia LMSC goes down this path and develops and changes from a Local Club to a Regional Club structure is up to you!

Why Does This Matter?

  1. Do you think your club would benefit from having competition among the workout groups in our LMSC? Would it increase participation in local meets if your workout could swim together and compete as their own team? Would the opportunity to compete at in-state meets by workout groups help to boost USMS membership throughout our LMSC?
  2. In order to accomplish this structure change, would smaller teams be willing to give up their club identity at nationals, zones and for LMSC records? Officially, there would only be the umbrella team, so LMSC records, Top Ten, and scoring at nationals would all be listed as the umbrella team.
  3. VMST has the largest membership and a long, proud history. Is VMST interested in combining with other clubs and thereby changing that identity? Do the members of VMST want to become the umbrella club? Should a new name be selected for the regional team?

We, swimmers and clubs, need to discuss the possibility of a Regional Club thoroughly and make a decision by the end of August. If we decide to try the Regional Club structure, we need time to modify our on-line registration process before team registration goes live at the beginning of October.


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