View Full Version : Swimming Organizations

August 7th, 2008, 02:05 PM
U.S. Masters swimming appears to be the primary swimming organization (i.e., governing body) for adult swimmers, and there appears to be corresponding organizations in other countries. I assume, however, that there is at least one more organization for adult swimmers, particularly for elite swimmers (e.g., Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, Katie Hoff).

My basic question is what organization do these elite swimmers belong to? Besides the Olympics, what organization organizes meets for them? More than anything, I am curious about what other swimming organizations there are, and why Masters is not the organization of choice for elite swimmers? If the Olympics were not being held in the near future, would these elite swimmers be at the Long Course Nationals in Oregon?

Maybe this is a basic question, but I am trying to understand the swimming world a little better.

August 7th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Master swimmers is age group swimming. Are you saying there are some not so elite swimmers in this group?? Some here have been elite swimmers when they swam most are trying comebacks to swim in their age group. Some are those who did not compete when they were younger and find USMS a great place to start even though they may not get to be what you call elite swimmers. To me they are elite swimmers. For instance if I swim I race 75 year olds to 79 years old.

There are some links here for you to follow http://www.usms.org/links/

August 7th, 2008, 02:57 PM
The short answer is that the top level organization for international swimming is FINA http://www.fina.org/ and then each country has a national organization under that. In the USA the organization for non-masters swimming is USA-Swimming http://www.usaswimming.org

It is slightly more complicated because FINA also governs other aquatic sports like diving, synchro and water-polo but USA-Swimming and USMS are the FINA-affiliated organizations that handle swimming in the USA. USA-Swimming handles things like the USA Olympic swimming team.

August 7th, 2008, 06:18 PM
In the US, the organization that has been recognized by the USOC for selecting the Olympic team and National teams is USA Swimming, so the "elite" (i.e., Olympic and National team) swimmers all belong to that. USA Swimming also has jurisdiction of age-group swimming under 18. Some elite swimmers also swim in the NCAA (college).

But there are Olympic and world-class swimmers who are members of USMS and compete in USMS meets (Gary Hall, Jr., for example). USMS is simply age-group swimming over 18, and doesn't have a role selecting US Olympic and National teams.