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ehoch
September 2nd, 2009, 06:18 PM
"USA Swimming records largest single-year membership growth"

RobbieD
September 2nd, 2009, 06:25 PM
Not to mention USMS hit 50,000 registered members for the first time ever... just sayin'

Ahelee Sue Osborn
September 2nd, 2009, 06:28 PM
We're all pretty excited - but...

50,000 is still a low ball number considering there are many masters swim clubs in the USA operating WITHOUT requiring USMS registration of their swimmers!

Sheez...

ehoch
September 2nd, 2009, 07:41 PM
Ouch :)

knelson
September 3rd, 2009, 10:55 AM
The assault on Nancy Kerrigan by Tonya Harding's posse caused a huge spike in interest in figure skating, too, but I'd hardly say that's evidence that taking a baseball bat to your fellow competitors was "good for the sport." :)

tjrpatt
September 3rd, 2009, 11:15 AM
of that 50K, do we even have 10,000 Masters swimmers competing. or 5,000?

matysekj
September 3rd, 2009, 11:25 AM
of that 50K, do we even have 10,000 Masters swimmers competing. or 5,000?

There are 14,123 unique Swimmer ID's in the meet results database for meets held since 11/1/08 (the day our 2009 registration opened). Note that this number does not include participation in any sanctioned open water swims, postal events or fitness events such as Go The Distance. It obviously also only includes pool meets whose results have been reported to the meet results database. I don't have any way to determine the percentage of meets that entails, but I believe it is very high this year.

chaos
September 3rd, 2009, 11:42 AM
We're all pretty excited - but...

50,000 is still a low ball number considering there are many masters swim clubs in the USA operating WITHOUT requiring USMS registration of their swimmers!

Sheez...

there are also many swim groups that require usms membership for insurance purposes. my guess is many folks are forced to join though they have little interest in competing. there is a self-insured group near me (MDSA) which has a membership of over 800. membership amounts to a permit to swim in the lake. i thought of pitching USMS to them as an organization that would likely also cover the insurance umbrella, but the fees would be doubled and i'm not sure many of the members would consider usms membership an added benefit.

orca1946
September 3rd, 2009, 12:32 PM
I would expect a large new set of swimmers this year from watching the Worlds on TV & all the records set. Wait till they find out it's more than the SUIT !

SLOmmafan
September 3rd, 2009, 01:05 PM
I work out at a fitness club - our "team" is affiliated with USMS and at least a few of us are members, but many are not. The fitness club runs a "master's" class - all people who swim must be members of the club already so their is no need to run the class through USMS.

USMS has a vast untapped base of swimmers out there who could potentially add greatly to that 50,000.

Dolphin 2
September 3rd, 2009, 01:12 PM
What ever the stats are on increased membership in USMS, it appears that swimming is not catching fire in terms of gaining the popularity of football, basketball, baseball, or any of the more popular sports.

As for the impact of tech suits on the sport's popularity, swimming is not a "Speed" event that will really keep people's eyes awingly glued to their flat screen. Whether tech suits are - or are not used- the difference in speed is measured by recorded times only and the increase is not visually perceptible.

It's been known for over a century that swimming speed can be increased by using various mechanical aids. Based on the public's rather hooo huuum response to the news that Joe Schmoe set a new WR using a "speed suit", adding technology to swimming seems to be viewed as more of a gimick than something really attractive. :2cents:

Dolphin 2

Betsy
September 3rd, 2009, 01:59 PM
Jim,
Thanks for the statistic. I've never seen an attempt at estimating the number of members who participate in USMS sponsored events. 14,000+ in meets that have been reported is very interesting. Open water and postal events would add to that number considerably.

aquageek
September 3rd, 2009, 02:01 PM
What ever the stats are on increased membership in USMS, it appears that swimming is not catching fire in terms of gaining the popularity of football, basketball, baseball, or any of the more popular sports.

Maybe since you lurk and spew on this forum you should man-up and pay your membership. Also, I'm pretty sure that a double digit growth of USMS is significant to any sporting group.

You are a real pill, go away.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
September 3rd, 2009, 02:10 PM
Swimmers, clubs and even coaches get very hung up on the idea that the only benefit to joining USMS is the "insurance coverage".
Sheez!

Frankly, if even the USMS Discussion Forumites think of it in these terms, perhaps it is time again for a full run down review of USMS Membership Benefits.

If I were swimming on my own or with a small group and -no coach, knowing what I know about the USMS, there is no way I would not be registered as a member.
Especially if I cared about improving, stroke technique, or a planned swim practice with a purpose.

Even with a team coach, a masters swimmer can learn so much more to help them improve their swimming with USMS as a resource.

Any one here from the USMS Marketing Committee?

Dolphin 2
September 3rd, 2009, 05:06 PM
Maybe since you lurk and spew on this forum you should man-up and pay your membership. Also, I'm pretty sure that a double digit growth of USMS is significant to any sporting group.

You are a real pill, go away.

Hey Aquageek
Sorry to hear that you’re continuing to experience “Encephalic Flatulence” (Google the phrase for more details). :bitching:

Here’s something that might help: :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiflatulent


Dolphin 2

ehoch
September 3rd, 2009, 06:23 PM
We are one of those large teams that does not require USMS membership. From what I know, our insurance is much better at about 10% cost (or less) of a USMS membership.

Other than that - I can't think of a good reason for the regular swimmers to become part of USMS. The people who swim meets are members, but that is less than 10% of the team (it is very difficult to get people to swim meets).

We have very good coaches, our top group is as fast as any in the country and we have some 800 members.

I am not sure what USMS could offer to change that ?

geochuck
September 3rd, 2009, 06:36 PM
Here are some interesting pictures see the great swim suit on the hungarian swimmer picture 1 in the series of pics. Also have a look at the Kornelia Ender german female swimmer, do you think she used weight traing???
http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://z.about.com/d/swimming/1/0/l/9/1976_kornelia_ender_1578749.jpg&imgrefurl=http://swimming.about.com/od/swimmingolympics/ss/swim_hist_pics_6.htm&usg=__siJbraUbLQZF_11TxlgyZQb0BG8=&h=2920&w=1944&sz=534&hl=en&start=177&sig2=kjPMNmFGesxbRW_CrCSwxQ&um=1&tbnid=FVPhnW-RDOyWsM:&tbnh=150&tbnw=100&prev=/images%3Fq%3D1928%2Bolympics%2Bcanada%2Bteam%26nds p%3D20%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-ca:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7HPIA_en%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1131 %26start%3D160%26um%3D1&ei=50OgSrKgGI62sgOtu7HrDQ

stillwater
September 3rd, 2009, 07:39 PM
I am not sure what USMS could offer to change that ?


I am proud to be a paying member of a group of semi-like minded people who choose a low visibility sport. Our representitives are pretty open people who wish to meet the needs of the people they represent.

Perhaps a little education would go a long way. A team 800 strong that has members that are as fast as any in the country, yet has scant membership is missing an important element in the picture.

Seems like you have a task.

aquageek
September 3rd, 2009, 07:55 PM
I am not sure what USMS could offer to change that ?

As much as you post on this forum, I can think of at least one benefit those of us who do support the organization provide to you.

An 800 member team and only 80 compete? That's lame. Join USMS and spur them on.

RobbieD
September 3rd, 2009, 08:05 PM
I would equate joining USMS to paying into the greater swimming good. Even if you're not taking direct advantage of swim meets and other programs like that, you're at least strengthening an organization that is big enough to advocate for the adult swimming community at large. And by helping USMS promote swimming you're getting more people in the water and keeping more pools open for business. I'll admit that the advantage to an unattached noncompetitive swimmer is pretty indirect, but I think it's worth the $40. :2cents:

Ripple
September 3rd, 2009, 08:58 PM
What ever the stats are on increased membership in USMS, it appears that swimming is not catching fire in terms of gaining the popularity of football, basketball, baseball, or any of the more popular sports.
Playing or watching? Not many people past age 35 play any of those "popular" sports except in casual beer leagues. All the ex-football players I've ever met over the years had some sort of permanent and chronic injury, usually to the knees or back, that made them perfect candidates for taking up swimming late in life. I've had a few coworkers who played soccer, rugby, or "gentlemen's league" ice hockey as adults, but usually not much past age 40. No sport is as kind to an older body as swimming, so as the baby boomers get older, the popularity of swimming will only increase.

As for the impact of tech suits on the sport's popularity, swimming is not a "Speed" event that will really keep people's eyes awingly glued to their flat screen...
I don't think you really get the concept of master's sports. It has nothing to do with being a passive spectator and just sitting on the couch watching other people do it. It's about getting out and doing it yourself, whatever your age and physical talents. (Oh, and my spell checker tells me that "awingly" is not a word.)

Dolphin 2
September 4th, 2009, 12:06 PM
Hey Ripple
My point was this: In a sport where people move only a few feet per second, swimming with -or without- a tech suit isn't going to make a dime's worth of difference in my perception of increased speed.

By the way, the word "Awingly" is legitimate:

http://wordlist.com/awingly.htm

Dolphin 2

orca1946
September 4th, 2009, 02:23 PM
If you have never been coached on a masters team, you are missing out on some great tips & friends. That should be enough to join .

Frank Thompson
September 6th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Swimmers, clubs and even coaches get very hung up on the idea that the only benefit to joining USMS is the "insurance coverage".
Sheez!

Frankly, if even the USMS Discussion Forumites think of it in these terms, perhaps it is time again for a full run down review of USMS Membership Benefits.

If I were swimming on my own or with a small group and -no coach, knowing what I know about the USMS, there is no way I would not be registered as a member.
Especially if I cared about improving, stroke technique, or a planned swim practice with a purpose.

Even with a team coach, a masters swimmer can learn so much more to help them improve their swimming with USMS as a resource.

Any one here from the USMS Marketing Committee?

Ahelee:

I ran across this thread about marketing and there are some interesting comments from people regarding this. Start with post 61 on page 4.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5089&highlight=club+scoring&page=4

orca1946
September 6th, 2009, 02:57 PM
As a Boomer 0f 63 , I have been swimming since H S & college. It is still fun.

swim53
September 6th, 2009, 03:22 PM
ehoch,
Where do you swim that has so many people who are participating but not usms members?!
I already was aware of the stats on usms members who didn't compete, but I didn't know there were so many adult swim groups who were not usms-affiliated. What would be an estimate of numbers?
Are they from sports clubs/spas/colleges?

ehoch
September 6th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Los Angeles - Southern California Aquatics

We have 8 pools in the area - part of the problem to get people to meets is that we are too big to create the club atmospere. There are many swimmers I never even see (I run the competition team). There was a guy swimming with us for 6 month - I never even heard of him or saw him and then he dropped a 35+ in a 75 from a push in a workout - word got back to me and we have now recruited him for several record setting relays. Then I saw somebody in a workout 2 months ago with a giant Olympic ring tattoo on his arm (and he has the hardware to along with that) ... we are still working on him.

The other problem is that we do have quite a few very fast swimmers competing - so the slower swimmers think you have to be super fast to swim a meet. Ocean swims are very popular - pool meets are tough.

Still - why would the team require USMS membership ?

Herb
September 8th, 2009, 09:41 PM
So of these 14,000 Masters swimmers that compete in meets, how many are even wearing tech suits? 10%?

Chris Stevenson
September 9th, 2009, 03:41 AM
So of these 14,000 Masters swimmers that compete in meets, how many are even wearing tech suits? 10%?

More like 80-90%, I would guess as a ballpark.

Higher at traditional season-ending meets like zones and nationals, though even the in-season meets see a lot of tech suits nowadays.

I asked a friend of mine who swims in Europe and he says it is the same over there at meets.

SCAQ Member
September 9th, 2009, 04:51 PM
We're all pretty excited - but...

50,000 is still a low ball number considering there are many masters swim clubs in the USA operating WITHOUT requiring USMS registration of their swimmers!

Sheez...

I have to jump in...

SCAQ has about 1,000 members and today only 4%-to-5% want to compete. It use to be 1%. I would go to championship meets and sit by myself for there was no interest whatsoever. In fact, it was one of the reasons why I started the SCAQ blog.

The front office sends out emails biweekly at the very least encouraging swimmers to go race in a swim meet, to go and swim in one of Erik's sprint workouts, and there were regular emails encouraging SCAQ members to swim and win at the SPMA Regionals LCM Championships. (We did! - We owned you all! Muwahahahaa!)

In fact, there is going to be a fund raiser for the LMU girls team on September 27th, in LMU pool and the girls team will be actually conduct an ad hoc clinic beforehand to encourage newer swimmers to show up and to see how fun it is to compete.

I think that is terrific outreach and this is something SCAQ does not brag about.

Joining the USMS must be a choice and not a "license" that you have to obtain just for the right to go swimming with a particular club especially if you are a beginner.

Most of the SCAQ's swimmers in the Van Nuys area are not that affluent and 50% of the swimmers therein are either learning or simply enjoying themselves.

pwolf66
September 9th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Most of the SCAQ's swimmers in the Van Nuys area are not that affluent

I understand that, I really do, but if the $40/year for joining USMS makes THAT much of a difference in someone's balance sheet, then perhaps swimming isn't the right activity for them anyway.

stillwater
September 9th, 2009, 05:31 PM
I understand that, I really do, but if the $40/year for joining USMS makes THAT much of a difference in someone's balance sheet, then swimming isn't the right activity for them anyway. September 9th, 2009 03:51 PM

Wow, judge and jury.

pwolf66
September 9th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Wow, judge and jury.

Only when someone wheels out the 'can't afford it' angle as to why people don't/won't join USMS.

stillwater
September 9th, 2009, 06:00 PM
Only when someone wheels out the 'can't afford it' angle as to why people don't/won't join USMS.

"Let them eat cake."

geochuck
September 9th, 2009, 06:20 PM
I am a registered USMS, I pay it, happy to pay it. I have not used it to race or to swim with a club. If I were to swim with a master club here I must be a registered member or you can not work out with the team.:canada::canada:

Here is our local clubs regitration form http://www.winskillotters.com/membership.html

Mswimming
September 9th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Only when someone wheels out the 'can't afford it' angle as to why people don't/won't join USMS.

No, I think issue is not that they can't afford it, its that money is tight and the membership is not necessary for what they want out of swimming. If you don't plan on competing and are a member of SCAQ what is the point of joining USMS? They have insurance covered separately. I believe this was the original question in the first post.

Would you pay $40 (or what ever the cost is) for something you get no perceived value from?

geochuck
September 9th, 2009, 07:29 PM
Can't afford it go swim laps during open general pool swim. Without coaching that is supplied by a masters swim club.

SCAQ Member
September 10th, 2009, 01:17 AM
"Let them eat cake."

I love it; perfect quote!

In Los Angeles you can swim at a public pool for free if you have a library card or $2.50 if you don't. Telling someone that the first month fee is $100 to join a club is "sticker shock" so job-one is to get the person in the pool and then convince them to compete.

aztimm
September 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM
I've been part of the USMS organization for over 10 years. Yet every year when I get my USMS renewal materials, I always contemplate not renewing.

My team is also one that doesn't require USMS membership, we have our own separate insurance. I haven't competed in a meet since I don't know when (when USMS SCY Nationals was here in AZ). Sure, the magazine comes, and once in a while I'll skim through it (I enjoyed reading the article when Fort was in it). Yes, I do get access to these forums, but my team has been moving towards forums on its website, and now seems to be taking the Facebook direction.

There's many reasons why I don't compete in swim meets. One reason is I'm nowhere near competitive. At USMS nationals, after one of my heats, someone told me that I was one of the reasons the meet was taking so long. But I really would rather be doing other things with my time and money (such as a vacation to Europe). If I want to test how fast I'm swimming, why not just ask my coach to time me? I'm certainly not about to shell out hundreds of dollars for a fancy suit that I'll wear a handful of times. We hardly have anyone on my team who competes, so I really don't see much of a point.

I see swimming as a way to relieve stress. Worrying about things like meets, buying the best suit, etc simply create stress.

BillS
September 10th, 2009, 11:23 AM
There's many reasons why I don't compete in swim meets. One reason is I'm nowhere near competitive. At USMS nationals, after one of my heats, someone told me that I was one of the reasons the meet was taking so long. But I really would rather be doing other things with my time and money (such as a vacation to Europe). If I want to test how fast I'm swimming, why not just ask my coach to time me? I'm certainly not about to shell out hundreds of dollars for a fancy suit that I'll wear a handful of times. We hardly have anyone on my team who competes, so I really don't see much of a point.

I see swimming as a way to relieve stress. Worrying about things like meets, buying the best suit, etc simply create stress.

Whatever jackass told you that you were dragging out the meet needs to be stuffed in a bottle and sent out on the Japanese current, to paraphrase the late, great Hunter S. Thompson. Anyone can swim 3 events at Nats with no qualifying whatsoever, and anyone with the guts to swim an event on the National level deserves a round of applause when he or she touches the wall, whether their time was smokin' or glacial.

Competing for me is all about fun. I didn't spend a whole lot of time agonizing over whether the B70 would be better than the FS Pro I already had, or whether the Jaked is better yet. I felt like buying a tech suit or two, and did. I'm not by any means a top tier competitor, but I get a rush out of trying to better my times; beating an occasional nemesis or two; swimming relays with friends and folks I've admired; and watching the jaw-dropping performances of the top tier competitors, especially the ones in the older age groups. I suppose competing causes me a minor amount of stress, but in my mind it's good, motivational stress, as opposed to the negative stresses brought on by work and family life. As my coach says, where else can folks our age get the old butterflies going with no real negative consequences for falling short of whatever it is you were hoping to achieve?

I can't get all of that out of practice. Obviously, YMMV, but for any fence-sitters out there, competing keeps me motivated and is really just a whole bunch of fun. I highly recommend it -- at any level, but the fun factor just ramps up at the National level -- to all.

Peter Cruise
September 10th, 2009, 08:24 PM
The obvious benefit of attending USMS meets is the breathless opportunity to rub elbows with the smokin' posting paladins of the USMS forums...