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Karen Duggan
April 2nd, 2010, 05:15 PM
Am I to assume, with the last hurrah for this generation of tech suits, that Nationals will be huge, and therefore no 6th event?

Is it even worth it to enter 6?

Allen Stark
April 2nd, 2010, 05:49 PM
That was my thought,but they will be running 10 lanes at each end so they may be able to handle it and keep the 6th event.

SwimStud
April 2nd, 2010, 07:19 PM
Charge more, pay for more officials, abolish QTs and and let anyone turn up and do 6.
:2cents:
I know it's a long day or several but its should be the highlight of any competing swimmer's year...who cares if I spend a few more hours with a bunch of folks I love and admire.

The Fortress
April 2nd, 2010, 09:48 PM
Charge more, pay for more officials, abolish QTs and and let anyone turn up and do 6.
:2cents:
I know it's a long day or several but its should be the highlight of any competing swimmer's year...who cares if I spend a few more hours with a bunch of folks I love and admire.

I don't want the 6th event cancelled either. At Indy, the 6th event was cancelled (I recall?), the meet was started extra early, and it still ended at a decent time. 4:30 one day? WTH? If nationals is ending that early, I don't see the issue. If you're at Nationals, expect to spend the day at the pool. It's not like a half day in season meet. It costs plenty in terms of money and family time "chips," so let's swim.

Now, no need for the sarcasm, Stud.

Chicken of the Sea
April 2nd, 2010, 09:52 PM
Charge more, pay for more officials, abolish QTs and and let anyone turn up and do 6.
:2cents:
I know it's a long day or several but its should be the highlight of any competing swimmer's year...who cares if I spend a few more hours with a bunch of folks I love and admire.

Mr Stud, I'm not going, so there's no point hanging around any longer than necessary.

SwimStud
April 3rd, 2010, 01:06 AM
I don't want the 6th event cancelled either. At Indy, the 6th event was cancelled (I recall?), the meet was started extra early, and it still ended at a decent time. 4:30 one day? WTH? If nationals is ending that early, I don't see the issue. If you're at Nationals, expect to spend the day at the pool. It's not like a half day in season meet. It costs plenty in terms of money and family time "chips," so let's swim.

Now, no need for the sarcasm, Stud.

No sarcasm....I was not being disingenuous!

knelson
April 3rd, 2010, 12:46 PM
Am I to assume, with the last hurrah for this generation of tech suits, that Nationals will be huge, and therefore no 6th event?

I wouldn't. The meet may well be huge, but I wouldn't bet on it. The results of my local straw poll is that many of the usual suspects from these parts are NOT attending. I predict about the same number of swimmers as Clovis last year. You'll get tons of East Coasters, but a big drop off in West Coast swimmers.

jroddin
April 5th, 2010, 08:28 AM
I don't want the 6th event cancelled either. At Indy, the 6th event was cancelled (I recall?), the meet was started extra early, and it still ended at a decent time. 4:30 one day? WTH? If nationals is ending that early, I don't see the issue. If you're at Nationals, expect to spend the day at the pool. It's not like a half day in season meet. It costs plenty in terms of money and family time "chips," so let's swim.


Indy went from 7:30am until 4:30pm, which is 9 hours. I vote for Fortress to either time for 9 hours or be a stroke and turn judge for 9 hours. And at the end of her 9 hour shift on her feet we tell her, "well, we just need you for another 2 hours so people can do their 6th event and then you can go home..."

It's either that (10-11 hour shift) or you need a full second shift of volunteers (3 timers per lane x however many lanes you have; officials, Hytek people, warm up marshalls, awards desk, etc.). Meaning you either stretch one shift to be barely tolerable (8-9 hours) or you have to have two full crew shifts. Two shifts doubles your cost (many hosts pay the timers). When we increase the meet surcharge by as much as $10 we hear more whining than a Miami restaurant full of JAPs! Can you imagine if we actually charged an extra 50 bucks or so for the meet?! People would scream bloody murder like we took away their tech suits or something! Oh wait, that is already going to happen.:bolt:

Fort, please bring some very comfortable shoes for your timing shift in Atlanta...:bump:

The Fortress
April 5th, 2010, 10:47 AM
Indy went from 7:30am until 4:30pm, which is 9 hours. I vote for Fortress to either time for 9 hours or be a stroke and turn judge for 9 hours. And at the end of her 9 hour shift on her feet we tell her, "well, we just need you for another 2 hours so people can do their 6th event and then you can go home..."

It's either that (10-11 hour shift) or you need a full second shift of volunteers (3 timers per lane x however many lanes you have; officials, Hytek people, warm up marshalls, awards desk, etc.). Meaning you either stretch one shift to be barely tolerable (8-9 hours) or you have to have two full crew shifts. Two shifts doubles your cost (many hosts pay the timers). When we increase the meet surcharge by as much as $10 we hear more whining than a Miami restaurant full of JAPs! Can you imagine if we actually charged an extra 50 bucks or so for the meet?! People would scream bloody murder like we took away their tech suits or something! Oh wait, that is already going to happen.:bolt:

Fort, please bring some very comfortable shoes for your timing shift in Atlanta...:bump:

You're right, I was being selfish and not thinking about the hard working non-swimmers at the meet. My bad.

For the record, I would not scream at $50 more for a national meet. I limit my screaming to taking away "rubber" suits and giving us paper suits that rip, stretch or are stolen right away.

thewookiee
April 5th, 2010, 11:57 AM
. I limit my screaming to taking away "rubber" suits and giving us paper suits that rip, stretch or are stolen right away.

Or end up costing more thant the suits that were taken away. Scream for making swimming less affordable again.

osterber
April 5th, 2010, 02:16 PM
Anyone who swam at the New England meet last week-end and is continuing to Nationals will feel like a 9-hour session is a sprint! How did that go by so quickly?

-Rick

The Fortress
April 5th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Anyone who swam at the New England meet last week-end and is continuing to Nationals will feel like a 9-hour session is a sprint! How did that go by so quickly?

-Rick

One year I am going to taper for this meet instead of Nats or CZ! Ending at 4:30 is just too early for me. :bolt:

elise526
April 5th, 2010, 02:45 PM
At least for my age-group, Austin (SCY Nats in 2008) seemed very well attended and the sixth event was allowed. I'll be surprised if the meet is as big as Austin.

osterber
April 5th, 2010, 03:22 PM
One year I am going to taper for this meet instead of Nats or CZ! Ending at 4:30 is just too early for me. :bolt:

One of these years, I'm going to get a facility in New England that is large enough to host nationals. One of these years...

-Rick

The Fortress
April 5th, 2010, 03:53 PM
One of these years, I'm going to get a facility in New England that is large enough to host nationals. One of these years...

-Rick

That'd be excellent.

And it may be next year for me. I'm not doing SCY Nats in 2011.

SwimStud
April 5th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Abolish the surcharge and make it $15 per event up to 6 events (relays extra). Job done.
Seriously though it's Nats...you're there anyway, and it' not like you're going drinking until Sunday.

Also the deal could have been free campus accommodation in exchange for volunteering some timing duty.
Me...I'll pay more so I can sit back and enjoy the meet.

osterber
April 5th, 2010, 08:57 PM
To make the economics work, you really do need to have a significant base charge. There are certain fixed costs associated with having a person come to the meet for "zero" events. It doesn't cost 6 times as much to swim 6 events as it does to swim 1. But it's significantly expensive to swim 1 event.

I.e., the way it's setup makes a lot of sense for the real economics.

Also, truth is, getting meet participants to work the meet can be very very difficult. It's usually easier to have people who are not participating in the meet be involved with staffing. That way they are single-task-oriented. I don't know what they're doing in Atlanta, but what often works well is to "sub-contract" things like timing to a club team, for example. I.e., we need 24 timers, or 30 timers, or whatever... such-and-such club team is organized to provide those people. That way, when they show up, they all know each other, and they have an ability within their own ranks to fill in for missing people. Also, if you have a leader within that group, i.e., someone who could be the head timer, everyone in that group already knows that person, and that person already knows everyone in their group. It makes it much easier to manage those mini-armies of people.

If you have 30 "random" people signed up to time, it can be a disaster.

Make no mistake... organizing the small army required to pull of something like a national championship is no small task. A national championship meet could easily involve 300+ workers of one kind or another.

-Rick

SwimStud
April 5th, 2010, 09:21 PM
True FC + VC = TC.
I think maybe there should be a survey to find out what competing folks want...yet another huge task.

Do we go no QT, 6 limit higher FC and lower or zero VC. Or lower FC and higher VC. Maybe folks don't care about long days when they are "vacationing" I feel for the folks that work the meet but that's why they get paid, and maybe the answer is 2 shifts.

It doesn't seem right that someone only able to swim 3 events outside of QTs and maybe on 3 separate days too, has to subsidize other swimmers just because of their superior athletic ability...that's just my view though.
You raise good points Rick.

------------------

As for short days: If we're really adamant about speeding it up then let's not let anyone swim who cannot go sub :30 in a 50 FR or sub 1:00 on the 100 into the meet. After all, there are some really fast folks out there who have better things to do than wait around for the rest of us.

Quality swim meets are long drawn out affairs...bring a book and a cushion.

jroddin
April 6th, 2010, 08:51 AM
SwimStud wrote
Maybe folks don't care about long days when they are "vacationing" I feel for the folks that work the meet but that's why they get paid, and maybe the answer is 2 shifts.

I hope you are joking. If not, talk about being elitist! Do you realize how much these people are getting paid? Don't forget to take into account the number of hours they are working, too. I now have you signed up with Fortress to time for a session in Atlanta - we'll try to at least get you in the same lane...:applaud: After they pay you for the session, you can go out to dinner and buy anything you want off the McD menu:banana: You might even have enough leftover to get an ice cream cone for dessert.

osterber
April 6th, 2010, 09:58 AM
It's also worth reminding people just how critical timers are for a meet. They are easy to forget, but they are some of the most important staffers at a meet. Most people also have no idea how hard it is to find competent timers.

For example, at our NE meet, we had somewhere around 5500 or so individual swims, not including relays. We ran two timers per lane. So that's 11,000 stopwatch times recorded. 11,000 button-pushes at the end of the race. 11,000 opportunities for a timer to miss a finish, or write down the time in the wrong lane, etc.

Timers are especially important at a Masters meet, and especially in, shall I say, the "early heats", where we have a higher percentage of swimmers who are not experienced with touchpads, and frankly don't have great finishes. It's the human timers in each lane that make it all work.

Out of 5500+ swims, the only way I know that the touchpad time was valid in any particular lane of any particular heat, is because I had two timers there who pushed their backup buttons, which confirmed that the touchpad time was accurate. Or confirmed that it wasn't.

I'm guessing that Nationals runs heats a touch slower than at our NE meet... we ran heats with about 5-6 seconds between. So as a timer, you have to finish your stopwatch, push the backup button, record the stopwatch time on the clipboard, and reset your stopwatch and be ready for the next heat... all within 5 seconds.

I encourage any of you to try doing that... for 8 continuous hours.

-Rick

The Fortress
April 6th, 2010, 10:48 AM
I now have you signed up with Fortress to time for a session in Atlanta - we'll try to at least get you in the same lane...:applaud:

It would be difficult to count the vast number of hours I have spent timing over the years in USA-S swimming and the NVSL. And officiating. It would be staggering. No McDs either. And that's just swimming volunteer hours ...

Like 99% of the other masters swimmers, I will not be timing in Atlanta though.

SwimStud
April 6th, 2010, 01:08 PM
SwimStud wrote

I hope you are joking. If not, talk about being elitist! Do you realize how much these people are getting paid? Don't forget to take into account the number of hours they are working, too. I now have you signed up with Fortress to time for a session in Atlanta - we'll try to at least get you in the same lane...:applaud: After they pay you for the session, you can go out to dinner and buy anything you want off the McD menu:banana: You might even have enough leftover to get an ice cream cone for dessert.

Jeff no need to go ballistic. I never said they should work 12 hours, I just said they got paid for their time--if not enough for them, they are entitled to withold their labour. Should they get paid more? That's not my call. I fully appreciate what they do at any meet of any level. That's not the point. The point was costs...I'm not suggesting cost stay flat and output gets forced up.

If USMS wants me to get into the finance operations side of running Nats I'm always available to talk.

Since you're handling timing shifts, how do you want to pay for my flight, accomdation and incidentals?
Lastly be careful what you wish for, I might just end up timing your lane...it could wreck a season...
:D

FlyQueen
April 6th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Seriously though it's Nats...you're there anyway, and it' not like you're going drinking until Sunday.


WHAT?!?! Not drinking until Sunday ... what's that about?

aquageek
April 6th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Since you're handling timing shifts, how do you want to pay for my flight, accomdation and incidentals?

I'm not sure about USMS but if you officiate for a USA Swimming meet your expenses are tax deductible.

thewookiee
April 6th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Seriously though it's Nats...you're there anyway, and it' not like you're going drinking until Sunday.

.

To watch you swim, people need to be drinking a lot before sunday.

BillS
April 6th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Seriously though it's Nats...you're there anyway, and it' not like you're going drinking until Sunday.



Did I miss some kind of a reverse blue law rule change? No going drinking until Sunday? Can I withdraw my entry?

Cause if there ain't beer, I ain't swimmin'...

Chris Stevenson
April 6th, 2010, 03:45 PM
WHAT?!?! Not drinking until Sunday ... what's that about?


Did I miss some kind of a reverse blue law rule change? No going drinking until Sunday? Can I withdraw my entry?

Cause if there ain't beer, I ain't swimmin'...

Apparently the new way of taking your swimming seriously is to be a teetotaler until the meet is over.

The rest of us will be gathering at the local watering hole...

(True story: my first swimming day at Clovis was fine, but I was slightly disappointed in my times. Had a couple beers with a friend over dinner...PRESTO: next day I had one of my best ever at a nationals. It does a body good.)

pwb
April 6th, 2010, 04:16 PM
I'm not sure about USMS but if you officiate for a USA Swimming meet your expenses are tax deductible.What expenses are those exactly -- sunblock? those nifty white t-shirts? post-USAS-meet beers to quell the ringing voices of psycho swim parents*?


Apparently the new way of taking your swimming seriously is to be a teetotaler until the meet is over.

The rest of us will be gathering at the local watering hole...

(True story: my first swimming day at Clovis was fine, but I was slightly disappointed in my times. Had a couple beers with a friend over dinner...PRESTO: next day I had one of my best ever at a nationals. It does a body good.)

Yeah, Chris, you clearly are not taking this sport seriously enough. :)

* I forgot ... that's my voice in my head

osterber
April 6th, 2010, 04:41 PM
What expenses are those exactly -- sunblock? those nifty white t-shirts? post-USAS-meet beers to quell the ringing voices of psycho swim parents*?


Those and more. There are many officials that travel on their own dime to volunteer their officiating at meets. Sometimes that travel is a drive across the state. Sometimes that travel is a flight to Omaha to officiate at Olympic Trials. Hotel stay, meals while at the meet. Any uniform requirements.. the polo, the white pants (or whatever color is locally mandated)... heck, even your whistle can be taken as an officiating expense.

If you're driving to the meet as an official, you can deduct your mileage expense.

-Rick

pwb
April 6th, 2010, 04:47 PM
If you're driving to the meet as an official, you can deduct your mileage expense.-RickEven if I'm going to the meet already to watch my kids?

I was a bit flip in my earlier comment, but I'm interested in this. Every year we battle to get enough of our parents certified as officials and it ends up being largely the same group of parents who officiate meet after meet. We've been trying to think of creative ways to incentivize people to become officials; if they truly can deduct expenses that might help nudge some people along the path towards officialdom.

aquageek
April 6th, 2010, 05:02 PM
Even if I'm going to the meet already to watch my kids?

I was a bit flip in my earlier comment, but I'm interested in this. Every year we battle to get enough of our parents certified as officials and it ends up being largely the same group of parents who officiate meet after meet. We've been trying to think of creative ways to incentivize people to become officials; if they truly can deduct expenses that might help nudge some people along the path towards officialdom.

My limited understanding is that since the LSC or USA Swimming is a 403-B your time is considered a contribution, along with your expenses. This was confirmed to me by about 3 officials I sat with at a recent meet out of town. Whether or not your kids are there is irrelevant. Remember, deductions are never dollar for dollar on your taxes. But, every little bit helps.

I'm no expert so consult your tax advisor but I have heard this from a number of sources.

osterber
April 6th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional - you should consult a tax professional or the IRS for official information.

I don't think time can be deducted as a donation. At least not in this situation. What is the "fair market value" of your time as an official? I could decide that my time is worth $1000/hour, and deduct it?

From IRS publication 526:

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/ar02.html#en_US_publink1000229698

You cannot deduct the value of your time or service. I believe there may be certain special exceptions to this... but I don't think any of them would cover for officiating.

-Rick

osterber
April 6th, 2010, 05:24 PM
Disclaimer again: I am not a tax professional.

Regarding deductions, etc.... Note that I also don't believe that your expenses would get deducted as a charitable contribution. You're not donating your expenses. For example, if you buy a uniform (polo shirt, white pants, etc.) for officiating, you don't donate those goods to the LSC/LMSC. You're keeping them yourself. As such, that's not a contribution.

What is can be is a non-reimbursed expense for your job. You don't necessarily have to be paid as an official for it to be a job.

Note that this requires you to itemize on Schedule A, and it's subject to the 2% limit. (I.e., your expenses must be more than 2% of your AGI - Adjusted Gross Income, before they can be deducted.)

There may be a way to get around this by going the Schedule C route, i.e., create your own independent business of officiating. The problem is that you have no revenue stream, which makes that highly highly suspect to the IRS. (The IRS does not like business entities that are designed to lose money.)

Again - I am not a tax professional.

-Rick

SwimStud
April 6th, 2010, 07:36 PM
WHAT?!?! Not drinking until Sunday ... what's that about?
Well maybe it is lost in translation. There is a few beers at day's end and there is going drinking. Hook up with me Friday night and again on Sunday and I'll show you the difference...

aquageek
April 6th, 2010, 07:46 PM
Disclaimer again: I am not a tax professional.

Regarding deductions, etc.... Note that I also don't believe that your expenses would get deducted as a charitable contribution. You're not donating your expenses. For example, if you buy a uniform (polo shirt, white pants, etc.) for officiating, you don't donate those goods to the LSC/LMSC. You're keeping them yourself. As such, that's not a contribution.

What is can be is a non-reimbursed expense for your job. You don't necessarily have to be paid as an official for it to be a job.

Note that this requires you to itemize on Schedule A, and it's subject to the 2% limit. (I.e., your expenses must be more than 2% of your AGI - Adjusted Gross Income, before they can be deducted.)

There may be a way to get around this by going the Schedule C route, i.e., create your own independent business of officiating. The problem is that you have no revenue stream, which makes that highly highly suspect to the IRS. (The IRS does not like business entities that are designed to lose money.)

Again - I am not a tax professional.

-Rick

I'll let you know if I get away with it. My name is Paul Smith.

ande
April 6th, 2010, 08:50 PM
it's just swimming
do the best you can at the meet and party it up with your buddies

ande


Apparently the new way of taking your swimming seriously is to be a teetotaler until the meet is over.

The rest of us will be gathering at the local watering hole...

(True story: my first swimming day at Clovis was fine, but I was slightly disappointed in my times. Had a couple beers with a friend over dinner...PRESTO: next day I had one of my best ever at a nationals. It does a body good.)

The Fortress
April 6th, 2010, 09:41 PM
Well maybe it is lost in translation. There is a few beers at day's end and there is going drinking. Hook up with me Friday night and again on Sunday and I'll show you the difference...

We can always post the pic of Hulk falling off the bench Sunday in Austin to show the difference ... :angel:

swimmieAvsFan
April 6th, 2010, 11:48 PM
Well maybe it is lost in translation. There is a few beers at day's end and there is going drinking. Hook up with me Friday night and again on Sunday and I'll show you the difference...


We can always post the pic of Hulk falling off the bench Sunday in Austin to show the difference ... :angel:

:lmao:
but to be fair to hulk, flyqueen fell off the bench too ;)

thewookiee
April 7th, 2010, 07:14 AM
:lmao:
but to be fair to hulk, flyqueen fell off the bench too ;)

They didn't sit on opposite ends of that bench, did they?

swimshark
April 7th, 2010, 07:47 AM
Maybe folks don't care about long days when they are "vacationing" I feel for the folks that work the meet but that's why they get paid, and maybe the answer is 2 shifts.

.

My dad is volunteering at Nationals. You know what his "payment" is? A t-shirt and hospitality.

The shifts for timing are 7:30-11:30, 11:00-3, 2:30-7:30. I guess they are preparing to go late, if needed.

pwolf66
April 7th, 2010, 09:39 AM
:lmao:
but to be fair to hulk, flyqueen fell off the bench too ;)

Well, I might have had a really good grip on her as I fell into the evil clutches of gravity (I was going to say 'as I went down' but with this crew......)

Donna
April 9th, 2010, 09:40 PM
My dad is volunteering at Nationals. You know what his "payment" is? A t-shirt and hospitality.

The shifts for timing are 7:30-11:30, 11:00-3, 2:30-7:30. I guess they are preparing to go late, if needed.

Alison,

Thank your dad for volunteering, nothing happens without our volunteers. My 12 year old son will be volunteering too.

Karen Duggan
April 12th, 2010, 03:46 PM
So, anyone care to ponder the 6th event again?

Anyone know how many entries there are so far?

FlyQueen
April 12th, 2010, 04:56 PM
What's the harm in signing up for 6 events? If the last one gets dropped, then it gets dropped. I signed up for 6, putting my least favorite of the 6 as my 6th. With two courses of 10 lanes each I'm thinking the 6 event will stay.

Muppet
April 13th, 2010, 01:33 PM
With two courses of 10 lanes each I'm thinking the 6 event will stay.

I agree - looking in the rulebook at the number of attendees of the National meets, Austin (1800+) didn't drop the 6th event.

fastback
April 14th, 2010, 09:49 PM
According to Tracy Grill there are 1675 entries as of this afternoon. Stragglers still coming in. She reports that they are trying hard to keep the 6th event but won't know until the final entries are in.

SwimStud
April 14th, 2010, 10:03 PM
"You're gonna need a bigger boat!"

swimshark
April 15th, 2010, 07:23 AM
According to Tracy Grill there are 1675 entries as of this afternoon. Stragglers still coming in. She reports that they are trying hard to keep the 6th event but won't know until the final entries are in.

Wow!!

osterber
April 15th, 2010, 11:56 AM
If we can run a meet with 1064 swimmers, who can swim 13 events max, in a single 8-lane competition course... certainly you can pull off 1700 swimmers with 6 events max in 2 x 10-lane courses.

:thhbbb::bolt:

-Rick

SwimStud
April 15th, 2010, 07:59 PM
If we can run a meet with 1064 swimmers, who can swim 13 events max, in a single 8-lane competition course... certainly you can pull off 1700 swimmers with 6 events max in 2 x 10-lane courses.

:thhbbb::bolt:

-Rick

So it looks like Nats at Boston some time in the not so distant future then?:bump:

osterber
April 16th, 2010, 09:28 AM
If only I had a pool large enough to host nationals. There is not a facility anywhere in New England that is large enough to host nationals.

-Rick

carlos_fernandez
April 16th, 2010, 10:42 AM
If only I had a pool large enough to host nationals. There is not a facility anywhere in New England that is large enough to host nationals.

-Rick

What about Harvard? Right off the T, Olympic-size pool...

osterber
April 16th, 2010, 11:02 AM
What about Harvard? Right off the T, Olympic-size pool...

Not big enough. That's where we host the New England LMSC Champs. We had 1064 entered swimmers this year, and the meet was too large.

We have a great facility, and it is certainly large from many perspectives. We have good deck space, and spectator seating for 1200. However, we only have a single 8-lane competition course. In order to host a SCY nationals, you really need to have at least two 8-lane competition courses at a minimum, plus warmup space. (Harvard's pool has a 8-lane competition course, and a 6-lane shallow course. Before pool depth restrictions went into place, we could use the shallow 6-lane course for competition, but now you can't dive in down there. We use it for 1000/1650 free at our New England Meet on a volunteer basis, because you have to do an in-water start.)

A Harvard expansion project has us slated for a new pool at some point. 5 years ago, they would have told you it would be built in the next couple of years, but with the economic downturn, that has all been pushed well out.

-Rick