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View Full Version : Opportunity to Grow Masters Swimming?



Tim L
April 22nd, 2010, 07:50 PM
I don't know if you have seen any of the stories on Swimming World web site about ASA and CU.

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/24042.asp?q=University%20of%20Colorado%20Swimming% 20Team%20Disqualified%20From%20ASA%20Championships ;%20"Inappropriate%20Behavior"%20Cited%20--%20<font%20color=red>Updated%20With%20Statement%20from%20CU</font>

Anyway, it is a fairly funny situation. I have no idea who Keith Bell is, but ASA seems like an odd organization. They create rules that are supposed to be fun, but then they kick out a team for having fun or poking fun at the organization. Maybe there are more details about why they were kicked-out of the organization that are more sinister, but on the surface this sounds like one family on a power trip which doesn't make for much of an "organization".

I was wondering whether USMS might consider sponsoring a college club championship next year. It would grow membership and it would introduce young swimmers to our organization. Anyone out there from USMS listening?

I have swum in a meet with the CU swimmers and I have to say there are a very nice bunch and I thought they were very respectful. They were as serious about swimming as your average masters competitor. I hate to see them without an alternative for college club swimming because one guy doesn't want them in his "organization". If Keith Bell makes money from a college club championship, I bet USMS could as well and it might increase future USMS membership.

Some of Dr. Bell's ideas do sound fun though. I would love to be able to do any type of turn I wanted and one hand touches.

Just a thought for USMS.....college club swimming.

Tim

ourswimmer
April 23rd, 2010, 08:52 AM
That article reads more like something from The Onion than from Swimming World.

Knightswimmer2
April 23rd, 2010, 10:02 AM
This has to be my favorite part of the story....

"Keith Bell spoke of one other instance that he said he had never heard about in more than 50 years in competitive swimming. "In the 400 IM, two of their swimmers were DQ'd (for unsportsmanlike conduct) for rolling over on their backs on freestyle and waving to everybody," Keith Bell said. "It's as if they were mocking the event. You don't see that kind of thing happening at (USA Swimming) nationals."

He compares his "ASA National Championship" to USA Nationals...:laugh2:

Because I would go and say that allowing stand up starts for backstroke and breaststroke flip turns allows you to be on the same level as USA Swimming. :censor:

I think it would be really nice to see USMS open up a college division championship.

Tim L
April 23rd, 2010, 10:39 AM
This has to be my favorite part of the story....

"Keith Bell spoke of one other instance that he said he had never heard about in more than 50 years in competitive swimming. "In the 400 IM, two of their swimmers were DQ'd (for unsportsmanlike conduct) for rolling over on their backs on freestyle and waving to everybody," Keith Bell said. "It's as if they were mocking the event. You don't see that kind of thing happening at (USA Swimming) nationals."

He compares his "ASA National Championship" to USA Nationals...:laugh2:

Because I would go and say that allowing stand up starts for backstroke and breaststroke flip turns allows you to be on the same level as USA Swimming. :censor:

I think it would be really nice to see USMS open up a college division championship.

I liked that part too. Reality sometimes is funnier than the Onion. I have also never seen an entire swim team disqualified after a swim meet and ever single swim by that team stricken from the record.

Tim

Kevin in MD
April 23rd, 2010, 12:39 PM
I have no idea who Keith Bell is, but ASA seems like an odd organization.

If you search this very forum you should be taken to the original announcements of the asa way back in the early naughties.

At that time I think world records for every year was a big thing. That is as opposed to the every 5 years usms uses.

Looks like they found a niche having national championships for college club teams. The unfortunate part about this mess is that it appears there is a need for such a championship.

ourswimmer
April 23rd, 2010, 12:56 PM
This has to be my favorite part of the story....

"Keith Bell spoke of one other instance that he said he had never heard about in more than 50 years in competitive swimming. "In the 400 IM, two of their swimmers were DQ'd (for unsportsmanlike conduct) for rolling over on their backs on freestyle and waving to everybody," Keith Bell said. "It's as if they were mocking the event. You don't see that kind of thing happening at (USA Swimming) nationals."

That part was good, but my very favorite part was the part about re-doing the awards: "Reports also indicated that after the meet was rescored, some teams were requested to restage their podium photo shots, but it is unclear if any team complied."

Knightswimmer2
April 23rd, 2010, 02:12 PM
That part was good, but my very favorite part was the part about re-doing the awards: "Reports also indicated that after the meet was rescored, some teams were requested to restage their podium photo shots, but it is unclear if any team complied."


I understand the importance of having a club championship, but what a joke of an organization! If they want "fun" rules, then they will get that type of behavior from the swimmers. Yes, they will take it seriously to an extent but its there for the swimmers to have a good time. Dr Keith Bell is taking this a bit too seriously...

From what I can gather about this, it all started off with a letter that offended the ASA? That was proposing a few rule changes. The fact that they got all worked up over a proposal is pretty sad. I don't think CU was trying to change how he ran the ASA, but just giving what they thought was a good idea, and then get kicked out is a bit drastic. Dr Bell is a joke for doing this. :blah:

Redbird Alum
April 23rd, 2010, 03:02 PM
I was wondering whether USMS might consider sponsoring a college club championship next year. It would grow membership and it would introduce young swimmers to our organization. Anyone out there from USMS listening?

...

Just a thought for USMS.....college club swimming.


Tim -

Are you suggesting that the clubs would all join USMS, and then be subject to USMS rules? Or would you impose NCAA or USAS rules on the meet to keep it more in line with NCAA's?

I also think there might be issues with insurance if not all the swimmers were USMS registered, and the meets were not officially "sanctioned".

I guess the question would then be, would the college club "championships" only be opened to college clubs so designated, or would it become just another national USMS meet?

Food for thought.... other ideas?

Allen Stark
April 23rd, 2010, 04:40 PM
I knew Kieth for a long time and he seemed an OK guy.I lost contact with him right before he formed ASA.I didn't understand it then and I still don't.I think the joke is that ASA is the organization that sponsors the College club championship.I don't know who should run it,but if it is a serious meet then it should be an organization that takes rule seriously,if it is just for fun then lighten up.I think the idea that they make up there own rules and then take them seriously is ridiculous.You don't see FINA doing that(no,wait,I guess you do:bolt:)

BillS
April 23rd, 2010, 05:24 PM
In addition to trying to snag the club championships, we could double down on our growth potential by swimming under our rules and by telling FINA to piss off for SCY and allowing the suits.

Like ASA, we already have our own set of wacky rules. In addition to allowing the suits through June of this year, we race 50s of stroke and the 100 IM. (And of course there is always Allen's perennial favorite, the butterfrog). But considering that we have the likes of Cullen Jones, Nick Brunelli, and Mark Gangloff coming to Hotlanta (and presumably wearing magic suits); and with Gangloff and Brunelli competing in the 100 IM, I'm guessing our wacky rules have an appeal to some.

I believe that continuing to allow the suits would allow USMS to continue to attract top swimmers to our events. It would also no doubt result in a load of free publicity, especially if the times were tantalizingly fast. Attracting a top level championship in the younger age demographic, or even just signing up more members in the underrepresented 18-24 and 25-29 age groups, would only benefit our organization.

Tim L
April 23rd, 2010, 05:46 PM
Tim -

Are you suggesting that the clubs would all join USMS, and then be subject to USMS rules? Or would you impose NCAA or USAS rules on the meet to keep it more in line with NCAA's?

I also think there might be issues with insurance if not all the swimmers were USMS registered, and the meets were not officially "sanctioned".

I guess the question would then be, would the college club "championships" only be opened to college clubs so designated, or would it become just another national USMS meet?

Food for thought.... other ideas?

Yes, my thought would be that the college club teams become USMS registered as well as all their members. USMS rules would apply. My first thought was a separate USMS nationals meet for any registered USMS college club and maybe you could open it up to any USMS member that is attending college or something just in case they don't have a registered college club. I guess you could also do it as part of our normal short course nationals, but have a separate scoring for the college teams or you could just have a separate meet altogether. A combined meet might be too large though.

It seems like with many colleges don't have opportunities for their students to compete in swimming and I guess if there is a demand, then there should be a supply and USMS seems like a logical organization to step-in. ASA seemed to be growing prior to this incident and they have 60-plus schools involved some of which have Division I programs. Someone commented that it was unfortunate that there is a need for such a championship and it is unfortunate, but probably more and more a reality. These swimmers appear to fit squarely into USMS. They are 18 and over and swim only for fitness and fun and they have no opportunity to compete in an NCAA sanctioned meet. In the Big 12 there are only 3 schools with NCAA mens programs. There is pent-up demand for swimming competition and the comradery that comes along with it. There are a lot of college pools going to waste.

Tim

That Guy
April 23rd, 2010, 06:50 PM
Another 400 IM that went completely off the rails: in a Division I dual meet, we ran the normal college dual meet format except that the 200 IM was a 400 IM. Our coach told us the day before that the change was at the other coach's request. I would later wonder if that was really true. Here's what happened: the 400 IM started and 6 guys swam fly down the pool. 5 of them continued to swim fly; the guy in the middle lane for the other team switched to backstroke and of course was DQ'd. He completed a 100 IM, did another 25 fly, another 25 back, and then got out of the pool. A shame really; it would have been interesting to see what kind of time he could have posted doing a 400 IM that way. A few seconds later one of his teammates completely botched his backstroke flip turn at the 150 and got DQ'd. Since he was on his back and the official was right in front of him, he saw that he was DQ'd, so he decided to pull on the laneline for the remainder of the backstroke leg. Our team didn't engage in any shenanigans and of course we won the meet easily. Hard to imagine losing to those clowns...

chaos
April 23rd, 2010, 09:47 PM
keith bell and the ASA should be commended for filling a void in fun/competitive swimming.

USMS is not necessarily the answer to everything.... sorry folks.
the ASA puts on quite a few OW events in and around the Austin area and due to USMS politics, none appear on USMS OW calendars... i believe that only a USMS club can request a listing in TX (how many are sponsored by USMS clubs?...... zero)

ASA also maintains a higher level of integrity in their OW events.... no tech suits, no drafting, etc.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
April 24th, 2010, 10:57 AM
ASA also maintains a higher level of integrity in their OW events.... no tech suits, no drafting, etc.

WHOSE integrity?

Not mine...
And certainly not anyone who happens to be in training to compete on the international or Olympic open water swimming stage.

chaos
April 24th, 2010, 12:01 PM
WHOSE integrity?

Not mine...
And certainly not anyone who happens to be in training to compete on the international or Olympic open water swimming stage.

do you take issue with events that impose their own set of rules regarding uniform and/or cooperative support?

many of the posters above poo poo'd the ASA for allowing certain variations (flip turns in short axis strokes, block start for backstroke) that have the potential to increase speed but cling to their their tech suits. i think its just a matter of time before we see fina adopt these variations (and more... once times flatten out due to lack of fabric technology advancement)..... remember the bucket turn? and the "don't break the surface with your head" rule?

stillwater
April 24th, 2010, 03:50 PM
I like the concept of co-ed teams.

I think it innovative to create a league that has its own set of rules,
but, I wouldn't have considered attending a school that didn't follow NCAA guidlines. Comparing times is part of the joy I find in swimming competition.

Had they had a fun event like the one depicted here, I would have attended in a second. I might have waved to the crowd also. Why not?

I wonder, are these athletes on a scholarship? Why would they choose to follow a set of rules that don't have a history and aren't comparable to the current standard?

The man sounds like a charlatan.

Chris Stevenson
April 24th, 2010, 06:41 PM
many of the posters above poo poo'd the ASA for allowing certain variations (flip turns in short axis strokes, block start for backstroke) that have the potential to increase speed but cling to their their tech suits.

Amen.


USMS is not necessarily the answer to everything.... sorry folks.

Here in Virginia we have two USMS teams that are actually college clubs. I know that one of them only registered for insurance/liability reasons: they couldn't get coverage through their school (they can't practice in their university pool).

At the Univ of Richmond, where I work, we have a masters group comprised mostly of older working stiffs like most of those on this forum, and we have a club team consisting of college students. I have tried to get the two together for practices and the like -- pool time can be scarce -- but the culture is VERY different for the two groups. The masters group are interesting in working out and struggle to fit it in between the demands of job and family.

The students want to be fit too, but a huge reason they swim is for socializing. They are usually not as serious in the water. They do compete a lot: against other club teams. They are not at all interested in masters meets, not even in the city. Half of their posts on the team listserv (I am the faculty advisor so I am copied) concern parties.

I am not saying this is a bad thing at all, just that the cultures are different. I couldn't even get the groups to agree on practice times (the masters people wanted morning and lunchtime, the students wanted evening).

I often get queries from younger swimmers who move to the city, asking about workout groups. Almost always, one of their questions is, "how old are the masters swimmers in each workout group?" I can relate: when I first started swimming masters (in my early 20s), there was a group of 20-somethings on the team and we went out often. I very much doubt I would have stuck with the swim group if everyone else had been over 40 (ie, ancient).

USMS should definitely try to reach out to these people -- if only to remind them that opportunities for swimming in a fun environment exist post-college -- but it is not simply a matter of getting them to send in their membership fees. Mostly what they want is an opportunity to swim with other young people, not with old farts like me.

jroddin
April 26th, 2010, 08:02 AM
Mostly what they want is an opportunity to swim with other young people, not with old farts like me.

More like they don't want to get beat by an old fart like you... :cane:

BillS
April 26th, 2010, 01:09 PM
The students want to be fit too, but a huge reason they swim is for socializing. They are usually not as serious in the water. They do compete a lot: against other club teams. They are not at all interested in masters meets, not even in the city. Half of their posts on the team listserv (I am the faculty advisor so I am copied) concern parties.

USMS should definitely try to reach out to these people -- if only to remind them that opportunities for swimming in a fun environment exist post-college -- but it is not simply a matter of getting them to send in their membership fees. Mostly what they want is an opportunity to swim with other young people, not with old farts like me.

OK, so we offer to let them swim in the suits, hold a kegger afterward, and promise them that their old fart faculty advisor won't be there to embarass them by beating them soundly?

Chris Stevenson
April 26th, 2010, 02:48 PM
OK, so we offer to let them swim in the suits, hold a kegger afterward

Whither beer relays? They need to make a comeback. Strictly from the standpoint of broadening appeal, of course.

As far as the suits, the members of the college club team around here could care less. (Actually, they'd probably prefer the more revealing suits of yore... :))

I think some of the ASA rules sound fun. I know some meets that have 25s as unofficial races; we should have some others. Some possibilities (besides beer relays):
-- anything goes: any and all equipment and swimsuits allowed, including fins, and no 15m rule
-- odd distances (eg, 75 fly...everyone dies on that last 25 of the 100 anyway, might as well get rid of it)
-- IM races where the swimmer can pick the order of strokes

Karen Duggan
April 26th, 2010, 03:16 PM
Having been a victim of a college swim program that was cut, I would have loved to have been able to still compete with my peers. Luckily for me Kerry O'Brien was lurking nearby and rescued me from lap lane hell :bliss:

I think it would be really cool to have a college division at USMS Nationals. Just seed them like us and let the points fall where they may in their own division.

Old fart or not, Nationals is a big party, at least afterwards :D
I dare say we need to de-stress a little more than college kids!