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RobbieD
June 22nd, 2010, 09:16 PM
There has been a lot of discussion about the merits of bringing tech suits back to USMS via a rules amendment at this year's USAS Convention. Please use this space to continue the discussion amongst SPMA members that has grown too big for email.

bzaks1424
June 23rd, 2010, 10:03 AM
I really hope they don't. IMHO the difference between two identical swimmers then becomes who has the most money.

thewookiee
June 23rd, 2010, 10:09 AM
I really hope they don't. IMHO the difference between two identical swimmers then becomes who has the most money.

There is no such thing as "identical swimmers". Now, can we please drop this topic? USMS should follow USA/FINA rulings(while I disagree with how extreme the rulings are on suits) It's time to move forward

jjqswim
June 23rd, 2010, 03:37 PM
Text of Letter to SPMA Executive Committee proposing amendment to Rules regarding use of tech suits in short course yards competition.

June 23, 2010

Via Electronic Transmittal
Executive Committee
Southern Pacific Masters Association
United States Masters Swimming


Re: Proposed Amendment to USMS Rules


To the Executive Committee:

Please consider this submission as a request to the SPMA Executive Committee to formally propose an amendment to USMS Rule 102.14, SWIMWEAR. The purpose in submitting a formal proposal is to 1) ensure a full and complete debate and discussion regarding the use by U.S. Masters swimmers of so-called tech suits in competition events and 2) amend the rules to allow the use of tech suits in certain competitions to be established following the canvassing of the member body.

There has been a fair amount of discussion and electronic correspondence recently regarding the tech suit ban, likely precipitated by the positive experience of a number of swimmers who competed at the recent short course yards Nationals at which tech suits were permitted and the realization that even as to the short course yards competition, a uniquely American invention, the tech suits are no longer authorized for any pool competition as of June 1, 2010. There is an underlying thread to much of the discussion and correspondence, a belief that the decision to bar tech suits was made without an opportunity for the membership, those who compete regularly and to which the decision mattered most, to be heard. There are even those who would vote to continue the bar who agree that an adequate opportunity to air all views, or to provide input to the organization representatives, never occurred. They are correct. SPMA should, by this proposed amendment, initiate the process to have this important issue considered in an orderly and thorough fashion.

A. The Decision to Bar Tech Suits Was Made Hastily and Without Full Consideration.

The amount of time between when the controversy regarding the use of tech suits developed and the actions barring their use was inadequate to afford an opportunity for informed debate. FINA announced its ban of tech suits on July 25, 2009. On September 19, 2009 at the USMS Convention in Chicago there was apparently some discussion of the impact of the FINA ruling but no formal action was taken since FINA had not addressed the issue of tech suits as to Masters competitions and did not do so until January 16, 2010. Jessica Seaton of SPMA, in an e mail of June 21, 2010, indicated that the next step in the process, following FINA’s action, on January 19, 2010 was the issuance of an “Emergency Rule Change” (document itself is undated); an action undertaken by: ”The USMS Rules Committee based on a sense of the House of Delegates at the 2009 USMS Convention in Chicago.” [emphasis added].

Thus, no formal action was taken at the Convention in September of 2009 and none was taken by the Rules Committee until late Jnauary 2010, based on the undated “Emergency Rule Change”. However, the issue was deemed important enough during discussion at the Convention, on September 19, 2009, to prompt this entry in the Minutes:
"10. The Chair wrapped up the swim suit discussion by reminding the audience that she had directed the Rules Committee members to poll their local swimmers and to review the USMS discussion forums to gain insight as to the wishes of the USMS members."

It does not appear that any poll of SPMA members was ever conducted. Nor do the several Newsletters issued by SPMA following the Convention in September of 2009 solicit any input on the topic from the Members.

The USMS Press Release following the September Convention, issued September 19, 2009, is silent on the topic of a possible tech suit ban and does not solicit Member comment or “poll” on the topic.

The Executive Committee of USMS voted 4-3 on January 19, 2010 and “approved the recommendation of the Rules Committee to allow Technical Suits through the end of the short course season”. There is no evidence then or later that the Executive Committee did anything to follow up on the directive to “poll” members issued to the Rules Committee on September 19, 2009. It is believed few if any of the LMSCs conducted a poll of their respective members.

Under the circumstances, it seems clear that: 1) there was little time to engage the membership in the discussion of tech suits for Masters between FINA’s action on July 25 and the September 19, 2009 convention; 2) no time to do so between FINA’s ban on January 16, 2010 and the USMS 4-3 vote of January 19, 2010, and 3) little to no effort to engage the membership at any time.

B. Proposed Amendment to USMS Rule 102.14, SWIMWEAR.

It has been suggested that to effect a change to allow tech suits a rationale for the change or amendment must be provided. There may be no better rationale than many of the members want the change and were never afforded the opportunity to voice that strong preference before the action was taken by the Rules Committee, within three days of FINA’s action on January 16, 2010. And there is substantial evidence that among those SPMA members who actually compete tech suits remain highly popular.

The proponents of tech suits seek first a modest amendment to the Rules to continue to allow the use of tech suits in short course yards competition. Since short course yards competition is unique to the United States allowing such has no effect on any FINA actions, especially since FINA, the current governing body for international swimming, only recognizes times performed in meters based pools for world record consideration. Thus, it is proposed that Rule 102.14.4 be amended as follows, by the following language added in bold text:

“Only swimsuits complying with FINA swimsuit specifications may be worn in any U.S. Masters Swimming sanctioned or recognized competition except that swimwear that was approved for pool use in 2009 may be worn in any short course yards competition. “

As a second modest amendment the use of a tech suit should be permitted in any open water competition that does not qualify for FINA recognition or record, as is currently permitted for 2010 by USMS.

These two modest amendments would allow the use of a tech suit in any USMS sanctioned or recognized event that does not also constitute a FINA sanctioned or recognized event. What difference would or should that make to FINA?

C. Request for Special Meeting of SPMA.

Since it appears that the procedure for proposing an amendment to the USMS Rules must be advanced by the LMSC, which may require a meeting of the Executive Committee and it appears that there is no SPMA meeting scheduled prior to the July 10, 2010 deadline for consideration by the Rules Committee please consider this submission a request for such a meeting, on an emergency basis, in addition to a request to formally make the proposed amendment in time for submission by the July 10 deadline. Finally, at the meeting the Committee should delegate a sub committee of no more than three members to meet and agree on a procedure for the SPMA to conduct a survey, poll or vote of the members regarding the topic of tech suits. Dan Wegner of Club Assistant should be one of the three members and is well suited to conduct such electronically.


Respectfully submitted.

/S/
John J. Quinn

Cc: Katherine J. Casey

NewportGeek
June 23rd, 2010, 03:40 PM
For years swimmers have shaved down, oiled up etc. The evolution of the speedo, goggles changing shape so they are faster and can handle the stress of the dive... Even pool and lane line design have changed to allow for less wake and faster times.

I think the logical thing is for USMS to follow USA/FINA rulings as they are doing.

I think a legitmate question to ask is will TYR/Speedo/Jaked/B70 even continue to manufacture these suits with the reduced sales market available. If so lower productions numbers will almost certainly force price increases...

Another issue would be apples/oranges comparisons of record times across governing bodies that enforce differing sets of 'suit rules.'

Of course all of these questions and problems are avoided entirely by simply falling in line with USA/FINA rulings.

And to be a near-record holder w/o a tech-suit when the encumbant record holder had the advantge of a tech-suit... well that just sucks.

But on the other side, if you beat a tech-suiters record swimming bareback... it feels great. As has taking them down real-time in the lane next to me :-)

-Jesse

200free
June 23rd, 2010, 04:54 PM
We need to swim in the same suits the rest of the world is wearing. Drop the topic, move on and talk about something else.

the17thman
June 23rd, 2010, 09:59 PM
Why don't we just ban SCY season and just keep SCM and LCM if we are going to keep up with the rest of the world?

the17thman
June 23rd, 2010, 10:06 PM
I do feel that over time this will be a moot issue as swim suit companies will not manufacturer the suits and over time people will no longer have the suits to wear. But it's SCY and well America is pretty much one of the few SCY swimmers countries left. So to hell with FINA and just wear the bloody suits. Keep the suits and wear them to our asses fall out of them. And in time they'll die a slow death. Till the next new suit technology. So can damn the luddite's move onto complaining about the new blocks or the fact that we know are allowed to do butterfly kick underwater or something not from FINA Rules of 1976?

Conniekat8
June 23rd, 2010, 10:38 PM
I don't understand why after a year of not showing up at the SPMA meetings througout the last year, where there was ample time to discuss this, people waited untill there's only 10 or so days left to claim they are not being heard.
SPMA meeing minutes are available for public viewing at www.spma.net, everyone can see for themselves, noone has come forward to speak in favor or even inquire about the tech suits.

I don't know that forefiture of every opportunity to do so throughout the last year is a very good rationale for calling an emergency meeting.

How come proponents of this are refusing, or neglecting to use proper USMS procedures? Like have your Club Rep who is also elegible to vote, come to the meeting, and speak up?

What would an informal club assistant poll accomplish? It's against SPMA By-Laws to accept it as official vote. All it can be is an interest poll. In order for it to be an official vote, SPMA By-Laws would have to be changed. You'd have to convince majority of the SPMA that they need to be changed, to start with.

Each SPMA voting member, especially the club members have the responsibility to cast the vote representing their clubs interest. They are not likely to change their mind, because other clubs, whose reps aren't showing up to vote ran a club assistant poll.

If your teams club rep is being a dud, or has failed to convey to their own swimmers how the system works, and is not representing your interests, I highly recommend finding someone who will be more involved, and represent, rather then forefit your interests in the future. That's a legal avenue to getting heard, and getting the vote.

Conniekat8
June 23rd, 2010, 10:43 PM
There is no huge need for Club Assistant poll, you guys are welcome to use this:

Do you want the tech suit back for SCY? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums

danpleonard
June 24th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Connie:

I took your suggestion and looked at the meeting minutes and agendas posted on the SPMA website. I saw NOTHING in either the archived minutes or agendas addressing the tech suit issue. Am I missing something ?

How is the average swimmer supposed to know that a decision on tech suits is being made if it is not on the agenda? Likewise, how does one know that a decision was actually made and the basis for it, if the minutes do not mention the decision ?

Do you have any insight into this ?

I do agree with your point on the club representative role and responsibility.

Conniekat8
June 24th, 2010, 10:44 PM
Connie:

I took your suggestion and looked at the meeting minutes and agendas posted on the SPMA website. I saw NOTHING in either the archived minutes or agendas addressing the tech suit issue. Am I missing something ?

How is the average swimmer supposed to know that a decision on tech suits is being made if it is not on the agenda? Likewise, how does one know that a decision was actually made and the basis for it, if the minutes do not mention the decision ?

Do you have any insight into this ?

I do agree with your point on the club representative role and responsibility.

Yes, I do have some insight in this.

1.
Each SPMA club gets a voting club representative who should be attending SPMA monthly conference calls. The Club representative showing has been dismal. It is imperative that they start showing up, and speaking up about what their interests are. These same club reps are the mechanisam that SPMA has to take the word back to their individual clubs and talk it over with their swimmers. This is not important just because of the tech suits. there is a large number of topics taht can be important.

If an item has not been put on the agenda, people coming to the meeting can still bring it up, and it can be open for discussion. It is best that this is done by the club rep, because they have the power to vote too, not just to bring up the discussion.

Even if an item is on the agenda, and the club reps with opposing views don't show up, and everyone else in the meeting agrees, it's the end of things. Many things die off this way, not just the tech suit.

I know these meetings can be as entertaining as watching the paint dry, but they really are important. Many issues that one or another subgroup of the SPMA may come up, current members and attendees do the best they can to accomodate and consider all sides. But it's still "the best they can". Just like any volunteer run organization, resources are limited. There is only so much the 10-12 usual meeting attendees can accomplish. We are short handed left and right.


2.
Anyone, even if they are not a club rep, if they made more then 50% of the SPMA meetings in a year automatically becomes elegible to become a delegate for the convention. This means, SPMA makes you a voting delegate, and pays for your trip. Going to the convention is a good thing, informative, and a good eye opener. Most years SPMA (and I gather other LMSC's) tend to have jsut enough candidates, and it's the same people going year after year after year. USMS needs fresh blood, at the local and national level, not just within SPMA, but AFAIK, this is the case throughout the country.

3.
Why SPMA leadership hasn't brought thisup earlier in the year, I have no idea. It is the SPMA chair with SPMA secretary's assistance that puts together the agenda of each meeting. I can't speak for them why they haven't brought this up. I gather from the informal emailings that have been ciorculating that those two individuals are most in touch with the group of people interested in bringing the tech suits back. Why they haven't rallied people up sooner, You'll have to ask them.

I can only speak for my team, and the majority is happy with the rules the way they are.

What I heard in the last Committee meeting, from the rules representative, it appears that their impression was that the interest in bringing the tech suit back was too low to make a formal (request - I forget off the top of my head the proper name for it)

4.
There are other internal things, that have to do with expanding our marketing and communications efforts. I used to be a marketing Chair for the USMS, but had to scale back (health issues). As of late I have a bit more time and energy, and I will do my best to revive some of the marketing and communications ideas, and try to put them in practice. I would LOVE it if it's not just myself and two other people with a $300 or some similar tiny yearly budget working on this. There are a lot of good things that can be done, but we need help. At the moment, we have, pardon my expression, too many chiefs, lot of good ideas, and not enough people willing to work and put some time in to make them happen. Like I said, this *is* a volunteer run organization. the dues we pay yearly, don't come even close to enabling us to buy services that could help disseminate a lot of things. We need excite people to get involbed and contribute.

If we don't this is what happens, things don't get addressed, most often because of lack of resources.

One of the examples of this, should the majority of the membership want to bring back the tech suit, what needs to be considered is if USMS has sufficient resources locally and nationally to bear the weight of additional administration required to differ from FINA and USAS. having been to several conventions, my educated guess is, they don't.

If a question is raised, in front of delegats about increaded cost of administration, and possibly needing to increase the dues to accomodate this... it's a good way to get the proposition shot down.



I'd love to hear some thoughts and ideas about how to get club reps more interested in attending the meetings. I think in a lot of cases, a coach or a team owner lists themselves as a club contact, and any SPMA communication that goes out tends to die in their inbox.

There may be a way to inform swimmers directly of SPMA business, but I have to see if our general mailing list privacy policy allows for this.... and if it does, do we have the resources to honor all "please remove me from this mailer" requests, when they start coming in.

The past years minutes, you're not missing anything, noone, from top to bottom of the SPMA, including the SPMA involved people who are trying to get the troops rallied up at the eleventh hour was under the impression there is sufficient interest.

'Polling the membership' statement at a USMS convention generally doesn't mean, run a general poll (such as what is suggested via club assistant), but it meansm, use your standard means of communication within the LMSC, to get the feel for the interest. I think I said this in my last post, even if a club assitant poll is run, without voting members showing up, it wouldn't mean a lot. A motion has to be made on the floor for the SPMA to act legally, if most people vote against it, it ends there.

People like myself, I am alrady aware that there is interest in the tech suit, and can be sympathetic to people whom want it back, club assistan poll is unecessary to convince me. However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit. Same with each of 70 or so club reps in the SPMA. Rules person in the SPMA gets one vote, Executive comittee, IRRC 5 people, 4 votes total... People whom attended more then 50% of the meetings and get a vote that way tend to also be club coaches and reps, and are going to vote representing their own club interests. In a way, it's a lot like our US government, you must show up and vote vote vote officially. Popular vote and interest polling doesn't get you far.

danpleonard
June 25th, 2010, 10:00 AM
However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit.



Connie:

Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response.

How did you make the determination that your team did not want the suit ?

danpleonard
June 25th, 2010, 02:10 PM
Julie:

I am painfully aware of this quote, as was "Mr. Evans" when he saw it in black and white the next day (an apology was issued to the swimmer he was referring to).

Two points: 1. I did not even know that Mr.Evans was the club rep to SPMA (not SPMA's fault); 2. I am quite sure that CE's quote does not represent the position of the vast majority of competitors from my club; 3. the membership in our club was never asked for any input on the tech suit issue by our rep (again, not SPMA's fault).

I would like to know how Connie was able to determine that her club did not want tech suits?

Dan

Conniekat8
June 25th, 2010, 04:45 PM
However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit.



Connie:

Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response.

How did you make the determination that your team did not want the suit ?

We talk to our swimmers, ask them what they think, read their email letters and opinions on our team forum, listen to the prevalent sentiment. Number of different ways. Our club is very hands-on. When you talk to a hundred people or so, and only a small handfull says anything about seriously wanting the suit back, when all the letters you get are to not bring it back, and when noone is stepping up to help the efforts to bring it back, you tend to get the picture.

I'm not the only person that collected the information, there are several. I'm just the 'end result' person that is active in the SPMA, and gets to cast the vote.

This involves several coaches and swimmers, our core team leadership group. If you want to know more details, I can ask the rest of the people involved how they arrived to the conclusions. I didn't question them about the specifics, so I can't speak for them.

Michael Heather
June 25th, 2010, 04:59 PM
The tech suit issue was not on the SPMA agenda or in the minutes because it is not a local issue. We could discuss it and even submit legislation for consideration, but any change in costume rules is under the purview of the USMS Rules committee and ultimately the House of Delegates.

The fact that the suits were even legal this year is only because FINA did not make a final ruling for Masters until January, well into the short course yards season. We (USMS) could have stopped all suit debate right then, but felt that it would be fair to everyone competing to allow them to be used until the end of the season. The vote on the rules committee was not unanimous.

As an opinion, when FINA looks at suit rules again in 2013, it is possible that they will change coverage again, bringing back zippers, body and full leg coverage, just not urethane or any non textile materials. Or maybe not, if World records begin to fall again.

danpleonard
June 25th, 2010, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the info Connie

Conniekat8
June 26th, 2010, 08:12 PM
Thanks for the info Connie

No problem :)
Any other questions you have, I'd be happy to share how we do things.

By the way, at the convention, lot of these how tos' get shared among clubs, and also often there are more formal workshops too.
They're kind of similar to a lot of ionformal info that can be found out, a lot of clubs share how they do things, and we try to disseminate this info, so others can use what they see fit for their situation :)

Lump
June 27th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Well, I just today had an Adult Swim League Championship meet at GA Tech today and we got to wear the suits. I ended up going 26.2 in the 50 back and 1:50.6 in the 200 Free. These were not far off what I did at Nationals. I have to say, I hope that come back for SCY. Today was fun!

Kerns
June 28th, 2010, 08:40 PM
We need to swim in the same suits the rest of the world is wearing. Drop the topic, move on and talk about something else.
We are swimming in the suits the rest of the world is swimming. It's about events the rest of the world doesn't swim. I would love to know what countries in the world are swimming yards besides the US.

Kerns
June 29th, 2010, 03:44 PM
The reason we are now becoming vocal about the Tech Suit issue is we just found out at Nationals there was a chance of the suits coming back and were advise to write our local leaders. So that is what was done and that is why the issue is coming up now. The difference is members are being informed about it through our own grass roots movement.

Last year the SPMA was directed by USMS at the National convention to do a poll to find out what the membership wanted. Under the current communication system at the SPMA this was a complete failure. If I have this right SPMA informed all the reps to take a poll. (Or was it just the reps who attended that month's meeting?) Those reps polled their swimmers and then voted at a SPMA meeting. Now you say the rep participation has been dismal. How is that fair and representative to the membership? Why not e-mail the minutes of the meetings with the e-mail for the upcoming meets and clinics? That way when an issue comes up we are interested in we can chase down the rep and let our feelings be known. Had that been done we would have known about the poll a year ago and could have done something about it then. So what was the vote? Am I able to go somewhere and see how many reps voted and which way? I could not find any minutes on this.

Connie you say we are refusing to use proper USMS procedures. We've been trying to find out what the proper procedure are. I would like to see one e-mail correspondence that shows we are refusing to use proper procedure. I can show you some that show us trying to find out what the proper procedures are. Your post to Dan has gone a long way in understanding the system. We are learning how SPMA works but when I joined I was never informed on how the structure of the SPMA works. I doubt there is one percent of the membership that knows. I never knew there was club reps or meetings. I found out the club rep is the owner who could care less about the SPMA or USMS. Now this is from the largest club in the SPMA. So were does the failure lie? Mine for not getting all the SPMA structure rules or SPMA for not communicating with me or allowing a system of communication through team reps who don't go to meetings? I'm curious, what percentage of teams are attending meetings? I've been a member for six years now and have never heard a report from a team rep. I tried to log into June's meeting but was unable because all the lines were taken. I see by June's minutes there was 30 in attendance. Now there are 78 clubs in SPMA, so even if the reps were to participate, they couldn't anyway since there are not enough conference call lines available.

So what had started out as a Tech suit issue leads us to a communication issue in the SPMA. So what really needs to be changed is the communication pipeline from the SPMA to it's members. The only real and effective communication is that of meet and clinic schedules from the SPMA newsletter. It's beyond me why the SPMA cannot see the failure in the communication system and have not taken steps to change it years ago. But then again the saying is "Knowledge is power" and by the SPMA not giving knowledge to it's membership the power can remain with the few whole are in the "good old boys club".

Conniekat8
June 30th, 2010, 05:08 AM
But then again the saying is "Knowledge is power" and by the SPMA not giving knowledge to it's membership the power can remain with the few whole are in the "good old boys club".

The very member who has been busy badmouthing SPMA via email - I know you saw it, you, and I and that particular member are all on the CC, is the very same person who was in the perfect position (and of rank) within SPMA to explain these things.

I could see that instead of helping woth 'how to's' they were more interested in finger pointing. I see that access to emails to inform people of either was no problem.

I only stepped in, on my own accord, when I saw that the person who should have helped you guys, and says they believe in the tech suit cause (and is of appropriate rank) hasn't lifted a finger to help.

This same member keeps talking about poor communications, and how certain things aren't being communicated, where in fact if one actually reads the "clinic and meet schedule emails" they will see they contain other things too.


Those reps polled their swimmers and then voted at a SPMA meeting. Now you say the rep participation has been dismal. How is that fair and representative to the membership? Why not e-mail the minutes of the meetings with the e-mail for the upcoming meets and clinics? That way when an issue comes up we are interested in we can chase down the rep and let our feelings be known. Had that been done we would have known about the poll a year ago and could have done something about it then. So what was the vote? Am I able to go somewhere and see how many reps voted and which way? I could not find any minutes on this.

There was no vote, because the tech suit proponents never put together and submitted the proposal for the rule change. Untill that happens, there is nothing to vote on.

USMS made the recommendation that the LMSC's poll their membership to see if they want to give the green light to put together a proposal for the rule change. SPMA alrady gave the green light, and had put Pat McGinnley in charge of the effort. We've also given him instructions. At this time, aside from a request for a membership wide poll to analyze general statistics, no rule change verbiage has been submitted.

Once the rule change proposal has been submitted, SPMA committe and the club reps can vote on whether to present it to the USMS rules committee. Once the rules committee has it in their hands, SPMA's power and involvement stops.

It's really not such a huge thing that some people would have you think, and us in the SPME good old boys club aren't stopping anyone from doing it. In fact, it was us whom are giving you how to instructions, instead of the higher ranking complaining members who also say they are the tech suit proponents, and who have been able to give you instructions months and months ago.

They were so good at communicating that the communications are bad, but they couldn't communicate what to do to submit a rule change proposal? I don't understand why one was communicated so easily, and the other was not - by the same people.

It's a little bit like "I'm not going to do the little things right, till you trust me with something big"


We are learning how SPMA works but when I joined I was never informed on how the structure of the SPMA works. I doubt there is one percent of the membership that knows.

How would you like to be informed?
There are piles and piles and piles of information, between SPMA, Southwest Zone and USMS Website, and including the USMS rule book. I don't recall how thick the USMS rule book is by now, some 100 pages or so, IIRC. the rest of the governing laws and rules, for SPMA is california code of corporations, then Roberts rules, then SPMA By-laws, and after that policies and procedures.
Lot of us SPMA volunteers even after a few years don't know quite a few things without looking them up first.
Trust me, if you want to be involved, noone is keeping this form you.

What may give the appearance of the good old boys club, perhaps, is the fact taht it's a very structured environment, not all that unlike a court system.

Conniekat8
June 30th, 2010, 05:35 AM
How would you like to be informed?
There are piles and piles and piles of information, between SPMA, Southwest Zone and USMS Website, and including the USMS rule book. I don't recall how thick the USMS rule book is by now, some 100 pages or so, IIRC. the rest of the governing laws and rules, for SPMA is california code of corporations, then Roberts rules, then SPMA By-laws, and after that policies and procedures.


Just to add, when Pat mcGinnley came to the meeting and asked about the tech suit, we gave him the basic info, gave him the green light to put together the rules proposal change, directed him to make contact with Pacific LMSC who has already done one, for samples and whatever else info he can get there. I've also seen a lot of more detailed followup information go to him via email.

All of which was sent to him by the 'good old boys club' rather then the members who have access to the same info and claim to be your proponents. Right now, we are waiting to get the proposed rule change. Once we do, it can be voted on whether or not to pass it on to the USMS Rules committee. This happened 8-10 days ago. I'd have to look it up to be sure.

We didn't wait till the 'membership is polled' via club assistant to convince us to give the green light.

As for how to get involved on other things, let me know, and I'll try to answer as best as I can, or help direct you where it can be looked up - I don't know it all off the top of my head. There is a huge amount of information available, I can't even begin to guess what may or may not be interesting to you.

If you are interested in local things being discussed at the SPMA meetings, the agenda usually gets posted several days before the meeting on the SPMA website.

If you are interested in many other administartive issues within SPMA, the website, emails and the swimmer magazine newsletter insert all have a lot of contact information for SPMA officers, who would be happy to assist you.

Last SPMA news email newletter that went out a few days ago also has links to a lot of those things at the bottom, under "Handy Links".

LindsayNB
June 30th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Unless the USMS rules already cover the issue of availability I would suggest that the proposed rule change needs to be expanded to include a requirement that suits need to be generally commercially available in order to be used in competition. It's clearly unfair if some competitors have access to suits while other competitors can not buy the same suit at any cost.

Kerns
July 1st, 2010, 08:41 PM
The proper procedures are in the bylaws, that have been posted on the SPMA website for many many years.

It would have been nice to have been given that information at the beginning of June when the issue started.


The club rep for the largest club in SPMA is Michael Collins, NOVA, who has participated in many many conference calls

I stand corrected. I thought SCAQ was. I guess a lot of SCAQ members haven't join the SPMA. As far as a club size goes, SCAQ is the largest. How many conference calls has Clay attended?


The meetings are open to the general membership, per our bylaws. Notification of the meetings has been in many emails sent to all members, in addition to emails sent to club reps.

I do not believe that I've ever gotten one of these emails.


You may not have been given the correct instructions. The instructions I sent to all the clubs had TWO different codes that could be used to call in. The first code filled up and others were able to use the second code to join the call. I can't be responsible for instructions you got from someone other than me.

I was given a code. It was a correct code. I know this because I was told that all the lines were full for the conference by a recording. I was not given a second code. Never knew there were 2 codes. So everyone needs to call you to get access? Just another example of the poor communication system in place by the SPMA.


AND THE NOTIFICATION OF THE CONFERENCE CALLS IS INCLUDED IN THE EMAILS ABOUT THE MEETS AND CLINICS. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. I have never received an email from you, or anyone else, requesting additional information about the conference calls. If you had emailed me, you would have received the date, time, call in number and code(s). In addition, you would have been asked if you wanted to be placed on the committee mailing list, so you would receive copies of all the reports.

So now I know. Well, using your horse analogy, I've been getting the information once the horse has left the barn. Why do I have to ask to be put on the list to get information? I never asked to get the emails about the upcoming meets and clinics yet I get those.

The fact is the information pipeline needs fixing. Even your husband's club does not pass out the information to it's master swimmers. I talked to a swimmer from the Rose Bowl Club and they said, "I have never been given information from the coach or anyone else". The system of passing information to the team reps, who for the most part do not attend meetings, is not working. It would be easy to send out all information and meeting minutes with the emails for upcoming meets. If people are not interested they do not have to read it. Just like SPMA members who do not compete do not have to read about upcoming meets if they don't want to.

There is a very large group that supports the Tech suit change. The community was never given a chance to voice their opinion. Because we are becoming so vocal about not having our opinion heard when it should have been dealt with last year, should be a red flag to the SMPA as to their procedures for disseminating information. It's time for the SPMA to stop using their smoke and mirror tactics, pull their head out of the sand and make some changes that make the system more user friendly for the membership.

Jessica Seaton
July 1st, 2010, 09:42 PM
There is a very large group that supports the Tech suit change. The community was never given a chance to voice their opinion. Because we are becoming so vocal about not having our opinion heard when it should have been dealt with last year, should be a red flag to the SMPA as to their procedures for disseminating information. It's time for the SPMA to stop using their smoke and mirror tactics, pull their head out of the sand and make some changes that make the system more user friendly for the membership.

Hubie,

I ran into Clay Evans earlier today outside the Culver City Plunge. He told me he is very opposed to bringing back the tech suits. He said most of the SCAQ swimmers are opposed to bringing back the tech suits and that those in favor of the tech suits represent a minority. He told me I could post this on the forum.

No one has stopped you from being involved in SPMA and in fact we've encouraged you to become more involved repeatedly. However, you're not doing yourself any favors by attacking those who have spent countless hours working tirelessly for the organization while people like you stand on the sidelines and benefit from our hours. Those of us who have been involved, and most of us have been involved for over 10 years, got involved because we care about the organization and masters swimming as a whole. We don't have one issue, such as tech suits, where we have some sort of personal agenda. We figured out how to get involved with SPMA, which, with a modicum of effort is not difficult to do.

Every two months you get USMS Swimmer Magazine with the SPMA inserted newsletter. On the last page of the newsletter is a list of the SPMA officers. Had you been interested you could have either phoned or e-mailed any of the SPMA officers. If you lost your magazine, you could have googled SPMA or Masters swimming in Southern California and accessed meeting minutes, bylaws, etc. Since you compete, you also could have asked SPMA's Quartermaster, Trisha Commons, who distributes awards at every SPMA meet, how to get involved. This is not smoke and mirrors, again, it is just a lack of initiative on your part until you had a personal agenda: tech suits.

Personally, I'm getting very tired of your criticisms and have yet to see anything constructive come of your rambling e-mails. You've been encouraged to get involved, so join the next conference call in a timely manner and learn how the organization works, and contribute in a positive way.

Jessica Seaton
July 1st, 2010, 10:30 PM
Clay Evans asked me to post this from him:
The majority of SCAQ is NOT in favor of the Tech suits. As head coach, founder and director of SCAQ we have not taken a poll.

The Tech suits are horrific. They break the purity of the sport, they break the history of the sport and worse the become a huge barrier for entry to the sport. It is most unfortunate to see races decided and placings scrambled due to the suit a person was wearing rather than how they were swimming. I was appalled that this ever escalading corporate war of suit companies was the major focus of swimming the last few years. The public was being duped! The biggest beneficiaries were profits coming from raking swimmers over the coals. Swimmers got a false sense of pride in achieving records that were wrongly assisted.

I hope that our wonderful sport is never again blemished like this.

Clay Evans
SCAQ Head Coach & Director
SCAQ 30 years old
USMS member 31 years
72 & 76 Olympian

Kerns
July 2nd, 2010, 02:39 AM
The very member who has been busy badmouthing SPMA via email - I know you saw it, you, and I and that particular member are all on the CC, is the very same person who was in the perfect position (and of rank) within SPMA to explain these things.

I could see that instead of helping woth 'how to's' they were more interested in finger pointing. I see that access to emails to inform people of either was no problem.

I only stepped in, on my own accord, when I saw that the person who should have helped you guys, and says they believe in the tech suit cause (and is of appropriate rank) hasn't lifted a finger to help.

This same member keeps talking about poor communications, and how certain things aren't being communicated, where in fact if one actually reads the "clinic and meet schedule emails" they will see they contain other things too.

Well Connie you're wrong. This member has been a big help in pointing out the failures in the system. Since when has pointing out truths and failures in the running of an organization badmouthing? What I know is fact, is the membership as a whole was never contacted about a vote at USMS or a poll of SPMA last year regarding the tech suits. The SPMA committee is trying to lay the blame on the membership for their lack of psychic abilities for not knowing about the poll. It would seem that something as big and as important which effects all the competition swimmers would have been something the committee would have tried to learn.


There was no vote, because the tech suit proponents never put together and submitted the proposal for the rule change. Untill that happens, there is nothing to vote on.

Once again, the proposal would have but together last had we known. I do believe John Quinn submitted a proposal a week ago.


USMS made the recommendation that the LMSC's poll their membership to see if they want to give the green light to put together a proposal for the rule change. SPMA alrady gave the green light, and had put Pat McGinnley in charge of the effort. We've also given him instructions. At this time, aside from a request for a membership wide poll to analyze general statistics, no rule change verbiage has been submitted.

Should I post John's proposal that was submitted a week ago here?


Once the rule change proposal has been submitted, SPMA committe and the club reps can vote on whether to present it to the USMS rules committee. Once the rules committee has it in their hands, SPMA's power and involvement stops.

It's really not such a huge thing that some people would have you think, and us in the SPME good old boys club aren't stopping anyone from doing it. In fact, it was us whom are giving you how to instructions, instead of the higher ranking complaining members who also say they are the tech suit proponents, and who have been able to give you instructions months and months ago.

We just found her last month to let her know how we felt. So how could she give us information months and months ago when she didn't even know who or wear the proponents are? She has been helping. Like I said John submitted the proposal last week. So how is that going?


They were so good at communicating that the communications are bad, but they couldn't communicate what to do to submit a rule change proposal? I don't understand why one was communicated so easily, and the other was not - by the same people.

Like I said John submitted the proposal last week. So how is that going?


It's a little bit like "I'm not going to do the little things right, till you trust me with something big"

Trust is gone because SPMA can't do the important issue right.


How would you like to be informed?
There are piles and piles and piles of information, between SPMA, Southwest Zone and USMS Website, and including the USMS rule book. I don't recall how thick the USMS rule book is by now, some 100 pages or so, IIRC. the rest of the governing laws and rules, for SPMA is california code of corporations, then Roberts rules, then SPMA By-laws, and after that policies and procedures.
Lot of us SPMA volunteers even after a few years don't know quite a few things without looking them up first.
Trust me, if you want to be involved, noone is keeping this form you.

I would like to be informed in the email that goes out that has all the meets and clinics on it. When I say "I" here, I'm talking about the membership. All minutes from the meeting should be on it. The date and time of the meetings should be there along with the pass word to log into the meetings. If someone is not interested they don't have to read it. All the rules and bylaws etc do not need to be sent out. On the website is just fine.


What may give the appearance of the good old boys club, perhaps, is the fact taht it's a very structured environment, not all that unlike a court system.

Some things work very well at SPMA. You need to look at that structure and see that there is a piece that is broken and needs fixing.

Kerns
July 2nd, 2010, 03:07 AM
Hubie,

I ran into Clay Evans earlier today outside the Culver City Plunge. He told me he is very opposed to bringing back the tech suits. He said most of the SCAQ swimmers are opposed to bringing back the tech suits and that those in favor of the tech suits represent a minority. He told me I could post this on the forum.

I see Clay all the time and he told me today he was going to post against Tech suits. Yes Clay is absolutely against Tech suits. However he has not polled SCAQ asking who is for or against tech suits. He may have talked to a few swimmers, I don't know but he has not polled the club. He is one person, one vote. I have polled the SCAQ swimmers who compete at the meets and all but one is in favor of the suits.


No one has stopped you from being involved in SPMA and in fact we've encouraged you to become more involved repeatedly. However, you're not doing yourself any favors by attacking those who have spent countless hours working tirelessly for the organization while people like you stand on the sidelines and benefit from our hours. Those of us who have been involved, and most of us have been involved for over 10 years, got involved because we care about the organization and masters swimming as a whole. We don't have one issue, such as tech suits, where we have some sort of personal agenda. We figured out how to get involved with SPMA, which, with a modicum of effort is not difficult to do.

Every two months you get USMS Swimmer Magazine with the SPMA inserted newsletter. On the last page of the newsletter is a list of the SPMA officers. Had you been interested you could have either phoned or e-mailed any of the SPMA officers. If you lost your magazine, you could have googled SPMA or Masters swimming in Southern California and accessed meeting minutes, bylaws, etc. Since you compete, you also could have asked SPMA's Quartermaster, Trisha Commons, who distributes awards at every SPMA meet, how to get involved. This is not smoke and mirrors, again, it is just a lack of initiative on your part until you had a personal agenda: tech suits.

Personally, I'm getting very tired of your criticisms and have yet to see anything constructive come of your rambling e-mails. You've been encouraged to get involved, so join the next conference call in a timely manner and learn how the organization works, and contribute in a positive way.

You still don't get it. It's not about the tech suits issue any more but about the way the SPMA distributes information. Please send me the email sent out to the membership from last year that says we are trying to find out how our membership feels about the tech suits that we are going to vote on at the National convention . Show me what I never received and I'll shut up. It's now about the failure of SPMA information pipeline.

Kerns
July 2nd, 2010, 03:13 AM
Clay Evans asked me to post this from him:
The majority of SCAQ is NOT in favor of the Tech suits. As head coach, founder and director of SCAQ we have not taken a poll.

Once again. If he has taken a poll it's not of all the members. I've taken a poll of the SCAQ members at the meets and all but one is in favor of the suits.


The Tech suits are horrific. They break the purity of the sport, they break the history of the sport and worse the become a huge barrier for entry to the sport. It is most unfortunate to see races decided and placings scrambled due to the suit a person was wearing rather than how they were swimming. I was appalled that this ever escalading corporate war of suit companies was the major focus of swimming the last few years. The public was being duped! The biggest beneficiaries were profits coming from raking swimmers over the coals. Swimmers got a false sense of pride in achieving records that were wrongly assisted.

I hope that our wonderful sport is never again blemished like this.

Clay Evans
SCAQ Head Coach & Director
SCAQ 30 years old
USMS member 31 years
72 & 76 Olympian

Kerns
July 2nd, 2010, 03:24 AM
OK, so you're admitting you get the emails about the upcoming meets and clinics.

Yet, you say you never gotten notification of the conference calls.

I put a Table of Contents at the top of each email. All you have to do is read it.

For example, check the email I sent on June 7th:
In this issue:
Las Vegas LCM meet, June 19th
SPMA Committee Conference Call, June 17th
July/August SPMA Newsletter available online
Open Water swimmers and Tech suits!
Handy Links

Over the years, I've included conference call information in many emails, and I've never had a request for more information. But it is there for any who would like to become involved.

Julie,

I only have June 24th email. But I sure you are right when you say it was listed. I have never noticed before but that's my issue not yours. I assume both codes were listed there. The minutes would be good too. It might make more people take notice to the inter workings and get more people involved.

Michael Heather
July 2nd, 2010, 11:43 AM
This may or may not add clarity to the issue at hand.

In July, 2009, FINA suddenly announced that tech suits were going to be banned. This is an international organization under which all National Governing Bodies (NGB) agree to operate their aquatic competitive operations. USA is the only country that has an independent Masters swimming organization, all others are part of the national (olympic) NGB. We (USMS) have agreed to abide by the same rules as all other NGBs and are full members in FINA.

USMS has 52 subsidiaries, called Local Masters Swimming Committees (LMSC), of which SPMA is one.

When USMS agrees to follow FINA rules, SPMA automatically agrees to go along with that because we are not a stand alone operation.

FINA did not rule on the Masters tech suit until January, 2010. This, and the above information are why the local swimmers were not polled by SPMA or any clubs about how they felt about tech suits. FINA does not care about your opinion, it cares only about the integrity of swimming as a sport. It felt that the tech suits were becoming the stars, rather than the swimmers.

The timeline above also indicates that there was nothing to poll about in 2009, because Masters were not affected until January of this year. USMS had made a ruling in January that the tech suits could be used in scy meets until June 01, 2010, only because the season had already started and some swimmers would have been unfairly advantaged by using the suits while still legal if USMS had followed the FINA ruling immediately.

Manufacturers had already stopped production of most of the suits in September of last year, there is no indication that they would start up production again for such a small segment, and if they did, the suits would be cheap at $500. Even if every masters swimmer in the USA promised to buy one, that is only 50,000 suits, when these companies are selling millions per year. In comparison, that is why Maserati cars are so expensive, compared to a Chevy. Sure, they are available for purchase, but not everyone could reasonably afford one. That is the same situation that the tech suits would create of they were to come back for any reason other than complete acceptance.

FINA will revisit the rulings in 2013, I suggest we wait until then to see of they relent on coverage, zippers, or material.

Conniekat8
July 3rd, 2010, 07:55 PM
Well Connie you're wrong.....

Ennnh, I wouldn't be so sure if I were you.

However, lets talk about this.... if you could make changes within the SPMA, any changes, to make it operate the way you would want, what would they be?

Conniekat8
July 4th, 2010, 10:46 PM
Should I post John's proposal that was submitted a week ago here?

I asked a few people to double check if the last I heard was the latest. It is. We got the first one, the same thing that jqswim also posted here. That has been answered and further instructions given on how to turn it into an actual rule change proposal, in a format that actually constitutes the rule change.

This means not just saying, we want the rule to change, we didn't get the poll, we haven't been heard, someone sits looks at the current verbiage, and redlines it to reflect the new verbiage. We already gave the green light to do things that people seem to think require a poll.

Guys submitting the first one have been instructed how to do this. Nothing has been resubmitted. Once the green light has been given, someone actually has to sit down and do the work to make it happen.

Conniekat8
July 8th, 2010, 10:32 PM
Ennnh, I wouldn't be so sure if I were you.

However, lets talk about this.... if you could make changes within the SPMA, any changes, to make it operate the way you would want, what would they be?

Anything? Anyone? We're listening!

Conniekat8
July 13th, 2010, 05:31 AM
I see, noone is posting here, or going trough proper channels, but personal accusatory emails about "noone at SPMA listening" are still going around.

*sigh*

By the way, the 'proper' rule proposal was eventually written, and submitted to SPMA Committee for a vote, wether to present it to USMS Rules Committee.
SPMA Club and Committee Members voted.

Proposed vote was:
Yes = Submit the rule change proposal to USMS Rules Committee
NO = Do Not submit the rule change proposal to USMS Rules Committee

Approximately two thirds of the SPMA Voting members voted NO.

[kitty braces herself to hear all about how the vote was gamed and rigged] :afraid:

SCAQ Member
January 1st, 2011, 11:24 PM
In 2009 over 1,000 swimmers converged upon the Belmont Plaza to compete in the SPMA Short Course Meters Regional Championships. I was one of them!

Move one year forward to the year 2010 and the meet attendance numbers suffered just about a 50% falloff. That equates to $15,000 in lost revenue for the Grunions who put on an amazingly great meet each year and who use the money to fund their programs.

If one looks at the Masters meet attendance throughout the 2009 season, a de facto falloff is glaringly evident. I think the answer is obvious and tech suits should be reinstated for at least short course yards season so as to bolster USMS numbers and revenue.

Lump
January 1st, 2011, 11:42 PM
In 2009 over 1,000 swimmers converged upon the Belmont Plaza to compete in the SPMA Short Course Meters Regional Championships. I was one of them!

Move one year forward to the year 2010 and the meet attendance numbers suffered just about a 50% falloff. That equates to $15,000 in lost revenue for the Grunions who put on an amazingly great meet each year and who use the money to fund their programs.

If one looks at the Masters meet attendance throughout the 2009 season, a de facto falloff is glaringly evident. I think the answer is obvious and tech suits should be reinstated for at least short course yards season so as to bolster USMS numbers and revenue.

If meet attendence is off by 50% in this economy, why would you think reinstituting $300 suits would raise it?!

thewookiee
January 2nd, 2011, 10:11 AM
If one looks at the Masters meet attendance throughout the 2009 season, a de facto falloff is glaringly evident. I think the answer is obvious and tech suits should be reinstated for at least short course yards season so as to bolster USMS numbers and revenue.

Give it a rest already.


Until FINA decides to let some verision of a body suit(ie shoulders to knee) back in to world swimming, USMS should follow the same suit rules as everyone else.

Grunion
January 2nd, 2011, 12:40 PM
In 2009 over 1,000 swimmers converged upon the Belmont Plaza to compete in the SPMA Short Course Meters Regional Championships. I was one of them!

Move one year forward to the year 2010 and the meet attendance numbers suffered just about a 50% falloff. That equates to $15,000 in lost revenue for the Grunions who put on an amazingly great meet each year and who use the money to fund their programs.

If one looks at the Masters meet attendance throughout the 2009 season, a de facto falloff is glaringly evident. I think the answer is obvious and tech suits should be reinstated for at least short course yards season so as to bolster USMS numbers and revenue.

Correction: As the Meet Director of the SPMA Championships I can confirm there were 650 swimmers not 1000....I wish.
2010....524 swimmers.

Jessica Seaton
January 2nd, 2011, 03:11 PM
Correction: As the Meet Director of the SPMA Championships I can confirm there were 650 swimmers not 1000....I wish.
2010....524 swimmers.

This looks like a 20% drop. This could have been due to the cold and rainy weather being forecast, or due to the timing of Thanksgiving.

The Short Course Meters Championship put on by the Grunions would not be affected by allowing tech suits in short course yards meets. Doesn't make sense.

I agree that it is time to give this issue a rest. SPMA voted overwhelmingly against submitting a proposal to USMS. Other LMSCs that conducted similar votes had similar results, with the overwhelming majority against bringing back the tech suits.