View Full Version : Is it legal??

Rob Nasser
March 26th, 2002, 04:58 PM
We have been recently kicking around the idea of doing a "Dash for Cash" type of meet and wanted to know a few things first..

- Is doing this type of meet legal by USMS rules, or is there certain criteria that have to be satisfied (out of the oridnary sanctioning stuff) to keep everything "above board"?

- Has anyone done this before, and if so, what pitfalls / benefits are there for this type of a meet?

- If this has been done before, how was the turnout and what did you think made a great difference in how the meet went overall?

Any constructive feedback on this would be appreciated..

Thanks In Advance!
Rob Nasser

March 26th, 2002, 06:00 PM

What exactly is a "Dash for Cash" meet?

Rob Nasser
March 26th, 2002, 06:10 PM
Anna Lea -

A Dash for Cash meet is one that swimmers swim for money in it's most primitive form.. It could be for the fastest, the slowest, the one who gets closest to guessing their time, and other possibilities. The reward for the winner is cold hard cash (Though our rec district is balking at the idea of cash and wants us to possibly consider using gift certificates to somewhere.. Lame!)

Hopefully this clears up what we are trying to do for you..

Rob Nasser

March 27th, 2002, 02:54 AM
I haven't heard of a Masters Meet giving away a special prize to event winners before (monetary or otherwise). I've heard of meets where there have been raffles or random giveaways...other meets where a heat winner was given a little extra something like a small prize or a gift certificate from a sponsor.

Though never tried, I think that such a "Splash and Dash" is legal with respect to USMS rules. There is a rule (202.1.1D) that says that you can't run a sanctioned meet solely for commercial, "for profit", or pure promotional value. I don't think that applies to what you describe.

That's not to say that there are other hidden issues or other potential show-stoppers outside of USMS rules. For example, it is a general principle that if you give out "awards" they should be of equal value to all age groups. (That is a codified requirement for USMS pool and long distance national championships). I wouldn't know if your local LMSC has a specific policy in this area, whether the host venue would allow it, how your non-profit status might be affected, whether you have to report prizes to the IRS, etc...

March 27th, 2002, 08:57 AM
One year we (Wildcat Masters in Lexington, Ky.) tried giving out merchandise instead of medals or ribbons. You accumulated points according to your placing (same as you score points for your team), and you could trade in the points for swimming paraphernalia (shammies, goggles, caps, etc.). We expected people to like getting things they could actually use instead of little pieces of cloth that accumulate dust somewhere. But the swimmers hated it. They wanted those ribbons. We were really surprised, but we got the message, and haven't tried it again.

Meg Smath
Wildcat Masters

March 27th, 2002, 11:21 AM

Mark Gill did this a few years ago at one of the meets at ASU. If memory serves, the cash prize was $50 for the winner and the event was the 50 m FR. I think there were two age categories for both men and women & it was fun to watch from the spectators point of view. The format was a series of elimination rounds leading to the finals. I'm not sure how the swimmers liked it but there were plenty of participants.

Check with Mark (mark.gill@asu.edu)...

mel dyck

March 27th, 2002, 01:45 PM
We have always given out door prizes instead of awards. We include all volunteers in the drawings (after all they are as much, or more, a part of the event as the swimmers are). This has always been well received and our meets are generally the best attended USMS meets in our area other than Zones.

Tom Ellison
March 28th, 2002, 10:44 AM
Gosh, after a recent bout with the flu, travel, work and all the other nonsense that keeps me out of the pool in the mornings....If I swam in this meet I'd probably win a goat or an old shoe or something like that..

April 2nd, 2002, 09:09 AM

I was in a small Masters meet in Kenora (Ontario, Canada) in January '02 and they gave out heat prizes - ie: the first heat of men would be on the blocks for their 50M free, and the starter would hand over the microphone to one of the Hosting Club's members who would then say something like:

"The person who comes in third(second/first/fourth) in this heat will win this lovely ashtray(City of London, Ontario plate/CD of music/whatever)", but our team never seemed to figure out if there was any set pattern to when they'd select a heat to give out prizes to.

I, as a recreo-competitive Masters swimmer (ie: I compete at meets but I'm far from the fastest in my age group and that's okay by me, I'm here for the fun/fitness aspect), found the prize-giving made the meet that much more interesting. The prizes themselves were... well... "interesting" - I think the hosting club asked members to donate things they don't need anymore that are in good shape - but it's not like we paid for them to GIVE prizes at the meet, so while it was fun, I don't know if anyone got a prize of practical value.

This particular Host Club did very well in terms of prizes, etc, at the banquet after the meet. The club was able to get enough donations from local businesses to hold a raffle with a lot of neat prizes (approximately $10 in value each), and for me, who won two prizes with my raffle tickets, it ended the meet experience perfectly.

Now, this was a small meet, and a lot of the participants were 40+ and had gone into less than 5 meets by this time. You can probably entertain us newbies a lot more easily than experienced folk at the larger meets. :)

Masters Swimmer
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

April 2nd, 2002, 09:30 AM
I know this is getting off the original topic of this thread, but what the heck. Jill, that idea of giving interesting prizes out to randomly selected heat/place finishers is great. It keeps people interested and doesn't feature or benefit the same old people that win the races at all meets. How about this as an add-on suggestion to make things interesting: Why not pick a heat where the finish should be very close based on seed times, and announce ahead of time that the kids timing for the swimmer who finishes first/third/whatever will win a prize. If you've got a kids team timing for the meet, this would really get them into a race every now and then and show some additional appreciation for their help.

Rob Nasser
May 21st, 2002, 07:22 AM
We're gonna do it!

It's very late notice, but we'll give it a try...

We are running two meets within one. One meet is like a standard meet but in between events we will run heats of the sprint eliminator.. There is too much to explain here, so check it out at..


Hope to see you there!!

Rob Nasser