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View Full Version : Why do "Zones" exist within USMS?



Paul Smith
September 20th, 2011, 02:09 PM
I left convention again (which was great this year by the way!) with a nagging question...why do we have "Zones" within the structure of USMS?

- They wield little if any "power" within the organization
- LMSC's are already often challenged with getting volunteers
- The only people that can participate pretty much have to be at convention
- One additional "layer" of "management?
- The lines that have been drawn are crazy...have you seen the Breadbasket?

I'd prefer to see a consolidation into 4 Regions...then realign the meet calendar so that "Regional" Championships actually mean something and are a viable alternative to folks that can't make Nationals for whatever reason.

Along with this I would prefer to see the competitive seasons "balanced" a bit as follows:

- Short Course = Mid-December until the end of April. State meets held around the first of March, Regional's two weeks later, Nationals two weeks after Regional's.

- Long Course = May 1 thru the end of August. State championships held around the first of July, Regional's two weeks later, Nationals two weeks after Regional's

- Short Course Meters = September 1 thru mid December. State meets in late October, Regional's in November, Nationals the first or second week of December.

ElaineK
September 20th, 2011, 04:33 PM
I'll give you one guess as to how I voted... :D

jim thornton
September 20th, 2011, 05:55 PM
Paul, honestly, I wanted to vote for option 1.

But the spelling error was just too much for me to overlook.

1. Yes, your brilliant Paul!

Everyone knows briliant has one l.

Paul Smith
September 20th, 2011, 05:56 PM
Paul, honestly, I wanted to vote for option 1.

But the spelling error was just too much for me to overlook.

1. Yes, your brilliant Paul!

Everyone knows briliant has one l.

:)

chowmi
September 20th, 2011, 07:39 PM
Did zones serve a larger role before the internet? The difference between now and when I started masters is actually quite amazing. I remember only knowing about local and zone meets from my team. You could only get hard copies. It was a big deal to get the Swimmer magazine because that was the only source for the nationals entries. Does anyone remember the pitiful blurb on "upcoming events"? Those were the only events I knew about!

chowsh
September 20th, 2011, 07:46 PM
well you were at convention. why not make a motion next year? (i realize it's not that simple but...)

Swimosaur
September 20th, 2011, 08:43 PM
I would rephrase the question as, "Why do we have LMSCs?"

I realize things probably work differently in different parts of the country -- and perhaps my LMSC is doing critical but invisible things that in my newbieness I am not too aware of -- but in my neck of the woods the Dixie Zone website (http://www.dixiezone.org/) is definitely the go-to place for information about upcoming meets (http://www.dixiezone.org/Meets.htm). The Dixie Zone also keeps Dixie Zone records (http://www.dixiezone.org/TT_records.htm) and publishes a Dixie Zone Top Ten list (http://www.dixiezone.org/TT_records.htm) at the end of every season. Since I can't quite make the national Top Ten lists, for me the Zone Top Ten lists are very motivating!

As an ordinary competitor, not the sort of person who goes to conventions, not an insider in any sense (and with apologies to LMSC folks for your critical but invisible services!), I get more valuable information from my Zone than I do from my LMSC.

pmccoy
September 20th, 2011, 09:31 PM
The Dixie Zone also keeps Dixie Zone records (http://www.dixiezone.org/TT_records.htm) and publishes a Dixie Zone Top Ten list (http://www.dixiezone.org/TT_records.htm) at the end of every season. Since I can't quite make the national Top Ten lists, for me the Zone Top Ten lists are very motivating!Cool! I didn't know this. Turns out I made a couple top 10 dixie zone times this year. Kind of shocked one of them was 200 fly since I entered that just to see if I could make it. I think you swam next to me in that race. I might be able to dig up some video of it if you want.

Swimosaur
September 20th, 2011, 09:42 PM
... I think you swam next to me in that race. I might be able to dig up some video of it if you want.

Aha! So it 'twas you who kicked my arse in the last 50. Well done! Put me down for a rematch this February -- I have been working on this race!

Yes, a video would be cool!

pmccoy
September 20th, 2011, 10:27 PM
Aha! So it 'twas you who kicked my arse in the last 50. Well done! Put me down for a rematch this February -- I have been working on this race!

Yes, a video would be cool!
Here you go: http://youtu.be/coM7NL9kEQA

You're on for February! I was nervous about 200 fly this year but look forward to swimming it again.

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2011, 10:54 AM
I left convention again (which was great this year by the way!) with a nagging question...why do we have "Zones" within the structure of USMS?

So it seems like your question or problem with zones has several facets

-- the administrative function zones serve (if any)
-- regional championships
-- geographic boundaries: should "zones" -- or "regions" if you prefer -- be larger?

Administrative benefits probably vary by zone. It seems like one of the main functions of ours is to try to get zone championships for pool and OW events and to facilitate communication to swimmers in the zone (eg thru the website -- and the CZ website (http://www.colonieszone.org/) is very nice, IMO -- and emails to LMSC officers). I think we get pretty good bang for the buck for these things, in our zone at least.

There are also zone reps on the USMS Board of Directors, which (theoretically at least) ensures some regional representation. That's probably a good thing.

I don't have a problem with your ideal championship format, but there are probably local factors (eg, facility availability) that come into play.

As far as making zones bigger, I don't know. Personally I think the area of a zone should be small enough that someone in the center could drive to any place in the zone in a day. If (say) Dixie and Colonies were combined, you'd conceivably have people from Maine travelling to Miami for a zone meet; that's a bit much.

Chris Stevenson
September 21st, 2011, 10:55 AM
Paul, honestly, I wanted to vote for option 1.

But the spelling error was just too much for me to overlook.

Be honest: you just want to continue to be called a "zonesman." Perfectly understandable.

TRYM_Swimmer
September 21st, 2011, 01:01 PM
No you're showing......

But, seriously, I think the driving distances would make a difference, as stated above.

I do like the standardized schedule for state, etc., meets, but that may vary from region to region, depending on pool availability, etc.

Allen Stark
September 21st, 2011, 01:59 PM
I like our current Zones.A ZR is easier to get than an RR would be(By the way NW is the biggest Zone since we have AK which pretty much invalidates any easy driving arguments.)Also I don't get the changing of the course seasons.What if you go to Canada's Nats in April,do your swims not count for USMS?Same for a SCY meet in the fall or an SCM meet in the spring.

aquageek
September 21st, 2011, 02:16 PM
I will not attend any more meets until wookiee begins experimenting with deodorant usage and EKakiac doesn't use the forum to whine about all things swimming. So, suffice it to say, see you on deck!

thewookiee
September 21st, 2011, 02:53 PM
I will not attend any more meets when wookiee begins experimenting with deodorant usage and EKakiac doesn't use the forum to whine about all things swimming. So, suffice it to say, see you on deck!

Geekity, do you mean "until wookiee begins..." You can forget about EKakiac not complaining about something at shady acres. Wonder how many complaints the shady acres hod got before she arrived?

That Guy
September 21st, 2011, 03:07 PM
ʇı oʇ ʇǝb ʎpɐǝɹןɐ ʇno sıɥʇ pǝbbnɥ ʇ,uǝʌɐɥ sʎnb noʎ ןןɐ ʇɐɥʇ ǝןqıssod ʇı sı ʍoɥ

pwb
September 21st, 2011, 03:16 PM
ʇı oʇ ʇǝb ʎpɐǝɹןɐ ʇno sıɥʇ pǝbbnɥ ʇ,uǝʌɐɥ sʎnb noʎ ןןɐ ʇɐɥʇ ǝןqıssod ʇı sı ʍoɥ
We have. But, as it's harder to read than this, we have chosen not to exercise this "skill."

thewookiee
September 21st, 2011, 03:20 PM
ʇı oʇ ʇǝb ʎpɐǝɹןɐ ʇno sıɥʇ pǝbbnɥ ʇ,uǝʌɐɥ sʎnb noʎ ןןɐ ʇɐɥʇ ǝןqıssod ʇı sı ʍoɥ

I tried to make amends with geek. He got jealous after he found out that despite all my hair, I could swim open water distance freestyle better than him. Instead of hugging me, he immediately went to the krispy kreme to gorge on pink iced doughnuts. Once he was done, he cried himself to sleep over a giant slushy from 7-11.

By the time he was finished with his sobbing, people were mistaking him for Paul Smith. He immediately started ramblings about sprinting, duke's superiority over unc, how his homestate of tennessee has diowned him(can't really blame us) and how losing to fortress has cost him is manhood.

ElaineK
September 21st, 2011, 03:22 PM
well you were at convention. why not make a motion next year? (i realize it's not that simple but...)

Hey, Chowsh! I see you're back on the Forums. :welcome:

ElaineK
September 21st, 2011, 03:33 PM
I will not attend any more meets when wookiee begins experimenting with deodorant usage and EKakiac doesn't use the forum to whine about all things swimming. So, suffice it to say, see you on deck!

Now, now, Geek; I only whine about noodlers and 86 degree pool temperatures :bitching:. (Hmmm, I did whine about having to miss three weeks of swimming while I was away...) Oh yeah; I also whine about you being such a pain in the :mooning:! Otherwise, I think I'm very positive and upbeat about all things swimming; USMS :cheerleader:, at least! (My times? No.)

aquageek
September 21st, 2011, 03:36 PM
He got jealous after he found out that despite all my hair, I could swim open water distance freestyle better than him.

A cable swim is the equivalent of walking a cat, on a leash.

I do love a good Big Gulp from the 7-11 however. Serves as an excellent dip cup to boot.

ElaineK
September 21st, 2011, 03:36 PM
ʇı oʇ ʇǝb ʎpɐǝɹןɐ ʇno sıɥʇ pǝbbnɥ ʇ,uǝʌɐɥ sʎnb noʎ ןןɐ ʇɐɥʇ ǝןqıssod ʇı sı ʍoɥ

:bighug: :smooch: These are for you, instead! (Sheeesh; now I have a neck ache from turning upside down to read your post...)

ElaineK
September 21st, 2011, 03:38 PM
We have. But, as it's harder to read than this, we have chosen not to exercise this "skill."

You haven't quite got the hang of it, pwb. It's: this :D

thewookiee
September 21st, 2011, 03:39 PM
Now, now, Geek; I only whine about noodlers and 86 degree pool temperatures :bitching:. (Hmmm, I did whine about having to miss three weeks of swimming while I was away...) Oh yeah; I also whine about you being such a pain in the :mooning:! Otherwise, I think I'm very positive and upbeat about all things swimming; USMS :cheerleader:, at least! (My times? No.)

Geek is not a PITA(No, not People Eating Tasty Animals) He is a very kind, considerate, thoughtful, warm, generous,humble, representative of USMS.

I don't think any of us appreciate someone questioning the character of super swimmer and great friend.

If only we all could strive to be more like him.

:bolt:

aquageek
September 21st, 2011, 03:39 PM
Otherwise, I think I'm very positive and upbeat about all things swimming

Think again.

edited for adult website usage standards

ElaineK
September 21st, 2011, 03:46 PM
Think again.

edited for adult website usage standards

Geek, I'll help you out on this one: :censor:

gdanner
September 22nd, 2011, 08:54 AM
I would rephrase the question as, "Why do we have LMSCs?"

Many of the officer roles at the LMSC level do not exist at the Zone level (at least in Colonies this is the case). In no particular order:


Coaches
Registrar
Officials
Sanctions
Treasurer
Top Ten Recorder
Secretary
some other optional roles

Even if they did create these positions, many would not be manageable for a single person at the Zone level...that person would be responsible for thousands of members at a minimum. Since most LMSC board members are volunteers, that would be asking a lot.

USA-S is structured in a similar manner (59 LSCs). There are Zone Directors (coach and non-coach), but beyond that, it is up to the individual LSC boards to manage everything on a local level.