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Rich Abrahams
September 25th, 2013, 10:47 PM
I just saw an article about the new FINA swim rules and I'm confused about the one relating to swimming unattached in a SCM or LCM meet. The new rule states that if a swimmer does enter a meet as unattached not only will his or her time not count for FINA top ten or a record, but that everyone in the meet will also have their times be unrecognized. Sounds a bit harsh.

Also, backstrokers can no longer finish underwater. How will that be judged? What if your entire body is submerged on the final lunge except for the toes of one foot completing a final kick?

Clarification from our rule gurus please.

sunruh
September 26th, 2013, 08:38 AM
Rich,
let me answer for you (but im sure Kathy could do a more eloquent job).

we (USMS) just voted in new rules to make sure this never happens in USMS.
now, you will become a member of club Unattached (1 per lmsc) that allows you and everyone else in the meet to be legal.
europe requires everyone to be in a club but doesnt have our 60day rule.....so this is our way of still keeping our rules and also following theirs.

um, if the toes break the surface, you arent submerged now are you! :D

steve
(and yes i'm on the rules committee)

p.s. all of those went in effect on monday in accordance with FINA.

pwb
September 26th, 2013, 09:03 AM
...Also, backstrokers can no longer finish underwater. How will that be judged?...... probably about as well as 'only one underwater dolphin kick' on the breaststroke pullout.

sunruh
September 26th, 2013, 09:05 AM
pwb,
remember it USED to be ZERO.....but then they changed it because the olympic gold medalist and world record holder kept taking 1.....even though it was illegal

knelson
September 26th, 2013, 10:21 AM
The backstroke rule was silly before. How can you finish submerged, but avoid being submerged before that point? A rule that can't be judged accurately is a poor rule.

analazy
September 26th, 2013, 10:49 AM
if that is true... I am glad have decided not to compete so soon! Have been unattached all my life and been at the Top10 until 2012 either USMS member or Europeís unattached swimmer. Rubbish!:blah:
My turn to group45-49 will be smooth:cheerleader:, no competitions:D

Chris Stevenson
September 26th, 2013, 02:57 PM
Also, backstrokers can no longer finish underwater. How will that be judged? What if your entire body is submerged on the final lunge except for the toes of one foot completing a final kick?

This isn't really a new rule b/c swimmers were DQ'd before if they submerged before the finish (b/c the violated the "you can't be submerged past 15m" rule). I've seen USMS swimmers DQ'd who lunged too early. It is okay to be submerged when your hand is on the wall but not before.

Kirk is right: how can you be submerged AT the finish if you weren't submerged PRIOR to the finish (which is not allowed)? So they got rid of the "it is okay to be submerged at the finish" part.

I think this has always been a hard call b/c it is difficult to simultaneously view the finish and the feet (which are the last thing to go under). Maybe any officials here can disagree though (ie, argue that it isn't a hard call).

Michael Heather
September 27th, 2013, 01:16 AM
Thinking about the final lunge to the wall is not why the rule was changed. There were some swimmers that were actually going underwater from the flags and kicking into the wall.

"Club Unattached" is strictly an administrative effort to keep all USMS members legal for FINA records and top ten listings. If you had never heard of the rule change, you would not know any difference. When you register, you will not have to select the club, your registrar will not have to pay for creating a new club, and the national office will only have to create 52 new clubs on lists. Just don't get the great idea that Club Unattached can enter relays. Not gonna happen.

Chris Stevenson
September 27th, 2013, 07:26 AM
Thinking about the final lunge to the wall is not why the rule was changed. There were some swimmers that were actually going underwater from the flags and kicking into the wall.

I've seen two people DQ'd for this type of thing even under the old rules.

Kevin in MD
September 29th, 2013, 09:52 PM
I just saw an article about the new FINA swim rules and I'm confused about the one relating to swimming unattached in a SCM or LCM meet. The new rule states that if a swimmer does enter a meet as unattached not only will his or her time not count for FINA top ten or a record, but that everyone in the meet will also have their times be unrecognized. Sounds a bit harsh.

What does europe have against unattached swimmers?

tpost2
September 29th, 2013, 11:29 PM
This is clever. While we're on the topic, I read somewhere that you can't enter Worlds without being attached to a club. First, is that true, and second, if so, does this new USMS rule allow one to enter Worlds under "Team Unat"?

Michael Heather
September 30th, 2013, 12:24 AM
1) Yes, it's true, 2)no, you have to enter with a club recognized by your federation (USMS in our case).

The reason that Europe seems to hate unattached swimmers is that somewhere, one or more people who have no ties to any federation have tried to gain recognition on FINA's top ten lists by calling themselves unattached. Only in these cases, it is more of a globally unattached thing. So, since only USA and a very few other countries even recognize unattached (meaning not representing a club) swimmers, FINA has created this kind of new ruling to protect our legal swimmers from being supplanted by unattached interlopers. It affected our rules a little more significantly because we have a 60 day non-compete rule that allows someone to transfer between clubs by becoming unattached for a short time.

Clear yet?

knelson
September 30th, 2013, 10:30 AM
So is the implication that this person or persons are making up times?

Chris Stevenson
September 30th, 2013, 11:46 AM
I read somewhere that you can't enter Worlds without being attached to a club. First, is that true, and second, if so, does this new USMS rule allow one to enter Worlds under "Team Unat"?


no, you have to enter with a club recognized by your federation (USMS in our case).

I don't quite understand. I thought that now our UNAT is a USMS club for FINA purposes; that was the whole purpose in passing the new UNAT-related rules. How can it satisfy FINA in a general sense but not for Worlds?

Rob Copeland
September 30th, 2013, 01:08 PM
So is the implication that this person or persons are making up times?No.


I thought that now our UNAT is a USMS club for FINA purposes; that was the whole purpose in passing the new UNAT-related rules. How can it satisfy FINA in a general sense but not for Worlds?I believe the primary reason for the new USMS rules is so times achieved at USMS sanctioned events can be considered for FINA records and top times; and not throw out because one or more swimmers were not attached to registered member clubs of USMS. Worlds is not a USMS sanctioned event. What will be accepted as valid clubs for Worlds will be up to that countryís NGB.

knelson
September 30th, 2013, 01:12 PM
No.

Then it makes the rule even more bizarre. Why would they care otherwise?

sunruh
September 30th, 2013, 02:12 PM
Then it makes the rule even more bizarre. Why would they care otherwise?

well to understand FINA you must:

1) not be a swimmer
2) like making up obscure rules
3) use language in such rules as to be even more confusing (ie seperated...yet is touching side-by-side)
4) be affraid of getting your tan jacket wet
.
.
.

Michael Heather
September 30th, 2013, 09:05 PM
Then it makes the rule even more bizarre. Why would they care otherwise?

As I stated in post #12, there are people who are not aligned with any club or national federation. The second part of that is where FINA gets interested. They do not want to recognize anybody in the record books that does not represent a member federation. Control is important to FINA.

Glenn
September 30th, 2013, 09:10 PM
[QUOTE Worlds is not a USMS sanctioned event. [/QUOTE]

Mike,

So does this mean you will not be going to Worlds in Montreal?

tpost2
September 30th, 2013, 10:43 PM
As I stated in post #12, there are people who are not aligned with any club or national federation. The second part of that is where FINA gets interested. They do not want to recognize anybody in the record books that does not represent a member federation. Control is important to FINA.


I have to admit I'm still confused... so wouldn't someone in USMS "club unat" be representing USMS (USMS being the member federation)? I thought that's basically what the new USMS rule says?

knelson
September 30th, 2013, 11:36 PM
so wouldn't someone in USMS "club unat" be representing USMS (USMS being the member federation)?

Yes, and that's why USMS created the unattached club (I presume). It gives the option for swimmers to be members of USMS (and their LMSC) while not being a member of a club--unless you think "club unattached" is really a club. ;)

Michael Heather
October 1st, 2013, 12:58 AM
I have to admit I'm still confused... so wouldn't someone in USMS "club unat" be representing USMS (USMS being the member federation)? I thought that's basically what the new USMS rule says?

Much as we would like to think, USMS is not the center of the world, nor does it dictate rules to FINA. The Club Unat in USMS is only for use in our own meets, in order to satisfy the FINA rule, which is global. If anyone enters a world Masters meet, they have to abide by the local and FINA rules.



So does this mean you will not be going to Worlds in Montreal?

Okay, now we are bleeding over from another thread altogether, which only deals with short course yards meets. In May.

Rob Copeland
October 1st, 2013, 08:26 AM
Yes, and that's why USMS created the unattached club (I presumeA primary reason for USMS passage of the rules for unattached swimmers is so USMS sanctioned events can comply with FINA MSW 5.3 “World Records can only be established in a Masters meet: …
d. in which only swimmers registered in a club member of a FINA Member Federation participated.”

And

“APPENDIX 1
Ruling for Masters Top Ten tabulations.
Results that are valid for the FINA Masters Top Ten results can only be established in a Masters meet: ...
d) in which only swimmers registered in a club member of a FINA Member Federation participated.

From http://www.fina.org/H2O/docs/rules/ma_rules_20132017new2.pdf

tpost2
October 1st, 2013, 08:44 PM
Yes, and that's why USMS created the unattached club (I presume). It gives the option for swimmers to be members of USMS (and their LMSC) while not being a member of a club--unless you think "club unattached" is really a club. ;)

Agree! I wonder if someone could post the new USMS language around this? If it says that Unat members of USMS are now deemed to be "registered in a club member of a FINA Member Federation", and does so without caveat, then it would seem to apply in any situation where one is required to be "registered in a club member of a FINA Member Federation"... whether that is for top ten or for entry into Worlds.

sunruh
October 2nd, 2013, 08:41 AM
i have asked Kathy to post it.

Rob Copeland
October 2nd, 2013, 12:26 PM
I wonder if someone could post the new USMS language around this?
201.3.4 An unattached swimmer is an individual member who is registered with the club Unattached through an LMSC. Swimmers registered with the club Unattached shall not compete in relays or score club points in competition. Competing while registered with the club Unattached shall not be considered as representing a club for purposes of 201.3.5.



Rationale: Conform to and make effective the date that FINA proposed change MSW 6.2 becomeseffective, should it pass the FINA Congress in July. To clarify that all current rules regarding unattachedwill continue to function as previously interpreted.

tpost2
October 2nd, 2013, 03:57 PM
201.3.4 An unattached swimmer is an individual member who is registered with the club Unattached through an LMSC. Swimmers registered with the club Unattached shall not compete in relays or score club points in competition. Competing while registered with the club Unattached shall not be considered as representing a club for purposes of 201.3.5.

Excellent - thanks for posting. So it basically says that someone swimming Unat within an LMSC is now a 'club' member in the eyes of USMS (except that it won't prohibit a swimmer from registering with 'real' club a la 201.3.5) and it says this in a very non-specific and broad way. Now, does anyone have the entry language for Worlds that requires a swimmer to be attached to club in order to register? I love logic puzzles like this...

knelson
October 2nd, 2013, 11:09 PM
This sounds like an Abbott and Costello sketch.

I thought you said you were on a club?
Yes, I'm unattached.
How can you be on a club and be unattached?
I'm on club Unattached, obviously!

Michael Heather
October 3rd, 2013, 12:23 AM
Excellent - thanks for posting. So it basically says that someone swimming Unat within an LMSC is now a 'club' member in the eyes of USMS ...

Actually, no.

What this does is make FINA think you are on a club when swimming at home meets. USMS still knows you are unattached. Read the last sentence again.

tpost2
October 4th, 2013, 07:13 PM
Actually, no.

What this does is make FINA think you are on a club when swimming at home meets. USMS still knows you are unattached. Read the last sentence again.


knelson... :) Ha! A&C is right... now back to the fun and games

"Competing while registered with the club Unattached shall not be considered as representing a club for purposes of 201.3.5." you mean that sentence? All that does is refer to 201.3.5 which says "A swimmer shall not represent any club in competition for 60 consecutive days before transferring affiliation to another club, unless this transfer takes place at the time of annual registration. A swimmer may declare unattached status at any time without written application."

So according to this, the only purpose for which "club Unat" is not considered a club is for purposes of allowing a swimmer to not wait the 60 days before transferring to another club. Which makes sense because since club unat is a 'real' club, no one would ever be able to switch in mid-year according to 201.3.5. Sorry.... this actually strengthens the argument that club unat is a 'real' club, or the exception would not have to exist.

Now, if you agree with that logic, please help me understand how USMS 'fooled' FINA into thinking that Unat folks are swimming on a club "when swimming at home meets" (the phrase in quotes, BTW, does not appear to be specified anywhere) and not why it would 'fool' FINA for other purposes where club membership would be required.

Michael Heather
October 5th, 2013, 01:12 AM
Since you seem more interested in proving your point than understanding the rule, please go right ahead and enter Worlds using Club Unattached.

I believe that FINA has been apprised of our solution to the rule and are satisfied with it.

tpost2
October 5th, 2013, 10:45 AM
Since you seem more interested in proving your point than understanding the rule, please go right ahead and enter Worlds using Club Unattached.

I believe that FINA has been apprised of our solution to the rule and are satisfied with it.

Well, I suppose that's one way of shutting down a dialogue.... I happen to be 'attached', so the situation does not apply to me. As you stated earlier, "much as we would like to think, USMS is not the center of the world, nor does it dictate rules to FINA". USMS cannot 'apprise' FINA of anything. To the contrary, if I'm reading between your lines correctly, it's really FINA that is allowing USMS to change this rule for a limited FINA purpose. My suggestion and hope is that in the future, when USMS rule language is changed for a narrow purpose, it's crafted it in such a way that mitigates potential confusion... both the broadness of this language and the timing of the change might lead one (logically) to assume it has to do with World entries, not for protecting the elites that might set a world record at a home meet. It would truly be a shame if 'club Unat' swimmers enter Worlds and miss the opportunity to compete on the basis of this overly broad language. You have the power to prevent this. And that is my point.

sunruh
October 7th, 2013, 08:32 AM
ok, how about:
in USMS you are only allowed to compete if you are a member of a club. <---- notice the period.
if you want to switch clubs, you are unattached and cannot compete (NO MATTER WHAT) for 60 days. <---- notice the period.

there are no exceptions. is that what you want?
just 2 sentences.

Chris Stevenson
October 7th, 2013, 12:24 PM
both the broadness of this language and the timing of the change might lead one (logically) to assume it has to do with World entries

On the document explaining the new rules (http://www.usms.org/rules/20130915_unat_fina_changes.pdf), the first sentence:


The 2013 USMS House of Delegates adopted the following changes to USMS rules to conform to rule changes adopted by the FINA Congress July 2013.


So not motivated by Worlds specifically. The situation with Worlds is confusing, I agree, though I am not sure that USMS has "the power to prevent it" since FINA sets the rules.

The scope was much broader than Worlds: FINA doesn't like unattached and threatened to stop recognizing ANY swims from ANY swimmer in ANY meet (not just Worlds) that contained UNAT swimmers. When the USMS solution was presented to them, they said it would be okay with them so we adopted it with enough wording to make sure that UNAT couldn't swim in official relays and the like.

If someone wants to be sure FINA will "like" their swims at Worlds, given their antipathy for the concept, my advice to that person is not to enter UNAT regardless of the wording of any USMS rule on the subject. It seems to me that ultimately the main guarantee USMS can offer is that the swim will be valid for USMS purposes.

tpost2
October 7th, 2013, 08:38 PM
ok, how about:
in USMS you are only allowed to compete if you are a member of a club. <---- notice the period.
if you want to switch clubs, you are unattached and cannot compete (NO MATTER WHAT) for 60 days. <---- notice the period.

there are no exceptions. is that what you want?
just 2 sentences.


*sigh*... Sure... although I suspect that your proposed "solution" would bother others much more than me, even if it is a non-sequitur.

My appeal to intellect, i.e. the Socratic method, has failed. My appeal to the forum's humanity has failed. I am left with no choice but to retreat with apologies for suggesting that USMS be clearer about the rules so that those UNAT souls who do not frequent the forums or who do not have relationships with clubs and USMS staff won't be confused by the unstated nuances of the broadly written USMS rules. My intention in pressing the issue was to raise concern and awareness, not the hackles of the forumites.

FYI - Chris, I appreciate the interesting dimension you added to the discussion. Sorry I wasn't as clear as I could have been so thanks for the opportunity to clarify. By "power to prevent" I was referring to the power of USMS to prevent undue confusion among Unat USMS swimmers by creating rules that say what they're intended to say.

Thanks, all.

johnnyalbo61
October 7th, 2013, 10:23 PM
I agree! I'm new to my LSMC unattached and that rule sux!

sunruh
October 8th, 2013, 08:31 AM
if you dont like the new rule, please write up a new version and propose it through your lmsc to the rules committee chair (Kathy Casey). or even better, join the rule committee!!!
lucky for you next year is a rules (changes) year and could easily be voted on for approval.
the rules change this year was basically an emergency due to FINAs new rule that if just 1 unattached swimmer was in a meet then ALL swimmers in the meet have their times thrown out.
the new USMS rule (agreed to by FINA) allows USMS swimmers to swim unattached (within USMS) and have all times in a meet count for everyone.

now you understand the single reason i have gotten involved. not only do i not want to get caught by a rule infraction, i dont want anyone else to either!

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2013, 08:38 AM
I agree! I'm new to my LSMC unattached and that rule sux!I guess I don’t understand all the fuss.

From a swimmer’s perspective:
1) If I’m a member of a USMS club and I swim in a USMS sanctioned event
A) my times can be counted for USMS and FINA (for meters) top 10 and records,
B) I can swim on relays for my club,
C) I can score points for my club

2) If I’m unattached and I swim in a USMS sanctioned event
A) my times can be counted for USMS and FINA (for meters) top 10 and records,
B) I don’t get to swim on relays

Isn’t this exactly what happens in USMS sanctioned events today?

smontanaro
October 8th, 2013, 09:47 AM
the rules change this year was basically an emergency due to FINAs new rule that if just 1 unattached swimmer was in a meet then ALL swimmers in the meet have their times thrown out.

That USMS needed to do this in such a quick fashion gives you some idea how nutty FINA's new rule is.

Is there some plausible rationale for the new (FINA) rule?

knelson
October 8th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Yeah, I doubt anyway is taking issue with USMS's rule change. I think it's pretty ingenious and maybe even a tad diabolical. It's the FINA rule that's bizarre. As far as Worlds entries I think it would be nice if USMS clarified exactly what is required for entries so no USMS registered swimmer's entry is rejected.

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2013, 10:37 AM
That USMS needed to do this in such a quick fashion gives you some idea how nutty FINA's new rule is.

Is there some plausible rationale for the new (FINA) rule?This wasnít technically an emergency; the USMS proposal was a timely submission to the Legislation Committee, in July. The FINA proposal was published in April and approved at the FINA Congress in July.

USMS needed to adopt (or reject) this change to our rulebook, as well as many others, at our annual meeting; in accordance to USMS rules. The ďUnattached ďrule happened no quicker or slower than any other proposed change to our rulebook.

I believe a number of posters have given their opinion as to the rationale for the FINA rule, in previous posts. FINA generally just publishes bureau recommendations with their proposed rules changes, so you will need to ask FINA bureau members if you want their rational for recommending the change; the best we can do on this forum is to continue to give you conjecture.

knelson
October 8th, 2013, 11:08 AM
"Empire-building" is the phrase that comes to mind...

sunruh
October 8th, 2013, 12:03 PM
This wasn’t technically an emergency; the USMS proposal was a timely submission to the Legislation Committee, in July. The FINA proposal was published in April and approved at the FINA Congress in July.



while somewhat true, consider that
Top Ten for Long Course Meters is Oct 1 till Sep 30
and USMS convention was held in mid-Sep.
how much more time was there? barely 3 weeks.
and without a FINA approved "club Unat" allowance for USMS all swims starting Oct 1 for lcm *could* (key word) have been thrown out by FINA. as well as the already on going season for scm with similar repercussions.
yes there were months of lead up, but in the end, it was just 3 weeks.

knelson, i'm pretty sure fina already is the Empire. without fina's blessing you cannot be recognized in *any* human only water sport competition.

orca1946
October 8th, 2013, 12:26 PM
Des this now allow us to pull onto our team a "unattached" swimmer anytime during the season?

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2013, 12:49 PM
yes there were months of lead up, but in the end, it was just 3 weeks. True, but this is the typical situation with FINA. FINA holds a general congress every 4 years, usually in July, depending on when the World Championships are held. And USMS has from the time FINA proposals are published until they are acted upon by the congress to figure out if we need to make rules changes to align with FINA rules.

We have a bigger annual fire-drill dealing with USA Swimming Amendments That Affect USMS Rules.



knelson, i'm pretty sure fina already is the Empire.The title of “World Governing Body for Aquatic Sports” may also be a clue.

melinda
October 11th, 2013, 07:32 AM
I guess I donít understand all the fuss.

From a swimmerís perspective:
1) If Iím a member of a USMS club and I swim in a USMS sanctioned event
A) my times can be counted for USMS and FINA (for meters) top 10 and records,
B) I can swim on relays for my club,
C) I can score points for my club

2) If Iím unattached and I swim in a USMS sanctioned event
A) my times can be counted for USMS and FINA (for meters) top 10 and records,
B) I donít get to swim on relays

Isnít this exactly what happens in USMS sanctioned events today?

I'm piping in now after reading the entire forum. Like Rich A., I was baffled by the rule change and naively read it to mean that anyone entering a meet as UNAT would result in all participants' times not being able to qualify for Top Ten consideration. I immediately contacted a friend who was joining USMS for the first time but who practices on her own to find a club to join so she could enter meets without affecting the rest of us. So, I like Rob's summary but it would be clearer if he modified 2A) to say "all swimmers' times, including my own, can be counted for .... Top Ten ...

Now I can tell my new swimming friend she can be UNAT, compete in meets, and not affect others' ability to be counted for Top Ten and records.

Katherine Neustadt
October 11th, 2013, 12:01 PM
What does europe have against unattached swimmers?

I have no idea. And it can be a real pain. You wind up paying ASA (similar to USAS) fees - which you have to pay through a club - AND you have to pay club dues for your affiliation. Neither of these equate to being able to actually *train* with a club, which requires not only additional fees, but also finding a club that has a Masters squad and trains at times you can actually attend (9-10pm on a Sunday night? Really?). I'm lucky that the club I found in Southampton was great and, now that I'm living 140 miles away, I can pay a nominal fee every month to maintain my affiliation, and if I can make it to a training session with them, they don't ask for extra money. However, I probably wouldn't bother doing it if it weren't for my boyfriend still living down there and also swimming for the club.

Betsy
October 11th, 2013, 03:23 PM
I believe the new rule states that club Unattached members cannot swim on relays or score points. I think that probably means they can't enter Worlds without a full club.
I think it is interesting that Europe allows swimmers to switch teams or sometimes represent a different team/club if their home club is not entered. That would probably be chaos here.

knelson
October 11th, 2013, 04:51 PM
I think it is interesting that Europe allows swimmers to switch teams or sometimes represent a different team/club if their home club is not entered. That would probably be chaos here.

It's strange. They force you to be on a club, but you don't need to show even a modicum of allegiance to that club. It's a cherry picker's paradise!

Michael Heather
October 12th, 2013, 07:48 PM
USA Water Polo allows you to change clubs in the same tournament (including nationals) as long as you don't compete in the same age group.