View Full Version : Brand New Here, Need Some Help with competition rules

August 2nd, 2014, 06:23 PM
Hello! I just joined USMS today. I live in Nebraska and joined through this state, but want to compete in an upcoming meet in Missouri. Is that allowed?

Thank you!

August 2nd, 2014, 08:20 PM
I see several views and no replies on this. I've emailed the meet director, but haven't heard back yet. Am I correct in assuming most of you compete in your own state?

August 2nd, 2014, 08:42 PM
You can compete in USMS meets anywhere in the country. You're not limited to your own state.

August 2nd, 2014, 08:43 PM
Welcome to Masters! Yes, you can compete anywhere across the country, so it's fine to go visit friends or family in another state or go back to your out-of-state college or high school and enter a USMS meet there.

August 2nd, 2014, 09:45 PM
Thank you! There are not any meets coming up in Nebraska and I'm just feeling the itch to get in there and compete. There is a meet in MO, three hours away, in a couple of weeks, so I think I'll just dive in and face the embarrassment of my first meet. Ever. My kids are on a swim team, which was my motivation. They are so much better than I am. Any tips on facing your first meet? Thanks again, both of you, for your feedback.

August 3rd, 2014, 08:42 PM
Tip #1. Have fun.
Tip #2. See tip #1.

I need to travel for meets as well, so leaving your state is no biggie. There is nothing to be embarrassed about either. Masters meets are full of people of all ages and abilities. Usually the word gets out that someone is competing for the first time ever (like you) and that sparks interest in the other swimmers. Not to point and laugh, but to encourage and cheer. take you kids for 2 reasons. First, they can give you advise at the meet, and second, they get a taste of what you endure during their meets (insert evil laugh here) :joker:.
It's a great activity to share with your kids, that you all will appreciate in the future. Talk with them about how they prepare for a meet, and follow their lead. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself about achieving specific times, etc, and focus on the experience.

Good luck!

August 4th, 2014, 09:29 AM
^^^ JP said it all. Just sit back and enjoy it. You'll probably be surprised at some times you'll end up doing with the race atmosphere. And definitely let people know it's your first race. They'll be more than willing to help out and get you heading the right direction.

Oh and if you think about it, every event you do will be a personal record!! That's one of the joys of a first meet. :applaud:

Bring a spare towel or two, as well as a jacket or shirt to stay warm between events. You'll be surprised how chilled you can get in a short time. And a little cooler full of snacks and water. Good luck!

August 4th, 2014, 10:38 AM
Welcome & have fun! Yes, you can swim masters wherever there is a meet. If you can join a masters team for even more fun.
Bring spare goggles & suit, contacts or glasses. Something to write your heats/lanes on & finish times. Talk with new swimmers at the meet - most of us are a friendly group.

August 5th, 2014, 09:24 PM
Thank you all so much! I'm getting really excited. I'm still struggling with what events to select, but narrowing it down. And like flystorms said, whatever I enter will result in a personal best. I like that! Thanks to all of you and keep the input coming!

August 7th, 2014, 07:59 PM
Thank you all so much! I'm getting really excited. I'm still struggling with what events to select, but narrowing it down. And like flystorms said, whatever I enter will result in a personal best. I like that! Thanks to all of you and keep the input coming!
You should review the swimming rules before the meet as there are rules like no wearing watches and if you are doing stokes other than free (front crawl) there are specific rules on how to turn and touch the wall. A good video explaining the most common disqualifications can be found here:
It is Canadian but the rules are almost identical.

August 7th, 2014, 09:28 PM
That was very helpful!

August 7th, 2014, 10:16 PM

You are fortunate to live in Omaha where there is a great Masters coach, Todd Samland. I suggest you try to attend some of the Omaha Masters workouts. You can find out more information on their web site: http://www.omahamastersswimming.com/

Anna Lea

August 7th, 2014, 10:59 PM
Anna, thank you for the recommendation. I have reached out to Coach Samland via email.

Michael Heather
August 9th, 2014, 12:47 AM

Welcome to USMS! I hope you have a long, rewarding membership experience.

While competition is the glue that holds our organization together, it is by no means used to evaluate anyone. It is far more an excuse to get into the pool with like minded people who want to find out how well their training is going. You will find people very supportive and helpful.

Entering meets out of town or out of state are not only OK, but sometimes you will find the meet directors thanking you for taking the time to travel to their meet.

When you joined, you did so through the "Local Masters Swimming Committee" (LMSC), a subsidiary organization of USMS. You are a national member right away, needing no permission to enter any sanctioned USMS meet anywhere in the country. The LMSCs (there are 52 of them) offer information and education to local members in various ways, most commonly a periodic newsletter.

USMS also has a national office which can give general information about USMS and assist you in finding services or people who know what is what.

If you have not already entered your meet, try entering an event you have never even thought of doing. You may find out that you really enjoy it! There are some people who arrange their schedule in order to swim every event offered by the end of the season.

August 9th, 2014, 03:40 PM
Michael, Thank you so much for all of the welcoming information. It is funny you'd mention entering an event I wouldn't have thought to. This being my first meet, every event is new. However, I have always thought of myself as a sprinter, not just in swimming, but anything athletic. Running, gymnastics, martial arts ... Nearly everything I have done or still do tends to favor quick ( 3-mins or less) bursts of intense, all-out energy. The only one that was different was running. While I didn't ever compete in track, I would've preferred the sprinting events. In adulthood I have run a couple of 5ks and that was quite the challenge and I struggled.

That said, I have recently been able to swim 1000+ yards of freestyle during practice and I'm finding that I actually enjoy the longer distance. I have another meet coming up in November, so I just might try entering a longer distance event. And I like your suggestion of trying out every event at some point. Sounds like a fun challenge. I need help on my Fly, so at this point those events are out, but maybe by November I could try the 100 IM (SCY).

Thanks again!

August 9th, 2014, 07:46 PM
I would also like to welcome you to USMS and to our discussion forums as a new "Forumite." :welcome:
I see in your profile that your favorite stroke is breaststroke. Come visit us frogs over on
"The Breaststroke Lane" and go back and read past posts. You will learn A LOT if you read everything written by Allen Stark, a.k.a "King Frog." (I named him that after he broke the world record in his age group for the 200 breaststroke in 2011. He just broke it again here at the Masters World Championships in Montreal.)

We always welcome tadpoles over in our frog pond! :cheerleader:

August 9th, 2014, 08:08 PM
Hello Elaine. I have scanned the breaststroke lane and plan to read it more thoroughly when I have the time. I'm glad it's there. Thanks for the welcome, and congratulations to Allen and everyone else who attended Worlds! You are all quite the inspiration!

August 9th, 2014, 10:40 PM
That was filmed at Jean Drapeau in Montreal. I raced my 400 free in that pool today :)

They have new blocks in that pool now.