View Full Version : 2004 USMS SCY National Championship Lessons Learned

April 29th, 2004, 10:08 AM
I'm not one to rain on anyone's parade, so please take this post and topic of discussion as a means of making things better for next year. 1st of all, i would like to give congrats to everyone who gave their best efforts @ this past weekend's USMS SCY Nationals meet. Secondly, i hope to see just as many and if not, more IL Masters come down to Ft. Lauderdale for the 2005 USMS National Championship Meet...

Ok, as for lessons learned, i would like to express my concern regarding relay entries. i feel that this entire process needs to be revisited. Personally, i find it unfair for swimmers to write down times which are not valid for the current season which is taking place. A swimmer's splits should be an actual time swum during the same season as the Nationals meet, and not from 2 years ago or whatever. In addition, perhaps it should be documented how the relays are being assembled so that next year's volunteers can leverage best practices.

N A M E S & F A C E S
Another lesson learned which i might consider socially beneficial is to have people on their IM relays actually meet each other during the CMSA Nationals dinner. Maybe it's just kewl to place a name with a face. In addition, i can guarantee that some uncomfortable stressing was had during the relays when more than one swimmer would ask me, "have you seen this person? Do you know who this person is?" Putting a name w/ a face also allows the opportunity for also gaining a verbal confirmation of "i'll be there right before the relay" :)

Finally, what is the policy for CMSA State Records being held by out of state residents? Did Todd Radel, who is a resident of Ohio, ever live in Illinois? If not, then should out of state residents be eligible for in-state records? It's hard for me to understand the logic behind that. If he was, then nevermind me asking.

If there are any other areas of improvement that anyone has, or if there are any comments to some of the issues that i raise, please share your thoughts.

April 29th, 2004, 12:03 PM
It was somewhat stressful to not know the other people on the relays, but I think the time to meet them would be a designated time at the meet before the relays.

Since there were so many changes, these would not be known at the dinner, plus not everyone can come to the dinner. I would have loved to come to the dinner, but had to coach my daughter's softball team Friday night. :)

As it turned out, the people on the relays I was on were a lot of fun and I was very glad to be a part of the relays. It helped me feel more comfortable with this whole intimidating process.

April 29th, 2004, 01:50 PM
Thank you for your comments, Dorothy,

Maybe improving the relay designation process can alleviate the need to make so many changes. In addition, it might still be a great way to get to know other IM teammates.

Glad to hear you that too also had good times with your IM Relay Teammates!


Karen Duggan
April 29th, 2004, 03:08 PM
Aha, Mattson, this is just what we talked about. Well one of the things.

How about if we make the categories at Nationals this way:

LMSC category (Large) clubs could choose to participate as a member of their LMSC

State category (Medium) here teams could also choose to participate as an entire state

Individual club category (Small) those teams that did not join one of the above

Just a thought. :p

May 2nd, 2004, 08:08 PM
Relay Entries:
Setting up relay entries for 205 swimmers is a challenge in itself. As a member of the relay committee. I did lookat ALL the meet results this season and the STATE meet. We did compare times. You have to remember too. Some swimmers tapered for states, some just rested and some train through. Some swimmers only swim Nationals due other obligations during the year. And some masters only swam in age-group meets with their children. In addition, we tried to include everyone that wanted to swim the relays. Also, some swimmers didn't have a good meet and did not anticipate swimming slow.

Names and Faces:
Only 108 (actually not all were IM) of the 205 swimmers attended our dinner. I tried to make it a point to say HI to everyone, but to put names with faces. and with people in clothes not suits is a different story too. We did have a designated area by our banner and we all tried to congregate by the north end of the pool. Relays were a great place to meet your teammmates and make new friends too. Relays are the social event in swimming.

State Records:
If they swim for an Illinois team they would qualify for records. It doesn't matter where they reside. Then you can look at this situation. Andrea Block swam for Ancient Mariners for years, therefore didn't set any records in our State, but was the fastest in her age-group. Pete Anderson swam for San Diego last year and broke a national record but didn't get our state record. We welcome anyone who wants to swim with us. It's an honor for others to want to swim with us.

Categories at Nationals:
This was a topic discussed at Convention.
Karen I like your thinking, but some LMSC are large and small. Some States are large and small, same for clubs.

The current categories go by participation of swimmers which is fair. The large categories tend to be the team that are closer to the location of the meet. 2002-Hawaii, Calfornia teams. 2003-Arizona, California

The current controversy is what Mel Goldstein discussed. There are a few teams That are made up of sub-groups. Illinois Masters is one of them as for INDY swimfit is a club. That was the imbalance.

The categories are based on size. Therefore it's fair.

May 3rd, 2004, 10:24 AM
Re: State Records
"If they swim for an Illinois team they would qualify for records. It doesn't matter where they reside." Certainly seems fair to me..... There can be lots of reasons an out of state resident wants to affiliate and swim for an IM team. My 85 year old mother resides in Flordia and just this year (she aged up) competed in masters swimming for the 1st time ever. She joined IM and I am hoping we can swim together on the Illinois team in Georgia this summer.
As for records, well there is my good friend Geoff from Wisconsin that joined IM and last year just touched me out in the 100 fly for a new Illinois State record. Not only was I happy for him I was doublely motivated this year to get the record back. Not because he is from Wisconsin, but because he is my friend. Alas, I have to renew my efforts for next year and try again.

May 6th, 2004, 02:26 PM
I was on Dorothy's mixed free relay!! WE did have fun...at least she and I did.
Thanks for making the last event end on a high note. Our relay team was the highlight, even after the stress of not knowing anyone on it before hand. A designated spot to gather prior would have been excellent.

May 6th, 2004, 04:44 PM
So let's take a hypothetical. Someone who lives in Wyoming decides to sign up for IL Masters, because they have a lot of relatives who live here. Due to changes in work schedule, that person is unable to make Nationals. But that person does manage to swim very fast in a local pool. So this person would be eligible for Illinois records, even though they don't live in IL, never swam in IL, and never met another IM person during the year?

I'm fine with the current decision. I just wanted to pose this hypothetical, to show that it is not unreasonable to ask the question, like Ramon did. (He didn't understand the logic, the logic was explained. :) )

I appreciate the load of work that the relay committee did. At the same time, I moved away from the relay sheets after friday, because a lot of people were asking a lot of questions. (The members of the committee had their own swims to prepare for, so most of the time, there was no "official" person to answer questions.) Again, it is not unreasonable to ask, what can we do to streamline/simplify the relay experience?

May 6th, 2004, 06:30 PM
Hi Robin, that relay was fun and I was thrilled to finally successfully do a flip turn on that bulk head!! And we won our heat!!!

Mark it was very hard showing up there and not having ANY clue what to do, or who to talk to. Mary tried to explain the procedure in a couple of e-mails to me and I just really did not understand it until I got there. Perhaps if the time-line says the relays are at 2pm and it looks like it is on schedule, then the relays should meet at a designated time before. There will always be occasions that someone cannot swim and has to be switched around. If the relays were all in one spot at a designated time, that might make it easier to do.

That said I cannot even imagine the amount of time it took to put so many relays together. Kudos to the volunteers who handled it.

May 7th, 2004, 11:32 AM
I agree with Dorthy about meeting at a designated time before relays. My 200 free relay had not met each other until literally 60 seconds before I hopped up on the block. That was both unfortunate and scary...

May 7th, 2004, 11:36 AM
I guess I was lucky that I was on relay teams were people were responsible enough to check-in at the IM banner and then met at the appropriate lane/heat before the race.

May 7th, 2004, 12:12 PM
My relay team did check in and did show up in plenty of time. It is just an uncomfortable feeling to be waiting there wondering who they are. Also, I know Mary was scrambling before some relays trying to make sure spots were covered. I think that gathering somewhere before it, would save her some headaches.

It probably will not be as big a problem in GA or next year in FL because the quantities will not be as large.

Swimmy Jimmy
May 12th, 2004, 09:34 AM
it seems really stupid that a state record is being held by someone who does not live in illinois, and was set while he lived in ohio. i can understand if he at one point lived in illinois, or was planning on moving to illinois. the fact of the matter is, this person does not live in illinois, and has no intention on ever moving to illinois. why in the world does he have an illinois state record? because we used him for some relays? this makes zero sense! pete anderson lives in illinois and does illinois meets, so i don't understand the comparison. :confused:

chris hagenbaumer lives in illinois, trains in illinois, and does meets in illinois. he deserves the state records, not someone who lives in ohio, that swam at nationals for illinois masters to score points for relays.

let's be real! records belong to those people in illinois who DESERVE IT!!!!

jim bey

May 12th, 2004, 09:52 AM
First, please understand these are CMSA records, not Illinois records. Someone who lives in Belleville, IL (or anywhere in the metro-East area) lives in the Ozark LMSC and probably would not be registered in CMSA. If they are registered with Ozark, their times would not be considered for CMSA records, even though they live in Illinois. However, there is nothing to prevent them from registering with CMSA. Residency is specifically not a requirement for registering in any LMSC.

From a practical standpoint, swimmer's addresses are not listed in meet results, but their club affiliation and LMSC is. Even if they are swimming unattached, their LMSC is supposed to be listed, but not their address. Persons responsible for recordkeeping have to rely on the meet results. It's a pain, but even at our state meet, we have to weed out the swimmers who are registered in other LMSCs and not include them in CMSA records. Please note that I said "registered" in other LMSCs, not residing in other LMSCs.

We will continue to include all CMSA-registered swimmers in CMSA records.


Swimmy Jimmy
May 12th, 2004, 05:05 PM
i understand now. perhaps to avoid confusion in the future we should implement the following changes.

1. instead of cmsa "state" records, they should simply be named cmsa records. the word state, as in illinois, does NOT belong.

2. instead of swimming at national as illinois masters, which is not correct, we should be cmsa. if we were illinois masters, we would have illinois only swimmers, with illinois state records. this not being the case, we should have all tee-shirts, banners, caps read cmsa.

3. finally, our state meet should not be called the "state meet," rather it should be called the cmsa championship. this will avoid that confusion of all of us being somehow linked together in the same state, which is obviously not the case.

just curious, do we really want this?

Coach Sue
May 12th, 2004, 05:35 PM
I guess i don't understand why this has to be such a big deal? I know how much time Mary, Joe, Nadine, Carl, Ramon & the others who volunteer their time to keep CMSA Swimming moving forward. This is not a "perfect" organization but I have to say we have a pretty impressive group of swimmers & coaches who enjoy adult swimming.

I don't see how we could keep track of all swimmers mailing addresses & where they practice. If a swimmer is registered with one team in Illinois they should be allowed to compete & hold records. I would assume that a swimmer can only be registered with one USMS club in the US?? The system of record keeping may not be perfect but it is working. Lets put all of this in perspective of good natured fun & adult fitness. Adult swimming is about personal bests, friendships & lifetime fitness, and not about state records!

Those of you that have strong feelings about CMSA & these topics should volunteer your time & get involved in the organization & use your energy productively!:)

Swimmy Jimmy
May 12th, 2004, 07:21 PM
i really don't want to make this bigger than it is, but i feel i need to respond to sue welker.

records are a big deal. that's why we have them. some swimmers work their buts off to accomplish those records! to them, this is very important! i know swimmers who focus their whole year of training to try to set a state record. yes, there are some who are in it for fun and fitness, but there are others who take this pretty seriously. records are an acheivement, that's why we have them.

that being said, i'm wondering how you, nadine, mary would feel if your state records were broken by someone who lives 2 states away. you might consider how that would feel to be in those shoes.

i appreciate the work ramon, nadine, carl, joe and mary put into this program. i never said i didn't. i think we have an awesome program. but, by having a public discussion forum like this, i am assuming we can talk about issues that we feel are not right. i don't believe this is right, and i DO feel it IS productive to be able to speak about something that i feel needs to be changed.

May 12th, 2004, 09:13 PM
I feel that if the swimmer is willing to represent us and breaks a record NO MATTER of residency then that person deserves the record.

Okay, I pose another question, don't you feel that if someone was truely faster than you they should deserve the record. And you need to maybe train a little more and to swim faster next year. Then that time can be your goal for next year. :-)

One should not get discouraged by someone swimming faster, you need to figure out how to swim faster. Competition is fun and we all race against the clock. The goal is to get to the wall the fastest.

Another fact that only a VERY SMALL percentage of swimmers compete. Less than 10 percent.

WE (Illinois Masters, CMSA) should feel honor that someone wants to swim with us and represent us. Also, if they break our CMSA record then WOW, AWESOME, they must be fast and we should be EXTRA HONORED and grateful that they want to represent CMSA.

I have friends that wanted to swim with me from other states that have joined CMSA just to swim with me. (AND I must add that some are very offended by this trend of swimmers NOT wanting them to swim with us) And some have broken our CMSA records. I feel very fortunate to have them on our team. I love having them be on our team and they bring their own personality to make it fun. We're fun to be around. So can you blame them for wanting to swim with us. (or are some people saying that we are too good to have them swim with us, because they want the record. NOW THAT IS STUPID)

WE NEED TO PROMOTE SWIMMING and FAST swimming is contagious.

Okay, then what about the swimmer who resides in Illinois (Chicago) but swims for another NON CMSA team. Based on what you are say, since they reside in IL they should be able to break our CMSA record. They're a few swimmers who are fast enough to have broken our CMSA record but has choosen to swim for another team and therefore those swimmers are ineligible for CMSA records.

To open another subject. What about any USMS record. If you are registered USMS you can break a USMS record. You don't have to be a citizen of the US.

They're are similarities.

Hope that answered you question Jim.

Keep on swimming......swimming......swimming...>>>>>>>>


May 12th, 2004, 11:43 PM
It's great to see "y'all" have so much passion for non-illinois-residing members, although it confuses me as to how someone from out of state finds the time to train and compete here with us. That must be one heck of a commute! I am assuming that this swimmer does swim and compete in Illinois. Why else would they sign up to be an Illinois Masters swimmer?

BTW, how did this out of state record holder decide to join Illinois Masters anyway?

Just curious.:)

May 13th, 2004, 09:27 AM
i'm glad to see everyone sharing their perspectives on the issues that i raised some time ago. Let me just reiterate again how appreciative that i am of everyone who contributes and gives back to this organization.

Bringing up some of the issues and then posting a "lessons learned" point of discussion was not meant to point fingers, invalidate efforts, or exclude people from joining IL Masters. In fact, it was only to raise the issue that perhaps we as an LMSC do _not_ have a "common ground" understanding with how relays, records, and remembering each other are truly implemented within CMSA. It's easy for "highly visible" people within CMSA to be asked questions about issues that really aren't understood. Giving back to CMSA in a "front facing" manner makes me one of those people, so understand that some of the issues i raise are also on the behalf of others.

I can understand the passion and value placed on competition by numerous Masters swimmers. One could argue that this is why people train for the big meets and possible record breaking times. Others could argue that there is a level of expectation that comes with what paying members are giving money to. Nevertheless, we are an evolving organization in an information age where people want to know how & why things are the way they are. Consequently, part of my hope with posting this topic was to take a step towards managing expectations from CMSA as a growing organization.

In my humble opinion, there are always things that can be assessed and improved upon when it comes to evaluating how organizations conduct their respective activities. Maybe it's just greater awareness & communication (i.e. people reading this topic post). Maybe it's revamping a policy or procedure (i.e. requiring any CMSA record to be broken by someone who has competed in at least 1 CMSA meet during that season). Maybe it's clarifying the value proposition & managing the expectations behind what we as members of CMSA are paying for each year.

After asking other USMS swimmers from other LMSC's about various issues, one idea that i thought could be a really good one for us to adopt would be to simply put policies & procedures relating to records in the LMSC ByLaws. A lot of hard work was done this past year to migrate the paper-based CMSA ByLaws to an electronic form. As it stands, the ByLaws are pretty open ended, and there is room for change with an opportunity to add to, subtract from, or amend as stated in Section 13. You can access the CMSA ByLaws at the bottom of the old "cmsascoop" page via the "About CMSA" link on our site. i've also made a quick link from the following web address:


Since we are a non-profit organization, i believe we all have the opportunity to "step up" and take on the challenge of making CMSA better each year. We are a chlorinated community of great ideas. If there exists a need to propose a change or two to the CMSA ByLaws, then i hope to see you @ the next CMSA meeting. In turn, if there needs to be a populated committee or appointed number of people to implement a new policy or procedure, i hope that you will become more involved to make that happen.

May 13th, 2004, 10:13 AM
Hey Ramon, that's great. I was wondering if the by-laws were online. :D

Jim, we have talked in person. As I stated, I understand and sympathize with what your are saying, but that's not stopping me from supporting the opposing view. ;) Switching to "state" driven records instead of "LMSC" driven records will have its own set of problems. How do you handle someone living across the state border (ex. Indiana) who practices exclusively in Chicago. How would the record's keeper know that? Home residence is not the way to go. (Robin and Eric have a job that sends them halfway across the nation, for 2/3rds of the year. There may be others who spend much of their time in Chicago, but live many states away.)

Originally posted by Swimmy Jimmy
1. instead of cmsa "state" records, they should simply be named cmsa records. the word state, as in illinois, does NOT belong.

Officially, it is just CMSA. I looked at archived copies I kept, and it has always been CMSA, not state records. (I am as guilty as anyone of calling them "state" records, because I am too lazy to say "Cee Em Ess Aiee".)

Having said that, Joe has recently made records which do not include Illinois Masters. I think that was a lot of effort for a trivial gain. I thank him for his work, but wish he didn't fell compelled to do it. :cool:

2. instead of swimming at national as illinois masters, which is not correct, we should be cmsa. if we were illinois masters, we would have illinois only swimmers, with illinois state records. this not being the case, we should have all tee-shirts, banners, caps read cmsa.

You are absolutely right, "Central Masters" is more accurate. Unfortunately, that name has already been taken by a sub-group. (I'm guessing that "IM" is a recent creation, compared to many of the teams in CMSA?)

Jimmy, this is your chance to contribute. You just have to convince Dave Gibson and his team that they should switch to "Bloomington Masters", push for "IM" to be "CM", and get all the paperwork done before the fall registration starts. (And if you want the job done right, you'll have to be the driving force. Unless someone has a stake in the outcome, the task will always be lower on the job list.)

3. finally, our state meet should not be called the "state meet," rather it should be called the cmsa championship. this will avoid that confusion of all of us being somehow linked together in the same state, which is obviously not the case.

There is nothing wrong with calling it the Illinois State meet. The meet has always been held in Illinois. (In fact, I looked at the programs from the last two years. It is called the "CMSA State Invitational/Championships".) It also raises the possibility that some team outside of CMSA (like Walnut Creek Masters? ;) ) will show up in force some time, and take the 1st place trophy.

May 13th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Hi, Mark,

Interesting that you and Jim should bring up the subject of names. When Dave Ackermann was President of CMSA, a proposal that died for lack of support at the National level was a name change for CMSA to Illinois Masters LMSC. I opposed that because of the obvious confusion between the name of the LMSC and the Club.

Illinois Masters was Lincoln Masters until about 8 or 9 years ago. There was already a subgroup of Lincoln called Illinois Masters. That group disbanded and Lincoln Masters took over the name.

I would be opposed to Illinois Master being called Central Masters for a couple of reasons.
1. There is already a subgroup called Central Illinois Masters.
2. There would be confusion between the LMSC and the Club.
3. There are several Clubs in CMSA which are not subgroups of Illinois Masters and wish to stay that way.

Changes to the way CMSA records are compiled would not, in my opinion, require a CMSA Bylaws change. This is a procedure, not a bylaw. We have written procedures for deciding when something not in the budget can be paid without seeking a vote of the entire membership. This is not in the bylaws. It is a procedure. Likewise, we have guidelines for reimbursement of CMSA delegates to convention, not in the bylaws, but a written procedure.

The Top Ten Recorder, Joe Magiera, has detailed written procedures from USMS regarding submission of times for Top Ten and USMS records consideration. Adding a requirement that he must check that a CMSA member has swum a meet in Illinois would be overly burdensome, in my opinion. I , myself, had gone at least a full season, if not a full year without swimming a meet in Illinois because of the distance to travel to Chicago, but I do live in Illinois, my subgroup is in Illinois and I have lots of friends in Illinois. My sisters who live in Virginia and Texas have also swum for Illinois Masters in the past and never lived in Illinois. We have looked at how other LMSCs keep their local records and the majority do it by membership in the LMSC, not by residency. Now we could just use times swum in CMSA sanctioned meets and not include Nationals, but then we would miss out on many excellent swims.

The records which omit Illinois Masters are relay records only. This was a requirement when Lincoln Masters first came into being, in order to promote the subgroups and not overwhelm those clubs which decided not to be part of Illinois Masters. There is a lot of history here. This requirement for separation of relay records is one of the reasons that the Long Course CMSA records that I compile does not currently have the relay records posted. I am in the process of doing just what Joe Magiera did with constructing two separate record lists for relays.

Hope this gives some insight into where we have come from to be where we are today.


May 13th, 2004, 01:18 PM
Hi Mary, thanks for the reply. Always good to get the history and reasoning.

I already admitted point 1 (about Gibson's group having the name), but did not think about points 2 and 3. :)

May 13th, 2004, 05:46 PM
I recall from my youth, there was a swimmer who looked for the easiest records from various counties (British States), registered with a local club, paid his dues, collected his records and was never heard of again. Without meaning to offend (!) are Illinois records percieved to be a soft touch and maybe this would explain why so many want to be 'honoury ' members?


May 13th, 2004, 06:38 PM
Excellent points, Mark, Mary (& then Mark again), & Paul

If, for the sake of proper categorization, amendments to policies & procedures are to live outside of the CMSA ByLaws, then i feel that there should be at least a defined reference to them within the ByLaws. This way, we can reconcile what written procedures & policies are "Active" and do correspond to our LMSC.

So, even if the ByLaws wouldn't not become too inflated with every written policy & procedure, at least a listing of current policy & procedure titles could be included with the intention of being referenced by anyone.

As it stands, we currently do not have any formal written policies & procedures for CMSA posted on the web site. Would this be something useful to include in the near future?

Coach Sue
May 13th, 2004, 07:23 PM
If you check out records from other states you will find Illinois has some very fast records. Our state is no "soft touch". Check out Indiana and the other surronding states. Our state records for the most part are up with California & other swimming powerhouses. :D