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Philip Arcuni
February 4th, 2002, 01:55 PM
Swim info has this article:

http://swiminfo.com/lane9/news/3387.asp

Which discusses a new organization for competitive swimming called Adult Swimming Association. Apparantly the initiator is unhappy with the various things that USMS does that are not directly related to competitive swimming, such as the promotion of fitness. Also, he is unhappy with the structure of the national meets. He proposes several variations of the age group structure.

Any thoughts or insights?

KenChertoff
February 4th, 2002, 07:24 PM
I have a hard time seeing any purpose at all to Bell's new organization. It sounds to me like it's based on a purely personal agenda, but I suppose this is America and he has every right to try. I don't predict success, though.

He says his reason is that USMS has gotten away from competition and into fitness, but it seems to me that there are plenty of opportunities for competition, including the National meets that he derides. In fact, some of his ideas for more "flexible" age group competition seem to contradict his ideas of competition -- without consistent standards and events, where would the competition be? And, frankly, although I know there are some, I doubt there are many adult swimmers who are interested only in competition -- his appeal seems very limited.

Bert Petersen
February 4th, 2002, 09:31 PM
Who's doing this ? Vince McMahan ? Sounds like another World Football League attempt. Ignore it and it will go away. Bert:o

Mark in MD
February 4th, 2002, 10:25 PM
After reading Ken's, Phil's and Bert's posts, I went to the article in toto as referenced in the SwimInfo website. Keith Bell states his vision for his group and seems to air his alleged gripes with USMS, but I would like these questions answered, to echo Phil, Bert's and Ken's concerns.

How has USMS abandoned its mission when its mission supports fitness?
How much more can you increase excitement and appeal for adult swimming?
How have the Nationals been too long? (It seems that those who attended got something out of them or they wouldn't have bothered to attend in the first place.)
How are competitive conditions at Nationals poor? Who wouldn't want to go to the Nationals in Hawaii in May? Maybe the weather there is too good for some.
How many more opportunities need there be? Seems that there are plenty of organizations to which a swimmer can belong.
Are you going to sacrifice competition standards by being less restrictive?
Have you aired your complaints to USMS?
I went to the ASA site http://www.adultswimming.com for a look. To quote them, ASA is "the leader in adult swimming." By whose standards? Having two teams as members is laudable. But does that make ASA a "leader?"

Finally, when you visit their site, note that their web address (URL) is a "dot com" and not a "dot org." Is ASA not a non-profit organization? Just wondering here.

ASA certainly has a right to try. But, it would be nice to have more information. Maybe I am just asking dumb questions here.

jim thornton
February 4th, 2002, 10:53 PM
Actually, one of the ideas this fellow has suggested that's kind of appealing to me is to have competitions listed not by 5 year age group brackets but rather one year ones--i.e., 49 year olds compete for the record 49 year old times, 57 year olds for the 57 year old record, etc.

What you see a lot of now, it seems to me, is that the top performances in each age bracket tend to be (though not always) swum by people at the lower end of the bracket (especially after you hit 40-44). I think there's a tendency to really try to be at your most competitive during the first year you "age up"--then take something of a break (or at least ease off a bit) for the next four years or so before your next good chance at cracking the Top 10.

Maybe keeping records per year as opposed to per 5 years would give more of us incentive to swim our hardest all the time. Just a thought...admittedly from a 49 year old who is having his best adult year this year, and can't wait till next summer when USMS says I turn 50...

KenChertoff
February 4th, 2002, 11:58 PM
Well, yeah, I suppose the competition would be more even in one year age groups. Of course, for some meets, it would mean eveyone comes in first. And it would be a nightmare to score all those "groups." But if you see the web page, it seems obsessed with setting and recognizing "world" records -- I suppose narrowing the criteria is one way to get a record.

strong440
February 5th, 2002, 12:07 AM
jes some random thoughts...

While we're being distracted by Enron down in Houston...

San Antonio, home of the original Maverick family is just down the road a piece from Austin...

Yards as well as meters open to the world! What would Ronald Reagan say. Or is that what he had in mind when he got the US off the meter track as practically his first order of busines when he was sworn-in as President. (Or did he think we'd forget)?...

World records starting from scratch...

Records for those born in the same year, ...no, same yearly age...

Relay records for total all ages, like: 73, 74, 75, 76, etc...

Men, women, mixed, i guess...

Maybe 3 men & 1 woman, etc...why not? No, that'd be tooo much.

Still, seems like world records for everyone who wants one. And only for the cost of the administrative fee of ???

Is the records concession open for bids???

Now, if they'd consider the seconds only timing system...

emmett
February 5th, 2002, 06:27 AM
"Finally, when you visit their site, note that their web address (URL) is a "dot com" and not a "dot org." Is ASA not a non-profit organization? Just wondering here."

Actually, the choice of .com or .org is entirely unrelated to whether an organization is a for profit entity. It is purely at the whim of the webmaster or site owner.

Mark in MD
February 5th, 2002, 08:22 AM
Emmett,

I did know the answer to that. I was just curious, since I do deal with such issues concerning non-profit organizations. Thanks, though, for the reminder!

jean sterling
February 5th, 2002, 09:02 AM
I read the web site for the new organization, and it sounds like I could pay my $48, submit my times, and then be the holder of a bunch of world records. Why do they feel that all the old world records should be dumped? Just wondering.

Fritz Lehman
February 5th, 2002, 10:15 AM
I went to the site and read through the whole thing like others did. Lots of what he is proposing has been talked about in these discussion boards as well as at the convention.

Why not sanction the use of 25 yard/meter races? When this was discussed, something came out about our insurance being invalidated if we had events other than the standard and 25s wouldn't be standard. Seems like 25s would add some fun to meets and might get more people to compete. Since his goal seems to be centered around competition then this makes a lot of sense. I don't see how it would hurt USMS either.

If Dr. Ron swims a 54+ 100 SCM IM in a Grand Prix meet
then why isn't it a Masters world record? Any 35 year old want to say they've been faster? He was a Masters swimmer last summer. I don't know if he is in 2002. I have to think the sanction process and level of officiating and pool measurement at the Grand Prix meets is every bit as good as the average Masters meet. I know we've made some steps toward making it easier to set Masters records in non-Masters meets but why should it be any harder than if he'd done it at the USMS Arizona State Champs? I don't mean to imply that Dr Ron cares. He probably doesn't and hope he doesn't mind if I use him as an example.

He's unhappy with Nationals. That's not a new topic. It's certainly be debated here and there's always a split decision.

He wants your age to be your real age and not some artificial age.
Next year, I'll be 44 in a SCY meets in Jan and Feb. 45 in a SCM meet in March, 44 in a SCY meets in April and May and 45 for LCM.
And People thought it was confusing when you had to remember if your toes could be above or below the water for a back start.

Single year age groups seems like a bit much and the whole emphasis on records seems like a marketing ploy to get people to sign up.

I think it would be a mistake to just write it off. Not everything seems like a bad idea.

MetroSwim
February 5th, 2002, 12:22 PM
As I read through ASA site info, it occurred to me that there's quite a bit about records and not much else.

"We provide programs and services to the adult swimming community, certify adult swimming records..."
- The only service they (so far) provide would be taking in reports of records.

If I read it right, the FAQ lists no date requirements for records, so apart from the 25 yard stuff, there's nothing preventing you from submitting all your record swims from the beginning of time.

In fact, having read through it, this ASA would appear to be a nice little set up where you pay them to post your times and they do nothing else.

Shell out the $48+ to join (+$75 to establish a team), let everyone else do the work and send your results to ASA.

"...sanction swimming competitions for adults..."
HOW?

and, from their Mission statement:
"To make swimming meets easy to host and enjoyable for everyone involved"

This isn't really addressed (yet?) on their site, regarding how to host meets or even what rules to follow, if any. If they are accepting bids ($$) for hosting state, national and world championships, I'd expect there to be some info on the requirements.

One thing occurs to me right away - pool length!

There's nothing in the FAQ that even says, 'hey, we're working on this stuff, check back soon"

Perhaps the tag lines in the site should be changed to read:
"The leader in adult competitive swimming record-keeping "
"WE'RE PUTTING WORLD RECORDS UP FOR SALE "

What the heck is the ASA logo supposed to be? A Rorshach test?
:o

Rich Barkan

Matt S
February 5th, 2002, 12:34 PM
Reading the press release reminds me of the old Foghorn Leghorn cartoon. Foghorn is confronted by a bird 1/10th his size. The small bird declares, "You're a chicken, and I'm a chicken hawk! So, are you going to come along quietly, or do I have to muss you up?"

The good Dr. is welcome to give his organization a go. If some people see value in it, and ASA and USMS operate in such a way that they do not detract from each other, hey, it's cool with me. (Under the Frank Zappa theory of "Do what you wanna. Do what you will. Just don't mess up your neighbor's thrill.")

However, I did find some statements in there that I simply can't overlook. First and most egregious, USMS has moved away from its orginal goal of competition and focused more on fitness swimming?! I am open to any corrections or comments from the "old timers" who were in on this at or near the start of USMS, but my impression is that the orginal goal WAS fitness swimming, with a few meets tossed in to add a little spice. My understanding is that the sharper focus on better competition happened a bit later after enough people who were interested in more serious competition got involved. We can have a discussion about what the future goal of USMS ought to be, and history would not necessarily be relevant. But, this particular piece of revisionist history really chaps my backside.

Second, there is the almost laughable contradiction between the multiplicity of new events and single year age groups on the one hand, and then on the other the criticism of competitive competitions at USMS Nationals. I am, of course, assuming that his beef with Nationals is that too many "slow" swimmers are permitted to enter. If that is the case, how will adding events and exploding the number of age groups by a factor of five address this? Is he counting on the fact ASA, and its parallel Nationals meet will be less well attended than USMS Nationals?

And finally, he not only wants to keep track of numerous new world records, he is openly shilling the process of "The Race for World Records." So apperantly, he's thrown open the doors to make "world records" as inclusive as possible, but only to ASA members. I could also be a published author, as long as I am willing to pay a vanity publisher to print 500 copies of my book. At what point does this become the sound of one hand clapping?

In sum, good luck to all of you who want to joins ASA. Some of the aspects/proposals contained in its charter could be useful, by themselves. BUT PLEASE, get serious about which of your organization's goals you want to pursue first.

Matt

Frank Thompson
February 5th, 2002, 01:43 PM
The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing. I like that Matt but you forgot to add something very important: "When you pay the bill kindly leave a tip and help the next poor sucker on his one way trip."

Another view from the immortal FZ from Over-Nite Sensation:

I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I am the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I am delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help ... no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Tom Ellison
February 5th, 2002, 01:59 PM
Could this be another example of Keith promoting Keith…and things that benefit Keith…?:o

MetroSwim
February 5th, 2002, 02:09 PM
I hadn't heard of him before this. Is there some history here?

A quick search on Yahoo! did turn up a short, modest bio...

http://www.swimdoc.com/keithbell.HTM

Rob Copeland
February 5th, 2002, 02:34 PM
To Rich’s question. Keith and Sandy have been outstanding age group and masters swimmers for many years. They have also been active and vocal in the promotion of Masters swimming for many years. And, as mentioned by others, Keith has also published a number of books on swimming psychology.

I too have looked at the ASA website and I see that Keith and Sandy are trying to infuse some new wrinkles into the sport. As a distance guy, why not expand the records upwards as well as down? I remember when there used to be records for the 3000, 5000, …up to I think it was 25,000. But that’s not why I decided to post this message.

My concern is for the how this will be viewed in the eyes of FINA. They may take exception to the fact that non-FINA recognized swimming bodies are sanctioning events and recognizing world records. My concern is not only for Keith and Sandy, but for anyone who affiliates with ASA. In reviewing FINA code (see below), it speaks of “relationships with a non-affiliated body”. I have no clue if this is applicable to ASA or not. If not, I guess I may be worrying needlessly and crying wolf. If this is the case, I an truly sorry. However, if FINA decides to sanction (punish) affiliated members, then those affiliated members need to be made aware of the risks.

I’m hoping that someone out there can let me know the affiliate status of ASA to FINA. I have also posed this question the Phil Whitten – the journalist who reported the original story.

Leonard Jansen
February 5th, 2002, 04:28 PM
I used to compete in racewalking and every once in a while, someone has attempted something similar to this. In one case, a person started an organization and appointed "national team members" - this despite the fact that only USA Track & Field is recognized by the IAAF to do so. It was about making that person money and gave very little back to the discipline as a whole. Currently there is an organization funded by a wealthy individual that is attempting to control racewalking in the US (via money) and all it is doing is tearing it apart.

After reading the web site, I guess I came away thinking "So what?" At best the rationale for the organization is vague as are the wonderful improvements it offers over USMS. It is not compelling in any sense.

Concerning "world records up for grabs:" I swam a "blazing" 6:48-something for 500 yds recently in a meet and would die of embarassment to see it listed as an age 46 "world record." There's nothing wrong with swimming 6:48 for 500 yards, but a world record, it ain't. Again, going back to racewalking, that event used to have national records at all kinds of strange distances (e.g. 4 km, 75km), but can anyone name the last person to hold the US National 4 km or 75 km records today? (Actually, I can. E-mail me if you won't sleep tonight without knowing.) Again, "So what?", but I've never subscribed to Milton's idea that it is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

So, good luck, Dr. Bell. I'd really like to see this usher in a golden age of enlightened peace through swimming, but I rather doubt that happening.

Fair warning: When I seize power and am acclaimed supreme ruler of all swimming there will be no pool races. (Especially not the 500 yards.) Everything will be open water, distances of no less than 1 mile and you will NOT be allowed to wear a wetsuit.

jpheather
February 5th, 2002, 04:44 PM
I wouldn't feel holding an ASA record would be very meaningful because you have to submit a "nominal processing fee" with your application for a record. There are very, very many faster swimmers than me in all my events, but if they choose not to fork over the $48 registration and "nominal processing fee" for the record, that makes my "record" worth no more than the piece of paper it's written on.

Tom Ellison
February 5th, 2002, 04:54 PM
Gee, I did not see any mention of insurance for this new organization. How will that work? :confused:

Rob Copeland
February 5th, 2002, 04:57 PM
And, Leonard, when you seizes power, can I suggest that you change the current age group structure to temperatures. It may be tough in the 19-24 and 25-29 temperature ranges ( we could sell them the US Ice Fishing Federation), but for those of us who like to compete in the 55 – 59 temperature range, we would not be required to be classified with those in the 75 - 79 temperature group or those in the 95+.

Just a thought

Tom Ellison
February 5th, 2002, 05:10 PM
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Keith and Sandy at a few meets here in Texas over the past few years. They are both fine people and dedicated Masters Swimmers who excel in this fine sport. Keith is a promoter and from what I understand he makes his living in swimming related endeavors. That is great, more power to him…..

My reservations lie in the fact that an organization such as this can detract from the mission and goals of United States Masters Swimming. Is USMS perfect? No…. of coarse not…but it is the finest organization in the world that promotes swimming and good health within the adult community. USMS serves the fitness swimmer as well as the adult competitive swimmer…and in my opinion…does this very well. I see no need for a parallel organization.

MetroSwim
February 5th, 2002, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the info, Rob.

All I really see is a pay site that would threaten to usurp the SwimGold.org top ten listings.

I do have to say that it looks like a great business model, but the benefit to swimmers seems nebulous. What's missing is how the ASA would actually be better than Masters at meeting the fitness or competition goals when records are for those willing to pay for them, as was brought up in an earlier post.

I know I'm coming off a little negative here, but to bill the organization as "The leader in adult competitive swimming" when it's nothing more than a website scheme takes a really big set.

I would ask someone to invite Mr. Bell or some advocate for ASA to address the points brought up in the discussion.

Also, I don't think FINA would be an issue unless they pay the fee to be affiliated with ASA and change all their age-group and distance standards. How hard could that be?

Bert Petersen
February 5th, 2002, 05:37 PM
I think Tom has it figured out............ Bert

ljlete
February 5th, 2002, 07:37 PM
I believe the issue FINA has with affiliated organizations is not on the individual basis but with the NGB. This is why we had to be careful when MSI was fading away and FINA was starting to govern Masters.

Leo

Peter Cruise
February 6th, 2002, 12:55 AM
I hope I don't sound t-o-o-o cynical if I suggest that one year age groups would effectively remove Keith from competing directly against the most awesome force in Masters distance freestyle, Jim McConica?

Tom Ellison
February 6th, 2002, 03:31 AM
Hey Peter....you mean Super Man (Jim McConica) don't you?

steve1young
February 8th, 2002, 02:50 PM
I have a question for those who may be in the know ...

What has Keith Bell done within USMS to try and affect changes that, in his mind, could have had a positive impact on our organization? He obviously has a number of different issues with USMS, but I'm not hearing that he may have attempted to work within the system to resolve these issues. That to me would gain him some credibility. I've simply not heard his name come up as someone who has been involved with USMS in trying to affect positive change. What has he done before this? Or, maybe the question is what didn't he do that he might have done before pouring so much energy into duplicating effort and creating an organization that will most likely create confusion for folks who are checking out adult swimming for the first time? Can anyone shed some light here?

I'll copy him on this message.

helen bayly
February 8th, 2002, 07:06 PM
ASA stands for Amateur Swimming Association, Great Britain. Any copyright infractions here?

My general objection to this Bell/Deeter group, apart from the inaccuracies and revisionist history, is B/D's overt grab for money, under the pretense that they can record world records - but ONLY for those rich enough to send fat fees to B/D.

1. Is the real purpose of this group to "allow" us to "own" a record, have our names in print, and to charge us money for buying into Vanity Press?

2. Should group call itself "SWC", aka Swimmers With Cash? There will be countless numbers of swimmers who may set world times but may not have the cash to buy access to this exclusive group's lists of Swimmers With Cash.

3. I know my history: USMS emerged from Dr Ransom Arthur's efforts (w AAU too) re FITNESS. Check with Dr. Paul Hutinger, another fitness pioneer from the 1970 launch of this fitness program for swimmers.

4. "Adult" nowadays means pornographic. Perhaps this is really what Bell/Deeter mean! (I've asked them, by e-mail, to clarify this - and to answer questions relating to my other comments here.)

5.Is this a "confidence" hustle similar to the latest versions of an imitation "Who's Who" where people are asked to send lots of dollars to a publisher, in exchange for being printed up with their own (invented?) information/ego boosters!

Here, folks are being asked to send lots of dollars to have their own information printed up by Bell/Deeter, who - like kingmakers - will pronounce someone the champ. Never mind all the other, faster folk who just didn't have the cash to buy the space and attention.

6.For those who join (becoming shareholders?) the Bell group, which by my calculation will haul in the dollars: will the profits/proceeds be shared by Bell and Board (which seems a tightly-controlled group of "in" people)?

How did Bell/Deeter get hold of my/other USMS addresses? They've already e-mailed me (last night) ON their "adultswimming" system, despite their never having asked/consulted with me.

7. Will their books, accounts, lists etc., be available to all who join Bell/Deeter?

Many other questions - this is enuff for today.hb.

jean sterling
February 8th, 2002, 07:43 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by helen bayly
Here, folks are being asked to send lots of dollars to have their own information printed up by Bell/Deeter, who - like kingmakers - will pronounce someone the champ. Never mind all the other, faster folk who just didn't have the cash to buy the space and attention.



Or who flat out don't want to be bothered as they are not interested in a meaningless "world record".

Question: What gives ASA the right to just arbitrarily decide to throw out perfectly good world records?

Just wondering.

lucyj
February 8th, 2002, 08:25 PM
While I do have the same questions most of you are asking, this is specifically in reply to Matt Shirley's post of 2-5-02 at 9:34.

Matt, you wrote, "However, I did find some statements in there that I simply can't overlook. First and most egregious, USMS has moved away from its orginal goal of competition and focused more on fitness swimming?! I am open to any corrections or comments from the "old timers" who were in on this at or near the start of USMS, but my impression is that the orginal goal WAS fitness swimming, with a few meets tossed in to add a little spice. My understanding is that the sharper focus on better competition happened a bit later after enough people who were interested in more serious competition got involved. We can have a discussion about what the future goal of USMS ought to be, and history would not necessarily be relevant. But, this particular piece of revisionist history really chaps my backside. "

Sorry Matt, but this is one area where I mostly agree with Keith Bell. I'm one of those "old timers." My first Masters meet was in 1973, and my recollection, unless totally dimmed over the years, is that Masters Swimming was founded in 1970 (or a year or 2 earlier) by Dr. Ransom Arthur, for the express purpose of providing a place where older swimmers could continue to compete. The added benefit to these "older" swimmers was the fitness aspect to be achieved from continuing to exercise beyond the "over-the-hill" ages of roughly 17 for female swimmers and 21 or so for male swimmers as was the case when Masters began (pre-Title IX). The emphasis on competition at that time was what enticed me to begin training again, and to join USMS. To this day, I find it difficult to train without having the motivation of attempting to achieve my goals for times which are only measured in a competition. To me, the only fair way to measure is in a competitive situation, everyone diving off the starting blocks when the beeper sounds and finishing by touching the electronic touch pad at the end of the prescribed distance. Everything else is just an estimate. I'm sure we all know someone who fudges their times by pushing off the wall early, or stopping 3 yards from the end wall and claiming the time seen on the clock at that moment.

Over the past 30+ years, the mission of USMS was expanded to include the fitness aspect, and now that the large majority of our members do not compete, the fitness issues loom larger and larger, with less and less emphasis on competition. (Ironically, a couple of years ago at the annual convention it was pointed out that we spend the bulk of our time in the House of Delegates debating rules of competition, not fitness.)

I have to further agree with what I think is Keith's position that our Nationals are not designed to foster the best competition. The days are indeed far too long to allow for optimal swimming performances, and the meets are attended not by ALL the best swimmers in each age group, but by those who either have the funds to travel to all meets, or who pick a meet one year because of its location (e.g., Hawaii), and skip meets in other years for the same reason. I love going to Nationals, and I have gone to World "Championships" but I will only go to future World meets if the location interests me. Neither Nationals nor Worlds are truly Championships. They are Invitationals or "Open" meets, pure and simple.

If Keith Bell's ASA can provide true Championship events, all the better. Would I like to see this venture detract from USMS? No. (Actually, I would like to see USMS provide true Championships.)
All I'm saying is that I can understand his frustration.

steve1young asks what Keith Bell has done from within USMS to create change before breaking off. The Bell's have been active members of USMS for many years (I first met Keith at the USMS LC Nationals in 1978), and he has often raised his issues at USMS conventions. However, as you can see from the previous posts, not too many people within the organization have wholeheartedly agreed with his ideas and prior attempts to work from within, so I would guess that is why he is venturing out on his own.

All that being said, I also have the same concerns many of you have expressed about the fees being charged in return for unknown and/or minimal benefits. Helen Bayly pretty much asked all the questions I have. I await Keith's response to her message.

MetroSwim
February 8th, 2002, 08:42 PM
Lucy brings up some interesting points about the competitions, but how will establishing new local, national and international championship meets do anything but further dilute the pool (excuse the pun) of swimmers who should be attending a "championship"? Notice on the first page of the ASA site that bids are being accepted for these venues.

Unless the ASA is going to dip into the kitty collected just for signing up and recording times (and, no doubt, from submitting a cash-filled envelope with the "bid") to pay for the top age-group contenders (in one year age groups!) to attend these championships, the plan as shown so far does nothing to alleviate the situation.

I have a feeling that we can wait till the cows come home before we'll see a response, and I don't hear any "Moo"ing.

Gail Roper
February 9th, 2002, 01:45 PM
Matt, USMS was first organized as a competititve outlet for former swimmers who wished to continue their training and compete. Dr. Ramson Arthur was the prime organizer. I had lunch with him way back and we discussed this. I swam in the first few Nationals and it was all competitive, fitness came later.

Tom Ellison
February 9th, 2002, 09:44 PM
Gosh, maybe I've missed something here during my 11 short years as a USMS member. I have always been under the impression that USMS was dedicated providing organizational support for ALL adult swimmers. That is, competitive swimmers and fitness swimmers alike.

Listed on the front page of the USMS Web page:
"USMS is an organization of over 40,000 men and women from age 18 to over 100, offering fitness and competitive opportunities to all."

So, I guess my question is this:
What is the issue...or why is this an issue when USMS is dedicated to providing organizational support for all adult swimmers, regardless of their focus and goals.

During my short 11 year membership I have attended 4 nationals...and quite a few local meets. I’ve never had a problem finding good, tough, solid competition or well run events. Have I witnessed problems at swim meets? Sure...but nothing is perfect. What grade would I give USMS with respect to providing an excellent opportunity for me to compete? A+

Again, I just don't see a need for a parallel organization.

KenChertoff
February 10th, 2002, 12:56 PM
I agree with Tom that USMS provides opportunities for both fitness and competition -- what it's doing and I think very well, is balancing the two goals (which aren't really in conflict). I also see no reason for a parallel organization (particularly one that seems devoted to recognizing meaningless records). The historical goals of USMS aren't really relevant, it seems to me -- organizations evolve.

The issue here is that a relatively few swimmers seem unwilling to live with USMS goals that don't fit their own agenda (evidently, supporting "elite" competitors, in pursuit of "world records") and are unable to make their views prevail within USMS. To put it bluntly, they evidently don't want an organization that serves ALL swimmers; they want one that's organized only for them. If so, they are perfectly entitled to start their own organization, even if to most of us it seems to have little purpose.

I don't predict that their plan will be successful; it even devalues the records they're after. But, at the risk of sounding harsh, if these folks can't accept that USMS doesn't serve them exclusively, perhaps we'd be better off without them.

strong440
February 10th, 2002, 03:28 PM
Gail got it right and very succently, Let me add a coupla' thoughts. Just for fun, I looked up "fitness" in two Webser's, 1960 and 1976. Neither contained the word!

My team,I.U. Masters used to have qualifying times for team membership which were revised (relaxed) dated Junteenth, 1986 and simplified (confined to 50 yards and meters) in 1987. Example, meters: 40-44 men 39 seconds and same age women 47 seconds. We discontinued that requirement soon after, thereby considerably increasing our membership, but it took some vast soul searching. Did we really want to share the pool with noncompetitors? As long as we had the pool for free the answer was, no. But, when it came to pass that we had to pay for pool time we found that it was not such a bad idea to accept serious swimmers even though they were not interested in competing.!

The great obstacle to getting the masters swimming concept into being meant having to accept the fact that sooner or later there would be serious injuries even deaths, occuring at official meets.
It took someone of Ransom Arthur's stature to remind the powers that needed to be convinced, that such concerns were also parts of everyday living and should not prevent swimmers from getting back into competition. The U.S. Navy had given him the Assignment of finding a way to get the guys back into shape.

June Krauser has written a fine history of the origins, back in 1970, of the first national meet and how the Masters organization got going.

I recommend it.

Frosty
April 3rd, 2002, 12:58 AM
I see that the ASA website has been recently updated...nothing that unusual until I saw the following blub...

Recognized competitions
Times may be submitted for ASA records provided they are achieved in ASA sanctioned events or in USA Swimming, USMS (with the possible exception of some STLMSC sanctioned meets), SNC, NCAA, NAIA, YMCA, Senior Games, MSC, or other FINA sanctioned competitions. Times achieved at other events may be considered with prior ASA approval.

Wow. Can you feel the heat from the burning bridge?

NEALK56
April 12th, 2002, 10:08 AM
I have been fitness swimming and am up to doing 3000 yds 4 to 5 mornings a week. I never swam competitively taking up swiming as part of rehab for back surgery. I found that I really enjoy it, phisically and with distance the almost meditative aspects I experience. However I still can not do a flip turn, have never jumped off a block, etc. I have just started swimming with a local "masters" group once or twice a week and they have been very tolerant (no actually supportive) of me. I stay to the outside lanes and do the best I can. I find working out with the competive swimmers really helps me to push myself.

How do I move it up a notch or two? Is there somewhere for an adult (46 year old) to learn some swimming skills and how to swim other strokes? I would like to work up to swimming in a meet within the next year or two at the most?

I actually joined the USMS (no card or word yet) to try and meet other swimmers, get access to some pools in the morning, and to improve in the water. I am very glad it is here and to join the swimming community.

See you in the water!

Tom Ellison
April 12th, 2002, 10:49 AM
Hi Neal:
Welcome aboard!
Most often, your best source of instruction and assistance in getting stroke mechanics tips, and guidance in your specific goals as they pertain to your swim program, can be found within your local LMSC. Most United States Master Swimmers will be more then willing to help guide you in your efforts to learn more about our great sport.
Additionally, many fine coaches read these posts and chip in their 2 cts worth on a regular basis. Simply post a question...
Many Master Swimmers began later in life as you have. Many are now very fast and compete on a National level. If your goal is to go fast...you came to the right place. If your goal is to swim for exercise...you came to the right place..if you enjoy swimming with a bunch of great people who love swimming..you are in the right place. If it has something to do with adult swimming, chances are, United States Masters Swimming can help.
Again, welcome aboard...

Mark in MD
April 12th, 2002, 10:56 PM
Hey Neal!

Tom is just vieing to become USMS Ambassador of the Year! All kidding aside, you will find yourself doing turns, starts off the blocks, meets, etc. before you know it. (Been here and doing it, too.) As Tom said, don't be afraid to ask your coach and fellow swimmers for help. Now that you find yourself enjoying our sport, it might become addictive or as my wife claims, a disease. (What better one to have?)

After you have checked out the contributions by coaches, members, etc., did you take a moment and look at the lighter side of swimming? Just look at the thread You Know You Are a Swimmer When ... It won't be long before you will be tempted to add your own "war story."

As Tom says, "Welcome aboad!" Also, let us know how you are doing.

Steve Ruiter
April 26th, 2002, 05:48 PM
It seems to me that if you don't like this ASA group, just ignore them and maybe they will go away. I read comments that seem awfully defensive of USMS. Methinks we doth protest too much.

If they do things better than USMS they will prevail in the "marketplace" of adult swimmers. Not a lot of people getting rich in monetary terms in this marketplace. Could we all be better off with some incentive to improve our way of doing things? I think so.

Their outlook does not look too promising to me, but neither do I see USMS meeting everyones needs.

Having said that, I expect that there are enough people out there vain enough to fork over a few bucks to make it worth their while to run a website.

butterfly
April 27th, 2002, 05:22 PM
I see nothing wrong with creating a new adult swim organization.
Not that I am trying to knock USMS, but people should be allowed to choice from a variety of options.

Michael Heather
April 28th, 2002, 10:50 AM
I think it's a great idea that has not yet been explored fully to it's maximum potential! Just think, world records based on what time and which day you were born! If we go for the exact minute (we could do seconds, but that would just be crazy), there would be 525,600 available world records for EACH individual event in each sex. Hmmm, that would be 18,921,600 short course yards records. Ok, at $48 per member, even if only one person per age group joined (come on, every one wants a world record, don't they?), we now have a possible windfall of $908,136,800. Not a billion yet, but we aren't adding relay only swimmers, or the other two courses. Wow. Who do I hire to do the data entry? Computers? That is for weaklings. We use pencils here at Adult Records Minutiae. And paper, lots of it. Join ARM and make me rich!

David E. Morrill
June 20th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Very - VERY INTERESTING thoughts here... what goes around comes around? Successfull organizations can become too heavy, too political, let's hope USMS doesn't. Certainly FINA and ASUA/UANA reflect autocratic and Machiavellian behaviours.

Anyway, do the the expressed concerns & thoughts reflect results of what happened to MSI? How about LatyCar and it's continued "ban" from the world of Masters Championships with it's excellent track record since 1990?

These "old 2002" thoughts jive with those expressed and reflected in that "outlawed & banned" website WAMO.info ...?!

Read the Sao Paulo Declaration and see the similarities. Again, the site is www dot WAMO dot info ...

AND if you want to "refresh" the outlandish politics in Masters swimming in the Americas, look in the USMS Convention Forum under the FINA monopolizing Masters swimming.

craiglll@yahoo.com
June 22nd, 2007, 04:06 PM
Many meets are very boring. But I think allowing 25 yd/mt races for older people is so condesending and morally bancrupt. If you have attended a masters rowing indoor erg-a-thon, you know how they attract far more spectators than does anything by USMS. I thnk that now having an ED will help create a "bigger picture" for our organizaiton.

Also, most peole who swim, don't swim to become better racers. Most peole who swim or workout in the water do so for fitness reasons. I know that idea makes many racers mad and disallusioned. How sad. Wter exercise is one of the most popluar daily fitness routines with almost all age groups. If this organizaiton wants to really develop a good bank, those are the people to go for. Then use their membership money to make meets intersting.

ande
June 22nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
that's old news, from February 4, 2002, Keith Bell from Austin created the Adult Swimming Association. I believe that people involved with the South Texas Masters Organization could give you an earful on him and motions he made and complaints he filed.
I've never swum in any of their meets, so I don't know much more.

His wife Sandy is Sandy Nielsen, swam in the '72 olympics for the US, she made an impressive comeback in 1988.

I haven't seen them at USMS events for years.

Should we create the "Adult Swimming Society?"

Ande




Swim info has this article:

http://swiminfo.com/lane9/news/3387.asp

Which discusses a new organization for competitive swimming called Adult Swimming Association. Apparantly the initiator is unhappy with the various things that USMS does that are not directly related to competitive swimming, such as the promotion of fitness. Also, he is unhappy with the structure of the national meets. He proposes several variations of the age group structure.

Any thoughts or insights?

jim clemmons
June 22nd, 2007, 06:27 PM
Should we create the "Adult Swimming Society?"

Ande

Ande,

I can think of a folks myself who would fit right in with the A.S.S., at least those that want to moan and complain about all things in life.

meldyck
June 22nd, 2007, 08:21 PM
Ande,

I can think of a folks myself who would fit right in with the A.S.S., at least those that want to moan and complain about all things in life.

Jim,

I believe that the A.S.S. should have a number of membership options:

1) Smart (the minimimal junior member)

2) Dumb (second degree black belt, if you will)

3) Really Big Pain in The (after you have done all the junior options - this one would take some sound references for confirmation and, maybe, a written exam)

I'm hoping I can skip the two lowest levels and be inducted directly to the top rank...

Allen Stark
June 22nd, 2007, 11:06 PM
When I was in Houston(until 1988) Keith was a pretty good friend of mine.We kind of lost touch after that and I'd not see him at Nats(where he had been a regular attender.) Don't know why he got a bee in his bonnet.That group doesn't have any pool meets on there website now.

gull
June 23rd, 2007, 12:36 PM
I just met him last week when I tried out one of their practices. I did ask him about USMS. One of his criticisms was the conduct of Nationals, specifically the length of the meet and the level of competition. I also got the impression there had been some issues with local meets. He seemed like a nice guy and really is pretty passionate about the sport. As an aside, I joined Team Nitro which trains in a beautiful new 50 meter pool out near Cedar Park which is close to where I work. They have an enthusiastic young coaching staff and offer an early (5:30) am practice. And the Starbucks just around the corner will make my latte extra hot (180 degrees). Like Shoeless Joe said in Field of Dreams, "Is this heaven?"

ande
June 23rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
Excellent suggestions Jim and Mel! Thank you for your outstanding contributions to the
"Adult Swimming Society"


as the creator and founder of the
"Adult Swimming Society"
I think the sequence should be:

1) RBP, Really Big Pain in The ...

2) Dumb (like a sophomore = wise fool) then

3) Smart

I just made the motion we accept these rankings,
Anyone willing to second it?

The "Adult Swimming Society"
needs a board and officers
please suggest positions and titles and let's get it rolling
we may need to start a separate thread for the
"Adult Swimming Society"

Ande




Jim,

I believe that the A.S.S. should have a number of membership options:

1) Smart (the minimimal junior member)

2) Dumb (second degree black belt, if you will)

3) Really Big Pain in The (after you have done all the junior options - this one would take some sound references for confirmation and, maybe, a written exam)

I'm hoping I can skip the two lowest levels and be inducted directly to the top rank...

ensignada
June 25th, 2007, 05:53 PM
I think we should have a Principle Pain in the Adult Swimming Society post.

I'm sure we'll have plenty of nominations for that one. :D