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Allen Stark
August 24th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Rumor has it that some teams were recruiting outside there LMSC for swimmers at nationals. What do you think of this.

gull
August 24th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Reprehensible!

By the way, Allen, you don't by chance have any "ties" to North Carolina, do you? George Simon is our registrar, just in case.

I'm available at a very reasonable price, if anyone is looking for a mediocre middle distance swimmer.

SwiminONandON
August 24th, 2005, 01:56 PM
How much for Ande, Jeff, and the Good Smith?

Jeff Commings
August 24th, 2005, 01:57 PM
I was "enticed" to stay with Colorado Masters (then Rocky Mountain Masters) when I moved to New Mexico.

I think it's OK if the swimmer isn't recruited by, say, a team in California when he or she lives in Florida. The swimmer's home and the recruiting LMSC should have no more than one state between them.

But in the end, it only makes a difference in relays and point totals. The swimmer is still the same in individual races, no matter what team he or she is representing.

TheGoodSmith
August 24th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Why do we have to represent our teams at Masters Worlds?

Why shouldn't we be allowed to swim for the US ?

USMS can appoint a relay administrator and we kick some booty like no other country !



John Smith

SwiminONandON
August 24th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Shoot, I'll make all the relay teams ... putting myself on some darn fast ones of course ...

Paul Smith
August 24th, 2005, 05:09 PM
People have "recruited" in all levels of swimming since day 1 (as I brought up the "old days" of mission viejo grabbing top NCAA swimmers to come on board for nationals).

I have no problem with people organizing/recruiting especially if it helps bring people (back) into the sport. Keep in mind, its not always about scoring or records.....evil-goodsmith reunited his 11-12 year relay teamates for short course nationals and they had a blast.....firs time some of them had swum since high school.

And trust me, John could have not done this and been a part of some record setting relays!

umasswim
August 24th, 2005, 08:18 PM
I don't think it is bad if a person swam with a certain team and then moved for them to stay with their old team.

Case in Point
Karlyn Pipes Nielson swam for SDSM for a very long time but then moved to Hawaii but continues to swim for SDSM because she knows everyone and feels part of their team.

However, I know SDSM recruits swimmers as far away as Canada and some have never even been to San Diego. All I can say to that is we(SSLM) tend to have more fun as a team since we know and train with all of our team members everyday.

In the end, SDSM can have the records if they want them that bad. I was happy to see our team cheering behind the blocks on every swim because of the team connection. To me, fun and comraderie will always be more important and a reason to swim/coach than records.

Dan Peck
swimsmarter.com
Swim Smarter La Jolla Masters (Go SSLiM)

Michael Heather
August 25th, 2005, 01:00 AM
So some of the people who voted think it is alright to force a swimmer to swim on a particular club for Nationals, even though there is only three people attending from his club? When he could have joined a club with enough swimmers to make some relays, and actually wanted to have him represent them?

You probably think it is unfair for folks to bid on ebay at the last moment to win the auction. Grow up.

Paul Smith
August 25th, 2005, 08:51 AM
We're right back to the club teams vs. super teams vs state teams...........!

Evil-Goodsmith brings up an interesting point.....why don't we have a "national team" so to speak for a meet like worlds?

I think we'd generate a lot more interest if it was the US against Germany, Australia, etc. etc rather than the Greely Guppies vs. Franfurt dogs vs. Sydnet downunders?!

SwiminONandON
August 25th, 2005, 09:50 AM
I completely agree that at worlds we should all swim for team USA ... otherwise there are maybe two people from my team going so I will look for another team to swim with so I can do relays...

Rob Copeland
August 25th, 2005, 09:57 AM
Paul,

Unfortunately, FINA Masters rules are different from FINA rules with regard to national teams…

FINA Masters MGR 3 states “Individual entries shall only be accepted from persons representing clubs. No swimmer or team may be designated as representing a country or Federation.” Darn, I’d love to see some national team relays, even if they had to be run as exhibition races.

So for this to work someone would need to form a national club… talk about a super team!

TheGoodSmith
August 25th, 2005, 10:03 AM
Rob has a good idea...... form a National Club Team to work within the rules.

People who want to swim with a bigger National team format can join it for relay purposes, and people who prefer their local representation can remain with their regular USMS affiliation.

Administrative problem though..... switching hundreds of people to a new USMS team affiliation before Worlds. Its a short time frame between Short Course Nationals and Worlds.


John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 25th, 2005, 12:34 PM
Mr Goodsmith:

Rob does not have a good idea and before he gets on this thread to tell me its perfectly legal by USMS and FINA Rules he would be correct. I am going to tell you about some past practices done around 1988 and will leave names out to protect the guilty or innocent depending on your point of view.

Back in 1988 or so there was a team set up for purpose of building a USMS National Team. They would recruit the best swimmers available and today would be considered an elite super team. In fact they recruited from all over the country and accomplished there mission which was win team titles and break National/World Records for both individual and relay swims. The team basically was put together for the 1988 FINA World Swimming Championships in Brisbane Australia but did stay together for some USMS National Champonship Meets which they won. The team was succesful for about 5 or 6 years and started to die off after that. The person in charge of the team is very well respected in Swimming for his contributions and accomplshments and I won't deny that excellence. In fact this person is inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and has been on the cover of Swim Magazine.

As one of the leaders of USMS and a member of the board of directors at the time I never, ever, heard anything from the leadership supporting this and how it contributes to the overall good and objectives of USMS. I know many people that joined this team and they had there own reasons.

I had two of my teamates join because of the financial incentives that the team provided. If you joined the team you were responsible to raise 50% of the money to go to Australia. Because these two swimmers did not have the money to afford a trip to Australia they thought it was a good opportunity to swim in a World Championship meet and see that part of the world in there old age. These two swimmers have passed away over 10 years ago. They both happened to be All American in the 70 and 75 age groups. Some people did not have a problem with this because of the age and financial condition of the swimmers. They did not hide the fact they were doing this because they were taking donations from swimmers to fund this activity.

I have made friends of swimmers from other countries thru the years at International meets and it didn't matter where they were from be it Australia, Europe, or South America they would always bring this up as a reason to dislike USMS and what it stands for. Names like Superior, Imperialist, Controlling, and Decisive Power are just some of the names that were being tossed at USMS. In fact some of my international friends throught there was a conspiracy by USMS to support these actions. I assured them that this was not the case and the evidence that was provided was the other swimmers that swam for there regular USMS affiliation.

Now I read a lot of the posts recently and say Michael Heather's one makes sense to me to get on a team if the current one does not have representation at a National Meet. I know he swam for Mission Viejo and his wife actually did the records for the meet so I don't have a problem with that. Its the INTENT that matters. People in the last few days have provided evidence of INTENT of ethics regarding this issue. It does not take a rhodes scholar to figure the different INTENTS of what clubs and swimmers are doing.

Ok I am done. I am ready for the onslaught of striking attacks against this.

Peter Cruise
August 25th, 2005, 12:57 PM
I will echo the observation that the super-team at the Aussi Worlds was highly unpopular there (& probably formed my attitudes against super-teams), even though I was there as a Canadian, all I heard was griping about it (primarily about relays).

By the same token, I told the Aussies they were idiots for running their meet fastest to slowest, youngest to oldest, which resulted in the oldest, slowest competitors swimming 400 free at 11pm & later.

jpheather
August 25th, 2005, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Frank Thompson
Mr Goodsmith:

Now I read a lot of the posts recently and say Michael Heather's one makes sense to me to get on a team if the current one does not have representation at a National Meet. I know he swam for Mission Viejo and his wife actually did the records for the meet so I don't have a problem with that. Its the INTENT that matters. People in the last few days have provided evidence of INTENT of ethics regarding this issue. It does not take a rhodes scholar to figure the different INTENTS of what clubs and swimmers are doing.



Correction: Michael swam for Rose Bowl Masters (the group he works out with). I swim on my own at Caltech, and competed as unattached. Haven't quite finished up the records for the meet, there were a lot.

knelson
August 25th, 2005, 01:09 PM
I'm not deadset against it, but I think it does slightly taint the results and any relay records that were set by the team. Granted, the relay swimmers still have to step up and swim fast, so it doesn't take anything away from their individual swims, but it seems to me it takes some of the luster away from the record. It is much more impressive for a "home grown" team to set a record. This is exactly the same whether we're talking about teams recruiting swimmers or the so-called super teams.

TheGoodSmith
August 25th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Well..... I guess the issue comes down to relays and trying to set world records in various age groups. It's obviously easier to attain these times with more faster people on a given team. If FINA didn't have world records or USMS didn't have National records for relays then there would be much less incentive to try and assemble a better faster group of individuals.

I am curious though. Since what is being proposed is essentially a voluntary effort by the individual to sign up for a team with better swimmers and no monetary design, how does this truly affect other swimmers and contribute to Imperialist, Controlling, and Decisive Power of USMS? Swim on your own local team if you want to.... or swim with a larger faster group of individuals if you want to.

Honestly, Frank, its just masters swimming. This doesn't sound like a big issue to me. People should be able to swim casually with their local team or join a faster team.... big deal. USMS should oblige and try to fill the need of both types of swimmers. What does it really matter if a bunch of old farts get together on a larger faster team at Worlds to break a bunch of old people's world/national records and drink beers together. You want to know how it will benefit USMS..... well, here's a few thoughts.

1. Former swimmers will be recruited to swim and workout a bit again to get ready. Older names from nationals long ago may come out of the woodwork to see their friends and have a good time on a relay one more time. This represents new membership and increased noteriety within USMS. Older swimmers have a great deal of experience to share with other beginning mastser swimmers at these meets.

2. Bigger names in the sport from years past are ALWAYS great to have at USMS nationals and World events. I nagged Rowdy to be on the relay at USMS Nationals in Indy because he's a great guy, a friend, and a huge figure in the sport. It helps promote the sport within the sport and people love to see him and others like him return occasionally for dip in the pool. We laughed a lot at that meet with Susan Von der Lippe (Rapp), The Rhodenbaugh family etc..... Reunion type events are a positive way to sell USMS to the general public. Seeing old familiar faces and general fitness are the BIGGEST reason I do masters swimming.

3. Better National and World relay records will be set if better swimmers are allowed to swim together on a team if they chose so. Better record times are an improvement by themselves and can help spawn others to do the same.



John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 25th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Julie:

I am sorry and stand corrected. I must have mixed you and Michael up with someone else. That's a nice jesture to help another team at Nationals.

jpheather
August 25th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Frank Thompson
That's a nice jesture to help another team at Nationals.

No nice gesture! It's my job...well, one of my jobs.

mbmg3282
August 25th, 2005, 02:17 PM
The clostest I will ever come to world records is filing the applications when they are broken at meets that I direct. That being said, I think it would be a lot more fun to represent my country at an international meet than the local group I swim with. True, if the FINA rule were to one day change to allow swimmers to represent their countries in international competition, relay records would get faster. But, is that necessarily a bad thing? I find it quite inspiring to see a quartet of swimmers go faster than any their age have ever before. Other than the fact I am not that much farther from being on a record setting relay, would it be bad for adult swimming around the world if records got faster?

I can see why people will get up set with recruiting faster swimmer to join their team for this purpose, but if we didn't have to leave our local teams to swim together internationally, would the same objections still stand?

Changing a FINA rule is not going to happen overnight and most likely will not be initiated by the US. Still, we do have a representative to FINA in Nancy Ridout. If anyone can build the coalition needed to pass something like this, Nancy would be the one.

Frank Thompson
August 25th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Mr Goodsmith:

You bring up some valid points but from my experience at international meets the other FINA member nations and there swimmers who represent them don't feel that way. By the way it was my international friends that said USMS appears to be Imperialist, Controlling, Superior, and a Decisive Power regarding this behavior not I. It was my perception that most in USMS did not think this was appropriate. Now there was no USMS or FINA rules violations and it was perfectly legal but the question of ethics and intent of doing this was what was questioned. Points 1 and 2 seem valid points in your thoughts. Point 3, I am not so sure about.

The FINA World Masters Swimming Championships are a different set up than the FINA World Swimming Championships. Individuals swimmers do not go or compete as a single delegation and its not restricted to the fastest swimmers qualifing for the meet from a single delegation. Until the last couple of Masters World Championships there were not qualifing times and it was open to anyone who was a member of a FINA member delegation.

Rob brought up the MGR 3 rule and I will add that the only difference between the way we run USMS Nationals and the FINA World Masters Swimming Championships are run, as far as eligibility is concerned, is that you can't swim Unattached at the world meet and you must swim for a club. So you swim for that Club you would at Nationals and not Team USA like the National Team does. From my understanding, FINA discourages National teams for masters swimming and wants you to swim for the club that you represent in National competition. They do not look at this like the Olympics and they don't have the same guidelines that the Olympic teams with the swimmers and coaches follow

I see nothing wrong with your points 1 and 2 because most of the people you are talking about live in your LMSC and are part of your team or super team as some have referred. In fact I know about Team Rhodenbaugh and I saw the article in Swim magazine about Mook and how he got the family together for the Nationals in Indy in 2004. And Rowdy is always a welcome presence at our meets and I am glad you got him to swim on your relay at Nationals when you guys broke the National Record at 1:24.05. In fact I had the honor of having lunch with the man at the World Championship trials and we talked about you and your evil twin. Just to show you how humble Rowdy is, he said he hoped he did a good enough relay lead off towards the record. Fine gentleman and I have been holding myself back because on the other posts they were knocking him as a TV comentator. I think he is one of the best if not the best in the business. His longtivity speaks for itself.

Its point 3 that people will question. Having people leave their local teams who they work out with day after day, year after year, will have people upset about forming a National team. If everyone does this nationwide it will hurt the local teams trying to form relays for the World meet. This is what people object to. There is no scoring or medal counts so relays would be the thing people would be upset about. I was asked by my foreign friends to name one foreign country that practiced what was done in the USA and I couldn't name any.

About the only way this would be acceptable to the masses is for FINA to run the World Masters Championships like the Worlds in Montreal and Spain in 2003. Have teams from member delegations and not by clubs. Then I think the controversy would go a way.

TheGoodSmith
August 25th, 2005, 03:32 PM
I understand what you're saying Skip but the people that are unhappy about it aren't the people who desire to leave their team and swim for a faster relay team. It seems they are imposing their frustrations on people that would want to leave on their own accord. And mind you, this is only for world or international competitions.

What do you think of this as a possible middle ground. USMS could allow a sort of dual registration for individuals who want to represent their country at worlds or international competitions and swim on faster relays. This way you retain your local USMS registration to swim all year with your local team including nationals and then when you go to worlds you swim for a national type of team.

Getting back to your "intent" question. It may be the intent of USMS to discourage a national team based on FINA guidelines, but USMS did not disallow it in the rule book. I don't think anyone is trying to hide anything by recruiting a "super team" for relays at worlds. It is what it is..... a better way to get faster people together. People who don't want anything to do with it don't have to join. People who do want to participate should be allowed to join and frankly, USMS should support both options.

Remember, no one is doing this to piss of local USMS clubs or non elite swimmers. People who want to do this want to independently leave their local club for a limited time period to swim on these relays and come back.


John Smith

Peter Cruise
August 25th, 2005, 03:35 PM
I'd like to see what sort of Team Smith you could assemble.

TheGoodSmith
August 25th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Well...... the problem with the team I would rope together is that all the people would be between the ages 40-45.

Most of them would only want to be part of it to punish me in some sort of way and get back at me .... which I suppose is a good enough reason as any to join...... :-)


John Smith

newmastersswimmer
August 25th, 2005, 03:54 PM
How much for Ande, Jeff, and the Good Smith?
originally posted by Keather


Let's see.......probably somewhere around one or two cow chips I suppose....LOL!!......alright now.....just a little friendly j/k of course.

Frank Thompson
August 25th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Mr Goodmith:

I posted a response to you but unfortunately it was on the other thread about the records. Sorry for the confusion.

TheGoodSmith
August 25th, 2005, 04:33 PM
I read your other thread posting.

Mark Gill is a LOT more diplomatic than I am for this sort of thing. Paul and I will twist his arm and make him bring it up as a topic.

As for the next conventionand the records discussion... Paul Smith said he was not invited to i this year and is not going. Maybe he can talk to Marcia, our local rep. to initiate the subject.


John Smith

jpheather
August 25th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Regarding "national" teams for Worlds: The team would have to be associated with one LMSC. Whatever registrar handles the registrations for this national team might just resign. Or you'll have to come up with some hazard pay.

After having gone through registrartions and club changes for the recent Nationals and the headaches that entailed (Tracy and the Marks, Gill and Moore, can vouch for this), I wouldn't want to deal with it on a mega scale for Worlds. You'd be getting people transfering LMSCs, to the national club before, and back to their local LMSC and club after.

Mega clubs are not, in my opinion, in the best interests of Masters swimming. The two largest LMSCs thrive because of the variety of clubs that are available for swimmers.

We have swimmers from all over the country. Many start here, move away, but stay affiliated with their same club. We have swimmers who work out with one club, but compete for another. It's Masters, it's flexible.

I don't think it is correct to be recruiting people away from other clubs, however. It is not in the spirit of Masters swimming.

Bobby
August 25th, 2005, 05:13 PM
I'm not sure I understand.

It's ok to have "super teams" when we swim at the USMS nationals? Rocky Mountain, Az and Ill. are examples as are several other states.

But it's not ok to have a "super team" to swim against the rest of the world?

If masters swimmers in Calif were to do what Rocky Mountain has done, no other team would ever have a hope of any a relay record or top place team finish.

Jeff Commings
August 25th, 2005, 05:51 PM
John hinted at an idea that I had:

Swim for your club in individual races.

All relays will be swum as countries. USMS will pool its best swimmers for relays, the Japanese federation will do the same, as well as Germany, Britain and so forth. It would take lots of relay coordinators to get it all situated, but it could happen.

That would mean each swimmer interested in doing relays on that special relay day at worlds should submit their best 50 times to the relay coordinator.

I bet other countries are thinking the same thing. And I'm sure some are trying to recruit fast swimmers for their team to get fast relays.

Swimmer Bill
August 25th, 2005, 08:04 PM
ummm...I think there's one point that should be made about the Holmes Lumberjax club of 1988. According to the story, Rogers Holmes wanted to build a pool in Jacksonville. Apparently, his plan was to create the mega-team, win the World Championship, and use the team's success as a vehicle to convince others that they deserved the pool.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong -- but apparently, they have raised a lot of money for the pool and have taught a lot of kids how to swim.

To read the story from SWIM Magazine, go to:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/articles/swimmagazine/articles/200411-01swim_art.asp


~sb



Originally posted by Frank Thompson
Mr Goodsmith:

Rob does not have a good idea and before he gets on this thread to tell me its perfectly legal by USMS and FINA Rules he would be correct. I am going to tell you about some past practices done around 1988 and will leave names out to protect the guilty or innocent depending on your point of view.

Back in 1988 or so there was a team set up for purpose of building a USMS National Team. They would recruit the best swimmers available and today would be considered an elite super team. In fact they recruited from all over the country and accomplished there mission which was win team titles and break National/World Records for both individual and relay swims. The team basically was put together for the 1988 FINA World Swimming Championships in Brisbane Australia but did stay together for some USMS National Champonship Meets which they won. The team was succesful for about 5 or 6 years and started to die off after that. The person in charge of the team is very well respected in Swimming for his contributions and accomplshments and I won't deny that excellence. In fact this person is inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and has been on the cover of Swim Magazine.

As one of the leaders of USMS and a member of the board of directors at the time I never, ever, heard anything from the leadership supporting this and how it contributes to the overall good and objectives of USMS. I know many people that joined this team and they had there own reasons.

I had two of my teamates join because of the financial incentives that the team provided. If you joined the team you were responsible to raise 50% of the money to go to Australia. Because these two swimmers did not have the money to afford a trip to Australia they thought it was a good opportunity to swim in a World Championship meet and see that part of the world in there old age. These two swimmers have passed away over 10 years ago. They both happened to be All American in the 70 and 75 age groups. Some people did not have a problem with this because of the age and financial condition of the swimmers. They did not hide the fact they were doing this because they were taking donations from swimmers to fund this activity.

I have made friends of swimmers from other countries thru the years at International meets and it didn't matter where they were from be it Australia, Europe, or South America they would always bring this up as a reason to dislike USMS and what it stands for. Names like Superior, Imperialist, Controlling, and Decisive Power are just some of the names that were being tossed at USMS. In fact some of my international friends throught there was a conspiracy by USMS to support these actions. I assured them that this was not the case and the evidence that was provided was the other swimmers that swam for there regular USMS affiliation.

Now I read a lot of the posts recently and say Michael Heather's one makes sense to me to get on a team if the current one does not have representation at a National Meet. I know he swam for Mission Viejo and his wife actually did the records for the meet so I don't have a problem with that. Its the INTENT that matters. People in the last few days have provided evidence of INTENT of ethics regarding this issue. It does not take a rhodes scholar to figure the different INTENTS of what clubs and swimmers are doing.

Ok I am done. I am ready for the onslaught of striking attacks against this.

cinc3100
August 26th, 2005, 12:51 AM
Well, San Diego does that they swim as one LSMC. San Deigo is allowed to do that because they only have a little over 3 million people.

Michael Heather
August 26th, 2005, 12:58 AM
San Diego has at least three clubs that compete out of the LMSC. SDSM is by far the largest, but there is also Heartland Masters in El Cajon and La Jolla has a club (maybe two) to which I do not know the exact name.

cinc3100
August 26th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Well, thanks for the info on San Diego.

Frank Thompson
August 26th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Bill:

First off thanks for providing the story. I do remember it last year. Back in 1988, I can honestly say I never heard anything about how forming this team was going to contribute to building an Aquatic facility from any of the USMS leadership or the swimmers that were swimming for the team. I am still looking thru my swimming archives because I remember I kept the a copy of the financial contribution sheet because I did make a small donation to one of the swimmers that I coach who was going even thought I did not like the concept of building this superteam and going around to the LMSC's and Clubs and recruiting swimmers from those Clubs. Even Tiger admitted that "We probably violated some of the principals of Masters Swimming, but we wanted to help those that needed help."

First off, If you notice in my post I never said anything derogatory about Tiger Holmes. "The person in charge of the team is very well respected in swimming for his contributions and accomplishments and I won't deny that excellence." Tiger is inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and I respect that. Who am I to question that excellence. That is why I did not name him in my original post because everything he stands for in swimming I appeciate except how this was set up and the methods that were used to do so. Like Matt Biondi and Eddie Reese who have been slamed on this website before, I will always come to respect the accomplishments of people in the ISHOF. My intention was to give Mr. Goodsmith an example of what went on 17 years ago and how some in the international swimming community feel about it.

I am going to provide a commentary from Mel Goldstein that was published back in September of 1988 from the SWIM MASTER Newsletter about the upcoming World Masters Championships.

"Many masters swimmers throughout the United States are preparing to attend the World Masters Championships in Brisbane, Australia. I personally think that it is deplorable that some of them are leaving their local LMSC to swim for a super team who has recruited USMS elite swimmers throughout the country. These swimmers have prostituted themselves for personal financial gain. I think that as United States Masters Swimmers this is a very poor image to portray of our country and organization. Since we are the largest Masters organization in the world, we should be trying to set examples, especially since we are going to be hosting two International events in the next 4 years. I personally don't understand why the recruiting is going on, since there is no team scoring in these World Championships. Masters swim coaches who condone this sort of activity and will allow their swimmers to return to their clubs upon the completion of the World Championships, are not helping the Masters Coaching organization seek the high level identity which it is striving for. This sort of recruiting adds more fuel to the fire as to why we should not have team scoring at National Championships."

Swimmer Bill
August 26th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Like I said before, I'm not saying it was right or wrong -- but I do think it's enlightening to know more about the possible reasons why Tiger Holmes assembled the team.

Personally, although I wasn't involved with Masters swimming in 1988, I probably would've been inclined to criticize Holmes for assembling a super team. That concept, on its own, is a little distasteful to me. Without any other information, it comes across as a big ego trip. So, in that regard, I probably would've agreed with Mel's statement at the time.

However, when I learned more about some of the other reasons for putting together the team, the story made me feel like it wasn't just a big ego trip after all. It was supporting a cause much larger than bragging rights, because those bragging rights were simply a vehicle to do something significant for the community.

~sb

Allen Stark
August 26th, 2005, 03:33 PM
I am totally against a"national" team for relays as it seems to me the bad feelings and resentment would be greater than any benefit. We have already heard how the foriegn swimmers will feel.The club swimmers who have their best swimmers siphoned off aren't going to be pleased either. Then what about the swimmers on the "national " team? How will the "A" relay be determined? Seed times? Most people make them up. Last years times? Lots of swimmers don't have great times the year before they age up. Results from the meet? This year the 50 Bk is after the relays. What about the 50 yr old flyer left off the 200-239 relay because,even though he/she was the best in the world the fast 59 yr old freestyler opened up a spot for a 41 yr old swimmer. It's just a lousy idea!!

TheGoodSmith
August 26th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Well, there will also be "bad feelings" left if you don't allow the swimmers that want to participate in this type of team event.

Just let people do what they want to do. This is not that big of a deal to let happen. If some people want to swim with a faster relay for one measly international meet a year why is that so bad? No one is bribing anybody, no one is going to be forced into doing this. If they want to do it, cripes, let them do it. If they don't want to participate, then let them stay where they are. Frankly, I only see positives coming from this situation. Some people will get to swim on World or Natl. record setting relay and then come back and swim with their local teams that would have otherwise never had the chance. Local teams might even have membership increases by a few new heads if they enjoyed the ordeal and decided to keep with it locally afterward.

As far as the relay choices are concerned. This is always a consideration and risk in this area. This is nothing new. Anyone can be bumped based on their speed or lack there of at any time. After all it's "competitive" swimming not open swim. I can assure you that most people will already know who would be joining in their age group relays and would have it mentally layed out before they agreed to join a new faster team for an intl. meet.

As far as foreign opinion is concerned. I am surprised they don't do it themselves. It's their choice.

John Smith

Allen Stark
August 26th, 2005, 06:12 PM
I'm not talking about competitiveness. If there was a way to say "these are the 4 best in this age group let them swim" I might not like it, but I could accept it. It's not possible to determine whose best except at the meet and there is no guarantee the right events will be before the relays. George Schmidt and I are about the same age and about the same speed in the 50 Breast. Top Times says I am #1 and he is #2 in the 55-59 age group. The only time we swam head to head he won. Who should be on the relay as we both are sure we are faster than the other?

TheGoodSmith
August 26th, 2005, 06:22 PM
Allen,

So what if you don't get picked ! Go and swim with these faster guys and hang with everyone anyway. I'd go even if I got knocked off the "A" free relay in my age group.... (Assuming my wife would let me go... :-) Hell, Rich Saeger, Paul Smith, Rowdy and several other potential sprinters could easily push me back to the "B" or "C" free relay in my age group.

So what! Dude..... it's for fun. What if you DID get picked for the "A" relay and they set a record. You'd have a great time either way. In all probability, you'd know well before the meet if you were going to be on the "A" relay anyway.

Besides you should do it to drink beers with new friends regardless of what happens on the relay selection.


John Smith

Peter Cruise
August 26th, 2005, 11:12 PM
Methinks John has substantial holdings in brewery stocks. Foul tasteless watered-down brewerys, but stocks nonetheless.

knelson
August 27th, 2005, 12:31 AM
TheGoodSmith makes some darn good points...

Paul Smith
August 27th, 2005, 10:19 AM
There is a "big picture" here that John, myself and others have that seems to be missed in this discussion......a pride and desire to represent our country.

I don't want to "dis" my local club and I'm not trying to piss off the foreign teams or FINA but the reality is in an International competition we have the oppuruntiy to elevate the recognition of our sport world wide if we we're to creat natonal teams for these events.

As John pointed out to Allen its also for fun.....even if the reality is that people would have to accept being on A, B, C relays etc. (I have been on our "B" mixed medley the last couple of years in Co and had a great time trash talking with the A relay and making bets!).

I think there is merit to exploring this wit FINA, hopefully Nancy can chime in on ths discussion!

Frank Thompson
August 27th, 2005, 03:40 PM
Paul:

Thanks for your suggestions regarding this. I answered Mr Goodsmith two days ago and I agreed that he did have some valid points just like you do that need to be explored. Unfortunately my response to him was in the other thread and he responded to me saying that he would work with Mark Gill on a proposal so that he could possibly get it on the agenda of the International Committee meeting. By now anyone that comes of this website that is a delegate to the convention will see this and want to be at the meeting for a discussion. I see that Michael Moore who is the Meet Director next year has been reading these posts and correcting us about our misconceptions about FINA. This is good and possibly Sandi Rousseau can have room to put this on the agenda at the USAS convention.

The reason I brought up past practices of 17 years ago is to let people know what happened and how it was perceived by FINA, USMS, foreign swimmers, and the separate FINA International federations. Again the only feedback I received was from swimmers that I competed against at the International meets I attended. I do remember the feedback at the conventions and it was not positive. I am sure if this gets to the meeting that it will be discussed because as I look at the current International Committee I see a lot of people that were very active back in 1988 and they remember as well as I what went on.

I know you will not be attending the convention but if you and Mr. Goodsmith draft a proposal of both your ideas and give it to Mark Gill for is input and possible suggestions I think that would be a good start. The earliest this could possibly take effect would be in 2008. Next year is pretty much out of the picture after reading what Michael Moore said about the FINA meetings.

Also the US Open records proposal will have to be an emergency rule change and get 90% vote of the delegates to pass. I am not sure if you guys want to put the time and effort to get this through this year. I know this would be the year to do it because of all of the foreign swimmers swimming in the meet next year.

knelson
August 27th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
There is a "big picture" here that John, myself and others have that seems to be missed in this discussion......a pride and desire to represent our country.

I don't want to "dis" my local club and I'm not trying to piss off the foreign teams or FINA but the reality is in an International competition we have the oppuruntiy to elevate the recognition of our sport world wide if we we're to creat natonal teams for these events.

I agree. That's one reason watching Worlds or the Olympics in non-masters competition is so much more exciting than Nationals or any other meet.

Conniekat8
August 28th, 2005, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by umasswim
I don't think it is bad if a person swam with a certain team and then moved for them to stay with their old team.

Case in Point
Karlyn Pipes Nielson swam for SDSM for a very long time but then moved to Hawaii but continues to swim for SDSM because she knows everyone and feels part of their team.

However, I know SDSM recruits swimmers as far away as Canada and some have never even been to San Diego. All I can say to that is we(SSLM) tend to have more fun as a team since we know and train with all of our team members everyday.

In the end, SDSM can have the records if they want them that bad. I was happy to see our team cheering behind the blocks on every swim because of the team connection. To me, fun and comraderie will always be more important and a reason to swim/coach than records.

Dan Peck
swimsmarter.com
Swim Smarter La Jolla Masters (Go SSLiM)

So, I suppose if I liked and respected your team, and wanted to swim attached to your team, you'd tell me NO, because I don't have any plans to move to your town. That looks more cliquish then camaraderie promoting.

My own team has a number of satellite swimmers, those who have swam for us at one time or another and have preferred to continue to swim attached to our team. We have them in places as far away as China, some in Pacific Northwest, Idaho and other places.

There's also a few people that have approached us over past years and asked if they can swim attached to our team. They said they like our presence at meets, and prefer that to swimming unattached, all by themselves.

Pesonally, I like our 'satellite' swimmers, we often host them with locals, I hosted couple of them during the nationals, several other teammates hosted few others.

There's nothing in USMS that prevents a swimmer from attaching to whatever team they want to swim for, as long as the transfer is done properly.

Conniekat8
August 28th, 2005, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by Frank Thompson
Now I read a lot of the posts recently and say Michael Heather's one makes sense to me to get on a team if the current one does not have representation at a National Meet. I know he swam for Mission Viejo and his wife actually did the records for the meet so I don't have a problem with that. Its the INTENT that matters. People in the last few days have provided evidence of INTENT of ethics regarding this issue. It does not take a rhodes scholar to figure the different INTENTS of what clubs and swimmers are doing.


You're in error saying that Michael swam for Mission Viejo. Michael is attached to Rosebowl Aquatics and did not change his attachment to or from Mission Viejo.
His wife, Julie is our LMSC Registrar, and If I remember correctly the rules state that she has to swim unattached, and she does. I'm not sure what you mean by the statement that his wife was doing the records for the meet, and why you'd have any sort of a problem with that. Almost sounds like you're making some sort of an alusion (errorneous at that, and an uninformed assumption) that something was not up to par? What sort of a problem would you have with a long standing reputable and respected Registrar doing the records for the meet anyways?

(You can look up the Nationals results and you'll find a substantiation for what I just said)

You may have Michael confused with our LMSC Chairman, who attached to our team this year, mainly because he's known our coach for a while, and both are very active in the LMSC Comittees, AND our chairman's team disbanded earlier this year due to losing pool time. So, partially due to friendship, and partially due to frustration with his home team pool director, he decided to change team affiliation.

For example, several of our satellite swimmers have been attached to the team for at least 2 years or longer.

I also happen to personally know the 'canadian' that swims for SDSM, if you check results as far back as 2002, you'll see that he's swam attached to SDSM that whole time, and I know that he is a close personal friend of one of the SDSM swimmers.
(Although, he might attach to our team soon considering he found me more charming to hang out with then his buddy :p )

If some of you think that these people have suddenly attached to the teams just because of the nationals or a chance to be on a winning team or have been recruited, you are mistaking. Plus, it takes little more then a last minute decision to unattach from one team and attach to another, and it should be voluntary. One of the comments about if a swimmer attached to a team "b", and later on wanted to reattach back to the team "a", suggesting that team "a" shouldn't allow them back is an intimidation tactic, and much more unsportsman like then someone wanting to switch teams becaue they're under the impression that the grass is greener...

Conniekat8
August 28th, 2005, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by Frank Thompson
Julie:

I am sorry and stand corrected. I must have mixed you and Michael up with someone else. That's a nice jesture to help another team at Nationals.

What exactly are you talking about when you say helping another team at nationals????

One - Julie swam unattached at nationals, as she always does.

Two - She is the LMSC registrar, it's her job to do the records.

Michael Heather
August 28th, 2005, 02:07 AM
Um, Connie, meet Skip. Skip, meet Connie. Now that you two have been introduced properly, perhaps we can discuss the dangers of misunderstanding in internet communications. I think that has happened here.

Although I do not believe that he meant any harm or insult by his remarks, I also am not sure what point he was trying to make, and accept his apology for having put me on the wrong team. I do not believe that it was so egregious that he needs to be singled out. There are lots of mistakes made on these DF threads and I have made some doozies.

jpheather
August 28th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
One - Julie swam unattached at nationals, as she always does.

There is no requirement that I swim UNAT. It has always been my personal policy to compete for the group that I work out with. Since I work out on my own now I've been swimming UNAT.

As a matter of fact, I will need to affiliate with some club for Worlds next year since they do not allow UNAT swimmers.

Swimmer Bill
August 28th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by jpheather
I will need to affiliate with some club for Worlds next year since they do not allow UNAT swimmers.

...and the bidding starts at....

(just kidding, Julie!)

:)

jpheather
August 28th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Swimmer Bill
...and the bidding starts at....

(just kidding, Julie!)

:)

One look at my recent times will show that scenario highly unlikely!

Frank Thompson
August 28th, 2005, 02:12 PM
I mixed up Michael with Wayne McCauley. Julie pointed out my error and I made the proper response apology. About the doing the records at the meet, I said it was a nice jesture to help another team with the records at Nationals. I meant that statement as a positive statement. Not all LMSC's and Clubs have a policy that the registrars do the meet records at Nationals. So I interpret my statement as positive and not negative. When my LMSC and Club ran the Long Course National meet, I did the records and I was not our Registrar.

I am very well aware of who Mark Moore is and I am very well aware of who Wayne McCauley is and they are very well aware of who I am. I was trying to make an example to Mr. Goodsmith about the differences in recruiting a World team all over the country to a team recruiting in the general area of the LMSC. In that last paragraph of my post I referenced the wrong people. I know Michael Heather understands and I appreciate his comments. About Julie doing the records I never said anything about her being unattached as derogatory in doing the meet records. Actually when she pointed out my error I felt embarrassed and tried to throw a compliment. I have known both Michael and Julie for almost 18 years and they both know me so there was no malice regarding this.

I never said anything about the San Diego masters or the Canadian swimmer and PNA swimmer that was on there World Record relay, that was horn Head and Kirk Nelson making those references.

The whole purpose of the past practices was to show Mr. Goodsmith what went on 1988 and how the swimmers in USMS might not want to repeat the practice. The postive out of that is that the Smith brothers will work with Mark Gill to change system the way it is now to having FINA member countries compete in the meet with the swimmers reresenting there delegations not there clubs. I still plan on addressing Swimmer Bill about his thoughts about what went on in 1988.

Conniekat8
August 28th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Michael Heather
Um, Connie, meet Skip. Skip, meet Connie. Now that you two have been introduced properly, perhaps we can discuss the dangers of misunderstanding in internet communications. I think that has happened here.

Although I do not believe that he meant any harm or insult by his remarks, I also am not sure what point he was trying to make, and accept his apology for having put me on the wrong team. I do not believe that it was so egregious that he needs to be singled out. There are lots of mistakes made on these DF threads and I have made some doozies.

I sure hope it's a misunderstanding!!!
Sorry about being so confrontational.

I don't like it much when recruiting, unethical, my team, You and Julie and other people that I personally know are mentioned in the same story without a clear point and some leading inferences, *especially* when it's not based on factual information!

Michael Heather
August 28th, 2005, 02:53 PM
One issue on which we should all agree is that factual information and accurate information are cats of entirely different stripes.

umasswim
August 29th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Conniekat,

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. This original post was about "recruiting" in an effort to form super relays. I was not talking about holding people off our team if they wanted to join and I take offense to the insinuation that we are being a clique(sp?). Anyone that wants to join our team can, but I am not actively "recruiting" for faster swimmers. I also never once stated that I thought rules of transfer were being violated. I also said I didn;t really care whether or not people did form super teams in order to break a record. I just stated that I was not going to do it, and that our team had a great time as a team at Nationals because we all trained together and knew each other. I think team comraderie(what you call cliquish) can be a more fun experience than breaking a relay record and that is why I do not recruit. If anyone wants to be on our team from out of town than they are interested in being part of our team and getting to know us not just breaking relay records.

Conniekat8
August 29th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by bud

This is news to me. Our LMSC registrar has been attached to a team for years. I cruised some of the resources, but all I could come up with is this...


Someone who is usually up on the rules told me that certain USMS officers have to swim unattached due to potential conflict of interest or what not. Sounded plausible so I didn't go reading the rules.
Turns out that my 'advisor' was not correct on that one.

Conniekat8
August 29th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Frank Thompson
I mixed up Michael with Wayne McCauley. Julie pointed out my error and I made the proper response apology. About the doing the records at the meet, I said it was a nice jesture to help another team with the records at Nationals. I meant that statement as a positive statement. Not all LMSC's and Clubs have a policy that the registrars do the meet records at Nationals. So I interpret my statement as positive and not negative. When my LMSC and Club ran the Long Course National meet, I did the records and I was not our Registrar.

I am very well aware of who Mark Moore is and I am very well aware of who Wayne McCauley is and they are very well aware of who I am. I was trying to make an example to Mr. Goodsmith about the differences in recruiting a World team all over the country to a team recruiting in the general area of the LMSC. In that last paragraph of my post I referenced the wrong people. I know Michael Heather understands and I appreciate his comments. About Julie doing the records I never said anything about her being unattached as derogatory in doing the meet records. Actually when she pointed out my error I felt embarrassed and tried to throw a compliment. I have known both Michael and Julie for almost 18 years and they both know me so there was no malice regarding this.

I never said anything about the San Diego masters or the Canadian swimmer and PNA swimmer that was on there World Record relay, that was horn Head and Kirk Nelson making those references.

The whole purpose of the past practices was to show Mr. Goodsmith what went on 1988 and how the swimmers in USMS might not want to repeat the practice. The postive out of that is that the Smith brothers will work with Mark Gill to change system the way it is now to having FINA member countries compete in the meet with the swimmers reresenting there delegations not there clubs. I still plan on addressing Swimmer Bill about his thoughts about what went on in 1988.

Thank You for the clarification.
Sorry I jumped all over you.

Paul Smith
August 29th, 2005, 04:54 PM
A point of clarification; it always seems that folks get upity on this so called recruiting issue....the assumption being that when people swim for another team not in their area its to break records or win chanpionships.

I've mentioned the example of John reuniting his 11-12 year old relay teamates fo this past nationals......something that had the opposite efect (on records and championships).

Yes at times i'm sure it happens but my view is that its great to pull old "has beens" out of retirement and get them back in the water! 'd love to get Bruce Stahl (my UCSB teamate) back in action and would welcome him with open arms wehter he as in shape or not.

Remember.....its easy to assume that some "elitist" conspiracy exists but I think that's very rare. We need growth in this sport and since no one at Usms seems to want to develop and implement an effective marketing campaign we need to rely on our members more tha anything!

Conniekat8
August 29th, 2005, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
.....since no one at Usms seems to want to develop and implement an effective marketing campaign ....

It's sad that this impression gets formed, but as a marketing vice chair, I totally understand why the impression.

mbmg3282
August 29th, 2005, 05:01 PM
As painful as it is to agree with Paul, I do find people will look at the same situation differently. In the 2003 SC Nationals in Tempe, there were a number of swimmers that changed clubs at the last minute to all swim for a single club. It also happend at SC nationals in 1996 in Cuppertino.

In 2003, it was a reunion team from UC Santa Barbara. In 1996, it was a group of former Indiana swimmers honoring their coach, Doc Counsilman.

In both cases, we could view it as recuiting in a bad sense. Both these teams had lots of fast swimmers. Another view is that a group of friends were encouraging other friends to be a part of masters swimming. Out of both efforts, new members to our organization resulted.

TheGoodSmith
August 29th, 2005, 05:18 PM
Connie,

Without trying to sound flippant, what does USMS do in terms of marketing to further grow masters swimming?


John Smith

jpheather
August 29th, 2005, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Connie,

Without trying to sound flippant. What does USMS do in terms of marketing to further grow masters swimming?


John Smith

I have a very nice stack of brochures about Masters swimming that are targeted to facilities ("Add Value to Your Aquatic Facilities"). I plan to send them to pools without programs in our area, along with our 2006 club application form and other information.

We have a brochure targeted for individuals, giving them information on Masters. These I send to clubs to distribute to try to increase their own membership.

Both of these brochures came out of the Marketing committee.

Bill Volckening
August 29th, 2005, 05:51 PM
Hi John,

I appreciate it when people ask about what USMS is doing behind the scenes, and your question is a very good one.

In addition to Julie's points, I'm pleased to report that the Editorial Board and the Marketing Committee are discussing several ideas for possible bonus distribution of SWIMMER magazine. At this time, we are talking about possible bonus distribution to other aquatic organizations; presence at aquatic conventions, coaching conventions, and recreation conventions; and possible distribution at other types of sporting events.

This type of distribution requires strategy, planning, and finances. It may take a little time before we start to use the magazine effectively as a marketing tool through bonus distribution -- but if we plan well and spend wisely, it will be well worth the time and the effort.

By the way, the annual USMS Convention will take place in a few weeks. If you're interested, there are mid-year reports about committee activities in the spring issue of Streamlines...From the National Office, at:

http://www.usms.org/admin/nycu2005spring.pdf

There are year-end committee reports available in the delegate packet at:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv05/#convpacket

And, there will be more post-convention details about the USMS Committee meetings online at:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv05/

Bill

Conniekat8
August 29th, 2005, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Connie,
Without trying to sound flippant, what does USMS do in terms of marketing to further grow masters swimming?


That's really tough to answer here on a bulletin board in few paragraphs.
Some more concrete examples, aside from the brochures that Julie mentioned is providing you (the members) with this bulletin board, the website and the loads of information there, there are other programs that have focused efforts working woith coaches, LMSC's, liaisons with other organizations like USA-Triathlon and YMCA and similar, there's PR efforts from local to national levels, there's relationships with various sponsors.
Of course, there's the USMS Swimmer Magazine, various fitness events, articles and promotion of USMS on the side of sports medicine. There's marketing graphics tools and materials available for use to promote USMS at various events, for example set-up a booth...

These efforts and others are in varying stages of intensity of efforts, priority and development, with varying degree of man-power and finances available to them.
There's also some good ideas waiting in the pipeline, which I hope will come to fruition after the governance change this year.

Is there something more specific that you're curious about?

TheGoodSmith
August 29th, 2005, 06:22 PM
No... I was just curious. I obviously get the magazine and use the web site, but the other stuff you are working on I am not familiar with.


John Smith

TheGoodSmith
August 29th, 2005, 06:38 PM
Why is it USMS doesn't cobrand or partner with huge companys in a fasion that makes a bigger "splash" nationally with something like ...... say ........ a TV commercial with Rowdy Gaines getting out of the water and talking about his American Express card or Mark Spitz stepping out of his Mercedes Benz........ Janet Evans modeling sports wear for JC Penny..... etc....

The data base of masters swimmers information is worth gold to many companies for obvious reasons. Does USMS ever plan to sell it to any companies out there to draw in bigger dollars?


Humor me Connie.... I am new at this.


John Smith

Paul Smith
August 29th, 2005, 06:50 PM
Connie, I'm glad that USMS has you as well as all the committed folks that help run it but the truth is that USMs has not shown any ability to take marketing up to a level beyond flyers, bulletin boards, etc. etc. all things that advertise to our small exisitng base.

John nailed it, our membership demographic is a gold mine to sponosors (something Mel has mentioned many times) and we should be aggresively attempting to meet and cobrand with companies such as: Centrum, Mercedes Benz, Carnival Cruises, etc. etc..

Does anyone recall seeing any sponsorship banners surfing this site by the way? Ok, you found them....how about non swimming? OK, how many advertise on TV or magazines and tie into USMS?

The problem I saw at my last convention however was that a large part of the markting folks had a real fear of going out and "selling" our product (conact list) to these types of sponsors.

Bill, love the new rag but look at your sponoors (look hard to find them)? Great work on the one hand, but man if you came to my fortune 500 company and I saw your demographic but how little representaton you we're giving advertisers I wouldn't be to keen.

There are far more experienced PR/Marketing types on this foum than me......what say you folks?

jpheather
August 29th, 2005, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
The data base of masters swimmers information is worth gold to many companies for obvious reasons. Does USMS ever plan to sell it to any companies out there to draw in bigger dollars?

John Smith

I sure hope we don't go this route. I get way too many people doing "creative" things because they are so worried about identity theft. I've probably received a dozen registration forms this year without birthdates, and many of those, when contacted, said they didn't want to give out their birthdate because they are concerned about identity theft.

Then there are the people who change their birthdate every year.

And the people who scribble all over the form not to send them ANYTHING, and not to give out their address to anyone.

Bill Volckening
August 29th, 2005, 08:27 PM
Not my department, but I will try to remember to pass the thoughts along to our National Sponsors Liaison, and our Ad Sales Director. Knowing them, they are probably already working to achieve those ideals.

The funny thing about Paul's message is that in reality, ad sales significantly exceeded expectations this year -- and the term "significantly" is probably a huge understatement.

...and that's all I'm really prepared to say on the subject at this point...look for more information in the post-convention reports.

Bill


Originally posted by Paul Smith
Bill, love the new rag but look at your sponoors (look hard to find them)? Great work on the one hand, but man if you came to my fortune 500 company and I saw your demographic but how little representaton you we're giving advertisers I wouldn't be to keen.

There are far more experienced PR/Marketing types on this foum than me......what say you folks?

Michael Heather
August 29th, 2005, 09:22 PM
To the Smiths and all others who think that USMS is not selling hard enough: Walk a mile in the shoes of those you so blithely critique.

The Marketing committee has over the years not been as productive as we all would like, but not for lack of trying or talent. There are obstacles to growth unfettered, such as the desire of most of our members to keep their demographic information private. And the real problem to hurdle, which will kill growth if not addressed in advance, pool space and time.

Our task is immense, and we cannot expect the giddy growth numbers of the 1980s of 17% per year on word of mouth programs. We also cannot partner up with your fortune 500 companies because they want the very information that we (USMS) have sworn to protect all these years.

If you have a better idea than the ones you see coming from the national office, I suggest that you do something other than complain about lack of growth on a DF, like volunteering your time and expertise to the corporation.

Peter Cruise
August 30th, 2005, 12:28 AM
Connie- referring to earlier misunderstanding with Skip: problem is, you're just out of practise in dealing with with misleading, inflammatory & non-factual statements 'cause we've had no VO2Max 'contributions'

I thought we had already courted a national sponsor with our musings on 'Viagra' awhile back.

Paul, c'mon, you can lead the way with sponsorship from Mr. Big & Tall with co-sponsorship from a major brewery.

GoodSmith could be a guest host on 'Crossfire'

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
Connie, I'm glad that USMS has you as well as all the committed folks that help run it but the truth is that USMs has not shown any ability to take marketing up to a level beyond flyers, bulletin boards, etc. etc. all things that advertise to our small exisitng base.

John nailed it, our membership demographic is a gold mine to sponosors (something Mel has mentioned many times) and we should be aggresively attempting to meet and cobrand with companies such as: Centrum, Mercedes Benz, Carnival Cruises, etc. etc..

Does anyone recall seeing any sponsorship banners surfing this site by the way? Ok, you found them....how about non swimming? OK, how many advertise on TV or magazines and tie into USMS?

The problem I saw at my last convention however was that a large part of the markting folks had a real fear of going out and "selling" our product (conact list) to these types of sponsors.

Bill, love the new rag but look at your sponoors (look hard to find them)? Great work on the one hand, but man if you came to my fortune 500 company and I saw your demographic but how little representaton you we're giving advertisers I wouldn't be to keen.

There are far more experienced PR/Marketing types on this foum than me......what say you folks?

All I can say right now, if I get my way, so to speak, lot of this will start changing.

Too bad you weren't at the Mission meet, where we took good care of our sponsors and advertises....

As for people like Mercedes Benz and many companies with national or world wide exposure an entity with 40 or 50,000 members nation wide is really not that attractive, not to a point that they will come flocking if we just said yes. It takes time money and and effort to prepare a professional looking package that will attract those advertisers. For one, as long as many people whimper and whine about whopping 30 or so dollars a year that they have to pay for their annual dues, we'll be hard pressed to have the professional marketing and advertising presentation that there people are used to participating in.
One can't create a professional representation when there's 6 months worth of roadblocks to go through just to get a little brochure out.
Part of last years controversy about the magazine can how the decisions were made to go about changing a publisher, IMO, came out of the similar frustration with many good efforts being fillibustered by doom and gloomers, and skeptics unable to make a decision or take on even the smallest amount of risk.

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
Connie- referring to earlier misunderstanding with Skip: problem is, you're just out of practise in dealing with with misleading, inflammatory & non-factual statements 'cause we've had no VO2Max 'contributions'


*Slapping forehead*
How could I have forgotten.
I need to sharpen my claws... I shoulod recruit a scratch post ;)

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 09:26 AM
Good orning All.....let's get going!!

Bill: Great job on the increase in dollars, however my main question/concern about our marketing (as a sport.....including USS) is the lack of exposure in the larger media. To me swimming is stuck in a vacumm......we think small/act small in our efforts to get more exposure.

Michael; I have been there and was so put of by the process and lack of any kind of consenus that I haven't been back. The committee process to me is bloated and ineffective as it exists, however there are folks working hard and spending time to change it and I applaud them.

As for "protecting" member information I understand the concerns but also see compnaies manage efffectively. My impression was that a pretty large part of the people who are involved in this process at USMS actually don't want to grow the sport.....selfishly looking at how more people at meets nd workouts effects them thru more crowding.

If swimming is to grow long term we need to press hard on the PR/markting side beyond our own sport, our own pools, etc. If we have more memebership and more "muscle" we may be able to flex it if we ever step out a bit! You see what impact the AARP had on SS reform? We need to get organized (streamline committees) get vocal (weekly/monthly press releases to the media) and grow!

PS: My evil twin will soon share with you something a few of us are working on to raise awareness of the sport, raise money and put our money where our mouth is (think Billy Jean vs. Bobby Riggs)!

aquageek
August 30th, 2005, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
The data base of masters swimmers information is worth gold to many companies for obvious reasons. Does USMS ever plan to sell it to any companies out there to draw in bigger dollars?


First of all, mailing lists go for pennies, if that, per person.

Second, I can't think of a better way to drive people away from USMS than to sell our membership rolls for a few dollars so I can get more junk mail/spam. This would be a dramatic step backwards for USMS, something most organizations long ago ruled out.

gull
August 30th, 2005, 10:01 AM
C'mon, Geek. 40,000 wealthy Masters swimmers all ready, willing and able to buy a Mercedes? If that's not a gold mine, I don't know what is.

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Way to hone in on one small (mailing list) part of what we're talking about geek!

How about reversing it......what benefits does USMS bring me via its partners? Do I get a discount on Speedo as a member?

There are plenty of ways to leverage the buying power of what our demographic represents (by the ay gull......the average income fo USMS exceeds $80k a year).

We should be able to "sell" our product to sponsors above and beyond the swimming specific ones we currently have and in return create benefits for our members from it.

For example a relationship with United airlines where they we're the "official" airline of USMS could/should be turned into a discount for members.....you have enough sponsor relationships like that then our $30 a yeard dues could be $100 and seen as a real benefit.

think small be small......think big be big

aquageek
August 30th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
think small be small......think big be big

This has nothing to do with small or big thinking. It has to do with knowing your membership and your potential customers. Rather than trying to sell our membership rolls for a few hundred dollars to MBNA so I can get my nifty USMS Visa or sign up an Olympian from 30 years ago to hock AMEX cards, you need a more reasoned approach.

Your idea about a preferred rate for USMS members on airlines or rental car companies is good, and used by a number of groups with membership dues similar to USMS. I've also seen organizations offer preferred discounts or rates to reputable insurance companies (life/health and p/c).

But, you aren't gonna get Mercedes to do a $2m layout in Swimmer magazine so the New Bern Royalty aka gull80 can shell out $60K for a new Benz.

TheGoodSmith
August 30th, 2005, 10:44 AM
Wow.... didn't know that a few marketing questions would spark such a fire. This is good stuff.

Mr. Heather.... due note that neither Paul or I are criticizing Connie or other volunteers efforts. Actually, Paul praised her efforts. We are just curious about whats going on. Questions are good things not necessarily threatening things.

Aquageek and Gull....... I'll have to agree with the evil one on this issue. It never hurts to be creative and throw out a new idea or a question on a subject. Gets the creative juices flowing.... :-)



John Smith

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 10:52 AM
It has everything to due with thinking small or thinking big.....have you sat through one of the marketing meetings at the USMS convention Geek?

I'll make a suggestion; "one big idea". Let's create a new thread for it and task anyone who dares to to submit their ideas on what we can do to elevate the sport of swimming. We need to focus on what our arena (USMS) can do, but lets keep in mind what we ultimately are shooting for is more particpation on all levels, more pool time, more pools, more media, etc.

John.....I alluded to our plan that is in the works but will wait till after the conference call to decide if this is the time/place to launch it. In the meantime.....Geek I challenge you t start the thread and share your "thinking out of the box" idea.

Last but not least....I will also challenge anyone who is critial of these ideas to post their thoughts but that they need to counter with a solution.

gull
August 30th, 2005, 10:54 AM
Don't get me wrong--I would love to see some slick commercials promoting Masters swimming, for a number of reasons (not the least of which is that it's a healthy lifestyle). As for print advertising, I don't see how you can reach a broader audience if your magazine is not available on newsstands.

By the way, I've never liked Mercedes. And I don't play golf, either.

aquageek
August 30th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
"thinking out of the box" idea.


I've got one as long as we are into big ideas. Cause it's big that counts, not realistic or relevant in the real world of marketing.

Let's get Tommy Lee to wear a speedo on a reality show and have him swim with a high school girls team. On the front let's get it lettered "USMS" and the back to say "sponsored by AMEX." After he makes the team he could drive home in a Mercedes with a USMS sticker on the back window and party with his ex, Pamela Anderson, who will also have USMS tattoos on her, um, notable areas.

Can you imagine all the middle aged people making about $80K per year that would then run out to buy a new Benz, join USMS and support local tattoo parlors? I bet that's worth it's weight in gold to Daimler Chrysler and AMEX.

TheGoodSmith
August 30th, 2005, 12:21 PM
We're still waiting for a suggestion Mr. Agreeable.... :-)


John Smith

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Well done geek.....as usual!

Sam Perry
August 30th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Paul/John

I really respect and appreciate your comments and ideas (for what it's worth). As you can see from this lack of quailty ideas and responses so far, this organization is very myopic. I also have been to one convention and agree with your perception Paul on the efficiency or lack thereof!

We seem to complain and argue about the same topics on here time and time again. My small view of this is that people want to grow this sport, they just don't want more than 4 people in their lane so it doesn't impede their workout.

Heaven forbid we get people in our lanes that actually use buoys, paddles, fins, etc. (read this as the evil triathlete), but y'all know as well as I do, if something isn't done to increase the visibility of our sport, it will die on the vine.

The promotion is crucial and I for the life of me don't understand why more people won't embrace more ideas than fliers and magazines that only reach the immediate group. Instead we get obnoxious reactionary comments about "selling names to MBNA" as response to a legitimate discussion.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but I certainly have, swimming is featured now on more commercials than I have ever seen. It seems like more and more drug companies, health clubs and the like are having swimmers swim during some sort of voice over. Usually their form is atrocious, but that's a whole other story.

We should be reaching out to those companies who are already featuring swimming in their ads and show them USMS and what we do. If it crowds the lanes, great just more people for me to draft off of.

I have a great amount of sales, presentation and marketing experience in what I do and stand to help in whatever way I can. I just don't believe it is efficient to go to convention, form 5 sub-committees, and discuss it for 3 years each September what to do. I am a believer in action.

Let's stop the snide comments and offer real suggestions.

aquageek
August 30th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Boy, that was some subtley there, kudos. I'll try to read between the lines next time to get the real meaning.

You have to understand that some of us have no interest whatsoever in this beurocratic, administrative or marketing side of USMS. It's not a USMS membership requirement. Some of us desire the grand total of our USMS experience to be paying our dues, swimming with fellow swimmers and attending meets (and posting on this beloved forum). We pay our dues so that the folks who run USMS can do the "dirty work." If the dues are insufficient, then raise them as one of the Smiths said. Sorry, I can't differentiate between good and bad Smith.

I think it's great that some want to evangelize about swimming. A little humor injected won't kill you, or maybe it will.

As to the whole reactionary comment about MBNA. When the suggestion was made to sell our membership rolls, who do you think would be the first to buy it?

I'm moving into Cruise's pad in Canada. At least he sees humor and likes beer.

Frank Thompson
August 30th, 2005, 01:43 PM
I not sure if everyone hear wants to get back on topic or talking about Marketing which should maybe be directed to another thread. In the last couple of days I went back and went through my swimming archives and found the information I was referring to back in 1988. Bill Volckening made some references to what I stated even though he did not get involved on the National level until he first went to the convention in 1999. Things had changed considerably since 1988 and my intention was to give an example of what happened and how people perceived it. Its been so long ago I don't think anyone wants to make a trip down memory lane and discuss this. That's fine and Peter Cruise did mention some of the feedback at the meet about it. I am not surprised others from that time period not wanting to talk about it.

I will bring to the USAS convention all the documentation that I have on this from the meetings at the conventions during the Tom Boak and Dan Gruender administrations if people want me to so that the statements I made are not misleading, imflamatory, and non factual. I was ready for the onslaught of attacks against what I stated so I have been compiling the information that I have and will be glad to share it with everyone attending. I did this two years ago when someone questioned the information I provided about Matt Biondi so I am used to doing this.

The example I provided was rare and people like the Smith's, Jeff Commings, and Mark Gill have made some positive suggestions for improvement of the current way FINA has individual and clubs enter to a delegation entry. Like I said before I never heard anything from the leadership of USMS or organizations such as MSI and MACA that saw anything positive out of these actions. The article that John Lohn wrote in Swim Magazine that Bill was referring to were things I never heard of or referenced back in 1988. Even with those actions true, I felt the elite recruiting that went on accross the country to field the best possible team was wrong and not consistent with the goals and objectives of USMS back then and even now.

I also said to Mr. Goodsmith that the points that he made about recruiting in his area were above board and that his intentions are good. I think its great that he can get somebody that he swam with when he was in the 11-12 age group and I hope he gets someone from Arkron Firestone HS from the late 1970's and early 1980's. I talked with Paul Smith at the convention in 2003 and I mentioned to him how seeing Bruce Stahal swim again would be great and mentioned he should get Paul Goodrich also.

I will leave with a commentary by Dr. Phillip Whitten during his review of the largest master swim meet at that time, the 2nd MSI/FINA World Masters Swimming Championships in Brisbane, Australia taken from Swim Magazine in Jan/Feb 1989.

"While the World Championships were run smoothly and efficiently, the meet was not with out controversey. Most noteworthy was the raging debate over the Holmes Lumber Jax, a "superteam " that totally dominated the relay events. Tiger Holmes created a team consisting largely of the top American swimmers throughout the United States. Some of these swimmers received financial assistance from the innovative programs Holmes developed to underwrite the cost of the trip."

"Despite the best of motives, in the view of many Tiger Holmes had created a monster. Swimmers, coaches, and officials from throughout the world objected strongly to the Holmes concept, arguing that it was unfair and it was a move in the direction of professionalism and the creation of national teams. At the 1990 World Championships in Rio, the Brazilians have limited each club to only one relay per event. Other suggestions include requiring a swimmer to compete unattached for a year before being allowed to switch clubs."

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Sam.....very well spoken (typed)!

Geek....once again another post without a single suggestion.

Here's a "big idea"....sorry geek if its "realistic" and "relevant" and involves an Olympian from 30 years ago:

I just spoke with Rowdy about some of the ideas John and I are working on and he wants to bring the same Toyota (OK so its not Mercedes) sponsored clinic to Denver that USS has been doing for age group kids and recently did at masters nationals.

Becuase of the sponsorship by Toyota Rowdy and Dara Torres (another "old" Olympian) will be giving a free clinic to masters swimmers in our region......a very nice gesture and "benefit" of working with someone bigger and outside the tradtional swimming sponosors USMS has.

Trust me that we will notify the local tv and newspapers and try and tie this back into a benefit of being registered in our sport.

Go ahead geek.....shoot his down and throw in some humor without contributing something!

gull
August 30th, 2005, 02:06 PM
Will the clinic be open to Masters swimmers from other parts of the country?

We drive a Toyota Highlander, by the way.

aquageek
August 30th, 2005, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
I just spoke with Rowdy about some of the ideas John and I are working on

Name dropper.

I don't have any ideas, I tried to tell you that. Hopefully, you are getting your membership for free or at a drastically reduced rate for all your good, bad or evil work. Your name and face frequent our publication so maybe you are getting a cut of the proceeds, who knows, I'll investigate.

You could always pay the estate of Johnny Weismuller for his likeness in an advertising campaign since we apparently have an unwritten rule to only use older swimmers in our new and improved marketing approach. Now, there's you idea, and free of charge.

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Why is it USMS doesn't cobrand or partner with huge companys in a fasion that makes a bigger "splash" nationally with something like ...... say ........ a TV commercial with Rowdy Gaines getting out of the water and talking about his American Express card or Mark Spitz stepping out of his Mercedes Benz........ Janet Evans modeling sports wear for JC Penny..... etc....

The data base of masters swimmers information is worth gold to many companies for obvious reasons. Does USMS ever plan to sell it to any companies out there to draw in bigger dollars?

Humor me Connie.... I am new at this.

John Smith

For the most part, even though USMS has pretty desireable demographics, it's membership base is still relatively small to attract very significant sponsors.
It's a double edged sword too, large companies want membership exposure, and they're also hoping to get indirect media exposure, when their sponsoree gets media exposure.
Well, USMS swimming is not a spectator sport, even for the national championships we were unable to get even a local CABLE network to give it a little blurb on TV.
They were more interested in highschool soccer, since kids are considered much more of a draw and more liberal consumers.
So, that affects your sponsors. If a company sponsors USMS nationals, they get exposure to 1200 people. If a company sponsors a highschool soccer (which ends up on TV) they get exposure to few hundred thousand people by just purchasing a banner at their event.

For example, producing a commercial with a masters swimming superstar... Well, whom would you pick to be in it that has a nation wide name recognition?
I mean, look at some of the USA swimming superstars they're not exactly overloaded by sponsorship offers, it's not a sport that attracts major sponsor and advertizer dollars to begin with. USMS is a lesser known entity in the sport.

You have to have something of value and competetively priced to attract advertisers, AND you have to have knowledgeable man-power out there knocking on doors promoting the opportunity.
Again, it boils down to having substantial starting money and resources to promote and give USMS more exposure and name recognition among public at large, in order to attract bigger sponsors.


As for the USMS Member Database, no advertizer will pay us the amount of money that, IMO, would be worth the fallout of selling that data.

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith

Trust me that we will notify the local tv and newspapers and try and tie this back into a benefit of being registered in our sport.


I hope you guys get more interest then we did.

When he was doing the clinic at the nationals, the mention of Darra Torres, Rowdy Gaines, Brian Goodell and Garry Hall Jr didn't get us any media exposure.
AND we sent press releases and other info to every newspaper and TV network within 50 mile radius. We got couple lukewarm maybes, and one place asking if Gary Hall Jr could come up to their station. They couldn't/wouldn't come down even for an hour of TV taping because their local sports unit was covering kids events.

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 05:29 PM
[B]

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but I certainly have, swimming is featured now on more commercials than I have ever seen. It seems like more and more drug companies, health clubs and the like are having swimmers swim during some sort of voice over. Usually their form is atrocious, but that's a whole other story. [/QUOTE]

Did you know that they are actually using USMS members in a fair number of thosecommercials?


We should be reaching out to those companies who are already featuring swimming in their ads and show them USMS and what we do. If it crowds the lanes, great just more people for me to draft off of.

Okay, let's do it. We already have something to that effect in the marketing plan, and the collaterals will be printed soon.
I need about 20 volunteers across the country willing to spend 2-3 hours a day making phonecalls and pursuing potential advertisers. Someone whom I can show the sales pitch, and someone with reliable communications and professional presentation.
Anyone interested in volunteering when the effort gets underway, please email me!

Part of the stifling of the USMS is that there's too many opinions going every which way, and not very many people thatare not afraid to say, enough is enough, let's decide on one and get the efforts under way.

It's amazing how few people are willing to put their time and effort where their mouths are.



I have a great amount of sales, presentation and marketing experience in what I do and stand to help in whatever way I can. I just don't believe it is efficient to go to convention, form 5 sub-committees, and discuss it for 3 years each September what to do. I am a believer in action.


The silly thing about calling those groups comittee's is that everyone on the comittee thinks they're in charge. Everyone has an opinion, and very few people dare to make a decision.
I wish half as many people chimed in when there's a call to volunteer some time and effort as there are when there's a chance for an opinion to be given.

We already have plenty of good ideas worth trying out. What we need is to stop talking and start doing.

I'm really hoping that having a coordinator (new governance) for certain areas will facilitate doing, and cut down on the talking.

Peter Cruise
August 30th, 2005, 05:47 PM
There have been some good ideas floated within this discussion; I think Paul is right to emphasize some of the tie-in possibilities, which, just as real estate agents stress "location, location, location", this would seem to revolve around "contacts, contacts, contacts" & the need to 'exploit' those contacts in a partner-ly way. It would seem that some of our older & accomplished swimmers would be demographically attractive to the burgeoning industry catering to us over 50 types who worry about health, vitality & quality of life. I joked about Viagra, but you see the connection. Perhaps the will to coordinate this on a national level might arise from the hiring of a professional executive as described by Wayne in your convention thread. Someone who might already have a few contacts & able to approach companies on a national level.

Paul, the Geek chooses to inject a little humour (I try to do that as well, I just try to mix it in with a few serious ideas as well) if it truly annoys you just ignore it. Perhaps, if you thought of John as a dedicated fire starter (hot thread topics) & Geek as the little fellow running around giving 'hotfoots' just to see what happens, it might help.

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Connie's back!!

I really don't know if we'll have any success trying to generate interest in a clinic with former Olympians either, but my point is that if enough of us stand up and scream loud enough the media may at some point start to listen!

As for a USMS funded commercial I never considered that viable, rather a sponsor using swimming (and paying) in its commercials benefits both parties.

USMS has a small registered group of particpants, however swimming is still the sport with the largest participation in the US (world?) and our group has money and spends it.

Also I look at our lack of attracting more membership as an oppurtnity and a challenge....like trying to beat John in the 50 and the only way to succeed is to critically exam how we do things.

Paul Smith
August 30th, 2005, 06:08 PM
Peter, I'm all for th humor but sometimes its right at the edge. When that happens during a discussion where some people are really looking to try and problem solve it's be nice to hear some ideas rather than always sit back and throw hand grenades!

Peter Cruise
August 30th, 2005, 06:37 PM
Paul- I've been trying to be more serious, trying to 'frag' only when needed, however, I don't think the Geek throws hand grenades, more like those cheap little firecrackers that often as not go <p-f-f-t-t>.

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 07:01 PM
I really don't know if we'll have any success trying to generate interest in a clinic with former Olympians either, but my point is that if enough of us stand up and scream loud enough the media may at some point start to listen!

I agree. One of the key approaches to getting name recognition is exposure and repetition. Results come with some lag, which is pretty normal.



As for a USMS funded commercial I never considered that viable, rather a sponsor using swimming (and paying) in its commercials benefits both parties.


Which is where we lack manpower with some basic marketing skills, to sell the potential sponsors on the idea of using swimming in their commercials... We even lack the manpower to have people on the lookout for businesses seeking swimmers for commercials!
It is our shortcoming that potential commercial casting directors don't know to tap into USMS for 'actors' and have a working partnership.



USMS has a small registered group of particpants, however swimming is still the sport with the largest participation in the US (world?) and our group has money and spends it.

Also I look at our lack of attracting more membership as an oppurtnity and a challenge....like trying to beat John in the 50 and the only way to succeed is to critically exam how we do things.

Our lack of attracting more membership, IMO, is in part due to the stale image of USMS, and in part due to lack of exposure, and lack of support for some of the grassroots marketing efforts.
There needs to be a better more comprehensive package with direction, materials and a workshop with a number of how to's.
It's one of the number of items in our marketing plan without a body to delegate it to.

This in turn brings us to another issue, it requires marketing at level zero, which often starts with a passionate coach or an individual interested in growing a team and a program.
At going rates, it is very rare that an individual lile that can make a living doing this full time. Growing a team and a program etc is a full time effort.

How do we condition people into paying more fees for their coaching amd memberships when people on the inside nickel and dime everything to death.

One example, entry fees for meets. People are afraid to raise fees from, let's say $25 to $30 per entry in fear that theyll drive people away from meets. As a result, you have minimal staff, minimal facility, garage looking production at the meet... well, they end up attracting only a certain type of the individual.
All the while same people pay 3, 4 or 5 times higher fees to participate in other sports.
You know, lot of people respect things little more when they cost them little more. You're not going to get a whole lot of respect for USMS when their financial mentality is stuck in 1970's, and most people in the organization are afraid to attach appropriate monetary value to their efforts.

Somewhere not too long ago I overheard a discussin about a $10 penalty for something (in conjunction with USMS), something that probably costs about $100 of man hours to correct, and I was just shaking my head... Do people really think that $10 in penalties will really send any kind of a message??? Remember the income demographic of our membership!!!!

In order to attract quality, you need to allow them to benefit from associationg with you (financially or whatever is attractive to them)

...ugh now you got me started...

Entry fees for the nationals being one example. $38 for a 4-5 day National Championship event! Oiii! For one, it really puts the organizers in a najor budgeting mode where you have to count every penny, trather then focus on putting on a first class event! Considering we're talking about the National Championships, USMS's most prestigious event of the year! It's sad that you have to nickle and dime things in order to put it on.

Someone was worried about the meet host making too much money and taking advantage of the USMS. Tell ya what, calling 10,000-30,000 too much profit for something that you have to start planing two years ahead is really a slap in the face about how little people's efforts are valued.

$38 is dirt cheap for an entry fee to any sort of a national event for which people have supposedly been preparing most of the year. Most other sports national event entry fees range from $200 to $500, and this is with a lot less wealthy demographic.

$38 is roughly a price of a one-day pass to the amusement park, or one person dinner in a semi decent restaurant. It's a price majority of people pay for relatively **insignificant** events in their lives.

So, now there's some talk about increasing the fee by some 10 bucks. Frankly, I don't think most of the championship comittee gets it. Ten bucks more per swimmer isn't going to get it. It's going to take an increase by one order of magnitude.
Or for starters at least double the entry fee.

And don't tell me that the organization with our type of demographic can't afford it. Most of you wear tennis shoes that cost more then doubling the entry fee to the nationals would cost.

Well, okay, off the soapbox for now.

Peter Cruise
August 30th, 2005, 07:07 PM
One thing I notice following this mutating thread is that I think sometimes people are talking at cross-purposes to others & wrangling when their respective ideas are not necessarily contradictory. On one hand, we have the goal of increasing participation which everyone seems to want, but then some desire more ex-college 'fastmovers' to be lured back, while others, perhaps, envision ex-age groupers who quit early, multi-sport athletes, late-bloomers etc. As I say, I don't believe these are mutually exclusive, but the strategies used to appeal (or 'lure') them might be. As such, each campaign should be clear in what effect is desired. Does anyone out there have a clear idea of what an optimum level, or goal, for USMS membership should be? How does the current level rack up (per capita) to other countries with at least 20 years of masters swimming history?
By the way, I was serious about the all-Smith team, but not just relays, say see how good a theoretical team using only USMS registered Smiths would be.

Mswimming
August 30th, 2005, 07:38 PM
Deleted

jim clemmons
August 30th, 2005, 07:44 PM
Connie:

38 Bucks

Won't even cover the cost of the beer I know a couple of Smiths consume after said event! :p


For myself, $38 is cheap fun. I'd be willing to pay more for it.

Jim

Conniekat8
August 30th, 2005, 08:17 PM
The nice thing about large organizations is that if done correctly they can accopmodate variety, and have niches for a number of different interests and needs.

jpheather
August 30th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Raising the registration fee or entry fees for meets isn't going to matter a whole lot to the middle 50% of our members. What we have to remember is the effect on the older 25% (some who have lots of money, others don't) and the younger 25% (mostly who don't, judging by the number of checks they've bounced this year).

Just one thing that needs to be considered.

TheGoodSmith
August 30th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Connie,

Just Do it.

Double the entry fee for Nationals. I'm for it. I seriously doubt you will find much drop off in the total number of entries. Face it, if I'm willing to spend a grand ($) on flying to Fort Lauderdale with hotel and meals, you can probably stiff me for another $40 and I won't notice it. I may bitch a bit, but life will go on.

Raise the regular USMS dues if you have to also. My kids swim USS and its $700/yr per kid for coaching etc...... USMS dues are pretty small in comparison.

Do it Connie...... take charge and raise the dues. Let 'em complain. We'll all get over it...... soon as they go to the pump to fill up their car they'll forget.... :-)

Condition though..... make sure Nationals are at a good vacation location each year. None of this Indy crap.


John Smith

Rich Abrahams
August 30th, 2005, 10:17 PM
John,

Do not dis Indy. I love that pool and the city. Just because you're still upset about 1984....

Rich

Suit Chaser
August 30th, 2005, 10:21 PM
...awwwwww...::SNAP::

TheGoodSmith
August 30th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Rich,

You go vacation in Indy after the meet. I'll go vacation at the beach after Coral Springs.


John

PeirsolFan
August 30th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Jumping into this thread quite late, excuse me...

The cost of training for competition is already so high I wouldn't pay a higher fee and travel expenses when there's not much in it for competitors. Masters swimming just doesn't get the exposure other events do.

Swimming is a fine sport, but like surfing, it's just not that exciting to watch. The sports are a lot alike - wait wait and go - then it's over. Not much to see other than people moving in water. That's the perspective of outsiders.

I think swimming and surfing should pair up because both could use more exposure. Surfing goes year round pretty much and a lot of Olympic swimmers are into it. Likewise, surfers are swimmers.

Speedo makes more than just swimwear and so does Billibong and Quiksilver. For so little advertising and despite the fact that surfing isn't an Olympic or age-oriented event, the sponsorship in surfing is diverse and easier to come by.

Pair swimming and surfing and at a minimum you reach a wider audience. It just seems so unfortunate that Speedo and Nike are pretty much it and you only matter to them if you were in the Olympics.

Masters swimming needs something.

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 12:57 AM
I don't know. Does masters swimming really need more exposure? The team I train with already has five or six swimmers per lane at workouts during the peak season. We have a short course Nationals meet that usually brings in 1500-2000 swimmers. Much more and the meet timeline would be horrendous. It seems to me USMS is doing just fine with the current marketing.

jim clemmons
August 31st, 2005, 01:05 PM
Gotta agree with John here.

Vacation spots should be close by.

I'm for Hawaii, the Carribean, Florida. Anything tropical.:cool:

Jim

MegSmath
August 31st, 2005, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Just Do it.

Double the entry fee for Nationals. I'm for it.

Ah, if only it were that easy. The entry fees for Nationals are actually part of USMS code -- article 104.5.4D(1-5). In order to charge more for Nationals you'd have to submit an amendment, and of course this is not a Rules year, but a Legislation year, so you'd have to have it declared an emergency and then get 90% of the delegates to approve it! Change does not come quickly to USMS.

Peter Cruise
August 31st, 2005, 01:44 PM
Forgive me for being less than enthralled by tropical climes in light of recent events. Most fun I've had at your Nats have been in less than traditional 'sun spots'. And don't forget the great pacific northwest as both good vacation & big meet locations.

TheGoodSmith
August 31st, 2005, 01:58 PM
"Change does not come quickly to USMS."
_________________
Meg Smath
Kentucky LMSC




So I hear.


John Smith

jim clemmons
August 31st, 2005, 02:39 PM
Actually Peter, you're right. I was being a little too facetious but some venues do have more potential than others.

I could only spend so much time in some places after Nationals concludes, but weeks after in others.

Hawaii has been best for me post-meet wise so far.

We were going to cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale this year but stuff came up so we'll do it next since it's basically in the same area.

Landlocked areas just don't have much attraction (for myself).

The right timing and all and Seattle would be nice to hop on a boat afterwards for an inland passage trip.

Yourself?

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by jpheather
Raising the registration fee or entry fees for meets isn't going to matter a whole lot to the middle 50% of our members. What we have to remember is the effect on the older 25% (some who have lots of money, others don't) and the younger 25% (mostly who don't, judging by the number of checks they've bounced this year).

Just one thing that needs to be considered.

We could give a senior citizen and college student discounts or something to that effect. I'm sure details can be worked out.

Can't really make sure *everyone* is happy with these kinds of things, one has to settle for a majority not complaining too much.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by MegSmath
Ah, if only it were that easy. The entry fees for Nationals are actually part of USMS code -- article 104.5.4D(1-5). In order to charge more for Nationals you'd have to submit an amendment, and of course this is not a Rules year, but a Legislation year, so you'd have to have it declared an emergency and then get 90% of the delegates to approve it! Change does not come quickly to USMS.

Yeah, I know....
Doubling the fee doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of passing this year. It would have a hard time passing even if it didn't have to be an emergrency legislation.

I have a feeling that they'll go for the amount of the increase that they can squeak by this year.

As for those of you guys who are saying "Do IT" and aren't coming to the convention as delegates, here's what you need to do, write your LMSC representatives and tell them that as members out there, you are in favor if the increase. Your LMSC representatives (delegates) come to the convention to represent your interests. So, they need to know what your interests and preferences are.
It's almost like 'writing your congressmen'.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by knelson
I don't know. Does masters swimming really need more exposure? The team I train with already has five or six swimmers per lane at workouts during the peak season. We have a short course Nationals meet that usually brings in 1500-2000 swimmers. Much more and the meet timeline would be horrendous. It seems to me USMS is doing just fine with the current marketing.

One of USMS core objectives is to grow membership. So, if you want an organization that doesn't expand, this isn't it.

As the organization grows, the nature of nationals may change to keep the size and length of the eent at a manageable level.

Maybe at some point only people qith QT's will be allowed into nationals, as it is with most other sports, and there could be another national event that is less competetive and more cammaraderie orientes. All kinds of things can be one.

Juast like anything in life, things change, you can't prevent change.

About pool overcrowding... well, as a result of USMS aexpanding and swimming getting more popular, on the long run it should result in more pools being built, more places to swim available, more qualified coaches, masters programs getting more respect and pool time from pool oerators.

The expansion doesn't mean just more members stuffed in the same ole overcrowded pool, and more members taxing the same tired coach.

Done right, the expansion includes more services, more resources, more tools for swimmers and coaches, more facilities, better quality overall, more fun events and ways for swimmers to connect...

When done in a careful and balanced way without taking unreasonable risks, expansion could go a long way, and not really have a negative impact on the existing members.

newmastersswimmer
August 31st, 2005, 04:09 PM
To touch on some of the points that Connie made in her last posting:

First of all, I agree that we shouldn't inhibit the growth of USMS b/c of things like overcrowding workouts or national swim meets.

Longhorn Aquatics has several locations that conduct workouts at different times....and even within one location, there are different practice times to choose from.....so like Connie said, adding more pools (i.e. locations) and workout times (and coaches for that matter to handle the larger sized teams) should be able to help manage team overcrowding sufficiently enough......As far as Nationals is concerned....Like Connie said....Make the qualifying times faster if the meet gets to large.....I for one would rather finish in a lower place but swim against faster competition at Nationals then have fewer swimmers and finish with a higher place......but that's just me speaking of course....Also just b/c we increase membership significantly does not necessarily mean that participation at Nationals will increase as significantly....the majority of the new members could very well be fitness swimmers only (as opposed to competitive swimmers) and/or triatheletes...etc....Also many of the new members may be competitive swimmers ...but not necessarily qualifiers for Nationals (with the qualifying times as they are now)....this is why I believe that a "slight" adjustment to the qualifying times to make them a little faster could help rememdy the already existing overcrowding problem at our Nationals.

Finally....I just want to say that even though I am 40 years old (so no longer a starving college student)....I still don't make a lot of money (I'm a teacher for cripes sakes.....so as long as W is in office...and/or the republicans stay in power) I'm likely to be working for next to povertly level income....so just b/c GoodSmith and others can afford to spend x dollars on a nice vacation in Florida every year ...and they don't care about doubling or tripling memebership dues or meet entry fees does NOT mean that others such as myself can so easily afford the increases.....Yaeh, the annual dues are small in size compared to other things perhaps....but when you add in the monthly dues charged by our local swim teams, it would be easier on people like me to keep as many costs as possible as low as possible.....I like vacationing in Florida as much as anyone else...but I am also looking to cut as many corners as possible to be able to go at all....i.e. I drive instead of fly (although with gas prices as they are becoming this may not be such a great budget idea).....I stay in the cheaper hotels and don't have to rent a car b/c I already have my own...etc....AND I don't want to pay one cent more than I have too for entry fees......but that's me...Maybe most of the members in my age group are willing to spend money like water....Heck GoodSmith...since your so anxious to blow money in Florida....How bout buying me some drinks on the strip after the meet...afterall what's a few extra bucks on my drinks compared to the thousands you're already spending anyway??


Newmastersswimmer

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
so like Connie said, adding more pools (i.e. locations) and workout times (and coaches for that matter to handle the larger sized teams) should be able to help manage team overcrowding sufficiently enough

If only it were so easy, though. For example here in the Puget Sound region we've recently faced closures of city or county run pools. It certainly isn't due to lack of swimmers. We have Olympic gold medalists, many large and successful USA Swimming clubs, a Pac Ten University with both men's and women's swimming teams, etc. yet it's still difficult to keep the pools open we already have--let alone think about building new facilities.

Fishgrrl
August 31st, 2005, 04:22 PM
Well said, Jim. I certainly can't afford to travel to FLA either; I pay $40 a month and I like to compete, but even local event get a little pricey - i.e., meet costs, hotel costs, food, gas, etc.

Please don't double or triple our yearly membership...

mbmg3282
August 31st, 2005, 04:25 PM
Jim,

The rationale behind a proposed fee increase for nationals is that the meet host needs to earn some financial return for all their efforts. USMS has a multipage contract that a meet host signs for the right to host our event. We stipulate a number of expensive things that must be provided to our participants. As pool costs and other costs have increased, we are finding that the host is not earning much money. As a result, not many pools are willing to bid for our meets. This is especially true for LC Nationals.

I understand that you would prefer not to see fees rise. But when you consider the cost of the meet surcharge is often less than a tank of gas, we are dealing with a small amount relative to the entire cost of the meet.

A cheap hotel for 3 nights at $50 - $150
Food for the meet $30 per day - $ 90
Travel from out of town - $300
Meet entry 30 + 6 x $4 per event $ 54

We are talking about raising the $30 surchage by $10. In the grand scheme of things, for the budget traveller we are talking about a less than 2% increase.

dorothyrde
August 31st, 2005, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8


About pool overcrowding... well, as a result of USMS aexpanding and swimming getting more popular, on the long run it should result in more pools being built, more places to swim available, more qualified coaches, masters programs getting more respect and pool time from pool oerators.

The expansion doesn't mean just more members stuffed in the same ole overcrowded pool, and more members taxing the same tired coach.

.

Unfortunately here it does, pools are closing or being replaced with water parks and lazy rivers and slides. In Illinois, the rate of competition pool closures have hit many age group teams very hard, and since kids seem to get priority over adults, that means adults are also getting hit hard. You won't see new pools being built downstate, that's for sure.

TheGoodSmith
August 31st, 2005, 05:01 PM
Jim,

Dude....... stop being so cheap and fork out a couple extra dollars for the meet to make it run more smoothly. I will buy you a round after the meet to help neutralize the cost. Just look for Evil Paul, he's tall like a sasquatch and easy to spot. I'll be trying to stick him with the bill too.


John Smith

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by knelson
If only it were so easy, though. For example here in the Puget Sound region we've recently faced closures of city or county run pools. It certainly isn't due to lack of swimmers. We have Olympic gold medalists, many large and successful USA Swimming clubs, a Pac Ten University with both men's and women's swimming teams, etc. yet it's still difficult to keep the pools open we already have--let alone think about building new facilities.

And they're closing... why?
Let me guess, pool operators don' know how to attract profitable groups tso they can maintain the pool and make living out of doing it.

So, to remedy that, wouldn' it help to have more coaches and people interested in organizing the groups of swimmers whose fees will pay to keep the pool open???

I mean, let's go with little common sense here, you wouldn't be building new pools in the areas where there are not enough swimmers to support them, or where pools are closing. You'd look to revive existing facilities first.

But, you're puzzling me, on one hand you're saying there's no shortage of swimmers, but on the other hand, you're telling me the pools cant seem to stay afloat.
Do we again have a number of swimmers expecting it should all be free, or subsidized by the government? If there's no shortage of swimmers, why are pools closing? Something here doesn't add up.

One of the 'marketing' targets that USMS has in mind are the pool operators, and showing them how it would benefit their pool (financially) to have a Masters group hosted there, which in turn just may mean that the pool can stay open, and would mean more lane space for YOU.

Allen Stark
August 31st, 2005, 05:26 PM
Raise the fee for Nationals,O.K. but when World Masters Games was in Portland the entry fee was $200 and attendance was way down compared to other WMGs. Raise dues,bad idea!! We are trying to build membership and fitness swimmers are already wondering if USMS is worth it.
Back to the issue of recruiting(sort of) I have to brag.Our 200 SCY Medley Relay(55+) was ranked #1 for 2005. You may say "so what,it was an Oregon relay and you had the whole state to pick from." This was different.This relay was swum at the association meet where we swim as local clubs. We have 4 men registered with our club(yes we're really small) so our entire male contingent was the relay.

Paul Smith
August 31st, 2005, 05:27 PM
Connie, going after the pool operators is a great idea and one that we can all benefit from......geek see "big ideas"!

Its very sad that in our sport we basially roll over when pool closures occure or practice times get cut. Try and do that with a soccer field and you'd have every mom for 100 miles screaming and throwing things and end up getting two more fields built and nightime lighting installed!

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by dorothyrde
Unfortunately here it does, pools are closing or being replaced with water parks and lazy rivers and slides. In Illinois, the rate of competition pool closures have hit many age group teams very hard, and since kids seem to get priority over adults, that means adults are also getting hit hard. You won't see new pools being built downstate, that's for sure.

And if USMS had more exposure, and if there was a LOT more demand for the pools, and if there was actually some profit in operating a pool (whioch would mean most people would have to pay for the value that they're getting) then there would be people operating and buildiong pools left and right.

Don't you people see the connection here. Everyone thinks swimming should be for free or somehow subsidized, and yet facilities are closing left and right.
I bet if most people thought that there should be no admission to waterparks or amusement parks, and that they should be free, they would be closing too.

You can't have something of quality if you aren't willing to support it. If you aren't willing to allow those providing that something to you to make a living.

Heck, look at gyms, like 24 hour fitness, they keep opening up left and right, and people are willing to pay hefty fees to go there. I bet a lot of those are the same people that think swimming should not cost very much.

Look at the rest of the world, you want something extra, you pay for it. Here within USMS, all you hear is whine whine whine about how they're not getting more for a nominal fee, and acting like quality coaching etc is sort of an entitlement.

Like OMG, I pay $30 a month and I don't get enough coaching attention or pool time because there is 25 of us in the group...

Look at your local Gym, you'll probably end up paying $50 a month to just get through the door. No coaching, no help, no instruction, no guarantee that it will not be overcrowded.

Fishgrrl
August 31st, 2005, 05:36 PM
So then what's the proposed fee hike?

Paul Smith
August 31st, 2005, 05:37 PM
Alan,
If your memebership cost $100 a year and you got 20% off purchases from Speedo, or a rental car discount, or 15% off at GNC would it be worth it? This is how we need to structure our sponsor relationships......with a clear benefit extended to our membership.

Same goes for nationals (as well as all swim meets). I went to a meet in Salt Lake City where theorganizers had done an incredible job of gathering sponsors. Every swimmer got a goddie bag with snacks, water bottles, t-shirt, coupons, etc. etc. (as well as the volunteers)........something that can and should be done at all meets......

I think $80-$100 for a national meet is very reasonable, but can see that some folks will need to see a corresponding benefit to it in some way such as above.

By the way "W" passed the largest education spending bill in history.....fire some of the bloated administration and pay the teachers the difference!

Sam Perry
August 31st, 2005, 05:46 PM
By the way "W" passed the largest education spending bill in history.....fire some of the bloated administration and pay the teachers the difference!

Thanks Paul, my thoughts exactly!

TheGoodSmith
August 31st, 2005, 06:01 PM
W also is getting the govt. sued over the "no child left behind" act by the state of Utah. About 19 other states want changes to the ways it's funded. Might I suggest we NOT emmulate this administrations method of funding programs.

Paul, as you have referred to me as a leading left winged bleeding heart liberal and most irritating member of USMS forum (next to Geek), I am all over your undercover pro Republican comments. You are a closet Republican !


Note: CittyKat8 has some good points on pool revenues.


John Smith

Paul Smith
August 31st, 2005, 06:12 PM
John, John, John.....I have never refered to you as you describe, that's how you introduce yourself to new people at parties!!!

By the way have youmet Ms. Kitty........5' nothin and more energy than can imagine.

PS: Registered Independent for 20 years....even voted for Perot (once).

TheGoodSmith
August 31st, 2005, 06:15 PM
Paul,

This independent balanced Ying and Yang thing an act.

Let me give you a test question..... Whos' worse..... Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush?


John Smith

PeirsolFan
August 31st, 2005, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by knelson
...We have Olympic gold medalists, many large and successful USA Swimming clubs, a Pac Ten University with both men's and women's swimming teams, etc. yet it's still difficult to keep the pools open we already have--let alone think about building new facilities.

You have not only several indoor pools but several university pools, and you also have the King County Aquatics Center (2000 Olympic Diving Trials, Goodwill Games). In addition to that, there are a slew of athletic clubs and independantly owned public pools like Ruiz-Costie.

There's no trouble keeping pools open from what I can see. Maybe if only competitive masters swimmers were allowed membership (not doable) it would keep your numbers down of people in your lane.

I read somewhere that only 20% of masters swimmers actually compete. Please correct me because that sounds too low to believe.

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
But, you're puzzling me, on one hand you're saying there's no shortage of swimmers, but on the other hand, you're telling me the pools cant seem to stay afloat.
Do we again have a number of swimmers expecting it should all be free, or subsidized by the government? If there's no shortage of swimmers, why are pools closing? Something here doesn't add up.

I think the part that doesn't add up is you're neglecting the fact that it's the local government making these decisions and they don't necessarily have to make a lot sense. Obviously they have been subsidizing the pools to some extent if it will save them money to close them. But why shouldn't they? Does a city park make the city any money? Cities have a responsibility to provide recreation options for their residents. This means spending some of our tax dollars on public pools among other things.

Also I think you're confusing the points different people are making. I never said I'm not willing to pay to swim. My only point is that it isn't axiomatic that if membership in USMS increases that all of a sudden there will be more pool time and/or pools available for our use.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Fishgrrl
So then what's the proposed fee hike?

I don't think the Championship comittee has made that public yet, or really decided on it.
It will probably be hashed out at the convention, since it's something that came up recently.

No worries, the fee won't be doubling or tripling. It's likely to be a $10 or $ 20 increase from what it is now. That's my guess.

Just a quick clarification, I'm *not* a member of the championship comittee - which is the entity that the fee increase proposal will come from.
I'm sharing my personal opinions here about the entry fees and about USMS membership fees. Not to be confused with what championship or finance comittee's are actualy doing.

aquageek
August 31st, 2005, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
PS: ....even voted for Perot (once).

That disqualifies you from any further intelligent discourse on any matter.

I'd prefer a 15% discount at Wal Mart/Target where you can buy the same potions as GNC at about 1/10th the cost. That's a big discount at the world's biggest retailer - talk about one big idea.

Wonder what Rowdy would say about that? WWRS?

Fishgrrl
August 31st, 2005, 06:29 PM
Peirsol Fan -

I think 20% sounds about right. In our club - Davis Aquatic Masters (very large club) only 10-15 people compete every time. Once in a while we'll have 25-30 people compete, but there are very specific reasons for that, and it's usually at the Short Course Yards Championship meet. Otherwise, it's the same 10-15 people.

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by PeirsolFan
You have not only several indoor pools but several university pools, and you also have the King County Aquatics Center (2000 Olympic Diving Trials, Goodwill Games). In addition to that, there are a slew of athletic clubs and independantly owned public pools like Ruiz-Costie.

You're entitled to your opinion, but mine is that the amount of pool space currently available is barely adequate. The WKCAC in Federal Way is a great facility to have in the area, but keep in mind it's 20 miles south of downtown Seattle. That doesn't make it real convenient as a workout facility for those of us living north of downtown Seattle. The only other long course pool is an outdoor pool that's only open in the summer.

newmastersswimmer
August 31st, 2005, 06:31 PM
originally posted by GoodSmith in response to Evil Smith's ultra-Right Wing Comments

Paul, as you have referred to me as a leading left winged bleeding heart liberal and most irritating member of USMS forum (next to Geek), I am all over your undercover pro Republican comments. You are a closet Republican !


Closet??.....I wouldn't call him a closet Republican now (no matter what he claims to be)....I bet he's got his car radio tuned to the Rush Limbaugh Show every second he's in his car burning that $3 plus a gallon gas thanks to W and co....LOL!!....just joking now Paul.....remember that thing Peter said about a little humor every once and a while is o.k.??....

Actually Paul, You have made some good suggestions here IMHO along wih others (Even Evil-GoodSmith included) about recruiting for USMS and swimming in general....even if you are a filthy Jerry Faldwell loving Right Winger.


Newmastersswimmer

p.s. Mr. Gill....I guess I can handle a 2 - 5% overall increase in expenses to make Nationals run smoother and allow the host some incentive and rewards for hosting the meet....sorry if I came off as a major cheapskate....but I'm a teacher...and despite what some say here.....The one's in power are blowing smoke when they talk about investing in education.....I can make almost as much money flipping burgers I bet....but then again if I worked at Micky D's then I wouldn't be able to enjoy all the wonderful hatred that my students poor over me each semester!

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 06:51 PM
I think the part that doesn't add up is you're neglecting the fact that it's the local government making these decisions and they don't necessarily have to make a lot sense. Obviously they have been subsidizing the pools to some extent if it will save them money to close them. But why shouldn't they? Does a city park make the city any money?

Pool is not a ecatly the same as a city park. Sure, some of the facilities may be city owned. It's not the same as a walkway with some benches and greenery or a softball field.

Cities have a responsibility to provide recreation options for their residents. This means spending some of our tax dollars on public pools among other things.

I don't agree with you at all there. Pool is not a park any more then a gym is a park. If pools should be free, then gyms and personal training and triathlon gear and running shoes and tri-bikes and any other rescreation options should be free.

Also, cities don't really have the responsibility to provide the recreation. If you live in a city that is financially healthy enough to offer a fair amount of park and rec facilities, it's a bonus. Not an entitlement. For cities, it's a marketing tool to have parks etc... to attract people willing to pay taxes to live there. If it becomes unfeasible to do that, or too expensive to maintain, it'll go away - or they raise your taxes.
Personally I prefer not to have government hands in it. If I like a business, they will get my patronage, and I would expect them to charge enough so they stay in business. Not to drive themselves out of business so I can afford them.

If there's something I can't afford, well, guess what, I don't get/buy it. I don't look for government to subsidize it for me.

Anyway, you asked if a park makes city money, in an indirect way, it certainly does. You have a nice well kept pleasant to live in city, guess what, you'll be able to charge more property taxes.
Also, most parks aren't built at city expenses anyway, the land developers end up having to build them if they want to put in a subdivision, and dedicate them to the city (public) and city just maintains them, and the cost gets passed on the homeowner as a part of the price of the home they just bought, and not in property taxes. Taxes only pay for maintenance.


Also I think you're confusing the points different people are making. I never said I'm not willing to pay to swim.


No, you didn't, I forget what exactly you said, but it gave me the sense that you think that pools should be very low cost. After you mentioning equating a pool to a public park, you sort of confirmed the impression I was getting. (or maybe I do have you confused with someone else)

Well, we aren't in 1930's any more, the times of public baths and pools.

You want a sport that will attract quality, sopnsors, be in step with fitness requirements of people that are trying to stay in shape and participate in sports TODAY, yopu can't rely on the government to give it to you. You rely on government, you'll get government-quality service - which is what you're getting now, overcrowded pool, other pools closing....

So, you have a choice there, keep barking up the government to give you a freebie or run pools like businesses, like stadiums, ice rinks, bowling alleys and other sports and recreation facilities are run.


My only point is that it isn't axiomatic that if membership in USMS increases that all of a sudden there will be more pool time and/or pools available for our use.

I never said it would happen suddenly or immediately, or as a result of sole marketing after new members.
What I was trying to explain that growth of membership should be a part of a more comprehensive overall growth plan. Not something as simplistic as getting a bunch more people to join, if there's no pool time or places for them, to swim. I mean, is it not plain common sense to not do that anyways. Why would you even think I would be advocating something so simplistic as just tossing more swimmers into overcrowded pools???

gull
August 31st, 2005, 06:52 PM
Warning: Nonswimming-related post.

I didn't realize how well paid our teachers were during the eight years of the Clinton administration.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
John, John, John.....I have never refered to you as you describe, that's how you introduce yourself to new people at parties!!!

By the way have youmet Ms. Kitty........5' nothin and more energy than can imagine.

PS: Registered Independent for 20 years....even voted for Perot (once).

Well, from your perspective it may seem like 5' nuttin, but I'm actually 5'-9"!
Or .
... it must have been awfully dark in that hallway in Indy ;)

Is the Good Smith really your brother? I haven't been following the story from the beginning.

Paul Smith
August 31st, 2005, 06:56 PM
Geek.....well done man...I knew you had it in you! Target would be ideal! And by the way...you ever see Brusters Millions? "None of the above"? Rather than vote for either of two very bad choices on occasion the "intelligent" thing to do put out a protest vote!

By the way Rush is old news......gotta go with O'Reilly while driving my gas guzzling 3/4 ton quad cab diesel monster truck with a gun rack in the window.....great watchng the wide eyes in the rearview mirror of the Prius driving liberals going 50 in the left lane when I come up behind them!

Sam...........all cattle buddy!

John.....can't beleive Texas let you in the state let alone the university.....isn't there some law against foreigners (ie; east of the Mississippi)?

jim clemmons
August 31st, 2005, 06:59 PM
I didn't realize how well paid our teachers were during the eight years of the Clinton administration.

They should have probably retired while the gettin was good.;)

Paul Smith
August 31st, 2005, 07:03 PM
Connie......no relation (thankfully), I would have killed him growing up!

Come to think of it that hallway was rather dark!!

Keep up the hard work, we (those of us who bitch and not attend conventions) need people like you shaking things up!

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
I don't agree with you at all there. Pool is not a park any more then a gym is a park. If pools should be free, then gyms and personal training and triathlon gear and running shoes and tri-bikes and any other rescreation options should be free.

I totally disagree. I think public pools are absolutely essential to the sport. I'm not saying pools should be totally free, but the fee should be reasonable. I fear that if all pools are private you're going to exclude a large segment of the population from swimming. And, yes, I'll admit it, I'm a bleeding heart.

So back to growing the membership of USMS. Let me pose this question: why do you think it is important to grow USMS? And using the fact that it is one of USMS's "core objectives" doesn't count.

Edit: and let me clarify my position. I'm not opposed to growing USMS. I just feel that membership is already at an acceptable level. I don't believe raising my membership fees or meet fees to furhter market USMS is the right thing to do.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 08:52 PM
I totally disagree. I think public pools are absolutely essential to the sport. I'm not saying pools should be totally free, but the fee should be reasonable.

Define what's reasonable to you?
To me, charging the price that allows a business to stay in business is very reasonable.


I fear that if all pools are private you're going to exclude a large segment of the population from swimming. And, yes, I'll admit it, I'm a bleeding heart.

Bleeding heart... Then I'm afraid we won't agree on much...
*sigh* Bleeding hearts are for debutants and beauty pageants and similar fairytales :p


So back to growing the membership of USMS. Let me pose this question: why do you think it is important to grow USMS? And using the fact that it is one of USMS's "core objectives" doesn't count.

Oh, let's not grow, let's stagnate and be mediocre instead.
While the economy and the rest of the world passes by. Let's freeze the USMS just the way it was in 1973. We got our own little spot, and let's not share it with anyone else, and hide inside our little blue blanket.
I'm sorry, if you can't see reasons for growth, I'm not the right person to explain them to you (in a calm manner).


Edit: and let me clarify my position. I'm not opposed to growing USMS. I just feel that membership is already at an acceptable level. I don't believe raising my membership fees or meet fees to furhter market USMS is the right thing to do.

I don't agree with you, sorry, I really couldn't possibly disagree more. We're diametrically opposed on this.

Frankly, this is just the thing that is extremely irritating within parts of USMS, there's a group of people that are afraid of everything, and look at most things half empty and disagree with almost everything. There's just enough of the doomsdayers and nay-sayers to stifle and filibuster every effort, and enough people afraid to stand up to them that a lot of efforts just die off in a fear of confrontation.
I really hope that change of governance will suceed in getting past that.

dorothyrde
August 31st, 2005, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
Connie, going after the pool operators is a great idea and one that we can all benefit from......geek see "big ideas"!

Its very sad that in our sport we basially roll over when pool closures occure or practice times get cut. Try and do that with a soccer field and you'd have every mom for 100 miles screaming and throwing things and end up getting two more fields built and nightime lighting installed!

We did not roll over, we fought hard, we worked the media, we worked the lap swimmers, we did everything we did, were at every park district meeting, but the almight dollar of a water park won out. We had the U of I coach talk to them about how to market a competition pool so it would make money, everything, but water park was on their minds and water park is what we will have.

mbmg3282
August 31st, 2005, 09:36 PM
Connie,

Wasn't the pool you train at once a privately owned pool by the Mission Viejo Community? When they couldn't pay the bills it was bought by the city and rented to the teams that train there. So, by the definition of a business should charge what it needs to in order to stay in business, your club failed.

Imagine how much more difficult it is to build and keep open facilities in areas where you can't swim outside all year. Swimming becomes a much more expensive sport to afford in colder areas.

That being said, I do agree with Connie that we need to grow our sport. By growth, we will have greater demand for facilities. The more tax payers that want swimming will have a greater chance of opening new facilities and keeping older ones open.

Impressive topic slide for a thread that started with a discussion of relay swimmers.

jpheather
August 31st, 2005, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by dorothyrde
We did not roll over, we fought hard, we worked the media, we worked the lap swimmers, we did everything we did, were at every park district meeting, but the almight dollar of a water park won out. We had the U of I coach talk to them about how to market a competition pool so it would make money, everything, but water park was on their minds and water park is what we will have.

Ideally we all want what Santa Clarita (CA) recently built: a 50 m x 25 yd pool, a 25 m diving well, and the pool with water slides. Beautiful facility. Great management, too. And they're having 3 meets a year (one each course). Something for everyone.

knelson
August 31st, 2005, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
I'm sorry, if you can't see reasons for growth, I'm not the right person to explain them to you (in a calm manner).

You didn't answer the question. Maybe you should go into politics :)

No, I don't think USMS should get "stagnant" or "mediocre," but on the other hand I don't see why there's this huge need for growth. It's clear that any organization needs to market itself, I'm just saying I don't think the current state of affairs is so bad.

Conniekat8
August 31st, 2005, 10:46 PM
Wasn't the pool you train at once a privately owned pool by the Mission Viejo Community? When they couldn't pay the bills it was bought by the city and rented to the teams that train there. So, by the definition of a business should charge what it needs to in order to stay in business, your club failed.


Not really. The privately owned company that was operating the pool, who was also a land developer and a major land owner went out of business in the early 90's, when a lot of land development stopped. Compared to the rest of their business, the pool was a small potato, and not really central to the suces of their business.
I'm in land development here, companies the size of Mission Viejo Company oftebn build a facility like our pool with a leftover piece of land as a tax write-off rathet then as an investment.

It was turned over to the city when the mission Viejo company closed doors, but not as city operated and city subsidized facility, the facility is self supporting AFAIK, as a non-profit organization, and run by the board of director which is comprised of swimmers.
It is not a city operated facility.
I haven't looked at the recent fiscal paerwork from the facility. I remember the talks from last year that our yearly budget is about 2 milion a year. If you figure about 800 kids at $125 to $180/month and very active fundraising and sponsor seeking, 2 or so milion a year sounds about right. Plus each family on the kids team has 'mandatory' volunteering and fundraising hours, or they get charged another 500 bucks.

I have no idea why kids pay 120-150 a month to come to one workout a day, while Masters only pay $55 a month to have access to 25 workouts a week, as few or as many as they want, and no mandatory volunteering. Only $45 if they don't want a choice of workouts, and only $25 a moth if they're one of the 'swim-parents'.
Well, hell, why not just give it for free to masters and then wonder why pools are closing or not welcoming Masters groups.

In our example, out of 2 mil a year revenues at the pool, Masters group contributes barely 100K a year because Masters "Aren't used to paying more"... Then everyone wonders why they don't get a priority when it comes to lanes and pool time, and why the group is seen as a necessary evil. They want all this stuff, and want it without paying the going price for it.

Last I saw, the bills to maintain the facility were around 20,000 K a month (electricity, water, pool supplies etc...)

Events like Nationals, and many of the kids meets are fundraiser events that also keep those facilities afloat.

Whether the taxes or more directly from your pocket, the money to operate those facilities will have to come out of our pockets one way or another.

Believe me, I trust privatre businesses a lot more to keep things at reasonable operating costs then I trust government to keep something at reasonable operating cost. When oyu have to pat $8.00 for a nail, just how much more expensive do you think the pool costs are?
I'd rather spend the extra money on good coaching staff, then on some government administrator to sit and make arbitrary decision where the remainder of the tax dollar goes, after he;s done spending most of it.

Imagine how much more difficult it is to build and keep open facilities in areas where you can't swim outside all year. Swimming becomes a much more expensive sport to afford in colder areas.


Just my point! It's not going to be any more affordable for the pool operators to keep facilities open if people are more and more used to not paying for what they get.

Let me ask you this, how come 24 hour fitness and some other gyms can afford to have many pool facilities WITHOUT teams in them... Perhaps they have membership base and appropriate fees to support the facilities???
Bottom line is It CAN be done !!!

As for colsder areas, well Ice hockey is much more expensive in Arizona then it is in Alaska, but facilities find a way to operate, and Ice hockey won;t become the most popular sport In Arizona... Sometimes we have to adjust to the realities of life rather than call on the all mighty goverment to level the field for us.


That being said, I do agree with Connie that we need to grow our sport. By growth, we will have greater demand for facilities. The more tax payers that want swimming will have a greater chance of opening new facilities and keeping older ones open.

Impressive topic slide for a thread that started with a discussion of relay swimmers.

Leave it up to me to stir the pot :P

PeirsolFan
August 31st, 2005, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by knelson
You're entitled to your opinion, but mine is that the amount of pool space currently available is barely adequate. The WKCAC in Federal Way is a great facility to have in the area, but keep in mind it's 20 miles south of downtown Seattle. That doesn't make it real convenient as a workout facility for those of us living north of downtown Seattle. The only other long course pool is an outdoor pool that's only open in the summer.

I split my time between Oregon and Washington. Maybe you're choosing the wrong pool because the last several times I've gone specifically for lap swimming in Seattle, my lane was empty. Yes the KCAC isn't in the best location, but think of all the people who have no access to a world-class center like that.

It's not the only long course pool. I prefer to be grateful that when in town there's plenty of room. At one club you get a lane to yourself for as long as you like, but if someone comes along you only get 30 minutes. All things considered that's not a bad deal.

I strongly encourage people to take advantage of cheap or free trial club memberships. I estimate that 4 months of my training this year will be in clubs - free - not waiting for lap times.

dorothyrde
September 1st, 2005, 06:35 AM
So Connie, curious, how much should a pool charge a team for time. Currently neither age group team in C-U can even afford to use the U of I pools because they charge 50.00 an hour and the teams simply cannot afford that. That severely restricts where the teams can swim. (remember, Midwest prices are considerably less than West Coast).

And 500.00 fundraising fee, Wow! We debated if 100.00 was too much for our parents!

TheGoodSmith
September 1st, 2005, 10:25 AM
I am very proud to have initiated this heated debate on marketing.

Hopefully, this will help make me eligible for the next years prestigous "Most Controversial (Annoying) Thread Award."

:-)

John Smith

newmastersswimmer
September 1st, 2005, 11:09 AM
originally posted by GoodSmith

I am very proud to have initiated this heated debate on marketing.

Hopefully, this will help make me eligible for the next years prestigous "Most Controversial Thread Award."


Wait a second John.......I believe the exact wording of the award category suggested in the other thread (i.e. the thread titled something like "Momentous Landmarks Coming Soon") was something like "Most annoying thread starter"......I personally kinda like the ring of the word "annoying" a little better than "controversial" for that category...but then again that's just me....and I'm just a shallow bitter old man anyway.


Newmastersswimmer

Mswimming
September 1st, 2005, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8

Bleeding heart... Then I'm afraid we won't agree on much...
*sigh* Bleeding hearts are for debutants and beauty pageants and similar fairytales :p


Today I am ashamed to be a nadadore. :(

And based on other comments Connie's made I guess she thinks her team mates are all just a bunch of cheap complainers getting a free ride at $45 - $55 when we can go down the street and pay the same or less at UCI and NOVA.

Or heck, screw it all and get a family membership to the city of mission viejo recreational facilities and pools for $42 per month complete with fitness classes and an impressive weight rooms.

The more I read Connie's posts the better that last option sounds.

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by dorothyrde
So Connie, curious, how much should a pool charge a team for time. Currently neither age group team in C-U can even afford to use the U of I pools because they charge 50.00 an hour and the teams simply cannot afford that. That severely restricts where the teams can swim. (remember, Midwest prices are considerably less than West Coast).

And 500.00 fundraising fee, Wow! We debated if 100.00 was too much for our parents!

If you want exact numbers, they would depend on your local economy and the costs associated to run that specific pool, along with cost of staff to run it.
There's no single magic number for all of them.

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Mswimming
Today I am ashamed to be a nadadore. :(

And based on other comments Connie's made I guess she thinks her team mates are all just a bunch of cheap complainers getting a free ride at $45 - $55 when we can go down the street and pay the same or less at UCI and NOVA.

Or heck, screw it all and get a family membership to the city of mission viejo recreational facilities and pools for $42 per month complete with fitness classes and an impressive weight rooms.

The more I read Connie's posts the better that last option sounds.

Well, if you see no value to what the team offers, you may as well.

Why should you be paying only $55 to have access to 25 rather cushy workouts a week, when some 10-year old's parents have to pay $120 for the same thing, and have to volunteer or pay another $500? To swim in the same lane with another 15 kids.

I think what you *should* be ashamed of is that your own coach struggles to make a living so your fees wouldn't go up to what the kids pay. While he has to pay the same higher fees and do his own volunteering for the team on top of working there so his own kids can swim.

dorothyrde
September 1st, 2005, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Well, if you see no value to what the team offers, you may as well.

Why should you be paying only $55 to have access to 25 rather cushy workouts a week, when some 10-year old's parents have to pay $120 for the same thing, and have to volunteer or pay another $500? To swim in the same lane with another 15 kids.

I think what you *should* be ashamed of is that your own coach struggles to make a living so your fees wouldn't go up to what the kids pay. While he has to pay the same higher fees and do his own volunteering for the team on top of working there so his own kids can swim.

A very accurate picture of age group swimming and the parents who support it!

Mswimming
September 1st, 2005, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Well, if you see no value to what the team offers, you may as well.




Where did I say there is no value in swimming with the team?

I think the coaching is excellent, the facilities are excellent and the work outs are well run. My point was that our program is priced competatively. I enjoy swimming with the team. What I take offense to is that you seem to think we are all complainers. And you've stated that on a public forum.

I think people should know that we have a great team and that everyone I have met is extremely freindly and positive about our team. I have yet to hear a single complaint from anyone on the team about the program or the fees. The lone exceptions are Connie's remarks infering that we are complainers. And that is simply not true. And I hope that no one formulates an opinion about our team or any masters program based on her comments.

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 03:37 PM
Where did I say there is no value in swimming with the team?


So we're going to play semantics and word games. Okay, Kevin, let's play.

Where did I say you said that???
I said "If you think...." Different meaning then saying "You said..."

But, your saying that the deal at Nova's or UCI or at the City Parks and rec. facilities is looking like a much better deal was rather strong judgement on your part as to the value of what you're getting at Nadadores.
Seriously, if you are ashamed to be a nadadore, and think there's better value elsewhere, I strongly reccomend you jump on the opportunity to get a better value.

What I take offense to is that you seem to think we are all complainers. And you've stated that on a public forum.


Back to semantics and word games that you want to play.
Who are "we all" and when did I say that "we all" are complainers? Please show me where I said anything about complainers.

I think it's too bad that you appear to interpret my talking about marketing and economics of pool costs and running a team, and giving an example of my team's economics, as a statement about someone being a complainer, and take it personally, and take offense to it.

If I recall correctly, you're rather new to the team, and really don't have a very good understanding of the underlying economics. One example, just how many people VOLUNTEER their time and effort, not because they HAVE to, but because they want to - to make your experience on the team more pleasurable.

Sure, you can go to UCI, or to Nova... At UCI, the pool exists because of the university, not because Masters group is payng it's fair share.

Nova's case is pretty similar to Mission. Bulk of the cost is paid for by the kids team.

So, you tell me, You're all offended when I say that masters aren't paying their fair share... Why shouldn't all the swim parents be offended that you get to swimm at less then half price then their kids swim???
What's so special about you and the masters that they get to swim more workouts for half the cost???

I mean, other than most coaches and teams being afraid that masters swimmers just wouldn't be willing to pay for their fair share, and discount their prices so the masters programs would exist in the first place.
Then some people wonder why there isn't more connection between Masters and USA swimming.
Tell ya what, if I was a swim parent, Id be pretty pissed that masters get to pay half of what I pay for my kid, and they get to swim 2-3 per lane (at least on our team they do), while my kid swims 15 per lane, AND I have to Volunteer or my fees go up even more, while Masters don't have to volunteer.
You may not know this, but a question masters on our team often ask how come we don't get better workout times, why we can't get a few lanes during more of a prime time.
Guess what, those who pay their fairer share get the first pick.

I'm sorry you're all offended and see it all as me thinking you're a complainer. My point is that economically, something is very wrong with this picture!!!

I brought up the example of economics to in part answer Knelson's question about why we should bother to grow and popularize Masters swimming. Right now, if USA swimming didn't exist, the fees that masters are used to paying, and their numbers aren't enough to support the pools they want to swim in.
I don't care what they're used to paying, or what their neighbors pay. If masters wants to exist long term, this course of people paying for barely half of the value theure getting needs to be corrected. An organization can't expect to live off the back of another organization or group forever.

Then we wonder why pool operatoers are more interested in building waterslides... I bet a lot more people are willing to pay 10 bucks to play on the water slide for an hour or two then there are those willing to pay 10 bucks for a coached workout.

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by dorothyrde
A very accurate picture of age group swimming and the parents who support it!

Thaks, I thought so.

I think it's good for people who wonder if or why the masters should grow, and who think that they're paying their share etc... to step back and take a peak at the big picture.

Some things that I hear many masters want, more pools or more pool space, better coaching, more things offered by USMS etc...
I think their views and demands get little bit myopic.

The numbers in the organization and the exposure, recognition and economic willingness of the organization and it's members to pay their share in the pool economics don't support the demands that we are placing.

Not too long ago someone told me that Masters is the only one of the USAS sports that doesn't accept government funding, and that we want it to stay that way, and how we're all proud of it, and how other USAS sports are wondering how we're doing it...

At littrle closer examination I've come to a conclusion that the way we're doing it is by riding on the coattails of USA swimming, and probably other kid's aquatics programs.
Not exactly something I would personally want to be proud of.
We're not making it on our own. Contrary to what I've been told.

I get a lot more pride out of standing on my own two feet then I do out of manipulating numbers to make it look like I do, or relying on government and others to help me.

MegSmath
September 1st, 2005, 04:18 PM
OK Connie, you've lost me. If you don't want the government to be involved in running public pools, then why do you want USMS to accept government money? (And by the way, I've been involved with USMS since the late 80s, and this is the first I've heard about any possibility of USMS receiving government operating funds! I'm not sure your source is correct.)

As someone who works for a quasi-government agency, I happen to believe it's our mission to help our fellow citizens, and not to make it easier for private business to make a profit.

Guess that makes me a flaming liberal and/or bleeding heart!

Mswimming
September 1st, 2005, 04:23 PM
I'm not interested in games. That is not why I signed up to swim masters nor was that the intent of any of my comments.


Good luck and good bye.

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 05:28 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MegSmath
OK Connie, you've lost me. If you don't want the government to be involved in running public pools, then why do you want USMS to accept government money? (And by the way, I've been involved with USMS since the late 80s, and this is the first I've heard about any possibility of USMS receiving government operating funds! I'm not sure your source is correct.)


I don't want USMS to recieve government money.
What bugs me is that we claim to stand on our own, but in an indirect way we do take advantage of the existance of government money.
So which is it? We want it or we don't want government help?
is it like this: We'll take it, as long as we don't do it openly and directly?
It's almost like trying to hide that there is reliance on assistance, and claiming that we exist on our own and pull our own weight.
I'm sure it's not intentional.


As someone who works for a quasi-government agency, I happen to believe it's our mission to help our fellow citizens, and not to make it easier for private business to make a profit.


Are you talking about USMS?
Well, some people want USMS to be the quasi-government agency, and others want it to be run more like a business.
Guess we (the USMS) will have to decide what they want to be.

I don't think we need to worry about private pool operators making too much profit.
What I'm hearing is that right now we are worrying about government and quasi government agencies closing down pools because they're too expensive to maintain.
Well, guess what, looks like even the government that some people think should help you thinks keeping the pools operational at government's expense is too much.

For example, something Kevin and a number of people here doesn't know about Mission Viejo Nadadores is that several years ago the City did sone to the effect of: stopped helping support it, turned it into a foundation, and made an ultimatum, it's either going to support itself, or it's closing down. The whole place relies on volunteers and swimmers fees for it's existance. Even the board of directors that runs it are volunteers. The only paid staff there are coaches. And trust me, They're not exactly profiting. Most are working for them 10-12/per hour. If I recall correctly, very few are full time employees. Most of them are allowed to work something like 39 hours, no overtime, no benefits, no paid vacations.
Is that fair????
Where are all the bleeding heart liberals when it comes to standing up for hard working people that dedicated their life to swimming??? Making sure there's enough money in swimming that the coaches can make a livable wage off their efforts. Especially the Masters Coaches.

But, nooo, we're all too concerned how to pay less money out of our pockets for recreation, god forbid that the people working to provide you the recreation actually made a half ways decent living.
Oh, I know, they have a job, we need to worry about them coaches making too much profit.
For example, you have a coach with a relevant Masters degree working for $15 an hour, accepting a job with no health insurance, insuficent to support a family off of, so he can dedicate himself to being a full time coach.
How many potential quality coaches do you think will be willing to take that kind of a financial hit so that we can swim???
Or do you think they should be a city employee?

I mean, it's great that you believe in government help, but the reality of the situation seems to be that the local governments have less and less desire to subsidize the pools.

Sure, lets subsidise the pools, and raise taxes to the level where the cities and school districts don't have to worry about the operating costs. Really, I don't care how you wanna do it, it's going to come out of your pocket directly or indirectly.
Personally, I don't trust the government to be very cost effective.
I trust a privately run organizations more, and if they are doing a terrific job and manage to make a profit at something that historically is struggling to just break even (like pools), I think they deserve it.

So, which direction does USMS want to take to contrubute in trying to remedy this situation? Lobby with government to change their mind or try to operate in a self supporting manner.
Worrying about someone making too much profit off of masters swimmers is rather far fetched at the moment. We need to worry about the pools that we want to have available to us just breaking even.

Paul Smith
September 1st, 2005, 06:08 PM
You go girl!!!

PS: some folks need to slow down and carefully read peoples posts and try and have an open mind! Strong solutions come from strong debates........and remember ITS NOT PERSONAL!

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith
You go girl!!!

PS: some folks need to slow down and carefully read peoples posts and try and have an open mind! Strong solutions come from strong debates........and remember ITS NOT PERSONAL!

oh, don't encourage me :p, I cause enough trouble just on my own.

Uh-oh, I think I saw Michael and Hugh moore and lynn hazelwood and couple other names all reading this forum about 30 min ago.
I thave a feeling my posting privileges are about to be yanked.
I probably said too much.

Paul Smith
September 1st, 2005, 06:36 PM
Not to worry Connie......My evil twin and I got your back!

Conniekat8
September 1st, 2005, 06:45 PM
yea, yea ;) you say that now...
But you're not coming to the convention
*sniffle* *sniffle*

You know, my vote, no matter how loud or annoying only gets to count for ONE!

MegSmath
September 1st, 2005, 08:39 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Conniekat8

Are you talking about USMS?


Um, gee, no I'm not, Connie. I do not work for USMS, and I believe you know that. I was talking about the Kentucky Geological Survey, my employer. Your broad stroke condemnation of government included me, and I was merely trying to point out that far from spending $8 on nails, we're actually pretty careful with spending the taxpayers' money, because guess what, we're taxpayers too.

I don't necessarily disagree with everything you've said, but I think your arguments have gone far off topic and some are unfair.

dorothyrde
September 1st, 2005, 09:13 PM
Connie
















Well said!

matysekj
September 1st, 2005, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
I thave a feeling my posting privileges are about to be yanked.

Why would you think that? Heated debates are just fine as long as we don't stoop to personal insults flying all over the place while the topic of the debate is lost.

I'm curious about your team situation. Why has your team not raised the Masters dues? Just do it, and raise the coaches salary. Another question - you've mentioned monthly dues for the Masters and kids teams, but you have not mentioned the pool rental fees paid by these teams. Are they the same or different? If the two teams pay the same rate for the pool use (or a slightly different rate for non-optimal times), then the membership fee rate difference is not related to the pool use.

I see your team situation as a local team issue. Because you swim at an independantly run pool in a very expensive part of the country, I would expect dues to be higher there. You mentioned that other nearby teams swim at college pools where expenses for the Masters team may be less. That is just a fact of life. If people want to swim at Mission Viejo and keep the pool open, they should be willing to pay for it one way or another (through taxes or direct use fees). If the local government is footing some of the bill, you may want to consider having a different fee structure for those that live within the area supporting the pool via taxes and those that live elsewhere. That's not an uncommon arrangement - all of the municipal pools in our area have different resident and non-resident fees for using the facilities.

I don't believe that your team and pool situation is representative of the majority of Masters programs. Our team works out at a lousy 5-lane pool in a K-12 school, at a nice new college pool, and at a municipal pool in the summer. We pay the going rate for pool rental at all three pools. There are no established USA Swimming teams paying the way for us through higher pool fees at any of these pools. Different pools in the area charge different rates, and we have shopped around to find the best rates for decent available pool time. We can't afford the set rate for the nice new 50 meter indoor municipal pool in the area so we don't work out there.

The point is that the situation is different for teams and pools all over the country. I don't believe that any one team is representative of all of USMS.

Rob Copeland
September 1st, 2005, 10:11 PM
Connie asked “So, which direction does USMS want to take to contribute in trying to remedy this situation?” And without seeming completely ignorant, of which situation specifically do you speak?

Are you talking about club situations or LMSC/national operations situations? It appears the situation of which you speak deals with how clubs are managed and operated. Am I missing something? If this is an endemic club issue then USMS someone should ask USMS to officially look into this. My concern is that USMS does not have the manpower to mediate on behalf of each club and that most clubs aren’t to keen on mandates from the national office (as occurs in USA-Swimming).

Connie providing improved products and service to USMS clubs and members is extremely important to me. And I’d be very interested in hearing any solutions that will help our clubs.

Mswimming
September 1st, 2005, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MegSmath
[B]
For example, something Kevin and a number of people here doesn't know about Mission Viejo Nadadores is that several years ago the City did sone to the effect of: stopped helping support it, turned it into a foundation, and made an ultimatum, it's either going to support itself, or it's closing down.

I am aware of the situation as are many others.

Please avoid using examples like the one above that make false assumptions. I'm sure there are a few who don't know the local situation, but I am not one of them. At this point I just want to cut my losses and move on.
:(

PeirsolFan
September 1st, 2005, 11:02 PM
Um... Any way we can get a summary of proposed ideas thus far in this thread? Don't look at me, I'm too tired.

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 02:12 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rob Copeland
Connie asked “So, which direction does USMS want to take to contribute in trying to remedy this situation?” And without seeming completely ignorant, of which situation specifically do you speak?

For the most part, I was trying to keep within context and the issue that knelson brought up, that doesn't seem to be isolated to his area.
The issue being that pools appear to be losing ground to either cuts in public support, or because private or semi-private facilities need something other then just swimmers to keep their doors open. I have seen and heard that this is not isolated to a negligable number of incidents.

I;ve also seen brand new facilities built and exceed their financial goals within the first year of operation (Like Santa Clarita) and much like our own pool, facility turned over to a self supporting foundation tasked with operating like a private business, and making it, so, I know it's possible. I know there are models of sucessful teams, sucessful facilities out there.
Well, what better way to market pools and facilities but to show them now to financially benefit from a masters group.
Yea, I know there's a brochure out...


Are you talking about club situations or LMSC/national operations situations? It appears the situation of which you speak deals with how clubs are managed and operated. Am I missing something? If this is an endemic club issue then USMS someone should ask USMS to officially look into this.

My concern is that USMS does not have the manpower to mediate on behalf of each club and that most clubs aren’t to keen on mandates from the national office (as occurs in USA-Swimming).


Not really to mandate things. There are several things that USMS as a whole can do, starting with promoting itself on the national level, to providing informational tools to the LMSC's and clubs on how to grow and thrive. There are *some* materials to that effect already available, but IMO, they are very limited, and what I'm hearing from 'the trenches' more informational and marketing materials from the USMS to the local areas would be welcomed.

I'm going to stay at the conceptual level here on the buletin board, and not get in a lot of detail.

I don't know if youl're familiar of not with my getting involved with the marketing comittee at the last convention... Well, there's a lot more that I think our Marketing can accomplish with little less talk and some more focused eforts. Well, we wrote a new marketing plan which targeted some short term efforts.
With the governance change, I think we need to follow up with a comprehensive marketing plan that will address the issues that we're talking about in here, and many others.
I'm sorry I'm not getting into an elaboration of them all, it's about 15-20 minutes befoire my bedtime. Not the right time of the day to start a comprehensive outline and a point by point xample with ideas on addressing the issues.


Connie providing improved products and service to USMS clubs and members is extremely important to me. And I’d be very interested in hearing any solutions that will help our clubs.

Well, you will be hearing from me, I'm your current Marketing Vice chair eyeing the marketing chair position, and as I understand you're most likely going to be the next USMS president... So, I expect at some point we'll be talking in a more formal setting, at the convention, or similar, and in much more depth then we can here on the bulletin board.

I'm also waiting to see who will be elected as the VP of member services.

Anyways, if you're interested, you will be hearing a lot of my ideas, not really my ideas alone, but ideas that I gathered by talking to many people within my LMSC, and some from people outside the LMSC.

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 02:31 AM
Are you talking about USMS?


Um, gee, no I'm not, Connie. I do not work for USMS, and I believe you know that.


Yeah, I thought so, I was wondering if I didn;t miss something...


I was talking about the Kentucky Geological Survey, my employer. Your broad stroke condemnation of government included me, and I was merely trying to point out that far from spending $8 on nails, we're actually pretty careful with spending the taxpayers' money, because guess what, we're taxpayers too.

I don't necessarily disagree with everything you've said, but I think your arguments have gone far off topic and some are unfair.

Well, the context of the reference to government in this thread was for the most part cities and those branches of government that would have to do with pools and swimming, not necessarily with every branch of government everywhere.
I think we need to keep our interpretations general terms within context of the conversation.
I mean, seriously, do you think anyone reading the thread about USMS, property taxes and cities closing down the pools will think that the reference to government in the conversation has to do wth the US Geological Survey.
Do I need to start using the attorney lingo here to clarify.
Let me do this, in this thread wer'e talking about several cities, some schools and a branch of government that is subsidizing several other USAS sports (I think it's a federal entity) are hereinafter and for the purpose of this conversation refered to as "government". Do I really have to recite each one of those seperately every time I want to refer to them on the conceptual level, so someone wouldn't make a mistake of thinking that the context of the conversation is all of government everywhere???

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by PeirsolFan
Um... Any way we can get a summary of proposed ideas thus far in this thread? Don't look at me, I'm too tired.

I'll have a lot of this in a proposed marketing plan (at least my version of it) after the convention.
Convention (occuring in couple of weeks or so) is the place where a lot of what you see here gets more seriously discussed.

Are you going to be at the convention? Do you know about it?

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 03:07 AM
Why would you think that? Heated debates are just fine as long as we don't stoop to personal insults flying all over the place while the topic of the debate is lost.

I was worried I had gone little overboard

I'm curious about your team situation. Why has your team not raised the Masters dues? Just do it, and raise the coaches salary.

The coach is resisting, he is afraid that it will drive away people. He doesn't want to be the highest priced masters program in the area. Many are afraid to raise the dues because "masters everywhere else" are not paying much more.
(I know, sounds like that old saying, if everyone else is going to jump off the bridge...)
I mean, I love my coach to pieces - literally, but he's pretty shy when it comes to asking the fair price for his services. I'm seeing that this is not all that unusual among a number of coaches.

I'm also seeing several very succesful coaches whom are actually making a good living by being coaches departing from USMS... Well, I had the pleasure to have a pretty in depth conversations with a a few of them over the last year


Another question - you've mentioned monthly dues for the Masters and kids teams, but you have not mentioned the pool rental fees paid by these teams. Are they the same or different? If the two teams pay the same rate for the pool use (or a slightly different rate for non-optimal times), then the membership fee rate difference is not related to the pool use.


In the case of our team, neither the kids nor the masters pay the pool rental. City of Mission Viejo owns the land and the facility, what they did is formed a foundation that is sort of a trustee of the pool, for the public. The foundation makes sure that there is money for operations, for utilities for maintenance etc. Not a penny comes from the city, and the foundation does not pay the city any money for the facility.
It takes about 20K a month in utilities and maintenance to keep the facility operational, plus another amount (I don't know how much exactly that part is) to pay the coaches to run the swim training part of the program.
There's no rent to pay. The money that the kids pay and the money that masters pay all goes into the same money pot.
Every swimmer on the team is a member of the foundation, they vote for whom the board of directors are each term, they are welcome to many of the meetings etc...
So, in effect the facility is operated by the swimmers who use it, and the money to operate it, and how it's going to be used also comes from the swimmers.


I see your team situation as a local team issue. Because you swim at an independantly run pool in a very expensive part of the country, I would expect dues to be higher there. You mentioned that other nearby teams swim at college pools where expenses for the Masters team may be less. That is just a fact of life.
If people want to swim at Mission Viejo and keep the pool open, they should be willing to pay for it one way or another (through taxes or direct use fees).


EEExactly!


If the local government is footing some of the bill, you may want to consider having a different fee structure for those that live within the area supporting the pool via taxes and those that live elsewhere. That's not an uncommon arrangement - all of the municipal pools in our area have different resident and non-resident fees for using the facilities.


Well, I was trying to adress the comments of couple of people complaining that the cities are closing down the pools in their area, for the lack of funding. Well, if the cities won't keep the pool open, which is what was happening to nadadores facility several years ago, then they may have to do what nadadores did, turn it into a self supporting facility.
(rather than complain about how government won't do it)


I don't believe that your team and pool situation is representative of the majority of Masters programs. Our team works out at a lousy 5-lane pool in a K-12 school, at a nice new college pool, and at a municipal pool in the summer. We pay the going rate for pool rental at all three pools. There are no established USA Swimming teams paying the way for us through higher pool fees at any of these pools.


I'm glad to hear that.
I'm also hearing from a number of people who are seeing the similar situation to what I described, where there is a disparity.
Looks like we have several fee structure and business strategy models going.
That is a good thing to know when formulating how to approach potential pool operator to get them interested in a masters group.


Different pools in the area charge different rates, and we have shopped around to find the best rates for decent available pool time. We can't afford the set rate for the nice new 50 meter indoor municipal pool in the area so we don't work out there.

The point is that the situation is different for teams and pools all over the country. I don't believe that any one team is representative of all of USMS.

I don't think I ever suggested that one pool is an example for all. I was using the example that I'm most familiar with (my own) with the knowledge that there is a fair number of incidents of similar nature.

I thin it would be a worth while market research task to find out little more factual inormation thenwhat we know anecdotally how many other operating models are out there, asociated costs, sucess rates etc... This kind of information can really help us strategise various marketing efforts.

Different parts of the country may need different marketing approaches, as they may have different needs. I think it would behoove us on the national level to know who needs what and why and how badly, and to what extent we can assist them. Sometimes we may be of a lot of assistance, other times not as much. Mrketing efforts may range from USMS people actually helping locally, to just motivating various LMSC's or current and potential coaches and masters program leaders to take action by providing them more information, or how to workshops.

Really, other than just rambling about it here on the bulletin board, I think number of these things need a closer examination.
Things I'm talking about here, I'm talking on the conceptual and 'idea' level

aquageek
September 2nd, 2005, 08:10 AM
This is where having a poor attention span comes in handy. Trying to decipher this manifesto just takes too darn long.

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
This is where having a poor attention span comes in handy. Trying to decipher this manifesto just takes too darn long.
That must be how I get away with saying what I say... noone reads all of it ;)

Peter Cruise
September 2nd, 2005, 02:26 PM
Connie- believe it or not, I've been plowing through every word. Little wonder that heat arises with some of this stuff as inevitably the philosophical/political aspects ignite passions somewhat reflective of the vehement debates usually along party lines that define acrimony. What I think everyone is trying (or should be) for the pragmatic fixes to some of the dysfunctions identified.
What has come out in some of the later posts is how different the experiences are for different clubs & their swimmers depending on affiliation, historical factors, regional economy, political will- you name it, all rendering a debate very difficult because we're all reflecting our different experiences.
To illustrate, here are my two main club experiences since entering masters (1984):
North Vancouver was my first club & their pool time & coaching were all provided by the municipality as a recreation program: you could pay drop in, monthly, seasonally etc. Their insurance covered in-pool practise issues. If you wanted to join the master's swim club, all you paid was the registration fee to Masters B.C. After a year or so I began to realize that this was an unusual setup compared to other swimmers I met at meets & seeing as I bumped into the then administrator for recreation programming at a party, I asked about it & received this (abridged) reply, "We regard exercise among the highest strategies to avoid catastrophic loads on our health care system, both from people who are seniors now & from the baby boomers just entering ages of higher risk. We can pay now, or pay a lot more later."
Nanaimo was my next & current club. We are orgaization that rents pool time period. The city has a six level scheme that it slots users into that determines both fee level & pool priority. When I first arrived, we were a 'level 2' (same as age group, synchro etc), then a new administration arrived that reclassified us as a level 6 (the lowest, same as a for-profit scuba lesson rental for example), as well, they tried to get us to swim at 11pm at night.
We spent a great deal of political capital getting most of the damage reversed (age discrimination suit threatened etc., 'cause the age groupers had stayed high priority). Nasty situation, grudges nursed, etc. A new pool has eased things, but never have I experienced the sense of being valued as a user that North Vancouver projected.
Lest I write a novel here, my point in detailing this has only be illustrative of two different experiences; imagine across USMS membership.

newmastersswimmer
September 2nd, 2005, 02:37 PM
originally posted by Peter Cruise

Connie- believe it or not, I've been plowing through every word. Little wonder that heat arises with some of this stuff as inevitably the philosophical/political aspects ignite passions somewhat reflective of the vehement debates usually along party lines that define acrimony. What I think everyone is trying (or should be) for the pragmatic fixes to some of the dysfunctions identified.


uhhh....huh?...what?.....Where's that dictionary (and/or Kirk) when I need it!.....I think though that the word "is" should lie between the words "for" and "the" in the last sentence?.....that helps a little perhaps?....thanks for your interesting experiences though....you're Canadian so I'll forgive you for the first paragraph.


Newmastersswimmer

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
Connie- believe it or not, I've been plowing through every word. Little wonder that heat arises with some of this stuff as inevitably the philosophical/political aspects ignite passions somewhat reflective of the vehement debates usually along party lines that define acrimony. What I think everyone is trying (or should be) for the pragmatic fixes to some of the dysfunctions identified.
What has come out in some of the later posts is how different the experiences are for different clubs & their swimmers depending on affiliation, historical factors, regional economy, political will- you name it, all rendering a debate very difficult because we're all reflecting our different experiences.
To illustrate, here are my two main club experiences since entering masters (1984):
North Vancouver was my first club & their pool time & coaching were all provided by the municipality as a recreation program: you could pay drop in, monthly, seasonally etc. Their insurance covered in-pool practise issues. If you wanted to join the master's swim club, all you paid was the registration fee to Masters B.C. After a year or so I began to realize that this was an unusual setup compared to other swimmers I met at meets & seeing as I bumped into the then administrator for recreation programming at a party, I asked about it & received this (abridged) reply, "We regard exercise among the highest strategies to avoid catastrophic loads on our health care system, both from people who are seniors now & from the baby boomers just entering ages of higher risk. We can pay now, or pay a lot more later."
Nanaimo was my next & current club. We are orgaization that rents pool time period. The city has a six level scheme that it slots users into that determines both fee level & pool priority. When I first arrived, we were a 'level 2' (same as age group, synchro etc), then a new administration arrived that reclassified us as a level 6 (the lowest, same as a for-profit scuba lesson rental for example), as well, they tried to get us to swim at 11pm at night.
We spent a great deal of political capital getting most of the damage reversed (age discrimination suit threatened etc., 'cause the age groupers had stayed high priority). Nasty situation, grudges nursed, etc. A new pool has eased things, but never have I experienced the sense of being valued as a user that North Vancouver projected.
Lest I write a novel here, my point in detailing this has only be illustrative of two different experiences; imagine across USMS membership.

I couldn't agree with you more!
That's just why it bugs me when people decide that no, we don't need growth, or this is good or this is not good based on their local experiences.
I strongly believe that if masters swimming had more pull or respect or recognition as a whole, among pool operators and general public, and even within swimming community, then your political battle may have been little easier!

I forget where I wrote this, here in the forums or in a privatre email, one of the things that I think need to happen is some analisys of whom is doing what and how, and whith what kind of sucess rates and what their obstacles are, and how they've been solved...

Basically a good SWOT analisys (after some research is done), then we can figure out how much USMS can do on the national level, how much assistance they can provice locally and to what extent. Also, I envision more than just one or two tools available for that. There might be 5 or 6 business models that are distinct.

To me, once we agree on the big picture, we can do some analisys and work out the details on how to go about the big picture. There are many aspects to it.

Last year I pushed that the marketing committee goes through the exercise of writing a marketing plan, partly as a tool to think in detail about all these things.

What bugs me enormously is that only a 20 bullet action plan got written, and a lot of things didn't get done.

Yet again, the thought process, the SWOT analisys the aligniong with the USMS objectives and supporting them, polling of the other comittees and finding ways to interact and assist in their marketing needs, lot of things that go into a comprehensive marketing plan did not happen.
The whole effort boilrd down to discussing and writing out some short term action items. And even those, even with being the comitte Vice Chair (recently appointed), I can't seem to get a rundown of whom is doing what.
Seems like there is a lack of understanding as to the understanding the purpose of the committee, within the committee itself.

There are several people on the comittee that seem to think if it's something we can't do right now, we shouldn't even be talking about possibilities and what if's.
Well, marketing and business direction (business plans) are all about possibilities and what if's and planing for things down the road. If they don't understand that, maybe they're not the best fit for marketing.
Also, as soon as an idea pops up, some people start resisting it, as if it's suddenly going to become a one size fits all solution, rather then a case study... So often you wind up unable to even talk through a case study and move on to the next example.

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer

uhhh....huh?...what?.....Where's that dictionary (and/or Kirk) when I need it!.....I think though that the word "is" should lie between the words "for" and "the" in the last sentence?.....that helps a little perhaps?....thanks for your interesting experiences though....you're Canadian so I'll forgive you for the first paragraph.
Newmastersswimmer

Can someone tell me what the meaning if "Is" Is?
I'm getting lost in the if's, and's or but's. ;)

[okay, back to work, I have to get some work done today]

Peter Cruise
September 2nd, 2005, 03:11 PM
Hey Jim- persons who have newly revealed long-dreaded nicknames shouldn't critique others...besides, I was writing that epistle whilst waiting on bookstore customers; a few connecting words are going to go astray. I try & use the correct word for my thought, sorry if you find that obfuscatory (hee hee).

knelson
September 2nd, 2005, 03:12 PM
OK, so now that heads seem to be a little more level, I agree with a lot of Connie's more recent posts. I'm in no way opposed to the growth of masters swimming, but this growth needs to be managed effectively. Just increasing the membership is clearly not the answer. That was my original point and sorry if I helped this thread go off on a few ill-advised tangents! I have no problems with my membership fees going to the advocacy of masters swimming, just not growth for growth's sake alone.

P.S.: Jim, I think what Peter was trying to say is that everyone's just trying to make masters swimming mo' better :)

newmastersswimmer
September 2nd, 2005, 03:19 PM
originally posted by Peter Cruise

Hey Jim- persons who have newly revealed long-dreaded nicknames shouldn't critique others...besides, I was writing that epistle whilst waiting on bookstore customers; a few connecting words are going to go astray. I try & use the correct word for my thought, sorry if you find that obfuscatory (hee hee).


I didn't mean for my comments to come off as a critique exactly....afterall it's not your fault that my vocabulary is somewhat limitted compared to the norm (and especially compared to certain Canadadian posters and/or Engineers...etc...)
I guess I just don't have the plethora of words at my disposal that you do when it comes to articulating my cornicopia of complex thoughts....

Newmastersswimmer


p.s. obfuscatory??.....that is one of the most obtustitory excuses for a word I think I've ever heard...LOL!!.....(Note that "obtustitory" is in fact only a sniglet......it's my way of keeping up with the Jones' so to speak).

newmastersswimmer
September 2nd, 2005, 03:43 PM
originally posted by Peter Cruise

Hey Jim- persons who have newly revealed long-dreaded nicknames shouldn't critique others

O.k. I'm just now getting that part of your quote.....forgive me but my nuerotransmitters don't fire at the same rate that they use too....for many reasons that I won't go into here.

Yeah....but I said that as grown ups y'all wouldn't use that information against me now....It took a lot of guts for me to share that extremely embarraressing little nugget from the past with y'all!.......I almost interpreted your quote as a kind of hidden threat....and I'm sure that wasn't your intention now right?


newmastersswimmer

Peter Cruise
September 2nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
Jim- I've got my dictionary out and I'm looking under 'D'...

Conniekat8
September 2nd, 2005, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by knelson
OK, so now that heads seem to be a little more level, I agree with a lot of Connie's more recent posts. I'm in no way opposed to the growth of masters swimming, but this growth needs to be managed effectively.

Okay. maybe I'm little naive, but isn't it kind of implied that we want to do things in a reasonable and effective manner?
Who in their right mind would want to push for something dysfunctional???
[well, okay, let's not try to answer THAT question]

Just increasing the membership is clearly not the answer. That was my original point and sorry if I helped this thread go off on a few ill-advised tangents! I have no problems with my membership fees going to the advocacy of masters swimming, just not growth for growth's sake alone.


Well, you know things are never that simplistic.
Was it you that asked me to tell you why we'd want to grow... My first thought was, heh, that;s a loaded question, I could write a whole book about reasons and possibilities that would open... My thoughts aren't sorted enough yet to pare them down to post or two or three.


P.S.: Jim, I think what Peter was trying to say is that everyone's just trying to make masters swimming mo' better :)
[/b]

moe is betta then no moe ;)
Where's Mr. Moose when we need him!

knelson
September 2nd, 2005, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Okay. maybe I'm little naive, but isn't it kind of implied that we want to do things in a reasonable and effective manner?
Who in their right mind would want to push for something dysfunctional???

No one wants to do things dysfunctional. The reality, though, is sometimes things end up that way. For example publishing a lot of print ads and creating a USMS TV commercial will definitely get the word out, but they won't solve several of the issues we've been discussing for the last few pages of this thread. I think you said you were involved in real estate development in some capacity (sorry if I'm wrong). This would be analogous to building a huge new housing development with a single two-lane road as the only way in or out of the development.

aquageek
September 2nd, 2005, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by knelson
This would be analogous to building a huge new housing development with a single two-lane road as the only way in or out of the development.

Are you talking about USMS or Charlotte, NC infrastructure?

jerry clark
September 2nd, 2005, 09:35 PM
cool comment aquageek...right on too. Jerry

Conniekat8
September 3rd, 2005, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by knelson
No one wants to do things dysfunctional. The reality, though, is sometimes things end up that way. For example publishing a lot of print ads and creating a USMS TV commercial will definitely get the word out, but they won't solve several of the issues we've been discussing for the last few pages of this thread. I think you said you were involved in real estate development in some capacity (sorry if I'm wrong). This would be analogous to building a huge new housing development with a single two-lane road as the only way in or out of the development.

Yeah, I hear ya!
One of the things I do is Civil Engineering and Land Surveying.
Know exactly what you're talking about. Like hooking up a 4" sewer to a Vegas Hilton ;)

I like to get things done, but not without proper planing.

Paul Smith
September 20th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Did the concept of national teams come up at the convention as well?

Frank Thompson
September 21st, 2005, 12:32 PM
Hi Paul:

I did attend the International Committee meeting and did bring up some of the issues you and Mr. Goodsmith had. Past President Jim Miller MD said at this time to bring something like this up to FINA you would be "hitting a brick wall". Right now there is a meeting of the FINA Congress to be held at Stanford on December 3, 2005. The only rules regarding eligibility for FINA to consider would be adding the 18-24 age group.

Anthony Thompson did a nice presentation of a comparison between FINA and USMS rules that he passed out to delegates attending. Most of these rules were championship swimming rules and he will discuss with the Rules Committee whether there are any FINA rule change proposals they wish to submit for consideration. Thats about it as far as any changes go.

With the 2006 World meet coming up and the racketeering conroversey about the 2005 LATyCar Championships, USMS has bigger fish to fry and probably won't be thinking about anything else. If you want to know about the any of this read the International Meeting minutes and the latest convention thread.

Paul Smith
September 21st, 2005, 05:27 PM
Frank, thanks for th update althoug I'm a bit dissapointed (but not surprised) that Jim would not feel it was worthwhile to at least broach this with FINA.

I still think that it would benefit our sport to see International meets allow teams to swim for their countries (if the athletes want this) vs. club teams..........and yes I know it brings up a whole bunch of challenges!

TheGoodSmith
September 21st, 2005, 06:08 PM
Frank,

While it's nice to know past president Jim Miller's opinion on this issue with FINA, it should be presented to FINA none the less.

It's time to "start hitting the brick wall" and making this proposition to FINA. It may get struck down at first. It may get struck down a dozen times. However, that doesn't mean you don't propose the issue. The December 3rd, 2005 meeting should be the forum for this proposal of national teams at international masters events.


John Smith

Allen Stark
September 21st, 2005, 11:58 PM
Whats the scandal about LATyCAR?

Anthony Thompson
September 22nd, 2005, 10:04 AM
The 3-Dec-05 is the deadline for NGB (national governing bodies) to submit the proposal for review. Suggested changes have to come from the FINA affliate Member, in the case of USA, is NOT USMS, but United State Aquatic Sports (USAS). The USMS Rules Committee considered a number of issued and will be submitted 4-5 suggested Rules changes to USAS, who then makes final decisions on what to submit to FINA. FINA will review the suggestion at an upcoming meeting in 2006 after the rules are appropriately translated into at least French, and perhaps other languages.

Unfortunately, the current FINA rule on having masters athletes and relays represent a club is consistent with most NGB - it was not considered an issue at this time. Again, with no residency restrictions on clubs, anyone can register with any club within any LMSC, and create any "national" relay. If you feel strongly about this needed change, you will first need to convince USMS Rules Committee. Either attend the next convention, corresponded with your LMSC to be sure you issue is advocated, or better yet - contact our new USMS President and asked to be placed on the USMS Rules Committee. The USMS Rules commmittee does have representation by Zone as well as some at-large members.

I hope this clarify this one issue. Once we have a list of rules that USAS will submit to FINA, I'd be happy to provide information to the USMS discussion theads.

Anthony Thompson, USMS Rules Committtee Member

David E. Morrill
November 17th, 2005, 09:09 AM
To answer your question as to LATyCAR, the best is for you to read the Sao Paulo Declaration contained in the WAMO site and then read what FINA has to say in their 'masters news' linked from the WAMO... if you want the "shorter" version of the Sao Paulo Declaration, read the Q's & A's, they should already be up and swimming... it all boils down to absolute control and no right to representation... basic American rights, 'cept you must "... slam the brick wall..."

Regards
David

ps - the brick wall is there just because we chose not to walk around it......!!!
http://www.wamo.info

Frank Thompson
July 11th, 2006, 05:25 PM
Ande:

Here are some of the discussions we had last year regarding this subject. It has some interesting discussion until it goes off on a tangent about Marketing and how we need to be better about marketing ourselves in USMS.