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smontanaro
October 10th, 2007, 12:26 PM
This may well seem like a crazy idea, but it occurred to me yesterday, so I'm investigating to see where it might lead.

In Evanston, IL (pop: 75,000) we have four masters teams: YMCA (MYST), YWCA (Flying Fish), Evanston High School (Wild Catfish), and Northwestern (NASA). Practice times vary between the different clubs. All seem to have evening and Saturday workouts, however, different teams also have other practice times. For example, NASA has three noon practices a week. The Wild Catfish have Sunday morning practices. MYST and the Flying Fish each have at least two early morning workouts on weekdays.

Currently all four teams are completely independent. A few people swim with two clubs, but they've joined both. Given the wide range of available practice times and the concentrated geography, it seems like it would be very handy to be able to choose among the various practices, at least on an occasional basis. Can't make it Saturday because of your kid's soccer game? Do a Sunday morning practice. Out of town on Wednesday? Hit the pool Thursday morning.

Has this concept already been tried elsewhere? If so, what obstacles needed to be overcome to make it work? Fees? Balance? Overcrowding? Did/does it work? If not, why not?

Thanks,

Skip Montanaro

Blackbeard's Peg
October 10th, 2007, 03:59 PM
Skip,
Do those teams allow drop-ins? I know when we have practice cancellations, I just search through my local schedule of teams and see who else is practicing that night. Most places I've been to let you drop in for $5-7, but have seen some as high as $10-20, and others who will let you in for free (kind of a one-off deal). In your case, I can see how that all would start to add up if people started doing that a lot.

Perhaps you guys can form a "super team" type deal, where you have "workout groups." Everyone pays the Evanston Area Masters Swimming Organization (EVAM), signs up to swim with 1, 2, 3, or 4 regularly, but are free to jump around. That way everyone gets paid (based on who folks sign up with), and everyone gets to play!

-jeff

Blackbeard's Peg
October 10th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Also, more to the concept...
I think Montgomery Ancient Mariners (USMS' ANCM team) has something pretty close to the concept you're looking for. They run out of all the county-operated pools, and each facility has different schedules, but as long as you're registered with the team, you can show up to any one of the 4 practice locations.

nyswimmer
October 10th, 2007, 06:19 PM
A team I used to be a member of had an arrangement like that with a couple of other NYC teams. The only problem we had was that attendance could be unpredictable (some days one team would have a sudden, unexpected influx from another team). Eventually we had to end it because the teams had become too big to cope with unpredictable attendance. But as long as the teams involved were all relatively small (>100 each) it worked out OK.