View Full Version : Postal Swims: Fitness Committee??

December 16th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Just posted a note on the Fitness Committee site asking why doesn't the Fitness Committee take over the Postal National Championships rather than the the Championship Committee which focuses on Short and Long Course (and maybe SCM) Championships? (But it doesn't seem that many people read those committee sites much, so I moved my question....and maybe even a poll over here to this forum.) Is this a consideration, USMS swimmers, coaches, Board Members, EC, ED? This question comes with my understanding that the Long Distance Committee will become completely Open Water next year, minus the Postals.

"Going the Distance," run by Mary Sweat, out of the Fitness Committee, has been such a success, with several hundred participants, that perhaps the somewhat similar kinds of "internet/postal" Championships could be run out that Committee, reviewing, evaluating and accepting bids, etc.. (The term, "Postal," may be slowly going the way of the old telephone meets of the 40s and 50s.:-)

A lot of stay-at-home USMS mostlly-in-it-for-fitness members participate in these events, particularly the 1 Hour Swim in January, and yet still the event can be a National Championshp for the very competitive swimmers,who perhaps travel sporadically to on-site Pool Championships, depending on one's age and area of the country. It might access people and clubs who are very Fitness or Triathlon oriented, and open us up to new members in that way!


December 16th, 2007, 03:22 PM
(I think this belongs in a swimming-related forum. Just an FYI...)

Skip Montanaro

December 16th, 2007, 05:43 PM
First, here is a breakdown of USMS's national events and the committees responsible for their administration:

USMS Championship Committee
-Short Course National Championships
-Long Course National Championships

USMS Long Distance Committee
-One mile (quarter-mile straightaway or open water course)
-Two-mile (quarter-mile straightaway)
-Open water (1-3 miles)
-Open water (3-6 miles)
-Open water (>6 miles)

USMS Fitness Committee
-Check-off Challenge
-Go the Distance
-Virtual Swim Series

The following three events were administered by the Long Distance Committee. At the 2007 convention, it was decided that they would be administered by a different committee. I remember the suggestion that it be the Championship Committee, but I'm not sure whether that was a firm decision.

USMS ??? Committee
-Postal 1 hour swim
-Postal 5k and 10k (in 50-meter pool)
-Postal 3000 and 6000 yard (in a 25-yard pool)

Pros and cons of the Postal Events being administered by the Fitness Committee:

Pro: The Fitness Committee might have more time to devote to them (compared to the Championship Committee)

Con: These events are competitions, as opposed to "fitness events". In the past USMS tried to emphasize participation in its fitness events, instead of competition. (It could be argued that the "Go the Distance" event has become a competitive event, as its participants are ranked on a monthly basis.)

At the 2007 convention, the name and description of the committee changed (Article 507.2.6 in the Rule Book). It is now the "Fitness Education Committee," with the following description:

"The Fitness Education Committee shall promote and assess the fitness, health, and lifestyle benefits of Masters swimming. The committee shall consist of the committee chair and sufficient members to execute the committee function."

Anna Lea

December 18th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Hi Anna Lea:

I think these swim events, though they are National Championships (as I like to tell our local coach), really do help promote fitness, which is one of the mandates of the renamed "Fitness Education Committee." Though I have not been on the Long Distance Committee, I have sat in on their meetings most of the years I have been attending convention, and I think they are pleased that their Committee is going to be just "Open Water," and I understand that USMS is really going to make a big push for new members at those events! And I heard in Anaheim that the Championship Committee really did not want the Postal events to become their responsibility; that they had enough on their plate.

I was on the Fitness Committee for several years and they seemed sometimes to struggle with events out of their committee; that is until "Going the Distance" really took off this year, with Mary Sweat's great leadership.
As you said, it appears to be somewhat competitive, maybe at the top, but the rest of us down below those people see it as an incentive to keep going to the pool (or Open Water swims, in the summer) to get those yards/meters under our suit/belt!

The Postal Events, though competitive National Championships, again give incentive to keep working out/staying fit...and hopefully, relatively fast, ie. when I might go shopping for the holidays, instead I might go swim, so I can try to do well in the 1 Hour Swim in January (and I don't spend as much $!). I think it would be a good "fit" :-) for the Fitness Education Committee without adding another Committee. Sometimes I just can't go to National Championships during the year but the Postals keep me, and maybe a fair amount of people like me, wanting to stay fit! That's my view; but I'd like to hear from some others. Thanks for posting your view, Anna Lea! JP