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ALM
January 4th, 2008, 04:07 PM
If you run Masters meets using Hy-Tek's Meet Manager software, read on.

Your LMSC Registrar now has the ability to provide you with a file that contains the names, USMS numbers, clubs, and birthdates of the swimmers in your LMSC. This file (of filetype .RE1) can be imported directly into the Meet Manager program.

When you import the .RE1 file, the "Athletes" list in Meet Manager is automatically populated with names, clubs, USMS numbers, and birthdates. All you have to enter are the swimmer's events and seed times.

This does three things:

1) It saves you, the meet director, a lot of typing as you enter swimmers into the meet, and

2) It ensures that the swimmers' names appear in the meet results AS THEY APPEAR ON THEIR USMS CARDS, and

3) It ensures that the swimmers' USMS numbers are stored in the meet results.


To obtain an .RE1 file, contact your LMSC registrar and ask for him/her to create an .RE1 file from the Club Assistant registration software. He/she can then e-mail the file to you.

To import the file into Meet Manager:
[a] From the main Meet Manager menu, select "FILE"
[b] Select "IMPORT"
[c] Select "REGISTRATION FILE"
[d] Locate and choose the .RE1 file that was sent to you


After the meet you can delete the names of everyone who didn't enter the meet. (You do this by going to File >> Purge >> Remove Data Selectively, and deleting athletes with no entries.)

My LMSC has used the .RE1 file for our past three meets. It really helps improve the accuracy of the meet results!

Anna Lea

Blackbeard's Peg
January 4th, 2008, 04:57 PM
PRAISE THE LORD!
i've only been meet director for one year, but this will be awesome!

Rob Copeland
January 5th, 2008, 05:14 PM
While the registrars have the ability to create these files, USMS is discussing if they have the authority to provide this information non-USMS officers.

There are issues of confidentially that need to be addresses. If you are a registrar who is providing this information to meet directors, please stop.

As a meet director, I canít wait to get this since it will make meet entries and data accuracy greatly improved. However, until we can resolve the issues of member information confidentially I will need to wait.

david.margrave
January 5th, 2008, 07:11 PM
just curious, what's confidential other than your date of birth? they need to know how old you are, but don't necessarily need your exact birthdate, right?

providing swimmers' ages as of the meet date (or end of year if meters) would be fine I'd think.

pakman044
January 5th, 2008, 08:31 PM
just curious, what's confidential other than your date of birth? they need to know how old you are, but don't necessarily need your exact birthdate, right?

providing swimmers' ages as of the meet date (or end of year if meters) would be fine I'd think.

It seems the RE1 file can contain address and phone number information (it's part of athlete information in Meet Manager), although I don't know if they're scrubbed by USMS in this context. Certainly they contain your full date of birth, which you would need for yards meets (you can't really trust people to not accidentally write down their age).

Whether the date of birth should be an issue is something else. In USA Swimming, the date of birth is disseminated as part of the permanent ID for all athletes as part of the posted electronic results. The athletes for the most part are minor children, so you have to wonder which NGB has the right idea (is USMS overprotective or USA Swimming underprotective?).

Patrick King

SwimsWithAFist
January 7th, 2008, 12:06 PM
While the registrars have the ability to create these files, USMS is discussing if they have the authority to provide this information non-USMS officers.

There are issues of confidentially that need to be addresses. If you are a registrar who is providing this information to meet directors, please stop.

As a meet director, I canít wait to get this since it will make meet entries and data accuracy greatly improved. However, until we can resolve the issues of member information confidentially I will need to wait.


Can a simple release form be created that the meet director can sign with their meet sanction application in order to gain access to this file? Some sort of simple non-disclosure statement should do the trick. As long as the meet director agrees in writing not to use the personal information for any purpose other than running the meet, I can't see a problem with providing the information to save them time and increase the accuracy of meet entries and results.

Rob Copeland
January 7th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Can a simple release form be created that the meet director can sign with their meet sanction application in order to gain access to this file?Fisty,

I would hope so! As you may know USMS is looking into automated end-to-end meet management tools (from sanction through results/top10). Hopefully the task force working on this will find a way to assist meet hosts while protecting the privacy of our members.



I can't see a problem with providing the information to save them time and increase the accuracy of meet entries and results.Unfortunately, I can see potential problems with providing someone who may not be affiliated with USMS (beyond running a meet) with a list of all our members.

SwimsWithAFist
January 7th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Unfortunately, I can see potential problems with providing someone who may not be affiliated with USMS (beyond running a meet) with a list of all our members.

But doesn't that description apply to any meet director today? They will be getting personal information for all meet entrants, including their addresses (which are not included in this RE1 file). A nationals meet host would have this information for 1-2,000 members who enter the meet, which is far more members than the vast majority of all LMSC's. Do they have to sign off on anything saying they won't use this information for something other than running the meet? It sounds like a good practice to add such a signed statement as a condition of getting a meet sanction already, even without the RE1 file.

Rob Copeland
January 7th, 2008, 04:54 PM
But doesn't that description apply to any meet director today?Not exactly.

The primary difference is that the individual swimmer is providing this information today. So the individual is responsible for making the determination about sending this personal information. Sending personal information without the individuals knowledge or consent is different.

ALM
January 7th, 2008, 07:35 PM
The RE1 file could be configured to provide only the swimmer's name, sex, club, and USMS number (no birthdate or age). I tried it and it imports into Meet Manager just fine. It would still be extremely useful. In my observation, the majority of errors that I see in meet results are either incorrect swimmer names (not entered exactly as it appears on their USMS card), or missing USMS numbers.

The name, sex, club, and USMS number is LESS information that what is currently publicly available, so I don't see that it would be a privacy issue. (The "Member Lookup" function on the Pacific Masters web site is one example.)

Anna Lea

Rob Copeland
January 8th, 2008, 09:29 AM
From Thomson - Privacy: Role of the Organization

Concept of privacy - Simply put, privacy is the right to be left alone. If a person has disclosed personal information of a confidential nature to an organization, it must not be disclosed to a third person without the consent of the discloser.


Some people may feel that their age (not on your list, but used as an example), gender, club affiliation or even membership in USMS is a matter of personal privacy. And while gender, club affiliation and USMS membership generally fall into the category of ordinary personal data, age and an individuals USMS number could be considered as sensitive data.

jpheather
January 8th, 2008, 11:50 AM
If we are no longer allowed to provide meet directors with a list of local swimmers (I have always provided a list containing name, bdate, USMS number, club affiliation, gender) I can see us turning MANY swimmers away from meets and telling them they can't swim because they don't have their card with them. I consider meet directors a part of our organization, and I have no problem requiring them to have a confidentiality agreement on file before they get this information. But we would be doing our members a huge disservice to deny meet directors this information.

As Top Ten recorder for a large LMSC, I can also envision that it would be a huge headache to get meet files with errors all over the place, missing ID numbers, etc. I'm already spending a lot more time on registrations than in past years, I don't care to have Top Ten duties multiplied as well.

Does this also mean that we are not allowed to provide clubs with lists of their registered swimmers? Right now we have clubs that can access their lists through the CA interface, with no controls other than CA has given them access.

Perhaps we need to have a NON-competitive membership category, where the member will not show up on any lists anywhere with address/bdate, etc. Only name and membership number on club lists.

matysekj
January 8th, 2008, 12:00 PM
As Top Ten recorder for a large LMSC, I can also envision that it would be a huge headache to get meet files with errors all over the place, missing ID numbers, etc. I'm already spending a lot more time on registrations than in past years, I don't care to have Top Ten duties multiplied as well.

Hear, hear! This is also a real pain when dealing with meet results files with incomplete information for the new top times displays. If you look through the new results there, you'll see a bunch of swimmers listed in red. These are from meets where the results files we received didn't include registration numbers or birthdates, or had the swimmer's name, age, registration number, or club listed different than found in our registration database. It is a royal pain trying to resolve these problems after the fact and correctly identify USMS members (only members are listed in top times, as well as the unconfirmed people listed in red). We have tools for it, but the process is still somewhat manual and time consuming. Using these RE1 files up front for all meets would solve all of these problems.

Blackbeard's Peg
January 8th, 2008, 02:04 PM
Some people may feel that their age (not on your list, but used as an example), gender, club affiliation or even membership in USMS is a matter of personal privacy. And while gender, club affiliation and USMS membership generally fall into the category of ordinary personal data, age and an individuals USMS number could be considered as sensitive data.

A devil's advocate point of view... If all these are matters of personal privacy,
AGE - age groups should be done away with from now on; nationals no longer seeded by age; records are no longer kept by age group. the 500 free record is now 4:26.87.
GENDER - i will now register as a female in order to swim faster than all the real girls, get lots of glory, and anyone questioning my femalacity is violating my right to privacy; that, or we all swim as a new gender U for Unisex, and women can compete against men for everything.
Club Affiliation - USMS now offers sanctioned relays where all four members can be on four different teams; or we're all "Unattached"
USMS Membership - we may now sign up for all meets as "Anonymous." The 500 free record mentioned above will be reset to have been swum by "Anonymous," and since i swam a meet as "Anonymous," I am taking credit for that record

Seriously...
USMS has a privacy policy (http://www.usms.org/admin/privacy.php). The first paragraph is:

When you join USMS, we ask that you provide your name, gender, address, telephone number and birth date. This information is collected from your Local Masters Swim Committee, which then forwards it to our National Office. Our National Office compiles a data base from this information. The data base is required so that we can confirm registration for insurance purposes and so that we can assemble and compile USMS swimming records.
This goes on to discuss how a LMSC might use that information, that meet managers will also need this information, and that meet results "may include publication of personal information such as your age."

In reading the policy, I do not see where creating this file for meet directors only will violate this policy. While I think the Meet Director Confidentiality thing may be overkill, I believe it would be a great tool in the prevention of misuse of this information. If approved, I will be the first in line to sign it if it means I don't have any errors in my results.

Furthermore, if meet directors are supposed to have perfect data, it would be helpful to have a benchmark against which we can verify accuracy. Either someone has to provide us that information so we can do the benchmarking, or someone else has to do the checks and corrections for us. Gatekeepers at the local level (ie LMSC registrars and .re1 files) would make life a lot easier for folks on the national level, as evidenced by Jim's post.

Finally, if someone does not wish to have any of their information (esp. that they're a USMS member) shared with anyone else, why are they signing up for an organization that requires you provide such as part of registration? Anyone that paranoid should be living in seclusion, and if they're listed in the phone book, they're hypocrites. :soapbox:

matysekj
January 8th, 2008, 02:49 PM
... anyone questioning my femalacity is violating my right to privacy

Jeff, I have never questioned your "femalacity ".

pakman044
January 8th, 2008, 03:10 PM
From Thomson - Privacy: Role of the Organization

Concept of privacy - Simply put, privacy is the right to be left alone. If a person has disclosed personal information of a confidential nature to an organization, it must not be disclosed to a third person without the consent of the discloser.


Some people may feel that their age (not on your list, but used as an example), gender, club affiliation or even membership in USMS is a matter of personal privacy. And while gender, club affiliation and USMS membership generally fall into the category of ordinary personal data, age and an individuals USMS number could be considered as sensitive data.

So we no longer post results from meets either? When you enter a meet, your exact age for the purpose of the meet goes on the psych sheet, heat sheet, and results. At a certain point, agreeing to compete in competition means that you agree to that data being published because it's necessary for the operation of the meet.

Some LMSC's (mine (http://www.ncmasters.org/byname.html) included (http://www.ncmasters.org/byteam.html)) post information such as your name, registration number, and team affiliation. And if I really wanted to, I could brute force lookup every single permanent ID by going to http://www.usms.org/people/(permanent_ID), for example http://www.usms.org/people/023RX for me. I'm sure that would violate the terms of service for the website, but that wouldn't stop someone from doing it, which could get you names, team affiliations, competition history, sexes, and ages.

Think about it this way: the meet director is already in a position of trust to begin with because they are operating a meet for an organization granted a sanction or recognition. They have access to all of the registration information for each swimmer in the meet, which is all of the information that's protectable. An unscrupulous meet director could abscond with this information and misuse it. But I don't see many calls to not have the meet director take meet entries. It would overly impede the orderly operation of the meet.

I could see a limitation of what information is distributed to meet directors as reasonable, and I could even see a policy on what the meet director can do with this information as reasonable (e.g. information only usable to validate entries, but not allowed for the purpose of harassing people to come to your swim meet). But saying that all of this information is completely private is ignorant of the reality that the meet director already has much of this information.

Now I suppose you could also go to a partial USA Swimming model, and require meet directors to submit entries to the LMSC registrar for meet recon a certain amount of time before the meet. It would certainly cut down on the ability to do deck entries, and it would probably add to the workload for the registrars. But it's not a very effective model for USMS.

Patrick King

Rob Copeland
January 8th, 2008, 03:32 PM
Jeff and Patrick,

You appear to be confusing organizational membership with event participation. When a person participates in a sanctioned event they are giving their implicit consent to have certain personal information disclosed in meet programs and results. Iím not sure this same level of implied consent exists when someone joins an organization.

osterber
January 8th, 2008, 04:12 PM
To further clarify what Rob is pointing out...

Nobody is arguing that a meet director needs to know the names, teams, and ages for all of the swimmers who are entered into their meet.

However, is it reasonable for all meet directory to know all of that information for everybody in the LMSC?

If you provide the RE1 file, you provide the information for everyone in the LMSC, whether they ultimately enter your meet or not.

Personally, I only use the RE1 file for the purpose of double-checking information already in Meet Manager. (I run the large SCY Championships in New England.) I actually prefer to type the information from an entry form by hand, rather than have it already in the computer. For me, it's a lot faster to just type in the next name and ID number, rather than to search through the list of athletes looking for that particular name, double-check that it's the right person, and then type in the event seed times. Searching and scrolling takes forever. I can type in the name and ID in about 10 seconds.

A year ago, we rolled out online entries for that meet, which has helped enormously. We did online entries for the New England SCM meet in December, and will do it again for the SCY meet this spring.

Given a world where USMS centrally has good data about registration in all LMSCs, I think some services that would be extremely useful are, especially if RE1 files aren't distributed:

* An online registration check system. I put one of these together for the New England LSC (USA Swimming club level). Internally, it has the registration data for everyone in our LSC. As a meet director, you can upload either your meet entry file or meet results file from Hy-Tek, and it will check all of the registration data (names, DOB, ID numbers, clubs) for the people in the meet against the registration database. If there are any problems, it tells you what the problem is (although it doesn't give you the correction). For example, it will tell you that "RIKK OSTERBERG 010174RIK*OSTE - found match on last name and bithdate. Check spelling of first name". So it doesn't give away any sensitive information, just tells you what doesn't match. All of our local meet directors use it, and it helps keep our registration data accurate. And we don't give the meet directors any information that they don't already have.

* A web service call oriented system to validate an individual USMS registration. Last year, I setup online entries for the New England SCY meet. Unfortunately, I can only do online entries for New England LMSC people because that's the only data I have access to. It would be useful if there were a programmatic interface, with security, such that I could be authorized to do repeated one-time checks for registration. I.e., someone comes to my online entries page, types in their name, birthdate, club, and then I do a real-time check against a USMS interface to get a "yes" or "no". If it's "yes", then I know the registration is valid, and I allow the swimmer to process the online entry. This way, I don't need all of the information for everyone in the country. I only see information about people who are actually entering the meet. It could be setup to be securely restricted to authorized users, perhaps as "blessed" by local LMSC officers.

-Rick

Blackbeard's Peg
January 8th, 2008, 04:59 PM
Now I suppose you could also go to a partial USA Swimming model, and require meet directors to submit entries to the LMSC registrar for meet recon a certain amount of time before the meet. It would certainly cut down on the ability to do deck entries, and it would probably add to the workload for the registrars.

Not a bad idea. Or at least maybe require entries to be done electronically only, via Team Manager. That would put the onus on each individual team's registrars and coaches to keep an up-to-date file. But this also would probably require that teams start paying a lump sum entry fee, and then have to collect somehow from their members... who knows...

Anyways, Rob, I think some of my examples were certainly a bit irrational, but heck, someone has to bring them to the surface... and make up new words for Jim to make fun of :-)

The "event participation implied concent" thing makes perfect sense, and I am glad that my internal interpretation of that is in line with what USMS (or at least its President) was thinking.

I'm hoping some sort of arrangement will be made to exchange this information with meet directors. Perhaps meet directors can submit a listing of entrants to their LMSC registrar, who can check off only those names and return a re1 file with only the information of those people.

jpheather
January 8th, 2008, 05:23 PM
I'm hoping some sort of arrangement will be made to exchange this information with meet directors. Perhaps meet directors can submit a listing of entrants to their LMSC registrar, who can check off only those names and return a re1 file with only the information of those people.

I can't imagine doing this for our 500+ entrant December meet. Let me rephrase that: I would resign this job before I do that for all of our meets.

The majority of our meets and open water swims allow deck entries. On average, about 50% of the people attending any event deck enter.

That means on the Friday before a weekend with a meet or an open water swim I'll get about 8 calls DEMANDING that I fax a copy of their card to the swimmer because they can't find theirs to bring it to the event. The other 2 calls would be people asking very nicely if there's any way they can get a copy of their card.

Rob Copeland
January 8th, 2008, 05:31 PM
I am glad that my internal interpretation of that is in line with what USMS (or at least its President) was thinking.Note Ė the opinions expressed by me on this forum are not necessarily those of USMS. In fact, often members of staff and the Board are known to cringe when they read my posts.

As an event director, I completely agree USMS needs to provide effective tools to assist with athlete registration. I love working meets; I hate typing and verifying information in Meet Manager (no knock on Hy-Tek). Iím supremely confident that the USMS ďEnd-to-End Event ManagementĒ task force will make these tools a reality. Soon!