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  1. Wednesday 4/25/18

    PM SCY Solo @ LRRC "Champions League football ruins Wednesday afternoon practices"

    400 swim

    10x100 @ 1:10 swim w/ fins + paddles + SNKL

    Total: 1400

    CORE 7 to follow

    Updated April 25th, 2018 at 08:36 PM by Calvin S

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/26/18

    by , April 25th, 2018 at 01:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    LCM intervals left, SCY intervals right

    Warm up
    1 x 200 3:30 [3:15]
    3 x 100 2:00 [2:00] 50st/50fr
    6 x 50 1:05 [1:00] 25fast/25easy choice
    1 x 200 5:00 [4:30] kick

    Sprint set
    6 x 50 1:20 [1:10] Alt 1easy/1fast choice
    1:00 rest
    2 x 100 4:00 choice sprint broken at the 50 for 5secs

    Main set
    3x
    1 x 100 1:45 [1:45] free
    1 x 100 2:00 [2:00] stroke choice
    1 x 100 2:30 [2:15] kick
    [RD1 kick is strong, RD2 stroke is strong, RD3 free is strong]

    Freestyle set
    7 x 200 3:10 [3:00] neg split [#7 no gear]
    -OR-
    16 x 50 1:05 [1:00] alt 1easy/2fast no gear

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4000
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. Tuesday 4/24/18

    AM SCY Solo @ LRRC "Lactic Hold"

    400 swim (100 FR/100 BK)
    300 pull w/ SP + SNKL
    200 kick w/ BD (every 3rd 25 BR)
    100 I.M. drill

    4x50 @ :50
    odd: inside flags FAST
    even: between flags FAST
    8x25 V.S.
    4 @ :40 FR kick w/ BD
    4 @ :30 swim
    100 EZ

    3x
    4x25 @ :15 rest 15M BURST w/ chute
    1:00 REST
    100 @ 2:00 push FAST (:57, :57, :57)
    3x100 @ 1:15 lactic hold
    2:00 REST

    100 EZ

    Total: 3100

    Updated April 25th, 2018 at 08:06 PM by Calvin S

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    Uncategorized
  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/25/18

    by , April 24th, 2018 at 11:53 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    LCM intervals left, SCY intervals right

    Warm up
    2 x 150 3:00 [2:30]
    3 x 100 2:15 [2:00] IM
    8 x 50 1:00 [:50] desc 1-4/5-8

    Kick set
    3x
    1 x 50 1:20 [1:15]
    1:00 vertical kick
    1 x 50 1:20 [1:15] fast

    Freestyle/pull set
    4 x 100 1:40 [1:30] long & strong
    4 x 50 :55 [:50] be consistent
    4 x 100 1:35 [1:25] neg split
    4 x 50 :50 [:45] desc 1-4
    4 x 100 1:30 [1:20] strong
    4 x 50 :45 [:40] strong

    IM set
    2x
    3 x 50 1:15 [1:05] IM order
    1 x 50 1:15 [1:05] easy free
    1 x 200 3:45 [3:15] IM strong

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4100
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/24/18

    by , April 23rd, 2018 at 03:42 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    4 x 100 1:45
    4 x 75 1:30 IM/st
    4 x 75 1:45 kick
    4 x 100 1:30

    Main set
    6x
    1 x 75 1:20 mod perfect stroke
    1 x 50 1:00 build
    1 x 25 :40 fast
    [Odd rounds: stroke, Evens rounds: choice]

    Sprint set
    4x
    1 x 25 :45 sprint kick
    1 x 25 :45 sprint free
    1 x 25 :45 sprint stroke

    Free/pull set
    4 x 200 3:00 neg split
    4 x 100 1:30 desc 1-4
    4 x 75 1:05 last 25 strong
    4 x 50 :45 desc 1-4
    4 x 25 :30 fast

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4600
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. Fri-Sun, April 19-21

    by , April 22nd, 2018 at 04:53 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Friday: Swim/SCY @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    5 x 100 free w/paddles, restricted breathing @ 2:00
    8 x 25 shooters w/fins @ :45

    Main sets:

    8 x 50 burst + cruise @ 1:00

    8 rounds:
    1 x 50 fast @ 1:00
    1 x 50 EZ

    -- I did the 50s @ 100ish pace. Went fly (26), free (25), free (24), free (24), back kick (:23 high), back kick (24), free (26). Quads were burning after this set.

    300 EZ

    Total: 2700


    Saturday:

    5 miles on treadmill


    Sunday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ BP

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    4 x 25 shooters
    50 EZ

    Main sets:

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = fly or fly drill, evens = dolphin kick
    :30 rest
    3 x 100 free w/paddles @ 2:00
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00
    4 x 25 fast fly @ :40
    1 x 50 EZ

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = back, evens = back kick
    :30 rest
    3 x 100 free w/paddles @ 2:00
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00
    4 x 25 fast back @ :40
    1 x 50 EZ

    8 x 50 @ 1:00
    odds = breast, evens = flutter kick
    1 x 100 EZ (arms too tired to do 3 x 100 free)
    4 x 25 fast breast
    1 x 100 EZ

    Total: 3250


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    I managed to squeeze in a couple workouts this weekend. But the main activity was cleaning up our garden beds and mulching. Nothing like manual labor to kick your ass. Today is about the first day that I haven't thought it was winter. Not that it was particularly warm, but at least there was some sunshine!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Wed, April 18

    by , April 19th, 2018 at 10:28 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I took a few days off swimming after the meets and hit the treadmill. That made me feel a bit sloggy in the water but I was just cruising or going 100 pace anyway. Just did the workout without revisions. That's probably how I'll roll for awhile.

    Swim/SCY @ Pitt:

    Warm up:

    400 various
    100 scull
    8 x 25 shooter + 25 back kick @ 1:00
    8 x 25 IM drill + 25 IM swim @ 1:05

    Main sets:

    4 rounds:

    4 x 25 IM order @ :35
    :40 rest
    1 x 100 fast (cruised these)
    :45 rest
    4 x 25 IM order @ :35
    :40 rest
    1 x 50 fast
    1 x 50 EZ

    100 EZ (got out a bit early)

    Total: 3000



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    I was surprisingly tired from the workout afterward. I guess I'm a bit out of shape from all the sprinting and then resting. I'm going to hit the treadmill today and maybe go to yoga.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  8. The Next Chapter (May-June 2018)

    by , April 18th, 2018 at 03:14 PM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    When I took the helm at SWIMMER in 2009, I was still high on the rush of diving into our local swim community in 2006 and finding a new family. The opportunity to work within the larger national subculture of Masters Swimming with smart and committed people was a dream come true.

    Establishing the National Office in 2009 was an adventure; our ragtag band of staffers started from scratch. We rented a steam cleaner from the grocery store across the street so we could spiff up the dusty furniture that came with our vacant-for-years historic building. We recruited local swimmers and suited up in gardening gear to beautify the overgrown and decrepit property.

    Slowly we built, broke, mended, and moldedónot only our physical surroundings, but also our roles. We essentially threw spaghetti on the ceiling and picked it up off the floor if it didnít stick. And then tried again until we found a formula that worked to serve and support our members. Iím honored to have worked alongside passionate and dedicated staffers and volunteers during that process, and Iím grateful for their help and friendship along the way.

    Since those earliest days, the National Office has grown and now occupies beautiful downtown offices. We have many more and much improved publications, programs, and services. Iím so proud of what weíve accomplished and excited to see whatís next.

    During this nine-year journey, Iíve had the privilege of working with and learning from talented editors, writers, photographers, designers, artists, volunteers, and coaches. The list is too long for this page. Their expertise and contributions have made this magazine and our online content something we can all be proud of.

    And then there are the readers.

    Youíre the reason Iíve looked forward to every issue, despite snags, snafus, and the hectic pace of never-ending deadlines.

    Your stories have inspired me. Your letters have made me laugh, cry, swim harder, and helped me navigate what were once unfamiliar waters, but now seem like home. You have my enduring gratitude for sharing your stories and your support over the years.

    Through your inspiration, Iíve realized that I still have time to see more of the world and thatís my next chapter: travel.

    My plan is to stay involved with Masters Swimming, but this will be my last issue as editor-in-chief of SWIMMER, and Iím stepping down as publications and communications director for USMS.

    Iím confident that publications manager Daniel Paulling and the dynamic and growing staff at the National Office will continue to develop and improve all our membership offerings. Please give them your support and feedback, as youíve given me.

    If my travels lead me near your town, Iíd love to drop in for swim practice. If youíd like to stay in touch, you can reach me at laura.m.hamel@gmail.com.

    My thanks and best always,

    Laura Hamel
    Editor-in-Chief
    Categories
    Staff Blogs
  9. 04/17/18: evening

    by , April 17th, 2018 at 09:46 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    300 choice
    200 pull
    100 kick
    4 x 25 burst and cruise

    6 x 125 on 20sr (25 stroke 75 build 25 fast)
    5 x 50 pull on 1:10
    4 x 100 on 2:30

    200 loosen and out (did extra 200 during set)
    ==================
    (Masters/Rec/2500 yds/55min)
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/18/18

    by , April 17th, 2018 at 03:39 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    LCM intervals left, SCY intervals right

    Warm up
    2 x 150 3:00 [2:30]
    8 x 50 1:15 [1:05] stroke
    3 x 100 1:45 [1:30]

    Kick set
    2 x 150 3:45
    4 x 50 1:20 fast

    Main set
    4x
    1 x 50 1:15 [1:05] 25easy/25fast
    1 x 50 1:15 [1:05] 25fast/25easy
    1 x 50 1:15 [1:05] build to race finish
    1 x 50 1:15 [1:05] fast
    [RD1 best stroke, no free, RD2-4 choice]

    MEET SWIMMERS WARM DOWN

    Freestyle/pull set
    3 x 150 2:20 [2:15] long & strong
    3 x 150 2:25 [2:10]
    3 x 150 2:20 [2:05]
    1 x 150 best effort

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4000
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  11. Y Champs + 50 free

    by , April 16th, 2018 at 06:54 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I swam in the Allegheny Mountain Y Champs at the Spire Institute recently, which is sanctioned for USMS. It was a mix of swimming frustration and fun with friends. I swam 7 events (that's the max) and DNF'd one. Each day, my events were all within 1.5 hours, which is no sprinter's dream. It went like this:


    25 back, 13.5

    This was a disaster. I didn't see the backstroke flags at all and crashed into the wall with my left elbow. I knew the crash was coming, but felt blind. My teammate in the same heat didn't see the wall either, and had a similar crash. This has never happened to me before ... Weird.


    50 free, DNF

    Well, the first length felt great, had a great start. But I misjudged the wall on the double bulkhead. I only got a toe on the wall and came to a complete dead stop. Since I had the 50 breast 20 minutes later, I just hopped out.


    50 breast, 34.5

    I was in a lovely mood at this point after a rough start to the meet. Wasn't dying to do this event as my breast has felt off and I went a sloth like 36 a few months ago. But the team needed points, so I got on the block and swam through it. I had a great start, but my breakouts were horrible. I got stuck underwater both lengths. I think I'm used to pushing off deep for SDKs. But perhaps need to go less deep or pull up more emphatically on the pull down for breast. Bill thought I would easily have been a 33 with better pullouts. This was at least an improvement.


    25 fly, 12.6

    Fourth event of the day, good enough. I didn't seem to mess up anything crucial on this one.


    Next day ...


    50 fly, 28.00

    That .01 makes a difference, doesn't it? I blew at least .5 on the turn, maybe more, gliding in a huge amount. My stroke and kick counts aren't the same as they were pre-surgeries. The last few strokes felt really hard.


    50 back, 29.2

    Seems pretty mediocre for me. I spent most of the race worrying about the backstroke flags. I think this is contra-indicated to swim a good race.


    25 breast, 15.5

    Fine.


    All in all, I was less than thrilled with this meet. I understand all the technical miscues from racing rust. That part could improve. And I know it is still very early days in my swim recovery/post-surgeries comeback. But it is not all that fun to feel like you are literally staggering to the wall or about to DQ in a race. And the bottom line is that I doubt that issue will ever change. Closed veins are closed veins. I'm not sure, even if I continue to build collaterals, that they are a real substitute for your actual subclavian and axillary veins.

    BUT, I was unhappy with DNf-ing my 50 free. So, being the stubborn person that I am, I went to a meet at OSU the next weekend just to swim that one event so that at least I would have completed all four 50s this SCY season. (Note: I had to google the name of the meet to enter; It didn't come up in the calendar at first search. WTH with this new website.) I had been having suffering from insomnia for a bit (prolly a result of tapering and 23 & me says I'm a "light sleeper"), so felt tired. However, I managed to execute a very good flip turn on the double bulkhead wall. I got bogged down on the breakout of my Lochte turn, same as the Albatross meet. I probably need to modify or eliminate that turn now ... But moving my arms the last half length proved difficult and I went a 26.7, which ties my masters personal worst. Sure, I am older and have had a rough couple years. But it is still a lot slower than I have been since my very first masters meet.

    Anyhoo, I did not sign up for nationals after the Spire meet. I am clearly not ready for prime time just based on racing rust and technical miscues. My times are, however momentarily, at the top of my 55-59 age group. I'm sure several will be knocked down at nationals. Super sick of tapering, I have been on the treadmill for 10 miles the last 2 days. I'm going to keep swimming, but I am not going to have a laser focus on sprinting that I have had the last month or so. Some aerobic work may actually help with re-vascularization. So I will swim and cross train the next couple months and then, poof, I am in Europe where I will not swim for 2.5 weeks. I'll re-evaluate meets in the fall. But right now, they don't feel fun. And shouldn't they at least be fun? Perhaps I am too much of a perfectionist to have fun. All I know is that swimming is difficult, at the moment. I thought that making a comeback would at least be an interesting anecdote to the inevitable decline of aging. But if a comeback is necessarily physically limited and so frustrating, is the comeback worth it? Philosophy question somewhat dependent on personality, I think.

    Updated April 17th, 2018 at 09:15 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/17/18

    by , April 16th, 2018 at 02:51 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    1 x 300 4:30
    4 x 75 1:15
    8 x 25 :40 stroke
    3 x 100 1:30

    Kick set
    8 x 50 1:15 alt 1mod/1fast

    Main set
    12 x 50 1:05 alt 2stroke/1free
    12 x 25 :40 alt 2stroke/1free
    [Stroke swims are IM order, #1 perfect stroke, #2 strong]

    MEET SWIMMERS WARM DOWN

    Freestyle/pull set
    2 x 300 4:30 long & strong
    4 x 75 1:05 neg split
    2 x 200 3:00 long & strong
    4 x 50 :45 desc 1-4
    2 x 100 1:30 strong
    4 x 25 :30 fast

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4400
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  13. Workout 04/14/18: morning

    by , April 14th, 2018 at 02:17 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    300 choice
    4 x 50 pull on :15sr
    4 x 50 kick on :15 sr
    200 choice [did extra 100]

    8 x 75 on 1:30 (rotate fast 25 back to front)
    4 x 50 on 1:10 burst and cruise
    4 x 25 on :45 (no free)
    4 x 25 FAST into 25 easy on 1:10 (focus on fast finish)

    2 x 100 pull on 2:00
    200 loosen and out
    [Masters/Rec/2500 yds/60 min]
    ===================

    A good practice with Matt, Libby and Kevin. With our local meet in the books and school vacation starting we generally have a bit of a lull until the end of the month. We'll keep some speed sets going until then, when we will work on some more distance and open water-centric sets.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. The difference between Club Finder and Places To Swim

    by , April 13th, 2018 at 04:07 PM (Questions from Coaches)
    What is the difference between Club Finder and Places to Swim on the new USMS website?

    The Club Finder feature on the recently redesigned website is a tool for swimmers searching for U.S. Masters SwimmingĖregistered clubs and workout groups. Itís a searchable database that helps potential members find Masters programs and current members looking to swim in a Masters program.

    Information on Club Finder must be populated by the coach or club contact (which you can do here). This helps ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is being presented to our visitors and members. Channeling current and potential members to registered USMS Masters programs serves the member, club, and USMS well.

    In the future, all club and workout group information with be captured or edited during the registration or renewal process.

    The Places to Swim database is now a USMS member benefit that can be accessed through your My USMS account. Historically, this listing has helped our members find an aquatic facility to swim at when traveling or relocating to a new area. (I use it to research aquatic facilities and potential new USMS clubs.)

    However, most of these listings donít have a Masters program. Many that list a Masters program either have discontinued the program or have adult programming that is not registered with USMS. Often, the information in this database is not accurate and therefore not a very reliable resource for our members or potential members. Additions and edits are the responsibility of the facility or club contact and may now only be done by a current USMS member.

    Places to Swim doesnít do enough to promote our coaches and registered clubs and workout groups. Why would USMS send potential new members to a facility without a registered USMS club or workout group? Why would USMS send a potential member to an unregistered Masters program?

    USMS must support our clubs and coaches, not facilities without our programming. USMS must support the lifeblood of our organization that provides the most important element, a coached Masters program.

    Itís a simple but meaningful value proposition. Clubs, workout groups, and members paying a membership fee to USMS means USMS returning benefits such as a searchable Club Finder database that channels members to their programs.

    If you are coaching or swimming at a facility without a registered club, please contact me for help getting your program registered and listed on Club Finder.

    Updated April 19th, 2018 at 04:04 PM by Bill Brenner

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  15. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/13/18

    by , April 12th, 2018 at 05:12 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    2 x 150 2:30
    3 x 100 1:30
    4 x 75 1:45 kick
    4 x 75 1:30 IM/stroke

    Main set
    1 x 200 4:00 100kick/100 stroke mod
    1 x 200 4:00 100kick/100 IM mod
    1 x 200 4:00 100kick/100 free mod
    1 x 50 1:00 easy free
    1 x 100 2:00 stroke strong
    1 x 50 1:00 easy free
    1 x 100 2:00 IM strong
    1 x 50 1:00 easy free
    1 x 100 1:45 free strong
    1 x 50 1:00 easy free

    Sprint set
    3x
    2 x 25 :45 easy
    2 x 25 :45 sprint
    1 x 50 1:15 easy
    1 x 50 1:15 sprint
    [RD1 stroke, RD2/3 choice]

    MEET SWIMMERS WARM DOWN

    Freestyle/pull set
    1 x 300 4:30 long & strong
    2 x 150 2:15 last 50 strong
    3 x 100 1:30 desc 1-3
    4 x 75 1:05 last 25 strong

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4300
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  16. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/12/18

    by , April 11th, 2018 at 05:38 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    2 x 200 3:15
    8 x 25 :40 stroke
    3 x 100 1:30
    4 x 50 :50 desc 1-4

    Kick set
    1 x 200 4:30
    3 x 100 2:15 desc 1-3

    Sprint/Meet swimmers set
    1 x 200 4:30 fast broken 10secs at 100
    2 x 100 3:00 fast broken 5secs at 50
    3 x 50 2:00 #1fast, 2easy, 3fast
    4 x 25 :45 all fast
    [All swims choice]

    Freestyle/pull set
    8 x 100 1:30 desc 1-4/5-8
    8 x 75 1:05 neg split
    8 x 50 :45 strong

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4250
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  17. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/11/18

    by , April 10th, 2018 at 01:26 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    8 x 75 1:15
    8 x 50 1:00 Alt 1free/1stroke
    8 x 25 :30 choice

    Kick set
    2 x 150 3:15
    8 x 25 :45 fast

    Sprint/Meet swimmers set
    4 x 100 2:00 alt 1easy/1fast
    6 x 50 1:05 alt 1easy/1fast
    8 x 25 :45 alt 1easy/1fast
    rest 1:00
    1 x 100 race pace
    [All swims choice]

    Freestyle/pull set
    4x
    1 x 75 1:10 mod
    1 x 150 2:10 neg split
    1 x 75 1:10 strong

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4100
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  18. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/10/18

    by , April 9th, 2018 at 11:38 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    3 x 100 1:45
    4 x 75 1:30 IM/stroke
    4 x 50 1:00 choice
    3 x 100 1:30

    Kick set
    8 x 75 1:40 last 25 fast

    Sprint/Meet swimmers set
    4 x 25 :45 build to race finish
    4 x 25 :45 sprint 12.5 then easy
    4 x 25 :45 sprint 25
    rest 1:00
    3 x 100 3:00 fast, break 10 seconds at 50

    Freestyle/pull set
    2x
    2 x 100 1:30 long & strong
    2 x 150 2:05 last 50 strong
    2 x 200 2:50 neg split

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4300
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  19. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout 4/8/18

    by , April 8th, 2018 at 10:44 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    SCY

    Warm up
    1 x 200 3:15
    3 x 100 1:45
    6 x 50 1:05 stroke
    8 x 25 :30 strong

    Kick set
    1 x 200 4:30
    2 x 100 2:15
    8 x 25 :45 fast

    Stroke/IM set
    3x
    4 x 25 :40 IM order perfect stroke
    1 x 50 1:05 25fly/25back
    1 x 50 1:05 25brst/25free
    1 x 100 2:00 IM

    Freestyle/pull
    6 x 100 1:30 desc 1-3/4-6
    6 x 75 1:05 desc 1-3/4-6
    6 x 50 :45 desc 1-3/4-6
    6 x 25 :30 desc 1-3/4-6

    -OR-

    Meet swimmers
    4x
    1 x 25 :45 build to race finish
    1 x 25 :45 sprint 20

    4 x 50 2:00 fast choice

    Warm down
    4 x 50 1:00

    Total: 4200
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. Recently Asked Questions

    by , April 7th, 2018 at 11:42 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    With this entry, we answer a few questions recently received from USMS members.

    My birthday is coming up and I am going to "age up" into a new age group. When does my new age group take effect at USMS sanctioned meets.

    For meets held in 25-yard pools, your age group is determined based on your age on the last day of the meet. So, if you are swimming in a meet that ends before your birthday, you will swim in the age group that corresponds to your age before your birthday. If you enter a multi-day meet and just happen to have a birthday in the middle of the meet, you will swim in the older age group.

    For meets held in 25-meter or 50-meter pools, we conform to the rules of FINA (the international federation). Your age group for the entire year is determined based on your age on December 31. So, even if your birthday is not until December, you would swim in the older age group for the entire year.

    It can get a little confusing with the difference between yards and meters. The rule differences mean that you could potentially be swimming in two different age groups for a short time, especially if you have a birthday that is later in the year. When you enter a meet, the entry process should automatically put you in the correct age group based on your birth date and the rules in effect for that meet.


    Are straps, braces, and compression products (such as a Cho Patģ, AceTM Bandage, or other brands) legal in USMS Competition?

    These devices are not legal in USMS competition. In the rules we say that swimwear consists only of a swimsuit, googles, and cap(s). Anything additional is not permitted and we specifically say that armbands or legbands shall not be considered part of swimwear and are not permitted. In addition, we say that swimmers may not wear or use any device that aids in speed, space, buoyancy, or endurance. While it may be true that these devices might create additional drag, they provide physical benefits in the form of muscle compression or stabilization that would contribute to an advantage in terms of endurance.

    Having a doctor's note does not compel the referee to make an accommodation for these types of devices. Even with a doctor's note, referees are required to follow the rules and cannot waive any of these requirements. Referees can only consider accommodations for permanent, life-altering, physical disabilities.


    Does USMS permit video recording devices to be used behind the blocks?

    The rules do not address the use of cameras or other video equipment behind the blocks beyond provisions for video replay footage use by officials and the use of stationary overhead cameras as a backup timing system.

    Can we use automatic relay takeoff officiating equipment at USMS meets?

    Yes, automatic relay takeoff equipment may be used at USMS sanctioned meets if available at the facility. The automatic judging equipment consists of a sensor on the starting platform that can show when the swimmer leaves the starting platform in comparison to the touchpad in the water which records the touch of the incoming swimmers. If an overhead video camera system is available as a backup timing system, the automatic officiating equipment can show a potential infraction which is then confirmed by reviewing the overhead cameras. If the overhead camera system is not available, the automatic relay takeoff equipment may not be used to initiate a potential infraction. Early takeoffs are noted by the officials on deck and then confirmed by the automatic relay takeoff equipment.


    If I am entered in a 200-yard freestyle event, can I swim the first 50 of this event as breaststroke in order to earn a record and then complete the event swimming freestyle (or other strokes)?

    In freestyle events, it is permissible to swim other strokes. However, times achieved in a freestyle event may only count as freestyle times. Even if you swim another stroke legally, you cannot earn an official time for another stroke.

    So, in the situation described in this question, a swimmer could swim the first 50 of a 200 freestyle as breaststroke (or any other stroke) without being disqualified. The swimmer can then swim any other strokes desired for the remainder of the event. However, the swimmer cannot earn an official time for a 50 breaststroke event that would count for records, top ten, or any other form of official recognition. The initial 50 split time can only count as a time for a 50 freestyle. The final time, regardless of the length of the event, may only be used as a freestyle time.

    Note that in individual medley or medley relay events, freestyle is defined as any other stroke not previously swum, so you cannot repeat butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke during the freestyle leg of a medley event.