For those of your who do not spend a lot of time reading the USMS and FINA websites, FINA voted to add 25 meter events to the list of events where FINA will track and approve world records.
The US Masters Swimming Board of Directors received notification from Dale Nueburger, Vice President of FINA, that the FINA Bureau had adopted several rules regarding 25 meter events for Masters swimming. Neuburger said that it is too late to add events to the FINA World Championships in Montreal later this year, but the 25s will be contested at the 2015 FINA World Masters Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia.
The Board of Directors adopted a resolution that it serves the best interests of USMS to immediately allow US Masters Swimming events to have 25 Meter and 25 yard events at sanctioned meets.
President Nadine K.M. Day, president of United States Masters Swimming said “The process required the Board to adopt a rule allowing for a change in the Rules of Swimming. Rule 506.3.9 requires the Board to act with the advice and consent of the Rules Committee and legal counsel. The Rules Committee voted on March 7, 2014, in favor of granting the Board emergency powers to establish 25 Meter and Yard events commencing 1 April 2014. Legal counsel supported the Rules Committee's recommendation. On March 8, 2014, the Board via a conference call voted unanimously to establish changes in the United States Masters Swimming Code of Regulations and Rules of Competition. This action will be effective until the next meeting of the House of Delegates that will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, September 18-21, 2014
“I am so proud of the Rules and Championship Committees working together to implement the new FINA rules and for the Board of Directors for adopting them and the Rules Committee recommendation for adopting them in a timely manner as well as making the modifications for yards courses,” said Day. This was done under USMS Code of Regulations and Rule of Competition (2014 as amended) Section 506.3.9 “To exercise emergency power to adopt or suspend any swimming rule.” (FINA recognized that most pools would not have electronic timing systems at both sides of the course, changed the starting blocks rule so that a swimmer could only dive from a maximum of 30cm above the water - USMS recognized that many pool facilities had a recirculating water system that had the deck 12 inches above the water line changed the rules that for yards, that it could be 12 inches.
"US Masters Swimming has been the leader in the Masters swimming community and by making this change, US Masters Swimmers will be able to compete at the international level. This will also also our swimmers to get competitive experiance for the World Championships to be held next year in Russia" commented the Masters swimming president.
“With our Adult Learn to Swim program that the Board of Directors of both United States Masters Swimming and the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation we can now add a competition component,” said Rob Butcher, Executive Director of United States Masters Swimming. The Boards believe that with competition now starting at 25 yards, we will be able to encourage novice adult swimmers to compete at sanctioned United States Masters Swimming pool competitions. Jim Matysek and his IT team will be working to improve our online sanctioning process and individual records to include these new events. (Later the Executive Director said that because of the time requirements to implement these new rules and make changes to the SQL Data Base, all other IT projects have been put on hold and that USMS was looking for another qualified IT person).
Kathy Casey, chair of the Rules Committee commented that The Rules Committee worked hard to review the proposed change by FINA. In reviewing the rule, we also reviewed a proposed rule for the 25s in Short Course Yards section of the Rule Book. The committee believes this change to Rules is in the best interest of Masters Swimming. The FINA change will be part of 102.5.2 and the Short Course Yards will be part of 102.5.1. The change in the rules will have to be approved by the House of Delegates under Section 501.c.3 of our Rule Book.
“The Championship Committee has been working with Santa Clara so they can have "time trials" at the upcoming Santa Clara Nationals” said Jeff Roddin, chair of Championship Committee. Due to the length of the days, we will only be able to have the trials on Thursday - the Distance Day. Jacki Allexander, the meet referee informed me that there will be enough qualified meet officials to officiate the time trials, however, due to the placement of the timing pads, swimmers must dive from the side of the pool (swimmers may also start in the water).
In speaking with sub-committee chair, Barry Fasbender, on the meet schedule, we will be able to offer the 25s at the San Antonio Championships next year, however, due to timing, they will only be able to be offered on Thursday, the distance day. We feel that this is advantageous, as the Committee believes that it will be the older age groups that will be swimming the 25s and they can come to the meet a day earlier.
(In the Committee minutes, Ed Saltzman (who is also an Official) said that he was against adding event to the list of approved events for national championships as it would add to the time line. Sandi Rousseau responded that it is the Championships committee that makes recommendations for the meet schedules and that we do not contest all events at the championships. Don Gilchrist, who is also on the Finance Committee, said that the Finance Committee did an analysis of the change and found that while there maybe more events, it will not increase the number of swimmers. As 25s take less time than other events, the time line will actually decrease. The committee voted 12 to 3 to support changes to the national championships and will review possible legislation at the annual convention. (fina)
FINA upon application (from Andorra, San Marino and Vatican City) for change in Masters Rule MSW2.1 (Short Course) said that since they were small countries and did not have room for a full 50 meet pool, they would like to have more events in their 25meter pool for their aging populations. This proposal was sent to the FINA Masters Technical Committee who agreed that there should be 25s for the strokes and 100M relays. The FINA Bureau unanimously approved the decision at their March 1-2 meeting in Cancun. (See FINA PR19 on the FINA website) .
I was able to use sky miles to travel to Rome and Florence for a two-week vacation in Italy. Being a Catholic boy, I wanted to see St Peters in Vatican City. I was able to go the Vatican Museum and St Peters. For an extra 5 Euros, I climbed to the top of St Peter's Basilica's dome. When looked to the North I saw the beautiful Vatican Gardens and near the north wall there was an 8 lane short course pool (as best I could tell). There were pasty elderly white men in red jammers who were practicing in the pool. (Nice Pool wonder if they have open swimming :-) )
Coming down, there is a resting area on the roof of St Peters, There is place to buy souvenirs and a refreshment shop ( I had an espresso, if they would have had wine, I would have had a glass - the trek is 351 steps (the easy part) then 351 steps down). I went over souvenir shop. Pope Francis has taken to writing articles as a guide for his flock that were sold in the roof top shop. One was titled Corpus Humanae - the Human Body, where the pope stresses that our body should be a temple of the Holy Spirit - not a basilica and that faithful should keep their bodies in good shape (I wonder if he had become a swimmer).
Later that week, I was in Florence and I met up with Andrea Prayer, a past member of the FINA Masters Committee. He was able to find a pool where I could swim. I told him about seeing the pool in the Vatican Gardens and the guys in the red jammers. Andrea said the Vatican had become a new member of FINA and they were establishing a Masters program - the papa Francis is really pushing fitness. The men in the red jammers were Cardinals; non-cardinals wore black. He also commented that the Vatican had an upcoming dual meet with the Jesuits.
We traveled back to Rome for our trip back to the States. We had an extra day in Rome. Having attended St Ignatius High School and Santa Clara University (both Jesuit institutions), I stopped at the Gesu Church (world headquarters of the Society of Jesus - the Jesuits) and next to it is the Camere of St Ignatius (The room where St Ignatius lived and wrote his spiritual exercises).
I was buying a couple of post cards when Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus walked by. I called Father General and asked if I could have my picture taken with him to which he graciously consented. I said I head about the dual meet with the Vatican and (pulling his chain a little) I asked if he was recruiting Dominican and Franciscans to the Jesuit swim club. He smiled then said in a heavy Spanish accent "Not this year - there is a 120 day rule on recruiting, but next year when we reregister, we are signing them up, but for this year we did recruit a couple of unattached Wisconsin synod Lutherans."
Michael W. Moore
April 1, 2014