I'm sure by now you have all read with great interest the full Convention packet. On page 97, L41 proposes legislation to divide the OWLDC into two. This division is long overdue but the way the Governance Committee has propsed such a division is not best for USMS. Below is an better alternative.

OPEN WATER AND LONG DISTANCE ALTERNATIVE DEFINITION:
REVISION ON THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE 2 NEWLY CREATED COMMITTEES FROM WHAT WAS PROPOSED BY THE USMS EXECUTIVE GOVERNANCE BOARD.
SUBMITTED BY OWLDC CHAIR, MARCIA CLEVELAND September 9, 2009

Note: For the original legislative proposal, please refer to page 97 in the 2009 Convention packet. For the current definition of the OWLDC, please refer to page 82, 507.2.10, in the 2009 USMS Rule Book.

507.2.10 Long Distance Committee—The Long Distance Committee shall promote participation in open water and long distance events at the national level. The committee shall solicit and review bid proposals and select the sites for the Long Distance championship events. The committee shall work in a coordinating and advisory capacity with event hosts and make recommendations to enhance the quality of Long Distance championship events. The committee shall maintain records and select the All-American and Long Distance and Long Distance All-Star Teams. The committee may interpret and render opinions regarding any provision of the rules and regulations of USMS within the committee’s jurisdiction as defined in article 601.1. The Long Distance Committee shall assure that the competitive rules in Part 3 of the USMS Rules and Regulations provide for fair and equitable competition in the best interests of all USMS members and that members are informed of current rules, interpretations, and changes. The Long Distance Committee may initiate and shall accept, consider, and report proposed amendments, with the committee’s recommendations, at the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, in accordance with the provisions of Part 6. The committee shall consist of the committee chair and sufficient members to execute the committee function. The Rule Book Coordinator shall be an ex officio member of the committee. The chair shall serve as the co-USMS liaison to the USA Swimming Open Water Committee.

Rationale: Currently, this committee is responsible for selecting and coordinating open water and long distance championships, amending and interpreting open water long distance rules, and maintaining records and selecting All-American and All-Star team. It is these committee members who are overseeing the national championship events and are the ones who most closely work with and understand the rules & legislation. Currently, the OWLDC operates mostly through the regulation of Part 3 of the Rule Book, (14 pages) (versus the Pool Championship Committee which concerns most of the 186 pages of the current Rule Book.) There are many instances in Open Water events during which quick decisions need to be made and the committee members present are the ones best versed to make such decisions. This committee would handle all aspects of open water and postal national championship events. We'll call this the Long Distance Committee

507.2.XX The Open Water Committee shall promote the development of and participation in open water events at the local and regional level. They shall conduct local and regional workshops, and clinics, assisting participants who are unfamiliar with, scared of, or curious about open water swimming to learn how to deal with this alien environment in non-threatening, non-competitive situations. They shall work with the Long Distance Committee to assist with instruction at local, regional, and national events where necessary. The committee shall consist of the committee chair and sufficient members to execute the committee function. no more than 16 additional members, with at least one member from each zone. The chair shall serve as the co-USMS liaison to the USA Swimming Open Water Committee.

Rationale: The Open Water Committee develops OW events through the clinics, Grand Prix Series, and races. By offering non-threatening, non-competitive situations in which individuals can feel safe enough to do things which they may not feel confident at doing, USMS members will become safer OW swimmers. It takes an enormous amount of expertise and hands-on instruction to create a calm environment in which nervous, frightened, and/or over confident swimmers can learn. Members of this committee much have a working knowledge of the current USMS Long Distance Rules.but are capable of instructing clinics with all levels of OW swimmers; they would be very aware of what to look for as far as safety issues go