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Thread: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

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    Very Active Member RobbieD's Avatar
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    Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    There has been a lot of discussion about the merits of bringing tech suits back to USMS via a rules amendment at this year's USAS Convention. Please use this space to continue the discussion amongst SPMA members that has grown too big for email.

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    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    I really hope they don't. IMHO the difference between two identical swimmers then becomes who has the most money.
    "Fran operated under the assumption that one’s ability to cope with the travails of daily life fluctuates in direct proportion to one’s willingness to work through hurt." -Ian Prichard

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    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Quote Originally Posted by bzaks1424 View Post
    I really hope they don't. IMHO the difference between two identical swimmers then becomes who has the most money.
    There is no such thing as "identical swimmers". Now, can we please drop this topic? USMS should follow USA/FINA rulings(while I disagree with how extreme the rulings are on suits) It's time to move forward

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Text of Letter to SPMA Executive Committee proposing amendment to Rules regarding use of tech suits in short course yards competition.

    June 23, 2010

    Via Electronic Transmittal
    Executive Committee
    Southern Pacific Masters Association
    United States Masters Swimming


    Re: Proposed Amendment to USMS Rules


    To the Executive Committee:

    Please consider this submission as a request to the SPMA Executive Committee to formally propose an amendment to USMS Rule 102.14, SWIMWEAR. The purpose in submitting a formal proposal is to 1) ensure a full and complete debate and discussion regarding the use by U.S. Masters swimmers of so-called tech suits in competition events and 2) amend the rules to allow the use of tech suits in certain competitions to be established following the canvassing of the member body.

    There has been a fair amount of discussion and electronic correspondence recently regarding the tech suit ban, likely precipitated by the positive experience of a number of swimmers who competed at the recent short course yards Nationals at which tech suits were permitted and the realization that even as to the short course yards competition, a uniquely American invention, the tech suits are no longer authorized for any pool competition as of June 1, 2010. There is an underlying thread to much of the discussion and correspondence, a belief that the decision to bar tech suits was made without an opportunity for the membership, those who compete regularly and to which the decision mattered most, to be heard. There are even those who would vote to continue the bar who agree that an adequate opportunity to air all views, or to provide input to the organization representatives, never occurred. They are correct. SPMA should, by this proposed amendment, initiate the process to have this important issue considered in an orderly and thorough fashion.

    A. The Decision to Bar Tech Suits Was Made Hastily and Without Full Consideration.

    The amount of time between when the controversy regarding the use of tech suits developed and the actions barring their use was inadequate to afford an opportunity for informed debate. FINA announced its ban of tech suits on July 25, 2009. On September 19, 2009 at the USMS Convention in Chicago there was apparently some discussion of the impact of the FINA ruling but no formal action was taken since FINA had not addressed the issue of tech suits as to Masters competitions and did not do so until January 16, 2010. Jessica Seaton of SPMA, in an e mail of June 21, 2010, indicated that the next step in the process, following FINA’s action, on January 19, 2010 was the issuance of an “Emergency Rule Change” (document itself is undated); an action undertaken by: ”The USMS Rules Committee based on a sense of the House of Delegates at the 2009 USMS Convention in Chicago.” [emphasis added].

    Thus, no formal action was taken at the Convention in September of 2009 and none was taken by the Rules Committee until late Jnauary 2010, based on the undated “Emergency Rule Change”. However, the issue was deemed important enough during discussion at the Convention, on September 19, 2009, to prompt this entry in the Minutes:
    "10. The Chair wrapped up the swim suit discussion by reminding the audience that she had directed the Rules Committee members to poll their local swimmers and to review the USMS discussion forums to gain insight as to the wishes of the USMS members."

    It does not appear that any poll of SPMA members was ever conducted. Nor do the several Newsletters issued by SPMA following the Convention in September of 2009 solicit any input on the topic from the Members.

    The USMS Press Release following the September Convention, issued September 19, 2009, is silent on the topic of a possible tech suit ban and does not solicit Member comment or “poll” on the topic.

    The Executive Committee of USMS voted 4-3 on January 19, 2010 and “approved the recommendation of the Rules Committee to allow Technical Suits through the end of the short course season”. There is no evidence then or later that the Executive Committee did anything to follow up on the directive to “poll” members issued to the Rules Committee on September 19, 2009. It is believed few if any of the LMSCs conducted a poll of their respective members.

    Under the circumstances, it seems clear that: 1) there was little time to engage the membership in the discussion of tech suits for Masters between FINA’s action on July 25 and the September 19, 2009 convention; 2) no time to do so between FINA’s ban on January 16, 2010 and the USMS 4-3 vote of January 19, 2010, and 3) little to no effort to engage the membership at any time.

    B. Proposed Amendment to USMS Rule 102.14, SWIMWEAR.

    It has been suggested that to effect a change to allow tech suits a rationale for the change or amendment must be provided. There may be no better rationale than many of the members want the change and were never afforded the opportunity to voice that strong preference before the action was taken by the Rules Committee, within three days of FINA’s action on January 16, 2010. And there is substantial evidence that among those SPMA members who actually compete tech suits remain highly popular.

    The proponents of tech suits seek first a modest amendment to the Rules to continue to allow the use of tech suits in short course yards competition. Since short course yards competition is unique to the United States allowing such has no effect on any FINA actions, especially since FINA, the current governing body for international swimming, only recognizes times performed in meters based pools for world record consideration. Thus, it is proposed that Rule 102.14.4 be amended as follows, by the following language added in bold text:

    “Only swimsuits complying with FINA swimsuit specifications may be worn in any U.S. Masters Swimming sanctioned or recognized competition except that swimwear that was approved for pool use in 2009 may be worn in any short course yards competition. “

    As a second modest amendment the use of a tech suit should be permitted in any open water competition that does not qualify for FINA recognition or record, as is currently permitted for 2010 by USMS.

    These two modest amendments would allow the use of a tech suit in any USMS sanctioned or recognized event that does not also constitute a FINA sanctioned or recognized event. What difference would or should that make to FINA?

    C. Request for Special Meeting of SPMA.

    Since it appears that the procedure for proposing an amendment to the USMS Rules must be advanced by the LMSC, which may require a meeting of the Executive Committee and it appears that there is no SPMA meeting scheduled prior to the July 10, 2010 deadline for consideration by the Rules Committee please consider this submission a request for such a meeting, on an emergency basis, in addition to a request to formally make the proposed amendment in time for submission by the July 10 deadline. Finally, at the meeting the Committee should delegate a sub committee of no more than three members to meet and agree on a procedure for the SPMA to conduct a survey, poll or vote of the members regarding the topic of tech suits. Dan Wegner of Club Assistant should be one of the three members and is well suited to conduct such electronically.


    Respectfully submitted.

    /S/
    John J. Quinn

    Cc: Katherine J. Casey
    Last edited by ALM; June 24th, 2010 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Removed personal email address for Kathy Casey

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    For years swimmers have shaved down, oiled up etc. The evolution of the speedo, goggles changing shape so they are faster and can handle the stress of the dive... Even pool and lane line design have changed to allow for less wake and faster times.

    I think the logical thing is for USMS to follow USA/FINA rulings as they are doing.

    I think a legitmate question to ask is will TYR/Speedo/Jaked/B70 even continue to manufacture these suits with the reduced sales market available. If so lower productions numbers will almost certainly force price increases...

    Another issue would be apples/oranges comparisons of record times across governing bodies that enforce differing sets of 'suit rules.'

    Of course all of these questions and problems are avoided entirely by simply falling in line with USA/FINA rulings.

    And to be a near-record holder w/o a tech-suit when the encumbant record holder had the advantge of a tech-suit... well that just sucks.

    But on the other side, if you beat a tech-suiters record swimming bareback... it feels great. As has taking them down real-time in the lane next to me :-)

    -Jesse

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    We need to swim in the same suits the rest of the world is wearing. Drop the topic, move on and talk about something else.

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    Active Member the17thman's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Why don't we just ban SCY season and just keep SCM and LCM if we are going to keep up with the rest of the world?

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    Active Member the17thman's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    I do feel that over time this will be a moot issue as swim suit companies will not manufacturer the suits and over time people will no longer have the suits to wear. But it's SCY and well America is pretty much one of the few SCY swimmers countries left. So to hell with FINA and just wear the bloody suits. Keep the suits and wear them to our asses fall out of them. And in time they'll die a slow death. Till the next new suit technology. So can damn the luddite's move onto complaining about the new blocks or the fact that we know are allowed to do butterfly kick underwater or something not from FINA Rules of 1976?

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    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    I don't understand why after a year of not showing up at the SPMA meetings througout the last year, where there was ample time to discuss this, people waited untill there's only 10 or so days left to claim they are not being heard.
    SPMA meeing minutes are available for public viewing at www.spma.net, everyone can see for themselves, noone has come forward to speak in favor or even inquire about the tech suits.

    I don't know that forefiture of every opportunity to do so throughout the last year is a very good rationale for calling an emergency meeting.

    How come proponents of this are refusing, or neglecting to use proper USMS procedures? Like have your Club Rep who is also elegible to vote, come to the meeting, and speak up?

    What would an informal club assistant poll accomplish? It's against SPMA By-Laws to accept it as official vote. All it can be is an interest poll. In order for it to be an official vote, SPMA By-Laws would have to be changed. You'd have to convince majority of the SPMA that they need to be changed, to start with.

    Each SPMA voting member, especially the club members have the responsibility to cast the vote representing their clubs interest. They are not likely to change their mind, because other clubs, whose reps aren't showing up to vote ran a club assistant poll.

    If your teams club rep is being a dud, or has failed to convey to their own swimmers how the system works, and is not representing your interests, I highly recommend finding someone who will be more involved, and represent, rather then forefit your interests in the future. That's a legal avenue to getting heard, and getting the vote.
    Last edited by Conniekat8; June 24th, 2010 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Typo
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    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    There is no huge need for Club Assistant poll, you guys are welcome to use this:

    [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=17033"]Do you want the tech suit back for SCY? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]
    Last edited by Conniekat8; June 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 PM.
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    I'd rather be swimming http://www.mastersmvnswim.org/

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Connie:

    I took your suggestion and looked at the meeting minutes and agendas posted on the SPMA website. I saw NOTHING in either the archived minutes or agendas addressing the tech suit issue. Am I missing something ?

    How is the average swimmer supposed to know that a decision on tech suits is being made if it is not on the agenda? Likewise, how does one know that a decision was actually made and the basis for it, if the minutes do not mention the decision ?

    Do you have any insight into this ?

    I do agree with your point on the club representative role and responsibility.

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    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Quote Originally Posted by danpleonard View Post
    Connie:

    I took your suggestion and looked at the meeting minutes and agendas posted on the SPMA website. I saw NOTHING in either the archived minutes or agendas addressing the tech suit issue. Am I missing something ?

    How is the average swimmer supposed to know that a decision on tech suits is being made if it is not on the agenda? Likewise, how does one know that a decision was actually made and the basis for it, if the minutes do not mention the decision ?

    Do you have any insight into this ?

    I do agree with your point on the club representative role and responsibility.
    Yes, I do have some insight in this.

    1.
    Each SPMA club gets a voting club representative who should be attending SPMA monthly conference calls. The Club representative showing has been dismal. It is imperative that they start showing up, and speaking up about what their interests are. These same club reps are the mechanisam that SPMA has to take the word back to their individual clubs and talk it over with their swimmers. This is not important just because of the tech suits. there is a large number of topics taht can be important.

    If an item has not been put on the agenda, people coming to the meeting can still bring it up, and it can be open for discussion. It is best that this is done by the club rep, because they have the power to vote too, not just to bring up the discussion.

    Even if an item is on the agenda, and the club reps with opposing views don't show up, and everyone else in the meeting agrees, it's the end of things. Many things die off this way, not just the tech suit.

    I know these meetings can be as entertaining as watching the paint dry, but they really are important. Many issues that one or another subgroup of the SPMA may come up, current members and attendees do the best they can to accomodate and consider all sides. But it's still "the best they can". Just like any volunteer run organization, resources are limited. There is only so much the 10-12 usual meeting attendees can accomplish. We are short handed left and right.


    2.
    Anyone, even if they are not a club rep, if they made more then 50% of the SPMA meetings in a year automatically becomes elegible to become a delegate for the convention. This means, SPMA makes you a voting delegate, and pays for your trip. Going to the convention is a good thing, informative, and a good eye opener. Most years SPMA (and I gather other LMSC's) tend to have jsut enough candidates, and it's the same people going year after year after year. USMS needs fresh blood, at the local and national level, not just within SPMA, but AFAIK, this is the case throughout the country.

    3.
    Why SPMA leadership hasn't brought thisup earlier in the year, I have no idea. It is the SPMA chair with SPMA secretary's assistance that puts together the agenda of each meeting. I can't speak for them why they haven't brought this up. I gather from the informal emailings that have been ciorculating that those two individuals are most in touch with the group of people interested in bringing the tech suits back. Why they haven't rallied people up sooner, You'll have to ask them.

    I can only speak for my team, and the majority is happy with the rules the way they are.

    What I heard in the last Committee meeting, from the rules representative, it appears that their impression was that the interest in bringing the tech suit back was too low to make a formal (request - I forget off the top of my head the proper name for it)

    4.
    There are other internal things, that have to do with expanding our marketing and communications efforts. I used to be a marketing Chair for the USMS, but had to scale back (health issues). As of late I have a bit more time and energy, and I will do my best to revive some of the marketing and communications ideas, and try to put them in practice. I would LOVE it if it's not just myself and two other people with a $300 or some similar tiny yearly budget working on this. There are a lot of good things that can be done, but we need help. At the moment, we have, pardon my expression, too many chiefs, lot of good ideas, and not enough people willing to work and put some time in to make them happen. Like I said, this *is* a volunteer run organization. the dues we pay yearly, don't come even close to enabling us to buy services that could help disseminate a lot of things. We need excite people to get involbed and contribute.

    If we don't this is what happens, things don't get addressed, most often because of lack of resources.

    One of the examples of this, should the majority of the membership want to bring back the tech suit, what needs to be considered is if USMS has sufficient resources locally and nationally to bear the weight of additional administration required to differ from FINA and USAS. having been to several conventions, my educated guess is, they don't.

    If a question is raised, in front of delegats about increaded cost of administration, and possibly needing to increase the dues to accomodate this... it's a good way to get the proposition shot down.



    I'd love to hear some thoughts and ideas about how to get club reps more interested in attending the meetings. I think in a lot of cases, a coach or a team owner lists themselves as a club contact, and any SPMA communication that goes out tends to die in their inbox.

    There may be a way to inform swimmers directly of SPMA business, but I have to see if our general mailing list privacy policy allows for this.... and if it does, do we have the resources to honor all "please remove me from this mailer" requests, when they start coming in.

    The past years minutes, you're not missing anything, noone, from top to bottom of the SPMA, including the SPMA involved people who are trying to get the troops rallied up at the eleventh hour was under the impression there is sufficient interest.

    'Polling the membership' statement at a USMS convention generally doesn't mean, run a general poll (such as what is suggested via club assistant), but it meansm, use your standard means of communication within the LMSC, to get the feel for the interest. I think I said this in my last post, even if a club assitant poll is run, without voting members showing up, it wouldn't mean a lot. A motion has to be made on the floor for the SPMA to act legally, if most people vote against it, it ends there.

    People like myself, I am alrady aware that there is interest in the tech suit, and can be sympathetic to people whom want it back, club assistan poll is unecessary to convince me. However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit. Same with each of 70 or so club reps in the SPMA. Rules person in the SPMA gets one vote, Executive comittee, IRRC 5 people, 4 votes total... People whom attended more then 50% of the meetings and get a vote that way tend to also be club coaches and reps, and are going to vote representing their own club interests. In a way, it's a lot like our US government, you must show up and vote vote vote officially. Popular vote and interest polling doesn't get you far.
    -Connie
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit.



    Connie:

    Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response.

    How did you make the determination that your team did not want the suit ?

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Julie:

    I am painfully aware of this quote, as was "Mr. Evans" when he saw it in black and white the next day (an apology was issued to the swimmer he was referring to).

    Two points: 1. I did not even know that Mr.Evans was the club rep to SPMA (not SPMA's fault); 2. I am quite sure that CE's quote does not represent the position of the vast majority of competitors from my club; 3. the membership in our club was never asked for any input on the tech suit issue by our rep (again, not SPMA's fault).

    I would like to know how Connie was able to determine that her club did not want tech suits?

    Dan

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    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Quote Originally Posted by danpleonard View Post
    However, I also have the responsibility to vote representing my own team, and they don't want the suit.



    Connie:

    Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response.

    How did you make the determination that your team did not want the suit ?
    We talk to our swimmers, ask them what they think, read their email letters and opinions on our team forum, listen to the prevalent sentiment. Number of different ways. Our club is very hands-on. When you talk to a hundred people or so, and only a small handfull says anything about seriously wanting the suit back, when all the letters you get are to not bring it back, and when noone is stepping up to help the efforts to bring it back, you tend to get the picture.

    I'm not the only person that collected the information, there are several. I'm just the 'end result' person that is active in the SPMA, and gets to cast the vote.

    This involves several coaches and swimmers, our core team leadership group. If you want to know more details, I can ask the rest of the people involved how they arrived to the conclusions. I didn't question them about the specifics, so I can't speak for them.
    Last edited by Conniekat8; June 25th, 2010 at 04:54 PM.
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    The tech suit issue was not on the SPMA agenda or in the minutes because it is not a local issue. We could discuss it and even submit legislation for consideration, but any change in costume rules is under the purview of the USMS Rules committee and ultimately the House of Delegates.

    The fact that the suits were even legal this year is only because FINA did not make a final ruling for Masters until January, well into the short course yards season. We (USMS) could have stopped all suit debate right then, but felt that it would be fair to everyone competing to allow them to be used until the end of the season. The vote on the rules committee was not unanimous.

    As an opinion, when FINA looks at suit rules again in 2013, it is possible that they will change coverage again, bringing back zippers, body and full leg coverage, just not urethane or any non textile materials. Or maybe not, if World records begin to fall again.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Thanks for the info Connie

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    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Quote Originally Posted by danpleonard View Post
    Thanks for the info Connie
    No problem
    Any other questions you have, I'd be happy to share how we do things.

    By the way, at the convention, lot of these how tos' get shared among clubs, and also often there are more formal workshops too.
    They're kind of similar to a lot of ionformal info that can be found out, a lot of clubs share how they do things, and we try to disseminate this info, so others can use what they see fit for their situation
    -Connie
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    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Well, I just today had an Adult Swim League Championship meet at GA Tech today and we got to wear the suits. I ended up going 26.2 in the 50 back and 1:50.6 in the 200 Free. These were not far off what I did at Nationals. I have to say, I hope that come back for SCY. Today was fun!

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    Re: Bringing Back Tech Suits for SCY

    Quote Originally Posted by 200free View Post
    We need to swim in the same suits the rest of the world is wearing. Drop the topic, move on and talk about something else.
    We are swimming in the suits the rest of the world is swimming. It's about events the rest of the world doesn't swim. I would love to know what countries in the world are swimming yards besides the US.

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