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Thread: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member jroddin's Avatar
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    What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Anyone who has been a Registrar can probably relate to this. The phrase LMSC (Local Masters Swimming Committee) is not intuitive to your average masters swimmer - and most certainly not to prospective members. I'll bet there are numerous 10+ year members who can't tell you what an LMSC is. I wonder if I had a nickel for every time Tracy or Anna Lea had to explain what an LMSC is would I be a rich man? I get a handful of swimmers every year who register in the wrong LMSC because they don't understand our structure. For instance, they live in Maryland so how in the world should they know they are technically part of the Potomac Valley LMSC and not the Maryland LMSC? Likewise for northern Virginia swimmers who understandably get confused as to why they are supposed to register with Potomac Valley and not Virginia.

    I have a long term challenge for USMS: to re-think how we organize ourselves as LMSCs. Most probably already know this but LMSC was derived from LSC (Local Swimming Committee) from the USA Swimming organization. So anybody who grew up in USA-S more or less figures out what LMSCs are. But otherwise we have to explain to members what the heck LMSC means. And even after we spell out the acronym it still doesn't make sense to some.

    Since I know our organization is slow to adopt change, I have one idea for the "powers to be" to consider:
    Local Masters Swimming Chapter (LMSC)


    And casually we would just call them "Chapters" instead of "LMSCs." Our rulebook would spell out LMSCs but in emails and phone calls we could just call them Chapters ("yes, I understand - you'll want to join the Virginia Chapter and not the Potomac Valley Chapter..."). I tend to think the average person would more intuitively understand what a Chapter means - that a Chapter defines a geographic area. Region could be another possibility, but Chapter provides the convenient "C" in the acronym to not require us to re-write everything under the sun when it comes to registration forms and webpages. I realize swimmers will still register in the wrong LMSC but my feeling is this will at least help us to better explain our structure and perhaps cut down on this perpetual confusion.

    We could also call these regions "Copelands" and preserve our beloved acronym. But then we'd have to give Rob those nickels every time we used the phrase.

    If the President deems this to be worthy I suppose it would go to the LMSC Development Committee but I wanted to first hear what others (general public) think about the idea in case it is all wet (not the specific idea to change to Chapters but the idea to blow up LMSC and think of something new that is more informative).

    Jeff Roddin
    (lives in Maryland but registered in the Potomac Valley Local Masters Swimming Committee)

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    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Core problem: registration is top-down rather than bottom-up. Many registrants only know their team name. So the ones who make it through the LMSC step then get to select a club, which may be different from their team. If they select the correct club, they will finally be rewarded with a list of teams that makes sense. The only explanation I've ever heard for the existence of the club layer is Nationals scoring and relays. That is not an adequate explanation for something that causes so much confusion. Subject for next thread: "What the @#$%& is a club anyway?"
    We could also call these regions "Copelands" and preserve our beloved acronym.
    That term already means 4200 and should therefore not be applied here.
    "I blame you, James!" - knelson

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    if I had a nickel for every time Tracy or Anna Lea had to explain what an LMSC is would I be a rich man?
    First off, why should you get a nickel for the work of Anna Lea or Tracy? They should get the nickel and you could maybe get 30% if you are their agent.

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    We could also call these regions "Copelands" and preserve our beloved acronym. But then we'd have to give Rob those nickels every time we used the phrase
    Couple
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    I like it and I only expect 15%

    Better than :
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    Beyond the name, this is a great question to bring up periodically. Every couple of years we should ask ourselves does our LMSC model still make sense? And, are there functions being done at the LMSC that should be centralized? Are the things that were necessary 20, 30, 40 years ago still necessary? Are any of these things holding us back from better services and growth?

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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    If the President deems this to be worthy I suppose it would go to the LMSC Development Committee but I wanted to first hear what others (general public) think about the idea in case it is all wet (not the specific idea to change to Chapters but the idea to blow up LMSC and think of something new that is more informative).
    Jeff Roddin
    (lives in Maryland but registered in the Potomac Valley Local Masters Swimming Committee)
    Jeff,
    I do agree we must evaluate our organization annually; the LMSC Development committee is aware of your concern. What we are working on is educating our members and Local and National officers.
    Thank you for letting us know about this issue.

    Nadine, who lives in IL, swims IN USA, who has swum for IL, IN, FL, HI ;-)

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    I have one idea for the "powers to be" to consider: Local Masters Swimming Chapter (LMSC). And casually we would just call them "Chapters" instead of "LMSCs."
    I think this is a good idea. I don't think that will completely solve the confusion; people will still register for the Virginia "chapter" instead of PV for instance, but perhaps that's more a matter of simple preference rather than confusion . But it would be a start, and referring to "chapters" is vastly preferable to "LMSCs" in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Core problem: registration is top-down rather than bottom-up. Many registrants only know their team name. So the ones who make it through the LMSC step then get to select a club, which may be different from their team. If they select the correct club, they will finally be rewarded with a list of teams that makes sense.
    I agree completely. This shouldn't be a hard thing to do and requires no structural re-organization or anything. During the registration process start with clubs rather than LMSCs/Chapters or whatever. Now, there are over 200 clubs in USMS so it can get a little confusing, but if one enters the address, or at least zip code, first then the webpage could offer to display a list of clubs nearby. And there could also be a search box for clubs, and as you type it will display "fuzzy search" matches for clubs and their home state/chapter/LMSC.

    If one wants to swim unattached then you would be prompted to register for the chapter/LMSC in which you reside, though you can change that if you want.

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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    OK, so what's a Zone?

    Which Zone is Pacific Masters in?

    It's not in the Southwest: http://www.swzoneswimming.org/w/

    It's not in the Northwest: http://www.northwestzone.org/lmscpage.html

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresnoid View Post
    OK, so what's a Zone?

    Which Zone is Pacific Masters in?
    The Pacific LMSC is in the Oceana Zone, with the HI-LMSC.

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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Page 3 of http://www.usms.org/rules/appd.pdf reveals that the state of Nevada was divided up using a pizza cutter. When I update my "Upcoming Masters Meets in the Northwest" list, it always cracks me up when there is a meet in St. George, UT, which is less than a 2 hour drive from... wait for it, waaaaiiiit forrrrrr iiiiitt... Las Vegas.
    "I blame you, James!" - knelson

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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    The Pacific LMSC is in the Oceana Zone, with the HI-LMSC.
    According to the USMS list of Zone web sites, there is no such zone

    http://www.usms.org/links/lmscwebsites.php

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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresnoid View Post
    According to the USMS list of Zone web sites, there is no such zone

    http://www.usms.org/links/lmscwebsites.php
    That is because the Oceana Zone does NOT have a website. That is up to the zone.

    Pacific's website http://www.pacificmasters.org/index.shtml

    Hawaii's website http://www.hawaiimastersswim.org/w/

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    Very Active Member NJMastR's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Is there not ongoing discussion about using Chapter to mean some other form of membership? If we ever adopt a Chapter membership for workout groups, would we then be creating further confusion? I am leaning toward more education rather than a name change, mostly because I am not aware that this is such a frequent point of confusion. Do we have any way to gather data on how big of an issue this truly is? As a Registrar for the last few years, I have not fielded any related concerns or questions.

    Chris

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: What the @#$%& is an LMSC anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    Anyone who has been a Registrar can probably relate to this. The phrase LMSC (Local Masters Swimming Committee) is not intuitive to your average masters swimmer.
    Chapters is already used so how about Commonwealth, Vassalage, Fiefdom or Grand Duchy?

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