Bogus Masters Teams

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by Spunk11 » Mon, 20 May 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>Heres how it works in Ohio:  Each swimmer competes for his/her local
>club within the Ohio LMSC, but competes for the LMSC (Great Ohio Swim
>Team) outside of it.  This is accomplished by registering every swimmer
>in the LMSC to a single team with USMS:  GOST.

FYI, there are several powerful teams in Ohio Masters Swimming.  On March
16/17 of this year I swam at the Ohio State Masters Championships at Miami
U. in Oxford.  Reviewing the results I found that there were 23 teams
participating- at least one team was from Indiana and another team from
Michigan-- but most were from Ohio.  The Greater Columbus Masters (GCMST)
placed first in team rankings followed by Cincinnati Marlin Masters (CMM),
O*H*I*O Masters (OHIO), Gamble Nippert Y (GNY), Southwest Ohio Masters
(SWOM), Michigan Masters (MICH), Buckeye Masters (BMSC), Greater Indiana
(GRIN), Hamilton West YMCA (HWY), Miami Valley AC (MAKO), Jordan Y (JY),
Ohio University Masters (OUM), Zura Aquatic (ZURA),-- and so on......  
The Ohio Team which Ed refers to, "GOST", placed _18th_ in the Ohio State
Championships.  Not the final standing you would expect if everyone in the
Ohio LMSC swam for that team.
   Another point I would like to bring up about Masters Swimming in Ohio
is that it, in fact, is divided in two LMSCs-- (the Ohio LMSC and the
Great Lakes LMSC)  I think that this alone defuncts Ed's statement:
"better that theres only one team from Ohio
than several smaller teams"

jgs
   .

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by Edward M. Powe » Tue, 21 May 1996 04:00:00

International Readers, please excuse my colloquialism, but this is
intended to address a trend in United States Masters Swimming.

USMS is comprised of *local* teams and clubs.  USMS exists primarily
because local clubs control pool time, and recruit and train masters
swimmers.  This is their job.  This is what makes USMS grow and
prosper.  USMS doesnt do it and their Local Masters Swimming
Committees (LMSCs) dont, clubs do.

In Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and elsewhere, the LMSCs are recruiting
existing club swimmers to a single LMSC team. The purpose is to create
a significant presence and relay opportunities for LMSC swimmers at
distant or national meets ("better that theres only one team from Ohio
than several smaller teams").

Heres how it works in Ohio:  Each swimmer competes for his/her local
club within the Ohio LMSC, but competes for the LMSC (Great Ohio Swim
Team) outside of it.  This is accomplished by registering every swimmer
in the LMSC to a single team with USMS:  GOST.  In principle this is
great, in practice it stinks.  Show me one new swimmer (not stolen from
another team) that an LMSC team has recruited or trained!  My point is
best illustrated when LMSC relay teams frantically search the pool deck
for teammates they've never met!

USMS growth relies on the health of its local clubs and teams.  By
allowing each LMSC to essentially eliminate them as free-standing
identifiable entities within the LMSC, USMS has no way to monitor or
assist those clubs on whom it relies for growth.

This effort also makes a mockery of team results at meets where these
"combined club" LMSC teams appear.  What team is interested in
competing at their state championship meet against a single team of
swimmers comprised of all the clubs from an adjoining state?
Swimmers who go to nationals should be allowed to join forces with
their LMSC peers if they wish, but not by abandoning the team concept
at the local level.  To their credit, these LMSCs have crafted a
creative solution within their sphere of influence:  A neat bypass to
the waiting period for club transfers.

But isnt this is a problem that should be addressed by the national
officers of USMS?  Why cant swimmers from an LMSC be given the right
to compete as one team for a short list of national level meets?  Why
should local clubs be asked to give up their identity with USMS so a
few nationals-bound swimmers can put together relays and score more
team points at nationals?  Why should strong local teams be forced to
compete at any level with these giant "composite" teams, who dont
train together, dont successfully recruit swimmers into their masters
program, and dont do any of the things that make a team a team.

Queries to the National USMS office have met with "Well, it's legal."
Is this the best way to help Masters Swimming grow?

Ed
"a guy without a fancy signoff or motto"

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by Jill Spetoske » Tue, 21 May 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>In Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and elsewhere, the LMSCs are recruiting
>existing club swimmers to a single LMSC team. The purpose is to create
>a significant presence and relay opportunities for LMSC swimmers at
>distant or national meets ("better that theres only one team from Ohio
>than several smaller teams").

Actually, this is how my USS team was run, and I liked it.  We had a
number of smaller non-USS teams in my area, and there weren't many
people who swam year-round, and travel meets are expensive, and people
couldn't necessarily afford to spend their weekends in scenic Dearborn.
A combined team enabled me to train close to home with a coach I
trusted, yet it gave me a chance to go outside the area, and to swim on
those same relays.  It was more like "let's give the kids an opportunity
that our little rec club couldn't quite do on it's own"

Jill Marie


 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by Edward M. Powe » Tue, 21 May 1996 04:00:00


writes:

Quote:



>>Heres how it works in Ohio:  Each swimmer competes for his/her local
>>club within the Ohio LMSC, but competes for the LMSC (Great Ohio Swim
>>Team) outside of it.  This is accomplished by registering every
swimmer
>>in the LMSC to a single team with USMS:  GOST.

>FYI, there are several powerful teams in Ohio Masters Swimming.  On
March
>16/17 of this year I swam at the Ohio State Masters Championships at
Miami
>U. in Oxford.  Reviewing the results I found that there were 23 teams
>participating- at least one team was from Indiana and another team
from
>Michigan-- but most were from Ohio.  The Greater Columbus Masters
(GCMST)
>placed first in team rankings followed by Cincinnati Marlin Masters
(CMM),
>O*H*I*O Masters (OHIO), Gamble Nippert Y (GNY), Southwest Ohio Masters
>(SWOM), Michigan Masters (MICH), Buckeye Masters (BMSC), Greater
Indiana
>(GRIN), Hamilton West YMCA (HWY), Miami Valley AC (MAKO), Jordan Y
(JY),
>Ohio University Masters (OUM), Zura Aquatic (ZURA),-- and so on......
>The Ohio Team which Ed refers to, "GOST", placed _18th_ in the Ohio
State
>Championships.  Not the final standing you would expect if everyone in
the
>Ohio LMSC swam for that team.
>   Another point I would like to bring up about Masters Swimming in
Ohio
>is that it, in fact, is divided in two LMSCs-- (the Ohio LMSC and the
>Great Lakes LMSC)  I think that this alone defuncts Ed's statement:
>"better that theres only one team from Ohio
>than several smaller teams"

>jgs
>   .

Here we go!  If you read my post closely, you'd see that the scheme
that the Ohio LMSC has cooked up calls for the local clubs to compete
for their own club at meets WITHIN THE LMSC.  Under this arrangement,
when Ohio LMSC swimmers venture outside the Ohio LMSC, they're suddenly
members of a single team:  GOST.  If you were to check the USMS
records, you'd see that in the eyes of our national governing body,
(almost) no club exists in Ohio *except* GOST.  Meet directors in Ohio
sort out what team people are on by what they say on their entry forms,
while their USMS cards say they're members of GOST.

Now, that said, the results from the Ohio State Championship, reflect
local clubs swimming for themselves (I proudly swim for the 94-95-96
Champs:  Greater Columbus! :-)).  Let's consider two possible
scenarios:  Suppose Michigan or Indiana (which use the same scheme as
Ohio) had 100-200 swimmers at that meet.  No Ohio team would have stood
a chance at their own championships!  Suppose GOST musters the best 60
swimmers in Ohio to go the the Long Course Championships in Ann Arbor
this summer.  Suppose they beat the national powerhouses like DAM,
SCAQ, H2Ouston, and others.  What does that mean?  

My main point is that the job of USMS is to promote the sport.  The
best tool they have to accomplish the job is local teams.  Local teams
recruit and train swimmers, LMSC teams don't.  What positive thing does
an LMSC team do besides give a few swimmers (only nine in Ohio went to
last summer's Long Course Nats) a chance to swim relays?  LMSC teams
don't recruit swimmers, they don't train together, and they undermine
the results of the *legitimate* teams that do.

The responsibility of holding a Masters team charter ought to entail
more than having the $35 fee to pay for it.

There, I feel better.

Ed
(now taking a deep breath)

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by Spunk11 » Tue, 21 May 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>the scheme
>that the Ohio LMSC has cooked up calls for the local clubs to compete
>for their own club at meets WITHIN THE LMSC.  Under this arrangement,
>when Ohio LMSC swimmers venture outside the Ohio LMSC, they're suddenly
>members of a single team:  GOST.  If you were to check the USMS
>records, you'd see that in the eyes of our national governing body,
>(almost) no club exists in Ohio *except* GOST.  Meet directors in Ohio
>sort out what team people are on by what they say on their entry forms,
>while their USMS cards say they're members of GOST.

I cannot speak for the GOST Masters Team as I swim for the O*H*I*O Masters
in the Great Lakes LMSC.  What you mention is surprising-- I believed
there were many Ohio teams.  And that is what I have seen swimming in the
Great Lakes LMSC and in the Ohio LMSC.  I have not been in meets outside
of the Ohio's LMSCs.  I  plan on going to Ann Arbor this August (swimming
w/O*H*I*O-- *NOT* w/GOST)  so perhaps I will see your proposed scenerio:

Quote:
>Suppose GOST musters the best 60 swimmers in Ohio to go the the Long

Course >Championships in Ann Arbor this summer.  Suppose they beat the
national >powerhouses like DAM, SCAQ, H2Ouston, and others.  What does
that mean?  

Well, if it happens,  it will mean that combined Ohio swimmers from the
Ohio LMSC put together a winning "team"...and  they'll beat the GMSC and
O*H*I*O true teams.

Quote:
>The responsibility of holding a Masters team charter ought to entail
>more than having the $35 fee to pay for it.

How do you propose regulating  (or eliminating)  the LMSC teams?  Perhaps
permitting the swimmer only to swim for their local team and having it
listed on their membership card?  Evidence of shared pool time?  What
responsibilities are you referring to?

jgs

(Ed,  I think we might have been in the same heats of 200 back and 200 IM
at Miami!)
                                 :)

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by whblac » Tue, 21 May 1996 04:00:00

Ed:

I agree that the growth in Masters swimming will come from strong local teams,
and I appreciate your mentioning the issue of "umbrella" teams. But my
objection to the large teams you mention comes from a different angle than
yours. I strongly believe that those swimmers who want to go to Nationals or
other away meets should have the opportunity to join forces with other
similarly-minded individuals -- but they have that opportunity now via
transfer. What I object to is those LMSCs who structure everything from the
perspective of those who want to swim relays at Nationals.  There's a large
duplication of attendance in Short and Long Course Nationals, so those who
take part represent less than 10% of the swimmers registered with USMS. So why
run the local clubs to meet the interests of that 10%? I believe Masters
Swimming is better served by giving local swimmers multiple opportunities to
take part in events, and that can best be done by fostering friendly
competitive opportunities.

Take two scenarios, and tell me which one is better for the sport: In Scenario
A, all the top swimmers swim with the umbrella organization, and put together
a strong relay at local meets - 40 or 50 seconds better than anyone else in
their age group - although not a Top 20 relay. In scenario B, the swimmers on
that relay are spread over several teams, and they swim hotly contested relays
at all the local meets (although they average 20+ seconds slower than the
Umbrella Team would have). Which way is more fun, Scenario A or Scenario B?
Keep in mind that if the hotshots want to swim together at Nationals, they can
transfer to the "travel" team.

Talk to you later.

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by RLSeltz » Wed, 22 May 1996 04:00:00

Two points made against "umbrella" swim clubs were: 1) unfair advantage at
National competition 2) negative impact on growth of masters swimming. Re
point 1) National point format is based on large/medium/small team
categories based on number of entrants at nationals. In past Nationals,
most "umbrella" swim clubs fall into the medium and small categories- and
it is rare to see any of them win a category. Re point (2), can't speak
for GOST but in some parts of the country there are very few pools spread
out over large geographic area with relatively small swimming population
(for example, Rocky Mountains,  Alaska and New England). In these
situations, I argue that "umbrella" clubs foster a "club" identity. For
example, New England Masters Swim Club invests substantial resources in
recruiting people to swimming via Newsletter, brochures, web page and
network of volunteers spread throughout the region with information about
pool workouts. Most of our "local" workout groups are very small (5-10
people) and would not have the resources to promote club membership. We
still have a number of independent clubs within our LMSC and perhaps one
day, if we can successfully build our membership, we will have a number of
strong "local" clubs that can compete on the National scene.  I don't
believe that "umbrella" clubs such as Rocky Mountain Masters, Alaska
Masters or New England Masters are a bad development either from viewpoint
of National competition or regional development of masters swimming. In a
ideal world, one where there are lots of pools and lots of potential
swimmers , we could support a number of strong local clubs.

 
 
 

Bogus Masters Teams

Post by RAWH » Sat, 25 May 1996 04:00:00

I am really curious about this "umbrella" team, GOST.  I looked in both
the 94 Long Course Nationals and 95 Short Course Nationals results and
could find neither one listed.  And I am not positive about the rules, but
I don't believe a swimmer can swim on a relay for a team if he/she is not
registered with that team.  At least, I know an unattached swimmer cannot
swim on a relay team for another team.  Also, Rule 201.2.1 states "There
shall be only one USMS registration per individual permitted at any time."
 This would seem to say that a swimmer cannot be registered with a team
like O*H*I*O and GOST at the same time.

I also take exception to the seeming drift of this discussion that
Master's swimming is to promote competition.  Quite the contrary, it is
there to promote fitness with competition being a fringe benefit for those
of who wish to do so.  After all, out of 30,000+ registered Masters
swimmers, I would be willing that no more than 3-5,000 compete in any
given year.

Rob Whitters
Member Masters National Fitness Committee