2014 Registration is around the corner.

And do you know the new rules?  Clubs and Workout Groups can register starting now.  Individual registration begins Nov 1, 2013.

Due to our participation as part of FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation, the international governing body for swimming including masters), USMS had to change some rules effective immediately.  FINA is requiring all swimmers that complete on an international level to be part of a team.  This is to cut down on cheating and team hopping in other countries.  USMS has in the past used a system of banning swimmers to be “Unattached” as a way of discouraging team hopping.    You might be thinking, but I don’t complete on an international level- why does this effect me?  But it does, because FINA considers anyone participating in a meet with a swimmer that may have an international time to be competing on an international level, and CONN Masters hosts a lot of meets that have International Records and Top Ten Times.

The new rule is that those that would have been previously unattached or UNAT, will now be part of “Team UNAT”.  Swimmers on “Team UNAT” will not be allowed to do relays, even with other swimmers of “Team UNAT” and will not benefit from any other club benefits.  Swimmers who are in the process of switching clubs will need to become members of “Team UNAT” instead of becoming unattached.  If you are not planning to switch clubs, please consider being part of a club other than “Team UNAT’.

Secondly, thanks to the hard working technology staff at USMS, registration for NEW and returning clubs is now available online.  CONN Master’s will also be encouraging groups that want to swim as part of Team CONN at large meets to sign up as work out groups.  Work out groups have many of the same privileges as clubs, such as access to USMS’s Coach and Club Services and USMS Supplies.  Members of a workout group will still be able to swim on relays with their larger club at larger meets.  Workout groups can also register online with the same link as clubs.  Paper registrations are still available for both.

Leaf Peeper’s Meet

UV Rays Master’s are holding their 5th annual Leaf Peepers Masters Mini Meet.  It will be held 10/26/13 in White River Junction, VT at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.  Click here for a copy of the registration form UVAC_2013_Leaf_Peeper_Info_Sheet.


Swimmers wanted as study participants

Nate Fritts is a Research Assistant at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE).  They are studying the long term effects of sports related concussions and other brain trauma, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE .  Right about now you are probably wondering why they are looking for swimmers.  Read on:  since swimmer are not normally exposed to concussion they would like to do a comparison study.  The experiment consists of a 10 minute eligibility screening (by phone) and if passed, a two day, all expenses paid assessment at Boston Medical Center.  Please consider joining the study if you:

1) are a male ages 40-69

2) have at least 2 years of collegiate level or higher swimming experience

3) have no history of participation in contact sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, etc.

4) have no history of brain injury

If you qualify, please contact Nate at via email (nfritts@bu.edu) or by phone (617-414-8391).

USMS Convention is coming in September

The USAS (United States Aquatic Sports) Convention that includes USMS will be held this September 11-15, 2013 in Garden Grove, CA.  While the convention does include some work, including attending committee, zone, and delegate meetings and voting for elections and new rules, there are plenty of opportunities for fun.  Every night includes a social event culminating in a banquet to honor the top athletes, coaches and volunteers for each group within USAS.  It is also a great opportunity to see how the rules get made, voice your opinions and learn new information on all aspects of USMS.  It is an excellent opportunity to meet people from all over whether its an average swimmer from South Dakota, the newsletter writer from Adirondack, a master’s coach from Texas, or even maybe a famous Olympian.  (Yes, the delegates from Connecticut and New England drank beers and chatted with one last year.)  If you are interested in being a delegate to represent CONN Masters, please email Michael Laux as soon as possible.

Coaches Educational Opportunities

Hello- There will be two coaching clinics available in Massachusettes.   ASCA Level 1 and 2, Cambridge, MA on May 4, 2013 and ASCA Level 3, Cambridge, MA on May 5, 2013.  Mel Goldstein and Bill Brenner will be the instructors.  They will cover everything from proper stroke technique and working with adults to more behind the scenes coaching needs like how to get the most out of your budget, how to acquire pool time, and how to navigate the USMS insurance policy.

Reminder to sign up for USMS

If you haven’t already, it’s time to register for USMS.  The benefits include getting: Swimmer Magazine, which is the best swimming magazine for adults, being allowed to participate in USMS sanctioned meets and other events, and being able to join USMS programs like Go The Distance.  In order to join Go The Distance, go to USMS.org and click on My USMS in the top right corner.  From there click on My Fitness Log (FLOG) under the Available USMS Member Online Services and follow the directions to enter the Go The Distance 2013.  Also note that the USMS website has been completely updated but still offers swimming articles, nationwide meet information, and information on Swimming Saves Lives Foundation.

How do the rules get made? More Convention News.

Ever wonder why masters are allowed to do breaststroke kick during butterfly or why masters are allowed to start in the water facing the course or the wall?  (Yes, those really are rules.)  These rules are debated and voted on at the convention.  USMS is made up of many committes that are made up of about 10-20 members.  They cover topics such as The Coaches Committee, Open Water Committee, Rules Committee, Championship Committee, etc.  During convention, they hold meetings that all convention attendees are allow to attend.  They talk about what changes they are working towards in Master’s swimming, including anything that will be voted on by Convention Delegates.  Some of this year topics included how to institute a point system to determine the fastest open water swimmers, what are safe and reasonable temperature limits for open water swimming, and what are reasonable expectations for LMSC boards.  With such broad topics, it is easy to find subjects to feel passionate about.  I enjoyed both in the Open Water Committee Meetings and the LMSC Committee meetings, reminding members that not all LMSC’s have 10,000 plus members and that expectations and rewards should be balanced for the large and small LMSC’s like Connecticut.  While sometimes listening to the debates can seem tedious, it is a great way to give to USMS and get so much back at the same time.

USMS/ASCA Coaching Clinic

NJ LMSC is hosting a USMS/ASCA Master’s Coach Level 1 and 2 Certification Clinic in Cranford, NJ (which is not far from Elizabeth, NJ which is near Newark, NJ- it is not far from NY).  This is an all day program being taught by Mel Goldstein with help.  Like many coaching clinics, even if you are an experienced coach, you will pick up great ideas from the instructors and the other coaches that attend.  The class covers both the logistics of running a program: budgeting, marketing, insurance and safety issues, etc and swimming fundamentals and the latest theories on good technique.  I have taken this class and even after coaching for 18 years, I thought it was great.  Click here for registration information.

USMS Convention held in North Carolina

I was lucky enough to attend the USMS Convention in North Carolina this last week.  The highlights are too numerous to share in just one news burst so over the next couple weeks, I will share some of my experiences.  The convention is both a way to give to USMS, which is almost entirely run and organized by volunteers but also a way to get more out of Masters.  I was able in many occasions to voice my opinion that USMS should remember that some LMSC’s are smaller, like Connecticut, and that rules, regulations, and rewards need to be balanced to equally represent us.  I was also able to remind people that USMS is for “fitness, fun, and fellowship” and that fast is not one of the founding principals (even though it can be fun too).  While I can talk at length to the importance of committee meetings and workshops, the real benefit of going to convention is the socials.  While I have so many great memories, I will share this one first.  Friday night, a group from New England and I celebrated a successful day by drinking some beers by the pool.  Who should wander over but none other than, world record holding, Olympic gold medalist, Aaron Peirsol, who sat a drank with us for over 2 hours.  And the best is that he is really cool, down to earth, and has a great attititude about swimming for fun.  Yes, I will add the pictures for those of you who think this is just a ploy to get more CONN Master’s to convention next year.  But really, consider making time for next year’s convention in Anaheim, California.

Masters Coaching Clinic Available

NJ LMSC is hosting an USMS/ASCA Level 1 and Level 2 coaching course in Cranford, NJ on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  I have attended these courses and can attest that they are well worth the time for those that are interested.  Mel Goldstein is going to be leading the course with help TBA.  Mel is an extremely accomplished swimmer and coach on many levels.  For more details click Coaching Course- NJ.