Important Issues Addressed at the House of Delegates

by Amanda Smith 18

September 04th, 2013 National, News

The Rules & Regulations committee has sent out a list of new rules to be voted upon.

In total, 23 issues were covered that will be up for vote at the House of Delegates  at the United States Aquatic Sports convention next week. Topics that were covered included definitions, LSC boundaries, Sectional requirements, Code of Conduct/Banned List, Review Boards/House of Delegates selections, plus other very relevant issues within the sport.

Here are a few of the items that would closely affect swimmers and coaches, along with ‘cheat sheet notes’ that were sent to athlete representatives by the Rules & Regulations committee, drafted by Claire Letendre and Van Donkersgoed, with approval from USA Swimming.

R-4 Allow for Alternates into Multiple Bonus Heats Under Certain Conditions
Proposed by: Jim Sheehan, Vice President of Program Operations
Recommendation: The Rules & Regulations Committee recommends approval.

How Does This Affect Us?
It allows alternates to be placed into any finals heat, regardless of the order they’re swum (C, B, A OR A, B, C), when the finals are not selecting teams, scoring points, providing prize money, nor giving athlete recognition.

This provides more options to meet hosts in placing alternates in finals heats, which provides more competition opportunities for athletes.

Normally you don’t see a prelim/finals meet that doesn’t score, but for example, if just the A final heat scores points, an alternate could be placed in either the B or C final heat; when it was just the C final previously.

R-6 Allow an LSC to Sanction Competition Held By Its Member Clubs in Another LSC Within 25 miles of the LSC Boundary
Proposed by: Southeastern Swimming LSC
Recommendation: The Rules & Regulations Committee makes no recommendation.

How Does This Affect Us?
This addresses the issue that there are some LSC’s around the country that face limited facility space and/or resources. The specific issue is when a team from one LSC uses a facility located in different LSC. This might cause some sanctioning issues and issues between the two LSC’s.

But it may give athletes more opportunities to participate in USA Swimming events, such as competitions, benefits, clinics and any swimming events/exhibitions. The committee makes no recommendation, which makes sense, since it seems like it makes sense to approve, it may create more harm than good.

R-7 Change Sanctioning Jurisdiction to Meet Host LSC; Not the Geographical Boundary LSC
Proposed by: Southeastern Swimming LSC
Recommendation: The Rules & Regulations Committee recommends rejection.

How Does This Affect Us?
This rule will be withdrawn if R-6 from above is adopted. But if it is not, a change like this would likely result in chaos and create disharmony among the LSCs. But at the same time, would provide athletes in areas that have less resources to participate in more USA swimming events, as listed above.

If the two teams has a positive relationship, it could work. But for the most part, if a team comes into your pool and runs a long, all day club meet, it could really end up feeling like an invasion of space in a way.

R-9 Revise Sectional Requirements and Guidelines
Proposed by: Senior Development Committee
Recommendation: The Rules & Regulations Committee makes no recommendation.

How Does This Affect Us?
This would aim to focus and align the National Team Directors vision for the sectional meets, where the primary purpose is now to qualify swimmers, mainly the 18&U athletes, for Junior Nationals.

The whole criteria would change for Sectionals. The Senior Development Committee would set nationwide time standards, and Individual Sections may make those slower (depending on the depth/entries from last year, etc.), but not faster than the national standards. The goal is to not go over 800 (one pool) or 1000 (two pools) athletes, but if so, the Section will need to tighten their time standards.

The Spring and Summer Sectional will be no longer than 3.5 days long. The Summer Sectional shall be completed between 8-22 days prior to the U.S. Open or Juniors Nationals, depending on which falls first. But Sectionals will have one 18&U final heat at the finals session of each day.

These days could drastically change the face of Sectionals, especially in the summer. College athletes often compete at their local Sectional, but if the focus is to shift to 18&U, we could see more competition at the National events.

R-13 Add Sexual Abuse by Minor Athlete as a Violation of the Code of Conduct
Proposed by: Safe Sport Committee
Recommendation: The Rules and Regulations Committee recommends approval.

How Does This Affect Us?
This adds another layer of protection of athletes that did not previously exist before. It will make any sexual abuse from any athlete to another a direct violation of the Code of Conduct.

“Peer-to-Peer Sexual Abuse” is defined as any unwelcome physical conduct of sexual nature directed toward another individual. This is huge; especially how now-a-days minors are frequently in the news for misuse their phones/social media to sexually harass their peers. This has probably already been a problem for teams, but this consequence has taken it to a new level; hopefully, adding more safety for all athletes on the peer level.

R-14 Enforcement of Banned List
Proposed by: David Berkoff, Paris Jacobs, Tim Bauer, Stu Hixon, Mary Jo Swalley, Robert Broyles, Brandon Drawz, Dave Anderson, Ben Britten
Recommendation: The Rules & Regulations Committee recommends approval.

How Does This Affect Us?
The “Banned List” is defined by USA Swimming as a list of individuals that, through the USA Swimming Board of Review process, have been permanently suspended or rendered ineligible for membership in USA Swimming.

Athlete protection is a key component, and this would just add another level of protection for the athletes. It would guarantee that any USA Swimming club or coach that allow these individuals to aide, coach, instruct, allows ownership interest, etc. would be a direct Code of Conduct violation – which could end up being a very serious violation. 

A full “Cheat Sheet,” with quick facts on all of the rules being voted on, can be seen here.

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CoachGB

What House of Delagates are you referring to. It is next week or I missed keeping my attendance streak for conventions. Is it the Rules Committe you are referring to?

R7 has even broader implications for a few teams in my area. We recently moved to Arkansas LSC but are still required to sanction meets through Missouri Valley due to geographical boundaries.

coacherik

I don’t understand the # of days constraints on summer sectional meets. Allowing the summer meet to be four days takes pressure off of each session, making them shorter. Most athletes are on summer vacation at that point, so missing school isn’t a reason.

AND how is forcing sections to put more events per day in the summer conducive to making Jr Nationals? With an A, B, C final that many run, finals still goes pretty long making it an even longer day if athletes are forced to sit through longer prelims sessions. I get the spring, they may not be attended as well and many are in school, so another day off is harder, but not for summer sectionals.

whoknows

Each zone knows what works for them. This is another attempt by USA Swimming to use the “one size fits all” approach. It just does not work! Leave the sectionals alone. Damage has already been done to the Grand Prix series.

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a former swimmer at both Indiana and USC, where she earned a total of nine All-American honors at the NCAA Championships. Smith, a middle-distance specialist as a swimmer, was also 3-time USC School Record holder, a 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, and an Olympic Trials …

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