USA Swimming’s Rules & Regulations Committee has released its proposed rule changes, and will consider adding a new classification of ‘pre-team’ membership in a September meeting.
Currently, swimmers can register with USA Swimming for 4 levels of membership: an annual membership (which lasts the full year), an ‘outreach’ membership that comes with reduced fees where the local LSC sees fit, an individual seasonal membership (which only runs up to 150 days, for swimmers who will only compete for a specific season) and a single meet membership for use in open water competitions.
The new rule, which will be considered in September, would create a ‘pre-team’ membership. Pre-team USA Swimming members would only pay between $7-$12 a year but would not be eligible to compete at any sanctioned meets. That would theoretically allow kids and families the option of “trying out” the sport without a major financial commitment before getting involved with a full-fledged membership.
A few other rule changes that are recommended for ratification or recommended for rejection by the committee at this point:
- Seasonal membership prices are recommended to be set to be reduced in an effort to expand “participation at all levels of the sport.”
- With that comes a clarification on what level seasonal members can compete at – seasonal members are not able to compete at the Zone level or higher, and a new proposal adds that they cannot compete at the Sectional level or higher as well. That’s not a major change as much as a clarification that both Sectional and Zone level meets are out for seasonal members.
- Another recommended approved rule change proposal would require written permission in advance for a drone to be used at a meet over the top of the pool.
- One recommended rejected rule change would have prohibited chaperones or team managers from sharing a hotel room or sleeping arrangement with an athlete unless the chaperone was a parent, guardian, sibling or spouse of the swimmer.
- Another recommended rejected rule change would have eliminated rules against “illegal recruiting” between clubs, creating what was termed by the proposer as “a free and open marketplace for teams and coaches.”