The USA Swimming House of Delegates approved all rules changes put before it this weekend at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention, including one that will benefit professional athletes and a cleanup of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct.
While all rules changes passed, the one resolution up for a vote, regarding increases dues paid by club teams, was sent back to the USA Swimming Board of Directors for “further clarification.” USA Swimming has not responded to a request for what clarification is being requested, but individuals present say that the House of Delegates asked USA Swimming for more justification for the dues increase beyond just that it has been over 30 years since the last dues increase.
Those changes, if voted for as proposed by USA Swimming, would nearly triple annual club dues and result in over a 7-fold increase in the dues for first year clubs.
Proposed dues increase:
|CATEGORY||CURRENT DUES||PROPOSED DUES|
|Club Dues Per Year||$70||$250|
A significant rules change that was approved will allow athletes to have 3 advertising logos on suits, caps, and goggles (up from 2), which would expand income earning opportunities for professional American athletes (though at international meets, FINA or IOC rules would still apply). This proposal received a recommendation to approve from the Rules and Regulations Committee. Previously, athletes were allowed to have the suit manufacturer’s logo and their team logo; now, they can put a 3rd logo that would represent other brands, on their suits, caps, and goggles.
Regarding the new logo rules, agent Cejih Yung, who represents several US National Team athletes, called the move a game-changer for professional swimmers.
“This is going to be really good for the sport,” Yung said. “I know that this was driven by the athletes themselves, and it’s great to see that USA Swimming is supporting this and is behind it.
“It’s benefited us tremendously, creating more value to them into the market. The big thing is that companies outside of swimming don’t understand swimming, but they do understand advertising, they understand logo space, and it’s something they can support.
“It’s a great way to bring in new companies, new streams of revenue into the sport of swimming.”
While the rule is intended first-and-foremost to improve the financial situation for professional athletes, it could eventually find its way to club teams for youth athletes as well and allow them to raise additional funds for their teams even at local meets.
The new rule regarding logos are not expected to automatically apply to the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are majority-owned by the United States Olympic Committee.