As APPROVED at Autumn 2003 Competition Committee Meeting
All motions passed by the Competition Committee are recommendations to the PVS Board of Directors.

May 19, 2003 - 7:00 pm
River Falls
Potomac, MD

The meeting was called to order by Competition Chairman, Jim Garner at 7:13pm

In attendance were Jim Garner, Chairman; Greg York, Age Group Chairman; Rick Curl, CUBU; Rodger McCoy, DCPR, Manga Dalizu, FAST, Christian Doud, MACH; Chris Huott, MSSC; Bill Marlin, PM; Mark Eldridge, RMSC; Kent Williams, RMSC; Peter Karl TCSD, Bob Walker, TCSD; Victor Abrahamian, VSC; John Hirschmann, PVS; Don Riedlinger, PVS; Pamela Starke-Reed, PVS; and Kurt Thiel, PVS.

Minutes of December 2002 Meeting
The chair requested approval of the minutes for the December 14, 2002 CC meeting. The minutes had been circulated prior to the meeting. No changes were requested.

A motion was made to adopt the minutes of the December 2002 Competition Committee meeting as submitted. Motion to adopt the minutes PASSED

Review of PVS Board Actions
Jim reported that there were no major items recommended by Competition at its December meeting that required Board action. It was pointed out that the Board did by electronic vote approve a $10 surcharge for applying to be on the zone team after the initial entry deadline. The Board also sanctioned at its January meeting the club meets recommended by Competition - both LC 2003 and SC 2003-04 as well as other meets requested in the interim between the two meeting. The Board also agreed to switch the dates for PVS 14/U JO Age Group and PVS Senior Championship in March 2004.

Board Reports
No special reports from Board members were given.

Long Course (2003) 14/U Championship Meet Format
Hirschmann summarized for Competition the format of the meet that will be held this summer - July 17-20, 2003. The most significant changes are going to a prelim/finals format and adding 13-14 year old events to the meet. Other changes in the format of this meet had been officially posted to the PVS website the previous Tuesday (May 12) and the Meet Announcement had been posted the previous Saturday (May 17.)

Hirschmann explained that no changes of significance are being made to the PVS Senior LC Championship Meet. However, there are changes in the plans for the PVS Junior Championships since this meet is now expected to be significantly smaller with many 13-14 year old swimmers now swimming in the significantly modified Age Groups Champs. This meet will now be swum between prelims and finals of PVS Seniors rather than on its own weekend as in the past.

He noted we had good historical information on how many swimmers would achieve the QT's for Age Group Championships. It is more difficult to predict how many of those will actually enter an event - particularly for events that had not been previously offered. It is anticipated that preliminary sessions on Thursday, Friday and Sunday should be just under four hours.

No questions were raised regarding the new format. The effort that went into planning this new format was recognized. It was emphasized that this format is being done on a trial basis and that our experience this summer would be evaluated before any plans for 2004 are finalized.

Committee Reports
None were presented.

Informational Items
Greg reminded the coaches present that the PVS budget has contained funding for up to 6 grants of $500 each. However, very little use has been of these funds. Only one grant has been made this year. He encouraged coaches to consider applying and making use of these funds.

Greg stated that no camp is being offered this spring. However, he was planning to offer a 8/U Mini Meet camp in the fall.

Coaches were reminded regarding the requirements for clubs receiving travel assistance from PVS for college athletes. In order to do, the athlete must be listed in the meet program as primarily representing a PVS club and they must also not being receiving financial assistance from their college club if they are seeking PVS financial assistance.

Coaches were reminded it was important that all coaches keep their registrations current. PVS is again posting on the website the registration status of its coaches - including when their various certifications expire. It is hoped that this will be updated at least monthly. Coaches should anticipate that registration lists will be available at meet sites and that registration cards will be requested. Coaches not properly registered will be asked to leave the pool deck as not doing so could impair insurance coverage.

Report from May 2003 Eastern Zone Meeting
Jim Garner (and others in attendance) reported on items of significance from the May 10th zone meeting in Philadelphia. Among the items highlighted were:

  • There was strong interest in having one LC Speedo Championship Series meet starting in 2004. If not possible for '04, PM would host Region 2 Sectional at GMU. (Note: A waiver was subsequently granted to allow the Eastern Zone to have one meet which will be held in Buffalo, July 22-25, 2004)
  • Open water meet immediately following LC zone would scored, but it would be separate from Age Group meet that immediately precedes it.
  • Separate zone scores by age group will not be recognized at the meet, but will be posted to the Eastern Zone website following the meet.
  • Proposal to exclude the 15-18 year old age group from Zone meets was tentatively rejected.
  • Proposal to convert Spring Zone meet to a qualifying time rather than 2 entries per event per zone was tentatively rejected.
  • Long course zone order of events for a one site meet was released.
  • A two year trial (starting spring '04) to allow up to two 12/U and 13-18 adapted athletes from each LSC to enter both spring and summer zones was adopted.
  • No change was made in current rules whether swimmers with Speedo Championship QT's and/or participation can enter zone meets was made.
  • There was also an extended discussion of the role of Juniors in the overall competitive program. It was noted that USA Swimming was bringing back a single Juniors in the summer of '05, but it was being held late (third week in August) This would preclude it being used as a means to qualify for Nationals during the same summer. The lateness of the meet and that it would interfere with family vacation plans and/or be difficult for swimmers whose schools start before Labor Day was also mentioned. It was also observed that the QT's would have to be quite fast since only one site would be used. Others noted that by going to a Super Sectional - particularly if the other zones follows would lead to meets at a competitive level not that different than what Juniors used to provide.

    The role of the NCSA sponsored meets was also discussed. These are now being held at one site in the spring (SC) and summer (LC). They differ from Juniors (as they used to be sponsored by USA Swimming) in that both include Semis for the shorter distances and have 50's as strokes. Some suggested that this might preclude some of the more internationally oriented coaches from wanting to endorse having these meets receive for more formal USA Swimming endorsement/sponsorship at some date in the future.

    Some coaches also raised the possibility of having PVS provide travel assistance for its swimmers going to these meets. The possibility of proposing this at the upcoming House of Delegates meeting was recommended.. Bill Marlin agreed to do so. Other coaches indicated they thought each club should fund travel to this meet as they see fit. He noted his club provides some of the same type of assistance PVS used to do so the cost to the athlete's family is reduced.

    Operations Division Report
    Hirschmann reported that arrangements have been completed for pools for PVS sponsored meets during the 2003-04 short course season. He reminded clubs that PVS was now in the process of seeking clubs to bid to host these meets for PVS.

    He noted that no significant changes in the format of these meets from the 2002-03 season except that the PVS February Distance Meet will swum primarily in two courses simultaneously on Sunday February 15th (one course for 1000 and the other for 1650) with those who enter both events being able to swim the 1650 on Monday February 16th - President's Birthday. (The other possible change -- whether to swim the spring PVS Senior Championships SCY or LCM was discussed later in the meeting.)

    Hirschmann also noted that recommendations have been received about not swimming distance events on the Friday evening of the October and November Open. This concern primarily relates to travel time required - particularly for those who have to cross the Potomac River in order to do so. As an alternative, it was proposed that a separate distance meet(s) be added to the format. Hirschmann indicated that while he understood these concerns, they had arisen after the 2003-04 SC schedule had been set and at this point in time, pool rental arrangements have now been firmed up. He recommended that this concern again be raised in September, when planning for the 2004-05 SC schedule will commence.

    Open Water
    Kurt Thiel introduced himself as PVS's Open Water Coordinator and gave some background In open water swimming going back to when he was a competitor in 1966. He distributed to the coaches present the 2003 USA Swimming Open Water Championships Entry Handbook. He noted that the USA Swimming National 5K would be held within PVS's boundaries on Sunday August 10 - immediately following the National Championships at College Park on August 5-9.

    The original hope had been to swim this meet in the Potomac River from a starting and exit point near Key Bridge. After considerable planning, it became apparent that one of the steps the District government needed to take to let this happen was not going to happen in a timely manner. Therefore, the meet in being moved to Pohick Bay on the west shore of the Potomac River in southern Fairfax County. The ability to hold the meet there has just been confirmed.

    CUBU is also planning go conduct an additional 5K Open Water Meet prior to the National 5K to assure they are ready to conduct such a Competition. They plan to do so on June 7th. The Meet Announcement, Safety Plan and PVS's Safety Chairs endorsement are about to submitted to the PVS Board for approval of the sanction. Kurt urged Competition to endorse the meet and to encourage the PVS Board to approve the sanction when they received the request. The Competition Committee did so. [Note: The PVS Board approved sanctioning this meet by an electronic vote initiated on May 20, 2003]

    Adapted Swimming
    Don Riedlinger and Pamela Starke-Reed were introduced as co-chairs of Adaptive Swimming. Don Riedlinger presented to Competition a proposal that had been circulated earlier on an "Inclusion Policy for Swimmers with a Disability." He reviewed with Competition in some detail the various features of the proposal. He indicated that at least 6-8 other LSC's have a policy on Adaptive Swimming. He noted that much of this proposal was based on policies in effect in Maryland and/or Pacific Swimming. He noted that the goal was to include swimmers with a disability within the regular meet structure as much as possible - sometimes this can be done by having them swim a shorter distance within a longer event and/or swim with a different age group.

    Don responded to questions on his proposal. The Committee voted to endorse this proposed policy to the PVS Board for adoption.

    Travel Assistance - Fixed Amount per meet
    Garner noted that as a result of a recent review of the 2002 House of Delegates meeting (which PVS's prior administrative office had started to prepare and PVS was now editing prior to the 2003 House meeting) it had been noticed that the House voted to establish a maximum amount of financial assistance for each meet. He indicated the probable way this would be implemented would be the share value would be established based on the amount budgeted for each meet divided by the number of athletes applying and eligible to have financial assistance paid on their behalf. A maximum per athlete would be established to the limit the amount that could be paid in the event significantly less than the expected athletes attend a given meet.

    It was suggested that this would likely be first implemented for the February 2004 USA Swimming Nationals.

    Travel Assistance - 2003 US Open
    Competition voted to recommend continuing the same level of financial support and meet participation requirements as were in effect for 2002. This is $250 per swimmer and the requirements are 4 events during the prior LC season - at least 2 of which were in PVS sanctioned meets.

    Travel Assistance - 2004 USA Swimming "Spring" Nationals
    An initial proposal was made to have the travel assistance requirements this be at the same level and with the same requirements as it was in 2003. However, it was noted the meet would be earlier in the SC season (February 11-15) than normal (due to Olympic Trials) and therefore there will be less opportunities to satisfy the participation requirement prior to the meet. Accordingly, Competition decided to defer making a recommendation until its September 2003 meeting.

    Changes to PVS Short Course Championship Meet
    It was agreed to defer discussion on whether the specific format for PVS 14/U JO SC Champs should be changed - eg relative number of heats desired for events of various lengths, length of desired sessions, quality of QT's, etc.

    The Committee did finish the discussion that had been raised at the Winter Competition Committee meeting - whether to swim the Spring PVS Senior Championship meet in a SC or LC format. This had been raised since 2004 is an Olympic year and the Spring Speedo Championship Series is going to be conducted LC. It decided that meet should be swum LCM. It was recognized that in doing so, meet entries would have to be limited since only one course could be used for prelims.

    There was discussion regarding what would be conforming times for this meet. The proposal that entry times be limited to LCM times was rejected. It was agreed however that LCM will be the conforming time for this meet and SCY times will be accepted as non-conforming times (seeded after all LCM times.)

    It was observed in addition to times from the summer, MSSC is sponsoring a LCM meet in both November and early Febuary at which swimmers can achieve conforming times for this meet. Garner will determine appropriate QT's - both LCM and SCY.

    Report on Eastern Zone Short Course Meet
    Greg York reported on behalf of the zone staff that the Spring Eastern Zone Meet had gone well. He indicated one coach new the zone program was somewhat surprised by some of the festivities that occur and exuberance the athletes display - particularly the last night of the meet.

    Selection of PVS Coaches for Eastern Zone Long Course Meet
    It was noted that PVS Policy and Procedures does not address the process for selection of Long Course coaches - it only addresses Short Course coaches. It was recommended that Policy and Procedures be amended to correct this omission and that it be effective in time for selection of the 2004 coaches.

    It was noted that in the recent past Competition has selected its LC Head Zone Coach and Assistant Head Zone Coach at this meeting. Several coaches indicated that they did not realize this would happen and asked to have time to determine who In their club might be interested and should be nominated.

    Accordingly, it was agreed that clubs would have until Thursday May 29 to submit nominations to Greg York. A ballot would be created and each PVS club would be permitted to cast one vote at either Maryland States or by e-mail to Greg by Monday, June 2.

    It was also agreed that Competition would hold the election for the two 12/U Assistant Head Coaches at PVS 14/U Age Group Champs and the two 13-18 Assistant Head Coaches at PVS Senior/Junior Champs.

    Future Selection of PVS LC Eastern Zone Team
    Greg York also reminded Competition that the general idea of having PVS determine at least part of the team for the Long Course meet in a manner similar to the Short Course meet had been proposed, but without specifics as to how this would occur. He also noted the Board had included additional money in the '04 budget tp permit this type of support if Competition wanted to recommend doing so. It was stressed that in order for this happen somebody would have to develop a very specific proposal regarding topics such as how athletes would be selected, which athletes would receive PVS support, obligation of athletes selected to travel/participate as part of the team, how relays would be chosen, right of other athletes having qualifying times to participate in the meet, etc. etc.

    Such a specific proposal should ready for the fall '03 Competition Committee to assure it could be finalized and approved in time for implementation for summer 2004.

    Short Course 2003-04 Meet Awards
    Hirschmann reported that six additional requests to conduct clubs sponsored meets during the 2003-04 SC season were received. Competition was also provided with a copy of both the PVS and club sponsored meets that had already been approved for the 2003-04 SC season.

    The six meets which were requested for Competition to consider whether they wished to recommend to the Board for sanctioning were:

    1. -9/U Mini Meet Pilgrim Pentathlon by CUBU at American Univ on November 16, 2003
    2. FAST Qualifier by FAST at Fairland on November 29-30, 2003
    3. Joe Jacoby Chrysler Jeep Holiday Invitational by CUBU at GMU on December 11-14, 2003
      (Request was subsequently changed to identify meet as Tom Dolan Invitational)
    4. Snowball Splash 9/U Mini Meet by CUBU at American on January 11, 2004
    5. CUBU 14/U Qualifier by CUBU at GMU on February 7-8, 2004
    6. Mini Championships by RMSC at Olney on March 20-21, 2004

    An inquiry was made whether the meets requested met PVS's criteria for being sanctioned. Competition was advised that the 9/U Mini Meet Pilgrim Pentathlon had been requested for November 16 - which coincided with the PVS November Open Meet. It was noted that prior year the meet was held on Sunday November 24, 2003 [Note: CUBU subsequently amended its request and asked to have the meet sanctioned on November 23.]

    Inquiries were also made regarding the CUBU 14/U Qualifier Meet, in particular regarding what the MA said pertaining to which clubs would be able to enter the meet. This was related to the fact that not all clubs who wish to use this meet in 2003 to qualify swimmers for the championships could do so. Competition was provided with information regarding what the draft MA said in this regard.

    CUBU indicated they would not have a problem with another club requesting to host a meet on that that weekend since they were limited in the number of splashes they could host at GMU.

    Competition divided the question regarding endorsing these meets and the Pilgrim Pentathlon Meet and CUBU 14/U Qualifier were pulled for further consideration:

    Competition endorsed to the Board for sanctioning the remaining four meets. It asked that the sanction be withheld for the 9/U Mini Meet Pilgrim Pentathlon so long as remained on the same weekend as the November Open.

    It asked that CUBU be asked to first clarify the basis by which it would be determined which entries would be accepted for the CUBU 14/U Qualifier to avoid the situation that occurred this year with many teams finding out quite late that they could not attend this meet. This could be either first x splashes received, preference given to prior year entrants up to prior year numbers, etc.


    Initial Planning for 2004 LC Schedule
    Hirschmann provided Competition with a calendar showing the USA Swimming meets scheduled for summer 2004 and related information. He indicated that given that other organizations were requesting use of the preferred pools within PVS's territory earlier, it was necessary for PVS to establish its schedule 2004 LC schedule at this time (rather than waiting until fall) if it wanted to be confident it would have its preferred choice of pools.

    The dates of Olympic Trials (July 7-14), the fact Fourth of July was on a Sunday and that Memorial Day would be late (May 31) were factors that might preclude adopting a schedule similar to that for 2003.

    Competition discussed whether to keep PVS Senior Champs on the same weekend as in 2003 (which would mean it was happening at the same time as Olympic Trials) or move it back a week. If so, (or even if not) should PVS 14/U Age Group Champs be held a weekend earlier or a weekend later - in order to extend the LC season for the younger athletes. The later weekend would have it coincide with Speedo Championship Series ("Super Sectional".)

    Mark Eldridge indicated he might prefer to be able to have his Maryland State LC Meet on Memorial Day weekend (May 28-30) rather than the weekend following (its traditional dates) due to when Olympic Trials were occurring in 2004.

    Finally, because of the number of Sunday's otherwise available, the possibility of combining Senior I or II with Age Group I or II was also discussed. Many felt such merging would be desirable even if not required by having less than four appropriate Sunday's available on the calendar.

    Several coaches indicated they would like an opportunity to consult with others in their club - eg. Age group coaches before making a recommendation. Accordingly it was agreed that a limited time would be provided for such input to be submitted. Clubs should do so to the Coaches Reps no later than June 1. This will allow time for a plan to be finalized for the Board to approve at its scheduled June 17 meeting.

    Old Business
    There was no old business brought to the Committee's attention.

    New Business
    Several items were brought up under new business.

    Rick Curl inquired about PVS issuing a sanction to the VA LSC to conduct a VA Senior Championship at GMU-Fairfax on the same weekend that the Speedo Championship Series was being swum at UMBC. PVS indicated it had not yet issued such a sanction, but anticipated receiving such a request. It also indicated it expected the request to be a closed meet open to only VA swimmers. Rick said he did not think this was the case as his club had received an invitation. He also stated that he thought it was inappropriate for PVS to sanction such a meet in direct competition of a Speedo Championship Series meet. As a result of further discussion, he indicated he would not have an objection if the sanction request was for a closed meet open to only VA athletes.

    Mark Eldridge noted that PVS proposed 2004 budget included an increase in entry fees for PVS sponsored meets. He indicated he thought this was inappropriate since PVS now had established a reserve equal to a year's expenses and did not need additional revenue. Others pointed out that PVS expenses were likely to increase in FY'04 for a variety of reasons, including the need to pay for various administrative services that were now being done on a volunteer basis as PVS went through a transition period.

    It was separately pointed out that problems were arising at meets with coaches (or others) checking in swimmers for positive check-in events that were not there. Since they are not there, the penalty for being barred from a subsequent event has no value. Doing so defeats the purpose of trying to swim a meet without having empty lanes.

    The importance of making sure unregistered coaches were not on the deck at meets was again raised. Bill Marlin stated he would be enforcing the rule at meets his club was running for PVS this summer and hoped that other meet directors would be doing likewise. It was again noted that information about the status of coaches registration was being posted to the website and being updated periodically.

    Another coach he had just been at an out of town meet where all events were positively checked-in He stated he liked the impact it had on the timeline and avoiding empty lanes. He asked if PVS could do the same. He was advised that PVS was budgeting the funds to buy the extra computers and printers needed to support such an option. It was also emphasized probably also implied additional table workers and therefore the availability of additional trained personnel was also needed to make it work

    Next Meeting
    The Chair initially proposed the next meeting be on Saturday, September 20. This would be the weekend following the conclusion of the USAS convention in San Diego. Some in attendance observed this would be in conflict with the Sunfest Open Water meet in Ocean City. After further discussion it was agreed to have the meeting in the early afternoon on Sunday, September 21. No specific time or location was announced.

    The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:30pm