Part One: Examining how we arrived at the existing Schedule.
Behind the scenes, a lot of time and effort has gone into season planning, setting time standards, finding pool space, etc., in order to come up with a PVS Meet Schedule. Primarily volunteers, who serve as PVS administrators, with input from a few concerned coaches, have done this. We all rely on these volunteers to come up with a schedule, which serves the best interests of all swimmers in our LSC. Over the past ten or so years, PVS has gone from running virtually all the sanctioned meets, to our current season plan which has PVS running just a few meets, with the bulk of the meets being club run meets. We all recognize that this process has been less then perfect, but this is NOT the issue: a process by definition is not perfect. What can we learn from our experience?
With the changes coming to the progressions of USA Swimming National Meets (including the return of a Junior Championship in the summer of 2005), this is an excellent opportunity to review and examine what PVS has done in the past so we can serve our swimmers in the future.
Part Two: Can we find a solution?
For many valid reasons, way too few coaches participate in this process. This is especially true when it come to the meets serving our B-C athletes. Many of the coaches working with these athletes are part time coaches who simply do not have the time. Yet all of us have experienced the reality of the ultra long sessions many a first year swimmer encounters as their intro to USA Swimming: the B-C Meet. Spend four or more hours in a 'zoo' of swimmers to compete for a total of less than 2 minutes water time. With two swimmers in different sessions, this creates the parents perception of a 'wasted' Saturday: all day doing nothing for 4 minutes of swimming. Soccer, anyone?? So we all try to find a solution.
The problem is that all meets are part of a season plan, with each meet impacting other meets: the domino effect. Adjust one meet, and the whole season takes a hit. As we try to fix one problem we create a slew of other ones.
We need to find a way to include more coaches in the process, and to include the input from those whose voices we often fail to hear.
Part Three: Set the priorities FIRST. Then set the Schedule framework.
We have all encountered the dilemma of conflicting priorities. One will suggest one solution, which would directly conflict with a different priority. Once we set the priority "ordering", we can create a schedule that everyone has the understanding of why meets occur when they do, and the justification for the placement of the meet within the schedule. We need to start with a clean slate in order to set our priorities.
There are also different 'sets' of priorities that must be integrated:
Which meets take precedence when setting the PVS Schedule? Order by Priority (this is just a list):
Which meets should be PVS run meets, and which should be "all others":
NOTE: USA Swimming, Inc. guidelines only require PVS to run a total of four meets: LC and SC Age Group Championships and LC and SC Senior Championships. The required events are listed in rule #s 102.1.1 and 102.1.2
Setting PVS Championship Meet Time Standards:
Who should determine the placement of meets on the schedule:
Once we order who run what meets and by what priority: Then when sanctioning meets, which athletes take priority:
Note: We should consider what do other LSCs do. What guidelines or suggestions, if any, does USA Swimming provide?
Part Four: Observation One: Can the Competition Committee do a better job in helping the PVS Board in serving PVS Athletes?
Part Five: Consideration Two: Issues that impact setting the schedule. Considerations that must be included before/while finding a solution