PVS Season Planning/ Meets Schedules/ Time Standards
PVS needs your help!

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):

  1. PVS Run Meets
  2. .
  3. Club Run Meets
  4. .
  5. Invitational Meets
  6. .
  7. Dual Meets
  8. .
  9. Meets carried over from the previous year's schedule

Which meets should be PVS run meets, and which should be "all others":

  1. Age Group & Senior Championship Meets
  2. .
  3. Distance Meets
  4. .
  5. B-C Meets
  6. .
  7. Invitational Meets
  8. .
  9. Mini Meets
  10. .
  11. National Meets in our LSC

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:

  1. PVS Championship Fastest meet for our LSC's swimmers.
  2. Based on desired meet duration
  3. Based on # heats per event
  4. Based on turning a profit for the meet

Who should determine the placement of meets on the schedule:

  1. Head Coaches of the largest clubs (their participation is essential)
  2. Competition Committee
  3. PVS Board
  4. Input from Age Group Coaches

Once we order who run what meets and by what priority: Then when sanctioning meets, which athletes take priority:

  1. Providing for the Majority (A-C swimmers) even if it does not best serve the Minority (AA and better)?
  2. Providing for the Minority even if it excludes the Majority?
  3. Compromising a bit to find a way to serve both?

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?

  1. There is an expression of concern from many coaches that the current PVS Swimming Schedule has rendered the placement of PVS Senior Champs as NOT serving the needs of our swimmers. Many of our best athletes either do not swim, swim off events, swim below potential, etc.
  2. The concept of let 'the Market dictate' is an over simplification: Because of pool availability, school (academic) schedules, county recreation schedules, elite athlete training schedules, and seasonal constraints, the 'Market' is inherently NOT 'Free' or able to serve all our athletes. The options are actually very limited and need to be administered in a logical, justifiable method.
  3. We need to look at all competitive schedules, meaning High School, Summer League AND USA Competition to find a workable solution.
  4. Goal: Maximize the benefits of quality competitive opportunities for ALL our athletes: The end result is to bring an upgrade in the quality AND quantity of athletic performances.

Part Five: Consideration Two: Issues that impact setting the schedule. Considerations that must be included before/while finding a solution

  1. When and where should PVS run quality Trials/Finals Meets to serve our elite athletes?
  2. When is NOT a good time to host such a meet?
  3. What conflicts should PVS consider in setting up the Schedule?
    1. USA Swimming National/International Meet Schedule
    2. Fina World Cup/ Grand Prix/ NCSA Junior Nationals
    3. Local High School Schedules
    4. Summer League Schedules
  4. Existing Club Sponsored Meets sanctioned by PVS:
    1. What aspects should PVS have input on?
    2. What aspects should PVS Not have control over?
    3. Are there seasonal/scheduling issues that may apply to some meets and not to others?
    4. Should PVS have input on Meet fees charged? If so:
    1. What criteria should be used?
    2. .
    3. Should there be any guidelines?
    4. Combination of suggested, optional, required?
    5. PVS should have no input whatsoever

PVS Adhoc Committee to review setting the PVS Schedule

Moderator:      Peter Karl
Members:      Mike Pliuskaitis
               James VanErden
               Don Riedlinger
               Bill Marlin