Advantages of USMS membership? (or Should I get one?)

worthyadvisorworthyadvisor Member
edited June 2013 in General Discussion
Hi all,

Now that I'm getting back into my swimming routine again, I'm wondering (again) if there is any advantage to becoming a USMS member as an open water swimmer? I didn't bother when I was training before, but I'm wondering if it's worth it now, since I plan on doing more swims in the next few years than just the Tiburon. Besides the training, can a membership get you access to swimming areas that you wouldn't normally be able to swim in? Do legal agencies ask if you are part of this organization? If there isn't an advantage to USMS, is there any other organization that I should look into?

Thanks
Gina
Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Gina,
    If you and one other person (maybe two) could create a USMS club and as long as one of you has eyes on the other two, you're covered by USMS insurance.

    Other than that, I can't think of one. The Swimmer magazine isn't worth the $30-something bucks.
  • @ironmike: there's a club at the pool I swim at, so I was wondering if they did things that I couldn't do on my own...although, from your post it sounds like not...
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    You probably have to joinUSMS to practice with the masters team. My team registration fee just includes entry to USMS
  • I have my membership to train with my club. Other than that, as an open water guy, there isn't a lot of other benefit, in my mind. Especially with fewer and fewer races being sanctioned by USMS.
  • You probably have to joinUSMS to practice with the masters team. My team registration fee just includes entry to USMS

    Luckily only half the pool is set aside the usms...the rest of the lanes are for anyone.
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    Unless you plan to compete in USMS sanctioned events, I think there is little benefit to membership. Many clubs/workout groups require memberxhip for insurance purposes, but actually don’t comply with all the fine print.
    USMS.... meh.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • So, it looks like USMS is kinda meh, are there any organizations that I *should* be looking at?
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited June 2013
    Are there any particular gaps that you are looking to fill? Various channel swimming associations have newsletters, some requiring membership. @loneswimmer's database of organizations ought to be useful in this regard.
  • oxo said:

    Are there any particular gaps that you are looking to fill? Various channel swimming associations have newsletters, some requiring membership. @loneswimmer's database of organizations ought to be useful in this regard.

    Not really...mostly curious, actually. There's a couple of groups here in the Bay Area that I'll probably be part of once I'm back into ocean swimming shape, but I was mostly wondering if there was a national/international organization that people thought it was useful to belong to (for whatever reason). The google search was a mixed bag, so...
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    You're there already at http://www.marathonswimmers.org
    And the channel_swimmers (at) googlegroups (dot) com might come in handy. But for that one you have to apply through Nick Adams
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2013
    IMO, there is value to USMS if you want access to coached pool workouts and/or want to compete in pool meets. I also believe there is value in a well-coached pool workout, even for open-water only swimmers.

    If you really don't have any interest in pool swimming (the coaching and/or the meets), then I really don't see any point in joining USMS. There are some USMS-sanctioned open water events, but you can participate in those without having an annual membership. And, since you're in the Bay Area, there are far more interesting swims available by joining the South End Rowing Club.
  • worthyadvisorworthyadvisor Member
    edited June 2013
    Niek said:

    You're there already at http://www.marathonswimmers.org

    Good point! ;)
    evmo said:

    If you really don't have any interest in pool swimming (the coaching and/or the meets), then I really don't see any point in joining USMS. There are some USMS-sanctioned open water events, but you can participate in those without having an annual membership. And, since you're in the Bay Area, there are far more interesting swims available by joining the South End Rowing Club.

    Ok, that makes sense. I don't mind pool swimming for the training, but I'd rather be in the ocean (or river, or lake, or...). I remember reading a bit about the South End Rowing Club, and I've also been on Swim Art's mailing list for a long time. Like I said earlier, I'll hit them up once I'm back into swimming shape (in other words, I can do a mile in the pool again in an hour or less...darn injury...).
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    I got one last year since I'd be in two USMS events (2 Bridges and Boston Light), so it paid for itself. This year, I got one just because and used it to trail a masters team that required it (I didn't join, of course) and later unexpectedly signed up for a USMS meet (yeah, like a pool meet with diving blocks!!) and USMS open water swim, so again it paid for itself.

    It isn't expensive, and it seems to be paying for itself without any effort. Plus, I get to keep my CIBBOWS identity despite living on the other coast.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • Having a USMS membership allows one to drop in for a coached workout when traveling. Sometimes that is the best option.
    It's up to the individual state whether one-day registrations are allowed, or not, for OW swims (at least it was up to the state when I served on the Long Distance and Open Water Committee for Illinois). If one-day registrations are not allowed and USMS holds the sanction, then a full year's membership would be required to swim the event.
    (I haven't paid much attention to such matters for a couple of years, so the regulations may have changed.)
    USMS offers online workouts confected by top-notch swimmers and coaches that are viewable only by those with a USMS membership. I have found them quite useful. The OW workouts are written by a member here.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2013

    I remember reading a bit about the South End Rowing Club, and I've also been on Swim Art's mailing list for a long time. Like I said earlier, I'll hit them up once I'm back into swimming shape (in other words, I can do a mile in the pool again in an hour or less...darn injury...).

    Looking at this thread again, the more I think the answer to your question--

    So, it looks like USMS is kinda meh, are there any organizations that I *should* be looking at?

    ...is really just to join the South End Rowing Club. Right away-- just come hang out and make some new friends. You don't need to be in swimming shape. Bring fins or wetsuit or whatever you want, nobody cares. We have slow swimmers, fast swimmers, marathon swimmers, folks who flop around on their backs, and everything in between. If you're injured, you can still be involved in club swims by volunteering to support them (kayaking, cooking, timing, etc.). You can take up handball or rowing. Whatever. It's a fun, lively place, come join us!
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Someone years ago told me that SERC had an inexpensive membership for people who live out of the area but visit regularly. Any truth to it?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2013
    bobswims said:

    Someone years ago told me that SERC had an inexpensive membership for people who live out of the area but visit regularly. Any truth to it?

    Members who live more than a certain distance (100 miles, maybe? not sure) from SF are eligible for a discounted out-of-town rate. However, one must be a full member for at least a full calendar year before registering as an out-of-town member. In other words, it is designed primarily for members who move out of town, rather than folks who (like me) initially joined while living far from SF.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I know this is old, but I can't find another appropriate place for this.

    I think I'm gonna be a big boy this year and not re-up for 2015. (I said something different on this subject on another thread but I don't remember which one.) I'll be out of the swimming game for a couple years and just don't see the use of spending the dough. If, somehow, I get a chance to swim in the coming years, I'll buy a day's worth of membership if it is required.
  • @IronMike
    I don't know you but I know about your blog and it's sad to hear that you won't be able to swim!
    It's not the same but what about an "infinity pool" and or one of those dryland indoor swim trainers in the meantime?
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited November 6
    @marlin, it is so much worse. No way I can get an infinity pool here in Kyrgyzstan. I have a "pool" on the property the embassy found for me, and I've got the foot straps to swim in place, but despite my efforts to get cold-acclimated, I won't be able to swim throughout the year. Plus, the owner of the house wants the pool "winterized" (see picture below) so I had to stop using the pool a couple weeks ago. And the indoor pool possibilities here in Bishkek won't work, sadly.

    I don't want to commit to any open water swims without year-round training. Not even considering the expense of flying from Bishkek to, say, Windermere, lodging, rental car, crewing, logistics, I know that if I don't train year-long, I lose my swim fitness. Evidence: For reasons of busy-ness for this move, my swim training dropped off immensely April-July (did something like 10 miles total that entire time), yet I still wanted to do the local (National Harbor, MD) 5K in August, which took me just over 2 hours, when my normal slow-as-molasses pace brings me in around 1:40-1:45. So I daren't commit to something big w/o the training.

    image
    Yes, this is how they winterize outdoor pools here
  • lakespraylakespray Member
    edited November 6
    The little swimming hole near Denver, Colorado that @ssthomas, @uss_lenning and myself do the bulk of are open water training is within a Colorado State Park called "Chatfield" A permit has to obtained from them every year which allows us to swim three times a week for 2.5 hours a time. The permit is via the Colorado Masters Swimming Association (COMSA) they in-turn require USMS membership, ostensibly it's for the insurance. Like the rest of USMS, COMSA's focus is on pool competition however they generate more then half there revenue from the 100's of swimmers, mostly triathletes that are semi forced to join USMS so they can swim/train at Chatfield.

    image
    The South Gravel pond at Chatfield State Park, Colorado
  • JSwimJSwim Member
    @IronMike, I've never put half filled soda bottles in a pool when winterizing. (Is that actually what they are?) What purpose do they serve? And no cover to keep out leaves and wayward critters?

    When I read that you couldn't find any where to swim, I actually felt slightly panicked when thinking how I'd feel in the same predicament. I wish you well in finding a substitute activity!
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited November 6
    JSwim said:

    @IronMike, I've never put half filled soda bottles in a pool when winterizing.

    You're wrong @JSwim
    That's leftovers from Mike's farewell party after the last swim. :D
    molly1205
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @JSwim, I didn't get a chance to talk to the guys who came to do the "winterizing" but I think they believe the empty space in the bottles will help during the freeze. Know idea why they don't just empty the entire pool and cover it.

    @Niek, this is Kyrgyzstan, where no one has ever heard of recycling, so the guys could just walk around the streets and get all the empty plastic bottles (and bags, and glass shards and other crap) they ever want!
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited November 7
    IronMike said:

    Know idea why they don't just empty the entire pool and cover it.

    @Niek, this is Kyrgyzstan, where no one has ever heard of recycling, so the guys could just walk around the streets and get all the empty plastic bottles (and bags, and glass shards and other crap) they ever want!

    Mike
    1/ maybe an empty pool is to light and gets pushed up by groundwater pressure. *-:)
    2/ Don't blame the locals for what you've done. [-X :)

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • JSwimJSwim Member
    IronMike said:

    Know idea why they don't just empty the entire pool and cover it.

    My in-laws in ground, 35+ year old pool is only minimally drained for the winter. (That's why my interest in the bottles.) Their reasoning is it helps keep the pipes buried near the walls and bottom from freezing. And like @Niek said, reduces problems from groundwater pressure on an empty, lightweight pool.

    Leaving water in hasn't hurt anything. The concrete walls are still in good shape, but all the in-ground pipes leak to some degree. Most of that is from tree roots. Don't know if undrainable water in pipes that froze might have contributed. That tree closest to the pool was a really, really bad idea. The shade in July and August was nice, and it was pretty too, but the roots and the leaves... :-q

    On the topic of USMS membership: If you use their FLOG to record your mileage, and swim 500+ miles, you'll get a free swim suit. That can at least partly or maybe fully offset the cost of the membership. Not worth it IMHO unless you have other reasons to join, like meets, workouts etc.
  • I've maintained a USMS membership since I got back into swimming after a four year break from the sport. Having a membership has many benefits such as a source if secondary insurance, and allows you to train with other programs around the US if you're in town for work, vacation, etc. IMHO, the single greatest benefit is being able to train with a team, coaching, an organized workout (your USMS membership card is like a passport to swim with other teams if you're traveling for work), and the obvious social benefits.

    As a younger marathoner I did much of my training with the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team (FLST) in my own lane. FLST is a team that I held a separate USS membership with on top of a USMS membership with their USMS program. My coaches (Duffy Dillon and Nobutaka Tan) would sometimes have me swim with the kids National Team if they thought it would be a good workout for me. I found it easier training hard with a group doing a shorter workout that didn't have sets like 12X1000. I was often alone because of those 1000s, which was necessary for what I was training for. Duffy and Nobu also wrote most of my workouts. I was disciplined enough to do the work, but having my coaches assume that responsibility made things easier for me.

    The same goes for USMS. It is better to have a coach than not. I currently swim/coach with Nations Capital Swim Club (NCAP) along with Alexandria Masters. I'm willing to bet that most Masters programs don't give workouts designed for the marathoner. When I've come across this, I'd use the USMS workout as a long warm-up, and then pile on the yardage by myself when the group got out.

    I know a bunch of swimmers who have subscribed to "on-line" coaching services. There's no way you can get a better workout from an online coach using your downloaded, and laminated pdf of your sets than you can from someone standing on deck watching the here and now. In addition, a set of eyes watching your stroke can help you fix any deficiencies you might have.

    Winter is fast approaching and OW training is probably getting close to zero, so we're having to move indoors. Swimming alone during rec hours totally sucks.

    Another benefit of being a USMS member is that you might have access to the pool at hours when it would be closed to the general public. This is a huge perk. Alexandria Masters uses many local pools for several hours before the rest do the center opens. When our group gets out of the water on Saturday mornings, it is a mad dash to the open lanes.

    USMS resources are used by many races to promote and sanction their event(s), which means that the director has met (at least) a minimum standard in safety and rules.

    When in peak training, I was swimming approximately 70-75000 meters a week. All but about 20K of that was done in the pool where I had a coach.

    jkormanikflystormsIronMike
  • Unless you plan to compete in USMS sanctioned events, I think there is little benefit to membership.

    Dave,
    I respectfully disagree with your earlier post. For the reasons I posted above, it is of great benefit to be a USMS member even if you don't do USMS events.

    There's no way I would have been as successful in the sport if I went at it alone.

  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    The group I swim with has to provide an insurance certificate for use of the facility.
    USMS membership covers that. In the summer, I swim with several different groups that don't require said membership. I prefer training with a group to training solo, but USMS doesn't have an exclusive claim to group training in the US.

    They do occasionally have some great articles in Swimmer Mag ;)
    SydneD
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • @Ironmike
    This is probably of little consolation but one thing I've found to be helpful when taking (forced) time off from the pool is body weight exercises - especially pull ups (for back/lats)

    IronMike
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @marlin, exactly what I'm doing. I can do weights here, thank goodness!
    marlin
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Some have asked for a picture of the soda-bottle pool when frozen. Here:
    image
    Niek
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    ICE MILE!!!! :))
    IronMike
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • That's quite a lovely picture!

    To my eye, the bottles serve the function of letting birds, animals, people know there is something there, and where that something is, by marking it and introducing perspective. Like putting decals on windows so birds don't fly into them. They also demarcate a corner for practicing skating spins.

    Regarding the USMS membership, I have found the online workouts useful. Some seem downright inspired.
  • USMS has just negated, in my view, any reason for either the Dolphin Club or SERC to require it for their swims, ostensibly for "insurance purposes". It just shows that USMS is not open water friendly and is definitely not "cold" water friendly.( or knowledgeable enough)
    *********************************************************************************************
    USMS has implemented some major changes to its open water swimming rules at this year's convention. The changes involve water temperatures, water quality guidelines, drafting, swimwear, and independent safety monitors.

    1. According to new rule 302.2.2A, an open water swim shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 60°F (15.6°C) unless heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers. A swim in which heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 57°F (13.9°C). For swims of three miles or more, the swim shall not begin if the water temperature exceeds 29.45°C (85°F).

    USMS Comments: "The rationale for these changes are due to athlete safety. This proposal aims to reduce significantly the risks from thermal issues from swimming in water that is dangerously cold or hot for most United States Masters Swimming members, but allows some flexibility for those who choose to swim in wetsuits. The United States Masters Swimming open water swimmer population, taken as a whole, are typically not elite athletes, in general do not acclimatize, spend more time (in some cases, much more time) in the water, have more health-related problems, and are much more likely to be using medications which can alter their adaptability."

    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • My swim cap is my heat-retaining swimwear.
    pavlicov
  • IronMike said:

    Some have asked for a picture of the soda-bottle pool when frozen. Here:
    image


    That doesn't seem right as a way of buffering the expansion of water as it becomes ice. Ice expands about 9% as compared to water. There is no way the soda bottles displace anywhere near 9% of the surface area. Odd.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    57 is too cold in a wetsuit? Wow. That's a pretty narrow window between 60 and 57. It sounds like the purpose of that rule is to dissuade race directors from holding races at all.

    When the water temperature nears 60, most (USMS) swimmers opt for wetsuits anyway. Those who choose not to wear wetsuits usually don't need them.
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    suziedods said:

    USMS has just negated, in my view, any reason for either the Dolphin Club or SERC to require it for their swims, ostensibly for "insurance purposes". It just shows that USMS is not open water friendly and is definitely not "cold" water friendly.( or knowledgeable enough)
    *********************************************************************************************
    USMS has implemented some major changes to its open water swimming rules at this year's convention. The changes involve water temperatures, water quality guidelines, drafting, swimwear, and independent safety monitors.

    1. According to new rule 302.2.2A, an open water swim shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 60°F (15.6°C) unless heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers. A swim in which heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 57°F (13.9°C). For swims of three miles or more, the swim shall not begin if the water temperature exceeds 29.45°C (85°F).

    USMS Comments: "The rationale for these changes are due to athlete safety. This proposal aims to reduce significantly the risks from thermal issues from swimming in water that is dangerously cold or hot for most United States Masters Swimming members, but allows some flexibility for those who choose to swim in wetsuits. The United States Masters Swimming open water swimmer population, taken as a whole, are typically not elite athletes, in general do not acclimatize, spend more time (in some cases, much more time) in the water, have more health-related problems, and are much more likely to be using medications which can alter their adaptability."

    Exactly why I'm skipping USMS and sticking to being a member of MSF. We need to take care of our own.
  • Just a point of clarification on…
    suziedods said:

    1. According to new rule 302.2.2A, an open water swim shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 60°F (15.6°C) unless heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers. A swim in which heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 57°F (13.9°C).

    The rule approved by USMS states (the bold is mine and not in the rules):
    (1) A swim shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 60° F. (15.6° C.), unless heat-retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers or a USMS-approved thermal plan is in place.
    (2) A swim in which heat retaining swimwear is required of all swimmers shall not begin if the water temperature is less than 57° F. (13.9° C.) unless a USMS-approved thermal plan is in place.
    wendyv34 said:

    57 is too cold in a wetsuit? Wow. That's a pretty narrow window between 60 and 57. It sounds like the purpose of that rule is to dissuade race directors from holding races at all.

    When the water temperature nears 60, most (USMS) swimmers opt for wetsuits anyway. Those who choose not to wear wetsuits usually don't need them.

    I agree! Most pool and warm water open water swimmers aren’t prepared for swimming in the 5-‘s and 60’s; the first year I swam Tampa Bay one swimmer was pulled because he was too cold and that temp was in the low 70’s.

    The purpose is not to to dissuade race directors from holding races, just to make sure they are prepared. And pretty much every cool/cold water race director does have a plan for dealing with thermal issues. We just don’t always have it in writing.

    And for full disclosure, I am on the U.S. Masters Swimming Long Distance and Open Water committees, as well as the Board…so, my answer to the question “Should I get a a USMS membership?” I’d respectfully answer “Yes, please.”
  • It's better to have a membership than not. For example, if Iron Mike shows up to one of our USMS workouts, you won't be allowed in. You'll be stuck waiting for rec swim to start and dodging the guy swimming with a foam noodle. I'm a form believer that you will usually get a better workout swimming with a coach/group than by yourself. It's inexpensive and worth the money. I've had to use it and it's paid for itself many times more than it cost. $30-$50 isn't going to break the bank.
    lakesprayflystorms
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Well I sure wish DNOWS had included that thermal plan bit to their "reporting"

    I will now go and change my blog post entry...after I research and read what this "thermal plan" thing is.

    Thanks @Rob_Copeland

    @swimmer25k, Chris, no need for me to wait outside waiting for rec swim as I'm 8000 miles away. I'll save my $30-50 for the next few years, thank you very much. ;)
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    Thanks for the clarification Rob. I enjoy attending several USMS races in Puget Sound each summer. They are small races and I'd hate to see them go away. The water has been about 60 or below. Most people wore wetsuits at the Vashon-Pt. Defiance swim this year, where the water measured 57 at the Tacoma side/probably 63 on the Vashon side. Those of us who swam skin had all been swimming regularly in cold water. It was an 80 degree day and it seemed like everyone was fine shortly after getting out. I really enjoyed doing the crossing skin, so I hope the thermometer reads 60 next year.
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited December 9

    unless a USMS-approved thermal plan is in place


    What are the criteria for USMS approving a "thermal plan," and who decides whether a plan is approved?
    IronMike
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Still searching for the USMS thermal plan.

    And forgive me for being a cynic, but if this plan puts more work on busy race directors, will they bother? And does it give them flexibility to mandate wetsuits for under 60* even if the thermal plan is in place?

    And depending upon how you read it, it looks like even with a thermal plan and water under 57*, wetsuits are still mandatory.
    Niekgregoc
  • evmo said:

    What are the criteria for USMS approving a "thermal plan," and who decides whether a plan is approved?

    Currently the USMS Long Distance and Open Water are working out the details on what needs to be included in a thermal plan. We have reached out to some race directors of sanctioned events to get best practices on cold water events, to help determine what needs to go into a thermal plan.

    Evan, if you haven’t been contacted, I’d like to hear from you (and any other race directors on the forum) on your cold water planning and preparation for events you run. And I know USMS hasn’t reached beyond US borders, but I’d love to hear from event directors anywhere there are cold water swims. And this forum is a great place for this feedback. I should probable be soliciting this information on a different thread.

    As for who decides, Bill Roach the USMS Open Water Coordinator will be evaluating the plans.
    IronMike said:

    And forgive me for being a cynic, but if this plan puts more work on busy race directors, will they bother? And does it give them flexibility to mandate wetsuits for under 60* even if the thermal plan is in place?

    And depending upon how you read it, it looks like even with a thermal plan and water under 57*, wetsuits are still mandatory.

    Hopefully it isn’t just busy work. I’d be surprised if any race directors of sub-16C events don’t already have plans for dealing with cold swimmers, it should just another part of the safety plan. I see the real benefit to new event directors who will be able to draw on the experiences and plans for established events.

    I agree, the rules could be written better, but as I understand them, wetsuits are not mandatory under 57F.
    lakespray
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited December 10

    Currently the USMS Long Distance and Open Water are working out the details on what needs to be included in a thermal plan. We have reached out to some race directors of sanctioned events to get best practices on cold water events, to help determine what needs to go into a thermal plan.

    Here in San Francisco, I belong to the South End Rowing Club. Next door to our building on Aquatic Park is the Dolphin Club. Most SERC members swim without wetsuits, and the DC doesn't even allow them on their club swims.

    My off-the-cuff guess is that between the two clubs, we put on more organized "cold water" (sub-16C) swims each year than the rest of the United States, combined.

    Just curious, Rob... has USMS reached out to anyone affiliated with SERC or the Dolphin Club in formulating these new policies?

    I think both SERC and DC have been USMS member clubs in the past (mostly for insurance?). I don't know how these new USMS policies will affect our operations, but I'd guess they will probably be seen mostly as a nuisance.

    And this forum is a great place for this feedback. I should probable be soliciting this information on a different thread.

    You are welcome to do so.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member


    Currently the USMS Long Distance and Open Water are working out the details on what needs to be included in a thermal plan. We have reached out to some race directors of sanctioned events to get best practices on cold water events, to help determine what needs to go into a thermal plan.

    So rules were changed and/or adopted, mentioning a "USMS-approved thermal plan," before this thermal plan has even been defined? Hmmm...
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