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PNS General Chair - Updates from around USA Swimming

Updates from Around USA Swimming

Feb. 11, 2021

USAS Convention

  USA Swimming has announced that the 2021 Convention is tentatively scheduled for September 23-25.  The “umbrella” organization of Aquatic Sports previously announced the cancellation of the consolidated convention for 2021.  USA Swimming is tentatively planning a hybrid concept with both virtual and in-person meetings.  As usual, PNS will solicit candidates to attend and/or participate.  This typically summer activity of candidate identification will probably need to be accelerated since USAS is planning a special HOD (see By-Law Changes below) in late June.  PNS will need to designate the LSC voting representatives for that meeting.

Coaches Health Insurance Program

  Next week’s Coaches Connection will update all coaches on the continuing availability of the Health Insurance Program for Coaches.  The next Open Enrollment Period is Feb. 9 through April 1.  There will be additional Open Enrollment opportunities in the Second and Third Quarters of 2021.  Additional information is available at:

https://www.usaswimming.org/coaches/popular-resources/health-insurance-for-coaches

Annual Zone Workshop

  More detail has been provided on the April / May Zone Workshop.  In the past, this has been multiple sites (2 or 4), but 2021 will be a single, virtual workshop.  The 2021 Zone Workshop is scheduled for April 30-May 1.  The workshop will be proceeded by a series of open meetings (also virtual) of the various national committees so that other non-members can “attend” and learn about the committee and its business.  The open committee meetings will be scheduled from April 20-29.  The workshop itself begins Friday, April 30, and will include a general session and Keynote address (speaker TBA) that day.   Sessions continue Saturday, May 1 with breakout sessions on these topics:  Coach Education, MAAPP, DEI Legislation, LSC Shared Services.  These general, all Zone sessions with be followed by Zone-specific issues led by the Zone Director Council.  Separate Zone meetings will conclude the workshop.

2021 Rule Book Distribution

 At Thursday's USAS VideoCon meeting, Colorado Springs announced that, as part of their green initiative, distribution of hardcopy rulebooks will be much more limited than in the past.  Two (2) copies will be provided to each LSC and one to each member club.  Copies will no longer be provided to all officials nor coaches (have coaches traditionally received copies?) or others.  The 2021 rule book is now available on-line:

  https://www.usaswimming.org/rulebook

and it can be downloaded as a pdf for reference in facilities that do not have internet access.  Paper copies can still be ordered from the swim shop at $13.30 each.

Mandatory USAS By-Laws Modifications and Implications for PNS

During the 2020 USAS Convention, there were rumors circulating about mandatory changes to the USAS By-Laws.  These rumors were primarily focused on increased athlete participation.  USAS has provided a briefing regarding the origins and the required activities.  These changes result from amendments to the Ted Stevens Youth and Olympic Sports Act.  The changes mandate new requirements for organizations to remain part of the USOPC and serve as the NGB for Olympic sports.  For USAS to continue to be the designated NGB for swimming requires some 12 changes that can be grouped into three categories:

  1. Committee Structure and Composition;
  2. Board Structure and Composition;  and
  3. HOD Structure and Composition.

The amendments do require the rumored 33 1/3 % athlete membership and that is a change that will need to be implemented by LSC’s as well.  Another amendment requires specific representation from the “national team” and that is a change that impacts only the USAS Board and HOD.  Each of the three efforts is seeking volunteers to support the development of the implementation options for USAS.  Each team is led by a USAS Board member, will have 1/3 athletes and 9 total participants.  Interested parties can volunteer by sending an email to:  [email protected]

Since these changes are mandated for implementation by the end of 2021, the teams need to complete their work by May 15 in order to provide an open comment period.  USAS is also planning a special HOD meeting in late June to review and modify / approve the proposed modifications.  That will provide the opportunity for possible alterations in September as well as a period for the LSC’s to complete necessary changes and approve modified LSC By-Laws.

DEI Camp & Summit

The Western Zone has announced plans for DEI Virtual Camp and Summit is scheduled for May 28-30, 2021.  The Zone DEI Committee is working with TruClusion to facilitate the event, and plans to have a session with USA Swimming's Russell Mark and another session with at least one National Team Member.  The goal is to provide 5 sessions for the athletes and summit participants with much inspiration and educational information.  The PNS DEI Committee is coordinating the application process for the LSC.  Applications are due by April 1 for LSC consideration. 

Athlete Workshops

The USAS Athlete Executive Committee has initiated what is hoped to be a series of workshops for athletes to learn leadership and organizational skills.The next workshop is scheduled for March 7, at 6 PM. ET and the topic will be:Leadership Skills and Strengths: https://usasathleteresources.weebly.com/mentorship.html

.  Interested athletes should contact the PNS Athlete Board members for further information and registration details.  Please encourage any interested swimmers to pursue this opportunity.   

18& under Spring Virtual Championship Series

USAS has announced a second 18& under Spring Virtual Championship Series scheduled for March 3-28.  This is to provide an opportunity for those swimmers, like PNS, who were unable to participate in the December virtual meet.  The competition is flexible in that all dates are available, times can be either short or long course, but the meet or time trial must be sanctioned.  As in December, other swimmers can participate, but only those who are 18&U (before March 3) and meet the time standards will be included in the standings.  More specifics are available:  https://www.usaswimming.org/event/2021/03/03/default-calendar/2021-18-under-spring-virtual-championships