USA Swimming is the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States. Membership is comprised of swimmers of every age and ability, all the way up to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches, officials and volunteers.
Black Hills Gold Swimming is one of more than 3,000 year round swim clubs across the country, which are all part of of United States Swimming.
There are over 400,000 individuals registered with USA Swimming. Roughly 40,000 of those are coaches, officials, and other non-athlete members.
Every year, USA Swimming holds National Championship meets, with challenging qualifying times in place. There are Junior National (athletes 18 and younger) and “Senior” National (athletes of all ages) meets held in December and August, and every four years, the Olympic Trials are held. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition, including the Olympic Games.
More information about USA Swimming can be found on their website usaswimming.org.
The country is broken into four Zones – Eastern, Western, Central and Southern. Black Hills Gold and South Dakota Swimming are part of the Central Zone, which spans the entire Midwest from Ohio to the Dakotas.
Every summer, there are Zone championship meets. Age group athletes (14 and younger) who achieve qualifying times can represent their state at one of two Zone meets. Once every few years, the two Zone meets are combined into a “Megazone” meet, pitting teams from every state in the Zone against each other.
Each Zone also holds a Sectional meet each season (short and long course). Sectional meets have qualifying times for each event (not age group). Zones and Sectional meets are held at various locations throughout the central zone.
LSC is an acronym for “local swim committee.” Most LSCs are simply comprised of the state in which you live, although larger states like California and Texas may contain multiple LSCs. Also, some teams that border state lines may belong to an LSC that is in the neighboring state. Sometimes that just makes more sense logistically for travel and LSC culture. There are 59 LSC’s in USA Swimming.
Black Hills Gold is part of South Dakota Swimming, the organization that oversees the 20 swim clubs and more than 1,100 athletes in the state.
Every season there are LSC or, in the case of South Dakota, state championship meets. South Dakota hold State championship meet in late Feb/early March and late July. Swimmers who make qualifying times may represent their club in these meets.
There are two meets each year that South Dakota sends a team to (athletes represent South Dakota rather than their home team). There is an All Star meet in January held in Elkhorn, NE and Zones in August which rotates locations. To qualify for these teams swimmers must apply and be one of the fastest swimmers in their age group to be considered. Swimmers automatically are eligible to swim for team South Dakota at a zones meet in any event in which they hold a AAA time.
The SD LSC is governed by a Board of Directors comprising of 15 elected positions and 4 elected athletes, resulting in 19 voting positions, all of which are term limited. There are also 3 non-voting positions to be filled. The SD BOD meets every two months unless there is a need to meet more often.
Twice each year (April and Sept) there is a SD House of Delegates (HOD) meeting held. Each team is required to send a voting delegate and has one voting position at this meeting.
Information on the BOD, HOD, Committees,a By-laws, and policy and procedures can be found on the SD Swimming website, sdsdwimming.org.