PNS General Chair Updates from Around USA Swimming

Melissa Dietz

Updates from Around USA Swimming

Sept. 30, 2021


USA Swimming HOD Passes Revised Re-Structure of the HOD

  The USA Swimming HOD met to receive a proposal from the second working group.  This group was created following the rejection of the original June 30, 2021, proposal for the HOD Re-structure required to meet the USOPC rules.  The revised proposal altered the structure to have more coach participation and created a coaches advisory council to provide input to the HOD and USAS Board.  The modification also improved the “grass roots” (i.e. non-professional) athlete representation slightly. 

  The most significant change was to create a review task force to assess the success of the new structure following the 2022 HOD.  Following extensive discussion and further modifications, the proposed restructure was approved by the HOD.  The new alignment will be submitted to the USOPC and then implementation will proceed ultimately leading to the 2022 HOD and subsequent assessment of the results.

PNS Concludes the Search for a New Office Manager / Registrar

  Pacific Northwest Swimming has concluded the search for a new Office Manager / Registrar to replace Colleen Buchanan who is going to focus on her second career as Grandma.  After posting the job description for the position specifying only local candidates, PNS received almost 100 resume’s.  In a bit of serendipity, one out-of-state resume’ was for an experienced swim team administrator who was in the process of moving to the Puget Sound region.  Through an extensive review, vetting and interview process, Melissa Dietz ultimately is the best candidate and has accepted the position.

  Melissa is moving from Austin, Texas, where for 7 years, she served as the team administrator for one of the Nitro Swim Club sites of 1200 swimmers. Duties include athlete registration and transfers, coach assistance (administrative), payroll, Team Unify training and myriad “other duties as assigned”. 

  Melissa is currently training her replacement at Nitro and finishing moving to Seattle.  She will join Colleen in the PNS Office starting October 26.  Colleen will provide the introductory training and consultation support to Melissa to ensure a smooth transition in support of PNS clubs, athletes, and volunteers.  Please welcome Melissa to the organization when she arrives.

PNS Meet Calendar Planning

  Thanks to all the clubs that have planned special meets – there are currently 14 (!) sanctioned meets in October.  Program Ops. has also worked diligently to negotiate a return to meets at WKCAC with the modified October Challenge series (Oct. 16 -17 and Oct. 23-24).  WKCAC hosted its first meet since the pandemic began with a girls high school invitational this past Saturday.  Prior to that meet, King County instituted new rules in response to the evolving COVID pandemic situation that further restricted capacity.  To respond, a coaches “problem solving team” met to design the changes to allow for the “Modified October Challenge” meets to proceed and succeed.  Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.   

  The new athlete limit at WKCAC is just under 300 per session.  So, to max out the number of athletes in a session, changes include no spectators in the facility (volunteer assignments are still possible).  Due to facility restrictions (capacity and timing), the 15 and over time standard for the meet will be the Gold time.       

  It is vital that our swim community works together to ensure these meets are both safe and successful!   These October meets will also provide a baseline for planning for the December meets that everyone is also looking forward to. 

USAS Annual Business Meeting Conducted Sept. 25

  The USA Swimming Annual Business Meeting (formerly the USA Aquatic Sports Convention) was conducted last Saturday, Sept. 25.  The House considered 18 separate legislative proposals ranging from significant to minor housekeeping.   One item approved was to add the requirement that the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vice-Chair be a member of the LSC BOD; something PNS had already implemented.  3 items were devoted to the creation of a new competition category:  Development, for 12&U to participate in short (< 2 hr.) meets.  These legislation components underwent significant modification during the session.  Implementation of the category is postponed until May, 2022 to resolve some questions, the limits on LSC “tap” or surcharge were eliminated and the program is now optional as to whether the LSC offers it or not.

  In addition, the House elected 2 new At-Large Members and 1 Athlete Member to the USAS BOD.  The USAS Nominating Committee had presented 4 At-Large candidates including 2 incumbents and also 2 Athlete candidates.  2 other individuals “threw their name into the hat” for the At-Large positions and those two were elected to the Board.  

Western Zone Business Meeting

  5 PNS Voting Delegates attended the Western Zone Business Meeting to conclude the legislative marathon.  The WZ representatives reviewed and approved the WZ budget and selected the sites for the 2023 and 2024 AGZ and Sr. Zone Meets as well as Open Water Competitions.  The meeting also approved the start of a Sr. Zone SC meet (initially in St. George, Utah) in the April timeframe.  The goal for this meet is to be self-sustaining and not require any Zone funding.  Potential future sites for this meet include WKCAC.

  Mike Dilli, formerly the WZ Officials Chair (and Colorado official) was elected as the new WZ Non-Coach Director to replace Dale Ammon who had completed his two terms.  Debbie Baldwin was re-elected as the WZ Secretary/Treasurer.  Jody Rash, who had been serving as the interim Championship Coordinator, was elected to serve for a 2-year term.

  In addition to the directors of each Zone, there are Zone coordinators for various functions such as Officials, DEI and Safe Sport.  Western Zone now has a vacancy for the position of Western Zone DEI Coordinator. 

New 2022 Zone Workshop Announced

  At the conclusion of the virtual USAS HOD session, the USAS staff announced a new Zone Workshop plan.  Since the demise of the USA Aquatic Sports Convention last year, USAS has been seeking an alternative approach to replace the gathering (the USAS Convention prior to COVID).  This Zone Workshop is proposed to be an in-person meeting involving LSC’s from all Zones. 

  The 2022 Workshop is scheduled for April 21-24, at the Marriott Center in Denver, Colorado.  Targeted education tracks are expected to be:  a) LSC Registrars/Staff, b) Coach Reps, AG, Sr. and Tech Plng., c) General Chair, Admin and Staff, d) DEI chairs, and e) Athlete Reps.  The meetings will conclude on Sunday with individual Zone meetings and departure to return home.

  Further details regarding the agenda will be available in mid-October.