US Masters Swimming
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Don't forget to register your club during the month of October. Individual swimmers can begin registering for 2015 on November 1, and if your club isn't registered, they won't be able to join you. There's more information below on how to sign up.

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Congratulations, Cokie Lepinski
2014 Speedo USMS Coach of the Year is an inspirational coach
Coach of the Year 2014 Cokie Lepinski
Each year USMS and partner Speedo honor a coach who exemplifies the highest standards in Masters coaching, including growth and development of Masters swimming with an all-inclusive approach, one that welcomes swimmers of all levels and abilities. This year's Speedo USMS Coach of the Year is Cokie Lepinski (Swymnut Masters).

In an interview with Swimming World magazine, Lepinski said she has "the best job in the world. You have a chance to positively impact someone's life every day, by raising the bar, by making workouts fun, by helping them when the chips are down and celebrating the great moments in our lives. I don't think I've stopped smiling," since founding the Marin Pirate Masters in 2009. That was her first Masters program, and she now coaches the Swymnut Masters, which she founded in 2013 after a brief retirement from coaching. 

You can read more about Lepinski and her rise to Masters coaching success online here. 
Club and Workout Group Registration Now Open
Make sure your members can find you
silver-keyboard.jpg, typing

All club contacts have been sent an email containing an online renewal link. Workout groups have also received a similar reminder. It's important to register your club or workout group for 2015 during the month of October because individual members can begin registering or renewing with USMS for the 2015 membership year on November 1. If your club is not registered, it will not appear in the pull-down lists and your members will not be able to register with you. Clubs and workout groups may be renewed online.

Online Coaching Applications Now Available
Want to reach a bigger audience with your workouts?
Online workouts

The U.S. Masters Swimming Online Coaching program provides regular themed practices from qualified coaches to interested swimmers through the USMS website. The practice program runs for the full calendar year. If you're interested in applying, please access the information sheet and application online here


Applicants should have a clearly defined and stated program theme in one of seven areas:

  • Basic Training
  • Triathlon Training
  • High Intensity
  • Open Water
  • Stroke and IM
  • Expectant Mothers and Limited Mobility
  • High Volume

Your workouts should provide appropriate content for swimmers of varied skills and should include a glossary to clarify technical terms. Your program must include at least four practices per week, which must be posted at least weekly, directly on the USMS website in the dedicated area of the USMS Discussion Forums (not linked to an external website). Selected coaches will receive a stipend for their time. 


Still interested? Apply online today!

Convention 2014
At-large directors elected and awards presented

Congratulations to all the USMS award recipients, and special thanks to the volunteers on the Recognition and Awards Committee for their work in making it possible for committed USMS volunteers and coaches to be honored each year at our annual meeting.


Be sure to read the press release for the scoop on all USMS awards and honorees, as well as elections results from this year's annual meeting.


In addition to awards, the location of the next cycle of national championship events was also announced, and we'll be traveling to the following locations over the next two years:

  • 2015 Spring Nationals San Antonio, Texas (Apr. 23 - 26)
  • 2015 Summer Nationals, Geneva, Ohio (Aug. 6 - 9)
  • 2016 Spring Nationals, Greensboro, N.C. (Apr. 28 - May 1)
  • 2016 Summer Nationals, Gresham, Ore. (Aug 18 - 21 tentative)
 Continue reading >>>
3000/6000 ePostals Now Open
Help your swimmers find pool time for this great national championship event
Freestyle hip technique

The 3000 and 6000 ePostal events kicked off on September 15. These two National Championship events can be completed in any 25-yard or 25-meter pool, making it convenient for your whole club to participate together. Many coaches dedicate a workout session or two specifically for swimmers looking to take part and have found it's a great way to build team spirit as swimmers count and cheer for each other. Full details are posted online and swimmers have until Nov. 15 to complete their swims. Registration will remain open until Nov. 25, but all swims must be completed by Nov. 15. Now get going!

* In the September issue of STREAMLINES, the deadline for swims was incorrectly stated as Nov. 25. Please note that although registration will remain open until Nov. 25, all swims must be completed by Nov. 15. 

Major Rules Changes for 2015
Important rule changes resulting from this year's Convention have been announced

Starts: At the referee's long whistle, a swimmer may take a position with one foot at the front of the block or deck but on the command "Take your mark" is required to place at least one foot at the front of the block or deck. (Article 101.1.1)


Warm-up: Backstroke starts are permitted only in designated lanes during warm-up at meets.(Article 102.4.2)


Entries: A swimmer shall enter a meet with the full name as it appears on the USMS registration card. (Article 102.7)


Qualification of Officials: The list of USMS-approved certifying bodies for officials has been moved from 103.3.1, 103.3.2, and 104.5.10B to Appendix B.


Meet Committee: The list of responsibilities has been expanded to include verifying proper certification of pool length and completing record applications. (Article 103.5)


USMS National Championship Meets: With the approval of the Championship Committee, dates other than August 1 - September 15 may be considered for a long course national championship meet. (Article 104.1.2)


Meet schedules for USMS national championship meets have been removed from the rule book. The Championship Committee will publish the meet schedule for each national championship meet at least six months before each meet. A schedule used at one national championship meet will not be repeated for at least two years. (104.5.2A)


The Championship Committee may choose one or more of the following entry limitations for the 800/1000 and/or the 1500/1650 freestyle: 

a) each swimmer may enter only one of those events, 

b) only swimmers who meet the qualifying times in both events may enter both events, and/or 

c) one of those events may be restricted to only those who meet the qualifying times. (104.5.3C[2])


The Championship Committee may establish an entry receipt deadline. The postmark deadline for entries has been deleted. (Article 104.5.4C[3]).


The meet host of a national championship meet shall appoint a meet referee, an administrative referee (definition added to glossary), a head starter, and a chief judge subject to standards established by the USMS Officials Committee. Minimum stroke and turn judges include: two turn judges at each end of each course (jurisdiction not to exceed 5 lanes per judge), one stroke judge on each side of a 50-meter course, and one official at the 15-meter mark of each course for all starts and turns except breaststroke. (104.5.10B)


Pool Measurement: A bulkhead placement confirmation measurement is required for USMS records set at events sanctioned or approved by USA Swimming. (Article 105.1.7E)

What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions

The Coach Asks: What should I do if I am sure that a rule is being enforced incorrectly at a meet?


Answer: Take the current USMS Rule Book with you to ask the meet referee about the rule. Be sure to phrase it as a question rather than telling the referee or the officials that they are wrong. If you believe that the rule is quoted incorrectly, politely show the text of the rule to the referee. Look up the rule instead of arguing with the referee or officials.


An example is a meet at which counters for the 500 free were told they were not allowed to show the count in descending order. Discussion escalated into a loud argument that briefly delayed the meet. The argument and meet delay could have been prevented simply by looking up 102.10.6D in the rule book ("The count may be in ascending or descending order").


The meet information may address questions about some meet procedures; for example, questions about seeding events at a meet are answered in the meet information (102.10.1E, "The meet information shall state the seeding for all events"). In that example, the rule directs one to the meet information for the answer.


The USMS Rule Book has an index to assist readers with finding rules on specific topics. There may be several rules that address a specific topic.

All rule references are from the 2014 USMS Rule Book. For any questions about competition rules in Part 1, contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair.

Questions from Coaches
Bill Brenner, Education Director, answers your questions
Q: How can I get the best deal on pool time for my Masters program?

A: Many USMS programs lease or rent pool space for their practices or events. The lease may be for the entire pool or per lane, and the rental charge may be per hour of pool use or a flat monthly fee. Often, rental fees are the single largest expenditure of a Masters program and play a significant factor is establishing program fees for the members.


A universal trait of a successful Masters program is that it is financially self-sustaining and proper budgeting for revenues and expenses is critical to the financial well being of the program. Negotiating the most favorable rental rate for pool space becomes paramount to keeping program fees reasonable, affordable and competitive within the surrounding market of other fitness options.


When entering into a rental negotiation, it's important to understand the pool facility's mission. Matching your program's mission to the facility's will increase the likelihood of a favorable rental agreement. Explain what benefits you can provide the facility. Yes, you're using their pool, but you're also providing a service for the facility and for the benefit of the facility's participants. Understanding what you bring to the negotiating table is important. You can use a combination of any of these strong points at any given aquatic facility:

  • Parks and recreation: Serving the community. Identify your club as an instructor- (coach-) led group activity program that is diverse in age and gender and is inclusive of all ability levels.
  • YMCA and Jewish Community Center : Sport, health, and wellness programming. Promote your program as a group aquatic fitness activity for adults who chose to swim for a healthier lifestyle.
  • College campuses: Student sport activities. Your program offers fitness and competitive options for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Value is placed on the networking and social opportunities for students to interact with one another as well as the professionals within and surrounding the college.
  • Private fitness and health clubs: Member benefits. Your program enhances the value of each membership by providing a professional coach who embraces all athletes, delivers expert workout and stroke technique instruction, and understands the goals and motivations of each member.
  • Public and private schools: Community education. Stress the fact that your program is designed to meet the needs of all community members who swim for exercise, want to improve their swimming technique, or want to learn to swim and become safer around the water. Your program is an educational resource for the benefit of all community members.

In many cases, organizations give preferred status and rental rates to groups with nonprofit status issued by the Internal Revenue department of the U.S. Government. Applying for nonprofit status may be time consuming and expensive, but it might be a good option for your group. It's best to consult a tax attorney or an accountant to guide you through the process.


If you are establishing a new program at a pool, ask the facility to lower the rental rate while you build your membership. This gives the facility an incentive to help you grow by encouraging more facility members to join your Masters program. Developing a budget of expected revenue and expenses that your program will generate should help you establish what you can afford to pay for pool rental and what increases you will able to absorb as your club membership grows.


When possible, barter lower rental rates by having your Masters members volunteer at facility events. In many cases, aquatic facilities host events that require adult volunteers, and your program can be a great source of those volunteers, especially if they understand that participation keeps program fees lower.


If you need more help or would like to exchange ideas, please contact Education Services.


Questions about growing your club, managing club business, or becoming a better coach? Education Director Bill Brenner has answers. Want to read past questions? Then check out Bill Brenner's Questions from Coaches blog, and see if he's already found solutions to your coaching quandaries. 
Coach Certification Schedule
Upcoming Coach Certification Classes

Level 1 and 2

Oct. 18, 2014 - Seattle, Wash. - Online Registration 

Oct. 25, 2014 - Dayton, Ohio -  Online Registration 

Oct. 25, 2014 - Albuquerque, N.M. - Online Registration

Nov. 1, 2014 - Maryville, Ill. (near St. Louis) - Online Registration

Nov. 8, 2014 - Minneapolis, Minn. - Online Registration

Nov. 14, 2014 - Salt Lake City, Utah (Note: This is a Friday) - Online Registration

Nov. 22, 2014 - Lenexa, Kan. (Kansas City area) - Online Registration

Jan. 24, 2015 - Phoenix, Ariz.

Feb. 21, 2015 Coeur d'Alene, Idaho


Level 3 (Level 2 a prerequisite)     

Nov. 15, 2014 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Online Registration

Dec. 6, 2014 - Novato, Calif. - Online Registration 

Feb. 22, 2015 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho


Stroke Development Clinics

Oct. 19, 2014 - Seattle, Wash. - Online Registration

Nov. 2, 2014 - Maryville, Ill. (near St. Louis) - Online Registration
Quick Links and Resources for Coaches
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About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website,; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. Nearly 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.
About STREAMLINES for Coaches
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming coaches to subscribe to STREAMLINES for Coaches. However, if you'd rather not receive this update, please do not click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link, as that will remove you from all other USMS National Office mailings. Rather, click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link to manage your subscriptions to U.S. Masters Swimming electronic communications.
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