Two rule changes have been proposed for the 2017 MCSL season. The first proposed rule change was submitted by an MCSL team to the league for consideration at the MCSL Reps meeting on June 9, 2016. The second proposed rule change was submitted by a separate MCSL team at the MCSL Reps meeting on July 14, 2016. Team Reps will vote on these proposed rule changes at the MCSL Reps meeting on March 9, 2017.
Reach for the Wall has copied the two proposals below verbatim. The first person “we” and “I” voice that each team uses in their respective proposal reflects the author’s perspective and does not reflect the position of Reach for the Wall. We welcome your comments on these proposals.
RULES CHANGE PROPOSAL #1
We would like MCSL to consider a rule change to reduce the 15-18 year old events to 50 meters with a possible exception for freestyle.
Rationale: Swimming 50s would be more fun, it could potentially keep more swimmers interested in summer swimming, and it would decrease the competitive advantage of year round swimmers.
I think it would be worth a thoughtful discussion among the board as well as among all the team reps as to if this potential change would better support the “purpose of the league” keeping in mind the “words of wisdom” from the MCSL Meet Management Handbook that “This is for the kids. If they are having fun, it is all worth it in the end.”
The potential advantage is that possibly more swimmers will hang around summer swimming instead of just the year round swimmers. It would make swimming as a 15-18 more fun (which is part of the goal) and decrease the competitive advantage for year round swimmers. Swimming 3 100s at a quick summer meet is a lot for the non-year round swimmers.
Additional rationale from the drafter:
- The neighboring summer leagues (not that MCSL needs to be like them) have 50s for the 15- 18 (NVSL has all 50s and Prince Mont has all 50s except for freestyle, which is a 100).
- It would likely keep swimmers on the team during the 15-18 years instead of having kids drop off the team. Swimming 100s definitely favors year round swimmers, whose training makes it much easier for them to swim this distance. If the league went to all 50s, it would be MUCH easier for kids to swim these events. In the current system, a swimmer could swim 350 yards in 4 races in one meet (over less than 2 hours). This would be reduced to 200 yards – something much more manageable for a non-year round swimmer.
- It would help advance the goals of the league – The goals of the program include helping young people establish a love for the sport of swimming, advanced aquatic skills, teamwork, and the principles of good sportsmanship. Maybe you would keep summer swimmers around and interested enough so they would make swimming more of a life-long sport (e.g. club swimming in college, masters swimming, etc.) MCSL has reached a very competitive level – I personally am not sure this is good for the league or the community. If you look at the goals of the league – fast swimming and setting records isn’t one of the goals. Just make it more fun!!!!
- It would shorten meets – no harm in that!!!
There are some negatives about changing the rule…
- Some do winter swimming with a goal of doing well during the summer. (I would argue that by the time kids are 15-18, this is probably much less true.)
- This sets MCSL apart from other local leagues…. and it’s how it has always been.
RULES CHANGE PROPOSAL #2
We propose the following changes in swim events for the summer swim season 2017:
13-14s – change 50 free to 100 free
15-18s – change 100 free to 200 free
15-18s – change 50 Fly to 100 Fly
15-18s – change 100 IM to 200 IM
The overall rationale for increasing these event lengths is that as summer swimmers become more skilled as they become older, just like other sports, they are challenged more by increased distances. Particularly for the 15-18s, these lengths are more in line with what is required to swim at a high school swim meet.
At the current length, 9 year olds are required to swim a 50 free. By the time swimmers are 13, they have been swimming a 50 free for 4 years; their skill level should have increased such that they would be able to swim a 100 free. By the age of 15 (in high school), their endurance and skill level would be such that they can swim a 200 free. Some may argue that this is too long for some non-year round swimmers. However, as I have observed at our high school team which has few year-round swimmers, nearly every swimmer is required to swim the 500 free and to date all of them have completed it successfully. As anyone with a high school swimmer can attest, there are more opportunities to practice at a MCSL pool than for high school swim teams. High school teams only practice 2 times per week whereas summer league pools have practice 5 timers per week.
Again the same reasoning that a swimmer has been swimming a 50 fly for 4 years since they were 11, a 15 year old should be swimming a 100 fly. The physical development between an 11 year old and a 15 year old is significant. Again, high school swimmers swim a 100 fly. We suggest an increase in the IM from 100 to 200 for 15-18 year-olds for similar reasons. It is not unusual for kids much younger than 12 to be swimming a 100 IM. For example, a swim meet we had this year had a 6 year old successfully swim a 100 IM. While he was slow, he finished it legally. Also in high school swimming, the length is 200 IM (yards).
With these changes, the timeline for a regular dual meet would only be increased by about 10 minutes. The timeline for Divisionals would only increase by about 20 minutes. If these changes are approved it would also not greatly increase the time of Coaches’ Long Course since there is only one heat of each event.
As a reminder, these potential rule changes will be voted on at the MCSL Rep meeting on March 9, 2017, but we would love to hear the thoughts of swimmers and parents on these proposals.
Please use the comments below to sound off.