Required USA SWIMMING

RULE CHANGES

To all USA Swimming members,

As we approach the Special Meeting of the House of Delegates on June 30, we urge you to take the time to review the proposed legislation and the responses to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that have been added and updated. 

 

Since the proposals were initially posted on April 16, our Board of Directors, the Governance Committee and the three Working Groups (overseeing the recommended legislation changes to the Board of Directors, Committees and House of Delegates) have continued our commitment to transparency in serving the interests of our membership and our obligations to adhere to the new federal laws and comply with USOPC mandates.

 

We extended the Notice and Comment period from its initial 20-day interval to 33 days. We listened to the concerns and suggestions that were raised and made refinements to the legislative proposals, right up until the Rules and Regulations Committee meeting on May 21-22.

 

We thank the Rules & Regulations Committee for their diligence in reviewing the proposed legislation and making revisions to ensure compliance with the existing rules and bylaws and consistency in the language across the proposals. We are pleased that the Rules and Regulations Committee has recommended all three sets of proposals for approval by the House of Delegates.

 

The most common questions that we have received have pertained to the timing of the Special Meeting, the details about 10 Year Athlete representation, and the risks and implications of decertification of USA Swimming as the sport’s National Governing Body. In response, we have recently added and highlighted FAQs about these topics on the website: https://www.usaswimming.org/about-usas/governance/special-hod-meeting/required-usa-swimming-rule-changes

 

The greatest concern we’ve heard is that the 33.3% 10 Year Athlete mandate causes a reduction to the voting power of other constituencies in the House of Delegates, particularly that of coaches and grassroots athletes.  The proposed legislation is based on a House of Delegates with 390 members, of which we are required to have 130 10 Year/10 Year+ Athletes (including a minimum of 78 10 Year and up to 52 10 Year+ Athletes). 

 

With the hope that we had been underestimating the interest in 10 Year Athlete participation, numerous coach leaders with whom we’ve had dialogue requested that we survey the 223 10 Year Athletes in our database to gauge their interest in serving as members of the House of Delegates. We acted on this request, reaching out in late-May to the approximately 170 for whom we have a valid email address. We subsequently identified contact information for and reached out to approximately 50 additional 10 Year Athletes. 

 

Of the replies received thus far, only 59 replied that they would potentially be interested in serving, which is just two-thirds of the minimum we must achieve. A handful said they are not interested, and most chose not to respond. 

 

We remain optimistic that with a concerted effort we can achieve the 33.3% compliance requirement with 130 Athletes. Given the challenges of apportioning the other 66.7% of the House of Delegates, we remind you that if we achieve compliance, the House will maintain the ability to modify its composition with future legislation. On the other hand, the USOPC has already demonstrated its willingness to request an NGB disband its legislative body if the NGB fails to comply with federal law or USOPC Bylaw requirements.

 

Therefore, your Board of Directors urges the House of Delegates to pass this legislation on June 30, which would put the gears in motion that ensure that we are able to come into compliance with the USOPC Bylaws and federal law by December 31. 

 

Sincerely,

Chris Brearton, Chair, Governance Committee and Chair-Elect, USA Swimming Board of Directors

Bob Vincent, Chair, USA Swimming Board of Directors

Working Group Proposals

Have feedback?

Please let us know of any questions, comments, suggestions, or feedback you have on the Working Group Proposals. 
Board of Directors Working Group

Chair: Jeanette Skow

 

Role Name
AEC Rep. Jack Swanson
R&R Rep. Jim Kelly
Official Sally Taggart
Coach Tom Phillips
At-Large Mary Ellen Tynan
At-Large Patric Mills
LSC General Chair Terry Stoddard
10-Year Rule Athlete Caitlin Leverenz
10-Year Rule Athlete Andrew Gemmell
Committees Working Group

Chair: Katie Meili 

 

Role Name
AEC Rep. Ellery Parish
R&R Rep. Rachel Stratton-Mills
Official Wayne Shulby
Coach Kate Chronic
At-Large Maria Davila
At-Large Wade Atkins
LSC General Chair Taylor Rogers
10-Year Rule Athlete Anthony Ervin
10-Year Rule Athlete Madison Kennedy
House of Delegates Working Group

Chair: Bill Schalz

 

Role Name
AEC Rep. Ryan Gibbons
R&R Rep. Mickey Smythe
Official Ellen Colket
Coach Mary Liston
At-Large Kim O'Shea
At-Large Bradley Jacobs
LSC General Chair Joe Gazzarato
10-Year Rule Athlete Tom Shields
10-Year Rule Athlete Ashley Twichell
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Questions related to the Board of Directors Working Group Proposals
FAQS

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

NOTE: These FAQs will be updated on a regular basis. If you have any questions related to the Working Group Proposals, please submit them below.
CONTACT US
Is the working group proposing any other changes for the Board of Directors or House of Delegates to consider?
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Did the working group consider recommending any additional changes to the Board structure?
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How will these changes to the Board's composition make us a better organization?
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How will the new Board structure be different from the current one?
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Will the new Board structure change the number of coaches, semi-independent members, or the requirement that there must be at least one at-large member from each of the four geographic zone areas?
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Will the new Board structure change how the Board of Directors are elected by the House of Delegates?
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Will the new Board structure change how the athlete elections will take place?
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What were the considerations in maintaining a Board size of 15 voting members?
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Why did the working group select all five athlete Board representatives as 10 Year Athletes?
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Questions related to the House of Delegates Working Group Proposals
FAQs

HOUSE OF DELEGATES

(Added 6/7/20201) What does the breakdown of the HOD look like by constituency group and in chart form?
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(Added 5/24/2021) How does the new federal requirement of 33.33% athlete representation affect the composition of the USA Swimming House of Delegates (HOD)?
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(Added 5/24/2021) The Legislation proposes a decrease in the size of the House of Delegates. Why is this necessary to allow for 33.33% athlete representation?
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(Added 5/24/2021) Why can’t USA Swimming increase athlete representation (and thus the overall size of the House of Delegates) by factoring in the 10 Year+ Athletes?
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(Added 5/24/2021) Why can’t USA Swimming use weighted voting (multiplying the number of 10 Year Athlete votes by a factor that results in 33.33% representation) to ensure compliance?
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Why do we need to make these changes?
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General Questions related to the Working Group Proposals
FAQs

GENERAL

(Added 5/24/2021) Has the Board rushed this process?
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(Added 5/24/2021) Why is there urgency to vote on these proposals at the June 30th Special Meeting, instead of waiting until the September 25th Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates?
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(Added 5/24/2021) Would we have more options if we postpone the vote until after the Athletes Advisory Council (AAC) is seated?
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(Added 5/24/2021) Don’t we have until December 31st to vote on the necessary changes?
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(Added 5/21/21) Is the threat of decertification or other adverse action by the USOPC for USA Swimming’s failure to comply with federal law and/or USOPC Bylaws real?
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(Added 5/21/21) USA Swimming has historically been out of compliance with USOPC requirements without repercussion. What has changed?
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(Added 5/21/21) Does USA Swimming’s stature as among the most successful National Governing Bodies impact the USOPC’s willingness to take adverse action against USA Swimming?
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(Added 5/21/21) Will Congress be notified of any failure to comply by USA Swimming?
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(Added 5/21/21) Can Congress decertify a National Governing Body, including USA Swimming?
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(Added 5/21/21) Are there any NGBs that have had changes to their House of Delegates (or similar structures) mandated by the USOPC?
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(Added 5/21/21) Wouldn’t it take the USOPC a considerable amount of time to identify and/or establish a new entity to become the swimming NGB?
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(Added 5/21/21) If USA Swimming is decertified, what is the process, and how long would it take, to apply for recertification?
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(Added 5/21/21) According to the USOPC, what would happen if USA Swimming fails to comply by December 31, 2021?
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Did USA Swimming decide to increase the required voting power of international delegation event athletes to 33.33%?
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Why does the House of Delegates fall into this category?
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Why does USA Swimming have to comply with the USOPC Bylaws?
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Does the USOPC have the right to decertify USA Swimming?
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Does Congress have the right to decertify USA Swimming?
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