USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, has announced the newly elected members of its restructured Board of Directors. The organization’s more than 600 House of Delegates members elected six At-Large Directors, while the Athletes Committee elected three Athlete Directors, at the yearly convention in Jacksonville, Florida.
The House of Delegates also approved amendments to the organization’s Rules and Regulations, including banning technical suits for swimmers 12 & under at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed swim meet, with the exception of national events and the Olympic Trials, and allowing host clubs and LSCs the ability to include sponsorship from alcohol brands for non-swimming competitions.
The nine newly-elected voting members of the 15-member USA Swimming Board of Directors include:
Chris Brearton* – 4-year term
Natalie Coughlin Hall – 4-year term
Maya DiRado – 3-year term
Dr. Cecil Gordon – 3-year term
Jeanette Skow* – 3-year term
Davis Tarwater – 2-year term
Jay Thomas – 3-year term
Tom Ugast – 2-year term
Robert Vincent – 2-year term
*Semi-independent representatives: individuals with a demonstrable connection to the sport, but who have not previously been members of the House of Delegates. USA Swimming President & CEO Tim Hinchey III and General Counsel & Vice President of Business Affairs Lucinda McRoberts will continue to serve as ex-officio, non-voting members.
The following individuals will remain on the Board of Directors, based on existing term schedules:
Jim Sheehan, 2014-2018 Chair of the Board
Dale Ammon, Western Zone (Non-Coach)
John Bradley, Central Zone (Coach)
John Roy, Southern Zone (Coach)
Mary Turner, Eastern Zone (Non-Coach)
Jim Wood, National Team Steering Committee Chair
The Board will elect its own officer positions, including Board Chair, Vice Chair and Vice Chair Fiscal Oversight, from among its members, in late October.
Early Saturday morning, the House of Delegates voted to ban Technical Suits worn by 12 & Under USA Swimming athlete members at any Sanctioned, Approved or Observed meet, with the exception of the following National events: Junior Nationals, US Open, National Championships, as well as the Olympic Trials.
A Technical Suit is one that has the following components:
- Any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette; or
- Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips.
(Note: a suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted; and a suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.)
The legislation will be implemented in September 2020. USA Swimming notes that this allows adequate lead time for suit manufacturers to update current suit styles, develop relevant new styles, manage existing inventory and planned production, and incorporate the appropriate identification on the suits.
The assembled House of Delegates members also voted to approve alcoholic beverages or the recognition of alcohol sponsors at USA Swimming National Championships, Trials class meets, US Open Championships, USA Swimming Open Water National Championships and the TYR Pro Swim Series events, or others as approved by USA Swimming’s Chief Marketing Officer.
‘The approved rule allows more flexibility for a team to enter a sponsorship with companies around adult-focused activities – not youth swim meets.’
This rule proposal shifts the decision making from the Board of Directors to the staff to grant exceptions for clubs or non senior, national-level events. This shift from Board to staff is consistent with the philosophy of the organization’s new governance structure.
Disaster relief resolutions
Due to recurring extraordinary and monumental devastation and destruction of hurricanes and other natural disasters in the US, USA Swimming recognized that member athletes have been displaced from not only their homes but their swim clubs as well. USA Swimming believes enabling displaced athletes to be included as part of a team is also part of the recovery process.
To support this, the House of Delegates passed the resolution that will grant a temporary exception to the 120-day representation rule to allow swimmers to swim with other teams. Typically, swimmers must wait 120 days in order to switch teams for competitions. The House also granted staff and the Rules & Regulations Committee Chair the authority to authorize a similar procedure in future instances.