Long distance All-star award rule change?

I would like to propose a change in rules for the small number of us that chase long distance all-star award. I believe current criteria are 3 total event minimum and one open water and one postal is required. We are now 0 for 2 on open water races this year.  Del Valle originally scheduled in June with one open water championships was moved rather last minute to August due to ?algae. I was half-way to today's race in Cleveland when it was cancelled due to the 18mph winds and 3-4 ft waves projected.  It does seem that despite great expense to us idiots traveling and the threshold for cancelling, their inclusion as an absolute requirement for all-star award seems unfair.

Top Replies

  • Let me understand this. You make a comment about the “Great wussification” of America, but you want a rules change for this award to make it easier?


  • Ah "snarky" response?!  I think you've come to the right place. Well, perhaps change the rules so it's at least possible.  I've made and cancelled at least 5 travel reservations in 2020 for various swim events which were subsequently cancelled (I think we can now say outside would have been the best place to be, but understandable given circumstances). Eventually, there was no declared winner for any division for long distance all-star.  Moving to 2021, my point (if you had read my post) would be that we are now 0 for 3 in holding open water championships making it again (so far) impossible for anybody to even compete for a win again this year. Use a 1650 time, 5 event minimum but can be all postal, eliminate award all together...something!

    As an aside, I was going to delete the thread after I wrote it as I know nobody cares about this (except like 3 people) or my whining, but I have no idea how to do that (seemed easier on old forums).  Also, in a hundred years of USMS membership (I'm gonna get award for that, I think), I've also never figured out how to ask questions or make suggestions to the great and powerful OZ that makes decisions without putting it on forum.  Believe me ForceDJ, I have great ideas and I'm absolutely positive USMS wants to hear every one of them!

  • I do not know all the details of the forecasted or actual weather in Cleveland, but this is always a tough decision for event directors and safety is paramount.

    To clarify, the Del Valle Open Water Festival includes 1.2K, 2.5K, and 5K races, but only the 5K is designated as a championship for 2022 (the USMS Long-Distance Open Water National Championship). That event was postponed to August 27, not cancelled. And three additional Open Water National Championships are scheduled for this year (July 31 in Santa Cruz, August 13 in Lake Placid, and August 20 in Lake George).

    My understanding is that changing the All-Star criteria would be a Long Distance Committee decision and that they plan to discuss this topic. Not sure what will be decided in this case based on one cancellation, but they have already made some changes to awards based on circumstances over the past few years. To receive the Virtual Championships Series Challenge patch, only three of the five distance must be completed for 2022.

    The email to reach the Long Distance Committee chair is longdistance@usmastersswimming.org. Also, feel free to reach out to events@usmastersswimming.org with event questions or membership@usmastersswimming.org with membership/general questions and we’ll respond accordingly or at least get you to the right person.  


  • Thanks so much for the reply.

  • What USMS should do for this long distance award recognition …instead of holding a few USMS-specific open water championships around the country…allow swimmers to do the open-water swim in locally organized swim events that are of at least the required distance. They could come up with a list of authorized events. Or, if a swimmer wants to use an event that isn’t on the list, they could query USMS to have the swim authorized.


  • To my previous point, I endeavored to make a goal of earning the 2022 Long Distance All-Star for my age-group as I noted in the previous year (2021), the winner only had 16 points.  The rules to obtain the award is a minimum of 3 races with at least one open water and one virtual.  Since the open water race I entered was cancelled, I was deemed ineligible.  The overall winner in 2022 amassed 3 points--3x10th place.  My postal/virtual total was 44 and Lussier 50. Frentsos won three open water and 2nd in another but no postals/virtuals for a total of 42.  Perhaps, we could do better with what I would envision the spirit of this award to be.

  • I would offer the following amendment to the current method of assigning LD All-Stars. Right now, you are All-American when you win any of the national championship events, and All-Star based on a formula that takes into account your total points for all national championship events. The All-Star recognition is intended to signify the "best of the best". However, there is no requirement that the All-Star would have won at least one of the national championship events. How can one be considered the "best of the best" when you weren't the best in any single event? I would add the requirement of winning at least one event to be in the consideration for All-Star designation. There have been cases in the past where the All-Star didn't win anything, but paid to travel to all of the LD championship events in a given year, racking up points for placing 2-10 in them. In these cases, the All-Star is simply the person who had the monetary resources to travel all over the country to swim these events plus the ability to place in them, but not the ability to win any of them.

  • Now you're talking.  Long distance is a bit more of a game than pool-all star where it's more pure with winner having the most number one rankings.  I won in 2021 by winning all 5 postals and 2 open water nationals.  It seems with some frequency there are a few age groups where random unintentional people win.  I would rather see nobody win (which sometimes happens) than the winners having minimal points.  My age group has been the deepest distance age-group for the past 25 years as evidenced by the fact that most of the time the top 3 in my age for a postal/virtual event would be either winning or top 3 overall.  I got 2nd or 3rd in every postal last year but would have won many of the younger age groups (so, disappointing but not altogether sucky).  My solution would be to take out the requirement of at least one open water and one postal/virtual (could still keep 3 overall minimum).  If you want to make it more challenging add the top ten rankings in 1650/1500 scm/lcm for the year.  This solution or yours (have to win one) seems better than what we have.

    Thank you for your comments about the Long Distance All star requirements. The committee has reviewed the requirements and has made adjustments in the last few years. We’ve discussed other changes, a big part of the motivation for a change is the accessibility of OW events. There are  also other changes about the Open Water National Championship events being discussed that may affect the All star requirements.Until a decision is made about these events, the All star requirements will stay as posted
  • Your point of accessibility is a good one.  I really would like to try to go to that South Dakota race but as far as I can tell it's at least 3 hours from an airport and I'm already doing pool nationals that month (hard to get more than one weekend off per month for me).  I'm planning on Applegate this summer which is also a long way from a big airport (I think).  If we plan on keeping open water races, perhaps consideration of including those involved in cancelled races (no points) would be useful (I believe others would have been affected as well).  Hopefully, something will get done as I don't mind taking my beat down but prefer it be earned.  Thanks.