Monday, July 20, 1987

Zone Trip Notes -- going to Wyoming with Illinois Zone Team


Zone Administrator ILLINOIS SWIMMING

August 7,8,9, 1987

in Gillette, Wyoming Great States Swimming News

P.O. Box 99 Winnetka, IL 60093 (312) 432-1075

July 1987

Dear Illinois Coaches, Swimmers and Parents,

The I.S.I. Zone project for the meet in Gillette, Wyoming is looking promising. But, there are these final details which need your attention at this time. Everything has to be settled at the Illinois Junior Olympics in Champaign. The coaching staff and myself are looking forward to meeting you at J.O.'s to complete the following:

Sign-up Forms:

a. Medical Power of Attorney & Code of Conduct b. Coaching Tip Sheet c. Event Entry Form d. Uniform Sizes and Financial Form

If you are going to zones but not J.O.'s, you will still need to talk to me on J.O. weekend while I'm in Champaign. It will be your responsibility to talk to me then as I'll be in Clovis, California the week prior to J.O.'s.

We have notice that many people are going to Wyoming and the logistic problems of travel and organization are being solved. Everyone seems to be planning ahead. People are getting to Wyoming with numerous schedules and methods. The team or group sponsored travel which is being led by the staff members has a dozen travelers.

To Sign-up Team Travel (It may be to late.)

The cost for the team travel is now at least $150.00 per person more expensive than it was in early July. This is due to the late date for booking airline tickets. If anyone still wants to go on the team sponsored trip, they need to call me as soon as possible. Then I will call the travel agent to see if there is still ticket availability from the airlines and what the cost of the ticket will be. Then it is best to pay for your ticket directly to the travel agent with a credit card. If you 

responsible for any refunds should cancellations occur and it is too late in the payment process.

Outstanding items which are not included in the Trip Fees include: Meet day meals, and the athlete's spending money. We suggest that $60.00 will be more than enough to cover the costs of food for three days. On competition days, swimmers will have different schedules and preferences about meals, so team meals do not work as easily as on travel days. Suggestions will be presented to the swimmers for meals, but they will then pay for what they order.

The staff will hold an envelope which should contain travelers checks for the swimmers so that the money is not misplaced or stolen. Travelers Checks are a good investment and should be part of the travel experience.

Individual Travel As expected, most of the Illinois team will get to the meet on an Individual Travel basis. Individuals will be going to Gillette by car, camper and some will even fly directly to the Gillette airport. If a family goes to the meet, "on their own", we would like that swimmer to meet with the team on Thursday morning at the hotel if possible. The Illinois Team will be swimming a practice at the Aquatic Center at noon. We plan to arrive at the picnic at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Individual Travel Costs: Meet entries Uniform Fee: girls = $20.00; boys = $10.00 Thursday's All-Team Picnic

Order of Events

A copy of the order of events is attached. Use this form to make your entry as the event numbers are needed. Remember that 12 and unders swim only timed finals and everyone is allowed to swim only 2 individual events per day. This is a new rule for zone meets from USS.

a shirt and a meal at the concession stand after working on deck. Plus, it is always nice to have friends in important places when traveling to an out of state meet, especially if you are good, like us. Thanks for helping. Timers are needed too. Team Uniforms A special Illinois Zone T-shirt, swim cap and a Hind Lycra swim suit will be provided to the athletes who compete in zones. Swim bags are being provided by the hosts. Everyone at last year's meet liked having the matching swim suits and Hind provides them at a considerable savings to Zone Teams. When ordering swim suits, always get small swim suit sizes as you want a tight suit to wear at zones. The suits will eventually stretch and you do not want a loose racing suit. Then when ordering T-Shirts, order a big shirt as they can shrink fit even if they are large rather than too small. Uniforms will be distributed according to the sizes you ordered starting on Thursday. The swim suit is the Hind Chardais in Navy. The swim suit at normal cost at the Swimmer's Edge is $34.95 for girls and $17.80 for boys.

The Hind suits will be shipped from the plant in California directly to Wyoming. Bring another suit just in case. Likewise, the Tshirts will be made on Monday, the day before leaving for zones.

About Gillette and Making a Well-Rounded Visit

Gillette will be hot as blazes. The pool is inside, but not air-conditioned. The Gillette area is on a high plain, which means there are not many trees or mountains. It is quite barren looking. The area is known for its open pit coal mines. There are ten massive mines in the county. Tours for the swimmers are being scheduled. The mines are an impressive sight with all the machinery.

When we arrive on Wednesday in Rapid City, we will board a bus and tour Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Then on our return from Gillette to Rapid City, we will stop at Devil's Tower National Monument, east of Gillette, which is recommended as a good half-day side-trip. We will have a cookout at Devil's tower. Gillette has a population of 20,000 so anything in town in very easy to get to and find. It is a very compact and safe community which takes less than ten minutes to get anywhere. The city has the normal fast food restaurants as will as some very fine sit down restaurants. The week of zones is also county fair week in Gillette. The fair is about a mile from the pool and will feature rodeo's on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Also, Charlie Pride will be the grandstand performer on Thursday night 7:00 pm, and special


An officials meeting will follow the picnic on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Tower West Lodge Room 2104. A list of our official attending the meet needs to be included with the meet entries, so please see obtain the list from Mark. A National Certification Clinic will be held for all officials who desire certification immediately following the general meeting on Thursday. Each official will receive

can not reach me, and want to book a ticket, you can call the travel agent directly. Ask for Molly at Sundial Travel in Winnetka, (312)
People who are going with the team, must have the exact same air travel. If there is no space on our flights, then you can not attend. The total trip cost for those late comers will be at least $500.00, plus meet day meals and entry fees.
Illinois' Team Travel 
The Team Travel, Departure on Wednesday, August 5, 1987 at O'Hare International Airport on United Flight #411 at 6:30 A.M. to Denver at 7:56 A.M. Then we will take Aspen Airways/United Flight #3762 from Denver at 8:55 A.M. to Rapid City, South Dakota at 10:00 A.M. A charter bus will meet us at the airport but we will sight-see on our way to Gillette.
The Team Travel Pans have us returning on Monday, August 10, 1987 to O'Hare International Airport at 10:19 P.M. The specific flight information is Aspen Airway/United Flight#449 at 4:40 P.M. from Rapid City to Denver at 5:41 P.M. Then we take United Flight #240 at 7:00 P.M. from Denver to Chicago at 10:19 P.M.
Swimmers who are going to travel with the team trip will be assigned rooms. Roommates requests will be accepted, but not promised.
Parents are going to travel with the Illinois Zone Team. They will be asked to do certain duties by the staff. The staff, and the spectators who are part of the team travel will sign the code of conduct.
Team Trip costs:
air fare = was $228.00 now at least $365.00.


hotel = 50


Wed meals = 12. Breakfast 3.00 Lunch 4.00 Dinner 5.00 


Thurs Meals = 10. Breakfast 5.00 Lunch 5.00 Dinner $0


Monday Meals = 15. Breakfast 5.00 Lunch 5.00 Dinner $5


Girls uniforms = 20. Boys uniforms = 10. (suit, swim cap, T-shirt, bag)


Ground Travel = 40.

 Individual Event Entries Fees =

As much as possible, we will try to refund money if a cancelation becomes necessary, but the amount of the refunds will depend upon the availability of finding substitutes to take your spot and money already sent to the airlines, etc. Illinois Swimming will try to make partial refunds when cancelation occurs, but we are not

 tickets are being obtained, cost is around $5.00. On Thursday evening, a big picnic will be held on the large lawn of the Aquatic Center.

The Hotel -- Econo Lodge -- (307) 686-3000

Everyone should have made their reservations. The team will be at the Econo Lodge, which is right next to, and operated by the same management of the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn is fine too. Sorry I said Excell, the wrong name, in the earlier information. Rates at the are $29.00 per night plus 4% tax for 1-4 people per room. Rates at the Holiday Inn are $40.00. Within walking distance to the hotel is a grocery store, Dairy Queen and about five different restaurants.

Code of Conduct Every swimmer, coach and person on the trip, plus those swimmers who are going to travel on their own, will have to sign a code of conduct. The code of conduct is attached.

Coaching Tip Sheet Your home club coach is invited to join the zone staff if at the meet to assist with the coaching effort. Also, we have devised a Coaching Tip Sheet for the swimmer to take to his or her USS coach before leaving for the meet. This way the Zone Staff can better assist you in faster swimming while at the competition. All swimmers should bring their Coaching Tip Sheets to the Zone Staff after the J.O. Meet or before the start of the Zone Meet. Coaching Tip Sheets are available at Seniors and J.O.'s.

Medical Power of Attorney and Special Physical Notes

Please complete this, just in case. Also, note any special health notes for the staff's knowledge. If a person has ever had heat stroke or heat exhaustion, he or she is more likely to get it again. For this reason, we will be weighing the swimmers throughout the week to make sure that they do not lost weight and become dehydrated. Also, at altitude, fluids become increasingly important.

Uniform Order Form Please get suits that are tight and T-Shirts that are loose.



Each member of the Zone team will be matched with another swimmer in another age group in a (big/little) (brother/sister). Each age group will elect an age group captain. The staff will select the team captains who will also be on the conduct committee if needed.

Closing Message We will hold two Zone Team Meeting for interested swimmers at the Senior Championships and at J.O.'s. The exact times of the meetings will be announced at the meet. One meeting will be held on the last day of the meet. Also, a parents question and answer session will be held at some announced time that weekend. Mark will be in attendance at Seniors on Friday only and at J.O.'s on Saturday and Sunday.

After the state championships, it is very important to rest and allow your muscles some extra time to recover from the meet, especially if you were in a lot of races. Please get some good sleep time prior to the Zone Meet Weekend as the travel, new altitude, new climate and recovery from the state championships could cause problems for fatigued swimmers.

Get excited about our fantastic trip. Just think of the excellent opportunity we'll be making for ourselves for fast swimming while representing the Great State of Illinois at The Zone Championships. After all, we are the Defending Champions in spirit and score.

The Illinois Zone Team has an awesome reputation from its historic winning streak and domination of the Spirit Award. We have won the meet every year that we can remember, at least four years. Illinois also has the best tradition around for earning the Spirit Award at every Illinois team event (Zones and Mid-States All-Stars). Just this past Mid-States Meet, Kentucky took home the Spirit Award, so revenge is in the air for The Spirit Award for this summer.

Plan on wearing blue and white and as much Illinois clothing as possible. We will wear the team suits and caps at all times, even in warm-ups. If you like to warm-up with numberous swim suits for drag, make the outside suit your team suit. We want to do things as a unit, in uniform!

Mark Rauterkus
Zone Administrator & Editor, Great States Swimming News

Thursday, January 01, 1987

Computerized Swimming (rant)

Computerized Swimming

By Mark Rauterkus, 1987

Computers are showing up everywhere. In corporations, where you bank and shop, at schools, and

now, at the pool. And they’re changing our world. Fast.


Fast. That stands for the quickness and ease of use that computers will be able to gobble up administrative jobs that in the past took hours to complete.


Fast. Like the shooting rapids in the high water, the evolution of computers in swimming is making waves that will sweep the nation in one or two seasons.


Who wants to be washed away and upstream without a paddle?


Will an allegiance to stubborn ways and bygone days cripple your program?


Fast. At the finish, the swimmers will be moving faster, and the computer's impact upon the programs will make a difference upon the quality of the participation experience, not to mention heightened the opportunity for greater improvements.


What can and can’t they do?


How will these miracle machines affect the coaches’, parents’, and

swimmers' pool-side duties?


How many of your present day-to-day activities will become ”computerized"?


Will you be able to keep up with all the changes?


What will it all mean to you, the age-group coach?


Will you be able to afford all the hardware, software, and training time?


Will volunteers and the swimmers be able to work the programs, or will coaches be tied to keyboard and taken off the pool deck?


Or worse yet, will parents and computer programmers be pushing onto the deck interfering with the coaching?


Will they crash?




A handful of people have been the programing pioneers in swimming’s use of computers. To their credit and persistence, these people have already adapted computers to fit their own needs. And, they are doing some substantial ticks with the floppy disks. But no one has really been able to bring the computer along to a point where it is able to float in the swimming marketplace. Most of these homegrown programs sink when they are taken out of their creator’s hands and placed in different situations. These computer hackers have working programs, but most of them are very specific to the tasks on the hands of an age-group coach.

For instance, some great meet management programs are in existence, but pity the coach who tries to get a different order of events for next year’s invitational. Many times out of frustration, A-B Meets have been run using two or more computers.

The computing pioneers in swimming have learned to use them to their advantage, mainly by writing their own programs from scratch. But for most of us, computers still seem mysterious and confusing. And a little intimidating.

But now, since some standard programs exist, putting the computer to work around the pool is a million times easier than just a couple years ago. And, with the Syndicate in full operation, computer operations for the coaches become a breeze.

The computer movement in swimming is going to run into many roadblocks. But we hope are coaches and the Syndicate can give the spark needed to start their acceptance.


Coaches are the root of the swimming community. They are talented motivators of motion. But coaches are not know for superior skills when it comes to paper-pushing. People-pushing, yes, but shuffling paper and administrative tasks are another matter altogether. Coaches affiliate with people-work and normally avoid paperwork.

It is not my intention to scorn and belittle swim coaches. I am a proud age-group coach and also one of the worst offenders in letting paperwork just slide by. The administration of a swim team deserves considerable attention, but this always takes a back seat to the attention paid directly to the swimmers themselves.

I realized my avoidance of paper-work by saying, “Hey, there are only so many hours in the day, and I am not effective doing two things at the same time." I've done all-night budgets, made line-up while on the bus headed to dual meets, and even have Men forced to guess at seed times on a meet entries when our team's best time book became months out of date. So, I’m an offender too. This has frustrated me to no end. So much so, that I've quit coaching on a full-time basis. I promised myself that I'm not going to return to coaching again and get into the time-trap among the administrative chores and coaching contact time while squandering my own life. That is, not until I've found a better way.

I wonder if the coaching time-trap is a universal problem in the profession. Do others reading this newsletter relate to these problems? There must be a better way!

Forgive the editorialization, but it is important for the sake of widespread acceptance. A universal appeal to modernize, and computerize, especially at the age-group and grassroots level is needed. We all have to move ahead on these issues together.

For instance, one team in you league or organization cannot move ahead and computerize effectively without cooperation from the other league-members. Sure, there are some internal matters where a team who has a personal computer can generate the team newsletter with a word-processor and the like. But the big payoff will come when all the teams are networked together.

We cannot wait for the day when meet entries and final results, as we know them today, are extinct. The suffering related to meet entries, meet results and many of the meet director’s biggest headaches can be eliminated with a computerization process, but it has to be UNIVERSAL.

All the teams have to save their times on a compatible computer system so meet entries can be generated easily with a few keystrokes. Then the association best times, final results and championship entries need to be saved to disk and accessible to all.

If we are going to find a better way to manage our duties as coaches, then we need to use the computers effectively and universally.

At first, our reluctance to sit at our desks is going to stall the coach from ever making the commitment to learn the basics, initiating the team's system and developing the data base to get the names and times readable for the computer. But after the coaches learn that the computer is going to make the paperwork easier in the long run, then the modivation has to be there to get started.

But on the other hand, we have a strong warning to issue. There have been many risk takers who have been a bit short on swim meet helpers and have turned to the computer out of haste. We are going to need an open mind, and a well-rounded knowledge base with plenty of professional guidance to gain in productivity.

Each age group club across America should not have to re-invent the wheel. If this were the case, then it would be n a huge waste of time, and we still would not have productivity and connectivity.

I have been there and paid the price of meet entries, best time updates, vague team records, uninspired swimmers who do not know how to or why they need to keep their own records. I was unable to do it all myself. Support people on the commitees which have worked in the programs that I've coached have done so much. I understand that these are tireless jobs, thankless, and only get the recognition they deserve when something is wrong. Wait till a swimmer is seeded with the wrong time, either too fast, or too slow. The margin of error is minimal. If something can be done to clean up the following mess, then more power to it. We have to support what is working to help us work better.

USA Swimming and ASCA are not in the position of recommending a product except for sponsorship and publicity reasons. They are not going to go to the point of recommending a certain product over the others, as it would offend the outside vendors' opportunities. The innovation in the sport is going to have to come from within an independent leadership within swimming, and outside of the political sphere.

We understand it will be quite difficult for nonprofit, community based, volunteer organizations to foot the bill for the computerization of their teams. This includes a steep price tag. The average teams should count on spending upwards of $5000 throughout the next couple of years. Computers, storage, modems, networks, software, education, phone-lines, phone bills, printers, supplies, air conditioning, digitizers, all cost money. But, it will all be worth it!

How much would you, as an age-group coach, be willing to pay to never have to manually do a meet entry again?

How valuable is an updated best time list for the team, the league, or the nation?

How much harder will your team practice when their goals are handed to them at the start of practice?

The questions of value are never ending.

What is going to happen when the meet entries arrive and only one person can deal with all the meet administration paperwork with one computer instead of an army of typist, double-chukers, etc. Now the others can be out soliciting advertisements, running raffles, shooting video tapes and planning post meet parties that we all can attend!

What are the costs of today’s inefficiency in time to you, your program and your swimmers?