Updated Program and Registration Q&As

August 13, 2018

These Updated Q&As provided additional information following MSO’s June 18, 2018 Notice to Clubs and Swimmers regarding 2018-2019 Fees.

Q: What does independent of both MSC and SO mean?

As of September 1, 2017 MSO is no longer a provincial member of Master Swimming Canada (MSC). MSC decided to severe its long relationship with MSO and instead recognize Swim Ontario as its provincial member. MSO will not have a vote at the MSC AGM nor will any MSO affiliated club. Only clubs affiliated with Swim Ontario (SO) will be voting members of MSC. Only swimmers registered with SO are considered to be MSC Registrants.

Whether or not a masters club has voting rights at SO AGMs depends on the club’s structure. A Masters Club integrated, as a single corporate entity, with an age group club has no independent voice.

Q: What is the benefit of MSO’s alternative Masters program?

  • MSO is a Masters organization, run by Masters for Masters. It serves only Masters clubs and swimmers. You are the one and only priority for MSO.
  • All MSO-affiliated Masters clubs have a voice at MSO’s AGMs.
  • MSO’s member clubs are not viewed as a source of revenue. They are MSO’s partners in delivering services to Masters swimmers, which is why our club affiliation fee is simple and low.
  • Competitive or non-competitive, all swimmers are treated equally. MSO does not have different rules or different fees. All swimmers are welcome to attend all MSO‑sanctioned events for the same low membership fee.
  • MSO does not impose additional costs on clubs for coach registration; there are no fees to register coaches.

Q: How did MSO’s first year as an independent organization play out?

2017-2018 was a transitional year that started with much uncertainty. However, Masters clubs and swimmers assessed our program and strongly supported it.

  • More than 64 clubs and 2800 swimmers affiliated and registered with MSO.
  • MSO’s club members hosted 14 swim meets last year, including a successful provincial championship in Nepean; the second largest meet in Canada. With MSO’s Single-Event Registration Policy, all swimmers, MSO registered or not, are welcome to participated in MSO-approved events.
  • All swims are entered into the MSO database and all swims are reviewed by Christian Berger, who tracks the top swims in Canada.
  • MSO developed its own MEGAMeter tracker.

A great deal of work has gone into updating MSO policies, rules and IT infrastructure to serve you better. More work is needed and MSO welcomes engaged volunteers as we continue to build our organization.

Q: What does “fully insured” adult swim league mean?

A: MSO has offered insurance for more than 20 years.

All registered swimmers and coaches are insured under MSO’s policy while participating in any MSO activity (training, competition, “after practice meals”, OWS, club and provincial meetings). Insurance also extends to volunteers working under the direction of MSO or MSO‑affiliated club, for example during a swim meet.  MSO’s Policy also provides Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance to the executive of affiliated club.

In 2018-2019, Open Water Swimming (OWS) will eturn to the MSO policy.

MSO swim meets are open to all participants. Swimmers not registered with MSO pay an additional Single-Event Registration, which provides them insurance coverage for the event.

Q: Does a club have to register all of it members with MSO?

A: This is largely a question about insurance coverage for club activities.  While MSO encourages clubs to register all of their members, it is the club’s decision based on its own structure and administration.

MSO allows clubs to assess how best to assure that all of its members, staff and volunteers have proper coverage from a single source.

The MSO registrar can assist with any questions.

Q: My club is affiliating with SO. Will I be allowed to join MSO as well?

A: Absolutely yes. In fact your club and all of its swimmers may join MSO irrespective of membership with any other organization. If your club chooses not to affiliate with MSO, then you and any other swimmer can still join MSO as an “independent swimmer”.

Better still, we recommend that clubs affiliate with MSO whether or not they affiliate and register their swimmers with SO. This allows their swimmers to compete at MSO events under their club name and maintain club spirit and identity.

Q: May I swim under my club code at MSO meets?

If your club has affiliated with MSO, then you may use the club code when registering for MSO‑sanctioned meets.  If your club has decided not to affiliate with MSO, then the club’s name and code is not available to you.  You may register as an MSO independent swimmer and enter meets under the TOMS provincial club. TOMS registrants may enter relays.

Q: What competition can I access with an MSO membership?

MSO membership lets you compete at any MSO-approved meets offered by MSO affiliated clubs in Ontario. In 2017-2018, there were 14 MSO-approved meets in Ontario, including a successful provincials in Nepean.

To compete in non-MSO meets, e.g., those sanctioned by a SNC province like SO, you must be registered with SO or one of the SNC provincial sections (e.g. Swim Alberta, Swim Nova Scotia etc.) or a FINA federation (e.g., USMS). Being a registrant of Masters Swimming Canada (MSC) is no longer relevant for Masters competition. Only registration through SNC now matters.

Initially, Swim Ontario refused to provide independent swimmer registration, even though Canadian masters had competed for many years against independent swimmers registered with Provincial clubs like Wild Rose and Dogwood. MSO raised this issue as a priority in its October 7, 2017 Open Letter to Dan Thompson.  Since January 2018, MSO‑only swimmers have this new pathway to events sanctioned by SNC or other FINA federations.

Q: Will my results at an MSO-approved meet be added to the MSC results database?

A: No. Unfortunately, independent means independent. Results from MSO-approved meets will be loaded into the MSO system only. However, all swims will be reviewed by Christian Berger, who maintains the top Canadian swims. Berger’s fastest swims in Canada are recorded in the MSO database after he approves them. All of Berger’s recordkeeping is available from the MSO website.

Q: What will happen to my previous meet results?

A: Results and any records up until August 31, 2017 will remain on the MSC system since you were a Registrant of MSC when it was achieved. The MSC results database goes back only to 2005. Historical Ontario records and results are still on the MSO website for Ontario swimmers. Christian Berger’s Canadian records are entered into the MSO database making it the most complete source in Canada.  And of course, all of Christian Berger’s historical records and rankings are accessible from the MSO site.

A PDF Version of these Q&As are available here.