What is (or should be) the Marathon Swimmers Federation?

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited June 2014 in General Discussion
This discussion was created from comments split from: New MSF Logo Design.

Comments

  • RanieRanie Orinda, CAMember
    I like #3 without the yacht. What is this "new" federation going to do? Is it going to be a governing body of some sort?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    Ranie said:

    What is this "new" federation going to do? Is it going to be a governing body of some sort?

    That is under development. But currently I would define MSF as the parent organization of the Rules of Marathon Swimming, the Global Marathon Swimming Awards, and this Forum.
  • firebahfirebah Charter Member
    What is the Marathon Swimming Federation? Is it something that intends to become profitable at some future time by selling its services? Lots of questions out and about on the subject - lots of speculation resulting from this logo discussion. My questions are not meant to be accusatory but rather to hopefully end speculation as to future plans of MSF. I think the question by Raine and the rather vague response has caused many a tongue to wag.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    Hi @firebah ... and fellow tongue-waggers ;-)

    Great question! I hope you'll forgive me if I answer with another question:

    What would you like the Marathon Swimmers Federation to be?

    This Forum (and the as-yet-ill-defined 'Federation') would be nothing without you all. There has never been a successful global organization of solo marathon swimmers in the history of the world. So, now is the opportunity to make history.

    What would you like it to be?

    All viewpoints welcome.
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    I just want to buy shirts and polos with the logo. And I'd love to be able to put down "MSF" for my "club" when I sign up for swims (whether meets or OW).

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • firebahfirebah Charter Member
    As you know Evan I was the 'messenger'. I think my question has opened up an interesting topic for all to add their thoughts as to what the 'Federation' should or should not be. So many questions and decisions to be made. For example, and as we already discussed, one obvious question that was posed to me is: What happens if a swimmer doesn't use MSF for a swim not covered by an existing federation and has their swim officially documented by a qualified observer? How does MSF intend to keep records if its going to be a governing body? Would MSF recognize the swim done outside of MSF? Is MSF considering becoming a data warehouse of swim documentation? More and more swimmers are looking for that unique, never been done swim and the problem of documentation and official recognition for the swim is rather elusive at the moment other than perhaps getting it added to one's openwaterpedia page.
  • SullySully Member
    What would I like it to be?
    1. A forum
    2. An overseer of marathon swimming rules
    3. A member/sponsor funded scholarship granting committee. Maybe one swim a year.
    4. An outfit that organizes a yearly swim camp.
    5. A resource for swim news/blogs/events/etc.
    6. Perhaps a host of an annual event. Say a 10 and 20 mile race that moves annually across the globe.
    7. A place where I can go that motivates me to get to the pool.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited June 2014
    @firebah, I don't think @evmo's response to @Rainie was in any way vague. The Global Awards already exit, the rules already exist. Both came from discussions in the time when the forum was created and subsequently here. Both involve the community here and outside. We don't restrict the award to forum members, and we take feedback on the rules from everyone. (And I've been clear repeatedly that the rules don't either supercede or interfere with any existing organisation).

    I'm certainly nonplussed by mention of money and profit and tongue wagging. I've not heard any of this wagging 'til now. MSF and the forum have no resources except the goodwill and engagement of the marathon swimming community and the members and the time that Evan and I, and you all spend either working or moderating the forum or simply talking here. We don't even have monetary resources to give physical trophies for the awards.

    Let's take an example; Someone makes a new discussion or a comment. @Evmo and I have look at everything between us. (In all honestly, he does, but I tend to skip a lot of the US specific stuff). The resource required is time. It doesn't matter if one or two hundred members don't log in for months, we have to check the forum all the time.

    The forum has grown since we started. I certainly hope it will continue to so do with everyone's involvement. I'd like it to be able to do more, but as I say, the only resources we have are the goodwill and engagement of you all, and what Evan and I can do to keep it alive and vibrant. Sometimes you and we all have ideas the result in a new thread, (rare), sometimes they might grow to something more (even rarer). It's an organic, complimentary process that results from the community itself.

    We've always discussed things openly here, so maybe you can explain to me, whose tongues are wagging, and what you mean when you say you are the messenger ? For whom or what?

    Edit: @Sully, thank you and we agree with everything you say. We would love to do all those things and more. When my rich uncle leaves me LoneSwimmer Towers and the Duke of LoneSwimmer title with the annual estate income, I promise to put it all at the service of the forum and pay some of Evan's expenses. In the meantime four out of seven ain't bad.

    loneswimmer.com

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    firebah said:

    As you know Evan I was the 'messenger'.

    I'm not really inclined to engage with vague insinuations by anonymous proxy, but I think the questions in Barbara's second post are interesting ones, so I'll bite.
    firebah said:

    So many questions and decisions to be made.

    Yes, there are! Would you like to help make these decisions?
    firebah said:

    What happens if a swimmer doesn't use MSF for a swim not covered by an existing federation and has their swim officially documented by a qualified observer?

    What do you mean by "use MSF"? Do you mean "use MSF Rules?" Nobody is forcing anyone to use MSF Rules for their swim. We're proposing it as a standard so people don't have to make up their own, and to clarify in more precise terms what is meant by "traditional marathon swimming rules."

    If someone uses some different set of rules, but documents the swim with a qualified observer, then great! As far as I'm concerned, Transparency and Integrity are the greater values in our sport than whether MSF Rules are used or not.
    firebah said:

    How does MSF intend to keep records if its going to be a governing body? Would MSF recognize the swim done outside of MSF?

    We don't define MSF as a "governing body." For now, if someone does an observed, documented MSF-Rules swim, they are encouraged to submit the documentation to me or Donal, and we will be happy to consider featuring it on the MSF website. For a model of how such documentation might look, see my observer report for Craig Lenning's Farallon Islands swim.
    firebah said:

    Is MSF considering becoming a data warehouse of swim documentation?

    Yes.
    firebah said:

    More and more swimmers are looking for that unique, never been done swim and the problem of documentation and official recognition for the swim is rather elusive at the moment other than perhaps getting it added to one's Openwaterpedia page.

    I agree.
  • firebahfirebah Charter Member
    Simply put discussion has taken place because of the use of the word 'federation'. Having a 'federation' implies things and has caused speculation as to what this federation' intends to make of itself. I put the question out there rather than people sitting around tables discussing the implications. I have always argued your case to those who are sure you are slyly trying to replace their existing rules with yours. I have told people that it is my belief that MSF has no intention of ever trying to usurp authority from another federation and has made a set of rules that can be used by a new federation, a new event or by a swimmer who is swimming in uncharted waters and wants to point to a set of rules they followed. I have also pointed out that your rules are the most comprehensive rules in existence and that many of the federations are not keeping up with the new developments such as the use of streamers. Some federations are non profit and others are for profit which is why people are speculating. We know that Evan and Donal run the forum out of love of the sport and give endless hours to it. I stirred the pot to stimulate discussion and to hopefully end speculation because I like what Evan and Donal have created and appreciate the forum and the rules they have created because both benefit our world of open water swimming.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Thanks @Firebah, we very much appreciate the clarification (and support).

    As I racked my waterlogged brain about this over the last couple of days, I did recall that I had once had a discussion 9 months ago at the Cork Conference, where a well-known senior member of one association asked me these very questions, (but with none of the money rubbish). I had answered openly and candidly where I had any answers.

    I'd encourage that person or any others to engage publicly.

    loneswimmer.com

  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    It should be an advocacy group for Marathon Swimming with several goals
    1) Goal 1: To react quickly to potential changes/issues in the sport on two fronts:
    a) Be a forum for debate and "straw polling" on swimmer's opinions of MS issues
    b) Act as a leader by making concrete proposals that, while having no "official" status of law, will reflect point 1 and (hopefully) guide other organizations or people.
    2) Goal 2: To propose changes (or propose lack of changes) pro-actively (with same sub-points as 1)
    3) Goal 3: Hold "official" bodies accountable for their actions.
    4) Goal 4: Provide support and act as an informational resource.

    Much of this is already done via the forum, but as example:
    Goal 1: The reaction to she-who-cannot-be-named's jacuzzi dip with the codification of the MSF rules. (And subsequent debate, etc)
    Goal 2: Just my opinion, but I think that coming up with a formalization of types of swims (by category) is something that needss to be done before the sport grows much more. I've mentioned this before, so no new news here.
    Goal 3: FINA's stupid maximum water temperature rule should be rubbed in their noses at every possible opportunity. @loneswimmer's current crusade regarding ice swimming safety is another example.
    Goal 4: The forum does this. Perhaps it would also be nice to eventually provide an on-line resource "library" or similar as well as some database things. Or not.

    Apropos of nothing: Change the name from Marathon Swimmer's Forum/Federation/whatever" to "Marathon Swimmers United." Not for any good reason at all, except I always thought the English Soccer clubs that had "United" in their names (e.g. Manchester United, Leeds United) sounded really cool and I always wanted a t-shirt like that. Petty, I know, but you asked.

    -LBJ

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    MSU!! YES!!
    THAT is a GREAT idea.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    I once read and agreed with @loneswimmer about the idea that "Open water swimming is an individual expression of freedom . . . " I hope the developing Federation and its members keep that in mind particularly when encouraged "to hold other 'official' bodies accountable for their actions."
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    edited June 2014
    The Federation is a group of marathon swimmers who have agreed to exist semi-autonomously under a single organization based on the Utopian principles of liberty, rights, and equality, and to share their knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation and space exploration.

    Skip the last 3 words. That's the United Federation of Planets.

    And let's not forget our guiding principle: "To boldly go where no one has gone before".
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    KNicholas said:

    I once read and agreed with @loneswimmer about the idea that "Open water swimming is an individual expression of freedom . . . " I hope the developing Federation and its members keep that in mind particularly when encouraged "to hold other 'official' bodies accountable for their actions."

    Hi, Kent. Has the developing Federation done something to give you the impression we aim to infringe on individual expressions of freedom?

    On rare occasions, Donal or I (as Forum admins) have removed comments that we (jointly) deem destructive to the community... this is fairly typical of well-run internet forums. Those who were around for the events of early September 2013 will be familiar with this.

    So there is not unmoderated freedom of speech on this Forum, nor have we ever claimed such.

    As for "holding other 'official' bodies accountable for their actions," I'm not sure what you mean. For example, I might point to Donal's recent blog series on safety in Ice Swimming as one instance of holding official bodies accountable, without infringing on individual liberties.

    Or have I misunderstood you?
  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember
    To promote the enjoyment of Marathon Swimming to a wider audience under the highest levels of safety practical, dependant on the circumstances of each event; and to formulate a set of agreed rules under which public and private swim events and individual swims, could be organised and recognised as having been completed under MSF guidelines. To promote membership to increase adherence to safe standards and to promote events organised under the MSF guidelines in force at the time of the event.

    BUT not too officious to suffocate the sport!
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited June 2014
    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" eh @KNicholas?

    Note to members: the MSF will be adopting Latin as it's official language. @Leonard_Jansen will translate the marathon swimming rules, and members must to be able to conjugate nato.

    loneswimmer.com

  • SuirThingSuirThing Carrick-on-Suir, IrelandNew Member
    edited June 2014

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" eh @KNicholas?

    Note to members: the MSF will be adopting Latin as it's official language. @Leonard_Jansen will translate the marathon swimming rules, and members must to be able to conjugate nato.

    tunc ego eo ....

    :)

    I tried to convince myself, but, orange flavour electrolyte, mixed with hot chocolate, tastes nothing like Terry's Chocolate Orange ....

  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    I'm getting confused now and wondering if I've missed something!

    As far as I recall, I joined the Marathon Swimmers Forum in 2012. But I note that the recently published logo refers to the Marathon Swimmers Federation being established in 2012. I'm not sure what's going on if I'm being perfectly honest. I've only noticed the word "Federation" being used very recently.

    I joined the Forum to discuss marathon swimming related issues but as far as I know I haven't also joined a Federation. Wouldn't a Federation need to be formally established with (elected) Board members, articles of association, membership applications, insurance etc.

    I'm just a bit worried here that the "Federation" has started running before it has learnt to walk.

    Don't take this post the wrong way! I think these are valid points / questions.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    I'm grateful for all this interest in the MSF and what we're up to, but I'm going to ask @ZoeSadler and others to read once again what I wrote above:
    currently I would define MSF as the parent organization of the Rules of Marathon Swimming, the Global Marathon Swimming Awards, and this Forum.
    The MSF's first product was the Forum, in 2012. Then the Awards, in 2013. Then the Rules, in 2014. And now we have a logo. (commence tongue-wagging!)

    The Forum is the Forum, and will remain the Forum. Membership in the Forum does not imply membership in the Federation.

    The MSF does not currently have a board of directors, articles of association federation, membership applications, or insurance. So what? We're not asking anything of anyone, so I can't imagine why this "worries" anyone.

    When we figure out the board of directors, articles of federation, and all that, I'm sure this is the first place the news would break. Until then, we're certainly open to ideas, which is the purpose of this thread.
  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
    Should it not be called something other than a federation? Partly to avoid confusion with the forum, which has already picked up the MSF monicker and also I don't see it as a federation anyway. I understand a federation is an organisation comprised of smaller organisations. If it spoke for other marathon swimming organisations and they were willing to come under the umbrella, then fine, but I don't see that as the case.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014

    I don't see it as a federation anyway. I understand a federation is an organisation comprised of smaller organisations. If it spoke for other marathon swimming organisations and they were willing to come under the umbrella, then fine, but I don't see that as the case.

    Depends how literally you wish to understand "federation," I suppose.

    The following organizations & governing bodies have (or have expressed intention to) adopt MSF Rules:

    8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
    Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association
    Tampa Bay Marathon Swim
    Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association
    World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA)
    Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS)
    Lake Tahoe Swimming Society
    Farallon Islands Swimming Federation
    Three Rivers Marathon Swim
    Bear Lake Swimming Association
    Salt Lake Open Water Swim Club
    Sandycove Island Swimming Club (SISC)
    Lake Ontario Swim Team (LOST Swimming)
    Lake Ontario Crossing Organization (LOCO)

    MSF doesn't "speak for" these organizations, but I'd argue that the above makes the word "federation" more apropos to MSF than to, for example, the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation or Farallon Islands Swimming Federation, which as far as I can tell are actually "associations" if you really want to get down to semantics.
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    edited June 2014

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" eh @KNicholas?

    I had to "google translate" your comment @loneswimmer but for the sake of the rest of us: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? This is a phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal, which is literally translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?" Is open water swimming in need of a Guard? (not referring to observer/lifeguard safety).

    Swimmers turn to open water because of how free the experience makes them feel. Do we need Guards to protect this simple freedom of expression? (not referring to the Forum, freedom of speech or the necessity to censure to maintain peace)

    What I'm curious about is how the Guard (Federation) would be conducive to the idea that open water swimming is the individual expression of freedom? Or is the Guard there to put the Nyad-types over it's knee for distorting in the media what the Guard defines as "legitimate" open water swimming? This Forum did a good job of that with 900+ comments not to mention a supplemental 7 part blog to kick the proverbial dead horse ad nauseum. The slippery slope is to then critique the novice open water swimmer who dons a wetsuit and fins because they are cold and scared. Perhaps growing the sport of open water swimming means we put our guard down just a hair.

    A Federation that is encouraged to rub the noses of anyone in anything I find distasteful. It is that type of "guarding" that I fear as the Federation contemplates it's birth. (@evmo - see @Leonard_Janson's June 9th suggestions). The Forum may discuss, disagree and critique FINA, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Total Immersion, MIMS, Trent Grimsey, wetsuits, watches, streamers and CSA until it bursts at the seams with pride. It's the whiff of elitist condescension that I encourage the Federation to avoid. What I hope is that the Federation stays completely positive and take the route that encourages growth of a wonderful sport: far more pleasant to watch a guard dog wag than bark - assuming you need a guard dog.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    @KNicholas, I have a little secret: I took Latin with Roman history in secondary school, (not by choice). The actual experience of learning Latin and my nightmares until school faded into the past were almost identical to the Life Of Brian scene! I think there were slightly more swords and pain in my experience though.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is normally translated as Who watches the watchers?, rather than guard and how I intended it. It is a shorthand for asking who monitors officialdom: governments, organisations etc. Of course, some organisations don't like this upstart notion. My apologies, I mistakenly assumed you'd know the phrase.

    If anything the forum member's response to Diana Nyad, which you dismiss (along with my blog which you told me in NY you liked and learned a lot from), proves that individuals here could act as watchers, watchers when no-one, including any swim organisations, proved to be capable of so doing.

    The only We I'm sure of is we are all individual swimmers with individual points of view. The forum and MSF has been active and positive, mainly through the contributions of the members whose participation you question and it has been able to facilitate people to discuss different subjects and promote ideas, ideas such as the rules, which I recall you dismissed also.

    @ZoeSadler, evolution of something new, in public, is something not many of us get to be part of or to plan. We're all trying to do it together here and we value yours and everyone's input. No-one's forum membership has been appropriated for anything else, there is nothing else than what you have already seen here. I'm always here for assurance or explanation where I can, even if I'm being invisible!

    loneswimmer.com

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    My absolute dream for the MSF:

    1) Protector of the spirit of marathon swimming by way of The Rules;
    2) Owner of the MS Forums, keeping it open for free exchange of ideas;
    3) Host of blogs by marathon swimmers for marathon swimmers;
    4) Point of contact for media wanting information on marathon swimming;
    5) Sponsor for regional marathon swimming "series" a la H2Open's annual series;
    6) Collector of histories of marathon swimming and swimmers;
    7) Sponsor for swimmers to national federations so marathon swimmers can claim MSF as their "club" (e.g. MSF as a USMS masters swimming club);
    8) Host of marathon swims.

    I have no certain ways of getting to this end-state, I simply have ideas. But I am a willing volunteer to help in any of the points above.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    @loneswimmer, no question I have read and found incredible wisdom in your blog particularly on the topic of cold water swimming. Acclimating was my primary focus for most of the past year. I was reading two blogs prior to MSF: yours and robaquatics which I miss but still use as a reference. I recommend your blog above all others in that regard. For me, the Nyad thing just wasn't appealing and overkill - just an opinion.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    KNicholas said:

    For me, the Nyad thing just wasn't appealing and overkill - just an opinion.

    Totally agree. Diana Nyad is not appealing, and is overkill.

    Also agree that we should focus on the positive future of our sport - and indeed that is the raison d'être of the MSF (how does that come out in Google Translate?).
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    edited June 2014
    KNicholas said:

    What I'm curious about is how the Guard (Federation) would be conducive to the idea that open water swimming is the individual expression of freedom? Or is the Guard there to put the Nyad-types over it's knee for distorting in the media what the Guard defines as "legitimate" open water swimming? This Forum did a good job of that with 900+ comments not to mention a supplemental 7 part blog to kick the proverbial dead horse ad nauseum. The slippery slope is to then critique the novice open water swimmer who dons a wetsuit and fins because they are cold and scared. Perhaps growing the sport of open water swimming means we put our guard down just a hair.

    A Federation that is encouraged to rub the noses of anyone in anything I find distasteful. It is that type of "guarding" that I fear as the Federation contemplates it's birth. (@evmo - see @Leonard_Janson's June 9th suggestions). The Forum may discuss, disagree and critique FINA, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Total Immersion, MIMS, Trent Grimsey, wetsuits, watches, streamers and CSA until it bursts at the seams with pride. It's the whiff of elitist condescension that I encourage the Federation to avoid.

    The exact wording was: Goal 3: Hold "official" bodies accountable for their actions.

    There is no mention of individuals here. Nor is there any mention or implication that we somehow implicity know better and are uniquely qualified to define anything. The first goal was to allow anyone to get their $0.02 in with the idea of coming to some consensus/majority on what is desired within the sport. In light of that, attempting to hold an organization accountable for its actions becomes a matter of taking a unified stand by the people potentially affected and in a way that makes reprisal against individuals more difficult. The FINA water temperature issue is a big issue and yet, despite a number of elites saying they thought it was excessive, sotto voce, you don't hear much. It's too easy to get a target painted on your back if you are the only one standing up.

    So if something is wrong as deemed so by the greater community, is it really rubbing anyone's nose, or is it those affected asking the governing for a redress of grievances?


    -LBJ

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • CliffCliff Member
    evmo said:

    The MSF's first product was the Forum, in 2012. Then the Awards, in 2013. Then the Rules, in 2014. And now we have a logo.

    Could 2015 be the year of the official MSF swim cap? If so, put me on the list!
  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
    Well, semantics was my point.
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