Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation (WPMSF) is an organisation established to promote, educate, and further the interests of the sport of open water swimming and professional marathon swimming in particular.

The WPMSF was founded with Herman Willemse as its President and Joe Grossman as its Secretary-Treasurer.

The WPMSF, founded in 1961, currently devises and publishes information on open water swims and marathon swimming competitions focusing on the safety and integrity of the events and for the protection and promotion of open water swimmers.

History

The WPMSF was a non-profit corporation that used to govern the professional marathon swimming circuit in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. The original corporation no longer exists, but the same concept is now managed by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

The WPMSF was headquartered at 10102 Pierce Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901, USA when Herman Willemse, an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, was its President and Joe Grossman was its Secretary-Treasurer who later adopted its constitution in 1967. It was disbanded when it was succeeded by the International Marathon Swimming Association in the late 1980’s.

The original constitution of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation was formally adopted at its 1967 annual meeting of the Federation at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on 31 July 1967, and amended thereafter. It superseded and made null and void all previous adopted Constitutions and amendments to former Constitutions. Its Constitution was further modified after two decades of non-use by the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) to be inclusive of amateur swimmers, channel swimmers, marathon swimmers and professional marathon swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Current Constitution

Article I (Name)

The World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation is an organization headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A. that is managed by the World Open Water Swimming Association starting on 1 January 2013.

Article II (Purposes)

The aims and purposes of this Federation shall be to:

(1) further the interests of the sport of marathon swimming through international publicity,
(2) serve as a central collection and dissemination agency for records of all marathon swims and of all swimmers regardless of their national origin or Federation affiliation and of all courses over which races or individual attempts are held,
(3) be a forum in which matters relating to improvement of the sport, including all aspects of safety, of open water swimming can be discussed and suggestions offered to organizers of open water swims wherever held throughout the world,
(4) serve as a central collection point of all the opinions, desires, and recommendations by professional marathon swimmers,
(5) devise, publish and promote guidelines for the conduct of open water swims and marathon swimming competitions focusing on the safety and integrity of the races and for the protection of swimmers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Article III (Membership)

Membership in the WPMSF shall be in two categories:
(1) Voting Members, and
(2) Non-voting Members.

Eligibility for Voting Membership

Eligibility for voting membership shall be offered to the following individuals:

(1) all current professional marathon swimmers on either the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit or the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
(2) any coach, trainer, parent or spouse of all current professional marathon swimmers on either the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit or the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
(3) any former professional marathon swimmer who previously competed on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit, or other races on the previous World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit or International Marathon Swimming Association circuit.
(4) any athlete who has competed for and received cash money or prizes in an open water swimming or triathlon competition anywhere in the world. (5) any coach, trainer, parent or spouse of these athletes (listed in Provision (4) above).
(6) any former or current officials, volunteers, escort crew members, kayakers, paddlers, pilots, and organisational staff who help host or organise any channel swim, marathon swim, or open water swim including all races on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, or International Marathon Swimming Association circuits.
(7) interested individuals who pay the annual fees or dues for voting membership.

Eligibility for non-voting membership shall be open to any swimmer, coach, trainer, kayaker, paddler, rower, pilot, crew member, organisational staff, or interested individual who shall pay the reduced fees for this membership level.

Members in both voting and non-voting categories may resign at any time. Voting and non-voting members may be asked to leave the WPMSF either for failure to pay dues as outlined in Article V.

Article IV (Finances)

The WPMSF shall be supported by fees and dues paid by Voting and Non-Voting members and by whatever financial support the Federation may receive to support its promotional, educational, and lobbying activities. Funds of the Federation may be used only for conducting the administrative business of the Federation, and the Secretary-Treasurer shall give a full accounting of each year’s finances at the annual meeting. No salaries or travel expenses for officers or members may be paid or reimbursed by the Federation treasury.

Article V (Fees and Dues)

Former Fees and Dues for membership in the Federation were:

Voting Members:

US$5.00 per year to all current professional marathon swimmers on either the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit or the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
US$10.00 per year for any coach, trainer, parent or spouse of all current professional marathon swimmers on either the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit or the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
US$25.00 per year for any former professional marathon swimmer who previously competed on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit, or other races on the previous World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit or International Marathon Swimming Association circuit.
US$25.00 per year for any athlete who has competed for and received cash money or prizes in an open water swimming or triathlon competition anywhere in the world.
US$25.00 per year for any coach, trainer, parent or spouse of these athletes (listed in Provision (4) above).
US$10.00 per year for any former or current officials, observers, volunteers, escort crew members, kayakers, paddlers, rowers, pilots, and organisational staff who help host or organise any channel swim, marathon swim, or open water swim including all races on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, World Open Water Swimming Series, World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, or International Marathon Swimming Association circuits.
US$25.00 per year for interested individuals who pay the annual fees or dues for voting membership.

Non-voting Members: US$5.00 per year.

Fees were paid for each calendar year (1 January to 31 December).

Registration

Registration shall be posted at World Open Water Swimming Association or World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.

Article VI (Benefits)

Voting Members shall receive the following:

(1) World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation voting membership card
(2) Monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine – digital edition
(3) Product discounts for all FINIS products
(4) Personal Openwaterpedia entry
(5) Annual WPMSF Report
(6) Voting privileges

Non-voting Members shall receive the following:

(1) World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation non-voting membership card
(2) Product discounts for all FINIS products
(3) Monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine – digital edition
(4) Annual WPMSF Report

Article VII (Officers)

The Federation officers shall be a President, one or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary-Treasurer, and no less than three Directors (Trustees). The President and Vice Presents shall be active or retired professional marathon swimmers. The Secretary-Treasurer need not be an active or retired professional marathon swimmer. At least two of the three Directors shall be active or retired professional marathon swimmers. There may be more than three Directors as the membership desires.

The President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer and all Directors shall be entitled to one vote on any question before the Federation. The President may be re-elected for one one-year term following his initial term, but may not serve as President more than two consecutive terms. The terms of all officers shall be one year, from January 1 following the election to December 31 of the year he takes office, subject to re-election. There are no restrictions as to the number of consecutive one year terms the Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer or Directors may serve.

Article VIII (Meetings)

The Federation shall hold at least one official meeting each year at a time and place decided upon at least one month in advance, usually at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference. Other meetings may be held whenever and wherever convenient or necessary at the call of the President or Secretary-Treasurer. Roberts Rule of Order shall determine the conduct of all Federation meetings.

Article IX (Voting)

All Voting Members, plus those officers designated in Article VII, shall be entitled to one vote on every question before the Federation. Voting may be done in person by members attending meetings or by proxy vote sent by email after Secretary-Treasurer has notified all the members by email of the subject to be voted upon. A simple majority of members voting shall determine all matters before the Federation with the exception of Amendments to the Constitution, which shall require a two-thirds vote of those members voting.

Article X (Cooperation)

Cordial relationships shall be maintained by this Federation with all other open water swimming and marathon swimming federations, associations, clubs, groups, FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur), or organizing bodies of open water swims, wherever they exist in order to keep this Federation informed on every development, dates of every marathon swimming race, and of results all swimming races and private attempts by amateur and professional swimmers; and may publicize such news concerning marathon swimming as may be deemed beneficial to the sport.

The Federation shall give its full cooperation to member and non-member swimmers and race organizers in matters of publicity when requested to do so.

Article XI (Assistance)

The Federation shall endeavor to keep its membership informed of all major professional open water swims around the world and and shall seek to promote the sport to their benefit and safety.

Article XII (Championships)

Each year the Federation shall recognize the overall male and female winners of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup and FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuits as the male and female World Champion Profession Marathon Swimmers for that year who shall be automatically nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year for that year. The Federation may also conduct a separate international championship event subject to sponsorship.

Article XIII (Sanction)

The Federation reserves the option of awarding or withholding its sanction (approval) of any race held anywhere in the world, Sanction will be awarded to races which meet the standards of safety and integrity set forth by the World Open Water Swimming Association Guidelines. It shall withhold sanction from any race which does not meet those standards or which attempts to exploit swimmers. Investigations of all complaints against swims charged with ignoring or violating these Guidelines shall be made by a committee of Voting Members named by an Executive Committee.

Article XIV (Participation)

Federation members may participate in races which have been denied the sanction not considered international championship events and that no championship points will be awarded to finishers. More stringent measures may be taken in the cases of individual races denied Federation sanction upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership voting on a specific race.

Article XV (Guidelines)

Guidelines (standards) which this Federation will expect all races to adhere to regarding safety (security), integrity (honesty), and proper treatment of all swimmers shall be appended to this Constitution and considered an operative part of this Constitution under the designation of Article XV-A. All guidelines must be approved by two-thirds of members voting when they are presented, and guidelines may be revised or deleted at the pleasure of the Voting Members expressed in oral or written balloting either at a formal meeting or by email vote.

Articles 1-3

1. Safety – Safety measures for swimmers shall include the presence of at least (1) medical boat during races held on open water, and a first-aid or medical tent or enclave on shore in races of any kind: provision of a small escort boat to accompany each swimmer while he or she is in the water; where possible a power boat to accompany each swimmer while he or she is swimming in races in open water; and adherence to the World Open Water Swimming Association safety guidelines.
2. Integrity – Swim organizers and Federation observers will take every precaution to ensure against cheating by swimmers, coaches, trainers, navigators, oarsmen and race officials.
3. Treatment of swimmers – Federation officials will be alert for incidents deemed to be exploitation of swimmers by race organizers.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association