POW FAQ


What is POW?
POW or Pool Open Water is an easy-to-implement, enjoyable introduction to open water swimming. POW replicates open water swimming in the safe and familiar environment of a pool. Swimming without lane lines around the perimeter of a pool in rough water conditions ultimately leads to increased confidence in and knowledge of open water swimming for swimmers, triathletes, coaches and officials.

Even if you train far from an open body of water swimming venue or it is in the middle of winter, athletes and coaches can conveniently prepare for open water races and triathlons in a pool of any size.

  1. What is POW?
  2. What are the benefits?
  3. How do I register for a POW event?
  4. Why is POW so useful for open water swimming and triathlons?
  5. What makes POW unique?
  6. What do I get with my entry fee?
  7. Is Team Pursuit part of POW?
  8. POW Rankings
  9. How do I become a POW official?
  10. Can anyone join a POW event?
  11. Are there any age restrictions?
  12. How much does it cost?
  13. Can I register by mail or telephone?
  14. Do you offer refunds?
  15. Is it covered by insurance?
  16. I lost my confirmation email, can I get another?
  17. Can I register on race day?
  18. Can I purchase a POW swim cap and t-shirt?
  19. How is the Special Olympics involved?
  20. Is there a race packet?
  21. When should I arrive on race day?
  22. What should I bring to a POW event?
  23. What should I wear?
  24. Are POW events canceled or postponed?
  25. How can I sanction a POW event?
  26. What are the advantages of being a sanctioned POW event?
  27. Who can participate in the POW national championships?

 

What are the benefits?
POW provides numerous benefits and excellent training for the rigors of open water swimming and triathlons. POW enables you to learn the following:

  • Swim without lane lines
  • Swim without following the black lines on the bottom of the pool
  • Swim in a pack of swimmers in all positions: lead, middle, back, left and right
  • Execute quick turns around buoys in traffic, both left- and right-shoulder turns
  • Swim without pushing off the walls
  • Competitive open water racing tactics, including defensive and offensive maneuvers
  • Positioning in a dynamic environment
  • Drafting in various positions
  • Dealing with physical contact
  • Sprinting to the finish in a pack

How do I register for a POW event?
You can register online for sanctioned POW events here at Open Water Source. If you have any questions, email pow@openwaterswimming.com.

Why is POW so useful for open water swimming and triathlons?
POW replicates open water swimming in a pool and provides an introduction to swimming and triathlons in a safe and familiar environment. Swimming around the perimeter of a pool ultimately leads to increased confidence in and knowledge of open water swimming for swimmers, triathletes, coaches and officials.

Far from an open body of water or in the off-season, you can prepare for and replicate open water racing conditions in a pool of any size.

What makes POW unique?
POW enables every pool to become an open water swimming venue with some imagination and lane line removal.

What do I get with my entry fee?

  • 2-hour session (1 hour practice + 1 hour of racing against athletes at your same level or higher)
  • POW swim cap
  • Insurance
  • Tips, tactics and techniques of open water swimming
  • Open Water Source newsletter

Is Team Pursuit part of POW?
It can be depending on the POW event. Team Pursuit is a race between 3-member teams. Each team starts at one of the 4 corners of the pool and swim for 5 minutes. The team that covers the greatest distance in 5 minutes is the winning team.

Where are the results and photos from my race?
The results and photos of your events can be found here.

POW Rankings
Athletes will be ranked by their finish times according to their age, gender, and distance covered.

How do I become a POW official?
Individuals interested in becoming a certified POW official must take the Open Water Source Education Program and get at least a 60% score on the final exam. For more information, visit here.

Can anyone join a POW event?
Yes, athletes of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can join as long as they can swim a minimum of 100 yards safely and comfortably. We encourage newcomers to test and improve their swimming skills. Athletes are separated by a combination of age and ability. That is, a 12-year-old will swim against other children under the age of 13, but they can also race against older competition if they so wish. Males and females will be separated with the exception of the Super Final.

Are there any age restrictions?
Restrictions are only limited to those who cannot swim a minimum of 100 yards safely and comfortably.

How much does it cost?
US$25 per person per POW event in the United States. Prices vary in other countries.

Can I register by mail or telephone?
No, all registrations must be completed online. However, POW events accept race-day applications at the venue.

Do you offer refunds?
If a POW event is canceled or postponed for any reason, refunds will be offered. However, if a POW event is conducted as scheduled and you do not participate due to injury, illness or tardiness, we do not issue refunds. If you are injured and cannot participate, you can volunteer at the POW event and your entry will be credited to the next POW event.

Is it covered by insurance?
Sanctioned POW events are generally covered by HMBD unless local pool coverage is available.

I lost my confirmation email, can I get another?
Yes. Please feel free to contact us at pow@openwaterswimming.com.

Can I register on race day?
Yes. If there is an Internet connection at the pool, you can register online at the pool. If there is no Internet connection at the pool, we will have the paperwork ready for you to fill out. The cost for same-day registration is $30.

Can I purchase a POW swim cap and t-shirt?
Yes, swim caps are $5. T-shirts are $15. 10% of the proceeds go to support the open water swimming programs at the Special Olympics.

How is the Special Olympics involved?
10% of the proceeds go to support the open water swimming programs at the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is supportive of open water swimming for its intellectually disabled athletes. It held its first world championship in open water swimming at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games where POW at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games pool and a 1.5 km race was held in the Aegean Sea. 35 Special Olympics athletes from around the world competed in these championships.

Is there a race packet?
Yes, you will receive POW instructions, a POW swim cap, a POW waiver, and your POW race number at the pool on race day.

When should I arrive on race day?
30 minutes to avoid the crowds. Please bring a signed copy of your race waiver and a photo ID.

What should I bring to a POW event?
POW waiver, swimsuit, goggles, skin lubricant (e.g., TriSlide, petroleum jelly, lanolin, Body Glide, Dry Goods). You will be given your POW swim cap and POW race number at the pool.

What should I wear?
Your competitive swimwear or wetsuit, goggles and swim cap.

Are POW events canceled or postponed?
Infrequently, but on occasion, a pool will be shut down. If a POW event is canceled or postponed for any reason, refunds will be offered.

How can I sanction a POW event?

Complete the online sanction application and your event can become sanctioned for $25. Sanctioning provides you with specific advantages. Your obligation is to have your event insured and to submit your event results so your event can be promoted to the global swimming community.

 

What are the advantages of being a sanctioned POW event?

Sanctioning provides the following advantages:

  • Your participants may enter the 2013 POW National Championships to be held in Orlando, Florida.
  • Your event results will be promoted to the global swimming community.
  • You receive the best pricing on POW Kits.
  • Your event may be selected as a regional POW championship.
  • Your event will be highlighted in the Global Open Water Swimming calendar on www.openwaterswimming.com
  • You receive the best insurance pricing by HMBD.

 

Who can participate in the POW national championships?

Anyone who participates in a sanctioned POW event may enter the national championships. The national championships shall include individual POW races and 3-person Team Pursuit races. National champions shall be crowned by chronological age. National champions receive a lifetime free pass to all future POW events – the ultimate in POW value!

 


 

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