In an unexpected ruling passed during the summer, the Committee on the Regulation of Athletic Sports has revised the requirements for a major H in swimming in order that more men may gain the award.
Formerly, major letters were only given to swimmers who won a first, second, or third in the Yale contest, or who placed in the National Collegiate Association meet. This practice fitted very few major lettermen. Usually 5 or 6 from a squad of 20 receiving large H's.
The new rule, announced by William J. Bingham '16, Director of Athletics, will result in an automatic major letter for men who have competed against Yale for two years, whether they placed or not, and also for men who, having been on the squad for three years, have competed against Yale in their Senior year.
There has been a precedent for this in crew, where oarsmen on the Junior Varsity for two years get a major award, as do also Seniors on the J. V.
Hal Ulen, swimming coach, expressed himself as very pleased with the new requirements. "They're much better than the old," he said. "In mass contests like football or basketball there's always a chance for a fellow to go into the Yale game for ten minutes or so and get his letter, but that's impossible in a sport like swimming where there are only two men usually entered in a race."
The subject has been a sore one for several years, but no publicity has been given it since the spring of 1940 when the CRIMSON printed an editorial urging that a new system be adopted. It was generally felt that the swimming requirements were too strict and unfair in comparison to other winter sports in which many more men gained awards.
If the old system had been allowed to continue, there would be no Senior lettermen this year. Members of last year's Varsity who will receive retroactive big H's for their work are captain-elect Dick Harris, Art Bosworth, Max Kraus, and Lonnie Stowell. The last three have graduated.
Since Yale has one of the strongest teams in the country, it has been difficult for other than the best swimmers tions provide major letters for point to place in the meets.