As an individual, you may choose to join a team or club and enjoy the camaraderie and structure of the group. Competition is optional. Only 30% or so of Masters swimmers compete in swimming meets on a regular basis.
For those who are serious competitors, there are an incredible number of opportunities to test your skill and conditioning. Short Course (25 yard and 25 meter) and Long Course (50 meter) pool meets, lake and ocean open water swims, postal meets, special events and international championships are all part of an ambitious program of Masters swimming.
Masters swimming in New York City, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley (which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties) is governed by the Metropolitan LMSC which itself over 1,400 members strong in more than 30 teams.