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BillS
November 21st, 2008, 07:25 PM
I was honestly on the fence about whether I wanted to swim the breaststroke 3 pack or do freestyle at my next meet in a couple of weeks. So I ended up signing up for 5 events today and mailing it in, knowing that I will scratch at least one, maybe 2, events depending on how I feel at the meet.

Are scratchers evil like sandbaggers? I know I had a lot of fun at the last meet with a couple of very close races with people right next to me, but honestly the only times empty lanes have bothered me have been when I've been in 1 and the only other entrant was in 8 or 6. Feels like a weird time trial when that happens. But just an empty lane or 2, no biggie. Does it bug the race directors? Why do I feel vaguely guilty about it? Should I just kick an extra 200 as penance tomorrow (I hate kicking) and forget all about it? Or is it not even something to worry about?

meldyck
November 21st, 2008, 08:21 PM
If you don't sign up for the events, you can't swim them. Maybe you'll feel like superman on the day of the meet.

stillwater
November 21st, 2008, 08:35 PM
Scratching is AOK.

Sandbagging is wrong. Swim close to your seed time. If you need to rest or warm up that's fine. To lie about your seed time to set records is lame.


The Sandbag Police.

Allen Stark
November 21st, 2008, 09:34 PM
I hope scratching doesn't bother people as I do it often.Especially if I have 2 meets fairly close together I may be unsure what combination of events I want to swim in what order,so I'll enter as many as possible and make the final decision closer to the meet,or even race day.

That Guy
November 21st, 2008, 09:46 PM
How can you guys not know about this - "Scratchers vs. Sandbaggers" is a real event! Every year on the first of April, they duke it out in SCY. Heat 1 is always very fast, and then heat 2 is empty. So the scratchers always lose the beer gridge, but then they don't show up at the post-meet festivities.

elise526
November 22nd, 2008, 12:30 AM
I think it depends on who you ask. Scratchers don't bother me. If somebody is tired from an event or wants to swim a PR in another event, I can certainly understand why that person would scratch. I also understand the logic of putting down NT if you want to swim an event in the earlier heats and get more rest before another event.

What I don't understand is why people put down a time 2 or 3 seconds slower in a 50 if they have swam it in the past year. What the strategy behind that tactic is escapes me. I can't figure out if those that do it are just really humble or are not confident in their ability to go their recent time.

rtodd
November 22nd, 2008, 11:47 AM
Alot of meets are flat fee for 5 events, so now I sign up for five and dump one the day of meet based on how I feel.

Justin Ritter
November 22nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
Scratching is much better than sandbagging. I'm actually a professional 200 breast scratcher. That's always a race that sounds much better when it's a month off than when it's an hour off.

As a former meet director just remember to scratch before they close the event and post heat sheets. Scratching is great (the meet still gets its money). No-showing isn't cool.

ensignada
November 22nd, 2008, 01:09 PM
What's the difference between a scratch and a no-show? I thought it was the same.

pakman044
November 22nd, 2008, 01:48 PM
What's the difference between a scratch and a no-show? I thought it was the same.

The penalty, at least in Masters, is the same--you don't get to swim the event. When you scratch, you actually inform the meet director or referee that you aren't going to swim and that you should be removed from the event.

It's nice to inform the referee or meet director if you're going to scratch an event. If they know you're not going to swim a particular event, they can better plan combining heats and such.

Patrick King

the17thman
November 23rd, 2008, 02:52 PM
I'm not a fan of sandbaggers although I've had to do it once. With the 1500 and 1650 usually happening on a Friday I've sandbag my time in order to get to work by noon and work a 1/2 day. Other than that I don't think sandbaggers are a good thing.

As for scratching an event, at smaller meets you can let the organizers know so they can reseed the event. Otherwise some meets drag on and on when people scratch and you end up with heats with only 3 or 4 swimmers left swimming.

All in all it shouldn't really matter if someone scratches or sandbags.

stillwater
November 23rd, 2008, 03:51 PM
"All in all it shouldn't really matter if someone scratches or sandbags

Scratching is telling the meet organizers that you are not swimming an event. That is the polite thing to do. No showing is rude.

Sandbagging for records, ribbons, and bragging rights is rude and should be penalized.

The Sandbag Police

CreamPuff
November 23rd, 2008, 04:05 PM
Scratch and Sandbag away! It's MASTERS!

Chris Stevenson
November 23rd, 2008, 04:10 PM
Sandbagging for records, ribbons, and bragging rights is rude and should be penalized.

How does sandbagging get someone any of those things?

ande
November 23rd, 2008, 04:48 PM
It's fine to scratch events
just note you could be penalized if you checked in for a distance event then failed to show up
you can also be penalized in prelim final meets if you make the final but don't scratch in advance if you're not planning to swim it

It's fine to enter events with slower times
there's no rule against it
lesser beings call it "sandbagging"
I call it strategic event planning or rest management.

elise526
November 23rd, 2008, 05:20 PM
I am curious why somebody who went a 26 in 50 free 2 months ago would put down a 30.0 or 29.5 for their time? Somebody explain the point. I get fired up to race my competitors who are near my time but when they put down a 29.5, I can't help but wonder if they don't like close races.

Do some people put down a much slower time because they only do well if they can win their heat? I guess if one is swimming a bunch of events and wants to take it easy or is tired from swimming so many events it makes sense to put down a much slower time. If it is the first event and the person is not swimming any events right after that event, why put down such a slower time?

Sometimes I wish we could do prelims and finals in masters meets. I want to race head-to-head with some of those that are hiding out in different heats!

The Fortress
November 23rd, 2008, 05:23 PM
Scratch and Sandbag away! It's MASTERS!

:applaud:

If people get offended by scratching, they seriously need to chill and go to remedial "swim your own race" school. Let people do what they need to race well and swim fast.

elise526
November 23rd, 2008, 05:45 PM
I guess this is why sometimes I prefer 5ks and mass starts on triathlons. I do my best times in a close race. In those races, there's no seed times, just a head-to-head race. What is the point in having seed times if they become meaningless?

Sure it is masters and people can do and should do what they want. It just makes it more fun for me if I truly get to race somebody. So for those that do put down such slow times, what is the strategy? Maybe I need to start doing it.

P.S. If somebody does not want to share a strategy, loosen up. It's just masters

The Fortress
November 23rd, 2008, 05:57 PM
I am curious why somebody who went a 26 in 50 free 2 months ago would put down a 30.0 or 29.5 for their time? Somebody explain the point. I get fired up to race my competitors who are near my time but when they put down a 29.5, I can't help but wonder if they don't like close races.

You could be right. They might not like a close race. Swimming a 26 and then seeding at a 29 does seems a bit odd. If it was for rest management, you'd think they'd sandbag even more.

I just sandbagged a 50 free in my Zone entries. It was for the sole purpose of getting a bit more rest before a back-to-back race. Sure, I'd rather swim with people closer to my actual time in an ideal world like I did at my last meet. But, a 50 is pretty much load and shoot. I think you should still be able to swim fast on your own.

elise526
November 23rd, 2008, 06:12 PM
Thanks, Fort. It is interesting to hear how people plan and strategize. I've been almost tempted to put down times faster than I actually go because I do better trying to keep up with people faster than myself. I haven't done it though out of the concern that I may be so off the time I put down and may have kept somebody faster than myself out of the heat.

I'm already planning for the Auburn meet. On Sunday, I have to swim a bunch of events, so I imagine I will be putting down a bunch of NTs. What is funny is that there may be events I am swimming in which I really do not have a masters time - such as 100 or 200 yards of the evil stroke.

Allen Stark
November 23rd, 2008, 06:16 PM
I am curious why somebody who went a 26 in 50 free 2 months ago would put down a 30.0 or 29.5 for their time? Somebody explain the point. I get fired up to race my competitors who are near my time but when they put down a 29.5, I can't help but wonder if they don't like close races.

Do some people put down a much slower time because they only do well if they can win their heat? I guess if one is swimming a bunch of events and wants to take it easy or is tired from swimmin so many events it makes sense to put down a much slower time. If it is the first event and the person is not swimming any events right after that event, why put down such a slower time?

Sometimes I wish we could do prelims and finals in masters meets. I want to race head-to-head with some of those that are hiding out in different heats!

I don't understand that either.I can see entering a slow time to get more rest,but if that is not the reason why do it? Do they feel some undue pressure to make there seed times?

Allen Stark
November 23rd, 2008, 06:20 PM
I'm already planning for the Auburn meet. On Sunday, I have to swim a bunch of events, so I imagine I will be putting down a bunch of NTs. What is funny is that there may be events I am swimming in which I really do not have a masters time - such as 100 or 200 yards of the evil stroke.
You don't have to put down NTs if you don't want to,go with your best guess.
Good Luck at the meet(it's only evil if you can't do it.)

stillwater
November 23rd, 2008, 06:41 PM
"How does sandbagging get someone any of those things?"

I'm glad you asked.

If you lie about your seed time to get calm water I think that's bunk. If you lie about your seed time because you're too tired, boo hoo. That is one of the challenges of a swim meet.

If you swim your seed time I've no beef.

"It's fine to enter events with slower times
there's no rule against it
lesser beings call it "sandbagging"
I call it strategic event planning or rest management"

Correct, there is no rule against it. That doesn't make it acceptable. I don't think it is fine to lie about a seed time just to break a record, win a ribbon, or beat some other competitors time. Call it what you will, I call it lipstick on a pig.

Sandbag Police

elise526
November 23rd, 2008, 07:11 PM
Allen - Thanks for the encouragement. I'll need all the luck I can get!

Stillwater - You make a good point I never thought of in regards to calm water. I know that USAT will not allow a race to count towards your ranking points if you swim in the elite wave, the wave that always goes first in a big triathlon where money prizes are up for grabs. The rationale is that you have an undue advantage if you start in calm water.

If I really had the talent to set a freestyle record, I'd talk a recent Auburn grad into registering for masters, swimming in the lane next to me at a meet, and letting me draft. We could both put down untouchable times to guarantee that we would end up next to each other. Then, I would draft, draft, draft. Of course, the Auburn grad would have to remember to ride the lane rope the whole time. :angel:

Kurt Dickson
November 23rd, 2008, 07:26 PM
Neither really throws off my day. Scratching annoys me as I have been in heats where 2 or 3 out of 8 are present to race. I feel dumb as it is racing like it means something at my advanced age--I say show up for your races or don't sign up.

Sandbagging is pesky as it can add time to the meet. Here many will enter the distance events with a no-time (presumably so they can get out early) effectively splitting the really slow people between two heats rather than just one. :oldman:

Chris Stevenson
November 23rd, 2008, 07:50 PM
If you lie about your seed time to get calm water I think that's bunk. If you lie about your seed time because you're to tired, boo hoo. That is one of the challenges of a swim meet.

Hmmm...one might just as easily say, "if seeing someone in your heat blow right by you throws you off your game, boo hoo, that's part of the challenge."

I'm not a fan of sandbagging, but your entry time doesn't swim the race for you. At most, it's an irritating practice. As CP said, it's masters.

Although I don't hold it against anyone, I think a no-show is easily just as bad. I'd rather swim against a full heat, not have a bunch of empty lanes. Basically, the effect is the same as sandbagging: fewer people to race against.

elise526
November 23rd, 2008, 08:24 PM
Hmmm...one might just as easily say, "if seeing someone in your heat blow right by you throws you off your game, boo hoo, that's part of the challenge."

I'm not a fan of sandbagging, but your entry time doesn't swim the race for you. At most, it's an irritating practice. As CP said, it's masters.

Although I don't hold it against anyone, I think a no-show is easily just as bad. I'd rather swim against a full heat, not have a bunch of empty lanes. Basically, the effect is the same as sandbagging: fewer people to race against.

I'm always thrilled about the no-shows. It's the only reason I got a medal in 50 back at SCY Nationals in 1998. One of the last events and lots of people had already left to catch their flight home.

Allen Stark
November 23rd, 2008, 08:29 PM
I don't see sandbagging to get calm water a good idea.If you are with people about your speed either you will be ahead,in which case you have calm water,or you are a little behind where any wave will help(drafting.)If you are much faster you risk coming up when the other swimmers waves are going in the opposite direction.This is different from swimming in a time trial,where there is less wave action overall.Maybe that means you should hope most of the rest of the people in your heat scratch so there are fewer waves.

stillwater
November 23rd, 2008, 08:48 PM
Well, since I'm the self annointed Sandbag Police...

I thought the goal was to make swimming user friendly. My understanding is that we want to include all levels of ability. It is after all, masters swimming. How important are those records anyway?

A new swimmer being blown out of the water because a superstar feels the need to have another ribbon on his star studded warm-up jacket isn't inclusive.

If said star swimmer tells much slower swimmers in the heat, before the swim, reasons for lying about seed times, I would feel better about it. Still, slower swimmers are intimidated by record breakers.

I salute you speedsters. However, the Sandbag Police think that lying on seed times is selfish. Your actions have negative ramifications on others.

Why not be honest?

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Every meet that I run, we have a check-in deadline, and then we seed the heats.

Scratching is fine, and encouraged. I define scratching as removing yourself from the event _before_ it is seeded. When you scratch, you allow the heats to be condensed, and empty lanes to be filled, and the meet moves more quickly.

No-showing is bad. You should have scratched. No-showing is when you didn't scratch your event, and you were seeded into the heat, and then you just don't show up. If you no-show, you're using a lane that we could have filled. We might have been able to eliminate a whole heat. At any meet I run, when there's an empty lane, we stop for a few seconds to make sure you aren't daydreaming behind the blocks. So we'll probably stop and call for you. That's an extra 10 seconds between heats. That time adds up.

I know there are some meets that are fully pre-seeded, where there is no opportunity to scratch, and every "scratch" is like a no-show... i.e., empty lane. Still, in those cases, notify the referee or clerk of course table, so that they know your lane will be empty, and nobody looks for you.

Sandbagging is among the worst evils. Sandbagging is entering an event with a seed time that is significantly slower than the time you expect to swim. There are many different motivations. Some do it so they have more rest between events. Some do it because they want the smooth water. Some do it because they get a rush out of blowing everyone else in their heat out of the water. They think they look more talented because they beat everyone in their heat by so much. "Daddy won by so much!"

When you sandbag, you are showing (a) selfishness and (b) no respect for the principles of organized competition.

Sandbagging slows down the meet. There are other posts where I have gone into minute detail about how and why, so I won't repeat it here. It slows down the meet. Everyone else at the meet is paying their entry fees for the opportunity to race against people their speed. You may not care if you're racing against the people who are your speed. However, the other people your speed are expecting to race against _you_. That's why they came to the meet in the first place, was to race against _you_. If you sandbag, you are denying them that opportunity.

When you blow away your heat by 2 bodylengths, you may feel good about yourself. However, the person in the next lane may have done a lifetime best swim, but feels lousy about it because they just got blown away by you.

If the seeding by time isn't very important, then what if we ran USMS Nationals such that nobody had a seed time, and we seeded everyone completely randomly. So you ended up in heats with people of completely random speeds. You'd almost never race against someone your speed. Would you go to a meet like that? Not very likely. Because you go to those meets to race. So you decide to sandbag one event, because it's important to you. Selfish. But if everyone else did it, it wouldn't work well. Double-standard anyone?

The order of events gets published well ahead of time. If you don't want to swim events back-to-back, then don't enter two back-to-back events. Simple. Don't put your own requirements above those of the other 500 people in the meet.

(When I say "you" in this soapbox-statement, I'm not addressing any one person in particular.)

-Rick

The Fortress
November 24th, 2008, 11:07 AM
However, the other people your speed are expecting to race against _you_. That's why they came to the meet in the first place, was to race against _you_. If you sandbag, you are denying them that opportunity.

Hey Rick, I don't necessarily think this is true. There was a thread on this subject -- are you racing yourself or the competition? -- awhile ago. Plenty of people were purely racing against themselves and sometimes paying no attention whatsoever to people in adjacent lanes. Lots of people like to gridge and race. Others are purely internal and focused on their own times and their own race. I rarely hear people say, "I can't wait to race against x person in my heat" or "I came to this meet to race against x." Sometimes the times within a given heat at a non-championship meet are pretty far apart anyway. So "racing" is secondary to getting your own times, measuring your own progress or lack thereof, or just getting experience in an event.

Rick, how do you feel about the getting "splits" phenomenon? Lots of people swimming longer races for a 50 or 100 time and then just cruising the rest of the race.

quicksilver
November 24th, 2008, 11:18 AM
I have a friend who's working on his personal goal of a sub 2 minute 200 free.

Last year he was seeded next to a guy with a 1:59. (It turned out to be a sanbagger in disguise.)
Unwittingly he assumed they should be traveling at the same speed so he hitched his wagon to this fellow's pace, not being fully aware of what was about to happen.

The guy went out in around 52 seconds at the 100. My friend was lured into thinking that he should be pacing along side him and quickened his tempo to nearly his fastest 100 time! The mistake became very obvious as he limped home with no less than 2 pianos on his back.

The guy with the 1:59 seed went a 1:45. My friend did a 2:02 which would have been faster if not for the crash and burn experience.
The moral of the story: Swim your own race regardless of what's going on in the neighboring lane. :agree:

elise526
November 24th, 2008, 11:22 AM
Swim meets are much more fun for me if I get to race somebody in my age group in the same heat that has a similar time. If you aren't getting to race people head-to-head, everybody might as well stay at home, race in their own pool, and we can have a competition over the internet.

I have noticed that over the last 13 years attendance at swim meets other than Nationals has really been dropping. One meet I went to starting in 1993 would normally have 400 and now it is down to around 150. We tried to figure out why and have decided that people prefer competing in 5ks and triathlons now. I can understand why. You are actually racing head-to-head in those races. Swim meets are becoming more like online competitions.

Somehow, I don't think Michael Phelps would have done the time he did in the 100 fly Beijing had he not had a certain somebody in the lane next to him. For many, it makes a difference to have your competition in the same heat.

knelson
November 24th, 2008, 11:28 AM
you can also be penalized in prelim final meets if you make the final but don't scratch in advance if you're not planning to swim it

The penalty for this should be getting kicked out for the rest of the meet. I remember finishing in the dreaded "first alternate" position many times in age group swimming and would have loved having the opportunity to swim at night due to a scratch. I think the really fast swimmers often forget that just making finals is an achievement for others.

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Hey Rick, I don't necessarily think this is true. There was a thread on this subject -- are you racing yourself or the competition? -- awhile ago. Plenty of people were purely racing against themselves and sometimes paying no attention whatsoever to people in adjacent lanes.

Then why come to the meet in the first place? Just get up on the blocks at your next practice, and get a time. If the other people in the heat make absolutely no difference, then why pay that money in the first place? Seems like a waste.

And I think it's complete hogwash that people aren't racing the people next to them. No matter what people say they are trying to do... people are naturally competitive. If you're right next to someone, you're going to try to beat them. It's human instinct.

Also, I'm not necessarily saying that people are looking to race a specific person. But they are looking to race the people who are their speed. If you're their speed, then they want to race you. Not specifically, but generally.

How disappointed would you be if you decided you did want to race people, and it then turned out that every single person who is within 5 seconds of you speed, decided to sandbag? You wanted a race, but nobody else was there for you.



Rick, how do you feel about the getting "splits" phenomenon? Lots of people swimming longer races for a 50 or 100 time and then just cruising the rest of the race.

I'm not a big fan of that. At the _very_ least, you need to notify the referee, so it can be announced at the start of the race, so your heat-mates don't chase you on the way out.

-Rick

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Last year he was seeded next to a guy with a 1:59. (It turned out to be a sanbagger in disguise.)
Unwittingly he assumed they should be traveling at the same speed so he hitched his wagon to this fellow's pace, not being fully aware of what was about to happen.


That's painful. Another example of a sandbagger being selfish, and having a negative affect on other swimmers in the heat.

-Rick

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 11:46 AM
The penalty for this should be getting kicked out for the rest of the meet. I remember finishing in the dreaded "first alternate" position many times in age group swimming and would have loved having the opportunity to swim at night due to a scratch. I think the really fast swimmers often forget that just making finals is an achievement for others.

In USA Swimming, that is the rule. If you no-show for finals, then you are out for the rest of the meet. The only exception is if you become sick/injured, or some other situation that is "beyond your control" at the discretion of the referee.

-Rick

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 11:49 AM
I rarely hear people say, "I can't wait to race against x person in my heat" or "I came to this meet to race against x."

Also, just because it may not happen in general does not mean it never happens. Can you guarantee to me that there is not a single person in an entire 800-person meet, who might specifically be looking to race against you, specifically?

-Rick

knelson
November 24th, 2008, 11:53 AM
In USA Swimming, that is the rule. If you no-show for finals, then you are out for the rest of the meet.

I recall Phelps fell asleep during prelims at one of his tuneup meets last year and missed an event. The rule was that if you no-show a prelim swim you are scratched from your next event. However, Phelps was back on the blocks for his next swim. Apparently the rules don't apply when you're Michael Phelps :)

elise526
November 24th, 2008, 11:56 AM
I have a friend who's working on his personal goal of a sub 2 minute 200 free.

Last year he was seeded next to a guy with a 1:59. (It turned out to be a sanbagger in disguise.)
Unwittingly he assumed they should be traveling at the same speed so he hitched his wagon to this fellow's pace, not being fully aware of what was about to happen.

The guy went out in around 52 seconds at the 100. My friend was lured into thinking that he should be pacing along side him and quickened his tempo to nearly his fastest 100 time! The mistake became very obvious as he limped home with no less than 2 pianos on his back.

The guy with the 1:59 seed went a 1:45. My friend did a 2:02 which would have been faster if not for the crash and burn experience.
The moral of the story: Swim your own race regardless of what's going on in the neighboring lane. :agree:

You should swim your own race because humans are never consistent - don't rely on somebody for a time. Swimming against another competitor in your heat, however, can add to the adrenalin rush that pushes you through the pain.

My best times have come from close races. No, I didn't depend on that person for my time; the closesness of the race just added to the adrenalin that pushed me to the time.

If your friend had been swimming next to somebody that ended up going a 1:58.9, my bet is that your friend would have gotten his 1:59.

BillS
November 24th, 2008, 12:39 PM
I like getting a good time, but I really like to race. I'm sure I wouldn't have been close to these times without these guys next to me. And before I get too much crap for sandbagging, my seed times were my prs -- although I have been working on breast and was pretty sure I could go under. (Oh yeah, and I bought a B70). I always try to seed right at or very close to what I think I'm going to do.

I was behind in each of these races at the last turn. The last 25 was so much fun, with loads of yelling and screaming going on. From talking to the other guys afterward, I know we each appreciated having a person to race, and it pushed each one of us to a faster time.

100 breast:

3 XXXX, Chris M M41 OREG 1:22.06 1:18.88
36.44 1:18.88(42.44)
4 Sumerfield, Bill H M48 OREG 1:21.89 1:18.26
37.11 1:18.26(41.15)
5 XXXXXXX, Mike J M55 OREG 1:22.00 1:18.74
37.69 1:18.74(41.05)



200 breast:

3 Sumerfield, Bill H M48 OREG 3:09.03 2:59.24
41.28 1:27.92(46.64) 2:14.99(47.07) 2:59.24(44.25)
4 XXXXXXXX, Robert W M54 HMS 3:03.40 2:59.44
39.99 1:25.54(45.55) 2:13.36(47.82) 2:59.44(46.08)

quicksilver
November 24th, 2008, 12:41 PM
- don't rely on somebody for a time. Swimming against another competitor in your heat, however, can add to the adrenalin rush that pushes you through the pain.

If your friend had been swimming next to somebody that ended up going a 1:58.9, my bet is that your friend would have gotten his 1:59.

Very true. Having a competitor with your own abilities creates a synergy. And often times a neck and neck race situation drives each person to dig in a little deeper. Unfortunately seeing someone way ahead can be misleading if you had planned on pacing alongside of them.

In masters I think nearly everyone I know checks the heat sheets and does a preliminary sizing up of their competition.
Again, this isn't always the best strategy.

hofffam
November 24th, 2008, 12:44 PM
A guy near my age who goes sub 29 in 50 breast regularly enters Zones with times like 35. I'm convinced he does it for clear water. He can't possibly get a thrill, as a top 10 swimmer, from beating guys who aren't top 50.

Honestly I think tactics like this are childish, selfish, and against the spirit of competition. To me it isn't strategic race planning. Sorry Ande.

To me rest management means not entering events that are too close together. It isn't lying about my times to alter which heats I'll swim in. If the event order isn't good for you - too bad. The event order wasn't built for you (or me).

I guess I just don't admire this approach to Masters racing. I admire people who get on the blocks, seeded with an appropriate time, and deal with whoever else is in the field and the water in front of them.

I also think - all things considered - that I don't like the splitting of longer races to get intermediate times. Jeez - it's a 200 free - not a 50 free and 150 recovery.

The Fortress
November 24th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Then why come to the meet in the first place? Just get up on the blocks at your next practice, and get a time. If the other people in the heat make absolutely no difference, then why pay that money in the first place? Seems like a waste.

Also, I'm not necessarily saying that people are looking to race a specific person. But they are looking to race the people who are their speed. If you're their speed, then they want to race you. Not specifically, but generally.

How disappointed would you be if you decided you did want to race people, and it then turned out that every single person who is within 5 seconds of you speed, decided to sandbag? You wanted a race, but nobody else was there for you.

-Rick

Well, I myself like racing and had two of the closest races of my life at my last meet. It was pure fun. However, I can see a situation where someone wanted race condition times, but was mostly racing for themselves.

As for going to meets to get times without competition or someone to race, well, that's happened to me. At the IGLA Champs this year, swimmers were seeded by age group not time. In the 3 events I swam, no one was close and I had to swim by myself. (KPN swam different events.) Still had a blast. Pretty happy that I bothered to "get times" too as I had huge PBs.

As for an 800 person meet like NEMS, I guess there might be someone who'd want to race me specifically. I can think of several I'd like to race in your neck of the woods! But generally I'm at much smaller meets.

As for boo hoo on the order of events, well, that's fine for some. If you're swimming the 50-100-200-500 free, you're fine. But I'm routinely screwed by the order of events and sometimes have to make an adjustment, which may include not swimming event(s) I'd like to swim. Couldn't swim two of my best events at my last Zones meet, and was NOT happy about it. I attended because it was a local meet. Meet directors should really make the effort to change the order of events every year so the pain is spread around. If they don't, I personally will make an adjustment or go to a different meet. If that makes me childish, I'm strangely OK with that. :)

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 02:04 PM
I recall Phelps fell asleep during prelims at one of his tuneup meets last year and missed an event. The rule was that if you no-show a prelim swim you are scratched from your next event. However, Phelps was back on the blocks for his next swim. Apparently the rules don't apply when you're Michael Phelps :)

To be 100% precise... the USA Swimming rule I referenced is specifically a "National Championships" rule, and is in effect for all national championship meets.

Many "championship-style" meets across the country use those rules as well, and simply reference them in meet information. (I.e., "We will use National Championship scratch procedures as in 106.4.7 subsection J, etc.", or whatever the specific rule number is.)

So it's possible that the meet wasn't using those rules in the first place. It's also possible that some people get special privs. They could have decided to retroactively put in an administrative DQ for his missed swim.

(The national championship rule for prelim no-shows is that you are out for remaining prelim events that day, and you are scratched from all remaining events in the meet, unless you check-in with the Admin Referee before the next scratch deadline, and declare your intention to swim in further events.)

-Rick

osterber
November 24th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Meet directors should really make the effort to change the order of events every year so the pain is spread around.

See: http://www.meetresults.com/2008/nelmscscy/faq.shtml



Q: I don't like the order of events. I never like the order of events!
A: We're sorry. We realize that we can't make everyone happy all of the time. Every year, the order of events is changed. We try to put different events on different days each year. We try to change which events are on the same day each year. We almost never have the same two events back-to-back. The order of events follows some basic rules to keep things evenly distributed:

* The 1000 free and 1650 free switch order each year
* The women's and men's 500 free, and the 400 IM switch days each year
* The 100 IM, 200 IM, and 400 IM are each on different days (one IM event each day)
* The 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free are each on different days
* For the stroke events (back, breast, fly), the 50, 100 and 200 of each stroke are on different days. Also, each day has a 50 of one stroke, a 100 of another stroke, and a 200 of the third stroke.
* The 50 free, 200 free relay, and 200 medley relay are on different days (so there are three different days to swim a 50 free)
* The 100 free, 400 free relay, and 400 medley relay are on different days (so there are three different days to swim a 100 free)
* The 200 free and 800 free relay are on different days (so there are two different days to swim a 200 free)

We hope that if you don't like the order of events this year, then hopefully you will like the order of events next year better.

The Fortress
November 24th, 2008, 02:41 PM
More meet directors should follow your lead, Rick! Maybe one of these years I'll get to your meet instead of CZ.

3strokes
November 24th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Scratching versus being a No-Show.

Scratching is courteous even if they do not rearrange their events accordingly.
Being a no-show means that some Starters, will (might) hold back the event, ten, twenty seconds or maybe even a bit longer, waiting for a swimmer (who may be in the bathroom or who may be realizing a bit late that he should have been on deck) but who will NOT be showing up. It is frustrating for everybody.

3strokes
November 24th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Well, since I'm the self annointed Sandbag Police...

..............It is after all, masters swimming. How important are those records anyway?

A new swimmer being blown out of the water because a superstar feels the need to have another ribbon on his star studded warm-up jacket isn't inclusive.



I don't know about US Masters swimming but in Canada's Masters all events are timed-finals. You results are posted according to the time you did in whatever heat you were in and ranked among your age group.

Therefore if a Super (but not Super-duper) Star sandbags, putting down a 38" for a 50m free and does a 27", he will NOT win first place if someone in his age group (a real SuperDuperStar) does a 26"59 in their heat.

The reason a lot of people sandbag (apart from the rest/recovery strategists) is "To Show Off In Front Of The Gallery". So that some spectators who are there for a family member or a friend and who do not know that Masters is timed-finals will be impressed with his swim when he emerges from the water having beaten the other six or five people in his heat by two or three (or more) body lengths.

:bliss: