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Paul Smith
May 23rd, 2003, 08:45 AM
I was very happy with ASUs change to deck seeding procedures at this years nationals. Allowing check in the day before and having heat sheets ready the next morning made for a much better meet (in my opinion). I spoke to quite a few others that liked it as well, anyone else have a different experience?

Phil Arcuni
May 23rd, 2003, 10:16 AM
I don't have any experience, but I am worried about the Long Course Nationals, which I intend to attend. Travelling from the west coast, it will be difficult for me to make it to the pool the day before for check in. The only solution I see is to come a day earlier, with additional hotel costs and another day off of work. That is a pretty unpleasant thing to do, when I never had any problem with same day check in or understand the attraction of heat sheets.

But I may not understand how things work, either.

Tim Hedrick
May 23rd, 2003, 11:58 AM
I thought the deck seeding procedure, as well as the frequent announcements about it before and during the meet, was very helpful and the ASU folks should be commended for their efforts. To not have to race to a posting site 20 minutes before the race start (as in previous Nats), instead having the daily heat sheets in hand upon entrace each day, was extremely helpful in planning the time constraints as well as warmup requirements - leading all of us to better choose which course in which to warmup.

The only comment concerning the actual procedure I'd make is that the Powers That Be choose a format and stick with it. At the beginning of the meet, the checkin task was to circle or X out the event number across from your name. This later switched to a blank line/bar that had to be initialed for each event (basically replacing the event number digits on the checkin sheet with underscores).

I personally preferred the circle/X to the blank line approach. Why the switch? Perhaps the ASU folks can shed some light on this as well as "lessons learned" via the entire process?

A teammate of mine (and a competitor of yours, Tall Paul) missed out on a 100 free opportunity due to the event line disappearing underneath his ruler when he was marking his final day's check-in, and hence, he didn't properly complete the check-in for that event. Ultimately it was his mistake - but he was surprised and then very disappointed when he saw the seedings for the event and realized that he wouldn't be able to swim that race.

mattson
May 23rd, 2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
Travelling from the west coast, it will be difficult for me to make it to the pool the day before for check in.

For the 1000/1650, they allowed internet check-in the day before. This came in handy, as I arrived at the pool about 45 minutes before my mile. :) Also, if you know anyone arriving early, they could check you in.

jim clemmons
May 23rd, 2003, 02:05 PM
I, too, preferred the system used this time around. Far and away, if you've taken the time to enter and get there, once you're there, you're going to swim most, if not all, the events you've entered. I'd say that if you've come by plane, you could just check in once for ALL events.

I also heard grumbling about initials being left off in one area but initialed in another that resulted in swimmers not being allowed to compete but don't know if that was related to the change in procedure or not.

Phil, you could have someone (competent) check you in over the net if need be.

pbsaurus
May 23rd, 2003, 05:28 PM
The internet check-in was great. I used it to check in for my 1000 on Thursday. I checked in on Wednesday before my flight and had a confirmation number in case there were any screw-ups. I think they also had internet check-in for people arriving on later days. So if you're flying out Friday night for a Saturday event, you could check in online on Friday afternoon. It was also nice knowing the heat and lane assignments. I was able to warm up in the course where I was swimming.

Phil Arcuni
May 23rd, 2003, 07:46 PM
It isn't at all clear from the data on this site that internet checkin on any day other than before the first is possible. Perhaps someone can clarify.

I have no intention of swimming the first day (more than four lengths!!) so I would have liked to fly in that day. If I could internet check in early Wednesday morning, that could work. Otherwise, I will try to find someone to check me in. But finding fellow team members who will fly from here for the distance day is not easy.

I suspect this minor inconvenience of west-coast sprinters/stroke swimmers attending an east-coast meet does not invalidate the larger-good of the pre-day checkin and heat sheets, but it is an inconvenience.

Jim, are you going?

beireland
May 23rd, 2003, 07:52 PM
You were able to check in over the internet for each day during the check-in window. So I checked in for Friday on Thursday from my office--and it was available each of the other days also. Very successful and a great improvement from prior years.

The rules were also interpreted to allow same day scratches, which was helpful for people who found out the meet was running longer than expected or had other reasons to change their mind.

The only change I would suggest would be to push back the relay entry deadline to the same day rather than 4:00 the day before. Some teams need to wait and see who actually made it to the meet to be able to enter relays--although I understand why the hosts might not want to encourage that behavior, and neither do I really.

matysekj
May 23rd, 2003, 10:00 PM
Internet check-in was not committed for the Rutgers meet at the time of getting the meet info together. We did talk about it in the championship committee at Tempe and decided that as long as everything was favorable, we would likely use it again for Rutgers. It was a real pain to combine the Internet check-ins with the paper check-ins early in the meet, but some changes midway through the meet improved that. We'll have to see if everyone is in favor of using it again now that people have had a chance to clear their heads a little after the meet. We understand that it is a big convenience for the swimmer, but you also have to take into consideration how late at night the people working the meet are there. With the Tempe meet ending at about 7:30 each night, the meet ref, computer operator, and meet director were there until 10 PM getting things straightened out at Tempe. I would expect the Rutgers meet to go later in the day if anything, and then warmups start bright and early at 5:30 AM. The next day's meet program must be printed some time between when you get all the info in at night and when warmups start in the morning. BTW, you west-coasters have my sympathy having to warm up at 2:30 AM your time!

I did notice that a number of people only checked in for one of two events in a particular day when checking in via the Internet at Tempe. It was difficult to determine if this was a mistake or intentional. Swimmers need to be sure to read the instructions when using something like this. Also, we can't allow for people intentionally scratching or revoking their check-in via the Internet like we can when they are checking in on paper. You just never know who might scratch or un-check-in their competitor on line if these options were allowed.

Gail Roper
May 24th, 2003, 09:39 AM
Umm, thanks for your sympathy in warming up at 2:30 am. We also will have to swim the 400's at 4:00 am, the oldest swimmers go first when we run the heats old to young, slow to fast. How about running reverse order sometime to be fair to all age-groups? Lets run the fast heat of the men's 50 free at 4:00 am and see if anyone minds that.....just kidding.....

laineybug
May 24th, 2003, 11:04 AM
this may be a very silly suggestion, as I wasn't there, didn't do that, don't really have a picture in my head of what was going on... but here goes...

instead of having internet checkins and paper checkins why don't you just set up a computer (or two) at the meet and have everyone check in via the internet whether they are 3,000 miles away or 3 feet away. No need to try to 'merge' two different checkin systems.

an alternative to the "paper" checkin... use scanable documents at the meet (those things that you bubble in while taking tests) The sheets come in many standard configurations (cheapest way) or they could be designed and printed anyway the committee wants with the actual events printed on them. The scanner could scan the document and enter the data right into the computer data base. (As a graduate research assistant I use to work with NCS scanners and helped to design some custom documents)

Lainey

mbmg3282
May 26th, 2003, 12:54 PM
To answer Phil's question, Internet check-in was available for each day of the meet in Tempe. Internet check-in ran at the same times that physical check-in was available.

The change from circling numbers to initialing was made after the difficulty the administrative team had in seeding the meet on the first day. In order to get the head sheets printed in time for the next morning, we had to have them to the printer by a certain time. With the procedure we used at the beginning of the meet, we were not going to be able to hit that delivery time. We realize that this caused some confusion and will try to avoid this if we use this again in the future.

We also looked into Lainey's suggestion of having everything be done by computer. This adds some challenges to the meet host. First, you need a large number of computers and fast Internet connections. If we had 10 computers set up to handle this, each workstation would have had 190 people visit it each day. Because many of our members are not comfortable on computers, each would have had to have a volunteer working with the workstation.

I am not sure what the best solution is. Any time you work with numbers of 1000 to 2000, things become very complicated and take much longer than expected. The Championship Committee will continue to work towards improving this and other aspects of our championship meets.

Thanks for the feedback,

Mark Gill
Meet Director

Phil Arcuni
May 26th, 2003, 01:33 PM
But as Jim pointed out, there is no assurance that internet checking for all days will be allowed at Rutgers.

Paul Smith
May 26th, 2003, 06:25 PM
Phil,
The internet option was a very nice additon from past meets, Mark had also looked into offering a phone in option but for some reason it didn't happen this time.

Of far more signifigance to me was that unlike past meets we had heet sheets each morning, a nice way to keep track of not only your events but of fellow swimmers. I hated having to wait till 30-60 minutes before my race to see lane assignments as well as when friends were swimming.

When you combine this with the "real time" results on the web it allowed a lot of us to go back to our homes/hotels for a few hours, keep an eye on the schedule and escape the heat, another nice feature.

All in all a very well run meet mark!

laineybug
May 26th, 2003, 06:38 PM
Gil, the scanner sheets might be a good alternative to internet check in. A swimmer would pick up a scanner sheet for every event he/she plans to swim in, bubble in his/her name, the event (and anyother info the committee wants) and turn each one in by the event's a deadline. A volunteer would feed the scanner sheet into the scanner.. the scanner would transfer the info to the computer data base and then the computer would print out heat sheets, a confirmation to be handed back to the swimmer, etc. just a thought... if it seems like something the committee would like to look into I'd be glad to help.

Jim Rowland
May 27th, 2003, 12:04 PM
One more comment regarding the change in method of check in: I scratched the 500 free on the last day, and therefore did not initial the line for that event. However, my name showed up in the heat sheets. It seemed that the swimmer's intention was much more obvious with either a circle or an "X" through an event number than initialing a very small blank line (often in a very tight space with other markings all around).

I was extremely impressed by the running of this meet, given the number of entries. To Mark and everyone associated with putting this event on: Well done! I hope you've had a chance to recover by now!