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Its a slow show
April 1st, 2009, 08:48 PM
Let the debate begin. I have no problem with the 12 selected, but, 6 and 6 is pretty tough to pick and I have great respect for the process they use. I do think they should try to maybe add the top swim of the year,but, what they have to do, at present, is pretty overwhelming. Some of the runner-ups are pretty awesome. Pull up the Swimming World and download the magazine.What a great honor for all these great swimmers EOM

tjrpatt
April 1st, 2009, 08:55 PM
I didn't read this article yet but Karyn Pipes-Nielsen is on the list, correct? One the guys front, I would think that Chris Stevenson is on the list.

mctrusty
April 1st, 2009, 10:08 PM
I didn't read this article yet but Karyn Pipes-Nielsen is on the list, correct? One the guys front, I would think that Chris Stevenson is on the list.

KPN is on there. Chris Stevenson is not.

The Fortress
April 1st, 2009, 10:14 PM
KPN is on there. Chris Stevenson is not.

Can you please give us the list? I can't find it on the site.

Michael Ross?

mctrusty
April 1st, 2009, 10:20 PM
Women: Laura Val, 57, USA; KPN, 47, USA; Yoshiko Osaki, 71, JPN; Hitomi Matsuda, 31, JPN; Jenny Whiteley, 50, AUS; Rita Simonton, 90, USA

Men: Keijiro Nakamura, 85, JPN; Alberto Montini, 40, ITA; Paul Carter, 51, USA; Walter Pfeiffer, 95, USA; Fred Schlicher, 60, USA; Richard Burns, 65, USA

tjrpatt
April 1st, 2009, 10:27 PM
Wow, no one under 40 on the men's side.

Animal
April 1st, 2009, 10:45 PM
I think they missed Richard Abrahams, Jim McConica, Susan Von Der Lippe, and Lynn Marshall.

tjrpatt
April 1st, 2009, 10:48 PM
I think they missed Richard Abrahams, Jim McConica, Susan Von Der Lippe, and Lynn Marshall.

A guy that I swim with told me that Jim McConica is pretty amazing. He apparently train 80K yard or meters a week and his times are pretty amazing in the distance frees. Alot of times, these lists are based more on opinion than the stats sometimes. Of course, I have no idea what went on when this list was compiled.

Chris Stevenson
April 1st, 2009, 10:53 PM
Michael Ross?

I too think that Mike should be on the list. If not this year, then next, because I'm not sure his amazing barrage of SCM world records in December -- wasn't it six new WRs? -- were counted in this voting cycle. (If they WERE then I think he was robbed.)

Also Dennis Baker may not swim a ton of events -- or in a lot of masters meets -- but the times he does are simply outstanding. To come so close to Olympic Trials cuts in an event like the 200 fly while in his upper 40s? Incredible. His 400 LCM free was out there, too. But I don't know if he did any SCM meets.

I think I've heard the criteria before, but I don't recall how much weight is given to the "awesomeness" of a single swim or if it is just a matter of quantity (eg, of WRs or #1 swims). Personally, I think it should be a mix of the two.

gshaw
April 2nd, 2009, 08:06 AM
On the men's side Fred Schlicher definitely earned it this year. In a two day LCM meet last summer in Middlebury VT he broke four world records. I don't know if his two SCM world records set in December in Boston factor in the voting but he should be there. Congrats Fred.

I suppose "timing" has much to do with whether a swimmer like Mike Ross (or others) are put on the list. I suppose you need to swim the right meters meets at the right time. As to age, the fact is that there are no men under 50 on the list. It does make one wonder.

Back to Mike Ross... I just attended the SCY 3 day meet at Harvard, and the level at which Mike swims is, well, stunning. One of the great parts of a Masters meet is that virtually all of us, at all levels, love the sport and to see Mike swim his races--but especially his backstroke--is simply a pleasure. Hundreds of faces are glued to the water (under the water) when Mike comes off the wall on his backstroke and all of us feel the power, the smoothness, the elegance of his underwater dolphin kick. Perhaps there are no awards for providing aesthetic pleasure for swimmers, but if there were, I would give it to Ross. He has been a delight for us New England swimmers for several years now.

An aside: years ago at a small mini-meet in Norton MA I saw a new fresh faced guy warming up. I introduced myself and he told me it was his first Masters meet. Seemed like a nice guy and I told him there was no pressure and that he'd have a great time...then I saw him swim. Whew! It was Mike Ross.

Again, congrats to all and esp. to our guy Fred Schlicher!

mctrusty
April 2nd, 2009, 08:13 AM
I too think that Mike should be on the list. If not this year, then next, because I'm not sure his amazing barrage of SCM world records in December -- wasn't it six new WRs? -- were counted in this voting cycle. (If they WERE then I think he was robbed.)

Also Dennis Baker may not swim a ton of events -- or in a lot of masters meets -- but the times he does are simply outstanding. To come so close to Olympic Trials cuts in an event like the 200 fly while in his upper 40s? Incredible. His 400 LCM free was out there, too. But I don't know if he did any SCM meets.

I think I've heard the criteria before, but I don't recall how much weight is given to the "awesomeness" of a single swim or if it is just a matter of quantity (eg, of WRs or #1 swims). Personally, I think it should be a mix of the two.

A swimmer had to have set either 2 LCM WRs, any combo of 3 LCM + SCM WRS (w/@least 1 LC), or "a sufficient number of SCM world records during the year to force a common sense inclusion" in order to be included on the final ballot. According to the article, those criteria netted 31 men and 17 women.

Jason Marsteller
April 2nd, 2009, 10:33 AM
A swimmer had to have set either 2 LCM WRs, any combo of 3 LCM + SCM WRS (w/@least 1 LC), or "a sufficient number of SCM world records during the year to force a common sense inclusion" in order to be included on the final ballot. According to the article, those criteria netted 31 men and 17 women.

Thanks, Mctrusty! One other thing about the list that gets overlooked primarily due to the timing of the article is the competition year. These are the Top 12 Masters as voted by our panel based on the FINA Masters World Record list published for the time period of Nov. 1, 2007 to Oct. 31, 2008. So, oftentimes, there's a bit of a lag based on newer results. The 2009 list will be Nov. 1, 2008 to Oct. 31, 2009. So, anyone that swam in November and December of this year and holds onto that record by the end of the year will be considered.

The ballot was incredibly deep this year compared to last.

Love hearing the commentary on here about the award. It's always interesting.

Jason Marsteller
April 2nd, 2009, 10:38 AM
I too think that Mike should be on the list. If not this year, then next, because I'm not sure his amazing barrage of SCM world records in December -- wasn't it six new WRs? -- were counted in this voting cycle. (If they WERE then I think he was robbed.)

Also Dennis Baker may not swim a ton of events -- or in a lot of masters meets -- but the times he does are simply outstanding. To come so close to Olympic Trials cuts in an event like the 200 fly while in his upper 40s? Incredible. His 400 LCM free was out there, too. But I don't know if he did any SCM meets.

I think I've heard the criteria before, but I don't recall how much weight is given to the "awesomeness" of a single swim or if it is just a matter of quantity (eg, of WRs or #1 swims). Personally, I think it should be a mix of the two.

It really comes down to each of the panelists personal weight on specific information provided on the ballot. When I am processing the ballots, I get to know that each panelist has their own personal philosophy. Some of them really lend more weight to world records that are in the higher age divisions. Others are more impressed by single swims. That's why more than 1 person is in on the voting.

I'm going to try to diversify the panel a bit more this year and maybe get us up to 10. We currently have 6 on the panel. If any of you know of any international Masters experts out there, please feel free to hook me up with them.

orca1946
April 2nd, 2009, 11:21 AM
Tough list!! And who is Karyn swimming for this week???

pwolf66
April 2nd, 2009, 04:28 PM
So, oftentimes, there's a bit of a lag based on newer results. The 2009 list will be Nov. 1, 2008 to Oct. 31, 2009. So, anyone that swam in November and December of this year and holds onto that record by the end of the year will be considered.


Do I understand this correctly? Swimmer A sets a WR in December but Swimmer B breaks it in September of the next year, swimmer A does not qualify for consideration?

The Fortress
April 2nd, 2009, 04:36 PM
It really comes down to each of the panelists personal weight on specific information provided on the ballot. When I am processing the ballots, I get to know that each panelist has their own personal philosophy. Some of them really lend more weight to world records that are in the higher age divisions. Others are more impressed by single swims. That's why more than 1 person is in on the voting.

I'm going to try to diversify the panel a bit more this year and maybe get us up to 10. We currently have 6 on the panel. If any of you know of any international Masters experts out there, please feel free to hook me up with them.

From comments and a thread on this topic last year, I thought the process was largely pre-determined by quantitative, not qualitative factors. That's one reason that SVDL was left off the list despite being the oldest swimmer to qualify for OTs ...

6 panelists does seem rather small.

chowmi
April 2nd, 2009, 05:36 PM
I think I've heard the criteria before, but I don't recall how much weight is given to the "awesomeness" of a single swim or if it is just a matter of quantity (eg, of WRs or #1 swims). Personally, I think it should be a mix of the two.


I agree 100%. Masters is all about inclusion.

Just FYI - this issue has come up when compiling USMS Pool All Stars. A very fast and very "six four" swimmer hailing from North Texas had 8 #1 swims in 2008. She did not compete in SCM. Another swimmer also had a very impressive 8 x #1 times. Only the latter was named a pool all star, so I asked about it (I still don't see why you can't have co-pool all stars). It came down to the weights of all the other top ten times you have.

Not to take anything away from the named all-star who had impressive times, versatility, and quantity of top ten finishes, but Ms. "six four"'s times are national records, and one even makes the 2009 USA world championships. So there is no consideration for national/world records or any "powerpoint" type of weight in the event of a tie of #1 swims.

ehoch
April 2nd, 2009, 06:03 PM
I think they should include a seperate category for the Top 3 swims of the year - Men and Women. This would allow the so called quality record efforts to be recognized.

When somebody just simply destroys a record and challenges times from 1 or 2 younger age groups, you should give it more recognition than somebody being versatile.

Also - I am really AGAINST recognizing times from USS meets - and I don't like the idea of people getting a meet "sanctioned" to get a record recognized. It's just not the same - I know that from personal experience.

The Fortress
April 2nd, 2009, 06:29 PM
Also - I am really AGAINST recognizing times from USS meets - and I don't like the idea of people getting a meet "sanctioned" to get a record recognized. It's just not the same - I know that from personal experience.

Getting a meet "sanctioned" that otherwise would not be sanctioned? There are some dual sanctioned meets. Not disagreeing with you, but I was wondering how you think it's different?

The importance of the sheer number of rankings seems to be behind a lot of time trials and split requests as well.

orca1946
April 2nd, 2009, 06:32 PM
Any time you make lists, some one will get left out & others will tell you who should have made it.:blah:

Jason Marsteller
April 2nd, 2009, 11:17 PM
Do I understand this correctly? Swimmer A sets a WR in December but Swimmer B breaks it in September of the next year, swimmer A does not qualify for consideration?

Yes. That is how it works. The list is based on swimmers who carry a WR at the end of the competitive season as of the Nov. 1 FINA list.

Midas
April 3rd, 2009, 12:51 AM
I just wanted to say congrats to my teammates Laura Val and Richard Burns for making the list. These are two fantastic swimmers, true competitors and great people who I really enjoy training with and going to meets with.

Gdavis
April 3rd, 2009, 03:06 PM
....

Back to Mike Ross... I just attended the SCY 3 day meet at Harvard, and the level at which Mike swims is, well, stunning. One of the great parts of a Masters meet is that virtually all of us, at all levels, love the sport and to see Mike swim his races--but especially his backstroke--is simply a pleasure. Hundreds of faces are glued to the water (under the water) when Mike comes off the wall on his backstroke and all of us feel the power, the smoothness, the elegance of his underwater dolphin kick. Perhaps there are no awards for providing aesthetic pleasure for swimmers, but if there were, I would give it to Ross. He has been a delight for us New England swimmers for several years now.

.............

Again, congrats to all and esp. to our guy Fred Schlicher!

Very nicely put. It was a real treat to watch Mike swim. (I also had the pleasure (and pain!) of racing in a lane next to Fred. And as I recall there were some other swimmers quite close to Fred's age doing some very fast swims!)

Paul Smith
April 3rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
Congratulations to all the swimmers selected!

And to once again sound like a broken record...I will repeat what I said a year ago. Whatever system is being used is flawed if again this year arguably the best female masters swimmer in the world is not selected something is wrong. In no way am I saying the other women are not incredible athletes and seserving of their awards...but I also doubt many would not deny that Susan Von der Lippes absence is unfortunate.

Frank Thompson
April 3rd, 2009, 04:31 PM
Congratulations to all the swimmers selected!

And to once again sound like a broken record...I will repeat what I said a year ago. Whatever system is being used is flawed if again this year arguably the best female masters swimmer in the world is not selected something is wrong. In no way am I saying the other women are not incredible athletes and seserving of their awards...but I also doubt many would not deny that Susan Von der Lippes absence is unfortunate.

It is unfortunate but Susan's times from the Olympic Trials in the 100 Breast of 1:12.12 and the 100 Fly of 1:02.47 were not submitted to USMS for USMS Top Ten and therefore are not in the FINA World Top Ten. The swims broke World Records but FINA will not recognize swims like this because they were not done in a masters meet. So those two swims are basically ignored because of these points.

Dara Torres basically had the same problem in her two swims at the Olympic Trials. Her time of :24.25 in the 50 Free and the :53.78 in the 100 Free broke the existing FINA World Records but FINA did not recognize them because they were not performed in a masters meet.

There is a difference between Dara and Susan here in that Dara or someone else turned in the proper documentation for both USMS Top Ten and the USMS National Record and she is included in the USMS Long Couse Top Ten and gets credit for the USMS National Record. Her times also appear in the FINA World Top Ten as Number 1 swims because USMS submitted the 2008 Long Course Top Ten list to FINA. Because Susan was not on the 2008 USMS Long Course Top Ten list, those two swims did not make the 2008 FINA World Top Ten as Number 1 swims.

Susan's times do not appear in the 2008 USMS Long Course Top Ten and the National Records reflect 1:13.34 and the 1:03.38 from 2006 in the two events mentioned. Since this very important data was not published by USMS or FINA probably had something to do with the system you speak of and the selection process.

http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php

ehoch
April 3rd, 2009, 05:25 PM
Whatever system is being used is flawed if again this year arguably the best female masters swimmer in the world is not selected something is wrong.

Well - whatever the system may be -- I do think one has to at least compete in more than one Masters meters competitions in a given year to be considered.

While we are at it, can we add all the times from the Olympics too for the 25-29 age group and the 30-34. Oh - Mark Foster is in the 35-39 age group - he probably should also be listed. Phelps should in next year ...

If you think she should be in there, get her to swim a Masters meet and do the same times.

Paul Smith
April 3rd, 2009, 07:08 PM
Well - whatever the system may be -- I do think one has to at least compete in more than one Masters meters competitions in a given year to be considered.

While we are at it, can we add all the times from the Olympics too for the 25-29 age group and the 30-34. Oh - Mark Foster is in the 35-39 age group - he probably should also be listed. Phelps should in next year ...

If you think she should be in there, get her to swim a Masters meet and do the same times.

You're right Hoch, silly me. I was letting the idea that a working mother of 2 who becomes the oldest qualifier for the OT's in 2 events "cloud" my thinking...and man I just didn't think that she was just like a Foster or a Phelps....thanks for clearing that up...maybe Susan should be a little more focused on that pesky paperwork...and to think other than that she only accomplished:

2008 USMS Top Ten SCM for Women 40-44
50 Freestyle SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 26.70
100 Freestyle SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 57.55
200 Freestyle SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 2:05.55
200 Breaststroke SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 2:32.37
50 Butterfly SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 28.44
100 Butterfly SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 1:02.13
100 Individual Medley SCM Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 43 CMS Colorado 1:04.25

2008 USMS Top Ten SCY for Women 40-44
50 Freestyle SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
5 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 24.46
100 Freestyle SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
2 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 52.57
50 Backstroke SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
8 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 29.25
50 Breaststroke SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 29.64
100 Breaststroke SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 1:03.00
200 Breaststroke SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan Von der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 2:27.54
50 Butterfly SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 25.18
100 Butterfly SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
2 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 57.96
200 Butterfly SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 2:03.13
100 Individual Medley SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 59.32
200 Individual Medley SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 2:04.85
400 Individual Medley SCY Women 40-44 (2008)
1 Susan G Von Der Lippe 42 CMS Colorado 4:28.43

* She presently holds 8 SCM & 7 LCM WR's in the 40-44 age group

** You may find it interesting to go back and look at the Top 10 rankings and see just how close her competiton was to her in a few of these.

The Fortress
April 3rd, 2009, 07:18 PM
I agreed with Paul last year about Susan, and I agree this year. I recall someone mentioning that she would have had a few other number one rankings (maybe in SCM?) if she had simply done some split requests.

Why do Dara's times count as #1 FINA/USMS rankings? Was the Olympic Trials a dual sanctioned meet?

I must say, I agree with ehoch that someone who is not a master and does not swim in masters meets, shouldn't really be getting FINA or masters rankings just because they are registered with USMS. This is just stockpiling of rankings to put on the resume.

Chris Stevenson
April 3rd, 2009, 08:22 PM
Well - whatever the system may be -- I do think one has to at least compete in more than one Masters meters competitions in a given year to be considered.

While we are at it, can we add all the times from the Olympics too for the 25-29 age group and the 30-34. Oh - Mark Foster is in the 35-39 age group - he probably should also be listed. Phelps should in next year ...

If you think she should be in there, get her to swim a Masters meet and do the same times.

I can understand why you and others think that swims at USAS meets shouldn't "count." Although I always submit my times from such meets for Top Ten consideration, it wouldn't bother me personally if they didn't count. And I was somewhat surprised when I first discovered they did.

I also don't like this strange duality that USMS accepts such times for its records but FINA doesn't. So you can have the weird situation where USMS records are faster than the "World" records.

BUT...

After thinking about this for some time, I realize that I am against anything that erects artificial barriers between USAS and USMS (and similar dual organizations in other countries). It bugs me that USAS won't as a matter of course just accept my USMS times as entry times, and it makes me jump through hoops needlessly. And have you ever seen the rules for dual-sanction meets? They are bizarre: separate warmup lanes, etc.

I think kids benefit from seeing old guys and gals swim some fast times. So do their parents! Where I swim, masters workouts and age group workouts occur simultaneously and in the same pool, and the kids are impressed that a group of old fogeys still get up at 5am to swim.

There is a need for two separate organizations, of course, but some overlap and crossover is nice. Sometimes it seems almost like there is hostility instead.

As far as World Records, and "older" swimmers like Foster, etc...well, why shouldn't a "world record" mean that it is the fastest time ever swum by someone within that age bracket?

Sure, a professional (older) swimmer like Dara Torres has advantages over "regular" people. So what? Life isn't fair. The playing field isn't level for all "true" masters swimmers either.

Sorry for the thread hijack. I too believe that SVDL deserves a little more recognition for her achievements.

It is a little ironic to me that three swimmers whom I think regularly turn in some of the most outstanding swims in any given year (Dennis Baker, SVDL and Mike Ross) are not mentioned at all for two years running. But the group that was chosen is an amazing one, and my perception is probably skewed by the fact that all three swimmers I mentioned are close to my age.

chowmi
April 3rd, 2009, 08:37 PM
Would someone please post the exact rules or criteria for how the 12 were selected, and who selected them, and when?

Frank Thompson
April 3rd, 2009, 09:05 PM
[QUOTE=The Fortress;175791]I agreed with Paul last year about Susan, and I agree this year. I recall someone mentioning that she would have had a few other number one rankings (maybe in SCM?) if she had simply done some split requests.

Why do Dara's times count as #1 FINA/USMS rankings? Was the Olympic Trials a dual sanctioned meet?

Dara times count because she went thru the proper USMS procedures to get the USMS Records and USMS times to count for USMS Top Ten and USMS Records. Because she was in the final 2008 USMS Long Course Top Ten list, she was eligible to be on the FINA World Top Ten list.

According to FINA, Susan swims do not exist because she was not in the USMS Long Course Top Ten in any events even though she could have swam many events and had a potential to have more USMS records and top tens.

The Olympic Trials is NOT a dual sanctioned event. USMS has absolutely nothing to do with the sanctioning of that event and its ONLY sanctioned by USA Swimming as the Olympic Trial selection meet.

Just because USMS Masters swimmers qualify for the event does not mean there times automatically count for USMS Records and Top Ten. You must go thru the pool measurement procedures after every session and you must get the timing equipment back up sheet with the corresponding heat sheet. An "Application for a USMS Record" must be filled out with the Meet Referee's name and signature. This was apparently not done with Susan otherwise we would see at least 2 FINA Number 1 swims.

Any Short Course Yard swims or USMS Records from them are not considered in the process for the selection of the top World masters swimmers and only Short Course Meter swims are considered because those swims can be bench marked against the entire world.

With all of this, Susan did very well with 5 SCM World Records. However compared to other masters swimmers like Yoshiko Osaki of Japan with 14 World Records (6 LCM, 8 SCM), Laura Val with 20 World Records (9 LCM, 11 SCM), Karlyn Pipes Neilson with 15 World Records (7 LCM, 8 SCM), Hitomi Matsuda of Japan with 8 World Records (3 LCM, 5 SCM) and Jean Whiteley of Australia with 8 World Records (3 LCM, 5 SCM) it would be very difficult to elevate her performances over these others with the process that is used and with no recorded long course performances in 2008 from the tabulations.

If Susan would have gone to Portland or some USMS Sanctioned Long Course competitions, I am sure she would have been in there with the others but because that did not happen, the process only awards those performances in masters competitions.

The Fortress
April 3rd, 2009, 09:08 PM
I can understand why you and others think that swims at USAS meets shouldn't "count." Although I always submit my times from such meets for Top Ten consideration, it wouldn't bother me personally if they didn't count. And I was somewhat surprised when I first discovered they did.

I also don't like this strange duality that USMS accepts such times for its records but FINA doesn't. So you can have the weird situation where USMS records are faster than the "World" records.

BUT...

And have you ever seen the rules for dual-sanction meets? They are bizarre: separate warmup lanes, etc.

I think kids benefit from seeing old guys and gals swim some fast times. So do their parents! Where I swim, masters workouts and age group workouts occur simultaneously and in the same pool, and the kids are impressed that a group of old fogeys still get up at 5am to swim.

As far as World Records, and "older" swimmers like Foster, etc...well, why shouldn't a "world record" mean that it is the fastest time ever swum by someone within that age bracket?

Sure, a professional (older) swimmer like Dara Torres has advantages over "regular" people. So what? Life isn't fair. The playing field isn't level for all "true" masters swimmers either.


I think USA times should count for masters too -- when they're swum by masters swimmers. And they usually do. Dara hasn't swum a masters meet since she was pregnant and I don't consider her a master at all. I never said it was "unfair." That's not the right word. It's just bizarre. Why would someone not a masters swimmer have a USMS record or #1 FINA masters ranking? There's another FINA list for them. And why would they care about masters rankings anyway particularly? If she "retires" again, she can come back and join our ranks.

Dual sanctioned meets aren't that weird. I've swum in a couple. I didn't bother with the masters warm up lane. I warmed up in the rec pool where it was less crowded. I do think kids and parents benefit from seeing geezers in action. At least they're aware geezers compete and train.

Agree that more overlap is better. Maybe USMS meets will even start having time trials like USA meets so masters swimmers don't go to USA meets solely for this purpose?

The Fortress
April 3rd, 2009, 09:12 PM
[QUOTE=The Fortress;175791]I agreed with Paul last year about Susan, and I agree this year. I recall someone mentioning that she would have had a few other number one rankings (maybe in SCM?) if she had simply done some split requests.

Why do Dara's times count as #1 FINA/USMS rankings? Was the Olympic Trials a dual sanctioned meet?

Dara times count because she went thru the proper USMS procedures to get the USMS Records and USMS times to count for USMS Top Ten and USMS Records. Because she was in the final 2008 USMS Long Course Top Ten list, she was eligible to be on the FINA World Top Ten list.

According to FINA, Susan swims do not exist because she was not in the USMS Long Course Top Ten in any events even though she could have swam many events and had a potential to have more USMS records and top tens.

The Olympic Trials is NOT a dual sanctioned event. USMS has absolutely nothing to do with the sanctioning of that event and its ONLY sanctioned by USA Swimming as the Olympic Trial selection meet.

Just because USMS Masters swimmers qualify for the event does not mean there times automatically count for USMS Records and Top Ten. You must go thru the pool measurement procedures after every session and you must get the timing equipment back up sheet with the corresponding heat sheet. An "Application for a USMS Record" must be filled out with the Meet Referee's name and signature. This was apparently not done with Susan otherwise we would see at least 2 FINA Number 1 swims.

Any Short Course Yard swims or USMS Records from them are not considered in the process for the selection of the top World masters swimmers and only Short Course Meter swims are considered because those swims can be bench marked against the entire world.

With all of this, Susan did very well with 5 SCM World Records. However compared to other masters swimmers like Yoshiko Osaki of Japan with 14 World Records (6 LCM, 8 SCM), Laura Val with 20 World Records (9 LCM, 11 SCM), Karlyn Pipes Neilson with 15 World Records (7 LCM, 8 SCM), Hitomi Matsuda of Japan with 8 World Records (3 LCM, 5 SCM) and Jean Whiteley of Australia with 8 World Records (3 LCM, 5 SCM) it would be very difficult to elevate her performances over these others with the process that is used and with no recorded long course performances in 2008 from the tabulations.

If Susan would have gone to Portland or some USMS Sanctioned Long Course competitions, I am sure she would have been in there with the others but because that did not happen, the process only awards those performances in masters competitions.

Thanks Frank. I thought FINA (unlike USMS) wouldn't recognize LC times from USS meets unless the USS meet was dual sanctioned? That's what I was told recently. No idea if it's true.

As an aside, it would be difficult -- with the "versatility" emphasis -- for a sprinter (e.g., Rich Abrahams) to ever make the Top 12 List because they usually don't swim longer events and couldn't get the sheer number of #1 rankings that others can.

tjrpatt
April 3rd, 2009, 09:44 PM
Does anyone think that Torres really done any leg work to get her times recognized by USMS? Just wondering. I don't think that she was saying, "Oh, I better get this pool measured properly so it can be recognized by USMS." I am sure that someone took care of that for her.

Frank Thompson
April 3rd, 2009, 09:45 PM
Mike Ross got credit for 3 LCM World Records last year and they were very impressive swims. He also had 8 SCM World Records (100 FR, 200 FR, 50 BK, 100 BK, 200 BK, 50 FLY, 100 FLY, and 100 IM) in the 2008 calendar year. However, the process that is used does not count these records this year but will count them next year.

The critera for FINA World Records that are used in the process is records that are set from November 1, 2007 to October 31, 2008 time frame. This is because FINA publishes Masters World Records twice a year and those dates are May 1 and November 1 of every year. Because most of the USA Zone and Championship meets for SCM are after November 1, swimmers like Mike Ross don't get the credit in the year that they actually set the World Records. I believe this is what happened to SVDL last year and that is where the 5 SCM World Records for this 2008 selection came from.

Because other parts of the World have there SCM competitions all year around would probably favor those swimmers that set the records in the particular calendar year and we here in the USA are probably hindered somewhat because we swim SCY for most of the year and have more SCY meets and a USMS National Championship in that course where are best swimming performances occur. With that said, I can understand why people would not like the process and criteria for selection of the world swimmers of the year.

tjrpatt
April 3rd, 2009, 09:48 PM
I think USA times should count for masters too -- when they're swum by masters swimmers. And they usually do. Dara hasn't swum a masters meet since she was pregnant and I don't consider her a master at all. I never said it was "unfair."

Torres might not have done any masters meets but he doesn't mean that she wasn't registered for USMS. I wasn't doing meets for 2 years but I was still registered for USMS.

elise526
April 3rd, 2009, 09:58 PM
It does seem like there should be some kind of requirement that the swimmer participate in a certain number of masters meets in a given year to have their times from USA meet times count in any masters TOP TEN ranking. Lezak and Coughlin and any number of Olympians could have registered to be a masters swimmer in 2008 and I guess could have their times counted in the masters top ten without having done any masters meets.

A friend of mine was listed as number one on the preliminary top ten for 50 LCM free in 2008 until Dara came along and submitted her swims. Dara didn't do any masters meets in 2008. I doubt her coach submitted her times for her as he was getting medical treatment at the time.

If we are ranking swims based on age regardless of affiliation (masters or USA) that is one thing. If we are going to call it "masters" rankings, then it should be kept that way.

Frank Thompson
April 3rd, 2009, 10:18 PM
It does seem like there should be some kind of requirement that the swimmer participate in a certain number of masters meets in a given year to have their times from USA meet times count in any masters TOP TEN ranking. Lezak and Coughlin and any number of Olympians could have registered to be a masters swimmer in 2008 and I guess could have their times counted in the masters top ten without having done any masters meets.

A friend of mine was listed as number one on the preliminary top ten for 50 LCM free in 2008 until Dara came along and submitted her swims. Dara didn't do any masters meets in 2008. I doubt her coach submitted her times for her as he was getting medical treatment at the time.

If we are ranking swims based on age regardless of affiliation (masters or USA) that is one thing. If we are going to call it "masters" rankings, then it should be kept that way.

elise526:

In 1995, FINA made the requirement that for swims to count for FINA World Records, they must be set in masters sanctioned meets by a member nation of FINA. Prior to this, any swimmer that was registered with USMS could swim in a USA swim meet and turn in the times to count toward FINA World Records without ever swimming in a masters sanctioned meet. This was happening with Olympic caliber swimmers though maybe not on the level of Lezak and Coughlin but with national caliber swimmers.

FINA put a stop to this immediately and told member nation recorders and tabulators to strip anyone of a past record if they did not record the swim in a masters sanctioned competition. I think they went back a year and did that with those swims. So in a sense what your saying is happening at the FINA level. For the USMS level, as long as you are registered with the organization and you follow the rules to get your swims to count, then any swim from any USA sanctioned meet can count for a USMS Record and USMS Top Time and it does not have to be from a masters sanctioned meet.

elise526
April 3rd, 2009, 10:29 PM
elise526:

In 1995, FINA made the requirement that for swims to count for FINA World Records, they must be set in masters sanctioned meets by a member nation of FINA. Prior to this, any swimmer that was registered with USMS could swim in a USA swim meet and turn in the times to count toward FINA World Records without ever swimming in a masters sanctioned meet. This was happening with Olympic caliber swimmers though maybe not on the level of Lezak and Coughlin but with national caliber swimmers.

FINA put a stop to this immediately and told member nation recorders and tabulators to strip anyone of a past record if they did not record the swim in a masters sanctioned competition. I think they went back a year and did that with those swims. So in a sense what your saying is happening at the FINA level. For the USMS level, as long as you are registered with the organization and you follow the rules to get your swims to count, then any swim from any USA sanctioned meet can count for a USMS Record and USMS Top Time and it does not have to be from a masters sanctioned meet.


Thanks, Frank. With the number of older swimmers able to compete on a world class level, it will be interesting to see if USMS does what FINA has done. I'm certainly glad that people my age are able to swim in USA meets, especially in areas where there are not many masters meets offered. It seems to violate the spirit of masters swimming, however, if somebody that doesn't even compete in a masters meet in a given year can come in and claim the top spot in their age-group.

The Fortress
April 3rd, 2009, 10:44 PM
elise526:

In 1995, FINA made the requirement that for swims to count for FINA World Records, they must be set in masters sanctioned meets by a member nation of FINA. Prior to this, any swimmer that was registered with USMS could swim in a USA swim meet and turn in the times to count toward FINA World Records without ever swimming in a masters sanctioned meet. This was happening with Olympic caliber swimmers though maybe not on the level of Lezak and Coughlin but with national caliber swimmers.

FINA put a stop to this immediately and told member nation recorders and tabulators to strip anyone of a past record if they did not record the swim in a masters sanctioned competition. I think they went back a year and did that with those swims. So in a sense what your saying is happening at the FINA level. For the USMS level, as long as you are registered with the organization and you follow the rules to get your swims to count, then any swim from any USA sanctioned meet can count for a USMS Record and USMS Top Time and it does not have to be from a masters sanctioned meet.

But FINA still permits non-masters swimmers swimming in USA meets to garner FINA masters rankings. They just draw the line at WRs. This is a silly distinction. If, as Chris notes, swimmers like Dara should be recognized in FINA masters rankings because they are simply the fastest in the world in their age group, why not world records too? Otherwise, it's just inconsistent.

Tom, I am aware that Dara is registered with USMS. I'm just not sure that that fact alone entitles her to bump real masters swimmers out of FINA rankings. I don't appear in any USA PV rankings although I am a registered USA swimmer for 2 years. (Nor would I want to or care.) What if, hypothetically, a masters swimmer entered a USA meet and had enough points to win a high point trophy. Would they be awarded it? No don't think so. Can't imagine anyone wanting it either ...

And, Frank, you didn't answer. Does FINA recognize LCM times swum by a masters swimmer at USA meets? I know USMS does, but I had heard FINA did not. Obviously, plenty of LCM times swum at such meets have appeared in the FINA rankings. I was just wondering what the actual rule was.

I think ehoch had the same opinion as you elise -- that you should be required to swim in at least one masters meet. Though he never said why. I feel for your friend. #1 rankings mean a lot to real masters swimmers. It's hard to believe it means much at all to Dara, although she did file the requisite paperwork. Since world class athletes are already not eligible for FINA masters WRs, then they should at least be required to swim in 1-2 masters meets to get the FINA masters rankings.

chowmi
April 3rd, 2009, 11:32 PM
Didn't you know? Dara has a pool measurement technician on her payroll. His/her duties also include keeping current with all the latest rulings on USA/USMS record application procedures, as well as calandering when it is time for on-line USMS registration.

chowmi
April 3rd, 2009, 11:35 PM
Frank T gets my vote for one of the "top 12 masters swimmers who understand top ten and record application procedures"!!!

Frank Thompson
April 4th, 2009, 09:22 AM
[QUOTE=The Fortress;175821]But FINA still permits non-masters swimmers swimming in USA meets to garner FINA masters rankings. They just draw the line at WRs. This is a silly distinction. If, as Chris notes, swimmers like Dara should be recognized in FINA masters rankings because they are simply the fastest in the world in their age group, why not world records too? Otherwise, it's just inconsistent.


And, Frank, you didn't answer. Does FINA recognize LCM times swum by a masters swimmer at USA meets? I know USMS does, but I had heard FINA did not. Obviously, plenty of LCM times swum at such meets have appeared in the FINA rankings. I was just wondering what the actual rule was.

FINA does recognize masters swimmers times in USA meets as long as USMS rules and procedures are followed but for Top Ten only and not for FINA World Records.

The biggest hurdle in USMS rules of swimmers getting there times to count is the pool measurement and paperwork guidelines. If those are not complete, then USMS does not accept the times and they will not be sent to FINA from USMS. I remember a USA meet in Federal Way where SVDL made an Olympic Trial cut and set a record but the time did not count because the pool was not measured after the session and the bulkheads had been moved after the meet so the ship had sailed so to speak.

On the "Application for USMS and/or World Record" on line 8 it asks for the Sanction Number and the LMSC and if those are USA numbers and LSC's, then the World Record does not count but the record will be a USMS record.

FINA will accept times from dual sanctioned meets between USMS and USA Swimming, but it must be stated in the Sanction grant agreement between the host and the two organizations and also it must be the meet flyer that is published. Meets like Olympic Trials and the 2009 World Trials in Indy will not have a dual sanction status because that is a selection meet for a National team and you must belong to USA Swimming to swim in those competitions. The dual sanction allows a USMS swimmer to swim in certain but not all USA meets without being a member of that organization.

Allen Stark
April 4th, 2009, 02:40 PM
I have a great deal of respect for the people who spend there time ,energy and expertise to come up with the top 12 every year,but as I have said before I feel the process is flawed by it's focus on WRs.This problem of WR times not recognized as WRs just adds to the problem.The problem of the FINA year ending in Nov is another confounding issue.I know that given the FINA year it is not possible at this time,but I'd say the best measurement would be total # of #1 times at the end of the year,but I could also allow extra credit for exceptional swims(where you beat the #2 time by a large %)

Jason Marsteller
April 4th, 2009, 04:54 PM
I have a great deal of respect for the people who spend there time ,energy and expertise to come up with the top 12 every year,but as I have said before I feel the process is flawed by it's focus on WRs.This problem of WR times not recognized as WRs just adds to the problem.The problem of the FINA year ending in Nov is another confounding issue.I know that given the FINA year it is not possible at this time,but I'd say the best measurement would be total # of #1 times at the end of the year,but I could also allow extra credit for exceptional swims(where you beat the #2 time by a large %)

Does FINA have a Top 10 list at the end of the year? If so, I would be more than happy to take this change into consideration.

The reason why we currently have a WR-based setup is because there is not a single place that calculates the top FINA-sanctioned Masters times of each year in each event in each age division. If I'm missing something, I would love to try to get this system more accurate in a way that works within our available resources.

I've been extremely honest about this. The Top 12 World Masters of the Year is the single-biggest project of the year for me at Swimming World. It trumps the World Swimmers of the Year and the national high school championships by a long shot.

I begin the process as soon as the FINA list comes out Nov. 1, and I don't get completely done with it until February. There are some lulls during that time where I'm not doing something daily with it, but not many.

I enjoy the process and enjoy getting the ballot put together. I'm not complaining. I'm just wondering if there is a way to make this more accurate considering the resources available to making it happen. If FINA doesn't have a single sponsored list of even top 3s in each event (it has to be every event, not just some age divisions to make certain that the ballot is fair across the board), I'd be very willing to discuss potential volunteer positions to help make this happen. Right now is the best time to start working towards any improvements.

Jason

Chris Stevenson
April 4th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Does FINA have a Top 10 list at the end of the year? If so, I would be more than happy to take this change into consideration.

Certainly they do. They even have all-time Top 10 performers:

http://www.fina.org/project/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=707&Itemid=331

I agree with Allen that the emphasis on WRs distorts things.

In the case of some swimmers that have many such records in their age group, it means that they are essentially competing against their younger selves, even if they are far ahead of their nearest competitors.

Also...it may not be a very PC thing to say, but primarily using WRs could somewhat inflate the accomplishments of older swimmers who have many WRs simply b/c there have not been many swims in that particular event. (Let me hasten to add that I have a huge admiration for such swimmers, in fact they are generally the athletes I admire most. If the purpose of the recognition is primarily to honor longevity, then so be it and I have no problem with it...but it shouldn't just happen by default.)

I think some sort of age-adjusted rating system like the one we use in Virginia:

http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

(there are other methods too) would be good too for more objectively evaluating someone like Dennis Baker who competes in fewer events but rates extremely well in those events.

Allen Stark
April 4th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Does FINA have a Top 10 list at the end of the year? If so, I would be more than happy to take this change into consideration.

The reason why we currently have a WR-based setup is because there is not a single place that calculates the top FINA-sanctioned Masters times of each year in each event in each age division. If I'm missing something, I would love to try to get this system more accurate in a way that works within our available resources.

I've been extremely honest about this. The Top 12 World Masters of the Year is the single-biggest project of the year for me at Swimming World. It trumps the World Swimmers of the Year and the national high school championships by a long shot.

I begin the process as soon as the FINA list comes out Nov. 1, and I don't get completely done with it until February. There are some lulls during that time where I'm not doing something daily with it, but not many.

I enjoy the process and enjoy getting the ballot put together. I'm not complaining. I'm just wondering if there is a way to make this more accurate considering the resources available to making it happen. If FINA doesn't have a single sponsored list of even top 3s in each event (it has to be every event, not just some age divisions to make certain that the ballot is fair across the board), I'd be very willing to discuss potential volunteer positions to help make this happen. Right now is the best time to start working towards any improvements.

Jason
I am glad I don't have your job and do think overall you do a great job.I think every year there is no question that the people nominated are deserving,just the"how could you leave_____ off" question.If FINAs year ended 12/31(like the calender does) and USAs times(and the international equivalents) were readily recoverable then I think there would be less controversy.When a "sort of Masters Swimmer" finishes 2nd at the Olympics,a Masters swimmer is the oldest swimmer at the Trials,and a 46 year old man misses Trial cuts by .3 sec and none of them makes top 12 it does seem to be a problem(but given the current data available I can see why this happens and I don't blame the judges.I do blame FINA with their Nov year).

Jason Marsteller
April 4th, 2009, 07:09 PM
Certainly they do. They even have all-time Top 10 performers:

http://www.fina.org/project/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=707&Itemid=331

I agree with Allen that the emphasis on WRs distorts things.

In the case of some swimmers that have many such records in their age group, it means that they are essentially competing against their younger selves, even if they are far ahead of their nearest competitors.

Also...it may not be a very PC thing to say, but primarily using WRs could somewhat inflate the accomplishments of older swimmers who have many WRs simply b/c there have not been many swims in that particular event. (Let me hasten to add that I have a huge admiration for such swimmers, in fact they are generally the athletes I admire most. If the purpose of the recognition is primarily to honor longevity, then so be it and I have no problem with it...but it shouldn't just happen by default.)

I think some sort of age-adjusted rating system like the one we use in Virginia:

http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

(there are other methods too) would be good too for more objectively evaluating someone like Dennis Baker who competes in fewer events but rates extremely well in those events.

Thanks, Chris.

Now, the biggest problem I see with trying to do the top 10s (or even just cross referencing people who end the year with a WR and adding in people who are top 10s in an event) is that the 2008 LCM list was posted on the FINA site on March 23. We really only have two issues each year that can allow us to give Masters the full attention of an issue and those are April and October. But, if we went with October, that would mean people wouldn't be honored for another 6 months on top of the somewhat delayed setup we have right now.

I do like adding in #1s and top 10s (we have a similar method in the World/Regional Swimmers of the Year each year). I'm just trying to figure out how I can fit this into the process.

Any ideas? Think Walt Reid would be able to process the top 10s any quicker?

Also, I'm still wanting to get our panel up to at least 10, and we're already U.S. heavy on the panel as is. Our World/Regional voting panel is up to almost 20 now.

Peter Cruise
April 4th, 2009, 07:52 PM
Jason et al: I agree that trying to compile this list in a objectively quantifiable way is always going to generate debate and sometimes acrimony so I take my hat off to you.

A more fun list might come about like this: take your panel of experts who will assess and adjudicate a top 10 list of swims that make you go WOW! These could be submitted (or nominated) through the year and yes WR's are always impressive, but so are swims done under some adversity, injury, illness, advanced pregnancy the list could go on, the judges would be provided with context by the nominations and see if they are impressed. This could cut across age group etc. to really illuminate the top ten swims each year. In fact, perhaps a 'swim' could include where two or more break a world record swimming head to head. That makes me go WOW!

Jason Marsteller
April 4th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Jason et al: I agree that trying to compile this list in a objectively quantifiable way is always going to generate debate and sometimes acrimony so I take my hat off to you.

A more fun list might come about like this: take your panel of experts who will assess and adjudicate a top 10 list of swims that make you go WOW! These could be submitted (or nominated) through the year and yes WR's are always impressive, but so are swims done under some adversity, injury, illness, advanced pregnancy the list could go on, the judges would be provided with context by the nominations and see if they are impressed. This could cut across age group etc. to really illuminate the top ten swims each year. In fact, perhaps a 'swim' could include where two or more break a world record swimming head to head. That makes me go WOW!

I love this idea. Any ideas on how to process these swims to the panel? I know how to get the swims to the panel once I get them, but not sure how to get these stories together.

Allen Stark
April 4th, 2009, 11:12 PM
Even though this forum has people from all over the world,it is still USA top heavy.None the less,it would be easy for Forumites to nominate swims.As well as the USA-S swims this would also get the late season SCM meets in if you wish.

Peter Cruise
April 4th, 2009, 11:13 PM
They could be submitted by clubs, regions, zones etc, whatever; in the age of the internet, it would not be too hard to verify them. There could also categories for age-group, college etc. It would also share knowledge of wow swims that escaped initial notice or comment. I would like to think it would be very prestigious if one managed two or more wow swims (I think there would be a natural tendency of a panel not to do that, so if it decided to do that- WOW!)

Jason Marsteller
April 5th, 2009, 02:17 AM
They could be submitted by clubs, regions, zones etc, whatever; in the age of the internet, it would not be too hard to verify them. There could also categories for age-group, college etc. It would also share knowledge of wow swims that escaped initial notice or comment. I would like to think it would be very prestigious if one managed two or more wow swims (I think there would be a natural tendency of a panel not to do that, so if it decided to do that- WOW!)

Might be something we can do web-based for the U.S. My concern is trying to make this a global setup. We really try to keep a global perspective on everything we do here. I could easily see something like this being done with a U.S.-slant because there's so much conversation within the USMS community (heck, that's what this forum is about).

Trying to globalize this concept could be pretty difficult.

Peter Cruise
April 5th, 2009, 12:18 PM
One has to start somewhere. We already know about WR's set within the global ambit; it would seem to me a matter of challenging various national swim organizations to nominate (which, to mitigate any US-centric nature of an initial list, they would probably be anxious to do).

Gail Roper
April 5th, 2009, 01:23 PM
This is an interesting discussion. I’m glad to see that Susan and Mike have friends that are concerned about their swims.
I have dealt with this problem for years, including a masters WR set in a USA meet that did not count for WR but it did count for top ten and masters record. This made my USA record faster than the WR.

In order to count for masters WR you must swim in a sanctioned Masters meet that is held in a certified pool. You must do the paper work yourself:

1. Before you swim, check with Walt Reid to be sure the pool length is on file. If the meet in held in a pool with a bulkhead, you must make sure each lane is measured both before and after the meet.

2. After your swim, you must fill out the WR application form and have it signed by the referee and head timer. Do not leave the pool without this documentation. Get a computer printout of the results of the heat you were in. Get the program that says you were in the correct lane corresponding to the printout.

3. Mail all documentation papers to Walt Reid certified mail before May 1 and Nov. 1.

There have been several swimmers who have been left out of the Masters Swimmers of the Year because they did not know that meets in November and December did not count for that year. If you are having a birthday Jan. 1 and moving to a new age group, the times set in Nov and Dec do not move up to the next age group Jan 1.

So, if you plan to try for WMS with a new age group birthday, you must do all your swims between January 1 and Nov. 1………….I would suggest by the middle of Oct so all the paperwork can arrive by Nov.1.

As Frank Thompson says, this puts USA swimmers at a disadvantage if the SCM season is only in the fall and there are few meets to swim in Sept and Oct.

The solution to this could be to have FINA move the date to Jan. 1 to accommodate USA swimmers, but I don’t think that will happen. I have asked Walt Reid several times to try this.

Another solution is to run more SCM meets in the Spring instead of yards. This even applies to USA swimmers and the NCAA meets. The NCAA meet was run one year in meters with World Records being set. The last NCAA meet was held in a 50 meter facility with bulkheads, easily could have been done in short course meters. Would the winners of the NCAA meets set any World Records? Who knows, they didn’t get the chance. It’s interesting to note that if you check the present world records not one of them was set in the US.

The present solution…………….go swim in Canada. They swim meters all year.

Frank Thompson
April 5th, 2009, 06:03 PM
[QUOTE=JMarsteller;175862]Does FINA have a Top 10 list at the end of the year? If so, I would be more than happy to take this change into consideration.

The reason why we currently have a WR-based setup is because there is not a single place that calculates the top FINA-sanctioned Masters times of each year in each event in each age division. If I'm missing something, I would love to try to get this system more accurate in a way that works within our available resources.

Chris:

I think what Jason was referring to here was a top times data base that we have in USMS during the year to have a list of available times at the end of the year so he doesn't have to wait until March before the FINA World Top Ten lists come out. As you know the USMS SCM top ten list does not come out until February even though we have kind of an unofficial list with the USMS Top Times data base if meets from around the country turn in meet results to the data base.

Swim News has an ongoing data base that all of the FINA member nations use during the year to turn in there times from major meets from around the world and you can see it here http://www.swimnews.com/News/view/6766# and click rankings and you will see every event and all of times from the swimmers for both short course and long course meters. If something like this was available for masters swimming within each age group at the end of the year, then it could be used to meet the time guidelines for publication and be an additional resource for the selection.

ehoch
April 6th, 2009, 06:32 PM
I think it's very easy to compare swims within the same age division - you can etiher use the FINA points or the US swimming points system.

Then you could simply come of with a fair formula of "decline" (I just hate using the word - but it is what it is).

Have not looked into this - but I would guess that some of amazing female performers are actually just equal to the male counterparts in the age groups.

Chris Stevenson
April 6th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I think it's very easy to compare swims within the same age division - you can etiher use the FINA points or the US swimming points system.

Then you could simply come of with a fair formula of "decline" (I just hate using the word - but it is what it is).

Yes, that's exactly what we have done, using WRs (SCM, LCM) or USMS records (SCY) to create event/gender-specific "formulas of advancing decrepitude" (is that a better word for you? :)).

ehoch
April 6th, 2009, 07:28 PM
using WRs (SCM, LCM) or USMS records (SCY)

I don't like using the Masters records -- you should base it on the actual world records. The Masters records are not "mature enough". I will give you a quick example - Laura Val set the 100 Free long course record in a 1:02 - about 9 seconds above the women's open world record. She also set the 100 Back record in 1:14.4 - that is about 15.5 seconds above the women's open world record. She is a fantastic swimmer - but her Free times are way stronger than her Backstroke times.

Chris Stevenson
April 6th, 2009, 09:29 PM
I don't like using the Masters records -- you should base it on the actual world records. The Masters records are not "mature enough". I will give you a quick example - Laura Val set the 100 Free long course record in a 1:02 - about 9 seconds above the women's open world record. She also set the 100 Back record in 1:14.4 - that is about 15.5 seconds above the women's open world record. She is a fantastic swimmer - but her Free times are way stronger than her Backstroke times.

By "actual world records" I assume you mean those of Phelps et al?

The problem with real world records is that they don't cover a very wide range of ages, making it very hard to use them to model the effect of aging, especially when you extrapolate out to 80+ years.

I think using masters records to rate masters swims is a pretty reasonable thing to do. Some events may be are harder hit by aging, or lack of training, than others (for me it has been 200 fly). The problem you note with Laura Val's records is mitigated to some extent by an averaging effect over all the age groups.

Using masters WRs (and US records for SCY) gives a pretty reasonable fit, particularly if you use robust regression and take a few other precautions. An example of a typical fit is given here (http://www.vaswim.org/record_curves/Time_Ratings.shtml).

The biggest problem is still probably extrapolating to the oldest ages (error is magnified). Also, the curves get lower with time, so a given swim "degrades" over time. (Although that is pretty much the case in real life too...what was once a great time can become more commonplace over the years.)

I have tried it out for awhile and the system seems to work pretty well, it predicts outstanding times pretty much where you expect it. The current parameters are a little dated -- ie, pre-B70, etc.

ehoch
April 7th, 2009, 04:04 PM
I know the older age groups are tougher and it looks like you put in a lot of work for the calculator -- but I just don't think it works even for our age group. Here is a look at all the 200 distances in our age group. Your record rating is compared to FINA points.

200 Free -- 1:55.67 = 750 points

200 Breast -- 2:25.71 = 691 points

200 Back -- 2:10.88 = 683 points

200 Fly -- 2:07.17 = 717 points

200 IM -- 2:12.20 = 697 points


The 200 Free and 200 Back for example are just not equal --- about a 2:07 in the 200 Back should be the same as 1:55.6.

Chris Stevenson
April 7th, 2009, 08:17 PM
I know the older age groups are tougher and it looks like you put in a lot of work for the calculator -- but I just don't think it works even for our age group. Here is a look at all the 200 distances in our age group. Your record rating is compared to FINA points.

200 Free -- 1:55.67 = 750 points
200 Breast -- 2:25.71 = 691 points
200 Back -- 2:10.88 = 683 points
200 Fly -- 2:07.17 = 717 points
200 IM -- 2:12.20 = 697 points

The 200 Free and 200 Back for example are just not equal --- about a 2:07 in the 200 Back should be the same as 1:55.6.

Erik, you didn't give quite enough information to tell (course, age), and I'm too lazy to mess around to figure it out...but I'm going to assume that all those times have identical "masters" ratings on the VA LMSC calculator and your objection is that their FINA scores should be much closer.

Forgive my long-windedness in the following response; it is an occupational hazard.

FINA attempts to compare swims across event and gender; the underlying assumption is that all WRs are equally good. Of course it isn't completely true, but it isn't too bad an assumption.

Masters scoring systems, including mine, have to be a little more ambitious: compare swims across event, gender and age. So there will probably be a little more error. My system (and the one that inspired mine, the NEM system) does this by fitting a function to the WR progression for a given gender/event. This tends to average out the fact that some age groups have "softer" WRs than others. I use a robust fitting method, which further means that the fit is resistent to changes if a couple records are extremely good or bad.

So this method is going to do a GOOD job of accounting for aging within a given gender-event (and we can even estimate how good a job it does). But to compare across genders and events, just like FINA we have to make an underlying assumption: that the age-dependent "theoretical" WR -- as predicted by the fitted curve -- is equally good for every gender-event combination.

Personally I think that is a pretty reasonable assumption, given the averaging effect across age-groups. But if we don't accept that, we can try to make corrections in various ways if we wish; I present one possibility below. (The danger is if the corrections introduce more error than they fix.)

To broaden the FINA scoring system, there needs to be some method of accounting for aging. What you seem to be suggesting is that the effect of aging, compared to the "real" WRs, should be the same. In other words, whether it is 1650 free, 400 IM or 50 back, the effect of aging on FINA score should be virtually identical. I would have to verify, but I think this could be easily accomplished with either my or the NEM method: basically just add a conversion factor for the vertical axis to/from the FINA score.

But I really question your assumption. Both training and physiology will change pretty much as we age, and I think it stands to reason that they will effect our ability to do certain events in different ways.

I know it has for me: I don't remember the FINA score, but based on world rankings and placing at European Championships, my best LCM event as a youngster was the 200 fly, followed closely by the 100 fly. That isn't even close to be true now according to FINA scoring (or even my calculator, for that matter) and it isn't because I don't try. There are other examples for myself -- and I'm sure for others -- but you get the idea.

But you have given me an idea that may address your objections a little. The intercept term in the fitting function I use has a physical meaning: it is the theoretical best masters WR time for a given gender/event. Normally I let the date decide what the value is, b/c that gives the best fit. But it would be interesting to force that value to be the current WR and see what happens. The idea would be to improve the inter-event comparisons.

The fit for a given gender-event would be worse and it would probably greatly decrease the ratings for the youngest age groups. But maybe that is reasonable, since very often the WRs in the very young age groups are not as good, relatively speaking, as in the older age groups.

I'll have more time in the summer to mess around with it on the evenings/weekends and see what happens.