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Karlene
July 27th, 2009, 02:50 PM
Several swim meets in Texas, in order to save time, will the swim the 200’s as “choice”. You pick to swim either fly, back, breast or IM and the heats can have different swimmers doing different strokes. When SCY Top Ten came out, I had two swims that weren’t listed. It turns out that the meet wasn’t submitted (a different issue). But in the course of my e-mails with TT, I learned that “choice” swims are not permissible for inclusion.

Are others aware of this rule? I checked the USMS Rule Book and, at a quick scan, could find nothing referring to this. I’ve never seen a meet entry that stated that 200s conducted in this manner are not TT eligible so I’m suspecting that some meet directors don’t know about it either.

Seems a bit weird. As a backstroker, I can guarantee that no advantage is gained having swimmers diving in next to you on the start or having the adjacent lane swimming fly. The swimmer is still swimming a verified time in a measured course. The only rationale I could come up with is the stroke and turn judges having difficulty keeping track of different types of swims.

Not worried about the TT times. They’re not the first, and probably not the last, that won’t get counted. And I guess you can always learn something new. I’m been racing USMS over 20 years and never knew about the “choice” event exclusion. But it would be interesting if someone could shed some light on this. I do know I won’t opt for a “choice” event again if I’m trying for a TT time.

Are "choice" events common at meets elsewhere? Any insights on this exclusion rule?

Allen Stark
July 27th, 2009, 03:06 PM
I am not an expert on the rules but believe everyone in the heat must be swimming the same event.I suspect it does have to do with the stroke and turn judges.I have never heard of choice events before.

Ripple
July 27th, 2009, 03:10 PM
I was in a meet back in March where they did this. You did have to indicate your choice on the entry form so as to have heats of the same stroke, as far as possible. Since entry closed two days beforehand, it was possible to set up heats of free, back, fly, etc. before it began.
There were two separate rounds of this, one at the beginning of the meet and one later on, after a break, so people could do it twice using different strokes if they wanted to.

tjrpatt
July 27th, 2009, 03:21 PM
New Jersey has a meet where you have a choice of a 200 fly, back, breast, and free but they are still in separate event numbers. You don't see the someone doing the 200 fly and 200 free in the same heat. Plus, a recent local meet in Philly had a similar thing.

mattson
July 27th, 2009, 03:49 PM
Did you let the referee know before-hand what stroke you were swimming? I wonder if "choice" means that you won't be DQ'ed for stroke-specific rules (like two hands for fly and breast turns).

Karlene
July 27th, 2009, 03:54 PM
At this particular meet there were only backstrokers in my heat. But according to the TT person, it doesn't matter. The meet director is required to submit their entry form along with the times and if there are "choice" events, the times for those events are eliminated from TT consideration. I guess there is no way to verify retrospectively if the heats were mixed swims or just a single stroke.

osterber
July 27th, 2009, 03:57 PM
"Choice" = "freestyle". You swam a freestyle time trial.

Every referee I've worked with has said you can combine time trial (or even non time-trial) events in the same heat, as long as there is a lane separating each event.

In USA Swimming, you need to have a lane between genders. In USMS, since you are allowed to have mixed events, I believe you could seed women and men together without a buffer lane, for the same distance and stroke.

-Rick

Karlene
July 27th, 2009, 04:06 PM
Did you let the referee know before-hand what stroke you were swimming? I wonder if "choice" means that you won't be DQ'ed for stroke-specific rules (like two hands for fly and breast turns).

Mark, we had to declare on the entry form which stroke we'd swim. And the heats were separated by stroke as best I can remember. I really only paid attention to my own heat.

swim53
July 27th, 2009, 05:08 PM
Karlene,
In the Cleveland area, if we have a 2-day meet, we always do the 1st day as "open"......50, 100 or 200. (There is also usually a 400 IM offered, a distance free event and an 800 or 400 relay.) We enter which stroke that we will do in the "open" event (day 1) and on the next day, when the regular order of events happens, the meet director feeds our times from the afternoon/eve before into the computer and we place accordingly, after everyone has swum the particular event.

We have been doing this forever and the meet director for every meet was Pieter Cath (the PREMIER National Top Ten guy on the usms board) up until he passed away. He would've certainly known the RULES!!!!

So this is all news to me....a mystery.

xoxoxoxox
Ann

Betsy
July 27th, 2009, 05:11 PM
I think the problem may be how it is listed on the entry and how the results are reported. I have been to a meet where there is a 200 back, 200 breast, and 200 fly and you can only choose one, but you indicate what 200 you are entering and they are listed with different event numbers. The events may be combined and swum at the same time, but they are still different events. Results are listed normally with each event reported separately as stated in the entry.
As far as I know, there has been no problem with Top10 submissions.

mattson
July 27th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Mark, we had to declare on the entry form which stroke we'd swim. And the heats were separated by stroke as best I can remember. I really only paid attention to my own heat.

I was trying to ask what osterber said much more clearly. To be clear, I think what you were told sounds (smells?) fishy as well. Just wondering if there was a simple way to avoid this situation in the future.


"Choice" = "freestyle". You swam a freestyle time trial.

Michael Heather
July 27th, 2009, 10:50 PM
There is a simple way to avoid this in the future, and yes, it has happened before. Several times.

The meet information must list a recognized event. "Choice" is not a recognized event. In some areas where there are expected to be small participant turnouts, this is a popular (albeit wrong) way of combining heats to economize on pool time. It is the meet hosts you need to educate. Betsy was right, different strokes can be combined in one heat, but they all have to be listed as separate event numbers. It is a little more work for the meet host to pull them apart after the meet is over, but you get your top ten times, rather than wondering why not.

The very simplest way to avoid it is to list all events on the entry form and combine them as necessary at the meet. It's easy and follows established rules and format.

Masters swimming operates for the general benefit of all of the members, meaning that we follow rules, not what is expedient, easy, or quick for the meet hosts. The rules are clear as possible about what is allowed or not. We do not allow mixed relays with 3 of one sex and 1 of another. We do not allow choice events because the "choice" stroke cannot be defined within the constraints of technical swimming rules.

Everyone clear now?

Rob Copeland
July 27th, 2009, 11:03 PM
Are others aware of this rule? I checked the USMS Rule Book and, at a quick scan, could find nothing referring to this. Check 202.1.1.F(3)
Sanctioned events may include nonconforming swimming events so long as they are conducted in a safe manner. Nonconforming swimming events are events not defined in article 102.5 … USMS records and Top 10 times shall not be maintained in nonconforming events…

200 Choice is not defined in 102.5. A 200 choice could include fins, paddles, pull buoys or starting next year full body tech suits.

As stated before, one way to legally accomplish this is by having each event on the entry form and then allow the referee to combine events in accordance with 102.10.1.B
Age groups, genders and events of the same distance 200 yards or longer may be combined so that no swimmer has to swim alone and lanes may be filled.

It accomplishes the same end and it is compliant with our rules.

Rykno
July 28th, 2009, 08:33 AM
I am not an expert on the rules but believe everyone in the heat must be swimming the same event.I suspect it does have to do with the stroke and turn judges.I have never heard of choice events before.

and I thought it had to be same sex heats as well.

Karlene
July 28th, 2009, 10:20 AM
Rob and Mike, thank you for a thorough explanation. It was a first time meet and they probably didn't get adequate guidance from the LMSC on the rules. But it was a positive experience, well run meet and fast pool in a small Texas town. I hope they'll put on more meets in the future.

osterber
July 28th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Ah... this also has me remembering one of the things we have done at our New England SCY Championships. We have a big meet (700-800 swimmers), with lots of relays. For the scored relays, we have about 15 heats of relays for each event. We do offer the 800 free relay (women, men, and mixed), but we only offer it as an unscored event. So it's on the meet program as an official event. We usually get 2-3 teams looking to set a record, and we can swim them all together to save time and space. But the events needed to be officially listed so that the times could count for records, top ten, etc.

And Rob is correct... there could be a difference between "choice" and "freestyle". Freestyle is defined by the rule book. (Basically, any way of getting from one end to the other without illegal aids.) Choice and non-conforming events could be interpreted to allow fins, pull buoys, paddles, or almost anything... as long as it is "safe".

Flipping through the rule book, and my recollection, is that USMS does not permit a "time trial" in the USA Swimming/NCAA spirit of the definition. You're only allowed to swim the events that are listed in the published order of events. However, there are creative ways around this, if you want. I don't think there is a prohibition to offering an event more than once during a meet. So you could technically post an order of events that is:

#1: Mixed 50 free
#2: Mixed 50 back
#3: Mixed 50 fly
#4: Mixed 50 breast
#5: Mixed 50 free
#6: Mixed 50 back
#7: Mixed 50 fly
...etc... looping many times, and for all distances. I also don't see (on quick skim) a rule that says you can only swim a stroke and distance once per day. So you could, I think, swim the 50 free three times in a day if it were offered three times.

-Rick

wiredknight
July 29th, 2009, 12:24 AM
"Choice" = "freestyle". You swam a freestyle time trial.

Every referee I've worked with has said you can combine time trial (or even non time-trial) events in the same heat, as long as there is a lane separating each event.

In USA Swimming, you need to have a lane between genders. In USMS, since you are allowed to have mixed events, I believe you could seed women and men together without a buffer lane, for the same distance and stroke.

-Rick

USA swimming also allows mixed gender events. They are called "consolidated events". From the 2009 Rulebook:
102.1.4 CONSOLIDATED EVENTS — As a local option, events may be sanctioned and seeded as a single event, without regard to swimmers’ ages or gender, in the order of submitted entry times. Places, awards, and published results for these events may be separate for each age group and gender.

The referee can also combine events, as you noted:
102.8.2 At the Meet Referee’s discretion, events may be combined by age, gender, distance, and/or stroke provided there is at least one empty lane between such combined events.

Age, distance, and stroke clearly define "events," but do you have to separate by gender? You tend to think of gender as an "event" definer, and it is mentioned in 102.8.2. But curiously enough, if you look at the recommended "events" in 102.2, age, distance, and stroke are event definers, but gender is not. There isn't even a phrase like, "the same list shall be replicated for both male and female."

This makes gender lane separation kind of a gray area, or, possibly, an oversight in the wording of the rulebook. No doubt influenced by my Master's swimming experience, I tend to think of stroke and distance as the strongest event definers, and age and gender as weaker event definers. If I had to combine events, I would apply lane separations in that order of precedence.

mattson
July 30th, 2009, 11:42 AM
This makes gender lane separation kind of a gray area, or, possibly, an oversight in the wording of the rulebook.

I'm surprised that Geek hasn't suggested putting transsexuals in those lanes. :afraid: