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View Full Version : Lane no.s in swim-off



Syd
July 31st, 2009, 01:58 PM
How do they decide who gets to swim in which lane during a swim-off? Clearly if the one breathes to the right and is on the left hand side of the other, then that swimmer will be at an advantage.

tjrpatt
July 31st, 2009, 02:07 PM
I would hate to do a swim-off in a 200 fly. That would suck!!!!!!!!!

nkfrench
August 1st, 2009, 10:24 PM
Probably just seeded randomly by the meet management software.

Doesn't it seem like it would make sense for a swim-off to qualify for finals if you just add the times for prelims + semis together, then whoever has the fastest add-up qualifies ?

I think the swimmers also have the option to flip a coin if neither swimmer wants to swim extra.

That Guy
August 1st, 2009, 11:06 PM
I thought it was cool that there were 9 women in the 800 free final today. There was a tie for 8th, so rather than have them do a swimoff for such a long event, they put one of them in lane 8 and one of them in lane 0 for the final. Of course it helps to have a 10-lane pool handy...

Lump
August 1st, 2009, 11:06 PM
Rock-paper-scissors! :D

knelson
August 2nd, 2009, 12:22 AM
Doesn't it seem like it would make sense for a swim-off to qualify for finals if you just add the times for prelims + semis together, then whoever has the fastest add-up qualifies ?

Not really. Prelims and semis are all about making it to the next round, not about what your time is. It wouldn't be fair to penalize someone for swimming slower in prelims. They did make it through, after all.

Rykno
August 2nd, 2009, 09:06 AM
but if tie break rules were in place before hand, then everyone would know that you have to swim fast 3 times to win. not just to move on.

orca1946
August 2nd, 2009, 01:36 PM
I agree that adding to lane 0 was very cool !

osterber
August 3rd, 2009, 11:56 AM
Meet software will randomly seed them into lanes since they have the same "entry time".

At meets where there is potentially "something big at stake" and I have a potential personal interest in the competition, I will usually setup a double-blind lot and have someone else make a selection. For example, I run a lot of college conference championship meets where my alma mater is in the meet. So that there is no chance anyone could say I fudged the computer to get an advantage (which is technically easy to do), I'll have someone else pull names and lanes out of a hat blindly, witnessed by a third person.

-Rick

osterber
August 3rd, 2009, 12:08 PM
I thought it was cool that there were 9 women in the 800 free final today. There was a tie for 8th, so rather than have them do a swimoff for such a long event, they put one of them in lane 8 and one of them in lane 0 for the final. Of course it helps to have a 10-lane pool handy...

I wonder what rule allowed them to do that? It introduces a number of interesting questions:

* The person who was swimming in lane 1 expected to have open water to one side of them. Depending on the speed of the person in lane 0, that swimmer could help or hinder. I.e., what if lane 1 wins by a hair, only because they were able to drag off the swimmer in lane 0 for 750 meters, and sprint at the end?

* In prelims/finals, you're stick in top-8, bottom-8. With 9 swimmers in finals... how does that work? I would assume that the top 7 qualifiers could not drop below 8th. What happens if lanes 8 and 0 (qualifiers tied for 8th) go 1-2 in the final and beat everyone else in the final? Does that mean that 1st stays 1st, and 2nd becomes 9th? (Whoever would have lost the swim-off should be no higher than 9th.) Or could they bump down further?

* How do you seed the consolation final? Leave lane 4 empty? Or fill it, and leave lane 8 empty? Either way, that changes the dynamics of the race in the consolation final. If you take the situation that the slower of the tied-for-8th-qualifiers gets bumped into the 9-16 placing. Then you'd have the consolation finalists racing against someone not in their heat for placing.

For this example, number the qualifiers Q1-Q7, Q8a, Q8b (the two tied for 8th), and Q10-Q16. You have the bizarre scenario where:

* In the championship final, Q8a wins, Q8b is second by 0.01 seconds.
* In the consolation final, Q10-Q16 are all faster than everyone in the championship final.
* How does the placing work out? Do you have Q8a is 1st overall, and Q8b is 16th overall, their times being 0.01 second apart.

What if Q8a and Q8b tie in the finals? What happens then?

What if Q8b finishes last in the championship final. Clearly that swimmer would be 9th or lower. But that person's time is 0.01 second faster than the winner in the consolation final. The winner in the consolation final wins by 30 seconds. But in placing got beat out for 9th place points by 0.01 seconds by someone in a different heat that they couldn't race directly against.

Way too many questions here for my comfort. :-)

-Rick

That Guy
August 3rd, 2009, 12:40 PM
there was no consolation final.

osterber
August 3rd, 2009, 12:54 PM
Well, I suppose if there's no consolation final.... there is less to be concerned about. :-)

-Rick

That Guy
August 3rd, 2009, 04:06 PM
Well, I suppose if there's no consolation final.... there is less to be concerned about. :-)

-Rick

It's also worth mentioning that there is no scoring impact to doing this since at events like World Championships and the Olympics, there are no points, just medals.

Your concerns about open water and drafting are valid. I don't know if anyone raised a stink about it.

I wonder what the lower limit is for using extra lanes instead of having a swimoff. I'm guessing 400 meter events would get this treatment as well (and 1500, obviously), but nothing shorter than that.