View Full Version : Relay Day at Nationals

August 10th, 2009, 06:29 PM
I enjoyed the day set aside for relays alone at Nationals. It contributed greatly to our team spirit. However, after swimming on 4 relays on Saturday, I was exhausted for my individual events on Sunday. I suggest that, if USMS decides to use this format again, the "Relays only" day be the last day of the meet for several reasons: (1) It will not affect a swimmer's performance in any individual event, and (2) if a swimmer is not participating in relays, he/she can enjoy the host city or depart early for home.

August 10th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I ditto Cathy's thoughts.
My team had a blast with the relays. We had 6 people who only did relay day. I think the last day would be a great idea. The first day could be distance day, and everything else inbetween.

Chris Stevenson
August 11th, 2009, 07:44 AM
I think having a relay day on the last day will quite possibly result in lower relay participation than any other option.

August 11th, 2009, 10:37 AM
I imagine the previous posters and the poll mean Sunday when they say "the last day of the meet" to be preferred for relays. The actual last day of the nationals just concluded was Monday - the distance day. (Let's not forget those distance freestylers). In several cases the team standings were not determined until the conclusion of the 800 free.

I don't think Monday would be at all successful for relays. I like the relay day format and wouldn't mind if it were Saturday or Sunday, but not Monday. I like the distance day being at the end of the meet.

I think having the relay day format certainly promoted the participation in relays and team cohesiveness.

Great Nationals. Thanks to the Meet Hosts!!!!


August 11th, 2009, 10:45 AM
I loved the relay day, but it wore me out. I would like to do it again, but not every year. I agree that the placement is important, but I don't have a solution.

August 11th, 2009, 01:04 PM
I like the distance day being at the end of the meet.

Are you a distance swimmer?

August 11th, 2009, 02:00 PM
I posted on this subject on another thread, but will throw my two cents in here. I swim with Cathy and Mary, who've offered their thoughts above. I would not have participated in LC nationals but for relay day. I swam one event, the 100 free (Friday), but really planned to make the trip because of the relays. I'm just far enough off qualifying times that I did not feel quite legit enough to swim individual events. (Although my 100 was a triumph, for me).

As it happens, I swam in three relays, each of which scored points for my team. Boom, I went from feeling somewhat out of place to feeling like I sort of belonged. The total effect was very positive and cemented my investment in Masters swimming. I am more likely to attend a national meet the next time, even if I can only swim individual events.

The major point is this: for the veterans, relay day may not be a big sell. But given the signals I think I've read from the national organization, which seems heavily invested in growing the sport and participation in it, relay day seems like a coup.

Blackbeard's Peg
August 11th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I have mixed feelings about the relay day in the middle of the meet like it was this year.

On the one hand, I think it is an awesome idea. Like Red pointed out, this was a great way to get more USMS members involved - especially those that wouldn't have otherwise come to the meet. For those with large teams, this is a great chance to meet some great people you may not otherwise swim or hang out with.

On the other hand, if your team is small, or can't muster up enough people for a relay, it kinda sucks when the rest of your friends are at the pool swimming all day long and you're stuck trying to fill your day with activities without blowing your taper and your wallet. I could have done without the extra night in a hotel + meals and activity fees.

However, in the end, I will say that the way this meet worked out for me was great. I was able to race three races in two days, then have a day off (because our team was only two members) to recover and enjoy a movie, dinner and Colts Pro Shop trip with my lady-friend. And the following morning, we both wake up refreshed and belt out more fast swims.

August 11th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Are you a distance swimmer?

Actually, yes I consider myself a distance swimmer. I swam the 1500 free on Monday. I also swam the 200 back, 200 fly, 100 and 50 back. My 6th event was the 400 IM. Since I swim all those other events, I prefer the 1500 to be at the end of the meet.

When the distance events are on the first day, I will only swim the 800.


Allen Stark
August 11th, 2009, 04:53 PM
I think relay day should be Sun and after all the events or all but the distance.I agree it shouldn't be Mon.I think it my well improve attendance as swimmers could come in Sat and swim Sun if they wanted to just do relays and not miss work.I'd also do the 800 relays last as a hard 200 takes more out of me than a shorter race.I talked to several swimmers who thought swimming several relays adversely affected their Sun swims.

Peter Cruise
August 11th, 2009, 08:19 PM
There are is no question that relays are an important team builder, ice breaker, etc. Perhaps those who swim a full slate of individual events should be limited to, say, two relay splashes (or something like that) . I must say though, when I return to competition, I welcome Allen getting all tuckered out with the mighty Oregon relay machine while I blow my taper as only a sprinter dare do...

August 11th, 2009, 09:05 PM
I liked relay day in the middle of the meet since it promoted team participation and brought many teams closer together. I would prefer to have the distance day at the start of the meet than at the end, but then again I am a distance swimmer learning to sprint.

August 12th, 2009, 10:27 AM
Does anyone know the schedule of events for SCY Nationals in Atlanta?

I did enjoy watching the relays in Indy and wished I had a couple more teammates in order to participate.

My perspective as an individual swimmer though - I would rather swim my events in the usual three consecutive days (no distance for me) and no off day. It adds cost and an extra day away from my family. I know days are longer though with only one course to swim, but still would rather see the relays spread out Friday through Sunday.

August 12th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Put it this way: when relay day is in the middle of the meet swimmers from small teams don't have a choice and are stuck with the day off in the middle. If the relay day is the beginning or end of the meet, then everybody has a choice as to whether or not they would like to participate in the relay day.

August 12th, 2009, 11:43 AM
I loved relay day. I got to swim a relay with my mom, my little sister, and my mom's best friend from elementary school. It was a blast! I also was on a relay with my husband, sister and the Wolfman. Our team really came together on relay day and made the whole trip sooo much more fun.

Personal caveats...
1. Yes, I was a little more tired on Sunday, but was it due to the relays? Hauling the 8 month old baby around the meet? The lack of sleep due to said baby and evil hotel pillows? Or (MOST LIKELY) the fact that I hadn't swam 4 days in a row all season and my body was like WTF? I'm a big believer in 'racing yourself into your taper' so the extra sprinting on relay day isn't necessarily a bad thing.
2. I only had a cut in 1 event going into the meet so relays offered me the opportunity to swim some more things. (I left the meet with 3 cuts, and narrowly missed my 4th, woohoo!)
3. I was on a team big enough that we were able to swim lots of relays. I could see how it would be no fun if you just had to take a day off in the middle of your meet.
4. I am not a distance swimmer and did like having distance day the last day. It gave me a chance to swim my first ever 800 free and not trash my body for the rest of the meet.
5. I am not, nor ever will be, in the running for a world record so am not so worried about relay day adding that killer hundredth to my time.

August 12th, 2009, 12:51 PM
Maybe if they did this in the middle of the meet again and offered a meet and great relay for those who don't have alot on their team, similar to what they did at the Water Spider meet in Panama City one year. The times didn't count for anything but it was fun.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Relay day seems popular if you go solely on the basis of this poll (tho I have to note it is biased towards the relay day) and the comments.

I do hope that if they have relay days in the future, they are either the first or last day so I can opt out. The expense is a small reason, but far more important is time away from family. I feel guilty enough asking my wife to hold down the fort so I can go to a meet; adding an extra day is pretty tough.

While I would miss the relays, I know which side my bread is buttered and would rather keep She Who Must Be Obeyed happy.

August 12th, 2009, 11:21 PM
I have to say that although I loved my chance to swim on some great relays, there were simply too many events offered. Even the biggest regional teams couldn't contest all of them. I was happy to luck into a winning combination, but the victory was a bit hollow because there was not a lot of competition in our event.

The age groups are fine, and I think 800 Free relays belong. What about leaving out the 200 relays at LCM championships? they make sense at Short Course Nationals, but maybe not here.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
August 13th, 2009, 08:25 PM
The 4 relay event limit was a great idea!

August 15th, 2009, 06:29 AM
I thought relay placement was great. I got to plan ahead and lead off 4 relays which will count as individual times (50/100 back and 50/100 free). I ended up swimming a total of 9 events at the meet. These events were pretty much spread evenly across the 5 days so I am not sure if placement made any difference for me personally. By having the relays in the middle of the meet team participation was also maximized and I think performances too. I felt that having a "no pressure" day in the middle of the meet helped me mentally.