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osterber
March 22nd, 2010, 06:30 PM
Does anyone know the rationale behind USMS rule 103.13.1(B)(1)? Specifically, this says that in order for an initial distance split to count as an "official time" (and thus, eligible for records, top-ten, etc.), the swimmer must notify the meet referee in writing before the end of the meet.

Does anyone know why we insist on this level of administrivia? This means that, technically, even as a meet director... if I notice that someone's 1000 split on their 1650 would be a new record... it's not a new record unless I remind the swimmer him/herself to write down on a piece of paper "Please make my split time count", and hand it to the referee. Before they leave the pool at the end of the meet.

In USA Swimming, the paperwork isn't necessary. Your 1000 split counts, without any paperwork, as long as it's valid, you finished the event, etc., etc. But you don't need silly paperwork.

So why do we insist on this paperwork in USMS? This seems like something that is doing us all a massive disservice as I'm sure many many potential records and top ten performances are being missed. If you swim a 1650, and your initial 1000 was a certain time... then your initial 1000 was that time, regardless of any paperwork you submit by the end of the meet.

(This is separate from setting up an expectation that these splits will be automatically submitted. That's a separate issue. My only issue is that if the swimmer does not write something down on a post-it note, that the window of opportunity closes, and there is no way to un-close the window the way the rulebook is written.)

I suppose the solution is to amend the disclaimer/waiver language for our meet entries to include a sentence "I HEREBY REQUEST TO THE REFEREE THAT EVERY INITIAL DISTANCE OF EVERY EVENT THAT I SWIM BE CONSIDERED AS AN OFFICIAL TIME.", and then that part of the rule is satisfied. If the USMS Rules Committee insists, I can photocopy all of our entry forms, and hand them to the Referee before the end of the meet.

-Rick

That Guy
March 22nd, 2010, 07:19 PM
I would be tempted to write such a request on myself with a Sharpie and then present myself to the referee as paperwork after each race. You know, just trying to be environmentally conscious, save some paper, etc. :D

I have never requested an official split for anything

pwolf66
March 22nd, 2010, 07:21 PM
That would work for everything but Backstroke.

stillwater
March 22nd, 2010, 08:30 PM
administrivia.

I like this word and will use it, with your permission of course.

osterber
March 22nd, 2010, 10:09 PM
That would work for everything but Backstroke.

That's already covered by the next line, rule 103.13.1(B)(2), which says that you must request to the the referee (written) before the swim in the case of relay lead-off, or for backstroke initial distance.

It still makes 103.13.1(B)(1), which is the written request to the referee by the end of the meet for anything else.

-Rick

osterber
March 22nd, 2010, 10:10 PM
administrivia.

I like this word and will use it, with your permission of course.

Please go ahead. I certainly did not invent the word.

-Rick

jroddin
March 23rd, 2010, 07:51 AM
In short, many Nationals are now doing "automatic split requests" for initial split distances. Meaning the swimmer doesn't have to specifically request the split times be submitted. Backstroke events still need to be submitted because the official needs to verify they had an official finish at the specified distance (even though it would be slower for most to flip and touch with their feet, the rule is what it is that you have to finish while on your back) and that is why backstroke requires the request in advance. For relay lead-offs, all split times will get submitted unless the second swimmer starts in the water - in those cases the officials will note the relay so that split time is not recorded.

The irony is when this subject was being discussed a couple years ago, one swimmer voiced displeasure with this because they didn't want their initial distance splits recorded in case they should show up for Top Ten because they would be "slow and embarrassing!"

I know your next question will be can this be done locally at the discretion of a meet director. After all, if it is done at Nationals there must be a provision for it to be legal, right? I don't know the answer but will find out. I believe it is a question for the Rules Committee. I think each Nationals' Meet Director makes the request in advance to Rules if they want to do this or not - so perhaps it would be the same procedure for a local meet director. But don't quote me on this yet - I'm still new in my position and don't know all of the procedures.

Jeff Roddin
USMS Championship Committee Chair

PS. Walt Reid, USMS Records Administrator, has automatically processed reports of all splits for seven championship meets:
1. FINA Worlds at Stanford (August, 2006),
2. SCY Nationals at Federal Way (May, 2007),
3. FINA Worlds at Perth (April, 2008),
4. SCY Nationals at Austin (May, 2008), and
5. LC Nationals at Mt. Hood (August, 2008).
6. SCY Nationals at Clovis, CA (May, 2009)
7. LC Nationals at Indianapolis, IN (August, 2009)

Chris Stevenson
March 23rd, 2010, 10:04 AM
I believe applications for World/National Records also need the backup times (electronic or stopwatch) as well. So initial splits wouldn't work for those either, right?

As Jeff said, you should ask the Rules Committee and see if there is something special that they have to do at nationals so that all initial splits count. I've seen many screwed-up splits in official meet results.

There is also more work involved in submitting all those splits as if they were individual swims; I'd be curious how Walt handles this across an entire meet (I'll ask him). What I do know is that the splits never appear in the "Current Event Rankings," they just show up in the Top Ten lists at the end of the season.

jroddin
March 23rd, 2010, 10:19 AM
Correct, you would still need to do a record application if the split time was a record.

I believe Walt has written a program to read and extract split times from a Hytek results output file (eg commlink).

I have added split requests to the Top Times database before, but is a bit tedious. If I process a meet that has enough split times to make the effort worthwhile, I do it. But for just one or two, I don't add it to Top Times but instead just submit it for TT consideration. If you use Team Manager to do your LMSC Top Ten, there is an easy way to extract a legal split to make it a legal time for that meet and then it automatically gets included when you do your Top Ten submission to include all meets of the particular course.

But to get the times into Top Times, you have to work with Meet Manager to create the export file. When IGLA was in PV in 2008 I basically copied the Hytek MM database to a new file, wiped out all entries, then manually added the split request results and then did a commlink export to upload to USMS.

Jeff

matysekj
March 23rd, 2010, 11:02 AM
At nationals, a single split request form is filled out to request all initial splits count for all events that do not need to be individually observed, such as backstroke events. Walt's program extracts these splits from the CL2 file and adds them to the top 10 database if they qualify.

We do NOT want to do the same thing for the meet results database. The reason is that top 10 and the general meet results database are inherently different. There are two areas where this difference is important to this topic.

First, the top 10 database only saves.... you guessed it, the top 10 times in each event. All others are discarded, so the database is limited in size. Not so for the meet results database. Anything you put in there is kept and takes up space. Saving all intermediate splits from all swims as separate swims would use a lot of extra storage space to save mostly useless data. Yes, the splits are already in the database as splits, but there isn't an easy way to have them show up as individual swims without putting them in that way. For reference on the potential impact of this, we currently have over 2 million split records in the database. Not all of them would qualify as individual swims (e.g. your 150 split since there is no 150 event), but I'd guess that about half of them would qualify.

Second, in the vast majority of swims, the swimmers themselves would not want to see their intermediate splits show up in their records as individual swims. I know that when I swim a 1650, I absolutely do not want my lead-off 50, 100, 200 or 500 to show up as individual swims at those distances because the times would be horrible for those distances.

There are very limited cases where swimmers actually want an initial split to count as an individual swim. Our strategy for the meet results database is to come up with a way for swimmers to request those splits online and have only those show up as individual swims. This will take some development effort and as Rick pointed out, a rules change since you must request such splits in writing before the meet ends according to the current rules.

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 11:03 AM
Two things. First, a lot of this conversation only further establishes that the requirement to notify the referee in writing before the end of the meet is not necessary. It turns out that people are trying to find ways around this rule anyways. As such, it should be removed.

Second, some of these comments are not directly related to the issue at hand. I'm not getting into the requirements for national or world records, etc. Some of those requirements are covered by other rules, or other policies. All I'm interested in is the requirement that you request the referee in writing before the end of the meet.

For example... even if you do make a written request to the referee before the end of the meet, all of the timing backup issues are still an issue. You still have to take into account primary/secondary/tertiary timing requirements for different levels of records/top-ten/etc. Those issues don't go away. But they don't need to be re-added to the scenario, because they're already part of the rules.

To even be more nit-picky on this rule... the rule only says that the swimmer must notify the referee in writing before the end of the meet. That can be well after the swim has happened. So there's nothing that the referee can do with this notification, except file it away in a file full of other administrivia. For example, in our New England LMSC Championship meet, which takes place over two week-ends, it's possible that you could hand the referee your written request a full 8 days after your swim took place, and still be before the end of the meet. Now that the referee is holding that piece of paper 8 days later... how does that change anything about the swim that took place 8 days earlier?

-Rick

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 11:12 AM
I again want to be absolutely clear about two different issues here, and that I'm only arguing about one of them.

The issue I'm interested in is the "validity of official time".

The issue I'm not (yet!) interested in is "what is the expectation of what is automatically processed, etc. for top-10 times, etc.".

The scenario I care about is this:

Swimmer goes to a meet, swims the 1650 free. Maybe sets a local record, maybe sets a national record. Whatever. There's no doubt about the validity of their 1650 finish time.

Swimmer gets home, after the meet is over, looks at the results, and realizes "Wow, my 1000 split was also a regional record!". However, it's now after the meet is over. Since the swimmer did not write down a trivial request on a post-it note and give it to the referee before leaving the pool, the window is forever closed, and this 1000 split can never be recognized as a record, since it cannot, by rule, be considered an "official time".

All I'm saying is that after-the-fact, we should be able to recognize that 1000 split as a fully official time. It satisfies every other requirement for "official time", except that the swimmer did not make a request to the referee in writing before the end of the meet.

I'm not getting into anything about whether we should be automatically culling for splits. I'm just saying that if one is discovered, it shouldn't be invalid because a piece of administrivia was not followed at the meet.

-Rick

matysekj
March 23rd, 2010, 11:15 AM
I think you've got a great case for a rules change proposal, but I really don't know why the rule is there to begin with (haven't heard the other side of the story). Your LMSC can submit rule change proposals up until July 10 of each year, or if Chris were interested in taking this up with the Records & Tabulations Committee, they could submit a rules change proposal later in the year.

knelson
March 23rd, 2010, 12:40 PM
If it's an old rule the rationale might have been that lots of meets didn't use automatic timing equipment, so in that case the manual timers would need to be instructed to take splits. These days meets without electronic timing as the primary system are pretty rare.

nkfrench
March 23rd, 2010, 03:03 PM
Even with automatic timing systems, the swimmers don't always get a clean touch so backup timing would need to be available if they want an official time on an initial distance split.

Our LSC's national times recorder ends up doing a workaround to get initial distances loaded into the USA Swimming database "SWIMS" as official times eligible for records/rankings. So to get the 50 split created on a 100 free event, a new 50 free event (event # suffixed with Z) is created in the MM database, the swimmer entered; and the 50 split time is manually entered as the final result with backup watches also entered as available.

aquageek
March 23rd, 2010, 03:19 PM
I've always wondered what you put for a seed time when doing a split request. Do you put a very fast seed time since you will go out fast or do you put what you plan on finishing in?

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 04:03 PM
Even with automatic timing systems, the swimmers don't always get a clean touch so backup timing would need to be available if they want an official time on an initial distance split.


Again, rule 103.13.1(B)(1) has nothing to do with backup timing, or any requirements for the timing accuracy. If you notify the referee after you swam, which rule 103.13.1(B)(1) requires, you still have no opportunity to affect what happens with backup timing.

-Rick

jroddin
March 23rd, 2010, 04:26 PM
Even with automatic timing systems, the swimmers don't always get a clean touch so backup timing would need to be available if they want an official time on an initial distance split.

Please see quote below from p. 125 of the USMS rulebook. It points out backup timing is not permitted for initial distance requests for USMS records. So your comment is still valid for other official times (like Top Ten), but I just want to clarify you can't use backup times for USMS records for initial split distances. I don't know the rationale and maybe somebody can propose a change (if 3 watches are good enough for a regular event, why not for a lead-off or split?). Anyway, here is the quote:

"...provided fully automatic timing is used. The swimmer’s relay leadoff split time shall not count if the second
swimmer starts in the water. The request to have a split time recorded must be brought to the attention of the meet referee, in writing, prior to the swim. Leadoff splits obtained from semi-automatic or manual times are acceptable for FINA records, but not USMS records". [USMS 105.2.2;
NCAA Rule 9, Section 1 and Section 2, and Notes 2 and 3]

BTW, who would have expected this to be such a hot topic?!

Karen Duggan
March 23rd, 2010, 04:35 PM
I've always wondered what you put for a seed time when doing a split request. Do you put a very fast seed time since you will go out fast or do you put what you plan on finishing in?

Geek, Geek, Geek-
A split request is a little piece of administrivia (is that the right word?), that you fill out that has your name, heat/lane, team, etc and give to the referee at the meet. All your asking for is that your swim (split) count for Top Ten times in your LMSC or National TT rankings. The referee writes down the time (I believe) and then your split swim is recorded as an individual swim.

I am a fan of split requests b/c I can't always swim all the events I'd like to, especially backstroke, so I ask for my relay split times to count. Also, when I swim the 1650 I want a 500 and a 1000 split :agree:

aquageek
March 23rd, 2010, 04:39 PM
That didn't answer my question.

Betsy
March 23rd, 2010, 04:51 PM
This is an interesting discussion and brings up some good points.
I wonder if the rule to notify before the end of the meet is for the convenience of the meet director. There has to be a limit on how long you can request splits. As a meet director, I don't want to go back over the meet file after I have wrapped up/finalized the meet results (2 or 3 days). If the meet director only has access to Meet Manager at the facility, it is more difficult for the meet director to get the splits. National or World Records offer a challege also because the referee has to sign the submission form.
On the other hand, some good swims are lost because the swimmer doesn't know to make the request. I'd like to be able to include splits if I notice a good time when I am preparing the final copy of the results. But is that fair because I might not notice all possibilities?
Good topic for discussion!

jroddin
March 23rd, 2010, 04:58 PM
I've always wondered what you put for a seed time when doing a split request. Do you put a very fast seed time since you will go out fast or do you put what you plan on finishing in?

The latter. I suggest the same thing swimmers should always do: enter with the time they expect to do in that particular swim. Timelines are created based on seed times. So if you enter the 200 free and are really going for a split request for the 50, you should enter with the time you expect to finish that 200. If you enter with your best time in the 200 and then proceed to go 2 minutes slower than that time, shame on you for screwing up the timeline and holding up the meet...

knelson
March 23rd, 2010, 04:59 PM
That didn't answer my question.

I'm not quite sure why you'd put a different time than you normally would?

Oh, maybe you're thinking of people who enter, say a 200 free, but really only intend to do hard 100, then an easy 100. I'd say in this case you should try to estimate the actual time it will take you for the 200 as your seed time (and of course it's nice to let the rest of your heat in on your plan to only swim the first 100 fast).

edit: yeah, what Jeff said ^^

Karen Duggan
March 23rd, 2010, 05:03 PM
quote w/drawn, sorry

Karen Duggan
March 23rd, 2010, 05:05 PM
Sorry, I just got your question.
This weekend I'm entering the 500 free, but I'm doing 400IM, so I entered my time accordingly: my 400 time plus an easy 100 free.
Sorry, I didn't ready your question correctly.
:chug:

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 05:07 PM
I think as a meet director, you are responsible for your results for far more than 2-3 days after your meet is over. If you don't have access to Meet Manager, you should have a report electronically or in hardcopy that has all of the full split printouts from your meet. (Most of them get posted online anyways.)

I'm currently investigating a final time inquiry from a meet that took place a full year ago. Swimmer says their 1650 time was really a 1700 time, and that they swam an extra 50. I'm doing through the archives to determine whatever we can determine.

And again... this is separate from any other paperwork rules that may be required for records, etc. This is simply for "official time". For a time to be a record or a top-ten time, it must first be an official time, and may also need to satisfy other requirements. But the first is "official time".

At the very basic level... my understanding is that for USMS nationals, your entry times are supposed to be "official times". I don't think those get verified (do they?)... but technically speaking, you would not be permitted to use your 500 split as an entry time for nationals if you didn't go through this administrivia to make it an "official time".

-Rick

knelson
March 23rd, 2010, 05:09 PM
This weekend I'm entering the 500 free, but I'm doing 400IM, so I entered my time accordingly: my 400 time plus an easy 100 free.

My understanding is this would NOT count as an official 400 IM (split request or not), correct?

sjstuart
March 23rd, 2010, 05:12 PM
A seed time is used for seeding. So put in a time based on where you want to be seeded.

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 05:25 PM
My understanding is this would NOT count as an official 400 IM (split request or not), correct?

Correct. A valid initial distance must be in the stroke of the race. So the 400 split in a 500 free is merely a 400 free. A swimmer is free to use it as a "personal best" mark, etc. But it would not be eligible for top ten, records, etc.

(Technically, I think you couldn't use it as a seed time in another meet. But I don't think anyone is splitting hairs that small.)

-Rick

aquageek
March 23rd, 2010, 05:38 PM
The latter. I suggest the same thing swimmers should always do: enter with the time they expect to do in that particular swim. Timelines are created based on seed times. So if you enter the 200 free and are really going for a split request for the 50, you should enter with the time you expect to finish that 200. If you enter with your best time in the 200 and then proceed to go 2 minutes slower than that time, shame on you for screwing up the timeline and holding up the meet...

I think this makes sense. The converse also perplexes me, say you put a 2:20 for your 200 but swim the first 100 in :50 and the balance in the next 100. Doesn't that adversely impact those in your heat also, seeing the rabbit go out. I know, I know, swim your own race but we all look around a little bit.

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 05:51 PM
I think this makes sense. The converse also perplexes me, say you put a 2:20 for your 200 but swim the first 100 in :50 and the balance in the next 100. Doesn't that adversely impact those in your heat also, seeing the rabbit go out. I know, I know, swim your own race but we all look around a little bit.

This is why you are encouraged to tell the referee, so that it can be announced before the race. Rule 103.8.3(B) allows (but does not require) the starter to announce that someone is going for a split in an initial distance.

It would also be good sportsmanship for the swimmer in question to merely advise those swimmers around "Hey - just so you know, I'm going for the 100 split, so I'll be out really fast." That goes a long way.

One thing this brings up is that there are two different (I think) types of "initial distance" splits. There are those that you go out for, and those that you get in the matter of normal swimming.

For example, in the 1650 freestyle.... You could go all-out for the first 50 to get your 50 split, and then swim a 1600 warmdown afterward. Or, you could swim the 1650 as a normal swim, and look to get your 500 and 1000 splits along the way... but you're still looking for a "good" 1650 time.

The initial distance situations I'm thinking more about (in this thread) are the latter... especially since many of these "accidental" early splits might not be as intentional.

If you're going for a 100 split in the 200 free... you know you're going after it. To me, that's a different situation. (Though isn't, and shouldn't be, treated any different from a rules perspective.)

-Rick

Chris Stevenson
March 23rd, 2010, 05:55 PM
Again, rule 103.13.1(B)(1) has nothing to do with backup timing, or any requirements for the timing accuracy. If you notify the referee after you swam, which rule 103.13.1(B)(1) requires, you still have no opportunity to affect what happens with backup timing.

If you think the rule doesn't sufficiently guarantee the accuracy of the swim, why are you pushing to have the swims counted? Do you want the rule eliminated or tightened?


The scenario I care about is this:

Swimmer goes to a meet, swims the 1650 free. Maybe sets a local record, maybe sets a national record. Whatever. There's no doubt about the validity of their 1650 finish time.

Swimmer gets home, after the meet is over, looks at the results, and realizes "Wow, my 1000 split was also a regional record!". However, it's now after the meet is over. Since the swimmer did not write down a trivial request on a post-it note and give it to the referee before leaving the pool, the window is forever closed, and this 1000 split can never be recognized as a record, since it cannot, by rule, be considered an "official time".

All I'm saying is that after-the-fact, we should be able to recognize that 1000 split as a fully official time. It satisfies every other requirement for "official time", except that the swimmer did not make a request to the referee in writing before the end of the meet.

If you are satisfied with the validity of split time, why can't your LSMC (or whatever "region" you are concerned about) simply make it a policy to accept split times for LMSC records?

As far as I can tell, LMSC records have no official status within USMS. They are no more "official" than club records or pool records. The USMS rule specifically mentions only Top Ten, USMS and FINA records, and I think you said that you are not concerned with those.

LindsayNB
March 23rd, 2010, 06:25 PM
A possible justification is that if you submit your request before the end of the meet the referee can check the validity of the split with all the timing tapes, watch times, etc. easily available. I don't know how long all that stuff is kept for or who keeps it so perhaps it's not relevant, I'm just guessing.

orca1946
March 23rd, 2010, 06:45 PM
Why would you do a 1650 & go out so fast as to set a record at those ? ?

aquageek
March 23rd, 2010, 06:48 PM
Why would you do a 1650 & go out so fast as to set a record at those ? ?

This typically happens if you cannot attend the meet on the day of the event you want. This actually happens quite often at USMS meets.

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 08:37 PM
If you think the rule doesn't sufficiently guarantee the accuracy of the swim, why are you pushing to have the swims counted? Do you want the rule eliminated or tightened?


What I'm saying is that notifying the referee after your swim has taken place doesn't do anything to increase the accuracy of the swim. Therefore, the rule is frivolous.

Much of the rulebook regarding the accuracy of touchpad times, etc., largely depends on the judgement of the timing operator. As the timing operator at a number of masters meets, it would be trivial to fake out a finish time if I really wanted to.

I am not saying that I have any issue or concern with the accuracy of the split time. I'm saying that the requirement of administrative paperwork within a certain time window (i.e., before the meet finishes) is not useful.




If you are satisfied with the validity of split time, why can't your LSMC (or whatever "region" you are concerned about) simply make it a policy to accept split times for LMSC records?


Because then we would be in violation of USMS rules! We might as well institute a rule that says we will recognize LMSC records in the butterfly, even if you got DQed for a 1-hand touch. How could a LMSC have a rule to recognize times that USMS won't recognize as valid?



The USMS rule specifically mentions only Top Ten, USMS and FINA records, and I think you said that you are not concerned with those.

No. The USMS rule (go read it) is about "Official Time". That's what rule 103.13 in its entirety is about. It's about what it takes for a time to be "official" in the eyes of USMS. 103.13.1(B) covers the parameters for an initial distance split. 103.13.1(B)(1) says that, as one of many requirements, you must notify the referee in writing before the end of the meet.

Rule 103.13.3 (which, yes, is part of the 103.13 section) covers the specifics about what timing level (automatic, semi-automatic, etc.) is required for different kinds of records, etc. Note that it says that automatic timing (i.e., touchpads) are valid for initial splits for "all purposes". I.e., you can set a world record using a touchpad split time for an initial distance, as long as the other requirements are met.

(As a technical note -- note that if a touchpad misfires at the finish of a race, your correctly adjusted time still counts as an "automatic" time. This is clarified by 103.13.6. However, if the pad misfires on the touch for your initial distance, then my interpretation is that you'd drop down to stopwatch times, and it would not be an "automatic" time. I believe, though it's not specifically stated, that the requirement for an adjustment to "automatic" time requires that all lanes have the same backup timing configuration. I.e., you'd need to have stopwatches and buttons record times for every lane for that initial distance, because you need those stopwatch/button times from the other lanes in order to correct the malfunctioning lane. Yes, this is confusing.)

So again, the situation. You swim the 1500 LCM freestyle at a meet. You were out really quickly at the 800. You get home the day after the meet and realize that your 800 split is a new world record. Note that you do have several weeks (I forget how long) to file the appropriate paperwork for a new world record. However, you realize that you forgot to instruct the referee in writing before you left the meet that you wanted your 800 split to count. Since the meet is over, your opportunity is forever lost. You still have several weeks to file paperwork for the world record application, but you can't. Your time is invalid. We all know that your split was fine. We all know it should be a record. But you slipped up and forgot to file that little bit of administrivia, and that means no record.

-Rick

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 08:40 PM
A possible justification is that if you submit your request before the end of the meet the referee can check the validity of the split with all the timing tapes, watch times, etc. easily available. I don't know how long all that stuff is kept for or who keeps it so perhaps it's not relevant, I'm just guessing.

Sure, it may make it easier. In that case, why not require that all initial splits be required to be requested before the swim?

But my counter-argument is -- if I'm a responsible meet director, and I keep all of this paperwork filed for a solid 12 months after the meet, shouldn't I be able to help establish that a record or top-10 time was established? Why limit my ability to do that?

-Rick

osterber
March 23rd, 2010, 08:47 PM
One other thing worth mentioning (or did I already?)... the USA Swimming rulebook has no such provision that requires the swimmer to request the initial split in writing to the referee before the end of the meet.

As far as I know, this has never been an issue in the USA Swimming world.

It sounds like in the USMS world, the rule largely gets ignored anyways. (This is based on some emails I'm getting off-the-record.)

-Rick

Kathy Casey
March 24th, 2010, 01:47 AM
There was a time when it was against USMS rules to use split times for official times at all. The only way that reinstating the use of split times for official times would have passed the House of Delegates was if:
1. they were timed by auotmatic timing only (no backup timing, manual, or semi-automatic timing particularly because of timing discrepancies with timers at the opposite end of the start for a 50 meter split in a long course event),
2. the swimmer completed the full race without being disqualified and all four swimmers completed the relay without being disqualified (otherwise one person would swim the first leg and no other swimmers would be there to finish the relay),
3. the swimmer requested the split time in writing prior to the swim for all events (so the LMSC Top 10 and records person would not be expected to extrapolate all the splits from every meet - too much work),
4. the second swimmer in a relay did not start in the water (creating a potential for interference with the timing pad), and
5. the swimmer used a legal finish at the initial distance.

Notice that when splits were originally reinstated ALL split requests had to be submitted in writing PRIOR to the swim. That part of the rule was changed a few years later, so that all splits except relays and backstroke could be requested in writing prior to the end of the meet, giving swimmers a little extra time to realize it might be a good idea to request certain splits.

Rather than using a post-it note to request a split in writing, you can copy and use the split request form on page 137 in the 2010 rule book. It's also in the Operating Guidelines.

There are still some people who don't like allowing splits for official times and would vote them out because it gives an unfair advantage to freestylers and backstrokers in the sprints due to relays.

Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee

Chris Stevenson
March 24th, 2010, 07:54 AM
If you are satisfied with the validity of split time, why can't your LSMC (or whatever "region" you are concerned about) simply make it a policy to accept split times for LMSC records?


Because then we would be in violation of USMS rules! We might as well institute a rule that says we will recognize LMSC records in the butterfly, even if you got DQed for a 1-hand touch. How could a LMSC have a rule to recognize times that USMS won't recognize as valid?

LMSC records -- where I am using the term "LMSC record " to refer to records for LMSCs, workout groups, clubs, pools, meets, or zones -- are not recognized as such by USMS. Nor does USMS require that such records be kept, nor does it police their accuracy.

An LMSC can decide, for example, to have a record in a 150 fly and count (unrequested) initial splits in the 200 fly, or hold it as a separate (unofficial) event in a fun meet. Same thing for 25s. Or 50 kick events. Or a "40-under" 100 freestyle. Or a 400 backstroke. (Whether it is wise to do these things is up to your LMSC/workout group/club/Zone/etc.)

If your LMSC governing body is satisfied that an initial split is accurate and the swim was otherwise legit (ie, not illegal by the rules of competition), then they may decide that you are free to use it for your LMSC records. There is nothing in the Rule Book to prevent that. If there is, please point it out to me.

What you can't do is use that (unrequested) split for a USMS or FINA Top Ten submission, or to apply for a USMS or FINA record.

sjstuart
March 24th, 2010, 08:47 AM
It sounds like in the USMS world, the rule largely gets ignored anyways. (This is based on some emails I'm getting off-the-record.)

Here's an on-the-record example: I swam a 1500 SCM and knew I could get the 800 SCM state (LMSC) record with an initial split because it had apparently never been swum by someone from my state in my age group. Having never done such a thing before, I read the rules and tried to follow them. I approached the meet referee and tried to submit my split request in writing. He didn't want to take the form, saying that the split time would show up in the meet results anyway. I used the meet results to submit the split time to the LMSC records officer. This was apparently acceptable to everyone involved.

As Chris says, this is not a record that USMS tracks. It apparently was not an "official" time under USMS rules, and would not have counted for Top Ten (which was not a concern!).


How could a LMSC have a rule to recognize times that USMS won't recognize as valid?

I don't know whether my LMSC has an explicit rule or not, but apparently they are willing to accept times under standards different than USMS'.

Not that this means it's not a good idea to lobby for a rule change at the USMS level. That sounds reasonable to me.

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 09:21 AM
... a useful history ...


Kathy - Thanks for the useful background for how we got to where we are today.



There are still some people who don't like allowing splits for official times and would vote them out because it gives an unfair advantage to freestylers and backstrokers in the sprints due to relays.


More reason to repeal this rule. In my scenario, repealing this rule makes it easier for distance swimmers to get recognition for their "accidental" initial distance splits that may be records or top-10.

-Rick

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 09:22 AM
What you can't do is use that (unrequested) split for a USMS or FINA Top Ten submission, or to apply for a USMS or FINA record.

And that's the point. I think these splits should be eligible for USMS records and USMS top ten submissions.

-Rick

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 09:26 AM
If your LMSC governing body is satisfied that an initial split is accurate and the swim was otherwise legit (ie, not illegal by the rules of competition), then they may decide that you are free to use it for your LMSC records.


This serves to encourage a model where there is the real possibility of LMSC records in some events being faster than the USMS record in that event, only because of an administrative paperwork requirement. I think that's an absurd model to encourage.

-Rick

Chris Stevenson
March 24th, 2010, 10:21 AM
This serves to encourage a model where there is the real possibility of LMSC records in some events being faster than the USMS record in that event, only because of an administrative paperwork requirement. I think that's an absurd model to encourage.

I disagree that it's an absurd model (or very likely that the LMSC record will be faster than the USMS record), but if you don't like it, don't do it. I'm just offering you a solution that works until there is a rule change, if it happens. You have to decide what serves your swimmers best.

Most people who have the possibility of breaking a USMS or FINA record will follow the current rules, including administrivial ones. As a swimmer, I've never found split requests to be much of a hassle: it takes like 30 seconds. If it is important enough for me (as Top Ten Recorder) to go to the effort of getting the time to count, it should be worth 30 seconds of the swimmer's time.

Personally, I think Jim's suggestion of an online request for your splits to "count" -- to appear in the meet results database (ie, in the Current Event Ranking) -- and be submitted for Top Ten is the way to go.

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 10:32 AM
not everyone wants their splits to "count," so how do you deal with that?

I think you are missing my point. I am not interested in forcing people's unrequested splits to be listed in the times database, top ten, etc. I am merely interested in allowing them to be if they want to. The current rule does not allow them to make this request.

-Rick

Chris Stevenson
March 24th, 2010, 10:58 AM
I think you are missing my point. I am not interested in forcing people's unrequested splits to be listed in the times database, top ten, etc. I am merely interested in allowing them to be if they want to. The current rule does not allow them to make this request.

-Rick

So, to be clear here: what you want is to change the rule to lengthen the time frame of the request: instead of by the end of the meet, the request can be made at any time. Or maybe within a year or by the end of the season (times shouldn't be retroactively added to Top Ten, IMO). Except for backstroke splits, or initial relay legs.

jroddin
March 24th, 2010, 11:18 AM
This serves to encourage a model where there is the real possibility of LMSC records in some events being faster than the USMS record in that event, only because of an administrative paperwork requirement. I think that's an absurd model to encourage.

-Rick

I respectfully disagree with this. Similarly, team records are not official in the eyes of USMS. My team used to hold an annual "Fun Meet" with other local teams. All swimmers were required to be USMS registered for insurance, but it was not a USMS sanctioned (or recognized) meet. That way we didn't have to have all the required officials, pool certs, etc. It was a Saturday evening where we swam some events and then had a social afterwards. The team agreed that times would be eligible for our own team records. So sure - it is entirely possible that somebody could do a time that was faster than the USMS record but it would only be a team record. What harm is done if the team is ok with this? I don't think that is an absurd model.

Jeff

knelson
March 24th, 2010, 12:41 PM
There are still some people who don't like allowing splits for official times and would vote them out because it gives an unfair advantage to freestylers and backstrokers in the sprints due to relays.


It certainly gives freestylers and backstrokers more opportunities, but I would argue it doesn't give them an unfair advantage in any way. I think if you swim a distance legally and it is timed in accordance with the rules then the time should count.

Chris Stevenson
March 24th, 2010, 04:04 PM
There was a time when it was against USMS rules to use split times for official times at all. The only way that reinstating the use of split times for official times would have passed the House of Delegates was if:
1. they were timed by auotmatic timing only (no backup timing, manual, or semi-automatic timing particularly because of timing discrepancies with timers at the opposite end of the start for a 50 meter split in a long course event),
2. the swimmer completed the full race without being disqualified and all four swimmers completed the relay without being disqualified (otherwise one person would swim the first leg and no other swimmers would be there to finish the relay),
3. the swimmer requested the split time in writing prior to the swim for all events (so the LMSC Top 10 and records person would not be expected to extrapolate all the splits from every meet - too much work),
4. the second swimmer in a relay did not start in the water (creating a potential for interference with the timing pad), and
5. the swimmer used a legal finish at the initial distance.

Thank you, Kathy.

So (addressing Rick and others) it seems the main reason for requesting the splits by the end of the meet is because it is too much work for TT recorders; the other reasons don't really apply to the deadline issue, except for the need to request some splits before the race to (a) ensure a legal finish in the case of backstroke; and (b) ensure timing accuracy in the case of relay leadoffs. Both of those seem reasonable.

It is true that split requests do increase the workload of TT recorders. Like Jeff, I usually do these manually and it is a bit of a kludge. If I had to do a lot -- as Walt does at nationals -- I would have to find a different way of doing them. Probably I would use Team Manager, as Jeff does. Not all TTRs have access to TM.

But I don't think that extending the deadline would add all that much more work, unless split requests become much more common than I would expect them to be.

If they did, then a tool along the lines that Jim M proposed -- where someone could check a box some sort of meet results/database page to request that a specific split count -- would be a great solution.

The more I think about it, though, I think the most appropriate deadline would be "by the end of the current season" as defined in the USMS rule book. I just think it muddies the water too much to retroactively (after the season ends) declare that a particular split is an official time.

Anyway, I can bring this up at a future Recs & Tabulation Committee meeting and see what happens. But if Rick wants to ensure that there is a proposal at the next Convention to change the existing rule -- or that such a proposal is crafted to his liking -- then he should submit one himself.

Chris Stevenson
March 24th, 2010, 04:15 PM
It certainly gives freestylers and backstrokers more opportunities, but I would argue it doesn't give them an unfair advantage in any way. I think if you swim a distance legally and it is timed in accordance with the rules then the time should count.

Well...it is an unfair advantage in the sense that having more opportunities is an advantage.

When I enter nationals, for example, I routinely either do not enter the 50 back, or I may designate it as my 6th event. I do this because I know I'll be able to get a legal time in it leading off some relay. (That depends on my team cooperating, of course.)

So that means that, for example, I can effectively get my 6th event at nationals even if they decide to cut it.

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 10:44 PM
Again, to be clear... I am not trying to establish that top ten tabulators need to be expected to dig through initial splits by hand looking for all possible new records or top ten swims.

(I do think, though, as a logical next step... is that given this age of computers, we ought to have the automated tools available so that, for example, if a 1000 split on a 1650 is a new record at the LMSC or USMS level, our computer systems ought to be able to notice that without any extra work. I recognize that we may not be there yet, but I think that ought to be a goal. Frankly, most of the younger swimmers expect that the computers are keeping track of all of this, and are surprised that there is still so much human work behind the scenes.)

From a rules perspective, I'm merely interested in making it possible so that, for example, a TT tabulator would be allowed to accept an "unrequested" split time as a TT time. Right now, it is against the rules to do so.

-Rick

osterber
March 24th, 2010, 10:47 PM
Anyway, I can bring this up at a future Recs & Tabulation Committee meeting and see what happens. But if Rick wants to ensure that there is a proposal at the next Convention to change the existing rule -- or that such a proposal is crafted to his liking -- then he should submit one himself.

I'm also working with the New England TT recorder, who is involved with the Records and Tabulation Committee to see if that committee has an interest/stake in this. And will chat more directly with Kathy about any ramifications. And will probably put together a formal proposal to go through my LMSC Chair. If there are others from other LMSCs that feel similarly to me, I imagine that something like this could be co-sponsored by multiple LMSCs.

(But, most of this will need to take place in a few weeks.... after I get through our 1064-swimmer NE LMSC championships this week-end.)

-Rick

Chris Stevenson
March 25th, 2010, 12:21 AM
Again, to be clear... I am not trying to establish that top ten tabulators need to be expected to dig through initial splits by hand looking for all possible new records or top ten swims.

From a rules perspective, I'm merely interested in making it possible so that, for example, a TT tabulator would be allowed to accept an "unrequested" split time as a TT time. Right now, it is against the rules to do so.

I think submitting a split time for anything -- TT or record -- without the swimmer's request is not a good idea. If the deadline for split requests were extended to the end of the season, it should still satisfy you: after the meet is over, there is nothing to prevent the TT Recorder from informing the swimmer about some noteworthy split that catches his/her eye. Then the swimmer can decide what to do.

But, generally speaking, I don't think the burden should be on the TT Recorder to check all splits for potential records or TT times. Why shouldn't the swimmer take some ownership of this process?


I'm also working with the New England TT recorder, who is involved with the Records and Tabulation Committee to see if that committee has an interest/stake in this.

I've already put this on the agenda for a future meeting. Talk to Laszlo and make sure he understands what you want so he can represent you.

Kathy Casey
March 25th, 2010, 01:33 AM
Regarding Steven Stuart's "on-the-record example: I swam a 1500 SCM and knew I could get the 800 SCM state (LMSC) record with an initial split because it had apparently never been swum by someone from my state in my age group. Having never done such a thing before, I read the rules and tried to follow them. I approached the meet referee and tried to submit my split request in writing. He didn't want to take the form, saying that the split time would show up in the meet results anyway. I used the meet results to submit the split time to the LMSC records officer. This was apparently acceptable to everyone involved."

As Rules Chair, that is not acceptable to me. Your written request for the split should have been accepted by the referee and your split time, assuming it was an automatic time, for the 800 should have been included in your LMSC's submission for USMS Top 10. Even if the referee was certified as an official by another governing body, that is not an excuse. We have written "Differences" documents for all the swimming governing bodies and, for USA Swimming, the Differences are published in both the USMS Rule Book and the USA Swimming Rule Book. MS2.6.4, page 120, of the USMS Rule Book explains written notice of splits to the referee as well as other USMS requirements that differ from USA Swimming rules.

Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee

Betsy
March 25th, 2010, 09:11 AM
I agree that we definitely need a rule change or rule modification. I believe there has to be a time limit on requesting splits to be submitted. Through the end of the season is too long; if a record is involved it could be beyond the 60 day limit to submit.

For the meet I run, I will try to educate the swimmers to make requests for splits before they leave the meet. At check-in (and throughout the meet) I will have a master list available for swimmers to fill if if they want a split submitted and individual forms to give to the referee before the event for those events where that is necessary.

Of course, convention may produce a rule change that will make this easier and better.

Chris Stevenson
March 25th, 2010, 09:56 AM
Through the end of the season is too long; if a record is involved it could be beyond the 60 day limit to submit.

I forgot about that. Maybe 30 days? Education is fine, but sometimes people don't realize the significance of their split (eg for TT purposes, LMSC record, or simply as a PR) until they see the official meet results. Often the results posted at the meet itself do not include the splits, or may be posted after the person goes home.

NewportGeek
March 26th, 2010, 01:14 PM
That would work for everything but Backstroke.
Couldn't a swimmer just finish with a touch on their back instead of turning over for a flip....

I've never understood why people do this and I think they should not count split times as records... if you want to break the record in an event, just swim that event!

Throwing everyone else off pace when you take your swim out at a pace faster than the race is a selfish thing to do. I'd be upset if I were eating somone's 100 freestyle wake the first 100 of my 200 free. :argue:

I'm fine with people who want to do, lets say a 500 fly and enter a realistic time in the 500 freetyle event.

just my 2 cents.

Chris Stevenson
March 26th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Couldn't a swimmer just finish with a touch on their back instead of turning over for a flip....

Certainly, but a S&T judge needs to be on hand to verify that it was a legal finish (ie, hand touch while still on your back). That's why you have to request it ahead of time, you can't tell it was legal afterwards from the lack of a DQ.

Chris Stevenson
March 27th, 2010, 04:13 PM
No, thanks. Until, or if, the system is automated, I think they ought to submit them at the meet. Otherwise you are creating an unrealistic burden for the Top Ten recorders.

I think that depends a lot on the LMSC. Some have meets every 1-2 weeks, while others only have 1-2 per season, and with little likelihood that a split will result in a national record.

I am all for preventing unrealistic burdens on (usually volunteer) TT Recorders. But if that is the main purpose of the rule -- and it appears that it is a big reason, from Kathy's initial post -- then perhaps it isn't appropriate to legislate it nation-wide. We could allow the individual LMSCs decide on the policy appropriate to their situation.

osterber
March 29th, 2010, 10:02 AM
The thing is, the rule must be loosened at a national level to allow for LMSCs to have the ability to loosen the rules at the LMSC level.

Right now, if one LMSC wants to make this looser, they are not allowed to do that. Not legally anyways.

The point that I think people keep missing is that there are two separate things going on. One is the constitution of an "official time". The second is any rules, procedures, and policy around Top Ten and Records, etc. They do not have to be the same polices. In fact, they're not right now.

Even if I do follow the rule on "Official Time", and make the request in writing before the end of the meet, that doesn't automatically make it a National Record. There is other paperwork that has to happen. If I don't submit that paperwork within a finite timeframe, the record doesn't count.

So I may have set a national record a year ago in my lead-off 500 split on my 1000 free. The time is official. I made the request in writing before the end of the meet. But the paperwork wasn't processed in time. No record. But the time is still an "Official Time".

Official Times are not only used for TT and Records. For example, it's not explicitly stated, but my assumption is that your entry times for USMS Nationals are expected to be "official times", especially where it comes to events that you need to make the NQT (national qualifying time).

What this means is that, technically, I could not enter USMS Nationals with my 500 split if I didn't request it in writing before the end of the meet I did the split at. Since it's not an "Official Time", it's not valid for any purposes, including USMS Nationals entry.

(I don't know if those entry times are validated against anything... they're probably not. But just because they may not be checked doesn't make it and less illegal by the rule book.)

-Rick

Chris Stevenson
March 29th, 2010, 03:33 PM
The thing is, the rule must be loosened at a national level to allow for LMSCs to have the ability to loosen the rules at the LMSC level.

Right now, if one LMSC wants to make this looser, they are not allowed to do that. Not legally anyways.

Yes, that was part of the point of my comment that "perhaps it isn't appropriate to legislate it nation-wide." In some LMSCs, being "too loose" might pose too much of a burden on the TT Recorder, while in others it might be just fine. Hopefully at some point split requests can be done online, as Jim suggested earlier.


The point that I think people keep missing is that there are two separate things going on. One is the constitution of an "official time". The second is any rules, procedures, and policy around Top Ten and Records, etc. They do not have to be the same polices. In fact, they're not right now.

Even if I do follow the rule on "Official Time", and make the request in writing before the end of the meet, that doesn't automatically make it a National Record. There is other paperwork that has to happen. If I don't submit that paperwork within a finite timeframe, the record doesn't count.

I'm not sure which "people" you refer to, but now you are talking about something substantially different from the "initial distance" (split requests) of the thread title. As you say, it is not sufficient that a time be "official" to count as a record: 105.3.8 states that the record application form must also be filled out.

I think it is entirely appropriate that potential record-breaking swims be subjected to an elevated level of scrutiny and that they should be submitted in a timely fashion.

Doug Martin
July 4th, 2017, 09:14 AM
There was a long discussion in this thread from 2010 about split requests. Despite some good ideas, I don't think the rules have changed, except that at some National meets splits are automatically considered for Top Ten and records. The suggestions by Chris S and others for online requests within a certain time period like 60 days seems eminently reasonable. Why not just ask your Top Ten recorder to consider your split in that way? Is there some reason such a procedure was considered by the Rules committee and rejected?

Kathy Casey
July 5th, 2017, 11:38 AM
In answer to this statement:
"Official Times are not only used for TT and Records. For example, it's not explicitly stated, but my assumption is that your entry times for USMS Nationals are expected to be "official times", especially where it comes to events that you need to make the NQT (national qualifying time).

What this means is that, technically, I could not enter USMS Nationals with my 500 split if I didn't request it in writing before the end of the meet I did the split at. Since it's not an "Official Time", it's not valid for any purposes, including USMS Nationals entry."

Regarding assuming official times are expected to be your entry times for USMS Nationals, see the NQT Policy in Championship Committee Policies under Policies & Governance in the Guide to Operations on the Volunteers tab of the USMS website. Among several FAQs about NQTs is this information:
3. Where can I swim my times (e.g. does it have to be a USMS meet)? Can a USA-S meet, a nonsanctioned meet or a time from my coach during workout count as achieving the NQT? It does not have to be swum at a USMS sanctioned meet. It can be swum at a USA-S meet, a YMCA meet or during a time trial or in a workout with your coach.

Kathy

Gary P
July 5th, 2017, 05:48 PM
In answer to this statement:
"Official Times are not only used for TT and Records. For example, it's not explicitly stated, but my assumption is that your entry times for USMS Nationals are expected to be "official times", especially where it comes to events that you need to make the NQT (national qualifying time).

What this means is that, technically, I could not enter USMS Nationals with my 500 split if I didn't request it in writing before the end of the meet I did the split at. Since it's not an "Official Time", it's not valid for any purposes, including USMS Nationals entry."

Regarding assuming official times are expected to be your entry times for USMS Nationals, see the NQT Policy in Championship Committee Policies under Policies & Governance in the Guide to Operations on the Volunteers tab of the USMS website. Among several FAQs about NQTs is this information:
3. Where can I swim my times (e.g. does it have to be a USMS meet)? Can a USA-S meet, a nonsanctioned meet or a time from my coach during workout count as achieving the NQT? It does not have to be swum at a USMS sanctioned meet. It can be swum at a USA-S meet, a YMCA meet or during a time trial or in a workout with your coach.

Kathy

I'm of the opinion that split times are more reliable than the highlighted items above, and should be acceptable. Besides, the same document says:

"Beyond the first three events,swimmers are on the honor system when they enter the meet. USMS is relying onswimmers to be confident that they can actually achieve the qualifying times."


If your 500 split in a 1000 or 1650 meets the NQT standard, I think your honor is intact in using that split as your Nationals entry time, whether or not you actually went through the written request process to get it as an "official" split.

Kathy Casey
July 6th, 2017, 12:57 AM
Then direct your specific question to: championship@usms.org. You will get a prompt reply.

mrubacky
July 10th, 2017, 02:14 PM
Rick,
I have a good example of this from a couple years ago. I swam the 1650 and 1000 in a meet. My 1650 was a great time and the split from the 1000 ended up being a second faster than the 1000 I swam later in the meet. So I put in the split request after my 1000 to try for top ten, unfortunately it ended up being 11th. Granted it did make your original suggestion but it does show that it's good to look at the splits. Although now any time I swim the 1650 or 1500 I put in a split request just in case.

-Mark