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cselles
January 25th, 2011, 07:31 PM
Why is the mile swim 1650 and not 1750 which would be a little closer to the actual distance of 1760 yards=1 mile. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thank you.
Carl Selles

:banana:

EJB190
January 26th, 2011, 01:06 AM
I have debated this with many people and have done numerous calculations to find no answer. If someone knows, please enlighten me.

You are correct in saying swimming a "mile" is
1650 yards = .9375 miles
while
1750 yards = .9943 miles

A "mile" is also considered 1500 meters
1500 meters = .9320 miles
while
1600 meters = .9941 miles

How about nautical miles
1650 yards = .8146 nautical miles
(hmm that doesn't make sense either)

I guess we can only say that units of measurements are defined by the arbitrary values we give them (I sound like a philosopher now). Perhaps at one time a "mile" was equal to something different than what we now consider 5280ft.

The only thing that does make a little bit of sense is
1650 yards = 1509 meters so the two "miles" are pretty close in length in imperial and metric units. Perhaps .93 of a mile is close enough to consider it a mile.

knelson
January 26th, 2011, 01:19 AM
Could it be that it is not a mile swim,
but closer to the 1500 meter swim ?

That would be my guess. The 1500 meter run has been around for a long time and I think swimming followed suit by using this distance. 1,650 yards just happens to be the closest equivalent. I don't think it was really intended to ever be a mile.

james lucas
January 26th, 2011, 01:47 AM
Try this:


Once the United States switched to a system of 50-meter long course and 25-yard short course pools, they had to find a way to keep the two systems as similar as possible, so that when it’s athletes did travel to international competitions, they weren’t at too much of a disadvantage.

And this is where the 1650 freestyle came from. The closest emulation of a 1500m swim in a 25-yard pool is the 1650 freestyle (to be precise, 1500m=1640 yards, 1 foot, and 3.12 inches, give or take), so USA-Swimming likely decided to replace the true old-fashioned mile with a newer, more worldly distance, but people were so used to calling this distance the “mile” that the name lived on. So there you have it. It was that crazy Imperial system after all.

http://theswimmerscircle.com/blog/swim-news/tsc-mysteries-why-is-a-swimming-mile-only-1650-yards/

(But probably the governing body was the AAU - was USA Swimming around when the 1650 started showing up in the record books, around 1959 or the early 1960s?)

no200fly
January 26th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Could it be that it is not a mile swim,
but closer to the 1500 meter swim ?

Scott

I would guess that someone thought to ask a group of swimmers about to swim the "mile" whether they would rather swim 1650 or 1750 - being swimmers, they naturally chose the shorter distance.

jroddin
January 26th, 2011, 08:05 AM
The 1500m has been around longer than the 1650y. As late as the early 1960s they even contested the 1500m in 25y pools (you would finish under a virtual rope somewhere in the middle of the pool). Eventually they "created" the 1650 so you could finish at a wall and the event very close in linear distance to the 1500m.

So if they hadn't invented the 1500m and instead raced the 1600m way back when, we'd be doing the 1750y in meets now!

orca1946
January 26th, 2011, 09:45 AM
I was told that the 1650 was the total yards of a H S swim meet ??!!

knelson
January 26th, 2011, 09:54 AM
I was told that the 1650 was the total yards of a H S swim meet ??!!

Not true. Individual events total 1,350 yards. You've got the 50, 100, 200 and 500 free. 100s in each stroke (300 total) and the 200 IM. If you want to include the relays you used to have an additional 600 yards (200 medley and 400 free) and now 800 yards with the inclusion of the 200 free relay.


USA-Swimming likely decided to replace the true old-fashioned mile with a newer, more worldly distance, but people were so used to calling this distance the “mile” that the name lived on

Which raises [fixed to appease That Guy] the question: why would they call 1500 meters "the mile?" That would be sort of like calling a kilogram "two pounds."

And, no, USA Swimming didn't exist back then.

That Guy
January 26th, 2011, 10:13 AM
Which begs the question

no it doesn't. http://begthequestion.info/ :D

Frank Thompson
January 26th, 2011, 05:49 PM
I was told that the 1650 was the total yards of a H S swim meet ??!!

Actually this statement is true if you graduated from High School in 1965 or before. The events that add to the 1650 are as follows: 50, 100, 200, 400 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Back, and 100 Breast, 200 IM and 200 Medley Relay and 200 Free Relay. This statement would not be true in 1966 because HS Federation replaced the 200 Free Relay with the 400 Free Relay. In 1974, the 400 Free was replaced with the 500 Free. The 200 Free Relay, which was dropped in 1966 for the 400 Free Relay was added back in 1991.

Jeff is correct in that NCAA swam the 1500 meter Free and finished with a rope at the measured distance. They did this up until 1962 and 1963 was the time they swam the 1650 Free.

The 1500/1650 was not the only race that the NCAA changed distances from 1962 to 1963. The middle distance freestyle events of 220 and 440 were changed to 200 and 500 yard distances. There were no more races where finishes were determined by swimming under a rope. All finishes in swimming were determined by a touch at the wall. I believe the next five to six years or so manual timing was still used.

The AAU was the governing body of swimming until 1980 and when the Amateur Sports Act passed in 1978, all Olympic Sports had there own NGB and were no longer administratively under the AAU. So USA Swimming or USS as it was called in the early days had nothing to do with the set up of the 1650 Free.

Allen Stark
January 26th, 2011, 09:29 PM
I guess the 1500 M was chosen because it was a track distance.I wish it wasn't,however.It would make more sense to me to run the 1600M in track.It is 4 full laps and it is very nearly 1 mile,so the mile records would have more relevance than they have now.

cselles
January 27th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Try this:



http://theswimmerscircle.com/blog/swim-news/tsc-mysteries-why-is-a-swimming-mile-only-1650-yards/

(But probably the governing body was the AAU - was USA Swimming around when the 1650 started showing up in the record books, around 1959 or the early 1960s?)

Thank you James. You've answered one of those questions that I've been searching for a long time. Finally, I can get a full night's sleep. lol
Carl:bliss::cheerleader::bed:

stillwater
January 28th, 2011, 10:41 AM
In 1974, the 400 Free was replaced with the 500 Free.


I tell my kids that I still own my high school pool and school record. I forget to mention why.

lefty
January 28th, 2011, 01:19 PM
As a percentage of the time to swim the event, the 1650 and the 1500 are the closest "pair" of events. SCY to SCM converion of the 1650 to the 1500 to me is 1:1

lefty
January 28th, 2011, 01:23 PM
The real question is why do we call it the mile? In 1988 I was playing junior trivial pursuit. The question was "How many yards are in a mile." I said "1650." Confidence shaken, 6 years later I was wait-listed at Harvard.

(all of the above is actually true)

Ripple
January 28th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Could it be that there's some confusion between metric and imperial units? One mile is 1609 meters. In a 25 or 50 meter pool, the closest you would come would be either 1600 or 1650 meters.

knelson
January 28th, 2011, 10:26 PM
Calling the 1500 or the 1650 "the mile" is merely a colloquialism. Neither race was ever meant to be a mile. They just happen to be in the ballpark of a mile, hence are casually referred to as such.

philoswimmer
January 29th, 2011, 12:49 AM
It's 1650 so that we can do cool broken swims of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 +11.

:banana:

orca1946
January 29th, 2011, 06:21 PM
Frank - thanx for the backup. Yes, I did grad from H S in 1964, so my coach was correct at the time. My how things have changed since then !!!!!!!

oldwahoo
January 31st, 2011, 11:06 PM
In days of past, many "long course" pools were 55 yards, not 50 meters, and the 1500 in a 50 meter pool is 30 laps (down and back 15 times), and if you do the same in a 55 yard pool (30 laps-down and back 15 times) its 1650 yards.



Why is the mile swim 1650 and not 1750 which would be a little closer to the actual distance of 1760 yards=1 mile. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thank you.
Carl Selles

:banana:

samswims
February 1st, 2011, 03:21 AM
I heard it has to do with when Phillips 66 used to sponsor a lot of swimming events including Nationals. 66 laps was 1650.

notsofast
February 1st, 2011, 07:45 AM
I think track history may help tell the story here.
In track, the pre-metric distances were the 220 yard dash (1/8 of a mile), the 440 (1/4 mile), the 880 (half-mile), etc. When track converted to metric, those races became the 200, the 400 and the 800, which are approximately the same distance. The mile became the 1500, or 1.5 kilometers. That was known as the "metric mile."
1500 meters is approximately 1650 yards. So swimming 1650 is swimming a metric mile. Maybe over the years the word metric just dropped off, helped by the fact that omitting the word makes you sound faster.