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jim thornton
January 23rd, 2013, 10:49 AM
Though this topic has received some attention in various threads over the years, it is the dead of winter, and I think that those of us in the Northeast, at least, could do with a little blood boiling to warm up the extremities!

To this end, I am wondering how many of my fellow swimmers have had swim times disallowed ex post facto in USMS sanctioned meets, and if so, for what reason?

As some of you who read my blog may recall, I have had a number of TT-worthy times disallowed for various reasons over the years, ranging from lack of timeliness in submitting the paperwork, to swimming a couple races in the "Open" category.

Recently, I have had my first and only All American swim retroactively yanked, some five weeks after the Top 10 list was officially published. Obviously, this is not as bad as those unfortunate souls who have had World Records declared ineligible for consideration.

Nevertheless, it does sting. I invite you to read the details of my De-All'ing (from my perspective) here: http://byjimthornton.com/2013/01/22/the-rise-and-fall-of-an-all-american/

Note: I do not question the right of USMS to have rules more stringent than USA-S and FINA. What I do believe is unfair to us swimmers is when these rules apply to us but not to those in charge of making sure that all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed when they secure sanctions for meets and collect the meet fees. My own AA-rescinded swim was done at Michael Phelps's famous pool, the North Baltimore Aquatics Club, in a meet that had a USMS sanction number. Skip Thompson, who traveled from Michigan to swim in this meet, told me he asked about the pool measurement and was told that it was on file. There were no bulkheads involved. I did not make the mistake of swimming in an "open" event. I feel I did everything right this time!

I also feel that the USMS rule book is so dense and complex that it's hopeless for swimmers to know if they are complying. I feel like the mole in a game of bureaucratic whack-a-mole!

Anyhow, if you have your own examples of TT or All American or even World Record times that were rescinded after the fact, please use this thread to post them!

sunruh
January 23rd, 2013, 10:54 AM
i had a half dozen top ten removed our '11 zone SCM meet. but that was nothing compared to the TXLA guys having their crushing (by like 4secs) World Record erased. pool was measured, but was done in feet not meters and came up 2cm short.
DOH!!!

jim thornton
January 23rd, 2013, 11:06 AM
Sorry that I didn't allow for multiple answers to the poll question. I tried to go back and enable that feature, but I can't figure out how to do it. If anyone can advise me, I shall fix it. Thanks!

ande
January 23rd, 2013, 11:08 AM
i had a half dozen top ten removed our '11 zone SCM meet. but that was nothing compared to the TXLA guys having their crushing (by like 4secs) World Record erased. pool was measured, but was done in feet not meters and came up 2cm short.
DOH!!!

2011 SCM was disappointing, we lost those relay WRs & I lost several individual top 10's and a couple #1's , but stuff happens. The pool length was short by the width of a touch pad.

in 2009 we broke the 4 x 100 FR scm relay rec but didn't get it because the paperwork wasn't submitted.

In 2008 a friend of mine lost a #1 time for the 200 back because the meet titled his event

"200 stroke of choice"
instead of
"200 IM, Back, Br, Fr or fly: Pick one"


Stuff happens, it sucks. People make mistakes. They feel awful about it when they do, (no need to grill them more)

There will be other seasons & I suggest swimmers swim a couple to several meets each season in case something like this happens.

Jim you just need to go through the 7 stages of Grief (http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html)

gdanner
January 23rd, 2013, 12:43 PM
Sorry to hear Jim. The good news is that you still have a solid 40-50 years of swimming left to make that All American.

Allen Stark
January 23rd, 2013, 02:31 PM
I have had losses from several of the possibilities.I had an AA/ZR time lost because when they measured the bulk head after the meet it had shifted 1 cm in 3 lanes(5 of the lanes had their swims allowed.)I lost 3 TT times in the 2001 NW Zone meet where the pool was redone and the new tile was thicker than the old.This meet and the ensuing complaints/flame war about it led to the current USMS measuring rules as well as the current forum decorum rules(go back to the thread about that in early 2002 if you want a sample of true vitriol.)I also lost 2 TT times from a meet that was advertised as dual sanctioned,but wasn't. That one wasn't a big deal as I got better times in a later meet.
All of them ,especially the AA/ZR time seemed a big deal at the time.Now,thinking of them hardly raises my blood pressure.
Jim,I am so sorry.You are definitely the peoples All-American

That Guy
January 23rd, 2013, 02:39 PM
"Sometimes people just make stuff up." – Rev. Benjamin Franklin, DDS

Jim, this is awful. This spreadsheet will help you investigate whether a pool’s measurements are actually on file or not, so that you don’t have to take someone else’s word for it:

http://www.usms.org/~rectabs/poollengthdb.xls

Note that there are different worksheets for SCY, LCM, and SCM.

sunruh
January 23rd, 2013, 02:41 PM
i was 1 of the 2 timers last year for Graham Jonshston new record in the 1650.
however, since we didnt have touch pads, 2 watches is not enough and it was thrown out.

on a wilder note, i saw a person do a 100 IM in a TT time that was *NOT* done fly, back, breast, free and it held up.

jim thornton
January 23rd, 2013, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the kind comments, and to those who have had times and WR's yanked ex post facto, I definitely feel your pain!

Part of me thinks it's crazy to get worked up at all about this kind of thing. It's not as if it were the Olympics or the Tour de France! But I suppose if you have enough competitive spirit to go to meets in the first place, you are going to want whatever you manage to swim to count, especially if you comply with all known rules and have absolutely no way to determine something is afoul! (Thanks, That Guy, I shall consult you book of measured pools in the future, though it sounds like even this is not etched in stone since pools can fall out of compliance by changing tile since the last measurement was made!)

One of the biggest questions I am left with is why hand-timing (two watches for most events; three watches for World Records) continues to be legal whereas a pool that measures a hair too short is, in the minds of many, such a clear violation of the spirit of fairness?

In my case, I still don't know how short Michael Phelps' LCM pool is. I have heard everything from 2/1000s of an inch from the NBAC guy (who I suspect is not telling the truth) to up to 5 inches too short in some of the lanes. Even if it was the full 5 inches, this would have made a .15 second difference in my 100 LCM free--a significant amount, I acknowledge, but I would have still beaten the new official AA time by over a second.

Hand timing, by contrast, is extremely unreliable. There is the initial delay between the starter's horn and the timer's finger jerk. And the finish of the race is equally subject to human error--either anticipating the finish and stopping the watch a bit too soon, or hesitating and stopping it a hair too late. Usually, the benefit goes to the swimmer, and even when you average two or three times, I suspect hand-timing races are, more often than not, awarded faster rather than slower times.

So why is absolute pool measurement required and hand-timing overlooked?

Am I paranoid to suggest that requiring electronic timing to usurp hand-timing would obviate tons of meets--partly because some pools can't afford to purchase a timing system, and partly because other pools are so close to the cutoff measurement that adding timing pads would make the pool too short?

This is what I mean by expediency in my blog. Overlook a greater potential deviation from absolute fairness while insisting on rules to prevent a lesser potential deviation, all in the name of more meets, more meet fees, and more participation? I know this has probably been argued to death before, but could someone explain why exactly USMS has decided on more stringent measurement rules than both USA-S swimming and FINA?

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2013, 04:50 PM
What I find most objectionable, is the ex post facto removal of an TT/AA time that was declared "official" after preliminary times were released and a correction period ensued. Jim did his due diligence and did his level best not to get his hopes up until the list was declared final. If a swim gets through the whole process without being flagged as having missing paperwork or whatnot, why is that the swimmer's fault? If the powers that be don't catch it during the fairly lengthy TT vetting process, it seems cruel to yank it later. Is this really necessary? And is this retroactive yanking of official times provided for in the rule book?

I have had quite a few times go missing over my 8 year masters career for various reasons. The worst was a referee sanctioned 50 fly time trial that was .02 off the WR. The sting was made worse when another masters swimmer in my age group was invited to do a sanctioned time trial to attempt a WR. The sting was taken off that when I went faster the following year. I've also had split requests go missing, though generally if they don't appear in the preliminary TT list, you can email and ask/beg the meet directors to submit them.

If electronic timing were required for every meet, there would be fewer local in season meets. Generally, people aren't tapered for these meets, so the benefit of manual timing may not be very important. And of course if you did taper for a meet like that, you risk getting the time thrown out for lack of measurement. And, honestly, a perhaps more important factor than manual timing is meets were there are very few officials and they can't possibly monitor every lane or see every infraction.

Does a pool to have to have a measurement on file for the meet to get a USMS sanction? I would assume no since bulkhead pools always have to be measured.

Allen Stark
January 23rd, 2013, 05:18 PM
After reading your explanation of why it was disallowed I think this one may be the most unfair.You did what should have been due diligence, you had the AA time when the times became "official" and still it was disallowed:censor: Wow!
I am pretty sure the measuring rule for USMS goes back to the fiasco from the disallowed 2001 NW Zone meet.That situation caused so much ill will and angry recriminations that USMS decided to measure everything(twice.)

ekw
January 23rd, 2013, 05:36 PM
In the words of Harry Doyle, "Personally, I think [you] got hosed on that call."
http://www.gotwavs.com/php/sounds/?id=gog&media=WAVS&type=Movies&movie=Major_League&quote=hosed.txt&file=hosed.wav

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2013, 05:41 PM
After reading your explanation of why it was disallowed I think this one may be the most unfair.You did what should have been due diligence, you had the AA time when the times became "official" and still it was disallowed:censor: Wow!


Indeed. I wonder if it has ever happened before?

Chris Stevenson
January 23rd, 2013, 07:45 PM
What I find most objectionable, is the ex post facto removal of an TT/AA time that was declared "official" after preliminary times were released and a correction period ensued. Jim did his due diligence and did his level best not to get his hopes up until the list was declared final. If a swim gets through the whole process without being flagged as having missing paperwork or whatnot, why is that the swimmer's fault? If the powers that be don't catch it during the fairly lengthy TT vetting process, it seems cruel to yank it later. Is this really necessary? And is this retroactive yanking of official times provided for in the rule book?

So the main deadline is for submission of times for TT consideration; times are not accepted after that deadline for any reason (and there have been stories of entire LMSCs whose times were refused over this). That is the only TT-related deadline in the rule book that I know about.

The "correction" period and all that is pure policy, not rules, which is set by the Records and Tabulation Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. This is done purely in an attempt to improve the accuracy of the lists, and mistakes are indeed caught all the time. No such correction period is required by the rules nor is there any rule saying that TT lists are frozen once published. While times cannot be added after the deadline, they can be (and have been) taken away. Other corrections that are made are things like club affiliation, incorrect names, and so forth.

Top 10 lists get corrected after the "official" publications quite often. Go to

http://www.usms.org/content/top10print

and you'll see links to Errata. It is admittedly unusual that an entire meet gets pulled; I'm not sure that it has been done before, but I haven't been around as some others. I do know of at least one situation where a person was found to have falsified his age and all his TT times (including relays) and USMS records were erased retroactively.


If electronic timing were required for every meet, there would be fewer local in season meets.

Yes, I strongly suspect this is the reason that manual timing is allowed, so that there can be more meets in facilities that do not have touchpads or meet hosts who cannot afford to rent them.


Does a pool to have to have a measurement on file for the meet to get a USMS sanction? I would assume no since bulkhead pools always have to be measured.

Technically no. But if a pool is known to be too short then the LMSC is required to put a notice on the meet form that the times will not be eligible for consideration for TT or records.

Some LMSCs (Virginia is one of them) have made it their own policy where they will not sanction or even recognize a meet if the pool is known to be too short.

Of course, if the pool has a bulkhead and the host fails to measure it, then the times are not eligible for TT even if the meet info sheet said that they would be.

You guys are mostly missing the problem. The failing here was in sanctioning the meet in the first place without the measurements in hand. The sanctions chair was assured by the facility manager that those measurements were on file and that the pool was the proper length. And as people have said, this was Michael Phelps' pool so she assumed it must be okay.

It was a mistake though perhaps an understandable one -- Michael Phelps' pool! -- we're all only human. The meet was sanctioned and held.

Similarly the Top 10 Recorder, when submitting the LMSC times to Mary Beth for TT consideration, assured her that the measurements were forthcoming. Everyone assumed they would be okay, so Mary Beth proceeded under that assumption.

Week after week of asking for those measurements went unanswered. Some local masters swimmers even asked some age-groupers who swim at NBAC to ask for the measurements; they were told to stop asking. USA Swimming said that the pool was not on their list of approved pools (and unlike USMS, they do not keep their rejected applications so we don't know if they ever submitted a certification form to USA-S).

So finally the LMSC chair sent their own engineer and the pool was measured way too short (an average of 3 inches, which is a lot). We have never received any measurements to contradict that so to the best of our knowledge the pool is too short and the times from the meet were pulled.

Yes this is a very frustrating situation all around. The sanctions chair obviously feels awful and there will never be another meet at that pool again.

But USMS long ago, for whatever reasons, decided that pool measurements were important. This isn't some small, secretive group of people making this decision: hundreds of delegates voted on these rules and can presumably vote them off the island if they so choose.

It isn't really my place to say whether the measurement rules are right or wrong, but I can absolutely guarantee one thing: for every person who would be happy if times from a pool KNOWN to be short were allowed to stand, there would be at least two other people who would complain about their times being bumped from TT by those times.

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2013, 08:41 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write that, Chris.

Though there is no rule "freezing" the TT lists at the the time they are final, I would still think that a better policy -- and that's all there really appears to be on this topic -- is to make "final" lists final in terms of material substantive changes. Errata are for correcting scrivener's errors or minor clarifications. As for the person falsifying their age, fraud would vitiate any claim to a time. (Good lord that's pathetic.) In this case, moreover, it seems that this error could have been caught and corrected before the TT list was "final."

The real culprit here is the meet director and/or top ten recorder (whoever made knowing misrepresentations) who basically hoodwinked Mary Beth and handled the whole situation in bad faith -- from creating the meet entry form, to getting a sanctions number, to accepting people's entry fees, to assuring people the measurement was on file/forthcoming, etc. I have to admit, it makes me rather leery about going to MD Series meets.

I rather doubt that Greg Shaw would complain about his time getting bumped by Jim. He seems like a stand up guy, and I can't imagine him or anyone wanting to have a #1 time if he/she knew someone else had really earned it. And, despite the 3 inches, Jim's adjusted time would still have been faster. He really was screwed.

The way the rules are written now can be pretty harsh. If the pool is 3/1000 of a centimeter off in 2 of 8 lanes, those selective times don't count. Perhaps there should be some tiny margin of deviation/error permitted. Is this rule going to be revisited any time soon? As things stand now, USMS IS in fact accepting times from pools that haven't been measured when USMS swimmers compete abroad in FINA sanctioned meets.

Chris Stevenson
January 23rd, 2013, 09:22 PM
Though there is no rule "freezing" the TT lists at the the time they are final, I would still think that a better policy -- and that's all there really appears to be on this topic -- is to make "final" lists final in terms of material substantive changes. Errata are for correcting scrivener's errors or minor clarifications. As for the person falsifying their age, fraud would vitiate any claim to a time. (Good lord that's pathetic.)

The real culprit here is the meet director who basically hoodwinked the poor sanctions chair and handled the whole situation in bad faith -- from creating the meet entry form, to getting a sanctions number, to accepting people's entry fees, to assuring people the measurement was on file, etc. I have to admit, it makes me rather leery about going to MD Series meets.

I rather doubt that Greg Shaw would complain about his time getting bumped by Jim. He seems like a stand up guy, and I can't imagine him or anyone wanting to have a #1 time if he/she knew someone else had really earned it. And, despite the 3 inches, Jim's adjusted time would still have been faster. He really was screwed.

The way the rules are written now can be pretty harsh. If the pool is 3/1000 of a centimeter off in 2 of 8 lanes, those selective times don't count. Perhaps there should be some tiny margin of deviation/error permitted. Is this rule going to be revisited any time soon? As things stand now, USMS IS in fact accepting times from pools that haven't been measured when USMS swimmers compete abroad in FINA sanctioned meets.

It is worth considering whether it is a better policy, but it must depend on the circumstances. Let's say, for instance, that someone's time was submitted but through some error was accidentally left off the list and the error was not caught until after the "final" list was published. Should the error not be corrected?

I guess the current policy (which pre-dates my time on Recs & Tab) is there to make sure the published list accurately reflects the eligible times that were properly submitted by the deadline.

I'm sure Greg wouldn't complain but he isn't the only one affected. There were many times and swimmers in that meet, not just Jim (he's just screaming the loudest). Imagine a person who is currently 10th on a TT list now that the meet was pulled. Perhaps it is that person's first-ever TT time. Wouldn't that person have a legitimate beef if we decided to ignore the pool's measurements and allow the times?

The rules can be revisited in a rules year unless it is deemed an emergency. Proposed rules have to be submitted to the Rules Committee by another standing committee or by an LMSC.

USMS is not accepting times from unmeasured international pools (Article 105.1.6A "Record applications and Top10 submissions shall not be accepted unless certification of course length accompanies them or is on file with USMS or FINA."). What changed in 2013 is that we stopped insisting that other national governing bodies follow USMS measurement rules for bulkhead pools. Basically we decided that if -- as was the case at Canadian Nationals a while back -- a time is acceptable to FINA as a WR, then it should be acceptable to USMS as a NR or TT time. (Surely you aren't arguing against that decision?)

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2013, 09:48 PM
Someone will always be unhappy no matter what policy you follow. And there will always be some inequities, I guess. Right now, USMS throws out times that are in pools that are 3/1000 short and keeps times that are from manual timing or with few officials.

Btw, I was at that MD meet as well. For fun, I swam a 50 meter backstroke kicking the whole way. I went about 40 meters UW and was not DQ'd.

Naturally, I don't disagree with the change for international meets. But next year, the Canadians won't measure the pool and times will be accepted. Just saying there is some inconsistency in our rules. FINA doesn't require measurements, right? Is Jim's time acceptable to FINA?

swimmieAvsFan
January 23rd, 2013, 10:15 PM
...You guys are mostly missing the problem. The failing here was in sanctioning the meet in the first place without the measurements in hand. The sanctions chair was assured by the facility manager that those measurements were on file and that the pool was the proper length. And as people have said, this was Michael Phelps' pool so she assumed it must be okay.

It was a mistake though perhaps an understandable one -- Michael Phelps' pool! -- we're all only human. The meet was sanctioned and held.

Similarly the Top 10 Recorder, when submitting the LMSC times to Mary Beth for TT consideration, assured her that the measurements were forthcoming. Everyone assumed they would be okay, so Mary Beth proceeded under that assumption.

Week after week of asking for those measurements went unanswered. Some local masters swimmers even asked some age-groupers who swim at NBAC to ask for the measurements; they were told to stop asking. USA Swimming said that the pool was not on their list of approved pools (and unlike USMS, they do not keep their rejected applications so we don't know if they ever submitted a certification form to USA-S).

So finally the LMSC chair sent their own engineer and the pool was measured way too short (an average of 3 inches, which is a lot). We have never received any measurements to contradict that so to the best of our knowledge the pool is too short and the times from the meet were pulled...

I have an honest question regarding the bolded above. If Mary Beth didn't have the measurements in hand before the lists were finalized, why wasn't the meet pulled before the lists were deemed "final"? I feel like there would be substantially less hand wringing if this had all been addressed before the lists were "finalized". I'm sure everyone who has paid attention has seen times go missing between the preliminary posting and the "final" posting. Obviously, no one on this thread (albeit not a large number of folks, but folks who pay attention typically) has ever seen times pulled after the "final" lists have been released. I understand the purpose of the errata, but as Leslie said above, the so-called scrivener's errors (and outright fraud) are different than this situation. Also, to be frank, the sanctioning wasn't the only failing in this situation.

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 05:43 AM
While Jim and others like to portray USMS as heartless automatons characterized mostly by a slavish devotion to rules -- even while appealing to those same instincts ("You can't change the Top 10 *now*, it is against the rules!") -- it is arguable that this situation was created by a willingness to be flexible. The sanctions chair gave her blessing because she believed the facility manager when he said the measurements were on hand and in order. Mary Beth included the times because she believed the Top 10 Recorder when she said the same (the TTR and Sanctions chair are the same person, BTW) during the submission process.

I don't think that either of these things are uncommon occurrences. While I am less familiar with the sanctioning process, I know that Mary Beth does sometimes accept the TTR's word that the proper measurements are forthcoming. It is just that usually those measurements ARE, in fact, in order. Maybe now she won't be so trusting, though realize with 52 LMSCs and maybe 100+ meets that means that the entire process of publishing the TT lists may be delayed further.

So in this case once it was apparent that the pool was short -- and the person measured each lane twice, and of the 16 measurements not a single one showed the pool at 50m or more -- the question was what to do about it. We chose this as the lesser of two evils, even though I understand people's frustration.

(I disagree with you, though, that there would have been resigned acceptance from Jim if the times from this meet had been missing from either the preliminary or final TT list. The outcry would have just begun a month earlier. And as an FYI, I didn't know about this situation until a couple days before Jim did.)

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 05:56 AM
About rules: if people feel that the Top 10 lists should be frozen (except maybe for minor corrections?) once published, there is no reason that an LMSC can't propose exactly that. I can take this up with Records & Tabulation next year if I'm still on it, but they are not the only possible avenue.

(If such a rule were approved, we will probably all be back here in a couple years complaining about the fact the USMS is following it when some "obvious" correction isn't applied.)

sunruh
January 24th, 2013, 08:09 AM
the only thing that could be worse than breaking a WR or NR or making the TT list in a short pool -> doing it in a short pool with a rubber suit!

The Fortress
January 24th, 2013, 09:42 AM
While Jim and others like to portray USMS as heartless automatons characterized mostly by a slavish devotion to rules

I disagree with you, though, that there would have been resigned acceptance from Jim if the times from this meet had been missing from either the preliminary or final TT list. The outcry would have just begun a month earlier. And as an FYI, I didn't know about this situation until a couple days before Jim did.

I highly doubt Jim views USMS as "heartless." If you read his screed, you know that he's had several meets worth of times that have been thrown out in the last couple years. So he feels snakebit. I think this is a fairly normal reaction in the circumstances. (Remember She Man/CreamPuff who quit USMS, among other reasons, because she said her times never seemed to count?) To be sure, he would have been disappointed -- as would anyone -- if his time was missing or deleted from the preliminary TT list) and made inquiries. But as Mollie notes, we all know this can happen and Jim was worried it might. In fact, he waited until the the list was "final" before declaring himself an AA and writing a story for Men's Health about the experience. (Btw, that story would have been good publicity for USMS.)

Given our current rules, it doesn't seem like USMS had any choice but to pull the times in this instance given that the pool was short. But I don't see the problem in letting Jim express his frustration. He'll move on, and continue his self-described quest of sustained mediocrity. Hopefully, he'll grab another AA at some point.

gdanner
January 24th, 2013, 09:54 AM
FINA doesn't require measurements, right? Is Jim's time acceptable to FINA?

FINA does not require measurements. However, they require the swim to be legal according to whichever masters National Governing Body sanctioned the event. So it's not acceptable to FINA because USMS says it's no good. If you ripped the same pool out of the ground, put it in Canada, and they sanctioned the event, it would have been acceptable to both Canada and FINA.

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 10:14 AM
I highly doubt Jim views USMS as "heartless." If you read his screed, you know that he's had several meets worth of times that have been thrown out in the last couple years. So he feels snakebit. I think this is a fairly normal reaction in the circumstances.

...

Given our current rules, it doesn't seem like USMS had any choice but to pull the times in this instance given that the pool was short. But I don't see the problem in letting Jim express his frustration. He'll move on, and continue his self-described quest of sustained mediocrity. Hopefully, he'll grab another AA at some point.

What, Jim is the only one allowed to go over-the-top in his descriptions?

I certainly don't blame Jim for being frustrated or mind that he expresses his frustrations. (I really only get upset when he makes statements about how USMS volunteers don't really care about the welfare of the swimmers, or some such.)

It was a particularly cruel turn of events this time around, but I'm sure that Mary Beth fully expected that the times would be validated and that's why she left them in. It is easy to second-guess after the fact, and as they say about referees we only notice the bad calls.

I'm sure it is small consolation to him, but the PDF ("printed") versions of the Top 10 never change -- they are truly frozen -- partly because they are mailed out to some people and partly because it would be asking too much for the person who formats them every season to do it every time there is a change.

So I believe Jim's "AA" swim will live here forever:

http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/pubs/2012_t10_lcm.pdf

swimmieAvsFan
January 24th, 2013, 10:59 AM
...I don't think that either of these things are uncommon occurrences. While I am less familiar with the sanctioning process, I know that Mary Beth does sometimes accept the TTR's word that the proper measurements are forthcoming. It is just that usually those measurements ARE, in fact, in order. Maybe now she won't be so trusting, though realize with 52 LMSCs and maybe 100+ meets that means that the entire process of publishing the TT lists may be delayed further...

...(I disagree with you, though, that there would have been resigned acceptance from Jim if the times from this meet had been missing from either the preliminary or final TT list. The outcry would have just begun a month earlier. And as an FYI, I didn't know about this situation until a couple days before Jim did.)

Instead of delaying the finalization of the lists, how about making the date that is posted as the deadline for corrections an actual deadline? That date should be sufficiently far after a meet for a host to get any outstanding paperwork to Mary Beth, especially if the meet host is actually working in good faith. It really seems like it makes more work for her if that deadline is really more of a request than a hard-and-fast date.

And I think your characterization of Jim in your parenthetical statement is unfair. Believe it or not, he's actually a reasonable, thoughtful guy. As Leslie mentioned, it's not as if Jim didn't do his due diligence for this meet, and this isn't the first time he's been screwed by the "flexibility" of some of our rules.

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 11:06 AM
And I think your characterization of Jim in your parenthetical statement is unfair. Believe it or not, he's actually a reasonable, thoughtful guy.

I don't believe I characterized Jim as anything but frustrated, and with cause. If I implied otherwise, I apologize; it was not my intent.

arthur
January 24th, 2013, 12:13 PM
FINA does not require measurements. However, they require the swim to be legal according to whichever masters National Governing Body sanctioned the event. So it's not acceptable to FINA because USMS says it's no good. If you ripped the same pool out of the ground, put it in Canada, and they sanctioned the event, it would have been acceptable to both Canada and FINA.
For a pool to be sanctioned in Canada for masters it still has to be measured. The difference is pools only have to be measured once, even if there are moving bulkheads.

jim thornton
January 24th, 2013, 01:00 PM
I apologize if any of my screed came off as screaming or mean-spirited. I AM GENERALLY NOT A SCREAMER! I think of myself as actually more of a whisperer.

Many of our members are engineers and the like, which I am not, so what I propose as the "solution" to these ongoing snafus may be ludicrous from an engineering point of view, but I shall take a whack at it nonetheless:

1. Masters swimming is a messy world. You have big, medium, and tiny meets all across the country, in state-of-the-art pools and ancient ones. At some meets, the officials are highly professional, and the judges eagle-eyed. At other meets, to be honest, not so much. Some swims are electronically timed; others are hand-timed. Some meet directors are thoroughly up to date on the USMS rule book and its mind-boggling minutiae. Other meet directors don't know what the rules are and give the wrong advice. There is, in other words, a tremendous amount of variability in this system we call USMS swimming.

2. The Top 10 list is a way, first and foremost, of motivating adult swimmers to compete, and in the process, derive the various health and mental benefits that Ransom Arthur envisioned when he championed adult swimming in the first place. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, USMS allows any swim performed in any venue in the country to count for TT consideration, as long as the rules are followed. You do not, therefore, need to be wealthy enough to travel to nationals to earn a spot in the Top 10--you can do it at a pool near to where you live, provided the competition is kosher according to USMS regulations.

3. So what are these regulations, and are they either too stringent, too loose, or just about right? I would argue, personally, that it's hard to argue that the regulations adopted by USA-S and FINA, which govern elite youth and international and Olympic swimming, are too loose. If USMS were to use these standards, one might argue it might even be a bit of overkill, given that masters swimmers--as enthusiastic and dedicated and committed as many of us are--are nevertheless not exactly comparable to Olympians per se (though there are more than a few ex-Olympians within our ranks.) This is not meant in any way to belittle masters swimming. But honestly, it's just not the same thing. It's not! In the Olympics, competition is the only thing that matters, and top swimmers are essentially professionals. In masters, competition is the icing on the cake, and even the legends in our ranks do it not as a job but as a sideline. The mission of USMS is to promote swimming for health, not just for competition. Thus I would argue that matching USA-S and FINA standards would be more than sufficient; but exceeding them, especially given how much variation there is in recreational pools across the country, and from region to region, seems crazy to me. In an earlier forum, Michael Heather wrote something along the lines of not accepting any times of his own that were swum in a pool even a millimeter short. Well, until laser technology came along, it was virtually impossible to measure pools to such detail. But there are so many other factors that influence speed in pools. Is an outdoor pool on a windy day that is 1-3 inches short of 50 meters long but only 4' - 6' deep significantly "faster" because of its reduced length than an indoor pool with state of the art lane ropes, gutters, starting blocks, etc. that is exactly 50 meters long and 9'-14' deep? I would argue that because it is easy, thanks to lasers, to measure a pool's length, and difficult, because there are no tools to specifically quantify such effects as depth and wind, etc., USMS has opted to give the illusion of unwavering standards by insisting on the former and overlooking the latter. As for electronic vs. hand timing, the choice to allow the latter seems so clearly a matter of expediency as to be risible. Surely, no one seriously argues that swimming 2-6" short per 100 LCM provides a significantly greater "cheating" advantage than hand-timing? Bottom line: if you have a messy system, you need to build in some flexibility in the letter of the law. I am not arguing against hand-timing, though I personally would rather see this banned than not. I'm just saying that if you allow something with a high probability of plus or minus variation from exactitude, why not permit the same reasonable flexibility for other aspects being measured? Why not go with FINA standards, in other words, with regards to pool measurements?

4. Finally, I suppose my biggest plea is simply this: If USMS has rules that it insists upon, then why can it not come up with a way to guarantee that any meet that receives its official sanction and/or recognition is guaranteed to be in compliance with all of these rules? You know how speed suits now have those little Fina Legal bar code things on the butt? Why couldn't USMS come up with a similar Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval-style logo that is posted on any meet where swimmers have a reasonable expectation that their times will count for TT consideration? Without this logo printed on the meet info sheet, swimmers would know whether or not to make the investment in meet fees, travel expenses, etc. and come anyway, knowing that their times may or may not "count." Such Super Sanctioned meets, moreover, would have provisions in place for measuring bulkhead movements, not holding any events as "Open" swims, and generally guaranteeing that any swimmer participating can't accidentally make the mistake of running afoul of some rule he or she might not know exists. I applaud Chris and the numerous other folks out there that make this great organization run, and I can already anticipate suggestions a la "volunteer yourself" or "buy the rule book and study each codicil in all its intricacies." Alas, I am not a volunteering type, at least when it comes to organizational behavior; nor do I have the head for regulatory minutiae. It is probably, therefore, unfair and even hypocritical of me to ask this, but ask it I do. Why can't USMS make it so that we swimmers can identify, quickly and reliably, what meets will absolutely count before we sign up for them? Then make sure, barring fraud on our part, they absolutely do count. There is just too much potential disappointment in this messy system the way it is right now.

PS I absolutely forgive and absolve Jill for the mistakes in the present circumstance and strongly suspect she was a victim of the NBAC pool people. But if my suggestion for a Super Sanction Logo had appeared on the meet info sheet, and every duck was thereby guaranteed to be in a row, all this could have been avoided. I am sure plenty of swimmers would have still attended the meet. But those of us who traveled to Baltimore only for a "last chance" assault on the TT's would have saved our time and money.

PS No. 2 As some of you may know, USMS sent their own engineers in December to measure the NBAC pool where I and many others raced last summer. The pool was completely drained around Halloween and was empty when the laser measurements were done. I don't know the ground temperature at the time of measurement. The combination of no hydrodynamic pressure pushing outwards on the walls may have made no difference whatsoever in the pool's length. On the other hand, water is heavy--a cubic foot alone weighs 62.42796 lb. Perhaps an engineer within our ranks could give an opinion on whether a 50 meter pool with 10 lanes and some depth (I don't know this figure exactly) might, when filled with seemingly a gazillion cubic feet of water, expand ever so slightly compared to its empty winter state? Balloons filled with water expand. Granted, cement is not the same as latex. But it's not the same as reinforced tungsten either. Again, it's a messy system, and insisting on exactitude in measurement is not the same as achieving it.

Proposed new USMS "Super Sanction" Meet seal:

7086

Allen Stark
January 24th, 2013, 01:37 PM
At the SPMS meet in Long Beach I noticed the lane lines were loose and told a referee.I was told they had to be loose or it risked moving the bulkhead.I don't know much about how they stabilize bulkheads,but there seems to be a potential for continuing issues with bulkhead pools.I think everyone but USMS says if it was measured once as OK it's OK. USMS says measure it before and after the meet.This means that a pool can be measured,sanctioned and still have the swims not count(which as I noted happened to me.)On the other hand we measure achievement to .01 sec.At the 2001 NW Zone meet that was disallowed a younger friend beat my ZR in the 50M BR by .01 sec.I felt bad for him to lose the time,but 1cm short in a 25M pool at that speed is worth about .01 sec.I don't have a suggestion on how to handle this,just that it is complicated.

swimshark
January 24th, 2013, 01:47 PM
I have had losses from several of the possibilities.I had an AA/ZR time lost because when they measured the bulk head after the meet it had shifted 1 cm in 3 lanes(5 of the lanes had their swims allowed.)I lost 3 TT times in the 2001 NW Zone meet where the pool was redone and the new tile was thicker than the old.This meet and the ensuing complaints/flame war about it led to the current USMS measuring rules as well as the current forum decorum rules(go back to the thread about that in early 2002 if you want a sample of true vitriol.)I also lost 2 TT times from a meet that was advertised as dual sanctioned,but wasn't. That one wasn't a big deal as I got better times in a later meet.
All of them ,especially the AA/ZR time seemed a big deal at the time.Now,thinking of them hardly raises my blood pressure.
Jim,I am so sorry.You are definitely the peoples All-American


Ah, yes, my home pool. You should have heard the conversations going on at the pool after, too!

pmccoy
January 24th, 2013, 02:17 PM
Perhaps an engineer within our ranks could give an opinion on whether a 50 meter pool with 10 lanes and some depth (I don't know this figure exactly) might, when filled with seemingly a gazillion cubic feet of water, expand ever so slightly compared to its empty winter state? Balloons filled with water expand. Granted, cement is not the same as latex. But it's not the same as reinforced tungsten either. Again, it's a messy system, and insisting on exactitude in measurement is not the same as achieving it.
Jim, I hate to see what has happened in this case. You earned it and definitely deserve recognition for your efforts. I'm banking on 15 more years of mediocrity (and lots of preservatives) to carry me into the elite status that you have found.

You have two engineering problems here: First is the hydro-static pressure of water on the pool walls. The second is the thermal expansion of the pool deck materials. Both are not insignificant.

Hydro-static pressure on a vertical wall can be calculated with the following formula: Sw*h/2 where Sw is the specific weight of water (62.4lbs/ft^3) and height is the height of the wall. Let's say the pool is 6 feet deep all around. That means each wall has an average pressure of 187.2 lbs/ft^2. If the walls at the start and finish are 75 feet long, then those walls each hold back 84240 lbs of force. Pools are constructed so that all the sides are connected. So, the structure itself will brace against some of the contraction due to water removal. Still, I would fully expect there to be some contraction (especially in the middle of the wall) but how much really depends on the concrete thickness and soil composition around the pool. I really couldn't even guess.

Thermal expansion (or contraction) in this case is a little easier to look at. Concrete shrinks when it gets cold. Not by much but it does shrink. The formula is pretty simple. dL = L * (dT) * Ct where dL = the change in length, dT = the change in temperature and Ct is the coefficient of linear thermal expansion for concrete. Different concretes have different coefficients but looking around, 6 x 10^-6 per degree F is somewhere in the ballpark. If the pool is 80 degrees when you swam and 50 degrees in the winter when they measured, you get a dT of 30 F. Plugging it all in, I get .009 meters of "shrinkage" or about .35 inches. So, a full pool at exactly the correct length and at normal competition temperature will certainly fail measurements when it is emptied and cooled. The only real hope you had was if the pool was already a little too long. Perhaps a measurement in the spring with the pool filled will vindicate your time... if they allow it.

rodent
January 24th, 2013, 02:52 PM
USMS is not accepting times from unmeasured international pools (Article 105.1.6A "Record applications and Top10 submissions shall not be accepted unless certification of course length accompanies them or is on file with USMS or FINA."). What changed in 2013 is that we stopped insisting that other national governing bodies follow USMS measurement rules for bulkhead pools. Basically we decided that if -- as was the case at Canadian Nationals a while back -- a time is acceptable to FINA as a WR, then it should be acceptable to USMS as a NR or TT time. (Surely you aren't arguing against that decision?)[/QUOTE]


Since I lost 6, Top 10's in the 2011 Montreal Nationals, I am in favor of the above-captioned rule. So, Chris, you think that because there is no rule saying that you can not remove a Top 10 time after it has been approved and published, that USMS does have the authority and has it absolutely? I think that might be an open question. Why have a deadline if it is meaningless and can be disregarded? And, if that is true, can you change the 2011 SCM Top 10 to reflect my Montreal times? After all, there is no rule that says you can't do that either. Remember, the integrity of the sport is the most important thing and what's right is right!
So, do you want me to email you my times from Montreal, or can you pull them up on the internet?

jroddin
January 24th, 2013, 03:54 PM
Since I lost 6, Top 10's in the 2011 Montreal Nationals, I am in favor of the above-captioned rule. So, Chris, you think that because there is no rule saying that you can not remove a Top 10 time after it has been approved and published, that USMS does have the authority and has it absolutely? I think that might be an open question. Why have a deadline if it is meaningless and can be disregarded? And, if that is true, can you change the 2011 SCM Top 10 to reflect my Montreal times? After all, there is no rule that says you can't do that either. Remember, the integrity of the sport is the most important thing and what's right is right!
So, do you want me to email you my times from Montreal, or can you pull them up on the internet?

I don't think you have a fair analogy. This would be akin to saying you were DQ'd in 1996 for dropping your shoulder on a breastroke turn but now it is legal to drop your shoulder so your time should be reinstated. Times from 2011 need to conform to rules and policies in place at the time of the swim - not to current rules and policies.

sunruh
January 24th, 2013, 04:02 PM
I don't think you have a fair analogy. This would be akin to saying you were DQ'd in 1996 for dropping your shoulder on a breastroke turn but now it is legal to drop your shoulder so your time should be reinstated. Times from 2011 need to conform to rules and policies in place at the time of the swim - not to current rules and policies.

exactly!
or else we get to remove *ALL* of the WR/NR and top ten from the full body tech suit era.

The Fortress
January 24th, 2013, 04:13 PM
4. Finally, I suppose my biggest plea is simply this: If USMS has rules that it insists upon, then why can it not come up with a way to guarantee that any meet that receives its official sanction and/or recognition is guaranteed to be in compliance with all of these rules? You know how speed suits now have those little Fina Legal bar code things on the butt? Why couldn't USMS come up with a similar Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval-style logo that is posted on any meet where swimmers have a reasonable expectation that their times will count for TT consideration? Without this logo printed on the meet info sheet, swimmers would know whether or not to make the investment in meet fees, travel expenses, etc. and come anyway, knowing that their times may or may not "count." Such Super Sanctioned meets, moreover, would have provisions in place for measuring bulkhead movements, not holding any events as "Open" swims, and generally guaranteeing that any swimmer participating can't accidentally make the mistake of running afoul of some rule he or she might not know exists. I applaud Chris and the numerous other folks out there that make this great organization run, and I can already anticipate suggestions a la "volunteer yourself" or "buy the rule book and study each codicil in all its intricacies." Alas, I am not a volunteering type, at least when it comes to organizational behavior; nor do I have the head for regulatory minutiae. It is probably, therefore, unfair and even hypocritical of me to ask this, but ask it I do. Why can't USMS make it so that we swimmers can identify, quickly and reliably, what meets will absolutely count before we sign up for them? Then make sure, barring fraud on our part, they absolutely do count. There is just too much potential disappointment in this messy system the way it is right now.


You can't pre-guarantee that every meet will be in 100% compliance the way the rules currently stand. Fixed length pools with measurements on file are fine, assuming the meet director timely submits the times/split requests. But bulkhead pools have to measured before and after a meet. So swimmers must enter the meet relying on the meet director to ensure that proper measurements are taken and that the pool does not measure short. Even if the entry forms affirmatively says the pool will be measured, you are still relying on people to be diligent about their job.

Steve, you are a real tech suit hater!

rodent
January 24th, 2013, 04:30 PM
I don't think you have a fair analogy. This would be akin to saying you were DQ'd in 1996 for dropping your shoulder on a breastroke turn but now it is legal to drop your shoulder so your time should be reinstated. Times from 2011 need to conform to rules and policies in place at the time of the swim - not to current rules and policies.
Who said anything about being DQ'd? The swims were legal and there was no competitive advantage that is inherent in a act leading to disqualification. But, if the Top 10 list can be changed at ANY time w/o limitation, why could it not be changed a few years later, in the interest of fairness and accuracy. Those swims could have been accepted in 2011 by a VOTE of the Top 10 committee. That committee has apparently determined that their decision in 2011, was wrong and not in the best interests of USMS and FINA. Since the decision dening the Canadian times was found to be wrong and since the Top 10 apparently can be changed at ANY time w/o limitation (because the rules are silent on that issue) why should they not correct the 2011 Top 10.:canada:

As far as records in the full body flotation suits, I don't know what can be done. Is there a record of who was wearing a flotation suit and who was not during that time? What about the non-flotation suits that were slick and provided compression? Both types of suits provided a clear competitive advantage. WR's set in those suits may not be broken for years, if ever. Is it fair to the current swimmers who are a few fractions of a second off those artificial records?

Rob Copeland
January 24th, 2013, 05:17 PM
That committee has apparently determined that their decision in 2011, was wrong...Can you provide your source for this statement?

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 05:31 PM
Since I lost 6, Top 10's in the 2011 Montreal Nationals, I am in favor of the above-captioned rule. So, Chris, you think that because there is no rule saying that you can not remove a Top 10 time after it has been approved and published, that USMS does have the authority and has it absolutely? I think that might be an open question. Why have a deadline if it is meaningless and can be disregarded? And, if that is true, can you change the 2011 SCM Top 10 to reflect my Montreal times? After all, there is no rule that says you can't do that either. Remember, the integrity of the sport is the most important thing and what's right is right!
So, do you want me to email you my times from Montreal, or can you pull them up on the internet?

Of course there is a rule. The only deadline is for submission of times for TT consideration. Eligible times that are submitted by the deadline can make the list. Your time was not eligible according to the rules at the time of the swim, as others have noted.

It turns out that Jim's time was not eligible either and should not have been accepted, though that was not known at the time.

I'm not sure most people -- even those who have volunteered for a long time -- realize how much policy drives practice in some cases. So let's consider Top 10 lists. From what I can see (I am not a lawyer, just married to one), the existence of these lists derives from article 105.2.1:

The 10 best times nationally in each age division and for each gender shall be published annually for the events listed under article 102.5.


Technically we do not actually follow this rule, do we? We publish lists of the fastest 10 *swimmers* not the fastest 10 times. That is a long-standing policy. (And in this case probably the rule should be re-worded to reflect this policy.)

Policies, including those of Records & Tabulation, are posted here:

http://www.usms.org/admin/policies/

Even I get surprised at the fact that some of our practices derive from policies and not rules. For example, there is a practice that two relays from the same club cannot be listed in the TT of the same event/age-group unless they have four completely different swimmers (think "A" and "B" relays). I had always assumed this came from a rule somewhere but it just isn't so: for example, there is nothing in the rules that prevents a club with three superstar swimmers team up with (say) four different swimmers and achieving four TT relay times.

Policies are simply unavoidable; the rules cannot cover all cases and their intent has to be interpreted.

From a governance standpoint there are at least two big problems with policies vs rules: (i) they are decided by a relatively small, possibly non-representative group (instigated by a committee, approved -- sometimes tacitly -- by the board), and (ii) they are sometimes not well documented.

For my part I am doing my best to drag the policies of my committee into the "light of day," and try to make sure that the committee reflects on these policies and that they represent our best judgment. This is an ongoing process because I am still discovering policies. (Another example: USMS have been recognizing pool All-Stars, right? The term wasn't in the rule book until this year, much less the process by which they are decided.)

USMS has been encouraging this process by asking each committee to list its policies so that they can publish them; the documents in the linked "policy" page did not exist two years ago.

Secondly personally I think that any policy that is far-reaching or controversial should probably eventually be proposed as a rule so that the entire house of delegates can debate, modify and approve it (or not).

arthur
January 24th, 2013, 05:31 PM
Thermal expansion (or contraction) in this case is a little easier to look at. Concrete shrinks when it gets cold. Not by much but it does shrink. The formula is pretty simple. dL = L * (dT) * Ct where dL = the change in length, dT = the change in temperature and Ct is the coefficient of linear thermal expansion for concrete. Different concretes have different coefficients but looking around, 6 x 10^-6 per degree F is somewhere in the ballpark. If the pool is 80 degrees when you swam and 50 degrees in the winter when they measured, you get a dT of 30 F. Plugging it all in, I get .009 meters of "shrinkage" or about .35 inches. So, a full pool at exactly the correct length and at normal competition temperature will certainly fail measurements when it is emptied and cooled. The only real hope you had was if the pool was already a little too long. Perhaps a measurement in the spring with the pool filled will vindicate your time... if they allow it.
I was thinking the contraction of the concrete could make the pool bigger, but I just spoke to a P.Eng. structural engineer and she said she would expect the pool to shrink as it got colder.

sunruh
January 24th, 2013, 06:00 PM
Steve, you are a real tech suit hater!

since tech suits ARE part of the WR/NR/TT i will respond on here.

speedo started this fiasco.

2% or 3% or 5% or 10% faster in full color full page ads in every magazine that was related to them selling suits.

usa-s/fina has ALWAYS had a rule that no device was allowed to aid the swimmer in any way, shape or form.

so either the suits did violate this rule and speedo's money and commercial money (ie olympic broadcasts) swayed fina to allow them
or
it was false advertising.
period.
pick 1
then when speedo got beat at their own game, they complained to fina to have them banned.
so then we could all pay almost the same price for a suit 1/3rd the size! (for men anyway)
at the olympic level only a very few of the mens records have fallen. lochte broke his own 200im (in a jammer) with a non-slick jammer and Sun broke the 1500. i think those are the only 2. oh, unless you might count the triple kick breaststrokers.

i hate them because they NEVER should have been allowed in the 1st place. or once allowed, never taken away.

the other sports (there are plenty to name) have had technology improvements and kept them. only swimming has been a yo-yo on the rules with technology.

rant off :D

rodent
January 24th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Can you provide your source for this statement?

I think the fact that the rule was originally written to allow legal swims I'm foreign jurisdiction and was changed around 2010-11 to require all jurisdictions to comply with USMS measurement requirements AND has apparently been changed back to its original form ie. permitting Top 10 consideration of foreign swims legal in that jurisdiction leads me reasonably to believe that the committee considers the better course of action to be to allow those swims. My source is logic and commonsense. What do you think the reason for the change in policy is? They would not deliberately make a change for the worse?
By wrong, I mean there was a better course of action, I do not mean wrong in a moral or ethical sense.

rodent
January 24th, 2013, 06:57 PM
Chris, I believe there should be some finality in the Top 10 list. To take a Top 10 time away from someone is difficult and once it is published (in December by rule ) a swimmer should be able to rely on it. In this case there are many extenuating circumstances. I doubt the pool is short when filled and the swim was by FAR the best if the year. The time should in fairness and logic stand. You have the authority to strike it if you want but to do so would be wrong.

The Fortress
January 24th, 2013, 07:29 PM
since tech suits ARE part of the WR/NR/TT i will respond on here.

speedo started this fiasco.

2% or 3% or 5% or 10% faster in full color full page ads in every magazine that was related to them selling suits.

usa-s/fina has ALWAYS had a rule that no device was allowed to aid the swimmer in any way, shape or form.

so either the suits did violate this rule and speedo's money and commercial money (ie olympic broadcasts) swayed fina to allow them
or
it was false advertising.
period.
pick 1
then when speedo got beat at their own game, they complained to fina to have them banned.
so then we could all pay almost the same price for a suit 1/3rd the size! (for men anyway)
at the olympic level only a very few of the mens records have fallen. lochte broke his own 200im (in a jammer) with a non-slick jammer and Sun broke the 1500. i think those are the only 2. oh, unless you might count the triple kick breaststrokers.

i hate them because they NEVER should have been allowed in the 1st place. or once allowed, never taken away.

the other sports (there are plenty to name) have had technology improvements and kept them. only swimming has been a yo-yo on the rules with technology.

rant off :D

Very fine rant.

I loved the tech suits, and liked the idea that swimming technology, like other sports, could advance. However, the yoyo did muck up the record books (even for masters). And I do resent paying the same price for a flimsy suit that doesn't last long. (Having been an avid tech suit fan, I nonetheless note that I am doing better vis-a-vis my competitors without them. heehee)

Jack, I thought you were kidding on your first post! USMS has no choice but to apply the then existing rules to your times from 2011. And unlike poor Jim, you did not do your due diligence -- I reported on the forum that the Canadian meet director told me he would not measure the pool.

jaadams1
January 24th, 2013, 08:27 PM
Since I lost 6, Top 10's in the 2011 Montreal Nationals, I am in favor of the above-captioned rule. So, Chris, you think that because there is no rule saying that you can not remove a Top 10 time after it has been approved and published, that USMS does have the authority and has it absolutely? I think that might be an open question. Why have a deadline if it is meaningless and can be disregarded? And, if that is true, can you change the 2011 SCM Top 10 to reflect my Montreal times? After all, there is no rule that says you can't do that either. Remember, the integrity of the sport is the most important thing and what's right is right!
So, do you want me to email you my times from Montreal, or can you pull them up on the internet?

I attended the 2012 Canadian Nationals, and knew about this very thing happening from 2011. I am a TTR for the Inland NW, and know about the rule of the measurements on bulkheaded pools (prior to the meet, and after each and every session of the meet, etc.). I had talked with a couple others who were going to be going to the meet as well, that would be concerned about the potential of their times counting for USMS TT. Chris Stevenson knew I was going to the meet as well, and did send me a note on this very subject about the measurement rules for TT.
After getting there, we basically decided to bag the idea, as it was going to be "too much" to try to hold everyone up while we attempted to measure for "our standards" in a foriegn country's meet. Yeah, I had some times swum there that would've been faster than times I did here, but oh well...it's just another meet, right? We had fun anyway. :)

knelson
January 24th, 2013, 09:33 PM
So, to play devil's advocate here, do you guys think there should also be a statute of limitations on things like Olympic medals and Tour de France victories? Lance Armstrong shouldn't get his Tour victories and Olympic medal rescinded because they didn't realize he was cheating at the time?

Personally I think it sucks big time that Jim's All American swim got pulled, but rules are rules. It's the meet director's fault and not USMS's. Next summer when the pool is refilled it should be measured and if it it's legal his time should be reinstated, fair and square. If the pool still measures short then no dice.

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 09:45 PM
Those swims could have been accepted in 2011 by a VOTE of the Top 10 committee. That committee has apparently determined that their decision in 2011, was wrong and not in the best interests of USMS and FINA.

Both of these statements are incorrect. The committee is not empowered to disregard the rules. We took a vote on whether to apply (to the Rules Committee) for an exception to the rule. The motion failed, narrowly as I recall. But if it had passed, the Rules Committee would have voted on whether to recommend the exception be granted and then the Board of Directors, or maybe the Executive Committee (I always confuse those two), would have had the final say.

We did not later decide we were wrong. We decided the rules should be changed and we proposed a change that applied to these circumstances (eligibility of swims for USMS TT when performed in foreign meets). The proposed rule was passed easily by the HOD.


Chris, I believe there should be some finality in the Top 10 list.

Fair enough, I think reasonable people can disagree on this point. And of course "some finality" needs to be defined a little more precisely. One possibility is to allow non-significant changes such as correcting club affiliation or incorrect names (eg if a swimmer's maiden name was used improperly). A significant change would be one that affects times or TT placement.

I will schedule a discussion on the matter for Records & Tabulation. It won't affect the decision in this case. And the committee may very well decide to continue current policy, but it is worth revisiting and discussing.


To take a Top 10 time away from someone is difficult and once it is published (in December by rule ) a swimmer should be able to rely on it. In this case there are many extenuating circumstances. I doubt the pool is short when filled and the swim was by FAR the best if the year. The time should in fairness and logic stand. You have the authority to strike it if you want but to do so would be wrong.

"I doubt the pool is short when filled" -- there is no evidence for this statement; if there were (in the form of actual measurements) then we wouldn't be having this discussion. In fact, there is evidence for the opposite in that the pool length has never been certified by USA-S.

This isn't just about Jim Thornton's swim, others are affected as well. For every top 10 time that was "taken," another was "given" (ie the total number of TT times stayed the same). One could also argue that it isn't fair for someone's time to be displaced from the TT lists by a swim performed in a short pool. Ultimately I think that is the most compelling argument in these admittedly-less-than-ideal circumstances.

Changing the times after the "final" lists was disconcerting and in retrospect (with all the advantages of Monday-morning quarterbacking) perhaps Mary Beth should not have included those times in either preliminary or final lists. But in my opinion this was not the main problem because it was fixable after the fact, though this is not ideal. It was sanctioning the meet in the first place without the measurements in hand. It was an understandable error given the circumstances but one we can learn from and hopefully avoid in the future.

Chris Stevenson
January 24th, 2013, 09:47 PM
Next summer when the pool is refilled it should be measured and if it it's legal his time should be reinstated, fair and square.

Yes, no one else seemed to notice this flip side of the "non-frozen" aspect of the TT list.

swimmieAvsFan
January 24th, 2013, 09:53 PM
Chris, I believe there should be some finality in the Top 10 list. To take a Top 10 time away from someone is difficult and once it is published (in December by rule ) a swimmer should be able to rely on it. In this case there are many extenuating circumstances. I doubt the pool is short when filled and the swim was by FAR the best if the year. The time should in fairness and logic stand. You have the authority to strike it if you want but to do so would be wrong.

Actually Jack, I believe you (probably inadvertently) just illustrated Chris' point about the difference between policies and rules. If you look in the rule book (section 105.1.2), the publication date is not listed. It is, however, listed in the Top 10 FAQs, which would make it a policy, rather than a rule, I would think.

Chris, it's good to know you guys are working on getting policies codified. This whole hullabaloo would have been at least partially mitigated if the policy of lists not really being final, even after being posted as such, were known outside of Rec & Tabs.

Based on this current situation, is this the kind of incident that is controversial and far-reaching enough that some sort of rule should be proposed? Would it cause a ton more work for Mary Beth (or Rec & Tabs) if a rule was inserted into section 105 that required her to have all the paperwork by the deadline for corrections?

Allen Stark
January 24th, 2013, 10:21 PM
In reading the posts and thinking on it it seems to me the "error"was to actually be too accommodating.The proper papers weren't in,but people wanted to give the pool(Michael Phelps pool) and the meet, the benefit of the doubt.

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 12:02 AM
We need fewer rules and more commonsense. Compiling a list of the top times is not the Manhattan Project and should not be treated that way. The Canadian times were legit and Jim's time is legit too. That should be all that matters!

knelson
January 25th, 2013, 12:24 AM
The Canadian times were legit and Jim's time is legit too. That should be all that.matters!

How can you say that when the pool was not measured or was measured but came up short? Sorry but not legit.

ourswimmer
January 25th, 2013, 12:47 AM
In fact, there is evidence for the opposite in that the pool length has never been certified by USA-S.

Do they ever hold USA-S meets of any kind in that pool, then?

Chris Stevenson
January 25th, 2013, 05:37 AM
Do they ever hold USA-S meets of any kind in that pool, then?

There are differences in USMS and USA-S measurement standards. Lots of USA-S meets are held in non-certified pools. I think the guy Anna Lea talked to said they reject a high proportion of their certification applications for whatever reason. Unfortunately they don't keep the rejects or we might have had some history of measurements at this pool. USA-S requires measurements only for national records (I'm not sure about AG national records) not their top 10 lists.

Plus my understanding is that this is a pretty old pool, the USMS person who did the measurements mentioned something about how resurfacing (or whatever, I can't quite remember) was evident. Any pool modification that potentially changes the length requires that the pool length be re-certified.


Chris, it's good to know you guys are working on getting policies codified. This whole hullabaloo would have been at least partially mitigated if the policy of lists not really being final, even after being posted as such, were known outside of Rec & Tabs.

Based on this current situation, is this the kind of incident that is controversial and far-reaching enough that some sort of rule should be proposed? Would it cause a ton more work for Mary Beth (or Rec & Tabs) if a rule was inserted into section 105 that required her to have all the paperwork by the deadline for corrections?

Well naturally policies are constantly evolving; rules change too. I don't think there can ever be an unchanging list of either. I think an important thing is transparency, which is the main reason I'm here discussing all this. But USMS is a big site and lots of people don't know about policies. Heck the rules themselves are complicated and even Kathy Casey probably gets surprised from time to time.

I am sure that this policy will be reviewed. I can't predict exactly what will happen: status quo, changed policy, rule proposal, etc. Honestly as chair my power is surprisingly limited. I can set the agenda and sometimes make suggestions but I can't make motions, I only vote on tie-breakers, and am not supposed to take sides or let my preferences be known during discussions. But the committee has a good mix of new blood to question things and propose ideas, and veterans whose institutional experience dwarfs mine.

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 09:18 AM
Based on this current situation, is this the kind of incident that is controversial and far-reaching enough that some sort of rule should be proposed? Would it cause a ton more work for Mary Beth (or Rec & Tabs) if a rule was inserted into section 105 that required her to have all the paperwork by the deadline for corrections?


It was sanctioning the meet in the first place without the measurements in hand.

It seems to me it is in our best interest to identify issues, like short and uncertified pools, as early as possible. And to notify the swimmers so we can make informed decisions. So one solution would be to get these things identified when the event is sanctioned and not after the fact. Which leads me to suggesting a change to section 202 and not 105. For example:

202.1.1.F(4) Sanctioned events may be conducted in facilities not meeting the dimensional tolerance for required pool length or in facilities without pool certification, but the results of those events shall not count for USMS records and Top 10. It must be noted in the meet information that events conducted in these facilities are noncompliant.

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 09:34 AM
How can you say that when the pool was not measured or was measured but came up short? Sorry but not legit.
The Montreal pool had been measured according to the practice of Canadian Masters. The NBAC pool was measured to be 2/1000 of an inch short in two lanes when empty. An engineer posted that it was his opinion in light of his expertise that the pool would be correct when filled. The hydrostatic pressure would push the walls back especially in the middle of the pool. In both situations the pools were ok, the application of the rules was in the circumstances, too harsh. The fact that FINA accepted the Canadian times and USSA accepts the NBAC times is also a factor to consider.

knelson
January 25th, 2013, 09:56 AM
An engineer posted that it was his opinion in light of his expertise that the pool would be correct when filled.

Doesn't matter. This is all pure conjecture. Unless the pool is actually measured and comes out to 50 meters it doesn't meet the length requirement. Simple as that. And I don't believe for a minute anyone is measuring a 50 meter pool to .001 on an inch.

I think USMS has an obligation to make sure anyone hosting a sanctioned meet understands the dimensional requirements, but at the end of the day the responsibility goes to the meet director to make sure the pool has been measured and that the measurement data has been submitted properly. I don't see why USMS is the bad guy for throwing out swims that don't meet the requirements. I really don't want USMS making judgment calls, "yeah, that's close enough..."

sunruh
January 25th, 2013, 09:57 AM
We need fewer rules and more commonsense. Compiling a list of the top times is not the Manhattan Project and should not be treated that way. The Canadian times were legit and Jim's time is legit too. That should be all that matters!

are you serious?

if so, i just broke all of the NR's this morning for both SCY and SCM (oh all of those are WRs as well).
dont bother measuring the pool. it's good. it may *look* to only be 20yds long, but it's legit for both 25 SCY NRs and 25 SCM WRs.

pmccoy
January 25th, 2013, 10:29 AM
The Montreal pool had been measured according to the practice of Canadian Masters. The NBAC pool was measured to be 2/1000 of an inch short in two lanes when empty. An engineer posted that it was his opinion in light of his expertise that the pool would be correct when filled. The hydrostatic pressure would push the walls back especially in the middle of the pool. In both situations the pools were ok, the application of the rules was in the circumstances, too harsh. The fact that FINA accepted the Canadian times and USSA accepts the NBAC times is also a factor to consider.I probably should clarify a couple things on this:

* I am a mechanical engineer and solved simple hydrostatic problems in school but I'm mostly a software developer now.
* It's impossible to quantify how much the pool would shrink due to lack of hydrostatic pressure because I just don't know anything about the actual construction of the pool. IF (and this is a big if) the pool were EXACTLY in compliance before they emptied the pool, I would expect the hydrostatic pressure to take the pool out of compliance. Same thing with the thermal contraction.
* I've read through various tales that the pool is somewhere between 5 inches and 2/1000 inches out of compliance. If it is the former, I don't expect it to be in compliance when filled and warmed... but i could be wrong. If it is the latter, I expect warming alone will bring it back into compliance... but I could be wrong.
* I do think Jim's swim is legit and his efforts were outstanding but I'm firmly in the camp that they never should have been considered for TT in the first place. Someone did him a huge favor in going back and attempting to remeasure the pool even if the conditions were less than ideal.
* I personally wouldn't have a problem with remeasuring the pool in the spring and then reinstating Jim's time. However, if I were USMS, I'd think carefully before proceeding. It seems that this story is rife with attempts to fix mistakes that just end up making the situation worse.

Chris Stevenson
January 25th, 2013, 11:18 AM
The NBAC pool was measured to be 2/1000 of an inch short in two lanes when empty. An engineer posted that it was his opinion in light of his expertise that the pool would be correct when filled. The hydrostatic pressure would push the walls back especially in the middle of the pool. In both situations the pools were ok, the application of the rules was in the circumstances, too harsh. The fact that FINA accepted the Canadian times and USSA accepts the NBAC times is also a factor to consider.

Yes I heard that the NBAC pool was remeasured and I heard this tale of 2/1000 of an inch short. However even after this supposed remeasure the facilities manager did not send us the actual measurements. Even Jim wonders about the reliability of these measurements since the facilities manager has an obvious stake in the outcome. (Plus he said they would use a steel tape, and I have a hard time imagining how such a device could possibly indicate that the pool was 2/1000 of an inch short.)

But that doesn't really matter; USMS even allows *the swimmer themselves* to measure pools for their own times. But without measurements in hand it is as if they never happened.

So we have to go with the measurements we *do* have. An engineer measured each lane twice using a laser device. He reported the longest of the two measurements. Not a single one of the 16 measurements was 50m or longer, and the average was 3 inches short (and one lane was 5 inches short). These are the only measurements we have and so they are what we have to go by. I think I heard it is a concrete pool, so I doubt that filling the pool will push the walls back almost half a foot; if they did I think the pool would have much bigger problems than its length.


I personally wouldn't have a problem with remeasuring the pool in the spring and then reinstating Jim's time. However, if I were USMS, I'd think carefully before proceeding. It seems that this story is rife with attempts to fix mistakes that just end up making the situation worse.

Oh yes I thought of that too. It is one of the best arguments for "freezing" the TT lists (except for non-significant changes), and I suspect that it is an argument that the committee -- almost all of the current or past TT Recorders -- would be very receptive to. Compiling the TT lists once is hard enough without having to worry about revising them in a significant manner after publication. But I will be interested in what the most experienced members have to say about why it has been allowed in the past. Perhaps it was in response to some different crisis from 20 years ago. :-)

ourswimmer
January 25th, 2013, 11:32 AM
It seems to me it is in our best interest to identify issues, like short and uncertified pools, as early as possible. And to notify the swimmers so we can make informed decisions. So one solution would be to get these things identified when the event is sanctioned and not after the fact. Which leads me to suggesting a change to section 202 and not 105. For example:

202.1.1.F(4) Sanctioned events may be conducted in facilities not meeting the dimensional tolerance for required pool length or in facilities without pool certification, but the results of those events shall not count for USMS records and Top 10. It must be noted in the meet information that events conducted in these facilities are noncompliant.

This suggestion seems to me to get to the heart of the problem.

jim thornton
January 25th, 2013, 12:10 PM
1. Okay, for the record, I strongly suspect that the NBAC was short. Here are the only measurements I've seen. These were done in December in the empty pool by the engineers that USMS hired. (I have not seen the measurements that the NBAC guy claims to have also done this winter, and frankly, I am dubious they exist):

These below measurements were taken December 7, 2012, of the outdoor pool at the NBAC Meadowbrook aquatic facility in Baltimore, MD.

First, here are the converted equivalents for 50 meters:

50 meters = 164.042 feet = 1,968.50 inches

Measured values:
Lane 1: 49.856 m
Lane 2: 49.910 m
Lane 3: 49.956 m
Lane 4: 49.960 m
Lane 5: 49.910 m
Lane 6: 49.971 m
Lane 7: 49.910 m
Lane 8: 49.893 m
Lane 9: 49.956 m
Lane 10: 49.892 m

Converted to inches:
Lane 1: 1,962.83 inches
Lane 2: 1,964.96 inches
Lane 3: 1,966.77 inches
Lane 4: 1,966.93 inches
Lane 5: 1,964.96 inches
Lane 6: 1,967.36 inches
Lane 7: 1,964.96 inches
Lane 8: 1,964.29 inches
Lane 9: 1,966.77 inches
Lane 10: 1,964.25 inches

Difference from nominal:
Lane 1: 5.67 inches
Lane 2: 3.54 inches
Lane 3: 1.73 inches
Lane 4: 1.57 inches
Lane 5: 3.54 inches
Lane 6: 1.14 inches
Lane 7: 3.54 inches
Lane 8: 4.21 inches
Lane 9: 1.73 inches
Lane 10: 4.25 inches

2. I tried to look up the heat sheets from the meet because I can't remember which lane I was in. I know it was somewhere in the middle of the pool. I am pretty sure that lanes 1 and 10 weren't ever used. Leslie, for her part, thinks I was in lane 4, but I could have just as easily been in 5, 6, or 3. So if these measurements are accurate, and measuring the pool in winter without any water in it makes zero difference, I swam anywhere from 2.28 inches short to 7.08 inches short. Those who read my blog on this will recall that I did the calculations based on the "worst case scenario"--i.e., I swam in a pool that was 5" short, or 10" short per 100 LCM free. Under this assumption, it would have made a .15 second difference in my time. Under a more realistic worst case scenario, i.e., I swam in lane 5 and did a race that was 7.08 inches too short, then it would have made a .10 or .11 difference. My 1:01.43, in other words, would have been a 1:01.54. The new winning time is 1:02.66. The meet was hand-timed, and I absolutely acknowledge there may well have been an advantage from this, too, though both my hand timers got me at exactly the same time on their watches, which I imagine is pretty hard to do. In any event, I find it hard to believe that any accumulation of unintentional "cheating" on my part would have made more than a 1.12 second difference in my final time, which was the time separating my NBAC swim from Greg's Omaha swim.

3. At this point, I simply reiterate the same plea: make what ever rules you want, but put in safeguards for us swimmers so that we don't inadvertently run afoul of them. When two of my times were yanked a year ago, for instance, when I swam in "Open" events, I specifically asked the meet director if I could do this and still qualify for TT consideration. He assured me the times would count. When Skip asked the NBAC meet director if the pool had been measured and was in compliance, he assured him it absolutely had been and was in compliance. The IRS tells the public that any information provided by IRS agents may not be accurate. Perhaps there should be something on meet information, as Rob suggested, specifically saying if the meet will or will not count and why.

4. I have decided to switch my plan of attack! Though the NBAC meet was not in compliance for TT times, this does not obviate the health insurance coverage for swimmers participating in the meet, correct? Would someone please let me know how I can file a claim for mental trauma incurred last summer in Baltimore? Granted, this trauma didn't manifest itself immediately, but it has been slowly incubating inside my admittedly frail elderly brain for months now, and exploded into full blown SSES Syndrome (Sudden Self Esteem Shock Syndrome) that has had lingering effects on my psyche and, quite frankly, ability to earn a livelihood as a writer because--as this post may illustrate--my rationality and judgement brain lobes appear to be permanently damaged. I imagine therapy will include considerable time in a subtropical sanitarium and involve hydrotherapy, two-girl, hot-oil massage of the sort pioneered at the Deepak Chopra spa in La Jolla, and quite a bit in the way of medications of the spirit-soothing, pain-killing, joie-de-vivre-augmenting variety. Fortunately, the meet was sanctioned and my membership in USMS is in good standing, so the considerable costs of getting Jim well again should not be a burden to anybody but the insurer! I am starting to feel better already (albeit not so much better as to call into any question my need for several years minimum in a Bahamian sanitarium.)

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 12:21 PM
Yes I heard that the NBAC pool was remeasured and I heard this tale of 2/1000 of an inch short. However even after this supposed remeasure the facilities manager did not send us the actual measurements. Even Jim wonders about the reliability of these measurements since the facilities manager has an obvious stake in the outcome. (Plus he said they would use a steel tape, and I have a hard time imagining how such a device could possibly indicate that the pool was 2/1000 of an inch short.)Chris, “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”
- Mark Twain:popcorn:


But I will be interested in what the most experienced members have to say about why it has been allowed in the past. Perhaps it was in response to some different crisis from 20 years ago. :-)20 years ago our LMSC top 10 recorders typed up the top 10 and mailed them to our national Top 10 recorder. As an aside it was 10 years ago that we introduced “Dimensional tolerance”, I still recall the gleam in Leo’s eye as he and other engineering and scientific types debated the issue.

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 12:27 PM
I tried to look up the heat sheets from the meet because I can't remember which lane I was in Jim the USMS event results database lists the heat and lane for your swims.


admittedly frail elderly brain for months now, and exploded into full blown SSES Syndrome (Sudden Self Esteem Shock Syndrome) that has had lingering effects on my psyche On the bright side all we need is the distraction of a shiny object to send your “admittedly frail elderly brain” off on to thoughts of rainbows and unicorns.

And regardless of what’s printed, you should be rightfully proud of your accomplishments. Your hard work truly paid off. Congratulations! Great swims!
:applaud::banana:

swimmieAvsFan
January 25th, 2013, 12:32 PM
It seems to me it is in our best interest to identify issues, like short and uncertified pools, as early as possible. And to notify the swimmers so we can make informed decisions. So one solution would be to get these things identified when the event is sanctioned and not after the fact. Which leads me to suggesting a change to section 202 and not 105. For example:

202.1.1.F(4) Sanctioned events may be conducted in facilities not meeting the dimensional tolerance for required pool length or in facilities without pool certification, but the results of those events shall not count for USMS records and Top 10. It must be noted in the meet information that events conducted in these facilities are noncompliant.

Two things about adding wording to section 202- 1) what happens in a situation just like this one, where the Sanctions chair in an LMSC takes a meet director in good faith and at their word that measurements will be forthcoming (so nothing ends up being added to the meet information) and 2) is the pool length database the official compendium for pool length certifications? If it is, I think more needs to be added to your bolded text, just to make it very clear where the certification needs to be (i.e.- not just with the facility, but fully vetted and accepted by USMS).

I also think adding something to section 105 would be helpful, because it would mitigate a situation like my point 1 above. If a meet slipped through the sanctioning process without being certified, and the certification didn't make it to USMS before the top ten correction deadline, the time wouldn't count, and there would be a published rule that would be enforceable (preventing any one volunteer from being the "bad guy".)

swimmieAvsFan
January 25th, 2013, 12:41 PM
...Well naturally policies are constantly evolving; rules change too. I don't think there can ever be an unchanging list of either. I think an important thing is transparency, which is the main reason I'm here discussing all this. But USMS is a big site and lots of people don't know about policies. Heck the rules themselves are complicated and even Kathy Casey probably gets surprised from time to time.

I am sure that this policy will be reviewed. I can't predict exactly what will happen: status quo, changed policy, rule proposal, etc. Honestly as chair my power is surprisingly limited. I can set the agenda and sometimes make suggestions but I can't make motions, I only vote on tie-breakers, and am not supposed to take sides or let my preferences be known during discussions. But the committee has a good mix of new blood to question things and propose ideas, and veterans whose institutional experience dwarfs mine.

(Emphasis is mine.)

I don't think anyone expects an unchanging list of rules or policies, just a list of current practices, so they know what to expect in unusual situations. Basically, the transparency mentioned is all any reasonable person should be looking for. I also think educating people about the current policies is a good idea, as long as everyone understands that they are fluid (just like the rules are). Typically, when people have a fuller understanding of what goes into decision making, they tend to appreciate the work that people are putting in to making everything run smoothly.

Even if Rec & Tabs isn't the appropriate place for this to be discussed, I would hope someone would take it up, just to prevent a redo of this situation in a few years. To that end, is 2013 a rules or a legislation year?

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 12:46 PM
Right now we don't know enough about the actual discrepancy in length. 2/1000 of an inch is a lot different than 5 inches. I do believe NBAC did "remeasure" the pool. I assume the procedure they used satisfied them. They don't believe it is a problem. There is a big discrepancy in the two conflicting measurements though and the one on file w/ USMS was done by someone independent from NBAC. Many USSA records have been set there and I assume they would be in jeopardy if the pool is actually 5 inches short. It will be very embarrassing for NBAC if you guys are right.

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 12:48 PM
Two things about adding wording to section 202- 1) what happens in a situation just like this one, where the Sanctions chair in an LMSC takes a meet director in good faith and at their word that measurements will be forthcoming (so nothing ends up being added to the meet information) and 2) is the pool length database the official compendium for pool length certifications? If it is, I think more needs to be added to your bolded text, just to make it very clear where the certification needs to be (i.e.- not just with the facility, but fully vetted and accepted by USMS).

1) In the situation like the one that occurred, the sanction chair wouldn’t take it on faith. If the facility isn’t certified, then the meet information would need to state the pool is not compliant. I imagine this would get many meet hosts to get the certification done.
2) More could be added to the bolded text, but I believe “105.1.6 Pool Certification” clearly states the pool certification requirements. I guess we could call it Pool Certification instead of pool certification.


Note - 2013 is a Legislation year.

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 12:54 PM
Right now we don't know enough about the actual discrepancy in length. 2/1000 is a lot different than 5 inches. I do believe NBAC did "remeasure" the pool. I assume the procedure they used satisfied them. They don't believe it is a problem. There is a big discrepancy in the two conflicting measurements though and the one on file w/ USMS was done by someone independent from NBAC. Many USSA records have been set there and I assume would be in jeopardy if the pool is actually 5 inches short. It will be very embarrassing for NBAC if you guys are right.Just a couple of questions…
What is USSA?
What USSA records have been set there?
Were the records set before or after the walls were resurfaced?

swimmieAvsFan
January 25th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Right now we don't know enough about the actual discrepancy in length. 2/1000 is a lot different than 5 inches. I do believe NBAC did "remeasure" the pool. I assume the procedure they used satisfied them. They don't believe it is a problem. There is a big discrepancy in the two conflicting measurements though and the one on file w/ USMS was done by someone independent from NBAC. Many USSA records have been set there and I assume would be in jeopardy if the pool is actually 5 inches short. It will be very embarrassing for NBAC if you guys are right.

It's irrelevant if NBAC doesn't think there's a problem with the measurement- USMS says there is an issue, and that means (as much as it sucks) Jim's times weren't eligible for Top Ten, and really should have never been accepted, based on the wording in section 105.1.6. Also, wouldn't the fact that the measurements on file with USMS were done independently be a good thing- no ulterior motive to make it seem like the lack of water and cold weather is the only reason the pool measured short?

And based on the actions of the facility and its director, I'm highly skeptical that they ever remeasured the pool. I think there's probably a very good reason they didn't want to hand over a certification form to USMS, for exactly what you said above about it being embarrassing for NBAC when the pool came up short.

jim thornton
January 25th, 2013, 01:23 PM
Jim the USMS event results database lists the heat and lane for your swims.
:applaud::banana:

Rob, I can find my times listed but nothing about which heat and lane I swam in. This is all that pops up regarding my 100:


Men 60-64 100 Meter Freestyle Finals============================================ =============================== Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points ================================================== ========================= 1 Thornton, James 60 1776 1:02.68 1:01.43

Chris Stevenson
January 25th, 2013, 01:23 PM
I don't think anyone expects an unchanging list of rules or policies, just a list of current practices, so they know what to expect in unusual situations. Basically, the transparency mentioned is all any reasonable person should be looking for. I also think educating people about the current policies is a good idea, as long as everyone understands that they are fluid (just like the rules are). Typically, when people have a fuller understanding of what goes into decision making, they tend to appreciate the work that people are putting in to making everything run smoothly.

Even if Rec & Tabs isn't the appropriate place for this to be discussed, I would hope someone would take it up, just to prevent a redo of this situation in a few years. To that end, is 2013 a rules or a legislation year?

So in order:
A list of current practices: The link goes to a webpage with those policies as they stand. I can't speak for the other committees but ours were JUST updated. But I will say that I sometimes come across something and think, "hey that's a committee policy." Or I think something is a rule when actually it is a policy. Sometimes you do things and take them for granted and don't realize the underlying assumptions.

Educating people about policies is tricky. The Guide to Operations for Top 10 Recorders is something like 14 pages long and over the past two years I have done my level best to trim the fat and simplify it. But I am thrilled if Top 10 Recorders know all the important rules and policies, much less the general USMS population. There is a lot of turnover in the position, at any given time maybe 40-50% of them started the job in the past two years. It helps enormously to have someone (Anna Lea Matysek) in the front office who helps out with training and the like.

A fuller understanding of the decision making process is exactly why I'm here. I can definitely understand the frustration -- I've been burned in the past too -- but the people working on this are not ogres and really do their level best. But it is like being an umpire calling balls and strikes with 50,000+ USMS members in the stands who don't necessarily agree on where the strike zone is.

2013 is a legislation year.

That Guy
January 25th, 2013, 01:26 PM
Rob, I can find my times listed but nothing about which heat and lane I swam in. This is all that pops up regarding my 100:


Men 60-64 100 Meter Freestyle Finals============================================ =============================== Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points ================================================== ========================= 1 Thornton, James 60 1776 1:02.68 1:01.43

http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/heat.php?MeetID=20120909NBACLCL&Heat=2&Lane=3&Event=10

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 01:28 PM
Just a couple of questions…
What is USSA?
What USSA records have been set there?
Were the records set before or after the walls were resurfaced?

USAS, USA Swimming. I believe the pool is used for USAS meets, I don't know how many records were set there but I think a local kid did set a NR there last year and I think the coaches told me many NR's were set there. I don't know about the walls, but it doesn't matter. If the pool is 2/1000 of an inch short it will be good when filled. If it is 2.5 inches short, it was short before the walls were refinished unless you think that they put 2.5 inches of finish onto the walls.

knelson
January 25th, 2013, 02:07 PM
They don't believe it is a problem.

At that's the crux of the matter right there...

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 02:18 PM
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/heat.php?MeetID=20120909NBACLCL&Heat=2&Lane=3&Event=10 OR http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indresults.php?SwimmerID=01JFR&Sex=&StrokeID=0&Distance=&CourseID=0&lowage=&highage=

The Fortress
January 25th, 2013, 02:27 PM
USAS, USA Swimming. I believe the pool is used for USAS meets, I don't know how many records were set there but I think a local kid did set a NR there last year and I think the coaches told me many NR's were set there. I don't know about the walls, but it doesn't matter. If the pool is 2/1000 of an inch short it will be good when filled. If it is 2.5 inches short, it was short before the walls were refinished unless you think that they put 2.5 inches of finish onto the walls.

I believe ...
I don't know ...
I think ...
I think ...
I don't know ...
If ...

You aren't seriously thinking this can be the basis of a decision? I'm worried you're giving Chris and Rob gray hair!

jroddin
January 25th, 2013, 02:34 PM
USAS, USA Swimming. I believe the pool is used for USAS meets, I don't know how many records were set there but I think a local kid did set a NR there last year and I think the coaches told me many NR's were set there. I don't know about the walls, but it doesn't matter. If the pool is 2/1000 of an inch short it will be good when filled. If it is 2.5 inches short, it was short before the walls were refinished unless you think that they put 2.5 inches of finish onto the walls.

USA Swimming does not require a certified pool measurement for NAG (National Age Group records). Only for American Records. What they typically do after an American Record is set is send a surveyor to the pool and measure only the lane(s) from the record swim(s). Once that lane is verified the record is ratified (assuming the rest of the paperwork is in order).

Therefore it doesn't matter how many NAG records have been set in this pool. Michael Phelps never set an American Record in this particular pool so USA Swimming never had any material interest in certifying this pool.

What I find amusing is the number of people who think this pool should be certified since Michael Phelps grew up and trained here. This pool was built in 1930... So the argument of the pool being pristine because he trained there holds no water. Or maybe you could say it is all wet. :D

Jeff

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 02:43 PM
are you serious?

if so, i just broke all of the NR's this morning for both SCY and SCM (oh all of those are WRs as well).
dont bother measuring the pool. it's good. it may *look* to only be 20yds long, but it's legit for both 25 SCY NRs and 25 SCM WRs. Congratulations! But I think you might fall a foul of the "We need fewer rules and more commonsense" proviso. But good job anyway!

Rob Copeland
January 25th, 2013, 02:47 PM
You aren't seriously thinking this can be the basis of a decision? I'm worried you're giving Chris and Rob gray hair!My kids took care of that throughout their teenage years.

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 02:55 PM
I believe ...
I don't know ...
I think ...
I think ...
I don't know ...
If ...

You aren't seriously thinking this can be the basis of a decision? I'm worried you're giving Chris and Rob gray hair!
Actually, it is information that should be taken into consideration. If you can recall back to your days of practicing law, matters of common knowledge, or matters that can easily be ascertained, may be noted by the Court at any time, even on appeal! This is a similar situation. Jeff just posted that the NAG records do not require a certification, only AR's or WR's. Is it possible that w/ all the age group records set (I BELIEVE) in that pool that NBAC just assumed the pool was measured? Should we (USMS) not require measurement for Top 10 certification? Should Chris and Bob dye their hair red before it turns gray?

sunruh
January 25th, 2013, 03:01 PM
USA Swimming does not require a certified pool measurement for NAG (National Age Group records).

Jeff

i think you are wrong Jeff. i know for a fact that when i set my NAG (lets not talk about how many decades ago that was) the pool was measured and they actually took 0.02 off my time because the pool was long.

1. Application and all required paperwork should be submitted within 30 days of performance.
2. If the NAG record is set at a USA Swimming National Championship, Junior National Championship, or U.S. Open meet, National Event staff members and/or Program Operations designees will provide documentation and ensure that all criteria are met.
3. The Rules for Swimming Records are found in Article 104 of USA Swimming Rules and Regulations.
4. Only USA Swimming members, who are U.S. citizens representing a USA Swimming club or competing unattached, are eligible to establish National Age Group records. Times submitted for Age Group records must comply with all requirements for Best Times tabulation as listed in 205.8 (104.2.3 A (1)-(2).
5. It is the responsibility of the meet referee to certify that all USA Swimming rules pertaining to the swimming performance (Parts 1 and 2) have been met.
6. Times must be registered by automatic (Level 1 or Level 2) equipment and submitted in hundredths of a second and must conform to Article 102.16.4C of USA Swimming Rules & Regulations.

and

in 104.2 we find:

4. Pool measurement is required (104.2 C (3) (a)). It can accompany the record application or already be on file with USA Swimming. Certifications last indefinitely unless structural changes are made to the pool. . Measurement must be attested to by an accredited surveyor or engineer (104.2 C (4) (a)) using a steel tape or other acceptable method..

The Fortress
January 25th, 2013, 03:09 PM
Actually, it is information that should be taken into consideration. If you can recall back to your days of practicing law, matters of common knowledge, or matters that can easily be ascertained, may be noted by the Court at any time, even on appeal! This is a similar situation. Jeff just posted that the NAG records do not require a certification, only AR's or WR's. Is it possible that w/ all the age group records set (I BELIEVE) in that pool that NBAC just assumed the pool was measured? Should we (USMS) not require measurement for Top 10 certification? Should Chris and Bob dye their hair red before it turns gray?

Maybe you will drive them to take blood pressure medication that is on USADA's banned list ...

Even if NAG records were set there, it's utterly irrelevant because the pool is short and this is not USS. I feel terrible for Jim, and mathematically his time may still be faster than Greg's. But it's not an eligible time under USMS rules. End of story.

sunruh
January 25th, 2013, 03:12 PM
i am sorry for Jim as well.

however, it would seem that pool is not eligible for setting *ANY* NR/WR/AR/NAGR of any kind in any governing body associated with swimming. period.
or
the pool has been measured before and was valid when those records were set.

read 2 posts above as to why.

jim thornton
January 25th, 2013, 03:55 PM
Thanks for showing me my lane!


Event 10, 100 Meter Freestyle Heat 2 Results

Lane Name Sex/Age Club Seed Time Final Time

3 Thornton, James M60 1776 1:02.68 1:01.43

Armed with this new information, and the "longest of two" laser measurements of an empty, frigid, Michael Phelps' pool (I hope it's not an omen for the dear boy's future prospects!), as such were measured on December 7th, we can now say with some confidence that the Worst Case Scenario for my unintentional "cheating" swim was at most 3.46 inches short (Lane 3: 1.73 inches short x 2 for a full 100), and not the 10 inches short as previously stipulated in the Worst Case Scenario I wrote about in my blog.

Let us redo the math in light of this new information, shall we? (It has been an awfully long time since I have been called upon to do math more complicated than simple addition and subtraction, so please correct any errors here.)

100 LCM = 3937.01 inches.

Number of inches I actually swam (assuming the pool was not slightly longer when filled and warm) = 3937.01 - 3.46, or 3933.55.

Ratio: a time of 1:01.43 (61.43) is to 3933.55 inches as a time of X is to 3937.01

or: 61.43/3933.55 = X/3937.01

or: 61.43/3933.55 x 3937.01/1 = X

or: 61.484034, rounded off to 61.48, or 1:01.48.

Assuming that I did not absolutely lock up and fail to complete the final unswum 3.46 inches of a true 100 LCM (though anyone who has ever watched me race, as I am want to do, with my eyes mostly closed understands that I typically zig and zag and reflexively circle swim my way much further than any posted distance), the difference between my actual time and a 100 percent "pure" time would have been five-one hundredths of a second. Let me post, then, a mathematical revision with cheating corrected for:

Event 10, 100 Meter Freestyle Heat 2 Results REVISED FOR PURITY STANDARDS

Lane Name Sex/Age Club Seed Time Final Time

3 Thornton, James M60 1776 1:02.68 1:01.48

I hope I will get extra credit for showing my work here. This does give me hope that by some flukish miracle, the pool remeasured next summer and robustly swollen with gazillions of pounds of water, and the surrounding soil heated to the standard global warming misery of a Baltimore summer, might just conceivably prove that I did not cheat at all, or at the very least, less fragrantly than this new .05 second calculation would imply!

And on this note, and channeling my inner demented Humphrey Bogart Caine Mutiny-like personna, which, I fear, is intensifying the SSES Syndrome ("And I will show with precise mathematical certainty who stole the strawberries from the bridge!"), I shall say goodbye and await the insurance paperwork to enable my two-girl hot-oil therapeutic massage and drug therapy that appears to be the only hope for this de-frocked All American's restoration to normalcy!

jaadams1
January 25th, 2013, 06:07 PM
Difference from nominal:
Lane 1: 5.67 inches
Lane 2: 3.54 inches
Lane 3: 1.73 inches
Lane 4: 1.57 inches
Lane 5: 3.54 inches
Lane 6: 1.14 inches
Lane 7: 3.54 inches
Lane 8: 4.21 inches
Lane 9: 1.73 inches
Lane 10: 4.25 inches

One would think that with such a difference from one lane to another, that the human eye could see a fluctuation "wall line" if you stood at the end and looked across the pool at either end. For lane 9 to be ~3 inches shorter than both 8 & 10, you'd think you could see a 1.5 inch difference at each end by some sort of bend on the edging of the deck or something.
But the measurements don't lie...

jaadams1
January 25th, 2013, 06:12 PM
Thanks for showing me my lane!


Event 10, 100 Meter Freestyle Heat 2 Results

Lane Name Sex/Age Club Seed Time Final Time

3 Thornton, James M60 1776 1:02.68 1:01.43

Armed with this new information, and the "longest of two" laser measurements of an empty, frigid, Michael Phelps' pool (I hope it's not an omen for the dear boy's future prospects!), as such were measured on December 7th, we can now say with some confidence that the Worst Case Scenario for my unintentional "cheating" swim was at most 3.46 inches short (Lane 3: 1.73 inches short x 2 for a full 100), and not the 10 inches short as previously stipulated in the Worst Case Scenario I wrote about in my blog.



Now had the pool been 1.73 (or 1.74) inches longer and been "legal" by USMS standards...possibly your flipturn could've been thrown off drastically enough to cause a foul-up and potentially a slower time. Doubt it, but possible. :)

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 10:45 PM
i think you are wrong Jeff. i know for a fact that when i set my NAG (lets not talk about how many decades ago that was) the pool was measured and they actually took 0.02 off my time because the pool was long.

1. Application and all required paperwork should be submitted within 30 days of performance.
2. If the NAG record is set at a USA Swimming National Championship, Junior National Championship, or U.S. Open meet, National Event staff members and/or Program Operations designees will provide documentation and ensure that all criteria are met.
3. The Rules for Swimming Records are found in Article 104 of USA Swimming Rules and Regulations.
4. Only USA Swimming members, who are U.S. citizens representing a USA Swimming club or competing unattached, are eligible to establish National Age Group records. Times submitted for Age Group records must comply with all requirements for Best Times tabulation as listed in 205.8 (104.2.3 A (1)-(2).
5. It is the responsibility of the meet referee to certify that all USA Swimming rules pertaining to the swimming performance (Parts 1 and 2) have been met.
6. Times must be registered by automatic (Level 1 or Level 2) equipment and submitted in hundredths of a second and must conform to Article 102.16.4C of USA Swimming Rules & Regulations.

and

in 104.2 we find:

4. Pool measurement is required (104.2 C (3) (a)). It can accompany the record application or already be on file with USA Swimming. Certifications last indefinitely unless structural changes are made to the pool. . Measurement must be attested to by an accredited surveyor or engineer (104.2 C (4) (a)) using a steel tape or other acceptable method..

I think you may be reading the wrong rule. The rule USAS quotes is R. 104.2.3A(1) and (2), the rule that you referenced is R. 104.2 C(3) (a).

Sojerz
January 25th, 2013, 10:47 PM
Difference from nominal:
Lane 1: 5.67 inches
Lane 2: 3.54 inches
Lane 3: 1.73 inches
Lane 4: 1.57 inches
Lane 5: 3.54 inches
Lane 6: 1.14 inches
Lane 7: 3.54 inches
Lane 8: 4.21 inches
Lane 9: 1.73 inches
Lane 10: 4.25 inches


Seems like near the water surface in this pool there may be a very irregular pool wall with tiles or other surface protrusions and bulges that caused the leveled surface between which the measurements were taken to be offset quite a bit from what would otherwise be considered the pool wall. This would produce the variance from lane to lane. If you look at the pdf from USA-S http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1756 and the diagrams that show laser (Part 2) and Total Station (Part 3) pool certification measurements, you can see how large bulges in the pool wall would impact the measurement surfaces.

Additionally, had touch pads been used they would add an additional 5mm (3/16") or 15mm (5/8") to the difference from nominal and twice that amount if added at both ends. Not relevant for Jim, but probably used for AG compettions.

rodent
January 25th, 2013, 11:40 PM
I appreciate the work that USMS volunteers do. It makes the experience of swimming much more enjoyable for me. However, I disagree with USMS on this issue. An important aspect of USMS competitive rules is to ensure fairness. For Top 10 times that means that the rules should disallow invalid or fraudulant times, but, those rules should also not prevent valid times from being approved. So, the rules must balance those two considerations. In my experience, the rules have unfairly been applied to strike every single Top 10 swim from the last 2 Canadian Nationals from the USMS record books. Those swims were in complete compliance with Canadian rules and the times were valid.

Jim Thornton swam the fastest 100 free LCM time of any American male 60-64 last year. He swam it as a USMS member in a sanctioned meet. I disagree with the result the Top 10 Committee reached in that case. If USMS sanctions a meet, they should stand by that sanction. If USMS publishes a Top 10 list, they should not strike a time from that list after the publication date. True, the pool was measured and found to be short, but it was measured while empty and NBAC assured Jim that when filled with water, the pool will be the proper length. USMS apparently doesn't believe NBAC, but there is no dispute that NBAC claims that the pool is the proper length.
Jim's time would have been faster than the 2nd place time had the pool been a foot over 50M. Removing that swim does not move another swimmer into the Top 10 because Jim's second fastest 100M swim is now the #2 ranked swim.
Our volunteers do good work, but in these cases I disagree with their decisions. When the strict application of a rule results in an injustice or causes a result that defies logic, commonsense and principles of fairness should be substituted to achieve a fair and logical result.

Chris Stevenson
January 26th, 2013, 12:08 AM
USMS apparently doesn't believe NBAC, but there is no dispute that NBAC claims that the pool is the proper length.
Jim's time would have been faster than the 2nd place time had the pool been a foot over 50M. Removing that swim does not move another swimmer into the Top 10 because Jim's second fastest 100M swim is now the #2 ranked swim.
Our volunteers do good work, but in these cases I disagree with their decisions. When the strict application of a rule results in an injustice or causes a result that defies logic, commonsense and principles of fairness should be substituted to achieve a fair and logical result.

Jack, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe we're at an impasse. You and I are not going to agree on what constitutes commonsense and fairness. I have to follow what I believe to be the wishes of the USMS House of Delegates. The rules established by the HOD are pretty clear on the need for measurement standards, and despite my sympathy for Jim and my regret that this situation has evolved the way it has, I believe that accepting times for TT from a pool known to be short would violate the HOD's idea of fairness.

I offer two points. First, as I've said before, this decision was not just about one swim by Jim Thornton. There were others at that meet, and there are also swimmers whose times would be displaced from the TT if the meet was included. Secondly, USMS would have happily believed NBAC's measurements if they had provided them when asked (repeatedly). They still have not done so even after supposedly measuring again. Even Jim doesn't seem to believe their claims at this point, though apparently you do. The Maryland LMSC did in fact believe their assurances initially and that turns out to have been the mistake that started this whole mess, though hindsight is always 20/20.

Even though the decision is not to your liking, please believe that your and others' objections are noted and have an impact. Somewhere between a free-for-all competition with no rules whatsoever and an over-regulated and joyless competition there must lie a happy compromise that will please most people and we will continue to struggle to find it.

Sojerz
January 26th, 2013, 01:57 AM
I recently took the opportunity to read through the USA-S Measuring and Certifying Competition Pools July 2010 guidance. I think they did a great job of describing the process and also found their other USA-S docs on the website regarding pool measurement and certification interesting. http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1756 . Our firm does construction verification surveying for major roadways, bridges, dams etc. and our "general"opinion is that laser measurement methods with professional survey grade equipment should be accurate (how close is the measurerment to the true value) to within about .01 or .02 feet (1/8"-1/4") +. Our surveyors seem to feel that the reflectorless laser method described in Part 2 is inherently more accurate than using a Total Station(Part 3), because of the reflecting prism used with the Total Station (both methods use laser light pulses for measurement).

The quality of the measuring equipment and set-up matters for accuracy in either method. In our experience with verification survey, it is likely that two surveyors measuring the same distance will produce two slightly different results, hopefully within reasonable tolerances. So there are some precision issues (reprpduction of the measurement) in addition to accuracy as described above. Could the accuracy and precision "error" total the 1.73 inches per 50m that Jim needs, probably not.

1. Professional grade laser measuring devices cannot measure accurately to 2/1000ths ( .002)inches, which is .00017 feet. I believe there are devices that can measure that accurately (maybe at NASA or something), but I doubt such a device was used for competition pool measurement by NBAC and this may confirm that the NBAC pool director is “misguided.” If the NBAC 2/1000th is correct, Jim might have a chance, because that’s a very small distance and one could argue and an engineer/surveyor could certify ,that 2/1000th inches is within standard tolerances of accuracy. That is, a pool that is 50m + .000 inches can not reasonably be distinguished by measurement from a pool that is 50m -.002 inches and therefore the pool length and JIm's swim should be acceptable. This would require NBAC to provide the 2/1000th certification (by a professional engineer or surveyor). However, it seems unlikely they can or will do that. I do not personally believe it is possible to accurately measure to .002 inches with a steel tape and plumb bob, but maybe that is exactly their point.

2. If the pool is really short by 1” to 3” or more (as the LMSC engineer determined and as was posted on the forum) this would require a lot of expansion by hydrostatic pressure and/or temperature when the pool is refilled and warms up to compettion temperature. Even 1” of pool expansion would be a lot, but 3” to 5” would be a very large expansion movement and one would expect to see problems with all of the surrounding features like underground pipe connections, electrical, pool decks, etc. were that much expansion movement to take place when the pool is filled. Unfortunately I don't think Jim will get his 1.73 inches when they fill the pool, but who knows.

3. Peter McCoy calculated possible thermal expansion to be about .35inches, which seems about right to me. However if the pool ends are constrained by earth or steel reinforcing, the walls can’t move, and the expansion pressure then builds up in the wall without movement (unless the pressure were then to exceed the yield point, and then the concrete buckles and cracks as some roads do in the summer when it is really hot). Pools don't have expansion joints and one would assume they are constrained and don't move much from thermal expansion. And because concrete basically has no tensional strength, reinforing "temperature" steel is needed to constrain movement or it will crack from tension stress. Any movement from temperature change should be small.


4. Similarly, pool walls must be constrained to prevent expansion and tension from the additional hydrostatic pressure pushing out when the pool is filled. The reinforcing in the pool walls or frame must keep the concrete from expanding or the pool walls would crack when you fill it from tension. Typically the bigger problem is the earth and groundwater pressure pushing the walls inward and the bottom up when one empties a pool, especially with liner pools. It seems probable that expansion movement when the pool is filled will not be significant.


While I'm hopeful that the spring measurement will find Jim the 1.73 more inches, it doesn't seem too likely. However, If NBAC provides the .002 inches pool cert, I think usms should accept the meet swims including Jim's. At the time of the meet everyone relied on that cert being presented by NBAC; a 50m -.002 inches pool is not a measurable difference from 50m + .000 inches pool.

I think usms has gone out of its way to be accomodating and not too officious, first trusting that the certification would be provided by NBAC before the meet and then when they never received it, sending an engineer to measure the pool so that the swims, if the pool was proven certified, could be counted. When i first read of Jim's plight, it seemed a conspiracy against him, but after looking closely at the circumstances it seems those involved, including Jim, were and still are trying to do the right thing and that the problem is just life being imperfect. :worms:

Jim, tell us your hot oil massage and girl friends are real! I can't take anymore fiction.

jim thornton
January 26th, 2013, 11:57 AM
Jim, tell us your hot oil massage and girl friends are real! I can't take anymore fiction.

Brilliant summation of the engineering details, Bill! As for my planned trip to the sanitarium for Sudden Self Esteem Shock Syndrome, paid for by my fully compliant USMS health insurance for any injuries suffered at a sanctioned event and/or practice, I must say that I am still awaiting advice on how to put in a claim.

Perhaps Chris could tell me who on the board is in charge of health insurance claims and/or where I can find the necessary paperwork. The longer SSES Syndrome goes untreated, alas, the more intractable it can become. If I were to leave for the Bahama sanitarium/tropical waterpark/hydrotherapy institute tomorrow, I dare say I could recover to perhaps 80 percent full function with the help of only two girl, hot oil massages as pioneered at the Deepak Chopra Center for Spiritual and Prostate Health in La Jolla, California.

However, with each passing day and health insurance delay, my problems intensify. Who knows how many additional girls and how much additional hot oil (perhaps with myrr added as an adjuvant) will be necessary to treat me if USMS, like NBAC, stonewalls me on this perfectly legitimate request for information?

Peter Cruise
January 27th, 2013, 04:11 PM
First, congrats to everyone for being able to hold a civil discussion on this topic; I well remember the original vituperation this aroused years ago.
Jim is perhaps, the only one who could work health insurance into the debate (even in jest); I do believe he holds the Facebook record for connecting disparate entries to health insurance ( I am on record as offering to adopt him so he could shelter within our Canadian health care system, now even more reason with our pool measurement slackness).

As to the actual topic, my subjective observation (our engineer-types just tuned out) is that there is far more serious problem being ignored: pools that are far too long! I base this observation on numerous 200m breastroke swims where there is no question in my mind that extra distance was in play (perhaps even retreating bulkheads). Perhaps the Committee regulating Oxygen Deprivation could address
this...

jroddin
February 6th, 2013, 09:25 AM
i think you are wrong Jeff. i know for a fact that when i set my NAG (lets not talk about how many decades ago that was) the pool was measured and they actually took 0.02 off my time because the pool was long.

1. Application and all required paperwork should be submitted within 30 days of performance.
2. If the NAG record is set at a USA Swimming National Championship, Junior National Championship, or U.S. Open meet, National Event staff members and/or Program Operations designees will provide documentation and ensure that all criteria are met.
3. The Rules for Swimming Records are found in Article 104 of USA Swimming Rules and Regulations.
4. Only USA Swimming members, who are U.S. citizens representing a USA Swimming club or competing unattached, are eligible to establish National Age Group records. Times submitted for Age Group records must comply with all requirements for Best Times tabulation as listed in 205.8 (104.2.3 A (1)-(2).
5. It is the responsibility of the meet referee to certify that all USA Swimming rules pertaining to the swimming performance (Parts 1 and 2) have been met.
6. Times must be registered by automatic (Level 1 or Level 2) equipment and submitted in hundredths of a second and must conform to Article 102.16.4C of USA Swimming Rules & Regulations.

and

in 104.2 we find:

4. Pool measurement is required (104.2 C (3) (a)). It can accompany the record application or already be on file with USA Swimming. Certifications last indefinitely unless structural changes are made to the pool. . Measurement must be attested to by an accredited surveyor or engineer (104.2 C (4) (a)) using a steel tape or other acceptable method..

I went on vacation last week and never got to follow up on this. I stand by my response. While USA-S has a rule about pool measurements for NAG records, their policy is they don't require the host to submit the paperwork. They do require the host to use a laser device to verify the pool, but the actual measurements need not be submitted. Which is much the same as USMS policy for Top Ten swims (bulkheads need to be certified but the actual measurements don't need to be sent past the LMSC Top Ten recorder). USA-S does require the measurements for an American Record, however.

Anyway, I'm quoting a policy that was in place in 2012.

Jeff