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Allen Stark
August 7th, 2013, 06:20 PM
In the Nationals Forum their has been discussion about the decision to swim 200s at Nats by time only and not by age groups. http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?22871-Swimming-against-your-competion/page2 .Here is your chance to register your opinion for future reference.

pwb
August 7th, 2013, 10:41 PM
Where is the choice answer, "The national committee will consult me personally to see how I am feeling, my assessment of the psych sheet and what I think will give me the best race/lane/etc?" :)

On a purist level, I agree with the folks who say Nationals should be special and the chance to swim against your age group peers. On a personal level, I can go any way the heat sheet gets laid out.

Swimosaur
August 7th, 2013, 11:54 PM
I would prioritize as follows:

First, six events. For the first time in my experience, LCM nats this year dropped the 6th event. If I'm going to spend $1000 or more to go to a freakin' swimming meet, fer gawsh sakes, please let me swim all six events.

Second, age groups. If I'm going to a national championships, fer gawsh sakes, I want to race against the top guys in my age group. As a spectator, I want to watch races for the national championship. Stevenson vs. pwb vs. others in the 500 free at Greensboro was definitely worth the price of admission. Abrahams 100 free at GaTech 2010 will be remembered forever. Stark 200 breast at Auburn 2011. Need I say more? Age groups are a key feature at nats, even in events 200+.

Third, timeline. I appreciate and adore all meet officials and volunteers. I'd like to get them home 20 minutes earlier too! But at the same time, I'd plead with them to stay 20 or 40 minutes longer for the benefit of the competitors, who after spending $1000+, would like to swim 6 races, and the spectators, who enjoy the thrill of victory / agony of defeat thing. I think they'd go along with that.

:2cents:

sunruh
August 8th, 2013, 08:44 AM
I would prioritize as follows:

First, six events. For the first time in my experience, LCM nats this year dropped the 6th event. If I'm going to spend $1000 or more to go to a freakin' swimming meet, fer gawsh sakes, please let me swim all six events.

Second, age groups. If I'm going to a national championships, fer gawsh sakes, I want to race against the top guys in my age group. As a spectator, I want to watch races for the national championship. Stevenson vs. pwb vs. others in the 500 free at Greensboro was definitely worth the price of admission.

Third, timeline. I appreciate and adore all meet officials and volunteers. I'd like to get them home 20 minutes earlier too! But at the same time, I'd plead with them to stay 20 or 40 minutes longer for the benefit of the competitors, who after spending $1000+, would like to swim 6 races, and the spectators, who enjoy the thrill of victory / agony of defeat thing. I think they'd go along with that.

:2cents:

1st - i agree!!! but notice it is never the 50 free that gets pulled out. the distance people always get screwed. basically what this comes down to is that...because your race takes longer it is not of the same "caliber level" as the 50free. they (the championship group) basically is saying that because your race takes so much time, we wont allow you to win a national championship. yes, you could pick the 1500 as event #1 and 800 as event #2 and 50 as event #6, but if they dont allow you to enter both the 1500 and 800
then it really didnt matter did it? no! they chose which event you can swim for you. nice isnt it?

2nd - yes, there were 7 national champions in that race. and by that i mean at that meet, 7 of us in that event won 7 different races that weekend. that was probably my worst 500 in memory. however, it gave me a lot of fire for the 100free later in the day. :D
next time those guys wont be so lucky. now i've got this plastic bionic screw in my arm/shoulder holding me together for that last 50!
i wish i could see a video of that race. i want to know what color my arms and back turned because they felt like stone.

3rd - the timeline is very fluid with no-shows and then somebody (as an example: enters 2:40 in the 200free and goes 3:59) can really mess with it in a big way. or say you have heat after heat where the entire heat doesnt even make the NQT/WQT.

Chris Stevenson
August 8th, 2013, 10:27 AM
So quite a few people are saying that seeding should be within gender/age-group for ALL events, presumably including distance events. That sure sounds nice in theory.

Anyone know what time the mile ended last night, even with mixed gender seeding by time only? I wonder when it would have ended if seeding had been within gender/AG?

I remember counting for a teammate at nationals in Oregon at 10:30pm, which had seeding by time only (mixed gender and AGs). That means that for him, being from the East Coast, he was swimming at 1:30am by his internal clock. And he wasn't even in the last heat. Of course, I would argue that he had plenty of incentive to swim fast, since he didn't want to get "chicked" by Eney Jones in the same heat.:)

Actually, for me a (much) more important issue is adequate space in the warm-up pool than any questions of seeding.

sunruh
August 8th, 2013, 10:55 AM
chris,
i think the 500y/400m and 400im should be gender/age time seeded. if at all possible. and by that i mean this is 2013. it takes a computer less than the 0.09 you beat me in the 100 fly in italy to seed the entire meet. let-alone just 1 event. if this was the 1970s and we still used the cards (ie re-printed computer punch cards btw) it would be different. the seeding can be shown to the meet director the very morning after entries are no longer accepted. how much more time is taken by gender/age time seeding would be known weeks in advance. weeks!!!

but not the 800/1000/1500/1650. in those races there is simply too big a gap in placings to allow it. there was over 6min 40secs of difference in our own age group 1500 1st to last. however most of those were pretty darn accurate on their entry time.

The Fortress
August 8th, 2013, 10:57 AM
1st - i agree!!! but notice it is never the 50 free that gets pulled out. the distance people always get screwed. basically what this comes down to is that...because your race takes longer it is not of the same "caliber level" as the 50free. they (the championship group) basically is saying that because your race takes so much time, we wont allow you to win a national championship. yes, you could pick the 1500 as event #1 and 800 as event #2 and 50 as event #6, but if they dont allow you to enter both the 1500 and 800

The 50 free would get "pulled out" if it were your 6th event.

This is pretty whiney. There are already loads of freestyle events. Would you rather that the distance specialists take over whatever time is allotted for nationals? We could just have long distance nationals? Swimmers don't even swim both the 800 and 1500 at the Olympics. And you can still get an AA in the event if you swim it at Zones or another meet. No one gets to swim every event they want at nationals.

As Chris notes, sometimes logic and efficiency have to trump "nice in theory" at a national level event.

sunruh
August 8th, 2013, 11:03 AM
The 50 free would get "pulled out" if it were your 6th event.

This is pretty whiney. There are already loads of freestyle events. Would you rather that the distance specialists take over whatever time is allotted for nationals? We could just have long distance nationals? Swimmers don't even swim both the 800 and 1500 at the Olympics. And you can still get an AA in the event if you swim it at Zones or another meet. No one gets to swim every event they want at nationals.

As Chris notes, sometimes logic and efficiency have to trump "nice in theory" at a national level event.

"Would you rather that the distance specialists take over whatever time is allotted for nationals?"

thanks for proving my point. you did an EXCELLENT job of that!!!

could not have said it better. way to go!!!

we the non-distance swimmers dont deem your events worthy of sitting through, therefore they shouldnt be allowed at nationals.

perfectly said.

TRYM_Swimmer
August 8th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Never for 50s or 100s. I think the time difference would be minimal. I could see 200 and up if there was one "final" heat" for each age group with lots of flexibility in the age groups that don't fill a heat. My strategy for the 400 IM last year at Greensboro (M65-69) was probably different because I was able to spot my competition than if I were in a heat of my seed time. And I probably wouldn't have been seeded next to an old foe who hadn't raced me side by side in 50 years!

The Fortress
August 8th, 2013, 11:13 AM
we the non-distance swimmers dont deem your events worthy of sitting through


Weren't you just bragging about a 100 fly race against Chris? I guess that's out for you. And the 100 free you were all revved up for after getting beat in the 500? Gone. From now on, you're limited to the 800/1000 and 1500/1650.

Maybe you should just shift to postal events or OW swims if all you're interested in or deem "worthy" is distance.

And, again, none of us get to swim all the events we want at nationals. Buck up, supposed tough distance swimmer! You're whinier than a sprinter. :)

Chris Stevenson
August 8th, 2013, 11:48 AM
but not the 800/1000/1500/1650. in those races there is simply too big a gap in placings to allow it. there was over 6min 40secs of difference in our own age group 1500 1st to last. however most of those were pretty darn accurate on their entry time.

I agree that those events can never really be seeded within gender/age-group unless the meet is very poorly attended (or distance swimmers just decide not to show up!).

As far as entry time accuracy, it only takes one person per heat to throw off a time line. Yesterday every so often I would look in on the "last completed heat" of the mile. The first people were the ones who beat their entry time by minutes...and the last people in the heat were the ones who were 1-2 minutes off their entry times. Multiply that by 30 heats and it is pretty significant.

Rob Copeland
August 8th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Anyone know what time the mile ended last night, even with mixed gender seeding by time only? I wonder when it would have ended if seeding had been within gender/AG?Chris, I’m not sure what time the meet ended yesterday, but just looking at the results option 1 “Yes” could have added over 2 hours to the session.

priscillamodrov
August 8th, 2013, 12:00 PM
I think this timeline dilemma could be solved by imposing National cut times (by age group and gender of course). This isn't unheard of in the swim world, it happens at almost every big meet around the US and world. This would make for a much more enjoyable meet for all; swimmers, coaches, spectators and especially those volunteering their time for us.

and not to rock the pool on this one :) but how about proof of times? If anyone saw the 1500s last night it appeared that anyone could have swam and entered any time they wanted. All but the final heats were all over the place with their times.

SLOmmafan
August 8th, 2013, 12:27 PM
I'm on the young end of the spectrum (in masters) at 29...so perhaps my thinking is skewed here. But, if I were a 60 year old who can still beat plenty of people 2-3 decades younger than me wouldnt it be sweet? At the end of the day it's best to compete with people that will push you to swim your fastest. Do you think Ryan Lochte says he won't swim agajnst anyone under 18 because they ate too young? Seed the heats slow to fast or the other way around, regardless of age.

aztimm
August 8th, 2013, 01:01 PM
I think this timeline dilemma could be solved by imposing National cut times (by age group and gender of course). This isn't unheard of in the swim world, it happens at almost every big meet around the US and world. This would make for a much more enjoyable meet for all; swimmers, coaches, spectators and especially those volunteering their time for us.


There are NQT's (National Qualifying Times) posted for every meet. They do go by age group and gender for each event at the meet. However, it doesn't sound like they are enforced. They do allow you to swim 3 events without qualifying, then you're supposed to qualify to swim more.

I attended just 1 nationals, when it was local, and I volunteered to help for most of the time I was there. If I couldn't swim, you'd lose yourself a volunteer, and I don't think I'm alone in that.


I'm not sure how exactly they seed for the NE SCM meet in Boston, but that's one meet that runs exceptionally well. I've done it twice. I'm by far not a fast swimmer, but I usually end up with a few guys around age seeded in my heat for the 400 free. Yea I do sometimes get to swim against some faster guys 20+ years older, but I'm used to that from local meets.

And I don't pay $1000 to travel and swim in a meet, I don't even think half that.

Allen Stark
August 8th, 2013, 01:02 PM
I'm on the young end of the spectrum (in masters) at 29...so perhaps my thinking is skewed here. But, if I were a 60 year old who can still beat plenty of people 2-3 decades younger than me wouldnt it be sweet? At the end of the day it's best to compete with people that will push you to swim your fastest. Do you think Ryan Lochte says he won't swim agajnst anyone under 18 because they ate too young? Seed the heats slow to fast or the other way around, regardless of age.

Here is a problem with that, which was alluded to above.People don't do there seed times.This is particularly true for the less experience swimmers(please no sandbagging discussion.)Barring injury or illness I pretty much know what the guys I "worry"about in my age group swim.When I go to the SPMS SCM Zone meet I am usually swimming with younger swimmers in my heat and their times are generally not close to their entry times.A couple of years ago there, in the 200 BR, I was seeded 4th in the heat,finished second and was a second slower than my entry time.I was also the only one who split less than 6 sec slower on the first to second 100(I went out too fast,part of why I didn't get my seed time.)

Kurt Dickson
August 8th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Anyone know what time the mile ended last night, even with mixed gender seeding by time only?

10:15 pm...between reverse sandbagging, no shows, and medical mishaps, a brutal day.

tjrpatt
August 8th, 2013, 01:23 PM
[QUOTE=Swimosaur;290093]I would prioritize as follows:

First, six events. For the first time in my experience, LCM nats this year dropped the 6th event. If I'm going to spend $1000 or more to go to a freakin' swimming meet, fer gawsh sakes, please let me swim all six events.
QUOTE]


They dropped the 6th event in 2009. However, it was all good because I got 5 Top Ten rankings from that meet. I like swimming against my age group but, I get it if it has to be mixed/by gender in the 400IM, 400 free and 800 and 1500 free. Overall, I am just glad that they are putting the 800 and 1500 on different days even though I am stuck here on the East Coast, :(

arthur
August 8th, 2013, 04:48 PM
The Canadian nationals I have been to have been to have always kept men and women separate but for 200m events and above seeded by time and not age. For the most part it is good, although I think it would be better if you could put the top 3 or 4 at least in the same heat.

Redbird Alum
August 9th, 2013, 03:47 PM
In my opinion (only) unless Nationals is going to start cutting entries based off qualifying times, then you may as well just go swim your event against whatever gender/age swims comparably. In the end, it's just you and the clock, anyway.

ElaineK
August 9th, 2013, 08:47 PM
I would prioritize as follows:

First, six events. For the first time in my experience, LCM nats this year dropped the 6th event. If I'm going to spend $1000 or more to go to a freakin' swimming meet, fer gawsh sakes, please let me swim all six events.

Second, age groups. If I'm going to a national championships, fer gawsh sakes, I want to race against the top guys in my age group. As a spectator, I want to watch races for the national championship. Stevenson vs. pwb vs. others in the 500 free at Greensboro was definitely worth the price of admission. Abrahams 100 free at GaTech 2010 will be remembered forever. Stark 200 breast at Auburn 2011. Need I say more? Age groups are a key feature at nats, even in events 200+.

Third, timeline. I appreciate and adore all meet officials and volunteers. I'd like to get them home 20 minutes earlier too! But at the same time, I'd plead with them to stay 20 or 40 minutes longer for the benefit of the competitors, who after spending $1000+, would like to swim 6 races, and the spectators, who enjoy the thrill of victory / agony of defeat thing. I think they'd go along with that.

:2cents:

YES, YES, and YES!!! :applaud:

I agree with every word, Swimosaur. :agree: I especially agree with the examples you provided, because the two most memorable races I have ever seen at Nationals were King Frog breaking the world record at Auburn and Rich at Georgia Tech. (I missed the other race at Greensboro; I must have been in the warm up pool...). I still watch the video I shot of King Frog from time to time; it was an awesome race!

As for the 6th event argument, I have made my point elsewhere on the forums. :bitching:

Your second point is irrelevant for me personally, because I am at the bottom in my age group and feel just lucky to be able to "race" (my body put that in quotes; my mind is willing, but the body isn't...). BUT, I understand how you and others feel about it. And, I would want that for my Forumite buddies!

Great post, Swimosaur!

And, if I may hijack this for just a moment, Diann is having an awesome Nationals! :applaud: It was an honor to swim on a relay with her!!! She is one class act as a swimmer and a person.

orca1946
August 12th, 2013, 05:42 PM
Every meet I swim is against near my times, regardless of age. At Nats. it is cool to swim my age group!

tpost2
August 13th, 2013, 07:48 AM
But, if I were a 60 year old who can still beat plenty of people 2-3 decades younger than me wouldnt it be sweet?

I tend to agree with this - I'd prefer to be seeded with folks closer to my times then with my age group. In some events, it just gives better competition. Being a bit on the slow side, I'm more focused on competing with my own times rather than with particular individuals that just happen to be born around the same time as me. And by way of bonus, being in an earlier heat means I get to enjoy watching the other faster swimmers in my age group and maybe learn something that will make me faster.

tpost2
August 13th, 2013, 08:07 AM
There are NQT's (National Qualifying Times) posted for every meet. They do go by age group and gender for each event at the meet. However, it doesn't sound like they are enforced.

I personally wouldn't mind enforcement of the current rules - i.e. that you can't enter more than 3 events if you haven't qualified. I think it's a nice balance of inclusiveness for those that haven't made NQTs and fairness for those that have. The first year I swam in masters I hadn't qualified for anything, but was very happy I could experience Nationals in a couple of events and have swims good enough to qualify for the next year's. Qualifying for nationals is a goal that I carry into practice each day and I've FINALLY managed to qualify in 3 events so I'm really looking forward to FINALLY being able to enter 6 next year.

I have noticed, though, that there are plenty of people that enter with NQT seed times for the max number of events in which they have never in their history come anywhere near meeting... and then they of course finish dead last in the heat by a long margin. I find this quite rude as it throws off the timeline for everyone (for potentially 6 races), and takes away a nice spot in a faster heat for the next seed. Of course this is magnified for longer races. And, BTW, there were plenty of people encouraging me to enter 6 my first year ("who cares... no one checks... you're close enough...")

From what I understand of the history of the rule, we're ending up right where we used to be (painfully long national meets) and when we don't enforce it, it becomes unfair for the folks that have worked hard to qualify. I would really like to swim a 6th event for the first time and not have that taken away because there are too many entries from folks that didn't qualify.