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meldyck
April 23rd, 2002, 10:40 AM
I've been having trouble getting to the USMS Top Ten site the last two days. Anyone know if there is a URL change?

thanx,

Mel Dyck

Bert Petersen
April 23rd, 2002, 11:18 AM
Do not know why, but it won't work for me either. On a related topic, I notice that the records are now 19 months old and growing white hair faster than I. When one does actually achieve such a distinction, it is nice to be able to see it in print where it belongs. I know, we're all volunteers...................:(

matysekj
April 23rd, 2002, 12:49 PM
We are in the middle of transferring the top ten site to the USMS server. There will be some problems for a little while, but there will be improvements in the long run. A change for the domain name swimgold.org has been submitted, but these changes take 24-72 hours to filter out to the ISPs that most people connect through. In the meantime, you can still access the top ten site at www.usms.org/swimgold/ . Everything should be accessible through the swimgold.org name again within a day or two. Note that the transfer is not currently guaranteed to be 100% complete, so don't be surprised if some older or incomplete info is found in places over the next day or three.

The records match those in the 2002 rule book in the rule book section of the site (www.usms.org/rules/appa.pdf) and in the downloadable version that can be imported into Hy-Tek's Meet Manager (www.usms.org/admin/records.zip). The searchable records page has a nice red note on it saying that the records there are out of date and referring you to the rule book publication. All will be updated in due time, but not until nationals are squared away and a couple other smaller projects are done.

Steve Ruiter
May 20th, 2002, 12:57 PM
I have a (modest) proposal.

How about in addition to the top 10 by age group, we compile the top 25 for all ages (or top 40) and make a semi-big deal about it.

The data seems like it is already collected, so this would really be just another sort of it.

It would be interesting to see the distribution of ages, help show how the age groups compare, and see which age groups get represented.

Having it be a number different from the top ten would make it readily distinguishable from the current ranking list. I am not sure what number makes the most sense, but converting the already familiar "top 40" term might be a good idea.

Steve

meldyck
May 20th, 2002, 02:41 PM
I have OFTEN wished for a longer list than the top ten, since I often don't make the top ten list. Vanity urges me to want to know how far above the bottom I am in any particular event.

Not sure how we could make this happen...

mel

seltzer
May 20th, 2002, 03:53 PM
Why limit it to Top 25 or Top 40? Why not take the entire database that is submitted to the USMS National Top Ten recorder and put it into a database that can be made accessible to anyone who wants to see where they rank within their age group? Here in New England we have database that lets any USS swimmer check out their times and how they rank by age group. We also have a NEM-Jason Eaddy-who put together his own website www.swimmingtimes.com that has all kinds of USS, Y and USMS swims. People throughout USMS submit times to the USMS National Top Ten recorder. They go way beyond the top ten swimmers in each age group. Better still, get the major regional championship meet directors to submit their results in a STANDARD format (SDIF from HyTek?) and submit all results to a database. Add this to the Top Ten submissions, and sort through the duplicates, and you'll have the vast majority of USMS sanctioned swims in the database (you'll miss a few swims that were done in mini-meets that do not meet the cut-off criteria used be each local LSMC top ten recorder).

I think it would be great to give LOTS of USMS swimmer the opportunity to see how they ranked in their age group without having to make the top ten cut-off.

MetroSwim
May 20th, 2002, 04:31 PM
As long as all the stats are all in one database, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to call up a complete list of times for any event, any age group (even for single-year age-groups) and, for that matter, for all years in which records are maintained in the database.

Sounds like a worthy project for our beloved webmaster Jim, and it would best be discussed (and prioritized against all the other website projects) at convention in September, unless it's something that a simple database search engine could accomplish.

Your thoughts Jim?

Betsy
May 20th, 2002, 10:23 PM
The way the system works now is that each LMSC submits the top ten times/swimmers in each event that were swum in that LMSC. Consequently, if you were the 12th or 15th fastest in your LMSC meets, you would not appear on an expanded list.

To expand the list or to combine lists for one complete list would require changing how the data is collected. The best way to accomplish a change is to work through your LMSC convention delegates and the USMS Records and Tabulation Committee. It is always possible to change how things are done.
Betsy Durrant

michaelmoore
May 20th, 2002, 11:42 PM
Rich:

It seems like an almost trivial idea to put the entire data base of times on the web so a swimmer would be able to see how he compares to other swimmers in his age group.

While Pacific may be atypical, lets look at what goes on to get that information. There are two competing meet management systems that are used in Pacific - HyTek and SAMMS, then there are a few meets where the results are calculated "by hand" and no meet management system is used.

Our top ten chair, Nancy Ridout, has to take all the results input them into a computer then they can be ranked. There are about 24 age groups that will get the full compliment of 10 swimmers in each event. There are eighteen short course events and seventeen long course events. So for Pacific to put just the top ten together takes a lot of work and time.

For many events there may be 20 competitors in the age group, so in Pacific putting together an entire list by hand would be even more time consuming.

Then there is the problem of trying to decern the individual. There are two Michael Moores in Pacific. The USMS numbering system leaves a lot to be desired, so many times it is the name is the identifying factor.

In reading the Exec Committee minutes, I see that there is a committee to look at the data base needs of the organization. Long term this may be something to be addressed, but personally I dont see it being resolved in the near term.

At one time there was a place on the USMS web site to submit SDIF files and the computer would spit out the current top times. It may still be on the website, but then it would depend on each LMSC submitting each meet in SDIF format. Unfortunately that is something that Pacific cannot currently do.

hope this gives you some background.


michael

Steve Ruiter
May 21st, 2002, 01:19 PM
Let me clarify.

I meant to suggest that we compile/publish the top 40 USMS times regardless of age in each event, for men and women separately.

For example, Joe X does a 4:40 500 freestyle which puts him 3rd in his age group, but 39th overall. Fred Y (who is ten years older) does a 4:39, which puts him first in his age group, but 35th overall.

A lot of the responses to my suggestion do not seem to address my suggestion as I intended it.

While I am not opposed to other ideas such as compiling a database of all times performed per se, I don't think it can be done easily.

I think my suggestion is possible based on the way data is currently gathered, as I understand it. Maybe not 100% guaranteed, but I think it would work out based on past experience.

seltzer
May 21st, 2002, 01:40 PM
A few comments:

Steve writes:

"I think my suggestion is possible based on the way data is currently gathered, as I understand it. Maybe not 100% guaranteed, but I think it would work out based on past experience."

Not really its a variation on the same problem. You cannot have an accurate list of rankings regardless of age unless you go much deeper than the top ten in every age group. (Pick your favorite very fast "young" age group and imagine how many of the top 15, 20 or 30 swims might make an all ages Top 40). My point, you still need a different approach to compiling results; it still requires the cooperation of all LMSCs and USMS "Top Ten(40) Recorder, etc. If you need to go through this all effort then why not specify a standard format for meet results, have all LMSC agree to that all LMSC/Zone championship meets be in this format; that all Top Ten submission go 30/40 deep by age group and that it conform to a specified format for input into the central database.

Why hard is it for an LMSC to comply? I think its quite doable. New England has a standard format for its championship meets (SDIF) and this are now routinely stored in the results database on www.swimmingtimes.com maintained by our very own Jason Eaddy. I'm sure we could marshall enough volunteer resources to deal with problem of getting mini-meet results into a format that could be taken into a central database for this purpose if someone at the USMS national level can get other LMSCs to participate.

Also we remain quite interested in "electronic" meet competition with other LMSC during SCY and SCM championship season. As Rick Osterberg suggested to Michael Moore, NEM would be open to an electronic competition with Pacific Masters during our next SCY Championship. We could even schedule some events in real-time and display them on both our web and pool scoreboard. (We would arrange a late morning start for non-distance events to adjust for the 3 hour time difference). This is not difficult AS LONG as we use some standard software (doesn't Hy Tek has some arrangment with USMS) for scoring and results.

matysekj
May 21st, 2002, 04:56 PM
Michael was correct - we already have a facility for gathering this information and making it available on the web site. However, there is no "official" status to this facility, and the results presented are limited by the number of meets submitted (see http://162.33.155.126/CRGWebServices/usms/shomeets.cgi for the list of meets included). This facility is not perfect, but provides a foundation for what we could have with a bit more work. I am a big proponent of gathering all of the data we possibly can into one database and then providing various different useful ways of viewing the data. The ideas that Steve presented are certainly good ones that I'm sure many people would like to see, and there are lots of other useful ways of presenting the information IF we have the information available.

If you are looking for the top N times in any age group or combination of age groups for the data set submitted, go to http://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml. This page lets you search for the top 10-500 times for any single event in any of the three courses for the current year. You may choose whatever age group restrictions you want - you can either limit the results to a single age group or show them for all age groups. The results are filtered such that the same name will not appear twice in any result set and the fastest time for each name this year will appear. Therefore, Pacific's two Michael Moore's will never appear in the same result set. Also, if I were entered as Jim Matysek in one meet and James Matysek in another, I would appear twice in the result sets because the name is different. There is also no effort made to filter out foreign-registered swimmers, so our friends from Masters Swimming Canada who have swum in USMS meets whose results are submitted will also appear in these results, as will non-registered swimmers who swam in the Y Nationals. These are but a few of the reasons why this facility has no "offical" status.

If you are looking for individual results over time for any swimmer, go to http://www.usms.org/comp/resultstrack.shtml. This page lets you search through their results for all meets entered in the database. These results use the same database, but show more than just the fastest time for the swimmer in the current year. When available in the meet results, splits are also provided for any individual swim in this area. Note that this area is very similar to the searchable results from any individual national championship, because (you guessed it) they use the same facility.

I'm always willing to add more results to the database, but there is no way that I could keep up with the hundreds of meets across the country and pester each and every meet director for their results. If you would like to see results here from a meet in which you have swum, point the meet director to these pages and ask them to email me an SDIF, Commlink, or Meet Manager backup of the results. Note that there are no meets from the Pacific LMSC from this year in the database because the SAMMS meet management system that is used in most Pacific meets does not have an export to SDIF capability. Since Pacific is our largest LMSC accounting for nearly 25% of all USMS registered members, this is a serious loss.

At some point I would like to replace this facility with an enhanced facility that would meet more of our needs, but some of the added features require more work from the meet directors. To have any hope of resolving name differences, allowing for different people with the same name, and filtering out foreign-registered swimmers if desired, we MUST have an accurate USMS registration number entered for ALL swimmers in ALL meets. Swimmers frequently register for USMS on the deck at a meet and therefore do not yet have a USMS number when the meet runs. We must have a way of identifying these swimmers and updating this information in the database after the fact. We must also support different import formats, such as the delimited text format used for USMS Top Ten submission today. There are many other requirements that need to be evaluated carefully, and I expect this updated database to be an outcome of the USMS database needs evaluation that is currently going on. I've tried to save all meet results that I've received over the years so that the current data set could be imported into a new database format if and when it is developed.

Steve Ruiter
May 21st, 2002, 05:41 PM
Seltzer:

I stand by my statement that in actuality, compiling the top 40 from the top ten data would work based on the data that is currently gathered.

The top ten data for each agegroup has more than ten people's data gathered.

I think that the dispersion of ages represented is surprisingly wide, contrary to your comment about it being just the young people.

For example, I just used one of the above links to look at the top 40 men 100 free SCY (not sure what year), but the results may be surprising:

19-24 4
25-29 8
30-34 11
35-39 8
40-44 7
45-49 2

I see a bell curve in my head.

I propose that this data is typical.

I need to get back to work.

Steve

emmett
May 21st, 2002, 08:10 PM
Using only data submitted by LMSCs to National for Top Ten could not be expected to produce a National Top 40 listing that had any validity whatsoever.

Simply consider the guy who placed 11th in a BIG, competitive LMSC (like Pacific) in the 30-35 age group and thus didn't get sent on for National TT consideration. I don't think it likely that his time would be slow enough not to be a legitimate T40 listing. But if it isn't submitted, it wouldn't make the list. The 12th place guy (and mebbe even the 30th place guy) might also be in the same boat.

Assembling a National T40 listing from TTen submissions from each LMSC would be a bit like assembling the National TTen listings just from TThree listings from each LMSC.

beireland
May 21st, 2002, 11:10 PM
Of course, Emmett is right, but I am not sure how many swims would really be lost. I presume that the full nationals results would be available for inclusion, and maybe that would be a reason for not having a top 25 for SCM? Thus, the only times that would not be included would be if someone did a top 25 eligible time that was not in the top 10 in their region for their age group, and was not done at a national competition. Finally, if someone sees that his or her time is being excluded in the rough draft, they can let the list creator know, and the correction could be made. The result would not be flawless, but that covers most of life.

I do think it would be interesting to see how many mature competitors can make a top 25 list. And while a top 40 list would be better, trying a top 25 list with the available data seems like a good first step, and one that is easily doable for at least LCM and SCY.

Ion Beza
May 22nd, 2002, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by matysekj

...
I'm always willing to add more results to the database, but there is no way that I could keep up with the hundreds of meets across the country and pester each and every meet director for their results.
...

To have one centralized database ranking all swimmers accross US, as opposed to having one database of Top10 derived from what each LMSC declares as a local Top10, and a different database derived from what meet directors want to declare to Jim, a solution is to make mandatory declaration to Jim of every USMS meet results in order to build a single database.

This centralized database becomes then the only single source from which Top10 by event, age group, gender as well as TopEveryone by event, age group, gender are drawn.

It does make sense for everyone to see the personal ranking in the exhaustive list of competitors, in the same event, age group and gender.

emmett
May 22nd, 2002, 09:54 AM
While it might be nice to have "all" meets deposited into a National database by meet directors, it is likely unrealistic, at least at this time.

Results from those meets that are still done by hand, or done using software that doesn't produce the types of files needed, would still need to be input by hand. I don't think Jim (or ANY individual) will be volunteering for that job.

Of course, we COULD make use of the "proper" software mandatory - but that would simply cause at least some those meets currently done by hand to fold.

Even if submission is mandatory there would need to be some sort of followup/enforcement system in place - that would have to be done at the LMSC level. With the current TopTen system, the LMSC TT chairs often have to spend inordinant amounts of time nagging and cajoling to get meet directors to submit their results in the proper format and in a timely fashion. And that's when they have immediate and concrete proof of submission in their hands when it occurs.

Steve Ruiter
May 22nd, 2002, 01:17 PM
Emmit wrote

"Simply consider the guy who placed 11th in a BIG, competitive LMSC (like Pacific) in the 30-35 age group and thus didn't get sent on for National TT consideration. I don't think it likely that his time would be slow enough not to be a legitimate T40 listing. But if it isn't submitted, it wouldn't make the list. The 12th place guy (and mebbe even the 30th place guy) might also be in the same boat"

I am not saying that it is impossible to get it wrong using top ten data, but I am saying that, based on real life experience, it is extremely unlikely.

My quick study showed that 11th in one age group was (again, in real life experience) about what you need to get top 40 in all ages. I contend we have top 15 or so based on the LMSC data provided (but its not 100% guaranteed, I admit).

I'd like someone (In particular Emmitt) to come up with a real life example where 10th place in an LMSC agegroup top ten was top ten in USMS, much less top 40 in USMS over all ages. While possible, I contend it has never happened.

Steve Ruiter
May 22nd, 2002, 01:27 PM
Emmett (sorry about mis-spelling your name multiple times)

You wrote "Assembling a National T40 listing from TTen submissions from each LMSC would be a bit like assembling the National TTen listings just from TThree listings from each LMSC."

It is exactly like it, except that the probability of getting the right answer is much different.

The probability of getting the "right" top ten from top three LMSC's might be, say, 50% likely, if you look back at historical data.

I contend that using LMSC age group top ten to produce all ages T40 would be something like 99% likely to produce the "right" rankings.

That would be close enough for me.

Rob Copeland
May 22nd, 2002, 02:18 PM
Steve

When you say "all ages T40" do you mean a single list of the top 40 swims regardless of age or a top 40 for each age group?

And to your question of Emmett (or Emmit or Emit) there are many examples where 6 to 8 of the current Top 10 are submitted from a single LMSC. This us because many of the Top 10 times are achieved at USMS Nationals. All times for Nationals are submitted by the LMSC of the meet not of the participants. So to get a Top 40 it would make sense to somehow include top 10s plus nationals.

Steve Ruiter
May 22nd, 2002, 02:33 PM
I mean a single list of the top 40 swims regardless of age.

Steve Ruiter
May 24th, 2002, 02:21 PM
OK, so if we are done with the "It cant be done" phase of this discussion on T40, can I get back to my original suggestion that we do it?

While I am aware that we could do a jillion different things with records and rankings and data, I want to do a few and make them mean something.

I think T10 has obtained its status as an age group accomplishment over time. I'd like T40 to obtain status as a USMS accomplishment.

Rob Copeland
May 24th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Steve,

Im not sure as to the mechanics of it, but I would guess that your next step in getting USMS to create a Top 40 is to present a proposal to the Records and Tabulation Committee or the Communications Committee, defining specifically what you are looking for in the Top 40 and request that the committee submit a budget line item for development costs.

If neither one of these committees is the proper starting point, then you may wish to contact the USMS Webmaster (Jim Matysek) for the correct procedure.

Good Luck!!!

michaelmoore
May 24th, 2002, 07:08 PM
Steve:

Having a list of t40 is on my list of priorities about 5 feet below the water table.

While you think that it can be done from the top ten list, I think that any conclusions from that list would be faulty at best. But if you want it and think it can be done, contact the Records and Tabulations committee, tell them about what you would like to see done. Then at the end of the email/letter, put your address and telephone number and say, "I am willing to chair a committee to put the plan together, describe how it will work, answer the questions and pull the information together for the next five years." ( I figure it will take about five years for it to be "institutionalized.")

Please do not expect other volunteers to take on this big project, just because you would like to see it done. If you want it done, you are going to have to carry the water.

best of luck with it


michael

meldyck
May 25th, 2002, 03:41 PM
OK, folks, it's time to ante up or get out of the game. While a complete list of swim times is not so important to some swimmers, it is to me. I have thought about this problem for over 10 years without taking any action.

I agree with Michael Moore that having it mandated to the USMS via our local LMSC groups will take at least 5 years. I'm old enough to remember the 5-year plans from the former Soviet Union too!

So, I'm just going to start on this myself & see what comes of it.

In consultation with Jim Matysek, I've taken the files for the Pacific SCY championship meet and am in the process of creating an SDIF file that can be imported into the USMS database. It's taken quite a bit of fooling around initially but, in the long run, I think I would have to invest less than 2 hours to do this in the future. That for a meet with 823 swimmers. This is a big harvest for the database.

The process involves saving the HTML file to a text file by copying it into a word processor such as Notepad. The saved file can then be imported into Excel and, with the help of a custom template and some custom macros, converted to an SDIF file. I have the men's results ready to go and the women's results will be done by early next week. If this works, it will appear in the database by the time Jim gets back home.

As for completeness, we can never guarantee completeness. However, I have trolled around on the LMSC web sites in past years looking at meet results, trying to anticipate what my standing in a particular event might be. I've gotten pretty close in most cases.

So, we would need to find out what meets are in the database for a particular course season. As a starter, we could cajole meet directors to create the SDIF files if they have the meet data. This is what Jim did to me for the Arizona meets which are now ALL in the database for 2002. Once this is skimmed off, we can fish for other meets not represented and do the conversions.

I think this can be done without bringing up any legislation either at the local or national level, and have a pretty good database. It is not going to be perfect, however. Neither is the top ten. I know of at least one case where a TT chairman missed a deadline & those swimmers slipped through that filter.

Anyone else in the game?

mel dyck

seltzer
May 28th, 2002, 09:00 AM
You can get the results in SDIF format from the 2002 NE SCY Championship (670+ swimmers) at:

http://www.swimindex.com/meets/2002/nem-scy/results.html

You know have the results from the two largest regional championship meets for SCY 02 season.

Thanks for taking this on

Bob

meldyck
May 28th, 2002, 06:49 PM
The results from the 2002 Pacific SCY championship meet have been converted to an SDIF file and Jim Matysek has posted them on the USMS database. There may still be some errors because the data required quite a bit of hand fiddling to get them into the right format. Look them over...

mel

michaelmoore
June 8th, 2002, 10:44 PM
Since you asked for it.

An SDIF file for the Pacific Masters Championship is posted on the Pacific Masters web site at
http://www.pacificmasters.org/comp/results.shtml

The file is a big one - about 1.2 MB.

Also on the same page is an SDIF file for the Walnut Creek Long Course meet.

The top 16 times of the championships by sex by event (all the age groups together) is at
http://www.pacificmasters.org/comp/02/02cruzscy16.html

The top ten times of the Walnut Creek LCM meet by sex by event is at
http://www.pacificmasters.org/comp/02/02wcmlcmtop10.html

I sent the sdif files to Jim Matysek for consolidation and posting on the USMS web site.

have fun with it.

michael

meldyck
June 8th, 2002, 10:50 PM
Spectacular Michael!!

These will be great additions to the USMS database. I managed to create a pseudo SDIF file from your previously published HTML file but it had a problem with the women's 500 free for some reason I haven't been able to sort out.

This should clear that up.

Also, I'm going to try to have a complete LCM set of files (daydreaming, of course, but the number of meets is smaller so the chance of getting it done is somewhat better) and your results for Walnut Creek will help.

Again, thanks for the help.

mel dyck

matysekj
June 9th, 2002, 01:01 AM
Thanks for the results, Michael. These two meets are now available in the on line searchable database. See www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml to search for the fastest times in the submitted meets and www.usms.org/comp/resultstrack.shtml to search for an individual swimmer's results over the past few years.