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Karen Duggan
April 16th, 2004, 11:59 PM
Will the rule ever change that regular teams compete against each other at Nationals? By this I mean that whole states (Colorado, Illinois, etc) come together as a team once a year. What about us "little" guys that always compete together (and work out at the same pool all year round)?
Why can't these huge "state" teams stay small and just be in the small or medium divisions like the rest of us?
(In my humble opinion- it's very humble- I don't see relays as a reason for this). Many teams don't have enough people for relays... that's the way it is.

mattson
April 17th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by Karen Duggan
(In my humble opinion- it's very humble- I don't see relays as a reason for this). Many teams don't have enough people for relays... that's the way it is.

I do see relays as being enough reason. ;) Not just for Nationals... Any "away" meet is only likely to draw a few swimmers from IL, why not let them band together for relays? At LCN in Cleveland, relays gave me a chance to talk to swimmers I see a lot, but normally don't socialize with.

In any case, do you really want more teams in the medium/small categories, when there are so few in the large size? (Also, there are still several "independent" Illinois teams going to Nationals, so they have decided to follow your route.)

Karen Duggan
April 17th, 2004, 01:40 AM
Route, I have no route. I am so tired I can't even find my way to the bathroom and it's next door to my bedroom! ;)

OK, I'll go with you on the relays. That poses my next question then- What is the purpose of relays? To let people be on them?Score points? Set records? Wear pretty matching caps? :p Just kidding. But seriously, I know our team would love to be able to pick and choose swimmers from the ENTIRE STATE for our relays- we'd have some amazing relays!

If the purpose of relays is to simply give people the chance to swim them then maybe they shouldn't be scored? Records should be kept but no points awarded at Nationals? It just doesn't seem fair that teams swim independently of each other all year and then come together to (usually) win Nationals. (I wear my pointy horns and tail with this one- devil's advocate?)

And do we need the LARGE category? Or if we do, why not make it some number, like 50 or more, 49 or less medium, 20 or less, small? I don't know! But why not keep it the same for every Nationals? It's sometimes frustrating to see that the meet committee waits to see what teams entered and how many they have- if we just set numbers for the small, medium, and large then the teams know what category they're in going in to the meet.

dorothyrd
April 17th, 2004, 07:54 AM
I think Illinois is approaching this more for the fun. They are putting everyone who wants to be on a relay on one. I am slow as mud, but will be on a relay. I doubt if I will be with fast people(hope not, don't want to frustrate the fast people), so therefore my relay won't score.

Part of the draw of doing this meet is that I get a chance to be on relays. As a person doing this for the first time, I feel doing the relays will give me a chance to get to know folks, and be a part of this cool event. Downstate Illinois' swimmers that compete are very spaced out. Carbondale has a good group that travels, but in Central Illinois, there are not many. Myself and another woman are the only ones coming from our team. Nadine has to hook up with another Y to get on relays for Y-nats because her team does not have enough. Same with Plamen.

In California, I think the teams are more like the Chicago area teams and can sport teams, downstate Illinois cannot.

Phil Arcuni
April 17th, 2004, 11:25 AM
Traditionally, the California (especially those in Pacific) do not form regional teams and relays. This is fine for national championships in the western states, where local teams like Walnut Creek do very well, even winning, sometimes.

On the other hand, I found myself in New Jersey at the last LC nationals with only one other team member, while New Jersey fielded a very powerful regional team (GSM). There was no big team from California, but if Pacific, for example, were to pool its swimmers it would have made a competitive, if not dominant, team.

As I understand it, there is nothing preventing Pacific from making a group team for eastern-located championships, except for a leader to organize and promote the idea.

Karen Duggan
April 17th, 2004, 04:42 PM
So maybe Nationals should be all of the LMSC's competing against one another? Whaddy'a think?

dorothyrd
April 17th, 2004, 05:12 PM
Then it would be a zone type meet. Of course, whoever is closest to where ever the meet was held would have the advantage!

mattson
April 18th, 2004, 01:17 AM
Hey Karen, try this one on. I've been talking to one of the older gents, who is a Top 10 swimmer. Even with Illinois Masters, there aren't many quality swimmers around his age. So he has three choices: swim with a much younger relay (which is not an advantage for him or the rest of the relay), swim with a relay that won't get his competitive juices flowing, or just not swim relays at all. (When you say that teams should just accept it, I think you should try it sometime. :mad: Relays are one of the bonding experiences, and should not be given up without a fight.)

Turns out he found another option in the past: find time to practice sometimes with a deep California team that has more gents arond his age, and be part of that team for Nationals. (And yes, this decision was based entirely due to relays!)

For Indianapolis, IM has a large turnout, so this won't be an issue for him. But there have been other large meets where he has been frustrated by not being with a relay of his peers.

dorothyrd
April 18th, 2004, 11:08 AM
The other swimmer from my team who is a 60 year old woman is thrilled that she will be on a relay. Our team has tried and tried to get 4 people to go to the Bloomington meet, and Julie and I are the only ones to ever go. She told me that she has not been on a relay since her age group days and this is very exciting to her! She has qualified for Nationals for the first time, so that is exciting for her too.

Karen Duggan
April 18th, 2004, 11:37 PM
Alright already, GEEZ... you make a good point.

I do understand what you are saying. However, I do not think Nationals is all about the relays. Swimming is mostly an individual sport, as demonstrated by all of the individual events. And I still say it's not fair that entire states come together against "regular" teams.

Yes, I know Walnut Creek is a large team and we come from a huge swimming area (the East Bay), but that doesn't mean we always field relays at Nationals ourselves. In Michigan in 1996 we barely scraped one up for the medley, and didn't even have a free relay! Not to mention we had a 72 year old on our relay...

I also think relays are very exciting and they do get you pumped... I guess in my swimming experience relay teams have always been comprised of people on the same team who work out together. (But hey, this is Masters, we can do whatever ;) )

*the preceding is not necessarily the opinion of USMS, and any duplication or rebroadcast without the expressed written consent... (no idea where that came from!) Getting nervous for Nationals-not the swimming- the flying!!!!

PS Mark, I didn't say people should accept it, I said that's the way it is. I think it's great people haven't accepted it, I don't think it's fair, but that's the way it (people not accepting it) is ;)

mattson
April 18th, 2004, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by Karen Duggan
Swimming is mostly an individual sport, as demonstrated by all of the individual events. And I still say it's not fair that entire states come together against "regular" teams.

But if it's an individual sport, then it really doesn't matter what the teams do, right? ;) Besides, there are a lot of Illinois swimmers going to Nationals, who are not part of Illinois Masters. So it is not an entire state.

Also, how would you define a "regular" team? I've swam more often with a bunch of the Illinois Masters than some of the people on my "regular" team (due to meets).

There is a group of people on my "regular" team that only practice in the morning, while others only practice in the evening. Since they rarely (or never) practice together, should they be split into two separate teams?

Karen Duggan
April 19th, 2004, 12:06 AM
Right, out with the whole team division thing!!!!

Let's tell the championship committee that our self-esteem balloons will be damaged if we lose. Although, I bet we could come up with some interesting alternative categories, where're Tom and Connie?!

And no more relays either. I'm so out of shape I don't get to be on any anyway :( Wahhhhhhhhhhhh. (very whiney, indeed)

(I sent you an e-mail.)