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breastroker
September 4th, 2004, 03:01 PM
R9 allows the fastest women in the distance events of 800 meters or longer to swim the fastest women in two final heats mano -mano with the best women racing each other instead of just men.

Rationale: The fastest men usually get to race each other, but the fastest female distance swimmers have expressed a strong desire to be able to compete against each other. These women are the only group that generally did not express support for swimming men and women together in the distance events.

All you fast women, Comments? And I mean only in distance swimming!

I would love to see Dianne Granner Gallas vs. Karlyn and Nadine and some of the other studdetts. It adds to the flavor of the swim meet and adds excitement.

Race hosts, is this any problem setting up?

Fritz
September 6th, 2004, 02:33 PM
I guess I don't understand this one. If the faster woman have similar times, similar enough that there would truly be a race, then they'd likely be in the same heats regardless of gender. If there times are far enough apart that they'd end up in seperate heats then I don't see there'd be much of a race.

mbmg3282
September 6th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Fritz,

This rule pertains to the seeding of distance events at nationals. Typically, the fastest 8 women are spread out across the final 5 heats of the distance event when we seed it as a mixed event.

After speaking with a number of the women that are among the fastest in their event, we realized that they never get the chance to compete against each other for the title of the fastest women in the meet. This rule would allow the fastest 8 women to compete only against women. It will make it more exciting for the swimmers as well as the spectators. The amount of time that it would add to the timeline is negligible.

michaelmoore
September 6th, 2004, 03:49 PM
Mark:

And they should be seeded over five heats. Here are the results of the 10 fastest women swimmers in the 1650 - 2004 USMS SCY Championships

Suzanne Hiem-Bowen 17:49
Gill Leggatly 18:14
Suzanne Simpson 18:14
Miram Novak 18:32
Laural Liberty 18:35
Heather Hagadorn 18:38
Leeanne Ghimanti 18:54
Victoria Rian 18:59
Nicol Pacuitt 19:09
Joey Duncan 19:26

and the 10 fastest women swimmers of the 1500 - 2004 USMS SCY Championships

Kelly Parker 18:55
Barbara Dunbar 19:52
Christy Hall 19:59
Anna Ray Delozier 20:05
Jenny Leiser 20:45
Jean Bancks 21:00
Patricia Powis 21:14
Terry Sue Gault 21:15
Sharon Salzman 21:25

I took the results, not the seeded time. In the 1650 Suzanne would have finished about about 6 lengths ahead of the 10th place swimmer. She would have been more than a pool length ahead of the 2nd place swimmer. If you look at the 1650 there were three races within the heat 2/3 and 4/5/6 and 7/8. If you look at the 1500, swimmers are spread more.

While as you say "they never get the chance to compete against each other for the title of the fastest women in the meet", if you look at the results Suzanne Heim Bowen and Kelly Parker pretty much destroyed the field and they earned the "title of the fastest women in the meet" (maybe that title could be phrased differently), they earn it by swimming the fastest at the meet.

If I saw the women all finishing on the same lap or the same length, I would consider voting for this rule, but since the women are so spread out over so many laps, I think we should stick with the current rule.

If the story of the Championships Committee is to get the time line under control, then it should stick to a constant theme rather than add a rule that would add time to the time line and asking for a rule that would fobid swimmers who dont make an NQT from swimming in that event (the 1500/1650).


michael

Fritz
September 6th, 2004, 04:43 PM
Thanks Michael. You made the point I was thinking exactly.

mbmg3282
September 6th, 2004, 05:46 PM
Michael,

I think managing the timeline is one goal, but I don't think it should be the only goal.

There are benefits to the spectators and swimmers by having the fastest 8 together. This request initally came from the faster women who want the opportunity to swim against each other and will otherwise get the chance. While there is some cost to the timeline, it is minimal.

The other rule you mention has the potential to have a greater impact on the timeline.

Actually, if we are worried about the timeline, we really should look more closely at the swimmers who enter times that they do not swim. There were a number of examples of swimmers in the 1500 who had dramatic time drops at LC Nationals this year (over 2 minutes). There were also swimmers who didn't get within 10 minutes of their entered seed time in events. These athletes have a much greater impact on the meet then adding a heat of only women to the distance events.

Or why don't we seed all events together by time only and disregard gender and age? This would have a much greater positive impact on the timeline. To date, we haven't done this because there are other interests that we try to balance in addition to the timeline. As our meets continue to grow larger, we will have to reevaluate these goals.

michaelmoore
September 6th, 2004, 09:59 PM
There are benefits to the spectators and swimmers by having the fastest 8 together. This request initally came from the faster women who want the opportunity to swim against each other and will otherwise get the chance. While there is some cost to the timeline, it is minimal.

I have observed and paid close attention to as many 800 and 1500 masters events as anyone (Starters and refs have to keep track of the number of laps that a swimmer completes). Over the past few years, I have started looking at who is observing the swims at the national championships. The people who are watching are the timers, the starter, the ref, a friend who is counting laps for the swimmer, the swimmers coaches, maybe a couple of team mates and the swimmers in the next heat. (The major exception being when Gary Hall and Sabir Mohammed swam at Indy last spring, when everyone stopped to watch their events.). The long distance events are not crowd pleasers and spectator favorites.

I, personally believe that good competitive conditions are achieved when you have swimmers of about equal time swimming against each other and it does not make any differenece if they are the same sex or age group. By taking swimmers who should be in different heats because they are the same gender is not achieving good competitive conditions.

Now I know there are swimmers who will swim their own race no matter what - Suzanne Hiem-Bowen comes to mind. There are also many swimmers where to competive juices really get going in trying just that little extra to beat the person in the next lane.

Actually, if we are worried about the timeline, we really should look more closely at the swimmers who enter times that they do not swim. There were a number of examples of swimmers in the 1500 who had dramatic time drops at LC Nationals this year (over 2 minutes). There were also swimmers who didn't get within 10 minutes of their entered seed time in events.

I agree with you, but looking is not enough. There is no penalty for any swimmer who enters an NQT time and does not swim an NQT time equal to or faster than an NQT. At a minimum, if a swimmer who entered an NQT and does not swim an NQT time would have to provide evidience of having swum an NQT time or faster in the past couple of years in that event or that swimmer will be given a No Time for the event.

Or why don't we seed all events together by time only and disregard gender and age?

That is certainly worth brining to the table for long course. The long course meet is running too long.


michael

Leianne C
September 7th, 2004, 07:43 PM
After this proposed rule was discussed at Pacificís meeting, I asked three of the distance swimmers in my age group (45-49) who could be affected by this change what their thoughts were.

One swimmer (Joy Leutner) thought a championship heat was a good idea, because the fastest women would be together and their swims could be observed.

The other two (Denise Brown and Suzanne Heim Bowen) thought that seeding by times was a better way to go to provide a good race, particularly if it meant that they might be able to swim both the 800 and 1500.

I do not mean to get this discussion off on a different topic, and I know that this topic has been discussed extensively, but I would like to note that ALL of them felt very strongly that:

- it was unfair that distance swimmers needed to pick between their best events,

- they would like to have the chance to swim both when they are tapering for a meet, and

- Y Nationals allows people to swim both events.


Leianne
^^^

Fritz
September 7th, 2004, 08:14 PM
It's possible Y nationals just isn't big enough to make it an issue. Looking at 2003 Y nats versus 2003 USMS nats.

1000
Y had 151 entries
USMS had 274

1650
Y had 118 entries
USMS had 231

Total splashes
Y had 269
USMS had 505

So even though we allow only one to be entered we still have almost twice the entries. If/when the Y gets to this level they may have to rethink the policy.

mbmg3282
September 7th, 2004, 08:20 PM
When we have run Long Course Nationals as a 5 day meet (as we did at Rutgers), the championship committee allowed swimmers who had met the qualifying time to swim both the 800 and 1500.

Fritz is correct when comparing the USMS meet against the YMCA meet. The length of the day is such that it would not be feasible to allow a person to swim both events in a 4 day meet.

Long Course Nationals in 2004 at Mission Viejo will be a 5 day meet run Thursday - Monday. The distance events will be on the first and last day of the meet. The goal is to allow swimmers making the qualifying times to swim both events.

drip'nwet
September 8th, 2004, 01:08 PM
If you are looking at the spread to determine if the fastest 8 swimmers should swim in one heat, the spread from nationals may be misleading - in both Indianapolis and in Savannnah, distance swimmers had to choose between the 1650/1500 and the 1000/800 - and so the field may have been split. Also, in distance events there is more time for the field to spread. Have a good swim and one can conceivable drop 20. 30, 40 seconds, have a bad swim and just as easily the opposite can happen. No doubt - Suzanne Heim-Bowen is far and above the fastest female distance swimmer. As a distance swimmer (female) to whom this thread os intended and since no female distance swimmer has responed - then I will. I would like to swim against those who submit times close to mine -male of femake - younger or older. I do not care to swim in a heat of fastest women just for the hope of recieving the title of fastest distance swimmer - but I would like the opportunity for a good race. In my opinion, I would like to see the whole meet seeded by time. I know in Nationals you may have to split genders - but to seed the whole meet by time regardless of gender and age would be more timely and more fun to watch. There were several races in Savannah where someone was seeded so far behind the others in their heat (seeded by age group), that it must have been discouraging to them before the race even began. Those swimmers would have benefited from swimming in an earlier heat against swimmers closer to their speed.
I would also like to swim my 2 best events without having to chose!!! I appreciated Rutgers ( I did swim both the 1500 and the 800 and I plan to do the same in California.

Leianne C
September 8th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Here is Joy Leutnerís response to previous posts (she is not yet registered, so I am forwarding on her behalf):

"Thank you for the info. A 5 day format certainly makes it easy to swim both the 800 & 1500.

I think some of the people missed the point that probably not many people would try to swim both events...but the athletes should have the choice to do so.

I have registered for the forum Re: 1500/800 and am not permitted to reply at this time.

I wanted to address the issue that Michael Moore missed a swimmer on his women's top ten results skewing his argument. If you put in Helen Naylor's 18:45.60, it drops Joey Duncan's 19:26. The differential is now only 1:19.

I thought it interesting that the Men's top ten times for the 1650 at the same meet have a differential of 1:40 with Bobby Patten's winning time finishing nearly 39 seconds ahead of the 2nd place man. The women's race had only a 24+ second spread.

My point is that we are only talking 2+ minutes to see 2 separate Championship races. I as both a competitor and spectator would prefer to watch one heat of the top women Vs 3-4 heats to see them all perform. Additionally, women's swimming is getting more competitive all the time as attested to Michael Moore's desire to up the qualifying standards for Championship meets.

Joy"

Frank Thompson
September 8th, 2004, 06:13 PM
I just wanted to add something that was missed. The Y Nationals only let you swim the two distance events if the facility can handle it. Last years facility could handle it. It was the same facility that had the 1995 USMS SC Nationals and the 1998 USMS LC Nationals and both of those events allowed swimmers to swim both distance events. I think in 1995 that both events were offered on the same day. The facility I am talking about is Fort Lauderdale, the site of the 2005 USMS SC Nationals.

Fritz
September 8th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I think many people will enter both. I did a quick check of my agegroup and at Rutgers roughly 1/3 of those in the 800 also swam the 1500.

I don't see the point of bringing up the mens top ten. They were seeded by time just like the women and I doubt they were all in the same heat.

On the surface, I don't have a problem with the request and I think the next logical request is that the 45-49 year old men would like to swim against each other because they want to race against their competition. You know if we make this exception then other requests are going to come and they'll be just as valid.
The best pure races are going to happen if we continue to seed by time especially of people enter valid times.

Fritz
September 8th, 2004, 06:16 PM
Especially IF people enter valid times.

Joy Leutner
September 8th, 2004, 07:10 PM
The reason for mentioning the Men's top ten is this. They basically do have their own final heat irregardless of the fact that there is a big time spread or that Bobbie Patton lapped the second place finisher. I think the top 8-10 women should have that same opportunity.

We're only talking abot one heat separated out. The rest of the women would be seeded according to time, not gender or age.

Fritz
September 8th, 2004, 08:44 PM
Why stop at 8-10? Shouldn't everyone have the same opportunity?

mbmg3282
September 8th, 2004, 10:40 PM
"Why stop at 8-10? Shouldn't everyone have the same opportunity?" - from Fritz

Time prevents us from doing this. There are swimmers who complain that they don't get to swim against their age group when they race distance events.

The top heat is a compromise.

Similiar to why the 400 free is seeded by age group and the 400 IM is seeded by time.

Joy Leutner
September 8th, 2004, 11:03 PM
Hi Fritz:

I didn't mean to hit a nerve on you. We all love this sport otherwise we wouldn't be so passionate about it.

I believe the rule change being considered is for one Women's Championship heat...not an age group championship heat.

If we need to free up some time, maybe we need to address the NQT issue.
Thanks.
Joy

LindsayNB
September 8th, 2004, 11:06 PM
It seems that there are three sometimes conflicting principles in masters competitions:

[1]swim against people of most similar speed
[2]swim against people in your gender and age group
[3]minimize meet duration

It seems that a "top women" heat conflicts with all three principles unless the top women are all in one age group.

The ideal solution would seem to be to let the women check a box to indicate whether they want to be seeded in the "fastest women" heat, or by time.

michaelmoore
September 9th, 2004, 02:46 AM
My point is that we are only talking 2+ minutes to see 2 separate Championship races.


We are not seeing two championships races, we are seeing about five. There is no "fastest woman 1650 yards championship" we have the fastest woman in the 1650 Free 19-24, 1650 free 25-29 etc.


I as both a competitor and spectator would prefer to watch one heat of the top women Vs 3-4 heats to see them all perform.
And I, as a competitor, spectator and official, would prefer to see heats where the field is close together, otherwise, the race is like one big time trial. I think it would be interesting to see Suzanne Heim Bowen in the same heat as Tod Spieker, both very fast distance swimmers, Tod's record is 20 seconds faster than Suzanne's but It would be interesting.

(Off topic at a 1650, we had a coach being the starter. He had seeded a heat that had very fast and very slow swimmers in the heat. the starter is the person responsible for keeping track of how many lengths the swimmers had swum. When we had swimmers in the heat on six different laps, he saw the advantage of having swimmers of about the same ability in a heat).

Additionally, women's swimming is getting more competitive all the time as attested to Michael Moore's desire to up the qualifying standards for Championship meets.

I don't think I have said that, I said the Championship Committee is considering it, but this is not and has not been my position.

The top heat is a compromise.

Similiar to why the 400 free is seeded by age group and the 400 IM is seeded by time.

I think the top heat is not a good idea and I would argue that the 400 Free should be seeded by time, not by age group/time.

The ideal solution would seem to be to let the women check a box to indicate whether they want to be seeded in the "fastest women" heat, or by time.

And what would you do if 5 of the women wanted to be seeded by seed time, would you then have a "fastest womens heat" without the five fastest women?

michael

LindsayNB
September 9th, 2004, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
The ideal solution would seem to be to let the women check a box to indicate whether they want to be seeded in the "fastest women" heat, or by time.

And what would you do if 5 of the women wanted to be seeded by seed time, would you then have a "fastest womens heat" without the five fastest women?


I would take that as an indication that the whole idea was based on a false premise (that the fastest women wanted to race one another) and seed everyone by time. :) I.e. the check box should indicate a preference on the part of the swimmer not a promise that the heat will occur on the part of the organizer.

Joy Leutner
September 9th, 2004, 12:55 PM
Would someone please answer a question for me?

I have competed at a National Class/ World Class level in 5 different sports and every time, I had to work my way up to that level & qualify to compete in a National Championship event. Each time that I did that, it was a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

Aren't we diluting that effect by not requiring the standard to be met. If we truly had a Championship event where people needed to meet the qualifying times, wouldn't that remedy the concern about the length of the meet?

I don't believe that people that have not met the standard would be slighted because there are several swim meets and various Regional/Zone Championships throughout the country that they can test their abilities and work their way up to the National level.

Thanks!
Joy

Conniekat8
September 9th, 2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Joy Leutner

Aren't we diluting that effect by not requiring the standard to be met. If we truly had a Championship event where people needed to meet the qualifying times, wouldn't that remedy the concern about the length of the meet?


It wouldn't remedy the length of the meet because the non-qualifying peope aren't many.
Unfortunately it could be a number of qualifying people in the age groups where the qualifying times are relatively slow (compared to the elite age groups) swimming the longer distance events (400, 800, 1500 and similar) that have the largest impact on the length of the meet. But those *ARE* people who meet the quslifying standards, and the ARE the people you want in the meet

For example, take 200 breast LCM ... 45-49 qualifying time for women is 3:45.73 and for 80-84 is 7:42.74... So the three or four non qualifying swimmers in 45-49 age group who swim 200 breast at 4:00.00 next to another 8-10 of those who qualify aren't the ones causig the meet to run long, especially since most of them would end up in residual heats anyway.

Cutting out the few people who don't qualify, but stil. like to come to nationals would for one, cut out qute a few people who are qute active in USMS and help with the organization and the events, so thast would create a fair amount of ill will among people who happen to be very helpful.
Also, as far as I understand cutting out the few non-qualifiers is not in line with the general direction (mission statement?) of USMS.

In addition, the non-qualifying people can only swim 3 events as opposed to the typical 6 events that qualifiers can swim, so the impact is already limited.
And lastly, the qualifying times are not verified by anyone, they're based on the honor system, so if someone wants to swim bad enougm they can always put in their meet form a qualifying time. Whatever they put inthe meet form is acceoted as their time.

You've come to the nationals, and I think you've seen at least two or three occassions where a person was very far behind their heat, by a minute or two in 200M events, or by 5+ minutes in 800 or 1500 events... where their seed time didn't indicate this.
Really bad day? Typo in the entry? Or just plain putting down a time they know they can't come close to just so they can swim that event?

I think where most time is lost is when you have one or two individuals swim in a heat and take twice as long as the rest of the heat did, and the rest of the 6-8 lanes sit empty for 5-10 or 15 minutes.

Also, it's noit necessarily cutting down the number of people coming to the meet that has impact on the timeline, it's the number of total splashes that have more impact.
For example, if you have nothing but qualifying people, but you allow them 7 or 8 events instead of 6... in a meet that may have 1200 qualyfying people in it that could add uo to 2400 extra splashes... in addition to the potential 7200 qualified splashes. That's adding 30%. On a 5 day meet of 10 hour days that could be additional 15 hours.

Typically in a meet there is 10% of the poeple who don't qualify... let's say 120 of them, and they are allowed to swim 3 events. That's a total of 360 splashes. Compared to the 1200 that's roughly 1/3 of the impact. You could cut out all of them, still have a meet that is running too long, and have a lot of key organizing people really ticked off at you.
See, about 80% of the people in the USMS are non competitors... You'd end up geting most of your membership unhappy by changing that rule, making them feel that they're not good enough to participate in the organization. I can tell you a lot of people wouldn't get involved with helping if they couldn't at least be there.... As far as I know, at least half of the people in various USMS comittees that make the organization function are not exactly able to qualify, but it's a great benefit for the USMS that they are able to be at nationals and swim one, two or three events.

Also, the fact that a few non-qualifiers like to come to the nationals and enjoythe experience doesn't take away a thing from the acomplishments of the top people. Just makes it for the bigger cheering section.

Joy Leutner
September 9th, 2004, 05:49 PM
Hi Connie:

Thank you for taking the time to explain that perspective. It's a good point. I was under the impression that the # of non-qualifiers exceeded 10%. That's why I thought it might have made a difference with regard to the length of the meet.

Also, the slowest heats can't be touched because that's what USMS is all about. I hope one day to see a 105-109 age group heat. I'm certain that next year's 5 day format will help the situation.

Keep on swimming.
Joy

Conniekat8
September 9th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by Joy Leutner
Hi Connie:

Thank you for taking the time to explain that perspective. It's a good point. I was under the impression that the # of non-qualifiers exceeded 10%. That's why I thought it might have made a difference with regard to the length of the meet.

Also, the slowest heats can't be touched because that's what USMS is all about. I hope one day to see a 105-109 age group heat. I'm certain that next year's 5 day format will help the situation.

Keep on swimming.
Joy

Yea... It's a tough one to solve... the meet timeline.

I know people think 5 days is long for now, but as USMS grows, over a few years that may end up being the norm...
I'm sure not without the growing pains.

NKMD
September 10th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Connie great job on your explaination.

It would be interesting to see the actual numbers of non-qualifiers at Nationals prior to the meet and the actual results. We have no OVC for making qualifying standards. Also the difference between Short and Long Course.

I also will throw in another factor the scoring. I like how the way FINA World Championships were run. If they don't make the qualifying standards then they don't score points. I do think it's harsh not to count the time in the results.

Secondly going back to the original question:
The longer the distance of the race there is a tendency to have a larger time difference. That's the challenge. We want to see the meets run faster and we like to be entertained during the longer events.

Personally, I like to swim based on time regardless of age and gender. I like to race. I do swim faster when I get to race others.
Yes, I do undertstand the theory "swim your own race." I do swim my own race most of the time. But if there is someone right next to me, I will put an extra effort to catch the person, or not be passed by someone.

I do understand that swimmers want to know immediately if they won their age-group by winning their heat. But, I look at bettering my times.

I believe in this a Hindu Proverb:
"There is no point to your superiority over another person, but a lot to be gained by being superior to your former self."

Keep on swimming. :-)

Conniekat8
September 10th, 2004, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by NKMD
Connie great job on your explaination.

It would be interesting to see the actual numbers of non-qualifiers at Nationals prior to the meet and the actual results. We have no OVC for making qualifying standards. Also the difference between Short and Long Course.

I also will throw in another factor the scoring. I like how the way FINA World Championships were run. If they don't make the qualifying standards then they don't score points. I do think it's harsh not to count the time in the results.

Secondly going back to the original question:
The longer the distance of the race there is a tendency to have a larger time difference. That's the challenge. We want to see the meets run faster and we like to be entertained during the longer events.

Personally, I like to swim based on time regardless of age and gender. I like to race. I do swim faster when I get to race others.
Yes, I do undertstand the theory "swim your own race." I do swim my own race most of the time. But if there is someone right next to me, I will put an extra effort to catch the person, or not be passed by someone.

I do understand that swimmers want to know immediately if they won their age-group by winning their heat. But, I look at bettering my times.

I believe in this a Hindu Proverb:
"There is no point to your superiority over another person, but a lot to be gained by being superior to your former self."

Keep on swimming. :-)

Hi Nadine :)

I'm glad you liked the explanantion, I was worried it was going to come across a bit too harsh.

As for the actaul results... From what I've seen it turns out to be a tossup, peopel who were closer to their qualifying times sometimes make them, other times they have a bad day and dopn't make them, but are relatively close.
there may be one or two people per age group that don't make the entered time by quite a bit, where you wonder, could the 12 minutes have been a very illegebly written 18 minutes, or did they just enter the qual. time so they could swim more events?

Scoring, I think not scoring if you don't make the time is fair enough. I take it you're talking about points? There has been talk about giving the non-qualifiers a NT for a result if they diodn't make it... I'm not so sure I like that idea.
One idea that I do loke that I've heard tossed around is for people who enter a QT, but don't make it - they get a NT, but those who enter slower than QT and stick to their three allowed events, have their time. I think the idea is to discourage the fake qualifying times.

Longer events...
Yea, you have to have them. There has been talk about not seeding anything over the 400 by the age group, but strictly by the entered time. That would save us multiple slower heats with empty lanes. I think that's about the only way to speed up the longer events.
Also, for events like 800 and 1500 perhaps there should be a cutoff time.. Maybe for each age group, or maybe a total cutoff time. Hypothetically speaking if you can't swim a 1500 in less than 40 minutes, we're sorry... Or maybe alow to have one slow heat in outside lanes while there are 2 faster heats going on in lanes 2-7, in case of a residual slowest heat. I thin the biggest waste is the slowest heat that may have 6 people finish in 30 minutes or less, and then have two more swimmers (and qualifiers at that) go another 15-20 minutes.
Well, It's an idea... I dunno if it's a good one.

Swiming against people your own age, well, that's up to you top people to decide what you like for the most competetive heats.
As for me and few other non-qualifiers, I'd much prefer to swim against people close to my speed then my age. Maybe we could have prelim seeding by time, and only the top (8?) people in each age group seeded by age? Something loosely resembling the consolation and final heats in USA swimming.

It's much more fun and motivating when you're swimming close to someone your own speed, for the swimmer and for the spectators (especially when us mere mortals are watching the top people like you).
No need to make apologies for finding it to be extra motivator!

michaelmoore
September 10th, 2004, 02:38 AM
Connie, I would like to see where you got the data that has about 10% of the swimmers not making NQTs. I believe that the data shows that the number of swimmers not making NQTs for short course is between 20-30%. I think that there are fewer swimmers who do not make NQTs in LC.

The number of splashes entered by swimmers who enter 4 or more events is typicallly between 80-85% which means that we are having primarily swimmers who have the ability to swim in a national championships (assuming that their times are valid).

I dont think we have a good idea of what we want the NQTs to do or what we want them to accomplish. We calculate the NQTs on a one age group fits all because some argue that it is the most fair - a position that I do not hold. We have been using the tenth place top ten time and add 10% to it to calcualte the NQT. Championship Committee is talking about taking the 5th fastest time and adding 11% to it which will make a faster NQT.

The problem is really our Championship seeding, first we seed by age group then by time. It does not make much of a difference in the womens 30-35 age group weather you have if 4 or 6 of the seven competitors make the NQT the marginal time difference is small and you still have to run one heat.

In the mens 50-54 there may be three heats of swimmers who made the NQT. The two extra heats in a 200 add to the time line. And it is not just the mens 50-54 is is most of the mens age group 35-60 that will have multiple NQT qualified heats in each event.

For LONG COURSE, I believe that the goal should be to get one NQT heat for most age groups in most events. (19-25 through 70-74) For some age groups this may mean a relaxing of the NQT. For some age groups, including my own that would mean a significant tightening of the NQTs.

I also agree with Connie that there should be a limit on the time to swim an event. 40 Minutes for the 1650/1500 is long enough about half of that is about right for the 800.

There is also no reason for someone taking over 8 minutes for a 200 at a Nationals Championship.

When we look at who does not make the NQTs, the higher percentage is local swimmers who enter the Nationals because it is local. We have seen that there has been a bump in the number of registered swimmers in the LMSC where the nationals are being held. Is this something that we wish to forego? Remember that there is a LOT of work to run a nationals and that having the local swimmers compete at the nationals may be a small price to pay.

We have talked about having the ability to events 200 and longer to be seeded by time. This would have the effect of filling up the heats (few heats) and having swimmers of the same speed compete against each other ( you know the arguements for and against). For 50 and 100s there is not much difference in the time - there is a very stong feeling among some swimmers that championships should be head to head competition. I could live with all seeding by time or 50 and 100 championship seeded.

I like the idea of having a penalty for swimmers who say they have swum an NQT but dont swim an NQT at nationals. (maybe no penalty for those who can show that they have swum an NQT or faster time for that event in past two years).

michael

Joy Leutner
September 10th, 2004, 12:15 PM
Hi Michael:

You raised some interesting points.

Is the 8 min. time limit for the 800 and the 40 min. time limit for the 1500 for everybody? I can understand that limit for the younger age groups ... what about the much older age groups? Would that eliminate the 800/1500 as a choice for them?

You mentioned seeding only by time for all events over 100. Savannah was my first Master's Nationals and I loved racing in my age group heats. All year long, I race by time only. It was great to finally meet & swim with the women that I have admired on paper for so long. This is what makes Master's Swimming special to me. They brought out my best performances. If that change was made for all events over 100, as a distance swimmer, I would miss out on that experience completely.

Thanks.
Joy

jroddin
September 10th, 2004, 12:31 PM
Joy,

How would you feel about that experience if you had to sit around all day long and swim your race at 9pm?

Prior to 2000 LC Nationals I bought a pair of dark goggles because the meet was going to be outdoors and I was swimming some backstroke. The good news is the sun was not a problem - my heat went off around 9pm!

My point is yes, it is nice to swim against people in your age group but sometimes the size of the meet precludes this from being a practical standard. If the meet is small, like Rutgers, then sure, it is practical. But if there are 1300+ swimmers then you can't have it all.

Jeff Roddin

Fly Free
September 10th, 2004, 01:52 PM
Who cares about the time line? I agree that making a heat for the fastest 8 women would not truly impact the timeline, but shouldn't the fastest women be more concerned about achieving a faster time?

If you're the #1 800M free woman and the #2 woman is 20 seconds slower, but the #7 man is 1-2 seconds within her range, wouldn't she want to swim against the man in order to have a tighter race and ultimately a better time?

I have done my best distance times seated next to men. I'm more interested in getting a better time because the age-group results reflect my faster time with a better finishing place then I might have otherwise had swimming next to a slower woman.

Joy Leutner
September 10th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Jeff,

I was probably swimming next to you in those relays that went off late at night...and yes it was worth it. I had a blast!

Kelly,

Congrats on your 400 IM National title. Awesome! Also, didn't you feel that you had people pushing you in your heat in the 200 IM & 400 Free? The results indicate that you did have good competition.

I seriously think that the 5 day format is going to make the timeline a bit smoother.

mattson
September 10th, 2004, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
Connie, I would like to see where you got the data that has about 10% of the swimmers not making NQTs. I believe that the data shows that the number of swimmers not making NQTs for short course is between 20-30%. I think that there are fewer swimmers who do not make NQTs in LC.

The number of splashes entered by swimmers who enter 4 or more events is typicallly between 80-85% which means that we are having primarily swimmers who have the ability to swim in a national championships (assuming that their times are valid).

Eh, you are confusing me. Are you talking about per splash, or per swimmer? In your second paragraph, you do not distinguish between someone who has 4 NQT events (for example) and someone who has 1 NQT and 3 really, really slow events. :)

I am of the opinion that while a quicker timeline would be nice, it shouldn't be at the expense of excluding "slower" swimmers. I got hooked on Nationals before I could make the NQTs. And I think there are people like Connie, who are more excited about swimming after seeing other Masters from around the nation.

mbmg3282
September 10th, 2004, 06:45 PM
It is really a balancing act between the creating a quality competition environment, a fun meet and an acceptable timeline. Add to the challenge, there are lots of different opinions as to what each of these constitute.

It is a great bonus to the LSMC hosting nationals to allow the 3 free events. It does help in membership growth. Plus, it helpsin recruiting volunteers. However, we have a problem looming on the horizon that we need to deal with. What happens if USMS membership grows larger by 10,000 and more people want to come to our nationlas? Can we handle them? How do we control the size of the meet?

More importantly, how do we control the size of the meet without losing the aspects of the meet that we now enjoy?

I think it is great that Matt got hooked on masters as a non-qualifying swimmer. However, we can't increase the size of nationals much more and have it be a managable meet. Not only do we have swimmers like Jeff how are swimming late at night, we also have to get the volunteers to work the meet. I was involved with the SC Nationals in Tempe. We had over 700 volunteer shifts that worked for 6 hour shifts for 4 days. If we make the meet longer, that number has to go up. Also consider our officials. They are the first people at the meet and work until the last event is swum. There is usually about 1-2 hours of work that starts once the last event is compeleted. Adding days to the meet also adds more volunteers and costs.

So, there are no easy answers that fix all the problems. Some of the rules that are being debated at convention this year will give the championship committee options that it can use to try and shorten the length of the meet without eliminating swimmers. This like seeding all events 200 and over by time is an example. It doesn't mean that we will automatically do this, only if the meet timeline is too long.

mbmg3282
September 10th, 2004, 06:54 PM
Joy,

The idea behind maximum times in the longer events is that it would apply to all age groups. One idea is that the times would have to be calculated such that they would not be faster than the qualifying times in the oldest age group that is in the meet.

This might not always be popular. Everyone seemed to really enjoy watching a gentlemen swim the 200 fly for 15 minutes in Savannah even though his final time was 9 minutes slower than the slowest qualifying time in the meet.

There was also a gentleman who entered the mile. He stopped before swimming the full distance, but if he had continued at the same pace, he would have been in the 1.5 hour range, 37 minutes slower than the slowest qualifying time.

It is inspiring the see the most senior members of our sport swim. However, we reach a point when the impact on the other competitors needs to be considered.

Conniekat8
September 10th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
Connie, I would like to see where you got the data that has about 10% of the swimmers not making NQTs.

Based on what I've been hearing people say in Savannah. If the actual number is different, then we need to evaluate our decisions based on that number. Still, if the number is up to 20%, I may be inclined to make a very simialr decision.
If the non-qualifiers were 50%, that may be a different story.
Still, lets not forget that non-qualifiers only get 3 events vs. 6 for the qualifiers.

Lets say 33% out of 1200 swimmers are non-NQT's, and everyone is maxing out their events.

that would make 400x3 splashes = 1200 splashes
and 800x6 splashes = 4800 splashes

1200 out of 6000 splashes is 20%

So, cutting out non-NQT's would cut out 33% of the entry revenues, probably 20-30% of gold sponsors, cut the meet down by 20% in splashes.

20% cut in spashes may niot necessarily translate into a 20% cut in the event timeline, since the event entries may not be proportionately spread across events.

I wonder if more non-NQT's tend to do what I do...
I tend to pick short events when I enter nationals. I like to swim an event or two, but I don't want to swim events where I'll be laps behind the pack, so I don't enter anything over 200.
In local meets I like to swim the 400's and 800 and 1500, but since I'm not a contender for even the top 10, and not close to having a NQT for those, I don't have the need to swim it, and hold up the heat, and be the last one out of the pool in my heat, 2 laps behind everyone. That's too demoralizing.
in 100 where I'm only 5-10 seconds behind or in 200 it's not too big of a deal.

Conniekat8
September 10th, 2004, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Fly Free
Who cares about the time line?

Well, the meet may run till late at night... like 9, 10 or 11 PM because of a number of entries, or in some cases it may turn uo that you just can't complete all of the events listed for that day.
Meet organizers face that issue all the time.

The question is whjat to do to solve the problem... add a day to the meet, cut dowm on the number of swims you allow? Try to run the heats more efficiently? Something else?

Conniekat8
September 10th, 2004, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by mbmg3282
Joy,

The idea behind maximum times in the longer events is that it would apply to all age groups. One idea is that the times would have to be calculated such that they would not be faster than the qualifying times in the oldest age group that is in the meet.

This might not always be popular. Everyone seemed to really enjoy watching a gentlemen swim the 200 fly for 15 minutes in Savannah even though his final time was 9 minutes slower than the slowest qualifying time in the meet.

There was also a gentleman who entered the mile. He stopped before swimming the full distance, but if he had continued at the same pace, he would have been in the 1.5 hour range, 37 minutes slower than the slowest qualifying time.

It is inspiring the see the most senior members of our sport swim. However, we reach a point when the impact on the other competitors needs to be considered.

perhaps we could do a percentage cutoff... like, if you're more than 30% (I'm just tossing out an arbitrary numbert out here) behind the NQT, then you shouldn't enter that event.
It could also be a strong suggestion to those who do not quaklify, that since they are allowed in the meet afterall, to be cooperative and not insist od doing swims that would cause them to be 50% or more behid their heats, especially in longer events.

mattson
September 12th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Can you set up the electronic timing to have different lanes time separately? For heats where there is a large time spread, it would help to have two 4-lane heats, instead of one 8-lane heat. Obviously, if all of the times in the heat are close, this wouldn't be an advantage anymore. (I'm thinking about the 1650, not something short like the 200.)

Just wondering if it is technically possible.

michaelmoore
September 12th, 2004, 11:51 AM
Can you set up the electronic timing to have different lanes time separately?

I pretty sure that you cannot with the Colorado Timing system. You would need twe timing systems for two different races, which is what you are asking about.


michael

drip'nwet
September 13th, 2004, 01:35 PM
I think that those swimmers who do not have a qualifying time should swim events 100 yards or less at Nationals. This should be done before eliminating the 6th event for those swimmers who have 6 qualifiying times. After all this is supposed to be a National level meet. That still gives a choice of 9 events (short course - 100 IM) and 8 events (long course).
And I would like the championship committee to put some serious thought into how run meets so distance swimmers are able to swim their best events at Nationals. Sprinters and stroke specialist don't have to choose, however, every Nationals (save Rutgers and now Mission Veijo), I have had to make a decision as to which event I will swim. I can not attend many meets due to work - and so this year, (for example), I will not make the top 10 list in the 1500 even though I am probably 2nd in my age group.

Bill Volckening
September 13th, 2004, 01:49 PM
I am opposed to this rules proposal because it would give special preferential treatment to only eight people (16, if you count men and women in an eight-lane course) rather than the whole field.

Bill V.