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View Full Version : Who made the order of events for Fort Lauderdale Nationals?



TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Who's bright idea was it to have the 1,000 free and the 500 free back to back with less than 24 hours rest?

John Smith
(1,000 and 500 free participant)

Paul Smith
March 11th, 2005, 03:57 PM
John, John, John, first off since this is your first post most people would be willing to forgive your manners. However, given your "call sign" (Goodsmith?) I feel I must make things clear.

Everyone need not confuse you and I in this lame attempt at using the word "good" in association with you when all that are in the know.....know your know as "The Evil Smith"!!

Get some manners, and instead of complaining get involved!

PS: must be all that "D" training at altitude killing off brain cells!

TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 04:00 PM
Ane now you know why I selected my User Name.

Rob Copeland
March 11th, 2005, 04:13 PM
Boys, boys, boys…. Let’s play nice out there:)

The bright ideas for the order of events for nationals come from the hard working volunteers of USMS, without whom none of this would be possible.

And look on the bright side us distance guys will get the 1000, 1650 and 500 under our belts, before the sprinters even get wet. I’ll be ready to kick back and relax with a frosty one at the Button while Tall Paul is warming up for his 50 Free.

TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 05:07 PM
.......... still not satisfied.

Dude, it's about planning. Picking the 3 longest freestyle events back to back in the schedule is definitely not cool.

mbmg3282
March 11th, 2005, 05:18 PM
John,

The short answer to your question is the House of Delegates at the annual convention chooses the order of events at nationals. Actually, they choose 3 different versions of the order of events and these versions are rotated. The schedule for that is listed in the rulebook (http://www.usms.org/rules/part1.pdf on page 42).

The last time these schedules were chosen, a subcommittee of the championship committee met and came up with 7 proposed schedules. A set of guidelines is used when making up the order of events. For example, either the first of last day of the meet will be the distance day (the 800/1000 and 1500/1650), no more than one distance event on the other days of the meet. Because of time the 400/500 is split between two days. A stroke will only be swum once per day (so you won't have the 50 and 200 breast on the same day). After all these conditions are met, we then try to avoid a set of doubles that is determined by a survey of swimmers. This way we avoid things such as the 200 IM and 200 back ending up back to back events. There are 10 sets of doubles that we avoid.

We then go through each schedule and look at the number of swimmers that we would expect to enter an event and try to determine an estimated timeline. We use results from previous nationals held in similar cities to come up with these estimates. We use scratch rates and no show rates from previous nationals as well as we try to load balance the days of the meet. It is important that Friday is not 7 hours long and Saturday is not 12 hours long.

Once all this has been completed, we present the schedules to the House of Delegates. They vote for their least favorite and we eliminate the schedules one at a time until there are only three left. These are the ones that we will use for the next two years.

This is not an exact science. We try to consider what is best for all swimmers in the meet, but by no means do we always come up with the best possible schedule for all people. However, Paul is right, we are always open to folks that want to help. To get involved, let your local LSMC know that you would be interested in going to convention. Alternatively, contact Barry Fasbender, the chair of the championship committee and let him know that you would be interested in helping develop the list of possible schedules.

mbmg3282
March 11th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Actually, there is considerable planning that goes into these events. However, you bring up an interesting question, why are the three longest events the first three?

The 1650/1000 will always be on the same day in a four day national championship. It has to do with limited resources. We put the two longest events on the day that the fewest people will be there for a reason, to keep down the length of the day. If we put the 1000 on Saturday, it would be extremely popular. As it is right now, on a Thursday, the event lasts half a day (about 4 - 6 hours). On a Saturday, it would probably take 3/4 of a day (6-9 hours) or more. This would prevent us from being able to offer but one of two other events. At short course nationals, it is not uncommon for a well attended meet (one that approaches 2000 swimmers) to have days that last 12 hours. We are trying to prevent the days from being longer than 12 hours.

We are trying some other options. At LC Nationals this year at Mission Viejo, the meet will run for 5 days. At this meet, the 1500 and 800 are on separate days. This is going to allow distance swimmers to compete on both events. However, there is a cost involved. It is one more day of rent on for a pool ($1000 - $5000 depending on the facility)and one more day of volunteers (about 300 people pre day). For the athetes, it means one more day of vacation, one more day of hotel and food. If this is successful, perhaps we will be able to spread out the events more in the future.

As for the 500, it is on the first day only in one out of the three schedules. We would not want to always have the 400 IM as the Friday distance event. It would discriminate against IMers. Especially those that can make it to the meet until Saturday. In a large meet, we would expect Saturday to have about 200 - 300 more swimmers than Friday.

Why is the event first? In outdoor meets, the logic is that it will get warmer as the day progresses. We would rather let the sprinters and shorter races take place when it is hot out. Let the distance swimmers go first while the temperature is still cool is the idea we had in mind. However, we do rotate that in some of the schedules.

There are going to be tradeoffs with any of these ideas. If we tried to put the 500 at the end of the meet, people would be upset that sprinters could leave at 3:00 on Sunday and fly home, but the distance swimmers in the 500 wouldn't finish for another 3 hours, effectively missing their flights and forcing them to bear another day of hotel, food and vacation. If we put the 1000 or 1650 on a day other than Thursday in a SC nationals and moved sprint events onto Thursday, it would drive participation down at the meet. Now the meet host doesn't make money. We have to balance the needs of the athletes, the meet host and the volunteers. Lots of different angles to plan from.

Paul Smith
March 11th, 2005, 05:58 PM
Mark, your trying to reason with a man that is unreasonable! Remember, he's had a chip on his shoulder for over 20 yars because Florida didn't recruit him and he had to go to Texas!

Plus he's in the telecom industry!

Run away, watch your children...be very afraid!

TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 05:59 PM
Mark,

Nice response.... detailed..... I appreciate it, but, not a sufficient explanation as to exactly why the 500 free was picked to be sacraficed as opposed to another event. At the very least, the 500 if on the 1st day should have been moved to the end of the day to spread out more time for recovery.

We could go round and round on scenarios for orders, and as you have said the committee already examined many line ups. Unfortunately, this one was selected.

As for your suggestion that I volunteer for my local LMSC and ask to go to the convention .......... you can't use voluteerism as an excuse for a poor decision. A reply of "get involved more" doesn't explain what has already transpired.

My ongoing yearly fees to my local LMSC and committed participation at local and national meets is quite adequate support for Masters Swimming.

TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Mark,

Your second post was better and got to the root of the issue.

Now.....

If people complain that the 500 is the last day and the sprinters want to leave......... then let them. 500 participants will make their plane fares later in the day or the next morning if they really want to swim it. I think you've nailed the issue on the head ! It's about placing the 500 last in the event schedule.

No one will stay to watch because the meet is basically over.

So what. Tough luck Mr. 500 man. At least you got some rest ! Swimming the 500 free so late in the day should not be a reason to move the event so close to the mile and the 1000.

mbmg3282
March 11th, 2005, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Mark,

As for your suggestion that I volunteer for my local LMSC and ask to go to the convention .......... you can't use voluteerism as an excuse for a poor decision. A reply of "get involved more" doesn't explain what has already transpired.

My ongoing yearly fees to my local LMSC and committed participation at local and national meets is quite adequate support for Masters Swimming.

I think my intention was misunderstood. I was not offering volunteerism as an excuse, but rather try to follow up on Paul's suggestion and explain how one would get involved if this particular issue was what they wanted to address. You also have delegates from CO that can speak to this for you. All the committee meetings are open and allow comments from the floor.

I believe our goal in having multiple schedules is the realization that no one schedule is going to make everyone happy. There are complaints every time a distance event is the last event in the meet, there are complaints when the 400 IM comes the day after the 500 free. There are complaints when the 400 IM comes before the 500 free. People are unhappy when the 500 comes on the first day of the meet, morning or afternoon. There are also a large number of people who prefer each of these options. The same holds true with sprinters, IMers, backstrokers, etc. and the order of their favorite events.

That is why we have multiple schedules. Some years it isn't the best for your events. Some years, the schedule does a better job of meeting your particular needs, but not those of another competitor.

It will be another year before the championship committee proposed new schedules. I will pass along the idea that the three longest races shouldn't be the first 3 events of the meet to the chair of this subcommittee.

Paul Smith
March 11th, 2005, 06:33 PM
you we're warned Mark, watch your fingers!

By the way, you do realize your discussing distance event scheduling with some who never has until now, and after this meet never again swim anything over the 200 free!

JS, Bobby is gonna take you down and your gonna buy a lot of beers for RJK & I after that swim!

Paul Smith
March 11th, 2005, 06:34 PM
By the way, you all know John Smith aka "TheGoodSmith" is really Ion?!

TheGoodSmith
March 11th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Mark,

I am just giving you ****. Life is what it is. The real problem with the planet is the ongoing existence of the Evil Smith and his unrightous rule over the 50 free. An event I was born to own and dominate.

I will bag the 1,000 and go for the 500. It must be done !

John Smith

mattson
March 11th, 2005, 07:05 PM
"He Who Shall Not Be Named" is back, really?

The order of events could be a lot worse. At Savannah, there were thunderstorms thursday night, and (I've been told) the power went out. The last two heats of the mile were moved to the beginning of friday morning. A guy on my team, Erik, swam the mile at the start of the day, the 400 IM a few heats later, the 200 Br during the day, and the very last heat of the day (on a relay). He was in remarkably good spirits for someone who spent 15 hours, and a lot of yards, in the pool.

mbmg3282
March 11th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Paul is a problem for many of us. I can't help you with that one.

Suit Chaser
March 11th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Don't you just love it when people whine about things but do nothing to help?

This is the same guy who was running around griping because he didn't see his name in print in SWIM magazine's Nationals feature.

Yeesh!

mbmg3282
March 11th, 2005, 07:27 PM
I could see a schedule getting passed where

Thursday 1650 / 1000 free
Friday 400 IM last event
Saturday 500 free last event
Sunday 500 free either first or last

or

Friday 500 free last event
Saturday 500 free first event
Sunday 400 IM either first or last

However, I would still expect to see a 200 as the first event on Friday. I am thinking of this from the perspective of a meet host. You absolutely don't want to start Friday with a sprint event. The distance day of the meet is relatively easy. You only have 400 - 600 people to deal with and if something goes wrong, you have plenty of time to fix it.

Friday is the first day of the full meet. Suddenly, you have 1700 swimmers on the pool deck. It is the first day that you need the full 300 volunteers and not everyone shows up on time or knows what they should be doing. Unless a club has run nationals before, they have no idea how big and complicated this first day is. Even if you have run kids meets with 1500 swimmers, they are nothing like adults. You need a longer event as the first event so the meet host can settle into a rhythm and fix any problems before the sprint events begin.

When the sprint events start, things move fast. At SC nationals, you have two courses running with heats starting about every 15 - 30 seconds (alternate courses). It would be a mess if we started a day with this.

Although we try to keep the athlete's needs in mind, we also have to balance out what is reasonable to expect from our volunteers, meet officials and the host club. It can be a bit of a balancing act.

swimmieAvsFan
March 11th, 2005, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by mbmg3282
That is why we have multiple schedules. Some years it isn't the best for your events. Some years, the schedule does a better job of meeting your particular needs, but not those of another competitor.

that's totally true. unfortunately, there is no way humanly possible to please every single swimmer that will be at nationals... if you've pleased the distance swimmers, you've ticked off the sprinters. if you please the sprinters, you've probably ticked off the middle distance swimmers... if you please the IMers, you've most likely ticked off everyone else! and then there's some of us who specialize in a very unfortunate combination of events (ie the 200 back and 100 free). i've yet to go to a masters meet where these 2 events were not back to back, or my other 2 events (100 back and 200 free) were not back to back. i'm just glad that this nationals has at least 1 event between all of my events!

i think the HoD has done a pretty good job of coming up with schedules that will please the largest amount of swimmers... (but i know some of us are easier to please than others!)
:rolleyes: ;)

knelson
March 12th, 2005, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland
And look on the bright side us distance guys will get the 1000, 1650 and 500 under our belts, before the sprinters even get wet.

Yeah, I kind of like that. After the 500 it should be smooth sailing. I wouldn't want the 500 to be the last event on sunday every year. And the mile or 1000 are just warmups for the 500, right? :)

White Buffalo
March 13th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Self rationalization in a highly dysfuctional organization is apparent and always has been. The short answer is that individuals always look out for their personal best interests, on a conscious or subconscious level, to the detriment of the majority.

This is the classic example. The overt reason the 500's have recently become the first event is because no one sticks around when they are the last event to watch these swimmers. Hence, someone who probably swims the 500 and was bummed out that there were 2 people watching came up with this rotating format of placing the 500 first and making all other swimmers, the vast majority, miserable!

Consequently, in order to please the few ( 500 swimmers), the many suffer- all other swimmers! There is your answer!

Peter Cruise
March 13th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Paul used a very low blow, insinuating that the Romanian factor is at work; let the Smith Speeders take this to the pool where it belongs...bets, anyone?

besides, you should only worry about pleasing breaststrokers at these meets...

as well, switch to meters while you're at it...hee hee

Suit Chaser
March 13th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Actually, you're describing the person who started this thread, and not the volunteers who work hard to discuss all the options and come up with a reasonable order of events.


Originally posted by Whie Buffalo
Self rationalization in a highly dysfuctional organization is apparent and always has been. The short answer is that individuals always look out for their personal best interests, on a conscious or subconscious level, to the detriment of the majority.

This is the classic example. The overt reason the 500's have recently become the first event is because no one sticks around when they are the last event to watch these swimmers. Hence, someone who probably swims the 500 and was bummed out that there were 2 people watching came up with this rotating format of placing the 500 first and making all other swimmers, the vast majority, miserable!

Consequently, in order to please the few ( 500 swimmers), the many suffer- all other swimmers! There is your answer!

Paul Smith
March 13th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Peter, no low blow intended with the "late bloomer" question/reference.....rather a subtle jab at how boring things have been around here with his absence!

The Evil Mr. Smith has jumped in an gotten more attention and posts with his in your face (Texas style) attitude then we've seen in awhile. However, to borrow a quote from my Friend Sam Perry; John's all hat and no cattle!

By the way, as for pleasing of breaststrokers; we should only pity them as we all know they we're "born" with a gene to by gymasts but somehow got thrown in a pool and lost their way!

Fritz
March 13th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Paul Smith

By the way, as for pleasing of breaststrokers; we should only pity them as we all know they we're "born" with a gene to by gymasts but somehow got thrown in a pool and lost their way!

Well said. Maybe someday science will isolate the gene so we'll know what sends people over to the dark side.

Peter Cruise
March 13th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Too true, Paul... the level of vituperation has let w-a-a-a-y down. As for your typical freestyler's perception of breastrokers (corrupted by your occasional butterflying) is of course sad: we breastrokers are sensualists who enjoy the journey rather than blink and (hey!) I'm finished at the end of a race.

Sam Perry
March 13th, 2005, 06:03 PM
However, to borrow a quote from my Friend Sam Perry; John's all hat and no cattle!


Let me pipe in here. Yes I did say that, but John so you know, it was about Mr. Killeen and not you. I am sure you would agree with me in my summation of RK.

Good luck to all of you at nationals regardless of what you swim. Still recovering from surgery I hope to see some of you at Mission Viejo this summer!

TheGoodSmith
March 13th, 2005, 07:32 PM
Sam,

Mr. Killeen and I may be "all hat and no cattle", but we do pride ourselves in an occasional all out egotistical 50 free. We prefer to swim on memory and ego (not yardage). Unlike the Evil Smith, who uses the 50 free as a "rest event" for his true events the 200 & 500.

The issue at stake here is simple. This year the 500 free voters got screwed by the non 500 free voters on the USMS Event Selection Committee. I prefer to think of myself as a blue state in this situation............. :) Life goes on. Bobby Patten and I will drudge through these two events back to back.............. I'll just make sure I do enough complaining for the both of us.

Note: Mr. Evil Smith on the other hand will be returning from a luxurious stay in Australia around the time of USMS Nationals. Unlike me he is aging up and creeping ever slowly toward 50.

John Smith :)

Suit Chaser
March 13th, 2005, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
I do enough complaining for the both of us.

We know.

knelson
March 13th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Think about this, though. With the 500 free Friday a.m. there might actually be someone around who can count for you! Last year I was starting to worry they were going to ask me to turn out the natatorium lights on my way out :)

Paul Smith
March 14th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Truth be told Evil Smit is that based on the last time you swam the 1000 you have no credibitilty........as I recall you went out in 20.90 and warmed down for 950 yds?

So now your whining about having to swim "back to back" events? Given the mileage that your training partner (legendary ex Arden Hills/Cal distance ace Kirk Anderson) is putting you through and the altitude drop you really are All Hat!

PS: I know what's really at play here, trying to set up some kind of exit strategy to not pay yp on the bet with RJK & myself!

TheGoodSmith
March 14th, 2005, 10:25 AM
I'm a 50 free man.

I don't want people hanging around to watch me swim the 500.

mattson
March 14th, 2005, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
...vituperation...

Peter, where were you when I was taking SATs in high school? :D

Phil Arcuni
March 14th, 2005, 10:44 PM
jeesh . .

It is bad enough when the Smiths force you out of the fast heat -- now they are filling up the chat groups?


Fish like swimming? Smith like swimming for me!

craiglll@yahoo.com
March 15th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Somewhere in all of the weirdness of this thread is something I think is very disturbing. It is stated tht the rationale for putting both the 1650 & the 1000 on the same day is becasue they are very popular events, and if they were on seperate days too many people would want to participate. The argument is that one day woudl be very long.

This is a membership! We must never forget this. If the 1000 is the most popular event, then the schedule must be arranged to allow as many peole as possible to participate. This is a very arrogant argument.

Rob Copeland
March 15th, 2005, 12:33 PM
Craig, I think you misread Mark Gill’s post. He did not say “the 1000 is the most popular event” and it isn’t. I don’t have the statistics in front of me, but I’d guess that the 50 or 100 are more popular events.

And Craig, I missed your point; are you suggesting that we add a day to nationals to accommodate the 1650 and 1000 on different days or are you suggesting that we tack the 1000 (or 1650) to the beginning/end of an existing daily schedule?

mbmg3282
March 15th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Craig,

I apologize if I seemed arrogant in my prior post. That was not my intention. Nationals is a balancing act between the desire of athletes, cost of the facilities, ability of the volunteers and time. If we put an event like the 1000 or 1650 on a Saturday, we would probably not be able to offer other events that day. That would drive participation down in the overall event. Potentially, the meet could lose money. It is really a matter of economics and limited resources.

To give you an idea, the 2003 SC nationals had expenses of over $100,000. There is risk to a meet host in running a national event. With all the work and time put in (over 60,000 volunteer hours during the event - not to mention the year and a half of planning prior to the event). As an organization, USMS has to make sure there is the potential for a positive return for the organizations that agree to host our events. To do that, we put our most popular events on Saturday and Sunday (the largest attendance days).

Is this unfair to distance swimmers. Probably. But it is the unfortunate truth that we can't have as many swimmers served during an hour of distance racing as we can during an hour of shorter events.

Some possible solutions that are being explored.

* this summer we are running a 5 day format for LC Nationals. The 1500 and 800 are separeted over two days. The swimmers that meet the qualifying times in both events can swim both. The events are Thursday and Monday. Still not on the most popular days, but it will allow athletes to swim both. There is a higher cost to this solution. Not only is there pool costs (between $1000 - $5000 per day), there is also the cost of additional volunteers, you have to use an additional day of vacation, spend another night in a hotel and eat out one more day.

* We can seed the distance events by time only disregarding gender and age group. Typically this will save about 1.5 hours over an event.

* Some zone meets charge a higher price for distance events to account for the length of time and additional cost of the events. Basically, they price discriminating the distance events. In this case, a regular event costs $2.50 and a distance race costs $20.

* Other have proposed that we tighten the time standards so only the very elite can swim the longer events.

* another proposal is to make all distance swimmers swim 2 per lane to cut down on time. Not a populare option among distance athletes, but this is mandated at World championships.

As you can see, not all of these solutions are ideal. However, it is a difficult problem when a single heat can take over 40 minutes.

In 2003, swimming in 16 lanes, it took over 6 hours to get through the 1650 and 5 hours for the 1000. That was with only 200 athletes competing at each distance compared to over 800 in the 50 free. Now, the rest of that meet had 1600, 1900 and 1800 athletes attending on the following days. If only 400 people wanted to swim a distance event, we would be looking at a 10 - 12 hour day that only offered the 1650 or 1000.

You are right, this is a membership driven organization. The feeling of the championship committee is that only offering a single event on a Saturday would not serve our membership well.

However, we don't claim to know all the answers and try to consider the suggestions made by members, so if you have a better idea, we would certainly be open to it.

craiglll@yahoo.com
March 15th, 2005, 07:32 PM
I a distance race were held on a Saturday, I would be more likely to show up becuase I would then also swim shorter distances. I can't swim many distance races in one or two days. However, if they are spread out, I can and swim more.

Also has anyone thought about dividing seeds up by days. I've always thought that if the first half of the 1650 were on one day and the second half on another, more people might swim. also, fewer peoole woudl be sitting around waiting for their heet and other events can be mixed into the day better. If I may say so, I think this is a brilliant idea.

When I look at many big meets, I see thta people who swim short distances can frequently get away with being at a meet for only two days. They can swim many different event & different strokes.

mbmg3282
March 15th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
I a distance race were held on a Saturday, I would be more likely to show up becuase I would then also swim shorter distances. I can't swim many distance races in one or two days. However, if they are spread out, I can and swim more.


My guess is if we offered either the 1000 or 1650 on a Saturday, we would not be able to offer any other events that day. It could realistically double the number of entries from 200 to 400 and we would go from an event that lasts 5-6 hours (currenly what happens when offered on Thursdays) to a 10 - 12 hour long event.

This would also make it difficult to offer relays on Saturday. Only a handful of distance swimmers would be left at the end of the event. We could put relays first, but if you are swimming nothing else that day, many would not show up at all.

Your idea of dividing an event by seed is interesting. If we do this by time, it will probably encourage sandbagging or entering times much faster than a person can swim to try and control which day you swim on. Assuming people behave and this problem doesn't exist, it would make it difficult to make travel plans until the pysch sheets are posted and we announce the cutoff time that puts you on a certain day. We could do this by age group, but then we seem to be discriminating by age. If not age discrimination, guys like the one that started this thread will be mad that his distance events are too close together.

Still, it is an idea worth examining. We do divide the event by age when we seed in three pools. As an example, in Ft. Lauderdale, there will be three courses on the first day of the meet. Athletes over a certain age will be seeded by time and swim in course C. All others will be seeded by time and alternate in course A & B.

Keep in mind, one problem we have is that both SC and LC Nationals are about as big as we reasonably handle. If more people start swimming distance races, the championships will have to change to a 5 day format or find some way to further restrict entries. Right now, a unique feature of the meet is that anyone can participate in 3 events without meeting a qualifying time. That could need to be changed if we move distance races to the weekend.

Paul Smith
March 16th, 2005, 10:06 AM
Mark.........apologizing........for "appearing" arrogant?

Mark you ARE arrogant!

Who loves ya baby!!

:D

LindsayNB
March 16th, 2005, 11:16 AM
Has USMS considered putting on a National caliber meet that caters primarily to the distance swimmers? It sounds like it would be more expensive to enter, but perhaps the swimmers wouldn't mind, what is a $20 event fee compared to travel and hotel costs? I have no idea if the demand is there, just a thought.

Rob Copeland
March 16th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Mark arrogant? I don’t think so, Paul.

So I went to my Funk & Wagnall to look up arrogant, and found the following…


Main Entry: ar•ro•gant
Pronunciation: -g&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin arrogant-, arrogans, present participle of arrogare
1 : exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance in an overbearing manner <an arrogant official>
2 : proceeding from or characterized by arrogance <arrogant manners>
synonym see PROUD
- ar•ro•gant•ly adverb

See photo below:

Rob Copeland
March 16th, 2005, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Has USMS considered putting on a National caliber meet that caters primarily to the distance swimmers?

Lindsay, the answer is yes! And in fact USMS puts on 10 national championships each year that caters primarily to the distance swimmers. These National Long Distance Championships meets range from 1 mile to 10K and beyond. Information about these meets can be found at www.usms.org/longdist/ldchamps.php

SwiminONandON
March 16th, 2005, 12:23 PM
I've swum four events back to back at a smaller meet with very few heats. I made it through, so will you. Either quit your whinning and get into the pool and train OR shut up. The order of events will always displease someone. I also swim a weird combo of events, and at many meets go hmmm ... five in a row, aye? Oh well ... It's life. Life isn't fair. You can't make everyone happy.

GOD BLESS SPRINTERS!

Oh, and I did gymnastics for 10 years, and was very flexible even for a gymnast and my breaststroke looks like a frog on crack ...

TheGoodSmith
March 16th, 2005, 04:53 PM
I can assure you god is not on the sprinter's side.

SwiminONandON
March 16th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Oh, I beg to differ ... I fully believe that God is a fan of the sprinters.

TheGoodSmith
March 16th, 2005, 06:21 PM
The evil smith owns the 50yd free and Boatwright owns the WR in the 50m free. (40-44)

Still think god is on the sprinters side?

craiglll@yahoo.com
March 16th, 2005, 06:26 PM
Not only would seeding by time & age help control the enterants but what about having one half on one day and the other half on another day. Say the 1000 yd has half of the heets on Thursday. After those heets you could run some other event. Then on Friday, the second half and then run some events. Then on Saturday morning run half of the 1650. And finally, on Sunday the second half. It would probably even be okay to do them very early. By doing this more people would be involved in all days of the event. The hotels woudl certainly be more grateful! Has this ever been done.

Something I've frequently noticed at local meets is that if many very simular events are held close together, I frequently sit around. I will also enter events I don't swim just to have something to do or because of spacing/timing. I was at a meet and I didn't begin until, I think, the 17th event then swam in the 22nd, 25th, and the last.

As for sandbaging, a way to possibly stop this is to require proof onthe entry form. If the person has to write down where & when the time was made, they are less likely to lie about it. Especially since it is very verifiable because almost all results from local events end up on some computer spot.

mbmg3282
March 16th, 2005, 07:41 PM
If we followed the suggestion of splitting the 1650 and 1000 each over two days, what would we do with the other distance events? We would have the 500 free and 400 IM on the same day as another distance race. Having them on back to back days is the complaint that started this thread. Imagine what having the races on the same day would do?

The idea of proof of times is right in line with the thinking of the championship committee. Currently, a swimmer is required to put down the date they met the qualifying time. We haven't gone with requiring proof of entry yet. For this to really work, we would need to have all meet results sent to a central database. We are not there yet. We are looking at a rule that will require sandbaggers at nationals to submit proof of time when they have great swims (the person who has a 10 minute PR in the middle of the day rather than swim in the fast heat at night sort of great swim).

White Buffalo
March 16th, 2005, 10:17 PM
I hate to inject religion in this but-JESUS! The original complaint was why are the three longest men's races the first three events, all within 24 hours?

I have not seen one cogent reply and I would suggest that is because this kind of scheduling is indefensible. Period.

mbmg3282
March 17th, 2005, 12:23 AM
White Buffalo,

I would certainly be interested in your ideas of how the schedule of events could be improved upon.

White Buffalo
March 17th, 2005, 12:41 AM
Mark:

A good start is not having the 3 longest men's events all in a row and potentially all within 24 hours for some competitors. There is a reason the 500 free at NCAA's is on Thursday and the mile on Saturday.

The conflict or paradox is mediocrity versus excellence, no qualifying times versus qualifying times. Do you find it "strange" that master's swimming has a national championship where someone can show up, say age 45, and swim a 30 minute 1650? Do believe this should be at a national championship?

This weekend is the men's NCAA wrestling championships. I believe that if a wrestler did not get top 3 in the Big 12, the most dominant conference, the wrestler does not get to go. I guarantee you that there are fourth place Big 12 wrestlers that would excel this weekend, but do not get to go. Why is our national championship open to everyone, and if so, why is it called national championship with such built in medicrity- no qualifying times? The qualifying times are very modest.
WB

Suit Chaser
March 17th, 2005, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Has USMS considered putting on a National caliber meet that caters primarily to the distance swimmers? It sounds like it would be more expensive to enter, but perhaps the swimmers wouldn't mind, what is a $20 event fee compared to travel and hotel costs? I have no idea if the demand is there, just a thought.

In fact, USMS has considered that option. They are called the USMS Long Distance Championships, and there are ten of them.

One mile (quarter-mile straightaway or open water course)
Quarter-mile straightaway (2 miles)
Open water (greater than 1 and less than or equal to 3 miles)
Open water (greater than 3 and less than 6 miles)
Open water (greater than or equal to 6 miles)
Postal 1 hour
Postal 5 and 10 kilometer (in 50-meter pool)
Postal 3000 and 6000 yard (in a 25-yard pool)

...and on top of those, USMS offers the 1000 and 1650 at Short Course Nationals, plus the 800 and 1500 at Long Course Nationals...

I don't think distance swimmers should really have any reason to feel like there's nothing for them.

LindsayNB
March 17th, 2005, 09:09 AM
While I enjoy open water swimming, and am a poor distance swimmer in the pool, and am not upset about the event order, I tend to think that open water swims are very different from racing a 1650 or 1500 at a national caliber meet.

Clearly there is tension between allowing a large number of people to swim events that take large amounts of pool time and running a cost effective meet. This has resulted in the distance events being scheduled in a way that discourages participation. To resolve the tension one has to decrease the amount of pool time consumed by the distance events, or increase the amount of money paid, or rearrange the events in a way that accomodates swimmers swimming multiple distance events without increasing the amount of pool time taken.

Some things that could be considered:
1) if a swimmer is dedicated enough to swim back to back distance events their total time in the pool will likely be longer than swimming the same events not back to back.
2) swimmers who do not make the qualifying times could swim two to a lane
3) in a two pool/four course meet one course could be used for distance while other events were going on in two other courses
4) a limited number of spots could be made available at times optimized for multiple distance event swimmers either based on qualify time, higher cost, or lottery.

In software engineering we often say: quick implementation, low cost, high quality - pick two. In this case we have wide participation, low cost to swimmer while financially viable for the host, optimal spacing of distance events - pick two. Of course you don't actually pick two and drop one entirely, it's just that you can't have all of them at once. What tradeoffs you make will reflect your values and different people have different values and make different tradeoffs. A set of tradeoffs that doesn't fit your values can still be cogent and defensible.

mattson
March 17th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by White Buffalo
The original complaint was why are the three longest men's races the first three events, all within 24 hours?

I know people (mostly triathletes), who are only interested in 500+ yard events. I'm sure they are happy to be done (and fly back to their homes) in 2 days, instead of potentially sticking around for 4 days.

I'm not in that camp. Just saying there are people where getting the events out of the way is an advantage. For my part, I'm happy to get the mile over with, rest overnight, and deal with the 500 right away. Gives me a chance to recover before the sprints.

For the sprinters who can't cut work days, they can take an early flight friday morning and not miss their events. (I'm guessing that is part of the reason why the 400 IM is the last event. Most people are flying home on Sunday.)

mbmg3282
March 17th, 2005, 01:05 PM
WB,

You have touched on a most debatable subject separate from the order of events argument, which is what should our championship look like. Perhaps this is better dealt with on another thread, but I will give a brief answer here.

The delegates that each LMSC send to the annual convention are divided into two camps. One agrees with you and feels this meet should be a true national championship with tough qualifying times. (Worlds will have qualifying times for all events at Stanford, 2006, but they are much easier than our NQT's). There is another group that feels nationals is an event for everyone, but only the fastest can swim more than three events. They point to how a championship meet builds the membership in the area hosting the meet.

My guess is that time and growth will force us to move to your view of a championship meet. Already, we are having to make our qualifying times more difficult to try and control the size of the LC meet this summer. Our championships are about as big as we can handle (2000 for SC and 1000 - 1200 for LC). If they grow much bigger, we may do things such as restrict the free events to only 2 events. As our Zone meets become bigger, it will ease some of the pressure on nationals as well.

As for improving the order of events, I will pass the suggestion along that first 3 event are not the longest. However, there will probably still be a distance event on each day of the meet. If we were to swim both the men's and women's 500 on the same day, that would be a very long event (over 5 hours). To give you an idea, the women's 500 free lasts 3 hours, the men's lasts 2.75 hours and the 400 IM lasts 2.75 hours, the 1650 last 5.5 hours and the 1000 free last 4 hours in a typical SC meet swimming 16 lanes. These numbers come from a meet with only 1700 swimmers.

WB, if you want to put together a better schedule of events for a 4-day meet, I will see that it gets submitted for consideration. If you don't want to post it here for public abuse, you can send it to me at mark.gill@usms.org

Thanks for your input,

Matt S
March 17th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Lindsay,

I appreciate your thoughtful, constructive comments on the issue of the order of events. If I could let me sum up the various positions I have heard from the 1000 & 1650 swimmers:

- We want to swim both, not one, of these events at Nationals.
- We don't want them and the 500 free crammed into the first few days of the meet, because we will be too tired to swim all of them well.
- We don't want them to be the first and last events of the meet, because we will have to spend more time and money on accomodations, and no one will stick around to watch us swim.
- We do want the prime time slots--the first events on Saturday and Sunday mornings--and we deserve those slots, despite the fact the shorter events could get in 4 to 12 splashes for every one splash for our events, because all swimmers are equal, but we are more equal than others.
- No we don't want to have to train harder to handle all three longer freestyle events in a short time window.
- No we don't want to have to pick one or two events to focus on swimming well, instead of all three.
- No sorry, the open water swimming is not the same as a pool distance event, and no we don't want to accept open water as a reasonable accomodation.
- Yes, we are more than happy to exclude "slower" swimmers from the National meet, so long as the NQTs are set so we can qualify.

I realize I am combining the comments of several different people, each of whom has a separate aggenda and proposed solutions. However, these are all views the meet organizing committee has been asked to accomodate.

Res Ipsa Loquitur
Matt

craiglll@yahoo.com
April 5th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Some of the most OCD swimmers I know are sprinters. Talk about going over & over things. What about the obsession sprinters have with theri starts!

craiglll@yahoo.com
April 7th, 2005, 05:58 PM
I was just looking at the FINA site to see the order of events for worlds. Events are generally distributed very evenly. There aren't a lot of the same type events near eachother. Is there a reason USMS couldn't follow Fina's event line-up?

JRidge
April 7th, 2005, 07:51 PM
Did anyone happen to notice that at the World Championship Trials just completed, the 1500 (men)/800 (women) prelims were on Monday (midday), Finals of each were Tuesday night and then generally those same people swam the non-Olympic distances (1500 for the women and 800 for the men) the following morning (Wednesday). The men had to do both the 400 free and 400 IM on the same day (just as the women did at the Olympics and Trials). So even with 6 days of competition tough doubles or distance back-to-backs aren't avoided. As several people have stated previously; there will always be someone unhappy with the order of events and cycling the order at least offers some chance at equity.