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cinc3100
August 3rd, 2002, 02:36 AM
I have a theory that Masters has more males than females is because high school and college programs in the past spent their time on male swimmers. I remember my high school having only distances like 25 yard butterfly and the 50's of the other strokes and only the 100 for freestyle and IM. This was up to my sophmore year. And at the Jr year, the girls finally had 200 yard Im and 500 yard freestyle and the 100's of the other strokes like the boys. Also, I remember that the community college workout for women was a lot less yardage than that for guys. The California community college had the 100 and 50 distances for women and the 100 and 200 yard distances for men. The women did vote to keep the sprints and California community college is the only college system with the 50 sprints for other strokes besides freestyle. Anyways, college scohlorships for women came available starting mainly with the 1970's in swimming. Now at the age group level for USA Swimming girls outnumber boys. So in the future masters swimming will probably end up with more women.

emmett
August 3rd, 2002, 06:19 AM
I think the majority of Masters swimmers have no college swimming background. Perhaps not even an AAU/USS/USA background.

cinc3100
August 3rd, 2002, 11:38 AM
There was a poll that showed most master swimmers under 50 years old had some previous swim background. Those over 50 years old were less likely to have a previous background. And the youngest groups were more likely to have swam in summer league or Usa swimming or high school or college. The average master is in their 40's. Like I stated before high school programs and college programs for people now in their 40's favored male swimmers, so masters tends to be more male than female. Yet, in the younger age groups there are less differences in the number between the sexes, since their is a less emphasis on male swimmers in school swimming than in the past.

dhurstell
September 18th, 2002, 11:03 AM
Well, not even the olympics have 1500free for females

cinc3100
September 18th, 2002, 11:59 AM
I think that when they started swimming events for women they did think that on average they were weaker than men in regards to handing distance. But in this era back in the 1920's, there were women who had swam the english channel. Now days, I think they just keep the 800 meter for women and the 1500 for men because of time and schedule. They want to keep it short as possible and men happen to swim a little faster. However, great swimming distances some world records are held by women, fatty tissue protects them more from colder water and gives them more energy to draw from their extra fatty tissue. I think Lynn Cox still holds the world record for the english channel swim. As for as age group swimming, more girls go out for swimming, its only now in masters where there is still more men. But the average master age is in the forties, they swam in a period in their youth when their were more high school and college programs for boys and men. Now there are more college programs for women. In the past 30 years top women times have had greater drops then men. Karen Moe won the 200 meter butterfly in 2:15 in 1972 and Misty Hyman a 2:05.8. Mark Spitz swam a 2:00 200 meter butterfly and Michael Phelps holds the world record in a 1:54.7. Ladies times have drop more than men times in the past 30 years. Maybe, because swimming has change from being more of a guy sport to more of a female sport. More competition for the ladies.

MegSmath
September 23rd, 2002, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by cinc310
There was a poll that showed most master swimmers under 50 years old had some previous swim background.

This poll was nonscientific, and no meaningful conclusions can be drawn from it. A poll that you put out there and ask people to respond to is biased from the start. It's been my observation that most of the people who participate in this forum are competitive swimmers, so the results of a poll that they respond to is going to show that most of them were competitive swimmers. The only way you could get a true feel for what percentage of Masters swimmers participated in college or age-group swimming is to send out a survey to a random sample.

I agree with Emmett that most USMS swimmers do NOT come from a competitive background. My own team would back this up. Although we have some very good former college swimmers (and even one person who went to the Olympic trials in 1992, 1996, and 2000), most of our swimmers never swam in any sort of organized program before they joined USMS.

As for whether women have been discriminated against in the past: USMS is one of the LEAST discriminatory organizations out there. And good for us! Maybe there once was some inequity in the types of events that girls were allowed to swim (it wasn't the case where I grew up, but I was in Tennessee, not Southern California), but that is a thing of the past (except for the fact that women still don't swim the 1500 at the Olympics--but I think that may change by 2004?). The same events are available to women as to men in USMS. I think the main reason why there are fewer women in USMS is that until the last few decades, women were not encouraged to participate in sports, period. I know my coach lettered in CHEERLEADING when she was in college because that was the only option available to her. And she's now a world-class triathlete in the 65-69 age group. The women who came of age in the days before Title IX, who were courageous enough to compete when it wasn't considered socially acceptable, are rare indeed. I bet if you analyzed the membership of USMS, you would find that in the younger age groups we're closer to equal numbers of men and women. It's in the older age groups (and unfortunately, at 45, I'm in one of those older age groups!) that the discrepancy arises.

Rob Copeland
September 23rd, 2002, 04:19 PM
For what it’s worth:

Regarding Cynthia’s comment “I think Lynn Cox still holds the world record for the English Channel swim”

Lynne did hold the back in 1972 through 1976 with times of 9 hours 57 minutes and then 9:36. IN 1976 and 77 the record was lowered 3 times. Then in 1978 Penny Dean (talk about great marathon swimmers), took over an hour off the record, going 7:40. That record held until 1994, when Chad Hundeby established the current record of 7:17.

Lexa
September 23rd, 2002, 08:28 PM
I think there are more men than women swimming masters because there are more single parent families headed by women...job, kids, household duties - it's harder for women to get out. Yes, I know, men are also single parents and participate in kids etc., but statistics show women shoulder more of the brunt.

I think masters swimming is very nonsexist; I love that men and women compete together.

cinc3100
September 24th, 2002, 12:03 AM
You are telling me that all the women in the 45 to 49 age group that swam a 50 meter breastroke didn't swim as teenagers. Melinda Mann does a 37 for a 50 meter breastroke and and a 1:21 for a 100 meter breastroke and a 3:02 for a 200 meter breastroke. Times you do unless you were near nationals back in the 1970's. Meg wants to believe the 80 percent of master swimmers under 50 years old didn't swim as kids. Look at the top times for the different age groups, particulary the men's 40 to 45 age group,even Matt S can't break in the top 25 times.Just because in Kentucky most master swimmers didn't swim as kids doesn't mean this is true in other states. If she looks at the state records for my state Arizona,and some of the times very few of them are beginning times of people that started to swim past 40 years old. Yes, California and most states had a double standard for high school swimming back in the 1970s. The guys had regular swimming events and the girls did had distances similar to 7 and 8 year olds. Title 9 changed this in the mid-1970's. And its true that there is more single parent women. But age group swimming has more female swimmers and less male swimmers. Master swimming doesn't discrimnate against women but the old swimming system did in the past. And why attack me all the time.

cinc3100
September 24th, 2002, 12:56 AM
Who cares if they started as children or adults. There probably is a difference between those that just swim for exercise and those that compete in the meets, I didn't explain the difference between them. And just because you are not a single parent doesn't mean that life can not be hard. I make one of the lowest incomes of the people that write on this board under 30,000 a year. I had it hard since entering school because as a child I was considered stupid since I learn to write and read later. And I was one of the first group of children with the ADD label.

emmett
September 24th, 2002, 06:20 AM
Cynthia, no one attacked you.

The VAST majority of Masters swimmers have no organized competitive swimming experience. Swim Magazine commissioned a (quite scientific) poll not too many years ago which included this very topic.

Since the VAST majority also do not swim in meets NOW, looking at the results of meets won't really tell you anything about the background of MOST Masters swimmers.

cinc3100
September 24th, 2002, 10:40 AM
Sorry, everyone I lost my temper. I agree that single parents do have it harder in some ways and getting involved in exercise whether swimming or other actvities is harder. I also agree that I was talking about the people that attend the meets more than just workout at the master teams. I think we should drop this topic and it doesn't matter if the 45 to 49 age group has more male than female swimmers. But its true about the high school and college situation 30 years ago. Title IX came about to to give girls the same more opportunities in school sports. People are now of course agruing if it went too far since some boy sports have been ax in order to equal with the girl sports.

MegSmath
September 24th, 2002, 01:12 PM
Cynthia,

I did not attack you. In fact, I thought I agreed with you that past discrimination probably has something to do with there being more men than women in Masters swimming. That's why I brought up Title IX. (To be fair, I also pointed out that USMS is very NONdiscriminatory.)

You did not make it clear at all that you meant that most of the elite Masters swimmers swam as kids. No argument there. But there are more than 40,000 members of USMS, and most of them do NOT have a competitive background, as Emmett pointed out. And, as Emmett also pointed out, you have to be careful when you cite polls to back up your position. If it's not a scientific poll, the results are meaningless.

I'm sorry you don't have a big salary. Neither do I! (I work for the state of Kentucky, after all!) But I don't know what that has to do with the current topic.

I had no intention of hurting your feelings, and I'm sorry if I did. I thought the purpose of a discussion forum was to express different points of view.

cinc3100
September 24th, 2002, 11:41 PM
Sorry, about that MS Meg Smath. I should not have talk about my salary and you are right it doesn't belong here. And as Emmet and you mention there are over 40,000 people that swim masters and many of them do it for exercise and didn't swim on teams as kids or teenagers or early 20's.

HeatherLouy
October 9th, 2002, 12:23 AM
Being a younger swimmer, 21 years old, I am what you may be refering to. I did not swim at a child. In fact I didn't learn to swim till I was 18, and I did then because I had a job that depended on it. I was never encouraged to do sports and I came after title 9. I am so grateful for masters swimming that I may have a scond chance. I have goals now, including attending the SC Championships in 2004. Coaching my age group and masters team supports the notion mentioned. My age groups is finally half and half, after two years. We have only had a fourth of the team boys (or less) since I took over. My masters team however has more men than women. My age-group team...I am extremly excited everytime I see a boy join. This is hard to come by I have found. My masters...bring on whoever...as long as they have the ability to survive in the pool. Anyone is welcome...it just keeps it more interesting. ;) Masters is about what the swimmer wants out of it...weather that be an international meet or the ability to swim a mile. It's a GREAT organization that I fully support and pass along the information to any swimmer interested.