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meldyck
August 7th, 2002, 08:19 PM
Swimmers,

this is a continuation of a topic from the 'Top Ten Link' thread I posted earlier. In that thread, there was a discussion about keeping track of ALL swim times, so that everyone could see how he/she was doing. This is an update on that project.

At the start of long-course season, I volunteered to round up as many sanctioned meets for Jim Matysek as I could, to be put into the USMS searchable database, found at:

http://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml.

I know of 49 meets (as of last weekend) that have had results posted to LMSC or Zone web sites. Of that number 44 are in the database, for a yield of about 90%. I would encourage each of you to usethis tool to see how you like it. It is not completely error-free since I had to manually-convert HTML files and Word documents for about half of all meets. I even hand-entered a couple of PDF files, which are the worst to deal with. Please let me know if you find any errors in what you see.

I think this shows that we CAN archive all the meets with a bit of work. Certainly, it's managable for LCM and SCM courses -- maybe not yet for SCY.

If you find this a valuable service, you can help by encouraging meet directors to submit their meet results to the USMS.

Enjoy!

Mel Dyck

Phil M.
August 7th, 2002, 09:16 PM
I for one have enjoyed keeping up with the times. Right now I'm waiting on the DC Masters Results to get posted. Attempting to improve my position has become a great motivation to go to practice!

Brad Biddle
August 7th, 2002, 10:02 PM
I think this is a neat idea, and applaud all of the hard work. FYI, I'm getting an "error -- file not found" message when I click on the URL right now though. (~7pm PDT Wed)

--Brad

Brad Biddle
August 7th, 2002, 10:06 PM
It was the period at the end of the URL.

http://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtmlhttp://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml

This should work. Very cool tool.

--B.

Brad Biddle
August 7th, 2002, 10:11 PM
http://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml

matysekj
August 7th, 2002, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Phil M.
I for one have enjoyed keeping up with the times. Right now I'm waiting on the DC Masters Results to get posted. Attempting to improve my position has become a great motivation to go to practice!
Phil,

The DC Masters meet from 8/4 is in the database as of today.

dcarson
August 7th, 2002, 10:57 PM
Great database and very useful!!! Having just completed my very first competition this past weekend @ DC Masters meet, it's great to see it in the database and know I really did it.

A side note: To all who participate on this forum, thank you all for so much helpful advice and support. You all were a great help in pushing me to compete and go for it. My 1st competition was absolutely a great experience and accomplishment. Now it's onward to train for the next meet.

Dan

Matt S
August 8th, 2002, 09:30 AM
Neat tool. Interesting observation: I am currently sitting at 25 in the M40-44 400m free, but seeded 27th in the LCN 400 with a time that is over 20 seconds faster! If I had not been to Nationals before, and know who will likely show-up and that the seeding is about right, I would be asking the question of who's jivin' who?

I suppose this database begs the question of whether we are going to start asking people to demonstrate they have in fact swam that NQT they entered for Nationals. Inevitable I suppose, but I cringe at the thought of all the rule-making, and resulting arguments, this will entail.

Matt

matysekj
August 8th, 2002, 09:59 AM
Matt,

The policy for seed times for nationals is that you are to seed with a time done in the past 2 years. Actually, the only mention I see in the meet info is in the NQT section where it says you need to have met the NQT in each of your events after your third event in the past 2 years. Since the database search results only show times from this year, there are many more available from last year and the nationals from 2000. That may explain your current ranking vs. seeding observation (I know I haven't swum a LC meet this year).

I agree with you about not using this database to create new rules requiring proof of seed times. I see no reason to force someone to seed with their BEST time over the past 2 years if they are really out of shape this year compared to when they swam that time. I also see no reason to prevent someone from entering an event that they have not swum IN A MEET for the past 2 years.

With some changes to the database, we may be able to use the data to help people fill out their on line entries in the future, by offering a pull-down menu of times swum in each event. Of course you could also just type in a time if you want. One of the challenges with this would be how to present this additional information on an already full web entry form.

CoachMike
August 8th, 2002, 11:02 AM
I see that MOST of the Maryland's LMSC SC meets (01-02 season) did not get submitted. I will and get this fixed for the coming year.

Is it worth it to have the LMSC representitive send in last seasons results??? (any thought)

meldyck
August 8th, 2002, 11:13 AM
Hey Mike,

thanks for the offer to help. That's exactly what we need to get this project a real head of steam.

As for previous year's results, I think Jim may want to comment on this. My understanding is that, at the moment, we cannot easily access the past year's data in the same way it is accessed for the current year. But, this will change at some time in the (hopefully near) future when some major software changes are completed (more complicated than just changing a few lines of code). At that point, ALL data will be important for the archive. Here in Arizona, for example, our records chairman is already organized to submit these data when it becomes useful. So, some advance work wouldn't hurt. It's just not as urgent, maybe, as getting current results in a timely way.

mel

CoachMike
August 8th, 2002, 11:23 AM
Mel,

Thanks for the reply...

cinc3100
August 8th, 2002, 12:41 PM
Matt some of these people only swim at nationals. I notice that one of the top breastrokers in my age group who placed 10 ten in short course hasn't swam the 50 meter or 100 meter breastrokes yet, and is entered for the national meet. So, this might explain what is going on. Good Job Matt, 27th is not bad for the 400 meter and there still meets left. Like you I look up my times, pretty good in the 50 meter breastroke at 15 right now but will probably go down to 30th at the end after all the long course meets are over. And lower in the 100 meter breastroke at 29th which will probably end up between 35th and 40th or higher at by the end.

matysekj
August 8th, 2002, 02:21 PM
Short Course Yards meet results from this year (2001-2002 season) are useful additions to the current database because that's the data displayed for SCY now. Results from previous years are also useful for building up our database, so send them also. I wouldn't put as high a priority on gathering the older results or adding them to the database, but they are still useful. In case you didn't know it, there's another way to view the data which will show all the swims in the database for each swimmer plus their splits if available. Just go to www.usms.org/comp/resultstrack.shtml and enter your name. You may be listed more than once if you've swum under a slightly different name (e.g. Jim vs. James) or different club name. Many swimmers across the country are registered with 'aggregate' teams in their LMSC and local meet directors may enter them as being a member of their local workout group instead of their official team, so swimmers end up in the database under different teams. This incarnation of the database and related tools doesn't recognize swimmers by registration number and sort out all those inconsistencies, and by the way meet directors aren't supposed to do that. Meet directors are supposed to enter swimmers with the name and team that appears on their registration card, not what the swimmer filled out in their entry form.

meldyck
August 9th, 2002, 09:44 AM
I'm off to Lucy Johnson's LCM meet in Irvine in a few minutes. I just printed out the top 25 swimmers in all the events I entered, just in case. This is pretty neat!

mel

Barb Protzman
August 9th, 2002, 11:16 AM
All the results from the Maryland meets for this year are available on the Maryland LMSC website in the dreaded PDF format. Maybe you don't like it, but it is the only way that all the participants can be sure to read them. If I knew where to send them, I could give them to you in Hytek for 3 of the meets and in Excel for the other 4 meets. I just get tired of posting things in a million places. Very few swimmers are aware of the website this posting thread is discussing.

matysekj
August 9th, 2002, 11:46 AM
Barb,

You can either send the Hy-Tek databases to me and the Excel files to Mel, or just send them all to Mel. Mel searches for meet results and does the conversions from Excel and other formats to SDIF and I do some verification and handle the database updates and testing. If you want just one contact, send them all to Mel and we'll sort it out. By the way, Mel's work on this project to locate, retrieve, and convert so many meet results has been OUTSTANDING. It really takes a lot of time to do what he has been doing here

"Very few swimmers are aware of the website this posting thread is discussing."

That's what we're trying to fix! From the replies we've received here and via email, everyone who is aware of this finds it to be very useful. Links from LMSC and club web sites to the database pages would help get the word out also.

Msparks378
August 9th, 2002, 12:51 PM
Mel,

Thank you for championing this project. I had a blast checking my times and seeing where I stack against a nationwide sampling of swimmers. This type of database will help me set realistic goals for next year.

This database provides a great research tool as well when the sample is large enough. I've read a lot of posts related to age based performance. I would be fun to run some of the events and age groups through a statistical analysis.

I will encourage my LMSC to post their meets and post a link to the database in our Newsletter.

Thanks again,

Michael

Matt S
August 9th, 2002, 02:53 PM
Jim, Mel,

This past spring the Central Masters Swimming Association held a pretty significant meet at Northwestern Univ. Lots of swimmers; lots of fast times. I noticed they were not in the database, which does not surprise me because the meet results are not easy to find on the web. They are at http://cmsaswim.usms.org/cmsastate.htm.

Matt

joy
August 10th, 2002, 11:30 AM
Matt
When u click on ur url it comes up as file not found. Must be a glitch somewhere.

Matt S
August 10th, 2002, 10:56 PM
Ah, so that's why getting the results is so difficult! Try http://cmsaswim.usms.org/. Then click on "State Meet Results" (Second from the right.) You'll see the 2002 results broken down by several categories. (And results from previous years' meets. This meet has quietly reached the stature of Zone level Championships, at least judged by number of swimmers, depth of talent, and quality swims. Parking, however, remains an issue...;) )

Joy, thanks for the note.

Matt

meldyck
August 12th, 2002, 12:55 PM
Swimmers,

thanks for the feedback on this thread. The comments are good for us to see. To Matt S. and Barb P. (and other lurkers who haven't mentioned the same comments), I have data-mining software that polls each web site when I bring it up, searching for new information. So, I'm aware of the CMSA and MD web site postings. As I mentioned earlier, the short-course season is much too big for me to handle (and I think that the meets posted on the CMSA and MD sites, that aren't in the database, are the SCY varieties) at the moment. I've been concentrating on LCM and SCM courses only because the number of meets is reasonable.

The goal is to include all courses and meets at sometime in the future. This is just the first step.

As for the results formats: The most universally-accepted is the USA-Swimming-defined SDIF (Standard Data Interchange Format) file. It can be produced by HyTek's Meet Manager OR by other competing meet management software. Because the database is handled by HyTek, they also accept two other file formats -- the HyTek zipped backup file and the CommLink file.

These files are produced largely automatically after the meet director has entered the swimmers info & run the meet. They contain the fewest errors and represent the least investment of time for me.

I'm happy to deal with other formats, however. It's just that the rest of the formats require that I do manual conversions to the SDIF files. THIS INEVITABLY LEADS TO ERRORS. As Jim can verify, I recently submitted a meet from Texas that I had manually converted where I listed both male and female swimmers as female because I mis-interpreted a character in the posted results. This may be carrying the unisex thing a bit too far.

So, Barb, it's not that I won't use the PDF files. I'd rather invest the work than have the meet excluded from the database. It's just that it would save me time and embarassment if I could just pass the meet directors results file directly to the database. For a small meet, I can do the conversion in about 60 minutes; for a zone meet it has taken me 3-4 hours to do the conversion.

But, please, keep advertizing the database. As coaches, or swimmers, take a printout of the top 25 or 50 or whatever with you to big meets to give yourself or your swimmers instant feedback. Talk it up to other swimmers. Put links in newsletters and on web sites. It all helps

Keep after meet directors and LMSC officials to submit results. Let me know if there is a club web site that posts results that may not be on a Zone web site or an LMSC web site. I'm pretty aggressive about tracking down these results & will follow up on your tips.

!!!I WANT TO MAKE THIS AN INDESPENSIBLE TOOL TO THE USMS SWIMMING COMMUNITY!!!

mel

meldyck
November 13th, 2002, 04:11 PM
USMS database users, here's an update for the 2002 SCM season. As of 11/13/2002, I'm aware of 31 SCM meets that have been advertized or that have had results posted. There are 21 of these uploaded into the USMS searchable database (http://www.usms.org/comp/toptimes.shtml). They are listed below, possibly not as you may have seen them in meet advertizing. However, the meet date is given for all but the first two, so that interested readers should be able to correlate them with meets as they know them. This is a yield of 77%.

2002-12-31 2002 Albatross Open
2002-12-31 2002 VO2 Min SCM Meet
2002-12-31 SI LMSC SCM Meet, 06/16/02
2002-12-31 SI LMSC SCM Meet, 03/17/02
2002-12-31 2002 Aussi Prep Meet June 29, 2002
2002-12-31 2002 Central Oregon SCM Freestyle Pentathlon May 7
2002-12-31 2002 StarMaster SCM Pentathlon 14 Sept
2002-12-31 2002 George Hale Invitational Sept 21
2002-12-31 2002 St Pete Masters Development Meet Sept 15
2002-12-31 2002 Oak Harbor Pentathlon Sept 28
2002-12-31 2002 Walnut Creek Champs Oct 12
2002-12-31 2002 Orlando Masters SCM Meet Oct 11
2002-12-31 2002 Shelby Bar-B-Q Meet Oct 12
2002-12-31 2002 DCAC Columbus Day Classic Oct 12
2002-12-31 2002 First Colony SCM Meet Oct 5
2002-12-31 2002 Arizona SCM Champs Oct 26
2002-12-31 2002 Lawrence University Meet
2002-12-31 2002 Mission Viejo SCM Meet Oct 27
2002-12-31 2002 SWIM Florida SCM Meet Oct 26
2002-12-31 2002 GRIN Fall Classic Oct 26
2002-12-31 2002 UCLA SCM meet Nov 9
2002-12-31 2002 Dixie Zone Meet Nov 2
2002-12-31 2002 Great Bay Masters meet Nov 10
2002-12-31 2002 NC Fall Invitational Nov 9

Note that all the meters meets listed have a beginning date that is the end of the current year. This reflects the birth date format used for these meets, not the actual date of the meet.

For the other seven meets, either I have no posted results or the results are in a form that is unusable to me. These meets are

9 Sep Jewish Community Center meet in Salt Lake City -- no results found
21 Sep 'Senior Olympics' in Hot Springs AR -- no results found
29 Sep San Mateo Masters Marlins meet -- not in a usable format
6 Oct Lancer Fall Classic in Waterford CT -- no results found
20 Oct Pentathlon in San Carlos CA -- no results found
26 Oct Barletta Natatorium meet in Boston -- no results found
9 Nov Kentucky Classic in Owensboro -- results not yet posted.

With the exception of the last meet which may yet be posted, I doubt that I'll be able to get the results in for the other meets without help from swimmers who may have access to the info.

Mel Dyck

swimtoad
December 11th, 2002, 11:03 AM
Croak, croak...

Since Mel Dyck has disappeared, the SwimToad must pick up the slack for the searchable database.

Going into the last big weekend of SCM competition, there are now 37 meets (of 46 known to the Toad) in the database. Most of the big ones are loaded, with the exception of the Nokia Southern Masters Champs; hopefully that will be done shortly.

For those virtual and real swimmers participating in Bob Seltzer's virtual champs this coming weekend, you should be able to see what you need to do to conquer the competition.

Good luck!

Croakingly yours

S Toad

rseltzer
December 11th, 2002, 03:13 PM
Thanks to Mel and Swim Toad (and all of those other meet directors) for making this database of "all swims." We'll promote in our next NEM News just prior to the meet so that people will have an idea of what kind of swims are in the "bank" before our meet?

Good luck to all SCM competitors this weekend.

swimtoad
January 2nd, 2003, 04:43 PM
croak, croak, croak...

SwimToad has posted the last few meets for the 2002 SCM season in the USMS searchable database. This brings the total to 46 meets, with results from 6 meets missing from the database. That is a yield of 88%, a bit lower than the 93% for the LCM season. So, it looks like 90% is about what we can expect for the two meters courses, based on the 2002 results.

Mel or The Toad will open a new thread for 2003 when the first meters meet results start to become available. Also, one of us will do some statistics on the accuracy that we have gotten from these files, compared to the Top Ten final lists.

Meanwhile, The Toad wishes all finny creatures a good new year. Remember, 2003 is the year that everyone MUST compete in breaststroke events! The Toad knows who you are and where you live....

croakingly yours,

The Toad

PS If you are wondering why there is no mention of the SCY meets in the above message it is because it is too much work at the moment to solicit or hunt down meets from meet directors who are not willing to pass along their meet information. The two meters seasons produced a few over 100 meets in 2002. The SCY season easily outdoes that number. IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THE SCY MEET RESULTS POSTED IN A MORE COMPLETE WAY, PLEASE LEAN ON YOUR MEET DIRECTORS TO SUBMIT THE FILES.

jim clemmons
January 2nd, 2003, 05:18 PM
I'm probably a little premature in this response, however, Pacific Masters has no one to "lean on" since Michael Moore and the rest of our "group" is more than "on top of" your request. We only wish that other organizations were as organized as ours, along with the few others that are, also. Before you slam me, I am aware that not all LMSC's have the volunteer's that we have the opportunity to "take advantage" of. :) I'd personally like to thank them all at this time though!

Jim Clemmons

swimtoad
January 2nd, 2003, 06:42 PM
croak, croak, croak...

No slams intended, Jim. The PS in The Toad's last post was just meant to remind swimmers that Mel & The Toad don't have the time to ferret out the SCY swims. It has taken somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of time to find, capture and hand- (er flipper-) convert (in the majority of cases) the meters course files to the correct format as it is. Adding the SCY files (while they may be of greater interest to most swimmers) pushes the time invested to much too high a level. That was the reason for the PS in The Toad's last post. I think all of us would like to have the database be complete for all courses. Mel & The Toad believe that it will happen eventually, but that it will take pressure from individual swimmers to make it an automatic response on the part of meet directors.

Mel & The Toad will, however, be more than happy to post ANY files sent to them in the correct format (HyTek zipped backup, SDIF or CommLink).

I would like to commend Michael Moore and the PAC Masters group as well for pretty routinely making available the required file formats. A few other LMSCs and/or clubs also do that. We have also had a bunch of help from a few other notable individuals such as Bob Seltzer and Ed Saltzman -- many, many thanks to them.

croakingly yours,

Swim Toad

jim clemmons
January 3rd, 2003, 02:52 PM
Sorry Toad. Guess I was just getting a somewhat defensive attitude happening about the implication without engaging my brain first. Maybe too much hypoxic stuff lately? Anyway, thanks for all the information all of you have taken the time to provide for all of us. We really do appreciate the time and effort that our volunteers have done, and are doing, on our behalf and for Masters Swimming in general.