View Full Version : Top Ten Concerns

Tom Bubel
August 11th, 2002, 07:56 PM
I know that this might be a sensitive subject for some people, but I have a major problem with the Top Ten Swim Lists.
A swimmer I know swims in the 19-24 year old age-group and his times in two events were the fastest times we knew about this year- looking at results from Zone meets and Nationals. Suddenly the top ten list appears, and there are a number of swimmers who went faster than him in local (smaller meets) and I have a major problem with this.
Why? For a couple of reasons but let me only write about one in this post because I don't want to write too much.

- The number of referees and officials at a meet can make a major difference in races. In small local meets, I have seen many relay false starts not called, one hand touches in the breast and fly allowed, swimmers doing the dolphin kick in their breaststroke pullouts, and other allowances due to either 2 referees not being able to watch carefully enough or not caring that much.
At a major meet (Colonie Zones) one of my relay members left early and there was a referee in each lane so there was no way a swimmer could get away with it- we were rightfully DQ'd. In fact, I noticed that one afternoon there were a number of disqualifications due to perhaps some swimmers not being used to being so closely watched.
About 1 month later, I went to a local meet and I wish my relay swam there because I saw a number of swimmers leave early and there were no DQ's.

This said, you have to wonder how legitimate some of the fast times that come in are. I realize we can not have a referee in every lane for local meets therefore I do not believe that top ten times should be allowed to take place in anything smaller than a regional (zone) meet. I realize people will complain that if a meet is considered official, why not count them as top ten, but I hope enough people can relate to what I wrote about above. And with this realize that this change will make the list more legitimate plus it will increase the competition at these larger meets.
(My bias is limited because I will probably never be a top ten swimmer)
Please give me input about what you think.

Phil M.
August 11th, 2002, 08:02 PM
I would say that any swimmer good enough to be in the "Top Ten" understands what the rules are and is playing by them. What's to gained by cheating? Not too much!

Matt S
August 21st, 2002, 11:11 PM
Tom, Tom, Tom...

This is Masters Swimming. Top Ten lists are for grins and giggles (or whatever else they are worth). There is no money, no fame beyond an extremely limited circle of knowledgable people, and no reason to get all excited about whether the refs did their job in an obscure, local meet. What events did your boy swim this year? Are the other times ahead of his so close to his times that an uncalled false start or a dolphin kick on the breast stroke pull out would make the difference?

More to the point, your solution is worse than the problem. You really don't want to count times achieved in any meet except a handful of exalted meets where we are willing to believe the stroke judges did their job? Who gets to compile that list? Are all Zones equal? What about significant meets that are not formally Zone Championships, such as the Illinois SCY Championship Meet this past April? (As far as I could tell it was every bit as fast and competitive as any Zone Championship I have ever attended.) How about the older age groups where some of the swimmers have real problems traveling, and they would just like to swim meets they can reach without an overnight stay? Finally and most important of all, in our Volunteer Organization, is considering and squabbling over this issue the best use of our limited volunteer staff hours?

Please, pop that CD with the "Lion King" sound track in your stereo and sing along with me, "It's our problem free philosophy, Inkuna Fotata..."


August 23rd, 2002, 09:47 AM
Tom..... dood... its not a sensitive subject from where I am standing. First off.. if someone just missed a top ten posting, or a #1 spot... I have an idea. Swim it again. Find a meet... Enter that meet... and go swim this epic race again. If the swimmer dood is so fast, then it should be no problem to do a repeat.

Now if the swimmer doesn't make the list... Next time, swim faster.

If I were to race.... say... Jon Olsen in the 200 free... and I jumped the gun by 2 seconds.... then skipped a few turns... wore every piece of gear.... I would still lose. Im a loser. I can live with that.

So... inspired by the late Frank Zappa... this Loser has some words of Advice to your Loser.... Shut Up and Swim.

ShinobDood --Out

August 24th, 2002, 12:20 AM
Wow Tom, a stroke and turn judge for every lane in a regional meet. That is awesome. I have never seen a meet that well covered even in a USA swimming meet.

And I say that as for the past few years I have been the head stroke and Turn judge for all the Pacific Masters Swimming Championships and the two Nationals held in Santa Clara (1999 and 2001).

Most of the Pacific top ten are set at the Pac Masters championships. The swimmers are tapered and shaved for the meet and want to swim well. Where there are top ten swims in a local meet, those swims are ususally by very talanted swimmers who are limited to a certain number of swims at Championships (Laura Val comes to mind, she is limited to seven individual events at championships but will have top ten swims in almost every event).

I would not worry about top ten times - I think Matt has it right - top ten is for grins and giggles (except when I make Pacific Masters top ten - then it is dead serious).

enjoy swimming