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cinc3100
August 27th, 2002, 11:44 PM
The main reason that women's breastroke drop from a cut off of 1:20 in 1993 versus 1:17 in the 100 yard for the top ten times is that a different generation is a little faster than those that swam in the 1960's as kids. So the person who was top ten at 1:17 this year, swam faster than last year. The national qualifying time was 1:27 which was 10 seconds slower and as you stated Matt, this is a three year average and it takes time for this to drop. On the other hand, the 200 yard is a lot slower for qualifying times because us masters have trouble swimming good 200 swims outside of freestyle. As for what the time was in 1993 for 100 yard breastroke for national qualfying I don't know. I just play around the computer and look at the preceding top 10 times going back in time. However, I'm not currently able to find this. I also think that 100 yard fly for 45 to 49 women drop from 1:10 to 1:07 during the same time period.

jeremyc
April 19th, 2003, 01:08 AM
There weren't qualifying times 10 years ago.



They were added because the meet was getting too big.

There were 100 heats of the men's 100 yard freestyle at the nationals I swam at Stanford.

michaelmoore
April 19th, 2003, 02:02 AM
Santa Clara in 1993(ten years ago) had NQTs. I think it was the first National meet with NQTs. NQTs went into effect in 1992, but I dont know if they were used in 92 - they were used in 93.

In 1992, the womens 45-49 100 Fly, the Tenth place time was 1:20.42 which would translate to about 1:29.36 NQT for 93. For the first couple of years there was a different way of calculating the NQTs. It was the slowest 10th place time in that event from the previous three years' National Championships. (if you are interested in any particular time for the 93-98 let me know - you can compute them also by looking at the top ten section of the USMS site) In 1993 Jackie Marr, 49, had the tenth fastest time at 1:14.97.

If you look at a graph of the NQT time over time, I think you will see that when the leading edge of the boomer generation hits an age group, the NQTs for that event drop (boomers are just starting to hit the 55-59age group). There are a couple of reasons for that. One being that Masters has been around since the boomers hit adulthood and could continue in an organized swimming program after leaving AAU swimming.

michael

Bill Volckening
April 19th, 2003, 10:25 AM
USMS did not use NQTs in 1992 at either Nationals (Chapel Hill, short course; or Federal Way, long course). I believe the first Nationals with NQTs was Santa Clara, short course, in 1993.

If I'm not mistaken, Santa Clara was also the first meet host to use the online entry system (in 1999), and deck seeding (in 2001).

:) Bill

cinc3100
April 19th, 2003, 02:03 PM
The times are faster now for the 45 to 49 year old women for different reasons. More of them workout as kids when they were younger and those born in the latter part of the 1950's did heavier mileage and many started masters in either the 19 to 24 old age which people around my age had to wait a few years to do or the 25 to 29 age group or in the two 30 something age groups. Some of them like me waited until there 40's to start again. And too me a 1:14 butterfly is a good time since I stilll not able to break the 1:30 mark now in fly. But the top time swimmers in my age group are heading toward a 1:06, 100 yard fly which is a big improvement from 1:14. As for the boomer thing, I thing that we are almost two different generations. Those born in 1946 to 1953 swam when things were different than those born in 1954 to 1963. Those born in 1963 did heavly yardage and did grab starts or track starts from early ages. They did not start pre-grab start or when there were no goggles. And many of you that are in masters know what type of National times you had back them I didn't know how they were based. I just know that the top ten has gotten faster overtime.

Bill Volckening
April 19th, 2003, 06:43 PM
FYI, the procedure for determining National Qualifying Times is now different than the procedure USMS followed when the NQTs were first initiated. The change in procedure is probably one of the more significant reasons why the NQTs look slightly different now than they did 10 years ago.

Back then, the NQTs were simply 10% slower than the 10th place time in the USMS Top Ten for each age group in each event. The NQTs were calculated each year, and there was a fair amount of variance in some age groups based on the number of participants and level of competition each year.

A couple years ago, the procedure changed. Now, NQT's are determined in the following manner:

The qualifying times shall be 10 percent slower than the average of the previous three years' tenth place time on the USMS Top Ten list. If there are fewer than ten swimmers on the Top Ten list for one of the previous three years, the qualifying times shall be 10 percent slower than the average of the other two years' tenth place times on the USMS Top Ten list. If there are fewer than ten swimmers on the Top Ten list for two or three of the previous three years, the qualifying times shall be 15 percent slower than the average of the previous three years' fifth place time on the USMS Top Ten list. If there are fewer than five swimmers in the Top Ten list for one of the previous three years, the qualifying time shall be 15 percent slower than the average of the other two years' fifth place time. If there are fewer than five swimmers on the Top Ten list in two or three of the previous three years, there shall be no qualifying time.

So, while it may be true that the depth of competition is faster now in certain age groups, I don't think we can necessarily say that this observation is true for all age groups. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not true in my age group. I think it's more likely that the change in procedure for determining NQTs has raised the bar for qualifying standards because of the way the times are now averaged.

By the way, I have produced every USMS Nationals entry form for SWIM Magazine since 1999, and having typed-in most of the times by hand, I have noticed very little variance in qualifying times (especially in age groups with a large number of participants). When I typed-in those times, I would start with the previous year's entry form, then replace the time with the new time. This year, I started to place the whole table as a graphic rather than typing-in the times, so I don't have a sense of how the NQTs have changed from 2002 to 2003.

:) Bill

michaelmoore
April 19th, 2003, 09:13 PM
Back then, the NQTs were simply 10% slower than the 10th place time in the USMS Top Ten for each age group in each event.

The first NQTs were determined by "Time standards shall be based on the slowest tenth best time in each event from the previous three year's National Championship Meets. There shall be no time standards when there is no tenth best time for that age group in that event." 104.4.3.C.1 (change was made in 1990 to go into effect Jan 1, 1992) (it sure helps when you have a rule book from 1991).

With the above standard, there were NQTs all over the board as it took the slowest time from the past three years. It was soon modified.

I believed this was changed in 1994 to taking the 10th fastest time for each event in each age group then adding 10% to that time. SCY times tended to remain fairly stable (but trending downward -faster) in the age groups up to 69. LCM times would tend to have some year to year variantion especially in less popular events (ie 200fly and 400IM).

In 2000, a change was made to take the a three year average of the 10th fastest time of the previous three years for each event for each age group. This had the effect of stablizing some the events where there fewer competitors. As I have mentioned the leading edge of the boomers has also driven down the NQTs in the age group which they are entering. The three year averaging also had the effect of mitigating the drop in the NQTs.

The earliest NQT that I could find on the USMS web site is for 1998

1998 NQT (http://www.usms.org/comp/scnats98/nqtsc.shtml)

You might want to look at the 2003 NQTs and the 1998 NQTs as the have the same populations just one age group older. You can see how a population ages.

I respectfully disagree with the editor of Swim Magazine, the NQTs have gotten faster over the years. I have the spread sheets of the NQTs from 1993 to 1997 - a five year comparison I did for the Championship Committee that show a downward trend in times. I have filled it in with some more recent numbers. While there are some NQTs that have gone up, the trend is downward (faster).

michael

Bill Volckening
April 20th, 2003, 01:32 AM
Hi Michael,

That spreadsheet sounds like great research, but I was mostly referring to the years 1999 to present, which is the time I have been intimately involved with hand-typing the tables for the entry forms appearing in the magazine.

My point was that the new formula created by the Championship Committee a few years ago has very effectively stabilized the NQT table.

In fact, I have seen so little variance from one year to the next (DURING THE LAST THREE YEARS...sorry to shout...) -- :) -- that I hope the Championship Committee will pursue my suggestion to fix the qualifying times for three years at a time rather than rewriting them every year.

:) Bill

PS: I was right about my age group. In comparing the NQTs from 1993 to those for 2003 in the men's 35-39 age group, 13 out of 18 times were faster in 1993.

michaelmoore
April 21st, 2003, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Bill Volckening

In fact, I have seen so little variance from one year to the next (DURING THE LAST THREE YEARS...sorry to shout...) -- :) -- that I hope the Championship Committee will pursue my suggestion to fix the qualifying times for three years at a time rather than rewriting them every year.


Gee, Bill, I compared the 2001 to the 2003 SCY NQTs and did not get the same results that you did.

There are 504 NQTs for each of the two years. Of those, 345 showed a faster NQT time. 133 showed a slower NQT time 4 were ties and 22 had no NQTs so I did not count them.

If you group NQTs by age group as to how many had more faster times than slower times, 20 had a majority of faster times, 7 had a majority of slower times and 1 had 9 faster times and 9 slower times.

There were three age groups that had all faster times (W 40-44, W 50-54 -Laura Val aged up-, and M 60-64), there were seven age groups that had 16 or 17 faster times.

If you mean stabilize to mean that the NQTs have reached some sort of equilibrium, I dont think that has happened yet, as the numbers demonstrate.

Due to the size of the Nationals, the Championships Committee has been considering ways to make the NQTs more competitive. I do not think the Championship Committee at this time would consider "fixing" the NQTs for three years - although I am speaking for myself and not the committee.

I do not think that you can made a good comparison between the 1993 NQTs and the current NQTs as they had different populations. The '93 NQTs were just swimmers who competed at Nationals (in 1990,1991, 1992, where the current NQTs determined by the entire Masters population.You might want to recompute the '93 NQTs (information is readily available) to see how the '93 compares to the '03 NQTs.

michael

Bill Volckening
April 21st, 2003, 12:19 PM
Hi Michael,

I think we can safely say that statistics can be manipulated and misinterpreted in many misleading ways. Please don't interpret that statement as an accusation, as I personally don't feel that you or anyone else is intentionally trying to manipulate the statistics for any specific purpose.

The statistical trend presented above is easily dismissed because many of the times only differ by as little as 10ths or 100ths of a second. The statistical interpretation probably doesn't merit as much discussion as the idea of fixing the NQTs for longer periods. It's good to know that the Championship Committee is discussing this idea, and I'm very glad this forum has served as an opportunity to share this idea with the USMS membership.

It is often a very long process to achieve a qualifying time. If the NQTs keep changing, it is unfair to swimmers who are trying to achieve these times, and frustrating for coaches who are using them as motivational tools. The NQTs for Short Course Nationals are announced to the general membership of USMS in the January/February issue of SWIM Magazine. Therefore, swimmers and coaches have less than four months to achieve those times before entries are due. The lead time is a bit shorter for Long Course Nationals.

If the NQTs change annually by only 10ths or 100ths of a second, it's not just frustrating and unfair. It's unnecessary.

I look forward to reading the mid-year reports and seeing how the Championship Committee has addressed this idea.

Bill

michaelmoore
April 23rd, 2003, 12:09 AM
I think we can safely say that statistics can be manipulated and misinterpreted in many misleading ways. Please don't interpret that statement as an accusation, as I personally don't feel that you or anyone else is intentionally trying to manipulate the statistics for any specific purpose.

Nice, you impugn then integrity of the work then back off from it.

The statistical trend presented above is easily dismissed because many of the times only differ by as little as 10ths or 100ths of a second. The statistical interpretation probably doesn't merit as much discussion as the idea of fixing the NQTs for longer periods.

When making the comparison, there were a few (I think the number would be under 5) where the number between the two NQTs was 0.01. Which might be said to be a tie, as the real variance might be 0.001 but then might be as high as 0.015. However, numbers went both way, at least one was higher and two faster by 0.01 sec. Now, where do you want to decide there is a meaningful difference? 0.20 is practically a tie on the 1500 meter, but I the 50 free is a great difference. Even if we could agree on what a significant difference is, we would still see that the trend is for faster times.

It very easy to dismiss the "statistical interpretation" when the facts dont support your argument. But the fact is that the times are getting faster.

If the NQTs keep changing, it is unfair to swimmers who are trying to achieve these times, and frustrating for coaches who are using them as motivational tools. The NQTs for Short Course Nationals are announced to the general membership of USMS in the January/February issue of SWIM Magazine. Therefore, swimmers and coaches have less than four months to achieve those times before entries are due. The lead time is a bit shorter for Long Course Nationals.

The unfairness argument - gee if the facts dont support me then it has to be unfair. There is NOTHING unfair about the process. We have stated the basic process that we use. With the lagging effect of the two prior years top ten entering into the equation, the times do not change much (but they do trend faster).

The NQTs are primarily a management tool for the Championship Committee to have quality competition and conditions at the championship meets. They are not designed as motivational tools for swimmers although they can be. If you believe that there should be some motivational tools for swimmers such that if they swim the time they hit the bronze and an a faster time they have hit the silver, perhaps you can bring that up to the Fitness Committee or the Coaches Committee.

While the times are published in Swim Magazine in the Jan-Feb issue, they are available about the end of the previous September - I know you got them by the middle of October. If they are that important, I am sure you can get them published on the web. Also, if those times are that important to a swimmer, the swimmer can do the calculation of what the new NQT will be. (Or can hire a math major to do it for him- math major for rent).

If the NQTs change annually by only 10ths or 100ths of a second, it's not just frustrating and unfair. It's unnecessary. And if the change is greater? If you are going to do the calculation, I think it is best to do it for all the times. I have yet to see how the NQTs are unfair - maybe you can explain it.

I have not seen the Championships Committee mid year report, but I doubt that it has much in it about NQTs. The Committee has in the past reviewed the NQTs after the meets.


michael