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View Full Version : Should we get rid of all relays?



Caped Crusader
December 28th, 2006, 10:33 PM
Relays seem to spark controversy. Some people love them. Some people see them as an intrusion on their individual events. Some people are forced to scratch events to swim relays because of exhaustion. (I actually know a swimmer who practices with a team but won't officially join the team for fear of having to swim relays at zone or other big meets.) Some people "cherry pick" elite swimmers to set records in relays. Relays make meets run longer.

We're adults, not kids on a USS team. Do we really need relays at masters meets?

I've not actually swum on one, I should point out. I'm just wondering why masters swimmers bother when everyone seems to be gunning for PBs and swimming really seems like an individual sport.

Having said that, an open water relay seems oddly appealing. But that's because the relay is the event. I don't see whatyaall see in swimming lots of events and then adding on relays.

The Fortress
December 28th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Some people are forced to scratch events to swim relays because of exhaustion. (I actually know a swimmer who practices with a team but won't officially join the team for fear of having to swim relays at zone or other big meets.)

We're adults, not kids on a USS team. Do we really need relays at masters meets?

Very funny, Mr. OW. Tired of sitting and watching swim meets?

Well, relays are fun for us "growed ups" too. They still help you feel part of a team. Mixed relays are especially fun. (I think I have one on with Allen someday.) I haven't done that many relays, as my team is relatively small. But I have scratched one of my best individual events because of relay duty at a zone meet. I'd rather do just one relay a day, at the end of the individual events, not several per day. I'm not good at 5+ events a day. The thought of 3-4 relays per day is a bit overwhelming, but I'm a whimpy sprinter. I'd rather swim fewer and swim faster, and relays do cut into the swimming fast part. But they're still fun. I just never want to swim on the 800 free relay ... I'd rather count during my friends' distance events.

Muppet
December 29th, 2006, 12:15 AM
Relays I believe are an integral part of bringing together individuals to form a strong team.

On our team, the few of us who regularly went to meets started booking relays to help get some slower and practice-only swimmers to come to meets. Rather than stacking the relays, we built them to be competitive against each other, or people from the same practice lane would be on the same relay team. It has really helped to build the team, not just comraderie-wise, but the inviting environment has encouraged a lot of people to stay with the team, bring friends, and try meets.

islandsox
December 29th, 2006, 08:20 AM
Gosh, I hope not. I love relays because it is shared amongst our fellow swimmers and it sure seems to motivate the spectators in the stands. And I would never scratch one of my events for a relay, maybe just not give it 100% if it was close to an event for me, but nonetheless, help out my teammates. Relays are just fun and a good way to get swimmers new to Masters to get their feet wet in the competition arena.

And we are hoping to get a relay put together for the Roatan-Utila swim; right now we have two people committed, and a possible third one. And they will relay it over there.

Donna

waves101
December 29th, 2006, 08:38 AM
I love relays. As a sprinter, they fit my need for speed and give me an opportunity to get another time in case I miss a wall or have a bad start in the regular 50 event. I like the team building that relays promote and the strategy of putting the right mix of swimmers for the event and/or age grouping. In addition, at nationals I'm usually on the outside looking into the Top 10 but with relays we can usually get a team to break into the Top 10. This helps bring some of the other members to a high level of competition and helps them aspire to reach that level individually (just like it did back in age group swimming, too). Something about bringing home a medal helps to justify the cost of the trip. I do understand that some people may be gunning for PBs or other records and, as adults, they have earned the right to say "no". In that case, you either find someone else or don't swim the relay at that particular meet.

chaos
December 29th, 2006, 08:51 AM
i like relays.
they often stretch out meets and allow me to enter more individual events than i might otherwise.
at the zones meet, relays certainly create an advantage for the local clubs to score points. (we are eager to get on the road for that seven hour drive, and will scratch those end of sunday relays at the drop of a hat)

FlyQueen
December 29th, 2006, 08:53 AM
I love relays. I've had meets where I've done 9 events (my five individual and four relays). I think relays are great for all the reasons listed above. My team is great about understanding if you don't want to do a relay because of a pet event being right after.

When I was attempting to be a 200IMmer (which I failed miserably at) it was frequently the last event of the meet with a mixed medley or free relay just before it so I would skip out on that relay.

At state I swim on all four relays and do 5 events per day and love it. That's a choice though. No team should force or bully swimmers into swimming relays but I think they are awesome.

I agree with Fortress that mixed relays are the best.

Allen Stark
December 29th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Relays are GREAT,especially mixed relays. Relays have a diiferent excitement than individual events. Others are counting on you. You can cheer during your event.Again they are GREAT!!!

rtodd
December 29th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Keep the relays. It brings a team spirit to the event. But allow ad-hoc relays so swimmers without a full team can scrounge up a team and participate the day of the meet.

fanstone
December 29th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Here is the problem or maybe the solution to relays: if your team is small, you end up having to fill up the slots with slow or slower than average swimmers. You sometimes also have to fill the slots based on friendship and not on merit. I am talking about the relays where you add up the ages, I am not sure if you have that in your region. Here in Brazil, you have the 120, 160, 200, 240 total age of relay team, others I can't remember, with 200 meters freestyle male or female, 200 free mixed and the normal 200 Medley which might be male only or mixed. The joke is to ask your buddy if he is in the relay for his speed or for his age. Most times we can't even put together a decent foursome. The teams from Brasilia and Goi‚nia, which are large cities do well and compete against each other. We just do the relays for the fun of it. We had one a couple of weeks ago, where this guy swam his 50 meters in 26, but his father swam his 50 in 40 seconds. The average didn't add so well. I like being the Joker, where sometimes they will figure out a medley relay and stick me with whatever is left. However I usually end up swimming 50 fly and that is after having done my two regular swims and even though I take it easy as we're not going to win anything, sometimes I feel the pain. This is usually in the late afternoon, the sun is almost gone, you're getting cold and want to get on the road. Take care, billy fanstone

blainesapprentice
December 29th, 2006, 07:30 PM
I personally love relays:-) Relay carnivals are the best. I swim 4 individuals and 5 relays at championships in college.

Anchoring relays is the biggest adrenaline rush...ever.

MikeGarr
December 29th, 2006, 07:46 PM
abolish relays? perish the thought. No one forces people to do relays in my experience. They exhaust, but I usually just "swim through" them. Great fun, always, though. In New England LMSC we don't include the 800 free for points in the workout group competition so the only people who do it are the ones going for records. The others score megapoints for the team. Some of the team members in our workout group have even come up for a day to a big meet just to swim relays, even when they didn't have an individual event that day. That's how much we enjoy them....

KEEP EM

Caped Crusader
December 29th, 2006, 07:49 PM
I personally love relays:-) Relay carnivals are the best.

Are there pure relay carnivals in masters swimming? That sounds more fun than 9 events a day. I'd like to watch a butterfrog relay.

Brian Stack
December 29th, 2006, 08:12 PM
CC said: "Having said that, an open water relay seems oddly appealing. But that's because the relay is the event. I don't see whatyaall see in swimming lots of events and then adding on relays."

We've got one for ya, the Twenty First Annual Manatee 2 x 1 Mile Relay, August 19, 2007, Quarry Lakes in Fremont CA. Bring a friend for the second mile. After the relay you can hang with the Manatees and they can explain how much they enjoyed fielding 30+ relays at SCY Zones, and another dozen or so at LCM, and another 15 relays at World's. Quite a few of our swimmers entered the meet only so they could swim relays. Must be something in the water here.
The other thing to consider is the meet host who gets to budget in all of those relay fees, sure helps the bottom line at zones.

blainesapprentice
December 29th, 2006, 09:21 PM
im not sure if there are relay carnivals in masters, i dont see why a team couldnt sponser one?!

ALM
December 29th, 2006, 09:43 PM
My LMSC, Missouri Valley, hosts an annual All-Relay meet. We swim ALL of the relays (except 200 LCM; the pool is too shallow at one end), ALL THREE courses, in one meet. We started it as a way to fill in the gaps in our LMSC records.

Swimmers have the option of either putting together their own 4-person teams, or entering "potluck". Several of us get together the day before to assemble the "potluck" relay teams. The swimmers don't know which teams they'll be on, or exactly what they'll be swimming, until they arrive at the meet. (We used to try to put the potluck teams together on deck, but it was difficult and time-consuming.)

Last year's meet layout was as follows:

LCM RELAYS
800 LCM FREE
400 LCM MEDLEY
400 LCM FREE

SCM RELAYS
200 SCM MEDLEY
400 SCM FREE
400 SCM MEDLEY
200 SCM FREE
800 SCM FREE

Break to reconfigure the pool

SCY RELAYS
400 SCY MEDLEY
200 SCY FREE
800 SCY FREE
200 SCY MEDLEY
400 SCY FREE

While our goal is to fill in and improve the Missouri Valley relay records, we have noticed one nice benefit. A lot of the relays end up making USMS Top Ten. One year, every person who participated in the meet swam on at least one Top Ten relay team.

Anna Lea
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Muppet
December 30th, 2006, 01:16 AM
My LMSC, Missouri Valley, hosts an annual All-Relay meet.

I have often thought of putting together a relay carnival meet. I am glad to hear that it has been done before. The appeal of Top 10 relay recognition has me interested.

Now the 3 courses in one meet - now that is OUTSTANDING! When is this meet? I think a roadtrip from DC is in order!

Redbird Alum
December 30th, 2006, 05:32 PM
I love relays. As a sprinter, they fit my need for speed and give me an opportunity to get another time in case I miss a wall or have a bad start in the regular 50 event.

As I recall, only the first swimmer's split can ever be used for a time, due to the nature of the flying starts the remaining swimmers get.

I like relays. You meet some of the most interesting people that way!