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Mirabella
July 19th, 2007, 08:46 AM
There is a Master's meet in Atlanta this Sunday which starts at 10 AM. I haven't been to one before so I was wondering how long they last and is there a certain order to the events.

geochuck
July 19th, 2007, 08:52 AM
How long is a meet? Most meets are too long.

smontanaro
July 19th, 2007, 09:32 AM
I agree with George. I generally go to one meet a year, one hosted early in the season by the Evanston Wild Catfish team. I can bike over, swim a few events and bike home. Other meets require me to drive and I wind up sitting around a lot. I like "go there, swim, go home". Something really grates me about having to drive to work out.

Skip Montanaro

aquageek
July 19th, 2007, 09:53 AM
USMS meets can be either very quick or painfully slow, it all depends on how many have entered. If they have the 500/1000/400 IM on Saturday, pack a breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I have also been to meets that last just a few hours.

Kids meets in the summer may be the most painful of all, lasting 4+ hours.

poolraat
July 19th, 2007, 10:19 AM
This question reminds me of the saying I saw on a tee shirt at a meet once:

"If my doctor tells me I have one day left to live I want to spend it at a swim meet. They last forever."

MegSmath
July 19th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Mirabella, you should contact the meet director, who will know how long the meet usually lasts and how many people have entered.

m2tall2
July 19th, 2007, 11:42 AM
The only way to know for sure for your particular meet is to contact the meet director.

While I do agree that for spectators meets can be painfully slow, I personally tend to have fun even at all day meets. It all depends on what you make of it.

At the last meet I went to (5-6 hours per day over two days), I socialized and met several new people. I cheered on the people I had just met. I watched many events. Spent time before and after each event warming up and cooling down, had some snacks, worked on a small knitting project I need to finish for my cousin's baby shower and read part of a book.

For longer, or slow meets, if you plan on supplying yourself for a rewarding, relaxing day, you won't be bored.

Donna
July 19th, 2007, 11:55 AM
You might want to check the dixie zone web site www.dixiezone.org. I believe that meet has been cancelled.

Mirabella
July 19th, 2007, 12:06 PM
You might want to check the dixie zone web site www.dixiezone.org (http://www.dixiezone.org). I believe that meet has been cancelled.

Thanks, Donna. I just checked the other day and it was on - now cancelled. I wonder why?

scyfreestyler
July 19th, 2007, 12:12 PM
Lack of entries. Lack of volunteer participation. Conflicts with pool time. The meet director would surely know what the reasons are if you are determined to find out.

Mirabella
July 19th, 2007, 12:38 PM
Not determined to find out - just wanted to see a meet for the first time in my neck of the woods.

Donna
July 19th, 2007, 01:02 PM
You might want to try the Peachtree Pentathlon in September. It is over before noon and Carol Welling puts together a great meal for us all afterwards at her house.

Donna

Glider
July 19th, 2007, 02:21 PM
About a week ago, my shoulders decided we could not attend this meet -- and I regrettfully conceded.:notworking:

I hope they didn't cancel this on my account...:rolleyes:

osterber
July 20th, 2007, 10:05 AM
One thing that is worth pointing out... one of the major reasons that many masters meets are longer than they should be us because masters swimmers are terrible with seed times. Most masters swimmers enter meets with very rough estimate seed times, and that affects the length of the meet.

It doesn't matter which direction your seed times are bad. In a 100 freestyle... if you're last in your heat by 30 seconds, then you should have been in an earlier (slower) heat. (Unless you're in the first heat...) If you're first in your heat by 30 seconds, then you should have been in a later (faster) heat.

Many people tell me "But since I beat everyone in my heat, I didn't slow anything down!". Nonsense. You should bump up a heat (or more), so that others bump down a heat (or more) and swim with the people the same speed.

I have to do some further numerical analysis, but looking at our New England MAsters SCY champs, which has sessions as long as 9+ hours, we could have saved as much as 2 hours a day with better seed times.

-Rick

geochuck
July 20th, 2007, 10:11 AM
The thing that makes master meets too long are the non interesting slow strokes eg. backstroke and breaststroke. The other is there should only be 50s and 100s.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 20th, 2007, 11:54 PM
It doesn't matter which direction your seed times are bad. In a 100 freestyle... if you're last in your heat by 30 seconds, then you should have been in an earlier (slower) heat. (Unless you're in the first heat...) If you're first in your heat by 30 seconds, then you should have been in a later (faster) heat.

Many people tell me "But since I beat everyone in my heat, I didn't slow anything down!". Nonsense. You should bump up a heat (or more), so that others bump down a heat (or more) and swim with the people the same speed.
Rick, some great observations, and as a meet director, we are certainly looking for these things, especially when we've got to be out of the pool by a certain time.
As for the "first in your heat by 30 seconds," there are people out there who know better and purposely sandbag their times just so they will come in first and look good.

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 09:48 AM
As for the "first in your heat by 30 seconds," there are people out there who know better and purposely sandbag their times just so they will come in first and look good.

This bugs me more than almost anything. I'm sorry, but I don't have time for your (that's the "royal your") ego trip at my swim meet at the expense of (a) my timeline and (b) the egos of everyone else. As much as you may get a thrill out of blowing away the person next to you by 30 seconds... that person may be crushed by being blown away by 30 seconds. Sometimes I'm tempted to re-seed the worst offenders into the middle lane of the fastest heat, so they can be blown away by everyone else in the heat and look foolish themselves.

We're going to start doing some time reconciliation for entry times for our biggest meets. We're building up enough data in various times databases to be able to electronically detect bad seed times. If you've gone 1:26, 1:28, and 1:27 in the 100 IM for the past three years, you should not be entered at 1:10, and you should not be entered at 1:50.

I'm also thinking about possibly creating some sort of award for either or both of (a) best seed times for an individual and/or (b) best seed times for a team. I.e., for each person, add up the total (absolute value) difference between seed time and actual time, probably do a weighting for distance, and then sort. (I.e., 10 seconds off in the 1650 is a whoooole lot better than 10 seconds off in the 50.) Same for overall seed time differential for a team.

We had a handful of people at our latest meet that, over a half-dozen individual events, were a grand total of 0.5 seconds off their seed times. That's phenomenal, and these people deserve trophies in my book.

-Rick

-Rick

matysekj
July 23rd, 2007, 10:02 AM
Rick, note that article 104.5.5.A.11 of the rule book (page 34) states:

"If a swimmer enters a deck-seeded event with a time significantly slower than his/her recently recorded time, the meet director may, after notifying the swimmer, change the seeded time to a realistic time."
This is the anti-sandbagging rule that was added for national championships a few years ago. It is in the section that only applies to nationals, and I'm not sure why it only applies to deck seeded events. However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't publish a similar statement on your meet entry form and follow it to change the seed times for the real sandbaggers.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 23rd, 2007, 10:14 AM
Rick, note that article 104.5.5.A.11 of the rule book (page 34) states:
"If a swimmer enters a deck-seeded event with a time significantly slower than his/her recently recorded time, the meet director may, after notifying the swimmer, change the seeded time to a realistic time."
This is the anti-sandbagging rule that was added for national championships a few years ago. It is in the section that only applies to nationals, and I'm not sure why it only applies to deck seeded events. However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't publish a similar statement on your meet entry form and follow it to change the seed times for the real sandbaggers.

Righteous! I love it! Way to go Rules Committee! :bouncing:

knelson
July 23rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
One thing that is worth pointing out... one of the major reasons that many masters meets are longer than they should be us because masters swimmers are terrible with seed times. Most masters swimmers enter meets with very rough estimate seed times, and that affects the length of the meet.

Even worse, entering with "no time." Come on, you can at least estimate a time. Presumably you've at least done the event in practice.

What you end up with is a heat of "NT" swimmers whose speeds are all over the map. If this is a longer event it can significantly impact the timeline.

imspoiled
July 23rd, 2007, 02:42 PM
We're going to start doing some time reconciliation for entry times for our biggest meets. We're building up enough data in various times databases to be able to electronically detect bad seed times. If you've gone 1:26, 1:28, and 1:27 in the 100 IM for the past three years, you should not be entered at 1:10, and you should not be entered at 1:50.

-Rick

Not to defend the sandbaggers out there, but there are times when I've entred a slower time due to the event schedule. For example, when two events I want to swim are back-to-back (or on either side of events with low participation like the 200 fly or 400 IM). In those cases I will enter a slower seed time for the first event in order to have some rest before the second. It has nothing to do with blowing people away and everything to do with not blowing up myself!

SwimStud
July 23rd, 2007, 03:23 PM
Rick, note that article 104.5.5.A.11 of the rule book (page 34) states:
"If a swimmer enters a deck-seeded event with a time significantly slower than his/her recently recorded time, the meet director may, after notifying the swimmer, change the seeded time to a realistic time."
This is the anti-sandbagging rule that was added for national championships a few years ago. It is in the section that only applies to nationals, and I'm not sure why it only applies to deck seeded events. However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't publish a similar statement on your meet entry form and follow it to change the seed times for the real sandbaggers.

Ahh Jim see they're on to you and your tricks ;)

SwimStud
July 23rd, 2007, 03:25 PM
Not to defend the sandbaggers out there, but there are times when I've entred a slower time due to the event schedule. For example, when two events I want to swim are back-to-back (or on either side of events with low participation like the 200 fly or 400 IM). In those cases I will enter a slower seed time for the first event in order to have some rest before the second. It has nothing to do with blowing people away and everything to do with not blowing up myself!

I think that's kind of the deal too though Dana, part of the risk that we should assume. I'm not saying I haven't marginally adjusted but this has been my first year. I guess next year will tell.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 23rd, 2007, 03:51 PM
Not to defend the sandbaggers out there, but there are times when I've entred a slower time due to the event schedule. For example, when two events I want to swim are back-to-back (or on either side of events with low participation like the 200 fly or 400 IM). In those cases I will enter a slower seed time for the first event in order to have some rest before the second. It has nothing to do with blowing people away and everything to do with not blowing up myself!
Dana, I've done that a few times myself - I certainly see no harm in that! :groovy:

slknight
July 23rd, 2007, 03:59 PM
Not to defend the sandbaggers out there, but there are times when I've entred a slower time due to the event schedule. For example, when two events I want to swim are back-to-back (or on either side of events with low participation like the 200 fly or 400 IM). In those cases I will enter a slower seed time for the first event in order to have some rest before the second. It has nothing to do with blowing people away and everything to do with not blowing up myself!

But you're still blowing out your heat, right? Am I understanding you in that you're not actually swimming slower in the first event - you just put yourself into a slower heat so you'd have more heats/time before your next event? Even if your motivation is different, the result is the same; there's a vast difference between your time and the rest of the heat. Personally, I think this is an obnoxious tactic to take. :confused:

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 09:04 PM
However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't publish a similar statement on your meet entry form and follow it to change the seed times for the real sandbaggers.

We do (have that statement in our meet info).

In NE, we've debated having "requirements" of seeding with best times. I'm of the opinion that we need to state that we expect you to seed with best times, and we reserve the right to change if we see fit. It also helps us with the people who quite accidentally seed themselves wrongly. We have bunches of our more "senior and experienced" swimmers who believe they are faster than they are, and we make some adjustments to make sure that the 55-minute swims in the 1650 are all in heat 1.

-Rick

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 09:05 PM
Even worse, entering with "no time." Come on, you can at least estimate a time. Presumably you've at least done the event in practice.

Our championship meet prohibits NT entries. If you enter with NT, I don't put you into the event until I get a real seed time from you. (And if you're a real pain and don't respond, I do my research and make one up for you.)

-Rick

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 09:08 PM
Not to defend the sandbaggers out there, but there are times when I've entred a slower time due to the event schedule. For example, when two events I want to swim are back-to-back (or on either side of events with low participation like the 200 fly or 400 IM). In those cases I will enter a slower seed time for the first event in order to have some rest before the second. It has nothing to do with blowing people away and everything to do with not blowing up myself!

We've had people do that, and tell me they're doing that. It's exactly why we put in the anti-sandbagging rule in the first place. The first year it happened, and we got lots of complaints, the people in question pointed out that we never said it was not allowed. So it's not allowed in our meets now.

You've seen the order of events. Everyone goes by the same order. If there's not enough time for you between two events, then don't do one of them.

If everyone in the meet swam back-to-back events, and sandbagged the first one to get more rest, we'd add piles of time to the timeline. And then those same sandbaggers are going to complain about how long things take.

Not to mention the 85-year-old who you run over in heat 1.

-Rick

mermaid
July 23rd, 2007, 09:20 PM
Wow Rick! That's dedication!

Blackbeard's Peg
July 23rd, 2007, 11:11 PM
Our championship meet prohibits NT entries. If you enter with NT, I don't put you into the event until I get a real seed time from you. (And if you're a real pain and don't respond, I do my research and make one up for you.)
Rick, you are awfuly nice to take the time to do the research for those NT people. To your point of using best times, I try to use times from either the same meet or about the same time in the season from the previous year (ie, swim a 53 100 free at zones in 06; enter a 53 for zones in 07). I find it usually works pretty well, and especially if I beat the time, it tells me I am ahead of last year.

For the Colonies Zone LCM Championship meet we are hosting, the entry time space is formatted for minutes and seconds (looks like ___:___.___) in order to get a time, though I did note that "No time entries will be seeded in the slowest heat." Hopefully it won't be too big a deal. You coming?

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 11:40 PM
Just to throw out some numbers for people to chew over... these are from the NE Masters SCY Champs at Harvard this past March. We had 847 entered athletes entered into 5180 individual events. It was a big meet.

Due to scratches, we ended up with around 5000 (a bit under) individual swims. Out of those 5000 swims, fully 1000 of them were within 1% of their seed time. That's 0.6 seconds per 60 seconds of swimming. That's phenomenal for those 20% of swims!

We had 40% of all swims within 2% of their seed times (1.2 seconds per minute of swimming). That's still fantastic!

What it shows is that lots of people are doing really really well with seed times. We had 6 swims that hit their seed times exactly, to the 100th.

Our worst offender in seed times was in a 50 event, where the swimmer magically dropped 63 seconds from his/her seed time. Argh.

Looking at the top-25 sandbagged entries in the meet, 5 of them came from one person. Needless to say, that person will get extra scrutiny in the future!

We had 627 heats swum in this meet. If you look at each heat, the _AVERAGE_ amount of time between the first swimmer and the last swimmer in the heat was 38 seconds. That's the average.

But, we have to recognize that heat 1 is always a big wildcard. That's where we want the slowest people, so there's always going to be a big spread of times in heat 1. That's where the spread _should_ be.

So if you remove heat 1 of every event from the analysis, then the average drops to 26.5 seconds. So the average heat is sitting there for 26.5 seconds from when the first person finishes to when the last person finishes.

If you add that up over the whole meet (not including heat 1), that adds up to 4 hours and 15 minutes. (If you include heat 1, it comes out to 6 hours, 37 minutes.)

So we're spending a lot of time waiting for all of these heats to finish up due to all of these bad seed times. Now, if all seed times were "perfect", we're not going to get back all of that time. Not all of it. But, if the average dropped to 10 seconds per heat (between first and last, except heat 1), we'd save 2 hours and 39 minutes.

Wouldn't you rather spend those 2 hours and 39 minutes somewhere else besides at the pool? I would.

-Rick

osterber
July 23rd, 2007, 11:46 PM
Wow Rick! That's dedication!

Well, the service doesn't come for free. :-) We have a tradition of a $5 incomplete entry form fee. If your entry form isn't complete, and you end up on my "problem list", then you get charged an extra $5. (It's either that, or I reject your entry completely, and you don't get into the meet.)

This includes NT entries, people who enter but aren't USMS registered yet, people who forget to sign their entry waivers, etc. Unfortunately, we find that lots of people are really sloppy with entries.

Though this year I rolled out online entries, and almost half of the entries came in that way. (We would have gotten more, but I finished the entry system just a few weeks before the entry deadline.)

Next year, we're going to look at tying the online entries to other databases, so that when you enter online, we automatically suggest your entry times for you. Perhaps even requiring a written comment if you put an entry time that is too far off of our suggestion. (Which is definitely going to happen... injuries, pregnancies, other major life events, etc.) We just want people to (a) think about their entries, and (b) understand that it matters and (c) that we're watching.

-Rick

Blackbeard's Peg
July 24th, 2007, 09:37 AM
Next year, we're going to look at tying the online entries to other databases, so that when you enter online, we automatically suggest your entry times for you. Perhaps even requiring a written comment if you put an entry time that is too far off of our suggestion. (Which is definitely going to happen... injuries, pregnancies, other major life events, etc.) We just want people to (a) think about their entries, and (b) understand that it matters and (c) that we're watching.
That is a pretty cool idea. You guys would have nabbed me in 2004. I entered the first SCM Zone meet at Wheaton, and swam with a cast due to a broken wrist. I can't remember if I entered slower times b/c of the cast or not, but either way, I'd've probably added some wait time on either end. :frustrated:
Oddly enough, I actually swam really well that meet. Ended up breaking the :60 barrier for the second time ever in the 100 free; 200 back was a top 10 time - first (and only) time ever swum. Poor Chris Woolridge, who was 2 yrs younger, was beating himself since I kept coming in ahead of him.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 24th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Speaking of casts, I totally forgot that I massively messed up the timeline at 2005 LCM Nationals. I broke my wrist two weeks before nationals. I was dead set on going, since it was my vacation, and I did get my swim on in the 50 and 100 free. With a full-arm cast, those two events were all my poor shoulder could handle. I ended up going 34.40 in the 50 and a 1:12 in the 100. I was way behind the rest of the group, 5 & 10 seconds respectively behind the next slowest finisher, and had to get out at the side ladders too.

Of course, they sent out that email saying "send us corrections, but not to your seed times." So I didn't let them know.

osterber
July 24th, 2007, 08:50 PM
This is always a problem. Stuff happens. In our meet, with 5000 entries, it's a real pain dealing with people wanting to update seed times. With nationals, it must be even worse.

One other problem we have is that we get bunches of people making strategic adjustments to seed times. Or wanting to. I don't have patience for that. People who want to drop 2 tenths so they drop down a heat. Or suddenly drop 0.1 seconds so they end up in the top-8. Bleah.

We don't publish a psych sheet until after the entry deadline has passed. We found that too many people were holding out their entries to see what other people entered with. So we stopped posting until the entry deadline had passed.

If I get seed time adjustment requests, I evaluate them one by one. If you wrote that you needed to slow down by 5-10 seconds because you just broke your wrist, I'd take that. That benefits everyone. If you had a brain-fart, and entered the 200 free at 2:05, but you're really a 3:05 swimmer, I'd take that. Especially if the rest of your seed times seem to match.

But if you entered the 200 free at 2:15, and email me to tell me that you just did a time trial in practice, and you were now a 2:14.35 person, sorry.

Of course, if I typoed your entry time, then I'll fix it. When you hand-type 5000 entry times, it's possible to make a typo or two. :-) (Fortunately, this year there were only around 2500 entry times to type in due to online entries... even less next year!)

-Rick

m2tall2
July 25th, 2007, 08:22 AM
As a fellow NEM swimmer I appreciate that you value appropriate seed times as much as I do. There have been many, many meets where I had to choose between two favorite events (usually 200 free and a breaststroke) because they were back to back. I spent my entire high school career unable to swim my second favorite event at the time (100 back) because my better and favorite event always came right afterwards (100 breast). To me, order of events is part of the sport. Otherwise, high point awards and heat winner awards can become meaningless.

I have found however, that since I am getting back into things I am improving faster than expected. So for the NEM SCY meet that you have been using as an example, I truthfully seeded myself with best times from my most recent swims in January & February. That meet though, I had a truly awesome meet.
200 Breast dropped 1.99
200 IM I created a very realistic seed time and dropped 2.3 seconds.
50 Breast I dropped 0.37 (should have been more based on my 100 later that meet)
200 Free dropped 2.28
100 Breast dropped a whopping 3.65! (I did a little dance!)

I would hate to think that when someone truly has a breakthrough meet they were being labeled as a poor seeder. At the same time, in every heat, even though I had remarkable best times, I was absolutely crushed by at least a couple other swimmers. When they look up and are ambivalent about a 6 second time drop, you know something's up. I know in at least one event it made me seriously doubt my performance during my swim.

Now on the reverse end of the spectrum, I did my first LCM meet a few weeks ago. I took times from the March meet, dropped them by about 2 seconds because I figured I had improved myself that much in 3-1/2 months and converted them to LCM. I thought I had darn good, realistic seed times. Now, at that meet I was anywhere between 6 seconds and over 1 MINUTE slower than my seed times even though I worked my butt off. It came down to not having enough turnless practice. At that meet it wasn't so bad since there was always only one heat of women. Even still, it was humiliating even with my seed times being honest to the best I could know. I would hate to have people think the reverse that I had false representation of how fast I was.

Granted, I'll get it right next time. But I think people are HONESTLY wrong a little more than people think. When you don't go to meets every weekend like as an age grouper (or have a coach to time you) it's much harder to anticipate how you'll do at any given meet.

osterber
July 25th, 2007, 09:09 AM
I would hate to think that when someone truly has a breakthrough meet they were being labeled as a poor seeder.

Michelle -- I just looked up your results... you are definitely _not_ anyone who is anywhere on my list of people with bad seed times. Your seed times were terrific.

You swam a total of 750 yards, and your total cumulative time was 10:59.35 for all five events. Your _total_ "error" in seed times was 11.09 seconds. That means you dropped 1.7% from your seed times. That puts you somewhere in the realm of the 70th-percentile for seed time accuracy at the meet. You were better with your seed times than 70% of the swimmers in the meet.

Put another way, for every 100 yards of swimming, your seed times were off by 1.48 seconds, or 0.37 per 25 yards. Wow!

If everyone in the meet had seed times that were as accurate as yours, I'd be one of the happiest meet directors around!

We're always going to have people dropping time. That's what we hope for! And especially at championship meets, we expect to see time drops. What I'm trying to differentiate are "fantastic swims" and "bad seed times". If you drop a couple seconds in a 200, that's a great swim. If you "drop" 20 seconds in a 200, then you had a bad seed time.

-Rick

osterber
July 25th, 2007, 09:18 AM
Now on the reverse end of the spectrum, I did my first LCM meet a few weeks ago. I took times from the March meet, dropped them by about 2 seconds because I figured I had improved myself that much in 3-1/2 months and converted them to LCM. I thought I had darn good, realistic seed times. Now, at that meet I was anywhere between 6 seconds and over 1 MINUTE slower than my seed times even though I worked my butt off.

Michelle -- This is also a very common thing. Especially in places like New England, where we just don't have a lot of LCM pools around, LCM seed times for masters swimmers tend to be all over the map. As we have discussed in some other threads, making the switch from SCY (or SCM) to LCM is very difficult. Different people have different "personal conversion factors" due to differences in their strokes, training background, etc.

One reason I like seeing the LCM Champs come back is so that people _can_ get some LCM racing experience. At next summer's LCM meet, you'll know better how you might do, since you've got some experience with it now. Your seed times will be better... so will everyone else's.

There are lots and lots and lots of reasons why people have not-perfect seed times at meets. As I indicated, we have piles of people with fantastic seed times, including you. We have a bunch of people with "OK" seed time accuracy. What I'm trying to work on are the worst of the worst seed time offenders. These are the people who are consistently sandbagging their events. Or consistently seeding themselves 10 seconds too fast, year after year. These are the people who should know better. Some of these people are on my own team, and I talk to them in person.

We have lots of first-timers. That's great. Their seed times are going to be off. That's fine. You need to start somewhere. (Though this is also why we encourage going to mini-meets, to get some racing experience before the big championship meet.) But we want the first-timers to come. We want them to get the experience.

-Rick

some_girl
July 25th, 2007, 01:10 PM
This is only tangentially related, but since you are in this thread, Rick: your meet is my favorite meet of all that we attend. It is always so well run and I always swim fast (though I will attempt to be more accurate with my times).

Will online entries work for non-NEM swimmers next year?

The Fortress
July 25th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Righteous! I love it! Way to go Rules Committee! :bouncing:

Well, sorry to piss you all off, but I'm going to enter one event at Blackbeard's next meet with a NT or slow time. I am not doing it to sandbag. I have no interest in beating anyone by 30 seconds. (I don't really understand that mentality.) It won't slow down the meet. I don't care about high points or heat awards or awards even. I'm doing it to get a few seconds more rest before swimming a back to back event. Feel free to shoot me. I have the same problem on Sunday, but I'm opted to drop an event I'd like to swim. I'm sure I would do better with actual competition, but it's all a tradeoff. My other events will have appropriate seed times.

I also agree with Michelle that you can honestly mis-predict times. If you don't swim many meets, you may not be able to predict how training or injuries or illness can effect your times.

osterber
July 25th, 2007, 01:43 PM
Will online entries work for non-NEM swimmers next year?

I wish. The problem is that the USMS registration system appears to be almost hopelessly decentralized. I have repeatedly begged USMS to implement some sort of a system where a meet host like me can query a central USMS database to validate USMS registration credentials. But such a system does not exist.

So, I only have access to NE-LMSC (with is NEM, GBM, Maine Masters, and Vermont Masters) registration data.

I may try to contact the Metro Masters registrar to see about getting a registration file from them, since we have a lot of entries from the Metro LMSC.

Without that kind of registration data, the only way for me to know that you're USMS-registered is to look at your USMS card.

-Rick

osterber
July 25th, 2007, 01:47 PM
It won't slow down the meet.

Um, yes it will. If you swim faster than your heat because you're seeded too slow, you _do_ slow down the meet.

-Rick

The Fortress
July 25th, 2007, 03:01 PM
Um, yes it will. If you swim faster than your heat because you're seeded too slow, you _do_ slow down the meet.

-Rick

How? It may not matter. There might not be more than one heat if men and women swim separately as they do at most zone meets.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 25th, 2007, 03:22 PM
Well, sorry to piss you all off, but I'm going to enter one event at Blackbeard's next meet with a NT or slow time.
No worries, Fort - As I mentioned earlier, I've done that myself a time or two. I don't have a problem with that.

I won't hold your feet to the coals - except perhaps for some 50 fly redemption. :duel:

I think Rick has some good ideas here, and I think this tangent got started b/c I mentioned that I can think of a specific example of someone who does get their jollies out of beating people by 30 seconds (I see they're doing it at Nationals again).

3strokes
July 25th, 2007, 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by The Fortress http://forums.usms.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=100989#post100989)
It won't slow down the meet.




Um, yes it will. If you swim faster than your heat because you're seeded too slow, you _do_ slow down the meet.

-Rick

I don't see how. Each heat will take as long as its slowest participant. (You know, the "weakest link" syndrome.)

My :2cents:

imspoiled
July 25th, 2007, 03:53 PM
No worries, Fort - As I mentioned earlier, I've done that myself a time or two. I don't have a problem with that.

I won't hold your feet to the coals - except perhaps for some 50 fly redemption. :duel:

I think Rick has some good ideas here, and I think this tangent got started b/c I mentioned that I can think of a specific example of someone who does get their jollies out of beating people by 30 seconds (I see they're doing it at Nationals again).

Ok-
there's NO excuse for doing something like that a Nationals! That is just sad. At a big meet like zones or Nats, one should really enter something very close to a best time (at least best for this period in life). Isn't that why they have QTs?

I will admit to putting a bit of pad in my 1500 time--only because I haven't done it in a LCM meet (only SCM) and I've found that the conversion tables tend to exagerate my speed. I want to be competitive in my heat and swim with the appropriate swimmers--not blow someone away or look like a drowning 10-year-old.

What kind of twisted ego needs to go to a national meet and blow people out of the water by using bogus seed times? If you're fast, swim against the best & prove it. If your not, swim against the best and work hard to keep up. (For the record, I'm in the later grouping.)

aztimm
July 25th, 2007, 03:55 PM
Um, yes it will. If you swim faster than your heat because you're seeded too slow, you _do_ slow down the meet.

-Rick

Let's take a 100 Free with 10 heats as an example. I think he means that if you are seeded in a slower heat (you are in the slowest heat #1), you are displacing the slowest person into the next slowest heat (they'd be in heat #2), while they should have been the fastest person in heat #1. This causes a chain reaction all the way through the event, up to the heat you should have been in.

When I do meets, I ask my coach for help with my seed times. I may pad them very slightly, depending on that discussion. I'd prefer to be in a heat with swimmers close in speed to make a good race.

Obviously, if the event only has 1 heat, you woudn't slow down anything.

The Fortress
July 25th, 2007, 04:09 PM
Let's take a 100 Free with 10 heats as an example. I think he means that if you are seeded in a slower heat (you are in the slowest heat #1), you are displacing the slowest person into the next slowest heat (they'd be in heat #2), while they should have been the fastest person in heat #1. This causes a chain reaction all the way through the event, up to the heat you should have been in.

When I do meets, I ask my coach for help with my seed times. I may pad them very slightly, depending on that discussion. I'd prefer to be in a heat with swimmers close in speed to make a good race.

Obviously, if the event only has 1 heat, you woudn't slow down anything.


I see. It's not the 100 free. I guarantee there won't be more than a couple heats of women. I doubt it will have any effect. LC zones are not nearly as well attended as SCY zones here. I think most people, including myself, would generally prefer to be seeded with swimmers closer in speed. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I go to so few meets, and I don't generally think of myself as a negative force in the swimming community. I may drown and have to be pulled from the water anyway. Now I guess that would slow the meet down. :laugh2:

Oh, and I don't have any really exact idea what my seed time should be. I've only swum it once before. Seed times are always a real pain for me. I never know how my shoulder or sinuses or training will be.
Muppet: I'm all jazzed up for another 50 fly. LC 50 fly is my very fav event!! :bouncing: I haven't checked the form. Are men and women swimming separately or mixed? At least I won't be costing you an extra 30 seconds or so on Sunday when we gotta be gone by 12:30!

Something should be done about Mr. Ego. That is ludicrous.

osterber
July 25th, 2007, 11:45 PM
How? It may not matter. There might not be more than one heat if men and women swim separately as they do at most zone meets.

What aztimm said. By bumping yourself down, you also bump a slower person into a heat that is "too fast" for them. So you don't slow down heat 1, but you slow down heat 2. In a large event, you could theoretically cause a chain reaction that affects every single heat.

And it gets worse the longer the event. Often people worry less about their seed times in distance events. Being a minute off in the mile doesn't seem like much. It's not that much. But it adds up a whole lot quicker.

I don't want people to think I'm sort of "seed time enforcer". I'm not. I just want people to think a bit about their seed times. Our meets depend on everyone doing their part. If everyone decides to sandbag, it starts to defeat the purpose, too.

-Rick

stillwater
July 26th, 2007, 01:21 AM
Rick,

I am deeply impressed with your dedication to our sport. Your knowledge is a delight to me. While I have never intentionally sandbagged, I didn't understand the ramifications in the big picture.

Alone on the blocks, ones thoughts are about themself.

swimshark
July 26th, 2007, 07:50 AM
Ok-
there's NO excuse for doing something like that a Nationals! That is just sad. At a big meet like zones or Nats, one should really enter something very close to a best time (at least best for this period in life). Isn't that why they have QTs?


It happened to me in the 800 free 2004 LC Nats in Savannah. I was seeded 3rd and the person in my age grup seeded 4th beat her seed time by more then 15 sec. She sandbagged majorly! In fact, in watching her team that day, they all beat their seed time by a lot. I assumed then that their coach did it. I can't remember who it was or what team but I and others were not happy with them.

Alison

The Fortress
July 26th, 2007, 12:44 PM
In NE, we've debated having "requirements" of seeding with best times.

I'm against this. I understand that big meets need to be run efficiently and everyone should make a good faith effort to do their part. But this is masters swimming, not USA swimming. It doesn't need to be run like the military and doing so could discourage participation. The vagaries of life can effect masters swimmers and their seed times. I don't think we should have to write letters begging for slower times b/c of injury, illness, etc. We are all adults and should be able to write in our own seed times. The scurilous egomaniacs are very few, at least I hope.

And what would be next? Punishment for NS or scratching an event? Doesn't that effect the timeline too? Banning all deck entries at local meets to speed things along? Yes, the meet will run faster, but with less participants. The last meet I attended, there was a couple significant delays from re-seeding the breaststroke events due to deck entries. This did not bother me. More people swam. I chatted with my teammates.

As to the issue of of the ethics of fudging a bit on an event like imspoiled, Jeff and I have done, that's overblown. Yes, the order of events is part of the "game." But I think individual aspirations and inspiration should not be ignored either. Let's encourage people to swim and try to improve, not berate them for trying to swim more. I don't think flexibility is a bad thing. It's the inflexible attitudes that annoy me, i.e, "fins have no place in competitive swimming," "all shoulder injuries are due to poor technique," "sprinters are whimps" or "all triathletes are evil." We all have to train and swim in a way that suits our own life and ability to train.

knelson
July 26th, 2007, 12:49 PM
It happened to me in the 800 free 2004 LC Nats in Savannah. I was seeded 3rd and the person in my age grup seeded 4th beat her seed time by more then 15 sec. She sandbagged majorly!

In an 800 I could easily see beating your previous best by 15 seconds, especially if your comparing tapered to untapered times and long course, which a lot of people swim infrequently.

imspoiled
July 26th, 2007, 12:51 PM
It happened to me in the 800 free 2004 LC Nats in Savannah. I was seeded 3rd and the person in my age grup seeded 4th beat her seed time by more then 15 sec. She sandbagged majorly! In fact, in watching her team that day, they all beat their seed time by a lot. I assumed then that their coach did it. I can't remember who it was or what team but I and others were not happy with them.

Alison

Ok, but is it possible she just had a great swim? Although I see your point about it being a "team" thing.

At SC Nats in May I entered my most recent (and best) time for the 1000 free and beat my seed time by 16 seconds. The seed time came from a meet in Feb 07, so there was really no reason to think a swim in May would be a lot faster. It hurt like heck 'cause I used Muppet's "swim all out and hope you hang on" strategy, but it happened. Sometimes, everything just clicks.

Dana

knelson
July 26th, 2007, 01:00 PM
At SC Nats in May I entered my most recent (and best) time for the 1000 free and beat my seed time by 16 seconds. The seed time came from a meet in Feb 07, so there was really no reason to think a swim in May would be a lot faster.

Did you taper for Nationals? If so, that kind of time drop isn't surprising. I have a tendency to drop about 15 seconds in my 500 free between my in-season and taper meet times!

osterber
July 26th, 2007, 01:55 PM
I'm against this.

I'm against it as well. I don't see a need of requiring absolute best times, etc. My position is that seed times should be "real", and they should be as accurate as possible. Because, in the end....


Let's encourage people to swim and try to improve, not berate them for trying to swim more.

I want people to swim more, too. If more people have better seed times, then I can get more swimmers into the meet, and you can swim more events. With lots of bad seed times, I have to cut people from the meet, because there's just not enough time.

When warmup is at 8:00am, and the meet starts at 9:00am... by the time 7:00pm comes around and we're getting to the last relay of the day... that's a really long day, and lots of people get cranky. If I said that we could have the same meet, and all of the same swimmers, but finish an hour earlier, would you be interested?

-Rick

swimshark
July 26th, 2007, 01:59 PM
In an 800 I could easily see beating your previous best by 15 seconds, especially if your comparing tapered to untapered times and long course, which a lot of people swim infrequently.

My bad. I just checked my sheets from that day. She dropped 56 seconds! Everyone else came in close to their seed time (I went 4 sec slower) but she dropped major time. I still say sandbagging. Again, seemed to be a team thing.

Alison

The Fortress
July 26th, 2007, 02:06 PM
If I said that we could have the same meet, and all of the same swimmers, but finish an hour earlier, would you be interested?-Rick

You guys have really long meets up there! Our zone meets are usually over by 2-3:00 pm. Of course, it would be better to chop an hour off and go home to rest. I just think seeding is not a science for most masters swimmers unless you are very, very experienced, which I certainly am not. My seed times are always effected by how I feel when I fill out the entry form or if I've attempted, in some fashion, to taper.

Aside from the event mentioned above, I'm swimming an event I've never swum before at zones on a lark -- and I promise I will make a GF estimate of my time. But I really could be off by 3 seconds either way. I don't even have a practice time to help guesstimate.

swimshark
July 26th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Aside from the event mentioned above, I'm swimming an event I've never swum before at zones on a lark -- and I promise I will make a GF estimate of my time. But I really could be off by 3 seconds either way. I don't even have a practice time to help guesstimate.

And what would that event be? The evilstroke? Say it isn't so...

Alison

osterber
July 26th, 2007, 02:29 PM
But I really could be off by 3 seconds either way. I don't even have a practice time to help guesstimate.

If everyone were within 3 seconds of their seed time, I'd be thrilled!!!!! Even if everyone were within 6 seconds!

What I'm saying is that there are a fair number who are _way_ off. 30 seconds off in 100 yards. 56 seconds off in an 800 free. It's those people that are mucking things up, and, yes, they should know better.

Our meet will usually have around 200 heats in one day. A sway of 10 seconds per heat is 30 minutes on the day.

-Rick

imspoiled
July 26th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Did you taper for Nationals? If so, that kind of time drop isn't surprising. I have a tendency to drop about 15 seconds in my 500 free between my in-season and taper meet times!

Yes Kirk, I tapered. I think that had a lot to do with the time drop. It also didn't hurt that it was the first event of the meet. Used a ton of nervous energy up and felt much more relaxed for the short stuff on day two.

Now, the 1500 in Houston should be interesting. Last event, and looks like it will be a looooonnnnnggggg day. Taper or no, the swim could be way off the seed time... in either direction.

Anyone have tips on how to keep the energy & motivation up for the long swim at the end of the meet?:help: I expect to be in the middle of the 1500 heats, which will start after the 800 is completed. Figuring a mid-to late afternoon splash time.

swimmieAvsFan
July 26th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Anyone have tips on how to keep the energy & motivation up for the long swim at the end of the meet?:help: I expect to be in the middle of the 1500 heats, which will start after the 800 is completed. Figuring a mid-to late afternoon splash time.

disclaimer: advice is not necessarily for the mile, but more for the mid-to-late afternoon part...

in 2005, LCM nats were at Mission Viejo, another single pool venue, like the woodlands. which makes for long days. every day of competition, no matter what time my first event was, i would get up and do a "wake up" swim during warm-ups, around 1000-1200m. if my event(s) that day were after noon, i would go back to the hotel and eat a good breakfast and just relax (watch tv or read) until about 2 or 3 hours before my event was scheduled to start. then i'd head back over to the pool, do another warm-up, around 800 or 1000m, and get mentally prepared for my race. even the back and forth travel was better than just sitting around, outside, all day.

that worked really well for me- i had 2 masters bests, in the 200 back (which i didn't swim until about 2:30pm) and 100 free (was only a few hundredths off my best time as a kid) and a lifetime best in the 200 free (which was one of those races where everything just clicked)...

i don't know if the same idea would work for the mile, but i don't see why it wouldn't!
:)

knelson
July 26th, 2007, 03:55 PM
If I were you I'd be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before. Don't feel compelled to get in for morning warmups. After all, by that point you'll have a few days at that pool under your belt, so you don't really need to swim in the competition pool the morning of your 1500. Just relax in the morning and show up at the pool with enough time so you know you can comfortably warmup, but not so early you end up sitting around for a couple hours.

Another thing that will help is to stay out of the sun and heat over the course of the weekend as much as possible. Those hot outdoor meets can really take their toll after a couple days.

The Fortress
July 26th, 2007, 04:49 PM
If everyone were within 3 seconds of their seed time, I'd be thrilled!!!!! Even if everyone were within 6 seconds!

What I'm saying is that there are a fair number who are _way_ off. 30 seconds off in 100 yards. 56 seconds off in an 800 free. It's those people that are mucking things up, and, yes, they should know better.


Muck ups are bad, no doubt about it. OK, you made me feel better about the entry that will be arriving in Muppet's mailbox.

The other reason you cannot always seed yourself at your fastest time -- and this is obvious -- is that times swum at national meets in fast pools with fast suits when you're fully tapered usually cannot be duplicated in local meets during training season. So it's better to make a GF guess, I would think, for everyone's benefit.

Alison: It's a big ole surprise. I'm doing it on a dare. :eek: I also have a cyber "grudge" race on an earlier event that day. I'll probably be so worn out after Saturday, I'll look like this :cane: on Sunday. And then SwimmieAvs will get her revenge in the 100 back.

Donna
July 26th, 2007, 06:16 PM
I was one of those who had a major drop in my 1650 at SCY Nat's this year by over 1 minute. I didn't sandbag my time, I just made that much improvement since the last time I had swam it early in the season. And I hope to drop another minute by next years Nat's.

Donna

geochuck
July 26th, 2007, 07:41 PM
This is how I like it short and fast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMsh109Ya2I The camera was turned on after I had swum for 1 min.

some_girl
July 26th, 2007, 08:21 PM
You guys have really long meets up there! Our zone meets are usually over by 2-3:00 pm.

That's because NEM SCY is the best meet EVAR. Besides, it's big and you can swim as many events as you want, but it's three days so they aren't all on top of one another. I know for me and other folks on my team, it's the one chance every year to swim off events and swim them tapered. Plus, the team competition is, unlike nationals, reasonably close, so swimming lots does help your team.

I hope you can get your hands on the Metro records this year, Rick.

CreamPuff
July 26th, 2007, 10:22 PM
If everyone were within 3 seconds of their seed time, I'd be thrilled!!!!! Even if everyone were within 6 seconds!

-Rick

Er. . . I'll stay away from meets in this zone. Need to brush up on my fortune telling skills.

Reasons why I'm way off seed times include but are not limited to:

Getting injured/ ill prior to the meet but post the meet entry being sent in
Injury or illness during the meet
Swimming 5 events per day two of which are 800 free and 200 fly - what's a good formula short of the quadratic equation to estimate how much slower you'll be in subsequent events?
Deciding to taper, or rest, or keep training hard prior to the meet but after entry is sent in
Family/ work distractions
Meet is small resulting in 7 minutes rest between some events
Due to the 7 minute respite, using next event as a chance to catch your breath - nothing like a 200 IM to catch your breath
Hole in fastskin - in the crotch - use teammate's poly that is 2 sizes too large
Never swam the event before in your life but coach says don't enter NT
Swam the event 20 years ago
Competition pool is at an unusual 86 degrees

Need I go on?


The longer the distance, the more these factors affect the swim.
I couldn't guess who is sandbagging and who isn't. I'm not in their shoes.

The Fortress
July 26th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Er. . . I'll stay away from meets in this zone. Need to brush up on my fortune telling skills.

Reasons why I'm way off seed times include but are not limited to:

Getting injured/ ill prior to the meet but post the meet entry being sent in
Injury or illness during the meet
Swimming 5 events per day two of which are 800 free and 200 fly - what's a good formula short of the quadratic equation to estimate how much slower you'll be in subsequent events?
Deciding to taper, or rest, or keep training hard prior to the meet but after entry is sent in
Family/ work distractions
Meet is small resulting in 7 minutes rest between some events
Due to the 7 minute respite, using next event as a chance to catch your breath - nothing like a 200 IM to catch your breath
Hole in fastskin - in the crotch - use teammate's poly that is 2 sizes too large
Never swam the event before in your life but coach says don't enter NT
Swam the event 20 years ago
Competition pool is at an unusual 86 degrees

Need I go on?


The longer the distance, the more these factors affect the swim.
I couldn't guess who is sandbagging and who isn't. I'm not in their shoes.

Yes, exactly what I've been getting at but couldn't elucidate very well. Guestimation = fortune telling unless you're a robot. We do the best we can. I hope I never have the FS problem though!

osterber
July 26th, 2007, 11:37 PM
You guys have really long meets up there!

Yes we do. I think our NEM SCY champs was the second-largest USMS SCY meet this past season in the country, second to nationals. I think. We had around 850 swimmers this year, and we run in a single 8-lane course. When the dust settles, we end up with about 30 total hours of in-water competition (not including warmup time).

-Rick

Blackbeard's Peg
July 27th, 2007, 08:50 AM
It hurt like heck 'cause I used Muppet's "swim all out and hope you hang on" strategy, but it happened. Sometimes, everything just clicks.
Thats an AWESOME strategy!!! I love it!


Did you taper for Nationals? If so, that kind of time drop isn't surprising. I have a tendency to drop about 15 seconds in my 500 free between my in-season and taper meet times!

likewise in the 500.
actually, I dropped 13 seconds (17 from my entry time) in my 400 free at worlds last year. things like that happen when you've only got three times off which to base your entry. those times, btw, were PBs until that point.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 27th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Anyone have tips on how to keep the energy & motivation up for the long swim at the end of the meet?:help: I expect to be in the middle of the 1500 heats, which will start after the 800 is completed. Figuring a mid-to late afternoon splash time.

I "know a guy" had a gal promise he could "ask for anything" if he got a certain time in a certain event that was near/at the conclusion of a certain meet.
Now if that ain't motivation, I don't know what is.:banana:
:bolt:

Dana, Mollie's wake up swims aren't bad - I went on a couple with her at worlds (and watched her do hers at MV), and they seemed to work well. True, they do cut in on sleep, but I nap easily (read: fell asleep at a rock concert - in Philly, actually - courtesy the Mars Volta) and I always feel like sludge after a really long bed session anyways.

3strokes
July 27th, 2007, 09:56 AM
I "know a guy" had a gal promise he could "ask for anything" if he got a certain time in a certain event that was near/at the conclusion of a certain meet.
Now if that ain't motivation, I don't know what is.:banana:


Pretty clever of the "gal", I'd say.
She promised that he could "ask" for anything; but did she promise
that she would DO as asked?
:bolt:

imspoiled
July 27th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Thanks everyone!

Trying to fend off the blahs on the last day is my biggest concern for this meet. I think I'll try a wake-up swim, but not too early. Like Kirk said, there's no reason to use the main pool that day.

Dana

swimmieAvsFan
July 27th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Thanks everyone!

Trying to fend off the blahs on the last day is my biggest concern for this meet. I think I'll try a wake-up swim, but not too early. Like Kirk said, there's no reason to use the main pool that day.

Dana

at mission viejo and worlds, warming up at 6:30am pacific time was not early (to me at least ;) )! mostly cause i got used starting off each day of nationals (as a kid) by sitting at the still-locked gates of the hall of fame pool (in ft. lauderdale) at 5:45am. gotta love coaches who wanted to be the first ones in the pool (and who still are the first ones there, to this day)! :shakeshead:

but i know personally i do much better on my third or later "swim" of the day at big meets. hence the 2 warm ups before my first event.
i don't sleep well during meets anyway, so trying to sleep in would be pointless for me.


i think the best advice is going to be stay well-hydrated and out of the sun as much as possible.
and hope they've got a aerator to help cool the pool off! :cool:

swimshark
July 27th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Alison: It's a big ole surprise. I'm doing it on a dare. :eek: I also have a cyber "grudge" race on an earlier event that day. I'll probably be so worn out after Saturday, I'll look like this :cane: on Sunday. And then SwimmieAvs will get her revenge in the 100 back.

No hints, Fort??? Which day is this dare swim? I'm only doing Sat. My wrist is worse so I'm taking it easy and only doing 3 events (100 fly, 200 free and 50 breast). If the wrist doesn't survive the 100 fly, I'll scratch the 50 breast. 5 days later I will be having surgery on said bad wrist.

Alison

Blackbeard's Peg
July 30th, 2007, 12:24 AM
No hints, Fort??? Which day is this dare swim? I'm only doing Sat. My wrist is worse so I'm taking it easy and only doing 3 events (100 fly, 200 free and 50 breast). If the wrist doesn't survive the 100 fly, I'll scratch the 50 breast. 5 days later I will be having surgery on said bad wrist.
If she doesn't divulge, Alison, remember, I have her entry form ;):thhbbb::banana:

swimshark
July 30th, 2007, 07:46 AM
If she doesn't divulge, Alison, remember, I have her entry form ;):thhbbb::banana:

Spill it Muppet!! At least which day we can enjoy this dare swim.

By the way, my entry is going in the mail today :)

Alison