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swimmieAvsFan
November 9th, 2007, 02:41 PM
i know the age up date for meters is 12/31 of the given year.
has it always been that way?
(mostly i need to know if in 1997 the age up date would have been 12/31/97 or the date of the meet...)

thanks!

ALM
November 9th, 2007, 03:40 PM
Looks like it was the day of the meet in 1997. I don't have a 1997 rule book but I do have the 1998 and 1999 rule books here; it looks like it changed between those years. Here is what each of them say:


USMS 1998 RULE BOOK, Page 19:
102.2: The elgibility of a participant for a particular age group will be determined by the age as of the last day of the meet.


USMS 1999 RULE BOOK, Page 19:
102.2.1: For short course yards, the eligibility of a participant for a particular age group shall be determined by the age as of the last day of the meet.

102.2.2: For short course meters and long course meters, the eligibility of a participant for a particular age group shall be determined by the age as of December 31 of the year of competition.
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swimmieAvsFan
November 9th, 2007, 03:50 PM
awesome! that's exactly what i needed to know...

thanks jayhawk!
:applaud:

Glenn
November 9th, 2007, 05:03 PM
OK, lets open up a can of worms here. Can anyone explain the rationale for the two different ways of determining age/up? My birthday is in July so for SCY I have to wait 10 months after I age up to go to SC Nats in the next age group. Whereas for LCM, I age up a month prior to my BD.

And what about those people who have a BD in December? On Jan 1 they age up and they are a year away from their next BD. RATS!!!

ALM
November 9th, 2007, 07:02 PM
OK, lets open up a can of worms here. Can anyone explain the rationale for the two different ways of determining age/up?

"Can of worms" is an understatement. :) I remember the year we debated this at Convention. In the 15 conventions that I've attended, I don't think I've ever heard such strong opinions on any other topic.

As you saw from my previous post, USMS's age-up date used to be the swimmer's birthday for all three courses. The rest of the world (FINA), however, went by the swimmer's age on 12/31 of a given year.

The rationale for changing the rule was so we would conform with the rest of the FINA members. I don't remember for sure, but the original proposal may have been to change our age-up date for all three courses.

As you have pointed out, there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems. Because we (the US) are the only country that swims yards, and keeps yards records, we can pretty much do whatever we want with those rules. I believe that keeping the swimmer's birthday for the SCY age-up date was something of a compromise.

Anna Lea

Blackbeard's Peg
November 10th, 2007, 07:56 AM
Glenn,
I'm kinda with you here... My birthday is the end of August, so I get shafted for LCM. I am always a year younger than my LCM age - in '05, i was 24 and competing against 29 year olds. Even though I'd still not be "the right age," I'd be more in favor of LCM age by the end of the season, since it ends way before the end of the year.
However, for record-keeping, i can see how one standard age is beneficial.

Swimmer Bill
November 11th, 2007, 09:06 AM
"Can of worms" is an understatement. :) I remember the year we debated this at Convention. In the 15 conventions that I've attended, I don't think I've ever heard such strong opinions on any other topic.


The rationale for changing the rule was so we would conform with the rest of the FINA members.

I'm very proud to say I voted against that proposal.

When I was 11, I swam in a summer league that set an age determining date of January 1st. Since I was born in February, I got to swim in the 10 & under age group as an 11-year-old. I was probably 5' 8" tall by then, and was about a foot taller than most of the 10 & under competitors. I felt false age determination was stupid and unfair back then, and my opinion hasn't changed in 30 years.

Glenn
November 11th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Jayhawk and Swimmer Bill,

What was the discussion at convention on this topic? Is it people with the wrong BD's vs everyone else or what?

ALM
November 11th, 2007, 01:57 PM
Jayhawk and Swimmer Bill,

What was the discussion at convention on this topic? Is it people with the wrong BD's vs everyone else or what?

I honestly don't remember all of the arguments. Shoot, I don't even remember what I had for lunch yesterday. :)

After so many conventions, things get sort of muddled. I do distinctly remember a discussion about relay age groups, but I can't remember if it was in conjunction with the age-up issue in 1998 or whether it was a different year.

I think what happened was that there was a proposal to change the SCY relay age groups (based on the age of the youngest swimmer on the team, 25+, 35+, 45+, etc.) to the system used for SCM and LCM relays (based on the sum of the four ages, 120-159, 160-199, 200-239, etc.).

There was a lot of discussion about how the relay records would change if we went away from the 25+ system. As I'm sure you're aware, you can compose a vastly different relay team that can still swim in a "young" age group. Moving to the 120-159 system would probably force that same team to swim in an older age group.

I'm sorry that I don't remember more. Maybe Bill or someone else who was there will chime in.

Anna Lea

Swimmer Bill
November 11th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Now that I'm looking at old meeting minutes, I may not have been there for the original discussion that landed us with the Dec. 31st birthdays. The proposal I recall is R10 from 2000:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv00/rulesproposals.pdf

That proposal called for the age determining date for all three courses to be the same - Dec. 31st. I voted "no", and it looks like a majority felt the same way.

:bolt:

Its a slow show
November 11th, 2007, 05:29 PM
I just don't think it is fair that someone born on 12/31 can break a meters record, lets say at 49 and a few days, in the 50 year age group.

Glenn
November 11th, 2007, 06:13 PM
I agree with you big time, It's a Slow Show!!!!

So, Swimmer Bill and Jayhawk, would there be any possibility of a rule change that changed the rule to "age at last day of the meet" for all three venues be a possibility or does that get in the way of FINA rules?

ALM
November 11th, 2007, 06:30 PM
So, Swimmer Bill and Jayhawk, would there be any possibility of a rule change that changed the rule to "age at last day of the meet" for all three venues be a possibility or does that get in the way of FINA rules?

First let me say that I am definitely not the expert here, and I would appreciate it if some of the experts would weigh in. But in my inexperienced opinion I think what you are proposing would be at odds with the FINA world records.

Here is an example of the system you are proposing and its consequences.

Let's take Swimmer Joe, whose 50th birthday will be on 12/31/08. Swimmer Joe swims a SCM meet in January, 2008. His "real age" is 49 years old. His "FINA age" is 50 years old.

Now let's pretend that USMS rules say that Swimmer Joe's age is his age on the last day of the meet. That means that he's 49 years old (in the eyes of USMS) for this meet. BUT, he's 50 years old in the eyes of FINA.

Now let's pretend that the current records for his hypothetical event are as follows:

USMS record, 45-49 age group: 2:05.00
USMS record, 50-54 age group: 2:07.00
World record, 50-54 age group: 2:07.00

Now let's pretend that Swimmer Joe swims his event in 2:06.00. The consequences would be:

--Swimmer Joe does NOT set a USMS record, because he's 49 in the eyes of USMS.

--Swimmer Joe DOES set a world record, because he's 50 in the eyes of FINA.

So, you have a swimmer who holds a world record but doesn't hold a USMS record. I can also see this being very confusing for meet directors and Top Ten tabulators.

Anna Lea

Glenn
November 11th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Jayhawk,

I like your example. It makes it all very clear. The way you explain it, I am not sure that that scenario is a bad thing. Is it confusing to have a world record but not a USMS record? Yes. But it already is confusing when I swim a LCM meet in June when my BD is in July and for FINA purposes I am in the next age group. Of course that is only a problem once every five years.

Also, in SCY for people whose BD's are say in March, they sometimes have Top Ten times in two age groups at the same time in the same event. That doesn't seem to be a problem for the tabulators.

I guess I am wondering if there is any scenario that seemingly makes it fairer for everyone.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 12th, 2007, 12:06 AM
I don't belive there is much to be done to make things easier.

One idea is to start adding more "end of season" dates in the middle of the year, but One example of a proposal around this would be:
SCY as "end of meet,"
LCM meets from Oct 1-Dec 31, age as of 12/31; meets Jan 1 to Sept 30 = age as of 9/30
SCM meets from Jan 1-Jun 30= age as of 6/30; meets Jul 1-Dec 31 = age as of 12/31

As you can see, that just gets confusing. SCY season runs June 1 to May 30. LCM season is October 1 to September 30. They both straddle two numeral years. SCM is calendar (Jan 1-Dec 31).

Here's a thought, and a good case for the LCM mid-season cutoff... Imagine your birthday is October 1. You are 24. However, according to the rules, you're 25 all LCM season, and swimming in 25-29 age group. Since the season ends 9/30, you will never be able to swim an event in that season when you're actually 25. I would say that is not fair.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 12th, 2007, 12:14 AM
Glenn, for people like you and I who have summer birthdays, I think we have less to complain about. I'm not sure how old you are, but for me, once we hit summertime, when someone asks "how old are you," my answer is usually "almost (my age + 1)." So if I am 24 and swimming a meet in June, saying "I'm almost 25" kind of justifies my placement in that older age group.

However, when I swim a SCM meet in March/April (as the Albatross Open is SCM and held in the spring), I always feel slighted. Then, I'm still way into my 24 mode, and yet, listed at 25 and swimming with the "old 29 year olds." (that example is a few years old but i may or may not still be bitter about it ;) )

As you've probably gathered from my two prior posts in this thread, I'm certainly open to making some sort of cutoff.

Rob Copeland
November 12th, 2007, 09:20 AM
FINA will not be changing the December 31st age up date in the foreseeable future and as long as FINA maintains this standard for meters world records, I don’t see USMS changing to make us any more different than we already are.

If you think about it, any solution is really just an arbitrary selection. Based on 12/31, the anniversary of your birth, or any other random date; at 11:59 PM on the magic date you are in one age group and 2 minutes later, poof, you are now in an age group 5 years older. Is it just or fair to every single swimmer? Fair, who knows; just, maybe; but it is consistent (sort of) and it does work.


I just don't think it is fair that someone born on 12/31 can break a meters record, lets say at 49 and a few days, in the 50 year age group.This is just as fair as someone born on March 15, breaking a record in yards in the 45-49 age group at age 49, in a meet on March 14th, and then going to another meet the next day and breaking records in the 50-54 age group. No matter which date we use to determine a persons competition age there always be examples were swimmers will be at an advantage. So instead of calling it unfair, maybe we can look at these as opportunities to set goals. I know a lot of folks who set goals based on meets when they age up. And if you use this as an opportunity to set and achieve personal goals, then you have truly accomplished something. And isn’t this more important to you then someone else’s swim?


I guess I am wondering if there is any scenario that seemingly makes it fairer for everyone. Fair in what regard? If it is only fair that you “compete” against people your age, then we would need to set up age groups by day, so that everyone born on, say, 9/12/1964 would only compete against other that share that birth day. And to be really fair, those who had the advantage of swimming in high school or college should be in a separate category, and those who have the advantage or training with coached programs should be in different groups.

I’m sure there are other advantages that make competition unfair, but as long as we all abide by the runes of competition then at least we have a modicum of consistency.

And while it’s nice to win blue ribbons and shiny medals, at least for me, the spirit of Masters Swimming is a lot bigger then who ages up when. Except for that day when I reach my 100th birthday (FINA or real) and assuming Paul Smith has retired by then, start kicking butts in the 100-104 age group.

Doug Martin
November 12th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Another complicating factor in all this is that the date of the SCY meet moves around. Last Nationals, at Federal Way, I was in the top of my age group and placed in the top ten. Had I been a year older, I would have had a couple of firsts. Good news for next year, right? Nope--the Austin meet is a couple of weeks earlier, I have a mid-May birthday, and I will still be in the top of my age group! It would seem USMS would at least account for the variability of the meet date by fixing a specific age-up date, be it Dec. 31 or even May 31.

Doug Martin
December 5th, 2007, 11:37 AM
post is deleted

Michael Heather
December 6th, 2007, 01:16 AM
I believe that I will be competing at the same listed age in Austin as I did in Federal Way. My BD is in early May and has taken some strange beatings over the years.

In 1976, the SCY nationals were in Mission Viejo and AAU Masters swimming still used the age group style of determination--- the first day of the meet. I was ineligible because my birthday was on the second day of the meet (this was years before the 19 year olds were eligible for nationals). I never thought to ask if I would have been eligible if I had entered only events on the second and third days. Hmmm.