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Meet Director's Path to Tranquility

Nerves of Steel

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"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
-Bertrand Russell
The meet director is getting nervous after today's mail.

We are now up to 47 bona fide entries. At this time last year, there were 25, with an eventual total of 172 swimmers. If current rate continues, we may end up with TOO MANY swimmers! Sardines on the pool deck and sardines behind the starting blocks don't go with tropical fish.

If the meet attracts so many swimmers, maybe a move to another pool with better capacity is in store for next year. But, no other pool is closed on Sunday mornings like this one is, (meaning we put on the boxing gloves and go a round with the county park authority and lap swimmers to get another pool to close for us.)

Past experience has been that 80 entires flood in at the last week. With about 3-5 entires arriving per day now, we could end up with about 190 swimmers.

To be finished on time and to keep the meet from degrading into a slow burn, entires in the 500 free are limited. In bygone years, swimmers were turned away about 3 weeks before the deadline. To 'service the membership,' this year we added another heat to the 500, bringing the limit up to 28. At this date, there are 24 swimmers in the event, leaving 4 slots left. I expect these to fill up after my daily pilgrimage to the almighty post office box tomorrow morning.

When too many entries chase the last remaining slots, how should we decide? Should he stay or should she go? I developed a tie-breaker system to decide who gets in over who does not on the last day:
1. Entires that are complete get in - signed form, proper payment, card attached. Then,
2. Entries with earliest postmark gets in. Then,
3. Alexandria Masters and Potomac Valley swimmers get in. Then,
4. Swimmers who have attended our meet in the past get in. And finally,
5. The oldest swimmer(s) get in.

If there is a fairer system, I want to hear it. In past years, the ties were decided in step #2. Last year for the first time, I needed step #5 to decide which 2 of 4 swimmers got in. One swimmer left out was let in on meet day to swim 500 after someone scratched. He was happy. He entered the 500 again this year, earlier.

I'm still chasing down those lap counter cards. I called an online supplier today and inquired if I could purchase some (as a backup in case they did not arrive at our local swim shop in time.) I got a familiar answer: they are out of stock and not expected in before January 20. What happened to all the lap counter cards in the country?

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