I posted this idea on another thread, where it more or less disappeared into the void. If it thusly disappears again, I will acknowledge that it deserves to disappear.
But before such acknowledgement, one more shot. To wit:
I think it would be kind of fun to come up with some kind of "all around freestyle" ranking. Usually you have your drop dead sprinters on one end, and your never say die distance people on the other end. But what about those of us who are sort of evenly mediocre at all distances?
Since freestyle has the most number of "in the pool" events, maybe we could come up with a freestyle decathalon event where you can score points (say, the inverse of the Top 25 in each event--where no. 1 gets 25 points, and no. 25 gets 1 point), add all these up, and get the cumulative score.
half hour swim
I think all of the above, with the possible exception of the half hour swim, are now official USMS events. You could argue that the 50, 100, and 200 are sprint-ish events; the 500, 1000, and 1650 (and possibly the half hour swim) are middle-ish or shortish distance events; and the rest are actual distance events.
In any event, I throw this topic out for the rumination of my fellow freestylers in the hopes that someone could come up with a fair rating system. My inverse points concept is only one possibility. Another might be to figure out a person's average per 100 pace for each event, total these, then divide by 10--
example--for the sake of brevity, I will just do this for 5 free events:
24 for 50 = :48
52 for 100 = :52
1:58 for 200 = :59
5:25 for 500 = 1:05
11:40 for 1000 = 1:10
total time: 4:54
divide, int his case by 5, and...
average 100: 59.2
Obviously, if we include the 1650, half hour swim, and hour swim, the average 100 pace would continue to climb upwards.
Anyhow, I am not sure how to weight things fairly, but the aim--it seems to me--would be to have the world's best sprinter, and the world's best distance swimmer--end up scoring roughly the same.
And I am hoping that the ingenuity of my fellow math-inclined (and possibly somewhat bored, with plenty of time on their hands) masters swimmers might be able to combine to create a perfect Freestyle Decathlon event as a possible motivation for all around freestylers to branch out their efforts for compleat bragging rights.
Note: you would have to swim each event in a sanctioned USMS meet and/or postal event to qualify. This would surely encourage more people to do some of the longer swims, and maybe some of the distance people to sign up for actual meets and do short things like 50s! A win-win for attendance.
We could call this--for wont of a better name--the Thornton Index.
Of course, we could call it something else, too, like maybe the Thornton Freestyle Decathlon, or even just "The Jim."
Or the Freestyle Decathlon.