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Thread: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    What do you guys thing about the proposed relay age-groups: ie, having the same groups as meters, rather than the current system of having the youngest swimmer determine the age-group?

    Pros: being consistent across all courses, giving more versatility in constructing relays.

    Cons: I guess getting rid of all old records? That's kind of harsh.

    About the versatility aspect: I've constructed relays for my team for a number of meets. One thing about SCY: if you have only 1-2 young people plus a bunch of older people, sometimes it is hard to put the younger people on relays because it move the whole relay into a "fast" age group (well, *usually* faster...sometimes the younger age groups are actually slower!).

    It also works the same way if you have only 1-2 swimmers who are significantly older than the rest...unless they are very fast for their age, the current SCY system penalizes you to some extent for putting them on relays. But in an "aggregate" system, that extra 10 years might put you into an older age group.

    I wouldn't like to get rid of all those records and top ten times...but, on the other hand, it would be kind of fun to wipe the slate clean and have a whole raft of new relay records to shoot for. Sort of like when FINA decided to have WRs in the longer relays.

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    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2010 Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    What do you guys thing about the proposed relay age-groups: ie, having the same groups as meters, rather than the current system of having the youngest swimmer determine the age-group?

    Pros: being consistent across all courses, giving more versatility in constructing relays.

    Cons: I guess getting rid of all old records? That's kind of harsh.

    About the versatility aspect: I've constructed relays for my team for a number of meets. One thing about SCY: if you have only 1-2 young people plus a bunch of older people, sometimes it is hard to put the younger people on relays because it move the whole relay into a "fast" age group (well, *usually* faster...sometimes the younger age groups are actually slower!).

    It also works the same way if you have only 1-2 swimmers who are significantly older than the rest...unless they are very fast for their age, the current SCY system penalizes you to some extent for putting them on relays. But in an "aggregate" system, that extra 10 years might put you into an older age group.

    I wouldn't like to get rid of all those records and top ten times...but, on the other hand, it would be kind of fun to wipe the slate clean and have a whole raft of new relay records to shoot for. Sort of like when FINA decided to have WRs in the longer relays.

    I like the idea of having your age for SCY be in line with FINA. I think the less differences we have been the rules with FINA and USMS, the less confusion there will be.

    I don't understand the whole backstroke kicking/gliding into the turn rule. As redbird said, that will leave it open for interpretation of the judge. Not sure if the rule really needs to be messed up as it stands.

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    Very Active Member jroddin's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    What do you guys thing about the proposed relay age-groups: ie, having the same groups as meters, rather than the current system of having the youngest swimmer determine the age-group?

    Cons: I guess getting rid of all old records? That's kind of harsh.

    Let's pretend the rule passes as is. With all the registration data that we have, could we not retrofit the relay records into the new cumulative age group records? You would certainly have some overlap and some relays would go away, and in some cases a record would remain where they may have been a faster time done previously - but it would be better than starting from scratch.

    For instance, a current 18+ relay record with 4 swimmers aged 20, 20, 25, 25 would be in the 72-99 age group. However, if they were 20, 30, 30, 30 they would go in the 100-119 age group. The 25+ relay record of this same event, if they were 25, 25, 25, 25 would also end up in the 100-119 age group so only the fastest one would end up with the new 100-119 record.

    Let's not even consider the other age up rule currently being discussed (age up SCY to 12/31) because that would throw a whole huge wrinkle into using the existing age data.

    Jeff

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    Very Active Member jroddin's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    R11 (age group determined by age on Dec 31 rather than last day of the meet):

    I understand this is being proposed to be less confusing since SCM and LCM uses the Fina age rule (12/31 age up) whereas SCY meets use your age as of the last day of the meet. Speaking as a meet director, I can tell you the Fina age rule is far more confusing to swimmers than the current SCY rule. Nobody has ever been confused when their age was listed in the program as their actual age (SCY meets); but every single year I get people who email to tell me I have their age wrong for SCM meets. Every year we will have new swimmers who have never heard of the Fina rule so we will always be explaining the 12/31 rule for SCM/LCM meets.

    Therefore I disagree with the rationale that this proposed rule would make things less confusing to swimmers. It means we would then have confused swimmers each and every year at every meet, regardless of course.

    I would think the genesis of a rule book is to make competition fair. I would recommend we make a rules change if we think the current rule is unfair. So the question of the day is this: is the current SCY age rule unfair?
    Jeff

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Yowza, my original thread underwent mitosis!

    Jeff, I don't know the answer to your question about whether the data are good enough to rewrite the record book and -- just as importantly -- whether it is a quick & easy job to do for the IT folk.

    Part of me thinks it would be kind of fun to just wipe everything clean and watch the mad scramble for new records.

    I agree with you about the SCY aging. I understand wanting to be consistent across all courses; I think that is the only real rationale. But using Jan 1 as your birthday causes more errors from swimmers, Meet Directors and Top 10 recorders.
    Last edited by Chris Stevenson; September 1st, 2010 at 07:15 PM.

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    Very Active Member gdanner's Avatar
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    Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2010 Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by thewookiee View Post
    I think the less differences we have between the rules with FINA and USMS, the less confusion there will be.
    I agree with this, most especially on suits and technique issues. For age relays, it makes sense going with the combined ages as well. Unfortunately, you would have relays losing records and it could be tough tracking down old relay swims that would have records under the new system. Maybe they could preserve the old records and have a new slate for the combined age relays.

    The only one that I don't care for is the age rule as of Dec 31st. That just doesn't make much sense to me. But I would understand if they ended up doing it just to be in line with FINA.

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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    R11 (age group determined by age on Dec 31 rather than last day of the meet):

    This is basically cheating by allowing some individuals to age up close to a year over somebody else. If you have a January/February birthday you get a disadvantage of having swimmers almost a year behind you treated as your same age. If you have a November/December birthday, you are basically stealing a year that you would not have against others that age up in the first 3 months of the year.

    That means you could set USMS Records, swim in USMS Short Course Nationals a year in advance, and be in the National Top Ten that you would not be entitled to under our current rules.

    I have never, ever heard of this arrangement in AAU, USA, YMCA, and any type of American Swimming that is governed by this country. FINA passed this rule in 1995 as a World Masters rule because most countries were on a calendar year bases for reporting both SCM and LCM results and it was easier to track World Records of swimmers thru the year. Since our SCY season is from June 1, XXXX to May 31, XXXX, this does not help us at all. The USA opposed this rule at the FINA meetings back in 1995 but it was passed and effective at the World level starting in the 1996 season.

    USMS did not follow this rule and for 3 years (1996, 1997, and 1998) ran our LCM and SCM competitions as actual age as of the last day of the meet just like SCY is done today. Since we were the only country doing this, a change was made in 1999, because it was just to confusing in the records section and see swimmers have World Records and not National Records and basically having swimmers have 2 ages, one in USMS Top Ten and another in FINA Top Ten.

    So USMS changed to the FINA rule only because of recordkeeping and nothing else. I was at the 3 conventions where the HOD was totally opposed to this because it made no sense and was forced upon USMS by FINA.

    Since FINA has nothing to do with SCY, there is no reason to change what we currently have unless you want swimmers to duck there competition in the last year of there age group and age up to lesser competition in the new age group. Unless the HOD has changed drastically in 13 to 15 years, I see this rules proposal as not passing.
    Skip Thompson

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    Very Active Member Rykno's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by jroddin View Post
    Let's pretend the rule passes as is. With all the registration data that we have, could we not retrofit the relay records into the new cumulative age group records? You would certainly have some overlap and some relays would go away, and in some cases a record would remain where they may have been a faster time done previously - but it would be better than starting from scratch.

    For instance, a current 18+ relay record with 4 swimmers aged 20, 20, 25, 25 would be in the 72-99 age group. However, if they were 20, 30, 30, 30 they would go in the 100-119 age group. The 25+ relay record of this same event, if they were 25, 25, 25, 25 would also end up in the 100-119 age group so only the fastest one would end up with the new 100-119 record.

    Let's not even consider the other age up rule currently being discussed (age up SCY to 12/31) because that would throw a whole huge wrinkle into using the existing age data.

    Jeff
    but FINA doesn't acknowledge under 25 masters swimmers. so people under 25 can't swim in relays with people over 25.

    but we do have some fun combination of relays over here. 25, 28, 36, 44 compete as 120-159. my team as even had 25, 35, 54, 56 in the 160-199.

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    Very Active Member Karlene's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    I'm all in favor of using the same Jan. 1st age-up for all three courses. Also in favor of changing SCY relays to the total of the 4 swimmers' ages, same as LCM/SCM.

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    Very Active Member jroddin's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Rykno View Post
    but FINA doesn't acknowledge under 25 masters swimmers. so people under 25 can't swim in relays with people over 25.
    The proposed rule changes are for USMS and how they affect USMS records. USMS has an 18-24 age group, and an 18+ relay age group (and a 72-99 relay age group).

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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    R11 (make short course yards relays cumulative, rather than 18+, 25+, and 10 year increments as high as necessary):

    I am against this proposal because I like the differences we have with SCY and SCM/LCM relay age groups and with this system in place a swimmer can age up every 5 years instead of 10 years if you had all courses using the SCM/LCM cummulative age brackets.

    The 25+, 35+, 45+, 55+, 65+, 75+ are the base ages for 4 relay swimmers for SCY. 120-159, 160-199, 200-239, 240-279, 280-319, and 320-259 are the age groups with the base ages beginning at 30+, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+, and 80+. In the odd years you age up for yards and the even years you age up for meters. So every 5 years you could put together a relay with 4 like swimmers in your age group and go higher if don't have swimmers in that 5 year age group. In SCY, you never swim against anyone younger than the base age of the youngest swimmer and I like that quality because all the other age groups fall in line.

    The cumulative age approach would have swimmers from all age groups swim as they average out the ages to the brackets and you could be always swimming against someone younger outside your 10 year window and have to average it out with older swimmers to make the age group.

    I like having to swim SCY in two individual age groups like 55+ would cover 55-59 and 60-64 because you are swimming with swimmers your own age and you would be crossing with some of these swimmers in the regular age groups in the 10 years swimming the relays. This promotes good competition in the age groups and it discourages you to swim down one or two age groups unless you are really good.

    I think this makes a big difference at the US Short Course Nationals because its usually double the size of Long Course Nationals and this year it was triple the size and you have larger clubs that have more swimmers in the 10 years between age groups. Because the LCM is usually smaller and there is not as many swimmers in the 10 years between age groups, then the combined route might be easier to put competitive relays together.

    If this proposal passed it would get rid of over 40 years of history and tradition of SCY relay times in USMS. We have SCY relay records that would be gone and forgotten and we could never compare the 40 years of relay records or relay top ten number 1 swims in the future because we would be starting from scratch. The combined ages would start now and there would be no comparision of years of progression in the USMS data bases like we can do now for all of the individual events.

    This would not be like FINA starting the Relay World Records for the 400 and 800 events because the National Records would for those events in USMS are still standing and we did not wipe the slate clean with completely new records like we would with this combined ages and we still have the history of our past National Records.

    I also think of all the Zone, LMSC, Championship Meet, and Club relay records that would go away with this change and having to start over with no history like your individual events would have.

    I think swimmers who have worked hard thru the years to get relay National Records would like to see them broken by a challenge from swimmers than by a change from this rules proposal.
    Skip Thompson

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    Very Active Member LindsayNB's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Maybe you should have both types of records! With any degree of automation it shouldn't be too difficult to concurrently maintain two sets. The volunteers who would have to do it may feel otherwise though.

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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    R54 All American Individual Recognition - The USMS members with the five (5) fastest listed times for each individual event for the particular course (SCY, SCM, LCM) in the National Top Ten shall be declared All Americans in that event for that year as opposed to the current rule of the 1st place fastest time in each event in each course in the National Top Ten being declared All Americans in that event.

    I am against this proposal because again with nearly 40 years of tradition we have been naming All Americans with the fastest time in the event in the course for the age group. 1976 was the only year that USMS deviated from what they have today and that year you had to have a number of 1 places to be named All American.

    At the present time you have 53 different events (SCY 18, LCM 17, SCM 18) that you name All Americans and technically you could have 53 swimmers from just one age group named All Americans. This does not usually happen because you have multiple winners but there have been years where I have seen up to 30 swimmers in one age group named All Americans.

    Another problem with this proposal is that in some of the older age groups you don't even have 10 swimmers in an age group top ten and you could have a situation where everyone in an event, in an age group would be All American.

    Because of these reasons and having 5 times the All American swimmers would make All American basically useless because 50 % of the top ten would make it and it would become nothing but a better top ten because you made the top 5 All American selection. The swimmer with the fastest time in the event would not get any more recognition for that swim than the others.

    I do not see any correlation with the College and the High School level because they have a lot more swimmers competing for the individual events with no age groups, so that is why they name multiple swimmers as All Americans.

    R55 is the same concept for the relays except its the first 3 places in the National Top Ten as opposed to the first place fastest time. Again you would have 3 times as many relay All Americans than today and 30% of the relays in the top ten would be named All American and again the relay members with the fastest time in the event would not have any more recognition for the relay swims than the others.

    The same problems with the individual event proposal would happen in the relays in that in some relays you would not have a full field of 10 teams and you could have up to 100% of a given relay be named All Americans. With all the different ages groups and Women, Men, and Mixed with 6 different relays, you are almost guaranteed an All American selection with this proposal.
    Skip Thompson

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    Very Calm Member jim clemmons's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    I agree with Skip. Why shoot for a goal (AA) if half the world's awarded the same title? Yeah, okay, I exaggerated a bit. We should not be providing "entitlements", which this basically does, in my opinion.

    Jim

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    Re: relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Thompson View Post

    If this proposal passed it would get rid of over 40 years of history and tradition of SCY relay times in USMS. We have SCY relay records that would be gone and forgotten and we could never compare the 40 years of relay records or relay top ten number 1 swims in the future because we would be starting from scratch. The combined ages would start now and there would be no comparision of years of progression in the USMS data bases like we can do now for all of the individual events.

    I also think of all the Zone, LMSC, Championship Meet, and Club relay records that would go away with this change and having to start over with no history like your individual events would have.

    I think swimmers who have worked hard thru the years to get relay National Records would like to see them broken by a challenge from swimmers than by a change from this rules proposal.
    Frank and all,

    Walt Reid can lend some insight into this. Don't worry about existing records being thrown away.

    I asked Hugh Moore years ago about a certain PNA LMSC relay record that he holds. It's in the SCM 72-99 age group, where he was teamed up with Kathy Casey...and if you know those two, you understand that the cumulative age math doesn't work out here, even though the "record" was set in 1990. Well, back in that day, before USMS and FINA had relay records in cumulative ages, that record was a "19+" record because one of the other relay swimmers was in the 19-24 age group. When USMS and PNA converted the relay record standard in SCM and LCM to cumulative age, Walt Reid converted this particular "19+" record to a "76-99" record under the new rules of that day...and now it's a "72-99" record thanks to later legislation allowing 18-year-old competitors.

    So, my expectation if the proposed legislation passes is that all the 18+ records become 72-99 records, 25+ records become 100-119 records, 35+ become 120-159 records, 45+ become 160-299 records, etc.

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    Re: relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Frank and all,

    Walt Reid can lend some insight into this. Don't worry about existing records being thrown away.

    I asked Hugh Moore years ago about a certain PNA LMSC relay record that he holds. It's in the SCM 72-99 age group, where he was teamed up with Kathy Casey...and if you know those two, you understand that the cumulative age math doesn't work out here, even though the "record" was set in 1990. Well, back in that day, before USMS and FINA had relay records in cumulative ages, that record was a "19+" record because one of the other relay swimmers was in the 19-24 age group. When USMS and PNA converted the relay record standard in SCM and LCM to cumulative age, Walt Reid converted this particular "19+" record to a "76-99" record under the new rules of that day...and now it's a "72-99" record thanks to later legislation allowing 18-year-old competitors.

    So, my expectation if the proposed legislation passes is that all the 18+ records become 72-99 records, 25+ records become 100-119 records, 35+ become 120-159 records, 45+ become 160-299 records, etc.
    First off, USMS has been doing cumulative age groups for relays in both SCM and LCM since 1986 so I know this relay that you are speaking about could not have been converted. Seeing how I know both Hugh Moore and Kathy Casey and I know there ages, you aroused my interest to do a little research into to this.

    What I found was that was a Mixed 200 Medley Relay that swam a time of 2:21.10 on 01-20-1990. The ages of those swimmers are as follows: Karen Jost 28, Kathrine Casey 41, Hugh Moore 35, and Brian Langlais at 44 and this information was taken from the 1990 National Top Ten for Short Course Meters. The time was first in the 76+ age group in the USMS Top Ten. This time was not in the World Top Ten because FINA did not recognize the 76+ age group.

    The ages of the swimmers add up to to 148 so even with the youngest swimmer at 28 this does not make sense in the 76+ age group for the relay. I went to the 1990 USMS Rule Book and on page 18 under 102.3.2 under Relay Events in B it states "Short Course (25 meter) and Long Course (50 meter) - 76+ (not to be swum at National Championship Meets), 100+, 120+, 160+, 200+, 240+, 280+, and 320+. The aggregate age of the four relay team members shall determine the age group."

    With this 1990 USMS rule it appears there was a mistake in the classification of this relay. What tipped me off to look into this is that I know both Kathy Casey and Hugh Moore ages are pretty close to mine. Both of the swimmers ages in the relay add to 76 so regardless of the other 2 swimmers ages, its impossible to have a 76+ age group with these 2 swimmers and 4 swimmers in the relay. They should have been in the 120+ age group because that is where 148 falls. Even with SCY rules of the youngest swimmer multiplied by 4 would put this relay team in the 100+ and not the 76+.

    These are the kind of problems you will get into if you try to convert SCY relays to SCM relay age groups. There was a time for only one year, that SCY relays used the cumulative ages and that was 1986. This proposal was used as a result of the FINA decision to use this approach starting with the 1986 year. I remember the 1986 Short Course Nationals at Indian River CC in Fort Pierce, used this approach and because swimmers were not used to it, there were 166 scratches from pre-entered relays. At the 1986 USAS Convention it was voted back to use the youngest swimmer to determine age groups and we have been using this method since that time.

    If you pre-enter relays and have no shows from a large team, its almost impossible to not have scratches. The bigger the team, the more the scratches. This is what I remember and what drove USMS to change back to the system we have today.
    Skip Thompson

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Walt Reid can lend some insight into this. Don't worry about existing records being thrown away.

    ...

    So, my expectation if the proposed legislation passes is that all the 18+ records become 72-99 records, 25+ records become 100-119 records, 35+ become 120-159 records, 45+ become 160-299 records, etc.
    Hmmm. I don't think you can make that assumption at all. Records and Tabulation will be discussing this proposal and will make a statement to the Rules Committee (and I guess the HOD) about what would happen to the records. Walt is on that committee and I have already asked him what would happen to the records if the proposal passes. Walt's exact words were "you cannot take the current relay records and apply a new rule to them."

    There is not a 1:1 correlation between 18+ and 72-99, 25+ and 100-119, and so on. If there were, then what would be the reason for the new rule? So you can't just assume that the records would translate in the way described here.

    Others have made the suggestion of looking up the old relay data and using that to set initial records for the new groups. That is not a trivial job at all, and may not be possible. And even if it were, records are subject to additional scrutiny compared to "normal" Top Ten times. Anyone who has had to submit a record application knows this. You can't just take a time and elevate it to the status of "record" because it appears to be the fastest.

    My best guess at this point is that, if this proposal were adopted, the old records would be "memorialized" in some way -- never-changing -- and we would start from scratch with no new records. That's just my personal guess; we'll see at the R&T meeting at convention.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by jim clemmons View Post
    I agree with Skip. Why shoot for a goal (AA) if half the world's awarded the same title?
    I agree with both Skip and Jim on this one. AA should remain THE fastest swimmer in an event. No need to water it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Thompson
    This is basically cheating by allowing some individuals to age up close to a year over somebody else
    I disagree about this. I like the idea of your birth year determining your age group. I don't really buy that someone born in January has an advantage over someone born in December. Really, though, it's sort of six one way, half a dozen the other. Either way you are in each age group for exactly five years.

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    Very Active Member Muppet's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Thompson View Post
    This is basically cheating by allowing some individuals to age up close to a year over somebody else. If you have a January/February birthday you get a disadvantage of having swimmers almost a year behind you treated as your same age. If you have a November/December birthday, you are basically stealing a year that you would not have against others that age up in the first 3 months of the year.
    I have an August birthday and this is an age up year for me. My age has been a huge disadvantage for SCM/LCM. Don't look at Nationals results, as I think I would have finished in exactly the same place in everything, but for everything else, the 30-34 age group (my new one) is MUCH faster than the 25-29 age group (my SCY age group for most of 2010).

    Yes, theoretically, one should be slowing down as one ages. BUT look at the NQTs, Top Ten and Records - in almost all cases (let's throw out 2010 suit-aided SCY records for this argument), 30-34 and 35-39 age groups are faster than any other age group.

    I totally understand where Skip is coming from here, but for the youngest (and oft neglected) USMS folks, it is the exact opposite.
    man up, buttercup!

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    Very Active Member jroddin's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 R11, R12, R13: SCY ages and relay age groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Thompson View Post
    Another problem with this proposal is that in some of the older age groups you don't even have 10 swimmers in an age group top ten and you could have a situation where everyone in an event, in an age group would be All American.
    I agree with Skip that R54/55 should be defeated. Several years ago the Championship Committee switched LCM NQTs from using the Top Ten 10th place time to the Top Ten 5th place time as a base for the time standards because so many LCM events don't even have 10 swimmers. And it's not just the older age groups like he mentions above. For instance, in looking at the 2010 LCM NQTs (which use 2007, 2008, 2009 TT data), the M18-24 age group has 9 events that don't even have 10 swimmers. Four of the events have 5 or less swimmers!!

    The R54 rationale statement comparing All Americans to college swimming is a very weak argument since there are orders of magnitude more swimmers competing for those top 20 spots. The other argument that this rule would persuade more swimmers to attend Nationals is also weak and would only be viable if Top Ten was derived exclusively from times done at Nationals.

    Jeff
    Last edited by jroddin; September 10th, 2010 at 03:27 PM. Reason: clarified we use 5th place times for LCM NQTs

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