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Thread: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

  1. #41
    Distance Man tjrpatt's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    If it's true that some of the swimmers are entering the 1000 with times of 1 hour and 45 minutes, perhaps there is another solution you could try.

    Assuming many of the Team Z participants really are triathletes, why not offer them the chance to swim in groups in the same lane? They could practice drafting and jostling about for position, which are skills required in triathlon swimming.

    I do feel really bad for guys like Tom Patterson, who are distance beasts and don't have that many opportunities to swim the 1000 or 1650 along with the other events in a really good racing pool not too far away from where he lives.

    Anyhow, maybe it's not too late for someone diplomatic (Jeff or Muppet) to call up the Team Z captain and see if some of the swimmers would be willing to share a lane. If so, maybe some more spots could open up for the Tom's and Betsy's and other Zones regulars whose presence will be missed by us CZ regulars!
    Great post, Jim and thanks! Personally, I am not that upset since I don't have the beastly conditioning for those events right now. Alot of nationally ranked distance times are done at that meet. You might have a killer 1000 1st heat like they had 2 years ago. GMU is a great pool have a season best distance swim and quite a few nationally ranked times come out of that Friday distance session. It is a shame that Team Z went all "rogue" or something.
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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Team Z is in fact a triathlon team, Jim. I have a friend on Team Z and know that they were told to sign up ASAP to grab the slots.

    While first come first served seems like a superficially appealing policy, Zones is supposed to be a championship meet for the east coast. Team Z effectively subverted that intent and turned it into their personal distance meet.

    The problem is how to fix the situation without overburdening the meet director. One easy thing to do would be to ban Friday only entries. Though I guess someone could be a d*ck and enter events on other days that they had no intent to swim. Perhaps the Team Z coach could be prevailed upon to ensure this doesn't happen. That way, if Team Z really wants to swim "Zones," they can swim some other events over the weekend. A lottery?
    Last edited by The Fortress; February 8th, 2013 at 04:10 PM.

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Please, please, please do not think I am critical of Cheryl and how the meet is run. I always go because it is such a good meet. Yes, I am personally diappointed and I realize that people who don't swim distance don't care. I like to get a distance time at the end of the season (one at zones and one at nationals) and for many years have counted on this meet. I'll find another meet, but that may mean skipping this meet. I don't know yet. If I skip the meet, I will miss all of the crazy relays that our team does.

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    I do think that human groups tend to form quickly and just as quickly demonize the other "bad people." I know I do!

    As primarily pool and OW swimmers, it's easy for us to feel that triathletes are the bad guys here. It's a different culture in many ways. Personally, I don't condone how they think it's acceptable to eat children just to improve their level of fitness, but who am I to judge?

    Just joking, of course.

    But that is why I recommended that someone tactful, like Jeff Roddin or Jeff Strahota, give somebody at Team Z a call and see if any of them might agree to share a lane. I don't know if this is even legal for liability reasons (what it there was a crash! what if a child fell into the pool and there was a feeding frenzy of triathletes, leading to one of them being injured? Could USMS be sued? Yikes!)

    Leslie and I, and undoubtedly Paul Smith, should not approach the Team Z leader with inquiries of reasonableness!

    I suspect we aren't "big" enough emotionally to overlook the pecadilloes of triathletes, including, but not limited to, their strange dietary habits.

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    Team Z is in fact a triathlon team, Jim. I have a friend on Team Z and know that they were told to sign up ASAP to grab the slots.

    While first come first served seems like a superficially appealing policy, Zones is supposed to be a championship meet for the east coast. Team Z effectively subverted that intent and turned it into their personal distance meet.

    The problem is how to fix the situation without overburdening the meet director. One easy thing to do would be to ban Friday only entries. Though I guess someone could be a d*ck and enter events on other days that they had no intent to swim. Perhaps the Team Z coach could be prevailed upon to ensure this doesn't happen. That way, if Team Z really wants to swim "Zones," they can swim some other events over the weekend. A lottery?
    Obviously people are disappointed but I don't see how TeamZ did anything wrong. Not just in the legalistic sense but in an ethical sense. People on the team wanted to swim in the event. What were they supposed to do, refrain from entering because they were worried that others would be upset?

    I don't think banning Friday-only entries would work. I think event fees were $5, you could just enter another event and then not show up. That effectively tacks on a $5 surcharge to the distance event and ensures some empty lanes in the other sessions.

    I agree with the poster who said that starting at midnight would disadvantage some. Assuming it is possible on the Club Assistant side we'll open registration at 8am, probably on a Saturday, for LC Zones. (I don't expect the same run on distance events for LC zones since it is in the triathlon/OW season but you never know.)

    In terms of it being a championship, though, perhaps in the future for distance events we could save a certain number of spots for swimmers from LMSC outside of the host LMSC. If those spots don't fill up by a certain time, then they get opened up to anyone.

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    I do think that human groups tend to form quickly and just as quickly demonize the other "bad people." I know I do! As primarily pool and OW swimmers, it's easy for us to feel that triathletes are the bad guys here. It's a different culture in many ways.
    I think that "regular swimmers" at USMS bash triathletes way too much.

  7. #47
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    I suspect we aren't "big" enough emotionally to overlook the pecadilloes of triathletes, including, but not limited to, their strange dietary habits.
    USMS has embraced triathletes and they are a big part of our membership, despite their pecadilloes. Having done this, it is somewhat difficult to cry foul when they crash our meets. (Though we have managed it here!) However, there still seems to be a long term issue as to how to accommodate both triathletes and distance specialist swimmers in the limited number of spots in the only good pool in the area. Putting aside the first come/first serve defense, it just seems bizarre that virtually all available spots are taken by one team. Saving some spots would seem a reasonable measure. Or, since it's a championship meet, you could accept the fastest X number of times.
    Last edited by The Fortress; February 11th, 2013 at 10:48 AM.

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    But that is why I recommended that someone tactful, like Jeff Roddin or Jeff Strahota, give somebody at Team Z a call and see if any of them might agree to share a lane. I don't know if this is even legal
    http://www.usms.org/rules/part1.pdf
    102.10.4 Two-to-a-Lane Seeding in Distance Freestyle Events
    A General principles of seeding two-to-a-lane
    (1) Options to swim two-to-a-lane
    (a) At the discretion of the meet director, competitors in the
    freestyle events over 200 meters may be required to swim
    two-to-a-lane when only one course is available for the event.
    The meet information shall state the criteria under which such
    events are to be swum two-to-a-lane.
    (b) When competitors have an option of swimming two-to-a-lane,
    the heats with two competitors per lane will be completed
    before the heats with a single competitor per lane.
    (c) If there are not enough swimmers to fill all heats with two
    swimmers in each lane, those swimmers with the fastest submitted
    times may be seeded one-to-a-lane.
    (2) Men’s/women’s events
    (a) If men and women compete under the same event number,
    they shall be seeded by time without regard to gender.
    (b) If men and women compete under different event numbers,
    they shall be seeded separately by time.
    (c) If men and women compete under different event numbers,
    men’s and women’s heats should be alternated.
    (3) Heat designations—Heats shall be numbered consecutively without
    using alphabetical characters (e.g., no “A” and “B” heats). Heats
    shall be referred to as “odd” or “even” numbered heats. Odd and
    even heats shall be paired when seeding two-to-a-lane.
    (4) Reporting to the clerk of course—Swimmers in both odd and even
    heats shall be asked to report to the clerk of course (or to the starting
    area) at the same time.
    (5) Starting procedure—The starter shall call the odd heat to the starting
    block first. As soon as the odd heat is under way, swimmers in the
    even heat shall be called to the starting blocks. The even heat shall
    be started as soon as practical after the odd heat.
    (6) Lane etiquette
    (a) The starter shall instruct the swimmers to swim on one side of
    the lane during the entire race (i.e., no “circle” swimming).
    (b) Obstructing another swimmer by swimming across the lane
    or otherwise interfering with the swimmer shall disqualify
    the offender, subject to the discretion of the referee, and the
    disqualified offender shall be removed from the lane as soon
    as practical.
    (7) Timing—Separate timing shall be required for each swimmer.
    B Methods of seeding two-to-a-lane (either method is recommended)
    (1) Swimmers of similar speed in the same heat
    (a) Heat and lane assignments—Lanes shall be assigned as in
    article 102.10.2.
    (b) Pairing of heats—After lanes are assigned, heats shall be
    arranged in pairs beginning with either the slowest or fastest
    heats, at the meet director’s discretion. The fastest heat within
    each pair shall be designated as the odd heat and the next-fastest
    heat as the even heat.
    In the following example, for a six-lane pool, “1” refers to the
    fastest swimmer, “2” to the next-fastest swimmer, etc.
    (2) Swimmers of similar speed in the same lane—Groups of swimmers
    equal in number to twice the number of lanes of the pool (e.g.,
    groups of 12 swimmers for a six-lane pool) shall be created. Each
    group of swimmers shall be divided into odd and even heats. The
    fastest swimmer in each group shall be assigned to a middle lane in
    the odd heat. The second-fastest swimmer shall be assigned to the
    same middle lane in the even heat. The remaining swimmers shall
    be assigned to lanes in accordance with article 102.10.2A.
    In the following example, for a six-lane pool, “1” refers to the fastest
    swimmer, “2” to the next-fastest swimmer, etc.
    "I blame you, James!" - knelson

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    With the admission that I've missed most of this thread, why not just do what I've seen done at USAS meets --
    • The threshold is determined based upon entry time (e.g., fastest X number of swimmers)
      • Naturally, with all the whoo-wah about sandbagging and whatever is the opposite of sandbagging, you'd need to implement a proof-of-time approach**
      • I've seen the Phoenix Swim Club implement this approach at a number of its age group meets (e.g., see http://www.bestswimclub.org/azbest/_...vitational.pdf)
      • Yes, it is elitist in that the fastest swimmers swim ... but the approach used at CZ rewards the fastest "enterers." Given the choice between these two options, I think the former is the better choice.

    • As mentioned above, require (don't ask for) two-per-lane swims.
      • Personally, I think this sucks, but they do this at Senior Sectionals in Portland every year and the kids can manage it and swim fast.


    ** With the caveat that I'm likely not to volunteer to implement this because the whole "he/she entered the wrong time" issue doesn't really bug me, but I wonder why USMS can't just adopt USAS SWIMS database (or similar technology) and REQUIRE all swimmers to enter all sanctioned USMS meets with their best times from SWIMS? Again, it works for USAS ... are we really that unique? I'll leave this and go back to my aqua-therapy now.
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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    I wonder why USMS can't just adopt USAS SWIMS database (or similar technology) and REQUIRE all swimmers to enter all sanctioned USMS meets with their best times from SWIMS?
    USMS already has that technology. That's where the "Current Event Rankings" pull from. Or when you list your personal results. And when you enter nationals (and some other events), there are "suggested times" that pull from this results database.

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    aqua-therapy
    Noodles?!?
    "I blame you, James!" - knelson

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    USMS already has that technology. That's where the "Current Event Rankings" pull from. Or when you list your personal results. And when you enter nationals (and some other events), there are "suggested times" that pull from this results database.
    So why don't we end all this angst over sandbagging/fast-seeding and require people to enter their best times from SWIMS within some reasonable timeframe (e.g, last 3 years)? Otherwise, NT.
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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    So why don't we end all this angst over sandbagging/fast-seeding and require people to enter their best times from SWIMS within some reasonable timeframe (e.g, last 3 years)? Otherwise, NT.
    I think it's been discussed. I'm sure lots of people would be upset if USMS was so heavy-handed. There are other practical reasons, I think I remember the championship committee discussing it at one point.

    I would predict that NT would be quite a bit worse than allowing swimmers to guesstimate their times. And I don't think NT is allowed in nationals anyway.

    (It isn't called SWIMS but the distinctly less-pithy name of ERDB, the "Event Results Database".)

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    Very Active Member Muppet's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    I think that "regular swimmers" at USMS bash triathletes way too much.
    Definitely. This discussion is becoming exactly that.
    Look, I'm not that excited that this situation happened. I, like many, have selfish reasons to want to swim that night. But the reality is that we probably have 100 or so people swimming what could be their first meet. That is a huge number! Where else are we getting 100 brand new swimmers in one event? It is something we should be encouraging.

    If you feel yourself shaking right now, I think you're experiencing a Paradigm Shift.
    man up, buttercup!

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    At a local meet, I would welcome 100 or so people swimming their first meet. At a championship meet, with limited space, I think it is a different story. No need to argue, we won't agree, but I had to state my opinion.

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    Active Member fdtotten's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    The 1650 & 1000 event entries lock out for the CZ Zone SCY Championship was unexpected as well as obviously very irritating to the locked out USMS swimmers specifically preparing for those events at this meet. Team Z affiliated registered USMS swimmers, however the mass entry initiative was intended, did what was allowed, so should not be "blamed". There is no easy way out of this, but to accept that it slipped through and is more a "no fault" issue. The focus now should be to learn from it towards improving entry criteria and protocol according to event competition level and facility capacity.

    Many constructive ideas are being provided indicating that the discussion can facilitate several possible win/win strategies to implement. For now, the meet director is obligated to manage the event as best possible under the current relevant USMS policies and terms of sanction. Hopefully the issue will not be blown out of proportion.

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    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    The CZ meet is one of the best one meets in the country. I thoughly enjoyed my meet there a few years ago. I don't really see where Team Z members did anything wrong. They have to be usms members to regrister for the meet. So what if they a group decision to sign-up when the entry went live? They wanted to race those events and didn't wait until the last minute to get a spot.

    If the 1000/1650 are that popular, could the distance events be run on the Saturday/Sunday before the shorter events? Or run some the shorter events on Friday, to see about making more room for the distance folk on Saturday?

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by Muppet View Post
    If you feel yourself shaking right now, I think you're experiencing a Paradigm Shift.
    New paradigm: East coast Zones meet becomes local meet and distance events are swum by triathletes who likely don't give a rats ass about their times and are just swimming for "practice."

    Because there are only X number of spaces and this is a champs meet, time standards seem more fair than "first come first serve."

    Wookiee, I'm sure it's a pool availability issue. Not sure if GMUP can't get the pool longer on Sat and Sun or if the rent/CZ entry fees would increase.
    Last edited by The Fortress; February 9th, 2013 at 04:36 PM. Reason: R

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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Full disclosure, I am a triathlete. I am a masters swimmer. I received emails from both my USAT and USMS coaches to sign up for Zones.

    My teammates are swimming at USMS practices and competing at USMS meets because we are USMS swimmers. You may know some of us and be unaware of our other lives as triathletes.

    I am a USMS swimmer specifically preparing for this event, and I registered only for the 1000. There are also USMS/USAT triathletes signed up for multiple days and distances. Are either of these wrong?

    Are there any purely USMS swimmers JUST racing Friday night? Are there any purely USMS swimmers for whom this is their first meet? If the answer is yes to these questions, then the playing field is equal.

    USMS swimmers were my inspiration to get back into sports. My hope is we all recognize fellow competitors and welcome and support everyone at the meet.

    I we wish to change the rules, we can. But lets not lose sight of the spirit of USMS in the meantime.

    (from our website)
    Do I have to compete to be a Masters swimmer?


    No. When organized adult swimming started to become popular in the 1960s and 70s—the early years of USMS—the intent was that adults would swim to stay in shape. But early organizers knew that some adults would want to compete, so it is offered. About 25 percent of our nearly 60,000 members enter pool or open water competitions. The greater percentage of USMS members does not compete.



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    Re: Colonies Zone SCY Championships - Fairfax VA

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinfan View Post
    Full disclosure, I am a triathlete. I am a masters swimmer. I received emails from both my USAT and USMS coaches to sign up for Zones.
    Go Penguinfan!
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