View Full Version : Meet Results Integrity Question

April 14th, 2015, 07:56 PM
I am interested in the thoughts of the Top 10 forum on this.

In a recent meet (Two-day State Championship), the following issues occurred:

As many as fifteen swimmers were allowed to enter after the registration deadline as posted in the meet information (15 of a total of 120 swimmers).
Despite a full assortment of meet officials (USA-S certified), there were NO official disqualifications in the meet. I am told that it is a "local tradition" to only disqualify a person if the time would have set a state record. The officials actually wrote up the infractions and talked to the swimmers where possible. The DQ slips were not entered into the meet results.
Using Hy-Tek Meet Manager, the computer operators used the fastest of the pad, back-up, or manual times (timer sheets) regardless of the time differential. Example: Pad 1:01.55, Button 1:01.54, Watch1 1:00.46, Watch2 1:00.50 was given a Final Time of 1:00.48 (average between watch times). The median age of the timers at the meet was 12 and a few of them were as young as 8. At the end of the meet, only the times that broke state records (6) were corrected to reflect proper timing protocol.

I'm just wondering where the group stands on the question of meet integrity and three the issues above?



April 14th, 2015, 08:38 PM
Hi Mark ... Please bring these issues up to the meet director, the LMSC Sanction Chair, the LMSC Top Ten Recorder and the LMSC Chair of the LMSC in which the meet was held so they can respond to these concerns. These are issues that need resolution at the LMSC level.

1. Swimmers entering after the deadline ... it violates the content of the meet information as it was posted. It's like allowing the program to change but not notifying everyone. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any rule in the rule book that the practice breaks except as a change in the meet program. Someone else might correct me on this point. Sometimes there are circumstances where a local meet director might accept one entry after the published deadline. But, 15 swimmers is a lot. However, it might be that a coach was making entries for a team, and the coach was late with the entries for an entire team and the meet director felt it was important to accept the entries. Ask the meet director and see what he/she says about the late entries. It would be up to the LMSC to deal with this issue. The LMSC might refuse to sanction the event if it is held again in a year unless these issues are addressed.

2. DQ's ... I would also bring this up to the meet director. It might be that the DQs were not getting passed into the scoring area where Meet Manager was being used. I just ran a two day meet and we only had one DQ and that was for a DNF (Did not finish). At my meets, we always review the meet with the officials at the end of the session to make sure we received the DQ information in scoring.

3. On final times, the rules are very specific and the situations that you've described are indicative of someone running the meet that doesn't know the rules. The meet director has to follow the timing rules to have the meet eligible for Top Ten submission. Someone at the LMSC level has to make a determination if the meet can be reported for Top Ten Consideration or if there are corrections that have to be made before submission to USMS. Or the LMSC might have to deny Top Ten submission for the meet.

4. On the age of the timers, there is no rule that I know of. Sometimes, one can pair a more experienced timer with a less experienced timer and then the two work together. Again, this is a concern for the LMSC.

But, overall, with what you mention about the situation for final times, the meet director must correct the meet, following the rules for official times, in order to submit the results to the Top Ten Recorder in the LMSC who will then submit the times for Top Ten Consideration.

The meet director, the Sanction Chair, the Top Ten Recorder and the LMSC Chair need to be in the loop on this issue. Please report it to the LMSC officers for resolution of the timing issues.

Jeanne Seidler

April 14th, 2015, 10:48 PM

I really appreciate your thoughtful input.

As the out-going Top 10 Recorder, I brought these issues up to the Meet Director and the Sanctions Chair, and here were the summarized responses:

1. Late Entries: People in this part of the country do things at the last minute. We don't want to discourage anyone, even if it is at the last minute.

2. No DQs: It's a "local tradition" NOT to disqualify anyone unless it impacts a state record. We don't want to discourage anyone from swimming by disqualifying them.

3. Timing Protocol: The meet software is difficult for people new to the system, and it's problematic to find experienced people in this part of the country. The "benefit of the doubt" is given to the swimmer, and therefore, the better time....unless it impacts a state record.

My only concern with the younger timers was that in many unnecessary cases, the manual times were used over the automatic and semi-automatic times. The time differential between watch times (that were used for Final Times) were often several seconds apart...so of course the average of the two manual times would be faster than anything automatic or semi.

I have a feeling that the incoming Top 10 Recorder is also uncomfortable with the situation, but it seems that "local tradition" trumps proper procedure.

Certainly I feel that these issues must be addressed before any future meets.



Chris Stevenson
April 14th, 2015, 11:18 PM
3. Timing Protocol: The meet software is difficult for people new to the system, and it's problematic to find experienced people in this part of the country. The "benefit of the doubt" is given to the swimmer, and therefore, the better time....unless it impacts a state record.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but this explanation simply doesn't wash. In order to switch back and forth between timing systems requires greater mastery of the software then simply allowing the primary timing system (the touchpads) to be used all the time.

If they are constantly overriding the primary system with the intent to give the fastest time to the swimmer then they are violating the rules: 103.17.3 clearly states "When recorded by properly operating automatic timing equipment, the pad time shall be the official time."

This is not a matter of giving the swimmer the "benefit of the doubt" but, essentially, cheating. They are basically admitting as much when they say that such times wouldn't count as state records. How then are they okay for Top 10 consideration? How is that fair to someone who gets displaced from the Top 10 by one of these fake times?

If I am understanding the procedure that you are describing, I don't think such times should be eligible for Top 10 consideration.

April 15th, 2015, 12:12 AM

You are correct in your understanding: The computer operator was consistently overriding the primary system with the intent to give swimmers the fastest times.

When the timer sheets came in, if the watch times were faster, they manually overrode the system. Here is another real example:

Original Pad Time: 1:00.03
Button Time: 59.97
Watch One: 59.94
Watch Two: 59.96
Final Time: 59.95 (average of the two watches)

In the same heat:

Original Pad Time: 1:01.55
Button Time: 1:01.48
Watch One: 1:00.48
Watch Two: 1:00.44
Final Time: 1:00.46 (average of the two watches)

In both cases, Meet Manager would not have highlighted either swim as out of range, yet once the timer sheets came in, computer operators adjusted the final time to reflect the average of the two watches.

The second example, however, was a State Record, so once the issue was brought to light, the time was adjusted back to the correct 1:01.55 (pad time).

The first example was not corrected as it did not pertain to a state record.

Without going through every race and every heat, it's impossible to say exactly how many times were affected. Of the thirty State Records from the meet, six of them had incorrect times...one of them was incorrect by over 10 seconds. None of the adjustments were ever slower--they always took the fastest time.

It's just a guess, but I'd say about 10%.


mb windrath
April 15th, 2015, 08:18 PM
I'm definitely disturbed at this "method" of determining times. Sounds like cheating to me too. I can't imagine what the explanation is for doing that.

Watch times tend to be faster than pads most of the time. You'd think that they'd not use pads if the goal is to have faster times by using the watches instead of the pad times.

This situation is a good example of why we have local top ten recorders who can be aware of what is happening at local meets.

I agree with Jeanne that it should be brought up with the LMSC officers. The times can be checked to see which ones were changed and then corrected to the proper official times. If you need help with this please contact me.

I don't think the manipulated times should be used for top ten, as they are not following the rules.

Mary Beth

April 15th, 2015, 09:13 PM
Issue 1: late entries. Who cares? This is a non-issue. Maybe people who entered online were in the first roster you saw and people who entered with paper entries were in the 2nd roster you saw.
Issue 2: I'm all for informing the swimmers of what they did wrong so they can correct it next time, but legally we also have to DQ them.
Issue 3: Totally unacceptable. I'm a hy-tek operator and have never heard of anyone doing this, no matter the level of swimming (I've run Meet Manager at masters meets, university meets, high school meets, special olympics meets and USA swimming age group meets). There is a solution to fix this right now: You can rerun the meet in Meet Manager. You can do it at any time, even 6 months after the meet is over as long as the pool the meet was at will give you access to the Colorado that was used. (I actually had to do this once, rerun a whole session of an age group meet after a well-intentioned official inadvertently wrote over it trying to save it).
Good luck with this issue and I hope you can get the meet host to re-import all the times from the Colorado, then type in all the DQ's before the top 10 recorder accepts the times. Feel free to PM me if I can help in any way.

April 18th, 2015, 05:57 PM
#1 agree
#2 you do them no favor not DQ ing them only to repeat the same mistake.
#3 touch pads are fully functioning ? - then they must be the 1st time used . Not any time that is chosen. IMHO

April 19th, 2015, 02:40 PM

#1 - I'm ambivalent on the late entries issue. They should handle it locally.

#2 - failing to fully DQ anyone properly deserving a DQ is a disservice to the offender (they don't learn from their mistakes), a disservice to any competitor the offender "beat" (by pushing them down in the placings), a disservice to any person the offender might displace in the Top 10, a disservice to every competitor in Masters that follows the rules (by devaluing their achievement within the rules). In my reading of the rulebook it appears that most places where disqualification is referred to, the words "shall be disqualified" are used, meaning that lenience is not within the official's purview. There are a couple places where "referee's discretion" is explicitly indicated. But I don't see anywhere that mentions meet directors or LMSCs or even tradition having any say whatsoever in the DQ decision.

#3 Official times -
103.17.3 Determination of Official Time - A Automatic timing-When recorded by properly operating automatic timing equipment, the pad time shall be the official time.

Again the words "shall be" removes discretion (on ANYONE'S part) from the equation unless it is determined that there was a timing system failure. None of the improperly adjusted times are valid for top10 - they are, as Chris noted, cheat times. If they don't get those fixed then the whole meet should be witheld from top10 consideration. But fixing the issue by going back and re-running the meet thru hytek using the console data (which, unless it was explicitly wiped, is still there) is a pretty simple thing to do.

April 19th, 2015, 03:10 PM
Thanks for everyone's feedback.

Hopefully, the issues will be resolved, and if not, the meet will not be considered for Top 10.

I'm not sure that the meet needs to be re-run with the console? In Hy-Tek (without the console), there's a way to restore the original pad times heat-by-heat. Then, assuming they kept the timer sheets and DQ slips, someone could make the proper adjustments under the correct timing protocol. Wouldn't that work?


April 19th, 2015, 03:16 PM
Couldn't agree more that the swimmer is done a disservice by not being DQ'ed. There was an elderly male swimmer in Indiana LMSC who swam 200 fly and 400 IM. Because of his limited range of motion, his butterfly was clearly illegal but he was not DQ'ed in many local meets which I attended. I would guess they avoided disqualifying him in deference to his age and enjoyment in swimming those events. Imagine his disappointment when he went to LC Nats at Mt. Hood in 2008 and was DQ'ed in both events. Had someone advised him years before that his fly stroke was illegal, he could have entered different events and not spent time and money travelling across the country only to be DQ'ed.

Chris Stevenson
April 19th, 2015, 08:41 PM
I am uncomfortable with the idea of the Top 10 Recorder essentially re-running the meet in order to determine the proper official time, for two reasons. First of all I think it puts an unreasonable burden on the TTR, who has enough to do already.

Secondly, it isn't within his/her authority to do so: according to 103.7.2C and D, it is the job of the Admin Official (reporting to the referee, unless it is the same person) to designate the official time and determine the official results.

If I were the TTR of this LMSC I would simply refuse the submit the meet results for TT consideration (or even upload the meet into the events results database) until they conformed to the rules. It is the job of the meet host and officials to do that.

Certainly I examine times in my role as TTR and will report suspicious times to the meet directors, but I don't change times unless the director (who presumably checked with the referee) tells me to do so and gives me the proper time.

April 20th, 2015, 01:44 PM
Definitely agree with Chris - it is the meet director's job to submit correct (according to USMS rules) results to the TTR. A set of results that clearly is incorrect should not be uploaded to the ERDB or considered for T10. Swat the ball firmly back into the MD's court with an explanation of the deficiencies, perhaps pinpointing the relevant rule book passages.

August 1st, 2019, 01:07 PM
Were the local times ever put thru the meet mgr. to have all times finalized?