There are many beautiful things about the sport of swimming. One of them is the objective nature of the results. Once you touch the wall, there it is in black and white: the time it took you to cover the distance of the race!
GTBY is a member club of two National Governing Bodies: USA Swimming and YMCA Swimming.
Both USA and YMCA Swimming publish “Motivational Times” by event and by age group to encourage swimmers to step their swimming up to the next level. These time standards guide a swimmer from just starting out in his/her age group to reaching his/her highest potential. The standards may change every year based on how many swimmers in that age group achieve the standards. The standards usually get faster every update, and continue to challenge as the swimmer “ages up”. Ideally our swimmers use these times to help set short and long term personal goals and track their progress. What we hope they all learn is that the more they practice and work hard, the closer they get to their goals.
USA Time standards are broken down into age group and level. Age groups are divided into 10&U, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16, and 17/18 year old categories. Eight and under swimmers do not have standards as this is an introductory age and the focus is on teaching strokes and having fun. Each category has a B, BB, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA level. Swimmers can begin at a C level and work their way up each level.
Most meets are divided into categories based on age and level. This allows for more fair competition. Championship meets use time standards to help divide competition in a fair and stepwise progression. A new swimmer with B times will race against others in the same age/level, while an advanced, experienced competitor may swim a different meet requiring AA standards within their specific age group.
USA/MI SWIMMINGCHAMPIONSHIP MEET BREAKDOWN-WHICH MEET CAN MY CHILD ATTEND?
IN ORDER BY PROGRESSION
DISTRICT MEETS, FOR 9&UP SWIMMERS/ OR Q3-BEGIN WITH "C" TIMES UP TO "B" TIMES WHICH PROVIDE ENTRY LEVEL EXPERIENCE AT CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL-NO QUALIFYING TIMES, BUT THAT SWIMMER MUST HAVE SWAM THAT EVENT WITHIN THE PAST YEAR JAN 1-PRESENT
JR OLYMPIC MEET FOR AGES 9 & UP SWIMMERS,/OR Q2 MEET-"A" TIMES "FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP MEET WITH TIME STANDARDS REQUIRED.
(TYPICALLY WE FIND THAT SOME SWIMMERS MAKE JO CUTS AT THE DISTRICT MEET IN SAME YEAR!)
STATE MEET -FOR 12&UNDER AND 13& UP, THESE TIMES ARE "AA" TIMES,* AND IF MADE ARE USUALLY MADE WHEN THE SWIMMER IS IN THE 2ND YEAR OF THAT AGE GROUP.
ZONE TIMES -"AAA"TIMES-FASTER THAN THE STATE MEET TIMES AND FOR AGES 12&UNDER ONLY-this meet is only swam in August
SECTIONALS-AAA TIMES FASTER THAN STATE MEET FOR 13& UP-this meet is swam in early spring
When swimmers move up an age group bracket, the times they achieved to date still count toward a standard. *Standards for older age brackets get more challenging as swimmers age up a level. These more challenging standards help encourage swimmers to move into the next level of swimming.
Every year the Michigan Swimming Age Group Championships are held in March (short course – 25yd) and July/Aug(long course – 50m). These are the state championship meets for our 13/14, 11/12, and 10 and under athletes that qualify. To qualify for these meets, the time standards are typically somewhere between an “A” and a “AA” time.
For those of you new to the sport, you can see there is a progression of achievement based on time standards within the sport of swimming. Our goal at GTBY Swimming is to help each athlete get to whatever level he or she sets for him/herself by providing the resources and coaching. The athlete (and frequently the parents as well), however, must provide the most important ingredients to achieve his/her goals – commitment, hard work, and sacrifice!
YMCA CHAMPIONSHIP MEETS-
- BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS THAT YOUR SWIMMER MUST HAVE ATTENDED 3 SESSIONS OF A YMCA MEET TO ATTEND, EVEN IF THEY QUALIFIED (USA DOES NOT HAVE THIS REQ.)
- NO QUALIFYING TIMES FOR 8 &UNDER STATE MEET
- 9 & UP ALL HAVE QUALIFYING TIMES. IF YOU MAKE ONE EVENT, YOU GET TWO BONUS EVENTS.