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Short Course Vs Long Course

Short Course vs. Long Course

  • Short Course season runs from late August to late March.  Short Course refers to competitions held in 25 yard pools. 
  • Long Course season runs from late March to early August.  Long Course refers to competitions held in 50 meter pools.
  • Swimmers’ Long Course times are almost always slower than their Short Course times for three main reasons:
  • A 50, 100, 200, etc. event in Short Course is always in yards and the corresponding event in Long Course is in meters.  There are approximately 54.6 yards in 50 meters, so a 50 free (for example) in Short Course is a shorter distance to swim than a 50 free in Long Course.
  • In Short Course you get twice as many opportunities to flip turn and push off the wall than you do in Long Course.  Once a swimmer is proficient in flip turns, this will almost always be a faster swim time for those yards than straight swimming a stroke will be. 
  • It is usually less tiring for the swimmer to do the flip turns and streamline than it is to do straight swimming of a stroke, which in turn allows them to go faster overall during longer distance races.