Understanding Time Standards
What are time standards?
Time standards are motivational tools for swimmers that are used to measure improvement and to inspire swimmers to push themselves to the next level. Motivational standards are set for each event and for the following age groups: 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18. There are no specific standards for 8 & under because they fall under the 10 & under measures. Standards are set in the following order: C, B, BB, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA.
How do standards work?
Swimmers begin their career as "C" level swimmers. Any time slower than the “B” times are considered “C” including NT (No Times). As a swimmer begins to develop and become more competitive, they may begin to achieve time standards. A time that falls between two standards is considered the lower of the two. For example the 10 & under 50 free for girls “BB” time is 35.69. The “A” time is 31.89. A 10 & under girl that clocks a 31.90 would be considered “BB”. To earn an “A” time she would have to beat the “A” mark.
Why are there so many standards?
Standards are specific to the course. There is a different set of time standards for short course yards (25 yard pools), short course meters (25 meter pools), and long course meters (50 meter pools). Each event for each course has a different standard for each age group. From Fall – Spring most meets are in 25 yard pools. This is known as short course season. The meets in the summer months are typically in 50 meter pools. This is known as long course season.
How do standards relate to meets?
Standards are not only motivational tools, but they are also used for qualifying times for specific meets. Some meets may be “open”, which means they have no standards set to enter. Some meets are considered developmental and are for B/C level swimmers only. Some use “BB” as the minimum or maximum standard to attend. The Senior and Age Group state championship meets are usually specific qualifying times for each event that can range from “A” to “AAA” standards. See the qualifying times above to see times set for specific championship meets.
How do I know if my swimmer has achieved time standards?
When reading the results from a meet posted on the ECA website, you may see letters next to your swimmers times. These indicate that your swimmer has earned a time standard. If no letter is beside the time, then the swimmer is still “C” for that event. There are no standard for 8 & under 25 yard events because they are not 10 & under events.