Time Standards explained:
There are several different lists of time standards available depending on where you look.
Historically we used to have a much simpler way of framing our LSC Meets, we simply had Gold, Silver, and Bronze meets and time standards. The Gold meet was the end of season meet, the Silver meet was a meet in February giving an opportunity for swimmers to compete in a preliminary / finals format attempting to achieve gold times, and the Bronze meet was a meet to qualify for Silvers… simple bronze to silver to gold!
Now we have Championship time standards (NI), Championship qualifier meet standards (CQ), and the BB Qualifier time standards (< CQ). Needless to say we were not in favor of this change.
The Niagara BB Qualifier (< CQ): Hosted by EDEN
Using single age based cut times, designed to get swimmers to swim new events and those they need to achieve “championship qualifier meet standards” This is a timed final meet where the swimmer’s get 1 chance to swim the events.
The times would be SLOWER than the ones found here:
The Niagara Championship Qualifier Meet (CQ): Hosted by the TITANS
Using single age based cut times with faster than and slower than guides, swimmers are attempt to achieve “championship meet standards” This is a prelim / final meet where the swimmer’s compete in the preliminary session and then top 8 finishers not achieving the “championship meet cut time” in the 11, 12, 13, 14 age groups (top 16 for 15 & over)
The times would be faster than the times found here AND slower than the ones for the Niagara Championship Meet in Webster:
The Niagara Championships (NI): at Webster
Using multi age cut times 10 & Under, 11-12, 13-14, & 15 & over. This is a prelim / final meet where the swimmer’s compete in the preliminary session and then top 20 finishers return to compete at the evening finals session.
Not to make thing more confusing, USA Swimming has a list of time standards listed as 2013-2016 National Age Group Motivational Times.
These time standards designed to encourage age group swimmers to step their swimming up to the next level. These time standards guide you from just starting out in your age group to reaching your highest potential. Start at Level B and work your way up to Level AAAA times. There are two sets of these time standards one that lists them in age groups 10 and under 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 & 17-18, the other is single ages starting at 10, 11, 12...
These times have little to nothing to do with our LSC’s (Local Swim Committee) Championship meet series we attend, but are great for setting smaller goals for the swimmers to strive for.
They can be found here:
There are another set of standards for Long Course Meters (LCM) but let's not think about that yet :)
Hope this helps, feel free to ask me any questions.