RELAYS AND HOW THEY ARE PUT TOGETHER
Myth: Swimmers are put in the “A” relay if the coach likes you.
Fact: Relays are put together based on the swimmer's best times in the team database.
The team database includes results from all our meets. When putting together relays for meets, the coach uses the Hy-tek Meet Manager Software which reviews all the swimmers’ individual times in the database and puts together the fastest relay based on swimmer individual times.
The software builds all relays based on the swimmers that are participating in the meet in each age group. For example, for the 200 free relay, the Hy-tek software will query all swimmers in the age group that are participating in the meet, and will build the “A” relay with the top four 50 free times, then build the “B” relay with the next fastest 50 free times, etc. For Medley Relays, the fastest swimmer in a particular stroke may not end up swimming that stroke in the relay. The software builds the fastest relay by taking into account all times, for all strokes, for all swimmers. Sometimes there are swimmers who note they are unable to participate in the medley and/or free relay. This requires additional manipulation that may result in an unexpected relay combination …especially if a swimmer in a particular stroke is needed to create another relay.
For Championship meets, the relays will be built based on best and current times each swimmer has going into the meet. The Free or Medley Relay is subject to change at the discretion of the coach after the start of any meet based on the result of the individual 25/50/100/200 times at the meet. The top four 25/50/100 times can be used for the “A” Free Relay, the next four fastest times for the “B” relay, etc.
There are some exceptions which are at the discretion of the coach. The “Best relay” selection may be overridden if a swimmer selected during the Hy-tek Meet Manager Software Program process has not recently come close to their best time or if the coach feels the swimmer may not be able to swim the stroke legally. In cases when there are not enough swimmers in a particular age group, the coach may “age up” swimmers from another age group to create a relay. Relay “splits” taken by the coach or from the timing system from previous meets may be used to override the Hytek software “best relay” if the split times are current and the swimmer has not competed in that particular individual event recently. Also, if a swimmer is not swimming their best times in a relay versus their individual best time, the coach may not include them in the relay. Why? Individual best times are used to create relays, but there are some swimmers who do not swim close to their best times in relays. Unless a swimmer is lead-off, swimmers should be able to swim a faster time in the relay versus their individual event. It is important to swim your best in a relay. Also, if you are committed to a relay it is important that you participate in that relay it is important to swim that relay so other team members are not let down.
For non-championship meets, the coach may decide not to enter Hy-tek’s relay selection for the medley and free relays so the swimmers can participate in more individual events, or additional swimmers have the opportunity to participate in a relay, or the coach mixes up the swimmers to create more competition. Finally, there are times the coach makes a subjective decision when relays are created (for example, swimmer is not attending practice regularly, swimmer did not show up for the last meet they signed up and did not notify the coach, etc). If a scheduled relay swimmer leaves or gets sick before the relay swims, the coach will substitute as needed. It is not possible in these cases to access the software program or a current list of best times.