What are Swim Times?

Swim times are the amount of time it takes a swimmer to swim a specific distance in a specific stroke. Times are achieved at sanctioned meets and have to be performed legally to be official (i.e., times from disqualified swimmers are not accepted). All legal times from swim meets are uploaded into the USA Swimming national database.

What are USA Swimming Time Standards?

USA Swimming uses time standards to place swimmers in terms of how fast they swim and how old they are. The categories are named with letters (and are described below). As you become a better swimmer, your times will improve and you'll find yourself shifting from one standard to another. Time standards are useful for setting goals and for controlling the size of swim meets.

What Does SCY/SCM/LCM Mean?

It's the type of pool. SCY is a 25-yard pool, SCM is a 25-meter pool, and LCM is a 50-meter pool. The time standards for each event vary depending on the kind of pool that the event is swum in. 

Are there Utah Swimming Time Standards?

Within the state of Utah, special time standards are used to determine which swimmers qualify to swim at the state championships. Swimmers 14 and under must meet the time standards for the Age Group State Championship to swim at the state meets in March and July. Senior swimmers must meet the time standards for the Senior State Championship to swim at the state meets in February and July.

If a swimmer swims an event fast enough to qualify for the state championships, we say that the swimmer got a "state time."

USA Swimming ("Club") Times v. UHSAA ("High School") Times

Some OTAC Senior swimmers also compete on their high school swim teams. USA Swimming and UHSAA are two different organizations and their rules for swim meets are slightly different. Therefore, times achieved at a USA Swimming (or "club") meet are not legal for qualifying for the UHSAA ("high school") state championships. Times achieved at a high school meet are not legal for qualifying for USA Swimming meets ... unless the high school meet is an observed meet (where USA Swimming officials work the meet). A swimmer who wishes to be USA-observed at a high school meet must fill out a form and pay a small fee. Typically, the high school Region and State championship meets are observed meets, although some larger invitational meets can be observed.

USA Swimming Time Standard categories:

C TIMES

Swimmers who have never competed in an event and do not have a time (NT) are considered "C" swimmers, or "slower than B".

B TIMES

The B time standard is usually the one you'll reach first. It is a measure of time and competence in the performance of that stroke. Achieving a 'B' time at a swim meet indicates a correct execution of complicated stroke technique. A 'B' time represents a level equal to 68% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

BB TIMES

It is a very big step when you achieve a "BB" time. In addition to the correct performance of a particular stroke, you have also achieved a speed only a limited percentage of swimmers can perform. Like "B" times, each age group has its own list of "BB" times. A 'BB' time represents a level equal to 75% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

A TIMES

An 'A' time represents a level equal to 84% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

AA TIMES

There is a much smaller gap between "AA" and "A" as compared to the wide one between "B" and "A". You often need an "AA" time to compete in a Trials and Finals format meet. An 'AA' time represents a level equal to 89% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

AAA TIMES

A 'AAA' time represents a level equal to 93% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

AAAA TIMES

These are the highest levels in the National Age Group Times progressions. A 'AAAA' time represents a level equal to 97% of the National Top 16 Reportable Time.

NATIONAL REPORTABLE TIMES (NRT TIMES)

A NRT represents a level that a swimmer must surpass in order to submit their names for consideration on the annual Top 16 list. The annual rankings (short course and long course) are published in Swimming World magazine and each qualifier receives a certificate of recognition from USAS. Swimmers earning a NRT Time are in the Top 1% of American Age Group swimmers.