Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are there no age groups in the calculator?
  2. Is height an advantage is swimming?
  3. What is Swimming Proficiency?
  4. What is Swimming Proficiency used for?
  5. What do the Swimming Proficiency Standards mean?
  6. How were the SP Standards derived?
  7. How was Swimming Proficiency validated?
  8. How tall are they?
  9. What did the data tell you?
  10. How much difference can an inch in height make?


Q & A

Why are there no age groups in the calculator?

The primary purpose of the swimming proficiency calculator is to show all swimmers, regardless of age-group, how well they swim relative to the entire world of swimmers. The calculator includes all age group data down to 10 & Under. The hope is for all age-group swimmers, including the very youngest, to aspire to the goal times that are calculated.

Additionally, there is a significant amount of overlap between the age groups. For example, the top end of the 10 year olds have better proficiency than the lower end of the 18 year olds. In contrast to the overlap however, is the fact that ON AVERAGE, SP improves the most in the youngest age groups as swimmers age up. The younger the swimmer the larger the SP gain in the next year. So consequently, the ranking ( All-State, All-American, etc.) of a swimmer if compared ONLY to their own age-group, is likely to be higher than it is now. To this point, if there is enough demand for it, OSR will add an age group factor to provide Age adjusted SP standards, rankings, and goal times.

PLEASE contact us and express your desire.

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Is height an advantage is swimming?

Absolutely. In fact, height is a significant advantage as proven statistically. By shear observation we know that swim teams at the highest levels of competition are very tall people. Statistically, the general data shows top US teams averaging above the 95 percentile in height.

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What is Swimming Proficiency (SP)?

Simply, SP is how fast you swim your own Body Length (BL).

SP = Your time in an event / Number of your BL's in the event

Example: Joe is 6 feet tall and swims the 100 yd Free in 60.0 seconds.
1. Converting the units to feet, 100 yards equals 300 feet.
2. Therefore, Joe's number of BL's in the event = 300 ft / 6 ft = 50.0
Joe has to swim his own body length 50 times in the 100 yd Free.
3. Joe's SP = 60.0 seconds / 50 BL's = 1.2 seconds per BL
Joe swims his own BL in 1.2 seconds on average in the 100 yd Free.

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What is Swimming Proficiency used for?

Motivation, recognition, and reward.
Motivation. SP standards are an alternative to time standards. Most competitive swimmers eventually contemplate a totally unobtainable time standard. It is usually a deflating and discouraging realization, but only because they have not been educated. Time standards are not adjusted for height, swimming proficiency (SP) is.

Understanding proficiency can provide a renewed source of motivation to do better, have breakthrough swims, and reach your full potential. See the Swimming Proficiency Calculator of course to explore your SP ranking (All-Town, All-State, All-Region, All-American, National Team, Olympic Class, World Record Class) and YOUR height adjusted time standards to move up in the ranking.

Look at the world record class SP and ask yourself, WHY NOT?.

Recognition and Reward. Recognize swimmers who reach SP goals and standards. Offer awards for all swimmers who obtain All-American proficiency for example.

Who is the best? While times clearly identify the fastest, only SP identifies the best.

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What do the Swimming Proficiency Standards mean?

Reaching a given SP standard means your proficiency is as good or better than those who meet the corresponding time standards. For example, if you meet the National Team SP standard, then you swim as well or better than those who make the US National Team.

By achieving any one of the SP Standards (All-Town, All-State, All-Region, All-American, National Team, Olympic Class, World Record Class) your swimming proficiency (SP) is as good or better than those swimmers who have achieved the equivalent time standards.

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How were the SP Standards derived?

SP Standards All-Town through National Team are based on data from swimmers in the United States. Qualifying time standards and individual time and height data were obtained from age group swimming 10 and Under up through NCAA D1,D2,D3, and beyond to National team, Olympic team and world competition. The Olympic Class and World Record Class SP standards are influenced by data from swimmers world-wide.

Each SP standard is based on the equivalent time standard. The eight SP Standards are as follows: Recreational, All-Town, All-State, All Region, All-American, National Team, Olympic Class, and World Record Class.

Example: If you have an SP at the All-American level, then you are swimming as well or better than All-Americans meeting the automatic time standard.

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How was Swimming Proficiency validated?

In short, there were three studies: NCAA Div I Data & Analysis, USA Swimming Data & Analysis, Hy-Tek Power Point System Correlation. The conclusion states that the SP equation does not favor tall or short swimmers.

For more information on Swimming Proficiency go to Learn About SP.
Here you will find the validation report: Swimming Proficiency - An Alternative Performance Metric for Competitive Swimmers

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How tall are they?

NCAA Div I: The fastest 1% come from the tallest 5% of Americans.
65% of NCAA Div I swimmers come from the tallest 25%, and 3% come from the shortest 25%.
The average male swimmer is 5 inches taller than the average American. He is 6 feet 2 inches vs the normal 5 feet 9 inches.
The average female swimmer is also 5 inches taller than the average American. She is 5 feet 9 inches vs the normal 5 feet 4 inches.

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What did the data tell you?

Taller swimming groups are on average faster than shorter swimming groups.
For Age Groupers: Swimmers get faster and SP improves as swimmers age-up. SP parity exists within every age group regardless of speed and height. SP highly correlates with the Hy-Tek Point System.
For NCAA: SP parity exists across all height groups.

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How much difference can an inch in height make?

The short answer: a lot! Consider 100 Freestyle: Generally, for men every inch is worth 0.75 seconds. For women every inch is worth 0.90 seconds.
These numbers are referred to as "trade factors".

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