Swimming is a fun and also family-friendly sport. Yet, one topic the invariably trips up brand-new swim moms and dads is the ide of “swim courses” prefer “SCY” and “SCM” and understanding why and how times room converted between them. In this post, we explain all the acronyms and also jargon, and dispel the mysteries and also common misunderstandings about converting a swimming time native one food to another.

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What is a swim course?

Simply put, “swim course” is simply a an intricate name because that a traditional pool length. In the US, there room three generally encountered lengths, or courses, because that competition pools. They are:

25 yards — also known together “short food yards” or simply “yards”. This pool size is generally used for year-round, high school and collegiate competitions, and is additionally often provided for neighborhood and also country society pools. This course is abbreviated together “SCY” or just “Y”.25 meters — also known as “short food meters” or just “short course” or “meters”. This pool size is typically used for international competition and also is additionally used for some neighborhood and country club pools. This course is abbreviated together “SCM” or simply “S”.50 meters — recognized as “long food meters” or simply “long course”. This is the pool length used for the Olympics and many international competitions, and during the “long course season” of USA swim from April to August. This much bigger pool dimension is rarely supplied for ar or club pools. This food is abbreviated as “LCM” or just “L”.

The diagram listed below shows the relative lengths of every of the traditional courses:


The key thing to remember about swim process is the they explain different distances. A 25-yard pool is equivalent to 22.86 meters, or a bit an ext than 90% the length of a 25-meter pool. And, the course, a 50-meter pool is double the length of a 25-meter pool.

Side note: bookkeeping for imprecise swimming pool lengths It is not unusual for entertain pools to not be developed to exacting standards. As soon as measured precisely, many neighborhood pools will certainly be a little longer or a little much shorter than their specified course. In part cases, such together 20-yard or 33 ⅓ yard pools, the difference can be really significant. To account because that these variations, periodically a pool-specific “course correction factor” is calculated and applied to all results videotaped in that pool. This course correction is similar to, however different from, the moment conversion used to estimate times in between standard pool courses. This course correction factors, if used, room calculated and also tracked separately for each pool.
What is time conversion?

The vast majority of Summer organization swim meets are hosted in one of two people a 25-yard or 25-meter pool. It is typical in Summer league swimming to swim in a “yards” pool one week, and then in a “meters” pool the next. Through some times tape-recorded in “yards” pools and also others from “meters” pools, they can not be compared and used as-is for meet seeding and also other purposes. This is where time conversion comes in: it allows times recorded in pools of various lengths (aka courses) to be used interchangeably for seeding, fulfill qualification, and other purposes.

The most necessary thing to remember is: every time conversions are estimates, not specific calculations. uneven conversion from one distance to another, which is precise, a time conversion approximates the time it would take a swimmer to swim a particular distance based upon that swimmer’s previous time swimming the very same stroke end a different distance. 

Converting Swim time From Yards to Meters

Let’s highlight with an example. If Susie swam a 50-yard breastroke in a 25-yard pool in 34.45 seconds, around how rapid would Susie swim a 50-meter breaststroke in a 25-meter pool?

One garden is equivalent to 1.0936 meters, thus 50 yards is precisely equivalent to 45.72 meters.

If we just multiply Susie’s 34.45 time by the street conversion aspect (1.0936), us would get an estimate of 37.67 seconds. Converting this method is not an extremely accurate, however, since it simply converts the distance—it no take into account the fact that Susie would be swim a longer distance, and that is most likely to affect her in its entirety pace. 

As the distance increases, that a for sure bet Susie’s pace will certainly gradually get slower. In the same means we wouldn’t expect Susie to host her 25 sprint pace for a 200, we should expect the distinction in street in this example (4.28 meters) to have some tiny but measurable impact on Susie’s overall pace. That impact should be reflect in the converted time estimate.

To precisely estimate how this extra street would affect Susie’s convert time, we’d must know more about Susie. Part swimmers space sprinters, and also others excel at distance events. Relying on athletic ability, age and also other factors, the affect of a readjust in distance will have actually on one athlete’s time can vary significantly from swimmer come swimmer. Taking into account every those factors would add a the majority of complexity.

In practice, because that the sake of simplicity, a conventional conversion variable of 1.11 has traditionally been used by many swim software, consisting of centregalilee.com, as soon as converting 25-yard time to 25-meter time (and evil versa). This counter factor includes the distance conversion (1.0936) add to a tiny extra (0.0164) come account for the impact of the extra distance on the as whole pace. The difference in distance between 25-meters and also 25-yards is close sufficient that applying more facility conversion approaches would not yield significantly better estimates—or at least not enough to justification the additional complexity.

Using this traditional “simple” conversion factor, Susie’s 34.45Y (short food yards) time would convert a 38.24S (short food meters) time. In this example, the food abbreviation is appended to the moment to allow you understand what course the moment was tape-recorded in.

Keep in mental this convert 38.24S time is just an estimate. Depending on the swimmer and conditions of the swim, the converted estimate might be point out on or method off compared to one actual time swim in the target course. In general, many of the time, it will be pretty close, and also that provides it a useful, basic approximation.

Side note: rounding converted times once converting swimming times in between courses, one will often finish up v extra digits that need to be rounded to percentage percent of seconds. Quite than using simple rounding rules, most swim software, consisting of centregalilee.com, use a more complicated rounding an approach known together “statistician’s rounding” or “banker’s rounding.” This method reduces bias by only rounding increase from 0.5 when the previous digit is odd. For this reason a time the 23.435 would certainly round up to 23.44 and also a time that 23.445 would certainly round down to the same 23.44.
More facility Time Conversions

While converting short course yards (25yd) to brief course meter (25m) is fairly simple, converting between short course (25m) and long food meters (50m) adds an extra twist: estimating the impact of the revolve (or lack thereof) ~ above the time.

Things obtain even more interesting as soon as converting times for longer distance events. Because that example, convert a 1,650-yard time come a 1,500-meter time. In this case, the number of turns and the distance will be fairly different. 

There are many different philosophies to converting swim times. This is why you’ll frequently get various results once converting times making use of the assorted swim time conversion devices you can uncover on the web. 

A common simple conversion call for including 2% as soon as converting from short course to lengthy course to account because that fewer turns. However, the distinctions in turning speed for various strokes and athletes are far-reaching enough that more complicated conversion techniques are commonly warranted.

The more accurate conversion techniques rely ~ above statistical analysis of big samples the swim time to calculate tables of conversion components for every combination of age, gender, stroke and also distance. All of those factors (age, gender, stroke and also distance) will be taken into account as soon as estimating a convert time utilizing this method.

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While some approaches may be more accurate 보다 others, no conversion an approach is perfect or for sure correct. In ~ the finish of the day, every conversions room still simply estimates. 2 swimmers the the same age and also gender swimming the very same stroke and also distance will certainly each have different strengths and weaknesses that cannot it is in distilled come a solitary formula. The only method to really recognize how quick a swimmer is going to swim, is for that swimmer come prove it in the pool.