Thursday, May 16, 2013

Texas High School Swimming Changes Proposed

(via bwog)

It looks like there are three (3) major changes being kicked around by high school coaches.

#1 - End high school swim season before Christmas.  Posted on this back on April 10 (catch up here).  Plenty of views and comments for that post.  Split between "pro" and "con" is pretty easy to see.  Excellence crowd wants to train their teams through Christmas and have great swims in February.  Equity crowd would rather see less-committed swimmers/divers get a Christmas vacation and then work on One-Act Play second semester.  I'm strongly opposed to the idear.

#2 - Add a 3A classification.  When and where would the region and state meets for 3A be held?  If they're in conjunction with 4A and/or 5A meets, something would have to "give", right?  Trying to run 3A, 4A, and 5A region/state meets on the same weekends would likely mean cutbacks to the 4A and 5A meets.  Do you want to go back to eight (8) finalists at the region meet?  How about eight (8) finalists at the state meet?  Unless it can be done without taking anything away from the 4A and 5A meets, I'm strongly opposed to this idear as well.

#3 - Advance twenty-four (24) qualifiers each to the 4A and 5A state meets.  Posted on this in April of 2012, while venting on several issues (catch up here).  Upside to this proposal is more geographic representation with two (2) automatic swimming qualifiers (and three divers) per event per region.  UIL likes geographic representation.  This would also mean no empty lanes in state meet finals (unlikely there'd be more than eight dq's in an event in prelims, right?).  I'm strongly in favor of the idear of taking 24 to state.

Will be interesting to see if TISCA gets behind even one of these proposals and commits to taking it to the UIL Legislative Council.


MIke said...

There is another way to look at it, Bob. Get HS swimming out of the way and prepare to compete on a national level with the big boys. Start HS training the same day as HS football and run it to Christmas. Same training time, kids coming off of summer swimming in great shape, they take their break at Christmas instead of August. Of course there would be a chance that TX might not be as strong a HS swimming state, but it could lead to more HS aged swimmers at a national level.

Lion King said...

1. Who are your so-called "big boys"?

2. If they are club swimmers coming off summer swimming, they are going to be training with their club at Christmas and will NOT get a break. YOU would, of course.

3. How in the wide wide world of swimming do you figure that translates into more HS-aged swimmers at a national level??? Sounds like you're looking out for national swimming at the expense of TX HS swimming. How do you figure you're advocating for Texas then???

Button said...

wow! mike, you're either totally clueless or very sneaky.

the so-called big boys and girls swim their national championship meets (usa junior nationals and nationals) around the same time the 'short season' proponents would have our state meet.

short course nationals is december 5-7 at the other ut (knoxville) and juniors will be december 12-14 in greensboro, north carolina.

by trying to squeeze in a high school state meet in december, you'd be telling those 'big boys' and 'big girls' that they might just as well swim year-round club and not even consider representing their high school.

takes us right back to the days of old when our state meet was in march, along with junior and senior nats. we forced kids to make choices and they often chose their club program over high school.




boy-c said...

Agree with your thoughts on these.

#1 is so dumb. It turns swimmers into amateurs and brings us down the road to how the Midwest states are (club swimmers having to chose between high school and club so they don't ruin their tapers).

Also the current schedule is in-line with college swimming. Consistency is key and helps kids who transition to that level.

Kevin Murphy said...

Mike, are you a "club" coach, an official, or a parent? Who you are would help me to understand your point of view a little better.
Everyone has a point of view that is often influenced by their enviornment or personal situation. I know my view has been formed by 15 years as a USA, HS and college swimmer, along with 34 years as a USA/HS swim coach.

Jonathan Roberts is, without a doubt, a "big boy" in both HS and USA swimming, and he competes at Jr Nationals, Sr Nationals, Olympic Trials and for his Southlake Carroll HS Team as a "leader" of his HS Team, at the Texas State HS Meet. His HS swimming has been a very positive experience that has enhanced his national-level USA swimming, just as NCAA swimming enhances the National-level and International-level of swimming for many of our college-age and older USA swimmers and many swimmers from other countries. TEAM is the focus of HS and NCAA swimming.

His HS Swimming, in Texas, as Texas HS Swimming is currently designed, mirrors what he will be expected to do as a college swimmer. He, along with ALL of our top HS swimmers in Southlake Carroll are "served", cooperatively, by the HS Program and the NTN-USA Program to allow them to swim well at both HS State and Sectional-USA and National-USA meets.

It is the cooperative design of the two Programs, the level of coaching and the "service" to the swimmers, that determines the outcome. Many of our Texas HS Swimmers thrive representing their schools in HS competition. If the HS program is a "true" training Program and both the HS coach and the USA coach cooperate to serve in the best interest of the swimmers, then the outcome is almost always positive. If the USA coach does not recognize the value of the HS program, (we have a significant and valuable HS training Program here in Southlake) along with the HS Team experience, then the USA coach may undermine and influence the athlete to walk away from HS swimming. I have watched for the last 12 years in Texas Swimming and seen very few kids "big boys" that dropped out of Texas HS swimming and went on to make significant moves forward at their national-level meets. It would be difficult to prove to me that USA-only swimming is better, in the long run, for our kids, than a good combination of HS and USA Programs. Historically, our Texas HS swimmers, at the Top end, have gone on to do well in NCAA swimming. they are well-prepared and understand the Tam concepts that come from Interscholastic competition.
As a former swimmer that competed in HS State, National Jr Olympics (I'm old), NCAA Conference Championships and Senior Nationals, I feel the excitement of HS and NCAA swimming, as a part of a Team, is unsurpassed. Swimming for a "real" HS TEAM is one of the best experiences a kid can have, where they must put the needs of the TEAM above their own wants and desires.

While National-level USA swimming is exciting for a few "big-boys", the opportunity for "leadership", as a part of a HS TEAM, has great value to them and to the other swimmers on the Team. In addtion, HS swimming allows more kids to strive to be "valuable" (relays and District/Regional/State finalists) rather that just #87 at Juniors or Senior Nationals.

I know our HS/USA design and situation at Southlake Carroll is unique, and reapes many positive benefits for our swimmers, but I do not feel that moving the Texas State Meet to December would enhance the performance of any of our "big boys" at National-level meets. It would certainly diminish their Texas HS Swim TEAM experience.


Kevin Murphy
Head Swim Coach
Southlake Carroll HS