USMS Top Ten

Frequently Asked Questions

Q I swam in a USMS meet, but I donít see my times which would have made the Top Ten.
A The meet director is responsible for reporting times to the LMSC Top Ten person who will submit the times to the National level. Many factors effect whether a time is considered valid for the Top Ten. Some of these factors are: what timing devices were used (one watch per lane is not sufficient), are there accurate pool measurements on file and/or taken after each session, and what rules were followed. All times must be submitted by the Submission Deadline for that course. See the final FAQ question on this page for the exact dates. Check with your LMSC Top Ten person to find out more details.


Q I swam in a sanctioned USA Swimming meet. How do I get my times submitted for Top Ten?
A Report your times along with a hardcopy of the official results or a link to the results posted on the official meet website, plus a copy of a valid pool measurement form if not already on file. Submit them to your LMSC Top Ten person prior to the Submission Deadline for that course. See the final FAQ question on this page for the exact dates. Note:  If the course had a bulkhead, there must have been a pool measurement taken after each session that you are submitting times for in order for you times to be considered.


Q I swam in a foreign championship but I donít see my times which would have made the Top Ten.
A Because the results of foreign meets are not automatically submitted to USMS, swimmers are responsible for reporting their own times for foreign championships to their local LMSC Top Ten person. This must be done with documentation of the swim such as a hardcopy of the results or a link to results posted on the official meet website. Reporting must be done prior to the Submission Deadline. See the final FAQ question on this page for the exact dates.


Q I would like my lead off split from a relay or longer distance, such as the first 100 of a 200 swim, to count for Top Ten. What do I have to do?
A The split must be requested in writing and brought to the attention of the meet referee before the conclusion of the meet. In addition, if the split is from an individual backstroke event or from a relay, the request must be made in writing before the swim. The full distance of the event must be completed without any disqualification and the split portion must be a legal finish. If the split is from a relay, the second swimmer may not start from the water. Meet directors should submit requested splits separately from the main event in the summary of results which is sent to the LMSC Top Ten person.


Q Sometimes the results of meets such as YMCA Nationals, Senior Games, or Gay Games appear in the Top Ten and other times they do not. How do I know if they will be included?
A Never assume that such meets will have results automatically included. These meets are usually recognized by USMS but they may not have been sanctioned by USMS. As such, they might NOT be automatically submitted for Top Ten. We attempt to get the results in a format we can easily work with but we are not always successful. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to report their results to their LMSC Top Ten person if they wish their times from such meets to be included in the Top Ten. If by chance you report a swim that has already been reported by the meet director, the duplicate will eliminated.


Q Event Rankings vs. Top Ten. Whatís the difference?
A The Top Ten is currently mandated by USMS rules, while the Event Rankings is an attempt to display all times, not just the top ten. The main difference is that the Event Rankings are not scrutinized for accuracy, while the Top Ten times are validated. Currently Top Ten and Event Rankings are maintained separately.

Meet directors are required to submit meet results to their LMSC Top Ten person for sanctioned meets within that LMSC. Requirements for eligibility of times submitted include timing device accuracy (a single watch per lane is not sufficient), valid pool measurements on file, swimmer being legally registered with USMS, valid format for submission, and meeting submission deadlines, etc.

Event Rankings is a voluntary database containing the results of meets that were submitted by meet directors. Not all meets are submitted! Once a meet is added, you can lookup times by gender, stroke, distance, and age.


Q What happens to my Top Ten times if I age up during the middle of a season?
A Each course actually includes times for an entire year. The start and end dates of the season vary by course. See the FAQ question on this page for the exact dates. Eligible times for a swim are determined by the date and course of the meet and the age of the swimmer. Your age “stays with” each swim for a particular meet. If you swim the same event and course later in the year but after you have “aged up”, that swim has your new age. Both swims will be considered for Top Ten but they will be in different age groups. For example, letís say your birthday is in December. You swim a 50 Yard Free in November as a 34 year old then turn 35 in December. You swim another 50 Yard Free in January. Both swims fall within the same “yards season”. “Yards season” runs from June 1 to May 31. The time you did in November belongs to the 30-34 age group, while the time you did in January belongs to the 35-39 age group. Therefore, you could conceivably be in the Top Ten in both age groups at the end of “yards season” which is published in August.


Q When do times count for Top Ten?
A It depends upon the course:

Course For Swims Between Submission Deadline Publication Date
Yards Jun 1 & May 31 June 30 August
Short Course Meters Jan 1 & Dec 31 January 26 April
Long Course Meters Oct 1 & Sep 30 October 20 December

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