Thursday, June 8, 2017

Something else for teams that use Hy-Tek's Meet Manager or Team Manager

Four years ago, I introduced a free software package called Bob’s Swim Tools for Hy-Tek, which consists of a small collection of utilities that can be used by TSA teams which own Hy-Tek’s swimmer management program, Team Manager, or its companion product for running swim meets, Meet Manager.

This year I am releasing a revised version of this software, now renamed to Bob’s TSA Tools for Hy-Tek. Teams who compose their entries for a dual meet in Team Manager as described in this document can use Bob’s TSA Tools to automate various pre-meet chores that formerly had to be done by hand. Teams which own both Team Manager and Meet Manager will be able to perform even more meet preparation tasks. As before, the software is still completely free of charge.

The components of this package include:

Event Entry Form Generator
This feature frees coaches from the tiresome task of manually transcribing all their main event entries (up to 138 swimmers in individual events and up to 240 swimmers in relay events) to the pink and blue event entry forms used during TSA meets. Instead, the tool will generate those forms online automatically from a team’s meet entries in the span of only a few seconds. The online forms can then be printed on sheets of blue and pink paper to create the physical forms that will be used in the meet by the Clerk of Course and Recorder.

Swim Up Form Generator
This feature produces a pair of forms, one for boys and one for girls, listing all the “swim up” athletes entered in any of their respective gender’s ten relay events, suitable for presentation to the opposing team’s TSA Representative as required by TSA rules. These forms are combined with the event entry forms described in the previous section so that they can be printed along with them, using the half-sheet of blue or pink paper that would otherwise be left over after producing 33 event entry forms for each sex.

Event Entry Error Checker
This feature examines a team’s meet entries and produces a report enumerating any violations of TSA rules it finds in entries for main event heats. Examples of such violations include athletes who are entered into too many main events and relay teams which include illegal “swim up” athletes; a full list can be found in the instructions. Coaches and other team personnel can use this feature to check their initial meet assignments and apply corrections as necessary before settling on their final entries.

Three Options for Producing Heat Sheets and Kid Pusher Reports
The previously described features require only Hy-Tek Team Manager and Microsoft Excel as prerequisites. If your team also owns a copy of Hy-Tek Meet Manager, you will be able to take advantage of another feature of Bob’s TSA Tools: the ability to seed meet entries, from one or both teams, and import those seeded entries directly into Meet Manager. You can then use Meet Manager to generate any desired meet paperwork, including heat sheets, kid pusher reports for specific age groups, timer sheets, etc. This paperwork will automatically identify swimmers both by name and by the swimmer ID number they are “tattooed” with during meets: “Doe, John (301)” instead of just “Doe, John”, for example. A separate set of seeded meet entries without the appended swimmer IDs will also be generated, and can be used to run the meet itself in Meet Manager if the teams participating in the meet opt to employ an automated timing system.

There are three seeding scenarios:

1)      Unseeded: If you have meet entries only for your own team, but no information about the other team, the “seeded” entries produced by Bob’s TSA Tools will facilitate mustering your team’s heat swimmers in the traditional TSA dual meet fashion. Your team’s main event (Heat 1) assignments will not be affected, but all other swimmers will be assigned to fake lane numbers (starting at Lane 21) in a single fake heat (Heat 99), in order of their seed times. This will allow those swimmers to be lined up in order from fastest to slowest and deck-seeded by the Clerk of Course into actual heats and lanes in real time, as in a standard TSA meet.

2)      Semi-seeded: If you have meet entries for your own team and also know how many swimmers the other team plans to enter in each individual (non-relay) event, Bob’s TSA Tools will generate a set of mock entries representing the other team and then fully seed the meet as in the final scenario below. Useful heat sheets, kid pusher reports and other meet paperwork can then be generated for your team, though not for the opposing team.

3)      Fully seeded: If meet entries for both teams are available, Bob’s TSA tools will seed Heats 2 and beyond for all individual events according to TSA rules (a capability not offered by Meet Manager’s own native seeding mechanism). In this scenario, useful heat sheets, kid pusher reports and other meet paperwork can be generated for both teams, not just your own.

Bob’s TSA Tools for Hy-Tek require Excel 2003 or later on a computer running Windows XP or later.

Your team must have access to Hy-Tek Team Manager (any version) and, optionally, access to Hy-Tek Meet Manager, but these need not be on the same system where Bob’s TSA Tools will run. However, it is more convenient if they are installed on the same computer.

To Get the Software
Simply download this file, unzip it, and follow the instructions.

For teams that use Hy-Tek's Meet Manager or Team Manager

As in previous seasons, I have created a set of meet databases and meet events files covering this year’s TSA season for use by teams that own Hy-Tek’s Meet Manager (MM) or Team Manager (TM) programs, so please share this announcement with your coaches and the folks who handle technology for your team.

The first item is a collection of meet events files for Team Manager users. There are actually four separate sets of meet events zip files inside the master zip file: one set for each combination of pool length (25 yards or 25 meters) and meet event ordering (normal TSA event order vs. “6 and under first” variant). Each set contains six meet events files, one for each dual meet date this season. Unzip the appropriate one for each of your meets and import it into Team Manager.

The second item is a collection of template Meet Manager databases configured for TSA dual meets. These will be used by meet administrators who produce heat sheets, import swimmer times, etc. There is one template for each of the four meet type combinations mentioned above. Meet administrators will need to adjust the meet date from week to week; the templates start out with the date of this season’s first meet (June 13).

Note that the events files for meets at 25 meter pools (about 10 percent of TSA teams host meets at such facilities; most TSA pools are 25 yards long) have the 6 & Under races listed as being 15 meters long. This is purely an artifact of the software -- TM and MM can’t handle a meet containing a mix of yard-based and meter-based events. The important thing to bear in mind is that the actual 6&U race distance is invariant regardless of pool length: it must always be announced by the Starter as “15 yards” and the finish rope must be placed 15 yards from the blocks, in accordance with rule 102.1.1.A.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brian Goldman Memorial Swim Across America Olympian Clinic lands commitment from Ryan Held, NCSU swimmer, and Rio Olympic Gold Medalist!

Good evening everyone!

This is just a reminder that our Swim-Across-America event will happen next Sunday, June 11 from 2:00-6:00 at the TAC.

We will be having our most exciting clinic ever this year, with some simulated open-water swimming, a water polo clinic, and as always, some fantastic honored guests who will lead clinics for us. It is open to all - last year we had swimmers aged 8-80 participate in the clinics and the Simulated Open-water swim.

Here's a partial list of the swimming luminaries that will be present:

Elaine Breeden, Beijing Olympics Silver Medalist (butterfly) 

Todd Dudley(Pan Am Games Champion in 100 freestyle),

Erika Braun (Masters National and World Record holder many times over, and Olympic Trials qualifier at age 41)

Ryan Held, 2016 Rio Olympic Gold Medalist in the 4*100 free relay! Yes, we have just confirmed that Ryan will be taking a break from training to come over and lead a clinic for us!

We will also be hosting Tim Payne, a U.S. Army soldier who lost both his legs to an IED in Iraq, but regained his health through competitive swimming, and is an Invictus Games Champion, having earned four medals, including in the 100 free!

Alex Rousseau, a water polo Olympian, will again lead a water polo lesson for all skill levels!

Each of these champions will be available for photos and autographs after the swim clinics conclude!

So, whether it's inspiration they are looking for, a new sport to add to their swimming cross-training (water polo), or some great technique tips from the best in the world, we will have it next Sunday. The best thing about it, it happens Tuesday before the first TSA meet. What better way to kick off the season than some instruction that kids will remember long after the TSA season is over?

There are currently a few spaces available, so register online to ensure your spots!

Here's the link:

Thanks, as always!
Steve Ross