Yesterday I talked about how teams place in their divisions based on their win/loss records and their performance at the two divisional meets. You might assume that the division winners would move up a division next season.
You'd be wrong. They might move up one or two or several divisions--or they might stay where they are. It is even theoretically possible that the division winner could move down. How could that be? Simple. A team's division assignment isn't based on this year's meets--it's based on this year's times.
What does this mean? It means our automation gurus create a virtual team for each MCSL team using the median times from the 5 dual meets. They then have a computerized swim-off, pitting each virtual team against all the other teams in the league. Those with the most wins end up in "A" division. Those with the fewest wins--or brand new teams--end up in our lowest division. (Right now, "O" division.)
If you study the division assignments in our handbook very carefully--yes, you are a geek!--you'll see that, particularly in the middle of the league, sometimes a team with fewer points is in a higher division than a team with more points. It's wins that count here, with points only being used to break ties.
While there is a significant difference between Division A and Division O, there is not so much difference between Divisions D, E, and F, for example. So it wouldn't be surprising for teams to bounce a couple divisions up or down from year to year.
How do we get the times for this computerized swim off? It's easy now--you can just upload the file. But in the Old Days before the league was computerized, the rep--or some poor soul--had to write down all the times for every meet. (Below you can see--if your monitor is good and my camera skills don't prove completely terrible--a copy of the "MCSL Swimoff Worksheet" from 1990. The top two pictures are close ups of the third. This version had 5 pages and didn't capture the first heat of the double heat freestyle events.) Someone then entered the averages into a computer for the swim off...I think.
And in the Old, Old Days before personal computers were around? Then I think we did "time in water"--adding up all the swim times. The teams with the fastest swims--and so the lowest number--were in "A." But anyone with more information--please feel free to correct me!