SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which short course meet format they cared most about:
Question: Which format do you care more about?
- Short Course Yards – 78.8%
- Short Course Meters – 21.2%
SwimSwam voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of short course yards, with almost 8 out of 10 voters selecting the yards system.
NCAA meets and major short course yard or meter records are almost-inevitably met with a barrage of comments about how little commenters care about each course (though clearly enough to comment about them and occasionally get into arguments over them). While there are plenty loud detractors of both courses, it’s about as expected that short course yards was favored so heavily in this poll, given SwimSwam’s large American reader base and the popularity of NCAA swimming, even among international fans.
Of course fans can argue about the respective merits of short course yards and short course meters as barometers for long course meters success. But swimming fandom is slowly starting to come to a startling realization that short course swimming can be an end in and of itself. Katinka Hosszu has made a small fortune swimming short course meter World Cup meets. Swimmers have had stellar careers and earned huge accolades for NCAA accomplishments that elevate their careers and even make them household names (among dedicated swimming fans at least) even without ever “transferring” over their successes to the long course pool.
Perhaps there was a time that swimming was an every-four-years sport, a time when only the Olympics mattered and swims within the three “off years” were only significant based on how they projected a swimmer to fare at the next Olympic cycle. Those days (if they ever existed) are gone. Swimming is not just an every-four-years sport; it’s an every-day sport. And fans are proving that short course swimming – meters or yards – can be meaningful in and of itself, regardless of how well it translates to Olympic viability.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters which SwimSquad they’ll be backing during this year’s Pro Swim Series:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner