USA Swimming has released an updated version of its “motivational times” for the upcoming 2017-2020 quad.
The time standards set varying marks for swimmers of every age group, ranging from B to AAAA based on relative speed within the age group. Each age group has B standards, BB standards, A standards, AA standards, AAA standards and AAAA standards to give swimmers benchmarks for goal-setting and to track improvement. Per USA Swimming’s website: “Here you will find age group time standards designed to encourage age group swimmers to step their swimming up to the next level. These time standards guide you from just starting out in your age group to reaching your highest potential. Start at Level B and work your way up to Level AAAA times.”
You can see how the motivational times are determined here. Though this document is still from the 2012 quad, it lays out the mathematical process for determining the motivational standards for each age group.
There are time standards for both each traditional age group (10&unders, 11-12s, 13-14s, etc) and for each specific age from 10 to 18. USA Swimming has also released a document showing how much each time standard has changed from the previous quad. You can see all of these documents below: