Seeding Basics and Tips

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Seeding is the computerized assignment of athletes and relays into heats and lanes. An event can have from one to three rounds. A Timed Final event has one round.  A Prelim/Final event has two rounds.  If an event has Semi-Finals in addition to Preliminaries and Finals, then it has 3 rounds.  You specify the number of rounds for an event when you add the event to the database. Click Here for more information about how to do that in the Events Menu.


The Basics

There are two ways to make those Heat/Lane assignments - Manually or Automatically using the computer.  Another word for Manual Seeding is Deck Seeding. Click Here to learn about How To Deck Seed an Athlete or Relay.


There are 4 different ways of assigning entries to heats and lanes.


1.Timed Finals Seeding

The fastest athletes/relays are assigned lanes alternating left/right starting in the center of the pool. In an 8 lane pool, the lanes typically would be assigned 4-5-3-6-2-7-1-8 with the fastest entry in the heat in lane 4 and the slowest in lane 8. This type of seeding is used for one round events and for the final round of a multi-round event.

2.Circle Seeding

This format is used primarily for Preliminaries and Semis where the fastest swimmers are Circle Seeded in the last 3 heats using a straight serpentine method. In special cases the circle seeding is performed on more or less than the last 3 heats. All remaining heats are seeded using the Timed Finals methods.

3.Dual Seeding

This type of seeding is usually for meets with two to four teams competing in multiple dual meets.  Each team is assigned specific lanes. Click Here for how to assign lanes in dual meets.

4.Masters Championship Seeding

This is seeding by age then time specifically designed for Masters Swimming.


The seeding algorithms used by MEET MANAGER are the ones defined in the USA Swimming, United States Masters Swimming, and the FINA handbooks that support from 4 to 10 swim lanes.


Seeding Tips and Pointers

1.Deck Seeding is the manual process of assigning Swimmers and Relays to heats and lanes. You would do that in the Preview/Adjust Menu.
2.Before seeding, use the Scratch Pad to scratch athletes, relays, and alternates from the seeding process.
3.When seeding, any entry with SCR or Alt checked WILL NOT be seeded. Any entry with only EXH or Bonus checked WILL be seeded. The Bonus check box is used for indicating an extra event for a given athlete that maybe did not meet the qualifying time. If Seed Non-Conforming Times Last is selected in the Seeding Preferences, the bonus entries will be seeded after the regular entries.
4.When seeding, any entry with a special character assigned of *, #, !, or $ WILL NOT be seeded.
5.All athletes or relays entered with No Time will be seeded together randomly. This is also true for those entries entered with the same seed time. If an event is re-seeded, the entries with the same time will be randomized again, so it is important NOT to re-seed after the Heat Sheets have been printed.
6.You can re-seed the current round of an event as many times as you wish.  Once a round is completed, that round cannot be re-seeded. For example if the Prelims for a Prelims/Finals event have been completed, you cannot re-seed Prelims.  You can only seed round 2 – the Finals.
7.In no case does re-seeding erase any results previously entered.
8.To prevent an event from being seeded or re-seeded, check the Manual check box for the event.
9.To start an event over, go to File / Purge and select Reset Event Results and Seeding.
10.If a few new entries are received after seeding, consider using the Preview/Adjust Menu to drag and drop new entries into open lanes, to switch lanes for two entries, or to move a an entry from one lane into another open lane.
11.When seeding the second or third round of an event, you are alerted when there is a tie for any slot requiring a swim-off.  As an example, in an 8 lane pool with A-B-C finals, there is now a warning if there is a tie for 8th, 16th, 24th, and 25th (the alternate). A warning is given, but you can continue with the seeding and the ties will be randomly broken. However, all entries for last place will be seeded and this will cause an extra heat for finals. Instead of continuing with the seeding, you should go back to the Run Menu, select the prior round, click the JD button and break the tie. Ties are usually broken with a swim-off.