Read me first Age Adjustment

This is draft document and requires finalisation.


The Masters Swimming Age Adjustment mechanism is used to standardise the times of swimmers of differing ages.  The Age Adjustment mechanism may be regarded as a handicap system that takes account of the swimmers speed changing as they age.


Other sports use handicap systems that can be used at the time of the competition, e.g.

  1. Golf handicap, where strokes are adjusted according to handicap,
  2. Horse racing, additional weight carried to slow the better horse down.


In swimming, it is not possible to handicap at the time of competition.  Currently, a pseudo handicap system is used to adjust the swimming times after an event.  


The British Masters Swimming Decathlon Competition is a competition that uses age adjusted times to determine performance across all ages.  Up to 2012 it used what is known as the Finnish Formula to calculate age adjusted times.


Other masters’ competitions also use age adjusted times to determine medal and trophy awards.


Whilst the Finnish Formula has been useful, it is believed by the swimming community that there are limitations in the application of the Finnish Formula.  Thus a review of age adjustment formula(e) was undertaken on behalf of the ASA Masters Technical committee.


The purpose of this review was to find an improved single formula that will replace the Finnish Formula.


The review concluded that an improved single formula could not be found.


The files within this link give an overview of the age adjustment in Masters swimming and the resultant findings and formulae.


A copyright has been placed on the formulae to stop others claiming a copyright.  The formulae are available on request for public use within masters swimming for free as long as the user does not profit from the use of the formulae.  If you wish to use the formulae please contact me so I can keep my database of users up to date.