The metric system was instituted by France in 1795 and replaced the English system of weights and measures. The metric system has been adopted by most countries because it is much easier to use than the English system because the units are easier to convert. To go from one unit to the next larger unit in the metric system, such as a decimeter to a meter, you divide by 10. In the English system, it varies. For example, to go from ounces to pounds, you divide by 16; to go from pounds to tons, you divide by 2,000.
A meter is equal to 1.0936 yards, so to convert from meters to yards, multiply by 1.0936. For example, 10 meters would be equivalent to 10.936 yards. To convert from yards to meters, divide by 1.0936. For example, 20 yards would be equal to about 18.288 meters.
Swim meets can take place in pools of several sizes, with the most common being 25-yard pools, also known as short-course yard pools; 25-meter pools, also known as short-course meter pools; and 50-meter pools, also known as long-course meter pools. To compare times swum by athletes in different pools, conversion factors have been developed. USA Swimming does not officially support conversion factors, but when conversions are necessary, it has developed a list of factors. For example, if you are a man who swims a 50 freestyle in 51 seconds in a 25-yard pool, you would multiply by 1.1573 so your equivalent time for the 50 free in a 50-meter pool would be about 59.02 seconds.
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