Counties dates for your diary
Galas and Open meets
Galas tend to be a series of competitions involving the same clubs within a league, such as the Arena or the Nuneaton Diddy League, where the swimmers swim as a team. We also have friendly galas that are just arranged between local clubs where the swimmers just swim for times and again compete as a club.
Open Meets are competitions that are usually organised by one club and held as a single event on one day or over a weekend. They aren’t part of a League, and they sometimes have qualifying times. This means that the organisers can restrict who enters by setting a time that the swimmer must have achieved to be able to compete. Some Open Meets also have upper limits so that very fast swimmers can’t enter, and it lets others have a chance.
They usually have medals awarded in each event for either top 3, top 6 or top 8 places. They can be HDW, which stands for Heat Declared Winner, or they can swim in heats and the fastest swimmers go through to the final.
The main difference is that the swimmer is swimming as an individual representing their club. For example, if the swimmer enters an Open, and swims the 50m Freestyle, they could find that there are 50 other swimmers in that event, from 12 different clubs. They would swim for Coalville, but be placed as an individual swimmer. The events are all swam in age groups as well.
Open meets are usually good fun, and are a good way to get times and swim for Personal Bests (PB's) They can seem more competitive than galas but it’s a good experience for the swimmers to have a go. The rules of swimming really count in these, and swimmers have to make sure that they finish each stroke correctly etc. or they will get disqualified (DQ'd). It may seem strict, but if they listen in training and concentrate, they should all be fine!
Competition Information & Licensing Levels at Open Meets
“Every swimmer must have the opportunity to swim in appropriate competition to enable them to achieve their true potential”.
Competition for All: Competition that compliments training cycles.
Levels of Open Meets
Open Meets are licensed according to the purpose of the Competition. There are four tiers of structured competition.
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Level 4
In order to try and provide “quality competition” at all levels, British Swimming has introduced a system of “Meet Licensing”. Licenses will be granted at different “Levels”. This requires all Licensed Meets to have entry “Qualifying / Consideration” times. Levels 2 and 3 Licensed Meets should also have “Upper Limit Cut Off” times as well. By the correct application of these Qualifying and Cut Off times Licensed Meets at the different levels become only available for entry to swimmers of the appropriate ability. For more details of Meet Licensing refer to http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/.
Level 1 is aimed at National qualifiers, or swimmers close to National qualification, looking for opportunities to achieve National qualifying times for National events at British, ASA and Welsh.
These meets will have qualifying times for entry, which will be just below the national times – minimum standard equivalent to the “A” graded qualifying times as published on the British Swimming website.
For Girls 11, 12, 13 yrs and Boys 11, 12, 13, 14 yrs - No 50m events are included.
Level 2 is aimed at Regional qualifiers and will have qualifying times and upper limit times. Access to the ASA ranking information could be used to enable meet organisers to verify that entry times submitted fall within the stated range.
Swimmers who achieve a National qualifying time at a Level 2 meet may use that time for entry into National competitions.
These meets will have qualifying times and upper limit qualifying times - upper limit qualifying times should not be faster than ASA Age Group & Youth Qualifying Times for their respective age group.
For Girls 11, 12 and 13yrs & Boys 11, 12, 13, 14yrs - No 50m events are included.
Level 3 is for club swimmers who are looking to achieve Regional qualifying times and again would have qualifying and upper limit times set at an appropriate level. These meets would provide a programme throughout the year to support the requirements of swimmers below Regional level.
Meets include graded meets at “A”, “B” and “C”, and Sprint Meets.
Regional qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at Level 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Level 4 meets are intended for club swimmers, those beginning competition and those swimmers wishing to achieve a Regional qualifying time.
Meets include Development meets, Club Championships and Swimming Leagues.
If electronic timing is used, the times can be submitted for ranking purposes.
Regional qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at Level 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Minimum Age for Competition
Licensed meets shall be swum as “age on day” (i.e. Age of the swimmer at midnight on the day of the event or the final day of a series of events forming part of one competition whichever is the later).
Level 1, 2 and 3 meets - minimum age for competition is 8 yrs, see above definition.
Level 4 meet - minimum age for competition is 7 yrs, see above definition.
Events restricted to members of one club, e.g. Club Championships - No minimum age.
For Nation ASA Age Group and Youth Championships qualification for the 800m & 1500m events must now be achieved in a long course (50 metre) pool.
Qualifying Times and Upper Limit Times
These are times set by meet organizers for each event in the programme in order to control the number of entries in a meet. A qualifying time is the time that a swimmer must have already achieved in order to enter the competition.
However, some meets will also have an upper limit time for each event, which means that swimmers who have previously achieved times faster than the upper limit time are not eligible for this event. The effect of having qualifying times and upper limit times for a meet is to target swimmers in a particular time range.
Qualifying times are set for National, Welsh and Regional competitions and these also provide a standard which coaches can use to indicate the level of their swimmers. For example, within a club, swimmers may be selected for particular training groups if they have these times.
The requirement of having achieved a qualifying time in order to enter for an event relies significantly on the integrity of coaches, swimmers and parents to submit correct, truthful information. This is a clear expectation within the WASA Code of Conduct. However, with more times being submitted into the National ranking system it is also possible for times to be checked.
Acceptance Criteria for Entries
Even with qualifying and upper limit times, some meets will be over-subscribed i.e. there would be too many swimmers for the pool time available.
All meets are required to make a clear statement regarding acceptance criteria for entries.
This could include one or more of the following:
- Top (x) number taken in an event, based on the submitted entry times. This is a standard procedure for regulating the number of swimmers in an event, even if some of the other options below are adopted.
- Entries only open to swimmers from a restricted area (e.g. Region) then the remaining places filled from outside the area.
- First come – first served. This ensures that an individual swimmer is accepted in all the events for which they have the qualifying time, even though they may be slower in some events than those who are rejected. This is a useful procedure with the younger swimmers who are being encouraged to compete over a range of events.
National Ranking Lists
All times from Regional and National competitions together with those from Licensed Open Meets are included in a national database from which ranking lists are produced. These can be viewed on the British Swimming website. http://www.swimmingresults.org/eventrankings/
East Midlands Qualifying Times 2019
Counties Qualification Times 2020
Annual Club Championship Records
Where and when we train
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