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What's an Open Meet?

Open Meets provide the opportunity to see how a swimmer rates against other swimmers, potentially from a much larger range of competitors. Open Meets are hosted by many swimming clubs and, as the name would suggest, are ‘open’ to all swimmers who qualify.  Open meets are also categorised into ‘licensed’ and ‘unlicensed.’  Licensed meets are also divided into ‘levels’.

Open meets are very much part of the pattern of swimming life if swimmers wish to achieve some or all of the targets below:

  • Children become competitive, as they refine and practise skills, and develop co-ordination and cognitive abilities 

  • Helps to develop healthy attitudes about winning and losing

  • Children learn about their abilities and limitations

  • Learn to participate in team events as well as an individual

  • Learn about rules of sport

  • Can encourage growth and push children to excel

Open meets can last a full day, a weekend, or even longer (may include a Friday night). Each day is divided into 2 or 3 sessions, with a warm-up at the beginning of each session.  Each session will consist of a number of events.

Medals are usually awarded for the top 3 positions and may be awarded on age. These could awarded on a ‘heat determined winners’ (HDW) basis, meaning  it’s the time set in a heat which will count towards any medal. Other meets may involve finals, in which the top swimmers from the heats compete later in the day, when hopefully they have had time to recover. In addition to awards for individual events, there may be a ‘top boy’ and a ‘top girl’ award, which are determined on a point basis. There will often be a ‘top club’, or top visiting club’ award, which is determined by a system of aggregating all the swims from a club.

Awards may be given immediately after an event has completed (and the times collated) if the event is HDW. If there are finals then awards may not be made until the end of the session.

LEVELS OF MEET

Open meets are divided into ‘licensed’, and ‘unlicensed’. This distinction refers to whether the meet has a licence from the ASA, who impose certain conditions for a meet to be licensed such as the requirement for officials to be qualified.

Details vary depending on whether it is ‘unlicensed’ in which case there are normally no qualifying times – but the times achieved in the meet then aren’t entered on to the ASA Rankings.

The ‘licensed’ meets fall into 4 classes –

Level 1 meets will expect entry times to be converted to an equivalent 50m pool time if set in a 25m pool (find conversion times websites here). Times recorded can be used as entry times for National & Regional Championships. Qualifying times will be used.

Level 2 meets are held in 25m pools, so you need provide times for 25m (you may need to convert from 50m pool times). Times recorded can be used as entry times for National & Regional Championships. Qualifying times will be used.

Level 3 meets can be held in 25m or 50m pools. Times recorded can be used for County or District qualification (and Level 1 & 2 meets). Qualifying times will be used plus ‘upper limit’ times (‘not faster than’).

Level 4 meets are relatively uncommon, and have been redefined for 2012 by the ASA to be for just one club entry (e.g. club championships, invitational meets where up to 8 clubs are invited).

Meets held in 50m pools are usually called ‘Long Course (LC) meets, and 25m pools ‘Short Course’ (SC) meets.

The qualifying times for licensed meets reflect the different standards (fast for Level 1 and 2, not so fast for Level 3), and Level 3 meets will also have a ‘not faster’ than time.  Some meets will issue ‘speeding tickets’ if you still manage to exceed the ‘not faster than’ time as opposed to a medal.

National qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at level 1 & 2.

Regional & County qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at level 1, 2 & 3.

League Galas (Milton Keynes Junior League, Arena League)

Maxwell will also select a team to swim against other clubs in a National League competition.  This is an opportunity to practice racing, make friends and to enhance the team spirit.  The swims usually comprise individual swims as well as relay swims.

The Milton Keynes Junior League is for children aged 9 years to 12 years while Arena League is aimed at 10/11 years to 16 years plus. 

It is obviously a privilege to be picked for a team that represents your club and we would ask that swimmers do everything possible to ensure they attend team events to ensure the club has the strongest team possible.

Useful Websites

ASA Results & Rankings:

http://www.swimmingresults.org/

Membership Check (to check your times from licensed meets and for your ASA number)

https://www.swimmingresults.org/membershipcheck/