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Meets Explained

Introduction

This page summarizes details of the different type of Galas and events as well as other aspects when it comes to entering swimmers for events at Galas. Please note that if in doubt with regards to entering events for meets please check with the coach of the squad your child swims in.

Licensed Meets

(extract from this ASA document)

Every Swimmer must have the opportunity to swim in appropriate, quality competition to enable them to achieve their true potential”.

This is the mission statement that supports the purpose of Meet Licensing and these Criteria have been developed to provide clubs and competition providers with common ground rules for the conduct and delivery of such competition. All Licensed meets shall be subject to ASA Laws and Regulations and ASA Technical Rules of Racing, and to these Criteria.

Level 1

Meets at this level include long course National, Regional and County Championships.

Purpose: To enable athletes to achieve qualifying times suitable for entry into National, Regional and County Championships.

Pool Length – Long Course (50m) only.

Entry Criteria: A minimum qualifying time is required. Swimmers submitted entry time can be verified in ASA Rankings and must be from level 1 for National events and 1, 2 or 3 for Regional and County Championships. County Championships and Open Meets may choose also to accept entry times from level 4 meets.

Events: Meets can be held at any time, subject to restrictions shown on the ASA Competition Calendar and below, and the programme must include at least one 400m event for each gender. Meets in the qualifying period for the British Summer Championships must additionally include 800m and 1500m freestyle events on the programme.

Age Groups: Open Meets may choose as at 31st December in year of competition or age on the last day of the competition. Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on the last day of the competition.

Electronic Timing and anti-turbulence lane ropes are required.

Level 2

Meets at this level include short course National, Regional and County Championships.

Purpose: To enable athletes to achieve qualifying times suitable for entry into National, Regional and County Championships.

Pool Length – Short Course (25m) only.

Entry Criteria: A minimum qualifying time is required. Swimmers submitted entry time can be verified in Rankings and must be from level 1or 2 for National events and 1, 2 or 3 for Regional and County Championships. County Championships and Open Meets may choose also to accept entry times from level 4 meets.

Events: Meets can be held at any time, subject to restrictions shown on the ASA Competition Calendar and below, and the programme must include at least one 400m event for each gender.

Age Groups: Open Meets may choose as at 31st December in year of competition or age on the last day of the competition. Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on the last day of the competition.

Electronic Timing and anti-turbulence lane ropes are required. Officials: See requirements below 

Level 3

Purpose: To enable athletes to achieve times suitable for entry into Regional and County Championships and other Meets at Level 1 or Level 2.

Pool Length- Long Course (50m) or Short Course (25m)

Qualification Standards. Upper cut-off times are required for entry, and lower qualifying times may be set.

Events: Varied range of Strokes and Distances is recommended

Age Groups: As at 31st December in year of competition or age on the last day of the competition. Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on the last day of the Competition, except for single club competitions, when ASA Law applies.

Electronic Timing is required. 

Level 4

A single club competition restricted to its members (as in Club Championships and Time Trials), or Inter-club competitions providing:

  • The event does not include more than eight clubs.
  • The participating clubs must be invited by the promoter to take part in the event.
  • The promoter has supplied the conditions for the event.
  • The whole event takes place in one pool on one occasion and does not form a series of events, the results of which are aggregated or considered together to decide the eventual winner.

Purpose: For the development of inexperienced athletes and those seeking to compete outside their own club environment. Times recorded are suitable for entry into County Championships where acceptable to the County concerned, and Meets at Level 3.

Times are not acceptable for entry into Regional and National Events.

Pool Length - Any pool length 25m or greater. Times will go into Rankings as Short Course for pools less than 50m

Age Groups: As at 31st December in year of competition or age on the last day of the competition. Minimum Age: as specified in ASA Law appropriate to the competition. Electronic Timing recommended but not essential

Qualifying Times

Competitions are limited to certain durations so this means that organisers have to limit the entries through qualifying times. Meet requirements usually include qualifying times and only swimmers who have achieved the relevant time are able to enter that event. Even then they are not guaranteed entry. If the meet is oversubscribed, swimmers with the slower entry times may be rejected or "scratched" from that event. Some meets are on a first come / first serve basis and hence swimmers who enter first have a higher chance of acceptance. Sometimes there are also upper time limits known as "No Faster Times" preventing higher standard swimmers from entering lower level competitions.

Please note the following restrictions on championship qualifying times:

  • County Championships
    Qualifying times can be achived in any ASA licencesed meet (L1, L2, L3 and L4) and listed in the ASA ranking database. Please check the most recent championship conditions for the period of when these times must have been achived.
  • Regional Championships
    Qualifying times have to be achieved at L1, L2 or L3 ASA licencesed meets and listed in the ASA ranking database. Please check the most recent championship conditions for the period of when these times must have been achived.
  • National Championships
    Qualifying times have to be achieved at L1 ASA licencesed meets and listed in the ASA ranking database. Please check the most recent championship conditions for the period of when these times must have been achived.

Most meets only have qualifying times for either Short Course or Long Course (or vice versa). If the meet allows for entering converted times then you have to convert you swimmers time to the equivalent time as required. See below for more details on this.

Time Conversions

Generally speaking times for a given distance are faster in shorter pools; for example the 100m Freestyle world record of 46.91 set at the Rome World Championships, is almost two seconds slower than the equivalent short course record of 44.94. This is due to the long course race having fewer turns, and the fact that the push off from the wall allows a swimmer to move faster, and often with less drag, than normal swimming. 

For most meets there is only one set of qualifying times. If the meet allows to enter converted times (from Short Course to Long course or vice versa) one has to use the ASA Performace and Time Conversion tables. These are avaible from the ASA at the following link. Fortunately 'Pullbuoy' has kindly created an online tool do the conversion for you. All you have to do is enter the specific details and time of the event and then select the relevant conversion method, 'ASA Tables' in this case. Please use the following link to convert your times: http://www.pullbuoy.co.uk/times.