Gala and Meet Information

Below is a summary of the different competitive swimming events available.

No swimmer can compete in “Licensed Meets” until they are 9 years old (with the exception of Club Champs).

You can look up swimmers national ranking and individual rankings at:

Event Rankings (Last 12 Months) | Swim England (swimmingresults.org)

Individual Best Times | Swim England (swimmingresults.org)

https://uk.teamunify.com/oosc/UserFiles/File/How%20to%20guide/guide-to-the-se-rankings-website_033980.pdf

Meet Application 

Meet information is sent out by email by the Gala Secretary. Instructions are given on Team Unify on how to enter. The usual cost is around £7 per race. In most cases the age you swim at is how old you are on the day of the competition “Age at Day”, or at the 31st December.

Swimmers’ times can be accessed via On Deck the Team Unify app for your phone or via the TU website or ASA swim rankings.

 

I have no Times!

This occurs when it comes to entering your first Gala, or when entering a particular race for the first time. Usually when you are in this situation the Club will organise “Time Trials” which are run during Training Sessions; your Coach will tell you when they will be taking place. The Club also hold “Club Champs” once a year where you can get times.

If you find that a swimmer is eligible to enter every race, think twice before entering them all. Look at how many sessions there are, and consider whether you and your swimmer want to be at a gala from 7 am to 7 pm. Always discuss race selection with your coach if in doubt. 

 

Expectations of EDSC

If you are sent an invitation to a gala, you are expected to enter. Please advise your Coach if you are not able to attend.

Accepted Entries

Team Unify will show “accepted entries” after the accepted entries are released. These are often shown on the host Swimming Clubs website. Although rare, sometimes your entry may be rejected. If this happens your entry fee will be refunded by Team Unify. However, if you do not turn up for your race or withdraw, your fee is non-refundable. If you wish to withdraw please let your Coach know ASAP so that the organisers can be advised.

Structure of galas

Swimming galas, often referred to as ‘Meets’, are usually run according to rules set out by the Amateur Swimming Association “ASA”. These galas take various forms. In our club we are involved in different types, the main ones being:

Open Galas/Meets

These galas are usually open to swimmers who are at least 9 years old at the date of the gala. These can be designated (licensed by the ASA as a level 1, 2, 3 or 4 (to be introduced), or not, ie just Club Champs / fun gala. A summary is below but further detail is available on the ASA website.  

Level 4 – generally for the less experienced

Level 3 - times achieved at these can, subject to the swimmer meeting the qualifying times, be used to enter County and Regional championships. These tend to state a time that the swimmer must not have swum faster than (an Upper Limit) and also a Lower Limit, ie the swimmer must have swum faster than the Lower Limit. Some Level 3 Meets give ‘speeding tickets’ to swimmers who swim faster than the stated times.

Level 2 - tend to specify an Upper Limit, and also, Lower Limit.

Level 1 - these are the most challenging. Times achieved in the levels 1 and 2 Meets can, subject to the swimmer meeting the qualifying times, be used to enter County, Regional and National championships, these just specify Lower Limit times – ie the swimmer must have swum faster in order to enter.

Each organizer of a gala will state what level it is and what times you need to have met to enter. These can vary between organizers – even at the same gala level.

Surreys, South East Regional Champs and South East Regional Development Galas (SER)

Surrey Championships are open to all swimmers who will be 10 by the 31st December of the year of the competition and who have achieved the qualifying times for their age group.

SER Championships are open to all swimmers above the age of 10 who have achieved a time faster than the “Cut off” or “Qualifying Time”. SER Development Galas are for children who are not fast enough to have qualified for any regional or county competitions but show potential.

All such swimmers have to live in the County/Region they are looking to compete in, or they must complete an “Eligibility Form” and submit it to the Club. We swim in the Surrey County championships and South East Region

National Championships

These are open to swimmers who have swum faster than stated times in Level 1 or 2 Meets (held between 1 October and 31 May), or in the County championships (February to March), or in some cases, the Regional Championships (usually June). This competition applies to approximately the fastest 1% of swimmers in the Country. These are divided in to British Age Group Category (“BAGCATS”) National championships for 11-14 year old boys, and 11-13 year old girls; and the Youth championships for 15-18 year old boys and 14-17 year old girls. Ages are usually as at one of the first 6 days in August.

 

Arena League Galas

The Club sends a team to these, and the team that goes (and they often differ from league gala to league gala) will normally consist of both boys and girls of all age groups above 9 years old – 9 year olds tend to swim in the relays only. Entry into these is by invitation only and selected by the Coaches. Usually no more than 5 children per age group are chosen and will be the fastest combination for their age within the Club. You are never told what you are swimming until you arrive! To be chosen to swim in this is a great achievement and honour.