Below you will find useful information and documents from COPS, British Swimming and Swim England to help navigate competitions.

Competition Structure

Competitions in England and Britain are broken down in to 4 license categories -

  • Level 4 These are normally Club Championships or very small competitions.
  • Level 3 These will be small open meets, with 'cut off times' [if you have a personal best faster than the cut off time you can not race that event at this meet].
  • Level 2 Bigger open meets, with 'qualifying times' [if you have a personal best slower than the qualifying time you can not race that event at this meet].
  • Level 1 The biggest open meets and competitions across the country, normally held Long Course [in a 50m Pool]. This type of meet will have a strict criteria including QTs or a specific ranking expected.

As swimmers progress through the program at COPS, and depending on the squad they are in, they will be expected to compete at a wide range of licensed meets.

A time achieved at a licensed event will appear on the British Swimming Rankings website. They can be viewed here.

A licensed time will assist in qualifying for Swim England and British Swimming Events, the natural progression for hard working and talented swimmers as they move up through COPS is -

  1. County Development Championships Normally held around November, but varies each season.
  2. County Championships Held over 2 to 3 weekends in January/February.
  3. Regional Summer Championships Held in July each season.
  4. Regional Long Course Championships Held in late April/early May.
  5. Home Nation Summer Championships End of season meet, as a member of COPS this is automatically English Champs, but can be Scottish/Welsh depending on which home nation you select.
  6. British Summer Championships End of season meet, the top 24 ranked swimmers in each age group are invited to compete.
  7. British Championships/Olympic Trials Held in April each season. Olympic trials held in the year of an Olympic Games.

COPS also compete in a variety of non-licensed leagues. In each league competition swimmers will race for points, representing COPS. 

  • Junior Fenland League The JFL is a novice style league against teams in the local area. Swimmers from Mini/Development/JP/Comp are expected to attend when selected.
  • Arena National Swim League This is the premier swimming league in England and Wales. COPS compete in the East Midlands league, the winner of which then represents the East Midlands in the national final. Swimmers from JP/Comp/AGP/Comp+/Performance are expected to attend when selected. 

Over the season COPS traditionally host four Open Meets.

  • The 'Mini Meet'A competition held over 4 rounds, designed to help juniors build experience in a fun, low pressure environment.
  • The 'Winter Meet' normally held early/mid December. This offers swimmers a final opportunity to gain QTs for County Champs.
  • The 'Last Chance Meet', held early March. This offer swimmers a final opportunity to gain QTs for Regionals.
  • The 'Sprintastic'. A fast paced meet held early July, perfect for all swimmers especially those needing a fast racing environment before Summer Nationals.

Preparing for a Competition Weekend

It is important to plan ahead before a weekend of racing. Please see this document for more information on factors to consider.

At competitions, the food taken on board can have a major impact on your racing. Attached here is a document from British Swimming to help you decide on what food to prepare.

How to Enter

For COPS members, please log in to your Team Unify account. On the events page you will see a list of competitions. It is important to read ALL the information regarding that event, plus attachments, before entering. Many events have criteria that must be met. Entering a competition when you haven't met the criteria could result in you being charged unnecessarily for that Open Meet.

For league competitions, such as the JFL or NAL, the selected teams will appear on the information page for that event, all you will need to do is then confirm your attendance by 'committing' to the event.