Swimming Terminology


FINA: world governing body for all swimming disciplines

LEN: European governing body for swimming disciplines

British Swimming: the governing body of all swimming disciplines in Britain

Scottish Swimming (SASA or SS): is the corporate name for the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association and is the governing body of all swimming disciplines in Scotland

West District: the distrcict REN96 is in.  Scotland is split into four districts, North, East, Midland and West

PB:  Personal Best, which indicates a swimmer’s fastest time for a given event

DQ: Disqualification, which means that a swimmer has broken one of more of the FINA rules for the stroke of the rules of the stroke at some point during a race.  Starts, turns and the swim are overseen by qualified judges who note this and pass it to the referee

ALT: Alternate, meaning that a swimmer is a reserve for an event. They will only get a swim if a swimmer who has qualified is withdrawn.

SCR: Scratched, meaning that a swimmer has been rejected for an event and will not be able to swim. They will be rejected is they are slower/faster than the required time or if the meet / competition has been oversubscribed

Entry time: the time submitted by the coach for a swimmer being entered into a meet / competition a gala

Consideration time: the maximum entry time for a particular event that the host of the meet / competition will consider. However, achieving this time does not guarantee acceptance of entry. The number and quality of other entries will determine this

Qualifying time: the time required to qualify outright for a particular event. This should lead to acceptance of entry but is only used for district or national meets

Accredited meet: where there is a sufficient number of technical officials to ensure that all swims are legal and therefore, accredited

Accredited time: a time that has been achieved at an accredited meet. These are required for bigger meets, for example the Scottish Championships

Flyer: a false start or an early take over in a relay race

Freestyle: a competitive swimming stroke. Swimmers can choose to do any one of the four competitive stokes (see below) in an individual Freestyle race, with frontcrawl chosen as it is the fastest. In an IM / Indivudual Medley or team medley relay swim, swimmers must swim frontcrawl

IM: Individual Medley, where the swimmer swims all four strokes in the order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle (Frontcrawl)

Medley Relay – four swimmers each swim a different stroke where the order is: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle (Frontcrawl)

Heat Declared Winner (HDW): no final is swum and the positions are decided by the times swum in the heats.  You will need to check Meet Mobile or the sheets posted at various places around the pool at these types of meets

Swim Too Fast / Speeding Ticket: where a swimmer has swum faster than the time band in a graded meet and is ineligible to win a medal. They instead win a ‘Too Fast’ badge, pin or rosette award from the host club.  This is a sign the summer is ready to take on more challeging meets

Short course (SC): event held in a 25m pool.  All of our pools are 25m

Long course (LC): event held in a 50m pool, e.g. Tollcross, East Kilbridge, The Commonweath pool in Edinbugh.

Squadron Relay: where there are swimmers at each end of the pool in a relay.  Each swimmer only does one length.  Fast, furious, fun and very loud!