Being a competitive swimmer

As a competitive club we wish all of our swimmers to have the opportunity to compete against other clubs and swimmers.  We offer this in a number of ways.

Club Galas

These are events run by a swim club against a number of invited clubs (depending on the number of lanes available). Each club will enter a team of swimmers and will compete a number of races against each other with points awarded on each race.  These are usually run on a Saturday evening.

A team will be selected by a coach and invites are normally sent out a couple of weeks ahead of the event via OnDeck and you can let the club know of availability


League Galas

These are similar to a club gala but are run by the local swimming authorities.  The club enters a number of these during the season

West Midlands Arena League, Leicester Autumn, Winter and Spring Leagues

Leicestershire Diddy League (12 and under), Notts and Derby Diddy League (12 and under)

Each league runs 3 rounds with the final round being a final for the top 6-8 ranked clubs.  Participation in the final can result in becoming league winners and possible promotion to a higher league.


Open Meets

An Open Meet gives a swimmer the opportunity to swim against other swimmers outside of the club.  The club will enter a number of Open Meets during the course of a season and your coach can advise on open meets that may be suitable for the swimmer.  At an open meet coaches will be available to advise swimmers and provide feedback to them after their race.

Open meets allow swimmers to get registered times with the ASA.  Obtaining registered times can allow a swimmer to qualify for county championships. As a swimmer progress they could qualify for Regional and then National competitions held later in the year.

Open meets take place at weekends can last a day or a full a weekend.  Each day is usual made up of 2 or 3 sessions, with a warm-up at the beginning of each session.  

Medals are usually awarded for the top 3 positions and may be awarded on age. These could be awarded on a ‘heat determined winners’ (HDW) basis, meaning it’s the time set in a heat which will count towards any medal. Some meets will have finals at the end of each session for the top 6/8 swimmers to race in. 



Licensed open meets mean the event 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.

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). Times can be used for Derbyshire County Championships entry

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.  


Club Championships

Swadlincote Dolphins host their annual Club Championships in September/October each year. All fully paid members are able to compete, and they are the ideal place to start swimming in a competitive environment within the friendly club environment


Useful Websites 

ASA Results & Rankings:

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