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Entering Competitions Explained

For parents of new and young swimmers, understanding the various types of competitions and when swimmers are ready to compete in them is one of the most challenging aspects of gaining an understanding of swimmers. Please be patient with swimmers during their early performances as many simple mistakes can lead to disqualification, it is important that swimmers understand that this is all part of the learning process.

Open Meet Competitions
All of these events require the swimmers to choose and enter the events they wish to swim. We have an automatic entry system which is accessed on the Events section of both our TeamUnify website as well as the Ondeck App. Coaches and Team managers support the swimmers at these events. Results of all levels of swimming competitions get uploaded to the SwimEngland rankings database.
There are 4 levels of Open Meet competitions

Level 4 

  • Competitions which are restricted to a maximum of the host club + a maximum of 5 invited clubs.
  • Club Championships are an example of a Level 4 Competition
  • Typically, these are hosted at the club’s home pool.
  • These represent a great opportunity to enter events and get results listed on the SwimEngland Rankings for the first time.
  • Swimmers can enter these events with a ‘No Previous Time (NT)’ submission but if the swimmer has a ranked time it is better to use it so they swim in the correct heat 
  • Ranked times achieved in Level 4 galas can be used to enter Level 3 competitions and County Championships

Level 3

  • Host Clubs create a set of promoter’s conditions which include published time bands for each event. Swimmers current times must fall between the Upper (or slowest allowable time which in some cases can be NT) and Lower (no faster than) times to be allowed to 
  • These competitions can take place in either Long Course (50m) or Short Course(25m) pools
  • Swimmers need to refer to the promoter’s conditions for each of these to judge if it is suitable 
  • On our Events page we indicate which squads each selected competition is targeted at, if in doubt consult your squad coach
  • All results are submitted to the Swim England rankings database. Times achieved at Level 3 competitions can be used to enter Level 2 & level 1 events as well as regional and County Championships

Level 1 & 2 Competitions

  • Host Clubs create a set of promoter’s conditions which include qualifying standards for each event.
  • To enter the swimmers time must be equal to or faster than the qualifying standard 
  • These events are designed for qualification to enter National Championships 
  • Level 1 is always Long Course
  • Level 2 is always Short Course

Championships Events 
These work in exactly the same way as all four levels of Open Meets but are restricted to entries from swimmers based on geographical club affiliation 

  • County Championship – Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire 
  • Regional Championship – South East Region
  • Home Nations Championship – England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland Swimmer can enter either enter the in country of their birth or the country which their club is based.
  • National Championships – British championships also known as the ‘Trial @ for whichever major event takes place in the year – either Olympic, Commonwealth or World Championships

League and Novice Team Events

  • Swimmers are selected by the coaches and invited to participate 
  • No entry required 
  • These include relays and are really fun 
  • Arena – U/11 , U/13,U/15 & Open age groups 
  • Junior Arena & Thames Valley Junior League age groups 9,10,11 & 12 years.
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