Progression through swimming

Swim strokes consist of:

Freestyle: 50/100/200/400/800/1500 metres

Breast stroke: 50/100/200 metres

Back crawl: 50/100/200 metres

Butterfly: 50/100/200 metres

Individual medley (IM): combined event of Fly back breast free and may be 100/200/400 metres

Short course: gala’s run in a 25 metre format

Long course: gala’s run in 50 metre format (UL arena or National Aquatic Centre NAC)

Qualification standards: usually referred to as cut offs or ‘times’ – a preset time a swimmer must achieve over a set distance in a particular stroke

Age up: Swimmers compete by age group, age up being 31st Dec in the year of competition e.g. if Anne turns 12 in August 2018, she must swim as a 12-year-old for that whole year

Invitation gala’s:

These galas are a club fundraiser and are typically open to all ages 9-Ov.

The usual ones we might attend would be Mallow, Fermoy, Waterford, Tipperary, Wexford, NRSC. The club will plan this within the annual calendar.

Invitations are generally fun galas and can be an opportunity to do those events that you might not otherwise get a chance to do.

Some will have preset qualification standards only e.g. Sundays Well, Dolphin, Ennis, NRSC, Wexford and will be defined by the hosting club

Fees paid by the swimmer to the hosting club via Team unify

Development gala’s:

Ages 10-Ov, generally one per term, fees paid by club

  • Development level 1 – open entry until cut off times are achieved (see table attached) These galas will offer 2 x 100 m (freestyle and IM) events and 4 x 50m events (free, back, breast, fly)

Swimmers can enter 1 x 100 M event and up to 3 x 50m events (e.g. 100 IM + 50 M back + 50m breast + 50m butterfly). Max 250m total in any given gala

  • Development level 2 – Entry via cut off times achieved at Dev level 1

These galas will offer 2 x 200m events (200 free and 200 IM) and 5 x 100m events (100m back + breast + fly + free + IM)

A swimmer may enter 1 x 200m free or IM and 3 x 100m back/breast/fly/free/IM

  • Development level 3 (Regional qualifying) entry via cut off times achieved at Dev level 2 (thereafter referred to as qualifying times)

These galas will offer a much wider range of events but may restrict entry into 50m back/breast/fly to 14-Ov

Progression from Development level 1 to level 2

Once a cut off time is reached, that event may no longer be entered at that level.

When a swimmer has reached the cut off in:

100M Free AND 100M Individual medley (IM)


100M Free OR 100M IM AND 2 x 50M events (Back, Breast, Fly)

he/she may now swim up to 4 events at a Development level 2 gala

When a swimmer reaches the cutoff in 100M free OR 100M IM, he/she can swim that event only at a development level 2 gala.

If the swimmer continues to progress in that one event and exceed the level 2 cutoff, that event may be swum at level 3 regional qualifying galas, while continuing to swim the other events at the lower level.

When a swimmer has reached the cutoff time in any 50m event at level 1, they must continue to swim at level one until the cut off is reached in a 100m event. However, they can no longer swim the 50m event at level 1.

Progression from Development level 2 to level 3 (Proposed but awaiting confirmation by SI Munster branch)

The same basic rules apply:

Once a swimmer reaches the cut-off in their age group in a 100m/200m event they may swim that event at level 3 or Regional qualifying galas.

Once they reach the cut-off in

200m Free and 200m IM


200m Free/200m IM + 2 x 100m events (Bk/ Br/Fly/IM)

They are now a level 3 swimmer and may enter the full range of events at a regional qualifying gala up to 400/800m Free, even if they do not have the qualifying times

(max 6 events at any given gala)


Munster/Irish minor and senior schools – open to all, arranged, entered and paid for by your school. Results will be received by the club and added to your file

Senior Events

These events take place over 2-5 days and are restricted to certain swimmers.

Qualification times will be published prior to each event and typically entrants are from A/B squads.

Eligibility lists will be published on TU prior to entry. If your name does not appear on the list, you do not qualify for the event

Regional championships short/long course 11-Ov (QF window - previous 15 months)

Irish Open SC Championships 12-Ov (QF window 1st Dec 2017 – 6th Nov 2018)

Gerry Ryan Invitation – LC, QF pathway to Irish Open Championships

Irish Open LC Swimming Championships 13-Ov (QF window 1st   July 2018 - 19th Feb 2019)

Munster age groups (QF window - previous 15 months)

Division 1 12-Ov and 2 11-Ov (QF window Jan 1st   _  Jun 18th 2019)