Events / Open Meets Explained

Main ​Types of Events/Meets

  • Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire (B&SB) Development Meet - This is a County Development Gala aimed at swimmers who do not regularly achieve county times. The meet is licensed Level 3, and is open to swimmers aged between 10 and 14 on the last day of the year. Coaches will advise swimmers if they should enter. Entry has to be made by the individual on the county website. Watch out for the closing date.
  • Amersham Swimming Club (ASC) Championships – these are held in September and December each year. All swimmers should enter if eligible. For the younger Academy swimmers there are 25m events in December. Coaches will advise swimmers which events to enter. Coaches expect all swimmers in Junior and Performance squads to enter ALL events.
  • Arena League (NASL) – The national arena swimming league is a national competition with over 400 swimming teams participating. The club won promotion to the Premier South Division again last season and there are three galas held from October – December with the best teams going to the national finals in April. The team will be selected by the coaches.
  • ASC Novice galas – We normally host four galas each season and it is a chance for the younger swimmers who are new to competitions to race as a team against other clubs. The team is selected by the coaches and as many of the younger swimmers as possible are given the opportunity to race over the four galas.
  • Licensed Open Meets – Throughout the season the club will attend various open meets. There are different levels of open meet and an explanation of the licensing levels is set out below. The coaches will advise which meets swimmers should enter. Entry will be via the club website and one club entry will be submitted to the host club.
  • SER (South East Region) Winter SC Championships – These SC (Short Course) winter swimming championships have only one “open” age group and there are “consideration” and “automatic” qualifying times that swimmers have to achieve.
  • ASA National County Team Championships (Intercounties) – The County sends a team of swimmers to Ponds Forge, Sheffield, to represent Berks and South Bucks. There are two Divisions (B&SB are in Division 1). Swimmer selection is made by the County and individuals are invited to take part.
  • Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire (B&SB) County Championships (Counties) – These championships are held in January/February each year and qualifying times have to be achieved in the previous year. Details for 2017 are not yet published. The closing date will be about 24 December and entry is made direct by the swimmer.
  • Thames Valley Junior League (TVJL) – This is a team event for 9 – 12 year olds and the club has two teams entered in the league. There are 3 galas between February and April each year. Selection for the teams is by the coaches.
  • Milton Keynes & District Junior Swimming League (MKJL) – This is a team event for 9 – 12 year olds, and is the qualification competition for the National Junior Inter-League Swimming competition. There are 3 galas between June and September each year. Selection for the team is by the coaches.
  • SER Summer Championships (Regionals) – These are held over three weekends in May. The 15 year old and over Championships are usually held the first weekend in May (the bank holiday weekend) and the 14 year and under Championships are spread over two weekends in May. There are “consideration” and “automatic” qualifying times.
  • British or English National Championships - These are two separate meets normally held over the last week of July and first week of August. The British champs take the top ranked 24 swimmers from England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland per age group. And the English champs then take the next 20 top ranked swimmers who did not qualify for the British champs per age group. Qualification for these are normally between mid March and the end of May.

County, Regional & National Competitions

Please note this is for guidance only and the meet conditions need to be referred to in case there are changes.

Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire (B&SB) County Championships

  • Swimmers must have achieved the consideration time during the 12 months normally ending on 23rd December YYYY. These times must have been achieved at ASA licensed meets (Level 1 – 4) and be included in the ASA Ranking Database at the date of entering
  • Age as at: 31st December
  • Age groups: 10/11, 12, 13,14,15,16+

SER Winter Regionals

  • All submitted times must be shown in the Rankings and have been achieved in a level 1, 2 or 3 licensed meet in the calendar year (i.e. since 1st January).
  • Submitted times may be either short or long course times
  • Ages as at 31st December
  • It is an open event so there is only one set of ”consideration” and “automatic” qualifying times (i.e. no age groups)

SER Summer Regionals

  • Age as at 31 December
  • Age groups – 11/12, 13. 14. 15. 16, 17+
  • Submitted times may be either short or long course. All times must be shown in rankings published by the ASA and set in competitions licensed at level 1, 2 or 3.
  • All submitted entry times must have been achieved since 1st June.

ASA National SC Championships

  • Entry times must appear in the Swimming Rankings from Licensed 2 Meets since 1st December, i.e. times MUST be achieved in a 25m pool
  • Age groups: Open

British and English (ASA Summer) Nationals

  • Age groups – British - Male/Female 13/14, 15, 16, 17/18, 19+
  • Age groups – English - Male athletes aged 13/14, 15, 16, 17, and 18+, and for Female athletes aged 12/13, 14, 15, 16, and 17+
  • Ages at midnight on 31st December
  • Only times achieved in a 50m pool are accepted for entry, no converted times will be accepted
  • In general the Qualifying Window runs from mid March to the end of May. They do vary each year. Following the closure of the Qualifying Window, invitations will be sent to swimmers.

Licensed Meets

for guidance only

“Every Swimmer must have the opportunity to swim in appropriate, quality competition to enable them to achieve their true potential”

This is the mission statement that supports the purpose of Meet Licensing and these Criteria have been developed to provide clubs and competition providers with common ground rules for the conduct and delivery of such competition.

The ASA operates a system of licensing swimming meets to ensure that the appropriate competition is offered to all abilities. There are currently four licence levels, 1 to 4, level 1 being the highest. Each level has different organisational requirements, such as entry time limits, provision of electronic timing, qualification of officials, swim down facilities, etc. But for competitors, the most significant differences are the level of ability at which they are targeted and the way in which entries may be limited.

To enter Level 1, 2 or 3 swim meets a swimmer must be registered as a Category 2 ASA member. A swimmer is registered as a Category 2 competitive swimmer for the calendar year of their 9th birthday.

Open Meet Licensing Levels

Level 1 Meets

These are held in a 50m (Long Course - LC) pool only. A minimum qualifying time is required (no upper time limit). If the meet is oversubscribed the slowest swimmers will be rejected (“scratched”) (rejections are spread evenly across all ages). These events are aimed at swimmers seeking National and Regional qualification. Entry to the Summer Nationals is only by times set at Level 1 swim meets held during the “qualifying window”. To enter level 1 meets qualifying times usually must be from level 1, 2 or 3 for Regional and County Championships. However the meet conditions for each open meet will specify and include the date from when the qualifying time must have been achieved. Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on the last day of the competition.

Level 2 Meets

These are held in 25m (Short Course - SC) pools. A minimum qualifying time is required. If the meet is oversubscribed then the slowest swimmers will be rejected, again the scratched entries are spread across all ages. These meets are usually for swimmers seeking National and Regional qualification. Specification of qualifying times and minimum age are as for Level 1 meets.

Level 3 Meets

The meets can be held in either a 25m (Short Course - SC) or 50m (Long Course - LC) pool. These are meets that most swimmers will enter and enable them to qualify for County and Regional Championships. Upper and lower limit entry qualifying times may apply (the swimmer must be within a specified time band). Minimum Age: 10 years if age as at 31st December, or 9 years if age on the last day of the competition, except for single club competitions, when ASA Law applies. Entries are usually on a” First come first served” basis.

Level 4 Meets

Level 4 events are usually Club Championships and events meeting the ASA criteria for a Low Level Competition e.g. the COCA Meet in June. The meets are for the development of inexperienced athletes or for club events. Times recorded are suitable for entry into County Championships where acceptable to the County concerned, and level 3 Meets. Times are not acceptable for entry into Regional and National events. The events can be held in any pool length 25m or greater. Times will go into Rankings. Minimum Age: as specified in ASA Law appropriate to the competition.

Unlicensed Meets

Not all swimming meets are licensed; for example the Novice galas, Thames Valley Junior League and some Arena League events. Although the galas are run in a similar manner, as regards officials, facilities etc., the main difference is that the results are not recognised (or recorded) by Swim England (The ASA). Therefore, if you set a personal best (PB) at an unlicensed event, which also happens to be a qualifying time, this will not be valid as it was not set at a licensed meet


  • National Qualification may only be obtained at Level 1 or 2 Meets or equivalent.
  • Regional Qualification may only be obtained at Level 3 or higher.
  • County ASA Qualification may be obtained at Level 4 or higher.

Please see the "Competition Calendar Notes" for more information.