Watford Swimming Club enters a variety of open swimming competitions throughout the year which all swimmers will should be entering. See below a helpful FAQ which should help answer any questions.

You can also read through out 'How It Works' guide.


What is an open meet?

An open meet is a swimming gala which any swimming club / swimmer may attend, hosted by a particular swimming club.

The open meets for Watford Swimming Club swimmers which the head coach is recommending can be found in the Club Calendar.  Each open meet will have its own meet conditions, which you need to read, and criteria for entering your swimmer.


Should I enter all Swim England meets?

Do not get sucked into entering every gala on the Swim England calendar. We have spent a long time, identifying the galas for this year, with sufficient gaps between them, to make entering worthwhile. It remains highly unlikely your child will have improved that much in times in a month, you will be wasting your money entering galas in addition to our schedule.


How do I find out what meets Watford are entering?  

The Club schedule of events for the swim year (Sept – July) is published each year, see the Club Calendar page for a live club calendar as well as links to the competition plan documents relevant for each squad. Emails will be sent out to inform when entries need to be in by and where to get the entry form. The majority of our entries are all processed through the club portal. Any event you choose to enter outside of this calendar is down to you, the Club will not be providing pool side support and will not handle your entry.


What events should I be entering my child for?  

Talk to your swimmer’s coach about what events they should be entering and how many. If you need times for an event that we haven’t time trialled then ask the Coach for his/her input.


What events should I be entering my child for?  

Times are critical for galas. This is why we always encourage all swimmers to enter Club Championships and some development open meets which accept “no time” entries. These galas maybe the only place to get a time to enter higher level competitions.


Where can I find the personal best times for my child?

All times achieved at a licensed meet end up on the British Swimming Database and the individual swimmers ranking can be viewed for each event they have a time for, both at a County, Regional and National Level on the Results and Rankings page of the British Swimming Website.

Click here to access the British Swimming Results & Ranking page >


What do the gala levels mean?

Galas and open meets are graded and allow you to reach different levels of competition.

  • Level 1 – National Level
  • Level 2 – Regional Level
  • Level 3 – County Level / Internal / Club Galas / Arena League galas
  • Level 4 – Sub County Level / Internal / Club Galas


How do development galas work?

A development gala are usually for more junior or less experienced swimmers. These galas normally require the swimmer to enter times which confirm they are “Not Faster than”, at these events, if you then go faster than this bar in the race, you tend to get what is called a “Speeding Ticket”, which is a formal notification that you have exceeded the time allowed, but getting one of these does remove you from qualifying for any medals. To clarify, the fastest time under the “Bar” time wins 1st place and the gold medal. Those who are faster than the “Bar” get a piece of paper, which is not a bad thing, you are now simply too good for this gala!


My child is not getting PB’s …

Trust the process and follow the moto ‘Develop to Win .. Not Win to Develop’. It’s about focusing on skills and technique whilst a child and then performing well as you get to senior level where things really matter (Olympics maybe…)! Remember parents: you cannot swim for them, and you need to realise the pressure you may be bringing on your child with your expectations, this is natural. We have all been there.


My child got disqualified … 

Even the best and most experienced of our swimmers will make a mistake and get disqualified. Poolside staff will be on hand to comfort those for whom this is a new experience, it is part of swimming. They all need to experience a DQ and get beyond and learn from it.