BSC Bottisham Swimming Club
IVC Impington Village College
BVC Bottisham Village College
ASA Amateur Swimming Association – in 2017 the ASA changed its name to SWIM ENGLAND, however there will be some time until all paperwork is updated. The ASA is ‘The national body for swimming’ in England. There are separate ASA’s for Scotland and Wales and the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain (ASFGB) incorporates the three country ASAs.
ASA Number (Swim England Number) This is a unique number given to each swimmer who is registered with the swimming club. This number needs to be written clearly on any gala entry forms required for competition. Without this number swimmers are unable to compete.
ASA National Rankings Every Licensed Meet that a swimmer attends in the swimming year will have sent its results to the ASA for ranking purposes. These rankings are either Long Course (50m pools) or Short Course (25m pools) and cover every event in every age group.
British Age Group Points (BAG Points) The ASA’s British Age Group (BAG) points system. This is based on a statistical analysis of lower age group times. It provides factors to correct for the differences in difficulty of the events within a given year of birth but not between years.
BAGCAT (scoring) The BAGCATs stand for the British Age Group Categories, which introduce a points system to measure and compare swimmers’ performance. The latest thinking is that swimmers at an early stage of their development should compete to win an overall category award rather than specialising in a particular event. The BAGCATs therefore define four different categories, sprint, form, distance and medley. The BAG Points are calculated from a set of age-related tables for each of the above categories as follows:

•Sprint – best 50m/100m sprint performance (any stroke)

•Form – best form stroke performance (i.e. form strokes are those with a defined form according to ASA Law) thus best performance at 200m back, breast or butterfly);

•Distance – best performance at 200m, 400m or 1500m Freestyle);

•Medley – best performance at 100m, 200m or 400 Individual Medley)

To work out the BAGCAT points for an individual swimmer, you must complete at least one swim from each of the categories and the points for the best performance in each are totalled to give a single score.

Competitive skills Starts, turns, streamlining, start and finish speeds – all components of racing.
PB Personal Best – the fastest time each individual swimmer has achieved in a certain stroke over a certain distance, e.g 50m Back = 1.00:86 (min:sec:hundredths).
Entry Time To enter a gala you will require an entry time, swimmers starting out will be able to enter NT (no time) for some galas, but other galas do not allow this.   Some galas require an official time (one recorded at a previous gala with full officials present) others allow time trials. The time entered on a gala entry form to help seed the children in heats during an open meet. If entry times are submitted weeks in advance of the actual date of the gala, these may not be the swimmers’ P.B. If this is the case, talk to your coach as to how or if appropriate to update it with the gala promoter.
NT No Time
Qualifying / Consideration time (QT) The time a swimmer must perform to enter a particular meet or gain selection to a certain squad.
Consideration time Is a time for an event sat by the meet organiser that swimmers must be faster than in order to enter.
Converted time Is a time calculated using tables to compensate for a change in pool length.   A time in a 25m pool can be converted into an equivalent time for a 50m pool and vice versa. It is not as simple as doubling/halving it!
Time Trials This is a test of your speed against the clock for a given stroke and distance but without competition. This time is (usually) recorded within a training session, and allows you to be seeded at a competition, allowing you to race with similar ability children. Open galas organisers sometimes permit swimmers to make late entries on the day of competition which may not be included in the overall medals but will be recorded as official times.
Pace Even pace is a swim that is swum at the same pace for each section, e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th 50’s of a 200m swim swum with equal times.   Times are sometimes recorded as split-times.
Splits – (or split times) The split time is the time(s) recorded within individual sections of a race, i.e. each 25m or 50m in longer races. Swimmers will monitor these to check how they paced a race.
Negative Split A pacing tactic where the swimmer performs the second half of a race faster than the first half.
Age for competitors Generally age-determined events rely either on the age of the swimmer on the date of the competition, the age on the last day of the competition or on the age of the swimmer on 31st December in the year of the competition. Read the rules for each competition carefully!
DQ (disq) Disqualified – used in competitive races in galas if a swimmer has made an infringement on the rules of swimming. See DQ sheet in this document. Swimmers may be disqualified for several reasons e.g. false start, incorrect stroke, incorrect turn etc.
DNC Did not compete.
DNF Did not finish.
One Start Rule (or false start rule) Is a Swim England Law (SW4.4) that defines a false start as “Any swimmer starting before the starting signal has been given, shall be disqualified”. If a swimmer starts before the gun/whistle/beeper sounds, he or she is disqualified. There is no second chance.
Club Champs This is an in-house event organised by BSC, where we expect every child in the club to have a go at racing.
Short Course Races swum in a 25m pool. Because there are more turns, times are usually faster than those achieved in long course events for the same event distance.
Long Course Events usually take place in a 50m pool.
JFL The Junior Fenland League – this novice first team event gala should be a priority for children up to the age of 13. It takes place in 5 rounds and a final between March and October, and the Head Coach and JFL organiser will arrange a team. These galas take place in Newmarket, Deepings, Whittlesey, Kings Lynn etc. usually on a Saturday evening. We use this league as a chance to help our younger swimmers get used to competing – we’re not out to win it!
SFL Senior fenland League. For all swimmers – usually the strongest in each age group is selected for each race.
Speeding Ticket Is what a swimmer receives for swimming too fast at a graded meet, for example in a JFL, if you child swims faster than the cut-off time for that stroke/distance, they can no longer swim that stroke/distance for the rest of the season (finals usually in Oct.) In the case of the JFLs your child may be asked to swim up an age category for the same stroke.
Starting Block The raised platform from which a competitors dive at the start of freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and individual medley races.
Backstroke flags A line of flags (not bunting!) suspended above the pool 5 meters from each end of the pool. Used to help backstroke swimmers judge when to turn, gauge where the end of the pool is; with practice, the swimmer will be able to work out how many more strokes are required and so eliminate the need to turn around to look.
Pool Floor Markings The black lines painted on the pool floor indicate the centre of a lane. The ‘T’ at the end of the black line indicates two metres from the end of the pool. Both assist the swimmer in gauging when to start a tumble turn in Front Crawl, or when to spot the turn or finish in Breaststroke & Butterfly.
Over the top Starts This means that the swimmer should stay in the water after finishing their race, holding onto the lane rope, close to the end of the pool and to one side of the lane, until after the next race has started. The swimmer will leave the pool quickly once the next race has started.
Officials Are volunteers who help to ensure that the rules of swimming are adhered to in swimming events and time trials. Officials will usually wear white.
Timekeeper Is an official who operates a stopwatch (plus automatic AOE stop button) to record a swimmer’s time. The timekeepers records the time for competitors swimming in their lane during competition. The chief timekeeper collects the times from the timekeepers and reviews them with the referee.
Judges There are three types of judges in a competition. Stroke judges ensure that each swimmer uses the correct stroke for each race.   Turning judges observe all turns & relay take-overs. Placing judges decide the order of finishing & act as turning judges at the finishing end. Judges can report swimmers who infringe the ASA Laws & Technical Rules to the referee, who will then decide whether or not to disqualify the swimmer.
Referee The highest ranking official in overall charge of an accredited meet.
Accredited meet A competition where there is a full complement of officials and the rules of swimming are applied.
Open Meet / competition A competition in which any affiliated club, organisation or individual may enter that are affiliated to that governing body.
Open event A race in which swimmers of any age may compete.
Graded meet This compeition has a time cap applied and only those swimmers below the cap are allowed to compete. Some graded meets may have both higher and lower caps.
Licensed meets Licenced Meet – A competition that has been approved by the ASA. Only times from licenced & accredited meets can be used to enter these meets. They come in four levels: Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Level 1: This is a long course meet at the highest standard.

Level 2: This is a short course meet, aimed at the highest level, attracting National, Regional and County level swimmers

Level 3: This is a short course meet, aimed at Regional and County level swimmers and below.

Level 4: This is a short course meet, aimed at junior of less experienced swimmers to build upon foundation skills.  Club champs is run at this level.

Note: ‘novice galas’ are also aimed for beginners or more experienced swimmers trying out new distances. Not all galas are licensed, and the Fenland league galas are not.

Unlicensed Meet These are events or swim club time trails, that can be used as a rough guide for an individual per stroke and distance on a certain date. These times can be used for example for first galas to help gain an ‘official’ time in an official environment. Note: time trials, unofficial times or JFL times cannot be used as County Qualifying times.
Skins This is an event at a gala, whereby the fastest swimmers across the age groups are involved in a knockout style race. Usually this would involve 8 swimmers depending on the size of the pool. Swim styles are chosen at random. The swimmers repeat the 50m swim each time eliminating one swimmer until only two remain; the winner being the faster of the two in a head-to-head race. This can be a very exciting and demanding race.
Lane Order In finals (and some heats) the lane order is decided from times swum in the heats or semis (or supplied as entry times). The fastest qualifier goes in lane 4, the second fastest in lane 5, third fastest ion lane 3 fourth fastest in lane 6, fifth fastest in lane 2, sixth fastest in lane 7, seventh fastest in lane 1 with the slowest qualifier in lane 8. In theory this should produce a spearheaded race when viewed from above.
Automated electronic timing (or AOE – Automatic Officiating Equipment) The electrical equipment used in race situations at some pools, designed to measure the elapsed time between the start and finish of each swimmer in each lane. It is linked to a computer and times are displayed on a scoreboard.
Touchpad A board at the end of the competition pool that acts as a stopwatch. When the swimmer finishes and hits the touchpad, it records the time. Note: if for any reason the board does not record your time on the wall mounted displays, do not worry, timekeepers also stop the electronic timing system and have stopwatches too!
Manual Time The time for a swim recorded manually by a timekeeper using a stopwatch.
Placing (order of finish) This is determined by either the automatic timing system when available or by the meet officials when manual timing is used.
Lowest Qualifying Time (LQT) The slowest time that an individual swimmer must have achieved in order to enter a specific event (e.g. 50m Free or 100m Back). These are based on the child’s age on a certain date (note: different for every gala). Anyone with a slower time is not able to enter the event.
Qualifying Time (QT) or Upper Qualifying Time (UQT) The fastest time that an individual swimmer must have in order to enter a specific event.   Many swimmers become eligible to enter these meets as they progress through BSC. Level 4 galas typically have no previous times to have been recorded; Level 3 meets can have both lower and higher entry time requirements.
Qualification Window All National, Regional and County Times must have been recorded with a certain time period. No times outside of this window will be allowed to race. e.g. within the last 12 months of a given date.
Heats When there are too many swimmers in an event for them all to compete in one race, that event is divided into heats or qualifying races and then the fastest swimmers go forward to the final.   Heats are usually swam in order of entry times, allowing swimmers of similar ability to swim next to eact other. At Open meets the slower swimmers swim first for each stroke and distance. Heats are not age dependent.
Heat Declared Winner (HDW) When no final race is swam and the overall winners are declared on times achieved.
Timed finals A competition in which heats are swum first with a final swim for the fastest (usually) six or eight swimmers. The winner is from this final heat, and not necessarily fasted race times on the day.
Form Strokes One of three strokes that have specific requirements, e.g. 100m Backstroke, Butterfly or Breaststroke. Freestyle is not a form stroke and is commonly used for longer distance events, e.g. 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. The distance allowed to swim in events is dependent on age.
Freestyle In practice freestyle races are always swum as front crawl as this is the fastest stroke, however, technically it means any stroke which is not a form stroke.
IM Individual Medley; for e.g. a 100m IM would consist of 25m Butterfly, followed by 25m Backstroke, then 25m Breaststroke and finally 25m Freestyle (usually Front Crawl) – all four strokes are swum by the same swimmer in one race.
Squadron Relay Usually the last race of a team event or gala. A freestyle relay consisting eight to ten swimmers in total, one swimmer from each age group for both sexes. Each swimmer swims 25m. Older swimmers swim last. The ingoing swimmer must not leave the side of the pool or the starting block before the incoming swimmer touches the wall.
Medley relay A relay of four swimmers where each swimmer swims a different stroke in the order: Back, Breast, Butterfly, Freestyle. The ingoing swimmer must not leave the side of the pool or the starting block before the incoming swimmer touches the wall. (This is different to an IM, where the same swimmer swims all four strokes).
Relay Race Relays involve swimming an event as a team of two (usually four) or more swimmers. In relays all swimmers use the same stroke or in the case of a medley relay, each swimmer swims a different stroke in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle. The ingoing swimmer must not leave the side of the pool or the starting block before the incoming swimmer touches the wall.
Leg The part of a relay that is swum by a single team member.
Pull (set) An arms only set during training.
Kick (set) A legs only set during training.
DBS Disclosure and Barring Service (offered by Swim England).
DSC Disciplinary Sub- Committee.
Energy The cardio-vascular system provides energy. The body has three complementary energy systems though as far as swimming is concerned, only two are relevant. The anaerobic system provides energy instantly and does not use oxygen, but will only produce energy for up to about a minute. The anaerobic system is the major energy provider for 25m and 50m sprints. The aerobic system needs a constant supply of oxygen. It is a slower and more economical system of energy production. The aerobic system is the major energy provider for the 200m, and longer distance events.
Set A series of training routines, these can cover specific stoke techniques or parts of strokes, breathing drills, trying different styles of turns or starts.
Swim Hat Latex or Silicone hats are used during a race and / or training, to cut down resistance. The BSC club hats must be worn in all club competition when representing the club.
Kickboard A flat rectanglar (usually) piece of foam used when kicking in training.
Paddles A device used during training which fits over the hands to provide a greater surface area.
Pull Buoy A piece of (usually) foam that goes between your legs and helps you float which swimming without kicking during training sessions. The pull buoy provides enough buoyancy that you do not have to kick to keep your body position high, allowing you to focus solely on your arm stroke as you swim.
Fins Short-blade flippers worn on the feet and used for stroke technique and speed assisted training.
Warm up A period of swimming at the start of a training session or competition designed to loosen up the body and prepare for more intense work or a race, acclimatising the muscles for what is to come.
Swim down / Cool down Swimming after an event at a gala or after a training set; a gentle set to relax the muscles after intense training or strenuous exercise / competition to reduce lactate build up.
Training Suit/ Competition suits These are suits worm by swimmers during training sessions and warm-up for swim meet, some older swimmers train wearing 2 suits for the purpose of creating drag. Competition suits are usually tighter and 1-2 sizes smaller and made from materials that reduce drag. These need to be FINA approved suits for racing.
FINA Fédération internationale de natation (English: International Swimming Federation) is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for administering international competition in water sports.
Seniors Swimmer aged 17 years and over (25+ year olds are also Masters).
Masters Swimmers 25 and older.