Awards, Competitions & Galas

A summary of the key terminology relative to the competitions process is listed below

Types of Competition

  • Long Course (LC) – This is used during competitions where the pool will be 50m long. It can also be described as ‘Olympic-sized’.
  • Short Course (SC) – this is used during competitions when the pool will be 25m long.
  • Upper Qualifying Time (UQT) – This is the fastest time a swimmer can be to enter a specific race. Anyone with a faster time is not able to enter the event.
  • Lower Qualifying Time (LQT) – This is the slowest time a swimmer can be to enter a specific race. Anyone with a slower time is not able to enter the event.

Open Meets

Swimming meet competitions are usually broken down into four levels:

  • Level 1 – These are long course meets that are focused on those swimmers achieving Regional and National Times. They are the events where you are likely to see international swimmers in action. Age Group and senior squad swimmers are encouraged to enter these meets.
  • Level 2 – These are the highest level of short course meet and must have a lower qualifying time. They are focused on those who are aiming to achieve Regional and National Qualifying Times or to get swimmers familiar with racing long courses.
  • Level 3 – These are either short courses (in 25m pools) or long courses (in 50m pools) meets which are run throughout the year. They are relatively easy meets to gain qualifying times for and sometimes there is no lower cut-off time. These are for swimmers aiming toward County and Regional Qualifying Times. Swimmers who fit this level are encouraged to enter these competitions
  • Level 4 – Lower level meets which include Club Championships and Novice Open Meets

Other types of meet include:

  • County Championships – These championships are held once a year over three weekends in February for all clubs within the Staffordshire County area. To compete in this competition you must have achieved ‘County Qualifying Times’ found at
  • Regional Championships – These are split into Age Group Championships (under 14-year-old boys and under 13-year-old girls) usually held in May (Long Course) or November (Short Course).
  • National Championships – are held once a year usually in a 50m pool and selection is based upon the top swimmers per age group, based upon times recorded during a qualification window.

Away Galas

Swimmers are expected to stay with the team and follow the directions of the coaches/team managers in attendance at all times. They must ask if they are going off to see parents/spectators.

What to bring:

  • Swimming costume or trunks (jammers)
  • Goggles and a spare pair
  • Two Towels – one to keep you warm and one to dry off afterward
  • Club Kit –poolside T-Shirts and Swimming Hat
  • Food to last the day or sessions you are attending
  • At least two litres of water/squash and suitable sports drinks.
  • Snack foods high in carbohydrates
  • Please note that Phones are not allowed poolside or in changing areas (they must be left in bags if swimmers need them to contact parents)