We have recently changed the way in which swimmers are entered into galas but the process is still new and may require adjusting as we move forward into next season. Any changes will be communicated in the news feed on the website and this process will be updated.

Internal Club Age Group Competitions

It is assumed that everyone will enter the internal club Age Group competitions and those that turn up on the night will swim. However, depending on the nature of the event and the skill level of the swimmer, they may not swim the actual age group race but will complete some form of time trail against which they can judge their progress. All times for both internal and external competitions are saved on the club database which is held on the Hytek system.

Internal Club Open Competitions

Entries for Open Club competitions such as 100m IM and the 200m – 1600m freestyle events are made by entering the swimmers’ name on the appropriate form on the board in the café.

Mini League competitions and Head to Head competitions

These are team events and swimmers should enter their name on the sheet on the notice board indicating that they are available to take part. The coaches will allocate swimmers to the appropriate events to maximise the team’s chance of success.

External Competitions

The competitions that the coaches feel are appropriate to enter are listed on the website and also posted on the notice board.

Three to four weeks prior to the event, the External Gala Convenor will put up a list of all those swimmers who are eligible to swim the event, along with the relevant events they could swim. This list is produced from a computer system and the format cannot be changed. It therefore includes events for swimmers that may be inappropriate for the stage they are at. Further information about the event location, rules and regulations can be found on the club website and the Swim Scotland website (see Web Links tab).

This form will also show the swimmer’s best time in the event. Where no time is shown, this means that the swimmer does not have a time for the event so is unlikely to get the swim when the hosting club makes their decision about who swims in the event. However, it does not necessarily mean that the swimmer should not enter the event, especially if they are keen to get that particular time. Equally, arrangements can be made for swimmers to do a time trial in the event during training so they can submit a time for it. Please liaise with the coaches to arrange this, prior to the event entry deadline.

The next step is for parents to review the list prior to the stated deadline on the form, consider their availability on the dates and tick the swims that they wish their child to be entered for. When selecting events, it is a good idea to consider how many events the swimmer is going to do in one session. A session is either the morning or the afternoon of each day and they are indicated by the number of the event e.g. 105 is the 5th event on Saturday morning whilst 412 is the 12th event on Sunday afternoon. Three is the maximum recommended events per session whilst two events is more normal, enabling the swimmer to restore their energy before competing again.

The gala convenor will remove the list on the deadline stated on the sheet and will enter the swimmers in the requested events.

Unfortunately, entering galas costs money! Whilst the club subsidises the swims to some extent, the parents are responsible for the remaining cost of the swims. These costs can range from £3.50 – £6.00 per event entered depending on competition.

It is therefore recommended that parents think carefully about which events to enter, perhaps speaking to the coaches to determine where their money is best spent. The following table gives some guidance on the typical events that might be considered at each squad level.

Squad Event Distance
Development/Copper It is not recommended that these squads attend external events
Bronze 50m events (all strokes);
100m events (freestyle)
Silver 50m events (all strokes);
100m events (all strokes);
200m events (freestyle)
Silver Elite 50m events (all strokes);
100m events (all strokes);
200m events (all strokes);
400m events (freestyle/IM)
Gold 50m events (all strokes);
100m events (all strokes);
200m events (all strokes);
400m events (freestyle/IM);
800m / 1500m events

Once the host club has decided who can swim in which events (this is usually done by ranking the swimmers and selecting the top X swimmers depending on how much time they have allocated to the event), the External Gala Convenor is notified of the successful swimmers and those that have been ‘scratched’ from an event (been unsuccessful in gaining entry). A swimmer may also be selected as an ‘ALT’ (alternate) i.e. a first or second reserve and they will find out on the day whether or not they have a swim.

This information is emailed to all swimmers who were entered into the competition and parents are also notified of the cost of the events. This fee will be invoiced  following the meet and  should be transferred to the club bank account as soon as possible thereafter.

All events require officials such as timekeepers and judges, as well as team managers to help organise the swimmers and make sure they get to their races on time. We have a number of new timekeepers in the club and more courses will be run each year. Time keepers and officials are required for all internal Club events – the more timekeepers we have on each lane, the more accurate the time is. Timekeeping at internal events allows parents to further develop their time keeping skills.

It is also vital that parents are prepared to have a go at time keeping at external events otherwise the event cannot be run at the appropriate classification which means that the swimmers cannot get their times ‘accredited’ so they can be used as entry times for West District or National events. In addition, if a club does not provide the required number of officials, they will be fined by the host club. Your support and assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.