Swimming Competitions - Introduction
Members of our swimming squads aged 9 and over have the opportunity to enter a number of competitions, known as 'Open Meets', with the club on a regular basis. These fit within our cycles of training to enable swimmers to achieve times for entry into the Wilts County, SW Regional and National Championships. Long Distance meets (1500m and 800m) are also targeted.
Individual times achieved at licensed open meets are stored on the Swim England database to allow swimmers to enter further competitions. (https://www.swimmingresults.org/)
Open Meets are swimming events licensed by Swim England. This means they have to meet certain standards to ensure fair competition. The English swimming licensed meets calendar contains a range of ‘open’ meets, designed to give all competitive swimmers in England the chance to achieve their true potential.
All licensed meets are subject to Swim England Regulations and the Swim England Technical Rules of Racing.
They are graded into four levels:
Level 4 meets are often a swimmers’ first experience of competitive swimming. Swimmers aged 8 and over are allowed to compete.
Salisbury Stingrays Club Championships and Time Trials are all licensed as level 4 competitions. These competitions are often organised as closed events by a single club, or a local network of clubs.
The race times achieved at these competitions enable swimmers to enter other level 3 meets and County Championship Competitions but not Level 1 meets.
Level 3 meets are held to enable swimmers to achieve times for entry into County and Regional Championships and other Level 1 & 2 meets. They can be swam in 50 metre (Long Course) or 25 metre (Short Course) swimming pools.
Level 3 meets can be organised in two ways: the club may select swimmers based on times already achieved - fastest to slowest, or they may accept all entrants, including those with no times, on a first come, first served basis until the meet is full.
Salisbury Stringrays' Summer Open Meet is licensed as a Level 3 meet.
Level 2 meets all take place in a short course pool (25 metre). Wilts County Championships are licensed as Level 2.
Level 1 meets are long course (LC) which means they are swum in 50 metre pools. They require a specific number of fully qualified officials to fulfill their license and cover National, Regional and some County competitions.
South West Regional Summer Championships are a Level 1 competition. All Level 1 meets have race entry time requirements and times must have been achieved at meets of Level 3 or above.
Wiltshire County Championships (Jan/Feb)
Every year, most of our squad swimmers compete at the Wilts County Championships against other swimmers from across Wiltshire. This event is a licensed Level 2 event and entry times must come from Swim England Rankings and have been swam within the qualifying window (usually 1 March – mid-December of the previous year). There are separate championships for Age Group swimmers (aged 10 – 13) and Wilts County Championships for those aged 14 +. Age Group swimmers who achieve the qualifying times for the Senior Championships can swim at both events.
South West Regional Summer Championships (April / May)
Many of our Performance Squad swimmers aged 12+ also qualify for the South West Regional Summer Championships where they get the chance to compete against other swimmers in the South West. These Championships are held over a few weekends at 50 metre pools such as Bristol Hengrove and Millfield School.
Swim England National Summer Meet (July/Aug)
These are Level 1 Championships held in an Olympic standard pool such as those in Glasgow or Sheffield. The fastest 20 swimmers nationally in each event for each age group (14+ years) are invited to compete at this event. Similar events are held in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
British Swimming Championships
This is the most prestigious national competition before swimmers can progress to international competition. Entry is by invitation only and involves the best swimmers from Great Britain.