are unsure of any of the words or phrases being used by the coaches
or within the club, you should always ask. However, just in case you
forget, here is a list of the most commonly used words and phrases
for you (in alphabetical order).
you think there are any confusing words or phrases that we should
add, then click on the link at the bottom of the page and send us an
Longer distance energy system (see Energy).
Age for competitors
Generally age-determined events rely on the age a swimmer will be on
31 December of the year
of the competition.
Swimmer/competition for U16.
Age group squads
competitive 10-16 year old squads
energy systems (see Energy).
Amateur Swimming Association is the competitive governing body of
swimming in England.
Their website is as follows:
The ASA have ‘learn to swim’ and development schemes for children to
swimming skills and distances. Each time a child achieves a set of
skills, they gain a badge.
An annual publication containing all of the rules on strokes
including their respective starts,
turns & finishes.
British Age Group CATegories
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.
scores are awarded. One each for the best BAG point in each of:
(a) 50m any stroke (sprints);
(b) 200m Back, Breast, Fly (form);
(c) Individual Medley;
(d) Freestyle distance (200m+); and
(e) (If applicable) 100m any stroke.
of these scores determines the overall points & a point must be
scored in each
Championships, the place where entry cards must be handed in
before the start of the warm-up.
cards are used to register a swimmers intention to race and
attendance on race day.
For Open & County Championships a card is sent to each competitor
for each event entered.
This shows the entry time, the start time of the gala & competitor
number. These cards must
be checked when they are received, taken to the gala & handed in
before the start of the
Is the protocol followed after racing or training to reduce the
build-up of lactic acid in the body.
When the fibres in a muscle stay contracted due to a high amount of
lactic acid being present
in the muscle. Cramp can be addressed by gently stretching the
designated by the ASA for national & district qualifying times.
level of competition between County & National.
County Age Groups
County level competition for individual entries held in February to
March each year. This competition is for swimmers aged 10 or over
and who are registered with a Dorset ASA
swimming club. Swimmers must have achieved specific qualifying
times, set by the ASA, to
Disqualified. This can happen for many reasons - false start, not
touching the wall properly, incorrect technique & others.
cardio-vascular system provides energy. The body has three
systems. The first two are anaerobic, which instantly provide
energy & do not use oxygen,
but will only produce energy for 45-55 seconds. The third system is
aerobic & needs a constant supply of oxygen - it is a slower & more
economical system of energy production. The
anaerobic systems are the major provider for 25m & 50m sprints
whilst the 200m events, &
longer, are mainly served by the aerobic system.
time on the entry form, the best time achieved within a given period
of the closing date for entries.
Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA)
The swimming world’s governing body
Heat declared winner (HDW)
Only heats are swum, not heats & finals. Several events are
swum together, usually different
ages of the same stroke & distance. Swimmers are graded by their
entry time & not their age. The winner is the swimmer in the
relevant category (usually age) with the fastest time, not
necessarily the winner of a particular heat - a nightmare for
spectators wanting to know the
result because you have to identify all the swimmers in a particular
age category & note all their times before you know how well your
swimmer has done (barring disqualifications).
Swimmers in training will be asked to swim and record their heart
rate. The following are some
of the terms the swimmers will experience:
BBM: Beats Below Max.
BPM: Beats Per Minute.
Maximum Heart Rate.
THR: Target Heart Rate.
in which all 4 strokes are combined in the order - Fly, Back,
flat float usually used for ‘leg only’ drills.
A by-product of the breakdown of anaerobic energy that causes
muscles to ache, seize or even cramp.
Conditioning used to assist in improving a swimmers: strength,
endurance, posture & flexibility. However, most importantly the
swimmer will also develop their core muscles, enabling them to
employ and relax necessary muscles at the right time & thereby
enhancing speed & power in
Level 1, 2 or 3 Open Meet
All Open Meets hosted by clubs have to be licensed with the ASA or
FINA in order for swimmers times to count towards rankings, or for
national or District qualification. This in effect
designates the meet; a level 3 meet will have easiest entry times,
whilst a level 1 meet, will
have the hardest entry times.
A level 3 meet is for swimmers at County level. A level 2 meet
would be for swimmers at
District level and a level 1 meet would be for swimmers at the
Long course (LC)
in a 50-metre pool.
Swimmers aged 25 or over.
where each swimmer swims a different stroke in the order - Back,
Breast, Fly, Freestyle. The stroke order differs from that of the
Individual Medley so as to avoid a takeover to
Gentle exercises where a swimmer mobilises all of the joints in the
body, before starting a
warm-up or race.
National Age Group Championships
National championships for girls (11-14 years) or boys (11-15 years)
that have gained qualifying times.
National Youth Championship
National championships for girls (14-17 years) or boys (15-18 years)
that have gained qualifying times.
Club Notice Board located either in the main corridor or on poolside
at the 2Riversmeet
friendly gala between local clubs. Typically, time limits are
introduced & if swimmers times are faster than the time limit they
are given a “speeding ticket” and their team receives no points
for that event. This is to ensure swimmers of all abilities are
given the opportunity to win.
National Performance Training Squad
National Qualifying Time, must be obtained in an ASA designated
One start rule
swimmer starts before the gun/whistle/beeper, he or she is
disqualified. This is the current ASA standard.
in which swimmers of any age may compete.
open to swimmers from any club, but usually of a specific age.
Over the top start
Swimmers from the last race remain in the water until the next race
Personal Best, the best time ever swum by that person over that
distance for that stroke.
keyhole shaped float that keeps your legs afloat in ‘an arms’ only
of the top 50 swimmers in each age/gender from 10 years (see age)
the red hand of the poolside timing clock is pointing to the
12 o'clock position. "Red 15" is when it is pointing
& so on.
period at the end of a set.
aged 17 years & over (25+ year olds are also Masters).
series of training routines.
Short course (SC)
in a 25-metre pool.
lane order for finals is decided from times in the heats or
semi-finals. The fastest qualifier
will swim in lane 4, second fastest in lane 5, third in lane 3,
fourth in lane 6, fifth in lane 2, sixth in lane 7, seventh in lane
1 & eighth in lane 8. Theoretically, this creates spearhead format
in the race.
ASA awards and badges awarded to swimmers who have gained a bronze,
silver or gold speed award over 25m for a particular stroke. The
times are set by the ASA governing body.
This is a national league in which most of the major swimming clubs
Wales are included. There are 3 rounds, the first two of which are
swum in October and
November, with the final in December.
time at each 25/50m turn. Swimmers will monitor these to check how
they paced a race.
known as a “cannon”. A freestyle relay which is usually the final
event of a competition; normally consisting of 10 swimmers in each
team, arranged boy/girl/boy… in each age group,
Reducing the cross sectional area of the body to the minimum to make
faster progress through
the water as a result of less drag.
Stroke drills are components of a swimming stroke that has been
broken down in order to gain
that aspect of skill, such as how the hand enters the water in
freestyle could be achieved via a ‘pull buoy’ drill. The swimmers
personal Log Books contain breakdowns of skills and drills.
A gentle set to relax the muscles after training / competition to
reduce lactate build up.
to any big competition, a swimmer will 'taper'. All this really
means is that they ‘rest’ by cutting back the amount of training
they do & decreasing the intensity.
A target time for an event/stroke that a swimmer has been set by
Competitions where there may not be medals or awards for finishing
in the first 3. Instead the events are aimed at achieving times or
PB’s, with the swimmers essentially competing against themselves.
gentle set at the beginning of a session or gala to acclimatise the
muscles for what is to come.
These are our areas District Championships held in May to July each
year. To compete,
swimmers must have achieved qualifying times, which are harder than
those in the county championships.
The person designated by our team as responsible for marshalling our
team to ensure that swimmers are at the right point at the right
time during competitions.
Age-determined events are categorised by the age a swimmer either on
31 December of the
year of the competition, or on the date of the competition (look at
the promoters material to
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