SWIMMING EVENT EXPLANATION

Overview of Chippenham ASC competition year

We work hard on our Training Programme throughout the year, so that our swimmers can achieve excellent performance outcomes when they compete.

The main competition involving all members is the annual series of Club Championships held throughout the Autumn. This is the best opportunity to gain qualifying times for the Wiltshire County championships held in the New Year, and hopefully you will progress further to the South West England regional championships [Spring], and ultimately Nationals [early Summer]. That is the basic structure of the competitive swimming year, and our training programmes are designed around it. The dates of all these competitions are advertised well in advance, and Competition Secretary & Head Coach will provide all the additional detail needed to ensure everyone’s successful attendance at all their events. See this link for more detail on Events - Club Champs.

We also swim competitively as a Team at the upper reaches of the Wiltshire Summer & Winter Leagues Events - Moonraker Summer & Winter Leagues. There are normally six of these exciting galas over the year held on Saturday evenings at pools across the County. Again, the dates are advertised well in advance on the Club website, and members are expected to make themselves available when given the honour to represent the Club at these important events. Selection is by Head Coach invitation only and earns the privilege of wearing the coveted Chippenham “blue” swim hat.

Ad hoc friendly galas may also sometimes be arranged; also, individuals can enter “Open Meets”. These latter are one-off competitions organized by individual clubs primarily to raise money for themselves, but when used appropriately [see Events - Open Meets] they can contribute a useful extra if we need it.

SUMMARY OF COMPETITIONS

Club Championships
Annual event usually held over several dates in the autumn.  Events comprise of all age appropriate stroke distance combinations upto 1,500m freestyle for the older age groups.
All swimmers  are automatically entered and expected to attend, see Events - Club Champs for further information, particularly concerning synchro members.   
Events follow National guidelines with races in mixed age groups. Where available, previous times are used to seed swimmers with the fastest swimming last. . Cups are awarded for first place in each age group, gender and event with medals received by the top three.  For more information see Events - Club Champs, for results see Results - Club Championships
Points are awarded to all swimmers for each completed race irrespective of final position. These are known as FINA points and are standardised nationally. The Club awards trophies and medals for the top performing swimmers in each age group at the Annual Presentation Night.

County Championships
For many swimmers this will represent the peak of their year. Held each year between January and March with times obtained during Licensed Club Championships or Open Meets generally used for qualification. Qualification Times and the County Programme can be found on the County website and at Events - Counties
Events are swum in gender and age group categories for all strokes.
Girls and Boys 10-13 years old swim in the Age Group competition with medals for the top three and trophies for the best overall swimmers.
Girls and Boys 14 years although swimming in the Age Group competition swim with the Youths.  Swimmers 15-16+ compete for trophies at Youth (16 and under) and Senior level.  For results see Results - Wiltshire County Age Group & Championship

Inter-County Championships
National competition which takes place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield during September/October each year. Selection of the Wiltshire Team takes place in August/September and is based on Swim England National and Regional rankings. The Championships are broadly similar to a Summer League gala with the County's top 30 swimmers across all age groups (Boys & Girls: 12/13yrs, 14/15yrs, 16/17yrs) selected to compete on behalf of their County.  There are two divisions consisting of every County in England, Scotland, Wales.

Regional Championships
Held annually during the early summer, qualification times (revised each year) must be achieved at a Level 1, 2 or 3 Licensed Open or County Meet.
Championships encompass the most talented swimmers from all counties in SW England. Open, Youth and Age Group Competitions are currently held at Millfield, Somerset and Hengrove, Bristol (Age Groups) and The Life Centre, Plymouth (Youths) - both 50m pools.
The Sprint Championships are held in July. Qualification Times can be found at the Regional website and also at Events - Regionals.
The UK is divided into 8 regions (North East, North West, West Midland, East Midland, East, South West, London & South East - CASC falls within the South West Region).  For results see Results - SW Region Age Group & Championships

Winter League
The Moonraker Winter League consists of all Wiltshire clubs placed in two divisions dependant on performance in the previous Winter League (Division 1: Top Half, Division 2: Bottom Half). Clubs compete in a series of three galas racing against a different set of clubs each time, always from their own division.
On each gala night every club in Wiltshire competes with the times achieved by every club being ranked from 1 to however many clubs there are.  In effect each race has at least 24+ competing teams. At the end of the three galas every club is then placed in points order and the top six clubs attend an 'A' final, with the next six attending a 'B' final and so on.  Chippenham ASC regularly competes in the 'A' final.
Races are always relays and usually held between October and April as arranged by the Wiltshire section of Swim England. Squad selection is made by Club Coaches. Age groups are: 9-10 years mixed relay, under 13yrs, under 15yrs, and Open - age as at last day of competition.
Since the Summer league is mainly individuals and the Winter League is entirely relays, the two squads vary according to age and ability.
Both leagues are highly sociable events and a good opportunity to meet other club members.  CASC results can be found at Results - Moonraker Summer & Winter Leagues

Summer League
The Moonraker Summer League is organised by Swim England - Wiltshire with each County club entering as many sides as they want (some of the Swindon clubs enter multiple teams). The league therefore comprises 20-odd teams from the Wiltshire area with Chippenham usually entering one team.
As soon as all club entries are received from across the County, leagues are formed with 4 teams in each - there can be 8+ leagues each year.
Races are a mixture of relays and individual events with points awarded for finishing positions in each race. Point totals are cummulative through the three gala series, though points are always announced on the night to provide an 'on the night' winner.  At the end of each Summer one team is promoted and one demoted for the following Summer League.  Chippenham ASC usually competes in Division 1 or 2.
The summer league is held over 3 nights (galas) between June and September with dates negotiated between the clubs in each league. Usually each club takes it in turn to host a gala. Squad selection is made by Club Coaches. Age Groups are: under 12yrs, under 14yrs, under 16yrs, and Open. The lower age groups being subject to the limits as imposed by Swim England laws. CASC results can be found at Results - Moonraker Summer & Winter Leagues


Open Meets
Chippenham ASC regularly advertises Open Meets via email and the website. These meets are organised by Clubs like ours nationwide and as the name suggests are open to all clubs and swimmers.
Events vary considerably in standard from Grand Prix events for the very talented to events for swimmers who generally do not get a chance to compete against other clubs and swimmers. As such, qualifications times vary significantly - effectively restricting entries for some meets. All meets, whilst remaining competitive are excellent social events and usually have medals and trophies for winners.  For a list of the current meets available to CASC swimmers see Events - Open Meets, for results see Results - Open Meets
Regional qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at Level 1, 2 & 3.
In simple terms there are four types of open meets:
Level 1
Aimed at National qualifiers, or Regional level swimmers close to National qualification, looking for opportunities to achieve selection to Nationals. These meets will have qualifying times for entry, which will be just below the national times.
Level 2
Aimed at Regional / National qualifiers and will have qualifying times and upper limit times. Access to the Swim England ranking information is used to enable meet organisers to verify that entry times submitted by swimmers fall within the stated range. Swimmers seeking Regional and National qualifying times should target level 2 and level 1 events for qualifying purposes.
Level 3
For Club swimmers who are looking for County qualifying times. Level 3 meets usually have qualifying and upper limit times set at an appropriate level. These meets provide a programme throughout the year alongside key level 2 meets to support the requirements of swimmers up to County and Regional level. Note that National Qualifying Times cannot be gained at level 3 meets although Regional Qualifying Times can.
Level 4 / Unlicensed Meets
Lowest level of competition available. Aimed primarily at younger swimmers that do not qualify for level 1, 2 or 3 meets. Qualification times usually restrict entry by stating maximum entry times - effectively denying entry to faster swimmers.


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