Competition Rules & Guidance

If you or your swimmer are competing for the first time, click here to view our guide for new competitiors, written by swimmers and parents.

Detailed guidance for each compeitition will be available via the website or the OnDeck App. It is best to check the specific requirements of each meet before the day.

Generally please make sure you aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the warm up is due to start as seating on poolside can be limited.  Please report to a coach as soon as you arrive.  If you arrive less than 15 minutes before the start of warm up and have not let someone know in advance that you might be late you run the risk of being withdrawn from the competition and the club can be fined.  If you wish to leave poolside for any reason whatsoever you must ask permission of the coach first.

What to take on the day:

Costume, goggles and cap – spares of all of these should be packed, just in case.

Club t-shirt and shorts – make sure they are clearly marked with your name.

Water bottle, lunch and healthy snacks.

Two towels, one to sit on poolside and one to dry yourself with.

Shoes or flip flops for walking off poolside.

Change for lockers, this varies at different pools so a selection of change is best.

Technical swimsuit policy for athletes aged 13 years and younger:

As part of Scottish Swimming’s continued commitment to supporting swimmers of all ages, a new policy regarding the use of Technical Suits in racing for young swimmers aged 13 years and under will come into effect on September 1, 2022. More detailed guidance can be found on the Scottish Swimming website here. If you are unsure whether your swimmer's swimsuit meets the requirements then it is best to speak to your coach. Generally the restricted swimsuits are more expensive technical swimsuits.

A guide to swimming competition terminology:

Accredited Meet is a competition where there is a full complement of officials and all the rules of swimming will be applied.

Development Meets are aimed at newer swimmers in Dolphins and Swordfish. These meets typically scratch the faster swimmers, allowing newer swimmers to get some competition experience. Disqualifications are rare as the judges know that these swimmers are new.

Graded Meet each swimmer chosen to swim in an event at a graded meet must be able to swim faster than a specified time AND be slower than a cut off time for the event. If a swimmer swims faster than the cut off time when they compete they will be awarded a “Speeding Ticket” or “Swam Too Fast Certificate”.  A swimmer who gets a “Speeding Ticket” will not get a medal if they are placed, this means that a swimmer can be awarded first place in an event even though another swimmer swam faster than them.

Open Meet swimmers are required to meet qualification times in order to compete.

Mini Meet is a beginner level competition, usually aimed at swimmers aged 8-12, to get them used to competition swimming in a fun environment.

Mini League is a fun, inclusive competition for our juniors where swimmers aged 12 and under compete as a team rather than an individual. Swimmers are awarded points rather than medals and the team with the most points at the end of the session win. The top 6 teams in June are invited to the finals. Mini-leagues typically last for 2 ½ hours.

Reserve (RES) or Alternative (ALT) means that the swimmer is on the waiting list for an event and will find out on the day whether they are swimming or not.

Scratch (SCR) means that the swimmer has not achieved a time fast enough to be accepted into the competition due to the limited number of places.

Qualifying Time means that the swimmer has achieved a time fast enough to be accepted into the event and is guaranteed a place.

Consideration Time the swimmer has achieved a time that is potentially fast enough for them to be accepted into an event but this is not guaranteed as it will depend on the number of swimmers who have achieved a Qualifying Time and the number of available spaces.

Seeding for an event is the method of arranging swimmers who have entered an event according to their submitted time. Usually the fastest swimmers are allocated the middle lanes and the slower swimmers the outside lanes.

Short Course is any competition held in a 25m pool.

Long Course is any competition held in a 50m pool.

Swim Age will vary at different meets and can be either; the age that they are on the day of a competition or the age they will be at the end of the year.

Heat Declared Winner means that there will be no final and the winner of the event is determined by times alone when all the heats have been swum.

Heats and Finals is when there are too many swimmers for them all to compete in one race, the event will be split into heats with the fastest swimmers from each heat going forward to the final.