What does it mean?

Age Groups

– An abbreviation of Age Group Competitions, which are competitions organised within specific age groupings.

Competition Card System

– A system of entering events by filling in a card which is then used by the competitors stewards, timekeepers and recorders at the event.


– a swimmer may be disqualified for various reasons i.e. faulty stroke (if the stroke does not comply with ASA Law), faulty takeover (in a relay where one swimmer goes off before the incoming swimmer has touched the end of the pool), faulty turn, false-start etc.

False Start

– When a competitor dives or falls into the water before the starting signal is given. When this happens, the starter will re-call the swimmers. A rope is dropped across the pool to stop the swimmer(s) from continuing the race.

First Claim

– this refers to the club of which the swimmer has the longest, unbroken membership

Heat Declared Winner

– An event (usually 200 metres or more) where there are too many swimmers for a straight final and the winner is decided on the times achieved in the heats.

Heats and Finals

– When there are too many swimmers in an event for them to compete in one race, that event is divided into heats or qualifying races and then the fastest swimmers go forward to the final.


– In ASA promoted competitions and championships a junior swimmer is one who is under 17 years of age on the 31st December in the year of competition.

Junior Record

– For District and National records a junior is a swimmer under 16 years of age on the day of the swim.

Long Course Events

– Any competition held in a pool of 50 metres or 55 yards.


– An abbreviation term used to describe all National Events.

Open Events or Open Meets

– Events which are open to swimmers of any affiliated club.


– an abbreviation for Personal Best, referring to a swimmers best time to date.

Qualifying/Consideration Times

– A time required by some competition organisers in order to enter an event.


– the method of arranging swimmers who have entered in an event according to their submitted time.

Submitted Time

– A time previously recorded on a stroke and distance which is submitted with an entry to enable meet organisers to “seed” the events.

Swim Off

– When the number of finalists exceeds the number of lanes available by way of a dead heat or identical times. A swim off usually takes place between the competitors concerned to determine who swims in the final.