Please see below for information about the different competitions and galas that Marlins are involved in.
For further information please contact our competition secretary, Ms Sam Williams
Parents and swimmers alike have been showing some wonderful interest in the various types of events that are available for entry. We appreciate that there is a fair amount of jargon involved with this subject and I shall endeavour to rewrite the information below when I have an opportunity.
(Hey, I'm new to this game too!)
The Wiltshire ASA Event Calendar is viewable here
Qualifying times for County events are available her
Information about ASA Categories and County events is available here
Swimmers times are available from our Head Coach Maurice Cleaver,
but we do ask our swimmers to take ownership of their swim record.
The Calendar is a little confusing, and with many clubs involved, is subject to edits and changes. With that in mind, I will be adding an 'upcoming events' page where the focus will upon meets that are a 4-6 weeks away.
I hope this helps!
Further explanation is available from our competition secretary Sam Williams.
Galas and Competition Explained:
The Moonraker Summer League is organised by Wiltshire ASA with each County club entering as many sides as they want (some of the Swindon clubs enter 3 teams). The league therefore comprises 20-odd teams from the Wiltshire area.
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 cumulative through the four 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.
The summer league is held over 4 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 with Marlins hosting at the Activity Zone.
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 ASA laws.
Results are published on the Wiltshire ASA Website within the following few days.
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.
Races are always relays and usually held between October and April as arranged by Wiltshire ASA. Squad selection is made by Club Coaches. Age groups are: under 13yrs, under 15yrs, under 17yrs, 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.
For many swimmers this will represent the peak of their year. Held each year between February and March with times obtained during the Club Championships or Open Meets generally used for qualification. Qualification Times required are displayed on the Notice Boards and website.
Events are swum in gender and age group categories for all strokes.
Girls 13 and under and Boys 14 and under swim in the BAGCAT championships with medals for the top three and trophies for the best overall swimmers.
Older swimmers compete for trophies at Youth (16 and under) and Senior level.
Annual event usually held in the last few months of each year comprising of all age appropriate stroke distance combinations upto 1,500m freestyle for the older age groups.
All swimmers are invited and expected to attend.
Events are held over a number of Sunday evenings in Corsham together with two sprint nights held at Calne. Opportunities to swim are provided for all club members including novices (under 9's), masters (over 21's) and parents.
Events follow National guidelines with races competed in mixed age and gender groups. Where available, previous times are used to seed swimmers with the fastest swimming last. The club maintains a database of all swimmers’ times - this database is then used for squad selection and competition entries.
Cups are awarded for first place in each age group, gender and event with medals received by the top three.
Points are awarded to all swimmers for each completed race irrespective of final position. These are known as BAGCAT points (British Age Group CATegory) and are standardised nationally. The Club awards trophies and medals for the top performing swimmers in each age group at the Annual Presentation Night.
Marlins ASC regularly advertises Open Meets via the Notice Boards and 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 don’t 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.
National qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at Level 1 & 2. Regional qualifying times are accepted from meets licensed at Level 1, 2 & 3.
In simple terms there are four types of open meets:
Aimed at National qualifiers, or Regional level swimmers close to National qualification, looking for opportunities to achieve National qualifying times. These meets will have qualifying times for entry, which will be just below the national times.
Aimed at Regional / National qualifiers and will have qualifying times and upper limit times. Access to the ASA 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.
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.
Olympic / Commonwealth Trials
Held annual and usually combined with the National's.
Qualification times apply although these can be lower than the National Open Competitions.
Held annually during July and August, qualification times (revised each year) must be achieved at a Level 1 or 2 Licensed Open or Regional Meet. All swimmers with qualifying times are eligible (eligibility period for entries to all National events limited to a period of 12 months before the closing date for each particular event).
As with Regional Events, the National's are split into Open, Youth and BAGCAT's dependant on swimmer age.
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 ASA 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.
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 BAGCAT Competitions are currently held at Millfield (BagCats) and Plymouth (Youths) - both 50m pools.
The Sprint Championships are held in July and times do not count for National qualification. Qualification Times required are displayed on the Notice Boards and website.
The UK is divided into 8 regions (North East, North West, West Midland, East Midland, East, South West, London & South East - Malmesbury Marlins ASC Falls within the South West Region).