Teddington Swimming Club
Teddington Swimming Club


This FAQ (frequently asked questions) list covers the most common questions that are asked by members, parents, prospective members and others. There is also a glossary of swimming-related terms which you may find helpful.

Is my child eligible to race in competitions?

TSC is a competitive swimming club, so our aim is to get all members competing at a level that suits their ability. The club championships held in the autumn and winter are open to all club members of all ages and abilities, and we encourage everyone to take part. Look out for information on the notice boards and website as to when these are taking place.

In order to compete, swimmers must have been registered with the ASA – this is part of the membership joining process.

Other competitions such as league galas and open meets may have upper and lower age limits applying and there may be qualifying time entry restrictions which can also be either minimum or maximum entry times.

How old does my child have to be to enter the different types of competition?

The following is taken from asa guidelines:

For each category the age specified shall be the age of the swimmer at midnight on the day of the event or the final day of a series of events forming part of one competition whichever is later.

Club Championships - No minimum age but restrictions apply as to what events can be entered up to 9years of age.

Inter-club events limited to not more than eight clubs which do not form part of a series of events as in a league - 8 years.

Open events, other than in Regional and National Competitions - 9 years.

Relay events in Regional Competitions - 9 years.

Individual events in Regional Competitions - 10 years.

Relay events in National Competitions - 10 years.

Individual events in National Competitions - 11 years.

What about TSC's own Novice Gala?

TSC run a Novice Gala in the Spring. This is for the age groups 10 and under, 11 and under and 12 and under, the age of the swimmer being taken as at the 31st of December. Swimmers can only participate in a Novice gala event if they have not won a place medal (i.e. Gold, Silver or Bronze) in any competitive gala in the event they wish to enter.

What does HDW mean?

HDW stands for “Heat Declared Winner” and is a format commonly used in galas and open meets with a large entry list and schedule – this depends on the grade of meet. (Also can apply to longer distance events such as 400, 800, 1500 free and 400IM) For each event (Boys 50m Freestyle for example) heats are arranged with swimmers seeded by their entry times. There may be as many as 10 or more heats of 6 or 8 lanes with all ages groups mixed together. In general the younger swimmers will be in the earlier heats with the ages increasing through the heat list, but as this is based on times not age, it is possible for a child of high ability to be in the same heat as swimmers of 1 or 2 years older.

Once all the heats have been completed, the placings for each age group are calculated from the times recorded. Thus it is possible for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for an age group to go to swimmers who competed in different heats and for a swimmer who placed 6th in his heat to be 1st overall in his age group.

When will my child move up to the next squad?

The coach of each squad will continually assess the progress of the swimmers and when the time is right to move on to the next squad you will be contacted. As a swimmer ascends the squad structure, the level of commitment expected to be given to training and competition increases. In order to join the next squad above, a swimmer will be expected to demonstrate the required level of commitment during a trial period.

Can I discuss my child’s progress with the coaches?

The coaches will always be happy to answer your questions about your child, but please don’t expect a chat during training sessions when the coaches will be very busy poolside. Arrange a mutually suitable time for your discussion.

How will I know if my child is making progress?

First of all, come in and watch! If you can make the time to stop for a session every now and then, you’ll soon notice the progress your child is making. You’ll also get to know some of the other parents and club officials and helpers. If you are concerned about progress, then make an arrangement to discuss it with the coach.

How are the fees structured?

The greatest single cost to the club is the hire of pools for time in the water. This is charged for the number of lanes used and for the amount of time the sessions last. The club fees are set proportionately to the number of training sessions per week offered to each squad.

Who makes decisions about the club?

There is a club committee that makes the decisions that affect the running of the club.

How can I access the TSC Website Members Area?

Teddington SC has a dedicated members area on its website for use by and only accessible to registered club members. New members are automatically registered on the system and sent their login details.

How do I find out about Galas, Leagues and Open Meets?

The primary sources of information are the website, club notice boards at Teddington and Richmond Pools and email bulletins. The coaches will usually hand out forms for important meets and galas to the squads they expect to enter. The website has a Club Diary with all up-and-coming events listed while team lists and appeals for officials and helpers will always appear on the notice board and website.

Teams for galas and leagues are generally selected by the coaches and team managers the team sheets will appear on the notice board at the pools and on the website a few weeks before the event. You will need to tick your name to indicate if you are available, so please check the notice board and website regularly.

Open meets, entries to the most popular ones are arranged centrally through the club. Information will appear on the website (usually in the club calendar area) and on the notice board. Many of the meets have limited places and are administered on a first-come first-served basis, so be sure to get your entry in early. Ask at the pool to get more information or be steered in the right direction.

To which county do we belong?

At county level we compete within the Middlesex ASA (MCASA). The ASA is divided into eight geographical regions. TSC is affiliated to the ASA London Region.

When are County Championships and how do I enter?

MCASA county age group short course championships are held annually in January and February over a long series of sessions at Southberry Road Pool in Enfield.

This is an ASA licensed (level 2) event and times set at these championships will be valid for entry into national competitions and championships.

Qualifying times are published each year for entry into the events – these can be found on the MCASA website (http://www.middlesexswimming.com) or linked from the club website. Swimmers must set times and submit entries before the closing date for entries which is usually in January. Entries are managed centrally by the club.

Qualifying times can be set at any club or open event including Club Championships. A set of time trials may be held in December to give swimmers another opportunity to achieve their times.

The club is usually well represented at the county championships and has a good record for swimmers achieving PBs, medals, South East Region (SER) qualifying times, national qualifying times (NQT) and county records at this event.

What are licensed meets?

As a key component of the strategy to provide competition for all, the ASA has implemented a licensing system for competitions of different levels. Text taken from the “Competition for All” guidelines document on the ASA website.

Level 1

Intended for National Qualification. (Times also accepted for Regional Qualification) A minimum standard of entry must be published. This will vary from meet to meet and will be influenced by many matters including the length of the pool, time of year, standard of swimmer normally attracted to the meet and the number of meets within the immediate area. These meets are intended to be the 'Premier' Meets within the calendar and are expected to provide 'Swim Down' Facilities and results sheets should show splits.

All officials must be registered for the duty in which they are used, and be offered expenses. A levy of 25p per accepted entry shall be paid to the Region Licensing the meet. Pool must be either 25m or 50m long.

Level 2

Intended for Regional Qualification (Times swum can be used for entry into National Competitions). These meets must have an advertised upper and lower qualifying time for each event. These times will also be influenced by many of the factors above.

All officials must be registered, and offered expenses, with at least one official acting as a referee holding a refereeing qualification. A levy of 25p per accepted entry shall be paid to the Region Licensing the meet. (Swimmers who achieve a National Qualifying Time at a level two meet may use that time for entry into National Championships.) Pool must be 25m or 50m long.

Level 3

'B' & 'C' Grade Meets. These meets must have an advertised upper and lower qualifying time and are intended for those swimmers wishing to achieve a county qualifying time, and not catered for at Levels One & Two. Times achieved at these meets will be accepted for Regional Qualification.

All officials must be registered, with the minimum qualification of Judge being held by the official acting as a referee. A levy of 10p per accepted entry shall be paid to the Region Licensing the meet. Pools must be of a length which can be interpreted through the use of ASA Equivalent Performance Tables.

Level 4

Intended for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competition. These meets must have an advertised upper qualifying time. Electronic timing is not compulsory, although preferred. Times achieved at these meets may be used for entry into meets at level's two and three and into County Championships.

All officials must be registered, with the minimum qualification of Judge being held by the official acting as a referee. A levy of £25 per year shall be paid to the Region Licensing the meet. Pools must be of a length which can be interpreted through the use of ASA Equivalent Performance Tables.