Teddington Swimming Club
Teddington Swimming Club


Aerobic Energy Aerobic means ‘with air’. The Aerobic system produces energy by the complete breakdown of glucose. The production of energy is slower, but more continual than the anaerobic systems.

Age Group Swimmer or competition for under 16s

Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) The national body for swimming in England. There are separate ASA's for Scotland and Wales and the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain (ASFGB) incorporates the three country ASAs.

ASA National Rankings Every Licensed Meet that a swimmer attends in the swimming year will have sent its results to the ASA for ranking purposes. These rankings are either Long Course (50m pools) or Short Course (25m pools) and cover every event in every age group.

Anaerobic Energy Anaerobic means ‘without air’. There are two systems that make up the anaerobic system.

ATP-CP system Lactic Acid System

Automatic Officiating Equipment (AOE) Equipment used to automatically record the times of the swimmers. It consists of a set of touch sensitive pads at the end of each lane linked to a computer. Places for each swimmer can be automatically calculated from the times and displayed on a scoreboard.

British Age Group Points (BAG Points) British Age Group Points are generated when a correction factor is applied to a GB Points score. For example, a time of 3.00.00 for 200m Breaststroke (short course) scores 548 points. If it is achieved by an 11 year old girl it would be multiplied by a correction factor of 1.3075 which gives a BAG Points score of 717. GB Points score x BAG Correction Factor = BAG Points score.

Card System A system of entering events by filling in a card which is then used by the competitors stewards (whips), timekeepers and recorders. Cards are usually used for open events and meets.

Club Uniform Our team uniform is generally made up of the following: The Club Cap, Club T-Bag, Club Hoodie, Club Bag. Each club has a uniform, and it is a unique part of our team. The club kit must be worn in all competitions. Teddington colours are Red & Black.

Competitive Progression of Swimmers Club Championships – Open Meets – County Championships – Regional Championships – National Championships.

County Championships & Development Meets Teddington is affiliated to the Middlesex ASA, who like other counties hold three County Championships Competitions a Year for swimmers under 18 years of age

  • Bagcats, Youth, team & Distance held over 3 weekends in February & March – you might hear people call these the “main” or “real” Middlesex’s. All swimmers, who achieve the qualifying times are encouraged should take part. The club also enter relay teams. The age groups for this competition are single years from 9 to 16 plus 17 & over. The dates for 2010 are 21/21 February (yes the end of half term for most schools) 6/7 & 13/14 March. The first weekend is usually sprints, distance (800/1500m) & Team events (relays)
  • Long Course – usually held between May & July – the age groups have changed over recent years for this competition last year was 9, 10, 11, 12 &13, 14&15, 16 +. In 2010 it is scheduled for 22/23 May at the new 50m Pool in Hillingdon.
  • Short Course – usually held in early December - the age categories for this competition are 14& under, 15/16 & 17& over

Qualifying times will be published for these competitions – swimmers must have swum faster than these times to enter. Achievement of a qualifying time does not guarantee your entry will be accepted as the organisers have to make sure all the heats for an event are swum within the time allocated for a session. Usually sessions will last a maximum of 3 hours.

In addition to the “Championship” Middlesex run two Development Meets for those who, didn’t make the qualifying time for the Championship events. Swimmers who achieve the county time at the event will be awarded a “speeding ticket”. The Spring Development meet uses the county qualifying times to determine whether a swimmer can enter and in recent years has had two categories. The Autumn Development Meet adjusts the times (i.e. makes them faster) as many swimmers will be in the next age category for the following years Bagcat championships.

Distance Events (BAGCATS) These are Freestyle events of 200m or more.

District The ASA is divided into five District Associations and clubs affiliate to their local District. Our District is London.

DNC Did not compete.

DNF Did not finish.

DQ Disqualified – swimmers may be disqualified for several reasons e.g. false start, incorrect stroke, incorrect turn.

Drag Shorts These are used by swimmers to warm-up in competitions before racing to increase their feel for water and add to confidence before racing.

Drink Bottle Use to keep hydrated in training and competition. Hydration has everything to do with performance and drink should be water based with a little fruit juice.

False Start ASA Law defines it as "If after the command 'take your marks' a swimmer leaves his starting place [i.e. dive or falls into the water] or is moving when the starting signal is given it shall be a false start". When this happens, the starter recalls the swimmers and a rope is dropped across the pool to stop the swimmer(s) from continuing the race. The starter then announces "Swimmers, you will be disqualified for a false start". If anyone gets it wrong on the second start they are disqualified. Some of the more important competitions are swum under the 'one start rule'. This means that if they get it wrong on the first start they are disqualified; there is no second chance.

Fins These are Flippers worn on the feet and used for stroke technique and speed assisted training.

Fixture List Fixtures in the swimming year (September – July) are aimed at best possible dates for achieving qualifying times for competitions, and will also include any other Open Meets or Leagues such as the Arena League.

Flags (Backstroke Turn) These are suspended five metres from either end of the pool to indicate to the swimmer that the end of the pool is near. With practice, the swimmer will be able to work out how many more strokes are required and so eliminate the need to turn around to look.

Form stroke Backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly.

Freestyle In practice freestyle races are always swum as front crawl as this is the fastest stroke, however technically it means any stroke which is not a form stroke

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

Heat Declared Winner (HDW) 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.

Individual Medley (IM) In individual medley events, the swimmer must swim all four main strokes in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle. Each section must be finished in accordance with the rules for the stroke concerned.

Internal Competitions The Club hold a number of internal competitions each year which are an ideal introduction to competitive swimming. Ages are as at 31st December in the year for these competitions.

  • Club Championships - The Club Championships are open to all Club members covering distances from 25m to 1500m depending on age with Age Group Medals and Trophies. Additional awards are presented for best performances. They are usually held as a series of galas each year in the Autumn. They demonstrate how well you are progressing
  • Novice Gala - Open to any Club Member who has not won medals at any previous club gala or gala of a similar standard. Trophies are awarded to the top swimmers in each age group.
  • Fun Gala – is an opportunity for the members of the lower squads to swim 25m times. Awards are given for the best overall performance in each age category.

Judges There are three types of judges in a competition. Stroke judges ensure that each swimmer uses the correct stroke for each race. Turning judges observe all turns and relay take overs. Placing judges decide the order of finishing and act as turning judges at the finishing end. Judges have the power to disqualify swimmers who infringe the ASA Laws and Technical Rules.

Kick Board A foam board used during training to support the upper body while kicking with the legs. Sometimes called a float.

Lane order In finals, the lane order is decided from times swum in the heats or semis. The fastest qualifier goes in lane 4, the second fastest in lane 5, third fastest in lane 3, fourth fastest in lane 6, fifth fastest in lane 2, sixth fastest in lane 7, seventh fastest in lane 1 with the slowest qualifier in lane 8. In theory this should produce a spearheaded race – looked at from above, the swimmers are in the shape of a spearhead. Sometimes the later heats in HDW events will be spearheaded as well.

Long Course Galas swum in a 50m pool – times are usually slower than those achieved in a 25m pool for the same event distance.

Manual Time The time for a swim recorded manually by a timekeeper using a stopwatch.

Medley Relay For medley relay events, a team of four swimmers cover the four strokes in the the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle. Each section must be finished in accordance with the rules for the stroke concerned. A swimmer may leave the water as soon as he has completed his swim.

Milton Keynes (MK) Junior League The league takes place over 3 rounds, in June, July and September each year. The league winners progress to a National Semi-Final round.

National Arena League The league takes place over 3 rounds, in October, November and December each year.

National Qualifying Time (NQT) These are those times that a swimmer must achieve in order to be allowed to enter the Nationals. NQTs may only be obtained at designated meets.

Official Time The time officially recorded for a swimmer after comparing it with the placings. This will usually be the same as the accepted time, except in the case where the placings do not agree with the times, in which case two or more times will be adjusted, resulting in the same official time for the swimmers even though they have different places.

One Start Rule In competitions using the one start rule, if a swimmer is moving when the starting signal is given he will be disqualified at the end of the race. If a swimmer topples into the water before the starting signal he will also be disqualified and not given a second chance to start.

Open Meet Competitions which are open to swimmers of any club that is affiliated to the ASA.

Over The Top Start After completing an event, the swimmer stays in the water against the wall until after the start of the next race. When the following competitor dives over the top of the previous swimmer, he may leave the water. Often used to speed up proceedings on 50m and 100m events. When over the top starts are not used, the swimmer may only leave the water when instructed to do so by the Referee.

Pace Clock A large clock on the wall of the swimming pool with a single hand used during training to give the swimmers a start time for a drill, time rest periods and to time a swim.

Personal Best (PB) The swimmers best time to date for that event.

Pool Floor Markings The black lines painted on the pool floor indicate the centre of a lane. The ‘T’ at the end of the black line indicates two metres from the end of the pool. Both assist the swimmer in gauging when to start a tumble turn in Front Crawl, or when to spot the turn or finish in Breaststroke & Butterfly.

Pullbouy A foam device shaped like a figure of eight used to support the legs while training.

Qualifying Time A time required by some competition organisers in order to enter an event. Racing Suit Is required for competitions and is considered fundamental to a best competitive performance. This suit is usually 1 or 2 sizes smaller than the practice suit to reduce resistance when racing.

Referee The referee has overall control or a competition, ensuring that the rules are obeyed, inspecting the course and adjudicating in any disagreements between officials and competitors.

Regional Championships The next step up from County Championships, swimmers will compete against clubs from all over London

Relay Race Relays involve swimming an event as a team of two (usually four) or more swimmers. In relays all swimmers use the same stroke or in the case of a medley relay, each swimmer swims a different stroke in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle.

Seeding The method of arranging swimmers who have entered in an event according to their submitted time. Some organisers swim the fastest swimmers first and then work through to the slower submitted entry times. However most competitions are swum starting with the slowest entries and working up to the faster entries. The final heat is often swum in "spearhead" formation, with the fastest swimmers occupying the middle lanes.

Short Course Galas swum in a 25m pool. Because there are more turns, times are usually faster than those achieved in long course events for the same event distance.

Speeding Ticket Swimmers who exceed the fastest permissible time for an event are given a speeding ticket. This means that their time stands but not the place. This usually happens when an A grade swimmer has been selected for a B or C grade gala.

Split Time: Split times can be used to record the time for a swimmer to complete each 50m or 100m. Split times are usually manually recorded by the timekeeper on the back of the swimmers card.

Swim Cap (Hat) Latex or Silicone caps are used during a race and / or training, to cut down resistance. The club caps must be worn in all club competition when representing the club.

Swim down Gentle swimming to relax the muscles after training or competing.

Taper Period of less intense training in the run up to a major event.

Time Trial A swimmer taking part in a race to achieve a time without recording a place. Used to give the swimmer experience when there is a spare lane. Timekeeper

Timekeepers record the time for competitors swimming in their lane. The chief timekeeper collects the times from the timekeepers and and reviews them with the referee.

Training Paddle (Hand Paddle) A device used during training which fits over the hands to provide a greater surface area. Generally used by A Squad Swimmers only.

Training Suits These are suits worm by swimmers during training sessions and warm-up for swim meet, some older swimmers train wearing 2 suits for the purpose of creating drag.

Warm Up Time Gentle swimming to loosen up the body at the start of training or before a gala.

Zoomers Short bladed fins are more conducive to competitive swim training and can improve the quality of underwater kicking off starts & turns. You will be advised when you need to get some.