Welcome to the world of competitive swimming. Competitive swimming means:
- Being able to push yourself that extra mile
- Dedication and discipline
- Focus and concentration
Below is some information regarding competitive swimming in the Auckland region, and swimming with United Swimming Club.
Competitive swimming provides many benefits to young athletes. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with those times when success is elusive, while becoming healthy and physically fit. It is important to our club that we have a positive and supportive environment to encourage your child to continue. Parents also play an important role in encouraging an dsupporint their child in what can be a demanding sport. We encourage all our swimmers and their families to show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents, and team-mates. Do not over burden your child with winning or achieving best times. The most important part of your child’s experience is that they learn about themselves while enjoying the sport. This healthy environment encourages learning and fun that will develop a positive self-image within your child.
When you child begins competitive swimming they will enter a swimming ‘meet’
Meets are divided into 3 levels depending on the ability of the swimmer. They consist of:
- Level 3 Beginners
- Level 2 Intermediate ability
- Level 1 Advanced ability
The United Coaches normally target certain meets for the season and these are the only meets at which a United SC coach will be in attendance. Most of the Level 3 meets in the Central Zone are targeted. The club also runs some clubnights (in house). If we have sufficient of our qualified officials present, we are able to run the Club night as a fully ratified meet, and times can be Level 2 Meets
Level 3 Meets
In the Auckland Swimming Association region the Level 3 meets have been divided into three regions, Waitakere Zone which covers West Auckland, Northern Zone which covers the North Shore and Central Zone which covers Central Auckland. United SC competes in the Central Zone. Previously if the Central Zone clubs were not offering a meet in any given month, swimmers were able to enter another zone’s Level 3 meet. However, ASA policy has changed and Level 3 swimmers may only enter the meets in their Club’s allocated zone (in the ASA region). They may enter meets in other Swimming Associations’ regions e.g. Counties Manukau and Waikato.
The Level 3 meets are a good learning ground for swimmers to sort out their turns and stroke technique. Mostly, the swimmers are only warned of any stroke infractions unless they are getting close to Level 2 (at Central Zone Level 3 meets).
To progress to Level 2, the swimmer will need to swim in 100m events or longer to achieve qualifying times. Provided a swimmer has achieved a Level 2 qualifying time at their current age, in any event (i.e. backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke or butterfly), they can attend Level 2 meets. Once qualified for Level 2, they can no longer enter Level 3 meets, unless they age up (have a birthday) before they attain a Level 2 qualifying time for their new age. In that case, they drop back to Level 3 until a qualifying time for the new age is achieved.
Level 2 Meets
At Level 2 meets which are much bigger meets (two sessions and all zones amalgamated), the swimmer will be disqualified for any infractions of the rules. The minimum age band for Level 2 swimmers is 11 and under, so even if a swimmer is a 9 year old he or she will need to achieve the minimum 11 and under qualifying time for male or female swimmers. Don’t get over anxious about achieving Level 2 qualifying times, if the swimmer makes it that’s great, but if he or she doesn’t make it until another meet, it allows them time to get the other strokes up to close to Level 2 times as well.
Note that meets are swum in short course (25m) and long course (50m) pools and there are conversion charts in the ASA booklet with the relevant conversion factors. For example, the 11y/u qualifying times for Level 2 are: 100Backstroke 1:36.70S (short course) and 1:38.40L (long course) for males and females, and 100Freestyle 1:22.30S and 1:24.00L for males and females.
To progress to level 1, qualifying times can be achieved in 50m evetns. Provided a swimmer has achieved a Level 1 qualifying time at their current age, in any event (i.e. backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke or butterfly), they can attend Level 1 meet. Once qualified for Level 1, they can no longer enter Level 2 meets, unless they age up (have a birthday) before they attain a Level 1 qualifying time for their new age. In that case, they drop back to Level 2 until a qualifying time for the new age is achieved.
Level 1 Meets
Level 1 meets which are much bigger meets (two sessions and all zones amalgamated), the swimmer will be disqualified for any infractions of the rules. The minimum age band for Level 2 swimmers is 13 and under, so even if a swimmer is a 12 year old he or she will need to achieve the minimum 13 and under qualifying time for male or female swimmers.