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Entering An External Gala

  • Swimmers will be advised via email of the competitions and events to enter ( a calendar of events is available on the club website & notice board so you have advanced notice of dates.  Try to keep these free)

  • Parents then need to complete an online entry. The entry form will be sent via email and the members app. 

  • Entries need to be made before the club closing date (the club closing date is earlier than the host closing date to allow time to collate and submit Morpeth ASC entries)

  • Please keep a note of the competitions and events you have entered. You will need this later to check your entries.

  • You will be sent a list of entries to check after the club closing date. 


  • The cost of races can be found in the meet information 

  • Please check you are paying the correct amount

  • Payment should be made at the time of submitting your entries

Rejected Entries & Withdrawls

  • Entries will be accepted or rejected by the organiser. You will be informed if your entry has been rejected.

  • Rejections are a result of the host club receiving too many entries. Morpeth ASC has no control over this.  

  • Refunds are given for rejected entries but not for withdrawals after the closing date.

  • The competition secretary must be notified before the closing date if you wish to withdraw from a an event/gala.  After this date, we have made payment for your events to the host club. 

Notify the competition secretary of withdrawl (no reply)

If you have any questions about payment, please contact the treasurer 

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  • Make sure you have mobile phone number for the team manager  in case of swimmer withdrawal or delay or post a message on the members fb page. 

   (The club is fined where withdrawals are not notified at the start of the session) 

  • Make sure you know how to get to the venue and you are aware of any parking arrangements to enable you to allow plenty of time to get to the gala on time

  • Bring some cash – there will be an entry fee for spectators 

  • Swimmers should know which races they are participating in 

  • Facebook


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When attending a gala please arrive 30 minutes before scheduled warm up times.

Upon arrival, the swimmers go straight to the changing area whilst parents queue to enter the spectators’ area.


Swimmers stay with the team for the whole session (unless advised otherwise by a coach or team manager). There is usually a morning session and an afternoon session.


Parents should not come onto poolside at any point throughout competitions or enter the changing area

 (unless an absolute emergency e.g. illness).


Swimmers can leave poolside at the end of the session for lunch or to go home. 


Once changed, swimmers should go and meet their team on poolside taking with them:

  • Warm Up costumes 

  • Costume to race in or racing suit if appropriate.

  • Swimming Hat & spare

  • Goggles & spare

  • A towel to dry off after each race

  • Club T-shirt to wear in between races / shorts or leggings

  • Club Hoodie 

  • Trainers & socks only used for poolside / Sliders or similar

  • Food and drink for each session 

Once the team is assembled the team manager & coach will provide all necessary instructions for your races.

Swimmers should know what events they are competing in.

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• The coach will let you know when to you need to go to marshalling for your race (experienced swimmers are expected to manage this themselves)

• Listen to the advice the coach gives you

• After the race the coach will give you feedback on how the race went – go and find them!

• Have a swim down and then dry off – you need to keep warm

• If you leave poolside then let the coach know

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• Drink plenty

• Don’t eat lots of sweets

• Support your team mates

• Check the posted results to see if you’ve won a medal


Remember, the most important thing is to do your best and enjoy yourself!


References & Abbreviations

Age at - Some meets have moved to grouping swimmers according to their age at the end of the year, i.e. 31st December. This is in line with the major swimming competitions such as Nationals. However, some promoters still run their events according to your age on the day of the race.

Age Group - Division of swimmers according to age, usually in one or two year bands

Blocks - the starting platforms located behind each lane

British Rankings - this is a database maintained by British Swimming which records all times of all swimmers at licensed meets. You can see your own PB’s as well as seeing how you rank against others at County, Regional or National level. 

Converted times
Swimming times can be converted depending on whether they have been achieved in a short course pool (25m) or long course (50m). Conversion can be calculated using on line tools (e.g., For events over the same distance short course times are quicker than long course due the advantage pushing off from the wall at turns gives the swimmer

Closing Date - the last date when entries into a competition have to be received by the club in order to send them to the Meet Organiser. Entries will not be accepted after the closing date. 

Galas are run under ASA rules and these are strictly enforced, this may mean, unfortunately, that you may be disqualified (DQ) if your swim does not meet the necessary standards (e.g., not touching on your Butterfly/Breaststroke turn with two hands, making a false start etc). Don’t be disheartened, it happens to almost all swimmers at some point in their career. The poolside coach will try and find out the reason for disqualification and you can learn from this for next time.

Electronic Timing - a timing system which is operated electronically which has touch pads in the water that hook up to a computer and records the swimmers split and finish times when they touch the pad.

Entry Fees - the amount per event a swimmer is charged. This varies depending on the type of meet.

Event - A race

False Start - when a swimmer leaves the starting block before the starter has started the race. The swimmer will be disqualified for making a false start. 

Heat Declared Winner (HDW) means that there will be no final and the winner of the event is determined by times alone when all the heats have been swum. In many galas the swimmer will be swimming in a heat with swimmers with similar best recorded time and not necessarily their age.

Licensed Meet - in order for race times to be official and recognised by British Swimming, they must be swum at a licenced meet.

Officials - these are the people in white you see poolside at galas.  They are qualified and registered officials who are there to make sure that swimmers abide by the official rules.  Open meets are dependent on having a certain number of officials to meet their license.  If you want to support your swimmer this is a great way to get involved

Open Competition - meet/competition which any qualified club may enter

Over the top start - used in freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly events to save time. The swimmers will remain in the water after the event until the next race starts

Recorded times
For all licensed events swimmers times are entered into the national database. You can find these at

Where a gala is over subscribed you may find that your swimmer has not been able to enter all the races they wanted as the organising club may decide to prioritise swimmers with recorded times. The competition secretary will notify you if this is the case.


ASA - Amateur Swimming Association, the governing body of British Swimming

ASA Number - A unique reference number that you will be provided with when joining a swimming club and used to enter competitions

DNF - Did not finish

DNS - Did not start

DQ - Disqualified

FINA - Federation Internationale de National de Amateur, the international governing body of competitive swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming

LC / SC - The length of pool: Long Course (LC) = 50 metres / Short Course (SC) = 25metres

PB - Personal Best, the best time a swimmer has done so far in each stroke and distance

QT - Qualification time  - often the conditions of a meet will require you to have swum a minimum (sometimes maximum) time at a licenced meet in order to qualify