Swimming Terminology


British Age Group Categories of BAGCat points are a system of points which are awarded for different swims. When a swimmer competes in a BAGCat event, their time is converted into points that take into account a swimmer’s age and sex.

A swimmer can take part in as many events in a season as they choose to, but only their highest points score in each swimming category will count towards their final BAGCat total.

For an event the overall position of a swimmer is the sum of the BEST point score in each of the 5 categories (50m events, 100m, FORM, Distance and IM being 100m for 9-11 year old and 200-400m for older swimmers).

It is therefore advisable to enter every category in the Age groups if you can achieve the qualifying times.

(NB, Boys 12 and below and Girls 11 and below do not swim the 100m individual events).

Consideration or Qualification time – the slowest entry time for a particular event that the organisers of a gala will consider.

DQ or disq – Abbreviation for disqualified on result sheets and time cards.

DNF – Did not finish. Seen on results sheets………when a swimmer stops before the end of the event.

Entry Time – The time submitted by the club for a swimmer being entered in a gala. If entries are made well in advance, the entry time may not be the swimmers current PB.

Form Stroke – One of the 3 strokes having specific requirements (i.e. 200m backstroke, butterfly or breaststroke). Freestyle is not a Form stroke but is used for distance events, such as 200/400/800/1500m depending on the swimmers age and sex.

Flyer – A false start or early take over in a race.

Heat Declared Winner (HDW) – When no final is swum and the winner is declared on the times swum in the heats.

Individual Medley (I.M.) – The competitor swims all four strokes in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle.

Licensed Meets – These are the only meets via which you can qualify for national competitions.

Long Course – Events held in a 50m pool.

Lower Qualification Time (LQT) – The slowest entry time for a particular event that the organisers of a gala will consider.

Medley Relay – Four swimmers each swim a different stroke. The order is always Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle.

Personal Best (PB) – A swimmers personal best time for a given event.

Upper Qualification Time (UQT) – The fastest entry time for a particular event that the organisers of a gala will consider.

Short Course – Events held in a 25m pool.

Cannon Relay – Usually the last race of a gala. A freestyle relay consisting of one swimmer from each age group or one swimmer of each sex from each age group.

Time Trial – Internal event held to establish times for entry to galas and team selection.