Accredited Meet is a competition where there is a full complement of officials and all the rules of swimming will be applied.

Automatic (Electronic) Timing (AOE) electrical equipment designed to measure the elapsed time between the start and finish of a race in each lane.

ASA (Amateur Swimming Association): the governing body of swimming in England. 

ASFGB (Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain): the governing body of swimming across the whole of Great Britain.

Backstroke flags a line of flags (not bunting!) suspended above the pool 5 metres from each pool end.  Used to help backstroke swimmers judge when to turn.

Competitive skills - starts, turns, streamlining, start and finish speeds - all components of racing.

Consideration Time is a time for an event set by the meet organiser that swimmers must be faster than in order to enter.

Converted Time a time calculated using tables to compensate for a change of pool length.  A time swum in a 25m pool can be converted into an equivalent time for a 50m pool and vice versa.

Disqualification (DQ) indicates the swimmer has broken a swimming rule.

Entry form/disk the page(s) or computer disk upon which the team's entries for a particular meet are submitted to the meet host or designated committee.

Even Pace is a swim that is swum at the same pace for each section - e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th 50's of a 200m swim swum with equal times.

Event a race or series of races in a given stroke and distance.

FINA (Federation Internationale Natation Amateur): the world's governing body of swimming.

Final any single race that determines final places and times in an event.

Graded Meet - At a Graded Meet a time cap is applied and only those swimmers below the cap are allowed to compete.  Some graded meets may have both high end and low end caps.

Heat the division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time.

Heat Declared Winner 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.

I.M. (Individual Medley) is an event where all four competitive strokes are swum in one event by one swimmer.  Order: butterfly - backstroke - breaststroke - frontcrawl. 

Kickboard - a flat rectangular (usually) piece of foam used when kicking in training. 

Lane numbers: lanes are numbered from right to left as the swimmer stands facing the course. 

Leg: the part of a relay that is swum by a single team member.

LEN (League European Natation) is the governing body of swimming in Europe. 

Licensed Meet is a competition that has been approved by the SASA.  Only times from licensed and accredited meets can be used to enter most North District competitions. 

Long Course means in a 50 metre pool.

Marshalling Area - the area where the swimmers meet ahead of their race

Medley relay is an event where all four competitive strokes are swum in one event with four swimmers swimming in turns.  Each swimmer swims one stroke.  Order  backstroke – breaststroke - butterfly – frontcrawl.  (Compare to IM)

NEASCA is the North East Amateur Swimming Clubs Association comprising 6 clubs – Broch Seals, Deveron, Garioch, Huntly, Peterhead and  Ythan. 

Negative split: a pacing tactic where the swimmer performs the second half of a race faster than the first half. 

North District is the part of SASA that we belong to covering the North of Scotland and the islands.

Officials are volunteers who help to ensure that the rules of swimming are adhered to in swimming events and time trials.  Officials will usually wear white.

Open competition: a competition in which any affiliated club, organisation or individual may enter.

One Start Rule is a rule applied almost everywhere now and it means that a swimmer is automatically disqualified if they fall or dive into the water before the starting signal

Over the top Starts this means that the swimmer should stay in the water after finishing their race, holding on to the lane rope, until after the next race has started.

Pace Clock - normally a constantly running single arm (displaying time progression in seconds) clock with different coloured ends - each pointing to 30 seconds apart & used to assist swimmers and coach to send swimmers off for each repeat swim in a swim set - e.g. 5 or 10 seconds apart & used by swimmers for pacing or noting their swim times for particular swim sets.

Pacing an important procedure for distributing energy resources in a particular race to achieve the best overall performance.

Paddles - flat pieces of plastic worn on the hands, usually during pull sets.

Personal Best (PB) This is the fastest time that a swimmer has recorded for a particular event.

Placing (order of finish): determined by either the automatic timing system when available or by the meet officials when manual timing is used.

Programme (Start sheet) is a complete listing of all swimmers entered in the events at a competition.

Pullbouy - a piece of foam that goes between your legs and helps you float whilst swimming 

without kicking during training. 

Qualifying / Consideration time (QT) the time a swimmer must perform to enter a particular meet or gain selection to a certain squad.

Recorder the official who records the results at a meet.

Referee the highest ranking official in overall charge of an accredited meet.

SAS (South Aberdeenshire Swimming) is a composite team made up of the 5 competitive clubs in South Aberdeenshire – Banchory Beavers, Garioch, Stonehaven, Upper Deeside, Westhill & District.

SASA (Scottish Amateur Swimming Association) the governing body of swimming in Scotland.

SASA National Championships: senior and age group competitions for all swimmers who make the qualifying standard to determine the best swimmers in Scotland. 

Session: any portion of a meet distinctly separated from other portions by time or type, i.e., heats and finals, senior and age group.

Short Course is in 25 metre pool.

Speeding Ticket is what a swimmer receives for swimming too fast at a graded meet.

Split time the time(s) recorded within individual sections of a race.

Starter the official who starts the race.

Starting block / Plinth: a raised platform from which competitors dive at the start of freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and individual medley races. 

Stroke judge the official who inspects competitors to determine that the stroke being used is legal. 

Streamlining the method of aligning the body so as to reduce resistance in the water.

Swim off an additional race used to determine the finalists in the event of a tie in the heats.

Timekeeper is an official who operates a stopwatch to record a swimmer’s time.

Touchpad - a board at the end of the pool that acts as a stopwatch. When the swimmer

finishes and hits the touchpad, it records the time. 


Turn Judge is the official who ensures that all turns are completed correctly in a race.


Timed finals / Heat Declared Winner: competition in which only heats are swum with final 


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