Glossary of terms

ASA - the Amateur Swimming Association, the governing body responsible for swimming in England. There is also the Scottish ASA and the Welsh ASA.

BRITISH SWIMMING - responsible for organising the British team on the international stage

DISQUALIFICATION (DQ) - When a swimmer during a race undertakes a manoeuvre observed by an ASA Official and is contrary to an ASA Technical rule.

FINS or FLIPPERS - used by swimmers when coaches include drills to focus on ankle flexibility.

FREESTYLE - an event where each swimmer is free to choose the stroke of their choice. As the fastest stroke is frontcrawl this is the stroke normally chosen.

GRADED MEET - A club organising an Open Meet determines what level the meet is to be. A time cap is applied and only those swimmers who full with the times are allowed to swim.

HEATS - where an event has more than 6/8 swimmers events are divided into heats. Following which HDWs are announced or semi-finals and finals are swum.

HEAT DECLARED WINNERS (HDW) - All swimmers swim in order according to their entry times, slowest first to fastest last. The top 6/8 places are announced when all swimmers have swum that particular event.

INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (IM) - a race comprising of all four strokes in a set order - butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, frontcrawl. Under the FINA programme IM race are 100m/200m/400m.

KICKBOARD - is a large version of a float and is used for kick sets.

LONG COURSE (LC) SHORT COURSE (SC) - A Long Course pool is 50m and a Short Course pool is 25m. Conversion tables are used to convert LC to SC and SC to LC when required.

MEDLEY RELAY - Where four swimmers are selected to swim a set distance divided by four and all four strokes are swum by one of the four swimmers in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and frontcrawl.

ONE START RULE - Under FINA and ASA TECHNICAL RULES swimmers are not allowed to move from the starter saying 'take your marks' to 'go'. The referee allows the race to proceed and afterwards the offending swimmer is announced as a DQ.

OPEN MEET - Organised by a club with an open invitation by other clubs to enter swimmers.

OVER THE TOP STARTS - At the end of a race the swimmer remains in the water while the lead referee starts the next race. This assists in quickening and streamlining the pace of the meet.

PADDLES - promotes a better hand action if undertaken in a controlled way.

PERSONAL BEST (PB) - This is the fastest time a swimmer records for a particular stroke and distance.

PULLBUOY - used to prevent a swimmer from using their legs in pull drills.

SPEEDING TICKET - When a swimmer records a faster time than the level of meet allows the swimmer receives a certificate. This system ensures only swimmers of a designated standard enter the meet and faster swimmers do not enter thereby having an unfair advantage.

STARTS AND FALSE STARTS - at the start of the race the referee blows a whistle three times followed by one long blow. This tells the swimmers to mount the starting blocks/enter the water for backstroke. The starter then starts the race. The race is only stopped if the false start is as a result of an electronic error.

TOUCHPAD - Part of the electronic timing equipment. Touchpads are placed at the end of the pool and are sensitive to a hand/foot touch at the turns and finish. They act as a stopwatch.


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