Swimmers Information / Galas

What Are Galas?

A swimming gala is a swimming competition between swimming clubs and between individual swimmers.

Types of Galas

WOSC compete in the following galas:

This is a gala aimed at developing swimmers and is normally the first club gala that young swimmers will compete in for White Oak Swimming Club against other clubs. Therefore, in order to not disadvantage developing swimmers by top swimmers competing for their clubs a time penalty system applies.

There is a points system where 1 point is awarded for 1st place, 2 for 2nd place, etc. Normally six teams compete in each league. If you are under the time limit which is set for each event a Time Penalty (TP) of 7 points is given. The club with the lowest number of points wins.

Coaches select the teams for these galas and gala cards are given to selected swimmers.

This league currently features 6 teams and 6 galas are usually held at Crook Log throughout the calendar year for the top 'A' swimmers. Where in each race points are awarded, and whichever club gets the most points wins.

Coaches select the teams for these galas and gala cards are given to selected swimmers.

As the name implies it is a National Swimming League sponsored by the swimwear company, Arena. Until a couple of years ago the League was sponsored by Speedo so that for many people old habits die hard and they still call it “Speedo League”.

Approximately 400 Clubs throughout England and Wales compete in 7 regional competitions. The Divisions are East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East, London, South East and Western. Within each region there are a number of divisions with promotion and relegation between those divisions.

White Oak Swimming Club are in the South Region. This has a Premier Division and below that Divisions 1 and 2 are divided into East and West Sections. White Oak Swimming Club compete in Division 2 East (after being relegated lasy year from division 1 - so we are looking to win and be promoted back to division 1 this year).

There are 3 league galas held in October, November and December respectively at which 6 to 8 teams from the relevant division compete against each other.

Points are awarded for the performance in each gala so that the final gala in December is seeded so that the top teams points wise swim to decide who will progress to the National Club finals or who will be promoted depending on the division they are in whilst the lowest points scorers swim against each other to decide relegation. The top 20 teams across the Country compete in the National A and B finals which are held in Sheffield in late April or early May.

The events in each gala follow a similar format with each age group swimming broadly the same programme. The age groups are 9-11 (although 9 year olds may only swim in relays), 13 and under, 15 and under and Open. The age groups are calculated by reference to the age of the swimmers on 31st December in the year the 3 qualifying galas take place. There are limits on the number of events in which swimmers may compete. Each gala starts with an Open Individual Medley followed by a series of relays for each age group (all relays are 4 x 50 except the Open freestyle relays). Each age group then swims each of the 4 strokes individually followed by further relays culminating in the Women’s and Men’s 6 x 50 Open freestyle relay which can be incredibly exciting and usually bringing the crowds to the edge of their seats!

This gala is aimed at the top 'A' swimmers, with coaches selecting the teams for these galas. Gala cards are given to selected swimmers.

There are also County galas which are for individual swimmers that have achieved the qualifying times and wish to compete at a county level. These are known as the Kent Championships which normally are held over several weekends annually in Feb/Mar. Please note, that there is also an annual Kent Development Meet for swimmers who have not already got their Kent qualifying times. Further details of these galas are posted on our website at the appropriate time and are shown on the fixtures list.

After these come regional galas which have the same concept as county galas but for bigger areas so they have faster qualifying times.

The next stage up are national galas which are for the best swimmers in the country.

Open meets are galas hosted by swimming clubs/organisations to raise money. Some of these have entry qualifying times, often a fee per event and closing dates for applications. White Oak Swimming Club holds its annual open meet each year normally in the Autumn. We also attend a couple of other clubs open meets during the year. Swimmers can also individually register to swim at any clubs open meets. Swimming at open meets is away to get official ASA times.

To look up your official ASA times that you have achieved at open meets you can use swimmingresults.org. Please note, as well as checking your times, you can also check your ranking in terms of your times in various strokes/distances at national, regional, county and club level. Please note, that only ASA Open Meetings are officially recorded, and not club galas such as WOSC Club Champs, Millenium League, White Horse League, or National Arena League.

General Gala Information

If you are selected to swim for the club you will be given a gala invitation card. We ask that you confirm your availability as soon as possible. Details of time and location are displayed in the invitation card and on our website. Any further questions can be answered by your coach.

On arrival at the gala please make yourself known to the team manager or coach on poolside and prepare for warm up. We ask that all swimmers stay together as a team and support fellow swimmers whilst wearing their club kit. Please check with the coach / team manager before leaving to ensure you have no more races.

Generally swimming pools are warm but we ask that swimmers bring a towel and t-shirt to wear between races to prevent muscles becoming cold. We also ask all swimmers to bring a drink and possibly a small snack if necessary.

Should you have any further questions about galas please see your coach.
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