Changes to 2011 County Champs


Implications of changes to 2011 County Championship Qualifications

Yes, this really is an article about a competition that won’t take place until March 2011!  But the repercussions of the changes to qualification criteria are sufficiently significant for us to tell you about them now.  We’ll apologise in advance for the length of this email, but it is worth reading with some care.

With effect from 2011, all qualifying times for the Herts County Championships will have to be achieved at a licensed meet.  You can see the formal notification of the change on the Herts ASA website here

If you don’t know anything about the County Championships take a look at the FAQ.  About 25% of the Club’s swimmers qualify to swim in the Championships each year.  For many swimmers they are the pinnacle of their competitive career; much of the Club’s training from September is geared toward helping as many swimmers as possible to achieve County qualifying times.

In the past it has been possible to use times achieved from a wide range of sources, including times achieved in training and times calculated from other times (so for e.g. a time achieved in 50 free could be used to calculate a time for 100 free).  This will no longer be possible.

“Licensed meet” means that the competition conforms to certain standards laid down by the ASA.  Competitions will state whether they are licensed or not, but for example our Club Championships and the Birthday Open are licensed, Peanut Galas are not.  Again there is more information in the FAQs.

The immediate implications of the change are as follows:

  • Licensed meets in Hertfordshire and the surrounding counties will probably be much more popular with effect from September.  As a result when the Club manages entries to a licensed meet we will be imposing an earlier closing date for entries.  If you are entering a licensed meet yourself we strongly recommend that you get your entry in as early as possible.
  • We will bring forward some of the Club’s Middle Distance Championships into late 2010 rather than hold them all in January 2011.  This is to ensure that there is no clash with the licensed meets scheduled for January.
  • Some of the Middle Distance Championships will be held on Saturdays rather than Sundays.  This is to minimise the impact on training which will already be heavily disrupted for some swimmers by the requirement to attend licensed meets.
  • We will schedule a licensed sprint County qualifier competition in January.  This will involve 50m and 100m races and will be open only to HHSC swimmers who have almost achieved County qualifying times (i.e. it will not be open to anyone who has achieved the qualifying time and who is looking to improve it).

At the moment there are a number of critical details we don’t know about the 2011 Championships, including the closing dates for entries, what the qualifying times will be, and any restrictions on when times may be achieved.  There are also some points of detail on which we are seeking clarification from Herts ASA.  As these become clear we will of course keep you advised.

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We are a competitive sport club - with our swimmers competing at all levels from local team galas to National and European events.