Galas, Meets & Leagues info

Linslade Crusaders is a competitive swimming club.  Members are encouraged to take part in a number of competitive swimming events both as individuals and as part of Club teams at local, county, regional and national level.

The Club’s extensive competition schedule is designed to give all members of whatever age and experience an opportunity to maximise their capabilities.

For most swimming competitions athletes are split into groups based on their age on 31 December that year. However, there are some competitions for which age groups are based on a swimmer’s age on the day of competition.

They take place in either a 25m or a 50m pool. The 25m events are called short course and the 50m events are known as long course.

All results from licensed meets (see below) are submitted to Swim England and are held on their database. For reference if you need to know you child’s current personal best times (PB’s), go on the link below, ensure you put in their date as of 31st Dec and select the last 12 months.

For most swimming meets, you can use a short course time. Occasionally, a long course time is required. If a swimmer does not have a Long Course time for an event it is acceptable to convert a swimmer’s Short Course (25m pool) time, this is done by the Club’s Meet Co-ordinator.

License Levels:

  • Level 4:   Club Championships, Splash Galas (Short course – 25m pool)
  • Level 3:    Development swimmers and to attain qualifying times for County or Regional events (can be either Short course – 25m pool or Long course – 50m pool). These will have a ‘No faster than’ entry qualifying time and may also have a ‘No slower than’ entry time.
  • Level 2:     For swimmers to attain qualifying times for National, Regional & County level (Short course – 25m pool) – Will have a ‘No slower than’ entry time.
  • Level 1:     For swimmers to attain qualifying times for National, Regional & County level (Long course – 50m pool)

For more details on Licensing guidelines and a full list of Licensed Open meets please visit The Swim England website:

General Open Meet Information

The club enters several open meets throughout the year, if you are unsure as to what meets you should attend your coach will be able to direct you and also suggest which events to enter. We try to get these meets as local as possible however sometimes it is important to go further afield so our swimmers can compete against different swimmers. Most of the open meets we will be attending will be Level 3 (we will try and enter at least 1 Level 2 open meet for swimmers who would like to experience a higher level meet). The majority of open meets we will be entering accept entries on a ‘first come, first served’ basis as the meet can only accommodate a certain number of swimmers so those applying first get preference over those applying later. Because of this we will be setting our application dates way in advance of the closing date of the meet to give our swimmers every chance of being accepted. If however, we enter a meet which if oversubscribed accepts the fastest submitted times we will send in our entries a few days before the closing date to give swimmers the opportunity of obtaining a faster entry time.

If you do not get your entry in before our closing date and you still wish to enter you will need to contact the Promoter of the host club and ask if they will accept your individual entry, if so, send them the details and payment direct. If your entry is accepted, you must also let the Open Meet Co-Ordinators at Linslade Crusaders know as they will need to ensure that the required number of coach passes are purchased to support the swimmers attending from Linslade Crusaders.

Linslade Crusaders is a competitive club and we hope that all swimmers reach a minimum standard of going to the County Championships which are currently held at Inspire Luton swimming pool during January & February. We recommend that all Crusaders swimmers who are 9 years and older enter our Level 3 Open Meet at the end of the year as this is a really friendly meet and gives swimmers who have not entered open meets before an insight on how they work, it’s also likely to be the last chance to achieve those sought after qualifying times for entry into the County Championships. To check the date of our next meet please take a look at the ‘Fixtures’ list on the Linslade Crusaders website:

Gala/Meet Definitions:

Splash Galas

Splash Galas are our internal club galas for swimmers from Otters up to Performance Squad. These are held four times a year and it’s where all of our swimmers started off with their first ever race and we’re all on hand to calm nerves and help the swimmers to enjoy themselves. This also provides an opportunity for the inexperienced to mingle with the more experienced swimmers and since all events are graded by time no one need feel out of place.

Although it can seem tricky to understand, swimmers are actually swimming against their own times and are awarded points for beating their Personal Best. They swim against others with a similar time to them so no-one is noticeably slower and all of our younger swimmers receive a medal.

Splash Gala dates for 2020 are:

[icon name=”calendar” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Splash Gala 3 -16th May-all pools

[icon name=”calendar” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]Splash Gala 4 -20th June-big pool only

Splash Gala Downloads

Downloadable files – these files will preview in Google docs when clicked. You will be able to view them or download them from the Google Docs page.

Club Championships

Each year, during September & October, the club championships are held. The championships are open to all registered category 1 or 2 members of Crusaders Swimming Club. Dual club members who are either first claim to Crusaders or first claim to another club must be ASA registered with Crusaders from 1 April and completing at least 50% of their training with Crusaders in order to accumulate championship points. Swimmers completing less than 50% of their training are welcome to compete but will not accumulate championship points. Dual club swimmers can only compete in one club’s championship.

The more people that enter the better the atmosphere and competition. There are over 50 cups and trophies to be won, but all swimmers obtain a medal, these awards are presented at our club presentation night held shortly after the club championships where again, everyone is encouraged to attend.

Open Meets

Open meets provide swimmers the opportunity to see how they rate against a larger number of swimmers as well as improve their PB’s and to attain qualifying times for County, Regional or National events. British Swimming use a Licensing method to grade the importance of the meet, Level 4 being the lowest and Level 1 being the highest. The license number also dictates certain rules such as types and number of officials, pool format, and entry time criteria.

Open Meet Downloads

Downloadable files – these files will preview in Google docs when clicked. You will be able to view them or download them from the Google Docs page.

Novice Galas

Novice Gala – are exactly as they say, for our novice swimmers to help them get used to the competitive side of swimming, these are normally a ‘no faster than’ gala so that clubs don’t just use it for their fastest swimmers. It is a great format to help those swimmers just beginning their swimming life. This is a team event and swimmers are selected by Simon Wright and informed via email.

Novice Gala Downloads

Downloadable files – these files will preview in Google docs when clicked. You will be able to view them or download them from the Google Docs page.

Junior League

Junior League – is a league format of 3 divisions, this is for younger swimmers aged 9, 10, 11 & 12, it is a fastest wins galas over 50 races. You have to declare you squad before the 1st June and you can then only choose swimmers from this list. This is a team event and swimmers are selected by Simon Wright and informed via email.

Chiltern League

Chiltern League – is a league format, this year is 2 divisions and based from clubs in the Chilterns area. This is a no faster than gala where each race has a time that if you go faster than you will get a speeding ticket & no points. The races are split in to bands A, B, C, D and E, faster as you go up the bands. It means that you choose swimmers from all abilities not just the fastest times and gives lots of swimmers an opportunity to swim in a team gala. This is a team event and swimmers are selected by Simon Wright and informed via email.

Chiltern League Downloads

Downloadable files – these files will preview in Google docs when clicked. You will be able to view them or download them from the Google Docs page.

Arena League

Arena League is a National team competition spilt into regions in England. This is the highest level of team gala in England with 50 events in each round swum as a combination of individual and relay events. Linslade Crusaders compete in the London League which has 3 divisions, we are in division 2 which is licenced giving swimmers the opportunity to get Swim England registered times for individual events. There are 3 rounds, 1 in October, 1 in November and 1 in December. At this level the fastest swimmers are selected in each age group 11/U, 13/U, 15/U and Open. The rules allow some swimmers to swim up an age group to cater for shortfalls in age groups. Not all swimmers will swim individual events but often those swimmers will the following year. This is a team event and every swimmer is key to the team performance! Swimmers are selected by Adrian Smith and informed via email.

Gala information
What events should I enter?

Most open meets will run over a weekend. It is important to think about your swimmer.

Speak with one of the coaches, who will be happy to help look at the best events and realistic goals to set.

Pools are hot and days are long, look at the schedule and find ones that work for your swimmer. Entering the first and last event in a day may not be the best thing to do, look for sessions that work, as most open meets will have 2 sessions a day, morning and afternoon or afternoon and evening and you have to be there for warm up, which is at the start of each session. Consider the distance, as some can take over an hour to reach. Don’t enter too many in a day. Although swimming for 2- 4 minutes in a day may not seem a lot it is emotionally draining and tiring for the swimmers, and you may be hanging around waiting for 8 hours!

What happens on the day?

All galas/meets publish a warm-up and start time, we recommend that you arrive approximately 30 minutes before warm-up, giving you time to check-in with the Team Manager and get ready for warm-up.

What you need to take: Swimmers
  • Swimming costume – Racing costume if you have one plus a spare for warm-up.
  • Crusaders swimming hat – Plus a spare if possible.
  • Goggles – Plus a spare pair if possible (some meets do not have a swim shop).
  • 2 x Towels.
  • Crusaders club T-shirt (if you have one, if not a lightweight T-shirt to wear poolside).
  • Flip flops or poolside shoes (swimmers are not allowed off poolside without t-shirt & shoes).
  • Bring drinks – pools are hot! Bring healthy snacks – no sweets, and pack a lunch (not all pools have cafes – and they often close early)
What you need to take: Parents
  • Bring drinks – pools are hot! pack a lunch (not all pools have cafes – and they often close early)
  • For some venues – bring a cushion, poolside seating can be very uncomfortable.

Be aware that competitions lead to highs and lows – we see a lot of emotion at poolside, it is really important to be realistic when entering these events, swimmers have to get used to swimming at galas – they get really nervous. If you would like to help, we always need people poolside, see Team Manager, Coach or a member of the committee for more Information. Be supportive to your swimmer, whether they get a PB or not, and leave the coaching to the coaching team who will offer them the best advice.

Always Remember


Sometimes your swimming does not go as well as you expect, do not worry there is often a good reason, try not to get upset, put that swim behind you and concentrate on the next one.

And remember……………………ENJOY IT!


Information on swim galas and competitions for our swimmers from Linslade, Leighton Buzzard and Bedfordshire