Regional Off-Shore Camp 2022
Due to the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID 19 pandemic we have decided that we will not be running an off-shore camp during January or February 2022 as in previous years. However, we are still keen to be able to provide a development opportunity heading into the summers months if at all possible. Whether this will be an off-shore trip or a domestic camp it is still to be confirmed.
Whilst we are unable to provide a full selection policy at this stage we would like all competitors participating in the Regional Winter Short Course Championships this weekend to know that the results of this Championship will take high precedence for any selections made heading into next year.
In previous years swimmers were selected based on the winner (of each event), with consideration given to the highest ranking 2nd or 3rd placings based on FINA points. Please keep this in mind for the weekend ahead – Good luck to all!
Choice of Pool
In choosing a pool, we had to look for one that would accommodate sufficient swimmers. That either means space around the pool deck or an area off the pool deck where swimmers could assemble between races (such as the sports hall at Wycombe).
We quickly realised that we really needed a long course pool configured short course, because of the space around the pool deck. We also needed a pool that was available. We have a long list of pools that were not prepared to book another full weekend meet because of the number of other bookings, including Region Masters and Artistic Swimming.
Portsmouth, K2 Crawley and Winchester were all able to offer some time but were not prepared to cancel lessons to give us a full day on Saturday (or in the case of K2, Sunday).
We have had to settle for a competition that starts in the middle of the day on Saturday. We chose Winchester because it offered slightly earlier access than the others.
Programme of Events
Swim England and a lot of coaches wanted a “normal” programme with heats and finals. We worked out that this was only possible if we had a session on Friday evening. Because of the size of our Region, that would have meant swimmers taking time out of school/college. Because education has been so badly disrupted, taking students out of school is an absolute no-no.
That left us with time from Saturday at 1:30 and all-day Sunday. We considered a full day of swimming on Saturday, but that would have meant swimming until 11pm. Asking swimmers to compete at 11pm on Saturday and then start at 8am on Sunday, is not reasonable and we would have had difficulties recruiting officials.
Our trade-off is to swim until 7:30pm on Saturday and 5:30pm on Sunday.
There is no way that we could fit a full programme of events and finals with these restrictions, which is why all events will be Heat Declared Winner.
Setting any form of qualifying times is almost impossible because we don’t know the current standard of swimming. (We got some wrong for the Summer Festival of Swimming).
We will be accepting entries with the fastest entry times:
- For 50m events, we will accept the fastest 64 entries
- For 100m events, we will accept the fastest 50 entries
- For 200m events, we will accept the fastest 42 entries
- For 400m events, we will accept the fastest 32 entries
- For 800m/1500m events, we will accept the fastest 24 entries
All level 2 licensed meets must have qualifying times. Because entries for these championships are based on the fastest submitted times for each event, the published base qualifying times have little relevance. Swimmers should not assume that if they achieve the base qualifying time, their entry will be accepted.
Because swimmers are having difficulty gaining entry to suitable level 1, 2 and 3 events, especially for distances greater than 200m, we will accept times set in all levels of licensed meet and Level X competitions.
- For swims of 50m, 100m and 200m, times must be set since 1st October 2020.
- For swims of 400m, 800m and 1500m, times must be set since 1st October 2019.
Why no spectators?
This trade-off is very simple. Each spectator in the pool hall reduces the number of swimmers we can accept!
Our Region is the largest in England and we have more swimmers achieving an appropriate standard to compete at Regional Level than any other Region. BUT there is no competition pool in the region that can accommodate the number of swimmers who deserve to be able to swim, officials, coaches, team managers, other volunteers and the number of spectators who would like the opportunity to watch.
For the 2019 Region Short Course Championships, we had
- 500 swimmers (most of whom competed on both days)
- Approx 450 spectators each day
- 70 coaches and team managers
- 26 officials
- 20 organising staff (marshalls, meet management etc.)
We only managed this number by turning a blind eye to health and safety capacity limits. The pool deck and spectator gallery were overcrowded.
Now, when we run any competition, we must agree in advance on the capacity limit and strictly enforce it throughout the competition.
By excluding spectators, we can accommodate all the swimmers who deserve the opportunity to compete.
We will be live streaming all session and events. Details will be published before the competition.
The going rate for even budget hotels in Winchester on Saturday 7th November is £170 per night. People who need overnight accommodation may wish to consider Southampton and Basingstoke, both of which are within 30 minutes driving time of the pool in Winchester.
The nature of this competition will depend on the level of restrictions that may be in place at the time of the competition. We are, of course, hoping that these will be minimal and that the operation of the event will be virtually normal.
In our planning we will be considering how to cope with any restrictions imposed by:
- The Government
- Swim England
- The Pool Operator
Regional Championships – survey
Swim England South East has more swimmers than any other Region and does not have access to a 10-lane pool in the region. In addition, there have been increasing constraints imposed on Regional Championships (additional finals, reverse 800m, 1500m). As a result, our traditional 3 day 15/Over programme, even extended to 31⁄2 days by having events on Friday evening, does not allow us to accept all of the swimmers who have a chance of achieving a qualifying time for the British Championships or Swim England Summer Meet. To help us find a solution to these problems we asked everyone to complete a survey.
By the time survey closed in May over 570 coaches, swimmers, clubs and parents had taken the time to contribute to the discussion to help us identify the best way to provide the competition format you want. Thank you for taking the time.
The next steps in this decision process are:
Check the feasibility of the acceptable options (availability of pools)
Examine the impact of the budget for the championships
Seek permission from Swim England for any proposal which falls outside of the current criteria for Region Championships.
The Swimming Group, with input from the Coaching Panel, will produce a recommendation sometime in the autumn.
Unfortunately the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic may mean that the changes that we need to make cannot be introduced until 2022.