Age Group Swimming This is the program through which SNC provides fair and open competition for its younger members. It is designed to encourage maximum participation, provide an educational experience, enhance physical and mental conditioning, and develop a rich base of swimming talent. Nationally recognized age groups are 11-12, 13-14, 15-17, and Senior. Local meets may also include events for 10 & under swimmers.
Block The starting platform.
Bulkhead A wall constructed to divide a pool into different courses, such as a 50 m pool into two 25 m pools.
Circle Swimming Performed by staying to the right of the black line when swimming in a lane to enable more swimmers to swim in each lane.
Coach A person who trains and teaches athletes in the sport of swimming.
Cut Slang for qualifying time. The time standard which a swimmer must reach in order to attend a particular meet or event.
Distance Event Term used to refer to events over 400 metres.
Disqualified (DQ) This occurs when a swimmer has committed an infraction of some kind (e.g. one-handed touch in breaststroke). A disqualified swimmer is not eligible to receive an award, nor is there an official time in that event.
Drill An exercise involving a part of a stroke, used to improve technique.
Dry-land Training Training done out of the water that aids and enhances swimming performance; usually includes stretching, calisthenics, and/or weight training.
Entry Form Form used by the coach to enter swimmers in a competition.
False Start Occurs when a swimmer is moving at the start prior to the signal.
Final The championship heat of an event in which the top six or eight swimmers from the preliminaries compete for awards, depending on the number of lanes in the pool.
Finish The final phase of the race — the touch at the end of the race.
FINA Federation Internationale de Natation de Amateur, the international governing body of competitive swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming.
Flags Backstroke flags placed 5 metres from the end of the pool. They enable backstrokers to execute a backstroke turn more efficiently through being able to count the number of strokes into each wall.
Goal A specific time achievement a swimmer sets and strives for; can be short- or long-term.
Gutter the area at the edges of the pool in which water overflows during a race and is recirculated into the pool. Deep gutters catch surface wave and don’t allow them to wash back into the pool and affect the race.
Individual Medley (IM) Abbreviation of individual medley, an event in which the swimmer uses all four strokes in the following order butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.
Lap Counter A set of plastic display numbers used to keep track of laps during a distance race. The person who counts for the swimmer is stationed at the opposite end from the start.
Lane Ropes the dividers for the individual lanes. These are made of individual finned disks strung on a cable, which rotates on the cable when hit by a wave. The rotating disks dissipate surface tension waves in a competitive pool allowing for flat water and faster swimming.
Long Course a pool configured for swimming with a 50 meter long racing course. World records may be set in long course and short course competition. The main Canadian Long Course season is from mid March to August. Championship meets are conducted at the end of the long course season including Regionals, Provincials and Nationals. The Olympic Games as well as all major international competitions are conducted long course.
Long Distance Any freestyle event over 1500 metres, normally conducted in a natural body of water, such as a lake, river, or ocean.
Meet Competition designed to be a measure of progress and a learning experience. By implementing what has been learned in practice, the swimmers test themselves against the clock to see how they are progressing.
Middle Distance Term used to refer to events of 200 to 400 metres in length.
Negative Split Swimming the second half of the race faster than the first half.
Official A judge on the deck of the pool at a sanctioned competition who enforces SNC rules.
Official Time A time achieved in a race during a duly sanctioned competition.
Pace The often predetermined speed with which a swimmer completes each segment of a race (e.g., 25 m, 50 m).
Pace Clock Large clock with a large second hand and a smaller minute had, used to check pace or maintain intervals in practice (may also be digital).
Prelim Abbreviation for preliminaries, also called heats — those races in which swimmers qualify for the championship and consolation finals in an event. October 2011
Qualifying Time (QT) necessary to compete in a particular event and/or competition.
Relay Exchange the exchange between the swimmer in the water and the next swimmer on the relay team. A perfect exchange will simultaneously have the finishing swimmer’s hand on the touch pad and the starting swimmer’s feet just touching the starting block with the rest of the starting swimmer’s body extended over the water.
Relay An event in which four swimmers compete together as a team to achieve on time.
Safety Procedure Safety procedures are designed to prevent accidents, and must be followed to the letter.
Sanctioned Meet All competitions in which records may be set and official times may be obtained, must be sanctioned (approved officially) by a Swim PEI Sanctioning Officer.
Scratch To withdraw from an event in a competition.
Senior Swimming The program through which SNC provide fair and open competition in provincial and/or national swimming championships. It is designed to afford maximum opportunity for participation, provide an educational experience, enhance physical and mental conditioning, and develop a pool of talented athletes for national and international competition. There are no age restrictions on senior competitions.
Short Course or SC Refers to events held in a pool 25 metres in length. Most competitions held during the winter are short course.
Split A swimmer’s intermediate time in a race. Splits are registered every 50 m and are used to determine if a swimmer is on a planned pace. Under certain conditions, initial splits may also be used as official times.
Sprint Describes the shorter events (50 and 100 m); in training, to swim as fast as possible for a short distance.
Streamline The position used to gain maximum distance during a start and/or push-off from the wall in which the swimmer’s body is as tight and straight as it can be.
SNC Swimming/Natation Canada, the national governing body of competitive swimming.
PARA Swimming Swimming for swimmers with a locomotor or cognitive disability. Para swimmers usually compete alongside able bodies swimmers in local meets.
Taper The final preparation phase. As part of this phase, and prior to major competitions, older and more experienced swimmers will decrease their amount of practice time to allow their bodies to rest and recover from hard training. They may also shave their entire body to reduce resistance and heighten sensation in the water.
Time Card The card issued to each swimmer prior to each race, on which splits and the final time are recorded. Most meets today are “cardless” meaning the results are recorded electronically and on the timers’ sheets only.
Time Trial A practice race which is not part of regular competitions. Time trials may be sanctioned and used to qualify for specific meets.
Touch the finish of the race.
Touch Pad A large sensitive board at the end of each lane where a swimmer’s touch is registered and sent electronically to the timing system.
Turnover the number of times a swimmer’s arms turn over (cycle) in a given distance or time during a race.
Warm-down Low-intensity swimming used by swimmer after a race or main practice set to rid the body of excess lactic acid, and to gradually reduce heart rate and respiration.
Warm-up Low-intensity swimming used by swimmers prior to a main practice set or a race to get muscles loose and warm, and to gradually increase heart rate and respiration.
Watches Stopwatches used to time swimmers during a competition. When totally electronic timing equipment is used, watches serve as a back-up method.