Level X Racing – Q & As

The good news that pools can reopen from December 2nd means that Level X racing can resume.

On behalf of Hampshire County ASA, I have raised some issues with Swim England.

Q: Is there going to be any change to the schedule for Level X racing to reflect the close of pools in November?

A: Yes. Revised documents describing Level X racing are now available from Swim England.

Q: Condition 17 states that all events take place in short course (25m) format. How does that affect clubs who do not have access to a 25m pool? There are times when technical problems prevent 50m pools being configured as short course. Some clubs train in school pools which are shorter than 25m.

A: Times recorded in a 50m pool may be submitted, but will be entered into Level X rankings as if they were short course times.

Unfortunately times set in a pool shorter than 25m may not be submitted. This issue was escalated via Regional Chairs, but there is no mechanism for conversion of times set in non-standard pools.

Q: Can electronic timing be used? This could potentially reduce the number of people on the pool deck.

A: Yes electronic timing may be used, providing that its usage is covered in the risk assessment for training and agreed with the pool operator. In practice, this means that all equipment must be sanitised before and after use and there are dedicated people operating the starting equipment and timing system computer who do not have any other role in the session.

Q: Condition 10 mandates that “one Swim England Member of any category shall be appointed per lane to act as timekeeper for that lane”. Why do they need to be a member? The requirement for timekeepers to be members of swim England may create problems for clubs as they may be unable to use parents (who may not be members) and instead have to introduce additional people poolside (increasing exposure between people).

A: Use of any person who is not a Swim England Member invalidates Swim England insurance cover.

Q: Condition 20 states that “Clubs must submit their results with 48 hours of the Level X Racing session taking place”.  This is likely to be very hard for to meet.

The conditions require results to be recorded on paper.  Therefore, results must be manually typed into a meet management system, checked and rankings files produced, all with 48 hours.

Many clubs are run by volunteers who have jobs to do and may not be available to process the results in time. In addition, some professional environments do not permit anyone to touch paper for 72 hours after it had been handled by somebody else.

We anticipate problems preparing the results, at least initially, because of the need to configure meet management systems. Many clubs are likely to be running a lot of separate Level X sessions (to ensure they meet the requirement to run these in training bubbles), which creates a lot of work to setup meet management systems. Many small clubs have never used a meet management system before.

A: We are not able to amend racing conditions once published – but the 48hr submission window is the target and we are prepared to offer flexibility – we will not refuse entries submitted within a reasonable time outside of this, but clubs should not collect up a number of sessions before submitting and should make every attempt to submit as soon as possible.

Q: Some clubs in Guernsey have been running level 4 meets because there are no COVID-19 restrictions in that island. Will the results of these meets automatically go into the Level X Swimming rankings?

A: No. Results won’t automatically be submitted into Level X Rankings – only results from time trials run to Level X Racing conditions after 23rd October 2020 and submitted using the Level X Racing submission procedure will go into Level X Rankings. There is no option to ‘backdate’ results or re-submit results from previous races not held under Level X Racing conditions.

Q: Condition 16 states that “When the results for a session are generated, a check should be made that no time recorded significantly differs from the likely performance of the swimmer”. This is a non-trivial task and certainly makes the 48 hours target difficult to achieve. After a 6 month break from normal training, who decides the likely performance of the swimmer.

A: The conditions can’t be changed and so stand as they are. The purpose of the check is to remove any obvious anomalies – so we don’t get a 10yr old submitting a 25:00 50m Br time for example. This is not supposed to be an onerous task and a quick glance over the results will suffice as any obvious errors will be easy to spot.

Q: Clubs have expressed confusion about the statements relating to Category 1 swimmers and some suggestion that the free upgrade to Category 2 will be carried through automatically in 2021 with clubs being invoiced for category 2 membership.

A: Any result submitted into Level X Rankings in either 2020 or in 2021 WILL result in an automatic upgrade of any Category 1 swimmer to Category 2 membership. In 2020 this won’t generate a fee to the club but in 2021 the club will automatically be invoiced for this. In 2021 therefore if a swimmer does not want to pay for  a Category 2 membership then their times should not be submitted to Level x Rankings.

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