Rather than specialise in one event, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) believes that each swimmer should compete in a number of events to help develop swimming potential. In the UK, events are divided into categories - the British Age Group Categories or BAGCats for short. When a swimmer competes in a BAGCat event, their time is converted into points that take into account a swimmer's age and sex. A swimmer can take part in as many events in a season as they choose to, but only their highest points score in each swimming category will count towards their final BAGCat total.
The Age Groups are now run using the new (British Age Group) BAG points system.
The following may help:
- The overall position of a swimmer is the sum of the BEST point score in each of the 5 categories (50m events, 100m, FORM, Distance and IM (100IM for 9-11year olds and 200-400IM for older swimmers). It is therefore advisable to enter every category in the Age Groups if you can achieve the qualifying times. (N.B boys 12 and below and girls 11 and below don’t swim the 100m individual events)
- FORM stroke is one of the three strokes having specific requirements (ie. 200M
Breaststroke, Butterfly or Backstroke). Freestyle is not a FORM stroke but is used for distance events, such as 200/400/800 or 1500m depending on the swimmers age and sex.
- The points are derived from the swimmers time, stroke, age and correction factors. As each stroke correction factor is different, it may not be obvious which is the swimmers best stroke!