There are several types of Competitions available to masters swimmers.

Swim Meets:

Albany Creek Meet 2011There are numerous swim meets every year. These are hosted by local clubs. A list of events are published and you can choose up to 5 events to enter. The events are run as mixed timed final heats. This means that you only swim your event once, rather than heats and finals as in open swimming. Heats may contain men and women from all age groups. When you nominate for an event you provide a seed time for the event which is used to determine which heat you are put into. Your seed time should be a time close to your personal best time for that event.

Results are then determined based on gender and age group. For example Men 25-29 or Women 40-44. Swim Meets usually also have relays that can be single gender or mixed, and age groups are based on the sum of the ages of team members. Many swim meets also are associated with postal events.

Medals or prizes are usually awarded on an overall points basis. For each event you swim a first gives you 10 points, a second 9 points, etc. The points are added up at the end of the day and the first, second and third placewinners in each age group receive a prize. For this reason we usually swim the maximum number of possible events at the swim meet, to ensure you can get enough points for a prize.

The meets usually cost around $20-$25 to enter. You can also usually get a meal afterwards for about $5

Postal Swims:

A postal swim is as the name implies, a swim event done via the mail. Postals have a time period during which you must record your time and a requirement of either Long Course(50m) or Short Course(25m) pools. To swim a postal you need to arrange to have two timekeepers with stopwatches to time your swim and a club official to supervise and to certify the result. The timekeepers record your split and finish times on a form and the official submits the form to the club hosting the postal event. Once all results are received they are then posted online or on the day in the case of postals associated with Swim Meets.

Open Water Swims:

These events usually involve a single open water swim in the sea or a lake over a distance of 1-2km. There is usually only one heat and results are determined by age groups.

2009 National Championships in Brisbane

State or National Championships:

2011 State Titles MedalsEach year there is a Queensland State Titles event and a National Titles event. These are just larger versions of the local regional Swim Meets we have regularly. The major difference is that medals are awarded for each event and there is usually more, stronger competition. Qualification standards are not required, you can just nominate.

Typically the events last for 3 or 4 days and cost about $55-$75 to enter.

Masters Games:

Pan Pacific Masters Games MedalsThere are various Masters Games events, such as the Australian Masters Games and Pan Pacific Masters Games held around the country each year. These usually involve a swimming competition run by Masters Swimming Australia or its affiliates. Like the State and National Titles, medals are awarded for individual events. Some of these events provide the opportunity to compete on an international level with competitors from many other countries. Usually no qualification standards are required.

Typically the swimming events last for 3 or 4 days and cost about $55-$75 to enter. The whole games can last as long as 2 weeks and there is often entertainment provided free for athletes at the games village each night.

FINA World Masters Championships:

The FINA World Masters Championships are the international titles for Masters Swimming. Held in a different host country once every two years it attracts the best of masters swimmers worldwide. Qualification standards must be achieved to compete in the championships, but there are no limits on the numbers of representatives from each country.