Many of the swim meets we attend have qualifying times which swimmers need to meet. Please consult your coach if you don't have a time for a particular event or are very close
BAGCATS stands for British Age Group CATegorieS and applies to boys aged 9 to 14 and girls aged 9 to 13.
BAGCATS is a points system for establishing who the best swimmers really are within their age group at a particular competition. It also promotes swimmers competing in a variety of strokes in accordance with Long Term Athlete Development.
For every race that a BAGCAT swimmer competes in at each County, Regional and National Championships, they will be awarded BAGCAT points depending on their age group, how fast they swam, the stroke and the distance. How these points are arrived at is a science in itself, based on world records and all sorts of clever stuff and it's probably easier to not to even attempt to understand! However, what it is important to know is that generally the tougher and longer distance events will give more points than the shorter easier ones.
In some competitions 'Top Boy' or 'Top Girl' trophies are awarded based on the total BAGCAT points scored by swimmers in a selection of events. The original intent of this was to encourage younger swimmers to compete in a wide range of events and not specialise too early. To make things more complicated events are grouped together and only the swimmers highest point score in each group of events will count. Typically these will be grouped as best sprint (50m), best 100m, best Individual Medley, best distance (200m+) and best non-Freestyle performance (confusingly known as a 'Form stroke'). The stroke groups change as swimmers get older.
See below for the event groupings for particulars ages and competition levels.
Form Stroke - Used within BAGCAT system to describe non-Freestyle strokes (Butterfly, Breaststroke or Backstroke).