About Masters Swimming Competition
Masters swimming competitions are all about fun, participation, and helping to earn points for the club.
Powerpoints' Philosophy on Competition
We encourage all members to come along to one or two pool competitions per year, e.g. States, and support the club. Racing is not compulsory but some assistance with time keeping for those not swimming is always much appreciated.
In training, timed maximum-effort or 'race-pace' swims can help make sessions much more challenging and interesting.
Ultimately, whether in training or at a meet, you are racing against your own benchmarks or goals (e.g., personal bests (PBs), records, personal goal times for the season, etc.). Having measurable and realistic goals that you can use to track your progress is important for overall motivation and enjoyment in the sport, even if you never hope to break any records.
Types of Competitions
Nationals - Usually held about Easter, rotating from state to state. The meet lasts for 4-6 days, with both pool and open swimming contested.
States - There are a number of state based competitions each year. These are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday, and the long distance meet may be held over two days. Recently, States have been broken into the following meets;
Long course (LC); all strokes over 50m, 100m, and 200m.
Long distance - long course (LDLC); over 400m, 800m, and 1500m.
Short course (SC); races of 25m, 50m, 100m and 200m.
Short distance- long course (LDSC); 400m, 800m and 1500m.
Additionally, there are relays incorporated into these meets and a separate relay meet -which is a load of fun!
Inter-clubs - Various clubs host competitions, usually involving a supper of some sort after the racing. These vary in format. There is a club award to the swimmer (male and female) who participates in the most events at inter-clubs in a year. You can come last in every event and still win!!
Pan Pacific Masters Games- Held every two years on the Gold Coast. The games include a variety of sports with a good swimming competition. Powerpoints usually have a team competing, (occasionally competing in additional sports such as indoor rowing and golf too), and the event is a casual, fun filled few days. Ideal for those newer to competition as the focus is on fun participation.
Open Water Swims- Over the summer open water swimming season many Powerpointers participate in the various open water swims. Swimmers do not compete under the club banner in these events, Powerpoints has two Open Water Swim Trophies awarded to male and female swimmers each year. One award is for the most number of points accumulated and the second is for the furthest distance swum over the previous 12 months.
How Events are Run
Master’s competitions are a fun competition that allows you to challenge yourself.
Heats are normally seeded by entry times so that swimmers get to race against others who are similar in speed. This makes for closer and more enjoyable racing, whether you’re a novice or elite swimmer. Individual race times are then ranked within gender and (5 year) age group brackets, and results are ranked from first to last within each gender/age group.
Club points are usually allocated as follows:
10 points for first place
9 points for second
and so on through to 1 point for 10th place.
All points count towards the club's overall point score at the meet.
Powerpoints has a long history of strong participation and great results at local, state, national, and even world level.
Entry to Competitions
Entry to National and State competitions are now mostly online and payments are made online, though for some meets the entry form is downloaded from the Masters Australia, or Masters Victoria website. A club committee member usually sends out an email with a reminder to get entries in. You will be advised if the online or paper form entry is being used, and also how to pay, online or to the Club if the paper forms are in use.
A typical entry form will ask the follow questions:
Date of birth
Age at 31 Dec in the year of the competition
Club name and club ID (Powerpoints is VPP)
MSA ID number (on your registration when you join the club)
Your contact person in the case of emergency.
With respect to events, the entry forms (and or meet rules and guidelines) will outline the number of events you may enter. On your form, you indicate the event number, stroke and distance, e.g. 50m Butterfly, 200IM, etc., and your entry time, (if you’re unsure speak with the coach or put something close to your PB).
Typically, you pay registration for the meet, e.g. $15, and then a small additional fee per event entry.
Interclub event details and entry forms can be found on the Masters Swimming Victoria website. The format and method of entry tends to vary from club to club. If you’re having trouble with an entry form please don’t hesitate to contact a committee member or speak to a club member at training, if you are having problems with the entry you can be almost sure that you’re not the only one.
On Race Day...
On the day, the pool is usually open for warm up prior to racing. If the meet is interstate and the team is staying in the same accommodation, you may get a lift to the pool with others at a time that suits. Members usually stake a claim in the stands, so that we can cheer each other on. Some club members may time keep throughout day. At State LD meets you may be required to bring your timekeeper, if you don’t have anyone to time keep, ask around at training, as there are usually other swimmers going who will time keep for you while not racing.
Competition days are usually fun for all. We all try to do a PB and if not learn from the experience.
For novices, the best advice is not to be too nervous, as you’ll meet up with friendly swimmers in the marshalling room, and the meet marshals have a record of being nice too. If you’re unsure about how marshalling works ask a buddy to come down with you for the first time. You’ll soon find you may be chatting with other swimmers, who will encourage you right up until you both dive in the water. Over the various competitions you’ll no doubt make friends with swimmers from other clubs who you find yourself marshalling with, it’s a great way to meet swimmers from all over the country of all ages.
The Social Side of Racing
The club usually organises drinks and/or dinner after State meets at a location close by the pool.
At Nationals, we aim to stay in the same accommodation, that way being able to organise dinners, lifts to and from the pool, and the all important presentation event- where we hope to pick up a trophy. The whole meet is usually very social.
The club tries to enter as many relay teams as possible at events. Relays are made up of 4 swimmers whose total ages add up to 72+, 120+, 160+, 200+, 240+, 280+, and 320+ years. The club attempts to make the strongest relay teams using the members who wish to swim. The club captain will generally contact all swimmers prior to a meet and ask for a YES or NO for relays for upcoming meets. Not all swimmers who have nominated for relays may get to swim in a relay.