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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are BAGCAT points?

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 swimmers overall potential. It has always been that many young swimmers who may whilst young excel at a distance and stroke to later in their lives grow and to excel in events far removed from those when young. In the UK, events are divided into categories to encourage young age group swimmers to swim across all the many categories of swimming distances and strokes so not to miss any of these opportunities –


The British Age Group Categories or Bagcat’s

When a swimmer competes in a Bagcat event, their time is converted into points taking into account a swimmer's age and sex. A swimmer can take part in as many events in a competition as they choose to, but only their highest points score in each swimming category will count towards their final Bagcat total in that competition. The overall position of a swimmer is the sum of the BEST point score in each of the 5 categories (50m events, 100m, form stroke, distance and individual medley). It is therefore advisable to enter every event if you intend to compete for the top bagcat spot. (N.B boys under 12 and girls under 11 don’t usually swim the 100m individual events)

FORM stroke is one of the three strokes having specific requirements 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 the swimmers best stroke is!

To help estimate points for a swimmers time there is a free download calculator from Sportsystems downloads at http://www.sportsys.co.uk (This calculator may need to be updated each year)


Recommended reading on LTAD or long term athletic development on the British web site, to retrieve the document click HERE.


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