Open Meets

Open Meets Explained

In addition to the league galas – Essex Mini League and Essex Swim League, where we compete as a squad – Open Meets offer individual swimmers the opportunity to compete against swimmers from other Clubs in order to improve their Personal Best times (PBs).

As a Club we shall aim to take part in at least 3-4 Open Meets per year. There are numerous Open Meets throughout the County and the decision on which ones to attend will be made by the Open Meet Manager and Coaching Team, based on the level of competition, appropriateness to the development of our swimmers and commitment to other league dates.

Open Meets are organised differently in that competitors enter a particular race based on their current PB time; so it is quite possible that a 12 year old might find themself swimming against both a 10 year old and a 14 year old in the same race. There are usually several heats and the results are often displayed both during the event and afterwards on the host club’s website.

All Open Meets must be Licensed by Swim England. Depending on the quality of the pool, timing equipment and officials, a meet may be granted a Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Level 4 – is suitable for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competitions.
Level 3 – is suitable for club swimmers who are seeking regional and county qualifying times. These meets have qualifying times and upper limit times set at an appropriate level to support the requirements of swimmers below regional level.
Level 2 – is aimed at national and regional qualifiers and swimmers close to regional qualification. These meets take place in 25m pools and also have a set minimum standard for entry.
Level 1 – is aimed at national qualifiers and swimmers close to national qualification looking for opportunities to achieve national qualifying times. These meets take place in 50m pools and have set minimum qualifying times for entry.

Open Meet Selection Policy
This type of competition is designed to allow individual swimmers to improve upon PB times. Each swimmer enters races of their choice, across all four disciplines (back, breast, fly, freestyle), and entry is based on current PB times. All counties hold Open Meets to give swimmers the opportunity to achieve County qualifying times, thus allowing them to be considered for inclusion in County swim squads.

This is a completely different take on competitive swimming as each swimmer is effectively only competing against him/herself. Selection of swimmers to enter these meets will be based on those who have appropriate PB times and also the ability to swim in this different (more pressured) atmosphere.

A swimmer’s entry into an open meet (irrespective of the number of races entered) will be subject to an administration fee of £2.00.

Swim England Membership
Most Open Meets require that you supply a swimmer’s Swim England Membership Number. If you have mislaid your Swim England registration card, here is a useful link to retrieve the number (

For more information on upcoming dates and venues for licensed and un-licensed open meets, please contact the Open Meets Manager (

For more details on Open Meets requirements please see – Open Meets info