League Update

Following the National Arena Swimming League AGM, here is an update for the clubs as to where the League currently is.

Nationally the League now has a set of Rules and Conditions which all the seven leagues have adopted. Each league still has its own local rules and conditions which need to be in place so that the rounds can take place. It is important that the League moves forward for the benefit of our athletes and the rounds are used as a tool to develop the athletes and the clubs.

Most of the leagues’ finals in December are now licensed, and all are held in a 50m pool, with the top six clubs in each league being put into a virtual gala, from which the participants in the National Finals in April are decided. The rules have been tweaked slightly at the AGM for the 11/under age-group, so check out the rules and conditions which are now on the website.

The ethos of the League has always been an inter-club competition. Unfortunately to gain advantage some coaches/clubs are employing various tactics to get higher up their league. Importing swimmers and paying them is one tactic, and although we thought that the current rules would overcome this practice, it would appear that it has been extended. Swimmers should be from your team, obviously those who are at University and come back to the fold are more than welcome, but we are trying to achieve a fair and level playing field. All athletes have to be Category two ASA members, or Category one or Category two WASA members. They should also be members of the club for whom they are swimming prior to 1st October in the League year of competition.

To try and raise the standard of the League and make it a National League we would like to have all the divisions swimming the same National programme. This is not being dictated by the ASA which is a rumour I have heard, this is coming from the League’s Executive. It is anticipated that this will be phased in according to the local requirements. Some leagues already adopt the national programme for all divisions.

At least one league this season will also be licensing the rounds of their Premier division and division one. The big challenge to do this is not the athletes, or for getting the correct names of the athletes but ensuring that the correct officials are available, qualified and licensed. This means that our volunteer workforce will need to rise to the occasion, to the benefit of the swimmer. Many swimmers swim PBs at the league rounds, and if these can be used for rankings that is an additional bonus.

Arena is continuing to sponsor the League, so when you submit stories to the press, please ensure that they get the League name printed correctly. “The National Arena Swimming League”

The executive are always looking at ideas trying to make the League progress for the benefit of the swimmer, so if you have ideas on how the League can be improved please let me know.

I am sure that you have all witnessed our improved website. It is important that we all ensure that accurate information about the results is passed to the league Secretary, and that they are posted on the website as quickly as possible. If there are any issues we will try and post the reason for the delay.

The result package has also been improved for the new-season. Please ensure that you bring along your correct team list on a USB stick, so that it can be up loaded on to the result package. This will be important for licensing.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ian Mackenzie