The details are now out for the changes to the competition calendar. Please see attached document below.
To summarise :
1) There will be a National Summer championships which will not have qualifying times (effectively replacing the old Nationals). Instead the top 24 swimmers in each age group in Britain will be selected from the rankings (long course) from times obtained in an approx. 6 week qualifying time period only (set to be between mid March and mid May). The county champs will not be within this qualifying period.
2) A further number of swimmers yet to be confirmed who do not qualify for the summer champs will be able to swim at a home nation event ie England/Scotland etc., effectively a second 'Nationals'. The same criteria as above will be used for selection.
3) There will be a progressive restriction on entry age and events which may be entered from county champs upward to the national events.
4) County champs and above will be age as at 31st Dec in the year of the competition not age on date of gala.
Clubs will however have the choice to conduct their own galas as they wish.
5) There will be a re-emphasis of a short course season pre-Christmas.
6) BAGCATS will be removed from championship meets.
Please note that the changes/conditions of the County champs and Regional champs have yet to be confirmed.
I am reliably informed the County champs will be confirmed next week. Although they do not have to adopt all the conditions in 2015 it is likely they will. The dates have had to remain the same for 2015 due to pool availability but in 2016 Counties will be earlier, in Jan/Feb, approx. when the North Lancs is now. The North Lancs will move to a date yet to be confirmed.
As previously published the Age group and Youth Regional champs have already been merged to two weeks at the end of May/early June.
Please note on the attached report the 'timeframe' detailed on each event is the time within which the gala should be held. It is nothing to do with the time period in which qualifying times must be obtained. The six week qualifying period for times is only applicable to the national events at this moment in time. As far as I am aware there are no plans to significantly amend the qualifying period for Regionals/Counties but obviously we await confirmation of that in due course.
I hope this is all clear. If you have any queries feel free to email me and I will try to assist.
Ashley (Comp Sec)