Going to a Gala

Your first gala can be a bit daunting so here we have tried to explain what happens and how to be ready! 

Before the gala

Arriving at a gala

Things to take with you

During the gala

Initially this will be somewhere poolside with your teammates and friends. Before your event the coach or team manager will tell you to get ready and report to the marshals. Your team manger will take you to this point if you don’t know where it is. Here you give your name and the marshal will tick you off their list and tell you where to sit. There will be a line of chairs, or a bench, usually with some numbers on the wall over each seat. These correspond to the lanes, so you will be asked to sit in a row under the number of the lane you will be swimming in. As each race starts, all the swimmers will get up and move along to the next bench/row remaining in the same order i.e under the same number, so by the time you go up to starting blocks you walk up in a line in the correct order for the lanes. All the time there are marshals checking you are in the correct place. 

Once at the end of the lane, the official (person in white) will ask your name, again to make sure you are in the right lane. 

Whistles at the Start of a Race

Here is a good video for younger swimmers remembering what to do on whistles at Start!

Backstroke Ledges

What are they?

Need to Check your PBs from previous galas?

Then visit...


You can bring up all your PBs, where you rank against other swimmers and much more! 

Want to convert your 25m pool times to 50m pool times or vis versa?

Use this website

Pullboy and click on the ASA Tables.

Make sure you fuel your body correctly! 

Unsure what to eat?

Please see our nutritional guidefor advice on what to eat and when!

You can also find more information about swimming competitions on the Swim England website.

DQ Codes

Disqualified and don't know why?

Many swimmers and parents are often confused at internal galas and open meets, when viewing a disqualification on the result sheets and they are confronted by a series of letters which in isolation mean nothing to them. 

To help you understand why a swimmer is disqualified a list and explanation of the codes can be found here: DQ CODES

Here is the protocol or etiquette for swimmers. 

Before a Race

At the Start

After the Race

At the end of the gala

4 Towns League

There are 4 galas each year which are held at Ashbourne, Alfreton, Leek and Uttoxeter.

Age groups are based on the swimmer’s age at 31st December. The races are allocated nearer the date of the gala so we can be sure who is available and any last minute changes to the squad. The team sheets are provided on the day of the gala - there are plenty around so you can check what races you are swimming and be ready to be called upon by the Team Managers.