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Gala Types Explained


Minnows Galas / Round Robin Fun: friendly galas held by clubs, intended to introduce young swimmers to galas. The emphasis is very much on participation and familiarising the swimmer with the format of a gala. These are generally “age-group” galas- swimmers swim with other swimmers in their age group and medals awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each group.


Graded Galas: Leinster Swimming organises 2 Graded Galas each year. Swimmers are seeded according to their times in each event and swim against swimmers of similar ability rather than in the same age group. Where a swimmer has not entered a particular event before, they may enter with “No Time” or more preferably an estimated time based on training. Medals are awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in defined grades 1 to 7, the times for which are on the Leinster website. The great benefit of the graded gala is that it allows swimmers of all levels the opportunity to win a Leinster medal. Confusion sometimes arises among swimmers who find that even though they achieve a faster time than another swimmer they do not win a medal.


Club Galas: A number of clubs hold galas throughout the year and coaches decide which ones are most suitable for our club to attend. Consideration or qualifying times are generally less restrictive than major provincial and national galas, thereby allowing most of our swimmers to participate.


Distance Galas: Leinster Swimming holds 2 Distance Galas each year. Swimmers may enter 200m races in all strokes as well as 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle. These galas offer swimmers the opportunity to attempt more challenging races and achieve times required to enter these events at major provincial and national galas.


Leinster Division 2: Senior swimmers who have not achieved times for Leinster Division 1 may take part in The Leinster Division 2 gala. There are no qualifying times for this gala. Some swimmers from the junior club may also be advised by the coaches to participate in this gala. It is held each year around April/May and is the first of the major provincial and national galas to take place each summer. It is an age group gala, swimmers swim in heats seeded by times, with the top 10 in each age group qualifying for finals.


Leinster Division 1: All senior swimmers should familiarise themselves with the qualifying times for Leinster Division 1- available on Swim Leinster Website. This gala is generally held on the last weekend in May. The format is the same as Leinster Division 2- heats based on times, with top 10 in each age group qualifying for finals. This is a long course gala i.e. the pool is in 50m format


National Division 2: Held each year in Limerick on the last weekend in June, this gala is open to age-groups up to 16 plus an open category for over 17 year olds. Swimmers should familiarise themselves with qualifying times- available on Swim Ireland website.


National Division 1: Held every year in mid-July for girls up to 14 years and boys up to 15 years. Qualifying times must be achieved. Swimmers over these age groups must enter the Irish Youths/ Seniors gala at end of July


Open Galas: A number of Open Galas are held at provincial and National Level throughout the year. They include Leinster Short Course, Irish Short Course, Leinster Long Course, Irish Long Course, Dave Mc Cullough Gala. Dates and Qualifying times for these galas may be found in the Swim Ireland Handbook.

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