WHAT IS THE MICRO LEAGUE?

The swimming Micro League of the North West is one of eleven leagues that are affiliated to The Arena Junior Inter-League Swimming Competition. The North West League is split into four divisions (A, B, C & D) and swimmers compete in events for their age group and gender. Teams in each league compete in FOUR matches against other teams in the same division. Points are awarded based on the position within each event (four points for first place down to one point for fourth place). The total points in all events, in all four meets contribute to the final position of a club within their division.

WHO COMPETES?

The competition is for swimmers aged 9 to 12 years. The recent 31st December ruling adopted by British Swimming has now been applied to the Micro-League Northwest. As a result, the age groups will be organised as follows:

  • 9 years shall be the age of the swimmer as at midnight on the last Sunday in November in the year of the competition. 
  • 10 years, 11 years and 12 years, shall be the age of the swimmer at midnight on 31st December in the year of competition.

HOW IS THE COMPETITION ORGANISED?

To decide the overall annual winner of the North West Micro League, the top four teams from the North West’s Division A teams will compete in a final match during September. The winning team from this final is then entered into the Northern Finals. If they are successful and win the Northern Final this club will be entered for the National Final where they will swim against the finalists from all the other regions top Micro-League swimming clubs.

For Division B, C & D the competition is not quite over yet! The top two teams from Division B and the bottom two teams from Division A compete in a swim-off on the same day as the final. This match will determine either the promotion or the relegation of those teams. The top two teams from these swim-offs will then compete the following year in Division A, with the bottom two teams competing in Division B. There are similar swim-offs between the bottom two teams from Division B and the top two from Division C and finally the bottom two teams from Division C and the top two from Division D. Again these matches will determine the relegation or promotion of these teams for the following year.

EVENTS AT EACH GALA

These galas are a combination of individual and relay races. All of the below races are done for both male and female:

Year Group

Individual Races (Div A)

(Applies to 2017 A Team)

Individual Races (Div B,C,D)

(applies to 2017 B Team)

Relay Races

9 Year Olds

25 metres butterfly

50 metres all other strokes

25 metres all strokes

Freestyle & Medley (25m)

10 Year Olds

50 metres all strokes

25 metres butterfly

50 metres all other strokes

Freestyle & Medley (25m)

11 Year Olds

50 metres all strokes

50 metres all strokes

Freestyle & Medley (25m)

12 Year Olds

50 metres all strokes

50 metres all strokes

Freestyle & Medley (25m)

 

In addition to the above 48 events there is 1 cannon race at the end to finish the gala. This is where one male and one female from each year group take part in a freestyle relay race.

HOW ARE TEAMS SELECTED?

Leyland Barracudas currently enter two teams into the North West Micro League:

  • A Team (Green Hats) – who currently swim in the A division

 

  • B Team (White Hats) – who currently swim in the C division

The Team Managers makes the selections for the Micro League teams by analysing the competition data for each age and gender group to decide which swimmers have the fastest times. Usually the fastest swimmers from each age and gender category will be selected for either the White or Green teams. Swimmers can be selected for any team, at any part of the season – but please note that whilst a swimmer can move from ‘B’ team to ‘A’ team during a season, they cannot move in the other direction once they have been registered for the ‘A’ team.  Although in subsequent years they may be selected for another team based on that season’s swim.

SUPPORTING YOUR SWIMMER

This maybe be your swimmer’s first experience of team selection, so it is very important that you support your swimmer irrespective of their success or disappointment. Team selection is not an indication of whether the coaches feel a swimmer is ‘the best’ or not. It is important your swimmer is aware of this and you remind them that there are lots of opportunities in the coming year to compete as an individual and for the club. Many swimmers who are not selected will still be eligible to progress their swimming times through the many internal and external competitions that arise during the season. The most important thing to remember is their journey as a swimmer is not about the team selection process for the Micro League.

IF YOUR SWIMMER IS SELECTED

Once swimmers have been selected for each team the Team Managers will organise which races each swimmer will compete in. As a parent of a swimmer you will only know this information at the event. Therefore it is essential you do not confuse your swimmer by making suggestions about the races you think they will be competing in. Sometimes a swimmer may only compete in one race. It is essential you reinforce to your swimmer that this one race is as important as any other race in that competition and they should not be disappointed. Likewise as a parent you must not assume because your swimmer is only competing in one race your swimmer’s contribution is not valued – it is. The Team Managers make choices that are the best decisions for their teams as a whole. Their priority is making sure all of their swimmers enjoy the experience of competing for their club team. Therefore, it is important that you respect the difficult choices a Team Manager makes in preparation for each match. If you still have any immediate concerns your first point of contact should be your Parent Liaison Officer.  Please also note your Team Managers will be very busy on the day of a swimming match and they may be unable to discuss anything with you unless it is an emergency e.g. regarding the immediate health of your swimmer or if your swimmer cannot race that day.

TEAM BUS

It is important that your swimmer has £4 ready when getting on the coach. If there are any spaces remaining on the coach after the swimmers and team managers/helpers have got on the coach, then priority will be given to 9 year old parents/guardians, followed by 10 year olds and so on. Parents/guardians will need to pay £2 when getting on the coach.

EQUIPMENT

On the day, your swimmer will need to have a waterproof sports bag (that they can carry) to take with them onto the poolside. It is important that they have all their equipment to hand as the poolside helpers and coaches will not be able to individually find parents to collect spare equipment.

Inside their bag, the swimmers should have the following equipment:

 

x2 pairs of goggles & a club swimming cap – goggles break all the time! Please ensure swimmers have two pairs as they will need them over the coming year, especially when racing.

x2 towels – one for sitting on and one for drying themselves with later.

A spare set of jammers/costume – just in case!

A T-shirt to wear in-between races - swimmers will get very cold waiting around for their races, this equipment is essential for keeping them dry and warm poolside. The club shop sells club T-shirts specifically for this purpose, but any shirt made of material for sports/football shirts work the best as this material moves moisture away from the body.

Drinks –water or very diluted cordial in a large drinks bottle (no fizzy pop or energy drinks please).

Snacks – no sweets or chocolate bars are allowed poolside. Swimmers need healthy snacks to maintain their energy. Chopped or dried fruit, cereal/muesli bars, crisp breads, rice cakes with banana and honey, yoghurt pouches, mini pancakes and flapjacks are all great snacks that work well poolside.

WHEN ARE THE MATCHES?

Swimming meets take place between February and July each year. Swimming for either team is a large commitment that your swimmer and you make. If selected, it is expected that you will compete on the day; therefore you must ensure that you are available for each match. The current fixtures are as follows:

Green Hats: Leyland A Match Dates and Fixtures - Head Coach Gill Rankin

TEAM

VENUE

DATE

TIME

Leyland A

Dunes Splash World

Sat 25th Feb

17.00

Leyland A

Dunes Splash World

Sat 4th March

17.00

Leyland A

West View Leisure Centre

Sat 13th May

15.30

Leyland A

Leyland Leisure Centre

Sat 24th June

15.45

 

White Hats: Leyland B Match Dates and Fixtures – Head Coach Vicky Pickup

TEAM

VENUE

DATE

TIME

Leyland B

Stonyhurst Sports Club

Sun 5th March

17.15

Leyland B

Leyland Leisure Centre

Sun 21st May

15.15

Leyland B

West View Leisure Centre

Sat 17th June

15.30

Leyland B

Knowsley Leisure Centre

Sun 25th June

13.45

IF THERE ARE ANY DATES THAT YOUR SWIMMER CANNOT MAKE OR FOR LAST MINUTE CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES THEN PLEASE INFORM THE TEAM MANAGER AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY TO ALLOW OTHER ARRANGEMENTS TO BE MADE. A LATE WITHDRAWAL BY A SINGLE SWIMMER MAY MEAN THAT THEIR WHOLE RELAY TEAM HAS TO BE WITHDRAWN FROM BOTH THEIR RACES, AND LOSS OF POINTS.

For more information and to follow the league results as they happen visit: http://www.microleaguenw.org.uk/