Masters swimming

Masters swimming

Masters swimming is a special class of competitive swimming for swimmers 25 years or older (Canada and the USA allow adults 18 and over and have an 18–24 age group, while Australia allows adults 18 and over and has an 18–24 age group). They compete within age groups of five years, with a swimmer's age group in a certain year determined by his/her age on the last day of that year (age is determined as of the day of the competition in the U.S. for meets held in non-metric pools):

Age Groups: 25–29, 30–34, 35–39, and so on at 5-year increments, the last group being for any age above 100 years.

The rules and distances are nearly the same as for senior swimming. However, meet programs include 2 mixed (2 men/2 women) relay events in addition to the all men's and all women's relay events. Mixed relays are swum exclusively in masters' competition. The age groups for the relay events is determined by the sum of the ages of each team component, allowing for swimmers of very different ages to compete together in the same team. Age groups for relays are 100–119, 120–159, 160–199, and so on at 40-year increments.

Masters Swimming is a fast growing leisure activity, particularly in North America and Australia but also in Europe. Most towns or cities now have masters clubs. Typically these are very friendly and welcome newcomers. The minimum requirements to join a Masters club vary widely, anywhere from the ability to swim one length of the pool to the ability to swim a kilometre without stopping. Club members will follow a set of different drills and swims each time typically covering anything from 1.5 km to 3.5 km. Each club will have lanes and so whilst the younger and faster swimmers who are competing nationally and regionally are at one end, the other lanes are for hobbyists who may have taken up swimming quite recently.

United States Masters Swimming is the governing body of Masters Swimming in the United States, sponsoring competition at all levels. In addition, it sponsors programs for non-competitive "fitness" swimmers who train primarily for the health benefits that the activity offers to the aging athlete. Masters Swimming Canada is the governing body of Masters Swimming in Canada, listing swim clubs, competitions and provincial master swim associations.


FINA World Masters Championships

FINA organizes the FINA World Masters Championships since 1986, but 2 editions were held in the pre-FINA era:

  • 1978 – Toronto, CAN (non-FINA)
  • 1984 – Christchurch, NZL (non-FINA)
  • 1986 – Tokyo, JAP
  • 1988 – Brisbane, AUS
  • 1990 – Rio de Janeiro, BRA
  • 1992 – Indianapolis, USA
  • 1994 – Montreal, CAN
  • 1996 – Sheffield, ENG
  • 1998 – Casablanca, MOR
  • 2000 – Munich, GER
  • 2002 – Christchurch, NZL
  • 2004 – Riccione, ITA
  • 2006 – Stanford, USA
  • 2008 – Perth, AUS
  • 2010 – Göteborg/Boras, SWE
  • 2012 – Riccione, ITA
  • 2014 – Montreal, CAN


Like in senior swimming, there are world records for masters swimming, but they can only be set in masters meets.[1] Masters swimming records are available at the FINA website masters section.

See also


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