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Explanatory notes on British Age Group Category Award Tables

BAGCAT Points & Awards

Swimming Terms explained - BAG points or BAGCAT points

This is an approach to measuring and comparing the performances of swimmers across a range of events.  The acronym stands for British Age Group CATegory.  


In this measurement system, points are scored for particular times in individual events based on their relative performance to top 10 historic all time performances and not on actual placings in specific events.  Points are based on a FINA scoring model.  


Note:  BAGCATs used to be comparative performance tables based on UK-specific data and adjusted for age but this no longer applies.


In some competitions (e.g. Essex County Age Group Championships or Eastern Region Championships) ‘Top Boy’ or ‘Top Girl’ trophies are awarded based on the total BAGCAT points scored by swimmers in a selection of events.  The original intent of this was to encourage younger swimmers to compete in a wide range of events and not specialise too early.  To make things more complicated events are grouped together and only the swimmers highest point score in each group of events will count.  Typically these will be grouped as best sprint (50m), best 100m, best Individual Medley, best distance (200m+) and best non-Freestyle performance (confusingly known as a ‘Form stroke’).  The stroke groups change as swimmers get older.  


See below for the event groupings for particulars ages and competition levels.  

To see potential points awarded for a particular event, swimmer age and time see:  BAGCAT points calculator


Form Stroke - Used within BAGCAT system to describe non-Freestyle strokes (Butterfly, Breaststroke or Backstroke).

British Age Group Category (BAGCATS)

Regional & National Awards


Boys

Girls

Regional

10 years

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

Regional & National

11 years

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

12 years

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

13 years

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

14 years

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 200/400m IM

15+ years

Both Girls and boys 15 years and over swim in the Youth Championships are expected to start to specialise in individual events .

British Age Group Category (BAGCATS)

County Awards


Boys

Girls

9 years

Sprint

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • 200m Free
  • Best 100/200m IM

Sprint

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • 200m Free
  • Best 100/200m IM

10 years

Sprint

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 100/200m IM

Sprint

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

11 years

Sprint

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400m Free
  • Best 100/200m IM

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

12 years

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

13 years

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/800m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

14 years

Sprint

100’s

Form

Distance

IM

  • Best 50m
  • Best 100m
  • Best 200m form stroke
  • Best 200/400/1500m Free
  • Best 100/200/400m IM

BAGCAT point do not apply for swimmers aged 15 and over.  For the purposes of the Essex BAGCAT championships the Age group cut off is currently (2014) 14 years and over for Girls and 15 years and over for boys.  At these ages Top Boy and Top Girls awards are made on a straight points basis awarded based on event placings.  

Note: The table below was based on Regional and National BAGCAT calculation basis in 2008 and may now be out of date.