Wellingborough Amateur Swimming Club

Guide to British Age Group Categories (BAGCATS)

This brief guide is intended as a basic introduction for both swimmers and parents to British Age Group Categories (known as BAGCATS).


BAGCATS applies to:


Boys aged 9 – 14 yrs (Counties), 10 – 14 yrs (Regional & Nationals).

Girls aged 9 – 13 yrs (Counties), 10 – 13 yrs (Regional & Nationals).




County, Regional and National Championships are run under the BAGCATS system. 


At the Northamptonshire County Championships there are only BAGCAT awards; no trophies are awarded for individual events for boys aged 9 to14 years and girls aged 9 to 13 years.



Is an accumulative points system which culminates with the overall placings and ranking at the end of a Championship.  At Northamptonshire County Championships awards are usually presented to the top 6 swimmers in each age and sex category.


The points system works by awarding points for the time you achieve.  The faster you swim, the more points you are awarded.  Sliding scales are used, depending on your age and sex.


Ideally, you need to compete in at least one event in each Category, to achieve good points. There are normally four or five Categories that count towards overall BAGCATS points.  If you swim in more than one event in a Category, then your best points score is counted.


The Categories are:


Sprint               50 m Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle events

100s                100 m Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle events

Form               200 m Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke events

Distance          200 m to 1500 m Freestyle events

IM                     100m, 200m, 400m Individual Medley events                       BAGCAT Table in full


The 200m Freestyle is always a Distance event, not a Form stroke.


There are no BAGCATS sprint events at Region or National competitions.