Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scouts

Competition Rules


Scout Trophy Events

  • Back Stroke (U12 and U14)
  • Breast Stroke (U12 and U14)
  • Freestyle (U12 and U14)
  • 3×1 Medley Relay (U12 and U14)
  • 6×1 Squadron Relay (Whole Team)

Explorer Trophy Events

  • Back Stroke (U16 and U18)
  • Breast Stroke (U16 and U18)
  • Freestyle (U16 and U18)
  • 3×2 Medley Relay (U16 and U18)
  • 6×1 Squadron Relay (Whole Team)

Swimming Rules

  1. Teams are to consist of 6 Scouts or Explorers and there may be no more than 1 entry per Troop or Unit per Trophy. Only complete teams may enter so it is vitally important both to arrive with a complete team and to have substitutes ready to travel.
  2. If a swimmer is unable to continue during the weekend, the remaining swimmers will continue only in the age group events originally entered. Swimmers must participate in the heats to be eligible for individual or relay finals.
  3. Where possible withdrawn finalists will be replaced by the next fastest swimmer from heats. Where this is not possible, the final will be swum with the remaining competitors. Only those swimmers who successfully complete finals will be awarded points.
  4. There will be NO substitutions of swimmers for finals.
  5. All teams, including teams that are incomplete for any reason, will be expected to take part (for fun) in the Squadron Relay. Such teams will not, however, be eligible for points or places in the overall competition.  This ensures that every participant swims on Sunday.
  6. Each team member will compete in 1 individual stroke event, the medley relay, the squadron relay and line throw.
  7. The Squadron Relay is for the whole team and may be swum in any order, freestyle (ie any stroke may be swum) and will be heat declared (ie no final).
  8. Rules for start, stroke, turn, finish and relay hand over will be in line with current Amateur Swimming Association definitions.
  9. Team managers must ensure their team are quiet and all movement stops before each race. This will be signalled by a double whistle blast from the referee.
  10. Swimmers will be invited to step onto the blocks or enter the water by the referee. Any swimmer not wishing to use the blocks may start from the end of the pool next to their block (still within the limit of their lane), or in the water. There will be no diving in the shallow end of the pool at any time, even if swimmer has their ASA competitive start award, all squadron relay swimmers starting their length at the shallow end will do so in the water.
  11. The start of all events will be under the control of the starter.
  12. The starter will use the words “Take your marks” which is the signal for swimmers to ready themselves for the race. Once swimmers have settled, the start will be signalled by a short sharp whistle blast from the starter. Swimmers must still be in contact with the end of the pool, or their block, at the time of the whistle blast.
  13. The gala will be swum under the two start rule. If the starter declares a false start this will be signalled by repeated prolonged whistle blasts and a ‘false start rope’ being dropped across the pool. The event will be re-started but any swimmer committing a false start at the second start will be disqualified and the event will continue.
  14. All swimmers in individual events and the swimmer of the final leg of all relays must remain in the pool until invited to leave by the referee. This invitation will usually take the form of the phrase “Thank you swimmers”. Swimmers of all legs apart from the final leg in relays will leave pool immediately on completion of their leg.
  15. Scout individual events will be swum over 1 length. Explorer individual events will be over 2 lengths. The pool is 33 metres long.
  16. Scout medley relays will consist of 1 length for each stroke and will be swum in the order breast stroke, back stroke, free-style. The swimmer of the free-style leg may swim any stroke. All 3 team members must compete but do not have to swim the same stroke as their individual event.
  17. Explorer medley relays will consist of 2 lengths per stroke and will be swum in the order back stroke, breast stroke, free-style. The swimmer of the free-style leg may swim any stroke. All 3 team members must compete but do not have to swim the same stroke as their individual event.
  18. Each lane will have 2 timekeepers; the slower of the 2 times recorded will be passed to the chief timekeeper. This may be reduced to 1 time keeper per lane for the line throw event.
  19. There will be 2 place judges who, if they agree, will list the finishing order that will be the recorded. Only if they disagree will the referee decide the order of those lanes over which there is disagreement.
  20. All race officials shall report any rule infringement to the referee immediately on completion of a race.
  21. The official finishing order and any disqualifications will then be given to the chief timekeeper.
  22. Heats and finals will be place declared. Any lanes where timings do not agree with the official finishing order will each be awarded the mean of the times for those lanes by the chief timekeeper. These official times from heats will be used to select the fastest 6 swimmers, or teams, for event finals; or to declare the results in squadron relay and line throwing.
  23. If 2 swimmers from the same heat with the same official time qualify 6th and 7th for a final then the swimmer who was placed highest by the judges will be awarded the place in the final. If 2 swimmers from different heats with the same time qualify 6th and 7th for a final then a swim off will be arranged between the two swimmers for the place in the final.
  24. All activities in the pool and on the poolside and all Scouts, Explorers and leaders in those areas come under the control of the referee. All Scouts, Explorers and leaders will comply promptly with any instructions of the referee or other Gala staff (judges, marshals, etc.) The referee retains the right to refuse access to the pool or poolside to any individual or to instruct any individual to leave the pool or poolside if their behaviour is considered inappropriate.
  25. All decisions of the starter and judges shall be reported to the referee. The referee’s decision shall be final in all matters.
  26. All heats, and line throw will be held on Saturday forenoon. The swimming finals and Squadron Relay will be held on Sunday forenoon.
  27. No full Length trousers or fast skin costumes are to be worn. Only shorts and costumes that are above the knee are acceptable. This rule applies to both sexes.

Line Throw Rules

The pool remains in lanes, but a long rope is passed across the pool width ways at the 8 metre mark (from the shallow end) and secured at both sides.

Each of the 6 lanes will require a 14 metre orange lifesaving competition rope.

One team member stands on the side (shallow end) in front of their designated lane, feet together holding the line with one hand. They face forward towards the pool.

The remaining team members enter the water to the deep end side of the rope, in their designated lane.

One team member goes under the rope, holds it down with one hand and holds the throwing line with the other hand.

On the starting signal the team member in the water lets go of the throwing rope, but retains the cross rope with 1 hand, and the team member on the side starts to coil the rope. When sufficient rope has been coiled, it is thrown to the team member that went under the 8 metre rope. If the throw reaches, the catching team member (‘casualty’) lets go of the cross rope and is pulled to the side. IMPORTANT – the ‘casualty’ can only let go of the 8m cross rope once they have hold of the line that has been thrown to them. The tow rope must be held in 2 hands and the head of the person being rescued held above the water – no kicking of the legs is permitted. The person that has been rescued becomes the ‘rescuer’ and starts to coil the rope. Meanwhile, the next team member goes under the 8-metre dividing rope to take up position with 1 hand on the cross rope and 1 hand extended forward to catch the rope when it is thrown. The race finishes when all team members are on the side, standing in a line (the last person to be rescued will not have to throw). Each heat will last a maximum of 6 minutes after which the heat will be terminated and any teams remaining in the water will be awarded 6th place.

Only 1 person at a time on the shallow end-side of the cross rope.

The cross rope must be held until after the throwing rope is caught.

The person being pulled in must have both hands on the rope and their head above water.