Rules and Regulations: ParaGames Swimming (Open)

Last updated: February 2, 2023

Download a PDF here: LYG23_PG Swimming Info Rules

PGSW 1 The London Youth Games ParaGames Swimming competition will run with the rules stated below.

PGSW 1.1 It will be at the sole discretion of the Competition Director as to the application of these rules, and any subsequent decision made as a result will be final.

PGSW 2 Age Category

PGSW 2.1 The following age groups and respective maximum and minimum date of births will apply to the London Youth Games ParaGames Swimming Competition:

Age Category Oldest DOB Youngest DOB
U18 01/09/2004 31/08/2011


PGSW 2.2 This competition is an entry standard competition open to any disabled swimmer who is not classified. Swimmers must have a physical, intellectual, or sensory impairment to compete and must be able to swim unaided in a recognised stroke on their front or back for a minimum of 25 metres without stopping.

PGSW 2.3 Competitors are not permitted to enter this competition if they are ineligible. No exceptions will be made.

PGSW 2.4 It is the responsibility of competitors/parents/team managers/local authority staff to ensure all competitors details are entered correctly at the time of submission, and that they are eligible to compete for their borough under the London Youth Games Games Rules, and in accordance with the age groups outlined for the competition.

PGSW 2.4.1 In the instance a competitor is found to be ineligible, they will be disqualified from the competition entirely, and the borough will receive a points penalty as per the Games Rules.

PGSW 3 Squad Size Boroughs are permitted to enter a minimum of 1 competitor and a maximum of 6 competitors.

PGSW 3.1. Boroughs are encouraged to enter swimmers for all impairment groups.

PGSW 3.2 A team that has at least one swimmer from each impairment group (boy and girl) will receive a maximum of 60 points. If a team has only two of the three impairment groups (boy and girl) the team will receive 40 points and if a team has all the same impairments, they will receive 20 points.

PGSW 3.3 Boroughs can enter only one swimmer per impairment group per gender for the individual races.

PGSW 4 Kit & Equipment Competitors must bring a swimming costume, goggles and a towel.


PGSW 5 Competition Format There will be individual races followed by relays:

PGSW 5.1 25m freestyle race (boys and girls) in all impairment groups.

PGSW 5.2 4x25m backstroke relay (mixed).

PGSW 5.3 25m backstroke race (boys and girls) in all impairment groups.

PGSW 5.4 4x25m freestyle relay (mixed).

PGSW 5.5 Each swimmer may swim one individual race and up to two relays

PGSW 5.6 Teams are drawn into random lanes. If a swimmer cannot go in a lane in the middle of the pool for safety reasons, please highlight this (if possible before the competition day) by emailing If not informed prior to the competition, this must be done at registration.

PGSW 6 Competition Rules The following rules will be enforced

PGSW 6.1 Starts

PGSW 6.1.1 Swimmers should start in water.

PGSW 6.1.2 Each race should start on a whistle or hand signal for swimmers with a hearing impairment.

PGSW 6.1.3 Swimmers performing a false start will be allowed to swim the race but will be   disqualified at the end of the race.

PGSW 6.1.4 25m races will start in the deep end and finish in the shallow end. Relay races will start and finish in the shallow end.

PGSW 6.2 Races

PGSW 6.2.1 Freestyle races: any recognised strokes on the front i.e., front crawl, breaststroke and butterfly.

PGSW Freestyle – swimmers are permitted to choose any stroke for freestyle. Some part of the swimmer’s body must touch the wall to finish. Swimmers may touch the bottom part-way through the race but are not permitted to walk.

PGSW Breaststroke – swimmers should remain on their front throughout the race and finish by touching the side with two hands.

PGSW 6.2.2 Backstroke races: any recognised strokes on the back i.e., back crawl.

PGSW Backstroke – swimmers should remain on their back throughout the race and finish on their back. Swimmers should grip the side with both hands, where this is not possible, one hand is permitted.

PGSW 6.3 Swimmers can be assisted with their start where required.

PGSW 6.4 Swimmers with a visual impairment can be tapped on approach to the wall.

PGSW 6.5 Relays can have any combination of impairments but must comprise of 2 boys and 2 girls (If a team has only boys or only girls, they can swim the relay, but this will be non-scoring and non-medalling).

PGSW 6.6 The races will commence in the following order

Race Number Race Name
Race 1 25m Freestyle Race ID – Boys
Race 2 25m Freestyle Race ID – Girls
Race 3 25m Freestyle Race Sensory Impairment – Boys
Race 4 25m Freestyle Race Sensory Impairment – Girls
Race 5 25m Freestyle Race Physical Impairment – Boys
Race 6 25m Freestyle Race Physical Impairment – Girls
Race 7 4x25m Backstroke Relay
Race 8 25m Backstroke Race ID – Boys
Race 9 25m Backstroke Race ID – Girls
Race 10 25m Backstroke Sensory Impairment – Boys
Race 11 25m Backstroke Sensory Impairment – Girls
Race 12 25m Backstroke Physical Impairment – Boys
Race 13 25m Backstroke Physical Impairments – Girls
Race 14 4x25m Freestyle Relay


PGSW 6.7 Races may be combined if entries are low.

PGSW 7 Overall Scoring Points will be awarded for each race as well as team composition points which will contribute to the overall borough score.

PGSW 7.1 In each race (individual and relay) points are allocated according to place finished per impairment group i.e. 1st = 33 pts, 2nd = 32 pts, 3rd = 31 pts, 4th = 30 pts, 5th = 29 pts and below, continue this pattern.

PGSW 7.2 Team composition: teams start with a maximum of 60 points. For each swimmer with a different impairment to the recommended (2x ID, 2x Sensory, 2x Physical), the team will be deducted 10 points.

PGSW 7.3 Incomplete competition: if the competition is cancelled or suspended, the following steps will be used to calculate the final result:

    • Results from all completed events are combined and used to identify the overall winner.
    • Race types: individual and relays.
    • Minimum requirements: to determine a completed event all heats must take place. To determine a result for the competition 1 race must be completed.
    • Tied teams: will not be separated once scores from races are combined, except if the top 3 teams have the same number of points, then the highest number of 1st place race finishers will be the deciding factor, then 2nd place finishers.
    • Borough entry: if a borough has entered the competition but not a race that is used in the scoring calculation, they will be placed in last position.
    • Team composition: based on the team nominated at registration regardless of whether they compete or not.

PGSW 8 Medals & Trophies Medals and trophies will be awarded as follows:

PGSW 8.1 Individual medals per impairment group awarded after the 4th race has been completed and the 10 minutes period for Team Managers to check results has passed.

PGSW 8.2 Overall Borough medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed teams per gender and trophy awarded to the winner of the competition for each gender.



PGSW 9 Description of impairment groups

PGSW 9.1 Physical Impairment – includes anyone with a physical impairment that impacts their day to day lives. The impairment can affect one limb or all four limbs. Examples of physical impairment include wheelchair users, someone with Cerebral Palsy, Amputees/missing limbs, anyone walking with an aid, mobility restrictions in joints and have impaired muscle power (not Dyspraxia).

PSGW 9.2 Sensory Impairment – includes anyone with a visual impairment that means that they have impaired vision which impacts their daily lives (not just someone who wears glasses).

PGSW 9.3 Hearing Impairment – includes anyone with a hearing impairment that requires them to wear a hearing aid or implant.

PGSW 9.4 Intellectual Disability – includes anyone who has a learning disability that means they have difficulties regarding pattern recognition, sequencing and memory as well as having slower reaction time (i.e., Downs Syndrome).