NO RIGHT TO COMPETE.  Participation in any national (local Guam) or international competition with and through Guam Swimming is a privilege, not a right.

All competition nominations and entries are subject to the discretion of, and acceptance by, Guam Swimming, “which may at its discretion, refuse any entry, without indication of grounds. Nobody is entitled as of right to participate in the Olympic Games” or in any other games or competition. [Source: Olympic Charter Rule 44; GNOC Code of Conduct (“Membership on the Guam National Team. . . competing Internationally and Nationally . . .is an honor and a privilege.”)].

Participation in GSF events, including selection to participate in off-island events, is based “not only on the sports performance of an athlete but also on their ability to serve as an example to the sporting youth of the country. The NF (GSF) must ensure that the entries comply in all respects with the provisions provided by FINA. The NF is responsible for the behavior of the members of its delegations.” [Source: FINA Good Governance Guidelines Article 5.1].

Who can swim in an official meet sponsored by Guam Swimming?

To be eligible to take part in official competitions organized by Guam Swimming, an aquatics athlete must be a current registered competitor in good standing with a member team of Guam Swimming. However, an unregistered (aka “unattached”) athlete may informally join a team’s practice sessions if the team permits it. Unregistered athletes may also participate in a GSF swim meet if invited.

Athletes from jurisdictions outside of Guam who are invited to participate in an International Swim Meet sponsored by Guam Swimming may swim in that invitational meet provided that their national federation affirms that they are in good standing and eligible to compete.

Is a visiting athlete from off-island eligible to hold a Guam swim record?

No. Only an athlete who is a current registered competitor in good standing with a member team of Guam Swimming is eligible to hold a Guam swimming competition record and/or a Guam time.

A visiting athlete is eligible to win medals at a Guam International Swim Meet, but not to hold a swim record even if the time achieved during the competition is faster than the Guam record.

How is eligibility to swim in an international meet held outside of Guam determined?

Unless announced otherwise, the following is a basic outline of how athletes are generally selected to attend international competition:

First, to be eligible to represent Guam at any international GSF or GNOC-sanctioned gaming event,[1] an athlete must be a current registered competitor in good standing with a member team of Guam Swimming.

Second, the athlete must also fulfill the age, residency, eligibility, and qualification requirements as are from time to time promulgated by the GNOC, World Aquatics, or other organizing body assigned jurisdiction over the specific competition.

Third, if the athlete meets the first two criteria, then selection to the team depends on the particular competition. No two international meets are ever alike. Each differs depending on the requirements of the government of the host country, the event organizing committee, and the applicable qualifying times.

For the Micronesian Games, Pacific Games, invitational federation-level meets, and GNOC-sanctioned events, athletes are nominated by their head coach depending on their times, rank, skill, behavior, and maturity. There is generally no quota limiting the number of athletes who can be on the team. However, the final number and athlete selection is subject to the discretion and approval of GSF and GNOC.

For World Aquatics events (including the 25M and 50M World Championships), an athlete must have achieved at least a “B” qualifying time as established by WA for the particular competition. The qualifying times are announced in the months leading up to the event and are published on the WA website.

Athletes who equal or better the qualifying times in one or more individual events are automatically qualified to participate in the competition. If there are no athletes who meet the WA qualifying times, then the top two athletes of each gender whose times come closest to the qualifying times will be selected.

The swim times eligible for consideration must be earned either at a Guam championship meet or else at a WA-sanctioned meet held outside of Guam within the stated qualifying time period. Swim times will be ranked, and athletes will be selected, based upon application of the Base Time Proximity Standard.

Guam’s quota for WA competitions is limited to a maximum of four athletes: two (2) males and two (2) females. Entering more than four total athletes is not permitted. Entering more than two of a gender is also not permitted even if the quota of four athletes is not reached (for example: a team of three males and one female, or three females and zero males, is not allowed). Each athlete may swim two individual events, plus the mixed team relays. Event entries are made at the discretion of the national team coach after consultation with the athlete.

How are athletes selected for the Olympic Games?

For the Summer Olympic Games, only one (1) male and (1) female athlete will be selected. Entering more than two total athletes (one male & one female) or entering two athletes of the same gender is not permitted.

To be selected, an athlete must achieve an Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT) within the qualifying period as established by WA for the particular Olympic Games. Athletes who equal or better at least a “B” OQT in one or more individual events are automatically qualified to participate in the Olympics.

The OQT must have been earned in a 50M long course pool during an Olympic-qualifying competition sanctioned by WA and held during the applicable qualifying period. Short course (25Y and 25M) times and non-Olympic qualifying competitions that are not sanctioned by WA do not count towards the Olympics.

The OQTs and the qualifying period are announced in the months leading up to the Olympics and published on the WA website.

What if no athlete achieves an Olympic Qualifying Time?

If no athletes have achieved an OQT, then WA may invite athletes to participate through Universality Placement. Only those athletes who have participated in the WA 50M World Championships held in the year before the Olympic Games are eligible for consideration of a Universality invitation.

Unlike the World Championships which utilizes the Base Time Proximity Standard to determine selection, a Universality invitation to the Olympic Games is extended only to those athletes who have achieved the highest World Aquatics Points Table score in an individual 50M Olympic swimming event. Universality athletes are limited to enter only one (1) event at the Olympic Games.

Swim times and points earned outside of the qualifying period, or in a 25Y or 25M event (to include the WA 25M World Championships), or in a non-Olympic qualifying competition do not count towards the Olympics.

An athlete entering through Universality is limited to a maximum of two (2) Olympic Games in his/her career provided the athlete is not older than the age of thirty (30) as of 31st December of the Olympic year.

What other off-island meets can Guam swim athletes attend?

If invited, a GSF member swim team may send its athletes to private “club meets” held off-island provided that the meet is not organized or sponsored by an international gaming/sports organization or by the national federation of the country in which the meet is held.

[1] Including but not limited to e.g., Micronesian Games, Pacific Mini Games, Pacific Games, East Asian Games, Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, Arafura Games, Oceania Swimming Championships, all World Aquatics competitions, Pan Pacific Games, Youth Olympics, and Olympic Games.

GSF Athlete Selection Criteria: Base Time Proximity Standard

On August 12, 2022, the GSF unanimously adopted the BASE TIME PROXIMITY STANDARD to calculate the times and ranking of athletes to be selected for attendance at international off-island competitions, with the exception of the Olympic Games. Sometimes called the “Percentage of Time Standard,” the criteria is used by major swim federations to establish a uniform way to compare times and rank athletes across different events. 

The standard compares the difference between a swim athlete’s time in an individual event to the “B” time standard (ie, the “Base Time”) for that same event as established by a competition’s meet organizers. The formula divides the athlete’s time by the Base Time, and the quotient is converted to a percentage. Athletes will be ranked in order of their percentages, with the highest ranking athlete being the one whose swim time is closest to the Base Time (or “1”).

For the Olympic Games, the qualification and selection criteria shall be that as established by FINA. For universality placement, and at GSF, GNOC, and FINA’s discretion, only the male and female athlete who have achieved the highest FINA Points Table score in any individual Olympic event, as achieved at a FINA-approved qualification event during the qualification period, shall be entered.

Two athletes of the same gender entered via Universality are not permitted. An athlete entering through Universality will be limited to a maximum of up to two Olympic Games in his/her career provided the athlete is not older than the age of thirty (30) as of 31st December of the Olympic year.

2023 Pacific Games is a FINA qualifying event for 2024 Doha World Champs & Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The Pacific Games Council has announced that the 2023 Solomon Island games scheduled for November 19 to December 2, 2023, will be recognized by FINA as a qualification event for the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The Games will also be recognized as a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Additionally, athlete eligibility for the Solomon Islands will utilize FINA regulations.

Doha, Qatar to host 21st World Championships (50M) in February 2024

In what should be the last of the Covid reshuffling, FINA has rescheduled the 21st World Championships that was originally scheduled to take pace in Doha, Qatar in July 2023 to February 2 to 18, 2024. The change was necessitated because the 2022 championship event scheduled for Fukuoka, Japan was pushed back to July 2023. Instead of Fukuoka, the 2022 event was moved to Budapest, Hungary.