FAQS: PARTICIPATION IN GUAM AND INTERNATIONAL SWIM MEETS

Updated 22 May 2024

NO ONE HAS THE "RIGHT" TO COMPETE. EVEN IF QUALIFIED, THERE IS NO "GUARANTEE" OF ENTRY INTO ANY GAME OR  COMPETITION.

Participation in any national (local Guam) or international competition with and through Guam Aquatics is a privilege, NOT a "right" and there is no "guarantee" of anything.

No athlete is entitled to compete nationally (locally) or internationally. All competition nominations and entries are subject to the discretion of, and acceptance by, Guam Aquatics, the Guam National Olympic Committee, and/or the relevant organizing committee. 

As the recognized National Federation for aquatics, Guam Aquatics abides by the Fundamental Principles of Olympism and the Olympic Movement as set forth in the IOC Charter, including the IOC rules governing Invitations and Entries:

"Any entry is subject to acceptance by the IOC [and/or relevant sanctioning authority, including GSF and GNOC], which may at its discretion, at any time, refuse any entry, without indication of grounds. Nobody is entitled as of right  to participate in the Olympic Games [or any other games or competition]."  [Source: Olympic Charter Rule 44(3); GNOC Code of Conduct (“Membership on the Guam National Team. . . competing Internationally and Nationally . . .is an honor and a privilege.”)].

At all times participation in any Guam Aquatics or GNOC event, 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 a local Guam swim meet sponsored by Guam Aquatics?

To be eligible to take part in official competitions organized by Guam Aquatics, an athlete must be a current registered competitor in good standing with a member team of Guam Aquatics or a temporarily unregistered (aka “unattached”) athlete who is transferring between teams during a competition season.

Athletes from jurisdictions outside of Guam may be invited to participate in an International Invitational swim meet sponsored by Guam Aquatics 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 earn 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 earn a Guam swimming competition record and/or a Guam time.

A visiting athlete or an invited unregistered athlete is eligible to win medals at an Invitational meet, but is not eligible earn a Guam swim record even if the time achieved during the competition is faster than the Guam record.

How is eligibility to swim in an international Flag Event competition held outside of Guam determined?

Subject to any other applicable requirements, the following is a basic general outline of how athletes are selected to attend a Flag Event[1] competition:

First, an athlete is eligible for consideration to compete and represent Guam if the athlete has met the minimum qualifying time standard; is a current registered competitor with Guam Aquatics in good standing; is not unattached or under sanction; and meets any and all other qualification and eligibility requirements.

Second, the athlete must fulfill the age, residency, citizenship, fitness, and other requirements established by the host country, Guam Aquatics, GNOC, World Aquatics, or other organizing body assigned jurisdiction over the specific competition.

Third, the athletes who qualify by meeting the first two criteria are nominated to the competition by their head coach depending on the athlete’s overall times, technical skill, maturity, fitness, ethics, and behavior.

For Guam National Olympic Committee events such as the Micronesian Games and the Pacific Games, there is generally no stated limit to the number of qualified athletes who can be on the team. Regardless of nomination, qualification, times, points, or anything else, the final decision as to who will actually be allowed to participate rests solely within the exclusive jurisdiction and discretion of the 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 World Aquatics for the particular competition. The qualifying times are announced in the months leading up to the event and are published on the World Aquatics 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 World Aquatics qualifying times, then the top two athletes of each gender whose times come closest to the qualifying times are considered for participation. Entering more than two of each gender (or four total athletes) is not permitted.

The swim times eligible for consideration to participate in the World Championships must be earned either at a Guam championship meet or else at a World Aquatics-sanctioned meet held outside of Guam within the applicable qualifying time period. Swim times are ranked, and athletes are selected, based upon application of the Base Time Proximity Standard. Regardless of rank or times, other criteria is considered including (but not limited to) technical skill, maturity, fitness, ethics, and behavior.

For Federation-level invitational events or open entry events such as the Pan Pacific Games, the Oceania Championships, or similar (and depending on the criteria established by the host and the competition organizing committee), athletes who meet the minimum qualifying times are nominated by their head coach depending on the athlete’s overall times, technical skill, maturity, fitness, ethics, and behavior. If the number of athletes who may be entered in the competition is limited, then the Base Time Proximity Standard is applied. The final selection of the team is made by Guam Aquatics.

How are qualifying times determined?

Qualifying times, criteria, and standards are established by World Aquatics, the IOC, or the organizing body of the competition.

If no qualifying times are announced, then pursuant to the 1991 order of the GNOC Executive Board, the minimum qualifying times shall be equal to the times achieved by the third (3rd) place finishers in the “A” finals for each event during the last edition of the relevant competition. Subject to GNOC’s approval, Guam Aquatics may allow for minimum qualifying times equal to the time achieved by the last place finisher in the “A” finals for each event, which typically is the 6th or 8th place depending on the competition.

How are athletes selected for the Olympic Games?

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

The OQT must have been earned in a 50-meter long course pool during an Olympic-qualifying competition sanctioned by World Aquatics and held during the applicable qualifying period. Short course (25y and 25m) times and non-Olympic qualifying competitions that are not sanctioned by World Aquatics 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 World Aquatics website.

Regardless of nomination, qualification, times, points, good looks, or anything else, the final decision as to who will actually be allowed to participate rests solely within the exclusive jurisdiction and discretion of the GNOC.

What if no athlete achieves an Olympic Qualifying Time?

For the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games, athletes must qualify by minimally meeting the “B” Olympic Consideration Time (OCT) established for those Games. Qualification does not, however, guarantee entry to the Games.

If no athlete achieves an Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT), World Aquatics may invite GNOC to allow two athletes [one (1) male and/or (1) female] to attend the Summer Olympic Games through “Universality Placement.” Entering more than two athletes under Universality, or entering two athletes of the same gender, is not permitted.

Universality entry places are not automatic. The decision to extend a Universality invitation is subject to the sole discretion of World Aquatics and the approval of the GNOC, which has exclusive jurisdiction and control over Guam’s participation in the Olympic Games.

Unlike the World Championships which utilizes the Base Time Proximity Standard to determine selection, and subject to any other criteria that may be established, only the male and/or female athlete who has achieved the highest World Aquatics Points Table score in an individual 50M Olympic qualifying event during the relevant qualifying period is eligible to be invited.

Swim times and points achieved outside of the qualifying period, or in a 25y or 25m pool event (to include the World Aquatics 25m World Championships), or in a non-Olympic qualifying competition, do not count towards the Olympics.

Effective April 9. 2024, the updated rules for Paris 2024 no longer require that athletes have participated in the World Aquatics 50m World Championships held in the year before the Olympic Games in order to be eligible for consideration of a Universality invitation. Athletes entering through Universality are limited to a maximum of two (2) Olympic Games in his/her career or not being older than the age of thirty (30) years as of 1 January 2025.

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

If invited, a Guam Aquatics member swim team may permit its athletes to participate in an independent event (aka “club” meet) 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. If the head coach of the team requests that Guam Aquatics sanction the club meet as a non-Flag Event, the times achieved at the meet will be recognized and made eligible for records.


[1] A “Flag Event” is a competition sanctioned by Guam Aquatics and/or the GNOC as one where the delegation of athletes and officials is authorized to be called “Team Guam” and to nationally represent Guam as a country. The competitions recognized and sanctioned by Guam Aquatics as Flag Events are: all Guam Aquatics competitions, Guam Cocos Crossing, Micronesian Games, Pacific Games, Pacific Mini Games, East Asian Games, Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, Oceania Aquatics Swimming Championships, all World Aquatics competitions, World Aquatics National Federation Member invitational events, Pan Pacific Games, Arafura Games, Youth Olympic Games, Olympic Games, and any other competitions that Guam Aquatics may in its discretion recognize as a Flag Event.