IPC Sanctioning

On January 27, 2010, Swimming Canada released a new set of guideline outlining how to integrate IPC athletes into swimming competitions.

The procedure for IPC Swimming Competition Approval Applications shall be as follows:

  1. 65 days out of the meet or earlier, the meet host (referred to as LOC - Local Organizing Committee - below) begins the process by submitting a copy of the meet package and pool survey (if available) with the completed (signed by Meet Manager) IPC Competition Approval Application to the Para-swimming National Coach via email (cmccord@swimming.ca) for review and edits.
  2. Once reviewed and edits are complete, package is sent back to LOC for approval.
  3. Once edits are approved by LOC or if there were not edits, SNC will sign application form and submit it to IPC Swimming for approval. SNC will copy the meet manager on the email to IPC Swimming.
  4. Should IPC Swimming require additional information on the application, they will be in touch with the LOC and Meet Manager. Should the Meet Manager need assistance with the IPC questions, please be in touch with the National Coach at cmccord@swimming.ca or call at 778-8377328.
  5. IPC Swimming will notify the LOC and SNC when competition approval has been granted.
  6. Once IPC Approval is granted, SNC will invoice the LOC for the equivalent of the 50 Euros Sanction Fee.

Please read the following documents carefully, then see the section below for some useful tools to use in running a meet involving IPC athletes.

Meet Manager's Guide for Including Para-Swimmers 

(also called IPC and formerly "SWAD")

This document is intended to help Swim clubs more easily include Para-swimmers in their meets. The suggestions contained here have proven to be “best practices” over the 14 years that Swimming Canada has been responsible for Para-swimming in Canada.

Some quick links you might find useful:

Meet packages: 

1) Where the swim meet is going to be offering specific IPC events, the meet package needs to indicate that all IPC swimmers must be classified prior to the start of the swim meet. All Swim BC IPC swimmers are on the Swimming Canada website in the classification section for Para-Swimmers.

2) IPC swimmers must be entered with their full classification (i.e.) S8 SB7 SM8

3) The event schedule must indicate which specific events are Para and which other events Para-swimmers may enter integrated with able-bodied swimmers.

4) Indicate if event is mixed gender; for the most part, this will be the practice until our SWAD numbers grow.

5) Indicate how many swimmers are required to swim in preliminaries before the Para event goes to finals. Examples include: “Top 8 Para to finals” or, perhaps, “Top 8 when 9 or more Para contest an event in preliminaries”.
    a) If this is your club’s meet, you can determine the number.
    b) If it is a Regional Championships, the region can set its own number. 
    c) At Provincials or Nationals, it is important to check with the governing rules for the specific event.

6) For regular regional or developmental meets, while it is not required, it is appreciated if the meet package indicates that Para swimmers are welcome to attend.

Entries, Seeding and Heat Sheets

1) All Para-swimmers must be entered with their full classification. The classification must be placed in the same field as their LAST NAME, after their last name. The classification will always be a combination of 3 numbers:
    a) 'S' indicates the swimmers class for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.
    b) 'SB' for the breaststroke class. 
    c) and 'SM' is individual medley class. 
        i) A complete example: Joe Swimmer S8SB7SM8 (So, “Swimmer S8SB7SM8” would be entered as Joe’s last name).

2) It is more important to have the swimmers classification than their first name. It is not enough to mark swimmers as 'Para' as this does not give the officials the information they need, nor is it useful for the person scoring results on the Para point chart.

3) HyTek will not always let you enter a Para-swimmer into an event by time if they are older than the age category where the swimmer is going to swim.  In this case, make up an alternative age for that swimmer.

4) HyTek will let you enter all fields for Para if you are running a Para only event. In this type of meet, you will need to have the rule exceptions in the place on HyTek where the registration goes. This is very important since there are many Para-swimmers and it is too hard to keep a separate list of the swimmers’ rule exceptions.

5) Swimmers of a lower classification and novice swimmers are encouraged to swim their longer events during an able bodied event (of the same stroke) of a similar duration. This can mean swimming their event in the able bodied event twice the distance. (i.e.) a lower class 100m back swam in a 200m back; 200m free swam in the 400m free etc. This event needs to be flagged so that the officials and timers know in advance of the event and the results people need to be sure that the swimmers results do not appear as a DQ since they did not complete the distance. 
    a) An example: the current national record for S2 male's 50m freestyle is 4:07.45. With proper notification to the athlete and the officials, it would be preferable to have this swimmer contest the event in an able bodied heat of 200 freestyle rather than a heat of 50m freestyle.

6) HyTek seeds the heats filling the first heat last. This will mean that if there are empty lanes they will be in the first heat of an event. With lower class or novice Para-swimmers you should quickly scan all your first and second heats to see where they are swimming. 
    a) If you have several AB swimmers entered with NT and your Para-swimmers with times HyTek will have sorted the Para-swimmers to a faster heat. This often will only happen with one SWAD and the rest will be in the first heat along with the AB swimmers with NT. 
    b) If the event is a 50 or the Para times are fairly close to the other AB swimmers, you do not need to move anyone. 
    c) If the Para-swimmer in the second heat is considerably slower you should trade a Para-swimmer for an AB swimmer. This helps with over all time management of the meet and gives both the Para and AB swimmer a better swim and result.


1) In most meets, a Para-swimmer enters a meet, swims integrated by time and is swimming for their best times. In this case, they are just included in the results as per age groupings.

2) Para-specific events will require a person whose job it is to calculate results based on the Swimming Canada Para-Point Charts.

    a) Generally the event is a mixed gender. Competitions at anything other than the national and international levels do not have sufficient participation for gender specific results.

    b) The person scoring results needs to have a complete list of all the Para-swimmers and their complete classification.

    c) The Para's performance is ranked as per their score on the appropriate point chart. The swimmer with largest point score is the winner of the event.

    d) A “Point Calculator” for each gender is available on the Swimming Canada website. Please note that the charts are gender specific:
            i) male: Swimming Canada's Para-Points Calculator
            ii) female: Swimming Canada's Para-Points Calculator

Managing Para Events in HyTek Meet Manager Timed Finals:

1. Get times as normal. Print a list of results for event.

2. Look up times in the correct Para-points calculator on the Swimming Canada website. 

3. List point score beside each swimmer. If the swimmers points are below 0, just put NP. Do not post negative scores.

4. Within HyTek, select the RUN Menu, then EVENT and click the JUDGES DECISION (JD) button. Re-order swimmers in order of points (highest to lowest).

    a) Only use the JD if required. If the top three swimmers do not change order you do not need to put a number beside them. If the last swimmer is still last, they do not need a number. Make sure you don’t leave any ties by numbering someone 3 and leaving the original 3rd place in position as well.

5. Print the revised results. Handwrite the points beside the time for each swimmer. Get someone to proofread the points/times before posting.

    a) Be sure that the referee knows they are just signing for the times/DQ’s not the points.

Preliminaries and Finals

1. Repeat steps 1 to 5 as above for timed final events.

2. Check whether all swimmers go to finals. If so, leave the lanes as pre-set in Hy-tek. If using the 'minus 2' rule (e.g. 7 in prelims = 5 go to finals) or some other permutation edit the event to set the number of lanes in finals to the number of eligible swimmers (i.e. 5). This will draw a line under the results to show finalists and alternates.

3. Print the preliminary results for posting. If you forget to alter the number of lanes in finals, draw a line under the finalists to separate the alternates.

4. Go back to RUN, select event, choose Judges Decision and reset so all the placings disappear. If there are swimmers not going on to finals their preliminary results will need to stay ordered by point score and it will be necessary to use the 'judges decision' button to properly order their events.

An example: 5 swimmers go to finals.
    a) Leave 6,7,8,9 marked as 'judge's decision (JD)'. 
    b) Watch again for ties between the times and the JD numbers which take swimmers out of finals. 
    c) Number the slowest finalist 5, next slowest 4, etc. so that they will go to finals but be seeded by time. 
    d) Go to the SEEDING Menu. Select the Para-event, Select “Start Seeding”. 
    e) Check in “PREVIEW/ADJUST” to make sure the swimmers are seeded by TIME not points. Do not RESEED this event when finals scratches are in. 
    f) Go back to Run, select event, choose Judges Decision and re-input all the placings for preliminary results so that when the results are printed, the swimmers will be ranked by points not time. 
    g) If you edited the event to change the number of lanes in finals, go back to Events and reset it to the number of lanes in the pool. 
    h) Go to seeding menu, preview the event and drag the seeded swimmers to the centre of the pool (Usually means everyone shifts over one lane but some may switch sides of the pool when going from an odd number of lanes to an even number).
    i) Run final the same as a timed final. 


1. At regional and provincial meets where there are Para-events, a copy of Para-swimmers in BC (along with their classifications) should be printed off the Swimming Canada website prior to the start of the meet.

2. The Para-swimmers attending the meet need to be marked. The officials will need this sheet as it indicates the codes for the swimmers’ exceptions. These are very important in helping officials to determine if a Para-swimmer’s stroke is legal.

3. Officials need to include Para-swimmers in their briefing session every day. This should happen even at events where Technical Advisors (TAs) are working.

4. Starters and referees need to be made aware of the heats where Para-events are swimming when an event is double-ended. There needs to be a plan for allowing the swimmer(s) to exit the pool.

    a) The same is true in swim meets where swimmers “swim over” at the start. It's important to note that some swimmers may take considerably longer to exit the pool than one's intuition might suggest.

    b) The pool should be cleared before the Para-swimmers (or their events) are started, particularly where swimmers are of lower class and probably needing assistance at the blocks or where a swimmer needs to start from the water. In this way, every Para-event could/should be considered a backstroke event requiring the same care and attention. This is for the safety of all swimmers.

5. Timers need to be made aware of events where the Para-swimmers may not swim the full distance of the event which the able-bodied swimmers are contesting. i.e. 200m free in the 400m free or where the Para 150m IM is being swam with the 200IM Para-events.

6. Officials in the time booth need to be aware that a Para-swimmer is in the water so that the clocks are not turned off before the swimmer has finished their race.

7. The disqualification sheet that includes the Para DQ codes can be found on Swim BC website on the Officials Forms and Resources page.


The majority of the pool facilities we use offer a basic level of accessibility for entry to the building, washrooms, pool deck etc. In a meet where the start time is earlier that the normal opening time for the building it should be noted that alternative arrangements will likely need to be made to insure the Para-swimmers with motor impairments can get into the facility. Every facility will differ. An example:

The Commonwealth Pool in Victoria is very accessible during regular building hours. However, when a swim meet starts at 7:00am on a Sunday, the swimmers are let in through the doors off the upper level, they reach the team change rooms via the stairs and are locked out of the main building. This means that the elevators are out of reach until 9:00am when the building opens for the public. Clubs with Para-swimmers need to be informed that they can go around to the back of the pool and make their entry to the pool at deck level. The club needs to prearrange to meet their Para-swimmers so that the doors can be opened.