Swimming – National Champions – Selector
The first two S.A.S.A. Championships took place in 1888, 100 yards and 220 yards freestyle for men. The first Championship for women, the 220 yards freestyle, began in 1891. Over the years there has been a steady growth in the number of events, in 1924 there were 11: 7 for men and 4 for women and by 1954 there were 19 events: 10 for men and 9 for women.
Each individual Championship took place at a different location until 1948, when the first centralised Championships were arranged at Paisley.
Until 1967, the Championships were held in “short course” pools, i.e. pools shorter than 50 metres. From 1968, all events have taken place in “long course” pools i.e. those of 50 metres or 55 yards. Initially 55 yards was the standard size, but from 1970 every attempt was made to use metric distances.
In 1971, 1976 and 1977 it was necessary to use imperial distances, but since 1978 all the Championships have taken place in 50 metre pools.
The change from imperial to metric distances was paralleled by changes in methods of timing events.
Electronic equipment, accurate to 1/100 of a second, has been used since 1970 at all metric Championships.
Centralised Short Course Championships began in 1970 to complement the Long Course events. At first they were held in either metric or imperial pools.
Since 1978 pools of 25 metres have been used.
Eligibility for the Championships has changed over the years. Entry to the Long Course Championships was restricted to Scottish swimmers until 1979 when they were opened up to swimmers of any nationality. The definition of “Scottish” has changed down the years. Originally a swimmer had to be a native of Scotland but for many years now a competitor is “Scottish” if he or she has a Scottish mother or father or has been resident in Scotland for a minimum period of six months, prior to the first day of the Championships.