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What is Junior League?

This is better known as the “Diddy” League and is often the first gala where swimmers compete in individual and team events against other clubs. 

The competition is always great fun, exciting, competitive and very, very loud with a mixture of individual and team relay events. Points for each event are awarded to clubs based on the position their swimmer achieves in each race. Points contribute to an overall team score. This is one of the only galas where swimmers compete as a team for points and not medals.

Teams from all over the North East compete in the “Diddy” League aiming to be Junior League Champions. The league is made up of 3 divisions and teams are promoted and relegated between the divisions annually depending on their overall position in their division. 

There are normally 3 or 4 four rounds of heats and a final. Clubs swim in 3 rounds (2 in 2022), with the top 6 teams in each division swimming in the finals.

The Division 1 winner represents Northumberland and Durham in the Northern final, where qualifiers may swim in the National final.

Each gala/round lasts about two hours, having about 50 events in each.

Clubs select swimmers to represent them for each age group (9, 10, 11 and 12 year olds). Teams are made up of 4 girls and 4 boys in each age group. 

Each gala consists of 4 individual races (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly) in each age group for boys and girls, 2 relay races; freestyle and medley and the last swim is a Team Cannon with 1 boy and 1 girl from each age group competing in an 8-swimmer relay team (due to Covid-19 preventing the league going ahead an additional 2 events have been added for a 13 year old relay team to take part in 2022).

Age eligibility criteria

  • 9 years olds – age on the last Sunday in November in the year of competition. This means any swimmer who turns 10 any time after this date but before the end of the year becomes a 10 year old Junior League Swimmer
  • For 10, 11 and 12 (and 13) year olds – age on 31st December in the year of competition.

Training Sessions

We will be holding training sessions specifically for “Diddy” League practice and will let parents/swimmers know dates. These sessions will be in addition to normal squad hours and are free to attend.

Team Selection

Coaches select the team based on a swimmer’s regular attendance, attitude and performance in training and at competitions plus of course, on availability to swim on the gala day.

Getting to venues

We ask parents to ensure their swimmer can get to the venue in good time on the gala day, no club transport will be provided. Spectators are permitted, there is a charge. Swimmers are located by club on the poolside with the coaches throughout the gala. Coaches confirm individual races on the day.