What Do Those Swimming Terms & Acronyms Mean?

What Do Those Swimming Terms & Acronyms Mean?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are all kinds of abbreviations, acronyms, and terms used in the open water swimming world regarding training, organizations, locations, courses and conditions.

There are many more acronyms and terms used in non-English languages, but below is a sampling of the English-language acronyms and terms commonly used by open water swimmers.

How many of the following terms do you know? What are your favorites? What other terms did we miss? Send your answers to headcoach@openwatersource.com.

ACNEG – Asociacion de cruce a nado del Estrecho de Gibraltar (Gibraltar Strait Swimming Association)
AKOWS: Association of Korea Open Water Swimming (사단법인 한국바다수영협회)
AOWS: Albania Open Water Swimming
ASCA: American Swimming Coaches Association
BAL: Bumpy And Lumpy
BAT: Brown Adipose Tissue (Brown fat)
BK: Backstroke
BLDSA: British Long Distance Swimming Association
BOCOG: Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
BR: Breaststroke
BS: Big Surf
BW: Big Waves
CC: Catalina Channel
c-d: Cool-down
CH: Choice
CIASA: Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association
CIPRB: Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh
CLDSA: Cape Long Distance Swimming Association
CM: Catalina Mainland
CONSANAT: Confederación Sudamericana de Natación (South American Swimming Confederation)
COWS: Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers
CROWS: Colorado Represents Open Water Swimming
CS&PF: Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation
CSA: Channel Swimming Association
CU: Catch-up
CURLS: Catch-up drill, Right arm only, Left arm only, Swim with both arms
DAM: Dallas Area Masters
DART: Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis
D 1-4: Descend 1-4
DLRG: Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft (German Life Saving Association)
DOWSSA: Dubai Open Water Swimming Sports Association
DQ: Disqualified
DSQ: Disqualified
DT: Dead Tired
DNF: Did Not Finish
DNS: Did Not Start
DPS: Distance Per Stroke
Dr: Drill
DYST: Did You Swim Today
EC: English Channel
EF: English-France
EFE: England-France-England
EMT: Emergency Medical Technician
EZ: Easy
FE: France-England
FEF: France-England-France
FINA: Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur
FISU: Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation)
FR: Freestyle
GLOWS: Great Lakes Open Water Swim Series
GPS: Global Positioning System
HD: Hard
HSDP: Hrvatski Savez Daljinskog Plivanja (Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation)
ICA: International Coasteering Association
ICE: In Case Of Emergency
IHO: International Hydrographic Organization
IISA: International Ice Swimming Association
ILDSA: Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
ILDSF: International Long Distance Swimming Federation
ILSA: International Life Saving Federation
IM: Individual Medley
IMO: Individual Medley Order
IMSA: International Marathon Swimming Association
IMSHOF: International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
IMSHOF: International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame
IOC: International Olympic Committee
IRB: Inflatable Rescue Boat
ISCA: International Swim Coaches’ Association
ISHOF: International Swimming Hall of Fame
ITU: International Triathlon Union
IWSA: International Winter Swimming Association
JL: Just Landed
K: Kicking
KAP: Kite Aerial Photography
KDS: Kick Drill Swim
KPS: Kick Pull Swim
LCM: Long Course Meters
LAB: Lumpy And Bumpy
LEN: Ligue Européenne de Natation
LEOWSA: Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association
LGSA: Lake Geneva Swimming Association
LMSC: Local Masters Swimming Committee
LOCO: Lake Ontario Crossing Organisation
LOCOG: London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
LORAN: LOng RAnge Navigation
LOST: Lake Ontario Swim Team
LP: Loop Course
LTSS: Lake Tahoe Swimming Society
MBO: Massively Buoyant Object
MC: Mainland-Catalina
MCM: Mainland-Catalina-Mainland
MIMS: Manhattan Island Marathon Swim
MPA: Marine Protected Area
MSF: Marathon Swimmers Federation
NB: No Breath or No Breathing
NC: North Channel
NEMSA: New England Marathon Swimming Association
NEOWSA: Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association
NL: No Lifeguard
OAB: Out-And-Back [course]
ONOC: Oceania National Olympic Committees
OTB: On The Beach
OTL: over time limit
P2P: Pier-To-Pier [course]
PB: Personal Best
PDA: Pacific Decadal Oscillation
POW: Pool Open Water
PP: Pull and paddles
PR: Personal Record
PWC: Personal Water Craft
RALSA: River & Lake Swimming Association
RFC: Really Freaking Cold, Real Frantic Chill, Royal Frigid Cojones
RI: Rest Interval
RIMO: Reverse Individual Medley Order
RIB: Rubber Inflatable Boat or Rigid Inflatable Boat
RTF: Round Trip Flag
SAFE: Safety Assistance For Emergencies
SCAQ: Southern California Aquatic Masters Swim Club
SCM: Short Course Meters
SCY: Short Course Yards
SIA: Sea Is Angry
SIMW: Sleep In Miss Workout
SKPS: Swim Kick Pull Swim
SLSC: Surf Life Saving Clubs
SP: Sprint
SPF: Sun Protection Factor
SPM: Strokes Per Minute
SR: Stroke Rate
SS: Still Swimming
Sw: Swim
T1: Transition (from swim to bike in a triathlon)
T2: Transition (from bike to swim in a triathlon)
TBF: Time Between Feedings
TITS: Toes In The Sand
TITW: Toes In The Water
TOF: Time Of Feedings
TOWSC: Technical Open Water Swimming Committee
TTF: Total Time of Feedings
UANA: Unión Americana de Natación (Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas)
UFO: Unidentified Floating Object
UMCSA: Universal Marathon Cold Swimming Association
USLA: United States Lifesaving Association
USMS: United States Masters Swimming
USOWSA: United States Open Water Swimming Association
USRPT: Ultra-short Race Pace Training
UV: Ultra Violet
VOWSA: Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association
WC: Whitecaps
WOWSA: World Open Water Swimming Association
WOWSS: World Open Water Swimming Series
WPMSF: World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation
WSA: World Swimming Association
WSC: Waikiki Swim Club
WSCA – World Swimming Coaches Association
WTC: World Triathlon Corporation
w-d or WD: Warm-down
w-up or WU: Warm-up
YEAABA: Ye Amphibious Ancient Bathing Association

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Steven Munatones