Originally when BCSSA was formed, almost all summer swim club members practiced in outdoor pools and could only swim from May to August (due to weather); and DID NOT swim during the winter months. Now, with the availability of indoor pools, many summer swim clubs can and do swim throughout the winter months. In order to maintain a level of fairness in competition to those swimmers who DO NOT have access to swimming in the winter, 2 categories were created: Summer (S) and Open Category (O Cat).

To remain in the S category, a swimmer can not participate in coached swimming for more than 2 hours per week from October 1st to April 30th. There are some exemptions to this rule, such as school swim teams and Red Cross swim lessons. More details can be found in BCSSA S&O Declaration Form.