Swim Meet 101
Preparing for the Swim Meet:
Go to Bed Early and Eat Well – What your swimmer does before the swim meet is just as important as what they do at the swim meet. Go to bed early the night before and eat well/hydrate throughout the day.
Be prepared – Pack your swimsuit, towel, goggles, cap and sunscreen. It’s helpful to also have extra towels, a blanket, warm clothing to wear between races, lawn chairs (depending on the facilities), permanent sharpie markers. Kids also like playing card games and travel games.
When you arrive to the Swim Meet
- Set up your spot in the designated team area.
- Parents who are volunteering, please check in with the Parent Volunteer Coordinator.
- If at an away meet, be ready 10-15 minutes before warm up time. When warm up starts, jump in the water. After warm ups, check in and pick up your lane slips/race assignments from the designated parent on duty.
- If at a home meet, arrive 15-20 minutes before the warm up time. Check in and pick up your land slips/race assignments from the designated parent on duty. Get ready to jump in the water for warm ups.
- A convenient place to write down their events, heats and lane assignments is on your kids forearm. For children 10 and under, it is helpful to write their first and last name on their back shoulder. It helps parent volunteers get the right kid to the blocks and in order for the relay. Meet the volunteer in charge of helping your 10 and under child to get to events. Make sure you know where they will gather to bring the children to the blocks.
- Here is a great explanation on how to read a heat sheet: https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2252/reading_a_heat_sheet.pdf
- Here is an example of how you can put your swimmers name on their shoulder. It helps to confirm who each swimmer is and if they are at the right event. Here is an example of how you can mark your swimmer's arm so they know what event, heat and lane they are swimming.
During the Swim Meet
- Have fun! – You get to spend time with teammates and have fun with your family.
- Pay attention to the events that are announced so your child doesn’t miss their event. It’s good to be ready at least 2 event number before theirs. And remember that parents are not allowed behind the blocks.
- Celebrate your Swims! – Cheer on your teammates and learn from the experience. Touch base with the coaches for positive feedback and ways to improve.
After the Swim Meet
- Rest up – Get plenty of rest and rehydrate.
- Race Results – will be posted on the Teamunify site after the results have been verified with coaches and officials. Ribbons will be distributed at practice, usually a couple of days following the meet in the family files.
Scoring at the Meets
In every event in a dual meet, coaches can only put 3 swimmers in scoring position which is usually the last heat in every event. Meaning only 6 swimmers (3 from each team) chosen the day before will be given the chance to score. Out of those 6, only the top 3 will be given ribbons. There are no ribbons for 4-6. Everyone outside of those 6 will get an exhibition/participation ribbon. This means, coaches need to guess how fast a swimmer will go and who will be in the best position to score without getting disqualified. This is where we have to do our best possible guess with all the information that we have. There are many times when a swimmer will blow the coaches out of the water with their swim and beat all the swimmers that were set up to score. Then there are going to be the times when a swimmer isn’t feeling well and will tank a swim. It has happened and will continue to happen. We just cannot know what is going to happen in a race. All the coaches can do is make the best possible line up with what they think is going to happen. So in future meets, if the swimmer is consistent and swimming the stroke legally, they might see changes in future meets. When it comes to champs, we can only enter 6 swimmers into each event, with the exception being freestyle and backstroke. Those are unlimited, which is why you see 75+swimmers in some of those age brackets.