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Swim Meet 101

New to swim meets?  Read this for some basic information.  

  • Declare Your Swimmer: Before our first meet, you will be able to indicate if and what meets your swimmers can swim in for all our meets through the app or this website. This is important because coaches have 70-80 swimmers to organize and fit into the meet. 
  • Volunteer Requirement: All swimmers will need a designated adult to volunteer for 1/2 of each meet. Please see the app and job descriptions.  Meets require about 50-70 volunteers for it to run smoothly and quickly.  Most volunteer positions will allow you to watch your swimmer swim-many positions will give you a front-row view. 
  • Swim Times: Swimmers are timed by volunteer parents from both teams who strive to record accurate times for swimmers, but there may be mistakes. Please be understanding! 
  • Suggestions to Bring
    • Backpack/Bag
    • 2 towels. Kids often sit on one and dry off with another
    • Sunscreen
    • Swim cap-not required but encouraged.
    • Goggles
    • Team Shirt-label with first and last name
    • Cash for concessions/food for dinner
    • Water
    • Flip Flops
    • Swimmers with long hair will benefit from pulling it back to fit under a swim cap. 
  • Seating: Parents may wish to bring a pop-up chair. There is often limited seating at swim meets. 
  • Food: Cash for concessions/food for meals. Proceeds from concessions help to raise funds for swim team!
  • Arrival: Swimmers need to arrive at meets no later than 4:30 PM. 
  • Time: Meets begin at 5:30 PM. Our swim coaches strive to keep our meets efficient and over in 3-3.5 hours. 
  • How Long: Typically 6 & Under swimmers are finished swimming the 1st half of the meet. All other ages will swim anytime the entire meet.  Please inform your head coach of any time constraints of your swimmer at a particular meet. 
  • Weather Delays: Thunder and heavy rain may delay meets. If either occurs just before or during a meet, DO NOT LEAVE the area without hearing an official cancelation from your swim team parent rep. Many summer storms pass quickly and meets can continue. Leaving the meet disrupts relays and plans impact other swimmers. 
  • Download the App: Download the Swimtopia App to stay up to date on weather delays. 
  • Parking: Whether it is an away meet or home meet, parking is often down residential streets. Do not block driveways or mailboxes or park in a way that will hinder emergency vehicles from moving through the neighborhood. Plan to arrive early to park and walk to the meet. 
  • Eat a Snack: Have swimmers eat a healthy snack prior to the swim meet. Swimmers may have close swim races and may have to wait a while to eat during the meet. Please be strategic and helpful with when and how much your swimmer should eat to prevent upset tummies. 
  • Rest Before: 6 & Under Swimmers may especially benefit from a nap or a rest period before a swim meet. 
  • Respect Property: Swimmers from both teams are expected to respect the property at all times. Disruptive or damaging behavior will not be tolerated. Help clean up trash.  

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What Do the Arm Markings Mean?

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On Thursdays, coaches will speak with swimmers about their events and will mark their arms with a Sharpie marker. These numbers help parents, swimmers and coaches keep track of when they should be swimming and what they are swimming. 

Events and lanes can sometimes change up until the time a swimmer swims depending on other swimmers who many not show up for the meet at the last minute. 

  • Spray sunscreen will remove the markings. 
  • Picture: Suggest that parents snap a picture of the swimmer's arm and reinforce any that have faded with a sharpie prior to attending the meet. 
  • Not at practice?: Swimmers who are not present for Thursday morning practices may mark their own arms with a heat sheet that will be expected to be emailed out following the final practice on Thursdays.  If you are not sure, bull-pen parents will be able to help at practice to mark arms. 
  • E: Events:  Events go from 1-70 something each meet and are swam in that order. Big gaps in-between Example 15-45 will be a great time to eat a snack. 
  • H: Heat: Each event has the potential to have more than one heat. This varies from week to week depending on the number of swimmers from each team entered into an event. Heat 1 swims first, then heat 2, and so on. 
  • L: Lane:  This will help swimmers know where to line up for their race. 
  • S: Stroke: This tells the swimmer what stroke to swim. This may also have R (1,2,3,4) to indicate that they are part of a relay and swimming with 3 other swimmers. Swimmers in relays who do not attend meets last-minute may hinder othe swimmers from getting to swim one of their events if there is not another swimmer who can fill in last minute. 
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Medley Relay Stroke Order

Medley Relay Stroke Order: 4 swimmers

The first swimmer swims Backstroke (BA), the second Breaststroke (BR), the third Butterfly (FL), and the fourth Freestyle (FR). An easy way to remember this is: BA, BR, FL, FR are in alphabetical order.

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Individual Medley Stroke Order

100 IM (individual medley) is an event in which ONE swimmer swims all four strokes in one race: 25 yards of butterfly, 25 yards of backstroke, 25 yards of breaststroke, and 25 yards of freestyle, in this order (note that the IM order is different from the medley relay order).

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Order of the Events at the meets

6 & Under 100 Freestyle Relays
Medley Relay Events (7 - 18 yr olds)
Freestyle Events
Backstroke Events
Individual Medley Events
Breaststroke Events
Butterfly Events
Freestyle Relay Events (7 - 18 yr olds)

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Full Order of Events by Number

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What Swimmer's Get DQed For

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How to Read Heat Sheets

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