What to Expect:
Swim meets are supposed to be FUN (for child and parent)!
Dual swim meets are NOT scored (i.e., a “winning team” is not declared when it’s over).
Events are run in this order for each gender (girls first), age group,:
- 8 & under, [events x1 (girls) and x2 (boys)]
- 9-10, [events x3 (girls) and x4 (boys)]
- 11-12, [events x5 (girls) and x6 (boys)]
- 13-14, and [events x7 (girls) and x8 (boys)]
- 15-18 [events x9 (girls) and x0 (boys)]
- Medley Relay (Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle), [events 1 - 10]
- Short Freestyle, [events 11 - 20]
- IM (Individual Medley: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle), [events 21 - 30]
- Breaststroke, [events 31 - 40]
- Long Freestyle, [events 41 - 50]
- Backstroke, [events 51 - 60]
- Butterfly, and [events 61 - 70]
- Freestyle Relay (each swims free) [events 71 - 80].
This means there are 80 events (a complete list: SAIL Swim Meet Events) in a single swim meet!! There can be multiple heats in each event. Your child may swim up to three individual events and two relays. There will be a sheet at the pool or a heat sheet in the hands of the tent parent listing which events your child will be swimming. Please check this sheet to verify that your child is listed. We do make mistakes, but do not fear, we can get him in the swim meet! There will be a tent parent that will be calling out swimmer’s names in the order of events, heats, and lanes. Your swimmer needs to know which events he is swimming in, be listening out for his name, and be ready to swim (cap and goggles).
The swimmers will then move to the Clerk of Course area (benches). At Clerk of Course, someone will hand your child her event card which lists her name, age group, event#, heat#, and lane#. Please know that there are sometimes CHANGES made in Clerk of Course. This means that your child might move into a different heat or lane. No need to worry. These changes are recorded with the Referee, computer operator and records. Just as a friendly reminder, no parents (or coaches) are allowed in the Clerk of Course area or behind the blocks unless they are working the meet. So please hug your swimmer and do all your coaching before they move into these areas. Please be patient and help your swimmer know what she needs to be doing. Ask if you don’t understand!
For 8 & unders only: For the first swim meet and the first swim meet only, your 8 & under child will NOT be disqualified (DQ) if he doesn’t swim a stroke legally. After this, however, all swimmers will be disqualified if they do not swim the strokes legally. DQ’s are not the end of the world. This just means that their times will not be recorded officially, and they might not receive an “official” ribbon for the event. As much as we try to explain this, please know that there might be tears. The best person to “pick up the pieces” is the coach. The child is more likely to “get back on that horse again” if the parent steps back from this situation … its part of growing them as a swimmer. If your child does DQ (and even the 15 to 18 year olds DQ), he will be told what he did incorrectly by one of the judges immediately after he gets out of the water. The coaches receive a written record after the meet for each DQ given listing the reason the child DQ’d. If you need to know why, ask the coach on Friday after the meet. Do not talk to stroke and turn judges during the meet. If your child repeatedly DQ’s for the same reason, please consider a stroke clinic or private lessons.
What to Bring:
Swim cap, goggles (extra pair wouldn’t be a bad idea), chair or extra towel to sit on, healthy snacks, water, Gatorade, or money to buy these at concessions, sweatshirt/sweatpants in case you get cold in between events … and lots of patience! The swimmers sit together as a team. Please help your child get situated, and let him know where you will be.
Please ask someone if you don’t understand something or want to know more.