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Preparing for a Meet

Preparing for a Meet

What to bring (LABEL EVERYTHING!):


Bring team swim cap and wear team swimsuit and t-shirt2 pairs of Goggles (properly adjusted and previously worn2 towels (1 to sit on & one to wipe off the body)Sunscreen, sunscreen (stick form) for face, sunglasses, hat (bug spray?)Books, cards, inexpensive items for entertainment between eventsDrinks: water, juice, GatoradeSnacks (fruit, fiber bars, oranges, healthy snacks)

Parents bring:

Highlighter Permanent marker (Sharpie)Money (to buy heat sheet $2 and for concession items)Folding chairs Canopy for shade (daytime meets)Camera – a flash isn't allowed at the start of a race

Day of the Meet:

•Apply sunscreen to your swimmer before leaving the house. DO NOT APPLY SUNSCREEN TO THEFACE (unless it is in “stick” form).

•Be on time.Warm-ups begin well before the meet start time.

•Check in at the check in table so coaches know you are here.

•Coaches must submit relay changes 30 min before for the meet starts for an away meet and 45 min before the meet starts for a home meet. If your swimmer is not checked in at this time, he/she will be removed and substituted with another swimmer for relay events.

•Print & bring or buy a heat sheet at the meet to highlight your child’s events

•For children 10 or younger: Mark your swimmer with a Sharpie! (First and Last name on the back of shoulder and event list - see below)

•Swimmers will sit with the team

•Swimmers report to coaches

•Team will warm-up together

•Pay attention to which event number is swimming in the water

•Have fun and cheer for everyone!

•Do not leave pool without checking with the Head Coach, regardless of whether your swimmer has finished their last posted event (changes in relays will not be printed on the heat sheet)

•PLEASE throw away all trash and gather your belongings before leaving

** If you are running late for a meet or your child is sick on the day of a meet, pleasetext the Team Repwith your swimmer's first & last name, age group, and the situation (running late, sick, etc.) as soon as you know.

** It is very important that you let us know if you are unable to attend a meet as it may effect a relay event and cause other swimmers on the team to miss out on swimming the relay.

** All swimmers are assumed to be attending a meet, unless having reported to the Team Rep or Head Coach in writing or via RSVP on the team website as missing the meet.

The Heat Sheet (Meet Program)

Heat sheets list all the swim events in order, along with the participants in each event, what heat they are in, what lane each swimmer will occupy, and his/her previous best time in that event (if the swimmer has competed in that event before) or it will show "NT" for "No Time." To keep track of when your swimmer is swimming, it is a good idea togo through the heat sheet and highlight each of your swimmer’s events/heats.

To help swimmers keep track of what events they are to swim, each swimmer needs a grid/chart on their arm showing the event number, the heat number, the lane number, and the stroke/distance...for every race they are going to swim. You get this information from the Heat Sheet, sometimes called a Meet Program.

Find your swimmer’s name on the heat sheet. For example, find Tyler Wiley in the Sample Heat Sheet in the photo on the next page. Notice he is swimming in Event 14 in Heat 2. The numbers 1-8 correspond to the assigned lane. Tyler is in Lane 3. Next to the Event number is the distance and stroke – 50 meter Backstroke. 

When to Line Up

Throughout meet, continually watch for what event/heat is currently being swum in the water. Look for a large flip sign posting the event and heat numbers. It could also be a white board with someone writing the Event and Heat #.
The swimmer will wait in the team seating area and wait for a ready bench volunteer to call his or her name in preparation to get ready for an upcoming swim. Ready Bench and other volunteers WILL NOT have time to search for missing swimmers. We ask that parents assume the responsibility of having all of the swimmer’s items with them in the team seating area.Do not allow your child to sit by you as they are liable to miss their events.

Common Terms Used Around the Pool Deck

A‘heat sheet’ or ‘meet program’is the swim meet ‘schedule’ that identifies each event, and when and in which lane each swimmer will race. The home team usually sells a few of these schedules prior to each swim meet. Parents generally bring a pen or highlighter so it’s easier to keep track of your swimmers’ events.

Event:A race or stroke over a given distance (e.g. 50 Meters Freestyle). An event usually involves kids of the same gender and age (e.g. 9-10 Girls) but the meet officials sometimes merg/swim events together in order to save time.

Heat:A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. Usually swimmers are grouped together in a heat by their seed time.

Relay:A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a team. Each one swims an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: Medley Relay involves all strokes (order isbackstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle) and Freestyle Relay where everyone swims freestyle.

Leg:Each swimmer in a relay swims a leg of the event.

Warm-up:A planned session prior to a meet or practice. Usually swimmers must arrive at the pool one hour before the meet starts so they can warm-up.

Blocks:The starting platforms located behind each lane. Younger swimmers may not be prepared to start off the blocks initially, so they are allowed to start off the edge of the pool instead.

DQ, or Disqualified:A swimmer performance is not counted because of a rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head while the swimmer is in the water.

Stroke Judge:Official at the side of the pool, walking the length of the pool as the swimmers race. If the Stroke Judge sees something illegal, the swimmer may be disqualified.

False Start:a swimmer gets an unfair advantage by being in motion before the starting signal is given. Officials will recall the event for a proper start.If the same swimmer false starts a 2nd time, he/she will be disqualified to compete in that event.

Individual Medley (IM):an event where the swimmer swims each stroke in this order:butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle

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