Swim Meet Information Guide
To find information about Swim Meets and to sign up, navigate to Events on the header of our website. When you click on the specific event, details including the deadline to declare will be shown. All sanctioned meets (out of town and our Home Meet in February) will also have a MEET PACKAGE attached. It’s usually a .PDF document that contains the venue address, session times for each day, the event list, and any unique information (parking/maps/special rules). We ask that our swimmers arrive READY TO GO* on deck 20 minutes before their session start times for a team meeting and group activation.
*Ready to go means suit on, WLBF cap and goggles in hand, wearing team shirt (or a blue one if they don’t have one)
On the Event page, navigate over to Accept/Decline to let us know you're coming. In the NOTES section, please let us know if your swimmer will not be attending the whole meet (please refer to the schedule, which can be found in the meet package) and swimmers are expected to indicate at least a few events that they would like to swim (or ideally, all the races they'd like to swim at that meet).
If you know you're going to the meet, please don't wait until the day of the deadline to sign up!
Basic Meet Day
Arrival and Set Up
Swimmers will arrive 20 minutes before session start and find their coaches/team. Coaches usually spot set up at the side of the pool and that’s their “home base” for the day. We encourage our swimmers to hang out with their team and stay in one area for the duration of the meet. If your swimmer isn’t in the team area and is about to race, we may not be able to get them to their event on time. Depending on the meet, there may be a spectator area where parents can set themselves up. Spectator information is usually found in the meet package.
Between Warm Up & First Race
The team will activate together on deck, and we will have a team meeting before hopping into the water to warm up. After the warmup, the swimmers’ job will be to keep warm, refuel and prepare for their races. Heat Sheets are often available for sale or on an app called Meet Mobile – those are the schedule of all races for the day. Most swimmers write their Event/Heat/Lane schedule on their arm or leg so they know when they swim. Parents who have heat sheets are encouraged to help their swimmers figure out when they swim at this time.
Note: Coaches are the only ones who will receive changes to heat sheets or the event schedule once the meet starts. Swimmers (and parents) ultimately need to rely on the information provided to them by their coaches.
Cheer for our swimmers! The more supported they feel, the better they will feel about their experience. There is usually a score board in the pool area which will have a display showing what event and heat is currently in the water, which will give you an idea of when they race. 50’s tend to go very quickly, often quicker than expected.
Your swimmer is likely going to be hungry and snacky throughout the meet, so make sure to bring a plethora of light, healthy snacks! Swim meets are not the time to try out new foods, so we’d recommend packing snacks your swimmer has had before, likes and will eat. Hydration is also essential during swim meets, especially as the deck environment can be pretty warm. Water fountains are often found on the pool deck, but sport drinks like Gatorade are okay too – preferably watered down.
The Meet Mobile Swim provides real-time updates from your favorite swimmers (and team). It's a great way to track results at a swim meet. There's a free version, and the paid version is very well priced (less than $15/year).
Sometimes a swimmer will miss a race (NS) or get disqualified (DQ) for a stroke or turn infraction. This happens to almost every swimmer at some point - even the seniors! While we obviously try to avoid them, when they do happen we treat NS or DQ's as learning opportunities, and a chance to improve next time. If your swimmer is struggling as a result of one of these, please have them come talk to their coach.
We don’t usually do team dinners – between everyone racing on different schedules and the incredibly long wait times at a restaurant with a big group, we find it easier for everyone to do their own thing. If you want to make plans with other parents, go for it!
Heats and Finals
It is extra important to read the meet package for heats and finals, as every meet is a little bit different. Generally, heats are swum in the morning with swimmers attempting to qualify for finals, which are held in the afternoon. Relays are often swum during finals.
Finals are top 8 or top 16 depending on the event, plus 2 alternate spots. Relays are also generally run during Sundays often are the best chance to get into finals, as the top 25 have a good chance getting in with swimmers leaving early to travel home. Results are posted at the pool at on meet mobile. Often, the host club will charge a fee if a swimmer no shows for a final - It is your swimmer's responsibility to check to see if they made finals before heading home. If they do not check in and miss a final, your account will be charged the fee for the missed swim.
We encourage all swimmers to come out to finals and cheer on their team, even if they haven't made a second swim.
Swim Meet Bag Checklist
· Towels – they are going to get very wet, we’d suggest bringing more than one
· Pants or Shorts to wear on deck
· Blue Fins T-Shirt and/or Sweatshirt (or a blue shirt if they do not have any team gear)
· Goggles – If your swimmer has a spare pair, it’s worth bringing the extra just in case
· Blue Fins Cap x2
· Swim Suit (If your swimmer has more than one pick the tightest one)
· Blue Books – these are handed out to competitive swimmers and is where they record their best times and goals
· Activities – meet are boring and having things to do during downtime is always a great idea, but do not pack anything that you’ll be upset if it gets wet, lost or stolen.
· Healthy Snacks & Reusable water bottle