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What to Expect at Swim Meets

Through the Goggles: A look at Summer Swim Meets

Preparing for the Meet

  • Meet Entries and Information: A few days before a meet, events that your swimmer will be entered in (entries) will be posted to the web and at the pool. Additionally, Information about the meet such as location, warm up times and any special instructions (i.e. parking, check-in, where to sit, etc.) will be sent via email.
  • Heat Sheets: Heat sheets (meet programs) will be made available as soon as they are made available by the meet host (the home team). The heat sheet will list events/heats (races)/lanes of each swimmer entered in the meet. Your swimmer will need the information to know what heats and lanes they will be in for their races and you will need this information to correctly mark your swimmer prior to the start of the meet. It is also helpful to have a copy of the heat sheet so that you can follow what’s happening during the meet.
  • Marking your Swimmer: It is very important to mark your swimmers before the meet! By marking your swimmer’s event/ heat/ lane on their forearm or upper thigh with a Sharpie marker, your swimmer(s) can keep track of their events and the Bullpen Volunteers can easily locate where your swimmer needs to be. The sharpie grid on the skin without SUNSCREEN holds up best during the course of a swim meet. Please do not rely on the Bullpen Parent to mark your swimmer(s).  The Bullpen Parents are very busy trying to familiarize themselves with the swimmers, and preparing for meet.  

*For more information on how to mark your swimmer, please see the "Meets" menu item and then "Marking Your Swimmer."

  • Inclement Weather: Make sure you check the website and monitor your emails to make sure the meet hasn’t been delayed or canceled due to inclement weather. In case of any last-minute changes, we will do our best to notify everyone via email or posts to the website.

Arrival and Check- in

  • Swimmer Check-In: Checking-in your swimmer lets the coaches and volunteers know that the swimmer is present at the meet. This is especially important if your swimmer is part of a relay team. Plan to arrive 20-30 minutes before warm-ups, check-in your swimmer at the check-in table and have them wait under the swimmer’s tents (in their age group area) until they are called for warm-ups.   
  • Volunteer Check-In: If you signed up as a volunteer for the meet, plan to arrive with your swimmer before warm-ups and check-in at the volunteer table. Checking-in lets the volunteer coordinator know that you are at the meet and ready to fulfill your volunteer duties. 
  • Warm-Ups: Warm-ups are important because it prepares the body for greater effort and reduces the risk of injury. All swimmers should attend warm-ups before a meet.

During the Meet

  • The Announcer/Starter: Will announce each event and heat. There will also be an event board on deck that will show the current event number. The team score is periodically posted during the meet.
  • Disqualifications (DQs): DQs are a normal part of the learning process in swimming competitions. Even the most seasoned swimmers get DQ’d from time to time. A DQ signifies that there is something the swimmer needs to fix in the technique of their start, stroke, turn or finish. DQs should always be handled positively and with lots of empathy and support.
  • Be a Good Swim Parent: Be Enthusiastic and Supportive! Show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents and teammates. Let the Coach do the Coaching! Your role is to provide love and support regardless of outcome. Encourage your child’s efforts and point out the positive. Let the coach be the one to critique your swimmer’s performance and technique. Have Fun! Let your child see you enjoy the camaraderie of the team.
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