Swim Meet 101
We're here to have fun! Let us walk you through some of the basics!
Swimmer and volunteer check in procedure:
Check-in times vary depending on Away or Home meets.
Swimmers check in first, by finding their coach on the pool deck, and lining up to get their Heat assignments written on their arms in Sharpie marker. Parents can also try to do this for them to reduce the line for the coaches.
Volunteers need to be checked in at the front entry way table - by 5pm in order to make sure the organizers know they are on site. If volunteers do not check in early, we begin to call in alternates. Don't make us do that!!
Check In and Warm Up Schedule:
|Warm-Up in Pool||5:15p-5:45p||4:45p-5:15p|
|Volunteer Report to Stations||5:45p||5:45p|
Do New Families have to volunteer?
YES. These meets are entirely staffed by parent volunteers, and it takes all hands on deck throughout the season to conduct the events. Under volunteer signups, you can find the Beginner level jobs that are easy to learn upon arrival. Your family can use parents, grandparents, neighbors, or older high school students in order to count towards your 5 volunteer shifts.
What does my child need for practice and meets?
Multiple towels, one or two pairs of swim googles (optional), Lawn Chairs (for adults at meets), sharpie marker (meet only, to write events). Bring a tent to plant your family under in the lawn, for the hottest meets. Pack coolers with snacks, bring plenty of drinks for your kiddos. Swim caps. For more details, go to the Equipment tab.
How Should I Prepare?
Bring all your gear in a wagon, strollers or bags to carry. Parking can be far away, especially the later you arrive.
Chairs and Setup:
For away or home meets, it can be very hot under the sun. It’s hard to get a seat on the pool deck, home or away. You can pack chairs and towels/blanket for the whole family to setup camp in the grass near the pool. Bringing Pop Up Tents is common.
At all away meets, the host teams usually provides grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks for purchase. Lakewood will have food trucks. Be sure to bring cash if you want to be sure to have access to food on site!! You are always welcomed to bring coolers with food & drinks for your family. We could be there from 5-10pm on any given night, so do what works for you!
Things to do:
Bring activities to help keep swimmers and siblings occupied! There can be long waits in between events.
You can buy the Heat Sheet (schedule of events) for $2 at each meet; cash only. Beginning 2020, you will be able to follow along in your "Swimtopia" App, please download! Follow along, and make sure your swimmer is lined up in time for each event! Do NOT let them miss their event because they are distracted!
At Lakewod, no swimmers or siblings are allowed to play on the playground during the meets, due to liability issue. It's proven to be a big distraction with swimmers who miss their events, and siblings are frequently left unattended. So please consider this in your planning!
Loudspeaker and “The Zoo”:
There is a Meet Director who will call out events throughout the night. Listen carefully and keep your swimmer on track! When called, your swimmer checks into the “Zoo” to get lined up for their event. If your child misses their event, they do NOT get to make it up.
Have your swimmer make signs! Decorate their body with sharpee tattoos! (“Eat my bubbles!”) Cheer for all the swimmers and for your team! Enjoy the team spirit!
End of your Events:
When your swimmer has done their last event, you are free to go home. Unless you are volunteering 2nd shift, then the volunteer (not the swimmer) needs to stay until the end.
More About the Meets
Who will I be swimming against?
Swimmers compete against other swimmers in the same age group (8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 as of June 1st). Boys and girls compete separately. Events always start with girl 8 & under then Boys 8 & under, etc. There are usually 2-3 heats per event depending on the number of children and lanes in the pool.
What are heats?
There are 70 events (Events 1 - 70), and each event includes multiple heats. The goal of each meet is to get a personal best time and have fun. :) The meet is organized by heats or races per event. Swimmers are placed in heats based on their personal best times. If a swimmer does not have a previous time, the swimmer will be placed in a heat usually with other swimmers with no previous time.
How many events will I swim?
A swimmer can compete in a maximum of five (5) events (3 individual and 2 relays) . The number of events will be based on the number of swimmers competing as well as the swimmers' ability to swim the stroke correctly.
Where can the kids sit during home swim meets?
We ask that swimmers stay inside the pool gates, and try to sit along the back gate, called the "Crash Zone". This is to ensure that no swimmers miss their turn! Parents and family members may try to grab a seat inside the Pavilion, OR they can simply plan to setup their tent/chairs out on the green space.
The Cove Aquatic Center Snack Bar will be open each week during the meets. Also, there will be a different Food Truck at each event, for a little variety! You are also welcomed to bring coolers.
Ribbons & Scoring
Each meet, your swimmer will win ribbons according to their scores. Ribbons are available either during the event, or the next morning at your Thursday morning practice!
DQ’s – “Disqualified”
At a swim meet, you can get DQ’d by a Stroke & Turn Judge if you do not swim a stroke correctly, or end your swim by touching with the wrong number of hands. To ensure fair competition for all swimmers, rules are equally applied to all swimmers regardless of age or experience. Being disqualified is not the end of the world! Almost all swimmers have been DQ’d at some point.
Getting DQ’d is a learning experience, not a failure.
If you get DQ’d at a meet, your coach will receive a DQ slip with your name and the reason that you were disqualified. Your coach will explain why you were DQ’d, usually at practice, so that you can improve for the next meet.