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About Regular Meets


Regular Meets

Regular meets are for any swimmer who is legal in a stroke.  Legal means that they can do the stroke properly, without making any of the mistakes that would cause them to be disqualified.  Now, that being the case, DQ's still happen as all swimmers make mistakes from time to time. Most of the times, the kids don't even realize they have been DQ'd it until they look at the result sheet where it is posted as a DQ next to their name.  Some kids will be sad, but most, move on and want to know if there is still candy at the concession stand.  We as a league discuss how and when to DQ and we have a few basic things that we watch for and that are the basic elements of the strokes.  For example:

Breast Stroke:  Kick must be from bottom of foot, arms may not pull past hips, must finish race with 2 hands on the wall.

Butterfly:  2 hand finish, arms moving simultaneously, legs in dolphin kick only.

Backstroke: doing flipturn (50 yd/m race) must glide on stomach without extra pulls when they flip to stomach to make turn. 

Freestyle:  must start and end the race in the same stroke.

Freestyle is the easiest and most kids if they get DQ'd it is for one of the other strokes.  Each race is judged by our stroke and turn judge volunteers (2 from each team) and the benefit of the doubt always goes to the swimmer.  They have sheets that have DQ items and they will fill them out if they witness a fault and send it to the computer score keeper. 
Heat Sheets
Events are broken up and listed in a "heat sheet". These list out the entire meet, every entry in every heat, lane and stroke for each swimmer.  These are available for purchase at the begining of each meet and will really help guide you along in following the meet. Without this guide, the swim meet could not function.   Each meet starts with 8 & under relays and finishes with 15/18 relays.  There are 62 events for each meet, with girls events being even numbered and boys the odd numbers.  Everything is done by age group, 8 & unders, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/18, for both boys and girls. Each event is comprised of heats, where the swimmers are placed in order by time, first heats being the slowest to last heat being the fastest.  The number of heats depends on the number of swimmers for that total event.  Freestyle is a very long event and butterfly is shorter as not as many kids swim that event.  Lane placement also depends on time as well, slowest swimmers on the outside, fastest swimmer on middle lane. All of this is why it it so important that we know when your child will not be at a meet.  If a child is entered and then scratched, it has to be adjusted by the clerk of course on the pool deck, notification made to the computer people and timers so they know who is and is not in a particular race.
Arm Marking
Each swimmer will have listings of their events (on the heat sheet) that they will swim for the evening. Under their name on the meet entry sheet, each of their events will be listed in numeric format.  Parents will be asked to then write each childs events on their arm in numbers.This allows the coaches,child gatherers, clerk of course and swimmer to know when and where each child is to swim.  They are easy to read, note the example below:
Swimmer, Joe:  #33   1/5
Reads as "Event (E) 33 (breaststroke) Heat(H) 1, L (L) Lane 5"
McMurry, Hannah - Female - Age: 10 - Ind/Rel: 3 / 2
#3 Girls 9-10 100 Medley Relay (3) 1/3                  #13 Girls 9-10 25 Free 6/1
#23 Girls 9-10 25 Back 5/2 #53 Girls 9-10 25 Fly 4/4
#61 Girls 9-10 100 Free Relay (3) 1/3
So, Hannah's first event is event 3 (medley relay), heat 1, lane 3.
These events would be written on her arm as follows:
3 1 3 med rel (3)
13 6 1 free
23 5 2 back
53 4 4 fly
61 1 3 free rel (3) 
Meet Events
Each swimmer is only eligible to swim 3 individual and 2 relays.  Some kids will swim the max (5 events) and some will not swim as many.  Few swimmers do butterfly, fewer do the IM.  Backstroke is scary for some, and free & breast are the easiest for most.   Each race is 25 yards or meters depending on the pool until you reach the 11/12 age division and those races are 50 yd/m long.  Each meet will have the following events:
Freestyle Relays (teams of 4 swimmers)
Medly Relays (teams of 4 swimmers)
Indivudual Medly or "IM" (1 swimmer swimming a lap of each stroke)
Medly relay order:  Backstoke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle
          IM order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breastroke, Freestyle 


Our coaches do their best to put the fastest swimmers on the "A" relay and next fastest on the "B" relay for the first meet.  After the first meet, our computer program choses the relays based on times.  The medly relays are more complicated as the coaches must enter fastest combinations of swimmers for the four strokes.  Please remember this when your child is placed in a relay.

Meet Format

Kids will be gathered about 1-2 events ahead of when they swim by the child gatherers and placed in event, heat, lane order. They will then pass them to the clerk of course who makes sure the swimmers are still in the correct order. This is all done through the heat sheet.(see above for heat sheet explanation)  Evey heat of an event will be swum and then we move to the next event and start at heat 1 again.  The meet is managed and moved along by the starter and they are the ones that pace the meet.  We like to move at a fairly good clip so we are not there all night.  Our league has a 10pm cut off time and as a team, we have never had to end a meet due to time constraints.  Average time is about 9:15. 

Individual Events
Relay Events
First: 5 points
First: 7 points
Second: 3 points
Second:   4 points
Third: 1 point
Third: 1 point
Fourth: 0 points
Fifth: 0 points
Sixth: 0 points
Typical point score is anywhere from 150-300 points depending on how big the team is.  Our team with few older swimmers will be in the lower scoring range,as we wont win any points for those events because we wont have kids in those events.
The most exciting races are usually the relays, especially the big kids.  If you can, it is fun to stay until the end of the meet, we announce the score and the kids are so excited.  Our team sort of takes pride in seeing how many points we "almost won by".  The nice thing about swimming is that although it is a team sport, improved individual times are always a goal.  We are happy if our kids get faster each meet, not if we win or lose.
A few other points of interest  

Our kids usually hang out in the field in between events and will be called by bullhorn to  gather for their event.

It is cold when the sun goes down, pack lots of towels and a sweatshirt.

Away team always gets the sunny side of the pool. 

We have a full concession stand at each meet, in which we depend on to earn money for the team.  Think pizza, chick fil a,candy,soda, water & gatorade.          

We start warm ups 1 hour prior to meet time.       

Line ups will be emailed to everyone the day of the meet.  

Kids like to draw all over themselves and write funny sayings on their back in Sharpie markers.  It does wash off!   

It is always 100 degrees or raining. Nothing in the middle.

This a just touches on some of the main points.  It will seem chaotic, but eventually you will figure it out.  Oddly enough, the kids understand it much faster than the parents so let them help you along.  The coaches are there to help them if they are nervous, and will be there to cheer for and with them as well.

Because meets are so big with a lot of moving parts is why we require a small army of volunteers at every meet.  With so many kids and so many things happening, it could not be done without everyone's help! 

Child Gatherer Notes, How to Read Marked Arms, and Reading Heat Sheets


Child Gathering:

  1. “Bull Pens”
    1. Swimmers assigned by age groups; we only gather for up to ages 11/12 – older swimmers are on their own
    2. Gatherers should not be walking the pool deck looking for swimmers.  Swimmers need to be in the bull pen so they don’t miss their races.
    3. For 8 & under, we have 2 gatherers per group
  2. Marking Arms
    1. Coaches will mark arms in the bull pens
    2. See “How to mark arms” example at bottom of page so you know how to read arms and know when the swimmers need to race
  3. First Relays
    1. Gatherers need to line up swimmers for the relays no later than 5:45
    2. Review how to read heat sheets for which swimmers are 1, 2, 3, and 4 (see below)
    3. Swimmers 2 and 4 “GO” and 1 and 3 “STAY”
    4. Gatherers for 8& Under will walk the swimmers to the other end of the pool; coaches will walk swimmers 9/10 and older
How to read marked arms:
The event number is first, followed by what the event is.  To the right of that you will find the heat number/lane number.  The number in ( ) is the order they will swim in the relays.  If that number is a 5, they are an alternate.
McMurry, Hannah - Female - Age: 10 - Ind/Rel: 3 / 2
#3 Girls 9-10 100 Medley Relay (3) 1/3             #13 Girls 9-10 25 Free 6/1
#23 Girls 9-10 25 Back 5/2                                 #53 Girls 9-10 25 Fly 4/4
#61 Girls 9-10 100 Free Relay (3) 1/3
So, Hannah's first event is event 3 (medley relay), heat 1, lane 3.  These events would be written on her arm as follows:
E      H    L
3      1    3    med rel (3)
13    6    1    free
23    5    2    back
53    4    4    fly
61    1    3    free rel (3)
How to read Heat Sheets for Relays:
#1 Girls 8 & Under 100 SC Meter Medley Relay
Lane Team                                         Relay                          Seed Time
Heat 1 of 1 Finals
3 HH-NC                                                        A                                 1:49.85
Barton, Sarah 8                        Koenigsberger, Sofia 6
Anderson, Bridget 7                 Higbee, Maren 8
5 HH-NC                                                        B                                  NT
Caffey, Marissa 8                     Pegram, Samia 8
Schafer, Cassie 7                      Camatcho, Alexa 7
Read the order of the swimmers going across:
In lane 3, the order of the swimmers is:
(1)   Barton
(2)   Koenigsberger
(3)   Anderson
(4)   Higbee
In lane 5, the order of the swimmers is:
(1)   Caffey
(2)   Pegram
(3)   Schafer
(4)   Camatcho
Order of the strokes:
The order of the strokes is always the same in relays:  back, breast, fly, free (just remember they are in alphabetical order)
Which end of the pool?
For 100 m relays, each of the swimmers swims one lap of the pool, which means that two of the four swimmers have to start at the “other end” of the pool.  Here is how it works:
Swimmers (1) and (3) stay at the end of the pool where the starting blocks are.  Swimmers (2) and (4) go to the opposite end of the pool.