What is USA Swimming (USS)?
USA Swimming (www.usaswimming.org) is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States. It is charged with the overall organization and operation of the sport within the country, in accordance with the Amateur Sports Act. Within the United States, there are fifty nine Local Swimming Committees (LSC). Each LSC is responsible for administering USS activities in a defined geographical area and has its own set of bylaws under which it operates. Our LSC is Southern California Swimming (SCS). SCS has divided Southern California into six sections and the Sea Tigers belong to the Metro Section. (Please refer to www.socalswim.org for more information.)
What is a USS swim meet?
It is a swim meet where swimmers compete with other swimmers within their age groups. For our team, we will be competing against teams within the Metro section. Once swimmers reach a certain level (time standard), they may qualify for more competitive meets in which they compete with the best swimmers from other divisions in Southern California (e.g. December Invite, June Invite, Junior Olympics, Senior/Sectional meets). Meets of this variety generally have hundreds of swimmers, many teams, and many different events. Most meets of this style have no limits as to the number of swimmers that a team can enter. It only limits the number of events a swimmer can swim in order to make the flow of the meet manageable. There is an entry fee associated with the meet charged by the host team when participating in USS meet. Please refer to www.socalswim.org for more information.
How often are the swim meets and how long do they usually last?
There usually is one swim meet per month. The USS meets are usually Saturday and Sunday and last about four hours per session per day. Depending on the age group, swimmers may either be in the morning or afternoon session.
How will I know the dates of the swim meets?
Your coach will notify you of an upcoming swim meet via email and announcements on the Sea Tigers’ website (www.seatigers.org). USS meet dates will also be on the Calendar and Events pages. You may also find USS meets on the SCS website (www.socalswim.org). Your coach will assist you in deciding which meets to attend and the decision will be based upon your experience level and swim abilities.
How do I enter a swim meet?
Check with your coach before entering any swim meet. Swim meets are entered electronically and can be done via the Sea Tigers' website (www.seatigers.org). All meets have a deadline for submitting entries, so please decide early.
What is an entry time?
An entry time is the best time your swimmer has for each event. These entry times are used to rank the swimmers according to speed so that each swimmer will compete with swimmers of like abilities. If you have never swum an event, enter “NT” for “No Time” or ask your coach for the entry time you should use. Once you have participated in a USS meet, your entry time will automatically displays online in the meet event. If you are still unsure of how to check the entry time and event, please ask your coach.
Day of the Meet
When should I arrive at the meet?
Plan on arriving at the venue at least one hour prior to the start of competition. This allows time for the swimmer to warm up and check in for their events. USS meet usually run in two sessions: morning and afternoon. Depending on the age of your swimmer, he/she may be in morning or afternoon session. Check the meet information on the website (click on the event name and open up the .pdf file) to be sure which session, morning or afternoon, you are entered in. You can also find the same information on the SCS website: www.socalswim.org
What should I do when I arrive at the meet?
The first thing you should do when you arrive at a meet is to check in at the designated Check-In desk. All swimmers must check themselves in at least 45 minutes before their first race. You will be asked to give your name and your age group (e.g. Sarah Smiths, 7/8 Girls). The volunteer will find your name on the list and highlight the events that you intend to swim that day. You may use the Sharpie provided at the desk to write the event numbers of the events you are swimming on your hand for future reference. Immediately after you have checked in, find your coach for your warm up session.
How will I know when my race is?
All events have an event number (e.g. Event #6, Girls 7/8 - 100 Yard Freestyle). You should know what events you are competing in and what event numbers they are. A few minutes before you race a Heat/Lane assignment is posted at a designated area. There are two Heat/Lane postings, one for boys and one for girls. Heat/Lane assignments are groupings of swimmers racing in that event. Find your name on the list and relay your heat and lane number for the race to your coach (e.g. Event #6, Girls 7-8, 100 yards Freestyle, Sarah Smiths, Heat 3 Lane 6). Pay attention to the announcer as he/she announces what events are in the water. Make sure to give yourself enough time to be at the starting area behind your racing lane as not to miss your event.
What happens if I miss my race?
Failure to be at the designated Heat/Lane assignment at the start of the race will result in your disqualification from that race and the race following.
What role does the parent play at the swim meet?
Each team is designated a task by the host team. All parents are required to help fulfill the teams responsibility by volunteering at least one hour of their time to help with these tasks. If parents bring two or more swimmers to the meet, they will be asked to volunteer more than one hour if we are short of volunteers. Parents are asked to be cooperative in this matter. Without parent’s volunteering the meet will not run successfully. If you have never timed before please ask one of the board members or the Sea Tiger’ meet coordinator to help you get familiar with the process.
What things should I bring to a swim meet?
You should pack a towel, your swimsuit, an extra swimsuit, and your team cap and goggles. In addition, in colder weather you will want to bring your parka, sweat pants, a sweatshirt, and warm socks. In hot weather, please remember to bring sun block. Be sure that your name is on all clothing. You may want to pack a snack or consider bringing some spending money because most meets have a snack bar.