January 16, 2019
Prelims/Finals - Meet and Event Scratch Policies or Penalites
Many of our athletes will be competing in "prelims/finals" meets at upcoming meets, such as this weekend at the Kelly German Memorial Meet, at TYR Sports Winter Classic in Cincinnati, or the Regionals next month.
These meets have events in which swimmers compete in prelims and may qualify for finals. "Finals" offers a second opportunity for athletes, so meet hosts put penalties in place for swimmers who fail to swim finals if they do not scratch. Coach Saltus thought it may be helpful to try to explain this to people who are new to prelims/finals meets.
Swimmers who are unable to swim finals have the option of scratching (not swimming) a final event, if they scratch or declare an intent to scratch, within 30 minutes of prelims results being announced.
All UASC scratches should be discussed with, and agreed upon by a coach.
If an athlete fails to scratch, and fails to show up for a finals event they have qualified for, a penalty will go into effect. Typically, the penalty will be removal from the swimmers first event on the following day. If this situation occurs on the last day of a meet, that swimmer is fined $50. Meet hosts reserve the right to adopt their own policies, but these penalties are pretty standard.
Failure to show up for an event in "prelims" will not result in a penalty, unless the event is deck seeded, with positive check-in.
Please be sure to check results at prelims/finals meets. Meet mobile is not always accurate! Official results at these meets will be anounced and posted. That is what should be followed.
If a swimmer is not initially qualified for finals, but gets "scratched in" - other swimmers ahead of them scratch, moving them up in place - they will have another opportunity to swim, but will not be fined if they fail to swim. Alternates (first two swimmers outside of finals qualifiers) will not be penalized if they fail to show up for finals.
If you know that you're unavailable for finals, it's a good idea to scratch your event(s) regardless of place in prelims. It simply helps meet administration organize finals, and to give other swimmers the opportunity.
The number of swimmers who qualify for finals may differ by meet and/or event. That information, as well as each meet's scratch policy is always posted in their meet information packet (which we post on our website). Please read meet information prior to attending meets and check with a coach if you have questions about anything that is included.
This will apply at some meets in the future. The situation of swimmers being penalized happens all too often at "prelims/finals" meets. We hate to see an athlete penalized, but this is always a meet host policy, and coaches have no control over these situations. Please be aware of the rules and results at these meets, so our athletes/families aren't penalized.
If you have questions, please check with a coach.
Good luck! We hope to see a lot of UASC athletes in "finals" and everyone swimming fast!