Types of Meets!
August 29, 2019
Our USA meet schedule through December, as well as the SAL dual meet schedule is now posted on the website under the Events Tab. You can also see upcoming meets in the box at the bottom of the home page.
There are three types of meets that we attend: USA meets, SAL meets, and combo USA/SAL meets. Today I would like to take a minute to describe the difference between the three meets and why it is important to attend all 3.
As a club we are connected to two governing bodies. The first is the national governing body of the sport of swimming in America: USA Swimming. The second is a league, that for the most part is self contained, this is called the SAL (Suburban Aquatic League). Most of the time these are two distinctly different entities without much overlap. They both have their own set of pros and we have reasons that we compete in both. I would like to take a minute to explain our methodology.
USA Swim Meets: Over the past several years we have put a larger emphasis on these meets. USA swim meets are meets that are sanctioned by USA swimming and all times that are achieved at these meets are recorded in a national database. Swimmers must complete times for championship USA meets at these meets and their times need to be provable via the national database. These meets are typically longer, spanning multiple sessions over the course of a weekend, but also brokendown into manageable chunks. It can be demanding, but it also models the structure of USA swimming all the way up the ladder. There is not a significant difference in meet structure between a random usa swim meet and Olympic trials. We believe these meets are important for team bonding, development of expectations, and access to the highest level of competition.
SAL Meets: As a club we also belong to the Suburban Aquatic League. In this league we compete in weekly dual meets. These meets have a limited set of events and if you familiar with summer league or high school swimming these meets will look very familiar to you. The biggest draw back of the league is that the majority of the meets are not USA swimming sanctioned, which means times achieved at a dual meet are often unusable elsewhere. However there are tremendous advantages. For young swimmers coming straight from summer league it is a comfortable and safe landing spot to start their year round swimming journey. The SAL meets are inclusive and are the only opportunity to have every age group on deck at the same time. The SAL also pretty closely follows the operating structure of PIAA swimming, so it is a good way to get used to the process for future public school high school students. We believe these meets are important for development, competitive reps, and team bonding.
SAL/USA Meets: These ones are the money makers, especially for our younger swimmers. There are several SAL meets throughout the year thasatisfy the requirements of both kinds of meets, and the times achieved will also count for both. There are not many but these meets can be crucial for younger swimmers. Meets to look out for: Npac Trophy Meet, UMAC last Chance, and A champs.
Now that you know the difference I encourage you to go to the website and check out some meets!
- You DO Not need to commit to SAL meets. The assumption is everyone can attend. If you can not attend please DECLINE the meet on the website. Otherwise you do not need to take any action.
- You Do need to sign up for USA meets (except our home meet at the end of September, we will handle sign up for that like an Sal, only decline). If the meet info is available it will be uploaded to the website and you should be able to pick your events right away, if not you will be able to select yes or no in terms of attendance. People who select yes will be notified as soon as meet info and event selection is available. In order to ensure space in these meets we set very early sign up dates and do not guarantee inclusion if you sign up past that date. I would encourage families to go through the schedule and at least preliminarily commit yes or no to the USA schedule.
- USA/SAL meets are signed up for like USA meets. You must commit online.
As promised the info from Mondays email is copied below.