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Swim Meet 101

 What to Bring for Swimmers:

  •  You should pack an extra towel, dry clothes, snacks, and drinks.

  •  Two pairs of goggles

  •  An extra swim cap

  •  A Sharpie marker

  •  You should also pack heavy clothes (sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc.) to keep the swimmer warm during the meet.

  •  Some kids bring card games and hand-held games to play when they are not swimming. Just remember that water will ruin most everything!

Swimmers should know what events they will be swimming, and keep track of the events being called so that they don't miss their events. To help swimmers keep track of their events parents/guardians/senior Swimmers are responsible for “marking younger swimmers.” “Marking” the kids consist of drawing a grid on them with their event information for their quick reference. This is normally done with a medium tip Sharpie® marker.

The information necessary to complete the grid is found on the Heat Sheet.

E -event
H -heat
S -
sroke/ distance


 Basic Info for the Families:

  1. Bring cash. You might want to buy your heat sheet (usually $5.00). Concessions are available at most meets.

  2. Spectator seating at swim meets is usually in bleachers. If you want some cushioning or back support, you’ll most likely need to bring yourself a stadium seat.

  3. Don’t plan for your swimmer to sit with your family. Swimmers belong with their teams during the meet.

  4. Don’t plan on going over to where the team is sitting to visit with your swimmer. Only coaches, timers, officials, and swimmers are allowed “on deck” (the area around the pool and where the swimmers are getting ready to swim) at meets.

  5. Swimmers need to stay hydrated and fed during meets. Pack protein and high-quality carbs, not junk- those bodies are working hard. Water bottles are necessary.

  6. If you want to take pictures, keep in mind that the flash from cameras interferes with the timing equipment, so flash photography is definitely not permitted at starts. (It’s a good idea to figure out how to avoid using a flash during the whole meet, to keep it simple.)

  7. Be prepared for hearing that your swimmer has “DQed”: disqualified. When a swimmer is disqualified, this means the swimmer is not eligible for an award in that event, and their time is not recorded. Hearing that they have DQ’ed can be really tough news, especially for a new swimmer. As a parent, try to help them keep things in perspective and a DQ is just part of learning all the rules and technique of swimming.

  8. Cheer on your swimmer and their teammates!