Meet Info


Swim meets are a great family experience! They're a place where the whole family can spend time together. Listed below are some very in-depth guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but we tried to be as specific and as detailed as we possibly could.

Both the Competitive and Ripples groups will participate in swim meets.  Our swim club along with two other swim clubs play host to RIPPLES swim meets during the course of the swim season. General there is one meet per term & we STRONGLY encourage those who are eligible to participate to attend.

Before the Meet Starts

1. Arrive at the pool AT LEAST 15 MINUTES before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be posted on the meets bulletin board. It should be noted that if you are not at the pool 25 minutes after the meet has started the coaches will scratch you from the meet as Swim Manitoba has instituted that all scratches have to be in 30 minutes after warm up has started. 

2. Upon arrival, the team sits in one place together (team area), so look for some familiar faces.

3. Swimmer now stretch as A TEAM. It is very important for all swimmers stretch together as it is a time for team bonding and building. It allows the older swimmers to mentor the younger swimmers, & the younger swimmers to ask questions of the older swimmers. Additionally it is very important for all swimmers to warm-up WITH THE TEAM. A swimmer's body is just like a car on a cold day they needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out. Length of warm-up may vary based on different ages and ability levels.

4. Warm-up is a time for swimmers and coaches only. Parents should drop child off and report to spectator area. Your child will be supervised by a coach at all times during the warm-up period.

5. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where their team is sitting and wait there until his first event is called. This is a good time that the swimmers goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.

6. All questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet should be referred to a coach and he or she will pursue the matter through the proper channels. Officials should not be approached by a parent at any time.

Meet Starts

1. It is important for swimmers to know what event numbers they are swimming. they may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait a while. An event number is assigned to each event and designates the order of events during the meet session.

2. Purchase a programme. When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and their previous best time (up to the date that the entry was submitted) in that event is listed. A programme will be available before the start of the meet that lists the actual heat and lane a swimmer will be competing in.

3. There are two types of events swimmers can swim:

Individual events

Once a swimmer is entered in a meet, they are assigned a heat number and lane number by the meet host for each event in which the swimmer is entered. It is the SWIMMERS responsibility to be in the proper heat and lane at the appropriate time. The coaches will do their best to assist swimmers, but the responsibility is ultimately the swimmers. The majority of the swim meets have marshaling & officials will help swimmers, but there a few meets that do not have marshaling & swimmers will be required to show up to their assigned heat and lane at the appropriate time.

Relay events

Relays are an important part of every meet. Relays are team competitions requiring four swimmers from each team in an age group to compete and are some of the most exciting races in a meet. Relays score double points and important for the position in the team scores. All swimmers should check with the coaches before leaving a meet to determine their relaystatus.

4. A swimmers programme will be on hand at most swim meets for them to look at while at the meet.

Here is a sample page of a heat sheet:

Event 1 Mixed 25 Meters Freestyle

Heat 1 of 3 Timed Finals

Lane Name Age Team Seed Time
3 Smith, Jane W6 WAVE NT
4 Jones, Joni W7 WAVE NT
5 Roberts, Mark M7 WAVE NT





Heat 2 of 3 Timed Finals

Lane Name Age Team Seed Time
3 Smith, Jared M8 WAVE NT
4 Jones, Samantha W9 WAVE NT
5 York, Charlotte W9 WAVE NT

5. Before your child swims they should see their coach. This is a time for the coaches and only the coaches to remind the swimmer of a few things before they swim. Parents are not supporting the coach or helping the child by attempting to instruct/remind swimmers. Meets are a time for swimmers to react to training/coaching and not a time for changing stroke techniques etc.

6. Generally, girls’ events are odd-numbered and boys’ events are even-numbered. Example: "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle"

7. Most meets are computerized. There are generally two ways a swimmer gets to their lane:

a. A swimmer usually reports directly to their lane for competition a number of heats before they actually swims. Your child should report to their lane at least 4 heats prior to the heat.

b.In some meets, a swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and they will be asked to report to the "Marshaling”. Swimmers should report with their cap and goggle. Example: "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to Clerk of Course."

c. Marshaling is typically used at most programme meets or during preliminary

How does my child get their time?

Their times should appear on the scoreboard. The pad located in the water on the wall is the primary timing system. It is linked directly to the scoreboard. This is the system most commonly used. If there is a discrepancy in the primary system, the buttons used by the timers will be used to determine the time of the race. Thirdly, stopwatches also used by the timers will be the next backup system. All times are checked by the meet manager and meet volunteers in the booth. No time is officialuntil it is posted. Times are posted somewhere in the facility.

What if my child’s lane time shows up as zeros or no time at all?

a:Sometimes swimmers miss the touch pad. If this is the case the scoreboard will show either an incorrect time or no time. The meet officials will check the plungers times and the watch times and the swimmer’s official time will be posted later as an official time.

After Your Child Swims

a. Depending on the coach’s instructions, the swimmer may be asked to do some recovery swimming if a "warm down" pool or lanes are available.

b. The swimmer should then go immediately to their coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer. Some coaches may wish to talk with the swimmer before their recovery swim.

c. Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims: Positive comments or praise, suggestions for improvement, and then more positive comments.

Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:

a. Tell them how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with him. You need to tell him how proud you are and what a great job they did.

b. The swimmer now waits until their next event is called and starts the procedure again.

When a swimmer has completed all of their events you and your swimmer can go home, however Winnipeg Wave considers meets to be a TEAM event and the coaches encourage swimmers to stay until that session is completed. Make sure to check with the coach before leaving to make sureyour swimmer is not included on a relay.

Awards are often gathered for a team and given to the coach at the end of the meet. The coach will give the awards to the swimmers at a later time. Results will be posted following the meet on the Meets Bulletin Board and also linked to the team website.

What Happens If Your Child has a Disappointing Swim?

If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling badly, talk about the good things. Don't talk about the negative things and don't keep talking about the race. Drop it and get your child to focus on the next race or something enjoyable coming up after the meet! Limit the "post mortems!" If your child comes up to you and says, "That was a bad race; don't tell me it wasn't,"

there is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race. The important thing is for the child not to dwell on it. You should move the swimmer on to something good. "All right, you have had a bad race. How do you think you can do better next time?" Immediately start talking about the positive things.

What To Take To The Meet

1. Most important: Swim Suit, Team Cap and goggles (if your swimmer uses them).

2. Towels-Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two.

3. Something to sit on as we are often in the training tank & there is limited sitting.  Example: sleeping bag, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on.


5. Games: travel games, books, IPODS etc. anything to pass the time.

6. Food: Each swimmer is usually allowed to bring a small cooler. It is better to bring snacks. They usually have snack bars at the meet, but the lines are long and most of the time they only sell junk food. Suggestions for items to bring:

a. Drinks: water, fruit juice, Gatorade

b. Snacks: granola bars, fruits, yogurt, cereal, sandwiches

Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other parent for help or information!

These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! They gets to visit with their friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. They also gets to "race" and see how much they have improved from all the hard work they have put in at practice.

Special Parent's Note

The pool area is usually very warm. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately. Nothing is worse than being hot at a swim meet. It makes the time pass very slowly! At Pan Am there is limited seating (in the training tank) so parents are general left standing on the observation deck. Better yet, become an official and get involved! You get to be close to the action and take the focus off of your own child!


This year all competitive swimmers will be charged a head of time for the programme & non-qualifier swim meets. We as coaches do not have to seek permission to enter the swimmers into the non-qualifier meets. Entries will be due 4 days before the meet & should be done in team manager format (will be provided to coaches at a later date).

SWIM MEET OFFICIALS (Parent Volunteer Opportunities)


As a timer your job and attention to details is important and requires your full attention to the assignment.

Your job includes:

  • Ensuring that the swimmers name, lane number and heat are accurate.
  • If any of the above is incorrect you should inform the chief timer and/or referee
  • Observing the start of the race clearly
  • Obtaining an accurate finish time
  • Recording the times accurately


Judges of STROKE walk the side of the pool throughout the race, observing swimmers in the half of the pool closest to their position. They walk to each end of the pool, assisting the inspectors of turns in observing the turns and finishes.

Inspectors of TURNS observe the swimmers during the turns, but also after the start and at the finish of the race, ensuring the touch is legal, and the entire distance was completed. They need to be stationed over the lane in order to observe the swimmers actual contact with the wall.

Here's some Stroke & Turn Videos to watch:


The Clerk of Course is a key person in running a successful swim meet.  By the efficient dispersal of the cards to swimmers, as well as the reasonable marshaling of the swimmers, or prominent display of the event and heat participants if swimmer self–check is being used.  The Clerk of Course has a major role in establishing the tone of the meet.

  • Shall be responsible for checking swimmers “in” to the marshaling area prior to each event.
  • Shall have control of the swimmers from the time they are checked “in” until they are turned over to the referee.
  • Shall have the authority, if instructed by the Referee, to scratch swimmers who fail to report to the marshaling area when their heat or event is called for marshaling.
  • Shall seed swimmers in deck–seeded meets, inform swimmers of their heat and lane assignments, and distribute time cards.
  • In pre-seeded meets may be given the authority by the Referee to combine heats and move swimmers from one heat to another in the interests of saving time or fairer seeding.
  • Shall instruct the Marshals as to their duties. May delegate duties to the Marshals

There are a number of clinics being offered by Swim Manitoba. Please click on this link to view the clinics and dates available. Registration is required for these.