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SWIM MEETS/COMPETITION

The Rapids swim team competes year round in numerous leagues offering a variety of competitive experiences to swimmers of all ages.  It is important that your child attends at least one meet per month so that his/her coaches can assess their progress.  Swim meets are also a great social gathering allowing friends to be made or friendships to be strengthened. 

It is important to note that if your swimmer is signed up for a Meet and is unable to attend, please notify his/her coach as soon as possible.  In addition, if you are assigned to job at a meet, please find a replacement.

NUTMEG/CSSL DUAL MEETS– Usually between 1 or 2 other teams, this is a low key setting and a good introduction to a swim meet.  These meets usually last between 2-3 hours and are typically held on a weeknight.  CSSL meets are held in the spring while Nutmegs are held in the fall/winter.

Nutmeg Championships– A competitive meet held usually the 1st or 2nd weekend in February.  Points are scored and a champion is declared.  Awards are given for top 16 finishers in all events.  The 11/12 age group has a trials and finals which is a great opportunity to practice coming back in the evening and swimming again.  Families are encouraged to enter for the entire weekend because this is a championship meet and the Rapids are usually one of the top clubs competing we expect close to 100% participation in this event.

USAMEETS- All members of the Shelton Monroe Swim Team are members of Connecticut Swimming Inc. (CSI) which is the local organization of United States Swimming Association. Each swimmer is eligible to compete in the USA scheduled meets upon recommendation by their coach. USA swimming is for every swimmer as long as he/she has “legal” strokes. USA Meets are officiated and the coaches do not recommend participating until at least 2 strokes are “legal,” which means done correctly. If you are not sure if this is for your child, please discuss it with your child’s respective coach.

The greatest advantage of participating in USA meets is that it provides more evenly matched races because the Meet is pre-programmed by computer and each swimmer is seeded (placed in a race) by his/her time and will be swimming against other swimmers with similar times. 90% of a swimmer’s best times come at a USA Meet.

USAmeets are usually held on Saturday and/or Sunday, with an occasional Friday evening session and are differentiated by age and ability level. Typically, 10-15 teams compete at a USA Meet and they are always officiated. The USA rules state that swimmers compete in the age group based on their age on the first day of the Meet.

Swimmers must be on time for warm-ups (15 min. early is better) at USA meets because scratch sheets must be submitted shortly after warm-up begins. Scratch sheets list the names of swimmers from each team who are not in attendance at the Meet. Please be on time or your child’s name will be handed in as a “scratch” and he/she will not be allowed to swim.

USAMeet Entry- If it has been agreed by the coach and the parent that a swimmer is ready to compete in USA Meets, you will receive an email several weeks prior to a USA Meet informing you that our Team will be participating in a Meet. The notice will contain general information about the Meet, including dates, location, schedule of events, directions, etc. It is important to note that all swimmers that wish to participate in a scheduled USA Swim Meet must email the head coach by the date indicated informing him of the dates that you will swim. If you do not respond to the email notice by the date indicated, you will not be entered into the meet.

USAMeet Entry Fees- There is a fee to swim in a USA Meet. The approximate cost per event is $4.00 to $6.00 and each swimmer will be registered to swim 3 or 4 events per day. Relays cost more but that cost is split between the 4 swimmers on that relay. The Head Coach keeps a separate account for USA Swimming Fees for each USA swimmer. At the beginning of the USA Swim Season he will estimate what your USA Entries will be and request that you provide a check for USA Fees to be placed on account. At the time a swimmer is entered into a Meet, the fees are deducted from the swimmer’s account even if he/she scratches out of the Meet at a later time. This is because the fees are paid when the entry is mailed in. Periodically, you will receive a notice from the Head Coach reporting to you the balance in your account and requesting that you provide additional funds for the account to pay the Entry Fees for the remainder of the swim season. These funds are in addition to the Registration Fee that you paid at the beginning of the swim season.

USAMeet Cancellations- USA Meet cancellations rarely occur due to weather including snow or rain (even if it is an outdoor Meet). However, in some cases, our coaches might decide to scratch from a Meet in severe weather. In the case of severe weather, always check your email and the Team website for cancellation information before leaving for the Meet. We will post whether or not we will be going to the Meet as a Team (with coaches) in severe weather as soon as we make that decision. Any swimmer who is signed up to swim in a USA Meet can swim whether or not his/her coach goes to the Meet. Upon arrival at a Meet without Team coaches, the swimmer should register at the timers/officials’ table and inform them that he/she is from the Shelton Monroe Swim Team, that the coach could not make it, and that he/she would like to swim. The swimmer will be placed with another team’s coach and can swim his/her events. The coaches would like to be notified if a swimmer cannot attend a Meet so that scratch sheets can be completed. In the case of severe weather, swimmers who do not arrive at the Meet will be scratched after a reasonable amount of time.

 

USAmeets that are offered:

 

AA Meet– This is a senior level USA meet meaning that you have to meet the qualifying times for the meet.  There is only one age group at this meet and it is swum in a trials and finals format.  Swimmers of any age who have met the qualifying times may compete.

Invitational Meet- An invitational meet is a meet with many more teams and swimmers than a dual meet. The term "Invitational" comes from the fact that for a team to attend this type of meet, a team had to be invited to attend from the host team, but now is a general catch-all term for this style of meet (although there are still occasional invitation-only 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, and only limit the number of times a swimmer can swim in order to make the flow of the meet manageable.  Meets of this style can be at any level of swimming since all of the higher level meets use this style of meet with just more restrictive rules applied. Meets of this style usually do not have entry time standards, but can have them to either reduce the size of the meet, or raise the competition level.

Zone Meet– This is a qualifying meet at the end of championship season (March & August).  Connecticut is part of the Eastern Zone.  Other LSC’s that are part of the Eastern Zone are:  Adirondack, Alleghany Mountain, Maryland, Maine, Metropolitan, Middle Atlantic, New England, New Jersey, Niagara, Potomac Valley and Virginia.  During Long Course season you must meet a qualifying time in order to qualify.  In the winter Short Course season you must be top 3 (12/under) or top 2 (13/over) in an event to qualify.  Please check the ctswim.org or easternzoneswimming.org web sites for more information. 

Sectional Meets– These are meets that our developing senior swimmers should strive to and successfully compete in.  The meet is usually held in March and July and for many athletes this meet is a primary chance to qualify for other regional and National caliber championship meets.  The country is divided into 4 sections, Eastern, Southern, Central and Western. 

Trials & Finals Meets– The Rapids compete in many meets during the year that are trials and finals meets.  At these meets 12/over swimmers will swim in preliminary heats in order to make the finals.  Usually the top 16 or 18 from each event will come back for finals in the evening.  All high level senior meets are held in this format and it is the expectation of the Rapids coaching staff that while not mandatory all swimmers who qualify for finals will swim in the finals.

Short Course vs Long Course– Short Course is training or competing in 25 yard or meter pools, while Long Course is training or competing in 50 meter pools.  Most indoor pools in the USA are set-up as 25 yard pools so most of the times younger athletes become familiar with early on are Short Course Yard (SCY) times.  Since these meets are held in the winter months, our Short Course competition season starts in September and culminates with championship meets in March.  The Long Course competition season begins in April and continues through July and August depending on the highest-level championship meet a swimmer can qualify.