Dear Coaches,

As clubs have expanded and Minnesota Swimming nearly doubled in size over the
past ten years, there has been a need to accommodate growth through more flexible scheduling; specifically the number, location, dates and types of meets held. The new schedule is designed to increase flexibility for clubs to customize their meet schedule
to meet the needs of their athletes, rather than force their athletes and families into a structured schedule that may not align with their team plans.

Q: How does a “free market” meet system benefit your athletes and club? 
This format:

  • Lets you control your schedule so that it better meets the needs of your athletes based on types of meets (opportunity), timing (fits your training cycle), and geography (increased convenience or expanded diversity).

  • Allows host clubs to run any type of meet they want, on nearly any weekend, which facilitates a better experience for volunteers as well as athletes.

  • Results in a greater variety of meets, making possible shorter, more manageable meets, and ultimately offering better racing and a better overall experience for athletes and their families.

Q: what are expectations for championship meets? 

  • MAC weekend (July 16-17): 3 sites; short course sites are preferred.
    Each interested host should plan for a two-day meet, two sessions on Saturday and Sunday. 
    • If only 3 MRC sites are secured, a provable “C” or faster will be required for ages 12&U.
    • If 4 MRC sites are secured, a provable “Pre-C” or “C” but slower than a “B” time will be accepted for all ages.  
  • MRC weekend (July 22-24): 4 sites are desired; all sites must be long course. 
    Each interested host should plan for a 2 ½ day meet starting with a single session Friday PM and two sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
    • If 4 sites are secured, a provable “B” time or faster but slower than “CH” will be accepted for all ages.
    • If only 3 sites host MRC meets, 12&U will need a provable minimum “BB” or faster but slower than “CH”. 13&O will stay the same.  
  • Age Group State (July 28-31): 1 site; long course.
    All ages 14&U must have a provable “CH” time or faster is required. A site must be long course.
  • Senior State (August 5-7): 1 site; long course. 
    All ages 15&O must have a provable “CH” time or faster. 

Q: But zone meets guaranteed that my club had an opportunity to participate. How do I make sure we get invited to meets? 

The reality is there was no guarantee in prior years to participate as entries were accepted on a first come basis. Since meets were filling fast, even zoned teams were unable to get into meets due to the large number of entries putting meets over capacity. What is different with this system is it requires planning, communication, and collaboration with other clubs and coaches. Clubs need to be proactive NOW.




(VOTE at board meeting)





Meet Hosts

Talk to teams about your proposed format and plan; get pool; plan meet; set fees, prepare your bid. Begin to network with officials.

Place bid online by October 26

Talk with clubs you intend to invite; be welcoming of others coming to you and plan your meet based on size estimates with clubs.
Be honest with clubs that come to you to discuss entries.

Attending Clubs

Approach clubs you know to begin discussions

Review meets being bid online and start talking to bidding coaches. Talk to coach reps if you need help.

Continue conversations with clubs who have approved meets.

Talk to clubs in your area about forming a conference, or creating pop up meets (duals, tri-, quad).

Your meet schedule should be set by having agreements with host clubs that you will be attending their meet(s).

Continue conversations. Check with clubs to see if there are any changes in their expectations or requirements.

Stay connected and aware.

As meets open, be aware of the exact time they start to accept entries, so you don’t miss your opportunity!

If you don’t know other coaches, find out who is in your area.  Use the Club Finder on USA Swimming.

Hint: type in a city name rather than zip code to see clubs in a wider radius.

With meets that better meet your needs, the freedom to create innovative formats and the ability to run shorter meets, athletes and their families, coaches, officials and your volunteers really can have a better experience…and make swimming the #funnest sport! 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Dan Berve. Chair
Tech Planning Committee

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View submitted bids

View the
2016 Schedule