What to do when you get to the pool:
Once you arrive at the meet and have settled into the team area, you should check-in with your child’s coach. The team sets up canopies for shade at outside meets. You should allow yourself 15 to 20 minutes to settle in before the team warm-ups start. After the team warms up, the coaches will have a final meeting with the swimmers before they return to the team area. Once the meet starts it will be the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child gets to the bullpen (see below, What you should know). Other parents and swimmers can help with this.
What you should know:
Your child will be given a heat and lane assignment for every event they are entered in. (This information can be obtained from the coaches or in heat sheets which can be purchased at the concession stand.) All swimmers will be required to report to the bullpen before every race. Listen to the announcer, he will announce when a particular event is to report to the bullpen. (i.e., event 23, boys 7-8, 25 free report to the bullpen.) Once in the bullpen the host team will see to it that the swimmers get to the blocks for the race.
What to expect:
The number of events your child has entered will dictate how much down time you will have. Plan on having a fair amount of down time at your first meet; bring a book for yourself and activities for the kids, cards, games, etc. We do not want the kids participating in physical activities such as basketball or kickball between races. Use your down time to get to know other WRA families or just spend some quality time with the family.
What to bring:
Bring your team suit, goggles, a couple of towels, sunscreen, chairs, a cooler with drinks and snacks. All swim meets have a concession stand to buy drinks and food if that is your preference. You may want to bring a highlighter to mark your heat sheet and most swimmers like to write their event information on their hands so bring a black pen (Sharpie).
Before you leave the meet:
When your child has finished all of his/her events for the day, and if the meet is not over, you should check with the coaches before you leave to make sure your child’s not needed for relays.
Please feel free to ask the coaches or other WRA veteran parents if you have any questions. We want all your meets to be a positive and rewarding experience, but it is impossible for the coaches to anticipate every question that may come up. The coaches can only address what they are aware of.
The meet officials will disqualify swimmers for stroke infractions. Do not make a big deal about this with your child. Consider a disqualification constructive criticism.
Very Basic Swimming Rules:
Starts: the swimmers are not allowed to false start (leaving the blocks before the Starter’s command). If they jump the start, whether intentionally or not, they will be disqualified at the end of the race.
Freestyle: the swimmer must touch the wall at the turn.
Backstroke: at the finish, a swimmer must be on his or her back. Rules for turns are complicated.
Breaststroke and Butterfly: swimmers have to touch with both hands at the same time. A swimmer may not freestyle-kick at any time, and both arms must move in unison.
Out of Town Meets:
Trips to meets in other cities become an important aspect of a swimmer's career while advancing through the age group ranks. Parents are encouraged to attend out-of-town meets with their swimmers and to chaperone other youngsters if that’s what it takes to allow that swimmer to compete. These trips can be a lot of fun for parents and swimmers alike. They also are a rare opportunity to participate in a special way in each young swimmer's career. Information about lodging is often sent out in emails in time for parents to make hotel reservations at the team hotel. Families are encouraged but not required to stay in the team hotel.