USA Swimming

Optional-USA Swimming Registration

Ankeny Aquahawks USA Swimming Registration

Check back here for USA Swimming Fall/Winter registration information when it becomes available.

What's the difference between YMCA and USA Swimming?

The Ankeny YMCA Aquahawks Swim Team is a dual YMCA/USA swim team. As a YMCA swim team, there is no additional expense to swim in YMCA meets. USA Swimming is another organization that we will swim in for those swimmers who choose to participate and register. There are additional expenses for athletes to swim in USA meets.

Swimmers on our team have the option to register as a USA swimmer on our team and compete at USA swim meets. In order to swim at USA swim meets, Aquahawk swimmers must be registered with USA Swimming which requires an additional fee. This does not include additional meet fees parents/families will need to pay when attending a USA swim meet. Swimmers will still need to pay and register for our Aquahawks YMCA team. If you choose to register for USA swimming, this is an additional fee from our team fee.

There is NO difference in coaching or practice schedules between YMCA or USA for the winter and summer season. Those who register for USA swimming are not required to attend all the USA meets but they are paying opportunity for additional competition.

For those who are new to swim team, many of our swimmers decide to start out competing in YMCA swimming only because of the additional cost and time commitment USA swimming demands. We recommend swimmers need to be legal in all four strokes and have competed on a competitive swim team for at least one year.

There are many similarities and differences in how meets are run, a few are noted below.

YMCA Swimming

USA Swimming

Most meets follow a set order and include the same events each time. Novelty meets are not typical. Swimmers are almost always limited to three individual events with the potential to compete in one or two coach selected relays.

Host team determines format including events offered, order of events (often with little consideration of rest between events). Each meet is different with limits on how many sessions and events an athlete may be allowed to entered.

Meets occur on one day, typically Saturdays during winter season and weeknight during summer season. Swimmers typically swim with same aged swimmers. Events are seeded so swimmers compete in heats with athletes who have similar times. Usually swimming heats in order of slowest to fastest times.

Meets typically run over multiple days with several session each day that are usually divided by age groups. Events are seeded so swimmers could compete with different aged athletes but with those who have similar times. Heat order can differ at each meet but often will be seeded fastest to slowest times.

You are responsible for selecting individual events for your swimmer that meet your schedule availability. Usual meet entry limits are three individual and coaches may select up to two relays. 

You are responsible for selecting individual events in age appropriate session for your swimmer that meet your schedule availability. Refer to meet invite for rules on entry and session limitations. 

No additional charge to swimmers or spectators for participation in a meet (except if your swimmer qualifies and competes at Y Regionals)

Each meet will charge multiple fees, each individual event has a fee ($6-$8 per event) and there is often an overall participation fee to swim ($3-5).  Some facilities may also charge a fee for spectators due at the door the day of the meet. 

Athlete entries are submitted one week before the meet. Changes are discouraged but swimmers are not charged any fees if they must drop out of a meet. Head coach should be notified ASAP if your plans change.

Athlete entries are submitted electronically before the meet (sometimes a month ahead) and swimmer accounts are charged based on those entries.  If your plans change you cannot receive a refund.  Meets may fill quickly. You must be prepared to commit far in advance.

Warm-ups are usually 45 to 60 minutes before meet start time and our team usually has multiple lanes. 

Warm-ups are often one to two hours before meet start time in order to get everyone through the process and we may share a lane with other teams. 

Meets are local in Des Moines or within a couple hours and don't usually require overnight travel.

Meets could require overnight travel, even though your swimmer may only swim one day, early morning warm-ups may necessitate an overnight stay.  

Swimmers participate in the same age group for the entire season according to their age on Dec. 1 for winter season and June 1 for summer season.  

Swimmers participate according to their age on the first day of the meet. So athletes with birth dates mid-season could change age groups and qualification time requirements.  

Swimmers typically sit in a swim team "crash area" and parental supervision is expected. Some meets may offer Clerks Of Course that assist swimmers with getting to events but are not always offered. Parents may assist swimmers but are generally discouraged from going behind the blocks.

Swimmers typically sit in a designated area away from parents and must be capable of getting to their events without parental assistance.  

USA Swim Meet Schedule

The Iowa Swimming USA Meet Schedule can be found at (click on Calendar –Iowa Meet Schedule)

This schedule has a list of when all USA meets will be held in the state of Iowa. As a team, we are finalizing which meets we will attend that are more local. A finalized meet schedule for our team will be available on our team website SOON.