Types of Swim Meets
TYPES OF SWIM MEETS
Invitational Meets: Only certain teams are invited to attend, at the discretion of the host team.
Dual Meets: Dual, meaning two teams: one team competing against another. The team that accumulates the highest number of points wins the competition.
Championship Meets: There is a series of YMCA championship meets and a series of USA-S championship meets. Each is described in greater detail below.
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YMCA SWIM MEETS
Important Note Regarding Age Determination: Determination of a swimmer’s age for a particular swim season, with respect to YMCA age group swimming, is that swimmer’s age as of December 1. In other words, when a swimmer has a birthday after December 1, that swimmer is still required to swim in whichever age group they were categorized at the beginning of that season. They do not age up on their actual birth date for any YMCA competition.
YMCA Dual Meet: A competitive, scored swim meet between two YMCA teams. As is the case in other sporting events, the team earning the greatest number of points becomes the victor. There are no qualifying times for these meets. Competition is designed to serve as a learning experience and to serve as a measure of improvement for swimmers. Typically, YMCA dual meets are conducted in one afternoon. Registration for those swim meets occurs one to two weeks prior to the meet. Registration procedures and details regarding the meet will be available on the SPY website.
YMCA Invitational Meet: These meets are sponsored by a local YMCA. The sponsoring YMCA invites other YMCAs to participate. SPY hosts two invitational meets during the short course season. Typically, there are no minimum time standard requirements for entry at YMCA invitational.
YMCA Illini Junior District Championship: This meet is for all swimmers who have not exceeded the qualifying time standards for the meet. There are no relays at this meet. Swimmers must have swum in 1 YMCA dual or invitational meets during the season. This is a great meet for swimmers to attend if they are trying to achieve additional District time standards or for younger swimmers to maximize their number of end of season swims.
YMCA Illini District Championship: Attendance at this meet is determined by the Head Coach and strongly encouraged for all who attain Illini District guideline times. This is an opportunity for the majority of our team (all ages and all ability levels) to swim together as a team. Teams from the YMCA’s Illini District compete for the Illini District title. You can find the qualifying time standards for Districts under the EVENT Tab at the top of the website. In order to participate, swimmers must have competed in 2 closed YMCA dual or invitational meets during the short course season. This requirement is also essential in order to compete in any of the following meets:
Illinois YMCA State Championship: Swimmers can qualifying for the IL YMCA State Championship meet at any meet throughout the season. All swimmers who qualify for the meet should attend the meet. One of our primary team goals is to achieve an outstanding performance at this meet.
YMCA National Championships: All swimmers who attain qualifying times are encouraged to compete in this elite championship meet. This meet involves every YMCA team in the nation that has swimmers who have qualified. This meet represents the ultimate swimming experience for YMCA swimmers and features the highest level of competition available within the nationwide YMCA organization. The best swimmers are pitted against one another in this exclusive four-day meet. The qualifying times are tough, as is the competition. The short course (25-yard) national championship is held in early April and the long course (50-meter) championship held in late July.
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USA-S SWIM MEETS
Important Note Regarding Age Determination: Unlike YMCA swimming, there is no cutoff date that determines a swimmer’s age for a particular swim season. A swimmer’s age with respect to USA-S meets is their actual age on the first day of a swim meet. Swimmers age up on their actual birthday even if it occurs mid-season.
Age Group State Championships: All 14 & under swimmers with a valid USA-S membership who attain qualifying times are encouraged to compete in this championship meet (provided that the date of the meet does not conflict with the YMCA Area Meet). This meet involves competition between 14 & under swimmers from every USA-S team in the Illinois Swimming Local Swimming Committee (LSC) that has swimmers who have qualified. This is a three-day swim meet, following a prelim/final format for swimmers 11-14 and a timed final format for swimmers 10 & under. Time standards (qualifying times) for this meet correspond to the Illinois Swimming Championship time standards.
Senior State Championship: All swimmers with a valid USA-S membership who attain qualifying times are encouraged to compete in this championship meet (provided that the date of the meet does not conflict with the YMCA Area Meet). This meet involves competition between swimmers of all ages from every USA-S team in the Illinois Swimming LSC that has swimmers who have qualified. This is a three-day swim meet, following a prelim/final format. Qualifying times for this meet correspond to the Illinois Swimming Championship time standards.
Junior and Senior Nationals: All swimmers with a valid USA-S membership who attain qualifying times are encouraged to compete in these prestigious championship meets. These meets involves competition between the nation’s fastest and most talented swimmers. Qualifying times are published annually by USA-S National Governing Body.
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SWIM MEET ENTRIES
Parents need to committ swimmers to meets. Parents are allowed to choose events for their swimmers under the knowledge that coaches may alter events when necessary.
Entering a meet is done by reviewing the information on upcoming meets available on the SPY website, selecting the individual events you wish to enter and submitting registration and payment online. The Head Coach reviews all entries, prepares relay entries and sends the entire team entry to the club hosting the meet. Because the host team has a deadline for accepting entries, SPY needs to impose a deadline for collection of our entries. Due to the amount of work which must be done after individual entries are submitted and the short window we have to complete this work to get the entire team entry in before our deadline, the SPY entry deadline is strictly enforced.
The process is simple with the online entry system. The number one thing parents can do to make this process work is to visit the website regularly and keep informed about upcoming entry deadlines.
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THE ENTRY PROCESS
The Meet Packet: For each scheduled meet we will post a Meet Packet on the SPY website. The Meet Packet will be posted under the Swim Meet tab in the Events section on the homepage. You can also access the specific event by clicking on the Meets tab at the top of the webpage. The Meet Packet has details regarding the meet such as where and when it will be held, warm up and meet start times, and a list of events along with any other pertinent information.
Host clubs generally do not provide us with this information until fairly close to the meet. We post the meet packet as soon as we receive it but generally there will only be a two week window from when it is first posted until the entry deadline. Again, please check the website regularly.
Preparing Your Entry: Review the description on the event page or the meet packet and make sure there are no qualifying times or other criteria which would make your swimmer ineligible for the meet. (The vast majority of our meets are open to everyone). Once you have determined you want to attend a particular meet and that you are eligible to swim in that meet, click the Attend this Event button on the Event page. Then select your swimmers name and choose the events. Note that you do not enter relay events. The coaches prepare all relay entries.
Paying Your Entry Fees: The Head Coach will take time between the registration deadline and the time the entries will be submitted to the host team to finalize entries, 3-7 days. Entry fees will be added to the member accounts for billing. Automatic billing payments go through on the 1st of each month. Those without automatic billing set up through the website will need to pay their entry fees within 7 days of the 1st of each month, after which a penalty will be assessed.
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RECOMMENDED SWIM MEET PROCEDURES
There may be additional meet procedures specific to each meet we attend as each meet is unique in its setup. This information will be provided on the meet event page and through an email blast. The following information provides basic guidelines for meet procedures for parents and swimmers.
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Arrival: Allow ample time for travel to ensure that swimmer(s) report promptly on the pool deck for proper check in and warm up.
Purchase a meet program and thoroughly review it: Most swim meets have printed Heat Sheets available for a small fee. (An exception to this is YMCA Dual Meets). Heat Sheets allow you to ensure your swimmer has been entered properly in all events selected on his/her entry form. For new or younger swimmers please write the event number, heat and lane on their hand with a Sharpie. The program is also a valuable tool for assistance in locating the heat and lane in which your swimmer will be swimming, as well as keeping track of teammates. If your swimmer has not been entered correctly, contact the coaching staff.
Uniform: All SPY swimmers are required to wear the team swimsuit or a black suit and team cap when representing SPY in competition.
Jewelry: Ensure that your swimmer has removed any and all jewelry from their person. This is a safety issue and may result in the swimmer’s disqualification according to the rules.
Scratching: Removing a swimmer from an event is allowable only with permission from the coaching staff.
Departure: Never allow a swimmer to leave a swim meet prematurely. Always check with the coaching staff before departing. Most swim meets offer relay events at the conclusion of the individual events (i.e. at the end of the meet). Please understand that it can be extremely upsetting to the remaining three members of a relay team to be scratched from competition because of a teammate’s premature departure. Please be considerate of your SPY teammates.
Observe, enjoy, applaud, support, and above all, never criticize your swimmer’s efforts.
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At Meet: Be courteous to officials, timers, bullpen workers and all volunteers. They are at the meet to give you an opportunity to compete. Win or lose, best time or not, show good sportsmanship. You are representing the Springfield YMCA and the SPY Swim Team.
Arrival: It is extremely important that you promptly arrive on the pool deck for proper check-in and warm up.
Check-in: Immediately check in with the coaching staff in attendance.
Pre-Swim: Prior to each of your swims, warm up if possible and speak with a member of the coaching staff.
During the Swim: Give your best effort and follow your strategy.
Post-Swim: Immediately after each of your swims, warm down if possible and speak with a member of the coaching staff.
Departure: When you have completed your individual events, notify the coaching staff before you leave. Most swim meets offer relay events at the conclusion of the individual events. Please understand that it can be extremely upsetting to the remaining three members of a relay team to be scratched from competition because of a teammate’s premature departure. Please be considerate of you SPY teammates.
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