Types or Levels of Swim Meets
Competing against one other team. These meets help promote team unity, but usually limits the number of events a swimmer may enter.
Typical (Developmental) Meets
Most meets Wheaton Swim Club attends falls into this category. These meets generally do not have any qualification time standards. Most of the time these meets offer each one of the competitive strokes in the two distances offered for each group. Each swimmer is typically entered in 3-4 events per day.
These meets have some type of qualification time standard(s) that a swimmer must meet in order to enter the meet. Can check the time standards link for these type of meets. Indy (winter season), Regional, State, Sr. State, Zones, etc. fall into this category.
Regional and State Championship Meets
At the end of each short course (winter) and long course (summer) season, a Regional and State Championship meet is sanctioned by Illinois Swimming (ISI), the governing body of swimming in Illinois. ISI sets the qualifying time standards for these championship meets. There are three championships held each season: Regionals, Age Group for swimmers 14 and under and the Senior Championship open to any swimmer in the state who has met the qualifying standards regardless of age.
Zone Championship Meets
After the state championships are held in the summer, a swimmer may qualify to participate in the Central Zone Championships by swimming a national “AAA” time. This is an all star meet where swimmers compete as a member of the Illinois Zone team competing against other states from the Midwest.
Speedo/USA Junior National Championship (NCSA)
One of the highest levels of achievement. USA Swimming sponsors an eastern US meet and a western US meet each season. There are specific time standards for this meet and swimmers compete against the best 18 under swimmers in the nation.
Phillips 66/USA Nationals
Other than the Olympic Trials and the World Championships Trials, each of which is held every four years, the highest level of competition for senior swimmers is the USA Nationals. As with the Junior Nationals, there are time standards and swimmers travel and compete against America’s best swimmers.