Riverside Aquatic Club is a competitive swim organization. All swimmers are encouraged to attend as many meets as possible. Participation in a meet allows the swimmer and the coach to assess the effectiveness of training. Once a swimmer has progressed out of the developmental levels (bronze, silver, copper, and gold) they will be expected to attend most meets. The team usually attends one to two meets per month. Swim meets are usually held on Saturdays and Sundays (some include Friday evening events). Swim meet information will be sent to registered accounts, parents must declare which days their child will be swimming according to the dates and times listed in the Meet Information Letter from the host team. Coaches will determine events for each individual swimmer. The meet information letter will also include hotel information and driving directions as necessary.
At a swim meet, swimmers compete with other athletes of the same age, gender, and ability. Age groups are usually designated as 8 & under, 9-10/10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, and Senior/Open. The swimmer's birth date on the first day of the meet determines the swimmers age for that meet. Some meets will limit entries to more advanced swimmers, but most meets will be open to everyone.
Color Meets are intersquad mini-meets with just a few events to introduce kids to racing in a non-threatening environment and to work on times. No charge for Color Meets.
Swim Meet Preparation
- Get a good night sleep the night before a swim meet. This is not the night for a sleepover.
- The best meal for the night before is a healthy, high carbohydrate meal. Stay away from carbonated beverages, fatty foods and hard to digest foods. Sugar will slow you down. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during the meet.
- Bring a towel for each event. It is important to dry off between events and to stay warm. Wear a sweatshirt and sweat pants between events. Muscles stay loose and work better if you don't get chilled between events.
- Bring a blanket to spread on the floor of "camping" area. You may want to bring book, cards, or other items to amuse yourself between events.
- A caution on electronics on deck - they can be easily lost, broken and can be a huge distraction to athletes who are engrossed in a video game and not paying attention to their events, their teammates and are generally not engaged with what is going on. The same can be said for cell phones and the coaches discourage athletes from bringing cell phones on the pool deck.
- Please wear a RAC cap if you have one, even the boys. It helps the coaches and parents to locate our swimmers. Caps are always available from the coaches.
- Cheer for teammates during their swims. Give each other support.
- Clean team area before leaving.
- Don't get upset with a disqualification (DQ) or the Stroke-and-Turn judge. There are rules in swimming, just like any other sport, and a DQ just tells the swimmer to work on getting the stroke or kick correct. Remember, the Stroke-and-Turn judge calls what he/she sees, but always tries to give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer. If a parent is concerned about a call, he/she should speak to the team coach.
Swim Meet Procedures
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before warm-ups begin. Warm-ups are mandatory and give the swimmer time to warm up their muscles as well as hear the coaches' instructions and get comfortable with the pool.
- Have your swimmer sign-in. Signing in consists of circling or highlighting their name on a sheet of paper posted by the host team. Failure to sign in will result in your child being "scratched" out of the meet. Sign-in sheets come down 15-30 minutes into the designated warm-up time.
- Buy the heat sheet. Heat sheets usually cost around $5.00 and will provide all event information. They are also a fundraiser for the host team. We want other teams to do the same at our meet.
- While your child swims warm-ups, you will have time to situate your things in the camping area. Bleacher area is for viewing-please do not bring food, coolers, large bags, etc. … into the bleacher area. Those should be kept in the camping area.
- Listen for your child's events to be called. Send your child to the clerk of course if they are 8 & Under or have them report to the coach if there is no clerk of course. Your swimmer will be assigned a heat and lane. Remember-parents are not allowed on deck. Clerk of course is where your swimmer is lined up and assisted to their heat and lane, usually just for younger swimmers.
- After each event, swimmers are expected to report immediately to a coach for a review of their swim. Please help them to remember to do that.
- Always check with your coach before leaving for the day. Your child may be entered into a relay at the last minute.
- Official times and results are usually posted within 30 minutes of the race. These are the times parents should record into the swimmer's logbook. Logbooks are usually available for sale at the meets.
- Coaches pick up ribbons and awards at the end of the swim meet. They are placed into swim boxes within a couple of days.
- Swimmers are expected to follow the directions of any Riverside coach at all times. Not all coaches will be at all meets so prepare your swimmer if you know their coach will not be there that day. Coaches will do the same.
- Team Spirit is a key ingredient of a successful program. Participate in team cheers, wear team clothing and be proud of your team. Senior swimmers are expected to serve as role models for all team members.
- It is required that all Riverside swimmers, above the bronze level, wear a navy RAC suit at competitions. These suits should be kept for competition and not worn at practice, if possible. If caps are worn, they must be RAC caps. Coaches prefer that boys wear caps for their races as it allows us to more easily identify our swimmers. Swimmers who are not in compliance may not be allowed to represent the team on relays.
- Relays are formed by the coaches and at the discretion of the coaches.
We discourage swimmers from attending meets outside of those listed on our meet schedule. We put a lot of thought into our meet schedule and the reasons we choose one meet over another, looking at the needs of the team as a whole. Coaches are not sent to any meet outside of our schedule and the hosting teams must find other teams or coaches to supervise your swimmer. More importantly, it puts the parent in the position of being the “coach”, giving feedback and critiquing swims. Please refer to “your role as a parent” in the Team Handbook as to why this is not appropriate.
RAC Policy on Performance Suits
The "fastskin" body suit by Speedo, or similar suits by other manufacturers, is not appropriate for age group competition and, in fact, these suits are not designed to be worn more that a few times before the fibers begin to break down and become ineffective. These suits were developed for the "elite" level of competition, to be put on just before racing and taken off immediately afterward to be dried.
The bigger issue is a mental issue. Our coaches believe that it is detrimental to a young swimmer to believe that they improved their time or made a cut, simply because they were wearing a performance suit. There is a time and place for performance level suits and, in general, it is not in Age Group Swimming.
RAC policy is that these suits can only be worn by 13 and overs at championship level meets, with the special permission of their coach. Please discuss this policy with your swimmers coach if you have further questions.
*If you need help with any of the above information, or have questions, please contact any Board Member of the Club or your coach.