Competition Guide




Counsilman Center Indiana Swim Team engages in a multi-level competition program within USA Swimming that provides challenging, and success-oriented competitive situations for student-athletes of all ages and abilities.  Swim meets are an opportunity for swimmers to measure training progress, develop and use sportsmanship skills, and to give and receive team support.  We believe competition enhances the overall experience of each swimmer at CCiST in the following ways:


We emphasize competition with oneself.  Winning ribbons, medals, or trophies is not the main goal.  Even if the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. Each individual's improvement is our primary objective.


Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance to improved performance. Respect for officials, congratulating opponents and teammates, determined effort, and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the CCiST coaching staff.


A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time.  It is the coach's job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance.  It is the parent's responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer's confidence along the way.


Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.


Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances, and strokes.  This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming.



Types of Swim Meets

Intrasquad                       These are meets hosted by CCiST for CCiST swimmers only.  These are good practice meets for beginning swimmers and are held primarily to build team spirit and camaraderie.  CCiST holds 1-2 intrasquad events per season.



Dual                                 Dual meets are competitions between two clubs (sometimes more).  CCiST Does not participate in Dual meets at this time, but may do so in the future.



Invitational                      An invitational is a meet hosted by one team.  The host team invites other teams and several hundred swimmers may attend the meet.  Sometimes, swimmers with only certain time standards may attend.  Many invitational are split format which means that 12 & under swimmers swim in a separate session from 13 & over swimmers.  These meets often do not involve team scoring. 



Championships               Athletes who meet certain time standards during the season will qualify for season-ending championship meets.  Each successive level of championship meet brings swimmers to compete against larger and larger pools of competition.  Examples of championship meets CCiST participates in are: Divisionals, Indiana Age Group and Senior State, Age Group and Senior Sectionals, Central Zones, US Open, Junior Nationals, and Senior Nationals.


Time Standards

Time standards assist swimmers with measuring their progress.  In some cases, time standards determine a swimmer’s eligibility to enter a meet.  Standards vary depending on each season and the length of the competition pool.  To locate a time standard for your swimmer, you must know the swimmer’s gender, age, event, and length of the pool.  The most common time standards are available on the CCiST website.


Entering a Swim Meet

  1.  Meet information sheets are posted to the website and emailed out approximately two weeks before they are due back to coaches. Please read all information carefully.  If you wish to attend the meet, you are required to “COMMIT” your athlete on the website before the assigned return date.  If you do not plan to attend, we recommend that you also let your coach know as well.  Please adhere to the deadlines, as the CCiST coaches often cannot accommodate late meet entry requests.
  2. Coaches are responsible for entering swimmers in meets and choosing the appropriate events. CCiST coaches track each swimmer's times using Hy-Tek Software. Each athletes results are also available on the website and at You may also find immediate results at some meets thru the use of the Meet Mobile Application available to smart phones.
  3. Coaches post the entry at each pool as soon as it is complete. Additionally, once the coach has input the entries on the computer, you can view your swimmers entries on the website when logged into your account.
  4. CCiST will charge your account the proper amount for each individual event, relay charge, and LSC surcharge.  This appears on your monthly bill.
  5. Occasionally, and regrettably, a swimmer is not entered in an event or meet that he/she should swim.  If space is available and the meet director is willing, a late entry may be permitted. The fee is usually double the normal entry fee.  

Frequency of Swim Meet Participation

  • Each season the CCiST coaches set the meet schedule and publish it on the CCiST website. 
  • The meet schedule is established with the expectation that swimmers attend every meet available at their classification level. We do not schedule a meet unless we feel it is important to participate. However, it is not mandatory to attend meets. One can also choose to enter only one day of a meet.
  • On an average, we plan for all team members to compete once every three or four weeks. Occasionally, meets are scheduled as close as two weeks apart or as far as one month apart. This happens when there is no other alternative.
  • Generally, coaches discourage swimmers competing on successive weekends (except in championship meets). In a situation where there is a "BB and below" meet one weekend and a "BB and above" meet the following weekend, a swimmer with "BB" times must choose one meet or the other. This policy holds true for all levels of competition.
  • The CCiST coaches reserve the right to make the final decision concerning which meets CCiST swimmers attend.  The coaching staff must approve any exceptions to this schedule.
  • Team championship meets are indicated on the meet schedule. CCiST places the most emphasis on these meets, therefore, CCiST swimmers who qualify to swim are expected to attend these meets and contribute to the total team effort. The Indiana State Championships (Senior or Age Group), Age Group Sectional Championships, Senior Sectional Championships and all USA Swimming Championship meets are always considered "Team Effort” meets.


What is the team uniform?

Racing Suits               The coaches recommend that all swimmers wear Lycra suits during regular season competition. In championship “shave and taper” meets, 11 and over swimmers may wear Fastskins/ Aquablades.  The coaching staff does not recommend these suits for 10 and unders. These suits are expensive, and CCiST coaches do not feel these suits are a necessary for fast swimming. If you have any questions, see your child's coach.



Swim Cap                    If a swimmer chooses to wear a cap, he or she must wear the CCiST team cap. If your swimmer does not have a team cap, the only other option is a solid color blank cap.  The team cap is black with the CCiST Swim Club logo imprinted on both sides in white and red.  Caps are free and are available in the Coaches Office. Coaches usually bring extra caps at swim meets, but might not, so plan ahead.



Team Shirt                  Swimmers are expected to wear any CCiST gear that they might have. Each season, a new team shirt is designed and distributed. In the past, there have also been previous shirts that the club has had as surplus sold for a nominal fee. Any of these shirts must be worn at competitions



The racing suit, swim cap (if a cap is worn), and team shirt are the only required team uniform in competition. The purchase of all other CCiST apparel is optional.  However, CCiST seeks to develop a strong tradition of team unity expressed at meets with the team pride each swimmer demonstrates by wearing CCiST team apparel.  Additional team apparel is available in the “Spirit Wear” section of the web site.



Swim Meet Protocols

  • Warm up occurs before each meet.  Warm-ups last from 30 to 90 minutes with a 15-minute break between the conclusion of warm up and the start of the meet.
  • CCiST swimmers arrive at the pool at least fifteen minutes prior to the warm up time.  The team usually sits in one place together.
  • Double-check your child’s events in the heat sheet.  If there is a mistake, notify the coach immediately.
  • CCiST swimmers warm up together and the CCiST coaching staff conducts the appropriate warm up. 
  • CCiST swimmers are responsible for knowing which events he/she is swimming and for being present on time to swim.  For younger swimmers, parents typically write event numbers, heats and lane assignments on the swimmer’s hand or arm.
  • CCiST swimmers report to the coach prior to each race to review technical and strategic goals.
  • At the conclusion of each race, a CCiST swimmer asks the lane timer for the stopwatch time.  Younger swimmers report immediately to their coach.  Older swimmers warm down first and then see their coach.  This gives the coach and swimmer the opportunity to discuss the race and provide meaningful feedback regarding technical and strategic performance.
  • At most meets, electronic timing is used.  The official time is typically the one appearing on the scoreboard as the swimmer touches the touchpad.  However, if a swimmer misses the touchpad or there is a mechanical failure, the timing and scorekeeping officials analyze all backup times to determine the official final results.
  • Between races, swimmers are expected to support their team by cheering, resting, and staying warm.  Swimmers also are expected to stay hydrated and maintain their energy levels with light nutritious snacks.
  • Please check with the coach before leaving the meet.  Make sure your child has completed all his/her races including relays.
  • IMPORTANT – If your child is unable to attend a meet due to illness or an emergency please notify the coaching staff immediately via telephone.  Coaches do not normally check email prior to a meet.  If you cannot reach a CCiST coach, please contact another swimmer participating in the meet and ask him/her to relay the message. If you pull out late from a meet for any reason, generally you will still be responsible for the entry fee.


Helping Your Swimmer Prepare for Upcoming Competition

Remember, you don’t swim, your child does.  Don't do it all for them.  If children receive opportunities easily, they tend not to appreciate nor take full advantage of them.  “Holding their hand” may seem like loving, caring parental thing to do, but it isn’t.  It does not teach your child personal responsibility, self-management or self-discipline.  The most important thing you can do to help your child achieve his/her swimming goals is to help him/her develop as a person with real independence and self-management skills.  You prepare them for life; let the coach prepare them to swim fast. 


At the same time, there are some things only you can do to help your swimmer do to prepare. 

  1. Swimmers should get as much rest as he/she can the weekend and week before a meet. 
  2. Swimmers should get as much rest as possible in between sessions. 
  3. Swimmers should go to bed early the night before the meet.
  4. Swimmers should eat properly staying away from junk food and drink plenty of water and other nutritious drinks.
  5. Parents should be positive about their swimmers performance – let coaches coach.


What to Bring to a Swim Meet

  1. CCiST swimmers are required to wear a solid or pattern swimsuit (no high school logos allowed), team or solid color cap, and team shirt.  Other team apparel is optional; however, wearing the complete team uniform promotes team unity and pride and greatly aids spectator recognition.
  2. Parents and other non-swimmers should dress lightly.  Pools are usually hot and humid.  Shorts and t-shirts are appropriate – even at winter meets.  Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.
  3. Swim meet checklist for the
    1. Competition suit (might be the same as they wear in practice)
    2. 2 CCiST team caps (optional)
    3. 2 pairs of goggles (optional)
    4. 2 towels (at minimum)
    5. T-shirts, sweats, socks, shoes – bring multiples since things will get wet
    6. Something to sit on – we recommend collapsible chairs, old blankets or sleeping bags
    7. Quiet games or books
    8. Water bottle, nutritious snacks and drinks or the money to purchase them from the concession stand
    9. Sunscreen and shade devices (if it is an outdoor meet)


Swim Meet Etiquette

  1. While representing CCiST, swimmers are expected to wear CCiST apparel only.
  2. While wearing CCiST uniform, individual swimmers must remember that his/her actions and words reflect upon the entire team and he/she should act accordingly.  Each swimmer's actions reflect CCiST pride.
  3. USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming safety rules require that parents stay off the pool deck unless officiating or working for meet management.
  4. Please see a CCiST coach if you have a question concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of the meet.  The coaches will pursue the matter when appropriate.
  5. As a matter of team pride, CCiST leaves the team area neat and clean at the conclusion of each competitive session.
  6. CCiST swimmers are expected to swim each event entered and to consult with CCiST coaches prior to making a late entry.
  7. In a prelims/ finals competition, CCiST swimmers qualifying for finals are expected to compete in finals.
  8. When receiving awards in public, good sportsmanship is essential.  CCiST coaches expect swimmers to be prompt, wear a team uniform, and cooperate fully with dignity and respect during the presentation.  Be polite and modestly thankful.  It is appropriate to congratulate other swimmers and receive congratulations with poise and courtesy.  If photos are taken, remain until shooting is complete and cooperate with the photographer.  The image you present is a reflection on the team.


Relay Team Selection

Final relay team selection is the sole responsibility of the CCiST coaching staff and is typically made the day of the meet.  Coaches consider a number of factors when selecting a relay team including: overall best times, current performances, practice attendance, and practice performance.



Tracking Your Child’s Improvement

One of the ways a swimmer improves is to become aware of his/her times in every event.  We want each CCiST swimmer to keep a record of their competition times from meet to meet.  Keeping the logbook at home will help keep the swimmer aware of times and goals.



Prelim – Finals Meets

Championship meets usually have 2 rounds of competition per day for swimmers aged 11 and over.  In the morning, ALL swimmers compete in the PRELIMNARY SESSION.  Here swimmers qualify by time to compete in the FINALS SESSION.  The number of swimmers that return to the finals session depends on the number of lanes in the pool and the meet format.  If multiple heats of swimmers return to finals in each event, the second fastest heat is known as the CONSOLATION HEAT.  In prelim/ finals meets, team points are only scored during the finals session.  Swimmers who qualify for finals MUST either swim or SCRATCH.  Swimmers who fail to scratch and fail to swim in finals are automatically disqualified from the remainder of the meet.  In Indiana, swimmers who fail to appear or scratch for finals on the last day of the meet are fined. 


  • If you do not know how to scratch, see your coach. 
  • If you aren’t sure if you qualified for finals, see your coach. 
  • If you are planning to scratch, please see your coach prior to making the final decision.
  • Before leaving a preliminary session of a meet, ALWAYS check in with your coach.


Deck Seeded/ Check In Events

At many meets, events longer than 200 yards are deck seeded.  Deck seeded events require the swimmer to check in stating his/ her intention to swim.  Ideally, deck seeding longer events saves time by eliminating empty lanes and extra heats.  Ultimately, swimmers are responsible for checking in, although the coach sometimes helps.  Swimmers and coaches are notified ahead of time of all check in deadlines.  Per USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming rules, swimmers who check in for an event and fail to swim are automatically eliminated from their next event in the meet.