YMCA Swimming FAQs


As part of the Northeast Ohio YMCA Swim League, our team will participate in 5 dual meets each short course season. There is no cost for attending dual meets. We encourage swimmers to attend all dual meets, but a minimum of three dual meets is required to be eligible for the Divisional and League Championship Meets at the end of the season. Swimmers must declare whether or not they will attend each dual meet on the GO Swimming website by the registration deadline for each dual meet.  Otter Cub swimmers will attend only home dual meets.



There will also be YMCA Invitational Meets during the season. These meets are optional and the swimmers can choose their own events for these meets. Invitational Meets sometimes offer events that are not part of the dual meet schedule, giving swimmers the opportunity to try new events. Invitational Meets do have entry fees, which vary from meet to meet. To attend an Invitational Meet, you must register on the GO Swimming website.  Upon indicating that your child will participate, your payment method on file at the YMCA will be charged for your entry fees automatically.



All swimmers earn the right and are expected to participate in the Divisional Championship Meet simply by being a participating member of League team. You will compete against the other teams in your division.

Based on their performances at the Divisional Championship Meet, some swimmers will advance to the League Championship, and potentially, to the Zone and National Championships. Your participation in the Divisional meet is a prerequisite to participation in the League Championship Meet.



In the 8 & Under, 9/10, and 11/12 age group, the top three swimmers in each event at the Divisional Championship Meet will qualify automatically for League Championships. Since there are three Divisions in our league, there will be nine automatic qualifiers (3 from each Divisional Championship Meet).

Then the results from each of the Divisional Championship Meets are combined and the top 15 swimmers, not including the automatic qualifiers, are awarded “at-large berths” for the League Championship Meet. Therefore, the total number of qualifiers for each event at the League Championships will be 24 (9 Automatic and 15 at-large). This results in three heats for each event at League Championships.

In the 13/14 and 15/20 age group only the top 2 swimmers in each event from Divisional will qualify automatically. The next 10 top swimmers, from all of the divisions, will qualify at-large for the League Championships. The total number of League qualifiers will be 16 swimmers (6 Automatic and 10 at-large) for each age group. This results in two heats for each age group and event at League Championships.

New events and a new Friday session have been added for this season.  More info on this new format will be announced shortly.



There is no limit to how many swimmers can make it to the Zone Championship Meet.  Swimming at the League Meet is NOT a prerequisite to swim at the Zone Championship Meet.  The Zone meet includes swimmers from five states (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia).

Each year the YMCA Swimming and Diving governing body establishes the Zone Time Standards for each gender, age group and event. You can view this year’s Zone Time Standards on the Time Standards page. You can achieve a Zone Time at any YMCA sanctioned Meet.



Like the Zone Championship, there is no limit to how many swimmers can make it to the National Meet. Swimming at the Zone or League Meet is NOT a prerequisite to swim at the Zone Championship Meet.

The same governing body establishes the National Time Standards for each event. However, unlike Zones, there is no age boundary. For example, the time standard in a 100 freestyle is the same regardless of whether the swimmer is 12, 15 or 18. The only differentiation is gender. You can view this year’s National Time Standards on the Time Standards page. You can achieve a National Time at any YMCA sanctioned Meet.