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Swim Team Terminology
Termology  
   
100s Means four lengths of a 25 yard or meter pool.
50s Means two lengths of a 25 yard or meter pool.
Age Group Division of swimmers according to age. The divisions are: 8 & Under, 10-under, 12 and under, 14 and under, 15 and up(unlimited)
Anchor The final swimmer in a relay.
Backstroke One of the 4 competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is swam as the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (SCY's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Beep The starting sound from an electronic, computerized timing system.
Blocks The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.
Bottom The floor of the pool. Bottom depths are usually marked on the walls or sides of the pool.
Breaststroke One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is swam as the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (SCY's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd breast)
Time Trials A meet with MAC only that allows coaches to get swimmer's times.  All swimmers swim every event in their age group
Butterfly One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed FLY) is swam as the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (SCY's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd butterfly)
   
Dive Entering the water head first. Diving is not allowed during warmups except at the designated time, in specific lanes that are monitored by the swimmers coach. 
Dual Meet Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other. 
Dryland The exercises and various strength programs swimmers do out of the water. 
Entry An Individual, Relay team, or Club roster's event list into a swim competition. 
Electronic Timing Timing system operated on DC current (battery). The timing system usually has touchpads in the water, junction boxes on the deck with hook up cables, buttons for backup timing, and a computer type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmers time. 
Event A race or stroke over a given distance. An event equals 1 preliminary with its final, or 1 timed final.
False Start When a swimmer leaves the starting block before the horn or gun. 
Fins Large rubber fin type devices that fit on a swimmers feet. Used in swim practice, not competition. 
Flags Pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.  These help the swimmer know they are getting close to the end of the pool.
Format The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted. 
Freestyle One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Freestyle (nicknamed Free) is swam as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, 200 yds/mtr, 400 mtr/500 yd 800 mtr/1000 yds, 1500 mtr/1650 yds. (SCY's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free) 
Balcony The viewing area for spectators during the swimming competition. 
Heats/official heats A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The  official heats, Heat 1 is the only scoring heat. This is sometimes referred as Live Heat. 
Heat Sheet The pre-meet printed listings of swimmers seed times in the various events at a swim meet. These sheets vary in accuracy, since the coaches submit swimmers times many weeks before the meet. At some usa meets and invitationals Heat sheets are sold at the admissions table and are used mainly to make sure the swimmer has been properly entered in all the events they signed up for. Parents enjoy looking at the seedings prior to the race plus swimmers can tell the order the events will be conducted and get a rough idea how long the meet sessions will last. 
Horn A sounding device used in place of a gun. Used mainly with a fully automatic timing system. 
IM Individual Medley.A swimming event using all 4 of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race.The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle. Equal distances must be swam of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yds, 200 yds/mtr, 400 yds/mtr. 
Invitational an optional meet, this type of sal meet is optional and extra and there is a small fee per event to enter. 
Jump An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team. The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall. 
Kick Board A flotation device used by swimmers during practice. A lightweight object used with great accuracy by coaches. 
Lane The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim. (Ie) Lane 1 or Lane 2. Pools with starting blocks at only one end: As the swimmers stand behind the blocks, lanes are numbered from Right (lane 1) to Left (Lane 6). 
Lane Lines Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.  The lane lines are solid at both ends of the pool.  This will allow the swimmer know that the end of the pool is coming.
Lap One length of the course. Sometimes may also mean down and back (2 lengths) of the course. 
Lap Counter The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers"only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card. 
LCM - Course Name There are three competitive swimming courses:  25 yard pools (short course yards - SCY), 25-meter pools (short course meters – SCM), and 50 meter pools (long course meters). 
Leg The part of a relay event swam by a single team member. A single stroke in the IM. 
Length The extent of the competitive course from end to end.  Swim from one side of the pool to the other side. See lap. 
Mark The command to take your starting position.
Meters The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the metric system. Long course meters is 50 meters, short course meters is 25 meters. 
Pace Clock The large clocks with highly visible numbers and second hands, positioned at the ends or sides of a swimming pool so the swimmers can read their times during warmups or swim practice. 
Paddle Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmers hands during swim practice. 
Pull Buoy A flotation device used for pulling by swimmers in practice. 
Relays A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a relay team each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, one swimmer swims Breaststroke, one swimmer swims Butterfly, one swimmer swims Freestyle, in that order. Medley relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr and 400 yd/mtr distances. 2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle. Free relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr, 400 yd/mtr, and 800 yd/mtr distances. 
Ready Bench The staging area where swimmers wait to receive their lane and heat assignments for a swimming event.Area is usually away from the pool and has rows of chairs for the swimmers to sit.
SCY - Course Name There are three competitive swimming courses:  25 yard pools (short course yards - SCY), 25-meter pools (short course meters – SCM), and 50 meter pools (long course meters).  This is the course the Swim Club uses year round
SCM - Course Name There are three competitive swimming courses:  25 yard pools (short course yards - SCY), 25-meter pools (short course meters – SCM), and 50 meter pools (long course meters). C-Rays Swim Club doesn't use this course.
Simultaneously A term used in the rules of butterfly and breaststroke, meaning at the same time. 
Start The beginning of a race. The dive used to begin a race. 
Starter The official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff. 
Stand-up/Step-up The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position
Step-Down The command given by the Starter or Referee to have the swimmers move off the blocks. Usually this command is a good indication everything is not right for the race to start. 
Streamline Aligning your body in the water so that it gives the least amount of resistance to the water.
Team Records The statistics a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmer in the clubs history for each age group/each event. 
Timer The volunteers sitting behind the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for getting watch times on events and activating the backup buttons for the timing system
Touch Pad The removable plate (on the end of pools) that is connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to register an official time in a race. 
USS Number A 14 part number assigned to a swimmer after they have filled out the proper forms and paid their annual dues. The first six part is the swimmers birthday. The next three parts are the first three letters of the swimmer's legal name. The next part is the swimmer's middle initial. If they do not have one an * is used. The last 4 parts are the first four letters of the swimmers surname.For example: USA Swimming # for swimmer Kent Michael Nelson, a member born Aug.27, 1976 = 082776KENMNELS
Watch The hand held device used by timers and coaches for timing a swimmers races and taking splits. 
Yards The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the American system. A short course yard pool is 25 yards (75 feet) in length. 
Yardage The distance a swimmer races or swims in practice. Total yardage can be calculated for each practice session.  

 

 
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