Swim Meet FAQ
MEETS MEETS MEETS! There seem to be so many types of meets – it can be confusing at first. So here is a FAQ with the information you need to know!
What is a SAL Dual Meet?
These are the main meets we swim. A dual meet is one in which we swim against another team. Girls and boys compete separately – one at our pool, and the other at our competitor’s pool. SAL dual meets take place on Saturdays, starting in November and running through mid-January. We expect ALL SWIMMERS to attend these meets! If for some reason your swimmer cannot attend a meet, please indicate this by “declining” on the website. Dual meets can vary in length, but typically the boys' meets are around 2.5 hours, and the girls meets run 3 hours or more.
Note that the first five dual meets are already set – you can find them listed under “swim meets”. Our opponents for the two dual meet in January (listed on the schedule as Conference and League Team Championships, though all teams swim) will be determined based on how well we do in our November and December meets. The dates of all seven dual meets are determined, however; you can find them on the main page of the website, under SAL schedule.
All home meets are swum at the high school pool.
What is a SAL Invitational?
SAL invitationals are optional meets that are open, by sign up, to all team members. For invitationals, swimmers pick their own events, and pay a small fee per event (usually $4 or $5). Advance sign up is required, and this is done on the website; we’ll announce in the news when sign ups open and when they close. We will send coaches to these meets.
Note: sign up for SAL invitationals takes place online; the procedure is the same as the one for signing up for USA meets. See the USA meets FAQ for instructions.
What is a USA meet?
USA meets are also optional, and swimmers pick their events (in consultation with the coaches). They take place over several days, and offer a wider range of events than SAL meets. Advance sign up is required, and this is done on the website. However, they are open only to USA registered swimmers. Anyone can sign up for USA swimming, but it requires an additional payment of $60. For more on USA meets and USA swimming, view “The 411 on USA Meets”
We already have a lot of meets; why would my swimmer want to sign up for more?
Invitational and USA meets are a lot of fun for our swimmers. As opposed to dual meets, they get to pick their events – so if the coach never puts you in the 50 free, you can swim it to your heart’s content at an Invitational or USA meet! Further, swimmers at both Invitationals and USA meets are matched in races with swimmers who are about the same speed; this makes for good races and fast swims! Many of our swimmers do their best times at Invitationals. As a former Marlins board member used to say: “Invitationals (and USA) are not just for fast swimmers; they help every swimmer swim faster!”
Which are the meets I have to work?
The required three meets that all families need to work are SAL dual meets. In addition, we also require all families to work one invitational –the one that we sponsor: the Last Chance Meet on January 26. Some invitationals require teams to provide workers (usually timers); these jobs are shared among the parents attending the meet.
What is Time Trials?
Two weeks before our first SAL dual meet, we hold “Time Trials” – a mock meet at which all of our swimmers swim all four strokes. This gives swimmers the chance to see how a meet is run - coaches the chance to see how are swimmer are doing - and parent volunteers a chance to learn their jobs! Time Trials runs at the same time as our normal meets: Saturday (Oct 27 this year), with a 12:30 PM warm up and 1:30 PM start time.
What are the Division and League Champ Meets?
At the end of the SAL season, every swimmer has the chance to participate in one of two individual championship meets. League Champs are for swimmers who finish in the top 18 of an event in the entire league (a feat that is becoming more difficult by the year, as teams get larger and larger!). This is the last meet of the SAL season, and it’s held at LaSalle University. Most swimmers participate in Division Champs, which is held the weekend before, and features competition among swimmers in the West Division (the teams we swim in November and December). Coaches will let your swimmers know if they are eligible for League Champs
Both champs meets are a lot of fun; our swimmers typically do very well at Divisions, and our contingent at Leagues is growing every year!