USA Meets FAQ
THE 411 ON USA SWIM MEETS
USA swim meets are different from SAL meets in several respects:
- Unlike SAL meets, they require that you be a registered member of USA Swimming, which covers the full calendar year. We submit USA swimmer registrations several times a year; the next deadline is December 15, 2013. See “Events” for details.
- They take place over a wide area – some as far as 2 or 3 hours away. Middle Atlantic Swimming covers an area from Southern New Jersey through central PA and Delaware. (We try to concentrate our meets to locations no more than an hour away.)
- Some meets have “qualifying times”, meaning that swimmers have to have an official time that is faster than (or sometimes slower than) a particular time standard. Official times are those that are swum in USA swim meets; SAL times (except for League Champs and certain SAL invitationals) do not count.
- A swimmer’s age for any given meet is their age on the first day of that meet. Note that this is different than SAL’s system; a November 2 birthday means nothing in USA swimming!
- There are many more events at a USA swim meet, including longer distances (200 yards in each stroke; 400 IM’s) that are available even to younger swimmers. USA swim meets also feature distance freestyle events (500, 1000, and 1650), usually in a separate session. Thus, USA swimmers have a chance to try events that are not available to them in SAL meets. (Remember: swimmers choose their events! No one is going to force your 10 year old to swim a 200 fly.)
- Any registered USA swimmer can attend any USA meet they want to, whether or not any other members of the team are attending. We will designate a certain number of meets each season as “Team Effort” meets, meaning that we will send a UMAC coach. If swimmers wish to attend a meet that is NOT a team effort meet, they can register on their own as an unaccompanied swimmer; let us know if you want to do this so we can make sure to pick up your times. Frequently, the host team will seat unaccompanied swimmers on deck with their own team and coaches. Parents are NOT allowed on deck unless they are working the meet.
- USA meets typically take place over several days, with two or three sessions per day. Some swimmers choose to attend the entire meet, which means they are swimming two or three days; others come for one session on one day. Sessions are usually around 4 hours in length.
- USA swim meets often fill up quickly; many teams ask swimmers to register several months in advance to avoid this. Thus, we will typically ask for sign ups for these meets 6 weeks or more in advance.
But in one key respect, USA meets are like SAL Invitationals: They are not just for the fastest or best swimmers. These meets are for any swimmer who wants the opportunity to compete against others of a similar age and speed. Such competitions help all swimmers swim faster!
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A USA MEET OR A SAL INVITATIONAL
Once a USA or SAL invitational meet has been "posted" to our website (ie: it is ready for sign up), it will appear as an entry under "Swim Meets" at the bottom of the home page. To sign your swimmer up, FIRST sign in to your account ("sign in" button is on the left of the home page), using the email you signed up for the team with and your password. (If you forgot your password, there is a password recovery option).
Once you are signed in, click "Attend/Decline" for the meet you wish to enter. Click on the button in the upper right hand corner and you will see a list of your registered swimmer(s). Click on the swimmer you wish to enter, and the events for which s/he is eligible will appear. Click on the events you wish to enter, then "register" at the bottom, and you are set. Your account will be invoiced for the meet charges at the end of the month.
A description of each meet, dates and times of sessions, and available events is on the meet page for each meet. Click on the pdf to open it. We recommend communicating with your head practice group coach about which events s/he would recommend for your swimmer(s) before you complete your entries.
A $10/day surcharge will be added to USA meets noted with an asterisk (*) in order to cover the cost of sending a coach to these multi-day meets since these meets were not part of the original 2013-2014 budget. This is noted on the sign up page, and will be added to your bill.
SCHEDULE OF REMAINING TEAM EFFORT USA MEETS FOR 2013-2014
Information on these meets will be available as soon as they are open for registration on our website. Note that several meets are both SAL invitationals and USA meets; they are open to all swimmers, but they offer only SAL events. Note: the team will not send a coach to any meet for which fewer than 5 swimmers are signed up. The swimmers are still free to attend, however.
Nov 24: North Penn Trophy Meet – SAL invitational and USA sanctioned. Entries Closed.
Jan 4 - 5: NPAC New Year's Meet (North Penn High School) – USA Meet. Entries Closed.
Jan 20: Pennsbury Splash – SAL invitational (12 and under only) and USA sanctioned.
Jan 25: Last Chance Meet – SAL invitational and USA sanctioned.
Jan 31 and Feb 2: GRA February Freeze. (West Chester University) Friday and Sunday sessions only. USA Meet.*
Feb 15-16: DST Double Chance Meet (University of Delaware) – USA Meet.*
Feb 23 - 24: UDAC Closed Invitational (Upper Dublin High School) – USA Meet.
March 2- 3: Jersey Wahoos, Sub-JO Times (Gloucester County Institute of Technology) – USA Meet.*
March 13-16: Junior Olympics: USA Meet, ages 9 - 14; must meet qualifying times.
March 20-23: Senior Champs: USA Meet. Must meet qualifying times.
March 29-30: GPAC or DST Silver Champs. USA Meet.