FAQ about Swim Meets and answers!
Swim Meets – Practices are still held at HCC for those not going to the swim meet unless emailed otherwise.
The Meet Notice will be posted on our website (in the Events section) as soon as it is available from the host team. It is also posted on MDSwim.org. It will have all the details the about the meet, including which age group the meet is for, if there is any time standards (faster than, slower than, or allows No Times (NT), how many events each athlete can swim, and which events are scheduled on which days. The entry deadline listed in the meet notice is for coaches/team managers to get entry files to the host team. However, since these meets are very full and often oversubscribed, most teams submit their team’s entries well in advance of that date, as they are accepted on a first submitted & paid, first accepted basis. We have been turned away in the past for submitting too late, even though well in advance of a host team’s deadline, so that is why our deadlines are early and firm.
How to sign up for a Meet - If you want your child to attend a meet, you sign into the team website, go to the Events section, and click the Attend/Decline button. If you cannot attend all days/entire meet (and you do not have to), Please indicate this information in the Comments box when signing up so the coach knows.
Coaches pick the swimmer’s events. If a swimmer does not like what the coach selected, he/she should talk to his coach. Often times, a coach can encourage a child to try an event he/she didn’t think they were ready to swim….only to find out that they could do it, and then are very proud of themself for taking on a challenge and being successful.
Entries will be linked on the website in the Events section (click on the name of the Meet) once confirmed by the host team. The link will say MEET FEES.
Meet Entry Fees will be tracked and deducted from your Meet Fee Escrow account by our Treasurer. Every swimmer is required to provide a check for the amount noted in the Swim Meets & Meet Fee Escrow Policy, to be deposited into their meet entry escrow account. As they enter meets, the fees will be tracked & deducted.
Remember, if you commit to attend a meet, but do not attend for any reason, you are still charged the entry fees. The only exception is if a host team makes changes (and they do sometimes), which causes a conflict for a swimmer original entry or the coach has made an error.
Warm Up times – listed in the meet notice for each session. However, these often change. Swimmers are expected to warm up with the team by their coach (parents should not put kids in the water). We will post/email Warm Up times, Psych sheet, and the Timeline, as they are provided by the host team. Often, this does not come out until Thursday night before a meet. They are usually posted on MDSwim.org as well.
Directions to the Meets – in the meet notice as well as linked on the team website. Allow plenty of time to park and get into the facility, set up chairs, and be ready for warm ups.
Coaches will be at the Meet – The team’s swimmers and coaches typically sits together on the pool deck, look for them on the pool deck. Swimmers should bring chairs, water/Gatorade/snacks. Parents are not allowed on the pool deck at USA Swimming meets (few venues allow parents on deck to view races). You may be able to briefly help your swimmer get onto the pool deck and find the coach/team, then you will need to leave them. The coach will be sure your swimmer gets to their events. Coaches will have a program and kids will write on their hand event number (which they should know in advance), heat number, and lane number.
Parents usually sit in a bleacher/seating area, but they can get crowded and very warm, so it is not a bad idea to dress lightly, and bring a chair to keep in your trunk, in case there is space to set it up away from the bleacher area. Swimmers can come and find you in the bleacher area if needed, but should be mindful of upcoming events. Swimmers are usually not allowed to sit in the bleacher areas because they are reserved for parents. Some meet notices specify this information. REMEMBER –No flash photography on the START of each race.
Some parents give their younger swimmers a walkie talkie to place in the cup holder! The parent also has a walkie talkie and it can be a good way to try to communicate if needed. Of course, many kids have cell phones, but not always good reception at the facilities. Some meets, the parents and swimmers will sit together in a gym, i.e. the CAA mini meet. There may be a clerk of course…but not always. Once your swimmer has finished their events, they can leave. Some families try to meet up at a restaurant after their kid’s session and this is a fun way for the kids/parents to enjoy some social time together.
If your child misses an event for some reason or is DQ’d for some technicality, it is not the end of the world!! It will happen – to all ages and all levels. Even the USA men’s relay team was DQ’d this past August 2013, at the FINA World Championships. One swimmer left the block one one-hundredth of a second early….and it cost them the Gold medal! They will learn from this and is one of the reasons that competitive swimming is one of the best sports…it teaches life’s lessons in and out of the water… and how to deal with all the ups and downs. That may sound harsh now, but you will see what I mean down the road.
There is usually a concession stand, and often there is a swimming apparel/gear vendor at these meets. Programs are usually available to purchase as well.
Don’t worry – once your swimmer does this once, they will have it figured out!
There is a nice free App for smart phones called OnDeck Parent. It syncs with our website and has a lot of cool features. You use the same log in/password as the website. It will ask for an Alias code. Ours is available on the website after you sign in, or ask a BOD Member/Coach. Another super cool free app that some host teams are using for live results at swim meet is called Meet Mobile. Also – USA Swimming has a free app called Deck Pass.
Parents – be gracious guests! Until we start to host meets, we are lucky to not have to do any volunteer work at these meets. If they ask for help (rare- Timers), please step up. Remind your swimmers/families to pick up after themselves!