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Championship Season 101
There can be a lot of confusion surrounding "Championship Season". Everything from when it starts to what it entails and what it takes to compete in each of them. Hopefully the information below will shed some light on what we refer to as "Championship Season" in the club swimming world.
"So how do I know what my last meet is??"
Before the season starts, every 9&Up's last meet is the District Meet and every 8&Under's last meet is the 8&Under State Championship. If, during the season, you achieve qualifying times for any championship meet beyond districts, you will continue practicing and competing until you've completed the highest level championship meet that you qualified for.
The Three Meet Rule - YMCA Swimming requires that swimmers must compete in at least 3 different YMCA meets during the course of the season to be elidgible to swim in any of the championship meets.

The Championship Meets


Clusters Championship

This is the first meet of the YMCA Championship Season. As is the rule for all YMCA Championship meets, swimmer are required to have competed in at least one session of 3 separate YMCA meets. There is no qualifying time for this meet and this meet is open to all ages.
Also known as "Clusters"
No Qualifying Times - All Y swimmers with 3 meets can compete

8&Under YMCA State Championship

This is the official YMCA state championship for all 8&Unders. There are no qualifying times. Swimmers will compete against their own age only. Team scores will be tallied.
No Qualifying Times - All 8&Under Y swimmers can compete

9&Up District Meet

This is the final championship meet for 9&Up YMCA swimmers without a YMCA state qualifying time. Only swimmers without a qualifying time can compete at this meet.
Also known as "Districts"
No Qualifying Times - All Y swimmers without a state cut can compete

9&Up YMCA State Championship

This is the official YMCA State Championship for the 9&Ups. This is the first championship meet in which you must make a qualifying time to compete. Qualifying times can be found here. You may sometimes hear us coaches refer to this is "the state meet". Swimmers will compete against their age groups and the winner of each event is crowned State Champion. The top 16 finishers in each event score points for their team. Team scores are tallied and trophies are awarded to the winner and runner up.
Also known as "States" or "Y States"

USA Swimming Michigan 12&Under State Championships

This is the state championship meet for all 12&Under swimmers in the state of michigan that are registered with USA Swimming. This will be the most competitive meet of the year for 12&Unders. It is swum in a prelims/finals format, meaning that the top16 swimmers from the morning session in each event will come back for a second session at night where they will compete for points. A high point award is given to the top 3 swimmers in each age group.
**Unlike the YMCA meets, for this meet you must compete against and qualify for the age that you are on the first day of the meet**
Also known as "Q1" or "AAs" or "USA States"

Great Lakes Zones YMCA Championships

This is the championship meet for all YMCAs in the midwest. This is a highly competitive meet, with very difficult qualifying times, swum in a timed finals format(meaning swimmers only get one chance to swim each event).

Also known as "Zones"

Click Here for 2019 Great Lakes Zones Championship Qualifying Times

YMCA Short Course Nationals

This is the pinnacle meet of any YMCA swimmer's age group career. EVen qualifying for this meet is a tremendous accomplishment. This meet features many of the top collegiate swimming prospects in the country and is extremely competitive. It is swum in a 4-day prelims/finals format. The YMCA also does a great job of making it an awesome experience for the athletes. Recognizing the work it takes for swimmers to make it this far, the Y goes out of their way to honor each team and athlete. Aiming for this meet is a goal worthy of hard work.
Also known as "Y Nats/ Nationals"
*** We do not compete at the other USA Swimming Championship meets. We will not be sending athletes to "Q2(aka Junior Olympics)" and we will not be sending athletes to 13&Up USA States