Swim Meet FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Meets

1.     Is my child required to swim in meets?
Swimmers are not required to enter meets, but meets are a good opportunity for your child to get practice competing and to show progress in the swimming. If you are uncertain of your child’s readiness to compete in a meet, please talk with their coach.

2.     Where do I find out information about each meet such as dates, time, location, cost, etc.?
You can click on the meet tab on the Gators’ website. Click on info. Information that you should be looking for includes:

Eligibility – Some meets are open for all swimmers. Other meets require swimmers have achieved A, B, or C times. For example, the “Trick or Treat” meet is open to all swimmers. Time standards will be listed.

Entry Limit – Swimmers are typically allowed to enter 4 events per day. Swimmers decide the number of days they wish to participate in any given meet.

Electronic Entry Fee – Usually $5.00 per event. The Gators will electronically enter your swimmer. You pay this fee directly to the Grosse Pointe Gators Swim Club. There is a Michigan Swimming fee of $1.00 per swimmer.

Check-in – Swimmers are required to check in before each session. The Friday session is typically distance events open to all ages. There is typically also an AM session and PM session on both Saturday and Sunday. Check in typically begins 30 minutes before warm up begins and ends 15 minutes after warm-up starts. When swimmers check in they need to highlight their name and events that are posted at the meet, to confirm they are there. If a swimmer does not check in, he or she will not be allowed to swim at that session.

Events – The last pages of the meet information packet list all events offered at the meet. You will as see them when you click your swimmer to attend the meet.

3.     How do I enter my swimmer in a meet?
You enter your swimmer in a meet when the meet is posted on this website. You must be logged in to the TU system to sign up for a meet. Just click on the event/meet you want to attend and follow the instructions found. Late registrations will not be accepted.

4.     Can my child swim in a relay?
If relays are offered and we have enough swimmers to build a relay, the coaches will make relay teams. Our coaches will do their best to give all swimmers relay opportunities. Please note if you do not want to do relays. It is very disappointing and unfair to the relay team, if they are not able to swim because a swimmer has backed out.

5.     Do I have to pay extra for my swimmer to be in a relay?
No, the Gators Swim Club pays for all relay entries.

6.     Is my child required to wear a team suit/cap at the meet?
A team suit is NOT required. The coaches ask that swimmers wear the GPG team cap, which are available in the Grosse Pointe South High School for $12.00.  Please see Coach FO to purchase a team cap, this helps identify our swimmers during the meet.


7.     Can I go on deck or locker rooms with my child?
Parents are not allowed to go on deck or the locker rooms with their swimmer. Swimmers should look for other Gator swimmers and coaches on deck. They will sit together and coaches will help swimmers throughout the meet.

8.    What should parents expect at the meet?
There is an admission fee and program fee. The stands tend to get crowded, so parents should plan on finding a seat as soon as their swimmer is checked in. Gator parents usually try to sit together to show support and cheer on the team. It is usually very warm in the stands so parents should dress accordingly. Lastly, each session usually last around 4 hours so parents often bring work, reading material, etc. to help pass the time.

9.     What should swimmers bring to the meet?
Swimmer should bring their suit, 2 caps and 2 pairs of goggles. They should also have more than one towel. Swimmers may also want to wear shorts and/or a t-shirt between their events to stay warm. Flip-flops or Crocs should be worn on deck. Plastic bottles and snacks are allowed on deck. Swimmers must pick up after themselves. With permission, swimmers can leave the deck and visit the concession stand in-between or after their events.



(Excerpt from USA Swimming’s Sample Club Handbook) - Please be sure to check with your swimmer’s coach for specifics that may be different from the examples below.


Swim meets are a great family experience; they are a place where the whole family can spend time together.


Listed below are some very in-depth guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but we tried to be as specific and as detailed as we possibly could. If you have any questions, please ask your coach.



  1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information handed out to all swimmers and in the team newsletter.
  2. Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces.
  3. Find the check-in place. Usually, parents are not allowed on deck so this may be a responsibility of your swimmer or your swimmer’s coach. Make sure your swimmer checks in with his or her coach! Check for special posted instructions in the check-in area.
    • Usually one will need to circle the swimmer's name or "#" before each swimmer's name, in each event he or she is swimming, that day. If this is not done, the swimmer will not be allowed to swim that event. Check-in is required so that the people running the meet know who is at the meet. After check-in, the meet administrators "seed" the swimmers into heats. Heat and lane assignments will be posted, so be sure your swimmer knows where to look!
    •  Sometimes the meet is "pre-seeded" and no check-in is required. You and your swimmer can find heat and lane assignments by purchasing a program.
  4. Once "checked in", write or have the swimmers write each event-number on his or her hand in ink. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen or watch for.
  5. Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. A swimmer's body is just like a car on a cold day-he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out.
  6. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her team is sitting and wait there until his first event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.
  7. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.
  8. Per USA Swimming rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to a coach. He or she in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
  9. Psyche Sheet or Heat Sheets. A psyche sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time (up to the date that the entry was submitted) in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event. A Heat sheet may be available close to the start of the meet that lists the actual heat and lane a swimmer will be competing in.


  1. It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.
  2. Most meets are computerized. There are generally two ways a swimmer gets to his/her lane:
    • A swimmer usually reports directly to his/her lane for competition several heats before he/she swims. Check with your swimmer's coach for specific instructions.
    • In some novice meets, a swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to the "clerk of course" or “bullpen”. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle.
      • Generally, girl’s events are odd-numbered and boy’s events are even-numbered. Example: "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to Clerk of Course." The "Clerk of Course" or “bullpen” area is usually where all swimmers checked in before the warm-up.
      • The clerk will usually line up all the swimmers and take them down to the pool in correct order. You can expect at least 4-8 heats of each event.
  3. The swimmer swims his or her race.
  4. After each swim:
    • He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) for his/her time.
    • Depending on the coach’s instructions, the swimmer may be asked to do some recovery swimming if a "warm down" pool or lanes are available.
    • The swimmer should then go immediately to his or her coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer. Some coaches may wish to talk with the swimmer before her recovery swim.
  5. Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:
    • Positive comments or praise
    • Suggestions for improvement
    • Positive comments
  6. Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:
    • Tell him how great he did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with him. You need to tell him how proud you are and what a great job he did.
    • Take him back to the team area and relax.
    • This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.
  7. The swimmer now waits until his next event is called and starts the procedure again. When a swimmer has completed all their events she and her parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expect­ed to be a member and she is not there.
  8. Results are usually posted somewhere in the facility. Awards are often gathered for a team and given to the coach at the end of the meet. The coach will give the awards to the swimmers later.