USA Swimming meets are organized by boys and girls and by age groups - 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17 and Over. Within each age group, there are further divisions by speed into Pre-C, C, B, BB, A, Champ, and Zone swimmers. (It is possible, in fact likely, that a swimmer might be in different divisions for different events.) As a result, swimmers will always be competing against swimmers of their own age and ability level.
The swim meets that the OMNI Swim Club offers for our swimmers can be most easily referred to as Sanctioned or Non-Sanctioned Meets.
Most of the swim meets that OMNI attends are sanctioned by USA Swimming and MSI (Minnesota Swimming, Inc.), our local governing board for USA Swimming. Sanctioned swim meets are run according to strict guidelines, with MSI-trained officials and referees conducting the meets, calling disqualifications for improper technique, and handling any disputes that may arise. Times achieved by swimmers at these meets are official USA times and may be used to enter swimmers into meets that have qualifying entry times, such as A Meets, Finals Meets, State Championships, Zone Championships, and National Meets.
OMNI also attends non-sanctioned meets, better known as Novice Meets. These meets are not run under the same strict guidelines as sanctioned meets; officials do not call disqualifications; and the times achieved at these meets are not official USA times and may not be used for entering meets with qualifying entry times. These meets are primarily for the benefit of newer swimmers as a means of getting them acquainted with competitive swimming in general.