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Swim Meet Information - What to Expect

What is a Crash Area?

When you arrive at the meet there may be a "crash area" available for swimmer's to hang out in during the meet. If there is such a space then you may take all of your belongings to that area and set up your crash space. This is where the kids hang out between events. They typically play cards or other games, read, work on homework, listen to music, talk with friends or sleep. Food and coolers are usually allowed in crash areas (except at the U of M). Most kids bring a sleeping bag to use for their crash space. If the space is not available at the time you arrive the coaches will let the swimmer know where to keep their belongings until the space can be used.

What happens after we arrive?

  • First put your belongings in the crash area or other safe spot.
  • Find the coaches and let them know you are at the meet. You will then get your numbers.
  • After you have received your numbers you should change into your suit and get your belongings arranged so you are ready for warm-ups. Parents can get their spot for watching the meet.
  • Coaches will announce warm-ups. All swimmers should be with the team during warm-ups until they are dismissed by a coach. The coaches will give a location and time to meet for all relay swimmers.
  • After warm-ups swimmers may have a short time to get a snack.
  • We will be arranging swimmers in the first relay groups prior to the first event so swimmers must meet when and where they are told.

What are Numbers?

Each event that a swimmer will be competing in has an event number. These numbers are called during the meet for swimmers "on deck" and those racing. The event numbers for each swimmer is written in permanent marker on their arm so they remember what they are swimming. All swimmers, including those who are 15 and up get numbers.

What happens during the meet?

Once the first relay group is done the swimmer must watch the call board for their numbers. This is a board which will have numbers that are being lined up to race. Once they see their number on the call board they will go check in with a coach. We will expect swimmers to pay attention so that they do not miss their events. Swimmers need to remember to bring their goggles with them when their events are called. Once their race is up and they are behind the blocks they should check with the timer in their lane to make sure they are in the right lane and event. After the race they should check with a coach for feedback on their race. Coaches will also be taking notes and giving feedback though out the next week of practice. There are now 3 relay events in each meet so swimmers must pay close attention to directions on where and when to meet for relays.

Swimmers should be in the pool area or crash area during meets. They can be in other areas if there is a concession stand or other vendors, but they need to get back to the crash area or pool deck as soon as possible so they can be found. After the meet it is each swimmer's responsibility to pick up all of their belongings and trash.

How does a swimmer show good sportsmanship?

  • A swimmer should never speak unkindly about any other swimmer or team.
  • When lined up waiting for their race a swimmer should be polite to their competitors. Many swimmers become friends with their competitors from other teams over the years. Please ask parent's permission before you share e-mail addresses or phone numbers with other swimmers.
  • At the end of a race all swimmers should remain in the pool until all competitors have finished. This is especially true if you win that heat.
  • Swimmers should congratulate their competitors no matter what place they finish.
  • Swimmers should be ready for their race by showing up when called with their goggles and cap. They should stay in line so the meet can continue with any interruption.

What to bring to a meet?

  • Team Swim Suit & Team Cap and Goggles. Extras of each are advised.
  • Baby or Talcum Powder. (Used to dust the inside of the cap. It helps to preserve the cap & makes it easier to put on.)
  • Towels. (Pack at least 2)
  • Comfortable clothing such as sweatshirts, sweatpants (or PJ bottoms), t-shirts, shorts. 2-3 shirts recommended, as they get wet and soggy.
  • Something for the feet. Keeping warm is very important in between events. Warm socks, deck type shoes or sandals are a good idea.
  • Something to sit on in the crash area (sleeping bag, old blanket or chair).
  • Something to do between events: cards, books, board games, homework, music, etc.
  • Food and drinks: Water, Gatorade, cheese, chips, fruit, Granola Bars, cereal, fruit, fruit snacks etc. You will get hungry during the meet so it is a good idea to have snack items. Most people bring a cooler filled with snacks.

Competition and Meets

In YMCA competition, dual meets and three way meets are offered during the regular season. Each meet will last approximately four hours and all meets are swum against other area YMCA teams both in and outside of the Metro area. Swimmers may swim in a maximum of three individual events and two relays during each meet. Swimmers compete in age groups. For YMCA competition, age is determined as of December 2nd. Age groups are eight and under, nine and ten, eleven and twelve, thirteen and fourteen, and open. The meet schedule starts in the fall (mid to late October) and concludes in mid-March with the Regional Meet. Each team will compete in 7-8 regular season meets plus the championship meets. There are no entry fees for the regular season meets.

Sectional, State and Regional Meets

At the end of the regular season the Minnesota YMCA Swim league hosts the sectional meets. Each team is on a rotation to host this meet with other teams in the section. There is a fee for each swimmer to participate in this meet and the YMCA covers this fee for the participant. In order to attend the sectional meet you must have participated in 3 regular season meets. The top three places in each section event advance to the State Meet.

Swimmers who achieve a qualifying time in a specific event in any meet during the course of the season may go on to compete in the Regional Meet in March 9-10, 2013. There is a fee to participate in this meet that the family is responsible for covering. However swimmers will only be able to compete in the events they have qualified for.

Meet entry

All Meet entry will be handled via the website. You will get an email inviting you to attend the meet. You will click on the link provided in an email and sign your child up for appropriate events which will be accepted by your child's coach. No hand written or spoken entries will be allowed. This is a hard rule.

The Race

Stroke and Turn Judges watch each race. Swimmers with improper form are disqualified and told why. It is not the officials fault the child was disqualified. The swimmer is responsible for their form, the official only makes them aware of the improper stroke they performed in the race. Swimmers should not be discouraged by a disqualification (DQ). Most team members have had the same experience. Pay attention to the judge's remarks, talk to your coaches, and work hard on stroke perfection in practice.

Although Timers may tell swimmers how fast they have swam a race, no time is official until results are posted. This posting may list only the first six winners by name. Other swimmers may have to derive their times from an electronic tape printout, listing times by event, heat, and lane, so it is useful to jot down this information for each race swum. In most events, there is more than one heat. In most meets, the first heat in each event is composed of swimmers with slower times. Fast swimmers are seeded in later heats. It is, therefore, possible to win a heat and still not place in the top six or eight ribbon winners in the entire event.

Remember you are representing the YMCA. Your behavior reflects on the YMCA's image. Be positive and courteous at all meets.

What to Take to a Meet

  • Team Swim Suit & Team Cap and Goggles. Extras of each are advised.
  • Baby or Talcum Powder. (Used to dust the inside of the cap. It helps to preserve the cap & makes it easier to put on.)
  • Towels. (Pack at least 2)
  • Comfortable clothing such as sweatshirts, sweatpants (or PJ bottoms), t-shirts, shorts. 2-3 shirts recommended, as they get wet and soggy.
  • Something for the feet. Keeping warm is very important in between events. Warm socks, deck type shoes or sandals are a good idea.
  • Something to sit on in the crash area (sleeping bag, old blanket or chair).
  • Something to do between events: cards, books, board games, homework, music, etc.
  • Food and drinks: Water, Gatorade, cheese, chips, fruit, Granola Bars, cereal, fruit, fruit snacks etc. You will get hungry during the meet so it is a good idea to have snack items. Most people bring a cooler filled with snacks.

Home and Host Swim Meets

Each YMCA Swim Team hosts 2 home swim meets each year. In order to run these meets, we need many volunteers. We ask each swim team family to volunteer 2-4 hours of their time during these weekends their children are swimming. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and get involved in your child's activity. Please see parent volunteer code of conduct.

Attendance at Meets - Pointers for Swimmers

  • Be prompt, arrive early enough to get your numbers, your coach will tell you when to arrive.
  • Review the program. Check to make sure you are properly entered in your events. If there is a problem, go directly to your coach.
  • Report to the YMCA's swimmers' area.
  • Check with the coach when it is time for relays.
  • As the meet starts, be aware of your event numbers. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to make her/his events.
  • Check-in with your coach before and after swimming each event.
  • If problems arise concerning disqualification, awards, etc., please see your coach.
  • After the meet is over be sure you have all your possessions and help CLEAN-UP THE TEAM AREA.