*** MEET PROTOCOL ***
Before the Meet Starts
1) Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed on the meet information sheets.
2) Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets and swim bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces.
3) Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for check-in and warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed up before he/she can go all out.
4) Once "checked in", the coach will write each event number on your swimmer's hand in ink. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for.
5) After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her towels are and sit there until the next 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.
6) The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.
7) According to USS 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 the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
8) Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. Heat sheets generally sell for one to two dollars per day. 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 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.
When the Meet Starts
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) A swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to their lane behind the blocks. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle. Generally, girls events are odd numbered and boys events are even numbered. Example: "Event #26, 10 & Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to your lane."
3) The swimmers will check in with the timers. This will verify that they are in the correct event and lane. You can expect at least 4-8 heats of each event.
4) The swimmer swims their race.
After Each Swim
1) He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.
2) He/she should go immediately to their coach. The coach will ask him/her their time and discuss the swim with each swimmer.
3) Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:
Positive comments or praise
Suggestions for improvement
Suggest things to think about before next race
4) Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:
5) The swimmer should go back to the team area, dry off and relax.
6) This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink and relax.
7) The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the procedure all over again.
8) When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their 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 he/she is not there. (The coaches speak from experience on this issue.)