Team Partners
Meet Primer


Meet participation is encouraged for all swimmers and required for Group 3 and above.


Meets help keep kids invested in the sport!


CLICK HERE to read an essay about the importantce of meets




There are several kinds of swim meets in which our team participates:



I. Unsanctioned Meets



These are fun, developmental meets for all ages.  Times achieved here, while valuable, do not count towards Q meets and are not stored in the USA swimming database.

At this stage, it is expected that kids will not always improve or get a best time, and there is often fluctuation in times.  Please support your swimmer and their effort and willingness to race and try new things (diving from blocks, attempting a flip turn, a new race, etc).  


  • Junior team meets

are held in the TPC south pool and are open to all levels of junior team swimmers.  It is very casual, with a focus on FUN and personal improvement over time.  Participation ribbons are handed out after each heat.


  • Time Trials

are home meets held at TPC and open to all levels of junior team and age groups 1-3 as well as presenior and senior2 


  •  Dual and Tri Meets

are meets involving one or two other local swim teams, such as the Spooky Plunge with the San Rafael Marlins.  Venues alternate between TPC and the Marlins’ club pool.  Parents are always needed to help with timing.  For meets hosted at TPC, parents are also needed for help with running a concession stand, acting as meet announcer, and sometimes setup and cleanup.


II.  Sanctioned Meets


The Basics


          Only times obtained at USA Swimming/Pacific Swimming sanctioned meets are stored in the USA swimming database and are valid towards entry to qualifying (Q) meets, such as junior Olympics (JO), Far Westerns (FW), and western zones.  These meets require that your swimmer is:


1) registered through pacific swim (club code is NBA) and


2) signed up for a swim meet online at


Mean Mike sends out links to meets we are attending in his weekly email, and you can find them on the MEETS tab.  Your swimmers' best times are used when entering a meet, and if it the first time for a particular race, enter "NT" for no time.  Popular meets will close well in advance of the meet closing day listed.  North bay aquatics is part of USA Swimming pacific zone 3, and we usually attend other meets hosted in our zone.  This includes pools/teams in Napa, Rhonert Park, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Petaluma, and other venues typically within 1h drive of us.  


Sanctioned meets have swim officials, who ensure that strokes and races are done legally. Officilas are volunteers who act to make the rules fair and consistent.  Every swimmer will make mistakes that result in a disqualification (DQ) at some time.  It is not a big deal when your swimmer gets a DQ but serves as a chance to correct a mistake he or she likely knows about.  Races that result in a DQ do not get a time.


Our team has a navy and white canopy so the team can sit together.  It is helpful to bring snacks, several towels, layers, and something to help pass the time (ball, board game, book, homework) while you wait between races.  Parents are expected to help with meet tasks (timing in our assigned lane, serving as swim official, etc).  We use signupgenius to organize our parent helpers and allow to select tasks in advance. These tasks free up valuable time for coaches so they can fully support all the swimmers on our team. 


In addition, sanctioned meets adhere to rules established by Pacific Swimming and the zone hosting the meet.  Most of the details are available on the meet sheet, which is always attached to the signupgenius.    Once checked in, swimmers need to show up for their race on time, or there may be a penalty, such as being excluded from their next race or being fined. if a swimmer has checked in to the race but decides not to swim it or needs to leave the meet, it is fine.  However, please see the coach to find out what to do so there are no penalties. 


Everyone starts with a “C” time, and then moves up to B/A/JO/FW/PRT cuts as they get faster and grow. Boys and girls have different time standards.  Most meets are held in a 25 yard short course (SCY) format but in the spring some are held in a 50 meter long course (LCM) pool.



C/B/A Meets 

These are open to all levels of swimmers.  Meets can be very big, with many teams in attendance.  You can discuss appropriate events with your coach. These meets are often deck-seeded, meaning at least 1 h of check in required, and swimmers will need to learn to check for heat and lane assignment as well as how to line up in time for their race.  Coaches and more experienced swimmers are happy to help your swimmer learn to do this!  Results are posted as they become available.  We recommend RESL (July of each year, with about 10 teams competing) or a Rhonert Park meet as a good first meet. 


Pacific Swimming "motivational" time standards can be found here:


Q Meets (Zone 3 Champs, 10under champs, Junior Olympics, Far Western, Etc).  

These are higher level meets that require certain qualifying times.  There is a high level of competition at these meets and great energy.  They are often held in locations within 2h of us, but events such as Far westerns may have teams from many states or other countries in attendance.  There is no separate time standard for 8under, but swimmers 8un make the 10un cut, they are able to participate.  With the exception of the 10un champs, and the 8un events at Zone 3 champs, all these swim events will run a prelim session, and the top swimmers of each event will return later for a finals session.  Again, parents are expected to help share timing and other meet tasks at these events. If your child makes finals, you should plan on timing then.  

Time standards for JO and FW can be found here:



Senior Meets

Senior Q Meets (sectionals, junior nationals, nationals, Olympic trials)

NBA Seniors have proudly represented the team at all high-level senior meets, including the 2012 Olympic Trials. Published time standards for these meets can be found here: