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FAQ

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about meets. If you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact your coach and they will gladly answer any questions.

What events do I enter my child in if they are new?

If they are in blue or orange, we would like to see them start out swimming the freestyle and backstroke events at their first meet. Then as we progress through the season, we start to add the other strokes. It is important that they feel success early on, so that they are not afraid later on to go to meets.

If they are new to another group, email the coach or call the coach and ask them what they think they need to be swimming. Normally we will ask that they swim as many events as possible. We do not want them to become a 1 or 2 event swimmer, we want them to be able to swim everything.

When are the entries due and where?

Entries are due when stated on the weekly Metro newsletter or meet information on the board at the pool. The entry date in the meet information is when the meet entries are due by Metro to the host team. The date given out (hand written or when it says it due by us) is the date the entries are due to us. You sign up for a meet by clicking the Edit Commitment button below the event on the Events page. Your monthly invoice will reflect any meet entry fees after you enter events.  Do not pay the meet host. 

How do I know where to send my child?

Each swimmer will attain times when they have swum an event. These time standards are under the Top Times section on the website. This is a tool that you will need at swim meets.  

There are no time standards for 8 and under events (25’s).

 

 

B/C Times

BB times

A Times

15/16 AA Times

12 and under

Level 3

Level 2

Level 2

Level 1

13-14

Level 3

Level 2

Level 2

Level 1

15+

Level 2

Level 2

Level 2

Level 1

 

With this as help, you can tell what level your swimmer is and what meet they need to attend. You cannot go to a higher meet until you have reached that level.

Do you have our child’s times?

Yes, once a swimmer has swum in a meet then a file is sent to the Time Chairman of Metroplex Aquatics, Brent Mitchell, and it is entered into the computer. If a child gets a disqualification, then that time is not sent and that time is not valid. Some complaints come that their best time book does not match the time, make sure that your child was not disqualified.  You can see these times on the hy-tek website which you can find under the meet info part of our website.

How do I late enter a meet?

Late Entries must be done at the meet. Please do not email entries after the due date for entries. If you look at the meet information, you will see if late entries are accepted. Normally there is a late entry fee for each event entered. You will have to pay that as well. Please try and get to the meet more than 15 minutes early (before warm-up) to try and get this taken care of. If you need help, the coaches will help as long as you are early to the meet. Please understand that their job is to corral all the kids to get into the pool so that they get in on time.

The clerk of course will help normally, but have something set up before you go, namely, the events that they are going to swim, USA card, times for each event printed from USS swim website and a check.  You must get your child's times.  To get those times click here

How do I get directions?

If you check the meet information at the top of the information is a location for the pool. If you plug this in to mapblast at www.mapblast.com, it will give you directions from your house to the pool.

When to be at the pool?

The coaches will always want you to be at the pool 15 minutes before warm-up. Warm-Up times for each session are on the meet information.

How do we check in?

The swimmer (normally the parent) will be responsible for checking in the swimmer. Please make sure to check in each event, not just the first event that they swim. It is normally posted with a sign that states “Check-In” on deck.

What do I do as a parent?

Make sure you do not come down on deck. Only USA registered people are allowed on deck, meaning, coaches, swimmers, and officials. If you would like to come on deck, it would be great if you would time behind the blocks.  However, please make sure that your child is checked in.

What does my swimmer do?

Your swimmer needs to see the coach before and after the race. Normally what happens at a new meet is the child will run up and talk to you the parent. Make sure that you ask them if they talked to the coaches. We have 30 to 35 swimmers normally at a meet and it is rising, we as coaches can not go run and find your kids. They need to come to us.

 

Swim Basics

Per USA Swimming Parents 101

 

THE FOUR STROKES

 

The four competitive swimming strokes are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. The combination of all four strokes is called individual medley.

 

In freestyle events, the competitor may swim any stroke. The stroke most commonly used is sometimes called the crawl, which is characterized by the alternate stroking of the arms over the surface of the water surface and an alternating (up-and-down) flutter kick.

 

Backstroke consists of an alternating motion of the arms with a flut­ter kick while on the back. On turns, swimmers may rotate to the stomach and perform a flip turn and some part of the swimmer must touch the wall. The swimmer must finish on the back.

 

The breaststroke requires simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane. The hands are pressed out from in front of the breast in a heart shaped pattern and recovered under or on the surface of the water. The kick is a simultaneous somewhat circular motion similar to the action of a frog. On turns and at the finish, the swimmer must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously at, above or below the water surface.

 

Some consider the butterfly to be the most beautiful of the strokes. It features a simultaneous recovery of the arms over the water combined with an undulating dolphin kick. In the kick, the swimmer must keep both legs together and may not flutter, scissors or use the breaststroke kick. Both hands must touch the wall simultaneously on the turns and the finish.

 

The individual medley, commonly referred to as the I.M., features all four strokes. In the IM, the swimmer begins with the butterfly, then changes after one-fourth of the race to backstroke, then breaststroke and finally freestyle.

 

COMPETITION 101

RULES

The technical rules of swimming are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and to promote uniformity in the sport. Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer.

 

COURSE

Competition pools may be short course (25 yards or 25 meters), or long course (50 meters). The international standard (as used in the Olympics) is 50 meters. World records are accomplished in 25 and 50 meter pools. USA Swimming maintains records for 25 yard, 25 meter and 50 meter pools.

 

COMPETITION

Participants compete in different age groups and meets depending on their achievement level and how old they are on the first day of the meet. Traditionally recognized age groups are 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Many local meets feature 8 and under, single age groups, or senior events. Team practice groups are usually determined by age and/or ability.

 

OFFICIALS

Officials are present at all competitions to enforce the technical rules of swimming so the competition is fair and equitable. Officials attend clinics, pass a written test and work meets before being certified. All parents are encouraged to get involved with some form of officiating.

 

 

 

EQUIPMENT

Per USA Swimming Parents Docs and Articles

  

Below is a list of common equipment used by competitive swimmers. Not all equipment is required for every swimmer, and some clubs may even provide certain items for practice and meets. Your child’s coach will be able to tell you exactly what your swimmer needs.

 

MUST HAVES FOR THE NEW SWIMMER

Goggles: Swimmers use goggles to protect their eyes from the chlorine as well as to gain a clear view of their surroundings in the pool. There are a variety of colors and styles depending on the preference of the swimmer. Goggles range from $6.50 – $29.99.

Caps: Caps are designed to keep the hair out of swimmers’ faces and goggles straps into place. Caps range from $3.99 - $19.99.

Women’s Practice Suit: Practice suits are used during workouts. They are created with a stronger material for durability. Some may create extra drag to make the workout more challenging. Women’s practice suits range from $33.00 - $76.00.

Men’s Practice Suit: Practice suits are used during workouts. They are created with a stronger material for durability. Some may create extra drag to make the workout more challenging. Men’s practice suits range from $22.00 - $47.00.

Note: Clubs often arrange discounts with their local swimming apparel company. Please ask your coach regarding any team discount on equipment.

 

ITEMS YOU MAY NEED

Mesh Bag: A mesh bag is used by swimmers to hold their training equipment. Mesh bags range from $6.00 - $18.00.

Kickboard: A kickboard is a floating device used by swimmers during practice to enhance their kicking skills. Kickboards range from $6.95 - $24.99.

Fins: Fins are a device that fit on a swimmers feet to increase kicking speed during practice. Fins range from $22.95 – $45.95.

Paddles: Paddles are a plastic device placed on a swimmers hands during practice. The paddles are used to add resistance to the pulling phase of the stroke. There are a variety of paddles available, depending on the stroke you are swimming and the purpose of the pulling drill. Paddles range from $7.95 - $21.00.

Pull Buoys: Pull-Buoys are a device used by swimmers during a practice to enhance body position during pull sets when the swimmers are not kicking. Pull buoys range from $6.95 – $11.99.

FOR ADVANCED SWIMMERS

Women’s Competition Suit: Competition suits are used during meets. There are a number of brands and styles, depending on a swimmers preference. Women’s competition suits range from $84.00 – $450.00.

Men’s Competition Suit: Competition suits are used during meets. There are a number of brands and styles, depending on a swimmers preference. Women’s competition suits range from $33.00 - $450.00 and more.

 

 

SWIM MEET BASICS

(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're 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.

 

BEFORE THE MEET STARTS

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 also in the team newsletter.

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.

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 actually 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.

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.

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.

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.

The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.

According to 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.

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.

MEET STARTS

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.

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 a number of heats before he/she actually 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, girls events are odd-numbered and boys 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.

The swimmer swims his or her race.

After each swim:

 

He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.

Depending on the coaches 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.

Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:

Positive comments or praise

Suggestions for improvement

Positive comments

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.

The swimmer now waits until his next event is called and starts the procedure again. When a swimmer has completed all of her 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.

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 at a later time.

 

 

 

RULES PRIMER

 Per USA Swimming Parents Docs and Articles

 

The technical rules of swimming are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and to promote uniformity in the sport. Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer.

 

Trained officials observe the swimmers during each event to ensure compliance with these technical rules. If a swimmer commits an infraction of the rules that is observed by an official, a disqualification (DQ) will result. This means that the swimmer will not receive an official time and will not be eligible for an award in that event. A disqualification may result from actions such as not getting to the starting blocks on time, false starting, performing strokes in an illegal manner, or unsportsman­like conduct.

 

DQs are also a result of technical rules violations. They include but are not limited to: 

 

Freestyle: Walking on the bottom, pulling on the lane rope, not touching the wall on a turn, or not completing the distance.

Backstroke: Pulling or kicking into the wall once a swimmer has turned passed the vertical onto the breast. Turning onto the breast before touching the wall with the hand at the finish of the race.

Breaststroke: An illegal kick such as flutter (freestyle), dolphin (butterfly), or scissors (side stroke); not on the breast; alternating movements of the arms; taking two arm strokes or two leg kicks while the head is under water; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish.

Butterfly: Alternating movements of the arms or legs; pushing the arms forward under instead of over the water surface (underwater recovery); a breaststroke style of kick; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish.

 

For specific language on any technical rules consult the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations book. Violations of the rules are reported to the Referee. The rules require that every reasonable effort be made to notify the swimmer or his coach of the reason for the disqualification. If your child is disqualified in an event, be supportive rather than critical. For beginning swimmers, a disqualification should be treated as a learning experience, not as a punishment. A disqualification alerts the swimmer and coach to what portions of the swimmer's stroke need to be corrected. They should be considered in the same light as an incorrect answer in schoolwork-they point out areas that need further practice. Disqualifications are necessary to keep the competition fair and equitable for all competitors. A supportive attitude on the part of the official, coach, and parent can make a positive situation out of the disqualification.

 

Looking for more?  Check out USA Swimming's Rules and Regulations Page