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General Meet Info

WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE, DURING & AFTER A SWIM MEET

 

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BEFORE THE MEET

  1. Register your swimmer for each meet. You must register by midnight on Wednesday for a Saturday meet or by Saturday for a Wednesday meet. Please indicate if your swimmer(s) WILL OR WILL NOT attend each meet. If you know which events your child would like to swim, you can select them when you sign up. If you are unsure, you can just indicate that they will attend and coaches will place them in events. For time trials you can sign a swimmer up for 5 individual events to establish baseline times. For regular meets you can only sign them up for 3 individual events. Coaches set up the relay teams. Click here for step-by-step directions on how to register for a meet.
  1. Sign up to volunteer. Check the Job Signup for each meet to see where help is needed and sign up. Click here for step-by-step instructions. If you can’t volunteer for an entire meet, look for the before/after meet jobs or those that run for ½ a meet. Work out a deal with other parents of small siblings to trade off so you both can volunteer.
  1. Check your email. You will receive an email from the Computer Operator when the meet sheets have been posted on the website (usually a day before the meet). You’ll also find any specific instructions for a particular meet, including things such as information about parking and seating for spectators.

 

DAY OF THE MEET

  1. Print the “Meet Sheet.” The meet sheet is the schedule for the meet. It will let you know who swims in which events.  Get the meet sheet by going to the Sharks website, going to the Meet Information tab and selecting Meet Details. Then find the meet in the chart and click on the “Meet Sheet” link.  The meet sheet will show you all of the events, in numerical order. Since there are only a limited # of lanes at a pool, each event is divided into heats, based on the swimmers’ best times. Within each heat, you will see the lane assignments, or the lane in which each swimmer will swim. Some teams will sell meet sheets at the meet, however, ours does not.
  1. Highlight your swimmer’s events. Keep yourself organized at the meet by highlighting the events your swimmer is swimming. Then you’ll be able to keep an ear out for specific event numbers and you won’t have to say, “Oh honey, I’m sorry, I missed it!” Don’t forget to look and see if your swimmer has been assigned to any relay events.
  1. Write on your swimmer(s). Help your swimmer keep track of which events he/she will be swimming at the meet. Use a Sharpie marker to write the Events, Heats and Lanes on the swimmer’s hand or arm, where it is easy for him/her to see it.  Let your swimmer know that there will be parents volunteering as Clerks of Course, who will be calling them for events, usually by the event number. They’ll have the information “handy”—literally! Typically swimmers write the info in a sort of grid, like below.
E H L
4 3 4
18 1 7

 

  1. Pack a bag for your swimmer(s). Swimmers should come to the pool in their swimsuits, ready for warm-ups, with their team swim cap and goggles. They will need clothes to cover up between events. Be sure to pack a couple towels since there are wet bodies EVERYWHERE and your swimmer is likely swimming more than one event. Many times swimmers sit on towels in the swimmer area if chairs aren’t available. Swimmers should bring plenty of water because it is HOT at summer meets! It’s always a good idea to pack an extra pair of goggles in case the favorite pair breaks! Also pack some healthy snacks to keep your swimmer’s energy up.
  1. Pack for yourself and siblings. Pack snacks and plenty of drinks for yourself and siblings. You’ll want to bring something comfy to sit on, in case chairs aren’t available. Many parents bring fold up camp chairs or a blanket for the little ones. Bring entertainment for the family. Swim meets can last several hours and you’ll want to keep everyone happy!
  1. Make a plan for snack bar purchases. You can opt to buy goodies at the snack bar, which is available at most meets. Unless you are very patient and are prepared to calmly handle incessant begging for snack bar goodies, let your kids know the plan for if/what/how much they can purchase BEFORE you get to the meet! J
  1. Prepare your swimmer. Along with writing down swimmer’s events, it is helpful if you talk about how the meet will run with your swimmer(s). It sounds like a lot, but remember that time trials are our “practice run” and will help them get familiar with how things work. Let them know:
  • They will start with a warm-up, which is like a practice. The coaches will let them know what they need to do for warm-ups.
  • After warm-ups the swimmers will go back to the swimmer holding area and sit with their teammates while waiting for their events. They are expected to stay here throughout the meet.
  • The Clerks of Course will call out events and swimmer names, so they need to pay attention so they don’t miss their events. The Clerks will walk the swimmers to the staging area, where they will be lined up in order of events, heats, and lanes. Usually there are rows of chairs behind each lane and the swimmers move up a chair each time an event finishes.
  • When it is their event/heat, the timer will ask the swimmer for their name so they can compare it to their list.
  • The starter will announce the event and heat and then say, “Swimmers Step Up,” which is when swimmers move to the pool edge. Then the start will say, “Take your mark,” which is when the swimmer gets set and is supposed to stay still until the start. Next the swimmer will hear a beep, which signals the start of the race.
  • If there is a false start, the starter will sound a series of beeps to let the swimmers know to come back to the start.
  • After their events, swimmers should check-in with coaches who will talk to them about their swim. You can also have them check-in with you…after they talk to the coaches…so you can lavish them with praise!
  • Then they’ll go back to the swimmer holding area to wait for their next event.
  • Let your swimmer know that you will come to the swimmer area to pick them up at the end of the meet.

 

ARRIVING AT THE MEET

1.   Check-In your swimmer(s). Arrive at the meet 15 minutes prior to warm-ups so your swimmer can get checked in and settled in the Sharks swimmer holding area. When you arrive at the meet, look for the Sharks Swimmer Check-In sign. Let the parent volunteer (Clerk of Course) there know that your swimmer has arrived. Then bring your swimmer(s) to the Shark Swimmer holding area to wait for warm-ups to begin.

2.   Check-in with volunteer coordinators. If you have signed up to volunteer at the meet, you must check in with the Sharks volunteer coordinators. They will have you initial a receipt at check-in and then again at the end of your shift. You MUST check-out with the volunteer coordinators and get your copy of the receipt to get your volunteer point credit. At check-in, volunteer coordinators will let you know where to go to get further instruction for your job.

3.   Park yourself in a great location. Location, Location, Location. If not volunteering, you want to be sure that you get a prime spot where you can see your swimmer’s events, yet still be comfortable in between. According to USA Swimming rules, parents are not allowed “on deck” unless they are serving as an official volunteer at the meet. There will be a designated spectator area. At home meets, the lounge chairs will be laid out flat and arranged sideways as a long bench to make room for multiple spectators. You can also bring your own chair.

 

DURING THE MEET

  1. Listen for the Starter’s announcements. The Starter at the meet is the announcer. He/She will announce every race by number, event title and heat number. Keep your ears open for your swimmer’s events.
  1. Remember the Code of Conduct. Show your support for the team in a positive manner. Team spirit and camaraderie of the team has been amazing since the start! We’re here for the kids, and you’ll even hear Sharks swimmers and parents cheering for the other team at times!
  1. Double and Triple Check Relay teams. Since the coaches sign the swimmers up to participate in relays, it’s easy to overlook it if your child is part of a team at a particular meet. Look over the list of relay teams in the meet sheet to be sure that if your swimmer is on a team, he or she participates in the event. It is SO disappointing to the other team members if one relay participant leaves early and no one gets to race!
  1. Check the preliminary results. From time to time throughout the meet, the host team will post a list of results for spectators. By checking these sheets, you will see the final results for an event, after all the heats have gone.
  1. Visit the Snack Bar. Most of the teams in our league have a snack bar with various goodies. Purchases at these snack bars typically raise money for the teams. Some teams have elaborate snack bars while others have smaller offerings. If we know ahead of time what will be available, we will let you know.

 

AFTER THE MEET

  1. View the Final Results. The final results are usually available on the Sharks website within a day or two. Check under Meet Information > Meet Details and find the meet name. Then click the link for Meet Results. Keep in mind that we have to get the meet results from the other team for away meets and different teams have different timelines of when they get them sent out.
  2. Check the family folder for ribbons. First through sixth place ribbons will be filed in your family’s folder in our file boxes. Swimmers should check their folder at the start or end of practice to get all ribbons awarded to them. Within a few days of the meet, personal best ribbons will be filed in the boxes for any event where a swimmer beat their best time for the season.
  3. Keep track of your volunteer points. After the meet the volunteer coordinators will mark jobs as completed on the website and points will be assigned to your account. From time to time, compare your receipts to the # of points that you see for your family by going to My Account >  $ My Invoice/Payment. Click on the Service Hours tab. You will see a list of all jobs worked and all points assigned. (Detailed instructions with screen shots coming soon!)