What To Expect
Swim meets are great fun. A month or so before each meet, swimmers, with the help of their coaches, choose the events they want to swim.
On meet day, swimmers are expected to be at the pool for warm-ups 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of their session. This gives the kids an opportunity to experience how warm or cold the pool is, practice their strokes, turns and starts, and to get themselves thoroughly chilled until the day warms up! U.S. Swimming regulations limit swimmers 12 and under to a half-day of competition. Morning sessions normally begin promptly at 8:00 am and afternoon sessions begin approximately one hour after the end of the morning session.
Upon arrival at the pool, parents and kids should identify their events by purchasing a program, looking at somebody else's program, or looking at the coach's heat sheet. The program will show the assigned heat and lane number. It is very helpful to highlight your events in the program, and to write your event, heat and lane numbers on the swimmer's hand (and maybe your own hand) in waterproof ink. Then watch for your events, and remind your swimmer to warm up/stretch out, be ready to swim (with goggles and cap), when the event is called. There will usually be first call and last call for each event, posted on a board near the start area or the heating area.
Most events have several heats. Some meets have a heating area, which is a place where swimmers wait for their events in their heat and lane order. If there is a heating area, swimmers should go there when the first call for the event is posted. They will be assigned places in the heating area according to their event, heat, and lane numbers. In heating areas, swimmers are expected to sit in their assigned seats, wait quietly, and go to their assigned lanes at the time of the race. Swimmers are heated or seeded by their entry times, ensuring that they will be swimming against others of approximately the same ability.
Some meets do not use heating areas. At those meets, it is all the more important to keep track of events and make sure your swimmer is there and ready for the start.
Swim Meet Guidelines
Be On Time! It is Poulsbo Piranhas policy to have good team warm-up at all swim meets. When you come to the meet late, it puts stress on the staff, and the other swimmers. The coaches find themselves spread too thin, running individual warm-ups for the late-comers, and starts and pacing for the kids who started on time. The warm-up times for the meet are listed on the meet sheet, and often in emails. Please be on time.
During the course of the day, there are certain practices to keep in mind:
Check in and write your event numbers on your hand.
Report to coach for stretching and warm up before each event.
Check the posted line-up for your heat and lane.
Check in with you coach and give him/her your heat & lane so they are prepared to watch you swim.
Report to your lane with plenty of time to get focused on the race.
Ask for your time immediately after your race. Keep a record of your times from each meet (these are available on the team website).
See your coach after each race. The coach will evaluate your race and offer suggestions.