Glossary of Swim Jargon

If you are new to the swimming world, you may hear lots of terms on the deck or at swim meets that you don't understand. Hopefully, this glossary will help you with some of the "swim jargon."


Age Group
Division of swimmers according to age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10-under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Most meets also include an 8-under and may include a 6-under.


The starting platforms located behind each lane.


Championship Meet
The meet held at the end of the season for each LSC. Qualification times are sometime necessary to enter this meet.


The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck-seeded meet. The swimmer must check-in immediately arriving at the meet.


Circle Seeding
A method of seeding swimmers when they are participating in a prelims/final event. The fast 18-24 swimmers are seeded in the last three heats, with the fastest swimmers being on the inside lanes.


The designated distance (length of pool) for swimming competition. Long course = 50 meters and short course = 25 yards.


The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, coaches, and officials.


Deck Entries
Accepting entries into swimming events at the meet.


Disqualified or "DQ"
A swimmer's performance is not counted because of a rules infraction. An official raising one arm with open hand above their head shows a disqualification. Swimmers take the DQ slip to their coach.


Dual Meet
Type of meet where two team or clubs compete against each other.


An individual, relay team, or club's roster's event list into a swim competition.


Entry Fees
The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.


Entry Limit
Meets will usually have a limit of total swimmers they can accept, or a time limit they can not exceed. Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed and all other entries returned.


A race or stroke over a given distance. An event equals a preliminary with its final or a timed final.


Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur. The international federation for aquatic sports.


Time Classifications
Time classifications have been defined for ranking swimmers and defining qualifying times for meets. The classifications are as follows:
  • B
  • BB
  • A
  • AA
  • SNRT - Sierra Nevada Reportable Time
  • Q - Qualifying time for Far Western Meet
  • WZQ - Qualifying time for Western Zone Meet
  • AAAA
  • Junior National Time
  • Senior National Time