Swim Meet Glossary
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Westside Aquaducks

Swim Meet Glossary

Westside Aquaduck Swim Meet Glossary

  • Clerk of Course: This area is set aside for athletes to check in. Thirty minutes before the start of a race, an event will close (check-in is no longer allowed), and swimmers will then be assigned their heats and lanes. The Clerk of Course is also where swimmers report to Scratch a race (prior to the event closing), if the Scratch has been approved by the swimmer’s Coach.

  • Check-In: Checking in for your races is simply declaring that you are present and you plan to swim the races you have entered. If you do not check in, you will not be assigned a heat and lane and you will not be able to swim your events. If you cannot attend a meet you have entered, for any reason, and do not check in, there is no penalty. If you attend a meet, check in, and miss an event, you must report immediately to the Coaches’ canopy to begin the re-check-in process with the help of a Coach.

  • Checking Your Posting: Also known as “checking for your heat and lane.” To check your posting you must first find where the heats and lanes are being posted. If you have trouble with this, ask a coach. Once you find the posting for your event, find your name on the list for your event. Names will be listed in alphabetical order. Next to your name you will see two numbers, heat and lane. For example, “  4  1  ” would be Heat 4, Lane 1. As soon as you have these numbers, report to your coach and let them know. This will help them to know just when you are racing. Many swimmers write their heat and lane numbers on the backs of their hands to help them remember when the pre-race excitement hits.

  • DQ: A DQ is a disqualification from an event. If your child is disqualified in a race, it means that they have broken one or more of the rules designated for that stroke or for that race, in the case of an IM. Disqualifications can be seen as a sad or horrible thing. The coaches see them as useful tools to draw swimmers’ attention to areas needing more attention in practice. A DQ is often the most effective motivation for a child to make a change that they have been avoiding in practice. Please ... if you are not sure how to react to a DQ with your child, just smile, wrap them in a towel and let the coach react. We will point out the good things in their race and also let them know how to work towards fixing the stroke or turn problem area.

  • Heat: The group of swimmers that you are assigned to swim with for your race. (If there are 60 swimmers in an event and only six lanes, there will be 10 heats). These swimmers will have similar entry times.

  • Lane: Your assigned lane for a race. In a heat, the faster swimmers will be assigned the center lanes. In a 6-lane pool, the lane assignments from fastest to slowest are 3-4-2-5-1-6. In an 8- lane pool, they are 4-5-3-6-2-7-1-8.

  • Pacific Swim Guide: The PacificSwim Guide is a very useful book for all swim families. In it you will find contact information for the local directors of swimming (Zone 3) and the LSC (Local Swim Committee) directors (Pacific Swimming). All time standards for both Age Group and Senior swimming can be found here. A calendar of all meets offered in Pacific Swimming is included (our annual list of team-supported meets is chosen from this calendar). Both Pacific Swimming and National Age Group Records are also included in the Swim Guide.

  • Qualifying Meet: Most of the meets that the team will attend will be C/B/A+ meets (developmental and appropriate for all swimmers on the team). As swimmers advance, they will strive to qualify for meets that require special qualifying standards. Junior Olympics, Far Westerns, Sectionals and all National events are examples of Qualifying Meets. The time standards for these meets can be found in your Pacific Swim Guide (which the team provides to you at the start of each new year).

  • Scratch: Scratching an event is declaring that, while you are at the meet and intend to race, you will not be participating in a particular race. Scratching should only take place with a coach’s approval. Many times a new swimmer will let nerves convince them that scratching is the best way to feel better... however, unless there is an injury or illness, the coach will want the swimmer to follow through. The nerves they feel will be dissolved by water.