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Away Meet Guide

Rapids Away Meet Guide For Parents and Swimmers

 

 


Parking

The most important info for away meets is obey the parking signs.

The second most important thing for away meets: Obey the parking signs.

If you park in the wrong place, you will be ticketed and/or towed. Many neighborhood residents view swim meets as an annoyance, and they will jump at the opportunity to call the police to address the issue. If parking directions are not posted on the street you park on, be sure cars are parked on only one side of the road.

If you have issues with long walks, try to come to the meet early as the sooner you get there, the closer to the pool your parking space will be.

Finally, for away meets, inclement weather always poses problems. Most neighborhood pools do not have indoor facilities to handle all the swimmers. So please make sure you know where you are parked as that will be your shelter if thunderstorms roll in.

 


Obey Pool & Neighborhood Rules at Away Meets

Be a good guest. Most away meets are at private neighborhoods. Please ensure you obey all posted signs regarding their pool and neighborhood rules. 

 

 


How To Be A Good Swim Parent/Family

Once you get to the meet and get your swimmer safely to their bullpen, if you are available to help, please ask our volunteer coordinator if we can use your assistance (even if you aren't signed-up to volunteer).

We can always use extra hands to finish set-up, fill in slots for unexpected last-minute volunteer no-shows or assist with any other items that may crop up as we prepare for and run the meet.

Please remember, the booster club is an all-volunteer group, so we depend on everyone to help us run the team and meets.

Offering your assistance during and after the meet is always appreciated as well.

 


When will I find out what events my child is swimming?

Around 2:00 - 3:00 PM on meet day, the meet entries for our swimmers will be posted to the booster club website at http://www.roswellrapids.orgYou will also receive an email the day of the meet letting you know when entries have been posted.

Look for entry list on the event page for the Meet. Swimmers will be listed in alphabetical order with their event information listed below their name.

 


How to Mark Your Swimmer's Arm

Please wait to apply sunscreen to the areas of the swimmer's body that will be written on (e.g. shoulder and arm) until after the info is there. Sharpies don't work very well on sun-screened skin.

When you open the meet line-up (see above for where you will find it) you will need to find your swimmer's name and then translate that info to their arm as described below.  Here is an example to help you out. 

In this example, our fictitious swimmer is a 10 year old female, Jane, who will swim 2 Ind(ividual) events and 2 Rel(ay) events this week.

When Jane’s parent looks at the meet entry list online, ahead of the meet, the parent sees this: 

47 Smith, Jane - Female - Age: 10 - Ind/Rel: 2 / 2

    #5 Girls 9-10 100 Medley Relay (4) NT 1/1       #17 Girls 9-10 25 Free NT 2/5
    #59 Girls 9-10 25 Breast 25.47  4/1                    #79 Girls 9-10 100 Free Relay (2)  NT 1/2

However, if Jane’s parent arrived at the meet, and escorted Jane to the bullpen, her parent might see Jane’s events noted in different format, like this: 

47 Smith, Jane - Female - Age: 10 - Ind/Rel: 2 / 2

#5

Girls 9-10 100 Medley Relay (4)

NT

1/1

#17

Girls 9-10 25 Free

NT

2/5

#59

Girls 9-10 25 Breast

25.47

4/1

#79

Girls 9-10 100 Free Relay (2)

NT

1/2

It doesn’t matter!   It’s the same information and what is important is to translate this information & mark Jane’s arm properly so she knows what she’s swimming, and when, and does not miss her chance to swim!   So, here we go!!       

First, a quick tutorial how to read the information about Jane’s events:             

  • The first line contains the swimmer’s name and age as well as how many individual (Ind) and relay (Rel) events Jane is entered to swim in the upcoming meet. In the example above, Ind/Rel: 2 / 2 means the Jane is swimming in two individual events and two relays (the maximum for a summer league meet). The "47" is meaningless - just ignore it.
  • For the 2nd through 5th lines above, the numbers to the right of the events that look like fractions (e.g. “2/5”) after the event names indicate the Heat / Lane that Jane will be swimming.  In the example above, for Event #5 [Girls 9/10 100 Medley Relay (4)] Jane will be in Heat 1 and Lane 1.  In Event #17 [Girls 9/10 25 Free], Jane will be in Heat 2 and Lane 5.   Also since Event #5 and #79 are relays, the (#) indicates which leg she will be swimming among the 4 swimmers with her in the event. 
  • The time to the right of the event is Jane’s recorded personal best time for this event.  NT stands for No Time, meaning that the swimmer does not have an official time for the stroke/dist. In the example above, Jane has no times for any events other than #59 (Girls 9-10 25 Breast) in which she has a time of 25.47 seconds

 

Now, using a black sharpie, let’s use this information to mark Jane’s arm, like this:

E

H

L

S

 

5

1

1

Medley Relay (4)

 

17

2

5

25 FR

 

59

4

1

25 BR

 

79

1

2

Free Relay (2)

 
         

The column headers stand for E = event, H = heat, L = lane, S = Stroke

If you are experienced with swim team and know how to write your child’s heat/event/lane/stroke on their arm or are clear on how to do it after reading above, please do so before arriving at the pool as it really helps the bullpen parents.

If you are new to swim team and have no idea how to mark their events after reading the info above, please arrive a little early (e.g. 4:15 PM) and volunteers in the bullpen can assist. This is where having your own Sharpie will really help speed up preparing the swimmers for the meet.

For the Short version of what the finished product on your swimmer's arm should look like refer to the following image (Thanks to Norman Crandell for creating this image for us!):

Swimmer Arm Mark-up Example

Swimmer Arm Mark-up Example 2

Additional Hints & Tips

  1.  Around 2:00 - 3:00 PM on meet day, the meet entries for our swimmers will be posted to the booster club website at www.roswellrapids.org
     
  2. Please wait to apply sunscreen to the areas of the swimmer's body that will be written on (e.g. shoulder and arm) until after the info is there. Sharpies don't work very well on sun-screened skin.
     
  3. Please also use your Sharpie to write your child’s first and last name on one of their shoulders so that it is visible. Please encourage even your older swimmer to do this. Having the full name (i.e. "Joe Smith" as opposed to just "Joe") helps our bullpen parents and timers correctly identify swimmers. This makes sure the right child gets to the blocks and the right time is recorded for your swimmer by the timer

 


Swimmer Arrival Info
Please have your kids at the Away team's pool at 4:30 PM sharp

 

Swimmers (and you) should be hydrating throughout the entire day.

Swimmers need to go directly to their bullpen upon arrival at the pool for positive check-in with the bullpen parents (Please insure you personally deliver your younger swimmers to the bullpen parent for your child's bullpen and confirm with the bullpen parent that they are checked-in).

Remind your swimmers to stay in the bullpen during the meet. If they can’t be found, they will miss their events. Only bullpen parents should remain in the bullpen area during the meet. All other parents will be asked to leave and find seats in the general seating area of the pool.

Please use your Sharpie to write your child’s first and last name on one of their shoulders so that it is easily legible. Having the full name (i.e. "Joe Smith" as opposed to just "Joe") helps our bullpen parents and timers correctly identify swimmers. This makes sure the right child gets to the blocks and the right time is recorded for your swimmer by the timer.

The line-up will be posted in the early afternoon on our website (you will receive an email when it is posted). Swimmers will be listed in alphabetical order with their event information listed below their name.

If you are experienced with swim team and know how to write your child’s heat/event/lane/stroke on their arm, please do so at home as it really helps the bullpen parents.

If you are new to swim team and have no idea how to mark their events, please make sure you have read the section above entitled "How to Mark Your Swimmer's Arm".

If that doesn't make sense, please arrive a little early (e.g. 4:15 PM for away meets) and our bullpen parents can assist. This is where having your own Sharpie will really help speed up preparing the swimmers for the meet.


Please wait to apply sunscreen to the areas of the swimmer's body that will be written on (e.g. shoulder and arm) until after the info is there. Sharpies don't work very well on sunscreened skin.
 


What is the difference between the IM and the Medley Relay?

  • The Individual Medley (IM) is an individual event swum in the middle of the meet.  One swimmer performs all four strokes consecutively in a specific order. The IM is always swum in the following "IM order": butterfly(FL), backstroke (BA), breaststroke (BR), and freestyle (FR). Only 7& Ups swim IM

     
  • The Medley Relay (MR) is a relay event, always swum at the beginning of our meets, and consists of four (4) swimmers, each swimming a different stroke. The Medley Relay consists of the same strokes as IM, but the order is different. The Medley relay order is backstroke (BA) , breaststroke (BR), butterfly(FL) , freestyle (FL). Note that BA, BR, FL, FR is in alphabetical order. Only 7 & Ups swim MR.

 

 


Volunteer Arrival Info

If you are volunteering in the meet, please check-in promptly at the designated time for your position with our volunteer coordinators. Prompt arrival will help us get the meet started on time.

 

Our volunteer coordinator (volunteers@roswellrapids.org) and our volunteer check-in crew will be under the red UGA tent at volunteer check-in table. You must check-in with the volunteer coordinator to receive credit for your volunteer halves. First-half Timers – don’t forget you have a 5:00 PM meeting with the judges/timers coordinator.

 

If unsure of your volunteer check-in time, please look at www.roswellrapids.org to verify when you should be at the pool. You must be logged-in to your booster club account to see your assigned jobs. Please remember that the end times for all volunteer jobs are estimates. The meet may run long and require you to stay past the estimated end time.

 

 


Volunteer 1st/2nd Half Etiquette

For first-half volunteers, please do not leave until relieved by your second half replacement. An announcement will be made over the speaker system to let 2nd half volunteers know when to report. If your 2nd half replacement is late or missing, please let the volunteer coordinator know ASAP.

Second-half volunteers should remain until the end of the meet or until you are dismissed by the volunteer coordinator.

If you are getting bored at the meet and don't mind working an extra half, please ask the volunteer coordinator if they need any help. We notice the families that always offer extra volunteering, and it is always greatly appreciated (our Rapids families are good folks).

 

 


Inclement Weather

We need everyone to come to the meet even if the weather looks bad. If we do not have enough swimmers to start the meet, we will forfeit. League rules require us to make every effort to swim the meet as scheduling a make-up date is almost impossible due to the briefness of our season.

We will not swim in dangerous weather; however, the meet will be swum in rain if no thunder/lighting is present. We will try to swim around bad weather if at all possible. If it becomes obvious that we cannot start or continue the meet due to weather, we will announce that the meet has been called after at least a 30 minute delay.

For away meets, it is best to remain in your car during inclement weather as most neighborhood pools do not have enough indoor space to house all the swimmers and their families.

 


What should my swimmer eat, if anything, before the meet?

For Away Meets, please try to patronize the visiting team's concessions. Concessions is the major fundraiser for most teams so we try to help them out when we visit.

This helps keep our league strong.

However, don't depend 100% on the concessions stand to be available and well-stocked. Some teams do a good job and others struggle so always have a plan B for food before and during an away meet.

1-2 hours before the meet, try to feed your swimmer something with protein and carbohydrates- a popular choice is pasta with chicken or a sandwich.

Swimmers should drink plenty of fluids on Thursday morning and afternoon as well as during the meet. Water is always the preferred liquid of choice. A dehydrated swimmer is a slow and unhappy swimmer. A swimmer with a headache is usually dehydrated.

Parents that are volunteering should also drink plenty of fluids as your job will most likely be sunny and hot. We try to supply water for our volunteers.

 

 


What should you bring to the meet?


Swimmers and parents should always be prepared for sunny and rainy weather. June days are fickle and can quickly change in condition.

Make sure all items you bring to a meet are well-labeled with your name or your swimmer's name so they can be returned if found after the meet.
Any items accidentally left in the Rapids bullpen will be brought home and put into the Roswell Area Pool's lost and found the day after the away meet.

For the swimmer:

  • At least two towels
  • Flips-flops to walk on-deck, to the bathroom or in the bullpen. At Away meets we often have to set-up in a parking lot.
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit, goggles (an extra pair is a good idea) and swim cap           
  • Something to entertain your child
  • Games, books, crayons & coloring book - anything they like (No electronics please– they don’t mix well with water)
  • Dry clothes to change into after the meet

 

For the parents/spectators

  • Folding chairs
  • Sharpie (Black) - to write your swimmer’s name and events
  • printed copy of your swimmers meet entries (from the team list posted on the site before the meet)
  • Sun gear and sunscreen (the first few hours of the meet can be very sunny and hot)
  • Rain gear (in case of wet weather - we do swim in rain if there is no thunder/lightning)
  • Cash for concessions and merchandise or plenty of snacks and drinks to keep your swimmer hydrated and happy
  • Camera/Video Recorder
  • Lots of positive energy. Swim meets can be stressful and chaotic at times. Please help us make the swim meet a success by bringing your best attitude.

 


How long will the meet last?

Plan on a minimum of three hours after the start of the meet. Rain delays, unannounced swimmer no-shows, missing parent volunteers and technical meet difficulties will obviously lengthen the meet.

Also larger meets will last longer because we will have more swimmers. For example, the Alpharetta Meet is usually our largest meet of the year and will have 450-500 swimmers in the meet as opposed to our smaller meets that might only have 300-400. Those extra swimmers can add another 30 minutes to an hour to the meet.

Rapids Warm-ups start at 4:30 PM when we are the visiting team.  Barring any delays, the meet is supposed to start at 5:30 PM and run until about 9 pm.

Note: The 6 & Unders swim only in the first half of the meet and are usually finished by 7:00 to 7:30 PM, so don't volunteer for 2nd half if you only have 6 & Under swimmer and have no one there to babysit them in the second half.

 

 

 


How will my swimmer know when to report for his/her race?

Each age-group will have a "bullpen" and the bullpen parent volunteer will help line up the swimmers before each race. The kids will need to stay in their age group bullpens for the duration of the meet! Bathroom visits should be coordinated with the bullpen parent.

It is imperative that swimmers stay in the bullpen area so that the bullpen parents can easily and efficiently find your child. Please insure you discuss this with your swimmer(s) before bringing them to the meet and remind them to listen to their bullpen parent.

It is unfortunate when a swimmer misses their event because they were not in the right place to be lined up or were not listening. The bull-pen parent position is a challenging job; let’s make every effort to make it as easy as we can for our parent volunteers.

 


When will my child get official results/times from the meet?

Official results are usually sent out the day after the meet. Ribbons will be available at practice the day after the meet in the team ribbon folder box. Each Rapids family will have their own folder.

The coaches will know where the team ribbon box is so just ask them if you can't find it.

 


What To Do Before You Leave The Meet

Please do not let your swimmers leave the meet early without letting the Head Coach know. Most swimmers will be in relays, and an unexpectedly absent swimmer at the end of the meet may cause us to have to cancel the relay entirely if we don't discover their absence until lining up for relays.

Please be a good team member and help us prevent someone's early departure from turning into three additional unhappy swimmers left without a relay.

Before leaving, please help your swimmer(s) clean up any trash they have left in the bullpen area. This is especially important for Away meets as we want to leave a good impression of the Rapids.

If you don't clean up after your swimmer/family, our other volunteers end up doing it for you.  Be a good team family and do your part before you leave the meet.

 

 


When will ribbons be available from the meet?

Ribbons will be usually be available at practice the day after the meet. We keep them in a ribbon folder box at the pool. Each Rapids family will have their own folder.

The coaches will know where the team ribbon box is so just ask them if you can't find it.

We do ask that your swimmers pick up their ribbons at the end of practices rather than before practice to minimize them getting lost or left or deck.

Also, if you stop by the pool during open swim hours, they will have the ribbon box at the front desk.

If you are missing a ribbon, take a look in front of and behind your family folder and in the adjacent family folders to see if it was misplaced.  If you have checked and your ribbon is definitely missing, please email ribbons@roswellrapids.org with the swimmer name, event, heat and place so we can provide a replacement.

As a reminder, if your swimmer or his/her relay was disqualified (DQ) during the race, they don’t receive a ribbon for that race.