Meets & Competition

The Lakes Snakes participate in the East Valley Swim League. We have four home meets, three away meets, and one optional championship event this season. Most Saturday meets begin at 7:00 AM with a 30-minute warm-up. Each team has 15 minutes to prepare. Competition begins at 7:30 AM. Evening meets begin at 5:00 PM with warm-up and start at 5:30 PM. Check the schedule and website for locations.

During meets parent volunteers manage the awards table and serve as timers, place judges, and starters. Home meets require at least eight timers (one per lane), two finish order judges, one starter, and three awards table managers (one for ribbon distribution and two to record times). If time permits, there will be a short break at the halfway point to change out positions.

A typical meet includes races in the four competitive strokes — freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly — swum girls and then boys, youngest to oldest. Younger athletes, ages 5-8, swim 25 yards and athletes ages 9-18 swim 50 yards. Disqualifications are not made during summer recreational league meets. Place adjustments may occur should any athlete gain an unfair advantage (e.g., swim freestyle during a breaststroke race).

The Four Strokes

Freestyle, also called the front crawl, is characterized by an alternating arm stroke over the surface of the water and an alternating, up-and-down, flutter kick from the hips to the feet.

Backstroke involves an alternating motion of the arms with a flut­ter kick while on the back. During turns swimmers may rotate to the stomach and perform a flip turn. They should leave the wall on the back and finish on the back.

Breaststroke requires simultaneous movements of the arms and legs on the same horizontal plane. The arms and legs pull and recover under the surface of the water. On turns and at the finish, the swimmer should touch the wall with both hands simultaneously.

Butterfly features a simultaneous recovery of the arms over the water combined with an undulating dolphin kick. Ideally the swimmer keeps both legs together and does not flutter, scissors, or use the breaststroke kick. Both hands should touch the wall simultaneously on the turns and at the finish.

The individual medley, commonly referred to as the IM, features all four strokes. In the IM, the swimmer begins with the butterfly, then changes after one-quarter of the race to backstroke, then breaststroke and finally freestyle.

Meet Guidelines

  1. Wear your suit. Bring caps, goggles, towels, sunscreen, hats, shade, chairs, and drinking water.  NO snack bar this year; bring your own snacks, drinks, etc.  
  2. Arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time.
  3. Find a place to put your bags, chairs, and other items. The team usually sits together at away meets, so look for familiar faces.
  4. Get your gear and report to the coaches for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team.
  5. After warm-up, return to the team area and wait for your age group to be announced.
  6. When your age group is called, report to the staging area for your heat and lane assignment.
  7. Know what stroke you are swimming and then proceed to your lane. Expect multiple heats per age group. Stay in the heat order assigned and stand behind the starting area.
  8. Enter the starting area when your heat is called and await the starter’s command “Take Your Mark.”
  9. Swim your race and have fun!
  10. Ask the timer for your finish card and take it to the awards table.
  11. Report your name and time. Collect your award.
  12. Drink fluids and rest for your next event.

Enjoy the Swim Season!