The meet officials keep the meet running on-time, evaluates swimmers for accuracy of stroke, scores the meet, and communicates with coaches and head of meet operations as needed. Meet officials include:
Announcer: announces upcoming events, general meet information or anything else the coaches or meet operator need broadcast. The announcer needs to be able to speak clearly into the microphone, maintain the pace of the meet, repeat information, and adjust electronics as needed. The announcer is in the 'crows nest' ? volunteers for this position should not have a fear of heights.
Starter: The starter instructs the swimmers to the blocks and starts each heat/event using the buzzer.
Stroke and Turn Judges: Require special training from the MidLakes swim league. The stroke and turn judges evaluate the swimmers for stroke and turn accuracy. The stroke and turn judge must disqualify swimmers who do not swim the stroke correctly.
Relay Take Off Judge: Watches the transitions between swimmers during relay events. Determines if swimmers performed a legal take off from wall/block. DQs relay teams who do not transition properly.
Scorekeeper: Enters data into the computer, creates ribbon labels, and runs reports as needed.
Event Numbers: This person is responsible for flipping the event/heat numbers as the events are in the water. The event numbers are in the 'crows nest' ? volunteers in this position should not have a fear of heights.
Timers: The timers are an integral part of the swim meet. Timers should come prepared to get a little wet! There are three timers per lane ? two from the home team and one from the visiting team. There are also two back up timers on hand. Timers time each heat/event and record all three times on the event sheet. The event sheets are passed to the runner who takes them to the scorekeeper.
Runner: The runner collects the event sheets from the timers and any DQ slips from the stroke and turn judge. The paperwork is then taken into the scorekeeper.
Ribbon/Filing: Each event will have a first, second, third and fourth place winner. The scorekeeper will print the labels for the ribbons. The ribbon/filing person sticks the labels on the appropriate ribbons. The ribbons are sorted by team, Klahanie ribbons are placed in the swimmers file for distribution.
Swimmer Check In: All swimmers will have an event sheet printed for them. Swimmers will check in at the check in table to receive their slip. It is also important for swimmers to notify their coach when they arrive.
Coaches Treat: Prepare 15 individually packaged treats for our coaches and the visiting coaches. Treats and packaging are at the families expense. This volunteer effort is 1.5 hours towards your commitment.
What to Expect at Swim Meets
First meets can be hectic and confusing. You may find it helpful to hook up with a veteran Shark family at first to learn the ropes. Let someone know if you need help.
In dual meets, all swimmers are limited to a total of 4 events, including relays. An individual may swim a maximum of 3 individual events and 1 relay, or 2 individual and 2 relays. The line-up of swimmers, called Heat Sheets, will be posted the day of the meet.
Meets are held rain or shine, so bring your umbrella, etc. In the event of thunder or lightening the meet may be cancelled, but please do not make your own assumptions. When in doubt, show up at the meet!
All dual meets begin at 6:00PM
It is very important for new Sharks to allow plenty of time before the meets. For home meets at the Klahanie Shark Tank, swimmers need to arrive by 4:30PM, and will warm up from 4:45 to 5:30PM. At away meets, Sharks need to arrive at the host pool by 5:00PM, and will warm up from 5:15 to 6:00PM.
Tattoo Your Shark
A meet Heat Sheet will be posted at the pool. It will include event number, heat number, and lane number. It is helpful and customary to write the events and heats that your Shark will be swimming on their arm with a sharpie marker; this is often referred to as the swimmer?s tattoo.
Meets Last up to 3 Hours
Be prepared to sit back and enjoy the swimming. Since the activities run through dinnertime, families are encouraged to think ahead about food. Concessions are always available at each host club, or you can bring your own picnic.
The Youngest Age Groups Swim First
There is no individual medley in the 8 and under group. Be sure and listen to the announcer to know which heats are coming up so that your child will know when to report to the starting blocks. If the swimmer is not there on time, s/he will miss the event. The heat will not wait for missing swimmers.
Keep Your Sharks Dry
Plenty of towels and warm clothes to wear between events are mandatory. The experienced parents rule of thumb is: One dry towel for each warm up and race, and one for the shower after the meet.
Sharks Need to Eat
Sharks get very hungry when they swim so plan on patronizing the Lone Shark Cafe for your family's dinner. The Cafe will have a variety of items such as hamburgers, baked potatoes and Caesar salads. All proceeds from the sale of concessions go to the swim team.
Sharks Love the Rain
Meets may be held in rain conditions so an umbrella does come in handy for spectators. Also, not all host clubs have bleacher seats. You may want to bring your own compact, folding chairs. Many families bring small tents that allow their children to escape the heat, cold or rain during the meet.
About Various Meet Events
In freestyle events, your Shark may swim any stroke desired. The stroke used is generally the crawl, which is characterized by the alternate overhand motion of the arms and an alternating up-and down flutter kick. Younger Sharks might get disqualified for holding onto the side of the pool or lane line, or standing on the pool bottom before completing the race.
In the backstroke, the stroke consists of an alternating motion of the arms with a flutter kick while on the back. Turns can include a roll to the breast and a continuous turning action and some part of the swimmer must touch the wall.
The breaststroke requires simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane. The hands are pulled from the breast in a heart shaped pattern and recovered under or over the surface of the water. The kick is a simultaneous, somewhat circular motion similar to the action of a frog. No flutter, scissor or dolphin kick is permitted. On turns and at the finish, the swimmer must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously, with shoulders in line with the surface of the water.
The butterfly is the most difficult of the strokes. It features a simultaneous overhand stroke of the arms combined with an undulating dolphin kick. In the kick, the swimmer must keep both legs together and may not flutter, scissor or use the breaststroke kick. As with the breaststroke, at the finish, your Shark must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously, with shoulders in line with the surface of the water.
Individual Medley (IM)
The individual medley, commonly referred to as the ?I.M.?, features all four strokes. In the IM, your Shark begins with the butterfly, then changes after one-fourth of the race to backstroke, then breaststroke, and finally freestyle.
Starts and Turns
Many races are won or lost by the swimmer?s performance in the start or turn. In the start, the swimmer is called to the starting position by the starter who visually checks that all swimmers are motionless. When all swimmers are set, the starting alarm or whistle is sounded to start the race. If the starter feels that one of the swimmers has moved, left early or gotten an unfair advantage, the race will be recalled.
If your Shark is disqualified (DQ?d) in an event, be supportive rather than critical. A disqualification should be treated as a learning experience, not as punishment. A disqualification alerts the Shark and coach to what portions of the swimmer?s stroke need to be corrected. They should be considered the same as an incorrect answer in schoolwork - they point to areas that need further practice.
The disqualification is necessary to keep the competition fair and equitable for all competitors. A supportive attitude on the part of the official, coach, and parent can make a positive experience for the disqualified swimmer. Never criticize a judge for disqualifying your Shark. If you're a better judge - volunteer to work the next meet as a judge yourself!
Missing a Meet
If you know in advance that your child will be missing a meet for any reason, it is critical that you SIGN OUT on the Missing Meet Sheet in the Mountainview Pool office no later than the Friday before the meet your child will not participate in.
Signing out allows the coaches time to prepare the best possible line-up for the upcoming meet. Last minute changes and no-shows are unfair to the coaches and are very disappointing to the swimmers in affected relays that are then unable to swim.
?A? Meets and ?B? Meets
Each week during the Midlakes season the Klahanie Swim Team will have two dual meets against the same opposing team, usually on Tuesday and Thursday. One meet will be designated a ?B? meet and one an ?A? meet. Klahanie and the other team will each host one of the meets.
Several factors influence if your child will be swimming in the ?A? and/or ?B? meets. If they achieve a ?B Disqualification Time?, they will be unable to swim that event in a ?B? meet. However, a child need not achieve that time to swim in an ?A? meet. The decision can be influenced by the depth of swimmers in a particular age group and by the availability of other swimmers on the team.
?A Champs? and ?B Champs?
The season ends with two league meets; one is referred to as ?B Champs? but is formally called ?Division Champs?. Division Champs brings together all of the teams that compete in our division at one location. This meet is hosted on a rotating basis by each team in the division. Each swimmer can compete in a maximum of three events.
The Midlakes League Championship is referred to as ?A Champs?.
The League Championship brings together the fastest swimmers from each of the 26 competing teams. Swimmers qualify for this meet by competing in preliminary meets earlier in the week. Junior Girls (12 and under) Prelims, Junior Boys (12 and under) Prelims and Senior Prelims (boys and girls 13 and older) will be held on separate days during Championship week. The fastest finishers in each event qualify to compete in the League Championship on Saturday. Each swimmer can compete in a maximum of three events, two of which can be individual events.
Each swimmer can swim in a maximum of three events combined between B Champs and A Champs. The only exception is that a swimmer that swims in three B Champ events is still eligible to swim in one relay at A Champs. Generally, each swimmer will compete in one or the other, but not both.
How to Read a Meet Lineup