FAQs/Swim Glossary

Frequently Asked Questions and Swim Glossary


How is the age group that my child will swim determined?

The group is determined by your child’s age as of June 15 of that season.


How do the coaches decide on what events my child will swim?

Please refer to the section on "Events" under Meet Guidelines in the handbook for a detailed discussion on scheduling. A child may swim in a maximum of three individual events per meet and two relay events.


What is the order of the events at the meets?

Each stroke/event proceeds by age group from youngest to oldest, starting with 6&U. Ladies always swim before gentlemen!

The usual order of events at dual meets is Medley Relay, Individual Medley, Freestyle, and Breast stroke, Backstroke, Butterfly and Freestyle Relay. The order may vary.


 What distance will my child swim?

This depends upon age group. The distances are:

6&U - one lap  

7&8 - one lap 

9&10 - two laps

11&12 - two laps

13&14 - two laps

15-18 - two laps (15-18.s occasionally swim 100.s)

Age groups 8&u thru 15-18 also swim the 100 IM (one lap each of Fly-Back-Breast-Free in that order).


How long does a meet last?

A dual meet usually lasts about 3 hours.

Invitational meets can be half or full day.

It takes two and a half days to complete all events in the OMPA Championships and two days for County Meet


 What should we bring to a meet?

In addition to bringing your entire family, remember that it is to everyone’s benefit (especially the swimmer’s) to come to a meet well-prepared. Below is a list of the most necessary items to bring: 

2 suits                                      warm clothes (sweats)

back-up team cap                    parka/jacket

extra towels                              sleeping bag

extra goggles                           nutritious foods/snacks

plenty of water                         personal goal sheet


Other things you might want to bring to occupy your swimmer: games, cards, books, markers, IPod, small crafts, etc.


Swim Glossary

Clerk of the Course -  An area where swimmers are organized before their events and assigned to lanes (usually at invitational meets only)


Colorado System -  An automatic timing system using push buttons to time individual swims.  The time is sent to the Colorado system and then to a computer for placing, scoring, and posting of results.  This system increases accuracy of results. 


"DQ"  or  Swimmer Given a Yellow Slip - Disqualification of a swimmer from an event as determined by the starter or by the stroke and turn judge.  DQ’s may occur for illegal starts, illegal strokes, illegal turns or illegal finishes.  False starts in relays are also DQ’s. Disqualifications are strictly enforced as the summer progress. 


Desk - The group of parent volunteers who record times, keep scores and make out ribbons with the aid of the computer.


Family folders - A file folder for each swim team family in one of the three file boxes kept at the pool.  Folders are in alphabetical order.  Please check these folders regularly for important notices and ribbons.


Heat - One heat = one race of 6 swimmers of the same age group swimming the same event. In events where there are more than 6 swimmers, the swimmers will be placed in multiple heats based on entered times.


Individual Medley (IM) - In the Individual Medley, the swimmer swims a lap of each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, in that order.


Invitational Meets - Weekend meet with more than two teams. An entry fee is required for each swimmer.  These meets offer the best opportunity for fast swimming.  The invitational meets we will be attending this summer are the MVP Bottoms-Up, the Meadow Mini., the OPP Relays, the OMPA Championships and the County Championships.   In addition, Sleepy Hollow hosts the B Invitational. 


Meter Pool -  A 25-meter pool is actually 27.5 yards long.  To convert a meter time into a yard time, divide the meter time by 1.11.  The NEW Sleepy Hollow Pool is a yard pool.


 OMPA - The Orinda Moraga Pool Association is the governing body for the member pools.  All meets are coordinated and scheduled through the OMPA.  Member teams include Campolindo Cabana, Meadow, Miramonte, Moraga Country Club, Moraga Tennis and Swim, Moraga Valley Pool, Moraga Ranch, Orinda Country Club, Orinda Park Pool, and Sleepy Hollow.


Meet Points - Points in scored dual meets are awarded to the team based on individual swimmer placement with 1st = 5 pts; 2nd = 3 pts; 3rd = 1 pt.  In relay events, 1st = 7 pts, 2nd = 3 pts and no points for third place.


Split Times -  A swimmer’s time for their leg of a relay swim.  These are not considered legal times unless recorded as the first leg of a relay at a meet which has electronic timing.


Time Classifications: Bronze, Silver and Gold Times -  Swimmers can qualify for bronze, silver or gold times based on their best times in each event.  The qualifying times are established at the beginning of each season with the gold time being the County Meet qualifying time for that age group in an event.  Swimmers who attain a bronze, silver or gold time are recognized for this accomplishment at the end of the season.


Touch Pad -  A yellow pad with a black cross in the center that is placed on the wall in each lane at the start/finish end of the pool.  These pads electronically calculate swimmers times when they are touched.  Electronic timing systems are usually used at championship meets.