For Swimmers

Swim Meet Tips

Team Uniform

Team suits and caps are required at swim meets.

What to Bring to a Swim Meet

  • Meet suit, cap and goggles (2 pairs of goggles if possible).
  • Two or more towels (early in the morning towels don't tend to dry out).
  • Something to sit on or under, such as lawn chairs or blankets, and tarps or sunshades.
  • Sunscreen and hats, for both swimmers and parents.
  • Sweat suits to wear after warm-ups and a T-shirt to wear later in the day.
  • Games, deck of cards, coloring books, etc. 
  • Food: a small cooler with water, drinks, and healthy snacks. Fruit, bagels, dry cereal, and sports drinks make good between-race snacks.  In general, avoid items with a lot of fat, fiber and refined sugar. 
  • Stop watch, if you have one, to informally time your swimmer.

What to Expect

  • If you’ve never attended a swim meet before, here are a few things you can expect:
  • The meet lasts about 4 hours.
  • Canopies/tents, towels, and kids everywhere.
  • Chilly mornings
  • Limited viewing space (except for deck volunteers)
  • Boredom between your child’s events if you don’t volunteer for a shift timing, recording, working concessions, etc.
  • New friends and a great time if you get involved with the team.

Arrival at the Meet

  • Arrive at the pool 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time.
  • Upon arrival, look for the Sea Lion section and check in with the coaches.
  • Team members should sit together for management sake (we don't want them to miss their events) and it encourages friendships between teammates.


  • Each team gets a 20 minute warm-up.  The home team always warms up first.  For home meets, that means you’ll need to arrive around 6:00 am. 
  • Listen for the Sea Lionwarm-up announcement. All swimmers should warm up with the team, to reduce the chance of injury and familiarize the swimmer with the pool and the backstroke flags.
  • After warm-ups, swimmers go back to the team area and wait until their events are called. This is a good time to get something to eat, drink, some water, and use the restroom. Relays are the first events, so don't go too far!!!
  • It is important for all swimmers to know what events they are swimming. Many swimmers write their events on their hand.

Swimming the Meet 

  • Meets usually start between 7:00 am and finish around 12:00 am.  After both teams have warmed up, we sing the National Anthem and then the meet should begin.  Relays are first. 
  • When the announcer calls the event number over the loudspeaker, the swimmer should report immediately to the Clerk of Course.  This is the area where adult volunteers get the swimmers in order for their event.
  • At the Clerk of Course, each swimmer is given an event card.  This card lists the swimmer's name, seed time, event number, event description, heat number, and lane assignment.
  • Just before the swimmer's event, they will be lead to the starting end of the pool and will give their card to the volunteer known as the Runner.  The card is passed to the Recorder and the swimmer's finish time is written on the card.
  • After swimming each event, swimmers can get their time by asking the timers.


  • Event results (official times) are posted outside the pool area as soon as they become available. Call any errors to the attention of the coaches immediately. Results will also be posted on the team website.