NEW FOR 2018 – FAQs for New Practice Groups

(For your convenience, the below information is also available in a printable document.  Click HERE to access)

Q. How will I know what group my child is in?

A. You will receive an email after registration confirming your swimmers practice group or a time to be evaluated by a coach to determine your practice group.

Q. Can my swimmer move up a group mid-season?

A. Ideally each group will improve and excel in ability together, but we will evaluate any  swimmer that clearly demonstrates the skills for the next group and move them up as needed to ensure they match to the correct skill group.

Q. What Skills determines each group?

A. Each age-group has a different set of skills that represent beginner, intermediate and  advanced swimming and the coaches will use objective measures to evaluate and match each swimmer to the correct group. For example, 6&unders will not be evaluated for flip turns because they are not required for competition in their age-group, however, for the 9-10 age-group this is an important skill. Once the swimmers are placed in the practice groups, a skill set will be posted online 

It can be challenging to be a new swim family. Like most sports and activities, swim has its own jargon and processes that can seem overwhelming for those new to the sport. Our goal with this document is to help de-mystify some of what you might experience.

Any volunteer Board Member is happy to help answer your questions. You can also contact our New Family Liaison, Sarah Kolbe at


Meet Events and Meet Order

A typical meet has the following events, in the order listed:

  • Medley Relay 
  • Individual Medley (IM)
  • Freestyle
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Freestyle Relay

The order of the Medley Relay is Back, Breast, Fly, Free.

The order of the IM is Fly, Back, Breast, Free.

There are no relays swum at Time Trials.

Events run youngest to oldest, with 6&Unders going first, followed by 7/8s and so on. 

Within age groups, girls swim first, followed by boys. So, the 6&Under Girls would swim the Medley Relay first, followed by the 6&Under Boys. Then the 7/8 Girls would swim the Medley Relay, followed by the 7/8 Boys Medley Relay, and so on.

Each event has multiple heats. Heat 1 will generally be the swimmers with the current, fastest times and further heats will be ordered by time (fastest times first).

A typical meet runs 3 to 4 hours.

Starting from Low/High Blocks

All races END at the high blocks (this is where the Timers are). This means:

        Individual Races:

  • 8&Under races – EXCEPT for IM – start at the low blocks.
  • 8&Under IM starts at the high blocks.
  • 9&Up races begin at the high blocks.


  • All 8&Under swimmers meet at the low blocks. Lane Clerks will escort any swimmer who needs to start at the high block to that end of the pool.
  • 9&Up relays begin at the high blocks.

Meet Types Time Trials

Time Trials gives every swimmer the opportunity to swim and set a baseline time for every stroke (only 7/8 and up swim the Individual Medley (IM)). There are no relays swum at Time Trials.

Time Trials also gives our families an opportunity to experience a meet without the pressure of swimming against another team. It also enables us to work out any kinks in the way we set up and run a meet.

Dual Meets

A Dual Meet is a meet between two teams; it is our most common type of meet.


A Tri-Meet is a meet between three teams. Some seasons we host or participate in trimeets and some seasons we do not. 

Invitational Meets

An Invitational Meet is a meet in which you swim only if you are invited to do so. There are “A” Invitationals (Woodlands, Springbrook) where the fastest swimmers in each age group are invited to attend. There are also “B” Invitationals (Summer Splash, Crossings) where swimmers must not have achieved too fast a time in order to be able to swim. Click here for printable cheat sheet

VSA League

This is a 2-day meet where all teams in the Valley Swim Association (VSA) swim. It has a Trials/Finals format. This means that swimmers swim in the trials and then the top “x” number in each event (the number may vary) swim in the finals. 

County Meet

The Lafayette Moraga Youth Association (LMYA) Swim Team hosts a meet at the end of the Recreational Swim Season. They refer to this meet as the County Meet. To swim in the County Meet, a swimmer must meet or exceed an established time in an event. This is usually a very challenging goal to attain.

Number of Events

For a Saturday Meet, a swimmer will swim 2-3 individual events and may swim 1-2 relays. For a Wednesday Meet, a swimmer will swim 2 individual events and may swim 1-2 relays.

Meet Signups

To sign your child up to participate in a meet: 

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Meets/Events tab
  3. Click the Attend/Decline button under the Time Trials Meet
  4. Click on your swimmer
  5. Click the Signup Record drop down
  6. Click Yes, please sign [swimmer] up for this event.
  7. Click the checkbox next to Day 1/Session 1
  8. Click Save Changes and repeat for any additional swimmers in your family.

If your swimmer won’t be swimming in a meet, choose No, thanks, [swimmer] will not attend this event.

Meets generally “close” 7 days prior to the Meet Date.


A swimmer is said to have “popped” their time when they swim a race faster than they have ever swum that race. For example, if Gina’s current best time in the 25-Yard Freestyle is 22.44 seconds and Gina swims the 25-Yard Freestyle in 21.34 seconds, she is said to have “popped” her time.

Disqualifications (DQ)

It is the job of trained Stroke and Turn judges to watch for swimmers not performing a stroke correctly. When a swimmer exceeds the allowable threshold for incorrect stroke performance (the threshold varies by age and heat), the judge may issue a disqualification. Coaches may talk with an individual swimmer about their DQ or they may talk to the larger group if there were a large number of DQs for a single reason (for example, failure to touch with 2 hands on Butterfly by the 6&Unders).

Down Year/Up Year

Swimmers fall into age groups – 7/8, 9/10 etc. Because the age groups are mostly in 2year groups, a swimmer is said to be in their “down year” when they are on the younger side of the 2 years and in their “up year” when they are on the older side of the 2 years. For example, a 7 year old is in their down year; an 8 year old is in their up year.

Meet Sheets

The day before or the day of a meet, the team will post the Meet Sheets. These documents list each event, the heats within that event, and the swimmers swimming in that event. 

The sheet generally starts with the Medley Relay and ends with the Freestyle Relay. You can browse through the sheet to see which events your child is swimming, in which heat of that event they will swim, in which lane of that event they will swim, and their current best time in that event. 

Marking Your Swimmer for Meets

Swimmers MUST arrive at the lane with their shoulder and hand marked.

FOR ALL SWIMMERS: Write last name, first initial on the back of your right shoulder. Age group is written below the name.

ON YOUR HAND:  Event number, event stroke, heat, lane.

Relays on the LEFT hand, individual events on the RIGHT hand.

For example, if your child is entered in Event 7, swimming butterfly in the B medley relay in lane 7, Event 26: freestyle in heat 2 lane 3, Event 42: backstroke in heat 3 lane 5, and Event 77: going 3rd in the C free relay