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Your First Swim Meet

YOUR FIRST USA SWIMMING SWIM MEET

We have families that will help you on a one-to-one basis with all aspects of getting ready for a swim meet. It’s a great way to get to know some of the other families. Email Swim4BSL@gmail.com and ask to be put in touch with some of them.   

The primary goal of our team when we attend a swim meet is for our swimmers to improve.  Improvement can be anything from getting a best time in a specific event to learning what part of a specific stroke that needs improvement, or attempting their first flip turn.  As long as there is improvement or knowledge gained in some area, the meet and your child’s performance has been a success. 

Your First Swim Meet

The whole process starts with signing your child up to compete in the meet.  BSL will update the Events section of the website with upcoming meets months in advance.  Please be sure to check each event's registration deadline, as most meets will not allow athlete's to enter the meet after the posted deadline on the meet page.

How to sign up:

1.) Go to www.birminghamswimleague.org and log in to your account
2.) Look at the bottom-center section of the front page under “Events”
3.) Click the “Attend this event” button next to the Meet you wish to sign up for
4.) Click the swimmer’s name you wish to sign up for the meet under “Member Name”
5.) Click the drop down bar next to “declaration” and select “Yes, please sign ______ up for this event”
6.) It will be assumed that your swimmer will participate in each day of competition unless otherwise noted in the "Notes" section
7.) Click Save and you’re done!
8.) Coaches will select your swimmers events for each day of competition
9.) After the deadline you may view your swimmer's events by repeating steps 1-3 to return to the sign up page

*Remember you MUST click the "Save" button to complete updating your declaration.

The meets are usually divided into two sessions per day: a morning session for 12-year-old swimmers and younger, and an afternoon session for 13-year-old swimmers and older. A typical session lasts approximately four hours. Your child may be eligible to swim as many as four or five events and a relay in one session. 

 

The youngest swimmers of the morning session will sometimes have a Clerk of Course.  This is an area in which volunteers organize the youngest swimmers for each event.  In the Clerk of Course, each swimmer may be issued a 2x4 card that shows their name, heat number, and lane number. The meet volunteers in Clerk of Course will place swimmers on benches in the correct order for their heat and lane for each event.  The volunteers will then lead the swimmers from the Clerk of Course to the starting blocks in time to swim their race and ensure the swimmers are in the correct lanes. In the older age groups, (9 years and up), your swimmer will be responsible for showing up behind the blocks in the correct lane for their heat as indicated in the Heat Sheet. 

 

There can be a lot of down time between events so make sure you bring something for them to do as well as bring healthy snacks and drinks. All meets will have a concessions area and a local swim shop that will have various swim gear for sale. You should bring:

 

  • Three to four towels per child.  (Keep one in reserve until the end so it is dry)
  • Bring warm clothes for them to wear over their bathing suit and dry clothes to wear home
  • Bring small games for them to play during the down time of the meet. (cards, coloring books, Game Boys, etc.)
  • Bring something to sit in or on.  Most meets do not provide areas to sit, so bring chairs for the adults and blankets for the swimmers to rest on.
  • Buy a Heat Sheet, or, if it’s available, print one from the BSL website.  Bring parent meet gear.  This includes a bag for toting all the stuff - camera, cash, highlighter and ballpoint pen for marking your swimmer and their friends in the heat sheet.
  • Make sure that your swimmer has brought all of their swim gear (caps, goggles, towels, etc.).  Also, remember that team caps must be worn if they plan on wearing a cap.  They can get them from their coach at the meet.  After your first cap, they are $5 each for Latex (available in red only) and $10 for Silicone (available in white only).
  • Please note that the Birmingham Crossplex does not allow anyone to bring ‘outside’ food or drink into the facility.  All drinks and snacks must be purchased at the Crossplex.
 
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