All of the meets that CSA attends are "away" meets, hosted by USA teams in B'ham, Madison, Hunstville, and others. Typically fees include a surcharge and a fee per event, plus CSA charges a bit to help offset the coaching costs. Meet fees charged by the host team are non-refundable after entries are sent, which is usually about 2 weeks before the meet.
Meets are divided into sessions, usually with younger kids in the morning , and 11 and up or 13 and up in the afternoon, but each meet varies. Warm-up times are announced a few days before the meet, and CSA swimmers will warm up together with one of the coaches. Info will be posted on our website and sometimes emailed. It is the responsibility of each family to check the website for information and stay up to date on events in which they wish to participate.
Meets are 2-4 hours not counting warm-ups, but you are generally clear to leave after your last event. If for some reason your swimmer is unable to make the meet or has to leave early, kindly let the coach know. We will post or email phone numbers to make it easier for your to do this.
Mini-Crush swimmers are still in a developmental group and it takes time to be prepared for a USA meet. Bronze group and above should plan to participate in meets. These meets are the payoff for hard work and shows your swimmer how far they've come. Between races is a great time to get to know other swimmers and families within the team, and even make new friends beyond CSA.
Some facilities (Crossplex, Huntsville Aquatic Center) do not allow chairs, while others (Madison) have a gym available for your chairs, blankets, etc. Always check the meet invitation which should address this.
You will need:
- 2-3 towels
- Competition suit, cap, and goggles (CSA cap preferred to help coaches spot our swimmers)
- Extra suit and goggles just in case (meets have a gear vendor for your convenience as well)
- change of clothes for after the meet
- light snacks if needed
- sharpie for E/H/L on your swimmer's arm
- blanket/chairs/stadium seat as appropriate
- Positive attitude and encouraging words for your swimmer
For the younger swimmers, the host will have a "bullpen" or "clerk of course." This is where they organize the swimmers in order they will swim. You will need to listen for your swimmer's events as they are announced over the PA system. Coaches often like to have the swimmers check in with them before their event. They may be behind the blocks, at the coaches area, or even in the bullpen. The coach of the day will let you know what their preference is on each meet.
How do you know their events? The heat sheet is usually available online or on the Meet Mobile app. Our website will have a list of entries you can refer to, then check the heat sheet for the event number, heat number, and lane (E/H/L). You can write these down, and also use your sharpie to write it on your swimmer's arm to help them remember where to be when. You can always ask others with more experience how this works! You can also print the heat sheet which will give you a picture of the entire meet (or each session if that's all you want). That will also help to know how many heats and sometimes an estimate of the timing for the events.
Not allowed at meets:
- Flash photography in the pool area
- Any type of recording/photos in restrooms, locker rooms, dressing areas
- Spectators right next to the pool
- Discussing any disqualification with officials (ask your coach instead)
- Any unsportsmanlike behavior