Basic Meet – This is the most common meet we participate in. Various events selected by the host team are available to swim. Usually swimmers are limited to four individual events and two relay entries. These meets usually consist of two sessions: morning and afternoon. Different age groups will swim at different times. Meets may be conducted over several consecutive days – this does not mean that WAT will participate multiple days. The host team may present medals or ribbons to the top finishers.
Dual/Triangular Meets – These meets are more like competitive practices than a basic meet. Dual meets consist of WAT and one other team, Triangular meets are WAT and two other teams. These meets are typically free and conducted on a Friday night.
Swim Your Own Age (SYOA) Meets – These meets are great for beginners and younger swimmers. Normally swimmers are group by age brackets. Performance is compared only to other swimmers of the same single year age. Competition is much more even and many of these meets provide ribbons, medals, and sometimes trophies to the best swimmers.
Individual High Points Meets – A middle ground between basic and SYOA meets. Swimmers compete in their age brackets, but their placement is combined and score by points to determine overall best swimmers across all events participated in. This is in addition to ribbons and awards for the individual events. The highest point winners often receive trophies.
Prelim/Finals Meets – Highly competitive, prelim/final meets consist of several sessions in which swimmers swim events first in preliminary heats. The top 8-16 (depending on the meet) will then swim in the same event later in the day in a “final”. The results of the final heat determine final places within the event. Larger meets take the top 16 swimmers and hold a consolation final (the 9th – 16th fastest times of the preliminary heats) and a championship final (the 1st – 8th fastest times of the preliminary heats).
Regional Meets – The Regional meet is a multi-day meet at the end of the winter session designed as a last chance for swimmers to achieve qualifying cut times for the State Championship Meet. Swimmers may only swim in events that they do not already have qualifying times in. This meet does not require pre-registration but fills quickly once it is announced.
State Championships – The State meet is the highest level of club competition most swimmers will see. To participate in the meet, swimmers must meet a minimum cut time. These times are fast! The state meet is conducted over 4 days. The Winter State is swum in a 25-yard pool and the Summer State is swum in an Olympic 50 meter length pool. Generally, the top 10% of the fastest swimmers in the state reach qualifying times for the state meet.
Central Zones Championships – Wisconsin Swimming is part of a larger national organization, USA Swimming. Roughly the middle quarter of the US is the Central Zone for US Swimming. Swimmers qualify to participate in this meet by swimming extremely fast times. The meet can be conducted anywhere in the region. Recent years have been in Topeka, Grand Forks, and Indianapolis. Swimmers swim at the Zones meet not as a member of WAT, but as a representative of Team Wisconsin!!
Speedo Championships, Junior Nationals, Etc. – Several other meets exist for those swimmers at the highest levels of competition.