What are Zones?

Each year one of our team major goals is to send as many swimmers to Zone Championships as possible.  Determining which swimmers get to go can be complicated and confusing, so here is a guideline to help explain the process.



How does a swimmer make Zones?


Qualify for an individual event.  This is the most straightforward approach. Swim qualifying time at a sanctioned meet, these include Dual Meets, YMCA or USA Invitationals, YMCA or USA Championship or a YMCA Last Chance Meet.  Qualifying times are posted on our website.


Be selected by a coach to participate in a Zone Relay.  There are two ways you can qualify for a relay.  First, a relay swims a qualifying time at a meet.  (In this case, the relay, not the swimmers, qualify for Zones. When the time comes to put the Zone Relay Team together, the coaches will determine who the four best times are. Second, a relay can qualify using the composite times of four swimmers individual events.  A really doesn’t necessarily have to swim a Zone time as a relay sat a meet.  Instead the coach could add up their best individual times as though they were a leg of a relay and if the total time is faster than the Zone Relay time, then those swims qualify for the relay. In this case though, the swimmer that swam the qualifying time would be selected for the Zones relay. 



How are Zone Relay Positions Determined?


The most accurate answer is “Relays are made at the sole discretion of the coaches.” Some things they might consider are fastest times, consistency of the swimmer, trending of the swimmer, and potential to get more swimmers to zones. With all of that in mind, is is important for parents and swimmers to understand that the coaches will always be as fair as possible while still making the largest and most competitive team at Zones as possible.