If you're new to YMCA swimming, the following information may be helpful:
Types of Meets:
Dual and Tri Meets: A meet consisting of two or three teams within the league. There are no entry fees for these meets.
Invitationals: Any team within the league may participate. The order of events varies depending on the host team. Swimmers can pick their own individual events (with some input from the coaches.) All relays are selected by the coaches. These meets are longer than dual meets and entry fees are charged per event.
League Championships: A meet held in early March consisting of all the qualifying swimmers and teams in the League. This is a two day meet. Entry fees are charged per swimmer. The Lima Family YMCA requires all eligible swimmers to attend this meet.
Zones: A meet held for all YMCA teams in the Great Lakes Zone. Swimmers must achieve qualifying times in order to participate. YMCA zone meets are usually out of town. Entry fees are charged per event and families will assume additional costs (hotel, food, etc.).
- Summer Nationals - A meet held for all YMCA teams in the country. This meet is for 12 & over swimmers who achieve the qualifying times. The summer national meet is swum in a 50 meter pool. Summer nationals are usually the first week of August. Entry fees are charged per event.
- Winter Nationals - A meet held for all YMCA teams in the country. This meet is for 12 and over swimmers who achieve the qualifying times. The winter national meet is swum in a 25 yard pool. Winter nationals are usually held in Florida in the middle of April. Entry fees are charged per event.
What to Bring to a Meet:
During swim meets, you are usually grouped as a team in a gymnasium or other space at the meet location. Swimmers should bring a blanket or sleeping bag and parents may bring a lawn chair for their space. Swimmers should pack their team suit and a spare, two pair of goggles, a swim cap or two, towels (they don't dry out inside), warm clothing to wear between events and a change of clothes for after the meet. Team suits are not mandatory. They may be purchased at Poco Loco if you would like to purchase a team suit. Make sure that all personal possessions are labeled with the swimmer's name. While most of the meets feature a concession stand, swimmers may want to pack a cooler with water, energy drinks, healthy snacks, etc.
What to Expect at a Meet:
At most meets swimmers ages 8 and under (sometimes 12 and under) will be organized by the clerk of course prior to their event. The clerk will help line-up swimmers in the appropriate events; parent need to help swimmers hear the event announcement and help their swimmer get to the clerk of course in a timely fashion. Older swimmers are expected to handle their own event cards and get themselves to the blocks in time for their events. Prior to the meet, coaches will post the events your swimmer will swim. Swimmers should not scratch from an event without first consulting the coach. Swimmers must see their coach immediately after they swim for any feedback the coach has for them while it is fresh in the coach's mind.
Age Determination for YMCA Swimming:
All YMCA meets, except Nationals, use December 1st of the current season to determine a swimmers age. (June 1 is the date used for the summer season.)
- A swimmer that turns 11 on December 1st will swim with the 11-12 age group through the season.
- A swimmer that turns 11 on December 2nd will swim with the 9-10 age group through the season.
For National swim meets, the swimmer's age is determined by the their age on the first day of the meet.