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Swim Meet Basics

MLA 301: Swim Meets

What are "Time Standards?"

Time Standards are lists of times by event that are required to qualify for a certain swim meet.  Usually, Championship meets such as JO, Michigan State, Sectionals, etc. requires such times.  Your typical in-season meets have no time requirements to participate.  

What is short course & long course?

"Short Course," refers to the swimming season from September to March in which all competitions are swam in a 25 yard pool.  The term, "long course," refers to the April to August swim season in which competitions are swam in 50 meter pools.   

What is the WMSL?

The WMSL is the West Michigan Swim League is an independent swim league of which MLA is involved which includes teams from all over the West Michigan region.  This league provides smaller, low-key swim  meets designed to serve as an introduction to competitive swimming for new swimmers and swim families.  Typically the meets last roughly two hours and are free to participate in.  MLA swimmers in the White 1&2, Red 1&2, and Blue groups are invited to join in with these fun meets!  A meet schedule for the 2017-2018 WMSL league will be posted soon.

What is USA Swimming?

USA Swimming is the national governing body of our sport.  As a USA Swimming Club-Member, MLA is essentially a feeder program for our Olympic, National, Junior National, and many collegiate swim teams that rely on USA swimming for development of Age Group swimmers.

There are 89 Local Swim Committees (LSC) in the umbrella of USA Swimming.  Our LSC is Michigan Swimming.  Michigan Swimming is our local governing body and hosts our state's Championship season (Junior Olympics, Michigan State Championships, & Zones).

How often do we attend meets?

MLA is a competitive swim program.  We require all of our swimmers to participate in meets.  We do so because it gives your coaching staff an opportunity to observe skill development but more importantly, swim meets are the most fun part!  If you have a swimmer that shy's away from competition, let your coaches help develop those skills necessary for them to feel comfortable to race their best!  Meets are typically scheduled once per month - regular attendance at these meets is expected for MLA families.  In the event of an MLA hosted event at the HCAC, all families are expected to volunteer regardless if your swimmer is attending.  

Do we need to volunteer?

More accurately, we want you to be involved in your swimmer's sport.  Hosting meets is the major fundraiser for our team.  Officially, MLA does not have volunteer minimums - we want you to be involved because you want to support your child's program.  We do not currently such requirements, becuase we have never needed them!  MLA families like to help out and like to be able to watch their swimmers from the pool deck. 

It is important for you to know that MLA does not want to create strict rules regarding volunteering for the program, ever. However, we pride ourselves in running the finest meets in one of the finest facilities in the country, we only do so with the great help of our MLA families.  

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