Planning for a Swim Meet

How to Sign up my Swimmer for a Meet:

  1. Internet:
    1. Log into your team unify account. Click on the “Events & Competition” tab OR  
    2. Under Calendar click on “Team Events"
  2. OnDeck app:
    1. Log into your OnDeck app.  Click on "Events"
    2. Select "Events & Meet Entries"
  3. Find the event you would like to attend and click on "Edit Commitment," (on the right of the event for internet users and under the event for OnDeck users).
  4. Click on your swimmer. (It will show under the column titled "Member Commitment" as Undeclared )
  5. In the "Declaration" box, click on: "Yes, please sign [swimmer name] up for this event." You can also put a note for the coaches if you cannot attend one of the days, for instance, or if you need to leave early with your swimmer.  Swim meets do come with additional costs, see below.* 
  6. Please note that when meets have “qualifying times,” if your swimmer's times don’t meet the criteria, their times will be shown in red, indicating a no qualifying time. On the right side of each event will be listed the time needed to participate.
  7. Please read the meet information. It lists how many events per day a swimmer can participate in. The host is not required to refund monies if there is an error. It is a parent’s responsibility to verify entrance into the meet has been done correctly.
  8. Some larger out-of-state meets require quick and early entry deadlines to sign swimmers up before a meet fills. Swimmers aged 12 and Under make up the largest portion of swimmers nationally and many times teams are closed out by sessions that are estimated to run longer than four hours.

*Entry Fees and Surcharges Each event/race a swimmer enters at a swim meet carries an entry fee.  This fee can range from $2 to $20 per race. In addition to the meet fee for each individual event, the hosting team may require a surcharge or facility fee for each swimmer participating in the meet. Meet entry fees and surcharges are due to the hosting team prior to the start of the swim meet. These fees will be added to your account in the next billing cycle.

What Should My Swimmer Bring to a Swim Meet:

  1. Pack an extra towel, dry clothes, and heavy clothes (sweat shirts, sweat pants, etc.) to keep the swimmers warm during the meet.  Some kids bring clean shoes or sandals to wear on deck.
  2. Swimmers need to stay hydrated and fed during meets.  Pack protein and high-quality carbs, not junk- those bodies are working hard.  Water bottles are necessary. Sometimes there are concessions items sold.
  3. Some kids bring card games and hand-held games to play when they are not swimming. Just remember that water will ruin most everything!

What Should a Parent Bring to a Swim Meet:

  1. Printed heat sheet sent out before the meet which is a kind of program for the swim meet.  If it wasn't provided beforehand, sometimes they are availibe for sale at concessions (bring cash).
  2. Bring some cash. You may be charged admission as a spectator (usually under $5 per head); you may not.  It depends on the meet.  
  3. Bring a Sharpie marker, a pen or pencil to write times on the heat sheet, and a highlighter. More on what to do with the Sharpie, pen and highlighter later.
  4. It can get pretty warm and humid at meets, even mid-winter.  Wearing layers is a good idea.  Even better: wear layers in NPAC colors (green, white, & black)!  
  5. Spectator seating at swim meets is usually in bleachers.  If you want some cushioning or back support, you’ll most likely need to bring yourself a stadium seat.
  6. You may be walking on wet tile floors; wear shoes (not worn outside) that will help keep you sure-footed.  Keep that in mind for your swimmer(s), too.

Before the Swim Meet:

  1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information- usually sent out by the coach before the meet.
  2. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day they need to get the engine going and warmed up before they can go all out. 
  3. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE OR CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE MEET FOR WHATEVER REASON:  Call the coach if you can’t make the meet after you’ve signed up.  You should keep the coach’s cell phone and/or pool numbers handy.  Call if you are running late or something comes up at the last minute and your swimmer can’t make it to the meet.
  4. With the heat sheet, you will want to write your swimmers events, heats, lanes and what they are swimming on one of their arms with a Sharpie. (Don't worry, they think it is cool to have a temporary tatoo to show off to friends at school on Monday but it will be gone after a few showers!) The above picture is a sample of how to write on the arm. If you have any questions, please see a coach or a board member!


What Should a Parent Expect During a Swim Meet:

  1. Don’t plan for your swimmer to sit with your family.  Swimmers belong with their teams during the meet. 
  2. Don’t plan on going over to where the team is sitting to visit with your swimmer.  Only coaches, timers, officials and swimmers are allowed “on deck” (the area around the pool and where the swimmers are getting ready to swim) at meets. 
  3. If you want to take pictures, keep in mind that the flash from cameras interferes with the timing equipment, so flash photography is definitely not permitted at starts.  (It’s a good idea to figure out how to avoid using a flash during the whole meet, to keep it simple.)
  4. The purpose of the pen or pencil is to record the time your swimmer achieves in each event they swim on the heat sheet.  Your swimmer can use this information to assess their performance in the meet.  The scoreboard will show lane number and time.
  5. Be prepared for hearing that your swimmer has “DQed”: disqualified.  The people you see walking around the pool with clipboards wearing white shirts and navy bottoms are swim meet officials.  One of their jobs is to make sure the swimmers follow the rules.  When a swimmer is disqualified, this means the swimmer is not eligible for an award in that event, and their time is not recorded.    Hearing that they have DQ’ed can be really tough news, especially for a new swimmer.  As a parent, try to help them keep things in perspective and a DQ is just part of learning all the rules and technique of swimming. 
  6. Awards:  At each meet, there are different awards structures.  All finishers above a certain place may receive ribbons; those in the top may get medals.  Check the heat sheet for what the meet awards are, and what the rules are for collecting the awards.  Some meets will not send awards home with coaches if the swimmers don’t pick them up at the meet.
  7. So how do you know where your swimmer placed in an event?  Results are usually posted out in a hallway on the wall after events.  Usually there is a table set up not too far away where you or your swimmer can pick up awards.  You’ll need to be able to tell the people at the award table what event number you are picking up the award for.