Meets 101

Meet Fees 

  • Meet fees are managed separately and as your swimmer participates in meets throughout the year. 
  • As your swimmer is entered in meets, the associated fees are added to your online account and will be charged to your credit card on file each month.

Meet Entries

  • There is a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes putting entries together for swim meets. 
  • Part of every meet is not only posting relevant information about the meet, but more importantly, we need to know if you swimmer is attending or not. 
  • For each meet, you will receive an email invitation to attend. It is imperative that you review the invitations and dates, and indicate if your swimmer is attending (accept or decline via the link in the email you receive) before the entry deadline/cut off. 
  • If this process is not done, then we are unable to determine if your swimmer is competing. 
  • If your swimmer is eligible and is invited, you must “Accept or Decline” the meet. 
  • If your swimmer is available to attend the meet and you would like them entered, please “accept” . 
  • After the entry deadline has been reached, your coaches will create individual event entries for each swimmer. 
  • Parents are asked to NOT choose the events for your swimmer. 
  • Your swimmer’s coach will choose the events your swimmer will be entered in.  
  • If your swimmer is not available for the meet please “decline” before the deadline. 
  • If you “accept” the meet but for some reason your swimmer does not attend the meet, you will be obligated to pay the meet fees anyway as these fees are paid well in advance of the meet. 

IMPORTANT: For swim meet entries – read all emails and accept/decline via the email link before the deadline.


QUESTIONS ABOUT SWIM MEETS? Here is some useful information to help get you started...

So you have signed up and are ready for your first meet. But what should you bring?


For the swimmer

1. Team shirt, cap, deck suit

2. Swim suit for racing and a backup suit

3. Well-fitting goggles (an extra pair is a good idea too in case one pair breaks)

4. Towels (take 2 – 3 towels depending on the length of the meet)

5. Flip flops or non-slip deck shoes

6. A refillable water bottle

7. Nutritious snacks (i.e. oatmeal bars, raisins, grapes etc.), nothing too heavy to digest and nothing fatty (no junk food!)


For the parents/spectator(s)

1. Money for the meet program. These cost $2 – $10 and are available at the pool. They show all the races and you can check which races your child is in (and what lanes).  Sometimes the host club will offer heat sheets on line at no cost.

2. Colourful highlighter pen so you can mark off your child’s races.

3. As a spectator keep in mind that the indoor pool can get very hot inside so dress accordingly!

4. Viewing is often limited – arrive early.

5. Snacks and water – some meets have a shop with food but others don’t.

6. Very important – there is no flash photography allowed at meets.

7. Teams warm up in the pool, usually an hour before the first race begins. Please leave home in plenty of time to be on deck and stretching the at   least 15 mins before the start of warm-ups.


When you arrive at the pool:

1. Ensure your swimmer is changed and on the deck.  A WS coach will already be there.

2.  Look for other WS swimmers/parents. If seating permits, it is best to sit together as a team. Parents will not be allowed on deck. Swim Canada only permits registered coaches on deck.

3.  Buy a heat sheet (program) and look for your child’s name. Highlight the races he/she will be swimming in while he/she is in warm ups. Fill out the yellow meet card with your swimmers race, heat and lane information. Then give it to your swimmer to keep track of their races. Most meets we attend will be swum slowest to fastest. Kids with no times (NT) will usually swim in the first heat. Once they have swum that event they will get an official time so that subsequently, they will be seeded accordingly.

4. Encourage your child to cheer for their team mates!

5. Your child should talk to his/her coach before and after each race. This allows the coach to give plans and encouragement before the race and to provide feedback after the race for next time. Keep an eye on your swimmer and make sure that they don’t miss their race. Young swimmers often get distracted and miss races! Before your swimmer leaves the deck, make sure check with their coach that they actually done racing for the day. There may be relays at the end of the session and your swimmer may be a member of a relay team.

6. When the meet is over, please ensure that your swimmer helps to clean up any garbage around the team area. It’s a lot of work for the meet organizers to clean up the mess left at the end of a meet.


Meet Results

  • Encourage your swimmer to do their best and to have fun. 


  • Results are usually posted on a wall at the meet as they become available. 


  • For some meets, live results are available on the host team’s website. 


  • Results will show their official time and place for each event. 


  • The coaches usually get their times too and will tell them how they did. 


  • Following the meet you can find all the results on the Swim Canada web site. Go to This web site shows results of all the meets nationwide.


  • For real time meet results. Download “Meet Mobile”. It’s an app with real time swim meet results.  You can download this app (a fee may apply)


  • If your child places in an event, ribbons are often given out. These ribbons, however, are only given out at the end of a meet and usually to the coach who will award them to swimmers later on. 


  • Sometimes these ribbons are mailed out so it could be a few days before they get them to you.


Swim Meet FAQs

1. How do I know which meet my swimmer is attending?

  • You will be notified via our Team unify email system when there is a meet coming up. You will be asked to go to the Team unify site and either accept/decline your swimmer’s entry.

2. What is and where do I find the meet package?

  • You can find the meet package on our website swim meet page or on Swim Canada website meet list. The meet package will include the warm up times, events and all information regarding the meet.

3. How do I know which events my swimmer is participating in?

  • Meet entries will be available approximately 1 week prior to the meet via our website.

4. What are psych sheets?

  • Psych sheets are a rank ordering of the swimmers entered  per event  at a particular meet.

5. How is a swimmer seeded if he/she has never competed in an event?

  • Most often swimmers are entered NT (no time) and seeded in the slowest heat. This means that they will swim in the first heats of an event.  Sometimes swimmers are given estimated times by the coaches.

6. What are time trials?

  • Time trials are official competitions used to provide a race opportunity  for a small number of participants. They are used for last minute qualifying for major meets (Central Regions and up) and to allow for a record attempt prior to an age up by a swimmer. Time trials usually take place during our normal training time.  They can happen 2 – 4 times per year.

7. What does it mean that a meet is sanctioned?

  • A meet is “sanctioned” when Swim Ontario has given its stamp of approval on the competition or time trial.

8. How is it determined which swimmers participate in relays?

  • The coaches will generally try to create the fastest possible relays starting with the “A” team and working back.  Usually life time best times and times done at the current meet are used for selection. Ultimately it is the coaches responsibility to select the team as other factors  such as current training and racing times and health of the swimmer will be brought into account.

9. What is a DQ?

  • This is a disqualification. Sometimes, the swimmer may be disqualified and an official will tell the swimmer at the end of the race.  Although this is done to help the swimmer learn the rules of the strokes, it is often a very emotional event for the young swimmer so it is important that you let them know that this happens to most swimmers when they are starting out – even some of the world champions get disqualified. And to take the sting out of the DQ … it’s tradition to make a trip to Dairy Queen in honour of the DQ 😉

10. Are my child’s times recorded anywhere on a website?

11. What are pre-requisites?

  • For the younger swimmers to qualify for Provincials and Festivals they need to beat certain standards in the longer freestyle and IM events. This is done to prove their aerobic fitness to Swim Ontario. It is part of the long term athlete development plan.

12. What is the difference between short course and long course and what time of year is which season?

  • The short course season (25 m pool) is traditionally September to March and the long course (50 m pool) season April to August. Long Course meets can be held during the SC season and vice versa.