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Parents Guide to Swim Meets Handbook

Timing Chair How-To

DEFINITIONS  (Downloadable copy)

  • Age Groups:  Until a swimmer reaches Senior / Sectional / National standards they compete in groups by age.  The age groups are:  5-8, 7-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15 & Over.  Time standards for each of these age groups get faster and faster as the swimmer gets older.
  • Automatic Check In:  Meet is pre-seeded and heat and lane assignments are assigned prior to the meet. This is standard for the Senior and above meets.  If a swimmer misses or decides not to swim an event there is no ‘no show’ penalty.  Exceptions are the distance races and ‘excess’ events.  Sometimes swimmers are allowed to enter more events than the max number they can swim.  The ‘excess’ events must be scratched.  Scratch rules for events that must be scratched are in the meet sheet.
  • BRW – Blue / Red / White (times):  are Southern California Swimming  (SCS) time groupings within age groups, within events.  Every swimmer begins as No Time (NT).  The “time” they get assigns them to a B/R/W group based on how fast their time was.  Red times are faster than White times and Blue times are faster than Red times.  These times qualify swimmers for future events.  See SCS Time Standards under the Athletes tab on our web page.  Note:  It’s entirely possible for a swimmer to have a white time in one event, a red time in another event, and a blue time in still another event.
  • DQ - DisQualification:  Every stroke has certain technical ‘standards/rules’ that have to be met in order to ensure fairness and performance.  If a swimmer violates one of these ‘rules’ the referee will “DQ” them.  Immediately after the event the referee will let the swimmer know what the DQ was.  The coach will let the swimmer know what to do to correct the problem.  DQ’s are not to be looked upon as a failure, but rather as a learning experience and an opportunity to make technical corrections in training.  Even the most experienced, highly ranked swimmers DQ on occasion. 
  • Dryland Training:  Dryland training is a “DRY” training done out of the water.  It helps a swimmer develop explosive power and flexibility. When it comes to developing explosive power in the water, which is particularly critical for sprinting, dry land contributes more than swim training. However, because of the exquisite sensitivity to increasing frontal drag with small changes in shape, one has to be extremely careful about developing bulk strength. Swimming is a sport where bigger and stronger does not necessarily make one faster. In fact, we often see the opposite. Consequently, most good strength trainers familiar with our sport have evolved into programs focusing on developing swim-specific strength, building the core muscles involved in the correct swimming motions, while largely ignoring the rest. Becoming strong while remaining lean is a key to fast swimming.
  • H/F: Heats & Finals.  This means there will be preliminary events, usually in the morning.  The top 16 times will swim finals in the evening.  Places 9-16 swim in the B-Consolation and places 1-8 swim in the Final.  Swimmers who qualify for the finals have 20 minutes to scratch after the 16 finalists are announced if they do not want to swim in the finals. Otherwise they are automatically entered.
  • JAG:  June Age Group championships.  LCM championship level meet for age group swimmers.  Usually held in the middle of June. Time standards are set by SCS
  • JO:  Junior Olympics.  These are championship level meets for the age group swimmers. Time standards are set by SCS
  • LCM – Long Course Meters:  Length of competition lane is 50 meters.  This is the same length the Olympic swimmers swim.  Long course season begins around April and continues through July.  These meets very often are geared towards the more experienced, faster swimmers and are often designated as BR meets (meaning swimmers competing in these meets must have a Blue or Red time in an event to qualify).  Swimmers with a Red or Blue time in a short course event may use that time to qualify for the long course event and vice versa.
  • Meet FeesEvery swim meet has meet fees.  Fees are per event and usually range from $3.50 - $5.50.  They may be higher for championship meets.  There is also a per swimmer surcharge.  These can range from $5 to $7 to $10 per swimmer depending on the meet.    These fees are paid by the team and billed to the family account.  Once the swimmer has been entered into events, and these entries have been approved by the coach. the fees are ‘non-refundable’ whether the swimmer swims the event or not.
  • Meet SheetsEvery meet creates a meet sheet which contains information about the meet and the events being offered.  If there are qualifying times these will also be included.  When available they are usually attached to the event or the coach will send them out via e-mail. To locate the meet sheet select the NAME of the meet.  It will take you to the meet information page.  The meet sheet is a pdf file and it is attached under Forms/Documents.   Select it to download.
  • Relays:  Relay events are “deck entered” AT THE MEET.  If the meet is running behind they may elect to eliminate the relays.  These are the most popular events at any meet.  Four swimmers form a ‘team’ and swim to beat other teams.  The kids love to rally around their team mates and scream loud enough to be heard under water.  Do NOT leave until you are sure your swimmer is not assigned to a relay team.  Always check with the coach before you leave.
  • SCS Time Standards:  These are times, by age group, by event, that determine qualifying times for Red, Blue, WAG (Winter Age Group Championships), JAG (June Age Group championships), JO (Junior Olympic) meets. Victory is in the Eastern Geographical Committee of the Southern California Swimming (SCS) Local Swimming Committee. The time standards we use are the SCS time standards and can be found under the Events tab or on the SCS web site.  www.socalswim.org
  • SCY – Short Course Yards:  Length of competition lane is 25 yards.  Our pool is SCY.  SCY meets are typically at the beginning of the swim season and normally run through Feb-Mar.  These meets are geared toward the beginner swimmer and are designed to give the beginner/novice swimmer an opportunity to get times and swim meet experience before moving on to the Long Course faster meets.
  • Swim Season:  Sept 1 through end of July with senior and above championship meets in August, including the Olympics.
  • Timed Finals:  There are no preliminaries.  The event is the final.
  • USA Time Standards:  In addition there are National (Motivational) time standards published by USA Swimming.  These time standards are used to rank swimmers nationally by times.  See IMX.
  • WAG:  Winter Age Group championship.  SCS SCY championship level meet for age group swimmers.  Usually held around December.  Time standards are set by SCS.