Florida Swimming
Level 1

How to sign up for a meet:


Each family will be contacted via email with meet announcements as they are posted on the website. The timing of this initial email varies by meet host, as we have to wait for their meet packet to be posted to the Florida Swimming website. This email will also be sent again 7 days prior to the meet entry deadline posted on our website. 

You must log-in to the web site and select the meet, then click on "Attend this event" to declare your swimmers intent to swim. The meet sign up will allow for you to pick days or sessions at the meet. You can find the correct days/session for your swimmer in the meet letter which can be found on the event page. If you are not certain which sessions are for your swimmer select all and the coach will make the correct selections. You may also note in the comment section if your swimmer is unavailable any days/sessions. The coach will see this information when selecting events. If not noted otherwise, your swimmer will be signed up to swim on all days. This signup must be done prior to the deadline we have posted on our website. 

The coaches will try to leave a small window between our deadline and the official meet entry deadline in case parents forget to sign up. Should you miss the deadline by a small window, please email your coach about the possibility of being added to a meet. 

After the coaches have completed entries we will notify families via team email and/or our team updates that events are posted. Please review entries after receiving this notice. The event selection process online is a tedious one and coaches need a second set of eyes to review each swimmer’s entries. Issues caught at this time are often easily corrected. Should you wait until the week or day of a meet it will likely be too late to correct any issues. 

Once the host's entry deadline has passed, all swimmers still entered are responsible for meet entry fees, regardless of their participation.

SLAC Volunteer Expectations:

In the spirit of simplification, our expectations for volunteering are straight forward.

It is expected of all SLAC families to volunteer for at least ONE session at any home event in which your swimmer is participating. You may sign up in advance for volunteer positions on our team website prior to the event.

It is expected of all SLAC families to donate to each major swim event’s hospitality room. These will be posted in advance for sign up.

This is the minimum expectation for volunteering, but additional participation is strongly encouraged. Volunteer expectations are subject to modification. Parents will be notified if any changes are made.


Our team attends "Invitational" meets hosted both by our team and teams around the central Florida area. They are held on Saturdays and Sundays (and with some meets having events on Friday night). At an invitational you can expect warm-up to last one hour and the competition to last approximately four hours.  

Swimmers from the Senior and Gold may qualify for "Championship" meets both in the state of Florida and across the country. While we do take travel costs into consideration when forming our meet schedule, families in these groups should expect to travel to their championship meets as they will usually be out of town.


Invitational Meets- All SLAC swimmers, including those in an "unattached" status, must wear our team suit at each swim meet that they are representing the Lightning.

Championship Meets- At the instruction of Coach Alex and/or Coach Gibb only, 13 and over swimmers may be given permission to wear an ARENA "technical" or "competition" suit. USA Swimming does not allow these suits for 12 and under swimmers. For more on the USA Swimming 12&Under technical suit rules, click here

 All Meets- SLAC swimmers will display our team unity and pride in our look at swim meets with all swimmers and family members wearing SLAC team apparel.

If you have questions regarding any of our equipment required reach out to Coach Gibb or Coach Alex.


Warm up occurs before each meet. Warm-ups last from 30 to 90 minutes prior to the start of the swim meet.

SLAC swimmers should arrive at the pool at the designated Check In Time. See the team email blast coming from the coaches the week of the meet for this information. It's typically at least fifteen minutes prior to the team's scheduled warm up time. All SLAC swimmers are expected to sit together as a team.

Parents should plan ahead and send swimmers with all snacks and other items they will need. Parents should be prepared to sit away from swimmers. Coaches/Athletes/Officials areas will be seperate from spectator areas as is required under USA Swimming and Safe Sport guidelines. 

SLAC swimmers are responsible for knowing which events he/she is swimming and for being to their lane on time. For younger swimmers, coaches can write event numbers, heats and lane assignments on the swimmer’s hand or arm. SLAC coaches will assist new and young swimmers to their heat and lane assignments.

SLAC swimmers should report to the coach prior to each race to prepare for their upcoming swim.

At the conclusion of each race, younger swimmers should report immediately to their coach. Older swimmers warm down first and then see their coach. This gives the coach and swimmer the opportunity to discuss the race and provide meaningful feedback regarding their performance.

At most meets, electronic timing is used. The official time is typically the one appearing on the scoreboard as the swimmer touches the touchpad. However, if a swimmer misses the touchpad or there is a mechanical failure, the timing and score keeping officials analyze all backup times to determine the official final results.

Between races, swimmers are expected to support their team by cheering, resting, and staying warm. Swimmers also are expected to stay hydrated and maintain their energy levels with light nutritious snacks.

Please check with the coach before leaving the meet. Make sure your child has completed all his/her races including relays.

IMPORTANT – If your child is unable to attend a meet due to illness or an emergency please notify the coaching staff immediately via e-mail. If you cannot reach an SLAC coach, please contact another swimmer participating in the meet and ask him/her to relay the message. If you pull out late from a meet for any reason, you will still be responsible for the entry fee. 


Remember, you don’t swim, your child does. Don't do it all for them. If children receive opportunities easily, they tend not to appreciate nor take full advantage of them. “Holding their hand” may seem like loving, caring parental thing to do, but it isn’t. It does not teach your child personal responsibility, self-management or self-discipline. The most important thing you can do to help your child achieve his/her swimming goals is to help him/her develop as a person with real independence and self-management skills. You prepare them for life; let the coach prepare them to swim fast. 

At the same time, there are some things only you can do to help your swimmer do to prepare:

  • Swimmers should get as much rest as he/she can the weekend and week before a meet. 
  • Swimmers should get as much rest as possible in between sessions. 
  • Swimmers should go to bed early the night before the meet.
  • Swimmers should eat properly staying away from junk food and drink plenty of water and other nutritious drinks.
  • Parents should be positive about their swimmers performance – let coaches coach.


SLAC swimmers are required to wear the team swimsuit and the team cap. Other team apparel is optional but strongly encouraged, as wearing the complete team uniform promotes team unity and pride and greatly aids spectator recognition.

Parents and other non-swimmers should dress lightly. Pools are usually hot and humid. Shorts and t-shirts are appropriate – even at winter meets. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.

 Checklist for the Swim Meet:

  • SLAC team suit
  • 1-2 SLAC team caps (coaches will have additional caps available for purchase)
  • 1-2 pairs of goggles
  • 2 towels (at minimum)
  • T-shirts, sweats, socks, shoes – bring multiples since things will get wet
  • Something to sit on – we recommend collapsible chairs, old blankets or sleeping bags
  • Quiet games or books
  • Water bottle, nutritious snacks and drinks or the money to purchase them from the concession stand 
  • Coaches will provide a team shade tent for the swimmers. This is the area where SLAC swimmers are to remain during a meet unless preparing/swimming an event.


While representing the South Lake Aquatic Club, swimmers are expected to wear SLAC apparel only.

While wearing SLAC uniform, individual swimmers must remember that his/her actions and words reflect upon the entire team and he/she should act accordingly. Each swimmer's actions reflect the Lightning team pride.

USA Swimming and Florida Swimming safety rules require that parents stay off the pool deck unless officiating or working for meet management.

Please see an SLAC coach if you have a question concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of the meet. The coaches will pursue the matter when appropriate.

As a matter of team pride, SLAC leaves the team area neat and clean at the conclusion of each competitive session.

SLAC swimmers are expected to swim each event entered and to consult with SLAC coaches prior to making a late entry.

In a prelims/ finals competition, SLAC swimmers qualifying for finals are expected to compete in finals.

When receiving awards in public, good sportsmanship is essential. SLAC coaches expect swimmers to be prompt, wear a team uniform, and cooperate fully with dignity and respect during the presentation. Be polite and modestly thankful. It is appropriate to congratulate other swimmers and receive congratulations with poise and courtesy. If photos are taken, remain until shooting is complete and cooperate with the photographer. The image you present is a reflection on the team.


You can track the times of your swimmer by logging onto our SLAC website (or using the OnDeck app), or by looking at the USA Swimming website. Tracking times can be great for goal setting, especially for older swimmers, but swimmers and families should always strive for enjoyment first with the sport of swimming. If fun comes first then fast times will come next. 


Championship meets usually have 2 rounds of competition per day for swimmers aged 11 and over. In the morning, ALL swimmers compete in the PRELIMNARY SESSION. Here swimmers qualify by time to compete in the FINALS SESSION. The number of swimmers that return to the finals session depends on the number of lanes in the pool and the meet format. If multiple heats of swimmers return to finals in each event, the second fastest heat is known as the CONSOLATION HEAT. In prelim/ finals meets, team points are only scored during the finals session. Swimmers who qualify for finals MUST either swim or SCRATCH. Swimmers who fail to scratch and fail to swim in finals may be disqualified from additional events during the remainder of the meet. 

  • If you do not know how to scratch, see your coach. 
  • If you aren’t sure if you qualified for finals, see your coach. 
  • If you are planning to scratch, please see your coach prior to making the final decision.
  • Before leaving a preliminary session of a meet, ALWAYS check in with your coach. 


At many meets, events longer than 200 yards or meters are deck seeded. Deck seeded events require the swimmer to check in stating his/ her intention to swim. Ideally, deck seeding longer events saves time by eliminating empty lanes and extra heats. Ultimately, swimmers are responsible for checking in, although the coach most of the times helps. Swimmers and coaches are notified ahead of time of all check in deadlines.