Block – The starting platform

 

Bulkhead – A moveable wall, to divide a pool into different courses, such as a 50-meter pool into two 25-yard courses

 

Chase Starts – Used in long course meets; back-to-back heats will start their events on opposite ends of the pool; when the heat in the water completes 3/4 of their race, the heat at the opposite end of the pool will start their race

 

Circle-In – Performed by swimmers upon arriving at a meet to designate their intention to swim a race.  The swimmer will actually circle in their name for each event they intend to swim at that competition

 

Circle Swimming – Performed by staying to the right of the black line when swimming in a lane to enable more swimmers to safely swim in each lane during practice

 

Clerk of Course – Person responsible for receiving deck entries at a meet and for handling the circle-in process for swimmers

 

Cut – Slang term for a qualifying time.  A time standard necessary to attend a particular meet or event

 

Deck Entries – Entries for events that are not done in advance, but on the swimming deck prior to the start of the meet

 

Distance Events – Term used to refer to events over 400 yards

 

DQ – Disqualification.  This occurs when a swimmer has committed an infraction of some kind (ex. Freestyle kick in butterfly.  A disqualified swimmer does not receive points for that swim, nor can the time be used as an official time

 

Drill – A teaching exercise involving a portion of a stroke which is used to improve technique

 

Dryland Training – Training done out of the water that aids and enhances swimming performance

 

Entry Form – Form on which a swimmer enters a competition (usually during the ‘deck entry’ process).  Usually includes club and swimmer name, USA Swimming number, age, sex, event names and entry times

 

False Start – Occurs when a swimmer is moving before the start is sounded.  In USA Swimming, one false start will result in disqualification

 

Final – The championship heat of an event in which the top swimmers from the preliminaries compete

 

Flags – Backstroke flags placed 5 yards from the end of the pool.  The flags enable backstrokers to execute a turn safely and more efficiently

 

Goal – A specific skill or time achievement a swimmer sets and strives for.  Can be short or long term

 

I.M. – Short for Individual Medley.  An event in which the swimmer uses all four strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle

 

Long Course – A pool 50 meters in length.  USA Swimming conducts most of its summer competition in long course meters

 

LSC – Local Swimming Committee.  The governing body for swimming at the local level.  Our LSC is Gulf Swimming

 

Meet – a swimming competition between two or more teams

 

Negative Split – Swimming the second half of the race equal to or faster than the first half

 

No-Show – When a swimmer circles-in for his/her event but does not report to swim the event or misses the event.  There is a $5.00 fine imposed by Gulf Swimming at the end of each season for each no-show event

 

Official – A judge on the deck of the pool at a sanctioned competition who enforces USA Swimming rules. There are stroke and turn judges, administrative officials, starters, timers, and referees

 

Pace Clock – clock used to check pace or maintain intervals in practice

 

Prelims – Short for preliminaries. Races in which swimmers swim in order to qualify for finals (or championship heats of an event)

 

Proof of Time – Swimmers must qualify for certain meets based on their best times.  Entry chairpersons must send in proof that the entry time has been made, including the time and meet the time was achieved.  If a swimmer competes in an event where he/she does not qualify and the time cannot be proven, there is a $20.00 fine per event levied by Gulf Swimming at the end of each season

 

Qualifying Time – Time necessary to compete in a particular event and/or competition.  Also known as a cut.

 

Relay – An event in which four swimmers compete together as a team to achieve one time

 

Scratch – To withdraw from an event prior to it being held in a competition

 

Short Course – A pool 25 yards or meters in length.  USA Swimming conducts most of its winter competition in short course yards

 

Split – A time recorded from the official start to the completion of an intermediate distance within a longer event.  Also the time for one of the four individuals in a relay

 

Sprint – Describes the shorter events.  In training, to swim as fast as possible for a short distance

 

Streamline – The position used by swimmers when starting or pushing off the walls designed to reduce water resistance

 

Taper – The final preparation phase; the slow gradual reduction of workloads and intensities in preparation for season ending competition

 

Three-Event Rule – A swimmer with three qualifying times may swim all other events offered in that division entered at the qualifying standard

 

Time Standards – Performance requirements to enter a swimming competition.  Standards are determined for local swim meets by the LSC

 

Time Trial – A time-only swim, which is not part of a regular meet

 

Touch Pad – A large touch sensitive board at the end of each lane where a swimmer’s finish is registered and sent electronically to the timing system

 

Up/Down Rule – If a swimmer has qualifying time in a particular stroke he/she may swim the immediately preceding or following distance of that stroke in that division

 

USA Swimming – The national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States

 

Warm Down – Low intensity swimming used by swimmers after a race or main practice set to rid the body of excess lactic acid and to gradually reduce heart rate and respiration

 

Warm Up – Low intensity swimming used by swimmers prior to a main practice set or race to get muscles loose and warm.  Warm up gradually increases heart rate and respiration and helps to prevent injury