Meet days are long and hectic, but with a little preparation, it can be organized and exciting.

Here's what you can expect at a typical swim meet:

Arrive at the pool for warm up at the time specified by the coach. This is usually about 90 minutes before the start of the meet.

Be sure to bring your swimsuit, cap, and goggles.  Rules regarding swimsuits can be found on the "Preparing for a Meet" page.  You may want to bring a jacket or parka during cold meets to stay warm between events.

Warm ups are organized and supervised by the coaches.  Wait for the coaches to indicate when it is safe to enter the warm up pool.

All entrances into warm up pool must use a "3-point entry".  This means swimmers keep a hand on the side of the pool until both feet have entered the water. Swimmers are safest if they enter from the right side of the pool (as they face it) so swimmers in the water can approach the wall on the left.

While your child is warming up, find a nice place to sit and watch the meet.  Be aware that spectators are not allowed immediately behind the starting blocks.  At the YMCA of Kauai, you can sit under the pavilion or around other areas of the pool (BRING A CHAIR!).  Being a timer, affords you great seat up close to the action.  If you can see the swimmer touch the wall and push a button at the same time…you can be a timer!

Look around for ways to help get the meet set up.  This might include setting up tents and chairs, timing equipment, and other important tasks.  Many hands make light work so get in there an offer a helping hand!

A “pysch sheet” may be posted during warm-ups.  A pysch sheet lists each event in the meet along with each athlete competing in the event sorted from fastest to slowest.  This sheet is intended to let swimmers know how they compare to other swimmers in the same event.

At some point before the meet begins, “Heat Sheets” will be posted.  Heat sheets are sorted by events and heats and indicate which lane a swimmer will be in during his or her event.  You’ll notice swimmers writing this information on their arm.  This is not required, but helps swimmers to keep track of what, when and where they are swimming. It looks something like this:

E H L  
14 1 3 200 Free
21 2 7 100 Back

The information above tells me that this swimmer is swimming 2 events.  The first event is (E)vent #14 which is a 200 Yard Freestyle.  He will be swimming in (H)eat 1 of that race and will be in (L)ane 3.  The second event is Event #21 which is a 100 Yard Backstroke.  He will be swimming in Lane 7 during the 2nd heat.

At some point before the meet, the coach will often call a meeting with all of the swimmers.  The meet will start soon after this meeting, so make sure your swimmer is ready with his or her cap and goggles.

There is a lot of down time during a meet.  Prepare yourself and your child for this in the manner you find most appropriate for your child. You may want to bring some light, healthy snacks to refuel your swimmer during breaks.  And of course...water!

SKA home meets are usually connected to MeetMobile.  MeetMobile is an app for iOS and Android which allows you to access real-time results (or at least near real-time).  MeetMobile is convenient, but not necessary.  The service requires a paid subscription.

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USA Swimming prohibits all photography and video taken from behind the starting blocks.  If you’d like a photo or video of your child during the race, please go to the side of the pool or the deck opposite the starting blocks.

After the meet is completed, please stay to help clean up!

Congratulations!  You made it through your first meet!