What are the swim seasons and what kinds of meets does CGAC attend?

Competitive swimming is divided into two seasons.  The Short Course Yards (SCY) runs September through March and the meets are held in 25-yard pools.  The Long Course Meters (LCM) season runs May through early August.   Meets held during the LCM season may use a 25-yard or 50-meter pool, however most national level meets use a 50-meter pool.

Swim meets fall into these categories. 

  1. Center Grove Aquatic Club (CGAC) Hosted Meets – CGAC typically puts on 2-3 meets a year; these are considered "home" meets at our CGHS Natatorium.
  2. Local Meets/Invitationals - Most of our meets fall within a 45 min drive of the Center Grove area. 
  3. Travel Meets – CGAC will attend at least one out of state meet during the summer season. 
  4. Championship Meets – At the end of each season, swimmers that qualify compete in championship meets. There are Divisional and State meets for Short Course and Long Course each year. Other championship meets could include, Speedo Sectionals, Zones, Futures, etc.

Meet Attendance Expectations: All Age Group Swim Teams (White, Red and Black) should plan to attend at least one day of the CGAC home meets.  For new competitive swimmers, these are wonderful meets to begin with.  The pool and facilities are familiar, and there will be lots of other swimmers they know at the meet, all of which helps make it less intimidating for many new competitive swimmers. 

Travel Meets- Travel meets are just what they sound like, meets that are hosted by other clubs at other pools.  Some of these meets have entry restrictions such as requiring that swimmers meet certain time standards.  For example, a meet might require all swimmers to have “A” cuts.  These refer to the USA Swimming motivational times, which can be found on their website (www.usaswimming.org).

If a travel meet has entry restrictions, CGAC will communicate that via email. 

Championship Meets- Divisional (SCY only) and State (both SCY and LCM) meets end each of the seasons, and are what our swimmers work towards.  In order to enter the meet, a swimmer must have posted a time that year that is at least as fast as the Indiana Championships standard for each event.  To find the time standards each year, go to the Indiana Swimming web site (www.inswimming.org) and look for Time Standards, which are most easily reached by clicking on the “Times” quick link on the left side of the Indiana Swimming home page. You will be notified via email if your swimmer has qualified for one of these meets. 

Note: The time standards are broken up by male and female, as well as by age group.  In order to enter a specific event at a Divisional or State meet, the swimmer must have made the “cut” for that specific event (such as Boys 10&Under 50 yard Freestyle for short course or Girls 11-12 year old 200 meter Backstroke for long course). 

How do I sign up my swimmer for a meet?

Prior to the meets, typically several weeks in advance, CGAC will send out an email (from the Coach) letting families know that the RSVP period for that meet is open and that the meet packet is available.  The email message will also state when the RSVP period will close.  It is very important to know when the meet entry deadline will occur. Once the meet entry deadline has passed, no changes can be made to the entries. 

RSVP for the Meet- Once you know what days the meet is being held and if your swimmer would compete in the morning or afternoon, you’ll need to RSVP your swimmer for the meet.  This is done from the CGAC website.  Log-in to your TeamUnify (website) account.  Scroll down to the team events and select the meet you would like to RSVP to for your swimmer. Click on the meet title to get meet information, including a link to the meet packet. Select "edit commitment." In the notes section, please indicate what day(s) your swimmer will attend the meet if they will not compete all days of the meet. If you have more than one swimmer on the team, this will need to be completed for each swimmer individually. If you do not RSVP for your swimmer by the RSVP date, your swimmer will NOT be able to participate. PLEASE watch these dates carefully.

The coaches will get an RSVP list and a list of which days each swimmer is available to swim at a meet and will use that information, along with which events they think each swimmer is ready for or needs, to select the events and submit the entry form for the team to the hosting club.  Families DO NOT submit entries directly to the hosting club, the forms linked in the meet packet are for the coaches.

Read the Meet Packet - Always read the meet packet which is linked in the meet information once you click on a meet under events.  These packets will state exactly where the meet is being held, what time warm-ups are, what the entry fees will be (for swimmers) as well as the spectator admission fee for family, guests or other spectators, when the various age groups are swimming, if the meet will have finals, if there are any entry restrictions, and more.  Not all meets are structured the same, so ALWAYS read the meet packet. There will be lots of useful information in it.

A Note on Meet Fees: CGAC pays for our team entries before the meet with a single check, and then will bill each family individually on your monthly statement after the meet has occurred.  Please note that if you have RSVPed for the meet, then the club has paid your swimmer’s entry fee to the hosting club and you’ll be responsible for reimbursing CGAC (via the above noted mailed bill) even if your swimmer ends up not making to the meet.

How will I know in which events my swimmer will be competing?

After the head coache receives all the RSVPs and creates our entry list, a copy will be emailed so you and your swimmer can see the events they’ll be swimming.  You can compare this information with the meet packet (also posted) to see roughly when in the day they’ll actually be competing in the pool.  Your swimmer will have to be at the meet and signed in 15 minutes prior to time warm-ups for their session is to start. They may leave their meet after their last event and they have checked in with thier coach. 

What should my swimmer pack for thier meet?

  1. A team competition suit and a backup suit (older suits can tear at inconvenient times!) A CGAC black suit is the team suit. 
  2. Swim caps (a team cap and a backup). These MUST be CGAC caps during the regular season. Coaches will have additional caps for sale at the pool during practice and at the meets.
  3. Towels (Two are recommended, swimmers will want to towel off more than once during the meet to stay warm).
  4. A change of clothes so to have something dry and warm to wear home.
  5. Something to wear during the meet and on deck – t-shirt, shorts, sweats, etc. MUST be a CGAC or plain Center Grove apparel-no other sports or activities. This is our team uniform.  Remind your swimmer that warm muscles perform better and many facilities may be cool on the pool deck or in the area the swimmers stay or camp.
  6. Goggles and a backup pair (pre-fitted so they’ll be ready to go quickly if the primary pair breaks).
  7. Water bottle – NO glass bottles.
  8. Healthy snacks –  Some options would include dried fruit, a banana, peanut butter sandwiches, apples, etc. NO candy.
  9. Black Sharpie - Swimmers can write their event numbers, heats and lanes on their arm if desired. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNGER/NEW SWIMMERS - Parents can help by already having thier events written so coaches only need to add the heat and lane assignment. 
  10. Glasses/Contacts: Hard case to protect glasses during competition; extra pair of contacts/solution and glasses backup

What NOT to bring?

  1. Glass containers – Glass is not allowed on pool decks.
  2. Electronics – Coaches prefer no electronics on deck. We understand that phones are commonplace and your swimmer is likely to have one. Please ask them to keep it tucked into thier bags and only use it for brief communication if necessary. Due to Safe Sport: Swimmers are not allowed to have their phones out in lockers/changing rooms or behind the starting blocks. 
  3. Candy and soda – While the occasional treat is fine and sugar provides a short energy spike, candy and sugared or caffeinated drinks aren’t the best basis for good performances. These are best to save for after the meet treats!

Arriving at and Leaving Meets

Most meets operate under a Positive Check-in process requiring the swimmers to declare their attendance each day.  The meets will require swimmers to check in prior to the start of the meet, or they will be scratched from the entry list.  Therefore, swimmers need to be at the pool 10-15 minutes before the start of warm-ups for whichever sessions they are swimming in so they can get signed in and then out on deck with the team before the start of warm-ups.  If you don’t see the sign in sheets, ask a meet worker where to find them.

For departure time, a swimmer can leave after they’ve swum their last event of the session if they’d like to.  Staying to root on other team members is okay too, of course.  Either way, please be sure that your swimmer tells their coach that they’re leaving.

7.  Other Rules for Meets

Only swimmers, coaches, officials and meet workers will be allowed on deck.  Parents and spectators are not allowed on deck for safety reasons.

If a swimmer isn’t standing at the starting block or platform in the lane they are assigned to at the start of their heat, they won’t get to swim that event.  As a parent, you can help avoid problems by making sure your swimmer knows what events they’re swimming in (including the event number) and which heat and lane for each event.  See the note about packing a Sharpie above in section 4.  It is also best that the swimmers stay on deck during their session, or if they need to leave the team area for some reason (to go to the rest room, or to see family in the stands) then they should check with a coach to be sure they have time before their next event.

8.  Being Disqualified In an Event

It happens to everyone, and it will happen more than once.  It is recommend that parents not make a big deal about it, as disqualifications are part of the learning process. Some of the strokes have many rules, and any wobble on the starting block will probably get a disqualification (DQ) too.  A commonly heard phrase is “Got a DQ so going to DQ (Dairy Queen)”.  It’s up to each parent to decide how to go about doing it, but it is best to help a new swimmer find a way to get over any disappointment in getting a DQ and focus instead on the next event or what they need to work on in practice to avoid continuing to get DQ’s.  A meet official will inform either the swimmer or the coach of a DQ, and the reason for it, so the swimmer should understand what happened.

9.  Where to Find Swimmer’s Times After a Meet

The times search discussed in section 1.2 will include results from a meet within a week of the end of that meet.  Results may also be posted on the hosting club’s web site.  Meet results can also be found on the CGAC web site (www.cgacswim.org) by clicking on the “Results and Entries” tab near the top of the home page.

10.  What to Do If You Have a Question about Anything

Find one of the coaches, club board members or one of the Parent Mentor Council reps, before, during or after practice.  Also look for other CGAC parents and family members in the stands during a meet.  Most parents and family members wear CGAC spiritwear to support the team and for unity.