What a Swimmer Should Bring to a Meet:

• Suit

• Team cap and goggles: An extra cap and an extra pair of goggles are recommended.

• Two towels.

• Clothing, preferably FORT Team shirts, warm-ups, etc. that the swimmer may wear to stay warm between events.

• Appropriate snacks and drinks that will help a swimmer maintain the proper energy level.

• Something that will help the time pass between events. (There may be a lengthy time period between your swimmers events.)

Swim Meet Procedures

** Before the Meet **

When to arrive at the pool: Report to the pool when instructed by your coach or at least 15 minutes before the official warm-up time. This allows the swimmers to “check in”, find our team location on deck and get ready to get in the pool when the warm up period begins.

Check In: The swimmer will need to check in at most meets. There is an area, usually on a table outside the locker rooms or on a wall in the pool lobby, set up with a list of the swimmers. The swimmer will highlight or circle their name so that meet officials know they are there that day and will be participating.

Warm Up: The swimmer will then warm up under the coach’s direction.

** During the Meet **

Event Numbers: The swimmer should know their event numbers.

Heat Sheets: The swimmer will look for the heat sheets that will be posted somewhere on deck. This will inform the swimmer what heat and lane the swimmer in which the swimmer will be participating.

Listen for Event: The swimmer will need to listen for their events to be announced. There will be a first call for their event and then a second call. There may be a scoreboard that will list what event is being swum at the present time. A swimmer can check with their lane’s timer to make sure they are in the correct lane and what heat they are in. If your child is younger, there may be a clerk of course. A clerk of course will gather all the younger swimmers and take them to their starting positions in the correct order.

Starting the Race: The starter will call the swimmer’s heat to the blocks. The starter will blow a short whistle letting the swimmer know to approach the blocks. There will then be long whistle signaling the swimmer to get on the blocks. The start will say, “Take your mark”, and the swimmer will get in to starting position. The starter will sound the starting tone/beep to start the race.

Swim the Race!!!

After the Race: There a couple of different methods used to speed up the pace of a meet. The meet may be using a flyover start where the swimmer who just completed their race will stays in the water and waits for the next race to be started. For backstroke events the swimmers exit the pool after their race to allow the next heat in the pool.

Report to the Coach: The coach will critique the swimmer’s race and inform the swimmer what they could have improved upon and give positive feedback regarding the race. The swimmer will then warm down and prepare for their next race.   Please let the coaches do the coaching and you do the parenting. When all the swimmers events are completed: The swimmer should check with the coach to make sure they are not included on a relay.

Parent Responsibilities

Be supportive as a parent. Let them know how well they have done and how proud you are of their efforts!!! Cheer all FORT swimmers that are competing. We are a family and need to support each and every swimmer. If you can sit with other FORT families and build a cheering section, please take that opportunity to get to know the other families.

Heat Sheet: This will inform you and the swimmer what heat and lane the swimmer in which the swimmer will be

participating. Bring a pen or highlighter. Dress for comfort no matter the season: Pools tend to be warm places.

Glossary of Swimming Terms

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—In long course, male and female swimmers will start their events on opposite ends of the pool and each event will alternate one heat of girls, then one heat of boys. 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.

Check-In—Performed by swimmers upon arriving at a meet to designate their intention to swim a race. The swimmer will actually circle or highlight their name on the check –in list.

Clerk of Course—Person responsible for helping the younger swimmer to their races.

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 500 yards.

DQ—Disqualification. This occurs when a swimmer has committed an infraction of some kind (ex. Freestyle kick in butterfly. A disqualified swimmer is not eligible to receive awards, nor can the time be used as an official time.

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 a Prelim/Finals Meet, in which the top swimmers from the preliminaries come back to 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.

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

Meet—Competition designed to be a learning experience. By implementing what has been learned in practice, the

swimmer races against the clock to determine improvement.

No-Show—When a swimmer does not report to swim the event or misses the 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.

Prelims—Short for preliminaries. Also called Heats or Trials. Those races in which swimmers qualify for the

championship, consolation finals or semi-finals.

Q-Time—Qualifying 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 (50 and 100). In training, to swim as fast as possible for a short distance.

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

Timed Finals Meet—each swimmer swims their event(s) once and their time is ranked against all others in that event for placing and scoring purposes.

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.

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, respiration and helps to prevent injury.