Swim Meet Information

Planning for the Swim Meet


Always make reservations as soon as you know you are going to an “away” swim meet (if you plan to stay overnight).

  • Hotels tend to fill up quickly.
  • You can always cancel your reservations if something comes up.

Create your own personal swim meet checklist & reuse it each time you go to a different swim meet.

A few items to remember are:   

  • Sleeping bag or blanket & pillow, warm clothing, flip-flops, team suit, goggles, several towels, swim caps, back-up suit & goggles, extra goggle straps, healthy snacks & drinks, ear drops, visine, ink pen & hi-liter, folding chairs (for parents), gameboy, etc.
  • Don’t forget to pack items for the other siblings to occupy their time, too.
  • iPad, Airpods, Headphones, Book, Magazines & Newspapers are a good way for parents to relax.

Pre-Swim Meals

  • Have your athlete eat a healthy meal the night before they swim.
  • Pasta’s are high in Carb’s for quick energy.
  • A healthy breakfast is also essential for a successful start.

Review the meet infromation posted to the PA website, under the Events tab

Arriving at the Swim Meet

Try to arrive 15-20 minutes before Warm-ups begin.

Find the SIGN-IN sheets.  Follow directions if posted.

  • Your childs name will be listed under their Age Group (ie. 8-U, 9-10, 13-14 or 15-O) or their Team list.
  • Circle your child’s name AND events listed for them.  (If you don’t sign in, your child won’t be allowed to swim)
  • Note the event numbers that your child is entered in.  (Most swimmers write them on the back of their hand or arm)

Find the Camping area and settle your family in.  Find other Power Aquatics team members and camp together.

Locate locker rooms & have your athlete get prepared to swim.

Warm Ups

Report to the Coach 10-15 minutes before the warm-ups are scheduled to begin.  Very important to be on time.

  • Stretches should be done before entering the pool for warm-ups.
  • Coach will instruct the team on what to do for the warm-ups.
  • Coach may also have the swimmers practice their starts to get used to the starting blocks.

Warm-up lanes will be packed with swimmers.  (Swimmers need to pay attention to their surroundings in the pool)

Parents should take this time to locate the following: 

  • Clerk of Course, Bathrooms, Concessions, Swim Vendor booths, etc. 
  • Meet Programs

After warm-ups are done, swimmers should rest before the meet begins.

Clerk of Course

This area is where swimmers will be lined up in preparation for swimming their event.

The Clerk of Course will line up the swimmers in order they will be swimming.

This area can be a flurry of activity, so the swimmers need to be quiet and cooperative while waiting in this area.

Parents should NOT stay in this area unless they are working in this area.

Most swim meets will have a Clerk of Course for the 8 & unders.

If swim meet does NOT have a Clerk of Course for the 9 & above, then this is how it works:

  • When your childs event is called, they need to report to the lane that they will swim in.
  • If your child swims in the 3rd heat, then they will be 3rd in line behind the starting block of that lane.

The Meet Begins

Sign-up sheets are usually taken down approximately 20 minutes after warm-ups begin for that session.

Heat sheets are generated from the number of swimmers that signed in. If the meet host is using Meet Mobile, there may be digital information available

  • Heat sheets are posted around the pool and list the “EVENT”, “HEAT” & “LANE” your child swims in.
  • This information should be noted on the back of your childs hand or the meet program as:  #4  50 FLY H3  L5   (which means Event 4, 50 Butterfly, Heat 3, Lane 5)  (Do this for each event)
  • Heat sheets are usually for sale.
  • “NT” in the Time column means the swimmer has “NO TIME” for that particular event.

Events are announced over the PA system.  (Sometimes it’s hard to hear the announcements clearly, so listen closely)

  • You will hear something like:   “FIRST CALL, EVENT #1, GIRLS 8 & UNDER, 25 YARD BACKSTROKE”
  • If your child is swimming in this event, have them report to the Clerk of Course area.
  • Make sure they have everything they need to swim with (goggles, swim cap, etc).
  • You will later hear something like:  “FINAL CALL, EVENT #1, GIRLS 8 & UNDER, 25 YARD BACKSTROKE”
  • Your child must immediately report to the Clerk of Course or they will be scratched from the event.

Parents should find a seat in the bleachers to watch their child swim.

Parents are NOT allowed on Deck unless you are working the Meet.

Please remember there is NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY at the start of a race.

  • The reason for this is that the timers start their stopwatches when the strobe flash goes off at the start.
  • You may take pictures after the race has started.
  • Swim Officials will warn the spectators if this happens.

The Heat/Race:  (Here is how most Officials start a race)

The meet announcer announces 1st Heat of each Event:  “EVENT #1, Heat 1, GIRLS 8 & UNDER, 25 YARD BACKSTROKE”

Short consecutive whistle blasts.  (Swimmer should stand behind the starting block, goggles on, ready to go)

Long whistle blast.  (Swimmer gets on the starting block or in the pool for the backstroke events)

Official announces:  “Take your mark”  (Swimmer gets into their diving stance & should remain still)

Starter Beep sounds.  (Swimmer dives in)

  • Swimmers should remember they are racing the CLOCK

When a swimmer finishes a race, they should:

  • If the scoreboard doesn't show their final time, get their time from the timer as they get out of the pool.
  • Go directly to the coach for any feedback, instructions or praise for their swim.
  • Coach sometimes has the swimmers do a “cool down” in the cool-down/warm-up lane/pool.

Go back to the team area to get rest for their next event.


Don’t be discouraged if you child gets DQ’d (Disqualified).

  • It is part of the learning process and helps them remember what to do (or not to do) in future meets.

A Swim Official will explain to your child the reason they were DQ’d.

Some reasons for DQ’s:

  • False Start (Swimmer moves before the starter beep goes off). 
  • Leaving too early on relays.
  • Did not use a 2-hand touch for the breaststroke & butterfly on a turn or at the finish.
  • Illegal Strokes, Illegal Kicks, wrong stroke used, or wrong kick used
  • Pulling on the lane lines (You can touch them, but not use them to propel your self).

Before Your Next Event:  (Please see Coach)

Coach may have you do a mini warm-up in the cool-down/warm-up lane before each event.

  • If this applies to you, then report to the Coach about (2) events BEFORE your event.
  • Coach may also give you pre-race instructions.

Congratulations !!!!

Now that you’ve successfully survived that FIRST Event, it’s time to do it all over AGAIN !!!

Swim meets are set up to allow your Swimmer approximately 20-30 minutes rest between their scheduled events.

Please remember to listen closely to the announcer

Please remember to praise you child, provide positive encouragement & support them 100%

  • It a little overwhelming to a young swimmer.

Please do NOT criticize your swimmer.  Coaches will correct any mistakes at practice.

Please do NOT get mad at the Officials, they are doing their jobs.  (NO Tolerance Policy exists)


Relays consist of (4) swimmers of the SAME Age Group and SAME Gender.

Swimmers may be assigned to swim in a Relay.  (Coach will notify the swimmer of this)

Coach will let your child know what stroke they will swim.

Please do not leave the meet until you check with a Coach to see if you will be swimming a Relay.

Posting of Results:

Results of each event are usually posted out in the main hallway. Results may also be posted to Meet Mobile

Results are usually posted about 10-20 minutes after the event has finished.

Each event is posted individually under the corresponding age group of that event.

High Point Awards for your age group will be awarded after your session of the final day.

All other awards/ribbons will be picked up by the coaches and distributed at practices

Before You Leave:

Make sure you don’t forget anything (Especially goggles, towels or swimsuits left in the locker rooms).

Clean up your camping area before you leave.

The Drive Home:

  • Please drive home safely.
  • Don't feel it necessary to replay or discuss each race or results with your swimmers. Let this be their thing.



Always remember that you are representing POWER AQUATICS.