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Programs and timelines will be posted on our website prior to the swim meet.  This is usually available a couple days before the meet, depending on when the host team provides the information.  Print out the information for your reference.  

Using a highlighter, go through the program and locate the events in which your swimmer is participating.  Each event is separated by gender, age and heat.  If this is the first time for a specific race, you will usually find your swimmer in Heat 1 with a NT (No Time.)  Heats are run slowest to fastest, unless it is a long distance race.  Within a heat, the middle lanes are the fastest times.  

Mark your swimmer with a listing of events for that day.  Yes, you literally take a black Sharpie marker and write on their arm or leg.  Most people make a chart with headers denoting E (Event); H (Heat); L (Lane); and S (Stroke).  For example, Joe is swimming in four races.  

E    H    L    S

10    1    5    50 Free

16    2    3    100 Back

22    1    6    50 Fly

32    1    7    100 Breast


Follow the program and listen to the announcer.  Be sure to have your swimmer on deck (with the coach) several heats before s/he is due to swim.  This allows the coach to give your swimmer instructions for the race.  Keep in mind, that it is the swimmer’s responsibility to be in the water at the right time - and in the right lane - not the coaches and not the officials.  Teach your swimmer to double check with the timers as everything is written on their body.  They can just point and ask if they are in the correct lane.  

Parent’s are NOT allowed on deck or behind the starting blocks.  Areas along the side of the pool are reserved for Officials and Coaches.  Stay out of any other areas that are roped off.  

Generally,  we try to sit together as a team in the stands.  Look for other High Tides parents once you arrive at the pool to see if a spot has been picked.  Some meets offer “camping” areas in the gymnasium or hallways, others do not.  If a meet has “camping” offered, bring your camp chairs and/or blankets.  This is simply an option to come and go from the pool, as needed.  

Arrive at the pool a minimum of 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins.  This time will be listed on the meet sign up page or our website.  Report to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions.  Sit and Slip entries are required at all meets, no diving.  

Your swimmer should have all his/her gear in tow (cap, goggles, towels, food, and water bottle).  Swimmers should wear team suits, caps and t-shirts at all meets.  It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team.  

After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where the team is sitting and wait until his/her time to go and wait behind the blocks.  This is a good time to make sure any bathroom breaks are taken care of, getting a drink and/or snacks or just get settled in. 

As with any sport, Officials will be studying the swimmers.  If a swimmer does not legally perform a stroke, start or turn, they will receive what is called a DQ (disqualification).  The swimmer will receive a No Time for the event.  Generally, your child will learn this from the coach shortly after the event concludes.   Officials will not talk to individual swimmers; instead, the coach will receive a DQ slip and the coach will talk to the swimmer and explain what occurred.  Most swimmers will receive a DQ at some time or other, don’t let your child get discouraged.  There are a lot of little rules to learn.  Learn from the DQ but don’t get discouraged.  

There are four race types in swimming and one IM (Individual Medley).  The four strokes are: Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and IM.  IM consists of all four strokes, in set order, in one race.  Races vary in length as well, 50 - 100 - 200 and some high distance races.  

After each event we ask that your swimmer reports directly to the coach first.  It is best when the race is fresh in the coach's mind to go over a quick review.  Your swimmer may come for a quick visit but it is important that they stay on deck with their teammates and cheer on their team. 

At most meets, event results will be posted outside the pool.  There are generally awards at most meets and any awards should be picked up before leaving the meet.  If the awards are not picked up, another team representative will try to pick them up and distribute them at a later time.   

Please reach out to any coaches, board members or other parents with questions or concerns.