Swim Meets: What to Expect

Swim meets can be very intimidating, especially for new swim families. Swim officials and volunteers work very hard to make sure that swim meets run as smoothly as possible. The best way to figure out what is going on is to get involved or ask questions. A great way to get involved is to volunteer at swim meets or become an official. Coaches, officials, Board members, volunteers and other swim families are all available to help you and your swimmer answer any questions you may have. If you don’t know something, please ask someone. The information below will be helpful, but please remember that some of it will not be utilized this season because of Covid-19 restrictions. 




Swim suit, cap and goggles     Sharpie (to mark your event, heat, lane)

Towels/Blankets/Chairs           Money for heat sheets 

Food/Snacks & Drinks             Entertainment; games, books, homework


*Bring more than one towel. They get wet fast!

**Bring an extra pair of goggles just in case yours break or gets lost




Volunteering is a crucial part of a meet running smoothly.  It takes our family volunteers to make a meet successful, so please be generous with your time. Swim clubs are always in the need of Officials (this requires additional training).

If you are interested in becoming an official and helping out your swim club please contact Coach Eric. 




Plan to arrive early to have time to find a spot to set up your “crash area”.

Find your coach at least 15 minutes before the meet starts and let her/him know that you are there. They can usually be found at the coach’s table next to the pool.




Event Numbers: The event number corresponds to the race that you are swimming. 

Heat & Lane: Events are broken into heats of swimmers. Heat & lane assignments are printed on Heat Sheets that can be purchased, are posted somewhere in the competition area or sent out via email. The coach can generally help you locate this area or refer you to the heat sheets to figure out your heat & lane assignment. 

Before Your Race: Listen to the announcer, he or she will be announcing what event and heat are in the water throughout the day. All athletes are responsible for knowing when their race is and getting to the blocks on time.

DQ's: If a swimmer is judged to have broken a rule during the race, an official may disqualify you. Swimmers please don’t get upset. All swimmers at one time or another have been DQ’d, it happens to everyone.


Eat Breakfast! It’s the metabolism boost swimmers need to start the day. Pack variety! Fruit, vegetables, grain and high quality protein sources should cover a variable appetite. Having a variety of food sources increases the odds of proper fueling and healthy eating. Nibble on small amounts between closely scheduled events. Protein will be an ally in keeping your blood sugar stable, thus keeping hunger, energy and mood in check. Don’t forget the Carbohydrates. Your muscles rely on carbs for fuel. Pack easily digestible sources such as 100% juice, fruit leather, applesauce, fresh or dried fruit, or veggie sticks. Get plenty to drink. Believe it or not but swimmers sweat! They can become dehydrated very quickly, so drink! Water, 100% fruit juice and sports drinks are appropriate at a swim meet. Plain and flavored milk are great recovery drink choices after the meet because they provide protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates to refuel muscles.