Swim Meets: What to Expect

Swim meets are a lot of fun but can be intimidating to new 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 if you are new to swim is to get involved and ask questions. A great way to get involved is to volunteer at swim meets or become an official. Coaches, officials, 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.



  • Team suit/Team cap (required for swim meet participation)
  • Goggles   
  • Towels/Blankets/Chairs          
  • Food/Snacks/Drinks 
  • Money for Heet Sheets
  • Sharpie markers
  • Entertainment; games, books, homework            


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

**Bring an extra suit and pair of goggles. Suits rip and goggles break!




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. Riptide families are required to fulfill 6 sessions of volunteer time per season and can be done by any family member. Those families not meeting the required 8 hours will be charged a fee of $40 per unfulfilled session. You may also choose to pay and opt-out of volunteering altogether.


Swim clubs are always in 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



  • Punctuality to meets and events
  • Good conduct and sportsmanship always
  • Honest effort
  • Keep to 3 minute rule. After your race reflect on either the positive or negative, then put it behind you so you can prepare for the next event or meet



Plan to arrive early to have time to find a spot to set up your “crash area”. Swimmers will warm up and stretch together as a team so it is important to arrive 15 minutes prior to the assigned warm up time.

Check in with your coach before the meet starts so they 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, they 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 chocolate milk are great recovery drink choices after the meet because they provide protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates to refuel muscles.