Swim Meets: Many USA swim meets are offered throughout the year for all levels of ability. We like to see as many of our swimmers as possible at these meets. A tentative meet schedule is posted on the website.
Meet sign-ups will be conducted through the team website, After the deadline, possible late entry into a meet is based on the host teams ability to accept a late entry. Should the late entry be accepted, a $25 late entry fee will be assessed to your account. The sign-up will consist of the athlete’s name, days he/she plans to swim and the number of events to swim. You are welcome to request more specifically what events your swimmer participates in by filling in the text box on the registration page. Average meets are 3 days (Friday thru Sunday) - you do not have to participate all three days, just indicate which days you will be attending. Once the swimmer has been entered in a meet, the family is responsible for the meet fees even if the swimmer does not participate in meet. The team must pay for the fees when the entries are mailed. 
Unless noted on the registration form, the coaches will be choosing events for the swimmers. They know what each child likes to swim and their abilities. They will not be likely to pick events the athlete is not ready for. However, they will enter them in events that may challenge them. If you do have specific requests for a certain meet, please communicate that via the meet registration page on the team website. Please realize that it may not be possible to place a swimmer in specific events only to make sure they swim in requested sessions.
There are different nationally recognized levels of achievements based on times for each age group. Swimmers begin as “C” swimmers and as they improve, they advance from “C” to “B” to “A” then to “AA’, “AAA”, “AAAA”. This permits fair yet challenging competition on all levels. In some cases, a swimmer may be a different class in each stroke. An example: “C” breaststroke time, “B” freestyle time and “A” backstroke time. Some swim meets set certain qualifications standards. In order to swim in these meets, a swimmer must have achieved one or more of the qualifying times. These meets will be noted on the sign-up information. Please feel free to ask a coach or board member if you have questions about signing up for these meets.
At most swim meets, participation is optional and up to the swimmer and their family. The exception to this is once a swimmer reaches the championship meet level (District Championships and above), participation is expected. All qualifying swimmers WILL be entered into events they qualify for and your account will be billed accordingly even if you do not participate in the meet.

Competitive Strokes:

The four competitive strokes are (1) freestyle, (2) backstroke, (3) breaststroke, and (4) butterfly. Events are held in all of the competitive strokes at varying distance depending on the age group of the swimmer. In addition, there is a combination of the strokes swum by one swimmers call the individual medley. The order of the individual medley is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Other swimming events include relays, which are a group of four swimmers who either all swim freestyle (freestyle relay) or each swims one of the competitive strokes in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle (medley relay).
Levels of Achievement:

There are several different age group classifications recognized by United States Swimming (the governing body of the sport): 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Most meets also have events for 8 & unders and combine the 15 and older swimmers into events under the classification of “Senior” or “Open”. All swimmers may participate in open events but only swimmers 15 years old or above may participate in the senior events. There are no “time standards” for 8 & under swimmers but they may swim in 10 & under qualifying events. Not all age group classifications are offered at every swim meet. The swimmer’s age on the first day of a meet will govern the swimmer’s age for the entire meet.
Within each age-group, there are different nationally recognized levels of achievement based on times. All swimmers begin as “C” swimmers. As they improve, they advance from “C’ to “B” and so on. The times required for each ability level are published yearly by United States Swimming. This permits fair, yet challenging competition on all levels.
Time standards may be found on either of these websites:
Missouri Valley Swimming website: United States Swimming
Types of Swim Meets:
1. Missouri Valley Multi-team Meets – the COOL Swim Team will compete with a variety of Missouri Valley teams. These meets are fun and help promote team unity. All levels of swimmers can usually compete.
2. Developmental Meets – These are “B” and “C” meets and do not usually have a minimum qualification time standards. Swimmers with an “A” time in a specific stroke cannot swim that event in these meets. 
3. Qualification Meets – These meets have some type of qualifying time standards that a swimmer must have achieved in order to enter the meet. 
4. Level I and Level II - Missouri Valley Swimming determines the time standards used for these meets based on a fastest/slowest range of time. 
5. MVS District Championships – Missouri Valley Swimming sets the qualifying times standards for these championships. Generally, the Division I standards fall around the national “A” level. 
6. Zone Championships – USA Swimming is divided into four zones: Eastern, Southern, Central and Western. Missouri Valley is a member of the Central Zone which also includes the followings LSCs: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Lake Erie Michigan, Midwestern Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ozark, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Zone Championship meets are held in early August. A swimmer must have achieved a “AAA” time to qualify for this meet, and swims as a member of the LSC team rather that their local swim club.
7. Region Meet – USA Swimming is divided into 14 Regions. Missouri Valley is a member of Region 8, along with Arkansas, Oklahoma and Ozark (eastern Missouri). Region 8 meets are held two times a year (December and July) and require special qualifying times. This is the first “non age-group” meet: swimmers
compete against qualifying swimmers, regardless of age. Qualifying times are approximately “AAAA” times.
8. Phillips 66/USA National Championships (Senior Nationals) – Other than the Olympic Trials and the World Championships Trials, each of which is held every four years, the highest level of competition for senior swimmers is the USA National Championships. Any swimmer meeting the national qualifying time standards travel to various cities throughout the US to compete against America’s best swimmers. Swimmers can qualify for national teams that represent the USA in international competition by their performance at this meet.