Swim Meet Procedures

As a competitive swim team, we expect all of our swimmers to attend swim meets and compete in events recommended by their coaches. Swim meets provide an opportunity for the swimmers to measure the progress of their training and practice. They are also a social time, which enables the swimmers to build friendships with fellow teammates.

All swimmers must compete in all of the MYM AUTO-ENTRY meets for which they qualify, unless excused by the coach or it is otherwise noted in the Event Description.

1.  Swimmer Events

Your swimmer’s coach will select the events that s/he will participate in.  The coaching plan, swimmer ability, coach-swimmer goals, and other factors will be considered as the events are being selected. Swimmers and parents/guardians are able to request events during the sign up process, but the coaches make the final decision.

Relay spots are determined by the coach.

Newer swimmers will initially be placed in events that they will succeed in.  As their skills build, they will be placed in more challenging events as determined by their coach.

2.  Meet Fees

A meet entry fee and event fees (approximately $5.00 per event) are required for entry in a swim meet. Meet fees for swim meets are the responsibility of the swimmer’s parent/guardian. The Meet Fee Administrator will invoice the swimmer’s account for each meet and an electronic invoice will be issued.  We highly recommend that you set up your account with a credit card or ACH direct payments to make it easy to make timely payments.  Delinquent meet fees may result in a suspension of meet privileges until the swimmer’s account becomes current.

Upon passage of the meet sign up deadline, MYM submits all entries and meet fees to the host team. Meet fees are non-refundable to MYM once they have been submitted to the host team. If a swimmer is unable to attend the meet (for any reason) after the submission of the entries and payment by the team, the swimmer’s parent/guardian will still be responsible for payment of the meet fees. If MYM coaches or staff make an error in a swimmer’s entries, the team will be responsible for the resulting erroneous fees.

3.  Signing Up for a Swim Meet

Not all Roster Groups attend the same meets throughout the season, so please check the Event description and Meet Info that is attached to the Event on the team website to confirm whether a swim meet is appropriate for your swimmer.

Please pay particular attention to any applicable deadlines!

E-mail from Team

Each family will receive an e-mail from the Dolphin Swim Team when a new meet is posted. The Event description will indicate whether the meet is an Auto-Entry Meet or an Opt-In Meet.  It will also indicate whether the swimmer can pick his or her own events.


Most of our meets are what we call AUTO-ENTRY - which means that your swimmer will automatically be entered if s/he qualifies. You don’t have to do a thing.

Your coach will determine whether your swimmer is within the age groups for the meet and whether s/he qualifies for the meet based on meet cuts (published qualifying times).  Most importantly, if your child is new to swimming competitively, the coach will determine whether s/he is ready to swim in that meet.

If your swimmer qualifies for an AUTO-ENTRY meet, s/he is expected to swim in that meet unless s/he has been excused from the meet by the coach or it is otherwise noted in the Event description.


The other type of meet requires you to indicate your swimmer’s interest in entering the meet.  Information about the swim meet, typically in the form of a document called Meet Info, can be found attached to the Event on the team website.  There will always be an entry deadline imposed for the OPT-IN/OPT-OUT meets that give our coaches enough time to prepare and submit the entries in a timely manner so that our team will be able to participate in the meet.  Occasionally, we are shut out of USA meets because they become oversubscribed before our entries are in.

If you do not plan to attend and do not respond in the negative, your swimmer may be entered into the meet and your meet fee account may be charged accordingly.  Alternatively, if your swimmer does plan to attend but does not Opt-In, s/he may not be entered in the meet and late additions may be impossible for highly subscribed meets.

Some of the Opt-In/Opt-Out meets will have qualifying times.  In that case, you will have to look at the applicable time standard (see Swimmers/Time Standards tab) to see if your child qualifies for the meet. You will be able to find your child's fastest times in each event on this website under My Account and, in addition, for meets with qualifying times, we will post an eligibility report under the Results/Records tab so a swimmer may see if they have qualified for that meet and if so, for which events they have qualified.

Notes to the Coach

If the Event Description indicates that the swimmer can pick the events, you should select the events through the commitment drop-down link. Please note that your swimmer may not be able to participate in various events due to a limitation on number of swimmers in an event and number of events per swimmer. The coach will ultimately determine if the event is appropriate for the swimmer.

Confirming your Events

MYM recommends that you return to the EVENT page to see which events your coach has selected for your swimmer, which will be in an attached document called Meet Entries. Do this as soon as possible after the meet closing date, which can be found on the meet form. If you find an error, please contact your coach immediately.

4.  Important Swim Meet Information

Meet Info

Each swim meet will have a meet information document (“Meet Info”) that will provide information such as location, date, time, directions, events, cost of events, etc. It can be accessed through the MYM website, Events tab. This will take you to the Event page where you can see a brief Event Description. The Meet Info may be found under the Forms/Documents heading, as a .pdf document listed in red. Click on the .pdf heading and the meet info will open.

Timeline for the Swim Meet

Some swim teams provide a timeline for the swim meet. The timeline will show the estimated time for each event, which will allow you to better plan your weekend. You may visit the same Forms/Document heading as for the meet info above, to see if a timeline is available. Do not use this timeline to determine your arrival time at the meet. Your swimmers’ coach will tell them when to arrive for warm-up.

Timing Assignments

All swimmers attending a swim meet must provide a timer for the time assigned to them by the Team Volunteer Manager. Timers must be at least 16 years of age. MYM will provide timing assignments based on the number of chairs required, the number of swimmers/families in attendance. In most cases you will receive an e-mail on the Thursday or Friday prior to the meet letting you know your assignment(s), if any.

Note: At many invitational and championship meets, swimmers are required to provide their own timer and counter for long distance events, such as the 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free in short course meets, and 400 free and 400 IM, 800 free and 1500 free in long course meets.  If you are that timer, you must procure a stopwatch prior to the event from the head timer or from your team.

Meet Day Guidelines

See Meet Day Guidelines under the Swimmers tab on the MYM team website (www.mymdolphins.org)



Competition gives your swimmer an opportunity to learn about him/herself. Not only in terms of physical accomplishment, but perhaps more importantly, what s/he is capable of in terms of will power, goal attainment and self-discipline. Competition is a healthy and necessary aspect of life in order to be productive. It is vitally important to develop the capacity to do better and to not settle for just being average. This type of motivation and desire can be applied as a tool, not only to swimming, but to school and all aspects of life as well.

Eligible Competitors:

In order to be eligible for any meets, swimmers must be Y members in good standing with all fees up to date. Additionally the swimmer must attend practice regularly as per our recommendations (frequency) and must be making a good faith effort to improve during practices. You must be a good teammate and a responsible and respectable member of the team. Coaches will make final decisions concerning what swim meets we will attend and who will participate. The coaching staff also will make the final decisions as to what events the athletes will be swimming.

For some meets, participation will be determined by the roster group’s primary coach regarding readiness to compete. For travel meets and high level championships, the primary coach may make a determination that a swimmer is not prepared for the competition if s/he has not been attending practices regularly, is coming off an injury or has not displayed a good faith effort to improve at practice.

Each swimmer will be placed on a Dual Meet Team (See description of Dual Meets below). 


Dolphins Time-Trials:

Swimmers in White, Flipper, Novice, Jr. Prep and Red and Black groups are required to attend the Red/Black Scrimmage (an intra-squad meet/time-trial) which is also used to help finalize dual meet team assignments. The Red/Black Scrimmage is usually held in late September/early October.  

YMCA Dual Meets:

We participate in the Northern New Jersey YMCA dual meet league (one-on-one meets with other YMCA’s in the North Jersey area). Each team competes in approximately three to five of these meets, which take place on Saturday afternoons from October to February. Each swimmer is permitted to swim in a maximum of two events plus a relay. The coach makes all event and lane assignments and they are at his/her discretion and may change during the course of the meet. YMCA rules apply and age is determined as of 12/1 of the applicable season. All swimmers on the team are required to compete in dual meets.

The Montclair “Y” has girls and boys traveling teams and may have a Home team as well. There are several divisions in both the girls’ and boys’ YMCA league. The dual meet “line-up” (events each swimmer will be competing in) for each team will be posted just before the start of the meet. The coaching staff tries to get everyone into each meet where the pool has six lanes (some pools have four lanes). All races are treated as official and are used to qualify for various competitions. Athletes will be placed on a competitive team based on their swim times, attendance and overall commitment.

Invitational Meets

Invitational Meets are meets where swimmers compete against other swimmers on an individual basis, are hosted by a YMCA or USA swim team and involve many teams (often hundreds of swimmers). The Invitational Meets we attend are sanctioned by the YMCA league and/or USA Swimming, which is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States. New Jersey Swimming (NJS) is the local swim committee (LSC) for USA Swimming in our part of the country.  The MYM Dolphins are members of USA Swimming.

YMCA Championship Meets

The NJ State, Silver, Bronze and Mini Meet Championships are competitions held at the end of the dual meet season. All swimmers who qualify for these meets are expected to attend as they are team scored meets. To attend YMCA National level competition, a swimmer is required compete fully in the YMCA State Championship Meet. All swimmers on the team are required to attend the highest level YMCA championship meet for which s/he qualifies.

USA Swimming Championship Meets

Similar to the YMCA system, NJ Swimming offers an extensive championship season, including Silver/Bronze and NJ Junior Olympics. The NJ Swimming meets in which we will participate will be determined by our coaches and posted to our website.

For very elite swimmers, USA Swimming sponsors Sectional Championships (Northeast region), Phillips 66 National Championships, U.S. Open, Olympic Trials, Grand Prix, etc. Time standards for all of these meets will be posted on the team website. Details regarding any of these competitions will be distributed to qualified swimmers.


Sunkissed Invitational Jr/Sr Championships of the USA

The Sunkissed Invitational Champs differs from YMCA National Championships in that: they have both Junior (10-13 years old) and Senior (14 years & older) Divisions and it is a USA Swimming (not YMCA) sanctioned meet. The Sunkissed Invitational also has qualifying times which are less stringent than those for the YMCA Nationals (cuts to be posted to the website during the season) enabling a larger group of our athletes to attend. In recent years more than 70 Montclair Y swim team members have competed at this meet. For the past few years this meet has been in Charlotte, North Carolina in late March to early-mid April. Athletes who qualify for this meet are required to attend.

In order to participate in this meet you must be 10 or older, must have fully participated in your highest level YMCA championship meet, must have made the meet qualifying times and must be in good standing with the team and have fully complied with team’s expectations.

National YMCA Short Course Championship Meet

National YMCA Short Course Championship is an open national competition. All contestants must be 12 and older and have achieved the qualifying times, have fully attended YMCA States and be in good standing with the team. This meet is held in late March to mid April and was most recently in Greensboro, North Carolina. Athletes who qualify for this meet are required to attend.

Eastern Zone Age Group Championships

The Eastern Zone hosts two “Zone” meets a year, one in the spring and one in the summer.

In the Spring the NJ Zone team is comprised of the top 2 fastest times achieved at JO’s or NJ Junior/Senior Championships who apply for that competition. Because MYM attends the Sunkissed Invitational Jr/Sr Championships of the USA as a team, Spring Zones is not our focus meet.

For a 12 year-old swimmer, it is acceptable to attend the Spring Zone meet providing it does not conflict with the Sunkissed Invitational. Schedule permitting, the swimmer may participate in The Zone meet in addition to and not instead of the Sunkissed Invitational.

It is not acceptable for a MYM 13/Older to attend Spring Zones except in the rare occurrence that Zones falls after the Sunkissed Invitational

SC YMCA National Championship qualifiers are required to attend the YMCA National Championships and cannot attend Spring zones except in the rare instance that Zones occurs after YMCA Nationals. Schedule permitting, YMCA National Championship participants are encouraged to attend the Sunkissed Invitational.


Invitational Meets

In the late Spring through July, the MYM Dolphins compete in several invitational long course meets, including two meets that are hosted by our team at Rutgers.  These meets provide great experience for our younger swimmers to gain experience swimming in a 50 meter pool and provides opportunities for our more experienced swimmers to qualify for various Championship level swim meets.

National YMCA Long Course Championship

National YMCA Long Course Championships (50 meter pool length) is an open national competition. All contestants must be 12 years of age or older and much have achieved the qualifying times, have fully attended YMCA States and be in good standing with the team. This meet is held in late July into early August and will be held at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana this year. Athletes who qualify for this meet are required to attend.

Eastern Zone Age Group Championships

In the summer, the NJ Zone team is comprised of anyone who made the meet qualifying times and applied to be on the team or in the case that two people with qualifying times do not apply, the two fastest swimmers who do apply will be selected.

In the Summer, LC Zones should be the focus of every swimmer who did not qualify for YMCA Nationals. YMCA National qualifiers are encouraged to attend this meet providing it falls after YMCA Nationals.

For all meets, Coaches have final determination of meet entries. Athletes must be in good standing with the team and have fully complied with team’s expectations in order to be entered in any meets. In order to compete in meets representing the Dolphins, athletes must be maintaining good faith effort, good attitude, and regularly attendance practice and compete in meets.