Swim Meets 101

Swim Meet Basics: What to Expect at Your First Meet

Swim meets are a great family experience. They're a place where children can showcase and celebrate the results of their hard work with family and teammates. Listed below are some basic guidelines geared to help you through your first meets. They may seem a little intimidating at first, but with the right preparation you’ll find the experience both fun and rewarding.

Before the meet starts, arrive early to allow enough time to find your team and place your swimmer’s blankets and swim bags in your team’s seating area. Make sure your swimmer checks in with the coach for team warm-ups. He or she will be able to provide any further instructions and direct you to the parent seating area. After each swim, remember to tell your swimmer how great he or she did. Meets are first and foremost about fun. Keep this in mind, and you just might have a little fun yourself.


Swim Meets: Where to begin?

Throughout the season, Metro Aquatics swimmers have the option of participating in many different swim meets, at all levels. We encourage everyone to explore these options and take part in team meets. We have a blast and meets are a great chance for our kids to support one another, compete, and have fun. All swim meets are learning opportunities for our swimmers to work on skills and disciplines they have learned in practice. Friendly competition allows them to see the progress they are making throughout each season. Following are explanations of the two types of swim meets we attend as a team throughout the season:

Dual Meets: Dual meets are open to all swimmers. These meets tend to be less formal in nature and offer a great opportunity for those just learning the swimming routine to take that first step into competition. In addition, they allow all our athletes to hone racing skills and compete in shorter events. Dual meets are held with one other team and are low-pressure, high-energy events with typical swim races mixed in with occasional fun events. Dual meets are free and every Metro swimmer is encouraged to attend.)

USA Swimming Sanctioned Meets: Many swimmers on our swim team choose to register as members of USA Swimming, thus opening up a wide array of fun, challenging swim meets available throughout the region. This involves an annual membership fee and registration is done through the team. Metro Aquatics is a USA Swimming member team and we attend sanctioned meets together as a team with one or more Metro coaches there to work with swimmers. These events are slightly more structured and offer broader levels of competition. These meets still occur in fun settings with learning and progress for the swimmers as a central tenet.

Meets available include monthly Challenge Meets with a handful of other teams in attendance and Fall, Spring, and Summer Grand Challenge meets to cap off those seasons. In addition, some of our swimmers qualify each season for Pacific Northwest Swimming (PNS) Championship, Sectional, Zone, or National Championship meets. In essence, the sky is the limit for competitive opportunities for our Metro swimmers. We hope to provide the full spectrum from the time they attend their first Intra-squad or Dual Meet to the time they tackle the challenges offered by USA Swimming sanctioned meets.)

Rules from USA Swimming

  • No jewelry, including hair bands on wrists.
  • Swim suits for men may not extend above the navel or below the knee; For women may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or below the knee;
  • No zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer​
  • Suits must be of textile material and must not be made of any rubberized type of material such as polyurethane or neoprene.

Meet Preparation Guidelines

Before Warm-up

  • Take it easy the day before your meet
  • Check in with your coach
  • Get ready for your warm up
  • Find your meet buddy (assigned by your coach on the day of meet or before the meet)
  • Warm up in the assigned lane

During Warm-up

  • Enter feet first
  • Circle swim
  • Only dive if there are dive lanes open
    - Dive in one direction
    ​- Do not swim back in same lane

During Race

  • Check in with your coach 3 events before your event
  • Get behind the blocks at least 3 heats before your race
  • Get your time from the timers after your race
  • Go to your coach to get feedback after your race
  • Get ready for your next event
  • Cheer for your teammates!