Swim Meets FAQs

What is a dual meet?

What is an Invitational Meet?

What is Time Trials?

What is the Orange and Blue Meet?

What is the order of events at a meet?

What is the order of medley relay?

What is the order of individual medley (IM)?

How are relay teams decided?

What does a DQ mean?

What should I bring to a meet?

Where do we sit at the meet?

Is there food at a meet?

What is a dual meet?

Most meets are dual meets and involve WCST and one other team. They usually take 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Swimmers are entered in events depending upon the coaches’ assessment of their ability to swim each stroke. There are league dual meets against other teams in the DCSL league, and there are non-league dual meets against other local recreational teams.

A meet consists of five individual events and two relays. Swimmers are eligible to swim a maximum of three individual events and two relays per meet. Meet entries will be posted at the pool at least one day prior to a meet.  Please look under the   Events   link on this website for specific    Meet Times.
Meets on Weekdays.  Meets g enerally start at   6:00 p.m.   and end by   9:30 p.m . Often  warm-ups are from 4:55 p.m.   to   5:25 p.m.   for the home team and from   5:25 p.m.   to 5:55 p.m.   for the away team.  If a weekday meet is particularly large, the coaches may agree to limit the number of heats for each event or eliminate one of the events to save time.
Meets on Saturdays. Meets usually start at 9:00 a.m., with the home team swimmers warming up at 7:45 a.m. until 8:15 a.m., and the away team using the pool from 8:15 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. to allow for the Little Rays to participate prior to the official start of the meet. Little Rays participate on SATURDAY HOME MEETS only. The meets usually end by 1:00 p.m.
Work Assignments. Job check-in is 40-60 minutes prior to the start of the meet. Be sure to review your job start time for each meet, as they differ, depending on the position. 
Pace of Meets. The Meet Directors, starters, timers and coaches make every effort to move the meets along and end on time. Swimmers and parents can help keep the meet moving by listening for the announcer to call the swimmers to their events and being at their lanes on time with their caps and goggles. The Starter will not wait for swimmers to show up for their events. Swimmers are responsible for getting to their lanes on time. Marshals assist in getting the younger swimmers (6 & Under and 7/8) to the lanes, but parents must take the initiative to get their swimmers to the Marshals.
The best meets are those that go by quickly. The worst meets are those that go so slowly that the final event (usually Free Relay) has to be dropped. Parents can help move the meet along by making sure their swimmers keep their gear in a place where they can find it before they head to their events.
What is an Invitational meet?

Invitational meets are meets that our team has been invited to by the host team. All swimmers have the opportunity to swim at an Invitational but must sign in to the meet to attend. The only exception to this is championship meets as indicated below, which include Crossings Challenge (WCST is the host team, thus expect all our swimmers to participate), DCSL League Championships, Concord City Championships and County Championships meet. Invitationals are an excellent opportunity for your swimmer to swim against teams that we don’t normally swim against in dual meets. Swimmers often record their best times in this type of atmosphere.

The following meets are Invitational Meets where you MUST sign up to participate:

Battle of the Ages. This is a unique meet where each swimmer competes against other swimmers of the same exact age only. For example, if your child is 9 years old, he/she will swim against other 9 year olds, but not the 10 year olds of the 9/10 age group. This is a 2-day meet, with different events on each day.

Devil Mountain Pentathlon. As the name suggests, each swimmer swims all five strokes (back, breast, butterfly, freestyle and IM. 6 & Under swim a 50 yard freestyle instead of IM). This is a 2-day meet. The day on which your swimmer swims depends on their age group.


The following are invitational or championship meets where you MUST SIGN OUT and notify the Head Coach if you are NOT able to compete:

Crossings Challenge. This meet is hosted by WCST. This invitational is unique! It is a fun, competitive, and affordable invitational for "B" level recreational swimmers. We award both effort and results with high quality medals for each participant. We recognize swimmers who may not always see their efforts rewarded at large meets. For the second year "A" swimmers will be participating in the meet, however will not score points for the team. Trophies will be awarded to the first and second place teams. The first placed team is awarded a traveling trophy, which it defends the next year.

DCSL League Championships. This is hosted by all the teams of the Diablo Community Swim League (DCSL). WCST is a member of this League.

Concord City Championships. This not-to-be-missed meet is the culmination of the swimming season. It is a 3-day meet, beginning Friday evening. The days on which the swimmers swim depends on the stroke(s) they chose to swim.

Contra Costa County Championships. Swimmers must meet county qualifying times to participate. 

Most Invitational meets are all day; some are multiple days (Battle of the Ages, Devil Mtn. Pentathlon, Crossings Challenge, City Meet, and County). Medals or rosette ribbons (instead of ribbons) are generally awarded and presented through sixth or eighth place. In addition, team trophies are awarded at these big meets.

What is Time Trials (also known as Orange and Blue)?
Time Trials is the first event of the season and is when each swimmer's base time for each stroke is recorded. The base time is used to calculate time improvements throughout the season. If the swimmer is unable to attend Time Trials, their base time will be recorded the first time he or she swims each stroke at any event.
What is the Orange and Blue meet?

Orange and Blue meet is just for WCST swimmers (intra-squad meet).  The team is split in half.  One side will be the ORANGE team and the other side with be the BLUE team.  The team is divided into two groups as evenly matched as possible. This meet is now combined with Time Trials.

What is the order of events at a meet?
Medley Relay, Individual Medley (IM), Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly, Free Relay.  Away meets and Invitational meets may vary.
What is the order of Medley Relay?
Four swimmer participate in this relay race starting with Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle.
What is the order of Individual Medley (IM)?
This race is swam individually. Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.

What does DQ mean?

There are correct and incorrect ways to swim each stroke. At a meet, the Stroke and Turn Judge (part of the Officials Team) will evaluate each swimmer's stroke in their assigned area. An incorrect technique may result in a disqualification.

The disqualification (DQ) provides valuable information that can make a swimmer a better competitor. The goal is to provide the coaching staff prompt feedback for the swimmers, so they will have an opportunity to make necessary modifications for their next race.

What about our younger swimmers? For 6 and under swimmers, the key difference is that we are looking for the stroke to be done correctly about 70% of the race. The expectation is the swimmer will improve over the season, thus the evaluation criteria increases to 100% correct stroke technique by the time we reach the championship meets.

How to Avoid Disqualification

Avoid false starts.
Feet must touch wall on turn.
No part of the body may touch the bottom of the pool any time during the race.

Avoid false starts.
Both feet must be entirely in water at start of race.
Must stay on back entire race except on flip turn.
Once the swimmer turns onto the stomach for the turn the arm and body must be in continuous turning action.

Avoid false starts.
Head must break surface after each pull before hands turn upward at widest part of the stroke.
Hands start backward progression.
Two hand touch at turn and finish.
Hands cannot touch one at a time.

Avoid false starts.
Feet must stay together on kick.
Two hand touch at turn and finish.
Hands cannot touch one at a time.
No underwater recovery (breaststroke pull into wall).

How are relay teams decided?
Unlike the individual events that rely solely on the individual performance of each swimmer, the relay events require the effective blending of each individual swimmer’s talents together to achieve the best possible performance by the group. A ny true team is more than the sum of its parts.
The selection of swimmers to participate in the relay events is a responsibility that the Head Coach takes seriously. They see the swimmers every day at practice and at all the meets, and it is their responsibility to select the swimmers they feel will produce the best relay teams.
The coaching staff look at a number of factors to evaluate swimmers to produce a good relay team. First and foremost is the swimmers' times in their individual events.  Consistency is also essential.  A good relay team must also have characteristics that are harder to evaluate, such as team chemistry, dedication, and reliability.
The team’s performance may vary dependent on which swimmer swims a particular leg of the relay. There are swimmers who are good starters and those who are better finishers. Some swim better if they are ahead while others perform better when they are behind. Some of it is physical and some is psychological.  Members of the relay team have to rely on one another both at the meet and at practice to not only attend but to consistently exert their best effort for the good of the team.
What should I bring to a meet?
Shoes should be worn regardless of the weather. For cold weather or windy evening meets, sweats, coats, blankets and sleeping bags are appropriate. In hot weather, stay out of the sun and stay cool, and bring sunscreen.  Other items to bring include chairs, food or money for food, and water. 

Pack a swim bag with everything you will need to compete.

  • Team suit/competition suit
  • Back up suit - Take a spare suit of any color. When a suit is lost or rips you want a back up.
  • Goggles - Take a good pair. When your swimmer goes to put on their goggles right before an event it is not a good time for a rotten strap to break.
  • Back up goggles - Swimmers lose goggles a lot! They won’t know they’ve lost them until right before their next event. It is a lot easier to pull out a spare pair than begin to panic. Panicked swimmers and swimmers without goggles don’t usually swim fast.
  • Cap - Take a team cap. Team caps help identify your swimmer and where they belong.
  • Towels - Your swimmer will be wet and need to dry off after warm-ups and each event. Wet swimmers get cold and cold swimmers do not swim as fast as warm swimmers. Bring plenty of towels.
  • Extra clothes - Take a change of clothes to wear between events. Sweats and loose fitting clothing work best. Make sure your swimmer has dry clothes to wear home.
  • Sharpie - For marking your swimmer
  • Entertainment - There can be up to an hour between your swimmer’s events. Take something for them.

Where do we sit at the meet?

Home meets. WCST sits on the deck/greenbelt side of the pool and the visiting team sits on the clubhouse side of the pool.

Away meets. It is important for team unity and to assist the coaching staff that all of the team is in the same area.  You will see the Orange and Blue!

Is there food at a meet?

  • We sell food from the Stingray Cafe for all home meets
  • Generally, for away meets, the host team sells food
  • Usually these are cash only, but WCST now takes credit card