What is a swim meet?
A swim meet is a competition for swimmers to compete in various strokes and distances while attempting to improve times and win events.
Heat sheet, DQ, Bullpen...where can I learn the language of swim?
Here are a few important terms for you - more can be found on Team Unify's Glossary of Swim Terms
  • 25, 50, 100, 200 Yard Events- Most pools are 25 yards long. A 25 yard event is one length. A 50 yard event is two lengths. A 100 yard event is four lengths. A 200 yard event is eight lengths. 
  • Bullpen – Place where swimmers report at meets before their event to receive their entry cards and to be arranged into their heat and lane assignments. 
  • Course – Designated distance over which the competition is conducted. Long course (LCM) is 50 meters and short course (SCM) is 25 meters or (SCY) is 25 yards. 
  • DQ – Disqualification. A swimmer is usually disqualified when s/he performs a stroke, touch or turn incorrectly or when s/he enters the water before the start (false start).
  • Heat – The group of swimmers who swim a race at the same time. Several heats may be held in a particular event.
  • Heat sheets – Printed listings of all swimmers by event number and entry time. These are also called the Meet program or “Psych Sheets.” 
  • Seed times – The times a swimmer uses to enter a meet. These times appear on the heat sheet and the entry reports and determine the swimmers heat and lane assignment in a meet.
  • Seeding – The process of assigning swimmers to lanes and heats by time. In general the swimmers with the slower seed times swim in the earlier heats. The order of swimming in the final heats depends on the type of meet.
Are the meets important?
Yes!  Meets are the best way for your swimmer to see how their practices are helping them to improve.  A great approach for new swimmers is to have them compare their own times from one meet to the next (instead of focusing on overall place).  Improvements with each meet mean that placing and scoring points will come soon.