About Swim Meets

Meet Start Time, Warm-ups, and Length

Our home meets usually start at 8:30 AM, but swimmers should arrive no later than 8:00 AM. 

It is strongly recommended all swimmers 9 years and older should be at the pool for warm-ups from 7:15 -7:45 AM, where they can do some laps and loosen up.  8 & Under swimmers do not warm up!

The start and warm-ups times for away meets can vary. Weekly newsletters will announce the upcoming meet start time and contain information about away meets.

Home meets generally conclude between 1:30 - 2:00 PM. Away meets will vary depending on how many lanes a pool has and their starting time. When your swimmer is done with his/her events, we encourage you to stay and cheer on the team.

Coming to Meets

We suggest that you walk or bike to the meets if possible. If you need to drive, please only park in legal parking spaces and be respectful of our neighbors (no blocking driveways, mailboxes, etc).

Bring a blanket, camping chairs, umbrella or tent and set up camp on the left side of the lawn or in the courtyard. There are also a limited number of chairs available on the pool deck under the awning. The chairs closest to the pool are reserved for our visiting teams during dual meets.

Swim Age Groups 

  • 8 & Under
  • 9-10
  • 11-12
  • 13-14
  • 15-18

Swimmers are assigned to an age group based on their birth date.  If a swimmer has a birthday that will move them up into the next age group during the swim season, they must move up to that age group at the next swim meet which will automatically be done. 


The events (and their order) are as follows:

  1. Mixed Medley Relays (age group order; 8&U's go first, followed by 9-10's, 11-12's, 13-14's, then 15-18's)
  2. Freestyle
  3. Backstroke
  4. Breaststroke
  5. Butterfly
  6. Individual Medley  (IM)
  7. Mixed Free Style Relays

For events 2-6: Girls 8 & Under swim first freestyle; then the Boys 8 & Under, followed by the other age groups (Girls then Boys) in ascending order. After all age groups are done with Freestyle, we move to Backstroke and start with Girls 8 & Under, followed by Boys 8 & Under, etc.

All swimmers start and dive from the deep end of the pool. There is one exception to this- 8 & Under Boys & Girls start backstroke in shallow end of our pool. There is NO DIVING in the shallow end.

Number of Events

Group 1 swimmers swim Freestyle and Backstroke only at meets (unless approved by Coack Mark).

In dual meets, all other swimmers may participate in up to 3 individual events (provided they have mastered the stroke) and possibly either or both relays.

Coaches determine which swimmers will swim the relays. Swimmers are notified on the morning of the swim meet if they will swim in a relay.

Race Distances

  • 8 & Under        25 Yards (1 lap)
  • 9 and Over      50 Yards (2 laps)
  • 15-18             100 Yards (Freestyle)
  •                         50 Yards (Other events)
  • All IM’s           100 Yards (4 laps)

Relay Distances

  • 8 & Under        100 Yards (4 X 25 Yards)--in water starts at shallow end
  • 9 and Older       200 Yards (4 X 50 Yards)

Heat Sheets

Heat sheets are a schedule of who is swimming what event, in which heat and lane. Heat Sheets are posted on our website the day before a swim meet and also sent out the night before a swim meet. Sign in to see Heat Sheets. The heat sheets are also posted on a board at the meet.

Bring a “Sharpie” marker to the meet and write the heats and lanes on your child’s hand. This helps swimmers get to the right place at the right time.  There are Clerks of the Course at each lane to help the 8 & Unders line up for their races.

For example:

Scoring Meets

To determine who wins a meet, points are awarded as follows for individual events and relays:

  • 5 points for first place overall
  • 3 points for second place overall
  • 1 point for third place overall

These points are added up. The team with the most points wins the meet.

At the end of your race, you may ask the timers for your time. But be aware the time they give you will not be your final time. The final time is actually the average of all 3 times of the timers, and the computer will let us know your final time by the end of the meet.

You should only worry only about improving your times over the season. What place you come in does not matter!

You can read here about the Ribbons and Best Time Ribbons that will be handed out the following week after each dual meet.

Disqualifications (DQs)

No swimmer likes getting a DQ, but they happen.  A swimmer will receive a DQ when the Stroke and Turn Judge sees an illegal move.  For example, if a swimmer does not touch the pool edge with two hands during a turn in the butterfly or breaststroke, the swimmer may get a DQ and not receive a time for the race.

Disqualification slips will be filed in the ribbon box. Each swimmer who receives a DQ slip should review it with their coach and discuss how to improve. 

Meet Results

Meet results are posted at meets once all ages within an event have raced. Results can also be found on our website within a few days of the meet. Sign in to see Meet Results.

Swim Wear

Friendly reminder, the Marin Swim League follows USA Swimming and FINA standards.  Please do not wear suits with zippers, tiebacks or other fastening systems to meets (including tie back Jolyn swimsuits).  Your swimmer can be disqualified for wearing these swimsuits at meets.