Helpful Information to Survive a Swim Meet
Who Swims?
A list of swimmers scheduled to swim in each meet will be posted at least 24 hours before the meets. The list will be posted on the swim team bulletin board, which faces the pool from inside the clubhouse. The list will name swimmers in each age group and the events they will be swimming. It is each swimmer's and/or parent's responsibility to check this list.

The Ins and Outs
Swimmers are expected to be at the meet location 1 to 1.5 hours before the scheduled start of the meet. Home meet participants are asked to park on the street or in designated areas. Parking violaters will be towed.
When arriving, swimmers should immediately check in at the team's registration station and proceed to the team area. Swimmers should remain in the team area until it is time for warm-up. Swimmers should bring a sleeping bag or blanket, two towels and a change of clothes to each meet. Each team will warm up in the pool before the meet starts.
Swimmers will be told which events are currently taking place so they can be ready when their events are called. Parents will help young swimmers get to the ready area at the appropriate times before their events. As a rule of thumb, swimmers should proceed to the ready bench area two events prior to the event in which they are swimming. After completing their event, swimmers should speak to their coach to receive 'coaching tips,' then return promptly to the team area.
Swim meets general last about 4.5 hours. Saturday meets begin at 8:30am and weekday meets begin at 6pm. Bring folding chairs.

The Nitty-Gritty
Boys and girls compete separately in the following age groups, as determined by their age on June 15: 6 & under, 7 & 8, 9 & 10, 11 & 12, 13 & 14, 15 - 18.
Two basic categories of races are conducted, individual and relay. All relay races involve four swimmers per team. The relay races are freestyle and medley. In the 6 & under age group, the freestyle relay is co-ed. In the medley, each swimmer swims an equal distance in a different stroke. The order is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. A relay team is disqualified if any swimmer false starts or violates the rules governing their stroke.
There are five categories of individual races: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and individual medley (IM). The IM consists of equal lengths of each of the four strokes. The order is: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
In the 6 & under age group, swimmers participate in freestyle, co-ed freestyle relay, and the backstroke events. In the 7 & 8 age group, swimmers participate in all events except the IM. The other age groups swim all events.

Freestyle relay -- four swimmers on each team, each to swim on-fourth of the prescribed distance using any desired stroke(s). Freestyle finish rules apply. Medley relay -- four swimmers on each team, each to swim one-fourth of the prescribed distance continuously in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Rules pertaining to each stroke shall govern where applicable. At the end of each leg, the finish rule for each stroke applies in each case.
Rules Pertaining to Relay Races:
1. No swimmer shall swim more than one leg in any relay event.

 2. In relay races a swimmer other than the first swimmer shall not start until

     his/her teammate has concluded his/her leg.

3. Any relay team member and relay team shall be disqualified from a race if a  

   team member other than the swimmer designated to swim that leg shall jump

   into or enter the pool in the area where the race is being conducted before all

   swimmers of all teams have finished the race.

4. Each relay team member shall leave the water immediately upon finishing

     his/her leg, except the last member.

5. In relay races the team of the swimmer whose feet have lost touch with the

    starting platform before the preceding teammate touches the wall shall be


The policy for awarding ribbons at each meet is set by the home team hosting the meet. For all conference meets, however, ribbon policies must conform to the standard established by the Comstock Conference. The Rio del Oro Rapids team has adopted this league policy for all home meets, both conference and non-scoring meets.
At all conference dual meets and at all non-scoring home meets, first through sixth place ribbons are awarded for all individual events, for all heats. In conference relay events, ribbons are awarded only to the winning relay team. In relay events conducted at non-scoring meets, first through sixth place ribbons are awarded on the basis of elapsed time without regard to lane.
Ribbons are filed in the family file after the completion of each meet and can be picked up at Monday's practice. If you think an error was made on a ribbon, notify a coach.

“Reasons Your Swimmer May Have Been Disqualified”

FREESTYLE - This is the hardest stroke to be disqualified in, because there are no real stroke rules. Still it happens.
1. Failing to touch the wall on the turn in a multi-lap race.

2. Pulling the lane line to gain advantage.

3. Standing on the bottom and pushing off the bottom to continue swimming. (Standing is legal, but pushing off isn’t-to avoid a DQ, a swimmer who has stood on the bottom would have to FLOAT back to the surface and start swimming without pushing forward off the bottom.)

BACKSTROKE - Similar to rules for freestyle, except athletes have to stay on their backs (with the exception of turns in multi-lap races.)

1. Rolling onto the stomach before completing a one-lap race, or on the finish of a multi-lap race, is a DQ. (This is defined as turning past the vertical-if you are flat on your back, you can’t roll more than 90 degrees, or you are more on your stomach than on your back.)

2. THE TURNThis is tricky, but the rule is that swimmers can roll to their stomachs, take one stroke (with one arm pull down, not two) and, IN ONE COMPLETED MOTION, do a freestyle flip turn and then push off the wall on their back. The “one complete motion” part of the rule is fairly objective, unfortunately, and some judges give much more leeway on this than others. A guideline? If swimmers roll over, take their one allotted stroke and then have to kick into the wall for some distance before they turn, they are probably in danger of a DQ.

3. On the start, the swimmer must surface no more than 15 yards from the starting wall (for older swimmers who do lots of underwater butterfly kicking at the start of a race.)

1. One big problem for most young swimmers is the touch on turns and on the finish—both hands must touch simultaneously, although they do NOT have to be on the same plane. On turns, swimmers can dip a shoulder as long as their hands
touch together. Then, they can drop one hand to do the turn. On the finish, shoulders must be on the plane of the water, but hands can simultaneously touch at different depths.

2. The feet have to kick together. They can be separated slightly, but they have to stay that way. If the feet start crossing, it’s no longer a dolphin kick, it’s a flutter kick—and it’s a DQ.

3. Swimmers can start a race with a series of dolphin kicks under or above the water.

4. Some young swimmers get DQ’d for an underwater recovery—you can’t pull down and then recover your arms for the next stroke under the water. If you do, you’re essentially doing breaststroke, not butterfly.

5. Swimmers that do not have both arms in unison are in danger of DQ.

BREASTSTROKE - This is the most challenging stroke to get right.
1. The biggest problem for young swimmers is the kick—both feet have to be turned OUT in a whip-kick style. Lots of young swimmers turn out one foot, but not the other. This ends up being a scissors kick, which is illegal.

2. The second big problem for young swimmers is the touch on turns and on the finish—but hands must touch simultaneously. Swimmers can dip a shoulder on a turn like in the butterfly (not past vertical), but their shoulders have to be on the plane of the water for the finish (no shoulder dipping). Both arms must be in unison.

3. The third big problem—only one pull-down stroke and one kick allowed on the start. Multiple underwater strokes result in a DQ, because the swimmer’s head must be above the surface of the water at some point during each stroke cycle. (In other words, swimmers can’t go underwater for two or more strokes at a time, during the start sequence or during the race).

4. Except on the start pull-down, swimmers cannot pull beyond the waistline or hips.

5. A stroke cycle has to be completed. If a swimmer is close to the wall, takes an arms-only quick stroke but doesn’t kick, that’s a DQ. (Advice—swimmers should GLIDE to the finish instead of trying to sneak in a quick stroke right at the wall).

1. All the stroke rules apply during that segment of the race.

2. On turns, swimmers must complete each stroke the way they would complete a race doing that stroke. In other words, the butterfly to backstroke turn must incorporate a butterfly FINISH, and then a transition to backstroke that puts the swimmer on his back for that leg of the race. The sometimes-tricky one is backstroke to breaststroke. Swimmers must complete the backstroke leg on their backs, but some swimmers then execute a kind of backward flip turn and push off into breaststroke. BAD IDEA!—these swimmers get far less air on that kind of a turn than on a touch-and-go turn with their head above the surface of the water.


1. All relevant stroke rules apply while swimmers are in the water.

2. Relay starts require the swimmer on the blocks to have some part of his/her body still TOUCHING THE BLOCKS when the swimmer in the water touches the wall.


1. Swimmers must come to a MOTIONLESS POSITION before the race begins. Rocking, rolling, leaning, etc…, must CEASE, or the starter can hold the race.

Failure to come to a motionless position in a prompt manner can result in swimmers being charges with a false start.

2. A second false start results in a disqualification.

1. More than 1 swimmer in lane

2. Start interference by coach/parent/swimmer, especially with relays when multiple people are near blocks, “DO NOT TOUCH” swimmer on blocks.

3. Early take-off

4. Wrong stroke

5. Finish in wrong lane

6. Missed wall/ no touch