Swim Meet 101
Click here for a printable version


Important Reminder: To be added to the meet line up, your swimmer must “commit” to the “Event” on the club website.

STEP 1 Login to your account. If you do not see the “Events” tab at the top left of the home page, you are not logged in.
STEP 2 Click on events tab and scroll to the event you wish to commit to. You may commit for the entire season (both in or out) but if your plans change, you will need to go back in and make the change.
STEP 3 Click “commit” button beneath the event name
STEP 4 Choose athlete, commit, save changes

If your child becomes ill or has an injury on the day of the meet and is unable to attend at the last minute, please contact Coach Ken. Last minute changes can be made. This is particularly important if your child is in a relay because a no-show for one relay swimmer will disqualify the other 3 relay swimmers.

NO SWIMMER should ever just fail to show.

What to Pack:
• Swim bag or back pack
• Extra swim suit
• At least 2 towels
• Extra goggles
• Extra cap
• Sun screen
• Sharpie
• Small notebook
• Healthy snacks and lots of water
• Camera
• Jacket/blanket/folding chair 

Meet Day: Additional Details about the season schedule can be found on the website under the SWIM tab.

Yes there is practice on meet day. If your child will not be at practice but will attend meet, let Coach Ken know.
Always arrive at 4:15PM. Parking can be tight at some of the pools and you'll want to find some space to set up camp.

Driving directions for all the pools are on the website.

Upon arrival, find the heat sheet (often posted on the fence) and write down your child's races (notebook). Once you know the races, write them on your child's arm so they can refer to it (sharpies).

For example:

11 2 3 25 Free

Event 11, Heat 2, Lane 3, Freestyle) - this is the order to use. You can also write down in your notebook the names and swim order of their relay team(s). Hint - After the meet is over, sun screen makes a great sharpie ink eraser.

Lineups will usually be posted at practice the morning of a meet. You can write the information down (or take a picture) then but definitely double check against the heat sheet posted at the meet as changes may have been made. Heat sheets will be posted at all meets. A “Heat Sheet” is a list of all swimmers by event. At post season meets you can purchase one as a keepsake of the seasons’ success and the money supports the various pools. Some parents might choose to share.

It is also available on the website at the same area where you committed your swimmer. Go into EDIT COMMITMENT and your swimmers events will be there. You will NOT know lanes and heats at this point, but it will give you a head start on the parents crowding around the heat sheet. 

While you set up camp, your swimmer will get into the water for warm up. The announcer will tell the home and visiting teams when it is time for them to get into and out of the water. After warm up there will be a team meeting. You can go with your swimmer and have them point out the members of their relay team (s). Get them to agree on a time (event number xxx) and a specific place (by the diving board) to meet. You can also ask those swimmers to point out where they or their parents are sitting. If your swimmers are young, include all the parents in your plan. There is nothing more frustrating than running around right before a race trying to locate all the members of your relay.

Be sure to listen to the announcer and check in with your child periodically and remind them when their race is getting close. Remind them that it is good sportsmanship to wait in the water until all swimmers have finished the race. They can shake hands with the swimmer next to them and then quickly exit the pool.

After their swim, they can go check in with coaches. If they are DQed (disqualified) the coach will know why and this is something that will be given attention to at the next practice. Stress to your swimmer that it happens to everyone at some point, that the officials are not right 100% of the time but are doing E H L S 11 2 3 25 Free their best at a very hard job and deserve our respect. Note that DQ also stands for Dairy Queen – the traditional salve to the ego. We never NEVER approach the officials directly although the official may come and talk to the swimmer if time allows. 

A special reminder about medley relays and younger swimmers: At no time can more than two swimmers be in the pool at the same time. So the second leg swimmer gets in the pool prior to the start of the race and keeps his or her hand on the wall AT ALL TIMES. They should move left or right to allow good vision as the lead off swimmer approaches the wall. Once contact is made, the number two swimmer pushes off the wall. The number three swimmer cannot get in until the number one swimmer is out of the pool. Encourage the lead swimmer to exit immediately.

Each pool will have concessions during the meet. Please use your best judgment about what your child eats and when he/she eats it. A big cheeseburger right before a race is probably not the best choice. Parents are welcome to bring in outside food and drinks so it's not necessary to rely upon the concessions. If you choose to bring adult beverages, be aware that different pools have different rules about it and at all times be discrete (put it in a cup) and responsible and glass is NEVER allowed on the pool deck. If you are timing, you should wait until you are done with your shift.

Please be courteous to officials, coaches and timers. A meet is not an appropriate time to question coaches about why your child is assigned to a particular race. Coaches are making conscious decisions with the goal of giving all swimmers plenty of opportunities to swim different events while at the same time, trying to put the team in the best position to win the meet Also, we always want to leave a positive lasting impression when we visit other pools so please clean-up any trash etc. If you see an item left behind by another OV family, please bring it back to the lost and found at our pool. And perhaps the most important item - this is supposed to be fun for parents and kids (and it really is!).

Come prepared to cheer and encourage.

Go OV!!