Welcome to the Vacaville Swim Club

Congratulations on joining the Vacaville Swim Club! You are now a member of one of the VACA Wave family! As a valued and important part of our swim family you will soon learn that there is so much more to this team than simply providing a physical activity for your swimmer(s). You and your swimmer will make great friends, learn more about the sport of swimming than you ever thought possible, attend fun team functions, and hopefully grow in a multitude of ways. Our mission is to help each athlete develop their full potential as a swimmer while teaching important core values through the sport of swimming.

There is much more value to our sport than just learning the physical skills. Swimming provides an arena for children to learn to deal with success and failure as well as the value of hard work and goal setting. Each meet, event, practice, set and repeat serves as a challenge to better oneself. Participation provides an avenue for parents and coaches to praise and encourage a swimmer's effort and achievements, and over time a child's self-esteem can grow exponentially.

Our Coaches view themselves as educators first and strive to teach swimmers about various life issues through a curriculum of VACA Values that are introduced every week. Personal responsibility, integrity, hard work and our other concepts are taught intensively over the course of a week throughout the swim season. As the seasons pass, swimmers are certain to learn skills and strategies that they can use to enhance their lives far after their participation in competitive swimming is over.

The VACA Wave coaches realize that they have a responsibility and opportunity to impact the lives of your children. You will find that they care a great deal about their swimmers and will help them whenever possible. Their commitment to those whom they coach goes beyond the typical coach-athlete relationship.

If you are new to competitive year round swimming, you will most certainly have questions. Please feel free to reach out to any member of our VACA Wave family including coaches, board members or other parents. Once again, welcome to our team!


Vacaville Swim Club

Board of Directors


The Vacaville Swim Club


The Vacaville Swim Club comprises a competitive, year-round age group swim Team, a year-round masters swim team, and a summer recreational swim team. The Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis to discuss issues related to our organization as a whole.

The volunteers who serve in board positions manage the business planning and fiscal responsibilities of the swim team. Election of Board Members is held each year at a general membership meeting near the beginning of the swim season(Around mid-November). Board Members are elected to serve a one-year term. Board member positions are President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Age Group Representative (3 positions), and Masters Representative. The head coach also serves as the CEO and a non-voting member of this board.

Responsibilities of the Board

  • One of VACA's goals is to create an environment of team cohesiveness. By providing regular social, team-building opportunities, the Board hopes to nurture the team and to instill a sense of team pride. Parents/guardians and swimmers will be more motivated to be a part of VACA, when they feel valued and enjoy themselves.
  • The VACA Board will maintain vital relationships with the City of Vacaville, Solano Community College, and the Vacaville Unified School District.
  • The Board will manage the budget of the team. The team will build relationships within the community and seek business sponsorships to establish a strong financial base for future growth. VACA will also submit grant applications under its 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
  • The VACA Board plans to make our team more visible to the community through the use of various avenues:
  • Community Events Participation in local Vacaville events will make our team more recognizable and serve as a recruitment opportunity.
  • Team Website: VACA's website will showcase our team and provide a valuable recruitment tool. The website will also provide a sponsorship tool for the team and an opportunity for interested businesses.

Coaches' Role

All VACA coaches must meet high criteria set forth by USA Swimming. Each coach holds a current First Aid and CPR Training for the Professional Rescuer certification. Coaches are also required to complete the USA Swimming Safety Training for Coaches Course. VACA coaches have also passed a background check. All of the above requirements must be kept up to date for a swim coach to remain in good standing with USA Swimming and the Vacaville Swim Team.

VACA coaches' main responsibility is to mold all of our swimmers into the best swimmers that they can be. In addition, coaches mentor swimmers in life skills and positive values.

Coaches build relationships with team families to achieve mutually-set goals for each swimmer.

Coaches also help the team to build relationships with other aquatic organizations.

Parent/Guardian's Role (Parent Code of Conduct)

As the Parent/Guardian of a competitive swimmer, your main responsibility is to provide a caring, supporting environment. This support will encourage your child to feel good about his or her interest in competitive swimming. Show your support by ensuring your swimmer's attendance at practices and if prepared attendance at swim meets.

The priority for your swimmer is practice attendance. 

"Practice is like homework, meets are like tests" -Coach Grace 

Swimmers can only attend meets that the team is attending. These meets can be found on our website under meet schedule. If a swimmer is not an active member of the team, or not physically able to complete practices due to illness or injury, they will not be able to participate in meets.

The other major role that you play is as a volunteer. Our organization is built on the strength of our volunteers, the board is made up of volunteers and all of our team events are organized and run by parents/guardians just like you! It truly does take the strength and participation of each and every one of our families to make this team work. Please see our Volunteering section for more details and to learn how you can help!

Parents/guardians are also participants on their child's team and contribute to the success experienced by the swimmer and his or her team! Parents/guardians serve as role models, and children frequently emulate their attitudes. Strive to be a positive role model. Most important, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials and other teams.


Matthew Rankin

Head Coach (Gold/Senior 1 Group)

Coach Rankin is a highly accomplished swimmer and swim coach with over twenty years of experience in developing young athletes. Coach Rankin brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to our club and is a tremendous benefit to our swimmers.

Coach Rankin's swimming accomplishments include; three-time Olympic Trial Finalist in 1984, 1988 and 1992, NCAA All American in 1986, 1987 and 1988, Multiple NCAA Silver Medalist, two time Senior National Champion in the 400 IM, USA Swimming National Team Captain and USA Swimming National Team member from 1984-1992. While Coach Rankin was on the USA National Team he participated in competitions including; Goodwill Games, Pan Pacific Championships, World University Games and Pan-American Games.

Coach Rankin's Coaching Accomplishments include: 2010 USA Swimming National Youth Team Coach, 2008 and 2010 Arizona Swimming Coach of the Year, 2011 Arizona Swimming Senior Chair and 2007-2009 Arizona Swimming Technical Planning Committee. Coach Rankin has consistently developed young swimmers into Senior and Junior National finalist as well as Olympic Trial qualifiers.

Grace Erkeneff

Head Age Group Coach (Blue/Red/White Group) & Masters Coach (Noon)

Grace has been working for the Vacaville Swim Club since 2007. She began by coaching the novice program, then worked as the Gold and Junior 2 group coach, and the coach of the Varsity group. Since becoming an age group coach for the swim club, Grace has coached Junior Olympics qualifiers and finalists, Swagr finalists and Far Western qualifiers. 

While involved with the novice program, Grace attended school at Solano Community College where she swam competitively. This was by far the hardest sport she had ever participated in. At Solano Community College, she obtained four AAs in the following: English, Early Childhood Education, History, and Human Development. She then transferred to Sac State where she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education concentration in English. 

When Grace is not pool side, she enjoys playing tennis. Some of her other hobbies include going to the gym, running 5ks with her sister, and going on hikes with her dog, Breeze. Her favorite spot to go hiking in town is Pena Adobe. She loves to compete and is always up for a challenge.

Nick Lillard

Silver Age Group Coach

Nick started coaching with the Vacaville Swim Team in 1998. He started coaching with the summer swim team and moved on to coach Red, White, Blue, Junior 2, and the Pre-Varsity group. He currently has been coaching the evening Masters group since 2010.

Nick swam with the Vacaville swim club from 1992 to 2001. He then swam for Diablo Valley College for 2 year where both years the team won the state championship. He placed in the top 8 in the 200 fly and 400 IM both years. Currently he is also training with the Masters group with a passion for distance butterfly. In addition to coaching the evening Masters group he also currently works as a Para-educator at Vaca High School working with the special needs children. Nick is currently going to school to get his special needs teaching credential. Outside of work and the pool he's an avid fan of the Oakland A's, basketball, and hiking with his dog Dawkins.

Coach Jamie

Masters Coach (Saturday Group)

Coach Jamie has been swimming since the age of 9. She started her swimming career with the summer program through the City of Vacaville with Coach Nick Lillard as her very first swimming instructor. She joined the Waves age group in 2005 when she decided to give the Vacaville High School swim team a try. After graduating from high school in 2009, Jamie became a Masters swimmer and has been with the team ever since. After earning a degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from UC Davis, Jamie joined the Waves coaching staff taking over the Red and White groups. A short while later she was offered a full time position with Solano County as a Park Ranger Assistant. She was sad to leave the Red and White groups, but remained a part of the coaching staff in taking over the Saturday morning Masters group.

You can find Coach Jamie on the pool deck almost every Saturday morning, rain or shine. She is an avid Masters swimmer and enjoys open water events most of all. In her spare time Jamie can be found running her dog (Wrangler) or working outdoors.

Coach Breanna

Masters Coach (Morning Group)

Coach Bre has been swimming since the age of 3. She swam for the Vacaville Swim club from 2001 until she graduated from Vacaville High in 2013. After graduating high school, she attended THE Ohio State University and swam for the club team while earning her degree in Human Development and Family Science. She graduated OSU in May of 2017. Coach Bre has been coaching for 6 years, primarily working with ages 4 through 12 on stroke development and technique. She currently coaches Green group, White group along with morning masters.

As previously noted, Coach Bre has been swimming almost her entire life, with only a brief hiatus for a semester of rowing. In high school, her main events were distance (500, 1000, 1650) and long-distance stroke/IM (400IM and 200 Fly/Back). She continued to swim these events in college, competing at the Collegiate Club Swimming & Diving National Championships with a top 5 finishes in the 1000 free and top 10 in the 500 free and 400 IM. Currently, she swims masters along with running and cycling.

Coach John

Senior 2/Masters Coach (Saturday Group)


Coach John has been swimming since he was 6 years old. After a few summers on the Summer Swim Team, he swam for the Vacaville Swim Club from 2003 until he graduated from Will C. Wood in 2012 where he also swam on the high school swim team. John started off coaching the summer swim team and the team’s Novice Group, now known as the Green Group, from 2010-2013. John worked mostly with 6-12-year-old swimmers in these groups. John also worked as a lifeguard with the city from 2011-2013 and taught water aerobics and swim lessons for age groups ranging from 6 months old to adult classes.


After high school, John attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned a degree in Biological Sciences in 2016. John went on to work overseas with the USO to help serve military servicemembers while deployed. He moved back to Vacaville in early 2020.


Coach Amrit


Green Group Coach/Masters Coach (Evening)



Coach Amrit  first started swimming with the team back in 2008 and his first coach was Coach Grace! As an age group swimmer he really enjoyed swimming backstroke and his favorite event was the 200 backstroke. Before the summer of 2019, he was approached by the Coaching Staff to see if he was interested in coaching the Summer Swim Team program. And of course, he said yes! Then he was given an opportunity to work with the Year Round Age Group team and currently coaches the Green Group.

Outside of coaching with the Waves he also is the head coach for Vanden High School team as well during the Spring season. 

When he is away from the pool deck, he enjoys going on hikes and watching football. GO NINERS!


Vacaville Swim Team Pool Locations

Walter Graham Aquatic Center: 1100 Alamo Drive, Vacaville


Training Group Descriptions

Requirements to Join the Vacaville Waves Year Round Program


Grades K-5: Must be able to complete 25 yards of freestyle with side breathing 25 yards of backstroke, and some skill development in butterfly and breaststroke.

Grades 6-8: Must be able to complete 50 yards of freestyle with side breathing, and have proficiency in backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly

Grades 9-12: Must have a solid foundation in all four strokes and be able to complete a 100 yards of freestyle.

Green Group

The green group is an introductory group for those who are interested in learning more about the sport of swimming. The swimmers of this group learn about all four strokes but the main focus is for the swimmer to become proficient in freestyle and backstroke.

Equipment Needed: Swim suit, goggles, sneakers, dryland gear, water and a Vacaville swim cap. The team will provide kick board and pull buoy.

Admittance Requirement: Must be water safe and have the ability to swim 25 yards without assistance.

Attendance requirement: Minimum 3 days per week.

White Group

The White group is for swimmers who are developing technical skills necessary for the sport. The focus of the White group is teaching all four strokes and developing a strong foundation in the sport. At this level the swimmers are now able to compete in swim meets.

Daily Training 45 Minutes, 4x per week. Attendance requirement: 3x/week

Goals: Streamlining, kicking development, stroke development, workout skills

Equipment - Vacaville swim cap, goggles, fins, suit, water bottle, dry land shoes, and dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements - Entry requirements are ability to swim a 25 freestyle and 25 backstroke and some knowledge of butterfly and breaststroke.

                                 Red Group

The Red group is for swimmers who are developing technical skills necessary for the sport. The focus of the Red Group is teaching butterfly and breaststrokeep along with competitive starts and turns. The swimmers will learn how to train on an interval, do sets, and how to work together with teammates.

Daily Training: 45 Minutes 4x/week. Attendance Requirement: 3x/week 

Goals: Improving the technique of all four strokes, beginning aerobic development, goal setting, and more drills.

Equipment: Vacaville swim cap, goggles, suit, fins, water bottle, dry land shoes, and dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements - Entry Requirements are 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 25 breaststroke and 25 butterfly.

Blue Group

The focus of the Blue group is improving the stroke technique of the four competitive strokes, teaching good training habits, and offering challenging workouts and intervals. Swimmers in Blue group need have four legal strokes and perform starts and turns with proficiency. The Blue group is focused on Junior Olympic, Swagr and Far Western Championship level meets. 

Daily Training: 90 Minutes (15-20 Minutes Dry land, 75 minutes swimming) 6x per week. 

Attendance Requirement: 4x/week

Goals: Technique refinement, goal setting, aerobic development

Equipment: Vacaville swim cap, goggles, suit, fins, water bottle, dry land shoes, and dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements - Entry into Blue group includes the proven ability to show good practice skills, consistent swim meet attendance, desire to improve; and have at least one Junior Olympic time standard. Being able to swim 5x 100 free on 1:45 and 5x 100 IM on 2:00.

Silver Group

The Silver group is for swimmers who are older, 10-13 years old, who are wanting to learn more about swimming. The focus of Sliver is to learn about all for competitive strokes along with dives and turns. Your swimmer will also learn how swim on an interval and will be asked to swim challenging sets occasionally. 

              Daily Training: 60 minutes includes dryland and swimming 5x per week.

              Attendance Requirement: 4x/week 

              Goals: Developing race strategy, more aerobic development, advanced goal setting, refining technique                  and an introduction to time management

Equipment: Vacaville swim cap, goggles, suit, fins, water bottle, dry land shoes and dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements: positive attitude and willingness to learn, be able to swim 50 yards without assistance.


Senior 2 Group

The Senior 2 group is for swimmers who are older, 13+, who are wanting to learn more about swimming. The focus of Senior 2 is to learn about all for competitive strokes along with dives and turns. Your swimmer will also learn how swim on an interval and will be asked to swim challenging sets occasionally. 

              Daily Training: 90 minutes includes dryland and swimming 5x per week.

              Attendance Requirement: 4x/week 

              Goals: Developing race strategy, more aerobic development, advanced goal setting, refining technique                  and an introduction to time management

Equipment: Vacaville swim cap, goggles, suit, fins, water bottle, dry land shoes and dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements: positive attitude and willingness to learn, be able to swim 50 yards without assistance.

Senior 1

The Senior group is for Middle and High School swimmers whose focus is on High School level swimming. Swimmers are focused on building and improving their swimming abilities. Technique and aerobic development are highly emphasized in the Senior group.

Daily Training: 120 Minutes 6x per week. Coach Matt asks athletes come to practice 4x a week minimum. 

Goals: Focus on refining technique, aerobic training, race strategy, and preparation for high school league and section championships

Equipment: Vacaville Swim Cap, Goggles, Suit, Fins, Water bottle, Dry land Shoes, and Dry land clothing.

Admittance Requirements: Athletes with a strong foundation in all four strokes, positive attitude and willing to train hard. 

Gold Group

The Gold group is the most advanced training group. The Gold group focuses on National level meet performance.

              Daily Training: 175 -250 Minutes, 7-10 x per week

              Attendance Requirement: 7x/week

Goals: maximize aerobic base, technique and efficiency, detailed goal setting, time management, mental training.

Equipment: Fins, paddles, buoy, front mount snorkel, mesh bag, water bottle, suit, Vacaville swim cap, goggles, dry land shoes and dry land clothes.

Admittance Requirements:

  • Attendance at 7-9 practices per week including mornings and Saturdays
  • 85% attendance for the month to travel
  • Training for FAR Westerns, Sectionals and Juniors.
  • Ability to make 8 x 200 free @ 2:40
  • Ability to make 8 x 200 IM @ 3:00

Team Communication

The channels that are most useful for your family include:

Team Web Site: vacavilleswimteam.com

You can look here to find all of the necessary information you need regarding the swim team and its affiliates.

Team e-mails

Email is used to announce and report on meets, team social events and fundraisers, to request volunteers, and to make any important team announcements. Please make sure that the team has an e-mail address that you check regularly as this is a primary means of team communication.

Group Meetings

Once or twice per year the coaching staff conducts group meetings designed to educate parents regarding their swimmer's group.

Coach e-mails

Coaches send out weekly emails to their training groups. The head coach also sends team information and meet reports to the entire team.

Coach/Parent communication

If you have questions or concerns regarding your swimmer, call or e-mail your coach to set up a time to meet. During practice time we ask that you refrain from discussing swimmer issues with your child's coach.

Complaint Resolution

  • Your group coach is always the first person to contact with any concerns regarding your swimmer.
  • Contact the Head Coach if you are not able to resolve the issue after communicating with the group coach.
  • If satisfactory resolution has not occurred after speaking with both the group and Head Coach, contact a board member.

Financial Commitment

Dues and Fees

-Monthly dues

Our team utilizes an automatic debit system through our Team Unify website. You will need to register a credit card, debit card, or checking account with our system. Your personal financial information is processed through a secure third party. We will not have access to your financial information. Our system will automatically bill your account at the beginning of each month.

Because our system is automated, it is important that you keep your most current personal and financial information updated in our system. If you move, change email addresses, or get a new credit card, please update this information in our system. If payment is not received on your account by the 15th of the month a $20 late fee will be charged. If an account is 2 months in arrears, without setting up arrangement with the board, the swimmer will not be able to participate in practice until the account is brought current.

Cancellation Policy/Prorated Dues requirements

If you decide to leave the program, for any reason, the team needs to be notified and given a notice in writing before the 20th of your last month with the team.

Upon joining the team, if you are entering mid-month, your dues will be pro-rated for that first billing cycle. If a swimmer leaves the team anytime during month, and swam with the team during that month, a refund of charges for the month will not be prorated or refunded.

USA Swimming registration

In addition to our monthly dues, every swimmer must be registered with USA Swimming, our governing body. This is an annual fee that must be renewed every year. The fee is currently $89 and must be the PREMIUM level insurance. Your registration will be good from September 1st, 2019 to December 31st, 2020. To easily register with USA Swimming, please visit https://swim-smarter.com.

-Meet Registration Fees

There is a swim meet competition fee that is not part of the monthly training fees. Fees are charged per event by the team hosting the meet when entries are submitted. In addition, swimmers are also charged a splash fee for the event. These fees can range from $20-$90.


We are a non-profit organization that is run by the coaching staff and a Board of Directors. We definitely need the volunteer help of ALL the parents! Our team policy requires all families to complete 30 hours of volunteering for every swim year (beginning in August and ending in July with a 3 months grace period for new members). If a family does not complete their hours, their account is charged a $300 fee ($10 per hour). Families who join our program mid-year will have their required volunteer hours pro-rated.

One of the main areas in which we rely on our volunteers is for swim meets. We host 2 to 3 meets each year. We generally host a meet in September/October and another in March.  At our home meets we need help in a number of areas including: hospitality, set up, break down, snack bar, computers, etc.

At our travel meets we need help with timers and officials. At each meet we are assigned a certain number of timing chairs, which is based on the number of swimmers entered. We try and put 1 - 2 hour timing shifts per person. All parents are required to take on a timing shift or official shift at all of the meets we attend. It is important that this duty is shared by all of the parents, and not just left to a select few. Please help out and do your part to represent our team at meets by taking a timing shift!

Our team is required to provide certified Stroke & Turn Officials at every meet we attend. At each meet we need at least 3-4 certified officials if not more. Individuals interested in becoming an official needs to attend a stroke & turn class run by the LSC. After the class each official needs to pass a Level 2 background check and take an Athlete Protection Training Program through USA Swimming. After six training sessions at swim meets you are a certified official. The registration fee of $65 is reimbursed by the team after the certification has been completed. We are always in need of more officials, so anyone interested should take up this opportunity!

In addition to these opportunities, there are other team activities which require volunteers. There are team fundraisers and social events. Your participation in these activities helps to provide the best experience for the swimmers that we can.

Our goal is to promote volunteerism throughout the team! We want your help and are willing to be as flexible as we can to help you find jobs that can fit your schedule whenever possible. There are many, many ways to get involved (not just at swim meets). If you have any difficulties completing hours or any questions, please contact your swimmer's group representative board member (can be found at the bottom of the "Coaches" page).

Team Operations and Volunteer Opportunities

The job descriptions listed below are those that provide the necessary support for our team to thrive and function. If you are interested in participating or volunteering for any of these positions, please contact our Parent Volunteer Coordinator.

Vacaville Swim Team Board of Directors (BOD)

The Board consists of the following board positions:

President-Ernie Monette

Vice President-Becky Craig

Treasurer-Heidi Mueller

Secretary-Beth Russell

Financial Secretary-Jennifer Ramos

Age Group Representative

  • Red/White/Green-Sara & Will Lightfoot
  • Silver and Blue-Andrew Cano
  • Gold/Senior 1/Senior 2-Jordan McCarroll

Masters Representative-Mark Fraizer

Swim Meet Job Committee Descriptions

Meet Director: USA Swimming requires this position for every meet held. The main responsibilities include, but are not limited to: obtaining a meet sanction, preparing and distributing meet announcements, organizing meet committees and distributing final results. The director is an overseer, avoiding direct involvement in any one committee or activity. This person needs to be registered with Sierra Nevada Swimming either as an athlete, official, or non-athlete and have completed the required USA Swimming background checks. Additionally, this role needs to work jointly with the head coach, the coaching staff, parent committee chairs, facility staff and management, and VACA board members to insure that all financial and team required elements are in place for the swim meet.

Announcing: Responsible for communication during the meet. The meet announcer needs to communicate clearly and concisely the heat information, awards status, and any other announcements necessary during the meet.

Awards Coordinator: Orders awards prior to the meet, prepares awards during meet and distributes to swimmers or coaches at the end of the meet. Coordinates award volunteers during the meet.

Check-In/Scratch Table: Responsible for checking-in swimmers for the events they are entered for the meet, and scratching them from those they do not plan to swim.

Head Timer: The head timer works with the meet?s head starter to insure that all timing requirements are met. Serves as the back-up timer for lane timers in the event a back-up time is necessary.

Hospitality: Food and drinks are provided for coaches, officials, and timers at the meets. Volunteers in this role perform various duties ranging from getting the snacks ready, to serving these meals and snacks to the coaches, timers, officials, and volunteers working at the meet.

Officiating: Officials (Stroke and Turn, Starters, Referees) are needed at all Sierra Nevada Swim Meets and depending on entries, each team will have a requirement to provide a given number of officials so that their swimmers can receive their awards. As the hosting team during a meet, our officials will be asked to participate in as many sessions as possible.

Grill: This job requires someone to coordinate and purchase supplies to cook for the team during different events. Requires cooking and setting up the grill.

Parent Volunteer Coordinator: Organizes and assigns job roles and tracks job shifts and hours for the team families. This position also requires communication with families regarding their volunteer commitment.

Runners: There are two types of runners. Once is responsible for obtaining the timed results from the individual lanes and giving them to the Hy-Tek computer operator. The second runners take heat sheets from the Hy-Tek computer person to the posting board. Duties include distributing all swimmer lane assignments to the starter, officials, coaches, announcer, and distributing results to announcer, awards desk. Runners also post final results.

Safety Marshals: Marshalls are required to monitor and police the pool and facility to ensure safety and compliance with both City and USA Swimming regulations. Warm-ups cannot commence unless Marshalls are in place to ensure safety for swimmers and venue guests.

Set up/Breakdown: This committee is responsible for setting up the facility, and tearing it down after the meet. This job includes setting up tables and chairs for the meet, setting up the wires for the timing system, and other basic duties needed to get the facility ready for the meet.

Snack Bar/Concessions workers: Snack bar staff sells food and drink to patrons attending the meet. Work involves purchasing items, food preparation, restocking food supplies, clean up and selling of food items.

Swim Meet Guide

Entering a Meet

Most sign-ups for swim meets are online. Here is what to do when it comes time to sign up for a swim meet:

You must first be registered with USA Swimming. If you have not done this yet, please go to Swimconnection.com and create an account. Once you have done this you can register your swimmer.

1. First you need an account, go to ome.swimconnection.com

2. Click "Signup Now"

3. Enter your information

4. Log into your email and confirm the page.

5. You have now signed up, but now you need to add your swimmers to the account, click the "Add swimmers to my profile" link.

6. Click the "Add Swimmer" button and select the Sierra Nevada LSC.

7. Then enter the swimmer's registration number in the form of: Birth date (MMDDYY), first three letters of their first name, their middle initial, last four letters of their last name.

If this is not working, click, "Enter all info manually"

Now that you have an account, here is what to do to enter a meet:

1. Log into your account and click the name of the meet you would like to enter.

2. Click the "online meet entry" button, then the "enter" button to the right of the swimmer you would like to enter.

3. You will now see all the events in that swimmers age group. If this is your first time you will need to enter times by hand. After your swimmer has times you can click "Get All Best Times" and the times will be filled in.

4. Click the "Save" Button and it will be saved, but nothing is final until you pay.

5. To finalize, click "Go to Payment Page" and enter all your information and read the checkbox.

If you have questions or trouble, please contact your group coach for assistance.

Swim Meet Information

What to do?

The first thing you need to do is check in when arriving at the meet. You must check in if you want to swim! A table is often set up outside of the entrance or right inside the entrance of the pool. The swimmer will have to check in for their events.

After you check in at the meet you can look to find your coach. We will be set up alongside the pool. This is where you can find the coaches for the duration of the meet.

Warm ups will begin at a time designated by the coaches. Please be sure to arrive on time so that everyone can warm up together.

When your event is approaching they will post the heat and lanes for the events on a board. The board will be on the pool deck and will have a side for girls and a side for boys. Once you have your heat and lane, report that information to your coach immediately!

Be sure to come talk to your coach before and after your races!

What to Bring?

Be sure to bring extra towels, warm clothes, healthy snacks, water and a pair of shoes! Swimmers should not be walking around barefoot! Make sure their feet are covered at all times when they are walking around!

Many people bring blankets to use to sit on the ground with and chairs to sit on while waiting for events. There will be a team tent set up for all VACA swimmers to sit together.

Swimmers will need to wear a VACA cap when they race! Coaches will have extra caps if a cap breaks or you need one at the meet!

Remember to have fun and enjoy!

Frequently asked swim meet questions:

What meets should my swimmer attend?

A seasonal meet schedule is carefully crafted by the staff in order to give our athletes the meet experiences they need to develop according to our developmental plan. The meet schedule is listed on our website under the Schedules tab.

What if my child receives a disqualification (DQ)?

Disqualifications or DQ,s are an inevitable part of the learning process and should not be viewed as negative. The volunteer officials job is to ensure fair competition and to make sure the athletes are performing strokes that are legal. They are also calling out stroke and turn errors. If you have a question about your swimmers disqualification, see your child?s coach. Under no circumstance should you approach or question an official on deck regarding a swimmer disqualification.

Are there meet awards?

Meets vary regarding if/how many individual awards they will provide to athletes. Please refer to the meet sheet for details regarding awards. You must pick up your swimmers awards at the meet.

What are the swimming seasons?

Short Course Season This season runs from Sept 1 until March 31 each year. Meets are generally swum in a 25-yard pool.

Long Course Season This season runs from April 1 to August 31 each year. Meets are generally swum in a 50-meter pool.

What is a meet time standard?

Time standards assist swimmers with measuring their improvement. They also establish minimum entry requirements for some meets. Time standards are different for each season and for each type of pool, SCY means Short Course season times attained in a 25-Yard pool. LCM means Long Course times obtained in a 50-Meter pool. To locate the time standard for a swimmer's event, you must know what season it is, what type of pool it is, and you must know the swimmer's gender, age and event.

What are the age group classifications?

There are seven different age group classifications recognized by United States Swimming: 8 & Under, 10 & Under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, and Senior. The senior classification includes any swimmer who has achieved the prescribed qualifying time for the event. Not all age group classifications are offered at every swim meet. The swimmer's age on the first day of the meet will govern the swimmers age for the entire meet.


Swimming Glossary

Championship finals - The top 6, 8, or 10 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. The fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held.

Championship meet - The meet held at the end of a season. Qualification times are usually necessary to enter this meet.

Check-in - The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded meet, sometimes referred to as positive check-in. Swimmers (or their coaches) mark their names on a list posted by the meet host by a specified deadline.

Circle seeding - A method of seeding swimmers when they are participating in a prelims/finals event. The fastest 18 to 24 swimmers are seeded in the last three heats, with the fastest swimmers being in the inside lanes in the final 3 heats. See rule book for exact method for seeding depending on the lanes in the pool. Also called championship seeding.

Club - A registered swim team that is a dues paying member of USA Swimming and the local LSC.

Consolation finals - After the fastest 6, 8, or 10 swimmers, the next fastest 6, 8, or 10 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Consolations are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.

Deck - The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an authorized USA Swimming member may be on the deck during a swim competition.

Deck Entries - Accepting entries into swimming events on the first day or later day of a meet.

Developmental meet - A classification of meet or competition that is usually held early in the season. The purpose of a developmental meet is to allow all levels of swimmers to compete in a low pressure environment.

Disqualified - A swimmer's performance in an event is not counted because of a rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand, and can be explained after the meet by the coach.

Distance - How far a swimmer swims. Distances for short course are: 25 yards (1 length), 50 yards (2 lengths), 100 yards (4 lengths), 200 yards (8 lengths), 400 yards (16 lengths), 500 yards (20 lengths), 1000 yards (40 lengths), and 1650 yards (66 lengths). Distances for long course are: 50 meters (1 length), 100 meters (2 lengths), 200 meters (4 lengths), 400 meters (8 lengths), 800 meters (16 lengths), and 1500 meters (30 lengths).

Dry-land - The exercises and strength programs swimmers do out of the water. Dry-land work is vital for injury prevention and effective competition.

Dual meet - Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other, often ideal for novice swimmers. Tri-meets and quad-meets are also generally smaller and less intense than invitationals.

Electronic timing - A timing system that usually has a push-button starting machine with a horn and a strobe light, touch pads in the water, junction boxes on the deck with hook up cables, buttons for backup timing, and a computer-type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmers' times.

Entry - An individual, relay team, or club roster's event list in a swim competition.

Entry fees - The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.

Entry limit - Each meet usually has a limit on the number of swimmers that can be accepted, or a time limit that cannot be exceeded. Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed to entries.

Event - A race or stroke swum over a given distance. An event equals 1 preliminary with its final, or 1 timed final.

False start - When a swimmer leaves the starting block before the horn or gun. A false start confirmed by both of two designated officials is a disqualification.

Fastest to slowest - A seeding method that may be used on the longer events held at the end of a session. The fastest seeded swimmers participate in the first heats followed by the next fastest and so on. Many times these events will alternate one girls heat and one boys heat until all swimmers have competed.

FINA - The international, rules-making organization, for the sport of swimming.

Final results - The printed copy of the results of each race of a swim meet.

Finals - The final race of each event. See Championship Finals, "Consolation Finals", "Timed Finals", etc.

Fins - Large rubber fin type devices that fit on a swimmers feet. Used in swim practice, not competition.

Flags -Pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.

Freestyle - One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Freestyle is swum as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the IM. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, 200 yds/mtr, 400 mtr/500 yd, 800 mtr/1000 yds, 1500 mtr/1650 yds. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free)

Heat sheet - The printed listings of swimmers? seed times and their assigned events, heats and lanes at a swim meet. Heat sheets are usually sold at the admissions table.

Heats - A division of an event in which there are more swimmers than lanes, so that they cannot all compete at the same time. The results for an event are compiled by swimmers' time swum after all heats of the event are completed.

High point award - An award given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet. All meets do not offer high point awards; check the pre-meet information.

Horn - A sounding device used with a light to signal the start of a race.

IM - Individual Medley. An event in which an equal distance of each of the 4 competitive strokes is swum in order. The order of strokes is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. IM distances are: 100 yds/mtr, 200 yds/mtr, 400 yds/mtr.

Infraction - Doing something against the rules that is cause for disqualification, if observed by an official, and reported to the referee, who confirms the disqualification.

Insurance - USA Swimming offers insurance coverage which is automatic when swimmer, coach, official, pays their USA Swimming registration fee.

Interval - A specific elapsed time for swimming or rest used during swim practice.

Invitational - Type of meet that requires a club to request an invitation to attend the meet.

Kick board - A flotation device used by swimmers during practice.

Lane - The specific portion of the pool in which a swimmer is assigned to swim.

Lane lines - Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.

Lap - One length of the course. Sometimes may also mean down and back (2 lengths) of the course.

Lap counter - The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers" only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.

Leg - The part of a relay event swam by a single team member. A single stroke in the IM.

Long course - A 50 meter pool. The long course season typically lasts from the beginning of April through August.

LSC - Local Swim Committee. The local level administrative division of USA Swimming with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by USA Swimming.

Marshall - The volunteer official who observes the pool during warm-ups, and may control the crowd and swimmer flow at a swim meet

Medals - Awards given to the swimmers at meets. They vary in size and design and method of presentation.

Meet Director - The volunteer in charge of the administration of the meet.

Meter pool - The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the metric system. Long course meters pools are 50 meters long; short course meters pools are 25 meters long.

Mile - The slang referring to the 1500 meter or 1650 yard freestyle, each of which is slightly short of a mile.

NAGTS - National Age Group Time Standards - the list of "C" through "AAAA" times published each year.

Nationals - USA Swimming senior or junior level meets conducted in March/April and August. See Senior or Junior Nationals.

NT - No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not achieved an official time in that event before.

Officials - The certified, adult volunteers, who operate the many facets of a swim competition.

Open competition - Competition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter.

Pace clock - The large clocks with highly visible numbers and second hands, positioned at the ends or sides of a swimming pool so the swimmers can read their times during warm-ups or swim practice.

Paddle - Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmers hands during swim practice.

Positive check-in - The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck-seeded meet and at some pre-seeded meets. Swimmers must mark their names on a list posted by the meet host.

Prelims-finals - Type of meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in a session that is early in the day. The fastest 6 or 8 (Championship Heat) swimmers, and sometimes the next fastest 6 or 8 swimmers (Consolation Heat) return later to compete in the Finals. A swimmer who has qualified in the Consolation Finals may not place in the Championship Finals even if their finals time would place them so. The converse also applies.

Pre-seeded - A meet conducted in which a swimmer is assigned to each event, lane, and heat prior to the meet. These assignments are then posted on heat sheets for the information of swimmers, coaches, spectators, and officials.

Psych sheet - Another name for a meet program, usually before events are deck-seeded, that lists swimmers in order of their times without assigning them to heats or lanes.

Pull Buoy - A flotation device used for pulling between the legs in practice.

Qualifying times - Published times necessary to enter certain meets, or the times necessary to achieve a specific category of swimmer. See "A" "AA" (etc.) times.

Referee - The head official at a swim meet in charge of all of the "Wet Side" administration and decisions

Relays - A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a relay team, each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, the next swimmer swims Breaststroke, the third swimmer swims Butterfly, and the last swimmer swims Freestyle. Medley relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr and 400 yd/mtr distances. 2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle. Free relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr, 400 yd/mtr, and 800 yd/mtr distances.

Sanction - A permit issued by an LSC to a USA Swimming Club to conduct an event or meet.

Sanction fee - The amount paid by a USA Swimming Club to an LSC for issuing a sanction.

Scratch - To withdraw from an event after having declared an intention to participate. Some meets have scratch deadlines and specific scratch rules, and if not followed, a swimmer can be disqualified from remaining events.

Seed - Assign the swimmers heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.

Seeding - Deck Seeding swimmers must report to the Clerk of the Course at some announced time before the event. After scratches are determined, the event is seeded. Pre-Seeding - swimmers are arranged in heats according to submitted times prior to the meet.

Senior meet - A meet that is for senior level swimmers and is not divided into age groups. Qualification times are usually necessary and will vary depending on the level of the meet.

Senior Nationals - National championships are conducted as long course meets in the spring (usually in late March) and in the summer (usually in late July or August).

Session - Portion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group. Many meets have separate morning and afternoon sessions depending on swimmers' age groups.

Short course - A 25 yard or 25 meter pool. The short course season typically lasts from the beginning of September through March.

SNRT - Sierra Nevada Recordable Time

SNS - SNS is a non-profit corporation and the Local Swimming Committee (LSC) to which VACA belongs.

Split - A portion of an event, shorter than the total distance that is timed, for example, the time for the first 50 yards of a 100 yard race, or the time swum by one swimmer of a relay team. It is common to take multiple splits for the longer distances

Starter - The volunteer official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.

Stroke - There are 4 competitive strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.

Stroke & Turn judge - A volunteer official trained and authorized to observe racers? strokes as they swim through the jurisdiction assigned to the official, usually 2-4 lanes. At a short course meet, the stroke judges will generally stand at either end of the pool, and have jurisdiction to the midline of the pool. At a long course meet, a stroke judge will usually walk along the side of the pool as the swimmers race, and may have jurisdiction from one end to the other. A stroke judge who observes a swimmer commit an infraction will report to the referee, and the swimmer may be disqualified.

Submitted time - Times used to enter swimmers in meets. These times must have been achieved by the swimmer at previous meets.

Swim-off - In a Prelims/Finals competition, a race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals or becomes an alternate, otherwise ties stand.

Taper - The resting phase of training for a senior swimmer before a championship meet.

Time standard - A time that a swimmer must achieve to qualify for a specific meet.

Time trial - An opportunity for a swimmer to swim an event at a competition outside of the regular schedule of events.

Timed finals - Competition in which the time and placing in the preliminary heats are the final results.

Timer - The volunteers sitting behind the finish end of the pool responsible for getting watch times on events, recording those times, and activating the backup buttons for the electronic timing system.

Touch pad - The removable plate (on the end of pool lanes) that is connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to electronically register a time in a race.

Unattached - An athlete member who competes, but does not represent a club or team. When an athlete changes from one team to another, there is a required 120 days for the swimmer to have unattached status from the date of their last competition.

Unofficial time - The time displayed by the timing system, read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race, or clocked by the lane timers. The official time will be the time posted in the final results.

USA number - A 12 character ID assigned to a swimmer upon registering with USA swimming. This ID is comprised of the swimmers first three letters of their first name, middle initial, first four letters of their last name and birth date. For example: The USS ID # for swimmer Susan Laura Miller, birth date June 5, 2002 is SUSLMILL060502.

Yard pool - The measure of the length of a swimming pool used during short course meets. A short course yard pool is 25 yards (75 feet) in length.

Zones - The country is divided into 4 major zones: Eastern, Southern, Central, Western. Our zone is the Western Zone.