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    Swim Meet 101

    What To Expect At A Meet

    Our dual meets are scheduled to start at 5:30 pm. Generally, they tend to last between 3-4 hours. The dual meets are usually on Tuesday evenings. We may have one Thursday meet each season.

    At any time if you feel lost or confused, ASK FOR HELP.. Meets can be very overwhelming for the kids, parents, and coaches! We do ask that all questions/concerns be directed towards other parents.  The coaches have been instructed to pay attention to the swimmers. Please let them have fun with your kids. Once you have attended a few meets, it will all become very routine and fun!

    Before the Meet Starts

    What to bring to a swim meet

    Towel, suit, cap and goggles, snacks and/or cash to buy concessions.  Be sure to label all personal items.

    Prep your swimmer

    All swimmers need to have their first and last name, as well as their swim team age group written on their back with a permanent marker. Be sure to do this after sunscreen has been applied and dried.


    Swimmers also need to have each event number, heat, and lane written on their arm with a permanent marker (do this after sunscreen has been applied and dried). This helps your swimmer remember what events tey are swimming in, what event number to listen for, and what lane to get lined up behind. (There will also be Age Group Coordinators and a Clerk of Course to help swimmers lineup prior to each event.) It is also a good idea for you to write down their event numbers so you can make sure to watch your swimmers.

    Above is an example of how it will look on your child’s arm:

    • “E” is the Event Number (Event numbers in this instance are 6, 12, and 16)
    • “H” is the Heat Number (Heat numbers in this instance are 4, 3, and 4)
    • “L” is the Lane Number (Lane numbers in this instance are 4, 5, and 8)
    • “FR” is a Freestyle Event
    • “BA” is a Backstroke Event
    • “BR” is a Breaststroke Event
    • “FLY” is a Butterfly Event
    • "IM" is the Individual Medley
    • "MR" is the Medley Relay
    • "FRR" is the Freestyle RelayUpon Arrival

    Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins.

    Parking is always a challenge so it is best to arrive early. Away meet warm-ups are from 5:15-5:30pm (arrive by 5pm). Home meet warm-ups are from 5-5:15pm (arrive by 4:45pm). Swimmers need the warm-up time to familiarize themselves with the pool’s walls, gutters, placement of backstroke flags, and lane ropes because all pools are different.

    Swimmers should report to the coach before warm-ups.

    This will allow coaches to be sure all swimmers are at the meet and accounted for.

    Find your child’s Bullpen area.

    For home meets, we utilize blankets on the grassy hill as bullpen areas. Find the appropriate age group, find a spot for your swimmer’s towel, and make sure you let the Duckling Helper volunteer know you have arrived.

    During the Meet

    How do I read a Heat Sheet?

    The Heat Sheet is a program, which is several pages long, that shows all the participating swimmers and the events they will participate in as well as their assigned heat number and lane number.

    The heat sheet will be emailed to all parents on the day of the meet. Please print these at home, as we will not have many extras. The starter, referee, coaches, Duckling Helpers, timers, judges, and the Deck Manager will have copies at the meet.

    The starter will say the event and heat number so that swimmers know when to step up to their lanes. We will also "combine" races to speed up the meet. For example, if we have two girls swimming butterfly in the 15-18 age group and two boys -- we will combine them into one heat to save time. The announcer will announce if heats are combined. Please pay attention when it gets close to the time of your swimmer's event.

    Event Number:

    There are 84 events in each dual meet. We swim the Medley Relay, Individual Medley, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Freestyle, ascending by age group. Odd-numbered events are Girls, even-numbered events are Boys.

    At Forsyth Country Club, all events start at the diving board end of the pool. The timers will always be at the opposite end of the pool. If your child is 10 and under and is swimming in the medley relay, then the first and third swimmers (backstroke and butterfly) will be at the shallow end of the pool and the second and fourth swimmers (breaststroke and freestyle) will be at the deep end of the pool.

    Heat Number:

    In each of the 84 events, there are HEATS. Each heat has one to six swimmers, depending on the size of the pool. Our pool has six lanes available for heats.

    Lane Number:

    The lane your swimmer is scheduled to swim in.

    Know what events your swimmer is competing in.

    It is also important for the swimmer to know what event numbers they are swimming. Age Group Coordinators will help the younger swimmers get lined up for their events in a timely manner. This is why it is very important for our younger swimmers to stay in the fishbowl area.

    Swim and Shake!

    The swimmer’s goal should be to do their best and improve their times for that event. Swimmers should stay in the water until the last person finishes so they can shake hands and say “Nice Race” with the swimmers in the lanes next to them. We highly encourage and value good sportsmanship. Parents, during the race, feel free to cheer on your swimmers and the rest of the team.

    After the race

    Swimmers should return to the fishbowl after each race. Repeat this process until all events have been completed. When a swimmer has completed all of their events for the day, they are able to go home. However, make sure they check with a coach and/or Age Group Coordinatory before they leave to make sure they have not been added to a relay.

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