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Swim Meet 101: some changes from previous years

Meet Instructions: Below are the general rules and happenings for a season where we have tri-meets in person. GDSA is reverting to our standard procedures consistent with the 2019 season. The 2022 section may update with COVID regulations if needed, but we are looking forward to returning to our pre-COVID meet format. 

ARRIVAL TIME: Coaches will remind their swimmers of arrival time at morning practices the day of each meet. These practices are essential for knowing what time to arrive and for swimmers to practice their relay exchanges.

WHAT TO BRING:  Caps, goggles (an extra pair is a good idea), water bottle, snacks, towels.

FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS: Concession stands will be up and running at all league pools. Please remember to bring cash (small bills appreciated) as credit cards are generally not accepted.

WHAT YOUR SWIMMER SHOULD KNOW: First and foremost have fun! Swimmers should do their best and enjoy the meet. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave the coaching to our amazing coaches and just encourage your swimmers. If you are volunteering and leaving your swimmer, especially our younger swimmers, please make sure they know where all their "stuff" is: snacks, goggles, etc. Please remind your swimmer(s)  to listen for his/her name to be called so they show up for their event on time.

EVENTS: Usually at practice the day before the meet your swimmer will be told what races ("events") he or she will be in. Most kids are in 1-2 events, depending on the number of swimmers we have in their age group. The maximum is 5 events per swimmer. Many swimmers use sharpie marker on their hand or forearm to remember which races and lanes they will be in (and heat number if needed). Parents will be able to see their swimmer's events through our website or Swimtopia mobile app.

The events are numbered 1-74. The odd numbered races are girls and the even numbered races are boys.

EVENT AGE GROUPS - The age groups for racing are: “6 and under”, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18.

EVENT DESCRIPTIONS Most races are one swimmer performing a single stroke the whole distance, but the exceptions are:

  • Medley Relay: 4 team members each swim a leg of the relay - each swimmer does a different stroke – Back, Breast, Fly, Free, in that order.
  • Individual Medley (IM): One swimmer performs 4 strokes – Fly, Back, Breast, Free – in that order.
  • Freestyle Relay: 4 team members each swim a leg of the relay - each swims the freestyle stroke.
  • Events 1-10 Medley Relay
  • Events 11-12 42 Feet 6-year olds and under - freestyle 1/2 pool length to “catcher” in the pool with them (2 Heats Plus Exhibition Heats)
  • Events 13-20 Individual Medley
  • Events 21-30 Breast (2 Heats)
  • Events 31-40 Fly (2 Heats)
  • Events 41-52 Free (2 Heats)
  • Events 53-64 Back(2 Heats)
  • Events 65-74 Freestyle Relay

WHERE TO STAND FOR RELAYS -The length of the relay race determines if all the relay members lineup together at the “blocks” (the boards they dive off of) or if some of the relay members have to be at the other end of the pool.

The 11 and up kids are in relays that require the swimmers to swim to one end and swim back, so everyone lines up at the blocks. The 10 and under relay teams split up with racers 1 and 3 at the starting blocks and racers 2 and 4 on the opposite end of the pool. That’s because the younger swimmers only swim across the pool (25 m) before the next swimmer jumps in to continue.

LANES - There are usually three teams at a regular season meet. There are six lanes in the pool, and each team gets two lanes that they use for the entire meet. Our individual events will be swam in lane two and lane five. Our relay events will be swam in lane 1 and 2 and lane 5 and 6. Coaches will explain to the kids how these relays will work this year to maintain social distancing.

EVENT BOARD - Each pool will have an event board with the number of the event currently swimming and who should be on deck and ready to go. Please make sure your child is paying attention to the bullpen parent calling them for their events.

Arm Marking

Use the Heat Sheet to find and highlight your child's events. Mark the arm as illustrated below in the picture in the order of Event/Heat/Lane.

Write on clean dry skin with no sunscreen. Please do not apply sunscreen until after swimmers have warmed up.

Heat Sheets will be found in the Meet Book provided via email on Friday afternoon.

Example of Arm Marking

Write Clearly and Legibly on your child's LEFT arm as illustrated in the picture.

Stroke: If you'd like to note the stroke do so after the lane designation.
- FR = Freestyle
- BA = Back Stroke
- BR = Breast Stroke
- FLY = Butterfly
- IM = Individual Medley
- FRR = Free Relay (All swimmers swim freestyle)
- MR = Medley Relay (Each swimmer swims a different stroke: 1st = back, 2nd=breast, 3rd=fly, 4th=free)

Relay Marking: This will designate the relay leg the child is swimming.
- 1/1 = Lane 1, first relay leg
- 4/2 = Lane 4, 2nd relay leg **If the Medley Relay this will be Breast Stroke

AFTER-MEET PARTY - The team usually has a "party" after the meet. For home meets, everyone helps clean up our pool area (chairs put back, etc.) and then there is a snack – For away meets, a restaurant is chosen for everyone to meet.

T-SHIRTS: Wear your team shirt to meets to share your team spirit. Please label the tag of the shirt with your child's name so they aren't lost.

DISQUALIFIED: Swimmers will be DQ'd (disqualified) for improper strokes. If your child is DQ'd please assure your swimmer that it is okay and how proud you are of them for trying. The coaches do get a list of what the swimmer was DQ'd for and they will go over with the swimmers in practice!

Please feel free to ask any parent who has been on the team before if you have any questions. We are a friendly group. Our coaches and our parent board will also be able to answer questions you might have at the meet. Most importantly HAVE FUN!

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