Swim Meet 101

Regular Meets

Check your email the night before and day of the the meet. You’ll be sent an email the evening before the meet and day of that will include LOTS of needed information and may differ from the examples below. It will tell you warm up times, location (if it’s an away meet) as well as any additional instructions. Attached to the email will also be the Heat Sheet for the meet. This is how you will know what events your child is swimming. We highly recommend printing out a heat sheet for you and/or your swimmer to have with you at the meet. The EVENT is the type of stroke (freestyle, breast stroke, butterfly or backstroke) and length (25m, 50m). The HEAT is the group of swimmers competing together. The LANE is the lane your swimmer will be swimming in that race.

Event Number: The sequential number of the event in the meet.

Heat Number: In each of the events, there are HEATS. Each heat has 4-8 swimmers – depending on the size of the pool.

Lane Number: This will tell you which lane your swimmer is scheduled to be in.

Seedtime is the fastest time a swimmer or team of swimmers has swum an event prior to the submission of entries for the meet. For individuals, this is the time entered for the swimmer for the event, and is a good goal to try to beat. It also factors into lane placement and heat number.

An “NT” listed for seed time means no seed time has yet been recorded for that swimmer, i.e. that swimmer has not competed in that event, or was disqualified during the event.

An “INV” listed next to a swimmer’s time means they have already qualified for the invitational meet in this event.

Individual Medley(IM) is swum in order: 1) Butterfly, 2) Backstroke, 3) Breaststroke, 4) Freestyle. It’s important for swimmers to know the order because any other order will result in a “DQ” or disqualification.

Medley Relays are swum in order: 1) Backstroke, 2) Breaststroke, 3) Butterfly, 4) Freestyle. Accordingly, in the relay event below, Aubrey Teffer will swim backstroke, Will Baker the breaststroke, Caden Bradford the butterfly, and Nicholas Jones the freestyle. They will swim in Heat 2, Lane 4.

Come prepared. It’s a good idea to make sure your swimmer has an extra pair of goggles, swim cap, towel, water, and healthy snacks. Sunscreen and an extra Sharpie marker are always good to have on hand as well. Many parents bring folding chairs and blankets. 

Arrive at the meet on time. Make sure you arrive in time for your swimmer to find their place and get their gear together so they can get a good warm up in before the meet starts. You’ll also need time to mark them if you haven’t done it before you arrive (info about marking in next paragraph). It’s also a good idea to check to make sure there haven’t been any last-minute changes to the heat sheet, particularly in relays.

Mark your swimmer. If you’re unsure how to do this, feel free to just bring a permanent marker to the meet and ask a veteran parent to help you. Write your swimmer’s name and age on their right back shoulder blade. On his/her arm, write their events, heats, and lanes. This will help you, your child, meet volunteers, and coaches know where your child needs to be and when. For example:

E 13 H4 L5 (This means Event 13, Heat 4, Lane 5)

E20 H3 L7 (This means Event 20, Heat 3, Lane 7)

**SUNSCREEN REMOVES PERMANENT MARKER. So, it’s best to apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before you mark your swimmer. If you mark them first and then apply, it will make the marker “run.” This is especially true for spray sunscreen.

Enjoy watching your swimmer! Keep an eye on the lap board and speakers…it’ll tell you which event we are on so you can be on deck to watch when your swimmer is racing. We love cheering on our Cardinals! 

If your swimmer places during meets ribbons will be available a few days after the meet in the ribbon folders.

City Meet

At the conclusion of the season, usually the weekend before July 4th, all the area clubs gets to participate in City Meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. This is a premier event and a ton of fun. Click the link here for more information about past years.