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First swim Meet Beginner Tips

What to Expect:

Swim meets are FUN (for child and parent)!

Events are run in this order for each gender (girls first), age group,:

  • 8 & under
  • 9-10
  • 11-12
  • 13-14
  • 15-18

and stroke:

  • Medley Relay (Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle), [events 1 – 10]
  • Short Freestyle, [events 11 – 20]
  • IM (Individual Medley: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle), [events 21 – 30]
  • Breaststroke, [events 31 – 40]
  • Long Freestyle, [events 41 – 50]
  • Backstroke, [events 51 – 60]
  • Butterfly, and [events 61 – 70]
  • Freestyle Relay (each swims free) [events 71 – 80].

This means there are 80 events in a single swim meet!! There can be multiple heats in each event. Your child may swim up to three individual events and two relays. You will be notified each week which events your child will be swimming. Please check this information very carefully to verify that your child is listed. 

There will be a pit parent that will be calling out swimmer’s names in the order of events, heats, and lanes. Your swimmer needs to know which events he is swimming in, be listening out for his name, and be ready to swim (cap and goggles).

The swimmers will then move to the Clerk of Course area (benches). At Clerk of Course, someone will hand your child his/her event card which lists his/her name, age group, event#, heat#, and lane#. Please know that there are sometimes CHANGES made in Clerk of Course. This means that your child might move into a different heat or lane. No need to worry. These changes are recorded with the Referee, computer operator and records. Just as a friendly reminder, no parents (or coaches) are allowed in the Clerk of Course area or behind the blocks unless they are working the meet. So please hug your swimmer and do all your coaching before they move into these areas. Please be patient and help your swimmer know what she needs to be doing. Ask if you don’t understand!

What to Bring:

Swim cap, goggles (extra pair wouldn’t be a bad idea), chair or extra towel to sit on, healthy snacks, water, Gatorade, or money to buy these at concessions, sweatshirt/sweatpants in case you get cold in between events … and lots of patience! The swimmers sit together as a team. Please help your child get situated, and let him know where you will be.

Please ask someone if you don’t understand something or want to know more.

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