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Swim Meet 411

Swim Meet 411: Your JBRS Swim Meet Guide

Swim meets start at 6 p.m., but there’s a lot that happens before then to get ready.

Meet prep

  • Meet entries and logistics: Our coaches will enter your swimmer in his/her events several days prior to the meet. It is important to RSVP for meets by the Sunday before the following week’s meet.  Otherwise, your swimmer may be unable to swim in their favorite individual events.  The swim team managers will send email reminders to RSVP each week. 
  • Heat sheets: Meet programs, or heat sheets, are provided electronically when we are the home team. When we are the away team, they are usually printed and sold.  They are typically $1-2. The heat sheet includes all the information about who is swimming, when and where. It will help you navigate each race in the meet. Bring a highlighter or sharpie to mark your child’s events and other key races you don’t want to miss.
  • Relay teams: Relays teams are established by the coaches and swimmers will typically find out their relay team upon check-in at the meet. We have a magnetic board in the bullpen area that displays the relay teams. ALWAYS check the relay board before the meet begins as they may change if a swimmer is not available to swim.

Day of meet

  • Swimmer nutrition and rest: Your swimmer should have down time or rest during the afternoon prior to the meet. Swimming requires proper hydration and nutrition to do your best. Eat healthy snacks, avoid dairy and limit candy or sweets the day of a race.
  • Swimmer Check-In: Check-in time will be determined for each meet, but it is typically between 4:45 – 5:15 p.m. Swimmers should notify the check in table when they arrive.
  • Swimmer warm-ups: Each team warms up before meets. When we are the AWAY team, our team warm up begins around 5pm. When we are the HOME team, our team warms up at 5:30 p.m. Be on time for warm ups! We have a very limited block of time for ALL our swimmers to get in the water and loosen up before the meet begins.
  • Volunteer Check-In: It’s best to check in with the volunteer coordinator during the swimmer warm up time. You won’t necessarily begin your volunteer role at that time – we just need to know that you are present and prepared when we need you.

During the meet

  • Start and end time: You’ve probably heard swim meets can go LONG. However, it depends. All meets begin at 6 p.m. If you have young swimmers, you may only have events during the first half and may be done by 8 p.m. Meets can go until 10:30pm for some age groups and strokes, based on the size of both team.
  • Events: All events and heats are announced by the starter. The event board on the deck will show which event is in progress. The bull pen event board will show which event is currently being “called” to take to the staging area.
  • Concessions: Concessions are available for purchase at meets and help support the local swim teams. Bring cash to purchase food and drink.
  • Disqualifications (DQs): A DQ is given when a stroke and turn judge notices that the swimmer had an issue with their start, stroke, turn or finish. Don’t worry if your child gets a DQ! Be positive with your child and let them know this is a normal part of learning swimming strokes. A “DQ” will be reflected in the final results and no time will be recorded. 
  • Support your swimmer and our coaches: Have fun and celebrate their participation in the event. We’ll focus on critique and improvements during the follow week’s practice. We want the meet to be a fun experience for all! 
  • Inclement weather: We always watch the weather and will use our email system to notify you of any updates or changes. During thunder or lightning, no one is allowed in the pool or on the pool deck for 30 minutes from the start of each occurrence.

Post meet

  • Leaving a meet: Always check in with the bullpen before leaving a meet to be sure your swimmer hasn’t been added to a later relay. Otherwise, our team would have to scratch the relay, lose points and disappoint the other swimmers who have waited for the relay.
  • Event results: As races are completed, the results are printed and posted. At River Station, they are posted by the entry gate. Results will also be sent out the next morning, and they are available on the website under Swim Meets.
  • Ribbons: Ribbons are awarded for places 1 to 6 for individual events and first and second place finishing relay teams. All swimmers receive participation ribbons for events they swim if they place seventh or higher. Multicolored “Speed Breaker” ribbons are awarded during the season for time improvement in any race. “Speed Breakers” encourage our swimmers to compete against themselves! Ribbons are not awarded to swimmers who are disqualified during a race.
  • Fun Friday: Fridays after meets, we host a Fun Friday event at the River Station pool from 10 – 11 a.m. for all swimmers. We have donuts, games, swimmer of the week celebrations, raffle prizes and more! Swimmers can pick up their ribbons from the ribbon box at Fun Friday or throughout the week.

Parent checklist

  • Your own chair
  • Water bottles
  • Coolers are allowed, but no glass or alcoholic beverages, please
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Visor or hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Pen or highlighter to mark your heat sheets
  • CASH! Support the swim team by purchasing dinner at the concession stand. Heat sheets will also be available for purchase
  • Make sure your swimmer knows where you are seated or volunteering, but they should wait in the bullpen.
  • Encourage your child to get to know other kids in the bull pen area and listen out for their races.
  • Parent volunteers: check in with the volunteer coordinator when you arrive.

Swimmer checklist

  • Small bag to keep all items.
  • Label, label, label! Everything looks alike so make sure you have your swimmer’s name on everything!
  • Sharpie pen to write meet information on your swimmer if needed. (tip:  apply sunscreen at home, then write on swimmer.  Sunscreen erases Sharpie marks)
  • Two towels (one to sit on, one to dry with)
  • Two pair of goggles (in case one breaks)
  • Swim Cap
  • Team T-shirt and another tech-tshirt or swim shirt that you can put on wet skin
  • Shoes/sandals
  • Activities to do while waiting for races – cards, books, games, etc.
  • Water bottle
  • Money for drinks and food
  • Sunscreen
  • A good attitude, primed for fun! 
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