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Your Swim Meet, Defined

A swimmer is allowed to swim in a maximum of 3 individual events and 2 relays. Although it may not be possible for every swimmer to swim the maximum number of events, he/she will swim in at least one. A swimmer must compete in 4 meets to swim in A Conference. There is currently no meet requirement to swim in B conference.

Warm ups in swimming are about rehearsing what you want to do in a race, including swimming at different paces using correct technique and practicing starts and turns in the pool they will be racing in. Swimmers need to be on time for warm-ups. Doing a warm up will increase a swimmer’s heart rate, their core body temperature and blood flow to their muscles.

Meet Line Ups 
Your coach will put together a lineup of swimmers for every meet. The participant list changes every week, so be sure to get your events at check-in on the meet day. Your child may not swim every event. The coaches determine the meet entries after considering swimmers' abilities, experience, and goals.

Conference Championship Meets
The DuPage Swim and Dive “A” Conference meets are held on the last Saturday in July for each Division. These are the most competitive meets of the season. The coaches determine the conference line up based on the fastest times in the order for the team as a whole to do as well as possible. To qualify for this meet a swimmer must have swum in at least four dual meets, and have an official time form a dual meet in a particular event in order to compete in that event at conference. Swimmers are allowed to swim no more than 3 individual and 2 relay events. Individual ribbons are given for 1st through 10th place.

The “B” Conference meet is held on the Saturday prior to the “A” Conference meet. In this conference meet, a swimmer may be entered in an event with a “no time”, but only if they have previously swum the event and been Disqualified. Exhibition times are also allowed. The team will receive points based on the percentage of personal best times achieved (rather than event winners) and these points will carry over to the “A” Conference meets. Ribbons will be awarded for all personal best times. In the “B” conference there are no relay events and the swimmer may swim no more than four events.

Please let the coaches know if you are planning a vacation during swim season or if your swimmer will not be available to swim a meet for any reason. Our coaches need this information to prepare the line-up for upcoming meets.  Changes and no-shows may prevent an entire relay from swimming. Be a good sport and PLEASE let us know when you’ll be gone.

Scored Heats
Each event has one scoring heat where the team earns points towards the swim meet. Scoring heat participants can win ribbons.

Check In
The Clerk of Course will check in all swimmers for each event. The clerk of course hands each swimmer an “event card.” The card shows the event number, lane assignment and position for relay events. This area can be recognized as there will be chairs lined up which are used to organize the swimmers for their events.  After receiving the event card, swimmers proceed to the "bullpen."  Make sure your swimmer knows what stroke he or she will swim and that goggles are tight.

Lane Assignments
“Home” teams swim in lanes 2, 4, and 6. “Visiting” teams swim in lanes 1, 3, and 5. The only exceptions are when events are combined to shorten the meet.

Exhibition Heats
If a lane is available in a particular event, the coach may ask a swimmer to swim that particular event "exhibition". This means the swimmer swims strictly for a time needed by the coach and to get more experience swimming that particular stroke. Although your time and place will not be counted in the final meet results, you will have had an opportunity to swim for a time and improve your stroke. Exhibition heat swimmers earn exhibition ribbons. There is a maximum of twenty exhibition heats during a meet.  All exhibition heats are swum before the scored heat.  If your child is swimming in an exhibition heat, there will be an E or EX next to his or her name on the line-up. All heats — whether exhibition or scored — are important.

To The Blocks
When your event is called by the announcer, you are to go up to the diving block for your assigned lane. Please note you are not to touch the water (dip your goggles, fill your cap, splash yourself, etc.) while an event is in progress. To do so may result in a disqualification. If a swimmer is not at the block on time, he or she will miss the event; the heat will not wait for a missing swimmer. Swimmers will stand up on the block only after the starter has announced the event.

Scored Heats
Each event has one scoring heat where the team earns points towards the swim meet. Scoring heat participants can win ribbons.

The four competitive strokes are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Each swim meet has 78 events so that is why swim meets take the time and hours they do! An event sheet appears at the end of this handbook. In addition, a combination of the strokes swum by one swimmer is called the individual medley.  There are two types of relays – four swimmers who either all swim freestyle (called a Free Relay) or a Medley Relay where  swimmers swim one of the competitive strokes in order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Events are held in all competitive strokes at varying distances depending on the age group of the swimmer. Some of the less self-explanatory events include: 
Medley Relay, 8 & under
- Swim 25 yards (1 length) for each leg of the race
- Order of strokes: back, breast, fly, free
- Backstroke and butterfly will leave from the block end of the pool
- Breaststroke and freestyle will leave from the far end of the pool

Medley Relay, 9-10 and over
- Swim 50 yards (2 lengths) each
- Order of strokes: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle
- All swimmers leave from the block end of the pool

Free Relay, 8 & under
- Swim 25 yards (1 length)
- 1st & 3rd swimmers leave from block end of pool
- 2nd & 4th swimmers leave from far end of pool

Free Relay, 9-10 and over
- All swimmers swim 50 yards (2 lengths) and leave from the block end of pool

Individual Medley, 9-10 and over
- Swim 25 yards of each stroke
- Order of strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle

Meet Scoring
A team can’t make a sweep of all the points. Even if a team takes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in an individual event, the winning team gets only 8 points; the 4th place swimmer gets 1 point. Team points are awarded for events as follows:

- In individual events, a 1st place earns-5 points, a 2nd place earns 3 points and a 3rd place earns 1 point. One team can't make a sweep of all the points. If an event is unopposed, the team will earn a maximum of 5 points and any applicable ribbons.

- In relays, a 1st place earns 7 points and ribbons for 1st place winner only—4 points if unopposed. In case of a tie for 1st place, if the finish judges do not agree, it is decided by time; if not, the finish judges have the final decision. Relays are high stakes events and that’s why the cheering gets VERY loud!

The Starter starts each event with a starter's gun or beeper. This person will usually be visible from the blocks and wearing a white shirt.

On The Block
Swimmers stand forward and look at the end of the pool or water. Swimmers shouldn’t look at the starter, spectators or fellow swimmers. This not only distracts the swimmer, it might cause the starter to delay the beginning of the race.

Swimmers Take Your Mark
The starter will say this. At this point, the swimmer will assume the starting position. Swimmers are not allowed to move after assuming this starting position. The starter's gun or beeper will sound, thus prompting the swimmers to start.

False Start
If someone leaves the block early, the official will “shoot” his starter’s gun. This is usually loud enough for the swimmers to hear. At this point, they are to return to their starting blocks for further instructions. In some pools, there is a rope that can be dropped down midway if a swimmer does not hear the false start sound.

Race Completion
The swimmer is to immediately exit the water so the next heat or event can begin.

There are usually two parent timers for the home team and one parent timer from the visiting team per lane, each with a stop watch. When the timers are alerted, they immediately start their watches. When the swimmer completes his/her swim by touching the wall with any body part, they stop their watches. All times are recorded on the swimmers event card and the average of those times is written on the score sheet and ribbon. The time on the score sheet is the official time.

Stroke and Turn Judges
Conference trained parent participants that watch each swimmer to determine if the stroke, kick, turn and touch are being done properly. If they observe an illegal action, they immediately raise their hand to disqualify (DQ) the swimmer. If DQ’d, no points or ribbons will be given to that swimmer/relay team, and the time does not count.

Finish Judge
When the finish judges (one from each team) agree on the order of finish, that is the official order.  If they disagree on any place, official times will be used to determine the order of finish.

Referee or Meet Director
The Referee makes all final decisions in the event of a dispute. The Referee makes sure all lanes are clear before another event is started.  The referee announces the event and calls the swimmers to the blocks.

After an event is completed, the timers at each lane and the finish judge hand their cards to a "runner" who in turn hands them over to the head scorer.

Usually two from each team keep score of all 78 events.

Records Keeper
A team coach or parent participant keeps track of each swimmer’s times for all events, all season long. This person also keeps track of team and conference records.

Ribbon Writer
Usually each team supplies a ribbon writer to sort the ribbons.

Ribbons will be awarded for 1st through 6th places in individual events.  Ribbons will be awarded for 1st through 3rd place in relays for all age groups, and exhibition ribbons are awarded to all swimmers. Ribbons are distributed to swimmers at the meet the week following the meet.

At home meets, we supply and sell for profit all concessions foods, drinks and goodies.

Parents are responsible for getting their swimmers to and from the meets.