Swim Team Information
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Swim Meets 101
What are the order of the strokes?
6. Parent Relays (optional)
In what order do the age groups swim?
1. "6 & Under"
What happens when you put the strokes and the age groups together?
Within each of the strokes, swimmers race within their age group, starting with the youngest swimmers (6 and under) first. Boys swim first, and then girls in the same age group and stroke follow. So the first race of the meet would be "6 & Under" Boys swimming the Butterfly. When all these boys have swam, the "6 & Under" Girls will swim their Butterfly races. When this age group is done, we move to the next age group, which are the "7/8s". This continues until the last "15-18 year old" female swimmer finishes her Butterfly event, and then we start the whole process again with the next stroke, the Backstroke. When the last "15-18 year old" woman has finished her Freestyle race, the "mixed medley relay" races begin. Each age group will have at least one relay team in a dual meet, and the relay team will have both girls and boys. Each swimmer will swim either the backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke or the freestyle (in that order).
How many laps are they swimming?
For all "6 & unders", and "7/8" age groups, they swim 25 yards (one lap) for all strokes. For the "9 & 10" age group, they swim 25 yards for all strokes, except Freestyle, which is 50 yards for them. Starting with "11 & 12" swimmers and older, everyone swims 50 yards for all events, EXCEPT the "15-18 year olds" who swim 100 yards for the Freestyle.
Where do I bring my kid to start a race?
Near the starting blocks of the pool is an area that is designated as "Clerk of the Course"--this is where they need to be. There is usually a canopy covering several rows of chairs and a couple of parents whose job it is to tell your swimmer exactly which chair to sit in, so that they are all "lined up" correctly in their heats and lanes. After each race, the swimmers will move up a row until it's their turn to race--there is a "method to the madness"! :)
It's perfectly fine if you want to meet your swimmers at the end of their races with a "Great job!" and a dry towel, but please make sure you don't interfere with the timers--they still have their jobs to do.
How do I sign my swimmer up for a meet?
Parents need to use SwimTopia to mark whether or not their swimmer will attend each dual meet (and if they are available for relays) no later than 10 pm on Tuesday before the dual meet. The Champs meet has a different (and earlier deadline) that will be communicated during the season.
How many races will my kid be in?
During the Practice Meet this Saturday, swimmers will swim all four strokes. At the dual meets and the Champs meet, each swimmer will compete in three strokes maximum, and depending on various factors, may be on a relay team.
Which strokes will my swimmer compete in?
For regular season dual meets, the coaches will decide each swimmer's individual event entries and all team relay entries. Parents and swimmers are welcome to discuss stroke options with the coach if there's a stroke that they really want to swim (or avoid). Ultimately, the coach will choose events based on swimmer input, ability, swimmer growth and experience (always good to try new things), and any competitive factors that might be relevant. For the Champs Meet, each swimmer/family will be able to choose their own event (although the coaches might have some suggestions).
When does the First Half Parent Work Shift End/Second Half work Shift start?
When working the meets, parents for the first half are working until the "9/10 Girls" finish the Breaststroke. Parents for the second half take over at that point until the last relays are done.
Why are so many parents moving in the middle of the meet?
Because of the different distances swam, if a parent is a timer or recorder, they will move to the opposite end of the pool when the distances change (i.e., you'll see a migration of parents move when the "9/10 girls" have finished their 25 yard backstroke because the next event is "11/12 Boys" swimming the 50 yard backstroke). The meet isn't over--the finish line has changed and the timers/recorders need to be there!
How long does the meet last?
Depending on how many swimmers there are, most strokes run approximately an hour.
If you are new to swim team this year, you'll be surprised how quickly this "organized chaos" sinks into your skin and how it all makes complete sense to you after a little bit. If you are a returning family, I'm sure I've brought all those fun memories back for you. :) The swim meets are a wonderful way to bond with our Eichler community and watch our kids grow up together.