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What To Expect At A Swim Meet

For those families new to our swim club, below is an overview that we hope will help answer many of the questions you may have about what to expect and how to prepare for a swim meet.  



  • The most important thing, of course, is to bring your swimmer(s)! Remember their cap, goggles and towel An extra of each is usually a good idea, but not necessary. An extra towel is especially useful when it's cold, or if your swimmer is swimming in back-to-back events.
  • Layers of clothing for you and your swimmer(s). Even if the afternoon is hot, it tends to get a bit chilly as the sun goes down (or it starts cool and then heats up as we get closer to the afternoon!).
  • Food and water. Many swimmers won’t eat a big meal at a swim meet, but will likely want to eat throughout the meet. Also be sure to have enough water on hand, especially on those hot, hot days! Every pool has a snack bar offering various types of food and drinks, so cash is a good thing to have, too.
  • An Easy up/Pop-up tent. Please try to find a family or two to share shade with. No pool deck is large enough for each family to bring their own!
  • Chairs, usually just for the adults.
  • Toys or other entertainment for the kids to play with in between their races.
  • Sunscreen


  • You can either find a spot for your family first or check in with the meet directors first. The choice is yours!
  • Every family must have an adult representative check in with the meet directors before every meet. At home meets, the meet directors will be located outside the pool gates. At away meets, the meet directors will usually find a table somewhere inside the gates.
  • Parents of swimmers ages 10 and under must also check their swimmer(s) in with their respective shepherds. The shepherds will be expecting your swimmer to check in with them. They will be leading them to their assigned lane and heats for each of their races.
  • About an hour before each meet, the coaches will call a team meeting. Parents do not need to attend. At the meeting the coaches will give the swimmers last minute instructions, information about the pool they are swimming in and words of encouragement. After the meeting, it will be time for warm-ups.
  • After the kids warm up, please listen for the announcer to start calling for the swimmers. We want to make sure all our kids get to their events!
  • Enjoy the meet! Cheer for your swimmer(s) and their friends! Have fun!


  • Before each meet, each swimmer will be assigned to races by the head coach. Each swimmer can swim in no more than 3 individual races and 2 relays for each meet.
  • To see which individual races your child will be swimming, please check the Team Calendar. Locate the swim meet you are attending and click on the meet entries to view your swimmer's event info.
  • For new families, it is easiest to see if your child is swimming a relay once you reach the meet. You can also find this information on the "meet sheets." These sheets, the Meet Check-In and Meet Program, are usually available 1-2 days before each meet, listed under each meet on the Team Calendar. Click on the link for the sheet, scroll through to find your child’s age group and see if they are swimming in either the Medley Relay (which is the 1st event of the meet) or the Free Relay (which is the last).
  • Please note that relay teams often change at event time, so even if your child is not originally scheduled to swim a relay, the coach may sub them in.


  • If your swimmer is 10 or under, all you have to do is bring them to their shepherd at the 1st call for their age group! Our swim shepherds will then line the children up according to their heat and lane numbers and get them to their blocks.
  • Your swimmer will meet their shepherds after the team meeting. The shepherds will also check your swimmer in and then they will write their events on their hands in marker. Your child’s hand may look something like this: FR – 1/3, FL – 2/6, BK – 1/5. In this example, your child would be swimming Freestyle Heat 1, Lane 3; Butterfly Heat 2, Lane 6; Backstroke Heat 1, Lane 5.
  • IT IS NOT THE SHEPHERDS JOB TO FIND SWIMMERS BEFORE THEIR RACES At home meets, the shepherds meet near the showers to organize the swimmers. At away meets, they will designate a spot to meet. Please be sure to get your swimmer to the shepherds in a timely manner. This helps them organize the swimmers quickly and keeps the meet running smoothly.
  • If your swimmer is 11 or older, the Meet Check-In is posted for you to find your child’s heat and lane numbers. The Meet Check-In is usually available online 1-2 days before each meet, but will also be posted at the pool right before each meet. If you need help reading the sheets, please ask any board member, we are happy to help!


You do not have to stay to the end of every meet unless you are working 2nd shift or are on the tear-down crew. Please check in with the head coach before you leave, there are occasionally some last minute changes to relays. But once your child is done swimming, you can head home.


We hope you found this brief overview helpful! Please feel free to ask specific questions!

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