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Swim Meet 101

A Parent’s Guide to Swim Meets!

POOL LOCATION: Home meets are at the Heritage Club, 201 Clubhouse Drive. Away Pool locations are listed on the team calendar.

ARRIVAL TIME: Please arrive at the pool on time for all meets. When we are the home team, warmup begins at 5 pm. RiverGreen Rays should report to the pool no later than 4:45 pm. When we are the visiting team, warmup begins at 5:30 pm. RiverGreen Rays should report to the pool no later than 5:15 pm. Please sign in with the Volunteer Coordinator as you enter before you proceed to the bullpen area.

You will need to arrive earlier than recommended above if your child has not been marked (see instructions below for marking your child).

COACHING: During the meet our coach will be on deck observing each child. These observations will be used in upcoming practices to help swimmers improve. The assistant coaches will help swimmers get set up for starts and remind swimmers of specifics for each race (stroke type, sequence, etc...). Please allow them to focus on these activities. No parents should be in the ready bench area, start, or finish areas that are not working a volunteer shift.

Age Divisions/Events: Each swimmer may enter a maximum of three individual events and two relay events (one medley and one freestyle). A swimmer may “swim up” in a different age group as determined by the coaches.

  • 6 and Under:  25 freestyle, 25 backstroke, 100 freestyle relay
  • Swimmers in this age group must be able to swim the length of the pool unassisted by the first swim meet. They may stop momentarily to rest while holding on to the lane rope. They cannot however, pull themselves along the lane rope.
  • 7&8, 9&10 year olds:  25 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 25 backstroke, 25 butterfly, 25 breaststroke, 100 IM, 100 freestyle relay, 100 medley relay
  • 11&12, 13&14, 15-18 year olds: 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 butterfly, 100 IM, 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay

Stroke Order:

100 IM (Individual Medley):  One lap (25 yards per stroke)

Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and then freestyle

200IM (Individual Medley):  Two laps (50 yards per stroke)

Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and then freestyle

100 Medley Relay:  4 swimmers, each swims a single lap of a different stroke

Swimmer 1:  Back

Swimmer 2:  Breast

Swimmer 3:  Butterfly

Swimmer 4:  Freestyle

200 Medley Relay:  4 swimmers, each swims two laps of a different stroke

Swimmer 1:  Back

Swimmer 2:  Breast

Swimmer 3:  Butterfly

Swimmer 4:  Freestyle

Cancelation/Postponement of Meets:  Per ASA rules, in the event of inclement weather, each team must show up at the pool on time.  If by the start of the meet, the weather still precludes the meet from starting, the two team coordinators, two head coaches, and the starter/referee will meet and decide whether to postpone or reschedule the meet.  

We will communicate with you via text message the status of the meet. 

In the event of inclement weather, please make sure you and your children go someplace safe, perhaps your car, but do not leave the meet.   If a meet is resumed and you have left, then the remaining swimmers in any relay events your child was in may not be able to swim.  It also negatively  impacts our heat sheets and volunteers trying to get swimmers ready for their events.  If you leave the meet, you must let the coach know.  

What to Bring

  • Team swimsuit, cap, goggles, team t-shirt, towel, sunscreen (**do not put sunscreen on your child prior to marking**), and bug spray. Make sure all items are well labeled with your child's name.
  • Plenty of snacks and drinks to keep your swimmer hydrated and energized (concessions will be open during the meet).
  • Games for your child for time in between meets (travel games, books, ds etc.).
  • Folding camp chairs to sit on, and a canopy for shade if you have one.
  • Event reports/heat sheets printed from the website, and a black sharpie marker for marking up your child.
  • Print HEAT SHEETS or use Meet Mobile App. Heat sheets will be available online before the meet, the Coaches will let us know. PLEASE print out your heat sheet and bring to the meet. There are no extras at the meet and none for sale. For our new parents, the heat sheet is the master key to the meet. All the events and swimmers are listed on the heat sheet. 
  • Chairs!  Many pool decks do not have enough chairs for all parents and the lounge chairs will be put away.  Please be mindful of where you put your chairs and please move if asked to do so by a team coordinator if you accidentally place your chair in an restricted area.

Upon Arrival

  • Be on Time! Warm-ups begin well before the meet start time.
  • Ensure your swimmer has sunscreen on and is marked up with his/her event information. (Bullpen parents can help new swimmer parents with marking up their swimmer).
  • Swimmers report to bullpen area. Once you have signed in with the volunteer coordinator, please take ALL SWIMMERS to the bullpen to sign him/her in. YOU MUST SIGN YOUR SWIMMERS IN with the bullpen parents. The same goes for the end of the meet, PLEASE inform the bullpen parents you are taking your swimmer home especially our 6 and under parents. Please encourage your child to remain in the bullpen. It is very difficult for the bullpen and ready bench parents to have children at the start line on time if they have to hunt the children down.
  • VOLUNTEERS: If you have signed up to volunteer PLEASE check in with our volunteer coordinator as soon as you get to the pool. We LOVE our volunteers and like to know we have all our bases covered. Volunteer descriptions can be found here. (ADD LINK)

Marking up your Swimmer

  • Find your child’s race information on the Event Reports/Heat Sheets.
Name Team Age Event Event Event Event Event
J. SMITH RG Rays 9 11 19 33 41 47

2/5 3/8 2/8 2/6 3/8
  • Label your swimmers with a black sharpie and their race details. On their back, mark their name "J. SMITH", and a "D" if they are dive certified and we are swimming at a pool that allows diving. On their forearm or leg, mark their event information as follows:
11 2 5 IM
19 3 8 FREE 3
33 2 8 BA 2
41 2 6 BR
47 3 8 FLY

(E = event, H = heat, L = lane, S = Stroke). For relays, add a column for position on team, i.e. 1,2,3,4.

During the meet

  • WHAT YOUR SWIMMER SHOULD KNOW: First and foremost have fun! Do their best and enjoy the meet. PLEASE leave the coaching to our amazing coaches and just encourage your swimmers. If you are volunteering and leaving your swimmer especially our younger swimmers, please make sure they know where all their "stuff" is snacks, goggles, money and entertainment. Please remind your swimmers to stay with bullpen parents and not wander off as this can create chaos when time comes to swim. Please lather your swimmers with sunscreen prior to arriving at the pool.
  • FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS: Concessions are available at home and away meets. You can bring in food and drinks, but you cannot bring in glass. Please be aware of any food allergies in the bullpen and discourage children from sharing foods. If your child has an allergy please ensure you have an epi-pen on hand and the bullpen parents are informed.
  • READY BENCH: Bullpen parents are responsible for getting our swimmers to the ready bench so if you choose to take your child out of the bullpen during a meet, you are responsible for informing the bullpen parent and getting them to the ready bench on time. Failure to get to the ready bench will mean your swimmer is scratched from the race.
  • RELAYS: Please don't cancel on relays, especially last minute - if your swimmer is signed up to swim the relay and for some reason you cannot stay, or make it, PLEASE INFORM the coaches immediately. A relay is 4 swimmers and if one isn't there, the whole relay team has to forfeit. It makes everyone sad when this happens. When signing up for a meet, Swimtopia allows you to note your relay preference: Please indicate if your child won't be available for early or late relays.
  • RIBBONS: In an effort to have more kids have a chance we give out ribbons to swimmers right after their event. Please instruct your child to put the ribbons in his or her bag or give them to you. Lost ribbons will not be replaced.
  • DISQUALIFIED: Swimmers will be DQ'd (disqualified) for improper strokes. If your child is DQ'd please assure your swimmer that it is okay and how proud you are of them for trying. The coaches do get a list of what the swimmer was DQ'd for and they will go over with the swimmers in practice!

Additional Thoughts

  • Please MARK EVERYTHING with the swimmers name so we can avoid lost shirts, towels, caps, bathing suits, etc. The meet should finish around 10 PM. Again if you are leaving early please tell the bullpen parents. We encourage all parents and swimmers to stay until the end of the meet to cheer on all of our Rays.
  • Wear sunscreen! (Get the hint yet?), but only apply after your child has been marked.
  • Bug spray. Depending on where our bullpen is located, it can get buggy in the evenings.  
  • Bring cash and small bills – Concession stands may not have change for anything over a $20.00!
  • Have fun watching all the kids experience summer swim. Most of all, the Rays want to be known for our good sportsmanship. Please congratulate the winner no matter what team they are on, please encourage all swimmers and please encourage your swimmers to do the same. Our swimmers will follow our example.
  • T-SHIRTS: Wear RiverGreen Rays or blue t-shirts or spirit gear to meets, if you would like to buy a t-shirt, please go to the gear page (link to be added).

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Our coaches and our team leads will also be able to answer questions you might have at the meet. Most importantly HAVE FUN and ENJOY the day!


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