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Swim Meet Glossary

Some commonly used swim meet terms


Championship Meet - The Championship meet is the last meet of the season and involves all or nearly all teams in our league (the RACE league). The organization Championship meet is similar to that of the normal season dual meets. The main difference is that the Championship meet is divided into a morning session (for swimmers 10 and under) and an afternoon session (for swimmers 11 and above). Within each of these sessions, the events are organized in the same way as for the dual meets. Because of the number of teams and swimmers involved, this meet involves more heats for each event.

Dual Meet - A dual meet is a meet between two teams. This is the most common type of meet we will participate in. It consists of both individual events and relays. Swimmers compete in their events by age group and gender. All age groups of one event take place before the next event, so across age groups are there to support each other throughout the meet. The order of events is the same across all dual meets.

Double-Dual Meet - A double-dual meet is a meet between three teams. For each of the three teams, the meet is two dual meets, hence the term double-dual: e.g., Team A vs. Team B and Team A vs. Team C). Otherwise, in terms of events and organization, a double-dual meet is essentially the same as a dual meet.

Relay Meet - A relay meet is a meet in which the events are all relays.

DQ - You will often hear swimmers and coaches refer to a “DQ” or disqualification.Adisqualification only occurs when a swimmer has broken a rule in a stroke, or their stroke is not “legal” by RACE League standards.The result of this is that any points a swimmer has gained for their team from that particular event being cancelled.There is no need for parents to worry about the specific rules of each stroke, we will make sure your swimmer is prepared and knows every rule there is for each stroke!

Event - An event is a larger category than a heat. The name of an event typically describes the stroke and age group, as well as distance of the race in meters or yards. (Note that our home pool is a 25 meter pool.) Example: Eight & Under Girls 25m Breaststroke.

Heat -There are often multiple heats within an event. In larger meets such as Championships, there may be as many as eight or nine heats, but in a dual meet, there will be two to three heats. Heats help to group swimmers by seed time and various qualifying times, especially if there are more swimmers than the number of lanes in the pool.

Heat Sheet - This is the event “program.” Allows swimmers and parents to see the order of events, and lists each swimmer in an individual event, as well as their lane.

Legal - If you hear a coach or swimmer mention that a swimmer has a “legal” kick, or stroke, this means that they should be able to swim the stroke in a meet without being disqualified, or “DQ’d”.

Psych Sheet - Much like a heat sheet, but geared more towards swimmers. This allows swimmers to compare their previous times to other swimmers in their event. If a swimmer has not previously swum in an event before, this will appear as NT (no time).

Relay -  A relay involves multiple swimmers from a given team swimming in sequence as a relay team. In a dual meet, there is both a medley relay and a freestyle relay for each age group. A medley relay is co-ed, and divided between two boys and two girls. Each swimmer will swim 25m of either backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, or freestyle. (All of our relays in regular meets are 100m total!)

There are typically two freestyle relays per age group, a boys and a girls relay, each consisting of four swimmers total. Each swimmer on the relay team swims a 25m freestyle. Swimmers will be placed in relays depending on individual seed times, stroke preference, as well as participation in practice.

In a relay meet, there will be other sorts of relays in addition to the above (e.g., relays for other strokes such as breaststroke and butterfly, relays in which individual swimmers swim different distances, and relays that involve swimmers across age groups).

Seed Time - A seed time exists if a swimmer has previously swum in a particular event. The seed time is the swimmer’s most fastest time in a particular event, as it appears on the Psych Sheet. The seed time can influence the heat and the lane that a swimmer is assigned to. If there is no previous time for an event, it will appear as NT, or “NoTime”. 

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