What do I need to know?

Swimming meets or competitions are a great family experience. They’re a place where the whole family can spend time together. This document gives some guidelines to help you through your first couple of swim meets or act as a reminder for those who have been doing it a while.

Before the Meet starts

  • Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up begins.
  • Upon arrival, get changed and find a place to put your swimmers towels, blankets and swimming bags. The team usually sits together, so look for some familiar faces.
  • One checked in with the coach, check which events you are swimming and if there are multiple sessions which events are being swum in that session.


  • Begin with a dry-side warm-up details of which are found here. If you are unsure speak with the more experienced competitors or your coach.
  • When you are called for warm-up get your swimming hat and goggles and make your way to the pool to start warm-up. Again keep an eye out for other members of the team. The team coach will then advise you of what you should be doing during warm-up. Some more experienced swimmers are able to manage their own warm-up.
  • During warm-up you must not climb out over the electronic touch pads or dive in unless in sprint lanes which will be announced towards the end of the warm-up session.
  • Pay attention to the warm-up marshalls at all time
  • After warm-up you will go back to the area where his team is sitting and then go and change into your race swim suit. This should be roughly 2 sizes smaller than your training suit. Yes it should be tight.
  • Once changed return to the team and wait there until their first event is called. The team manager/coach will advise them when to go to ‘marshalling’

The Meet begins

  • A swimmer usually reports to ‘marshalling’ and is the directed to their lane for competition a number of heats before they actually swim. Check with the coach for specific instructions.
  • When advised to go to poolside for marshalling all swimmers need to take a Tiverton club hat and their race googles.
  • The swimmer swims their race
  • The swimmer should the go immediately to his or her coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer.
  • Depending on the coach’s instructions, the swimmer may be asked to do some recovery swimming if a ‘warm down’ pool is available

What can parents do?

1)      Tell he or she how great they have done. The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You need to tell them how proud you are and what a great job they have done.

2)      Send them back to the team and relax. Parents should not come into the team area unless asked by the coaching team. Try to limit the amount of time swimmers spend with you during the swimming competition.

Advice for Parents

  •  According to ASA rules (for health and safety purposes) parents are not allowed on poolside unless serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officials decision, or the running of the meet should be referred to the TSC team manager. He or she in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
  • A competition programme is usually available for sale in the lobby or reception area of the pool. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of seed time. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, they will be entered as a ‘no time’ or ‘NT’. A ‘no time’ swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event. A heat sheet may be available close to the start of the meet that lists the actual heat and lane a swimmer will be competing in.

When the swimmer has completed all their events they and their parents can make their way home


Results are usually posted somewhere in the facility. Depending of the gala rules they may be medal presentations or awards may be gathered somewhere for swimmers or parents to collect during the meet. They can normally be found on the meet website.


  • Most important – training suit and race swim suit (2 sizes smaller than training suit), TSC cap and googles
  • Towels – You or your swimmer will be on poolside for a while, so pack at least two
  • Something to sit on – the swimmer area is sometimes or hard floors or steps e.g sleeping bag, old blanket or anything that will be comfortable to sit on. The swimmers will be spending a lot of time sat on it
  • Trousers or shorts – each swimmer may want to bring two because they can get wet
  • Team T-Shirts – two or three (see above)
  • Games – Travel games, colouring books, iPod, books, anything to pass the time
  • Food – each swimmer is normally allowed a cooler into the swimmer area. It is a good idea to bring snacks as the food at the meets may not be healthy options.

Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Do not hesitate to ask any other parent for help or information.

These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers. They get to be with their friends, play game and meet swimmers from other teams.

Most importantly, they get to race and see how much they have improved from all the hard work they’ve put in during training.