SWIM MEET FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a 'dual meet'?
A dual meet is a competition between two swim teams. During the season Los Paseos will compete in five dual meets against teams in the Valley Cabana Swim League (VCSL). The other teams are the Almaden Gators, Belwood Dolphins, Montevideo Piranhas, Oaktree Sharks, and Silver Creek Sharks.
Dual meets are always held on Saturdays in June and July. Each year the teams alternate hosting dual meets, so we generally have either two or three home meets at Los Paseos Pool.
Swimmers are required to swim in at least 3 dual meets during the season to qualify to swim at Champs.
Do I have to volunteer at every meet?
Families are required to volunteer at least one shift at every meet (both home and away) if their child is swimming. Occasionally families may be required to work more than one shift per meet. If you are not able to work during the meet, there are some volunteer jobs available that can be done before or after the meet. Please see the Volunteering page for more details.
How long do meets usually last?
With as many as 300 swimmers competing in a total of 76 events, swim meets can take a long time!
The Los Paseos Pool has only 4 competition lanes, so we have to get started pretty early. For home meets, LPAC swimmers generally need to report to coaches by 6:30 am. Volunteer shifts begin at 7:30 am, and meets usually start at 8:00 am.
The finish time depends on the location and the number of swimmers, but most meets run until around 1:00 pm and sometimes as late as 2:00 pm. The last meet of the season, “Champs,” typically lasts all day until around 4:00 pm.
What if my child has to miss a meet?
If your child will not be able to swim in a meet (or will have to miss part of a meet), it is very important that you let the coaches know ahead of time. Please fill out a “Note to Coaches” form in the file boxes or send an email to email@example.com at least one week before the meet.
The coaches spend a lot of time placing swimmers in their individual events and putting together relay teams. It is very difficult to deal with last-minute “scratches” (no-shows) or other changes. If your child becomes ill the morning of a meet, please call or text Coach Scott at 408-613-5126 as soon as possible.
Please note: Swimmers must swim an individual event in at least three dual meets to qualify for Champs.
What should we bring to swim meets?
Swimmers should wear their LPAC team suits but should also bring warm layers, as it’s usually pretty chilly in the mornings. Some swimmers bring a separate suit for early morning warm-ups and then change into their team suit for the meet.
Bring at least two towels, sunscreen, cap, goggles, and flip-flops. Many families bring folding chairs and EZ-Up tents or umbrellas for shade, as well as large blankets or towels to put down on the grass (tarps are generally not allowed).
Also remember to bring plenty of water and healthy snacks for the whole family. You might also want to pack books, toys, playing cards, video games, or board games to help pass the time. Swimmers typically have to wait at least an hour in between their races!
How will I know which events my child is swimming?
Generally, each swimmer will be entered in three individual events, or races, per meet. They may also be entered in a relay (team) event. Coaches try to be sure that swimmers compete in different events over the course of the season so they are given a chance to improve all of their strokes. To find out what events your child will be swimming, check the printouts that will be posted the morning of each meet. Some parents find it helpful to bring a Sharpie pen and write down the numbers of the events on the backs of swimmers’ (and/or parents’) hands.
How are the events seeded?
Swimmers are seeded based on their fastest recorded time in each event. Their initial seeding comes from Time Trials. Swimmers are grouped into “heats” based on their seed times, so they will be swimming against other kids of about the same speed. The final heat of each event features the swimmers with the fastest entry times.
What is the order of events?
At every dual meet, the order of events is as follows:
1-11: Medley Relay (15-18 swim event first)
13-24: Butterfly (15-18 swim event first)
25-36: Backstroke (15-18 swim event first)
37-44: Individual medley (15-18 swim event first)
45-56: Breaststroke (6 & under swim event first)
57-68: Freestyle (6 & under swim event first)
69-79: Freestyle relay(6 & under swim event first)
Girls’ events are always odd-numbered, and boys’ events are even-numbered. Events #1, 11, 69 and 79 are “mixed relays” of boys and girls (for 6 & under and 15-18 age groups only).
What is the 'Clerk of the Course'?
During the meet, the announcer will call out upcoming event numbers and ask swimmers in those events to report to the “Clerk of the Course.” This is basically a waiting area where swimmers are organized into their assigned events, heats and lanes.
At Los Paseos, the Clerk of the Course area is under the shade structure next to the baby pool. Parents of young children should escort their swimmers to Clerk of the Course but are generally not allowed to stay in that area. Volunteers will help escort swimmers to the proper lanes when it is time for their race.
Swimmers should bring goggles and a cap but should not bring any towels, sweatshirts, shoes, etc.
How do relays work?
Relay teams are made up of four swimmers per event. If your child is entered as part of a relay team, it is very important that he or she report to Clerk of the Course on time for the event. We must have all four swimmers present for the relay, or the team loses points.
Parents of young swimmers may be asked to help escort the relay swimmers to the blocks.
If for any reason your child is unable to swim in a relay event, please notify the coaches immediately.
For some age groups, LPAC may field more than one relay team per event. In this case, only the “A” relay team’s time counts toward the overall team score.
What if we have to leave a meet early?
It is VERY important that swimmers check out with the coaches if they need to leave before the end of the meet. Even if they are not entered in a relay, they may be needed as a substitute.
What is a 'DQ'?
Parent volunteer Stroke & Turn judges watch every race to be sure swimmers swim the strokes correctly. Swimmers who have any kind of stroke infraction (i.e., wrong kick, failure to touch with two hands on butterfly or breaststroke, etc.) are disqualified (“DQ’d”) from that event and cannot earn place points or an improved time.
DQ slips are filled out and given to the coaches so swimmers can learn from their mistakes. If your child has a question about a DQ, please encourage him or her speak to the coaches.
How are ribbons awarded?
At dual meets, ribbons are awarded for the first 10 places in individual events and for 1st and 2nd place in relays. Ribbons are also given for improved times or participation. Ribbons will be placed in your family file and can be picked up after practice on the Monday after the meet. Please do not take ribbons from files during the meet.
If you have any questions about missing ribbons, please contact LPAC Meet Director Nancy Keslin.
Is there a snack bar at swim meets?
Yes, all teams in the VCSL host a snack bar and typically serve breakfast items (muffins, doughnuts, and bagels), lunch items (burgers, hot dogs, and Cup O’ Noodles), snacks (fruit, chips, and candy), and drinks (coffee, bottled water, soda, and Gatorade).
LPAC’s outstanding snack bar is famous throughout the league and is a major fundraiser for the team. The made-to-order breakfast burritos and tri-tip sandwiches are especially popular. Please support LPAC by visiting the snack bar during time trials and our home meets!
Can I leave the meet when my child is done swimming?
At home meets, LPAC swimmers and parents are asked to stay until the meet is over and clean-up is completed. We have to get the pool area cleaned up and ready to open to members no later than 2:00 pm. It’s also fun to stay and cheer for the final relays (and occasionally the coaches’ and parents’ relays)!
At away meets, please be sure to clean up your area and throw away any trash.
If you do have to leave a meet early, always remember to check OUT with the coaches before you leave!
How do I report a problem during a meet?
Any problems with timers, stroke and turn judges, members of the opposing team, etc., should be brought to the attention of the LPAC Meet Director (Nancy Keslin) ONLY. It is the meet director’s job to handle all problems of this nature that arise during a swim meet.