Swim Meets

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN A MEET AND A B MEET?

The primary difference is that “A” Meets are scored to determine a winner while “B” Meets are not scored.  A team’s performance in an A Meet is what counts toward establishing the team’s overall record and standing within its division.  Therefore, swimmers are selected to participate in A Meets based on their times for each event, the times of the swimmers of the competing team, and the strategic input from the coaches.  All A Meets are held on Saturday mornings.  

Developmental or “B” Meets are full-scale swim meets, yet scores are not kept nor is a winning team determined.  These meets don’t count toward the team record and instead are geared toward encouraging swimmers to develop their skills in a competitive setting.  It’s also a great opportunity for swimmers to try out a stroke with which they’ve had less experience in competition.  All swimmers’ individual times will be recorded and event winners are recognized with ribbons for 1st through 6th place.  For the youngest age groups, heat winner and participant ribbons are also awarded.  B Meets are held on Monday evenings.

Participating in either A or B Meets is a significant achievement and all swimmers are recognized for their efforts.  Though competing in an A Meet is a valuable experience, the team’s philosophy emphasizes participation and personal improvement alongside team wins.  No swimmer should feel less a part of the team based on whether they participate in A or B Meets.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M SWIMMING IN AN A MEET?

As A Meets are held on Saturday mornings, the coaches identify the swimmers for each event the Wednesday prior to the meet.  The final meet sheet will be announced at practice, e-mailed on Thursday and then posted on the Club bulletin board adjacent to the parking lot. A swimmer may participate in up to two individual events and in relay events in a given A meet.  

HOW DO I SIGN UP TO SWIM IN A DEVELOPMENTAL OR B MEET?

All swimmers are welcome and encouraged to swim in B Meets (based on chart below). If a swimmer is unsure in which strokes to participate, he or she should check with the coaches before signing up.  

Swimmers need not have achieved a certain time per stroke in order to participate in B Meets.  However, those swimmers who swam certain strokes in the preceding A Meet are not eligible to swim those same strokes in the B Meet.  The following outlines the B Meet Eligibility Rules:

  • If you didn't swim at the preceding Saturday meet, you may swim TWO individual strokes and the IM (individual medley) all officially.
  • If you swam 1 stroke at the preceding Saturday meet, you may swim TWO individual strokes OTHER THAN THE STROKE YOU SWAM ON SATURDAY and the IM (Individual Medley) all officially.
  • If you swam 2 strokes at the preceding Saturday meet, you may swim ONE individual strokes OTHER THAN THE STROKES YOU SWAM ON SATURDAY, unofficially, plus the IM officially.

Meets are held on Monday evenings.  On the Saturday before, you will receive an e-mail with the B Meet Sign Up link.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR CHOICES BY NOON ON SUNDAY.  Please e-mail the the B MEET REPS if you have any questions.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY SWIMMER CANNOT MAKE IT TO AN A MEET?

At the time of registration, each swimmer will fill out an Availability Form.  This is essential to making our meet sheet with the best competitive advantage each week.  Once the meet sheet is made and turned over to the competing team on Thursdays, it cannot be changed.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you notify the Head Coach and the A Reps if there are any changes to your swimmer’s availability during the season.  If your child should become ill or another urgent matter arises AFTER Thursday, please call one of the A Reps. (Daven Foulk: (201) 218-5492 or Nikki Evinger: (703) 862-7257 so they can quickly notify another swimmer to take your child’s place.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “LEGAL” IN A STROKE?  

Swimmers need to be technically capable to perform a stroke to the standards of the Northern Virginia Swim League--insert link.  If a swimmer is unable to perform a stroke adequately during competition, the Stroke and Turn Judges will disqualify the swimmer.  Appropriate technique is emphasized in practice, and the coaches will encourage swimmers to attempt new strokes in competition when they feel the swimmers are ready. Coaches will not put someone in an event if they cannot swim the stroke legally.

HOW LONG DOES A SWIM MEET LAST?

Typically, an A Meet runs about 2 ½ hours beginning at 9 a.m. and ending by 11:30 a.m. The arrival time for swimmers and meet volunteers will vary based on location of meet. Specific timing will be distributed each week by the Head Coach and A Reps.  There are 52 events at each A Meet including individual events for all strokes for boys and girls in each age group, as well as relay events.  The structured nature of the meets allows for things to flow smoothly without too many surprises.  

Developmental Meets, or B Meets, tend to run a bit longer and time is dependent upon the number of swimmers who compete in each event.  While in an A Meet, only six swimmers from each age group and gender are allowed to compete in each event, Developmental meets allow as many swimmers per age group and gender as wish to swim.  Typically, there may be several heats of the same event, i.e, three different groups of 9-10 year-old girls swimming freestyle.  Additionally, swimmers can compete in the Individual Medley (IM) event at B Meets.  The meets begin at 6 p.m. and usually wrap up by 9 p.m.  Typically, swimmers and meet volunteers need to arrive an hour before the meet start.
 

DO WE NEED TO STAY FOR THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE SWIM MEET?

Swimmers and their families are STRONGLY encouraged to stay for the entire meet whenever possible.  The swimmers work hard in practice to compete at the meet and benefit from a full crowd to cheer them on.  Additionally, having all swimmers support one another is a critical lesson taught to each swimmer as being part of the team.  Cheering at the meets is just as significant as competing, and demonstrates good sportsmanship to one another and our competitors.

The coaching staff recognizes that there are circumstances that require a swimmer to leave early from a meet.  Please be sure to inform your coaches in advance if you should need to leave early, and do check-out with them just before departing.

WHAT DOES A SWIMMER NEED TO BRING TO A SWIM MEET?

The following items are a must to bring to each meet: FMW swim team suit, team swim cap, team t-shirt, goggles, two to three towels, shoes appropriate for the pool area, sunscreen, water to drink, and a storage bag for all these items.  Though not a necessity, some swimmers have found it helpful to bring a sweatshirt, sweatpants or other dry clothes, a light, healthy snack, and an extra pair of goggles and/or swim suit.  The extra towels are helpful not only to keep dry, but also to create a space for the swimmers to congregate during the meet.  Often the team meeting area is on grass or concrete and the extra towels can help preserve a personal spot.

HOW SHOULD MY SWIMMER PREPARE FOR A MEET?

On Fridays (for a Saturday meet) and Mondays when you are swimming in a meet, you should stay out of the sun and not go to the pool, except for practice. Make sure your child has well balanced meals and drinks lots of water. A good night’s sleep is always helpful so that your swimmer can perform to her best ability.
 

WHAT DO SHOULD A SWIMMER DO DURING THE MEET WHEN NOT SWIMMING?

CHEER of course!  Part of the fun of swim meets is rooting for your teammates and out-cheeering the other team!  Also, please note that all swimmers MUST stay in the team area so the coaches can ensure every swimmer makes it to his race.  With so many swimmers roaming about, the meets become very chaotic and if the coaches can’t find you, you may miss your race!  So, please stay with your team!

WHAT SHOULD MY SWIMMER DO BEFORE AND AFTER EACH EVENT SHE SWIMS?

See their coaches! Before and after your child’s race, they need to speak to a coach. The coaches want to give them encouragement and reminders before their races and give them feedback afterwards to help them for the upcoming week of practices.  After swimmers talk to their coaches, they are welcome to see their parents for hug or high-five, but then they need to return to the team area.
 

WHAT SHOULD A SWIM TEAM PARENT/GRANDPARENT/FAN BRING TO THE MEETS?

Coming to cheer on your swimmer and fellow teammates is an important part of each meet.  It helps to show your spirit by wearing our team colors (black and red).  Also, plan to bring a hat, sunglasses and/or sunscreen.  This can be especially important at the Saturday morning meets.  When the team travels to another pool, it’s difficult to know what the seating accommodations will be so consider bringing folding chairs.  Food and beverages will be available at the concession stand and money spent at the concession stand does support the team’s budget.  Outside food and beverages are allowed as well.

MY SON LOST HIS TEAM CAP AFTER THE FIRST MEET? IS THERE A LOST AND FOUND?

Be sure to label EVERYTHING with your child’s name….suits, caps, towels, t-shirts, flip-flops, goggles, EVERYTHING.  Items are easily lost or confused with other swimmers’ gear.  When 100 + kids congregate and all are wearing the same t-shirt, mix-ups are going to happen!  Before leaving a meet, remember to ask your swimmers if they have all of their belongings.  Coaches and Team Reps inevitably will find things left behind after a meet.  They will do their best to bring the lost items to the next practice and they will be placed in the pool’s Lost and Found bin located just outside the guard station.

Please note that each swimmer only gets one FMW latex cap. If it is lost, the A Reps will have caps for purchase while supplies last. If no longer available, the swimmer can wear a solid color cap with no writing for their event.