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Swim Meets

Below are guidelines for swim meets. Please support the Gold Medal Swim School's goal for all swim meets: Fall in love with racing...."Racing is fun!”

What to bring to a Swim Meet?

Bring something to sit on, such as a folding chair or a blanket. Bring a swimsuit, goggles, team shirt, team cap, and towels (one for each event). You may want to bring games, coloring books, toys, or anything else to pass the time. Snacks and water! Bring something healthy and hydrating like fruit or watered-down Gatorade.


Swimmers 8 years old and younger swim 25 years (1 lap). 8 and under swimmers start off the side of the pool, not the blocks Swimmers 9 years old and older swim 50 yards (2 laps) and have the option of starting off the blocks. All swimmers are signed up to swim all four strokes (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle) but participating in even one is great! Swimmers are entered and seeded with previous best times; swimmers who have not raced previously are entered with a no time (NT) and will race against other swimmers with an NT.


Racing is organized by age groups, gender, and stroke. Each kind of race is called an "event"; these are ordered and numbered. Each event will have a series of "heats" (races) within each event. Heats will have 8-10 swimmers in each, which are seeded (organized) by swimmer's times (slowest to fastest). Ribbons will be awarded for the 1st through 8th place of each heat. Medals are awarded at the end of the season championship for 1st–8th place of the EVENT (not the heat).

Races are organized by time but if a swimmer is new and doesn't have entry times, they may have a more random placement.

Team Spirit

Swimmers are expected to participate in meets as a team. Cheering for each other is highly encouraged. Team tents will be set up with team gear, tattoos, stickers, water, and Otter Pops. Swimmers are encouraged to sit together at the team tent, cheer each other on, play games, and hang out between events.

Swimmers Responsibilities

Find a coach or any Gold Medal coach and say "hello". Get ready to enter the pool for warm-up instructions. "Warm-up" at this age is a VERY loose term. Warm-ups are designed to develop good habits and get some butterflies out. Attend the team meeting, held after the warm-up.

REPORT to starting block one event before your race!
RACE and do your best!
RETURN to the team tent, get an otter pop, and celebrate!
CHEER with friends!
REPEAT again!

All registered swimmers will be given a personalized heat sheet when they arrive at the meet. This will help swimmers (and parents if needed) know when and where to report for their races. A personalized heat sheet is provided for your swimmer by Gold Medal Swim School. Swimmers should still learn how to read the meet heat sheet (available here the day before the meet) as they will not be given personalized heat sheets when they move onto club, high school swim, or other teams. All 9 and over swimmers are to report to the correct event, heat, and lane. For the 8 and under swimmers should report to the team tent and a coach will walk all of the swimmers to the opposite side of the pool where they will begin their race. Swimmers should aim for a PR (personal record) time and RACE as fast as possible. Swimmers should hang out between events and play games, cheer for teammates, and relax.

Parents and Guardians

Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time. Arriving early helps swimmers feel less stressed. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to cheer for their swimmers! Help ease anxiety by keeping it light and fun. Limit technique suggestions and encourage swimmers to RACE as fast as they can!!!!!

Give lots of high fives and smiles. Possible questions to ask include, "What did you think of your swim?", "Are you proud of your effort?" Help your swimmer return to the team area and relax, play with friends, and grab an Otter Pop! Take a moment to celebrate your swimmer. Swim meets are a time to shine and show off all the hard work they have put in during practice.

While the coaches are always ready and willing to help, they are not responsible to ensure swimmers are ready and in the correct place for their race. If you have questions or comments about your swimmers' meet or practice performance, we would love to hear from you Please contact the Swim Team & Competitive Department Leaders.