What is a Swim Meet?
Swim Meets are competitions hosted by swim clubs, Regions or the ASSA (Alberta Summer Swim Association) at which swimmers have the opportunity to race each other in carious events. Swim meets are a great family experience; they’re a place where the whole family can spend time together. They also provide a great opportunity for swimmers to see progress from their efforts in practice, and socialize with their teammates, family and friends.
Sharks swimmers have the opportunity to attend approximately 8 weekend swim meets from June - August. Although swimmers are not expected to attend every swim meet, they are encouraged to attend as many swim meets as possible so they can enjoy competing for their team, beating their times, participating as relay team members and cheering on their fellow Sharks. Swim meets are fun, team events with lots of spirit!
The Sharks compete in “Region B” of the ASSA. we take part in weekend meets hosted by other Region B clubs during June and July. this culminates in the Region B meet in early August and the ASSA Provincial meet (for qualifiers from Regionals) in mid-August.
Details of these meets will be sent out via email and on the Homepage and Upcoming Events page of the Stony Plain Sharks website (stonyplainsharks.com) as those details become known to the coaches and the Executive. Your entry fees at all swim meets are included in your Sharks registration fee.
To find the pool locations, please go to the Sharks website and click on the tab “Pool Locations”, where you will find maps to each pool location. If you are new to the club, do not be afraid to ask any ‘veteran’ parent for directions. We’ve all been rookies before and are glad to help when we can.
How does my swimmer sign up for a meet?
To sign up for a swim meet please see our Head Coach on deck one week prior to the meet.
When you attend a meet, please plan on staying until the end of the day for the relays. If you know in advance that you won’t be staying, please let the coach know when signing up. If your child has been placed on a relay team and your family leaves early, three disappointed swimmers are left behind without a chance to swim their relay race.
If you cannot attend a meet that your swimmer has signed up for, please let the coaching staff know well in advance so that they can ‘scratch’ your child from the list.
What to bring to a meet:
Team swim suit, cap and goggles (label everything with your name!)
Sharpie/permanent marker, pens, highlighters (all for marking heat sheets and marking swimmers with their events)
Several dry towels
Sweats, shorts, shirt to cover up between races (even “rainwear” for outdoor meets)
A cooler of healthy snacks/drinks and a water bottle (no junk food or pop, please!)
Games, books, or cards to enjoy between races
Old sleeping bag or heavy blanket to lay on pool deck for relaxing between events
Lawn chairs or folding seat
Extra goggles and swim caps are a good idea for when your swimmer loses or breaks their pair…
sunscreen/small tent for meets at outdoor pools (Stony Plain, Devon)
Smiles and chuckles
Loud, friendly and encouraging cheering voice
1. Expect an early start to your day! Most swim meets start between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., with swimmers needing to be there ½ hour ahead of time for warm-ups. Swim meets typically end around 4:00 p.m.
2. Buy a “heat sheet” when you arrive - bring along a highlighter pen, too! These usually range from $2.00 - $5.00 and will be invaluable for understanding the day and following the events of your swimmer and other Sharks swimmers. Heat sheets are organized in the order the events will be swum. Within each event (e.g. 100m Freestyle) there are girls’ and boys’ categories. Swimmers are listed in their event by name and ranked with their previous “personal best time”.
3. Be prepared for a crowded and busy atmosphere! Swim meets are lots of fun but they are quite crowded and noisy. Each pool has a different amount of spectator and swimmer deck space and you will need to arrive early to “stake your claim”! Bring along an old sleeping bag to lay on the deck for your child and bring along a folding lawn chair for the deck in case there is limited seating. A cooler full of healthy snacks is a must for a swimmer who is working hard.
4. Don’t expect exact times on events! Other than the meet starting time, swim meets do not indicate exactly when events will be swum. Events are swum in the order that they are listed and may move along more quickly or more slowly than expected. The exact time of the lunch break is usually announced later in the morning.
5. Keep your eyes and ears open! Swimmers will be called to a “marshalling area” just prior to their race. Either a loudspeaker system or an event board will announce events. Sometimes they will call swimmers by event (e.g. girls, Short Freestyle) but other swim meets call swimmers by their event number (e.g. event #107). Event numbers are listed in the heat sheets. It’s a good idea to write your child’s event numbers on his/her hand or arm so that he/she can be watching and listening for his/her own events. Parents/guardians are not allowed in the marshalling and race-staging areas but our club often provides younger swimmers with an older “swim buddy” to get them to their race on time!
6. The men and women in white shirts are meet officials. They work in positions such as: referee, starter, stroke and turn judges, timers. These volunteers (with the exception of some of the timers) have taken courses and are certified to carry out the duties of their positions.
7. A swimmer sometimes receives a warning or disqualification from an official. Disqualifications are not meant to be punitive but are simply a way to ensure fair and equitable conditions for all swimmers. Each stroke has specific rules and guidelines that officials are watching.
During the first couple of swim meets, swimmers usually receive a warning and some “teaching” about their technical violations. As the season progresses, swimmers will be disqualified for infractions. Our coaching staff will explain the disqualification to the swimmer and, if clarification is needed or an appeal is required, only a coach can speak with the Meet Referee.
Heats - each swimmer is entered into a swim meet with their most recent and available “personal best time” - PB (a swimmer may sometimes be swimming an event for the first time and will have a “no time” - NT). At the beginning of the season, a swimmer’s PB time is carried forward from the previous seasons in the same event/distance. As stated in “Helpful hints”, a heat sheet is available at the meet and will list all the swimmers in each event category with their rank ordered times. Swimmers with “NT” appear at the bottom of the list. Swimmers are organized into “heats” based on their listed times and will typically swim in a heat of 5 - 8 swimmers with times in the same range. There will be a number of heats in each event category. Each swimmer receives a “race card” just prior to their race on which their race time will be recorded.
During regular season swim meets, there are no “finals” and final results are based on the times achieved by swimmers in their heats. However, during the Region B swim meet, swimmers are organized into heats with the “top 8” fastest times advancing to a “final”. The “top 2” fastest times from each final at Regionals will advance to the ASSA Provincial Meet along with the next 4 fastest times in that event across all six ASSA swim regions in the province (i.e. “WIld Cards”).
Times - swimming times are reported in the form: 00:00.00 (i.e. minutes, seconds, tenths, hundredths). When a swimmer “beats” their entry time in a race, they will immediately receive an “I Beat My Time” ribbon from the timers in their lane. The “I Beat My Time” ribbon is an important and central element to summer swimming in Region B because it recognizes ongoing personal improvement! Our club truly celebrates “I Beat My Time” achievements.
Results - after all the swimmers in an event have raced, the race cards are sent to the office where a “results sheet” is generated and posted. This can take some time, so be patient! There is also a Meet Manager App that will display swimmer unofficial results. The results sheet will list the rank-ordered times of all the swimmers in an event. Individual placement ribbons are awarded based on how a lanes there are in a pool. For example, at Stony Plain Pool, we have six lanes so we award ribbons for 1st - 6th place. An eight-lane pool will award 1st - 8th place ribbons. These ribbons are not handed out on race day but are given to the coach at the end of the day and will be handed out at the next practice. Placement ribbons are also awarded to each ember of a relay team.
In addition to placement ribbons, aggregate medals (i.e. gold, silver, bronze) are awarded to the three swimmers with the highest number of individual points in each age/gender category. Individual points are calculated based on finishes in the various events with pointes being awarded as follows:
1st place finish: points = number of lanes in pool +1 (e.g. 6-lane pool = 7 points for first)
2nd place finish: points = number of lanes in pool -1 (e.g. 6-lane pool = 5 points for second)
3rd place finish: points = number of lanes in pool -2 (e.g. 6-lane pool = 4 points for third)
Aggregate medal points are calculated at the end of the day and the medals are awarded in a short, informal ceremony following the swim meet.
Club points are also calculated based on placement finishes. Total club points are then divided by the number of swimmers registered in a club to determine club standings. At the final Region B Swim Meet there are two club trophies awarded, one for the club with the most overall “aggregate points” and one for the club with the highest “average” number of points (i.e. aggregate points divided by the number of registered swimmers).
Please sign up with ASSA website. You will be able to see all of your child's past results as well as all of the meet results. This will allow you to see how your child compares to the other children in their age group in our region. The meet packages are also posted to this site prior to the meet so you can view which events will be held.