Frequently Asked Questions

New Swimmer FAQ
How do I sign my swimmer up for a meet?
There are two ways to sign your child up for a meet:

Method 1– Use the signup sheet posted at the pool.  This will typically be available on Wednesday (posted at practice) through Friday evening.

Method 2Email by Saturday at 8pm.  In subject of email include the terms meet sign up and include the opposing team, for example SUBJECT:  Galaxy meet sign up.  In the text include your swimmer’s name, their age, and preferred events (if you wish).
We cannot assure they’ll get all of those events but will try to accommodate to the best of our ability.
We will not accept any late entries as we need to assemble the lineup on Sunday.

What is a heat sheet and where do I get one?
A heat sheet is the list of all events for a swim meet. It lists the events in order that they will occur in the meet, and also lists the swimmers that will be in each event. The heat sheet is what you will use to figure out in what event, heat and lane your child will be swimming. There will be heat sheets at the meet; however, you will get an email on Tuesday afternoon with a list of what events your child will be swimming. This email will not include the heat and lane due to the possibility of last minute changes by either team, but you can use this information to at least begin to complete the event (E) column on your swimmer.

What is the order of events in a swim meet?

  • 100 yard IM
  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • Freestyle Relay
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Medley relay

Are all of the 6 & under events together?
No. The order of events is listed above. Each event will start with the youngest swimmers and move through to the oldest swimmers. This gives swimmers time to rest and cheer on their teammates.

What events are there for 6 & under swimmers?
Children in the 6 & under division will have three truly 6 & under events: freestyle relay, 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke. Children 6 & under can sometimes be entered into 8 & under events such as the 25 yard breaststroke, 25 yard butterfly, and the medley relay. This decision is at the coaches’ discretion.

How far does my child have to swim?
If your child is in the 6 & under or 8 & under division, she will be swimming 25 yards for all of her events.  The only exception is the 100 IM (see #6 below); it is rare for new swimmers and 6 & under swimmers to get placed in the IM early on. If your child is in the 10 & under division or older, he will be swimming 50 yards for all of his events with the exception of the 100 IM (see below).

What is the 100 yard IM?
An IM is an individual medley. Swimmers swim one lap of each of the following strokes in this order: BUTTERFLY, BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE, FREESTYLE.

What is a freestyle relay?
A freestyle relay is a relay of four swimmers who are all swimming freestyle. For swimmers 8 years and younger, each swimmer will swim 25 yards (one length) of freestyle; for swimmers 9 years and older, each swimmer will swim 50 yards (two lengths) of freestyle. See diagram of a heat sheet for an example of what order each swimmer swims in the relay.

What is a medley relay?
A medley relay is a relay of four swimmers who each swim a different stroke in the following order: BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE, BUTTERFLY, FREESTYLE. For swimmers 8 years and younger, each swimmer will swim 25 yards (one length); for swimmers 9 years and older, each swimmer will swim 50 yards (two lengths). See diagram of a heat sheet for an example of what order each swimmer swims in the medley relay. NOTE THAT THE ORDER FOR THE MEDLEY RELAY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE ORDER OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY.

What does it mean if the relay is mixed?
A mixed relay means that boys and girls can be on the same relay team. Both the freestyle and the medley relays can be mixed. Also, your swimmer may be part of relay team in an older division at some point during the summer.  For example, a 14 & under relay event has to have at least ONE 13-14 year-old swimmer, but the other three swimmers can be younger.  Talk with the coaches if you have questions about this.
Is it possible that my child will get to a swim a relay even if they were not originally listed to swim one on the heat sheet?
YES!! Please check with the coaches at the meet to see if your swimmer is needed for a relay before you leave. Coaches can add swimmers / relay teams at the meet, so your child may be added to a relay.

Is it possible my child will get disqualified?
Yes. Disqualifications do occur in swimming, especially in the breaststroke and butterfly events. It is also common for children to be disqualified if they are trying a stroke for the first time.  If your child is disqualified, there will be a “DQ” on the result sheet. This is NOT the end of the world, and you and your swimmer should not be devastated if this happens. Talk to the coaches at the next practice about ways for your swimmers to improve their strokes. Remember summer swimming is about learning the strokes; being disqualified in an event is like striking out in baseball or softball. You can read more about disqualifications in the GASSL League Manual (link at our website under Documents).