Competition entry procedure & competition guidelines

Swimmers will automatically be entered into competitions

The default is that all swimmers who are invited to attend a competition will attend with full availability; you do not need to contact us to provide permission to attend. However, we ask you to fill out meet scratch forms to opt-out of attending a competition or portion thereof. The meet scratch forms must be completed before the pre-determined meet scratch deadline, scratch request provided after will not be accepted.

Competition schedule

A list of competitions that each group will attend will be made available at the outset of the season and is updated as necessary with the dates and locations of meets as that information comes available.

Competition announcements

Families will receive a meet announcement email, with a meet information sheet attached, approximately four weeks in advance of a competition. Those who cannot (or do not wish to) attend the competition (or any part thereof) should submit the online scratch form and swimmers should notify their coach. The scratch forms and meet information sheets will be also available on our website under the competition schedule.

Competition entries

Throughout the season, coaches select appropriate competitions for their swimmers to attend. Some swim meets have qualifying restrictions, whereas others are open to all. Swimmers chosen to attend a meet will have their events selected and automatically entered into the meet by their coach. If a swimmer cannot fully participate at a meet he or she is selected to attend (e.g. can only attend the meet on certain days or not at all), we need to know of this—in writing via the online scratch form created for each meet. You may opt out of one or more sessions, whole days, or the entire meet altogether.

Well in advance of a meet, all invited swimmers will receive a meet announcement email that gives important details and an outline of the meet format along with a scratch deadline whereby any scratches or changes to a swimmer’s participation must occur. The meet announcement includes a web page link for you to fill out a scratch form if the swimmer is unable to participate fully in the meet. Using this web form, please describe what changes will need to be made.

Immediately following the scratch deadline, meet events and entry fees are sent to the host club and the swimmer’s fees are invoiced to the family’s account. Meet fees are not charged to a swimmer if proper notification of a scratch is received by the scratch deadline.

If any changes need to be made after the scratch deadline has passed, please notify the club via email as soon as possible; although it may not be possible for swimmer’s entry fees to be refunded once they have been remitted, swimmers that cannot attend a meet still need to be scratched as early as possible.

Any swimmer who is a no-show at a meet (i.e. does not report to their coach at the start of the warm-up period) may be scratched from all events and will still be charged the individual and team relay fees.

With some team travel meets and provincial/national championship meets where extensive travel and planning is required, additional communication may be made with swimmers and families. A coach will contact you to confirm such things as travel arrangements with this type of meet due to the additional costs and planning that are necessary.

It is the responsibility of each swimmer and their family to check their personal email account, the Brock Swimming website and the team bulletin board for a competition schedule, meet announcements, and swimmer event entries. If you experience any technical difficulties with reading or viewing any electronic documents, please contact the club to correct the issue or to receive the information in an alternate format.

Competition fees

Once final meet entries are submitted to the host club, refunds cannot be provided. As with all other charges, meet entry fees are invoiced and charged monthly to the family’s account. A surcharge may be levied to help cover the cost of travel for our staff.

The purpose of competition

Swim meets provide athletes with opportunities to measure improvements; practise, develop and refine competitive racing skills; and have fun! We encourage all swimmers to participate and race in all the competitions offered to their training group. As coaches, we view competitions as an important extension to practices where swimmers learn, experiment, rehearse, and perform under a variety of conditions. At many of the meets we attend swimmers are still learning (or re-learning) how to race! Coaches will develop skill and/or performance goals for each competition during the season.

Swim meets provide competitive opportunities for swimmers at varying levels. Thus, not all swimmers on the team will attend the same meets. Coaches will select appropriate meets for their swimmers to attend that provide an appropriate challenge and opportunities for success. Local invitational meets are often open to all swimmers without restriction, whereas other meets such as regional and provincial championships require that swimmers meet a certain qualifying time standard in order to attend.

Selection of competition events

A swimmer’s events selected to be raced at each meet will be chosen by their coach. There are often a great number of factors that a coach considers when selecting these events—some of these influences may include the swimmer’s goals, the team’s goals, the coach’s goals, training goals, the time of year, the number of times the swimmer has raced each event, the meet format, and any psychological and physiological factors.

One of the tasks of a coach is to continually challenge their swimmers to new levels, test their abilities across a wide spectrum, and allow them to confront their fears. Sometimes, but not always, a coach will consult with the swimmers when drafting meet entries and ask for their input. Swimmers will not always be entered into events that are their “favourites” or the ones they are most likely to “place well in.” Although these can be enjoyable and motivating for swimmers, it is important to recognize that there is much to be learned and gained from striving to perform under less-than-ideal conditions.

If you have any questions about the events that are selected for your child, or if your child is expressing concerns, please discuss this with the coach so that we can both become better informed! However, it is important to be aware that the scratch deadline date for the swimmer is also the entry deadline for the coaches (when submitting entries to the meet host); changes to events are often not possible beyond this date. As coaches, we will strive to take a proactive approach by communicating with swimmers, throughout the season, as to what the intended goals are for each upcoming meet.

Travel to competitions

Most meets for our younger age-group swimmers are close to home. Parents provide transportation to and from the meet for their own child and the meet becomes like a family event or outing.

Opportunities to travel and stay with the team may be provided for our more experienced swimmers a few times throughout the season. Swimmers are encouraged to take advantage of this as team travel allows opportunities for growth and independence. When swimmers travel with the team, coaching staff and/or parent managers/chaperones will accompany the athletes. Swimmers are required to abide by a code of conduct agreement which is reviewed with the team prior to travel. Violations of the code of conduct may result in disciplinary action including the swimmer being sent home at their parents’ expense. Competition and travel details will be provided to swimmers and parents in advance.

Competition behaviour

Swimmers shall report to their coach at the start of the session’s warm-up period. Normally, swimmers are asked to be on deck 15–20 minutes prior to the official warm-up start time in order to get oriented and receive instructions.

Swimmers shall warm up together as a group, under the direction of their coach.

Swimmers are to stay on deck with their teammates throughout the meet (during warm-ups and between races). This promotes team spirit and allows the coaches to easily and readily communicate with their swimmers. Trips away from the pool deck—such as to the bathroom and visits with parents are allowed—but should be brief.

Swimmers are expected to wear the team uniform (t-shirt, suit and cap) at swim meets.

Positive meet behaviour, good sportsmanship, good nutritional habits, and pre- and post-race communication with their coach are expected from each swimmer. Where the facilities are available, swimmers should make proper usage of the warm-up/cool-down pool as instructed by their coach.

Parents should watch the meet from the designated viewing area. Please note that meet rules strictly prohibit spectators from being on the pool deck alongside the athletes and coaches. Swimmers are, however, permitted to leave the pool deck to meet with parents elsewhere.

Proper protocol dictates that parents should avoid confronting an official or meet personnel with questions, concerns, or requests. Rather, parents should address the coach who will then decide on a course of action. Please be aware that swim meets can sometimes be stressful events and that mistakes can and do occasionally happen. It is important that we act appropriately and remain calm under these conditions. (As participants in the sport of swimming, we often pride ourselves on the fact that we are not likened with the kinds of horror stories associated with some other types of sports.)