The top 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Big Finals is the fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held.
Certain swim meets charge for spectators to view the meets. These are usually the larger more prestigious meets. Sometimes the meet program (heat sheet) is included in the price of admission.
Division of swimmers according to age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10-under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Some LSC's have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations: (i.e.) 8-under, 13-Over, 15-Over, Junior, Senior.
In a Prelims/Finals meet, after the finalists are decided, the next two fastest swimmers other than the finalist are designated as alternates. The faster of the 2 being first alternate and the next being second alternate. If a finalist cannot participate, the alternates are called to take their place, often on a moment’s notice.
All Star Meet
A Southern California Swimming championship meet attended by those who apply and are considered the top 20 fastest in Southern California Swimming. All Star Meets include the Pacific Coast All Start Meet (early January), SCS All Star Festival (late January), Western Zone (August), and the North American Challenge Cup (August).
The final swimmer in a relay.
Swim meets conducted by organizations (other than USS member clubs or LSC's) that have applied to USS or the local LSC for approval. If approval is granted, swimmers may use times achieved as USS qualifying times. A USS official must be present at all sessions of the meet. Approval does not mean Sanctioned.
The American Swim Coaches Association - the professional organization for swim coaches throughout the nation. Certifying coaches and offering many services for coaches’ education and career advancement.
One of the 4 competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is swam as the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m., 100 yds./m., and 200 yds./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
A team sign that is displayed at swim meets. Banners are usually made from nylon material and carry the Team Logo and possibly the name of a popular team sponsor. Some size restrictions are enforced at certain meets.
The starting sound from an electronic, computerized timing system.
The part of a freestyle distance race (400 meters or longer) when the swimmer has 2 lengths plus 5 yards to go. The starter fires a gun shot over the lane of the lead swimmer when swimmer is at the flags.
The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.
Blue & Gold Meet
A Canyons Aquatic Club internally ran meet intended for Age Group swimmers. The intent is not only to have our swimmers become acclimated to racing, but to also have fun.
The heat held during the finals session of a Prelims/Finals meet, which is slower than the swimmers participating in Big Finals. The Bonus Heat may refer to Consolation Finals or and extra heat in addition to Consolation finals.
The floor of the pool. Bottom depths are usually marked on the walls or sides of the pool.
One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is swam as the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m, 100 yds./m, and 200 yds./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed FLY) is swam as the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd./m, 100 yd./m, and 200 yd./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
The manual Timing System stopping device that records a back-up time in case the touch pad malfunctioned. The button is at the end of a wire, plugged into a deck terminal box. There are usually 3 buttons per lane. It is the timer’s responsibility to push the button as the swimmer finishes the race.
The latex or silicone covering worn on the head of swimmers.
A card that is either handed to the swimmer in the bull pen or given to the timer behind the lane. Cards usually list the swimmers name, seed time, event number, event description, and the lane and heat number the swimmer will swim in. Backup times are written on these cards. Each event has a separate card.
The meet held at the end of a season. Qualification times are usually necessary to enter meet.
The top 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals.
The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded meet. Sometimes referred to as positive check in, the swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
A method of seeding swimmers when they are participating in a prelims/finals event. The fastest 18 to 24 swimmers are seeded in the last three heats, with the fastest swimmers being in the inside lanes. See USA Swim rule book for exact method for seeding depending on the lanes in the pool.
A registered swim team that is a due paying member of USA Swimming and the local LSC.
A set of rules that have been officially published.
Code of Ethics
A Code of Conduct that both swimmers and coaches are required to sign at certain USA/LSC sponsored events. The Code is not strict and involves common sense and proper behavior.
A brand of automatic timing system used at swim meets.
End of season championship meets ran inside the Geographic committees. Usually one championship for short course and long course.
After the fastest 6 or 8 swimmers, the next 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Consolations are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.
Designated distance (length of pool) for swimming competition. Long Course = 50 meters
/ Short Course = 25 yards or 25 meters.
A Canyons ran short course RWB meet the weekend before Thanksgiving.
A brand of automatic timing system used at swim meets.
The date meet entries must be "postmarked" by, to be accepted by the meet host. Making the meet deadline does not guarantee acceptance into a meet since many meets are "full" weeks before the entry deadline.
The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an "authorized" USA Swimming member may be on the deck during a swim competition or practice.
Accepting entries into swimming events on the first day or later day of a meet.
Swimmers report to a bull pen or staging area and receive their lane and heat assignments for the events.
A swimmer’s performance is not counted because of a USA Swimming rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head.
Entering the water head first. Diving is not allowed during warmups except at the designated time, in specific lanes that are monitored by the swimmer’s coach.
A separate pool or a pool set off to the side of the competition pool. This pool has deeper water and diving boards/platforms. During a meet, this area may be designated as a warm- down pool with proper supervision.
NCAA member colleges and universities are assigned divisions to compete in, depending on the schools’ total enrollment.
Resistance created by an extra suit, body hair, or device as part of the training process.
Random selection by chance.
When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance they have "dropped their time".
The exercises and various strength programs swimmers do out of the water.
That part of the Code book (rule book) that deals with the "Administrative" Regulations of Competition.
Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other.
An Individual or Relay event list into a swim competition.
The host clubs designated person who is responsible for receiving, and making sure the entries have met the deadline. This person usually will find discrepancies in the meet entries and notify the entering club to correct any errors.
The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.
Entry Limit/Entry Cap
Each meet will usually have a limit of total swimmers they can accept, or a time limit they cannot exceed. Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed, and all other entries returned.
Timing system operated on DC current (battery). The timing system usually has touchpads in the water, junction boxes on the deck with hook up cables, buttons for backup timing, and a computer type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmers time.
Eligible to compete
The status of a member swimmer that means they are registered and have met all the requirements.
The items necessary to operate a swim practice or conduct a swim competition.
This is a label for a race over a given distance. An event equals one preliminary race with a final to be swum at another session, or 1 timed final.
When a swimmer flinches or leaves the starting block before the horn or gun. One false start will disqualify a swimmer or a relay team.
False Start Rope
A recall rope across the width of the racing pool for the purpose of stopping swimmers who were not aware of a false start. The rope is about 1/2 way on yard pools and about 50 feet from the starting end on meter pools.
Fastest to Slowest
A seeding method used on the longer events held at the end of a session. The fastest seeded swimmers participate in the first heats followed by the next fastest and so on. Often these events will alternate one girls heat and one boys heat until all swimmers have competed.
Money paid by swimmers for services. Practice fees, registration fee, USA membership fee, etc.
The international, rules making organization, for the sport of swimming.
The final race of each event.
The printed copy of the results of each race of a swim meet.
The monetary penalty assessed a swimmer or club when a swimmer does not achieve the necessary time required to swim in an event and cannot prove they have done the time previously.
The colored pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.
The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted.
One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Freestyle (nicknamed Free) is swam as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m, 100 yds./m, 200 yds./m, 400 m/500 yds. 800 m/1000 yds., 1500 m/1650 yds. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free)
The viewing area for spectators during the swimming competition.
The short and long-range targets for swimmers to aim for.
Glasses type devices worn by swimmers to keep their eyes from being irritated by the chlorine in the water.
Once of the six geographic committees in Southern California Swimming. Pacific, Orange, Eastern, Desert, Metro. Canyons is located in the Coastal Geographic Committee.
A reference manual published by teams/clubs and LSC's or other swimming organizations.
A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers’ times swam, after all heats of the event are completed.
A ribbon or prize given to the winner of a single heat at an age group swim meet.
The pre-meet printed listings of swimmer’s seed times in the various events at a swim meet. These sheets vary in accuracy, since the coaches submit swimmer’s times many weeks before the meet. Heat sheets are now available on the hosting team’s website and are used mainly to make sure the swimmer has been properly entered in all the events they signed up for. Parents enjoy looking at the seeding prior to the race plus swimmers can tell the order the events will be conducted and get a rough idea how long the meet sessions will last.
An award given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet. All meets do not offer high point awards; check the pre-meet information.
Doing something against the rules that is cause for disqualification in a race.
Individual Medley. A swimming event using all 4 of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race. The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. Equal distances must be swum of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yds., 200 yds./m, 400 yds./m.
USA Swimming Inc. offers "accident insurance coverage” which is automatic when swimmer, coach, official, pays their USS membership fee. Many restrictions apply so check with your club for detailed information.
A specific elapsed time for swimming or rest used during swim practice.
Type of meet that requires a club to request an invitation to attend the meet.
June Age Group Championship meet is a long course Age Group Championship meet that takes place in June.
An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team. The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall.
A USA National Championship meet for swimmers 18 years old or less. Qualification times are necessary. National Meets are conducted both short course (in April) and long course (in August).
A flotation device used by swimmers during practice.
The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim.
Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.
One length of the course. Sometimes may also mean down and back (2 lengths) of the course.
The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers” only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.
Meet entries from a club or individual that is received by the meet host after the entry deadline. These entries are usually not accepted and are returned to sender.
The part of a relay event swam by a single team member.
The extent of the competitive course from end to end.
A 50 meter pool.
Local Swim Committee. The local level administrative division of USA Swimming with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by USA Swim.
The command to take your starting position on the block.
The adult(s) who control the crowd and swimmer flow at a swim meet.
Awards given to the swimmers at selected meets. They vary in size and design and method of presentation.
A series of events held in one program.
The official in charge of the administration of the meet.
The slang term referring to the 1500 meter or the 1650 yard freestyle, both of which are slightly short of a mile.
National Age Group Time Standards - the list of "C" through "AAAA" times published each year.
USA senior or junior level meets conducted in March/April and August. See Senior or Junior Nationals.
A building constructed for the purpose of housing a swimming pool and related equipment.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
A short course time submitted to qualify for a long course meet, or vice versa.
A beginner or someone who does not have experience.
No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not swam that event before.
Memorial Day Meet
A Canyons ran long course RWB meet the weekend of Memorial Day.
The USA Swimming certified, adult volunteers, who operate the many facets of a swim competition.
The USA sanctioned long course swim meet held the year of the Olympic Games to decide what swimmers will represent the USA on our Olympic Team. Qualification times are faster than Senior Nationals.
Official Time. The swimmers event time recorded to one hundredth of a second (.01).
Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Competition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter.
Large 3/4 length fur lined coats worn by swimmers. Usually are in team colors with logo or team name.
The large clocks with highly visible numbers positioned at the ends or sides of a swimming pool so the swimmers can read their times during warmups or swim practice.
Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmer’s hands during swim practice.
Positive Check In
The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded or pre seeded meet. The swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
The scheduled workouts a swimmer attends with their swim team/club.
Session of a Prelims/Finals meet in which the qualification heats are conducted.
Type of meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning session. The fastest 6 or 8 (Championship Heat) swimmers and the next fastest 6 or 8 swimmers (Consolation Heat) return in the evening to compete in the Finals. A swimmer who has qualified in the Consolation Finals may not place in the Championship Finals even if their finals time would place them so. The converse also applies.
A meet conducted without a bull pen in which a swimmer knows what lane and heat they are in by looking at the Meet heat sheet or posted meet program.
Proof of Time
An official meet result or other accepted form. Swimmers/Coaches must supply proof of time with some meet entries, and other meets it is not required unless a swimmer misses a cut of time at the meet.
This booklet lists the swimmers in a meet based on fastest to slowest in each event.
A flotation device used for pulling by swimmers in practice.
Published times necessary to enter certain meets, or the times necessary to achieve a specific category of swimmer.
A room pool side for the swimmers to relax before they compete in finals.
The head official at a swim meet in charge of all "Wet Side" administration and decisions.
Enrolled and paid as a member of USA Swimming and the LSC – Southern California Swimming.
A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a relay team each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, one swimmer swims Breaststroke, one swimmer swims Butterfly, one swimmer swims Freestyle, in that order. 2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle.
A designated area (such as a gymnasium) that is set aside for swimmers to rest during a meet.
Awards in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors, given at certain swim meets.
A Red, White, and Blue meet is a non-championship Age Group meet. Anyone can attend these meets as long as the Red, White, Blue, SCS motivational time standards are meet. Some of these meets may have a time cap.
A permit issued by an LSC to a USA Swimming registered team to conduct an event or meet.
The amount paid by a USA Swimming registered team to an LSC for issuing a sanction.
To withdraw from an event after having declared an intention to participate. Some meets have scratch deadlines and specific scratch rules, and if not followed, swimmer can be disqualified from remaining events.
Assign the swimmers heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.
Seeding, Deck Seeding
Swimmers are called to report to the Clerk of the Course. After scratches are determined, the event is seeded. Pre-Seeding - swimmers are arranged in heats according to submitted times, usually a day prior to the meet.
Any swimmer over the age of 14.
A meet that is for senior level swimmers and is not divided into age groups. Qualification times are usually necessary and will vary depending on the level of the meet.
A USA National Championship swim meet for swimmers achieving qualifying times. National Meets are conducted both short course (in April) and long course (in August).
Portion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group.
The process of removing all arms, legs, and exposed torso hair, to decrease the "drag" or resistance of the body moving through the water. Only recommended for certain senior swimmers.
A 25 yard or 25-meter pool.
USA Swimming Inc. newsletter that is mailed bi-monthly to members.
Southern California Swimming(SCS)
The Local Swim Committee(LSC) Canyons is located in. SCS is the largest by participation LSC in USA Swimming. SCS covers Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties as a well as Clark County, Nevada.
A portion of an event, shorter than the total distance that is timed.
Spring Junior Olympics
A short course Age Group Championship. The highest level of short course Age Group competition in SCS. This meet usually occurs in March at one site.
Separate portions of a dryland or weight circuit.
The beginning of a race. The dive used to begin a race.
The official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.
Water that has no current caused by a filter system or no waves caused by swimmers.
The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.
The command given by the Starter or Referee to have the swimmers step off the blocks. Usually this command is a good indication everything is not right for the race to start.
There are 4 competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle.
The official positioned at the side of the pool, walking the length of the course as the swimmer’s race. If the Stroke Judge sees something illegal, they report to the referee and the swimmer may be disqualified.
Times used to enter swimmers in meets. These times must have been achieved by the swimmer at previous meets.
The racing uniform worn by the swimmer, in the water, during competition.
Summer Junior Olympics
A long course Age Group Championship. The highest level of long course Age Group competition in SCS. This meet occurs at the end of July in four locations.
In a Prelims/Finals type competition, a race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals or an alternate, otherwise ties stand.
The resting phase of a senior swimmer at the end of the season before the championship meet.
USA Swimming registered club that has the right to compete for points.
The statistics a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmer in the club’s history for each age group/each event.
Competition in which only heats are swum, and final placing is determined by those times.
A meet with a time cap have events that swimmers cannot be faster than what is dictated.
The volunteers sitting behind the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for getting watch times on events and activating the backup buttons for the timing system.
A time set by a meet, LSC, or USA Swimming that a swimmer must achieve for qualification or recognition.
An event or series of events where a swimmer may achieve or better a required time standard.
A list of times compiled by the LSC or USA Swimming that recognizes the top number of swimmers (boys & girls) in each event and distance.
To reach the touchpad and finish first in a close race.
The removable plates (on the end of pools) that are connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to register an official time in a race.
The act of leaving one club or LSC and going to another. Usually 120 days of unattached competition is required before swimmer can represent another USA Swimming club.
Type of award given to teams and swimmers at certain meets.
An athlete member who competes but does not represent a club or team until the 120 days have passed since representing another team.
The various parts of clothing a swimmer wears at a meet. (Parka, Warm up outfit, swim bag, bathing suits, cap, goggles, T-shirts, etc.)
The time displayed on a read-out board or read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race. After the time has been checked, it will become the official time.
USA Swimming Inc.
The governing body of USA swimming.
USA Swim Number
A 14-digit identification assigned to a swimmer after they have registered and paid their annual dues. The swimmers date of birth, then first three letters of swimmers first name, middle initial, then last four letters of last name.
The hand-held device used by timers and coaches for timing a swimmer’s races and taking splits.
The sound a starter/referee makes to signal for quiet before they give the command to start the race.
Winter Age Group Championship is a short course Age Group Championship meet that takes place in December.
The distance a swimmer races or swims in practice. Total yardage can be calculated for each practice session.
The country is divided up into 4 major zones: Eastern - Southern - Central - Western. At the end of the long course season (in August) the Zone Administration sponsors a championship age group meet.