Meet Tips For Parents

Swim meets are an exciting experience, but can also be hectic or confusing to new families. Following are some tips to ensure everyone has a friendly, fun time to go along with competitive aspects of swimming.

Inclement Weather and Emergency Communications
For 2023, we will use the Team Snap app for all weather-related and emergency communications. This will include notifications about practice cancellations or meet delays/cancellations. The Remind app will send push notifications via an app or text messages when there are updates for the team. There are two ways to set up Remind:

Meet Signups:
Before each meet, we will email a Google Form enabling families to sign up and indicate swimmer interest/capability in particular events and/or relays.

Pay special attention to the due date in this email. Coaches need time to prepare meet entries and assemble the relays, so we need all swimmers’ information at the same time.

If you realize your child cannot attend a meet after confirming (due to illness, etc.), please contact Coach Taylor ( immediately to ensure that we can re-slot the relays for the meet.

Please look for the heat sheet via email prior to the meet. If you believe there are errors, please contact Coach Taylor (, but note that the coaches decisions on who swims what events are final.

Weekday Meets: Timing / When To Be There:
Swimmers need to be at weeknight meets at least 15 minutes before warmups.

  • Warmups = 4:45 pm (teams typically warmup at the same time)
  • Meet start time = 6:00 pm promptly

All families should try to be there earlier to set up the team camp and get their children ready to swim. Early arrival is also advised because parking can be tough at some of the pools, including ours.

Saturday Meets: Timing / When To Be There:
Swimmers need to be at weekend meets at least 15 minutes before warmups.

  • Warmups = 8:00 am (teams typically warmup at the same time)
  • Meet start time = 9:00 am promptly

All families should try to be there earlier to set up the team camp and get their children ready to swim. Early arrival is also advised because parking can be tough at some of the pools, including ours.

Setting Up Camp:
We will usually try and set up a camp for swimmers and families on the outskirts of the pool, so we can all be together. Look for a banner and people you know.

If you are new to swim meets, you might find it more relaxing to hang out away from the pool and walk up to see specific races and take pictures. It also helps to have everyone in a group, so we can watch the swimmers together while parents are volunteering.

A concession stand will be set up at home meets and, in addition to food, heat sheets will be available for purchase. All of these purchases financially benefit the team. Concessions at away meets will vary based on the club hosting the meet.

When you get to the pool, please help your child with their suit, goggles, and cap (if needed) and bring them over to the coaches. The coaches begin stretches and warm-ups in the water.

Parents can bring a sharpie to write down swimmers’ events on their arms. Many swimmers find it helpful to keep track of events when parents write Event # / Heat # / Lane # on their arm. Especially with younger swimmers, it is helpful for parents to write their child’s last name on their back/shoulder blade.

Race Time:
Parents should listen and look to see when their swimmers need to be brought to the bullpen. Bullpen volunteers will organize the swimmers into heats and lanes. The swimmers will be taken to the blocks by a bullpen runner. Only swimmers, timers, coaches, and officials should be in the blocks area. 

Parents can cheer from the sidelines of the pool and should ensure to not impact the view of a meet official or coach. Officials wear white shirts and blue shorts to differentiate them from the other parents.

To protect our athletes, no cameras, cell phones cameras or other forms of recording devices are permitted behind the blocks at any times. 

In addition, parents should refrain from using flash photography until after the start of the race to prevent any interference with the starting official.

If your child is disqualified, the official will raise their hand and write on their card why they were DQd.

Do not approach an official during a meet for an interpretation. Parents can approach coaches to discuss a DQ after the meet. They should not interfere with coaches or officials during the meet.

Coaches will work with the swimmers following a meet to understand why they were DQ’d and provide guidance for improvement.

NOTE: Swimmers may be disqualified at the first meet as they are just learning the strokes, starts, turns, etc.

Race and Meet Results:
Usually, but not always, race results are posted somewhere near the scorer’s table (this will vary based on the pool — but look for white 8-1/2 x 11 printouts on a wall somewhere).

Sometimes, but not always, race results are available in the Meet Mobile app (info and download here). Note: this app is not created or sponsored by SSCL or the Bexley Marlins, it may have a fee and all meet results may not appear within it.

Ribbons and recognition:
As you may know, for regular SSCL league meets, ribbons for 1st-16th place are awarded to swimmers. These are usually available to swimmers a day or two after a meet, although sometimes there are delays.

We are also awarding “Goalbreakers” tags to recognize when all swimmers beat their personal best times for the summer season. These are small plastic tags that attach to a key ring and can be hooked to a swimmer’s bag, keys, lanyard, etc. Each swimmer will receive one tag when they swim an event faster than their seed/best time. A key ring will be included with the first Goalbreaker of the season. The tags are placed in small envelopes that also display labels showing the events and time drops achieved by the swimmer. 

All of these awards are sorted by swimmer into the folders in the large boxes that can typically be found on the upper deck during and after swim practice. Please encourage your children to pick up their awards so that our folders do not get overcrowded.

Participation ribbons and Goalbreakers take some extra time to produce, so your swimmers can generally expect to receive them within one week of a meet.

If you have any questions about awards throughout the season, please send an email to and we will attend to them as soon as we can.

Child Safety:
Please keep an eye on your swimmers at the pool. It is a good idea to accompany your children to the snack bar and the restrooms. We encourage parents not to allow their children to wander off to the adjacent playgrounds as these are very public places without supervision. Wandering also makes it difficult to find children before their races. If a child misses their event, there is no opportunity to race again.

Food, fun, and games:
Drink lots of fluids and try not to let the kids overeat right before they swim. Card games, electronic games, checkers, etc. are all wonderful between-race activities.

Leaving / End Of The Meet:
Swimmers and their families may leave the meet after the swimmer’s last race (unless the parent is volunteering!). But we ask that the swimmer check in with their coach to ensure they have not been added to a relay. Because of absent swimmers, coaches may add your swimmer to a relay — and no one wants to let down their relay team!

Checklist: Things to bring to every swim meet!
Ohio weather means that meets can be hot, cold, or somewhere in-between. They can last 3-4 hours and swimmers will have warmups followed by races throughout. Bring plenty of everything to ensure your swimmer is ready for fun and success.

  • Marlins spirit and good sportsmanship!
  • Swimsuit (and maybe a spare)
  • Goggles (an extra pair is always a good idea)
  • Swim cap or caps
  • Towels (more than one is always a good idea)
  • Lots of bottled water or hydrating sports drink (avoid soda)
  • Healthy Snacks (Healthy snacks are fruit, PB&J sandwiches, and veggies)
  • Singles/cash for concessions and heat sheets
  • Family blankets or sports chairs
  • Sunscreen
  • Jackets or umbrella to keep dry
  • Sweatshirts to stay warm
  • Games, cards, toys, and books
  • Sharpie (black or “Marlins” blue)