What are swim meets?
Swim Meets are the backbone of any summer swimming
season. They are a chance for swimmers of virtually all abilities
to display the skills and strokes they refine all season in
practices. They are a fun and relatively relaxed opportunity
to compete against other children of the same age and abilities.
There are a number of different swim meets and swim meet formats
that different clubs across BC feature throughout the Summer
A/B Swim Meet
This is the most common form of swim meet in Summer Swimming.
The Port Moody Aquarians will attend A/B swim meets in Coquitlam,
Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, several out of regions meets,
as well as hosting our own A/B Meet. These meets take place
on Saturday and Sunday and they run from early morning to
mid/late afternoon. Swimmers at these meets range from 5
to about 20 years old and are separated into Divisions by
age (Division 1 = youngest to Division 8 = oldest).
Swimmers of many different ability levels are encouraged to participate
in these meets, including new swimmers. However, the ability
to swim at least 2 lengths of at least 2 of the strokes
is often a good guideline for those who are interested in
– Development Meets are geared towards the new and
younger swimmers. There are a few of these meets throughout
the season. The Aquarians will be attending development meets for clubs within our region.
These meets are often held during
the evening on a Friday or Wednesday night. They are open
to those swimmers who do not yet have the ability to swim
2 lengths of the pool, those who are new to competing and
those who do not have the skills in all the strokes. Events
include 25-Meter Races of all 4 strokes, as well as the
option of doing 50-Meter races of their better strokes.
– Every year, towards the end of the swimming season.
The 5 clubs of our region (PMA, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam,
Burnaby and Burnaby Mountain) compete in the Regional Championships.
This serves as the qualifying meet for the Provincial Championships,
as well as the final meet of the season for those that do
not qualify for Provincials. This meet is run as an A/B
Meet, meaning that there are no 25-Meter events. The top
three swimmers in each individual event, and top two teams in relay events qualify for the Provincial
championships in late August.
Swimmers must have legally completed a race (no DQ) in at least one stroke during the season are able to attend this meet.
At the coaches discretion, swimmers who have only competed in a 25m event may be entered in a 50m event at Regionals.
Development swimmers are eligible to attend this meet.
It is not uncommon for PMA to have a Div 1 relay team which includes Development swimmers qualify for Provincials,
so we try to get any who have improved enough during the season to attend this meet.
– At the very end of the season there is the Provincial
Championships meet. This meet features Summer Swimmers from
around the Province who have qualified for the meet within
their individual regions. This meet is 3 days instead of
the usual two, to account for the larger amount of swimmers.
It is held at different venues through BC every year.
What are the Time Trials?
At the beginning of the season, we run a mini-swim meet for only our club.
Establish a beginning of the season time for swimmers so that they can see how much they’ve improved over the summer
Introduce swim meets to new swimmers so that they know what to expect at the meets which run through the summer
Give parents a taste of the different jobs that are required to run a swim meet in an informal way, so that they are more comfortable signing up for duties through the season
Give all the kids a chance to swim some races in a fun, noncompetitive format
What to bring...
Team or Black bathing suit. Some swimmers like to bring multiple suits and get changed into a dry suit between races, but time trials is a very quick meet, since only our team is there. Kids are usually in the water about every 20 minutes, so there isn’t really a need to change into a dry suit
Lots of towels. Try to bring at least 4, so that swimmers have a dry towel after each race
Goggles and swim cap
Flip flops and warm clothes to pull on between races. Lots of kids pull on a t-shirt and then fleece sweatshirt and bottoms between races. Even if it's warm out that night, a t-shirt is a good idea to reduce the risk of sunburn
What to expect...
Swimmers will be grouped together by age and ability level. The events will be listed on the wall by the showers
One at a time, each event will be announced over the loud speakers and swimmers will be asked to go to the "Clerk of the Course". This is the area where they will be asked to sit on some benches with the other swimmers that they will be racing with
The Marshall and Clerk will organize the kids and check to make sure that they have goggles
When it is their turn to race, swimmers will go to the timers for the lane that they have been assigned. The timer will double check that their name is correct, help them put their towels in the basket behind the chairs and help them get in position to start
Some new swimmers will be swimming one length of the pool, so they will then walk around to the change room side of the pool and get ready
The starter will tell them to “take their marks” and fire the electronic starter which will beep
After their race, the swimmers must go and see their coaches for a quick debrief and then you can shower them with praise over their outstanding efforts!
How do I sign up for Swim Meets?
Meet sign up starts from the Meets & Results Page where information is available about each meet. There is a link to the Meet Entry page for each meet which is open.
Detailed instructions can be found in this document: How To Sign Up for Meets
My child doesn't swim very well. Why would they want to compete?
Swim meets are fun, great exercise, and help build confidence!
The swimmers get to race, cheer their teammates on, and play games in between events.
Children are grouped with other swimmers who are of similar ability, which allows for a positive swim experience.
Competitions allow swimmers to achieve their personal bests and measure how much they have improved.
We encourage swimmers to compare to their last best time rather than to other swimmers.
Do I have to attend both days of a swim meet?
It is highly encouraged for swimmers to attend both days of a swim meet. Even though they compete individually, it is at the swim meets where we come together as a Team - hanging out playing games between races and cheering each other on.
The coaches also want to ensure swimmers have the opportunity to race each of the strokes throughout the season - which is more difficult to do when only attending one day.
If you have conflicts which prevent you from attending both days or a full day, discuss with your coach about attending only one day or other options that may be available.
What strokes do swimmers compete in?
Front crawl (freestyle), backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly, and individual medley (all 4 strokes). There are also team relays for freestyle and medley.
What do I need to bring to a swim meet?
Keep in mind that swim meets run rain or shine so be prepared.
- Goggles (at least 2 in case one breaks)
- PMA swim cap
- Flip flops or footwear that is easy to slip on/off
- Water bottle
- Food and snacks
- Warm clothes
- Long robe/parka/jacket
- Money for the concession if needed
- Money for a program if needed
- Games (cards, books, etc.) to play while waiting for your events
- Sunscreen and hat
- Folding chairs
- Coolers (if needed)
- Blankets or Sleeping Bag (if needed)
- Tarps (if raining)
- We have large PMA tents but many families also bring along small pop-up tents.
If you have a truck or large Crossover/SUV/Van, we are always in need of volunteers to bring the club tents to the meets.
Are parents expected to volunteer?
Yes. Swim meets are run by parents so each parent is expected to sign up for a volunteer shift at the swim meets your child is competing in. You are there anyway so you may as well help out. The volunteer shifts are usually short (2 hours or so). If you have further questions about this, please ask.
At our home meet at the end of June/early July, the volunteer help needed is much greater than at any other meet all season. We will be asking all parents to come and help out - even if your child will not be competing. Shifts will be assigned if there are not enough people signing up ahead of time.
Why go to swim meet warm ups?
At every swim meet PMA is designated a lane or two at specific times to warm up in.
The warm up times are usually between 6:15 and 7:30 am each morning of the meet.
Each group of swimmers will be assigned a time to warm up and those times will be emailed to swimmers signed up for the meet.
The most important reason to attend warm ups it that no two pools are set up the same way. They may seem to look alike,
but there are many differences. The starting blocks will be different. Some will be higher than others, some will have less traction than
others and some may not allow a swimmer to place their hands in the same position as other blocks.
The walls of the pool will be different as well. A common complaint is "the walls are slippery".
The clarity of the water also seems to change from pool to pool.
Children often come out of the pool and claim that they couldn't see the walls very well.
The backstroke flags at each pool have the potential to be different.
The swimmers will not be aware of any of those things that have the potential to change their races dramatically if they do not get in their warm ups. Warm ups are used more for familiarizing yourself with the pool than actually preparing your muscles for the race.
This is also when the coaches take a head count, start preparing for relays as well as have a few minutes to
talk to each of them before the racing starts.
They are also required to scratch no-shows during warm ups to make room for deck entries into those heats.
We don't plan the warm up times to be so early to be mean.
It is in the best interest of your swimmer(s) to make it to the warm ups at each meet.
It will only help their swims.
How do I Use Hy-Tek Team Stats Online?
(BCSSA Hy-Tek Results)
The BCSSA (BC Summer Swimming Association) offers access to Hy-Tek's Team Stats Online. Through this system you can access individual swimmers times for the season as well as provincial and
regional rankings. Instructions for using the information you will find using this link are below:
BCSSA Hy-Tek Results
For individual swimmer times follow these steps:
Click on the ATHLETES box second from left
- Choose the first letter of the last name.
- Choose Female or Male check box
- There may be more than one page of any letter and you may have to use the "Go to page" dropdown at the far right.
Click on the blue highlighted "Times" link on the left
- From the "Course" drop down menu on the left just above all the even boxes choose SCM for Short Course (25) Metres
- Choose an event and the times for this season will appear
- You can choose to show 1,2,...5 fastest times for each event, or all times for the season
For Provincial or Regional Rankings
Choose RANK box, third from left
- From "Course" drop down menu choose SCM for Short Course (25) Metres
- From "Division" drop down menu pick the Division
- For Provincial Rankings do not choose anything in the "Region" drop down menu. For Regional Rankings choose Simon Fraser Region
- Choose Female or Male check box
- Choose the event and a the rankings will appear. You may have to scroll through pages using the "Go to page" drop down menu on the far right.
What division do I swim in?
The division you compete in is based on your age at the start of the season.
You can look these up in the
BCSSA Swimming Age Locator
available from the BCSSA each year.
* Annual PMA Away Meet - bring your tent and your talent!!