Entering a competition
Each competition will be classed as either an official or an unofficial meet. Official meet are required to follow the FINA rules and Swimming Australia guidelines. Official meets require Swimming Australia Technical Officials present to enforce these rules.
Results of each race at an official meet a swimmer competes in will be placed on the national swimming database. The database is a fantastic resource for all swimmers as it allows swimmers to see their improvement across each event.
Meet entries will automatically include an entry time. A swimmers fastest swim for the selected event will be retrieved from the database and used as the entry time. A swimmer who is entering an event for the first time has no entry time on the database, they will be entered without time.
After entries have closed, the host will publish the meet program and timeline. The program lists detail the heat and lane each swimmer is in for each of their events. The timeline is an estimation on what time each event is held. It is important to note competitions can run faster or slower than the timeline and this will affect when a swimmers’ race is run.
It is important swimmers look at the program and the timeline before the day of the meet to ensure they know what time their races will be swum, what heat and lane they will be swimming in. This information is not available at the pool on the day.
On the day of the Competition
An important part of being able to swim fast on race day is ensuring swimmers have enough fuel. It is important swimmers are eating and drinking water between races. Very often food and drink will not be available to purchase at the pool. Swimmers will need to bring their own food and drink to the pool.
Prior to racing swimmers will need to warm up. A warm up assists a swimmer to improve their performance by getting their body ready for fast swimming. Swimmers will need to warm up 45 – 90 minutes before their race. Warm up time changes depending on the swimmers age and which events they are swimming in. Swimmers and coaches use the race timeline to work out what time to start warming up.
If a competition or a specific event requires qualifying times, swimmers will only be able to enter the events they have qualified for.
A swimmers fastest swim for the selected event will be retrieved from the database and confirmed with the qualifying times.
If the swimmer’s best time is slower than the qualifying times their entry will not be accepted.
State and National level meets have qualifying times in place to ensure that the meet has a minimum standard in place for all swimmers competing.
Swimmers are required to marshal at least three events before each of their races. Each meet will display the events they are marshalling on a board. Some meets will announce the events they are marshalling. If a swimmer doesn’t marshal in time they may not be able to swim in the event.
A factor that influences a swimmer’s performance is having a race plan for each event. It is important the swimmer talks to their coach prior to each event to discuss their plan. After the race, the swimmer should talk to their coach to evaluate the success of the plan. This process is an important part of a swimmer’s process as it assists them to improve from race to race.