Regular Season Meets

Swimming is a sport of personal achievement and team competition. It is not required to compete however it is highly encouraged. Shades Cliff will compete in up to six regular season dual meets.  These meets are held on Tuesday nights and usually begin at 5:00 pm.  Warm ups for the swimmers take place before the meet, usually at 4:00 or 4:30 pm depending on if it is a home or away meet (respectively).  The meet schedule is posted at the pool and on the events calendar.

In regular season meets, each child is allowed to swim only 3 of the 4 competition strokes and a maximum of 2 relays.  Competition stroke choices are the coaching staff’s decision; we may not enter your swimmer in an event if they cannot compete in the event legally or in a timely manner.  The Meet Referee can register a complaint against the coaches if swimmers display a lack of swimming skill in a competitive event.   The coaches will make the final decision to place your child in new strokes to develop their skills (and it may also help the team).

Non-regular Season Meets

There are a few additional meets offered on weekends each summer.  These vary by summer, but usually there is a Guppy Meet (for swimmers aged 10 and under and have times under the Senior County qualifying times), an Invitational Meet (which offers all events at Senior County), and Senior County Championships.  All of these meets require an additional fee and early registration.  These are also posted at the pool and emails will be sent as they get closer.


Your swimmer will need a competition swim suit, a swim cap, and goggles.  Swim caps will be provided before the first meet of the season.  Team suits (regular and technical) are available for order here from Swim and Tri Supply. The team suit is not required but highly encouraged as we want a uniform team look among the athletes. We will be using the same suit as last year. Also available is a team towel, goggles, shorts, hats, and wind breaker. It is up to the parent or guardian to ensure the suit is ordered with enough time for arrival before competition. There will be two try on days at the pool – April 10th and 17th from 8:30am to 10am.

General Meet Information

Swim meets usually last 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the teams present.  Dual meet events always follow the same order: Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly and Relays.  (Relays may be moved to the beginning instead of the end.)  Swimmers compete in age groups 6 & under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and Seniors (15-18).

A meet “Heat Sheet” is provided by the home team and displays the meet order and the heats and lanes each swimmer will compete in. (Heat sheets can normally be purchased for a few dollars.) 6 & under, 7-8 and 9-10 year olds are usually called to the Clerk of Course before they compete. (It is your job as the parent to know where the clerk of course is, and to listen for the call for your child’s event.) The clerk of course organizes the swimmers into their heats and then into their own lanes as indicated by the heat sheet.  Swimmers 11 and older are sometimes called to the clerk of course, but may be expected to look up their own heat and lane in the Heat Sheet and be behind the starting blocks at the right time.

Individual events in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke and Butterfly are swum in distances depending on a child’s age.  All 8 and under swimmers swim one length of the pool (25 meters or yards).  All 9 and older swimmers swim two lengths of the pool (50 meters or yards).  The same rule applies to relays.


Relays are a very fun team aspect of swim competition.  Each relay team consists of four swimmers who compete together as a team.  Relays are either Freestyle (where each swimmer swims freestyle) or Medley (where each swimmer swims a different stroke).  Medley relay order is Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle.  The swimmers leave the wall as soon as their teammate in the water touches the wall.

Relay participation is never, ever guaranteed.  Relays always require that each swimmer on the relay team is in attendance and willing to swim.  The coaches do their best to put as many swimmers on relays as possible depending on availability. Often parents leave the meet before relays without realizing that by leaving early they are depriving other swimmers the opportunity to participate on a relay team; please double-check before leaving early! Older swimmers (ages 9 and up) are often required to organize their own relays and be behind the block at the correct starting time.

New Parent Orientation
For parents new to the sport, we will have an orientation day on Sunday May 16 at 8:30am at the pool. We will spend about 60 mins walking through both a swim and dive meet to answer all your questions so it is less confusing and more enjoyable for you and your athlete.

Senior County Championships

Senior County is the championship meet for the JSSC teams.  Each swimmer must achieve certain times to be eligible to compete in Senior County.  These standards are listed in the Time Standards link.  Senior County allows each individual swimmer to swim 6 events: all four regular strokes, the 100 yard IM, and an additional freestyle event (for 8 & unders, the 50 Freestyle, and for 9 & over, the 100 Freestyle).  To achieve times in the IM and longer Freestyle events, your child must either have the times from competing previously, achieve the times during a time trial at practice, or achieve the times during the summer Invitational Meet (a non-regular season meet).