Running a Meet

Every team runs meets differently. If you’ve never run a meet or hosted a meet before, here are some tips to help keep your meets organized and running smoothly.

Pool Space

•       Reserve pool space as early as you can in the year.

•       Contact your club sports supervisor to set up the times.

»      *Be aware of varsity sports schedules, as club sports may not allow you to have a meet on the same day as a varsity game for parking or other conflicting issues.

•       Decide if it’s a prelims/finals or timed finals meet and reserve pool space for appropriate hours.

•       Check the USMS list of certified pools to make sure your pool is certified to host CCS recognized events. If not, fill out the certification form as soon as possible.

College Club Swimming Recognition

•       If you would like the times to count towards the CCS database, which will allow swimmers to qualify for Nationals, the meet must be recognized by CCS.

•       Submit the event to the CCS calendar with these requirements:

»      The event must follow USMS rules for starts, strokes and relays.

»      The pool must be on the USMS certified pool list.

»      The event must have one person on deck acting as the starter and/or referee.

»      The event must use automatic timing or have a person in every lane for manual timing.

•       If you’re a registered CCS club and your school is requiring insurance for the event, you may request a certificate of insurance for the recognized meet.

•       For help getting the meet on the calendar, see the Submit an Event to the Calendar

Meet Packet

•       Make the meet packet

»      Include order of events, format, warm-up and meet start times, entry fees, contact info, etc.

»      If you’re including a link to entry pdfs, make sure the link works.

»      When sending out the meet info, it may be a good idea to include a campus map.

USMS Sanction

•       On top of getting CCS recognized, you may also choose to get a USMS sanction or recognition. This is independent of the CCS recognition.

•       If opening your event up to local Masters Swimmers is something you want to do, make sure to read up on the USMS sanctioning process.

»      Then, contact USMS to get it on the Masters Swimming calendar of events.

»      Fill out the sanction requires form.


»      Be sure to attach the meet info packet (make sure to switch all dates & contact info if you use the template from previous years!)

»      When you register the meet, start spreading the word to local Master’s teams-notify them well in advance

»      Keep an updated contact list of local teams handy

»      Make sure the Master’s swimmers include their registration # so their times will be entered in the USMS database

»      Print out Top Times forms for them

»      Email your region’s Sanctions Chair if you feel you need help or want to move the process along

•       Be aware of any fees

•       Contact any vendors you want to have at the meet and give them all the info


Depending on how the event is structured, you have a few options for officials.

•       USMS Officials

»      Contact the local USMS team or USMS LMSC to get information about local officials who can volunteer.

•       CSOA Officials

»      Find more information about CSOA here or contact CCS

•       No certified officials

»      This is not recommended. However, you could just have a designated coach, parent, staff member or swimmers serve as your starter and/or referee.

Event Promotion

•       Make flyers, posters, social media posts- the more participants/teams, the more profitable the meet.

•       Use the CCS club listing to find clubs around you and inform them about your upcoming event.


•       If you want/need timers, contact local high school volunteer groups (NHS, Key Club, athletic teams) or other Club Sports. Support each other!

»      If you are working with high school students, offer them community service hours as some high schools may require this for graduation.

»      Ask them to bring the forms, if applicable.

•       Make sure you have someone (team volunteer, parents, friends, officers etc.) to run the score table well in advance.

»      They MUST know how to run Team Manager/Meet Manager and the scoreboard.

Collect Entries

•       HIGHLY RECOMMEND having them sent to the team email - keeps it more organized.

»      Be aware some Masters swimmers may register by mail-be sure to check your club sports mailbox until the last minute.

•       Send out psych sheets a few days before day of the meet.

•       Meet entry fees can be sent by check, by card over the phone, or cash day of the meet.


Have the captains (or designated officers) send out a meet sign-up sheet NO LATER than 2 weeks before the meet to your team. Meet entries should be done a week before the meet to leave time for sending out the psych/heat sheets to teams.

Day before the meet


•       Have the aquatics director bring the timing system down to the pool to ensure everything (cables, connectors, extension cords, printer, bag with stopwatches/clipboards/pens) is accounted for.

»      Know who the go-to university staff on site is the day of the meet if anything comes up.

»      Make sure everything is charged!!

»      Make sure the printer has ink!

»      Print out heat sheets and lane sheets.

•       Get food/refreshments for the officials (FEED & CAFFEINATE THEM).

•       Bring all banners, posters to the pool deck so you don’t have to worry about them the day of.

Day of the meet

•       Get to the pool 30-60 minutes early for admin set-up.

•       Have officers help set up chairs/risers for teams/spectators.

•       Print heat sheets and tape them around the pool.

»      Changes will be made last minute-just keep president’s updated if you’re not printing more heat sheets.

»      Allocate space to post results throughout the meet.

•       Set aside the last 15-10 minutes of warm up for putting in the touchpads and testing the system.

•       Play the National Anthem before finals or at the start of the meet if timed finals.

After the meet

•       Send out the results in Team Manager form and pdf to the teams that attended.

•       Send zipped folder of hy-tek results to no later than 7 days after the meet for posting.

•       Follow up with officials for any feedback and payment confirmation.

•       Post the results to the team website.

•       Email USMS Top Times contact results, if applicable.

Problems are bound to come up. Calmly think about how to handle the situation, things happen and many other club teams know this—things don’t always go according to plan.