Swim Meets: An Advanced Guide

Okay, you've been to a swim meet and you have some more in-depth questions.

Type of Swim Meets

USA Swimming is provides some amazing racing experiences for all swimmers at all ability levels. This is both a great thing and can make signing up for the right meets more difficult. Here are some of the common meets our team attends.

Summer League Meets

Summer league meets are team meets hosted by one of our California Gold sister sites. These meets are hosted by us, California Gold Lodi, and California Gold Oakdale and bring in a few neighboring teams from the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Sacramento area. These are quick, no pressure meets that help get our new swimmers early racing experience. These meets happen in June and July.

C/B/A or B/A Meets

CBA or BA or BB meets are what are known as "Age Group Meets". These are meets that do not have time standards and are open to all swimmers at all skill levels and ages. Swimmers are broken up into age groups, 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, and 13 and up and sometimes also by time standards. These are the meets that make up the bulk of our schedule and are the meets that all swimmers start with. USA swimming has a "4 hour rule" which says a swimmers first event and last event should be within 4 hours of each other. Most meets end before 1:30pm.

Senior Meets

Once a swimmer turns thirteen they are encouraged to start attending some senior meets with the Senior team (13 and up). These meets are open to swimmers thirteen years and older. Some have time standard requirements. These meets are different than "Age Group" meets because swimmers are not "grouped by age". Instead, they are seeded by times. This means a 17 year old and a 14 year old who have the same times will race next to each other. These meets run much faster than age group meets and are usually done by noon.

Qualifier Meets

Qualifier meets are championship meets at the end of a season. Spring Championships runs in late March-early April. Summer Championships are June and July. And Winter Championships are in Late November and Early December. There are a few different Qualifier Meets we attend. Here's a quick run down of our qualifier meets!

Junior Olympic Championships

  • Dates: March and July
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • 14 and Under Meet
  • This is the first qualifier meet many of our swimmers attend. It is an age group championship meet for only Pacific teams (or Sierra Nevada teams for our swimmers registered with California Gold) and events are broken into age brackets. Time standards for this meet are updated annually so be sure to check Pacific Swimming's time standards page each year with the new requirements.

Far Western Championships

  • Dates: April and July
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • Age Group Meet
  • Far Westerns is one of the largest and most competitive age group meets on the West coast. This is the fastest meet where swimmers are still broken into age group brackets. It's not uncommon to see swimmers and teams attending from all over the country, including teams from Mexico and Canada. It's a great meet with fast time standards! Times update each year so check Pacific Swimming's time standards page each year with the new requirements.

Far Western Championships

  • Dates: April and July
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • Age Group Meet
  • Far Westerns is one of the largest and most competitive age group meets on the West coast. This is the fastest meet where swimmers are still broken into age group brackets. It's not uncommon to see swimmers and teams attending from all over the country, including teams from Mexico and Canada. It's a great meet with fast time standards! Times update each year so check Pacific Swimming's time standards page each year with the new requirements.

Sectionals Championships

  • Dates: team usually attends June
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • Senior Meet
  • This is the first Senior championship our swimmers usually attend. Speak with Coach Clay for more information about this meet.

Futures Championships

  • Dates: August
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • Senior Meet
  • The end of summer championship meet for our fastest senior athletes. This meet has fast time standards. Speak with Coach Clay for more information about this meet.

Jr. Nationals and Nationals

  • Dates: Summer and Winter
  • Time Standards: Updated Annually.
  • Senior Meet
  • Speak with Coach Clay for more information about this meet.