Iowa City Eelsswim club

swim club

The ICE Guide to Swim Meets

Competitive swimming programs provide many benefits to young athletes, including self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit. Learning about oneself while enjoying the sport is the most important part of the swimming experience.

Please check the "Recommended Meets" tab on your swimmer's practice group page to find out which meets your swimmer should attend. Frost swimmers should plan to attend one meet per month, Cubes and Waves 1-2 meets per month. Morays and Seniors will work out a meet schedule during their goals meeting. In addition, every swimmer should plan on participating fully in their seasonal Championship meet.

If you have any questions, Frost and Cubes should contact . Waves, Morays and Seniors should contact .

General Information

  • events link All meets are added to the ICE calendar and are listed in Events.
  • Be aware that entry deadlines can change. If a meet is not yet open for signup, it is usually because we do not yet have the meet information. Deadlines will be adjusted as needed.
  • All specific meet information is contained in the meet invitation (sometimes called the 'meet announcement' or 'invite'), including:
    1. where the meet will be held
    2. dates and times for meet sessions
    3. entry fees
    4. which events and age groups are in a particular session
    5. and if the meet is in prelim/final or timed final format
  • If the invite is available, it can be found in the Events Listing.
  • To view or download the invite, click on the Event title.
  • The invite will be found under 'Forms/Documents'.
  • Please read the invite before signing up.

Event Title find invite link

How to Sign Up


  1. To sign up for a meet, you can either use the link in the 'Recommended Meets' table or go directly to the Events listing and find the meet there. You will need to be signed in to MyICE in order to register.
  2. Click the "attend this event" button to register.
  3. After clicking on your swimmer's name, read anything in 'important notes' and then select 'yes' or 'no'. If you select 'yes' you will be prompted to select the days and sessions available. Add any information the coach should know in the 'Notes' box (such as event preferences, limited availablity, etc.). Then 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Most of the time you will only be able to choose days and sessions. Occasionally, event selection will also be possible. You may choose individual events or simply indicate 'coaches choice' in the notes box. Coaches always have the final decision regarding swims at each meet.
  5. The 'Attend/Decline' button will change to 'Edit Committment' after you have declared your intent. Selecting 'Edit Commitment' will show you the events into which your swimmer has been entered.

Once entries are finalized, the complete list of swimmers and their events is viewable on your mobile device via the "OnDeck" app. 

Getting Ready

Review the meet invitation - it will tell you where the meet will be held, the start times for each session. It will also contain useful spectator information (like parking, if there is a crash area or deck seating, and what kind of concessions will be available).

ISI team names, abbreviations, locations and directions

Usually on the Monday or Tuesday before the meet, teams will post additional information on their websites. ICE will post the updated information in our event listing as we receive it. This information can include:

  • "Session Reports" which are estimated timelines. This will give you a sense of approximately how long the meet host expects the meet to take.
  • "Psych Sheets" which list all swimmers entered into each event along with their seed times.
  • "Warm Up Information" Updated warmup information will contain any changes to the warmup schedule for each team. For example, if meets are large, warmups may be split into two sessions to make it safer for all swimmers.


Swim meets are an opportunity to display not only athletic ability but also team pride and sportsmanship. Parents and swimmers should always be mindful that they are representing ICE.

USA-Swimming has posted an excellent article on How Parents Affect Success: an Athletes Perspective on the USA-Swimming website.

ISI Teams & Meet Hosts
Team Name
Click any column label to sort
ACAC  Ames Cyclone Aquatics Club Ames
 BLST Black Hawk Area Swim Team  Cedar Falls 
 CRAA Cedar Rapids Aquatics Association Cedar Rapids
 CIA Central Iowa Aquatics Des Moines
 DEC Decorah Swim Club Decorah
DMET  Davenport Metro Swim Team Davenport
DMSF  Des Moines Swim Federation Des Moines
DASH  Dubuque Area Swimmin' Hurricanes Dubuque
 IFLY Iowa Flyers Swim Club Iowa City
 BLAZ Johnston Blaze Swim Club Johnston
MACR MACR Sharks Cedar Rapids
 L4A Lane Four Aquatics Bettendorf
 LMST Linn-Mar Swim Team Linn-Mar
 RIP Dowling Catholic Riptide Des Moines
 VAC Vinton Aquatic Club Vinton
Meet Locations
Pool NameAbbr.Street CityState
Click any column label to sort
Furman Aquatic Center FURMAN 1635 13th Street Ames IA
Holmes Jr High HOLMES 505 Holmes Dr Cedar Falls IA
The Falls Aquatic Center FALLS 3025 South Main Cedar Falls IA
Birdland Pool BIRDLAND 300 E. Holcomb Ave Des Moines IA
Valley High School VALLEY 3650 Woodland Ave. West Des Moines IA
Marshalltown Y MARSHALLTO 108 Washington Street Marshalltown IA
Vinton Community Pool VINTON 302 N 8th St. Vinton IA
Mason City Municipal Pool MASON CITY 933 Birch Dr. Mason City IA
Loras College San Jose Pool LORAS 1450 Alta Vista St Dubuque IA
Riverview Park Pool CLINTON 101 S. 1st St Clinton IA
Coe College Natatorium COE 101 S. 1st St Cedar Rapids IA
Grinnell College Natatorium GRINNELL 1201 10th Avenue Grinnell IA
Linn-Mar Community School District Aquatic Center LMAR 3457 North Tenth Street Marion IA
Davenport Central DAV-C 1120 Main Street Davenport IA
Wellmark YMCA WELLMARK 501 Grand Ave Des Moines IA

Swim Gear

  • ICE swim caps (2 - the coaches will have extras if necessary)
  • Goggles (2; for outdoor pools at least one pair of mirrored goggles)
  • Suits (2; team/racing suit and a spare)
  • Towels (at least 2)
  • Team clothes for during the meet
  • Sweats/robe/fleece to keep warm during the meet
  • Dry clothes for after the meet

Food & Drink

  • Healthy snacks
  • Water bottle (no glass is allowed on the pool deck)
  • Cooler (usually not permitted in the stands)

Miscellaneous Useful Items

  • cash for program, concessions, parking
  • Sharpie - for writing events, heat and lane assignments on your swimmers arm or leg & for labelling purchases (heat sheet, meet t-shirt, etc.
  • Highlighters for highlighting your swimmer and our team’s swimmers in each event
  • Copy of your swimmers events for each day
  • a pen/pencil
  • cough drops
  • Advil or Tylenol
  • nail clippers
  • Camera
  • Chargers and/or spare batteries for electronic devices
  • Band-Aids & Neosporin

Down time items for swimmers, adults & siblings

  • books
  • hand held games
  • deck of cards
  • knitting


Most pools have bleacher seating, but the quantity and quality will vary. Some pools have a “crash area” off the deck to camp out, some have very little room to spread out. Depending on meet location, you may want to bring some or all of the following:

  • Stadium seats
  • Lawn chairs
  • Bleacher blankets
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow

Indoor pools:

Pool areas are generally on the warm side so even in the winter you will need to dress for humid conditions.

Outdoor pools:

Be prepared for a variety of temperatures and weather conditions. Rain won't stop a meet; lightning will.

  • mirrored goggles
  • extra clothes (for both hot and cold and to keep from getting sunburned.
  • sleeping bag or blankets
  • sunscreen, bug spray, hat
  • lawn chairs
  • shelter - ICE owns 1 canopy and the coaches will usually bring it. We make a 'canopy-tarp city' using the ICE canopy along with any others that families bring. Keep in mind that most parks prohibit the use of stakes, so bring bungie cords (and buckets, if you have them)

Specific Pool notes:

Loras College, Dubuque (DASH):
In the summer, ICE usually sits outside at Loras even though the pool is indoors


  • Do NOT leave the meet without checking in with the coach to be sure you are finished for the session
  • Be ON DECK with your team 15 minutes before the start of warmups (wearing suit & cap, holding goggles)
  • Talk to your coach BEFORE each race
  • Talk to your coach AFTER each race
  • Show good sportsmanship at all times
  • Stay Warm. Stay Hydrated. Stay Fueled. Have Fun
  • Do NOT leave the meet without checking in with the coach to be sure you are finished for the session

Upon Arrival

  • Arrival Time: You will want to arrive 20-30 minutes before the start of warmups. This will give you a chance to find the other ICE families, get a seat or claim some space in the crash area and get a meet program or heat sheet. Your swimmer will have time to put her suit on, find out her events, and eat a quick snack or take a drink, and check in with her coach. The warmup time can be found on the first page of the meet invitation. If there are any changes to this, they will be posted on the ICE website in the event listing.
  • Swimmer Event List: While your swimmer is getting changed, look through the heat sheet, and highlight each line where your swimmer's name appears. (Many families will highlight all the ICE swimmers in the program so it is easy to see when team mates are racing). When your swimmer returns, write his event list on his arm (or leg) with a Sharpie so it is easy for him to keep track of where he is supposed to be. Record the event number, event name, heat, and lane.
  • Be on Deck: Your swimmer should be on deck, with cap and goggles, 15 minutes before warmups begin. The team will stretch together (just like at practice) before getting into the pool.
  • After Warmups: Your swimmer will most likely have time to check in with you before returning to the pool deck. This is a good time to make sure he goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her team is sitting and wait there until his first event is called. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.

During the Meet - Swimmers Guide

  • Before Every Race Each swimmer should check in with her coach before each event and ask for some pre-race advice. The coach will give you race instructions and encouragement. An overview to race strategy is available in myICE
  • Behind the blocks Check with the timer to confirm your heat and lane and then step back and find your place in line. Keep track of how many heats remain before yours so you don't miss your race.
  • After Each Race:
    • Shake hands with the swimmers in the lanes next to you Do not get out of the pool until the entire heat has finished swimming.
    • Sometimes the meet will use "Fly-over Starts" which means you won't get out of the pool until the next heat has entered the water. If this is the case, make sure you stay as close to the wall as you can while the next swimmer is on the blocks.
    • When you exit the pool, thank the lane timers before you walk away.
    • If you are a new swimmer you will go straight to your coach who will offer praise and a constructive review and then send you to cool down. Older and more seasoned swimmers will grab a drink and go cool down before talking to the coach.
  • Between Races:
    • Stay Fueled and Hydrated. Nibbling on healthy snacks throughout the meet will help keep your energy levels up. Drink before you are thirsty.
    • Stay Warm and, if there is a big gap between your events, do some light stretching or a mini warmup before your next race.
    • Cheer on your team mates.
    • Save your energy for the pool.
    • Pay attention to what is happening in the pool.
    • Be ready when it is your turn to race.
    • Respect your teammates - cheer for them when they are in the water, be ready with a kind word before and after they swim, and try not to distract them when they are getting ready to race.
    • If you are sitting with the team, check in with your parents occasionally.
  • After your last event don't forget to check in with your coach before you change out of your suit. When your coach clears you to leave, clean up your area (not just your stuff), thank your coach and you are ready to go.

During the Meet - Parents Guide

  • Support your Swimmers: Send them down to the pool deck with words of support and encouragement. Welcome them back the same way. Be proud of their effort and the way they comport themselves. Please do not coach your swimmers. It is confusing and disruptive to the work that the coaches and swimmers are doing
  • Stay off the Pool Deck: According to USA Swimming rules (for insurance and safety reasons), parents are not permitted on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. During a meet, the only people allowed on deck are the athetes, coaches, officials, and certain meet volunteers. All questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to one of our coaches. He or she in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
  • Feed your Swimmer: Make sure your swimmer eats healthy snacks and drinks plenty of water during the session. It is very easy for a swimmer to become dehydrated without realizing it.
  • Keep your Swimmer Warm and Calm: Encourage your swimmer to keep his muscles warm betweens swims, especially if the venue does not have an area set aside for cool down after each race. Help him save his energy for the pool.
  • After your Swimmer's Last Event: Sometimes your swimmer may be needed for a relay. Sometimes your swimmer may want (or be asked) to stay a little longer to cheer on a team mate who isn't finished yet. Make sure your swimmer checks in with his coach BEFORE changing out of his suit.
  • Before leaving the venue: Please clean up your area and send your swimmer to clean up her area, thank her coach and to make sure she is cleared to leave.

Whistles and Beeps

  • Whistles, beeps, voice commands, and arm motions are used to give the swimmers race start instructions.
  • Series of short shistle blasts (referee) = Get ready to mount the blocks.
  • One long whistle blast (referee) = Mount the blocks (backstroke = 'Enter the water')
  • Backstroke only -> Second long whistle blast = Place feet on pool wall
  • Arm outstretched to the starter (referee) = Starter assumes control of the swimmers
  • "Take your mark" (starter) = Swimmers assume a stationary start position
  • Beep, plus strobe flash (starter) = Race has begun

Results - Scores - Awards

  • Results will be posted on a wall in the venue during the meet. Often results will also be available electronically. Some teams will use 'Meet Mobile' (an app for your mobile device) to make results available. Others may upload 'Live Results' to a web page. Please note that the order of finish and time reported on the timing scoreboard or in any other way during the meet are not official results or official times. After the meet concludes, the host team will prepare offical results which will be sent to all the coaches and loaded into the USA-Swimming times database.
  • Scoring Some meets will keep scores for individuals or teams. The meet invitation will specify which places will score and how many points each place is worth. These "High Point" results will also be posted during the meet.
  • Awards If a meet host plans to give out awards, that information will also be noted in the meet invitation. There might be 'heat winner' awards, or place finish awards. Some teams will have awards available for swimmers to pick up before they leave the pool. Others will send awards home with coaches. Coaches will place any ribbons and medals that they pick up before leaving the meet in the swimmer folders located in the filing cabinet at Mercer outside Coach Don's office.

What if . . .

  • we forgot something? Most meets will have a swim vendor on site. In addition to the 'meet t-shirt', they will often have club merchandise, along with both practice and competition suits and equipment. The meet invitation will indicate if a vendor will be present during the meet.
  • my swimmer gets disqualified? If your child is disqualified in an event, be supportive rather than critical. For beginning swimmers, a disqualification should be treated as a learning experience, not as a punishment. A disqualification alerts the swimmer and coach to what portions of the swimmer's stroke need to be corrected. They should be considered in the same light as an incorrect answer in schoolwork-they point out areas that need further practice. Disqualifications are necessary to keep the competition fair and equitable for all competitors. A supportive attitude on the part of the official, coach, and parent can make a positive situation out of the disqualification. (from the USA-Swimming website)
  • the scoreboard time seems wrong? The timing officials will review the times before publishing meet results. If the official time recorded (on printed results) for a swimmer is significantly slower than you believe it should be, please talk to your swimmer's coach. Remember that neither the scoreboard nor meet mobile contain official results.

People you will see on the Pool Deck

  • The meet director is in charge of the administrative phase of a swim meet and is a registered USA Swimming member.
  • The deck is under the control of the meet referee*, who must also be a registered deck official of USA Swimming. It is the duty of the referee to see that the event is conducted according to the rules and in accordance with time limitations.
  • The starter* assumes control of the swimmers once they are on the blocks until a fair start has been achieved. When there is a false start, the referee and the starter must agree on which lane caused the infraction before a swimmer can be disqualified
  • The stroke & turn officials* monitor the strokes of the swimmers to ensure they conform to the technical rules. The stroke official generally walks abreast of the swimmers along the poolside. The turn official covers the turns at the end of the pool. When an infraction occurs, the official will raise a hand in the air to signal an infraction and then will write out a disqualification slip (D.Q. slip) that gives the event, heat, lane, and the swimmer name. Whenever possible, the official will talk with the swimmer at the completion of the race and explain the infraction.
  • Safety Marshall is responsible for overseeing the pool and making sure athletes and spectators don’t violate basic safety protocols.
  • Timers are generally a backup to an electronic system; when electronic timing is not used, there must be three timers to a lane. In most situations there will be two timers per lane though one timer per lane is permissible if an electronic timing system is in place. Most often you will see only one timer per lane during distance events. The head timer is in charge of all other timers and must see that they have watches and know how to operate them.
  • Timing equipment operators are responsible for running the equipment that captures and records the swimmer’s times. Their primary activities include running the timing console and computer as well as overseeing the scoreboard controller.
  • The Clerk of Course is the person who sees that swimmers are in the right events and assigned to the proper heats. For younger swimmers, the clerk may be responsible for helping swimmers line up behind the starting blocks. With older swimmers, the Clerk may be in charge of handling positive check-in, scratches, and late entries.
  • *Meet Officials are all volunteers. If you like being right on the deck, enjoy watching races, can commit to the idea of neutrality and fairness, are willing to learn from mistakes and like to work with people, you will probably find officiating fun. Officiating is one of the few volunteer jobs that requires ongoing training as well as a formal commitment to a code of ethics. More information is available and our ice_meet_official at iceels dot org meet referees are always happy to answer questions and help you get started. 

Meet Vocabulary

  • Backstroke flags: Lines of flags placed above the lanes 5 yards (short course) or 5 meters (long course) from the end of the pool. The flags signal the backstroker that he is approaching the wall and enable backstrokers to execute a backstroke turn more efficiently.
  • Block: the starting platform.
  • Bulkhead: A wall constructed to divide a pool into different courses, such as a 50 meter pool split into two 25 yard courses.
  • Course: Designated distance over which the competition is conducted.Long course: 50 meter pool. Short course: 25 yard pool or 25 meter pool
  • Cut: Slang for qualifying time. A time standard necessary to attend a particular meet or event.
  • Distance: Term used to refer to events over 400 meters/500 yards in length.
  • DQ: Disqualified. This occurs when a swimmer has committed an infraction of some kind; e.g., freestyle kick in butterfly. A disqualified swimmer is not eligible to receive awards, nor can the time be used as an official time.
  • Event: Any race or series of races in a given stroke or distance.
  • False Start: Occurs when a swimmer is moving before the start gun is sounded. In USA Swimming, one false start will result in DQ after the event concludes.
  • Finals: The concluding session of a prelim/final meet of each day of the meet in which the final race of each event is swum.
  • Gutter: The area along the edge of the pool in which water overflows during a race and is recirculated through the filtration system.
  • Heat: A division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time.
  • Heat Sheets: The swim meet program that includes information such as the name of the events, heats, lanes and swimmers.
  • I. M.: Slang for Individual Medley event in which the swimmer uses all four strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.
  • Lane: The specific area in which the swimmer is assigned to swim,i.e., lane 1, lane 2, etc
  • Lane markers, lines or ropes: Continuous floating markers extending from one end of the pool to the other.
  • Lap/Length: “Length” refers to one trip down the pool, from one end to the other. “Lap” refers to a round trip, from one end to the other and back again to your starting point.
  • Lap Counter: A set of plastic display numbers used to keep track of laps during a distance race. (also, the person who counts for the swimmer, stationed at the opposite end of from the start.)
  • Leg: The part of a relay event that is swum by a single team member.
  • LSC, Local Swimming Committee: An administrative division (e.g. Iowa Swimming, Inc.) of the Corporation (USA Swimming) with the supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by USA Swimming. Our LSC encompasses all of the state of Iowa except the western most line of counties.
  • Long Axis (LA): The axis that runs along your spine from the top of your head to your tailbone. When you swim the long-axis strokes (freestyle and backstroke), your body rotates from side to side around this long axis.
  • Meet: A series of events held in one program.
  • NT: Seed time is entered as "No Time" if a swimmer has never swum an event before.
  • Official: A judge on the deck of the pool at a sanctioned competition who enforces USA Swimming rules. There are stroke and turn judges, administrative officials, starters, and referees.
  • Open competition: A type of meet where any club, organization or individual may enter.
  • Prelims: Slang for preliminaries, also called Heats or Trials. Those races in which swimmers qualify for the championship and consolation finals in specific events. Almost always restricted to swimmers 13 and over.
  • Preliminary: Session of a meet in which qualifying heats are held.
  • Pullout: The underwater pull (and kick) in breaststroke.
  • Q Time: Qualifying time necessary to compete in a particular event and/or competition. Each LSC sets their own qualifying times based on USA Swimming Time Standards.
  • Qualifying heats: A number of heats are swum to qualify the fastest swimmers for the finals where final placing for the event will be determined.
  • Relay: An event in which 4 swimmers compete together as a team to achieve one time.
  • Scratch: To withdraw from an event in a competition.
  • Seeding: Swimmers are arranged in heats in events according to submitted times and heat sheets are prepared prior to the day of competition.
  • Short Axis (SA): The axis that runs across your pelvic region from left hip to right hip. When you swim the short-axis strokes (breaststroke and butterfly), your body undulates up and down across this short axis.
  • Short Course: A pool 25 yards or 25 meters in length. USA Swimming conducts most of its winter competition in short course yards.
  • Split: A time recorded from the official start to the completion of an initial distance within a longer event. Also the time for one of the four individuals in a relay. Under certain conditions, splits may also be used as official times, for example, the lead off swim in a relay, or the lead off portion of an event.
  • Sprint: Describes the shorter events (50 and 100).
  • Starter: Meet official who fires gun or sounds horn that begins each heat of an event.
  • Stroke Rate or SR: This is also know as turnover rate or cadence or how fast your arms are moving. Generally, a high turnover rate is reserved for short distances and racing, and in those cases it must be accompanied by great technique in order to be effective. Many swimmers believe that the only way to achieve speed is with a high stroke rate. What coaches know, and see every day, is that great technique almost always trumps high turnover.
  • Streamline: The position used by swimmers when starting or pushing off the walls designed to reduce water resistance.
  • "Take your mark": The starter's command to swimmers to which they must respond by at once assuming a starting position.
  • Time Trial: A time-only swim which is not part of a regular meet.
  • Timed final heats: Each swimmer swims that particular event one time and final placing are determined by the times performed in those heats.
  • Timers: Volunteers who time swimmers in a specific lane during a swim meet.
  • Touch Pad: A large sensitive board at the end of each lane where a swimmer's finish is registered and sent electronically to the timing system.
  • Unattached: An athlete who competes but does not represent a club.
  • Warm Down: Low intensity swimming used by swimmers after a race or main practice set to rid the body of excess lactic acid, and to gradually reduce heart rate and respiration.
  • Warm Up: Low intensity swimming used by swimmer prior to a main practice set or race to get muscles loose and warm. Warm up gradually increases heart rate, respiration and helps to prevent injury.

"What is a relay?"
A relay is a race in which each team member swims a specified portion of the course. In a freestyle relay, four different swimmers swim one or more lengths of the pool in succession, and no individual may swim more than one leg. In a medley relay, all four strokes are swum, with four different swimmers doing one or more lengths of a single stroke. No swimmer may swim more than one leg. The order for the medley relay is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle.

"Who swims on a relay?"
At some meets during the season, the ICE coaches will enter relay teams. The coaches will select the relays from the roster of swimmers who are signed up to attend the meet. Regular season relays are an opportunity for swimmers to practice being part of a relay, an occasion for team bonding, and a great way to show team spirit. Since relays are a 'club swim', ICE always covers the fees for all relay events.

Coaches will generally try to field the fastest relay team possible on a given day. Their decisions will be based on many variables, including best times that season, best times that day and the attitude of swimmer. Relay decisions are made by the coaches, and are subject to change at any time before the start of the event. If you enter your swimmer into a meet that has relays, your swimmer should be ready and willing to be part of a relay team. Please do not take your swimmer home from a meet before they have checked out with the coach.

Championship Relay Teams
During championships, relays provide an important opportunity for ICE to score points. Each ISI team is allowed to score two relays in a championship meet. The relays are labeled “A” and “B” according to the seed times. The total number of relay teams that ICE can enter is determined by the number of ICE swimmers in each age group. ICE will always field as many relays as we are allowed which means that some swimmers without individual 'Q' times may be called upon to be part of a relay.

Participating on a relay means that the coach has selected your swimmer to represent ICE. Being a member of a relay is an honor and should not be missed. ICE expects every swimmer to be available if chosen to be a relay swimmer or a relay alternate.

Home Meets

The Iowa Swimming (ISI) meet calendar is set in April for the season which will begin the following September. ICE usually bids to host 4 major meets, 2 during the short course season (Sept - Feb), and 2 during the long course season (Mar - Aug). ICE will also schedule several intrasquad (only ICE) and dual meets (ICE & 1 other team) during the year.

Short Course Meets

  • Irving B. Weber Invitational - an Open Invitational 2+ day meet
  • A Championship meet - 2-4 day meet held in mid to late February
  • Mercer Mixup ICE intrasquad held in October or November
  • Time Trials ICE intrasquad held at the end of January or beginning of February
The current schedule is available on the Events page.

Long Course Meets

  • Amanda Knight Schany Senior Invitational - a Senior level 2 day meet held the first weekend in May
  • The Mercer Long Course Invite - an Open Invitational 2+ day meet held at the beginning of June
  • Mercer Madness - the ICE intrasquad Relay event held one evening in May
  • ICE Long Course Time Trials - an intrasquad meet held at some point during the last 6 weeks of the season.
  • in 2017, Regional Finals + 8&under Championships

Why do we host swim meets?

  • Home meets give our swimmers a great chance to compete in their pool.
  • Meets raise a significant amount of revenue for the each year.
  • Without meet revenue, membership fees would quickly become out-of-reach.

Meet Volunteer Requirement

ICE maintains a meet volunteer requirement for each of its families. ICE has a reputation for hosting excellent meets which would not be possible without the thousands of hours of volunteer time provided by our fantastic parents, family, and friends of ICE swimmers, as well as the swimmers themselves. Each year, the ICE board sets number of required 'points' per family (and per roster group), The number is based upon the number of meets we will be hosting and the number of families we have involved. As is common with swim clubs throughout Iowa, ICE is reinstating a financial penalty for missed work sessions. $50 per 10 points not completed will be billed at the end of the season.

Complete information, including the current volunteer requirement may be found on the 'Volunteer Expectations' tab under myICE. Information about and instructions for specific meet jobs is available under the Meet tab on the "Meet Volunteers" page. Please contact our volunteer coordinator with any questions.

How do I earn "Meet Volunteer Points"?

There are many ways to meet volunteer requirements.

  • Most opportunities occur during an ICE-hosted swim meet. These opportunities, ranging from running a stop watch to labeling awards, will be established for each meet by the volunteer coordinator. Each job is important and ensures a positive experience for swimmers, coaches, parents, and volunteers on the pool deck. Information about these tasks can be found under the Meet tab on the "ICE Volunteers" page. Sign up by following the "Job Signup" link in the Event Listing.
  • In addition, swim officials may satisfy their volunteer requirements by officiating at home meets.
  • Volunteer timing is required for certain non-home meets and can also be counted toward volunteer requirements.
  • There are also many tasks that need to be accomplished well before the start of each meet and several that need to be done afterwards. If you anticipate that working sessions during the meet will be difficult or impossible due to work or family obligations, please contact the volunteer coordinator early in the season to make other arrangements to meet your obligations.

Expectations for the Championship Season

All swimmers are expected to swim in the highest level meet for which they have qualified. Participation in championship meets - both individually and as part of a relay - is essential for the success of our club and is an expectation of club membership. You must contact either or if your swimmer is unable to attend.


Practice Groups: In the weeks leading in to the Championship season, the coaches work on essential Championship Meet skills. Practice groups will shift, and swimmers will be grouped according to age and according to their Championship meet participation. Practice attendance for everyone, including relay-only swimmers, is mandatory.

Relay Exchanges Missing practice means missing opportunities to practice relay exchanges which will adversely affect other team members as well as your swimmer. During a relay exchange the incoming swimmer must touch the wall before the next swimmer’s feet lose contact with the starting block. Swimmers are taught how to track the incoming swimmer from the block so that they do not start early and disqualify the relay. This skill requires both instruction and lots of practice. Since relays are double points at the Championship Meets, we need to make sure our swimmers are prepared to perform exchanges properly.

Schedule: The full practice schedule will be posted on each practice group page (where it may also be downloaded) as well as on our calendar and on the bulletin board at Mercer. Contact or with any specific practice-related questions.


Taper is the resting phase of a swimmer at the end of the season before the championship meet. To complement practice changes, swimmers should eat healthfully and get as much rest as possible while away from the pool. All swimmers are expected to follow the tapering guidelines appropriate for their age.

Suits for the Championship Season Swimmers need to have the proper suits at their peak meets each season. Older swimmers are expected to use 'technical' style suits for all main races. These suits are faster than Lycra based suits. Younger swimmers should have a suit that fits snuggly and is in good shape. If you have any questions about the best type of suit for your athlete, talk to his or her head coach. Planning ahead can make it easier to aquire a suit in the proper size and to pick up a suit on discount. Amy at Splash Multisport is very good at finding the right style and size for each swimmer.

Take care of your suit! Make sure the stitching and materials are in good shape for each wear. In between sessions rinse suits in cold water (so you do not wear out the finish) and do not use the suits for long periods of warm-up or cool down swimming (save them for races). Try to dry suits as much as possible between multiple swims in one session. If the suit is not a little tight then it is either too big or it has worn out (and will not be advantageous to your racing).

Event Choice The Coaches will put together individual meet event slates based on:

  • Advancing to the next level (example: AA to AAA, ISI to Sectionals). The first example is swimming the Regional meet to attain a Q time for the State meet. At State, swimmers might be attempting an “AAA” time to qualify for the Zones meet. When your swimmer gets within realistic reach of a new qualifying time standard in a particular event, he or she will usually set it as a goal.
  • Scoring as many points as possible at the event to help the team.
  • Gain points for individual high-point placement should the athlete choose to do so. When calculating high-point, each athlete’s individual points are totaled over the course of a State meet, and an individual high-point award is given in each age group

More information about relay selection is available under the 'Relays' tab above.


At the Meet

  • Make sure your swimmer knows her event, heat and lane. Often the swimmers like to sit together once the meet begins. Arrive early enough to 'write events' on your swimmer before warmups begin.
  • Know if your athlete is participating in 'timed finals' or 'prelim/finals' events. Sometimes the fastest heat of a 'timed final event', such as a relay, may swim in the finals session. All swimmers who qualify for finals are expected to compete at finals.
  • Do not allow your athlete to leave without checking in with the coach to be sure they are finished for the session. Final relay assignments are made on deck, and swimmers are expected to be available.