Iowa City Eelsswim club

swim club

Swimming Words and Terms

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AGE GROUP
Division of swimmers according to age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10-under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Some LSCs have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations: 8-under, 13-Over, 15-Over.
AGGREGATE TIME
times achieved by four individuals in separate starts which are added together to arrive at a relay time for entry purposes.
APPROVAL
a permit issued by an LSC for meets conducted in conformance with USA Swimming technical rules in which both members and non-members may compete.
ARM
that part of the body that extends from the shoulder to the wrist.
ATTACHED
status of an athlete member who represents a member club in competition after having met the requirements of Article 203.
BACKSTROKE
One of the four competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is the first stroke in the medley relay, the second in the individual medley.
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.
BLOCKS
The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends. Minimum water depth for use of starting blocks is 4 feet. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.
BODY
the torso, including shoulders and hips.
BONUS (C FINAL)
the third fastest heat of swimmers competing in Finals.
BREASTSTROKE
One of the four competitive racing strokes. It is the second stroke in the medley relay and the third stroke in the individual medley.
BUTTERFLY
One of the four competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed “fly”) is the third stroke in the medley relay and first stroke in the individual medley.
CHAMPIONSHIP (A Final)
the fastest heat of swimmers competing in Finals.
CLOSED COMPETITION
competition exclusively among members of a single club, or among two or more USA Swimming member clubs within an organization or group formed for the specific purpose of such competition or series of competitions that are open only to members of that group or organization. Examples of this would include YMCA clubs and leagues consisting of a limited number of USA Swimming clubs within an LSC. It does not include groups or organizations such as an LSC, Zone, Region, or Section within USA Swimming.
CLUB
an organization which has been accepted for membership in USA Swimming.
CONFORMING TIME
time achieved in a course that corresponds to the meet competition course.
CONSOLATION (B Final)
the second fastest heat of swimmers competing in Finals.
COURSE
designated distance over which the competition is conducted.
  • LONG COURSE: 50 meters (LCM).
  • SHORT COURSE: 25 yards or 25 meters (SCY or SCM).
Cut:
Slang for qualifying time. A time standard necessary to attend a particular meet or event.
Distance:
Term used to refer to events
DISQUALIFICATION (DQ)
A swimmer’s performance is not counted because of a rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head.
DRAFTING OR SLIPSTREAMING
swimming behind or next to another open water swimmer or support craft for the purpose of taking advantage of the reduced water resistance created by the former’s wake.
DRAW
random selection by chance.
DUAL COMPETITION
competition between two teams.
END OF COURSE
designated wall for racing turns and finishes.
EVENT
any race or series of races in a given stroke and/or distance. For competitive limits, one event is inclusive of preliminary heat(s) plus its related final(s), or one timed final, or one time trial.

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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 (Timed Finals, Prelim/Finals)
a session of a meet in which the concluding heats of an event are contested which may include championship, consolation, or bonus finals.
  • TIMED FINALS - Events where the swimmers only swim one time and final results are determined by those times.
  • PRELIMS-FINALS - A meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning or early afternoon. The fastest swimmers return in the evening to swim the event again in Finals. The Meet Announcement will indicate the number of finals heats by age group. Before leaving a prelim session, be sure to check to see if you are a swimmer or alternate for finals. There are usually penalties for not showing up for a finals session.
FINISH
the instant that a swimmer touches the wall at the end of the prescribed distance.
FIRST DAY OF MEET
day on which the first competitive swimming event is conducted.
FLY OVER STARTS
A forward start of heat performed before the swimmers from the previous heat have exited the pool. Fly Over Starts allow swimmers to catch their breath before they exit the pool and allow better management of the meet timeline. The Meet Announcement will indicate if Fly Over Starts may be used (usually at the discretion of the Referee of Meet Director).
FORWARD START
an entry made while facing the course.
FOUL
an instance of obstruction, interference, collision, or equipment malfunction which prevents the successful completion of a race.
Gutter:
The area along the edge of the pool in which water overflows during a race and is recirculated through the filtration system.
HEATS
a division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time. (See Preliminary Heats and Timed Final Heats)
Heat Sheets:
The swim meet program that includes information such as the name of the events, heats, lanes and swimmers.
HORIZONTAL
parallel to the surface of the water.
INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (IM)
A swimming event using all four of the competitive strokes in consecutive lengths of the race. The order must be: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle. Equal distances must be swam of each stroke.
INITIAL DISTANCE
that first portion of a race for which an official time may be recorded but which is not in itself a completed event.
JUNIOR OLYMPIC
a type of Age Group competition conducted by Zones and LSCs.

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Lane:
The specific area in which the swimmer is assigned to swim,i.e., lane 1, lane 2, etc
LANE LINE
continuous floating markers attached to a line stretched from the starting end to the turning end of the course for the purpose of separating each lane.
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.
LENGTH
extent of the course from end to end.
LSC (LOCAL SWIMMING COMMITTEE)
an administrative division of USA Swimming with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by USA Swimming.
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.
MANUAL START
the start of any timing device by an individual in response to the same starting signal given to the swimmer(s).
MAY
permissive, not mandatory.
Meet:
A series of events held in one program.
MEET ANNOUNCEMENT - MEET INVITATION
document setting forth information of the meet events, schedule, and procedures.
MIXED CLASSIFICATION
meet in which events of Age Group and Junior, Senior, or any other classification are offered.
NATIONAL AGE GROUP (NAG) RECOGNITION TIME
an official time that qualifies as one of the fastest for a given age group as defined in the SWIMS portion of the Policy Manual.
NON-CONFORMING TIME
entry time achieved in a course which does not correspond to the course in which the meet will be conducted.
NT:
Seed time is entered as "No Time" if a swimmer has never swum an event before.
OBSERVED SWIM
a swim observed by assigned USA Swimming officials for conformance with USA Swimming technical rules in a meet conducted under other than USA Swimming rules.
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.
ON THE BACK
position of the body when the shoulders are at or past vertical towards the back.
ON THE BREAST
position of the body when the shoulders are at or past vertical towards the breast.
OPEN COMPETITION
competition which any qualified club, organization or individual may enter.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
any swimming competition that takes place in rivers, lakes, or oceans.
PERSONAL ASSISTANT
person assigned to aid a disabled swimmer.
PLACE JUDGE
official assigned to record the order of finish of all swimmers by lane in each heat.
POLICY MANUAL
document adopted by the USA Swimming Board of Directors that specifies policies and procedures not contained in Rules & Regulations.
POSITIVE CHECK-IN
a swimmer must positively indicate their intent to swim an event in a deck-seeded or pre-seeded meet. The meet announcement will indicate which events require positive check-in as well as the time check-in closes. After swimmers have been checked in, the event is Deck Seeded and heat and lane assignments are posted. Any swimmers that have not checked in by the Positive Check In deadline are scratched from the event.
PRACTICE
the instruction of swimming techniques, skills, knowledge, conditioning, aptitude and motivation.
PRELIMINARY HEATS OR PRELIMINARIES
competition in which a number of heats are swum to qualify the fastest swimmers for the Finals.
PROGRAM
the order of events, including starting times and intermissions in a meet or portion thereof (See Session), sequentially listed by class of competition, sex, age group, distance, and stroke as set forth in the meet announcement.
PROPULSIVE
having power to propel.
Pullout:
The underwater pull (and kick) in breaststroke.

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QUALIFYING TIME - Q TIME (Q, Q+, Q-)
the time needed in order to compete
  • Q A swimmer entered in an event must have achieved a time equal to or faster than the qualifying time for the event. Meets with Q time requirements are designed to limit entries to the fastest swimmers in each age group. The Meet Announcement will list the Q times for boys and girls in each event. The state meet is Q meet.
  • Q+ meet A swimmer with a Q time in at least one event in the session may swim additional events in that session even if they do not have the qualifying time in those events
  • Q- meet A swimmer entered in an event must have achieved a time slower than the published Q time for the event. A swimmer who has never swum the event can enter. Meets with Q- event requirements are designed to ensure that all swimmers can compete, regardless of ability. The Meet Announcement will list the 'No Faster Than' times for boys and girls in each event. Regionals are Q- meets.
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.
REINSTATEMENT
return of all or limited rights of membership in USA Swimming.
RELAY
a race in which each team member swims a specified portion of the course.
RELAY LEG
the part of a relay event that is swum by a single team member.
SANCTION
a permit issued by an LSC to a USA Swimming group member to conduct a meet in conformance with all USA Swimming rules in which all participating swimmers are athlete members of USA Swimming, except as provided in 202.3.1.
SCISSOR KICK
use of the top of the instep of one foot and the bottom of the other foot in the propulsive part of the kick.
SCRATCH (from an event)
withdraw an entry from competition.
SEASONAL ATHLETE MEMBERSHIP
an individual athlete membership in USA Swimming which may be offered at the option of the LSC for one or two periods of not more than 150 days in a registration year pursuant to Article 302.
SEASONAL CLUB
an organization which has been accepted for membership in USA Swimming and which operates within a period of time specified by the LSC.
SEED
to distribute the swimmers among the required number of heats and/or lanes, according to their submitted or preliminary times.
  • DECK-SEED: swimmers are required to check in for their events on the day of the meet. After scratches are determined, events are seeded.
  • PRE-SEED: all entrants are seeded prior to the day of competition.
  • LANE ASSIGNMENTS: Competitors are assigned to lanes based on their seed times as follows:
    Six-lane pool: Lanes 3,4,2,5,1,6 (with the fastest swimmer in lane 3)
    Eight- lane pool: Lanes 4,5,3,6,2,7,1,8 (with the fastest swimmer in lane 4)
  • CIRCLE-SEEDING: A method of seeding where the fastest swimmers are seeded in the center lanes of the fastest 3 heats. Circle Seeding is only only used in meets during the preliminaries of a Prelims-Finals format meet.
SESSION
any portion of a meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, or type of competition, i.e., preliminaries and finals; morning and evening; Senior and Age Group, etc.
SHALL
mandatory.
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.
SHOULD
recommended but not mandatory.
SIMULTANEOUSLY
occurring at the same time.
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.
SWIMS (Swimming Web-Based Interactive Membership System)
a single integrated database system which includes USA Swimming membership data and a databank of achieved times that are considered official and are recognized for proof of entry and recognition programs.
SUSPENSION
deprivation of all rights of membership in USA Swimming.

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TAPER
The resting phase of a swimmer at the end of the season before the championship meet.
TAPPER
personal assistant who uses a pole with a soft-tipped end to tap a blind or visually-impaired swimmer as notification of turns and the finish.
"Take your mark":
The starter's command to swimmers to which they must respond by at once assuming a starting position.
TEXTILE MATERIALS
natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidating yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding, or as further defined under current FINA swimwear rules.
Time Trial:
A time-only swim which is not part of a regular meet.
TIMED FINAL HEATS OR TIMED FINALS
competition in which only heats are swum and final placings are determined by the times achieved in the heats.
TIME STANDARD
the time a swimmer must have previously achieved in order to compete in that event at a designated competition.
Timers:
Volunteers who time swimmers in a specific lane during a swim meet.
TOUCH
contact with the end of the course.
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.
TURN
a point where the swimmers reverse or change direction.
UNATTACHED
status of a member who does not represent a club or FINA member Federation in competition. When switching clubs, a swimmer must be unattached for 120 days from their last competition with their previous club.
USA SWIMMING
USA Swimming, Inc., a Colorado corporation
VENUE
the area located on the sides and ends of the pool, spectator area, team areas within thespool facility (e.g., portion of the building designated for teams and swimmers, or fenced areasaround an outdoor pool), locker rooms, and such other areas as may be specifically designated bysthe host club or organization, meet director, or referee. In open water competition, the geographical area and environs where the meet is conducted
VERTICAL
perpendicular to the water surface
WALL
vertical portion of the pool, contiguous surfaces of the deck and overflow gutter, the front portionsof the starting block or platform, or the touchpad at the end of the course
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.
WARNING SIGNAL
a bell, whistle, air horn, or other appropriate audible device
ZONES
The country is divided up into 4 major zones: Eastern - Southern - Central - Western. At the end of the long course season (in August) the Zone Administration sponsors a championship age group meet.
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