Swim Meet 101

When we first joined the Seahawks Swim Team as a new team parents, we had no idea what a swim meet entailed or how we could be of assistance. Many of us barely knew what swimming strokes there were! Our first season was filled with many questions. Our goals with this are to help new parents feel comfortable and to provide parents with a crash course in swim team jargon. Hope you find this helpful.


Parents are of crucial importance to our team. We rely on them to keep all the younger children together in the team area. When we’re handing out the event cards, we need to be able to find them quickly and easily, to avoid having a child miss a race.


100 Meter Individual Medley

The first event of every meet is the 100 meter Individual Medley, aka the 100 IM. We use abbreviations for everything! It’s like learning a new language.

Medley Relay

All age groups swim the Medley Relay, including 8 and under.


After the Medley Relays come the freestyle events. These progress as the events above, from youngest to oldest, with the girls swimming before the boys in each age category.


Backstroke events follow the freestyle events.


Breaststroke follows backstroke events.


Butterfly events follow the breaststroke.

Freestyle Relay

The freestyle relays are the last events of the meet.

Table 1. Number of laps per event(each lap is 25 meters in length)

Swim Meet 101

Quick Reference

100 IM aka 100 Meter Individual Medley

Order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle

8 and under does not swim this event.

Medley Relay

Order: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle

All ages swim this event.

8 &U and 9-10 ONLY: one lap of each stroke

-Breaststroker and Freestyler must be at opposite end of the pool!

Freestyle Relay aka Free Relay

For 8 & U only: One lap of freestyle

-2nd and 4th (aka “anchor”) child must be at the opposite end of the pool.

All others – 2 laps of freestyle each.

Image 1. Sample medley relay card for away meet


The winner of the meet is determined by the team scoring the highest number of points.

For individual races:

1st Place = 5 points

2nd Place = 3 points

3rd Place = 1 point

A team can only receive a maximum of 8 points in a race.  So if they sweep (1st, 2nd, 3rd) they would only receive 8 points and the other team would receive 1

For relays:

1st Place = 7 points

No other points allotted for relays, the first place winner takes all 7 points.