Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Things to Remember at Meets

Swimmers should arrive 20 minutes prior to warm-up to check in with the coach, stretch and prepare for the meet.

Swimmers should speak with their coach before and after each race.

Toward the end of the warm-up session the outside 2 lanes are designated for
swimmers to practice starts.

If you have any questions, ask your coach or an experienced swimmer.

Athletes should stay in the designated team area as much as possible during the competition and always check with your coach to make sure you can leave (as you may be entered in a relay – parents should count on a relay unless told otherwise).

When the athletes are on the blocks, the starting device is sounded to start the race. Swimmers can be disqualified for moving or leaving the blocks too early.

A disqualification (DQ) only happens after the race is finished, and notice of disqualification is given through the intercom, to the coach, and not the athlete. Athletes can also be disqualified for “breaking their stroke”, example – stopping to adjust their goggles or to catch their breath, or not using proper kick or arm movement for the stroke that they are racing. Turns and finishes must be executed correctly or will result in a disqualification.

Coaches will instruct on all aspects of a race during training, and swimmers will be given the precise rules as they vary from stroke to stroke.

Swimmers will practice all starts, turns and finishes during training so they are confident before their first competitive meet.

Swimmers Protocol at Meets

Arrive on time and check in with your coach.

Always display good team etiquette which means – sitting with your team, wearing team clothing, cheering for your team mates, listening to your coach, and following his or her direction. Our swimmers are a reflection of our Club when we attend meets, and everyone benefits when our coaches can spend their time coaching swimmers, rather than taking care of disruptions.

Stay at the meet until all of your team mates have completed their races, in order to cheer them on!

Parents Protocol at Meets

Let your swimmer discuss the race with the coach and then do your job, of giving support and encouragement.

Try to offer encouragement and never lecture your child about a poor race. You will make her or him feel worse than she or he already does.

Please, be considerate and respect the coach’s duties while he/she is on deck at swim meets. This means not approaching your child’s coach with a complaint or criticism. If you feel there is a problem regarding your swimmer, please speak with the Team Manager, or speak with the coach after the meet or during the following week, outside of swim practice.

What to bring to a swim meet?
  • Warm up suit, competitive suit
  • 2 pairs of goggles and swim caps
  • 2 – 3 thick large beach towels
  • Team t-shirt or hoodie, sweats, deck sandals
  • Cards, activities, music and homework – DO NOT BRING VALUABLES. Electronics for the purpose of gaming are not allowed on deck because swimmers could lose focus or miss an event
  • Quarters for locker
  • Water bottles and non-carbonated drinks
  • Nutritious snacks – bagels, low-fat muffins, fruit, granola bars, sport bars, whole wheat crackers, yogurt, fruit smoothies, cereals such as Vector or Cheerios (Please note that food is not allowed on deck with the swimmers)
Additional Equipment

Additional equipment will enhance your swimmers ability to progress. At level 4, purchasing this equipment is optional, but once a swimmer reaches the level 5 & 6, the additional equipment is required:

  • Practice suits are generally made of synthetic fabrics that usually last longer than a competitive suit.
  • Goggles enhance visibility and protect eyes from the effects of chemicals in the water. Prescription goggles are available.
  • Latex or silicone swim caps cut down resistance and protect swimmers’ hair from the effects of chemicals. Please, contact the BBSC equipment volunteer to purchase a swim cap.
  • A competition suit is usually smaller than the practice suit and is of lighter material to reduce drag and improve swim performance.
  • Fins or flippers are worn on the feet for stroke technique and speed assisted training.
  • A Pull Buoy is placed between the legs to isolate the use of the arms for strengthening and stroke work.
  • A Kick board is used to work the kick portion of a stroke.
  • Hand Paddles are used for technique (feel of water on hands during stroke drills).
  • Snorkels that rise in front of the goggles are used to improve their technique and cardio-respiratory efficiency
Where can I purchase the equipment?

In Brandon, equipment can be purchased/ordered at Pirouette, located at 121 10 th Street – be sure to mention that that you are a member of the Bluefins and receive a discount.

In Winnipeg, Swimming Matters at 1389 Grant Avenue has a large supply of competitive swimming equipment and offers a discount to Brandon Bluefins swimmers.

Online orders can also be made at Team Aquatics.

Competitive Strokes and Events

The four competitive swim strokes are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.

The “Individual Medley” or “IM” features all 4 strokes in order of butterfly, back, breast and freestyle.

In the “Freestyle Relay,” four swimmers participate each swimming 50 meters (or 100 depending on the event) consecutively for a total of 200 (or 400) metres.

In the “Medley Relay,” four swimmers participate each swimming 50 metres (or 100 depending on the event) consecutively for a total of 200 (or 400) meters in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.