Tents Serve Several Purposes at a Meet:
- Provide a safe place for swimmers to stay while parents are working various jobs during the meet.
- Provide a fun place for our swimmers to pass the time while they are waiting for their events.
- Provide a place where swimmers can gather to be guided to the ready bench when it is time for their events.
We all need to work together to make sure these items happen.
While we like to think of our meets as family events, they are open to the public and as such present the same dangers to a child as being at a park or the mall when they are out of a parents direct supervision. As a result, swimmers must be reminded prior to the meet, that they should remain in their tent for their safety or abide by the following rules:
- Younger swimmers (10 & under) should not be leaving the tent alone. We have 3 tent parents assigned, please check regularly to see if swimmers need to use the restrooms and escort groups there or to the snack bar as needed. Parents should not remove swimmers from the tent without first telling one of the tent parents they are doing so. Please escort your child back to the tent when you are done with whatever activity you are removing them for.
- Older swimmers should not leave the tent without first telling the tent parent where they are headed. It is recommended that they do so in groups of 2 or more.
The tents provide a shaded area for our swimmers to socialize between events. Parents, please make sure your swimmer has activities to keep them entertained while they are there. Also please remind your swimmers that part of having fun involves that golden rule "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". They need to show respect for the tent parents and other swimmers in their tent. Each swimmer was asked to sign a code of conduct and they will be held accountable for their actions if they do not follow it. Foul language, back talk, spitting, hitting and other inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the tents.
Tent parents, please stay tuned into the activities that are occurring in the tents. It is easy to get caught up in watching the meet, a good book or casual conversation. However if you have an eye and ear on the activities underway, you can often resolve any issues before they occur. With our younger ones to some degree, yes this is "kid watching", but it is a very important part of this job.
Move Swimmers to Ready Bench:
It is the tent parent's responsibility to get swimmers that are present in the tent to the ready bench on time with their gear. This means watching for the age group that swims in front of you to get up to go to the ready bench and following along behind them. The order of swimmers for each event is girls then boys in the following age group order: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15 & up.
Know where the tent of the group that swims before you is located so you can see them heading out. In each case as we move towards the completion of an event with the oldest groups, the 5/6 girl tent parents will need to watch for the 15 & up swimmers as their cue to line up. There are just a couple of exceptions:
- After the initial freestyle races, the 5/6 and 7/8 swimmers sit out the IM races. The 9/10 girls tent parents must be on the lookout to line up.
- After the backstroke races, the 5/6 girls and boys will need to line up for both breast stroke and butterfly.
- After the break, the 5/6 swimmers will be gone and the 7/8 girls tent parents should watch for the older swimmers as the trigger to line up for the next event.
- At our home meet, you will have a direct line of vision to the ready bench. While the announcer is set up so that you should be able to hear the calls, the visual cues from other groups should be enough to get your swimmers where they need to be even if you can not.
While it is the tent parent's responsibility to get swimmers in the tent to the ready bench, it is not the tent parent's responsibility to track down a swimmer not in the tent when it is time to line up. For our younger swimmers, if you remove your child, know when it is their next turn to swim and have them back in time to line up (this is several events prior to when they actually swim). For our older swimmers, our tent parents can caution them about how much time they have when they ask to leave the tent, but it is their responsibility to return on time. Please make sure they are aware of this.
Lastly, please do not remove your swimmer from the meet for the day without first checking with the tent parent to confirm if they are swimming in the freestyle relays. Do not go by the heat sheet or even by what is on their arms. Tent parents have the actual relay cards with them and can confirm it for you. Relays lineups change due to last minute illnesses before or during the meet and parents who forgot to tell us their swimmers were leaving early or missing entirely. Some of this we know first thing in the morning when we make initial adjustments. These changes will most likely be reflected on your child's arm. However some of these we don't find out until later in the meet and they may not be reflected. The best bet is to stay through the free relays for your child's age group and support the team. Our goal is always to have as many swimmers as possible swim these relays so don't be surprised to see them pulled in last minute.