AGE GROUP – Swimmers compete within roughly similar groups:  8 & under, 9 – 10 (or 10 & under), 11 -12, 13 – 14, 15 – 16, and 17 – 18.

AGGREGATE TIME – times achieved by four individuals in separate starts which are added together to arrive at a relay time for entry purposes.

ALTERNATE - In a Prelims/Finals meet, after the finalists are decided, the next two fastest swimmers other than the finalists are designated as alternates. The faster of the two being the first alternate and the next being second alternate.  If a finalist cannot participate, the alternates are called to take their place.

CLERK OF COURSE – an area at the meet where swimmers report before their event to be arranged into their heat and lane assignments.

CONSOLATION – (finals) competition for the fastest of those who failed to qualify for the finals.

DECK ENTRY – meet where all entries are accepted on the first or later day of that meet and subsequently seeded into events.

DECK SEEDING a procedure of assigning swimmers to proper lanes and heats immediately before each event at the clerk of the course or by the referee on deck.

DUAL COMPETITION – competition between two clubs.

FINALS – the session of meet where qualifying rounds were held previously to determine the finalists (6 to 16 in number depending on the pool size and whether or not consolation finals are held).  The finalists compete to determine the winner.

HEATS – a division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time.

HEAT SHEET - a listing of all swimmers by event number, heat and lane assignment in the meet.  These are
available at the beginning of the meet and are purchased by spectators at a price set by the host team.

JUNIOR NATIONALS – all registered swimmers 18 years of age and younger who meet qualifying times, attend this meet.

LONG COURSE – a type of competitive pool which measures 50 meters in length. 

LSC – abbreviation for Local Swimming Committee.  Includes those teams within the boundaries of each LSC.

OPEN AGE GROUP – meet or event classification in which there are not any age divisions.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING - any competition that takes place in rivers, lakes or oceans.

PRELIMS – in certain meets, the qualifying rounds held for each event to determine the finalists.

PROOF OF TIME – a requirement at some meets to make certain that all swimmers have legally met the time standards for that meet.

PSYCHE SHEET – a ranking by seeding times of all the swimmers entered in each race of a meet, sometimes used at meets in place of a heat sheet.

REFEREE – the USA Swimming official who has the authority over all other officials at a meet.  He or she makes all final decisions and sees to the efficient running of the meet.

RELAY MEET – swimmers compete in assorted relays only.

SEEDING TIMES – the time a swimmer uses to enter a meet.  This time determines one’s position and lane in the particular event.

SENIOR NATIONALS – any swimmer who meets listed qualifying times, age 12 and older, is eligible for this 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 afternoon or evening; Senior and Age Group, etc.

SHORT COURSE – a type of competitive pool which measures 25 yards or 25 meters. 

SPLIT – a per lap time that coaches often record for teaching the concept of pacing.  For instance, a swimmer’s time for each 25 yard leg of a 100 yard event is his or her split.

STARTER – the USA Swimming official at a meet responsible for starting each heat and calling the next heat to the blocks.

STROKE JUDGE – a certified USA Swimming official, who determines the legality of swimmers’ strokes and disqualifies those who do not conform to USA rules.

SWIM – A – THON – a marathon swim to raise funds in which each team member solicits per – lap sponsors for a 200 length course.  A portion of the proceeds goes to USA Swimming, the rest to the team.

SWIMMING VENUE – the area located on the sides and ends of the pool, spectator area, team areas within the facility (e.g., portion of the building designated for teams and swimmers, or fenced area around outdoor pool), locker rooms, and such other areas as may be specifically designated by the host club or organization, meet director or referee.