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Glossary

AWARDS - Presented to the final finishers in a particular race.
BACKSTROKE - One of the four competitive strokes.
BACKSTROKE FLAGS - A line of triangular pennants suspended near (5 yards from end wall, 7 feet from surface in short course or 5 meters from end wall, 5 feet, 11inches from surface in long course) the ends of the course
BACK-UP TIME - Alternate manual timing system used in conjunction with the electronic timing system. These times become official in the event of a primary system failure.
BLOCKS - The platform from which the swimmer pushes off to start each race.
BREASTSTROKE - One of the four competitive strokes.
BUTTERFLY (fly) - One of the four competitive strokes.
CARDS (entry cards) - Document used by swim competitions to assign lanes (via clerk of course), record times (via lane timers), or even enter meets. In some meets the parents/coach/or swimmer will be required to fill out their own cards. These are seldom used today.
CHECK IN - The process of reporting to the clerk of course for an event. Swimmers must check in when their event is called. Sometimes there is a penalty for failure to check in.
CLERK OF COURSE - The area where swimmers are assigned their heats and lanes for the upcoming race. Not all meets have a clerk of course.
COURSE - The area in which the competition is conducted. Long course is 50 meters. Short course is 25 yards. Our pool is 25 yards.
DECK - The area surrounding the pool. This does not include spectator area.
DISQUALIFICATION - Indicates the swimmer has committed some infraction of the rules. No place, no awards, no points, and no time will be given for a DQ swim.
EVENT - Any race or series of races in a given stroke and distance.
FALSE START - Usually, when a competitor gains an unfair advantage by starting before it is legal to do so.
NO FALSE START - The USS rule whereby no second chance is given to a swimmer should that swimmer false start.
FINAL RESULTS - Published composite list of all events and placings from a swim meet.
FREESTYLE (FREE) - One of the four competitive strokes.
HEATS - A division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time.
QUALIFYING HEATS - Competition in which a number of heats are swum to qualify the fastest swimmers for the finals where the final places for the event will be determined.
HEAT SHEET - A complete listing of all swimmers entered in every event (listed by event, heat, and lane.)
INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (IM) - An event consisting of all four competitive strokes in the order: fly, back, breast, free.
LANE - A specific area where the swimmer will swim defined by lane lines or floats that are attached to the end walls to define a lane.
LEG - The part of a relay that is swum by a single team member.
MANUAL START - The start of any timing device by an individual, initiated by that individual in response to the same starting signal given the competitors.
PACING - An important procedure for distributing energy resources in a particular race to achieve the best overall performance.
PLACING(order of finish) - Determined by either the automatic timing system when available or by the appropriate meet officials when manual timing is used.
RUNNERS - Persons who collect times after the race and "runs" them to the scoring table.
SCORERS - Individuals who tally team/individual scores or review heat results to post the order of finish.
SCRATCH - Withdraw an entry from competition. Specific rules govern this procedure depending upon the competition.
STARTER - The official who gives the start commands to the competitors.
STROKES - The styles of movement used in competitive swimming.
STROKE JUDGE - The official who must inspect competitors to determine that the stroke being used is legal.
STREAMLINE - Method of aligning the body to reduce resistance in the water
TAKE YOUR MARK - Command given the competitors prior to the start of the race.
TIMERS - Individuals who record the times of swimmers during the race.
TOUCH PAD - Flat, rectangular device (one per lane) suspended at the finish wall which is used to stop the automatic timing equipment.
WARMUPS -A designated time (usually 30-60 minutes) immediately preceding each session.