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Swim Glossary

Circle Seeding - A method of seeding where the fastest swimmers are seeded in the center lanes of the fastest 3 heats. Circle Seeding is only only used in meets during the preliminaries of a Prelims-Finals format meet.

Club - PVS is comprised of over 30 member clubs. Swimmers belong to individual clubs and PVS meets are hosted by these clubs.

Deck - The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. Parents who are not working in an official capacity (e.g., certified official, lane timer) are not allowed on deck during a meet.

Deck Entries - Some meets will allow swimmers to enter an event during the meet. See the Meet Announcement to determine if deck entries are allowed and any fees involved. Note that the swimmer or coach must provide proof of current USA-Swimming membership (USA-S Registration Card or a printout from the PVS Registrar) before the swimmer is allowed to deck enter.

Deck Seeding - Swimmers are not given a heat and lane assignment until shortly before the race. Deck Seeding is done when Positive Check In is used.

Dive Over Starts - A forward start of heat performed before the swimmers from the previous heat have exited the pool. Dive Over Starts allow swimmers to catch their breath before they exit the pool and allow better management of the meet timeline. The Meet Announcement will indicate if Dive Over Starts may be used (usually at the discretion of the Referee of Meet Director).

DQ (Disqualification) - In meet results, a DQ indicates that a swimmer was disqualified for a rules violation or stroke infraction. The Referee confirms an infraction reported by the Starter or Stroke and Turn Judge.

Invitational Meet - A type of meet that requires a club to be invited or request an invitation to participate.

LCM (Long Course Meters) - A 50 meter pool. In the PVS Searchable Database, a swimmer?s event times can be selected for either Yards, SCM (Short Course Meters), or LCM (Long Course Meters).

LSC (Local Swim Committee) - PVS (Potomac Valley Swimming) is the LSC for this geographic region. It consists of the District of Columbia, the counties of Montgomery and Prince George's in Maryland, the counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and the city of Alexandria in Virginia. There are 59 LSCs that make up USA Swimming. You can see a map of the 59 LSCs on the USA Swimming website.

Meet Announcement - The Meet Announcement lists everything you need to know about the eligibility, rules and schedule for an individual meet. Meet Announcements are posted on the PVS Website under Meet Schedules and Results. See the FAQ section titled Before the Meet for more information.

Meet Program / Heat Sheet - A listing of the swimmers competing in each event, including the heat and lane assignments. Note that events requiring Positive Check In are often listed in the meet program in Psych Sheet format since heat and lane assignments are not done until seeding. There is often a nominal charge for meet programs. See the Meet Announcement for more information.

NFT (No Faster Than) - A swimmer entered in this event must have achieved a time equal to or slower than the NFT time for the event. A swimmer who has never swum the event can enter. Meets with NFT event requirements are designed to ensure that all swimmers can compete, regardless of ability. The Meet Announcement would list NFT times for boys and girls in each event.

NS (No Swim) - In results, NS indicates that the swimmer did not compete in the event.

NST (No Slower Than) - A swimmer entered in this event must have achieved a time equal to or faster than the NST qualifying time for the event. Meets with NST event requirements are designed to limit entries to the fastest swimmers in each age group. The Meet Announcement would list NST times for boys and girls in each event.

NT (No Time) - If a swimmer?s seed time is listed as NT, it often indicates that this is their first time swimming the event in a meet.

Officials - The certified adult volunteers who work at a meet. There are many different types of officials. See the PVS Website under Officials for more information on the types of officials and upcoming training clinics.

Open Meet - Open meets allow swimmers from all PVS clubs to participate.

Positive Check In - This is the requirement that a swimmer indicate their intention to swim a specific event by marking their name on a list. The Meet Announcement and/or information posted on the PVS Website indicate which events require Positive Check In and what time check in closes. After swimmers have been checked in, the event is Deck Seeded and heat and lane assignments are posted. Any swimmers that have not checked in by the Positive Check In deadline are scratched from the event.

Prelims-Finals - A meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning or early afternoon. The fastest swimmers return in the evening to swim the event again in Finals. The Meet Announcement will indicate the number of finals heats by age group.

Psych Sheet - A list of all swimmers entered into each individual event and their entry time. The Psych Sheet does not list heat and lane assignments.

PVS Searchable Database - This database has all meet results from PVS meets from October 2003 to the present and provides an easy way for parents and swimmers to view their times for each event. There is a great deal of information about this database and how to use it on the PVS Website under Online Databases.

Referee - The head official at a swim meet.

SCR (Scratch) - If a swimmer decides to withdraw from an event (e.g., by failing to mark their name during Positive Check In) they are listed as SCR in meet results.

SCY (Short Course Yards) - A 25 yard pool. In the PVS Searchable Database, a swimmer?s event times can be selected for either Yards, SCM (Short Course Meters), or LCM (Long Course Meters).

Seeding - The process of assigning swimmers entered in an event to a heat and lane.

Session - A portion of the meet that includes a specific set of events for a specific age group (1 or more). Sometimes there are different sessions for boys and girls. Each session of the meet has a distinct warm-up time and event start time.

Split - The time for a portion of an event. In longer events, splits are usually available each time a swimmer turns at the start end of the pool (e.g., at each 50 in a SCY meet). Splits may be listed in the meet results. In the PVS Searchable Database, click the word Splits when athlete results are listed.

Starter - The official in charge of signaling the beginning of the race.

Stroke and Turn Judge - The official positioned at the edge of the pool watching swimmers during the event. If the Stroke and Turn Judge sees a stroke infraction, they report to the Referee and the swimmer may be disqualified.

Timed Finals - Events where the swimmers only swim one time and final results are determined by those times. The Meet Announcement indicates which events are Timed Finals and which, if any, are Prelims-Finals.

Timeline - After event entries have been processed and seeded, a timeline can show the approximate start time for each event. If available, timelines can be found on the PVS Website. Go to Meet Schedules and Results and look in the Notes section for the meet.

Timer - One of the volunteers behind each lane responsible for getting stop watch times for each race and activating the backup buttons for the automatic timing system. There are typically 3 timers assigned to each lane.

Touch Pad - The plate on the end of the pool that is connected to an electronic timing system. If a swimmer does not properly touch the touch pad to register their time, a backup time (e.g., stop watch time) will be used.

USA Swimming - The governing body of competitive swimming in the United States. You can visit their website at www.usaswimming.org.