Swim Team Terms
Block: The platform from which swimmers begin races.
Deck: The area surrounding the pool at practices and meets, not including the bleachers or stands. USA Swimming rules prohibit parents from being on the deck at practice. At meets, only swimmers, coaches, officials and select volunteers may be on the deck.
Event: A portion of a meet competition broken down by stroke, age, gender and relay type.
Heat: A portion of an event. An event may require multiple heats.
Heat Sheet: A sheet produced by the Clerk of Course that assigns a swimmers heat and lane placement.
IM: Individual Medley, an event in which the swimmer uses all four competitive strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.
Lane lines: The dividers used for individual lanes.
Medley Relay: A relay where each swimmer does a different stroke. This is not swum in IM order, so that backstrokers can safely start without interrupting the race. The order is: backstroke. breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle.
Official: A judge on the deck of the pool. Various judges watch the swimmer’s strokes, turns and finishes or are timers.
Time Trials: Events that are offered during the regular competition to allow swimmers a chance of achieving official times.
Warm-up: Used by the swimmer before the race to get their muscles loose and ready to race.