Skip to main content
Powered by rSchoolToday
Advertise With Us

About High School Swim

If you're new to high school swim, you may find it a bit confusing. So forget what you know about USA Swimming, YMCA, or typical summer league meets. High school swim is structured like the collegiate sport. There are two teams: the boys' team and the girls' team. Each team combines both swim and dive. So it's the boys' swim and dive team, and the girls' swim and dive team. Swim and dive points are added together for each team to determine the meet scores. At the end of the event the girls, the boys, both, or neither may have won their meet. 

Here's an overview of what to expect and how to enjoy the high school season.

Dual Meets

In 2017, the VHSL realigned all public high schools in the state into new districts, classes, and regions.   
This was done so that schools would compete against schools of similar size.  Instead of Conferences 5,
6, 7, and 8, Robinson is now aligned in Region C, Class 6, Patriot District.  Formerly, Robinson was
aligned in 6A-North, and prior to then the Northern Region, with the six large schools which comprised the
Concorde District are now in Conference 5 and will unofficially go by the title of Concorde Conference. 
Most of what was the Liberty District is now Conference 6.  Most of what was the Patriot District is now
Conference 7.  Most of what was the National District  is now in a different  Region, 5A-North, Conference
13.  The largest high schools in Prince William County, now make up Conference 8 and are joining Region
6A-North; namely Battlefield, Stonewall Jackson, Osbourn, Osbourn Park and Patriot.  Below is a list of the
conferences in the Northern Virginia Region (after the realignment).  In 2005, Robinson moved from the
Patriot Division to the Concorde Division in the Northern Virginia region due to realignment and the opening
of the South County Secondary School in Lorton, Virginia.  (revised 2017)

Concorde District Gunston District National District Liberty District Patriot District
Centreville Annandale Edison Herndon Fairfax
Chantilly Hayfield Falls Church Langley Lake Braddock
Madison Mount Vernon Jefferson McLean Robinson
Oakton T.C. Williams Lee South Lakes South County
Westfield West Potomac Marshall Washington-Lee West Springfield
    Stuart Yorktown Woodson

The high school swim & dive season begins with six dual meets in which Robinson successively competes
against the other teams in our district, plus one or two dual meets against teams either inside or outside
our district. These dual meets form the core of the high school season.

Don't look for meet sheets, a scoreboard, or times to be posted at the end of the lanes at the dual meets.
Unless it is a special meet (The Patriot Invitational) or post-season, we will not have meet sheets.  Coaches
can and do make changes to who is swimming which events virtually up to the minute they swim.  The
best advice is to ask your swimmer to text you once they know what they are swimming, or to volunteer
on deck as a timer or official.   

All high school meets have 11 swimming events - eight individual events and three relay events. For dual
meets, each team enters four swimmers in each individual event and four relay teams in each relay event.
Swimmers may enter a maximum of four events, no more than two of which can be individual events.
Swimmers are selected by the coach for each event or relay based on their times and the coach's goals for
that meet. Lanes are assigned with the fastest swimmers/relays getting the inside lanes. Relays are labeled
A, B, C, and D usually with the fastest competitors assigned to the A Relay. In meets against less
competitive teams, swimmers may have the opportunity to swim off events to mix things up and have some
fun. For these more relaxed meets, relay teams may be scrambled as well.

There are three relay events and eight individual events. The order of the events is as follows for all high
school meets – whether dual meet or championship meet:

◊         200 Yard Medley Relay
◊         200 Yard Freestyle
◊         200 Yard Individual Medley
◊         50 Yard Freestyle
◊         100 Yard Butterfly
◊         100 Yard Freestyle
◊         500 Yard Freestyle
◊         200 Yard Freestyle Relay
◊         100 Yard Backstroke
◊         100 Yard Breaststroke
◊         400 Yard Freestyle Relay

For dual meets (which have a maximum of four entries per team):

  • Relays are scored: 10-5-3-0 — with only two relay teams being allowed to score for each team in each relay event.
  • Individual events are scored: 8-6-5-4-3-2-1-0.

Boys and girls alternate in swimming each of the events, with the boys starting the meet. There is typically a
10-minute break after the 50 yard freestyle. The dive meet is held in conjunction with the swim meet, either
before the meet or concurrent with it, depending on whether the facility has a separate diving well. Points from
the dive team are added to swim team points to arrive at a total meet score. Meets are won or lost based on
total points. Sometimes dive results determine the outcome of the meet. So it's important for swimmers and
their friends and family to support the dive team as well. Yes, the meets have come down to a 1 or 2 point win/loss.

Don't be surprised if you don't know the score at the end of the meet. By the time the swimmers emerge from
the locker rooms, however, the word should be getting around. There are no ribbons or other awards for the dual
meets, just an opportunity for swimmers to better their times, help the team win, set a team record, or get a Region
or State qualifying time—or perhaps even achieve All American.

Championship Meets

Patriot District Championship (formerly Conference):

The team's dual meet win/loss record has no affect on conference standings. Robinson's top four swimmers in each individual event and the top relay in each relay event are selected to participate in the Patriot District Championship. Prelims are scheduled for Friday night and finals for Saturday night. The fastest eight swimmers/relays from prelims qualify for Finals; the next fastest eight swimmers/relays qualify for Consolation Finals. Relays are swum only during finals. The top eight swimmers/relays from Finals, plus any other swimmers who have met the Region qualifying time standard advance to Regions. Region and State qualifying time standardsTo be eligible to participate in the conference championship, a swimmer must compete in four of the seven dual meets.

Scoring: Scoring is through 16 places. Relay Events: 40-34-32-30-28-26-24-22. Individual Events: 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The order of finish in the Finals and Consolidate Finals will determined the points assigned. The winning team receives a Championship Picture Plaque and 50 patches.

Awards and Recognition: The winning team receives a Championship Picture Plaque and patches. Medals are given to the top three individual finishers and the top three relays. The top swimmer in each event is named to the
First Team All District; and the second swimmer in each event is named to the Second Team All District. Members
of the All District teams receive certificates at the end of the season. All members of the winning team receive a
District Championship patch.

Occoquan Region Championship (formerly 6A North Region):

Regions is the next step up in competition. You qualify for Regions by being one of the top 10 finishers at Districts or swimming the Regions qualifying time at any high school meet during the current season, including any heat at Districts. As in Districts there are prelims and finals. Unlike districts, relays participate in prelims as well. After Prelims, the fastest eight individuals/relay teams will advance to Finals, and the second fastest eight swimmers/relays advance to Consolation Finals. Top five individuals in the Finals heat and the top four relay teams advance to States, along with any additional individuals or teams who have met the State standard time.  Region and State qualifying time standards

Scoring: Scoring is through 16 places. Relay Events: 40-34-32-30-28-26-24-22-18-14-12-10-8-6-4-2. Individual Events: 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The order of finish in the consolation finals and finals will determined the points assigned.

Awards: Trophies go to the championship and runner-up teams. Medals are given for first through third place for individual events and first through third places for relays. The top swimmer in each event is named to the First
Team All Region; and the second swimmer in each event is named to the Second Team All Region. Members of
the All Region teams receive certificates at the end of the season. All members of the winning team receive a
Region Championship patch.

State Championship:

The highlight of the high school swim season is States - an exciting meet to make. As noted above, the top five
swimmers and top four relays from the Final heat at Regions and those with State qualifying times get the opportunity
to swim in States. This meet is also divided into prelims, and Consolations and Finals. Those reaching A Finals receive
medals. Most years States is held somewhere in Northern Virginia, but from time to time it is held elsewhere in the state. 

Scoring. Scoring will be through 16 places. Relay Events: 40-34-32-30-28-26-24-22-18-14-12-10-8-6-4-2. Individual
Events: 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The order of finish in the Consolation Finals and Finals will
determine the points assigned.

Awards: A trophy is provided to the girls' and boys' champion and runner-up teams . Medals are given for individuals
and relay teams through 8th place. Making the Finals heat guarantees you of medalling because swimmers in Consolations
Finals cannot bump up into the Finals heat. State patches are provided for the winning girls' and boys' teams.

Region and State Qualifying Time Standards Explained
Region and State qualifying time standards

Region and State qualifying time standards are not cuts. Think of them more as guarantees. You do not need to have
swum the time standard to make Regions or States. You can make Regions by being one of the top eight Finalists at
Districts and States by being one of the top five finalists at Regions. In fact, Region and State time standards are set
at the average of 8th place in recent years. Thus, if you meet the standard you are swimming at a level that will probably
enable you to medal in the meet. Swimmers who have met the standard may swim in the meet regardless of their
performance - or even ability to attend - the preceding championship meet.

The Winter Sports Banquet and Other Festivities

But wait, even after States the season isn't quite over. The Winter Sports Banquet and traditional end of season team party bring the season to a close for all members of the team to celebrate the team's accomplishments that year. All team members receive a packet with their certificate of participation and any other honors or recognitions they've achieved that year. This could include an athletic letter, scholar athlete award, patches for championship meets, team record certificates, and an assortment of other special plaques and awards. See the "Other Awards and Recognition" section of the How to Make the Biggest Meets of the Year page for more information on special recognition that can be achieved.