Sunday, December 16, 2012

Swim Meet Rules of Etiquette

MNHockeyMama's Swim Meet Rules of Etiquette

1. Never ever block other parents' view of the pool.  If you cannot find a seat, then please, at the very minimum, kneel down or sit on the steps in order to remove your fat butt from obstructing the view of the pool.  (If you choose to stand in front of me and block my view, you can be sure that you will be told to sit down. Arguing with me and swearing at me will only serve to make you look more foolish. Most swim parents are pretty laid back and as Minnesotans, are more likely to whisper with one another about their irritation with you. Not me. I am a hockeymama at heart and have no problem telling you "SIT DOWN.")
2. When the sign states: "No Parents Allowed on the Pool Deck," that is exactly what it means.  No coach wants a helicopter parent hovering near little Billy, making sure that he knows to put on his goggles before he steps up on the block. 
3. Saving seats: STOP IT. The meet is four hours long. Your child will swim maybe about five minutes of those four hours. Find a seat, watch your child swim and leave. There are places to hang out at every swim meet outside of the pool area.  It is not necessary for you to watch every event of every meet just because you are worried you will lose your "prime" seat in the bleachers.  If you choose to put a blanket, jacket or other personal items on a five foot section of the bleachers in case you do leave or your "friends/kids/parents" finally choose to show up, don't expect other people to respect that "reserved area" and not push blankets/jackets/personal items aside when they need a place to sit for the few minutes they are in the pool area to watch their own children.
4. Swearing at all, but especially at someone kindly (loudly) telling you to sit down, is absolutely forbidden.
5. Memorizing your child's best times is encouraged. Memorizing the best times of all the kids in his/her age group is creepy.
6. Cheering for your child and/or their relay team is also encouraged. Cheering, screaming and loudly proclaiming that your child's relay team just "Obliterated the record for ___________ event for 9-10 year olds" is also creepy.
7. Talking with other parents about swimming and other topics is encouraged. Talking loudly to other parents or on your cell phone about surgical procedures, bodily functions, gossip about other parents, etc. is wrong and shouldn't happen.
8. Getting antisocial toward other parents when they discuss topics with which you disagree should be discussed, i.e. politics/religion, and insisting on horning in on their discussion to voice your disapproval will cause you to be ostracized from the other team parents and therefore is discouraged.
9. Talking loudly during the start is forbidden. Respect the swimmers need for quiet so they can actually hear the start.
10. Talking smack about the other swimmers on your child's relay because they didn't perform as well as you think they should have is very wrong and therefore, forbidden.
11. Encouraging friendly competition between swimmers on the same team to get them to do their best is good. Asking other parents how their child swam ______ event only so that you can "one up them" by bragging about your child's massive time drop is rude.
12. Encouraging your child to cheer on teammates is strongly recommended. Condoning your child telling their teammate "good job" when he/she knows his/her teammate didn't come near a best time in ________ event, so that he/she can be smug about his/her own performance is in poor taste and is strictly forbidden.
13. There are no "Refs" in swimming, only "Officials." Yelling at the Official for disqualifying your child is never okay.
14. Do not show up to a 6am warm-up dressed like you just came off the pages of Vogue. Comfortable clothes are acceptable and encouraged. (Pajama pants are strongly encouraged.)

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