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Glossary of Swimming Terms

Age groups
Swimming in the United states is divided into the following age divisions; 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. New Jersey also recognizes an age group for 8 and under swimmers. Age groups allow swimmers to compete against swimmers their own age.

Disqualified (DQ)
Swimmer is disqualified for any number of infractions.

Dual Meet
A meet in which only two teams compete is called a dual meet. The teams select the events which are to be swum and run the meet for the members of their teams only.

False Start
A false start occurs when one or more swimmers begin their start before the starting signal is given. The referee and starter must agree that a false start has been committed. When these two officials agree, the swimmer(s) will be disqualified from the event.

Local Swim Committee
The Swim Committee (LSC) is an arm of United States Swimming Inc. and is the local governing body for all USS competitive swimming matters. Competitive swimming in most of the state of New Jersey is governed by the LSC called New Jersey Swimming. New Jersey Swimming is one of 59 LSC's in the nation and it develops programs to promote swimming, provides travel assistance for swimmers and much more.

Maximum Time Standard
This term refers to the fastest time allowed to qualify to swim for an event/meet. This mean the swimmers time must be equal to or slower than the maximum time designated in order to swim.

Minimum Time Standard
This term refers to the slowest time needed to qualify for an event/meet. This means the swimmers time must be as fast or faster than the minimum time designated to swim.

No time (NT)
Swimmer has not yet established a recorded time for that event.

Open Event
An event swum without regard to age.

Psyche Sheet
This is the listing of all of the events in a meet with a ranking of all the swimmers in an event. It is from this list that swimmers are seeded into their heat for each event.

Referee
The USS, YMCA or JCC, official who has the authority over all the other officials at the meet. She or he makes all the final decisions and insures the efficient running of the meet.

Seed Time
The time submitted to a meet committee to enter a swimmer in an event is called the swimmers seed time. Which is usually their best time. Swimmers are assigned their heat and lane based upon their seed time.

Split Times
A split time is a per lap time that coaches often record for teaching the concept of pacing. For example, a swimmers time for a 25-yard leg of a 100-yard event is his/her split time.

Starter
The starter is a USS ,YMCA or JCC official at a meet responsible for starting each heat and calling the next heat to the starting blocks.

Stroke Judge
The certified USS, YMCA or JCC official who determines the legality of a swimmers strokes and disqualifies those who do not conform to USS or NCAA rules is the stroke judge.

Time Standards
A time standard is the qualifying time established in order to determine which swimmers are eligible to swim in a particular event or meet. The time standards used in USS competition in New Jersey are written by the LSC.

Time Trial
This is a swim against the clock in order to establish a time. Such a swim does count later on if a new standard is achieved; however a time trial does not count for anything else besides establishing this initial time.

USS
This is the abbreviation for United States Swimming, Inc. The national governing body for all amateur swimming in the United States. National headquarters are in Colorado Springs, Colorado. USS administers age group and senior swimming. A swimmer must be an athlete member of United States Swimming in order to compete in USS sanctioned meets.