High school swimming works very differently than club swimming. So we’d like to provide a explanation to help our fans and families understand more about Regionals at the high school level and what the meet means to the team and the season.
Simply put, the Regionals meet determines who qualifies to state. It’s a “one day, one shot” situation, unlike many other sports where you once you reach a Q-time, you’re in. It doesn’t work like that for swimming. For example, even if you have the fastest time going into state, if you are disqualified, you won’t be going. Or if you have an off-day and swim a little slower than expected, you won’t be going. It makes Regionals Saturday fun, stressful, exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.
Swimming is one of the hardest sports to qualify athletes to state since only about 10% of swimmers in each event will make it to the state meet. In other words, being a state swimmer is very prestigious!
Teams across the state swim at six regional locations on the same day, following the same schedule. After the meet, the Regional hosts send the results to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union where they are compiled and the top 24 times in each event are identified. Once the 24th time is known (the cut-time), the list is posted to the website so all teams can see if/who makes it to state.
As you can see – Regionals is the most important day in the season!