Arizona Dual Meet Championships Are Swimming’s Best Mid-Season Meet Format

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

January 17th, 2020 Club, News

Arizona Age Group & Senior Dual Meet Champs

Teams from across the country will descend on Phoenix this weekend for a pair of dual meet championship events.

One 16-team tournament will be hosted by the Phoenix Swim Club for age group clubs, where a group of local Arizona teams including Pitchfork, Tucson Ford, Phoenix Swim Club, and the Mesa Aquatic Club, will match up against national teams like the Canyons Aquatic Club and North Coast Aquatics in California, and NCAP in the DC Metroplex.

The other meet, an 8-team tournament, will be hosted by the Mesa Aquatic Club, and will feature 8 Arizona team, including Tucson Ford, Phoenix Swim Club, Pitchfork, and the Mesa Aquatic Club. The age group meet, which has been running for decades, includes a program where the local teams host athletes and families from the out-of-state teams.

The meets take advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and runs Saturday-Monday. After 2 days of round robin dual meets, an invite-format championship event is held. The dual meets serve 3 purposes, the first of which is bragging rights.

In the dual meets, each team can enter 4 boys and 4 girls per event (with the exception of the 1000 free, where the limit is 3 and 3). Athletes are limited to 2 individual events and 2 relay events per dual, and no swimmer can repeat an individual event in the dual meets. Distance events are considered ‘bonus’ events and don’t count against individual event limits.

The top 16 swimmers in individual events from the dual meets, which act as prelims, will qualify for competition in the championship round where there will be an A and B final in each event. Only the A final scores points. Each swimmer can swim only 2 individual events and 1 relay or 2 relays and 1 individual event in each meet. The top 8 relays (limit 1 per team) advance to the championship round as well.

In addition, teams that win dual meets get to add 20 points to their championship final total. For the age group meet, dual meets will be scored 5-3-1 for individual events and 7-0 for relays, while the championship final will be 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, and double for relays.

In the senior duals, the top 7 relays score, and  points are scored both for the top 8 swimmers from the dual meets plus the results of the championship final.

This all adds up to a lot of fun for the athletes, and a lot of time spent on entries for coaches, in one of the coolest meet formats in the country.

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I love seeing the swimming world moving to progressive styles of competition. I envy young swimmers these days because they are experiencing some of the best times in competitive swimming. Moving away from the interminable open meet format as the sole method of competition brings fun, and draws young people to the sport. When I competed, the old school method of grinding out yardage and sitting through 3 day meets to swim a couple of times really burned me out of the sport. These new ideas in both training and competition are going to make the sport fun and will increase competition. We are already seeing the effects of these changes on overall times. Swimming seems faster and is more… Read more »


This isn’t new. They’ve been doing it for 20 years? Maybe longer.


I’m a bit confused by this. Are there rounds of dual meets? How many does each team swim before the final championship style meet?


3 rounds of dual meets on Saturday and Sunday (looks like morning/evening one day, afternoon the other day)
Championship (top 16 from each event) will be on Monday

They have been doing this for 30+ years, it was always a lot of fun


Sounds like a great time!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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