Meet Central FAQs
1. A paperless swim meet? Explain yourselves!
Don’t worry, keep your lineups and heat sheets! In fact, we offer those in your Meet Central Clubhouse or you can bring your own heat sheet to the party.
Here are the headaches Meet Central eliminates by going paperless:
- Timers don’t have to handwrite time cards.
- Judges don’t have to handwrite DQ slips.
- Scorekeepers don’t have to manually score out the meet.
- The computer mom/dad doesn’t have to manually type in results.
- The scorekeepers don’t have to scramble to recalculate the team scores when there has been a DQ overturn or an error uncovered.
- Ribbon label writers don’t have to handwrite ribbon labels.
2. Getting parents to volunteer is one of our biggest challenges each summer. How does Meet Central help with this?
- Eliminates jobs altogether like runners and ribbon writers (and redundant positions like a 2nd or 3rd scorekeeper to check what used to be manual score calculations).
- The integral roles of a swim meet are easier and more relaxing.
Traditionally, timers have to handle a manual stopwatch, clipboard, wet time cards, and a pencil to hand write results after each heat; scribbling results down fast enough to reset their watch for the next race. Meet Central eliminates this pressure altogether. Timers tell us that they actually enjoy timing with Meet Central.
3. I currently use a team management system (Team Manger, TeamUnify, Swim-Team.us, Swimtopia) so why do I need Meet Central?
Most team management systems do a great job of organizing what happens before a meet starts: Parent registration, the roster, meet lineup and heat sheet, etc. But once you step on the pool deck, things can get a little hectic. Meet Central handles the operations of the swim meet so parents and volunteers can relax and enjoy the swim meet. We help volunteers time, score, judge, and start the meet easily and more efficiently. Meet management systems currently on the market do a great job of catering to more complex (year-round) swim meets. Meet Central is the only solution that has been designed specifically for summer swimming.
At the end of the swim meet, you can export the results back into your team management system.
Additionally, if you want a simpler team management system, Meet Central’s Clubhouse can manage the roster, schedule, lineup, and heat sheet for you.
4. Can Meet Central integrate my swim meet results with third-party team management solutions?
In your Meet Central clubhouse online, you can view Meet Central meet results in a number of ways within the clubhouse experience.
In addition, your Meet Central results speak the universal language read by the leading team management solutions. This means, you can integrate your Meet Central results into any other software that also accepts this file type. Today, that includes:
- Active/Hytek Team Manager
5. Can I print ribbon labels with Meet Central?
We believe the swimmers should have the satisfaction of their ribbons in-hand as they leave the swim meet.
At the discretion of the scorekeeper, ribbon labels can be printed at the conclusion of each event, as the swim meet progresses.
Meet Central ribbon labels print to any AirPrint compatible printer; see a list of AirPrint printers here.
6. How does Meet Central run a swim meet in less time?
If timers at your swim meet are using paper time cards to record a heat — Meet Central will save at least 15-20 seconds of “dead time” between heats (timer stopping watch, hand-writing on the time card, handing off to runner, resetting watch, starter ensuring each timer is ready…yuck!)
Meet Central completely eliminates this dead time — the starter is always free to start the next heat as soon as each swimmer is finished in the previous heat. In a meet of 100 heats, that’s over a half hour of time saved with just this feature.
Additionally, the Starter can always save time by combining heats or even combining events — Meet Central adjusts to you on-the-fly.
Meet Central also saves you time in several other ways by going paperless (see FAQ #3).
7. Does Meet Central integrate with the Infinity Starter?
Meet Central integrates with the Colorado Infinity Starter System. We can provide your club with the Infinity integration cable (available Summer 2015)!
8. Can Meet Central run more than just a dual swim meet?
Meet Central is designed to run any type of swim meet hosted by your swim club, including tri-meets, quad-meets, or an invitational. You can tailor the scoring specifically to your needs based on the type of swim meet.
9. How accurate are Meet Central’s stopwatch times?
To alleviate inaccuracy and human error, we focus on the start of each race — one of the greatest opportunities for error in a swim meet.
A single device (the starter) starts and synchronizes all of the timers’ clocks for each race. The synchronized start completely eliminates human error and the difference in reaction time between timers.
Additionally, if your club uses the Colorado Infinity Starter System, you can plug the starter’s device into the Infinity for an integrated, hands-free starting experience.
10. Our pool does not have Wi-Fi, does Meet Central still work for us?
Because we want to provide a great local swim meet experience for all clubs, we will ship you a Starter Kit that includes a preconfigured, outdoor router. We bring the WiFi to your pool deck — just plug & play.
11. Technology isn’t always reliable. How does Meet Central respond?
Meet Central utilizes today’s reliable standards in technology. However, we have been sure to include redundancy and back-up in the case that something unforeseen occurs:
What happens if one of our devices breaks or runs out of battery life during the swim meet?
Great question–at any time, any of the devices and their respective roles may leave the session and rejoin (either immediately or later on). We’ve designed Meet Central to be very flexible and tolerant!
Once the meet begins, the data the devices have collected is already stored in multiple locations. In anticipation of the unexpected, you can replace any of the devices for the timers, judges, or starter (and their respective role) at any time — for any reason. You can use different devices for these roles throughout your club’s season. The iPad used as the scorekeeper can change throughout the season as well, just make sure you use a single iPad for each particular meet.
Additionally, your Starter Kit includes (2) portable battery sticks to charge devices that may have arrived to the meet without a full charge.
What happens if we have a problem with our Meet Central router?
- If you know there is a problem with the router 24 hours in advance, HydroXphere can overnight a new router to you.
- The swim club could invest in a back-up HydroXphere router for the current cost of $69.95.
- Manual entry of results on the Meet Central scorekeeper is always an option. We’ve got you covered 🙂
- We are always available to help via email@example.com — For more information, see Question #13
12. What kind of training and support does the swim club receive?
Learning how to use Meet Central is easy!
Once your swim club signs up for Meet Central, your club has access to training in several different ways.
- Self-service resources online (videos and tutorials)
- Opportunity to schedule a training session for your club (with a friendly HydroXphere team member)
- Training Webinars at checkpoints leading up to the Summer 2015 season
- Direct assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone support: (919) 234-0145
13. How can we protect our devices when using Meet Central?
We ship (10) waterproof lanyards with each Starter Kit. The pouch keeps your device sealed and protected from the splashing. The lanyard keeps your device securely around your neck so you don’t drop it. Your device is fully functional within the pouch.
14. Do all the swim clubs competing have to be Meet Central users?
If there is a club at the meet that doesn’t use Meet Central, you will still get the benefits of using the app. Meet Central will know the name of all the teams, the lanes they compete in, their times, and provide real-time scoring. However, non-Meet Central users won’t have the added benefit of their swimmers names on the scoreboard. But…
As a concierge service, we will load the roster for any non-Meet Central club on your schedule. This will allow all swimmers to be represented by name (not just by club) on the scoreboard. We believe in a great swim meet experience, even if the competition isn’t familiar with Meet Central!
15. We are visitors to a meet & the host club is not familiar with Meet Central. How do we enter our results into Meet Central?
- The scorekeeper’s iPad is equipped with a way to manually record a swim meet. This enables your swim club to enter any swim meet into Meet Central — even if the home club does not use Meet Central.
- Encourage the host club to use Meet Central! Just bring your club’s Starter Kit to the meet and viola! Allow them to see the system at work. We’re all about spreading the love in swimming 🙂
16. Do we need to buy dedicated iOS devices to run Meet Central?
No! For parents and volunteers, it’s just like using an app from the App Store.
Volunteer Timers, Judges and the Starter simply use their smartphones and the Scorekeeper uses his/her iPad to run the swim meet.
The Meet Central app itself is free to download so that any parents may become volunteers. Please note, you must have your swim club’s Meet Central Club ID to run a meet.
The Meet Central Starter Kit includes everything else you need:
- Plug & play outdoor WiFi router and mountable strap
- (10) Lanyards + waterproof pouches
- (2) portable battery sticks to charge devices
- Optional Infinity integration cable that integrates your Colorado Infinity Starter with Meet Central
17. Is Meet Central compatible with the Dolphin Timing System?
Meet Central is an end-to-end summer swim meet operating system with a synchronized start for all Timers. When the Starter begins the heat, all the Timers’ watches start at the same time, which eliminates response-time errors and increases the integrity of the times for each swimmer. The Intelligent Score Card automatically sends the swimmer’s times to the Scorekeeper and calculates the points so no more paper, runners or manual entries and calculations. As a result, Meet Central eliminates the need for expensive and complex timing systems like Dolphin or other timing systems.
18. How much draw on the battery does the Meet Central app require?
Meet Central does not demand anymore battery power than a typical app. In your training, we will send you a couple best practices to keep in mind. One best practice is that we recommend fully charging your devices before the swim meet. If, for any reason, a device is low on battery, Meet Central is designed to replace that device with another without missing a beat.
Meet Central Starter Kit also includes 2 additional portable battery stick to charge any devices during the meet.
19. Will Meet Central use my mobile device’s data plan?
Meet Central transmits all swim meet data through the HydroXphere Wi-Fi router on deck to the Scorekeeper’s iPad and does not require cellular data usage. At the conclusion of the swim meet, the Scorekeeper can publish the swim meet results through any internet connection of his of her choosing.
20. My swim club has two waves of timers — does that mean I have to leave my phone in someone else’s hand when I’m done timing?
Many swim clubs using Meet Central have always utilized a “1st half” and “2nd half” wave of timer volunteers. Meet Central works great for this — folks from the first wave can take their devices with them, replaced by the 2nd wave of timers with new devices.