Frequently Asked Swim Team Questions
1) Where do I get information about the swim team?
2) How do I know if my child can join the swim team?
3) What is the swim team season schedule?
4) What does my child need for practices and swim meets?
5) My child can't make it for practices or meets because we had made vacation plans earlier in the year. Is that OK?
11) What do all of the letters stand for (A Meet, B Meet, Division G)?
12 This is the first swim meet for both my child and me. What do I do when we arrive at the pool for a meet?
13 How do I know if my child will swim in an A Meet or a B Meet?
14 My child's time in a race during last week's B Meet was faster than the qualifying times of the three children who were selected for that race in this week's A Meet. Why didn't my child get selected to swim in the A Meet on Saturday?
15 How Are Meets Run?
16 What are Time Trials?
17 What is the Relay Carnival?
18 What is the Divisional meet?
- This FAQ
- Daleview's Swimtopia website: https://daleview.swimtopia.com/
- Daleview Feet listserv: to subscribe, send a message to:
- Ask your team reps -- we are happy to answer questions: Kristy Wallmo email@example.com, Michele McKeever firstname.lastname@example.org, and Carly Flannigan email@example.com.
Any boy or girl of a Daleview member family (including summer members) can join the Swim Team if he or she meets the age eligibility requirements (not older than 18 years old on June 1) and has at least minimal swimming skills.
The coaches will evaluate new team members during the first week of practices of the season and then decide whether a child is ready for regular practices or should start the season on the developmental Pre-team.
Generally, if a swimmer can swim one length of the pool without touching the bottom or grabbing the side or lane ropes, he or she should be able to participate in swim team practices. If your child is water safe, between the ages of 5 and 7, and can swim 3/4 of the length of the pool, s/he is ready for Pre-team!
The coaches may recommend that the child take more swimming lessons before joining the team. Swimmers who may not initially qualify can ask the coaches to re-evaluate them at any time during the season.
The swim team season runs from Memorial Day weekend through approximately the end of July. There are five Saturday morning meets, 4-6 Wednesday evening meets, a Relay Carnival that usually takes place on Sunday morning. The last weekend is comprised of the Divisionals Meet and the Team Banquet. A typical summer season looks like this:
- First all-team practice on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend
- Afternoon practices on every weekday while Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) is in session
- Time Trials on the last Saturday morning before last day of MCPS
- Morning and afternoon practices every weekday after last day of MCPS through the end of the season (with exceptions)
- A meets on Saturday mornings and B meets on Wednesday evenings
- Relay Carnival and Divisionals (end of season competition). Each is on a Saturday or Sunday before the end of July.
- End of season Team Banquet on the evening after the Divisionals Meet
We also do fun things besides swimming - movie outings, amusement park trips, pep rallies, team dinners, and pool bonding events.
Your child should bring a swimsuit, cap, goggles, sunscreen and towel. Having a water bottle and a hat are good ideas. During Wednesday and Saturday Meets, most teams have snacks and beverages for sale. These sales help raise money for the swim teams and your purchases are appreciated.
5) My child can't make it for practices or meets because we had made vacation plans earlier in the year. Is that OK?
Yes, however, please inform coaches of all known absences from meets well in advance. There are signup sheets on the swim team bulletin board at the pool where you can let the coaches know of the meets your child cannot attend. Empty swimming lanes cost points in competition and can cause the team to lose a meet. All swimmers should indicate when they are unavailable for an A meet because among other things, lineups are dependent on the availability of swimmers. MCSL rules do not allow for last minute substitutions, which means that (1) another Daleview swimmer loses out on an opportunity to swim an event and (2) the team potentially loses points for that event.
Weekdays from the Tuesday after Memorial Day until MCPS is out (Afternoon practice only)
|4:15 to 5:15 pm||13 and older|
|5:15 to 6:00 pm||9-12|
|6:00 to 6:45 pm||8 and under|
Weekdays from MCPS is out until the
end of the season: All
swimmers are welcome to attend both morning and afternoon practices.
|Morning Practices (Monday-Thursday)||Afternoon Practices (Monday-Thursday)|
|Time||Age Group||Time||Age Group|
|7:45 to 9:00 am||11 and older||3:30 to 4:45 pm||11 and older|
|9:00 to 10:00 am||10 and under||4:45 to 5:45 pm||10 and under|
|Friday Morning Big Foot/Little Foot Practices|
|8:00 to 9:00||11 and older|
|9:00 to 9:30||
Big Foot/Little Foot practice
|9:30 to 10:00||10 and under|
The Pre-team practices Monday and Fridays from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Pre-team practices focus on basic stroke work, rather than swimming laps.
Yes! Although swimmers are not required to attend every morning and afternoon practice, coaches do note who attends practice regularly, listens to instructions, and practices hard. Swimmers who practice with their year-round club teams during the summer are encouraged to attend as many Daleview practices as possible.
8) What is Big Foot/Little Foot practice on Fridays?
This Daleview tradition is a team favorite! Big Foot/Little Foot practice is a special half-hour practice on Fridays from 9-9:30am. During this time, an older Daleview swimmer is matched with a few younger Daleview swimmers, during which time they work together on specific skills and provide encouragement. The tradition gives the older swimmers and opportunity to give back to the team and the younger swimmers an opportunity to develop a relationship with a mentor. After this practice, the team provides HUGE donuts, a treat not to be missed.
The best time is before or after practice or by email. Please do not disturb coaches during practice or a Meet, as their undivided attention on the swimmers is necessary. Your swim team reps can answer many logistical questions and are happy to answer your questions. Feel free to contact Kristy Wallmo, Michele McKeever, or Carly Flannigan -- you will see numerous emails from us on the listserv.
Have your child attend practices as frequently as possible and make sure they listen to and follow the coaches’ instructions.
If swimmers would like to receive extra personalized work on a certain stroke, they are encouraged to arrange private lessons from the coaches. All coaches are available for lessons just about any time there is not a scheduled swim team practice. To schedule and pay for private lessons please contact the coaches by email or talk with them at the pool. Private lesson rates may vary by coach. Payment for lessons should be given directly to the coaches. Group lessons may be possible depending on availability of coaches and swimmers.
Outside of the summer swim team season, your child can join a Stroke and Turn Clinic (usually meets once a week) or a club team. If you are interested in swimming year-round, there are clubs for all levels of commitment and intensity. Some clubs that Daleview swimmers have joined include Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club (RMSC), All-Star Aquatics (ASA), Machine Aquatics (MACH), DC-Wave (DCPR), and Silver Spring YMCA (YSS). You can find a complete list of area clubs at http://www.pvswim.org/pvs_club.htm.
The Daleview Feet are one team. We compete in A Meets, B Meets, Divisionals, and Relay Carnival as part of the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL). However, due to the number of swimmers on Daleview and on other MCSL teams, there are A Meets and B Meets during the swim season. This format allows all swimmers on a team to compete while keeping the length of the meets manageable.
A Meets: An "A meet" is a competition against one other team within our assigned Division. Swimmers must qualify for these meets based on their recorded times at time trials or swim meets during the year, though the final lineup is determined at the coaches’ discretion. The A Meets are competitions between teams based upon their standings in the MCSL and are swum against pools located all over Montgomery County. All A Meets are held on Saturday mornings. The coach will announce these lineups during Friday morning practices and will also send the lineup out on the Daleview Feet listserv.
B Meets: a "B meet" is a competition against one local pool. All swimmers can participate, though a swimmer who swam an event in the A meet cannot swim the same event in the B meet. B Meets provide an opportunity for swimmers to improve their times and potentially make the A Meet lineup. B Meets are held on Wednesday evenings at 6:00PM. Generally swimmers must arrive by 5:00PM.
Division F: The Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) is divided into 16 divisions (6 teams per division) based upon the times of the swimmers in the A Meets. The teams with the top times are in A-Division and the teams with the collective slowest times are in O-Division. For 2018, Daleview is assigned to Division F in summer 2018..
More information about MCSL can be found here: http://www.mcsl.org/
12) This is the first swim meet for both my child and me. What do I do when we arrive at the pool for a meet?
Announcements for arrival times will be sent out on the Daleview_Feet listserv. If the meet is an away meet, check the listserv and https://daleview.swimtopia.com/. Swimmers should check in with the coaches, and place their personal belongings in the designated team area. Younger swimmers should stay within the team area.
For the A Meet, the goal of the coach is to maximize the number of points scored by the team. Every week, the head coach will determine the lineup, with a strong consideration of the fastest swimmers of each event in each age group. The following factors are taken into consideration:
- Swimmer’s availability
- Swimmer’s ability to swim a stroke legally
- Swimmer’s seed times (fastest time swum by a swimmer during the current season)
- Swimmer’s stamina
- The strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team
- Pre-scoring of the event – the coach’s prediction of the meet outcome based on the anticipated lineup
- Any other factors relevant to the goal of maximizing the number of points scored by the team
Swimmers are broken up into different age groups: 8 & under; 9 & 10; 11 & 12; 13 & 14; 15 & older. Each age group has the following events: backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly events, which have one heat with the three top swimmers for each team. The freestyle events have two heats, therefore the top 6 swimmers in each age group are entered. A Meet lineups will be emailed to the listserv.
The maximum number of events any one swimmer can swim in an A Meet is 3 individual stroke events (three of the following: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) plus 2 other events (relays, individual medley), for a total of five events.
B meets are for swimmers who wish to demonstrate their stroke improvement in races and enjoy competition against Daleview swimmers and other teams. Everyone on the Daleview swim team is welcome to swim in B meets unless they swam in that event at an A Meet the week before.
14) My child's time in a race during last week's B Meet was faster than the qualifying times of the three children who were selected for that race in this week's A Meet. Why didn't my child get selected to swim in the A Meet on Saturday?
There are a few reasons that this could happen. First, when a swimmer is developing, they can be inconsistent in individual events and have a high risk of getting disqualified at an A Meet. Second, while not typically the case, the stroke and turn judges can miss a call or be just a little more lenient in a B Meet when judging swimmers' strokes, the result being that a swimmer appears to be "legal" in a stroke when they are not. In either case, the coaches are looking to see if a swimmer has developed a fairly dependable stroke when swimming with a time that would qualify them for an A Meet. Finally, it is possible that the children who were selected had B Meet times this week that were faster than their previous qualifying times. Since the B Meet times of the children are typically not published, you might not be aware of the new times of the other children. Understanding that there needs to be some flexibility in how the roster selection process works due to these sorts of considerations, the official MCSL rules give the head coach the right to pick the swimmers that will swim at A Meets regardless of B Meet times. Should a swimmer or family ever have a question about how this all works, please ask the team representatives. A good conversation about how the process works can really help to get swimmers focused on improving their strokes, making it to A Meets on Saturdays and helping out their team with great times!
Please feel free to approach the team reps if you have any concerns about the overall process.
There are 6 lanes in the pool for the meet. Each event has 3 swimmers from each team with the swimmers in the middle lanes being the fastest swimmers.
- Meet sheets are created and given to the CLERK OFCOURSE who sits in a designated area.
- The swimmers who are swimming events check in with the Clerk of Course who provide their lane assignments.
- Swimmers head over to the starting end of pool and go to their designated lane.
- There are three TIMERS in each lane with stop watches who measure time it takes the swimmers to swim the designated distance in the prescribed stroke.
- There are two STROKE AND TURN JUDGES on either end of the pool to make sure the swimmers swim the strokes correctly. If a stroke is not swum correctly, the judge will disqualify (DQ) the swimmer and note this on a DQ card.
- There is a STARTER who starts each event and A Meet REFEREE who makes sure the meet is run correctly.
- Swimmers' times are recorded on time sheets and handed to the HEAD TIMER who then hands the time sheets to the RUNNER.
- The Runner takes the timesheets to the automation table where the AUTOMATION COORDINATOR and SCORER enters the times in the computer, which records the swimmers' times as well as calculates team points. VERIFIERS check the times which are entered.
- Award labels are printed out and an AWARDS designee places the labels on ribbons or swimmers. These ribbons are stored in ribbon boxes at the microphone area of Daleview's.
- VERIFIERS post swimmers' times and rankings on the pool bulletin board.
B Meets are run in the same manner but team points are not calculated and generally, all swimmers receive a participation ribbon. B Meets are, for the most part, for swimmers who have shown that they can swim a stroke legally.
Time Trials are held the Saturday before the first A Meet. This is a team only event, where all swimmers are timed in as many events as they wish to swim. Time Trials provide the coaches and swimmers with the best times for seeding the first A Meet. It also provides the swimmers with personal goal setting for future events.
The Relay Carnival is like an A meet in the sense that meet lineup is determined at the head coach's discretion, with a strong consideration of the fastest swimmers of each event in each age group. All six teams in the division participate in this meet so it is a large meet requiring many volunteers. The meet consists of 22 events of boys, girls and mixed freestyle and medley events. Mixed events are composed of two boys and two girls. The first place relay carnival winners in each event except for the 175 M Freestyle events go to the All Star Relay Meet at the end of the season.
The Divisional meet is the championship meet for the division. The divisional meet lineup is determined at the head coach's discretion, with a strong consideration of the fastest two swimmers of each event in each age group. Daleview often hosts this event and given that all teams participate, this event requires many more volunteers than a usual A meet.
It takes about 30 volunteers from our team to run each meet. There are many different ways you can volunteer. Each dual meet needs 9 timers, plus a head timer. If you have timed for a year or more, you might be interested in taking the next step and training to be an official. We are always in need of Stroke and Turn officials, starters, and referees. Training and certification for these positions are offered a number of times over the summer. We need parents to help with team social activities, apparel sales, team banquet, and food coordination and sales during the meet. We also need families to donate food and drinks to sell at home meets. Each family should plan to volunteer at least three (3) times during the season for each child they have on the swim team. There is anonline volunteer sign up (SignUpGenius) for all meets and swim team events that is distributed through the listserv.
Listed below are the descriptions of positions:
Announcer: Keeps the meet running by announcing what is happening, calling swimmers to the clerk of course, announcing swimmers prior to the event they are swimming, announcing any all-star times or pool records, as well as the final score.
Apparel Sales: Sells the Swim Team ware.
Automation: Computer operator, verifier, and scorer: These are 3-4 individuals who work together as a team to enter the swimmers' times into the Meet Manager Program and verify the results, print the ribbon labels, post results, and put labels on ribbons.
Banquet: Sets up and purchases decorations, tableware, food and drink for the end of the year celebration.
Clerk of Course: Rounds up swimmers before their event and instructs them as to which lane they will compete in.
Concessions: Prepares, cooks, and sells food and drink to the spectators.
Events Planner/Coordinator: Helps organize and assist any/all social activities.
Head Timer/Assistant Head Timer: Instructs timers at the start of the meet. Coordinates with the Referee to make the meet run efficiently. Runs several stopwatches for backup in case a lane timer’s watch doesn’t work. Collects time sheets to give to the runner.
Meet Set-Up: Helps set the stage for the home meets.
Photographer: Takes pictures throughout the season that are viewed at the end of season banquet.
Referee: Head judge and official who presides over the meet ensures all rules and regulations are being enforced and followed. The Referee has final say on all deck issues (DQ’s, etc) –THIS POSITION REQUIRES CERTIFICATION.
Runner: This position requires tennis shoes! Collects all time sheets and/or DQs from
the Head Timer and takes them to the Automations table.
Starter: An official who has been trained to start each race using vocal cues and/or the
starter equipment. THIS POSITION REQUIRES CERTIFICATION.
Stroke and Turn Judge: Watches 3 lanes of swimmers to make sure that strokes, turns, and wall touches are done legally. This position is great for people who want to really understand stroke mechanics. THIS POSITION REQUIRES CERTIFICATION.
Timer: Assigned to a lane and uses a stop watch to accurately document the time of the swim, from start to finish. Some people split meets with other volunteer. This position does not require any experience.