Revised May 2005
Table of Contents
WELCOME TO THE BOZEMAN BARRACUDA SWIM CLUB.. 4
TEAM PHILOSOPHY....................................................................... 4
TEAM HISTORY............................................................................... 4
BOZEMAN BARRACUDA ORGANIZATION................................ 5
Board of Directors.................................................................... 5
Hosting Swim Meets.................................................................... 6
STAFF AND FACILITIES................................................................ 6
TEAM STRUCTURE........................................................................ 7
White Group.................................................................................. 7
Blue Group.................................................................................... 7
Junior Group................................................................................ 7
Senior Group................................................................................ 7
Group Placement Criteria.................................................................. 8
Practice Attendance................................................................... 8
Practice Equipment..................................................................... 9
Practice Behavior....................................................................... 9
DRUGS, ALCOHOL & TOBACCO.............................................. 10
SWIM MEET INFORMATION....................................................... 10
Philosophy of Competition..................................................... 10
Classification and Types of Meets......................................... 11
Meet Schedule............................................................................ 12
Log Books.................................................................................... 13
How to Enter Meets................................................................... 13
Swim Meet Procedures............................................................. 13
Entry Fees and Surcharges..................................................... 14
What to Bring to a Meet........................................................... 14
Policies & Hints for Meets with prelims and Finals.......... 15
Behavior at Meets...................................................................... 15
Receiving Awards in Public..................................................... 16
Out of Town Meets..................................................................... 16
PARENT-SWIMMER-COACH RELATIONSHIP......................... 17
ParentsÂ Guidelines................................................................... 17
CoachesÂ Responsibilities........................................................ 19
PARENTS' COMMUNICATION.................................................... 19
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS & CONSIDERATIONS................. 20
Registration Fees...................................................................... 20
Team Dues..................................................................................... 20
Payment Procedures................................................................. 20
Partial Year Swimmer................................................................ 21
Fundraising Requirements...................................................... 21
Other Expenses.......................................................................... 21
WELCOME TO THE BOZEMAN BARRACUDA SWIM CLUB
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Bozeman Barracudas. We look forward to meeting you and working with your swimmer(s). Our club is a year-round age group and senior competitive swim team offering instruction, training, and competition to young people of all ages and abilities. The team is privately owned, financed, and supported.
The team competes in local, regional, national, and international competition sanctioned by USA Swimming, Inc., the national governing body for amateur swimming in this country.
This handbook will help familiarize you with all facets of the Bozeman Barracudas and competitive swimming in general. As you look through the following pages, you will be introduced to our history, philosophy, team policies, and basic information concerning your day-to-day participation in the Barracuda program. It is our hope that this handbook will help you better understand and enjoy the inner workings of the Barracudas and the world of amateur swimming.
To define the standard for competitive swimming programs in rural communities nationwide.
To provide a healthy, rewarding experience for young athletes, where the pursuit of goals and dreams leads to success in swimming and life.
To benefit our community we develop young leaders who are hardworking, responsible citizens. Our swimmers are respected role models who embody integrity, teamwork, and friendship gained through their commitment to excellence.
The Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team was founded in the 1960Âs by dedicated parents interested in competitive swimming. The Barracudas have a successful program of 80 - 125 swimmers, ranging from 5 to 22 years old. Professional coaches guide beginning swimmers new to competitive swimming through our graduated levels of instruction and training. Barracuda Swimmers compete at meets across the state, at regional competitions throughout the Northwest, and at national level competitions.
The BarracudaÂs most recent accomplishments:
Montana State Championships:
Montana Long Course 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002
Montana Short Course 1996, 1997
USA Swimming National Championship Qualifier:
Lee Frye 1997
U.S. Open Qualifier
Allan McCallum 2000 - 2002
Brandon Johnson 2001
Amy Barefield 2002
Allan McCallum 1999 - 2002
Cathryn Kinnaman 1998 - 1999
Jake Cook 1998
Adam Green 1998
Bill Frye 1997
Lee Frye 1996 - 1997
Hannah Chura 2005
Numerous Individual Montana State Champions at both the Short Course and Long Course State Championships.
Recent Barracuda Swimmers have over 70 Montana State Age Group Records.
Bozeman Barracuda team members have been instrumental in the success of the Bozeman High School Swim Team.
BOZEMAN BARRACUDA ORGANIZATION
The Barracuda Swim Team is fortunate to be supported by one of the finest organizations in all of competitive swimming, USA Swimming. Each time a youngster joins the team, the swimmerÂs parents automatically become members (and owners) of the Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team and inherit with that membership the responsibility to participate and support the activities of the Team.
As owners of the 501(c)3 non-profit, charitable organization, parents elect a Board of Directors to oversee the programs and performance of the business. Professional coaches are hired with the responsibility of running the swim team. They are assisted in this task by a variety of parent volunteers.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of seven members who are elected yearly at the Fall Banquet on a rotating basis for a two-year term. They are charged with the ultimate responsibility for directing the financial affairs and supervising the management of the team. Traditionally, the Barracuda Board of Directors has led by example, by being among the most active and experienced members. The Barracuda Board of Directors consists of the following elected officials: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, two elected at large members, and a swimmer representative.
The LSC (Montana Swimming) sponsors periodic clinics to certify officials in the USA Swimming program, and we encourage our parents to attend. Levels of certification include timer, place judge, stroke & turn judge, starter, and referee. With the number of meets we host each year and the quality of competition of these meets, it is essential that the Barracudas have a contingent of well-qualified officials. This is one way parents can really help our program, and we encourage interested individuals to fill these roles. Watch the newsletter and website for the announcement of the next local OfficialsÂ Certification Clinic.
Hosting Swim Meets
The Barracudas host approximately three meets per year. Hosting meets also saves travel time and out-of-pocket expenses for out-of-town meets, so please help do your share by volunteering to support your swimmers by working at the meets.
Over the years, we have developed a well-deserved reputation for conducting excellent meets. When the Barracuda Swim Team hosts a meet, the swimmersÂ needs are always the No. 1 priority. The key objectives are efficiency and hospitality. The Barracuda Swim Team is proud of this reputation and makes every effort to insure that all meets are well-staffed, run on schedule, and that our visitors enjoy themselves and want to come back.
The responsibility for hosting meets is shared equally by parents from all team levels. The Meet Director, who is a parent volunteer, has the responsibility of organizing the meet. There are a great number of duties when organizing a swim meet, and each family is expected to participate in the running of host meets.
STAFF AND FACILITIES
Nothing has a greater influence on the quality of childrenÂs sports than the excellence of the coach. The Barracuda Swim Club staff consists of one full time, and 2-3 part time professionally trained coaches. They, as member coaches in the American Swimming Coaches Association, have access to the most comprehensive training and certification program for youth coaches of any sport in the United States. Certified coaches in U.S. SwimÂming programs possess training and experience in the physiology and psychology of adolescent development. Our coaching staff will assure that the time your children spend in swimming will be quality time.
The Barracudas practice at the Bozeman Swim Center and Bogert Pool. The Bozeman Swim Center is an indoor 8-lane 50-meter pool, which is used year round by the Barracudas. Bogert Pool is an outdoor, 8-lane, 25-yard pool used from June through August. Both of these facilities are owned by the City of Bozeman and managed by the Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department. The Barracudas schedule and pay for all pool time reserved for practice and meets. In addition to these facilities, the Barracudas use the Bozeman High School weight room for some limited dryland training.
In keeping with the philosophy of providing a quality competitive swimming program for young people of all ages, abilities, and levels of interest, the Barracuda Swim Team offers several levels of professional instruction and training. Each level has specific objectives and goals that follow a logical progression. The goal of these programs as a whole is to provide each swimmer the opportunity to reach his or her ultimate potential. At every level, the emphasis is placed on each swimmers long-term development - especially in the introductory programs.
The White Group is designed for beginning swimmers who are just starting competitive swimming. This group practices 3 times per week for 1 hour. The training focuses on teaching the fundamentals and developing basic motor learning skills, balance, and coordination in the water. All four strokes are developed at this level with an emphasis on improving long Â axis strokes (freestyle and backstroke). Butterfly and breaststroke are introduced as well as racing starts and turns. There is no stroke or distance specialization at this level. It is important to make swimming a fun and enjoyable past time and to take a long term approach with these young swimmers. Correct stroke technique and efficiency are emphasized with speed being less important than swimming correctly. At this level, young athletes are encouraged to integrate other sports with swimming in order to open them to a wider range of experiences. Competition is encouraged but not required at this level. The ages of swimmers in this group typically range from 6-12 years old.
The objectives of this group are very similar to those of the White Group. However, this groups is designed for swimmers who have developed the basics of the four competitive strokes and can race at least three of the four without being disqualified. This group focuses on further refinement of all four strokes and emphasizes being able to swim an individual medley (an event composed of all four racing strokes). This group practices 4-5 times a week for 1 hour. The majority of the yards swam in this group is low in intensity and remains technique oriented. As with the White Group, there is no stroke or distance specialization. Having fun and feeling comfortable in the water are still the main objectives of this group. Athletes are still encouraged to integrate other sports with their swimming. There is more emphasis placed on competition for these swimmers, but it is still not a requirement. The ages of swimmers in this group typically range from 6-12 years old.
The swimmers moving into this group have mastered the basics of the four competitive strokes and are able to maintain their technique during low intensity training. Emphasis on technique remains, but each athletes physiological development takes on a much more important role though the focus is still on teaching and refining stroke technique. The Junior Group practices 5-6 times per week for 2 hours per practice. Low intensity aerobic conditioning is emphasized as the Swimmers begin to swim more yardage on a weekly basis. There is little to no specialization in strokes or distances. The training focuses on preparation for the 200 IM and middle distance Freestyle (200-500 yards). It is the coaching staffÂs belief that an emphasis on the IM and middle distance Freestyle will allow each swimmer to better reach their potential as they continue their swimming career. Swimmers in the Junior Group are encouraged to participate in other activities, however, it is important that they attend practice consistently. Although there is a significant amount of training time at this level, it is still a priority that practices are creative and swimmers continue to have fun. The ages of the swimmers in this group typically range from 9-14 years old.
This group is composed of our upper level swimmers who have made a commitment to swimming excellence. While technique continues to be emphasized, practice distance and intensity are increased. The Senior Group practices 6-9 times per week for approximately 2 hours per practice. At this level some specialization occurs for our older, more developed swimmersÂthis can be either stroke or distance oriented in nature. In general, the majority will train towards the 200 IM and middle distance events (all four strokes), but there are those who by inclination and aptitude will be trained with some specialization as distance swimmers, individual medley swimmers, stroke specialists, or sprinters. Swimmers in the Senior Group are recommended to attend at least 5 practices per week and preferably all 9 practices for the older, more developed swimmers. Competition is a major focus for this group looking to regional and national level competition. The ages of swimmers in this group typically range from 12-18 years old.
Group Placement Criteria
1. Training proficiency
2. Level of commitment and practice attendance
3. Age and level of maturity
4. Previous experience
5. Space availability in groups
6. Peer and Group interaction
7. Meet Performance
o Attend as many practices as you can. In the Junior Group and above it is not uncommon for a swimmer to attend every practice. The older you get, the more you are affected by practice attendance. While daily attendance is not encouraged for 8 and Unders, older swimmers will definitely benefit from daily practice. Missing practice does affect performance! During hectic periods when you might be participating in another demanding activity make as many practices as possible.
o Always be present at the pool at least 10 minutes before the start of practice so that we can start on schedule and make efficient use of the allotted time.
o Plan to stay the entire practice. The last part of practice is very often the most important, and announcements are usually made at the end of each practice. In the event that your child needs to be dismissed early from practice please notify the coach beforehand. Parents should not interrupt or talk to coaches or swimmers on deck during practice. If it is necessary to speak to your swimmer, please talk to the coach first.
o When a swimmer cannot attend the recommended number of practices for his/her group, we will expect the parent to notify the swimmerÂs coach to discuss the situation. Many situations arise that lead to missed practices - vacations, special events, etc. It is helpful to the coaching staff to know in advance when a swimmer will be absent for a long period of time. Because of the small size of our team and the limited number of qualified Assistant Coaches on our staff, many ÂspecialÂ situations arise which are handled on a case-by-case basis. An example of this is a swimmer in our Blue Group who cannot attend our scheduled Summer Practice times may be permitted to attend Junior Group practices.
o If your swimmer will be out of the water with an injury, illness or other commitments, please notify the coaches.
o If you are going out of town notify your coach well in advance. We have many swimmers who practice with us when they are in Bozeman, and there are clubs in most communities around the United States that would be glad to host your swimmer. If we can not arrange for your swimmer to practice with a local team while you are away, your coach may want to give you workouts/dryland to do on your own while you are gone.
o Occasionally, most of a practice group may be attending a meet, in which case you will be notified of a practice change or cancellation on the teamÂs bulletin board, newsletter, and website.
All practice groups are expected to be at their designated area with their practice equipment ready to start practice on time. Standard equipment for all groups is a nylon swim suit (any make, any color), swim cap (optional), goggles (optional), and towel. The following additional equipment is required:
Senior Group, Senior Prep, and Senior Gold
Water bottle, Pull-buoy*, paddles, fins, shoes
Water bottle, Pull-buoy*, fins
*Pull-buoys and fins are available at the pool, however swimmers may still wish to purchase their own.
Be sure to write you name on all
equipment with an indelible marker.
o Swimmers are encouraged to support their teammates at practice as well as in competition. Working together as a unit for the benefit of all individuals in the group is an important part of being a Barracuda.
o Swimmers are expected at all times to follow the verbal directions of the coaching staff. At no time will a disrespectful attitude be tolerated from any swimmer.
o Abusive language, lying, stealing, and/or vandalism are intolerable. These behaviors are contrary to the objectives of The Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team and are detrimental enough to the group to warrant strict disciplinary action.
o Swimmers may leave practice only with the coachÂs permission and/or released into the custody of a parent or legal guardian. This is for the safety and protection of your swimmer.
DRUGS, ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
The use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco and their effect on our nationÂs youth is a major concern.
The Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team wishes to take a proactive approach concerning this issue with the young people in our program. It is the coaching staffÂs position that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products have no place in athletics. Hence, the goal of the Barracudas is to provide a drug and alcohol free environment. Furthermore, each Barracuda swimmer represents the Barracuda Swim Club. Any and all illegal activities such as theft or vandalism by our swimmers reflect poorly on the Barracuda Swim Club.
In consideration of this position it should be clear that use and or possession of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and the participation in other illegal activities will not be tolerated and could result in disciplinary action.
SWIM MEET INFORMATION
Philosophy of Competition
The Barracuda Swim Team engages in a multi-level competition program within USA Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy:
o We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals, or trophies is not our main goal. Even if the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individualÂs improvement is our primary objective.
o Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance to improved performance. Respect for officials, congratulations to opponents (other competitors) and teammates, determined effort, and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the Barracuda coaching staff.
o A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coachÂs job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmerÂs performance. It is the parentÂs responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmerÂs confidence along the way.
o Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.
o Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances, and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages each swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming.
Classification and Types of Meets
There are seven age groups recognized by USA Swimming: 8 & under, 10 & Under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18 (sometimes 15-18), and Senior. The swimmerÂs age on the first day of the meet will govern the swimmerÂs age group for the entire meet. The Senior age group includes any age USA Swimming-registered swimmer who has achieved the prescribed qualifying time for the events.
Within each age group, there are different Âability levelsÂ or ÂclassificationsÂ (AAAA, AAA, AA, A, BB, B). Time standards for each classification are established and published each year by USA Swimming. In order to swim in a meet with a designated classification (e.g. AAA or AA), a swimmer must have achieved the qualifying time for that particular classification. This permits fair, yet challenging competition on all levels. In some cases, a swimmer may be in a different class in each stroke (e.g. ÂAÂ Breaststroke, ÂBÂ Freestyle, etc.). Meets may combine classifications to allow swimmers to compete in a complete event schedule. Most of the meets the Barracudas participate in are open to all classifications of swimmers.
Swim meets will also be described by other terms such as:
o Age Group Meets: Swimmers compete in events designated for their age group.
o Dual Meets: Occasionally, the Barracuda Swim Club will compete with one other team in a dual meet. These meets help promote team unity, but usually limit the number of events a swimmer may enter.
o Qualification Meets: These meets have some type of qualification time standard(s) that a swimmer must meet in order to enter the meet.
o Montana Age Group State Championships: This meet is an important team-effort meet held at the end of each short course and long course season. It provides an exciting climax to the season for all qualified age-groupers. The Short Course Championship Meet is held annually near the end of February or early March. The Long Course Championship Meet is usually held in late July or early August. Please check with the coach for qualification standards.
o Western Zone Championships: (Long Course only, held in the Summer) A Montana Zone team is selected to compete against other LSCÂs in a championship meet. Swimmers in the 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 age groups who have achieved a Western Zone Time Standard in at least one event, and who have not attained senior national qualifying times are eligible. One other stipulation of eligibility for the Montana Zone Team is a practice attendance percentage of 85% or greater. This practice attendance percentage starts THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE SUMMER SEASON- around April 1st.
o Northwest Section - Western Zone Age Group Championships: This meet replaces the Age Group Regional Meet. Age Group Swimmers from Alaska Swimming, Hawaii Swimming, Inland Empire Swimming, Montana Swimming, Oregon Swimming, Pacific Northwest Swimming, Snake River Swimming, and Wyoming Swimming compete in this regional competition. Each age has a specific qualifying time. This is the highest level of competition for age group swimmers with the exception of the Western Zone Championships. The Northwest Section - Western Zone Championship Meet is held each season - generally in late March and early August.
o USA Swimming/Speedo Champions Series Sectional Championship: There are 12 Sections across the country. This meet is one step below the National Championships.
o US Open: International Championship meet held in December. Slower time standards required than for Senior Nationals.
o Phillips 66/USA Swimming National Championships (Senior Nationals): Other than the Olympic Trials and the World Championship Trials, each of which is held once every four years, the highest level of competition for our senior swimmers is the USA Swimming National Championships. Swimmers meeting the national time standards travel to various cities in the U.S. to compete against AmericaÂs best swimmers. By their performance in these meets, swimmers often qualify for United States teams that engage in international competition.
Each seasonÂs meet schedule is distributed at the beginning of each season, with our monthly newsletter, and posted on the team bulletin board and website.
o The meet schedule has been established with the expectation that swimmers will attend every meet available and recommended for his/her specific group. We do not schedule any meet unless we feel it is important to participate. However, it is not mandatory to attend meets. Swimmers do have the opportunity to enter only one day of a meet.
o On an average, we want all team members to compete once every three weeks. The meet schedule is established with this philosophy in mind. In some cases, we will emphasize some meets for our younger swimmers and others for our Senior Swimmers. This happens when the meets available to us offer no other alternative.
o The coaching staff and the Board of Directors reserves the right to make the final decision concerning which meets the Barracuda Team may attend. Please contact the coaching staff about any exceptions to this schedule for individual swimmers.
o As a general rule, we discourage swimmers from entering competitions on two successive weekends (except in championship meets). This policy holds true for all levels of competition.
o Team Effort Meet - Team effort meets are indicated on the meet schedule. Since we place the most emphasis on these meets, Barracuda swimmers who are qualified to swim should plan to attend these meets and contribute to the total team effort. The Montana Age Group State Championships are always considered ÂÂTeam Effort Meets.ÂÂ
One of the ways a swimmer improves is to become aware of his/her times and splits in every event. We encourage each Barracuda swimmer to keep a record of their competition times from meet to meet. The coach will always take splits during a race and give them to the swimmer after each event. At this time the swimmer can enter the splits, along with the official scored time, in the logbook. Keeping the logbook at home will help keep the swimmer aware of times and goals.
How to Enter Meets
o Meet information sheets will be distributed at practice approximately one week before the turn-in date. Please read all information carefully. This information sheet will list the recommended events the swimmer will participate in, schedule of events (all possible events, in order), meet information, the amount the swimmers owes for meet entry fees, and the date the entry fees are due.
o The bottom portion of the meet information sheet will have a line for a signature, the date the entry is due, and the amount due. If you would like to participate in the meet, detach this portion of the meet information sheet, sign it, and return it with the entry fee. Be sure to note on the returned sheet if you want to swim only certain sessions. If you are unable to attend itÂs a good idea to let your coach know so he/she is not waiting for your entry. Retain the top portion of the sheet as a reference for the events the swimmer has entered.
o Coaches keep track of swimmersÂ times by using Hytek Software. Coaches are responsible for entering swimmers in meets and recommending the appropriate events. However, discussion regarding these events between coaches and swimmers is welcomed.
o Occasionally, and regrettably, a swimmer will not be entered in an event or meet that he/she should swim. If space is available and the meet director is willing, a late entry may be permitted.
Swim Meet Procedures
o Arrive at the pool fifteen minutes prior to the warm-up time. This time will be noted on the meet information sheet.
o A member of the Barracuda Coaching Staff always conducts warm-ups.
o All Barracuda swimmers are required to wear the team cap, if a cap is used, and encouraged to wear the team suit. During championship meets, Âhigh speedÂ suits may be worn in place of the team suit.
o Each Barracuda swimmer is responsible for knowing which events he/she is swimming and for being present on time to swim. It is customary to write event numbers, heat, and lane assignments on the back of the swimmerÂs hand. A program and heat sheet will be available for sale at the meets.
o Before reporting to the blocks, a swimmer should confer with a member of the coaching staff to review race strategy and goals.
o At the conclusion of each race, the swimmer should ask the lane timers for the stopwatch time. Swimmers are then asked to return immediately to the coaching staff. This gives the coaches an opportunity to discuss the race with each swimmer and add positive comments concerning splits, stroke technique, race strategy, etc.
o At most meets, electronic timing is used. The official time is generally the one recorded by the swimmer touching the touch pad and appears on the scoreboard. If a swimmer misses the touch pad or there is a mechanical failure, various back-up times may be used. The timing and scorekeeping personnel analyze all times to determine the official times that are then posted as final results.
o When the official results are posted, record the official time to the 1/100th of a second in your logbook.
o Between races, swimmers are asked to rest and stay warm. Emphasis is on recovery and restoring energy to be used in competition. If swimmers eat, a light nutritious snack is recommended. Staying hydrated is very important - make sure each swimmer has a water bottle.
o It is very important that swimmers check with the coaching staff prior to leaving the swim meet. There is a possibility that they have been placed on a relay team and are not done for the day.
Entry Fees and Surcharges
There is a fee for each event a swimmer enters at a meet. Usually, this fee is around $2.00 per event. In addition to the entry fee for each individual event, most meets require a meet surcharge. This fee is usually around $10.00. Also, there are fees for relays the team may enter in each meet. On average the meet fees will total approximately $25.00 per swimmer. These entry fees are used to cover various costs of the meets. Part of the money goes toward awards for the meet (Ribbons and Medals). Another portion goes to the host team to pay for facility rental. Also, a small portion of the money raised in entry fees goes to the Montana Local Swimming Committee. This is used, among other things, for the Montana Travel Fund, which provides financial aid for Montana swimmers attending certain All-Star meets and the USA Swimming Senior National Championships.
What to Bring to a Meet
Barracuda team swim suit (optional)
2 Barracuda team swim caps (optional)
2 towels or more
Blanket or sleeping bag
Quiet games or books
Nutritious food and snacks
Logbook for recording official times
Policies & Hints for Meets with prelims and Finals
There are several USA Swimming policies that govern swim meets with prelims and finals. The following are policies that the coaches must adhere to. Please familiarize yourself with these so that you can have your swimmer at the poo1 when he/she is supposed to swim.
o Check-In Events: Some meets require swimmers to Âcheck inÂ for one or all of their events. This means that each swimmer must place his or her initials next to their name for each event. Please check with your coach for details. If they are not checked in, they will not be permitted to swim. Once checked in, if a swimmer misses the event, there may be a penalty imposed on the swimmer or the team. Check in is usually required for the longer freestyle events (800 and up).
o Relays: Be sure to find out if you are in a relay and when it will be swam (at the end of prelims or in finals). Relays are a team effort and it takes all 4 members to have a successful relay swim.
o Final Events: Before you leave the pool from prelims, double-check the results to see if you made finals. Someone ahead of you might scratch. Know how many people come back for finals (this might differ from meet to meet). If you are swimming at night, ask your coach what time you should be back for warm-up. Again, there is a penalty for any swimmer failing to show up for a final event.
o Each swimmer should get as much rest as they can the weekend and week prior to a meet. Get as much rest as possible during the meet itself. Go to bed early the night before and if at all possible sleep between prelims and finals.
o Eat properly and nutritiously. Stay hydrated. NO fast food and stay away from the ÂjunkÂ food.
Behavior at Meets
o Whenever and wherever a swimmer wears any Barracuda items of the team uniform, the individual should remember that his/her actions and words reflect on the team they represent. and they should behave accordingly. Let your actions reflect the pride you have in the Barracuda organization.
o As a matter of courtesy to the officials and meet hosts, it is preferable that swimmers and parents alike stay off the deck and competition venue, unless they are competing or serving in an official capacity.
o Similarly, as a matter of courtesy, all questions swimmers or parents may have concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff only. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through proper channels.
o As a matter of pride, leave the Barracuda team area in a neat and clean condition at the conclusion of each session of the meet.
o Barracuda team members are never to scratch or late-enter an event without first consulting one of the coaches.
o In a meet with preliminaries and finals, it is expected that any Barracuda swimmer qualifying to swim in the finals will do so.
Receiving Awards in Public
Whenever there is a system of presenting awards at a meet, it is customary for swimmers to be prompt and to cooperate fully with dignity and respect at the presentation. If the swimmer owns a full club uniform, it should be worn when accepting the award. It is also customary for our swimmers to be polite and modestly thankful for any awards they receive. It is appropriate to congratulate other swimmers and to receive like congratulations with poise and a Âthank you.Â Good sportsmanship is essential.
Out of Town Meets
Trips to meets in other cities become an important aspect of a swimmerÂs career while advancing through the age group ranks. The Barracuda Swim Team has established the following policies for the safety of the swimmer and peace-of-mind of her/his parents:
o Parents are to be responsible for arranging transportation and lodging to away meets, with the exception of some special competitions. DO NOT ASK YOUR SWIMMERÂS COACH TO HANDLE THIS JOB.
o Parents are encouraged to attend out-of-town meets with their swimmers and to chaperone other youngsters. These trips can be great fun for parents and swimmers alike and are rare opportunities to participate in a special way in each young swimmerÂs career.
o Any swimmer riding in a car is responsible to the parent/driver for his behavior and is expected to adhere to the Barracuda Code of Conduct at all times.
o A medical release and emergency telephone number should be given to the parent/ driver with whom your swimmer is riding in case emergency medical treatment is required.
o An appropriate contribution is expected from each passenger in a car to the driver/ owner to help defray fuel costs and other expenses such as meals.
o Barracuda Bus/Van Trip Policy:
Â§ It is important for swimmers to participate in meets both with and without parents in attendance. This adds to the growth experience a child can gain from competitive swimming, teamwork, and individual initiative.
Â§ Barracuda swimmers must remain with the team for the duration of the trip (including meals and team functions).
Â§ If a Barracuda swimmer would like to return with his parents, he/she may leave if his meet is over and arrangements were made prior to the start of the trip with a signed permission slip and clearance with the responsible chaperone and coach.
Â§ The full amount of designated transportation costs will be collected in advance and will not be refunded (unless all expenses are met).
Â§ Trip/Transportation charges may include coaches and chaperones, hotel costs, travel, and other miscellaneous expenses deemed necessary by the coaching staff.
Â§ All release forms must be signed prior to the trip.
Â§ All swimmers must follow the Code of Conduct (Appendix F.). Regulations must be followed as set forth by coaches and chaperones.
Â§ Please turn in all deposits, monies and forms on time.
You have done a great deal to raise your child. You create the environment in which they are growing up. Your child is a product of your values and the structure you have provided. The coaching staffsÂ experience has found that the following guidelines help parents and coached remain objective with respect to the childÂs/swimmerÂs development.
o Every individual learns at a different rate and responds differently to the various methods of presenting skills. The slower learner obviously takes more time to learn, and this requires more patience on the part of the parents and coaches, who must both remember that the childÂs ultimate swimming potential may be as great or greater than that of the faster learner.
o When an athlete first comes out for the team and starts practicing, it is possible for him to worsen rather than improve. In the case of team members in the White, Blue, and Junior Groups, this is likely due to the emphasis placed on stroke technique in these groups. It takes a great deal of the swimmerÂs attention to master these skills. These new sets of habits are the basis for later improvement. As training proceeds in the Senior and Junior levels additional stress is placed upon the muscles. The muscles will at first break down under the demand of additional work, and this can explain an initial lack of improvement. As the need for improvement is realized, the muscles will gradually strengthen and the athleteÂs performance will improve.
o Plateaus occur at any time during a swimmerÂs career. They may occur in both competition and training. A plateau signifies the swimmer has mastered lower-order skills, but they are not yet sufficiently automatic to leave the attention free to attack newer, higher-order skills. It is important the athlete understands that plateaus occur in all fields of physical learning. The more successful athletes are those who work through this momentary delay in improvement and go on to achieve greater performance.
o 10-and-unders are the most inconsistent swimmers, and this can be frustrating for parent, coach, and swimmer alike. We must be patient and permit these youngsters to learn to love the sport.
o Parents must realize that slow development of competitive drive at an early age is normal and perhaps more desirable than precocious or forced early development. It is important that everyone learn to compete and develop some competitive spirit. It is also important for children to learn to adapt to reasonable levels of emotional stress. The small disappointments they must learn to handle as youngsters prepare them for the larger ones they are certain to experience as adults.
o It is the coachÂs job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmerÂs performance. It is the parentÂs job to supply unconditional love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to help the young athletes feel good about themselves.
o ParentsÂ attitudes and models often dictate those of their children. A child might not be consciously aware of what is taking place while subconsciously absorbing powerful messages about their parentsÂ desires. For example, be enthusiastic about taking your child to practices and meets. fundraising projects, meetings, etc. - donÂt look at these functions as chores.
o If parents can offer insight on their child that will enable that childÂs coach to work more effectively with the child, please be sure to contact that coach.
o If you have any questions about your childÂs training or team policies, contact your childÂs coach directly. Criticizing the coach in front of the youngsters undermines the coachÂs authority and breaks the swimmer - coach support necessary for maximum success. If you have a complaint that canÂt be satisfactorily addressed by your coach or the Head coach please contact a Board Member or attend one of the monthly Board Meetings.
o No parent should behave in such a way that brings discredit to the child, the team, or competitive swimming. Any disagreement with a meet official should be brought to the attention of the coach, and handled by the coach.
o Be sure that your youngster swims because he/she wants to. People tend to resist anything they Âhave to do.Â Self-motivation is the stimulus of all successful swimmers.
o The etymology of the word ÂcompetitionÂ goes back to two Latin words, ÂcamÂ and ÂpetereÂ, which mean together to strive. Avoid ÂplayingÂ your child against their nearest competitors, thereby creating vendettas within the team and swimming community. Competition provides two great opportunities for the athlete: it brings out the best in them and shows where improvement is needed.
o The communication between coach and swimmer is very important. A two-way relationship must exist daily at practice. It is imperative that the coach has the swimmerÂs full attention at these times. It is for this reason that we ask parents to watch practice and not coach in any manner.
o In general, it is best for parents to refrain from making stroke corrections or trying to coach their swimmer. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim, it causes considerable, and often times, insurmountable confusion as to whom the swimmer should listen to and respect. If you disagree with something, please confer with the coach.
o Remember, particularly in the case of younger swimmers, that attitude and behavior of the parents in regard to their outlook on the sport has an important effect on the child. In swimming, as in life, nobody can ÂwinÂ or succeed all the time - there will always be some disappointment. Every youngster can gain from his experience whether or not he ever wins a single race. The goal is not only to produce great swimmers, but to produce great young people who swim.
The coach's job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The Barracuda Coaching Staff is dedicated to providing a program for youngsters that will enable them to learn the value of pursuing goals. Therefore, the coaches accept full responsibility in matters affecting training and competition.
o The coaches are responsible for placing youngsters in practice groups. This is based on Group Placement Criteria found on page seven. When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/she will be placed in a more challenging training group by the coach.
o Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Barracuda Coaching Staff. Each groupÂs practices are based on sound scientific principles and geared to the goals of that group.
o The coaching staff will recommend which meets Barracuda swimmers should attend and shall make the final decision with regard to which events a swimmer competes.
o At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmerÂs performance.
o The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff (see Swim Meet Procedures).
o The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the Barracuda program. It is the youngsterÂs and parentÂs responsibility to make the most out of the excellent opportunity this program provides for success in swimming.
Web Page- The current address will be available on the Bulletin Board and in the Newsletter. It contains recent news, updated monthly during the season. The site has meet recaps and results (often with individual splits), the meet schedule, information including staff and practice schedule, records, various time standards and a lot more. Be sure to add it to your bookmarks!
Bulletin Board - Provides meet information in detail and entry summaries for upcoming meets. This is located inside the Swim Center. Check this frequently for current information!
Family File - Each Barracuda family has a file folder. These files will be available at the pool during practices. Meet information, awards, and other important communications will be placed in your file. Swimmers and/or parents will be responsible for checking the files daily. These will not be mailed to you because of the significant cost involved.
Open Door Policy - Please do not try to meet with the coaches during practice time. The swimmers need their concentration. The Barracuda Head Coach may be reached by telephone outside practice hours or during scheduled visits. All administrative needs may be handled with coaches, or by calling respective chairpersons or board members directly. Please remember that no question is too insignificant to ask.
Team Roster - A complete roster is issued following completion of registrations each year. It lists each swimmerÂs name, parentÂs names, address, phone number, birth date, team, location, in addition to listings of all board members and staff.
Team E-mail Address - email@example.com
If any questions or problem should arise, the lines of communication between the coaches and parents will always be open. Feel free to call any coach about problems or suggestions concerning your youngster. It is very important that you let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your swimmers enjoyment of the sport. It is best to communicate with the coach most involved with your youngsterÂs program. If you have concerns that are unresolved contact the team Ombudsman.
Monthly Board Meeting - Time and place will be posted on the Bulletin Board and in the Newsletter.
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS & CONSIDERATIONS
There is a non-refundable annual registration fee for all team members that covers the USA Swimming Registration Fee. This money goes directly to Montana Swimming. Registration is necessary to compete in any USA sanctioned meets. Registration fees must be paid before a swimmer is allowed to begin practice due to insurance requirements. Every athlete who competes or practices in a USA Swimming sanctioned event must register with and become a member of USA Swimming, Inc., which is renewable each January 1st. Included with this registration is provisional medical accident insurance that covers the athlete at any sanctioned event or supervised practice. The coaching staff will distribute any forms necessary for registration.
Dues should be paid on the first of each month. Checks should be made payable to the ÂBozeman Barracuda Swim ClubÂ. They can be left in the ÂDuesÂ Folder in the Family File Box at the pool or mailed to:
The Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team
Attn: Dues Chairman
P.O. Box 804
Bozeman, MT 59771
Partial Year Swimmer
Please see Appendix C for details.
In order to keep monthly dues low, the Barracudas offer a variety of fundraising programs. Some of these programs are designed to directly benefit those who participate in the fundraiser, i.e. 100% of what is raised goes toward your monthly dues. Other fundraisers are designed to raise money for the team as a whole. Keep in mind that fundraisers are required to keep the dues low. For specific fundraising requirements and a short list of Barracuda Fundraisers, please see Appendix C.
There are meet entry fees for all USA sanctioned swim meets. The fees are based on the number of events the swimmer is entered in for that meet. For more information, please see Entry Fees and Surcharges under How to Enter Meets on page 11 of this handbook.
Racing Suits: The Barracuda team suit is a solid blue racing suit. All team members, including those swimming in an ÂunattachedÂ status, are encouraged to wear the team suit in competition. In some meets special suits may be worn. These are available for Barracuda Swimmers to wear at their Âtaper and shaveÂ championship meets. The coaching staff does not recommend these suits for younger swimmers. These suits cost a great deal, and the coaching staff does not feel that they are a necessity for fast swimming. If you have any questions, see your childÂs coach.
Swim Cap: If you choose to wear a cap, the Barracuda team swim cap is a required part of the team uniform to be worn during competition. Caps are available from the coaches and through the team store. Caps can be paid for with cash or charged to the swimmerÂs account.
Warm-up Suits: The official Barracuda warm-up suit (long pants and jacket), warm-up shirt and shorts, and parka are available through the team store.
It is highly recommended that each swimmerÂs name be placed inconspicuously on all pieces of the team uniform.
Barracuda Logo: DGR Embroidery, located at 10 Evergreen Drive #B, Bozeman, MT, has the Barracuda Logo on file and can embroider it on most items of clothing.
Information that is subject to change will be provided as supplements to the Handbook. Please see the coach or a Board Member for the following forms:
A. Sign-up Check List
B. Swimmer Registration Form
C. Terms and Conditions for Participation/ Dues
D. Fund Raising Information
E. Code Of Conduct Form
ÂAÂ Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard ÂAÂ. ÂAÂ time is faster than the ÂBBÂ time standard slower than the ÂAAÂ time standard. See the NAGT published chart.
ÂAAÂ Time classification for a swimmer; faster than ÂAÂ time standard.
ÂAAAÂ Time classification for a swimmer; faster than the ÂAAÂ time standard.
ÂAAAAÂ Time classification for a swimmer; faster than the ÂAAAÂ time standard. This is the fastest time standard listed on the NAGT chart. Times faster than this are approaching National cuts or Top Times consideration.
A-Meet Swim meet that requires swimmers to have previously achieved an ÂAÂ time standard in the events they wish to enter.
A-B Meet Swim meet that offers separate competition for both ÂAÂ swimmers and ÂBÂ swimmers, usually with medals for the ÂAÂ swimmers and ribbons for the ÂBÂ swimmers. Swimmers compete in separate brackets against other swimmers of their own ability. Usually only ÂAÂ swimmers can score individual event team points.
A-B-C Swim meet similar to the A-B meet except that there are 3 divisions. This type of meet includes every ability level of swimmer from Novice to very experienced. All swimmers ÂAÂ time or faster compete in the ÂAÂ division, and all swimmers ÂCÂ and down compete in the ÂCÂ division. The ÂBÂ division is the most limited with both top and bottom limitations.
Achiever Card A recognition card or certificate proving the swimmer has made a specific time in an event. The card lists the distance, stroke, swimmers time, date and place of meet, swimmers name, and meet refereeÂs signature.
Add Up Aggregate Time - times achieved by 4 swimmers in individual events which are added together to arrive at a provable relay entry time.
Admission Certain swim meets charge for spectators to view the meets. These are usually the larger more prestigious meets. Sometimes the meet program (heat sheet) is included in the price of admission.
Age Group Division of swimmers according to age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10-under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16,17-18. Some LSCs divide the swimmers into divisions specific to their situations, e.g., 8-Under, 15-Over, Junior, Senior.
Alternate In a Prelims/Finals meet, after the finalists are decided, the next two fastest swimmers other than the finalist are designated as alternates. The faster of the 2 being first alternate and the next being second alternate. If a finalist cannot participate, the alternates are called to take their place, often on a moments notice.
Anchor The final swimmer in a relay.
Approved Meet Swim meets conducted by organizations (other than USA Swimming member clubs or LSCs) that have applied to USA Swimming or the local LSC for approval. If approval is granted, swimmers may use times achieved as USA Swimming qualifying times. A USA Swimming official must be present at all sessions of the meet. Approval does not mean Sanctioned.
ASCA The American Swim Coaches Association. The professional organization for swim coaches throughout the nation. The ASCA certifies coaches and offers many services for coachesÂ education and career advancement.
ÂBÂ Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard ÂBÂ. ÂBÂ time is faster than the ÂCÂ time standard slower than the ÂBBÂ time standard. See the NAGT published chart.
ÂBBÂ Time classification for a swimmer faster than the ÂBÂ time standard.
B-Meet Swim meet that requires swimmers to have previously achieved a ÂBÂ time standard in the events they wish to enter. Some meets have no bottom cut time allowing ÂCÂ swimmers also to compete.
B-C Meet Swim meet that offers separate competition for both ÂBÂ swimmers and ÂCÂ swimmers, usually with ribbons for the ÂBÂ swimmers and smaller ribbons for the ÂCÂ swimmers. Swimmers compete in separate brackets against other swimmers of their own ability. Swimmers are not allowed to enter an event that they have an ÂAÂ time in.
Backstroke One of the four competitive racing strokes. Any style of swimming performed on your back. Backstroke is the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd/m, 100 yd/m, and 200 yd/m. (LSCs with 8-Under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Banner A team sign that is displayed at swim meets. Banners are usually made from nylon material and carry the Team Logo and possibly the name of a popular team sponsor. Some size restrictions are enforced at certain meets.
Beep The starting sound from an electronic computerized timing system.
Bell Lap The part of a freestyle distance race (400 meters or longer) when the lead swimmer has 2 lengths plus 5 yards to go. The starter signals (by bell or gun shot) over the lane of the lead swimmer.
Big Finals The top 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Big Finals is the fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held. See Championship Finals.
Blocks The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends.
BOD Board of Directors of the LSC or USA Swimming.
Bonus Heat The heat held during the finals session of a Prelims/Finals meet that is slower than the swimmers participating in Big Finals. The Bonus Heat may refer to Consolation Finals or an extra heat in addition to Consolation finals.
Bottom The floor of the pool. Bottom depths are usually marked on the walls or sides of the pool.
Breaststroke One of the four competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd/m, 100 yd/m, and 200 yd/m. (LSCs with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Bull Pen The staging area where swimmers wait to receive their lane and heat assignments for a swimming event. This area is usually away from the pool and has rows of chairs for the swimmers to sit. The Clerk of the Course is in charge of the Bull Pen.
Butterfly One of the four competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed Fly) is the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd/m, 100 yd/m, and 200 yd/m. (LSCs with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd Fly)
Button The manual Timing System stopping device that records a back-up time in case the touch pad malfunctions. The buttons are wired to the deck terminal box at the end(s) of each lane. It is the timersÂ responsibility to push the button as the swimmers finish the race.
Camp A swimming function offered by USA Swimming, your LSC, or a USA Swimming coach. There are many types of camps for just about every level of swimmer. When selecting a camp, ask your coaches advice as to what will be the best for the swimmer, or call USA Swimming for details on the many camps they offer.
Cap The latex or lycra covering worn on the head of swimmers. The colors and team logoÂs adorning these caps are unlimited. National Caps, State Team Caps, award caps, plain practice caps, etc.
Carbos Carbohydrates are the main source of food energy used by athletes. Refer to a Nutritional Manual for more information.
Cards A card that is either handed to the swimmer in the bullpen or given to the timer behind the lane. Cards usually list the swimmers name, USA Swimming number, seed time, event number, event description, and the lane and heat number the swimmer will swim in. Backup times are written on these cards. Each event has a separate card.
Championship Finals The top six or eight swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. The fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held. Also called Big Finals.
Championship Meet The meet held at the end of a season the usually requires qualifying times.
Check-In The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck-seeded meet. The swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host. Sometimes referred to as positive check in.
Chlorine The chemical used by most pools to kill the bacteria in water and keep it clear and safe to swim in.
Circle Seeding A method of seeding swimmers with the fastest swimmers assigned the inside lanes. In an eight lane pool, fastest to slowest seed times in a single heat are assigned lanes 4, 5, 3, 6, 2, 7 and 8. See the U.S.A. Swimming rule book for exact method for seeding depending on the number of lanes in the pool (Article 102.5.3).
Clinic A scheduled meeting for the purpose of instruction. For example: an Officials clinic or Coaches clinic.
Closed Competition A swim meet open only to the members of an organization or group. Summer club swim meets are considered to be ÂClosed CompetitionÂ.
Club A registered swim team that is a due paying member (dues) of USA Swimming and the local LSC.
Code of Conduct A set of rules that have been officially published.
Code of Ethics A Code of Conduct that both swimmers and coaches are required to sign at certain USA Swimming/LSC sponsored events. The Code involves common sense and proper behavior.
Consolation Finals After the fastest 6 or 8 swimmers, the next 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet whom, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Consolations are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.
Convention, The USAS The United States Aquatic Sports annual, week long meeting where all rules changes are decided and working committees are established. Representatives are sent by each LSC to make up the voting body.
Course Designated distance (length of pool) for swimming competition. (I.e.) Long Course = 50 meters / Short Course = 25 yards or 25 meters.
Deck The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an authorized USA Swimming member may be on the deck during a swim competition.
Deck Entries Accepting entries into swimming events after the entry deadline.
Deck Seeding Swimmers report to a bullpen or staging area and receive their lane and heat assignments for the events. See Seed.
Dehydration The abnormal depletion of body fluids (water). The most common cause of swimmerÂs cramps and nausea is dehydration.
Developmental Meet A classification of meet or competition that is usually held early in the season. The purpose of a developmental meet is to allow all levels of swimmers to compete in a low-pressure environment.
Distance Distances for short course are 25 yards per lane length. Short course events include 50, 100, 200, 400, 500, 1000 and 1650 yards. Distances for long course are 50 meters per lane length. Long course events include 50,100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meters.
Disqualified A swimmers time is not recorded because of a rules infraction. An official raising one arm with open hand above their head signals a disqualification. Also referred to as a ÂDQÂ.
Dive Entering the water headfirst. Diving is not allowed during warm-ups except at the designated time, in specific lanes that are monitored by the swimmers coach.
Diving Well A pool adjacent to the competition pool. This pool has deeper water and diving boards/platforms. During a meet, this area may be designated as a warm-down pool with proper supervision.
Division I-II-III NCAA member colleges and universities are assigned competitive divisions according to the schools total enrollment, Division I being the large universities and Division III being the smaller colleges.
Double Dual Type of swim meet where three teams compete in dual meets against each other, at the same time. Separate Meet scores would be kept for Team A vs. Team B, Team A vs. Team C, and Team B vs. Team C.
DQ See Disqualified.
Drag Resistance of the body moving through the water. Senior swimmers may shave all arm, leg and torso hair to decrease drag for important meets.
Drag Suit A suit designed to increase resistance during training.
Draw Random selection for lane assignments when swimmersÂ seed times are identical.
Dropped Time When a swimmer improves their time over a previous performance they have Âdropped timeÂ.
Dryland The strength and endurance exercises swimmers do out of the water.
Dual Meet A type of meet where two teams/clubs compete against each other.
Entry An Individual, Relay Team, or Club Roster submission for a swim competition.
Entry Chairperson The host clubs designated person who is responsible for receiving, and making sure the entries have met the deadline, or returning the entries if the meet is full. This person is responsible for notifying the club to correct any errors or discrepancies.
Entry Deadline The last ÂpostmarkÂ date for meet entries to be accepted by the meet host. Entry by the deadline does not guarantee acceptance, as many meets are ÂfullÂ weeks before the entry deadline.
Entry Fees The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.
Entry Limit Each meet will usually have a limit of total swimmers they can accept, or a time limit they can not exceed. Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed and all other entries returned.
Electronic Timing A timing system operated on low voltage. It consists of touch pads in the water; junction boxes on the deck with hook up cables; buttons for backup timing; and a computer type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmersÂ times.
Eligible to compete A member whose USA SwimmerÂs registration is current.
Event A race or stroke over a given distance. An event equals one preliminary with its final, or one timed final.
False Start When a swimmer moves or leaves the starting block before the starting signal is given. One false start will disqualify a swimmer or a relay team, although the starter or referee may disallow the false start due to unusual circumstances.
False Start Rope See Recall Rope.
Fastest to Slowest A seeding method used on the longer events held at the end of a session. The fastest seeded swimmers participate in the first heats followed by the next fastest and so on. Many times these events will alternate one girlÂs heat and one boyÂs heat until all swimmers have competed.
FINA The international rules making organization for the sport of swimming.
Finals The final race of each event.
Final Results The printed copy of the results of each event of a swim meet that is usually posted by the meet host.
Fins Rubber propulsion devices worn on a swimmerÂs feet. Used during technical training and swim practice.
Flags Pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall for backstroke swimmerÂs reference.
Format The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted.
Freestyle One of the four competitive racing strokes. Freestyle (nicknamed Free) is swam as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd/m, 100 yd/m, 200 yd/m, 400 m/500 yd 800 m/1000 yd, 1500 m/1650 yd. (LSCs with 8-Under divisions offer the 25-yd free)
Gallery The viewing area for spectators during the swimming competition.
Goggles Recommended devices worn by swimmers to keep their eyes from being irritated by the chlorine in the water and improving vision.
Handbook A reference manual published by teams/clubs and LSCs or other swimming organizations.
Heats The division of an event that groups swimmers based on seed times.
Heat Award A ribbon or coupon given to the winner of a single heat at an age group swim meet.
Heat Sheet The pre-meet printed listings of swimmerÂs seed times in the various events at a swim meet. Heat sheets are sold at the admissions table and are used to verify the swimmer has been properly listed in all entered events. Sometimes, the heat sheet includes an estimate of how long the meet sessions will last.
High Point An award given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet. All meets do not offer high point awards.
HOD House of Delegates. The ruling body of an LSC composed of the designated representative of each club plus the board of directors (BOD) of the LSC.
IM Individual Medley. A swimming event combining all four of the competitive strokes. The order must be butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Equal distances must be swam of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yd, 200 yd/m, and 400 yd/m.
Interval A specific elapsed time for swimming or rest used during swim practice.
Invitational Type of meet that requires a club to request an invitation to attend the meet.
J.O. Junior Olympics. An age group championship meet conducted by the LSC.
Jump An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team. The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall.
Kick Board A flotation device used by swimmers during practice.
Lane The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim. From the start end facing the pool, the lanes are numbered right to left.
Lane Lines Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.
Lap One length of the course. Sometimes lap may also mean down and back (2 lengths) of the course.
Lap Counter The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events that are 500 yards (800m) or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are Âodd numbersÂ with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.
Leg The part of a relay event swam by a single team member. Also, a single stroke in the IM.
Length The extent of the competitive course from end to end. See lap.
Little Finals See Consolation Finals.
Long Course A 50-meter pool.
LSC Local Swim Committee. The local (regional) level administrative division of the corporation (USA Swimming) with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by the Corporation. Transfer from one LSC or club to another usually requires 120 days of unattached competition.
ÂMarkÂ The command to take your starting position.
Marshall/Safety Marshall The official responsible for safety, crowd control and swimmer flow at a swim meet.
Meet A series of events held in one program.
Meet Director The official in charge of the administrative duties of the meet.
Mile The slang referring to the 1500-meter or the 1650-yard freestyle, both of which are slightly short of a mile.
NAIA National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
NAGTS National Age Group Time Standards - the list of ÂCÂ through ÂAAAAÂ times published each year.
Natatorium A building constructed for the purpose of housing a swimming pool and related equipment.
NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association. The competitions are short course measured in yards.
NGB National Governing Body
Non-Conforming Time A short course time submitted to qualify for a long course meet, or vice versa.
Novelty Meet A meet that does not fall into a specific category because of limited events, sessions, or age brackets.
NRT National Reportable Time. A time list published once a year, which if a swimmer equals or betters the time on the list, they may submit their time in that event for consideration for national recognition.
NT No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has no reported time for that event.
Officials The certified, adult volunteers, who oversee the many facets of a swim competition.
Olympic Trials The USA Swimming sanctioned long course swim meet held the year of the Olympic Games to decide what swimmers will represent the USA on our Olympic Team. Qualification times are faster than Senior Nationals.
OT Official Time. The swimmers event time recorded to one hundredth of a second (.01).
OTC Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
OVC Official Verification Card. A 3 copy form for certifying a national qualifying time made by a swimmer and issued only by a verification official of the area in which the meet was held.
Open Competition Competition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter without age restrictions.
Parka Large 3/4-length lined coats worn by swimmers. Usually are in team colors with logo or team name.
Pace Clock The large clocks with highly visible numbers and second hands, positioned at the ends or sides of the swimming pool so swimmers can read their times during warm-ups or swim practice.
Paddle Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmers hands during swim practice.
Pelican Pete The ÂSafety MascotÂ of USA Swimming.
Positive Check In See Check In.
Practice The scheduled workouts a swimmer attends with their swim team/club.
Prelims Session of a Prelims/Finals meet in which the qualification heats are conducted.
Prelims-Finals Type of meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning session. The fastest 6 or 8 (Championship Heat) swimmers, and the next fastest 6 or 8 swimmers (Consolation Heat) return in the evening to compete in the Finals. A swimmer who has qualified in the Consolation Finals may not place in the Championship Finals even if their finals time would place them so. The converse also applies.
Pre-seeded A meet conducted without a bull pen in which a swimmer knows what lane and heat they are in by looking at the Meet heat sheet, or posted meet program.
Proof of Time An official meet result.
Protest A coach may contest a disqualification.
ÂPsyche SheetÂ Another name for a Heat Sheet or meet program.
Pull Buoy A flotation device held between the legs and used by swimmers for pulling resistance during practice.
Qualifying Times Published times necessary to enter certain meets, or the times necessary to achieve a specific category of swimmer. See ÂAÂ ÂAAÂ (etc.) times.
Race Any single swimming competition.
Ready Room A poolside room for the swimmers to relax before they compete in finals.
Recall Rope A rope across the width of the pool for the purpose of stopping swimmers who were not aware of a false start.
Referee The head official at a swim meet with full authority over all the officials, their duties, decisions and applicable rules.
Registered Enrolled and paid as a member of USA Swimming and the LSC.
Relays An event in which four swimmers participate as a relay team with each participant swimming an equal distance. There are two types of relays:
Â§ Medley relay - The stroke order is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Medley relays are conducted over 200 yd/m and 400 yd/m distances.
Â§ Freestyle relay - Each participant swims freestyle. Free relays are conducted over 200 yd/m, 400 yd/m, and 800 yd/m distances.
Rest Area A designated area (such as a gymnasium) that is set-aside for swimmers to rest during a meet.
Safety Coordinator USA Swimming and each LSC now have a Safety Coordinator and each meet must have a Marshall(s) in charge of safety.
Sanction A permit issued by an LSC to a USA Swimming group member to conduct an event or meet.
Sanction Fee The amount paid by a USA Swimming group member to an LSC for issuing a sanction.
Schedule, Meet USA Swimming or LSC list of meets with dates, meet host, meet location, type of meet, and contacts address and phone number.
Scratch To withdraw from an event after having declared an intention to participate. Some meets have scratch deadlines and specific scratch rules, and if not followed, swimmer can be disqualified from remaining events.
Seed Assignment of heat and lane based on a swimmerÂs submitted or preliminary times. There are two types of seeding:
Deck Seeding - swimmers are called to report to the Clerk of the Course. After scratches are determined, the event is seeded.
Pre Seeding - swimmers are arranged in heats according to submitted times, usually a day prior to the meet.
Senior Meet A meet that is for senior level swimmers and is not divided into age groups. Qualification times are usually necessary and will vary depending on the level of the meet.
Senior A USA Swimming National Championship meet for swimmers of any age as long as the qualification times are met.
Senior Nationals Nationals are long course meets conducted in the spring (usually in late March) and in the summer (usually in late July or August).
Session Portion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group.
Shave The practice by some swimmers of removing all exposed body hair with a razor in preparation for championship meets.
Short Course A 25 yard or 25 meter pool.
Splash USA Swimming newsletter that is mailed bi-monthly.
Split The timed length of an event that is shorter than the total timed length of that event, e.g., the first 50 meters of 100-meter race. Multiple splits may be taken for longer distances.
Stations Separate portions of a dryland or weight circuit.
Start The beginning of a race. The dive used to begin a race.
Starter The official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.
State Meet A meet held twice a year (Short Course and Long Course) sponsored by the LSC. It is common to hold a Championship Senior meet and Age Group meet separately. Qualification times are usually necessary.
State Qualifier A swimmer who has made the necessary cut off times to enter the State meet.
Stand-up The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.
Step-Down The command given by the Starter or Referee for the swimmers to move off the blocks. This command usually indicates a start delay.
Stroke There are 4 competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle.
Stroke/Turn Judge The Stroke Judges are the officials positioned at the side of the pool that walk the length of the course as the swimmers race. The Turn Judges are the officials positioned at the ends of the course. If the Stroke or Turn Judge sees an infraction, they raise their hand to signal the Referee and the swimmer may be disqualified.
Submitted Time Times used to enter swimmers in meets. The swimmer at previous meets must have achieved these times.
Swim-A-ThonÃ A fundraiser copyrighted by USA Swimming that local clubs may use to make money.
Swim America The professional swim lesson program administrated by the American Swim Coaches Association. Licensed to coaches.
Swim-off In a Prelims/Finals type competition, a race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals or an alternate, otherwise ties stand.
Swimming World The most informational and popular of the professional magazines. All swimmers and parents who are interested in swimming should consider a subscription. Ask your coach for address.
Taper The resting phase of a senior swimmer at the end of the season before the championship meet.
Team USA Swimming registered club that has the right to compete for points.
Timed Finals A competition in which final placing is determined by heat times.
Time Standard A time set by a meet or LSC or USA Swimming (etc) that a swimmer must achieve for qualification or recognition.
Timer The volunteers at the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for recording manual watch times and activating the backup buttons for the timing system.
Time Trial An event or series of events where a swimmer may achieve or better a required time standard.
Top 16 A list of times compiled by the LSC or USA Swimming or Swimming World that recognizes the top sixteen swimmers in each age group (boys & girls) in each event and distance.
Touch Pad The removable plate (on the end of pools) that is connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly activate the touch pad to register an official time in a race.
Tri-meet A meet with three teams competing for points to see who places 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Unattached An athlete member (USA Swimming) who competes, but does not represent a club or team. (Abbr. UNA)
Unofficial Time The time displayed on an electronic board or read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race. After the time has been verified, it will become the official time.
USA Swimming The national governing body of competitive swimming in the United States. The membership fee includes provisional accident insurance coverage.
USOTC United States Olympic Training Center located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Warm-down The loosening session a swimmer does after a race when pool space is available.
Warm-up The practice session a swimmer does before the meet or their event.
Weights The various barbells, benches and machines used by swimmers during their dryland workout.
Whistle Used by the starter/referee to signal for quiet before they give the command to start the race.
Work Out The practice sessions a swimmer attends.
Zones The country is divided up into 4 major zones: Eastern - Southern - Central - Western. At the end of the long course season (in August) the Zone Administration sponsors a championship age group meet.