Team Guide

FHD Team Guide

To view the Team Guide in PDF form click here.

The Fort Hood Area Dolphin Swim Team is a nonprofit, parent-lead organization, where the positions are held by volunteers.  Coaches are employees and paid a fee for their services.

Board Positions consist of the following voting members:

  • President:  Running the everyday business of the team.
  • Vice President:  Helping President with the everyday running of the team to include scheduling of team parties and special events.
  • Secretary:  Recording of meeting minutes for the team and membership meetings.
  • Treasurer:  Collection of the dues and payment of meets; taxes.
  • Meet ManagerRegistering team members and coaches.  Entering and exporting meet entries for meets.  Keeping team records. 
  • Head Coach (Non-Voting Member)
  • Webmaster (Non-Voting Member)

Joining the Fort Hood Dolphins

  • Prior to joining the Fort Hood Dolphins, each swimmer undergoes an evaluation.  
  • Once accepted on the team, the coaches determine where the swimmer fits into the Swim Development Program. 
  • Next specific standards are discussed between the coach and swimmer, so the swimmer will know what is required.  Swimmers are multidimensional and develop at different rates; sometimes they excel in some areas faster than in others.
  • Swimmers will be required to sign a commitment form.
  • The coaches must consider many things when evaluating whether a swimmer is ready for the next level.  Each group assignment is closely scrutinized by the coaching staff and is evaluated and discussed prior to movement and is subject to future reevaluation.  Each placement is done in the best interests of the swimmer and no other criteria used.
  • Masters swimming is an important part of the Dolphin program. Masters Swimming is an opportunity for swimmers age 19 and over to maintain swimming fitness. Masters swimmers benefit from having a coach during practice, so they can improve and refine their individual skills. The groups’ emphasis is on specific technique training incorporated with interval and endurance segments.
  • Competitive swim meets are offered throughout Texas where Masters swimmers have a chance to compete against other Masters swimmers. This is a tailored program geared to meeting the individual needs of the swimmer under the tutelage of a certified ASCA Master Swim Coach. Link for the Fort Hood Masters listing on the South Texas Masters Swim Website is

Welcome to the FortHoodDolphins! 

Thank you for choosing to join our team. It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Fort Hood Area Dolphins (FHD). We hope you will find swimming with us both rewarding and challenging.  We expect all team members will contribute to the success and growth of our team. Our coaches are committed to providing quality coaching and it is our intention to provide you or your child with a positive sport experience.  We recognize that the primary goals of swimming as a sport are to learn skills, build self-confidence, and build team spirit.  We also hope to build a strong relationship with parents in order to provide a positive atmosphere for everyone involved.

In this guide, you will find important team-related information. Swimming promotes high standards, builds muscular strength and endurance, and improves cardiovascular fitness. 

Our team was organized to provide competitive swimming opportunities for swimmers in the Fort Hood area.  Our members set the very foundation by which this goal can be reached and we encourage you to become actively involved.  Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have or provide comments.  We are thankful you joined our team and we know you will be proud to be a Fort Hood Dolphin!

Dolphins Swim Strong!

FHD President

 Important Information

Our Website:

Everything you need to know about our team is at the website.

 Team and Membership Information

The Fort Hood Area Dolphins Swim Team is a year-round registered USA Swimming competition swim team, offering instruction and training for swimmers age 6 and up.

Who Can Join the Swim Team?

  • Membership is open to all military and civilian residents of the Fort Hood Area. 
  • The team does not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, or ethnic background. 
  • All members must join USA Swimming and agree to abide by all the rules and regulations established by the team, South Texas Swimming, Inc., and USA Swimming.  (Adults may join USMS or Tri-/Fed in lieu of USA Swimming). 
  • The team does have practical limits to the swimmers who can join, with limited pool time and lanes we have available to use.

Required Swimming Abilities

  • The primary purpose of the team is to train for competition. 
  • Individuals interested in fitness swimming or improving swimming for triathlons are welcome.
  • From time-to- time, we will offer mini camps to further develop swimming skills.  
  • The coaching staff will evaluate each swimmer to determine the swimmer’s ability group.

Other Information

  • The competitive seasons are divided into Short Course (25 yard pools) from September to March and Long Course (50 meter pools) from April to August. 
  • Competitive swimming requires hard work and dedication.  
  • Not all swimmers, even those who swim well, are ready for the commitment necessary to succeed. 
  • A 5-day trial period is offered to all swimmers.

Practice Hours (See Practice Times Tab) 


1.     By applying for membership, the individual swimmer (if over 18) or swimmer/parent(s) agree to adhere to the rules and conditions of membership of the team specified in the Constitution and Bylaws, published policies of the team, and the rules and provisions of USA Swimming, Inc., and South Texas Swimming, Inc.  The team reserves the right to terminate membership as specified in the aforementioned documents. 

2.     All Swimmers must be registered with USA Swimming.  Members of USA Swimming are covered with accidental insurance.  You may elect to practice with the team for a five (5) day trial period.  However, the swimmer will not be insured during this trial period.  Swimmers who are not registered will not be allowed to practice or participate in any event requiring USA Swimming membership.  USA Swimming membership fees will not be refunded for any reason. Registration cost for calendar year is determined by USA Swimming and current cost will be conveyed to the swimmers each year. Swimmers who are not registered will not be allowed to practice or participate in any event requiring USA Swimming membership.  USA Swimming membership fees will not be refunded for any reason.

3.     Monthly dues are payable in advance on the 1st day of each month and are considered late on the 10th.  A late fee of $5 will be assessed if dues are not received by the 10th.  All dues, including previous month, late fees and current month, must be paid before swimmers will be entered in any competition or allowed to continue at practice.

MONTHLY DUES (Please see New Swimmers/Fee Schedule Tab)

  • Swimmers who terminate during a month will not receive a refund for dues paid.  Members who fail to pay dues for a month in which they participate in training activities are subject to termination of membership.
  • Swimmers will be allowed to take a break in membership when personal reasons warrant. The parent of a swimmer must discuss this with the coach and notify the treasurer in writing by the 5th of the month (including the expected length of the break) to maintain active status.  Taking a break from membership for any reason other than medical necessity may affect the swimmer’s award status for that season.
  • Swimmers whose behavior is disruptive or detrimental to the purpose or goals of the team are subject to disciplinary actions and / or dismissal from the team.
  • The first month’s fees must accompany the registration form.
  • The membership form must be completed and signed prior to the swimmer attending practice.

Fort Hood Weather-Related Pool Closures
  • The pool is sometimes closed for inclement weather. 
  • The Abrams building is not grounded and therefore is required to close for at least 30 minutes after lightning has been observed in the area. 
  • In serve weather conditions, the pool sometime closes to allow Abrams staff to return home safely and in other cases the post may close requiring only job essential personnel to report to work. 
  • In any event, it is important for you to keep the pool number (287-4648) handy in case of bad weather. 
  • Please do not ask if the Fort Hood Dolphins are having practice, as the pool staff would have no idea.  Instead ask if the pool is open or closed.
  • Also, please check the website, call the coach, or check the Facebook page.  
  • If the pool is closed because of inclement weather, then please use your best discretion in your decision to attend swim practice if dryland is being offered. 
  • Safety of our parents and swimmers is our top concern. 
  • It is possible however, for our coaches to use pool closure time to enhance swimmers' techniques and their understanding of swimming by conducting dry-land training, watching videos or providing instruction. Our coaches will make every attempt to let you know the plans for an inclement weather day.

Drop Off Policy

  • It is the Fort Hood Dolphins policy as well as Abrams policy that all swimmers are escorted into the pool area by their parent, guardian or babysitter. 
  • This is so that parents can verify that the coaches are available and on deck, as well as the pool is in working order. 
  • Please take the time to make sure that practice is on before stepping out of the pool area! 
  • If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to let us know!


You are a team member too! 

Please contact the board at if you are interested in volunteering in the following areas. 

  • Party planning
  • Website design/update
  • Newsletter
  • Photography
  • Swim Meet coordination
  • Equipment management
  • Team Photo Day
  • New Member Orientation
  • Fund Raising
  • Timer for home and away meets
  • Home Meet Concessions

 Parent and Swimmer Expectations 


  • Parents and friends of swimmers must stay off of the pool deck and must not interrupt the coaches while practices or swim meets are in session.
  • Interrupting the coaches during practice interferes with their task of observing, instructing, and supervising swimmers.
  • Coaching your own child or other swimmers is not allowed.
  • Encouraging your own child and other swimmers is expected.
  • No toddlers, baby carriages, or non swimmers are allowed on the pool deck at any time.
  • FortHoodDolphins maintains a coaching staff that will control the flow of information to your swimmer as needed in your child’s development.
  • Please check your individual family folder for any information concerning dues, meets, etc.  
  • Please also check the FHD bulletin board and website for current events/meets.
  • Parents and spectators are expected to behave in a manner that enhances Fort Hood Dolphin’s reputation as well as the reputation of the Southern Texas LSC. This includes all policies and regulations of Abrams Gym.
  • Parents are expected to encourage and be supportive of the swimmers and coaching staff at all times.
  • Parents are expected to volunteer at away meets when needed; enhancing their child’s swimming experience.
  • Parents are expected to be the encouragers and motivators for their children.
  • Parents are expected to have or instruct their swimmers to be on time to all regularly scheduled practice and meets.
  • Practice start times and meet warm up times are the times to be entering the water not entering the grounds.
  • Coaches will consider practice attendance when making the line-up for meets and progression to more challenging groups.
  • Coaches will adjust relay line ups if your child is not on time and participating in warm up on meet day.
  • Late swimmers may be scratched from the swim meet and will not be re-entered.
  • Please help your child attend practice regularly and to be on time.
  • The yearly club registration fee and United States Swimming (USS) registration fee are not refundable and must be paid prior to the swimmer entering the water.
  • Meet entry fees are in addition to the monthly dues. Nonpayment of entry fees will also necessitate non-participation for the swimmer(s) until payment is made.
  • Should a swimmer decide to discontinue participation in the program with the Fort Hood Area Dolphins, the monthly dues for the month of which he/she swims any portion thereof and any outstanding entry fees are considered an obligation to the FHD, and are payable upon termination of participation.
  • Each parent and swimmer is responsible for reading and understanding the contents of the "FHD Team Information Guide Book".
  • Any checks returned to FHD for Non-Sufficient Funds will be subject to a $25.00 additional handling charge.


Have Fun, Try Your Best, Follow Instructions, Be a Great Sport and Teammate!  

√  Daily Practice-Arrive before posted practice time and be ready to start on time.

√  Swimmers must not enter the pool until their coach gives them permission to do so. 

√  Follow lane traffic rules as directed by the coach.

√  Show respect for all other coaches and pool staff as well as other swimmers.

√  Swimmers must obey the rules of the pool facilities. These include no running on the pool deck and no diving in the shallow end of the pool.

√  No horseplay or roughhousing is allowed in the pool, on the pool deck or in the locker rooms.

√  Swimmers should treat their teammates and the pool facility with respect. Failure to do so could result in a swimmer being barred from practice and/or a team event.

√  Swimmers should follow the directions of their coach and/or designated Meet Marshals or officials at swim meets. Unless in a designated take-off lane, swimmers must enter the warm-up pool using a 3 point entry.

√  If you see someone doing something unsafe or an unsafe situation, please notify a coach immediately.

√  Swimmers should not use inappropriate language to another swimmer or coach.

√  Swimmers should not harass, tease or bully another swimmer or teammate.

√  Proper behavior in the locker room is expected of all swimmers at all times. Proper behavior includes limiting showers to 5 minutes, respecting other swimmers belongings, not using inappropriate language and not participating in horseplay or roughhousing.

FHD Coaches’ Pledge

FortHoodArea Dolphin Coaches pledge to each swimmer and parent of the team that they will follow the expectations set forth by the FHD Parent Board and active members.  

1. Coaches will represent themselves and the FHD swim team as a positive role model. To include and not limited to the following:

  • Dependable
  • Honest with parents and swimmers
  • Conduct fair evaluations
  • Provide consistency among all FHD coaches to swimmers and parents
  • Express their values through their actions  
  • Act, speak and dress in a professional manner
  • Maintain adult control of expressive language and emotions

2. FHD coaches will continuously seek ways to improve the swimming experience.  They will provide the vision and momentum that challenges the team, motivates the swimmers, ignites desire and develops fortitude to achieve the possible and to stretch beyond the possible swimming goals/objectives of each and every FHD swimmer.  

 Meet Preparations

1.  At the beginning of each season is the time to look over the upcoming long course or short course schedule and decide which meets you or your swimmer will.  Thing to take into consideration are; age, experience, long or short course format, qualifying times and any guidance received by the swimmer’s coach.

2.  If online meet entry is available, use it first. If not, once the meet folder is available, sign the sheet indicating which days your swimmer is attending.  Keep in mind for age 10 and above, any swimmer in his/her 2nd season and hoping to make BB, B, A or better times, should expect to participate at least 2 days.  Any special considerations can be coordinated through the swimmer’s lane coach or the head coach. 

3.  Once the Meet Entry Report is downloaded and you have your entries, complete the billing process by placing a check in the payments folder including the $10 Swim Fee per swimmer.  If you have not been to the meet pool, get directions in advance.  There are no refunds on meet entries, with the host team or with FHD.

What to Take to Meets:

Most important: Swim Suit and Dolphins Cap--and goggles (Plus extras of all)

  • Towels or Swim Chamois -Realize your swimmer will be there all day sometimes, so pack at least two.
  • Something for swimmer to sit on. Example: sleeping bag, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on.
  • Folding chair or stadium seats for spectators.
  • Over-the-suit clothing for in-between meets.
  • Games
  • Healthy snacks and drinks.
  • Meet Entry report, sharpie marker, pen, highlighter, enough money for a Heat Sheet (expect to pay up to $5).  

At the Meet:

1.  As soon as Heat Sheets are available, buy one.  Using you Meet Entry Report find your swimmer in the Heat Sheet and highlight each race.  Swimmers/parents use the sharpie marker to mark swimmer’s arm or leg with their Individual Event, Event #, Heat # and Lane #.         


Event #







50 Free




100 Fly

2.  Swimmers should start moving toward their warm-up lanes at the direction of the coach.  Once the meet begins, parents need to keep track of the meet using the heat sheets. Swimmers will usually remain with the team and coaches.  Swimmers will report to the coach following each event and will warm up and swim down as directed.   

Please do not hesitate to ask any other FHD parent for help or information! Meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers and their families.

 FHD Swim Team Spirit Wear

Required Equipment for all Groups:

  • Water Bottle
  • Swim Cap
  • Goggles (encouraged to have spare)
  • Towel
  • Fins (must be purchased within 30 days of joining team)  

FHD Will Supply:

Kickboard and Pull Buoys

Can Be Purchased Through FHD:

Dolphins Cap (Silicon and Latex)

Competitive Quality Swimsuit

Competitive Quality Jammer

Car Decal with Dolphins Logo

Dolphins Hoodies

Dolphins T-Shirt

Must Purchase On Your Own:

Swim Fins

Swim Googles

Swim Cap

Mesh Carry Bag

Competitive Quality Swimsuit

Water Bottle

All orders are prepay; make checks Payable to FHD.

Prices are subject to change every season and sizes may also change. Please provide correct size. 


A Glossary of those strange and wacky words we use in the sport of swimming.  Parents!  You may or may not find these words in the English Dictionary, and if you do, their definitions will probably be radically different than the ones listed in this Glossary. Relax and take your time reading.  Soon you'll be understanding and maybe even speaking some "SWIMSLANG".

  • "A" Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard "A". "A" time is .01 seconds faster than the "BB" time standard and .01 slower than the "AA" time standard. See the NAGT published chart.
  • "AA" TimeClassification for a swimmer. .01 faster than "A" time standard.
  • "AAA" Time- Classification for a swimmer. .01 faster than the "AA" time standard.
  • "AAAA" Time- Classification for a swimmer. .01 faster than the "AAA" 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 which requires swimmers to have previously achieved an "A" time standard in the events they wish to enter.
  • A-B Meet- Swim meet that offers separate competition for both "A" swimmers and "B" swimmers, usually with medals for the"A" swimmers and ribbons for the "B" swimmers. Swimmers compete in separate brackets against other swimmers of their own ability. Usually only "A" 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 "A" time or faster compete in the "A" division, and all swimmers "C" and down compete in the "C" division. The "B" division is the most limited with both top (.01 slower than "A") and bottom (.01 faster than "C") limitations.
  • Achiever CardA recognition card or certificate proving the swimmer has made a specific time in an event. The card list the distance, stroke, swimmers time, date and place of meet, swimmers name, and meet referees 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 CertainSwim 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 LSC's have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations: (ie) 8-under, 13-Over, 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 MeetSwim meets conducted by organizations (other than USS member clubs or LSC's) that have applied to USS or the local LSC for approval. If approval is granted, swimmers may use times achieved as USS qualifying times. A USS official must be present at all sessions of the meet. Approval does not mean Sanctioned.
  • ASCA- The American Swim Coaches Association. The professional, certifying organization for swim coaches throughout the nation.
  • "B" TimeClassification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard "B". "B" time is .01 seconds faster than the "C" time standard and .01 slower than the "BB" time standard. See the NAGT published chart.
  • "BB" Time- Classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard "BB". "BB" time is .01 seconds faster than the "B" time standard and .01 slower than the "A" time standard. See the NAGT published chart.
  • B-Meet- Swim meet which requires swimmers to have previously achieved a "B" time standard in the events they wish to enter. Some meets have no bottom cut time allowing "C" swimmers also to compete.
  • B-C Meet- Swim meet that offers separate competition for both "B" swimmers and "C" swimmers, usually with ribbons for the "B" swimmers and smaller ribbons for the "C" 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 "A" time in.
  • Backstroke- One of the 4 competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is swam as the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (LSC's 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.
  • BOD- Board of Directors of the LSC or USS.
  • 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 and 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 4 competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is swam as the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (LSC's 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. 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.
  • Bulletin- One of the most important communication devices for a swim club.
  • Butterfly- One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed FLY) is swam as the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
  • Button- The manual Timing System stopping device that records a back-up time in case the touch pad malfunctioned. The button is at the end of a wire, plugged into a deck terminal box. There are usually 3 buttons per lane. It is the timers responsibility to push the button as the swimmer finishes the race.
  • Cap- The latex or lycra covering worn on the head of swimmers. The colors and team logo's adorning these caps are limitless. National Caps, State Team Caps, award caps, plain practice caps, etc.
  • Cards- A card that is either handed to the swimmer in the bull pen or given to the timer behind the lane. Cards usually list the swimmers name, USS 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.
  • Carbohydrates- The main source of food energy used by athletes. Refer to a Nutritional Manual for more information.
  • Championship Meet- The meet held at the end of a season. Qualification times are usually necessary to enter meet.
  • Championship 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. The fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held. Big Finals.
  • Check-In- The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded meet. Sometimes referred to as positive check in, the swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
  • 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 when they are participating in a prelims/finals event. The fastest 18 to 24 swimmers are seeded in the last three heats, with the fastest swimmers being in the inside lanes. (I.e.) Lane 4 in the final 3 heats. See rule book for exact method for seeding depending on the lanes in the pool.
  • Clinic- A scheduled meeting for the purpose of instruction. (I.e.) Officials clinic, Coaches clinic.
  • Closed Competition- Swim meet which is open to the members of an organization or group. Summer club swim meets are considered to be "Closed Competition".
  • Club A- Registered swim team that is a dues paying member of USS and the local LSC.
  • Code A- Set of rules that have been officially published.
  • Code of EthicsA Code of Conduct that both swimmers and coaches are required to sign at certain USS/LSC sponsored events. The Code is not strict and involves common sense and proper behavior.
  • Colorado- A brand of automatic timing system.
  • 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 who, 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- 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.
  • Deadline- The date meet entries must be "postmarked" by, to be accepted by the meet host. Making the meet deadline does not guarantee acceptance into a meet since many meets are "full" weeks before the entry deadline.
  • Deck- The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an "authorized" USS member may be on the deck during a swim competition.
  • Deck EntryAccepting entries into swimming events on the first day or later day of a meet.
  • Deck Seeding- Swimmers report to a bull pen or staging area and receive their lane and heat assignments for the events.
  • Dehydration- The abnormal depletion of body fluids (water). The most common cause of swimmers cramps and sick feelings.
  • Developmental- 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- How far a swimmer swims. Distances for short course are: 25 yards (1 length), 50 yards (2 lengths),100 yards (4 lengths), 200 yards (8 lengths), 400 yards (16 lengths), 500 yards (20 lengths), 1000 yards (40 lengths), 1650 yards (66 lengths). Distances for long course are: 50 meters (1 length), 100 meters (2 lengths), 200 meters (4 lengths), 400 meters (8 lengths), 800 meters (16 lengths), 1500 meters (30 lengths).
  • Disqualified- A swimmer’s performance is not counted because of a rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head.
  • Dive- Entering the water head first. 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 separate pool or a pool set off to the side of 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 divisions to compete in, depending on the schools total enrollment.
  • 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.
  • Dual Meet- Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other.
  • Draw- Random selection by chance.
  • Dropped Time- When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance they have "dropped their time".
  • DrylandThe exercises and various strength programs swimmers do out of the water.
  • Dry SideThat part of the Code book (rule book) that deals with the "Administrative" Regulations of Competition.
  • Entry- An Individual, Relay team, or Club roster's event list into a swim competition.
  • Entry Chairperson- The host club’s 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 usually will find discrepancies in the meet entries and notify the entering club to correct any errors.
  • Entry Fee- 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- Timing system operated on DC current (battery). The timing system usually has touchpads 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 swimmers time.
  • Eligible to compete- The status of a member swimmer that means they are registered and have met all the requirements.
  • Equipment- The items necessary to operate a swim practice or conduct a swim competition.
  • Event- A race or stroke over a given distance. An event equals 1 preliminary with its final, or 1 timed final.
  • False Start- When a swimmer leaves the starting block before the horn or gun. 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- A recall rope across the width of the racing pool for the purpose of stopping swimmers who were not aware of a false start. The rope is about 1/2 way on yard pools and about 50 feet from the starting end on meter pools.
  • 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 girls heat and one boys heat until all swimmers have competed.
  • Fees- Money paid by swimmers for services. (Ie) Practice fees, registration fee, USS membership fee, etc.
  • FINA- The international, rules making organization, for the sport of swimming.
  • Finals- The final race of each event. See "Big Finals", "Consolation Finals", "Timed Finals", etc.
  • Final Results- The printed copy of the results of each race of a swim meet.
  • Fine- The monetary penalty assessed a swimmer or club when a swimmer does not achieve the necessary time required to swim in an event, and cannot prove they have done the time previously.
  • Fins- Used in swim practice, not competition.
  • Flags- Pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.
  • Format- The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted.
  • Fund Raiser- A money making endeavor by a swim team/club usually involving both parents and swimmers.
  • Freestyle- One of the 4 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 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, 200 yds/mtr, 400 mtr/500 yd 800 mtr/1000 yds, 1500 mtr/1650 yds. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free).
  • Gallery- The viewing area for spectators during the swimming competition.
  • Gun- The blank firing pistol used by the starter to start the races.
  • Gun Lap- The part of a freestyle distance race (400 meters or longer) when the swimmer has 2 lengths plus 5 yards to go. The starter fires a gun shot over the lane of the lead swimmer when swimmer is at the backstroke flags.
  • Handbook- A reference manual published by teams/clubs and LSC's or other swimming organizations.
  • Headquarters- The motel designated by the meet host. Usually, hospitality rooms and meetings relating to the meet will beheld at this location. Many times this motel is one of the sponsors of the meet.
  • Heats- A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers time swam, after all heats of the event are completed.
  • 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 swimmers seed times in the various events at a swim meet. These sheets vary in accuracy, since the coaches submit swimmers times many weeks before the meet. Heat sheets are sold at the admissions table and are used mainly to make sure the swimmer has been properly entered in all the events they signed up for. Parents enjoy looking at the seedings prior to the race plus swimmers can tell the order the events will be conducted and get a rough idea 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; check the pre meet information.
  • 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. One vote per club and board member.
  • Horn- A sounding device used in place of a gun. Used mainly with a fully automatic timing system.
  • IHSAA- Indiana High School Athletic Association
  • Illegal- Doing something against the rules that is cause for disqualification.
  • IM Individual Medley- A swimming event using all 4 of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race. The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle. Equal distances must be swam of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yds, 200 yds/mtr, 400 yds/mtr.
  • Insurance- USS offers "accident insurance coverage" which is automatic when swimmer, coach, official, pays their USS membership fee. Many restrictions apply, so check with your club for detailed information.
  • 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.
  • Juniors- A USS National Championship meet for swimmers 18 years old or less. Qualification times are necessary. National Meets are conducted both short course (in April) and long course (in August).
  • Jr/Sr Camp- A training and information camp sponsored by the LSC for those swimmers registered in the LSC who National Camp qualified for USS Junior or USS Senior Nationals.
  • Kick- The leg movements of a swimmer. A popular word to "yell" to encourage swimmers during a race.
  • Kick Board- A flotation device used by swimmers during practice. A lightweight object used with great accuracy by coaches.
  • Kyroscope- A brand of automatic timing system.
  • Lane- The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim. (Ie) Lane 1 or Lane 2. Pools with starting blocks at only one end: As the swimmers stand behind the blocks, lanes are numbered from Right (lane 1) to Left (Lane 6).
  • 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 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 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers" only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.
  • Late Entries- Meet entries from a club or individual that are received by the meet host after the entry deadline. These entries are usually not accepted and are returned to sender.
  • Leg- The part of a relay event swam by a single team member. A single stroke in the IM.
  • Length- The extent of the competitive course from end to end. See lap.
  • Little 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 who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Little Finals are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.
  • Long Course- A 50 meter pool.
  • LSC- Local Swim Committee. The local level administrative division of the corporation (USS) with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by the Corporation.
  • Lycra- A stretch material used to make competitive swim suits and swim hats.
  • Malfunction- A mechanical or electronic failure - not a human failure by the swimmer.
  • Mark- The command to take your starting position.
  • Marshall- The adult(s) (official) who control the crowd and swimmer flow at a swim meet.
  • Medals- Awards given to the swimmers at meets. They vary in size and design and method of presentation.
  • Meet- A series of events held in one program.
  • Meet Director- The official in charge of the administration of the meet. The person directing the "dry side" of the meet.
  • Meters- The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the metric system. Long course meters is 50 meters, short course meters is 25 meters.
  • 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.
  • NAGTSNational Age Group Time Standards - the list of "C" through "AAAA" times published each year.
  • NationalsUSS senior or junior level meets conducted in March/April and August. See Senior or Junior Nationals.
  • NatatoriumA building constructed for the purpose of housing a swimming pool and related equipment.
  • NCAA- National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • NewsletterA written communication published by a club or association.
  • NGB- National Governing Body.
  • Non-Conforming TimeA 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.
  • NSSA- National Swim School Association.
  • NT- No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not swam that event before.
  • Officials- The certified, adult volunteers, who operate the many facets of a swim competition.
  • OmegaA brand of automatic timing system.
  • OT- Official Time. The swimmers event time recorded to one hundredth of a second (.01).
  • OTCOlympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • OVCOfficial 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 CompetitionCompetition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter.
  • Parka-  Large 3/4 length fur 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 a swimming pool so the 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 "Safety Mascot" of USS swimming.
  • Plaque- A type of award (wall plaque) given to swimmers at a meet.
  • Pool- The facility in which swimming competition is conducted.
  • Positive Check In- The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded or pre seeded meet. The swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
  • Practice- The scheduled workouts a swimmers attends with their swim team/club.
  • Prelims- Session of a Prelims/Finals meet in which the qualification heats are conducted.
  • Prelims-FinalsType 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-seededA 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 TimeAn official meet result, OVC, or other accepted form. Swimmers/Coaches must supply proof of time with some meet entries, and other meets it is not required unless a swimmer misses a cut of time at the meet.
  • Psyche SheetAnother name for a "Heat Sheet" or meet program.
  • Pull BuoyA flotation device used for pulling by swimmers in practice.
  • Qualifying TimesPublished times necessary to enter certain meets, or the times necessary to achieve a specific category of swimmer. See "A" "AA" (etc.) times.
  • RaceAny single swimming competition. (Ie) preliminary, final, timed final.
  • Ready RoomA room pool side for the swimmers to relax before they compete in finals.
  • Recall RopeA rope across the width of the racing pool for the purpose of stopping swimmers who were not aware of a false start. The rope is about 1/2 way on yard pools and about 50 feet from the starting end on meter pools.
  • Referee- The head official at a swim meet in charge of all of the "Wet Side" administration and decisions.
  • RegisteredEnrolled and paid as a member of USS and the LSC.
  • RelaysA swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a relay team each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, one swimmer swims Breaststroke, one swimmer swims Butterfly, one swimmer swims Freestyle, in that order. Medley relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr and 400 yd/mtr distances. 2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle. Free relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr, 400 yd/mtr, and 800 yd/mtr distances.
  • Rest AreaA designated area (such as a gymnasium) that is set aside for swimmers to rest during a meet.
  • Ribbons- Awards in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors, given at swim meets.
  • Safety- The responsible and careful actions of those participating in a swim meet. USS and each LSC now have a "Safety Coordinator" and each meet must have "Marshalls" in charge of safety.
  • SanctionA permit issued by an LSC to a USS group member to conduct an event or meet.
  • Sanction FeeThe amount paid by a USS group member to an LSC for issuing a sanction.
  • Schedule- USS or LSC list of meets with dates, meet host, meet location, type of meet, and contacts address and phone.
  • ScratchTo 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.
  • SeedAssign the swimmers heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.
  • 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.
  • SeniorA USS National Championship meet for swimmers of any age as long as the qualification times are met.
  • Senior NationalsNationals are conducted long course in the spring (usually in late March) and in the summer (usually in late July or August).
  • SessionPortion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group.
  • Short CourseA 25 yard or 25 meter pool.
  • SimultaneouslyA term used in the rules of butterfly and breaststroke, meaning at the same time.
  • Splash- United States Swimming newsletter that is mailed bi-monthly.
  • SplitA portion of an event, shorter than the total distance, that is timed. (I.e.) A swimmers first 50 time is taken as the swimmer swims the 100 race. It is common to take multiple splits for the longer distances.
  • StationsSeparate portions of a dryland or weight circuit.
  • Start- The beginning of a race. The dive used to begin a race.
  • StarterThe official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.
  • Still WaterWater that has no current caused by a filter system or no waves caused by swimmers.
  • StateA 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-upThe command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.
  • Step-DownThe command given by the Starter or Referee to have the swimmers move off the blocks. Usually this command is a good indication everything is not right for the race to start.
  • Stroke- There are 4 competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle.
  • Stroke JudgeThe official positioned at the side of the pool, walking the length of the course as the swimmers race. If the Stroke Judge sees something illegal, they report to the referee and the swimmer may be Disqualified.
  • Submitted Time- Times used to enter swimmers in meets. These times must have been achieved by the swimmer at previous meets.
  • Suit- The racing uniform worn by the swimmer, in the water, during competition. The three most popular styles/types of suits worn are: Nylon, Lycra, Paper.
  • Swim-A-ThonThe "Fund Raiser" copyrighted by USS swimming for local clubs to use to make money.
  • Swim America- The professional swim lesson program administrated by the American Swim Coaches Assoc. 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 swim 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.
  • TeamUSS Registered club that has the right to compete for points.
  • Team Records- The statistics a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmer in the clubs history for each age group/each event.
  • Timed Finals- Competition in which only heats are swum and final placings are determined by the those times.
  • Time StandardA time set by a meet or LSC or USS (etc) that a swimmer must achieve for qualification or recognition.
  • Timer- The volunteers sitting behind the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for getting watch times on events 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 10A list of times compiled by the LSC or USS or Swimming World that recognizes the top number of swimmers Top 16 in each age group (boys & girls) in each event and distance.
  • Touch Out- To reach the touchpad and finish first in a close race.
  • Touch Pad- The removable plate (on the end of pools) that is connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to register an official time in a race.
  • Tri-meet- A meet with 3 team competing for points to see who places 1st‑2nd‑3rd.
  • Trophy- Type of award given to teams and swimmers at meets.
  • Unattached- An athlete member who competes, but does not represent a club or team. (abbr. UNA)
  • Unofficial TimeThe time displayed on a read out board or read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race. After the time has been checked, it will become the official time.
  • USS- The governing body of swimming. United States Swimming.
  • USS Number- A 12 part number assigned to a swimmer after they have filled out the proper forms and paid their annual dues. The first three parts include the two letter abbreviation for the LSC (Local Swim Committee) and the registration year. The next three parts are letters standing for the first initial of: Last Name/First Name/Middle Name in that order. The last 6 parts are numbers of swimmers birthdate: Day/Month/Year using zeros as place holders. For example: USS# for swimmer Kent Michael Nelson, a member of Indiana Swimming, registering for the 1993/94 year and born Aug.27, 1976 = IN4NKM082776.
  • Vertical- At right angle to the normal water level.
  • VitaminsThe building blocks of the body. Vitamins do not supply energy, but are necessary for proper health.
  • Warm-downThe loosing a swimmer does after a race when pool space is available.
  • Warm-upThe practice and loosing session a swimmer does before the meet or their event is swum.
  • Watch- The hand held device used by timers and coaches for timing a swimmers races and taking splits.
  • Water- For the purpose of filling swimming pools and swimmers drinking to properly hydrate themselves.
  • WeightsThe various barbells / benches / machines used by swimmers during their dryland program.
  • WhistleThe sound a starter/referee makes to signal for quiet before they give the command to start the race.
  • Work OutThe practice sessions a swimmer attends.
  • Yards- The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the American system. A short course yard pool is 25 yards (75 feet) in length.
  • Yardage- The distance a swimmer races or swims in practice. Total yardage can be calculated for each practice session.
  • 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.