Team Structure - or - How Is The Team Set Up?
Pre, B & A Teams: The Screamin' Geese train and compete in 3 groups:
Pre-Team swimmers are our beginners! They must, at a minimum, be able to swim a combined stroke (kicking while moving their arms) for 5 yards, submerge (put their face in the water) for 5 - 10 seconds, and do a front float. If your child has passed "Strokers 1" at the Rockville pool, this is probably their group!
B-Team swimmers are able to swim a combined stroke (kicking while moving their arms) for 1 length of the pool unassisted. They must meet the age requirements of the MCSL.
A-Team swimmers are our most experienced & skilled swimmers. They must meet the age requirements of the MCSL.
The division of swimmers into "A" and "B" categories for practices is not a fixed designation for the season -- ability levels change, usually for the better, over the course of the season.
The division as far as practice groups is generally made by ability alone, not age. So the fastest 8-year-old will probably practice at the same time as an 18-year-old swimmer (though probably in a different lane) because both of those swimmers are likely to compete together in an "A" Meet.
In general, the "B" practice group focuses more on learning & improving stroke technique, and the "A" group swimmers, who are generally proficient in all 4 strokes (free, back, breast, fly), focus more on fine-tuning already good stroke technique and increasing speed & endurance.
Because the focus of the 2 practice groups is slightly different, the coaching staff may feel that one is better than the other for your particular swimmer and will place them accordingly. However, just because a swimmer practices with the "B" Group does not mean they won't compete in the "A" Meets, and vice-versa. Any concerns about practice groupings should be addressed directly to the Head Coach.
A Word About Age Groups: MCSL requires that a swimmer's official age category for competition be determined by their age on June 1 of a competition year. So your child swims all summer at whatever his or her age is on June 1, even if they are a different age on June 2! A swimmer must be 18 or younger on June 1 to compete in MCSL.
Who Decides?: Our coaching staff has the final say over whether your child practices with Pre-Team, B-Team, or A-Team and which meets they will be registered to swim in.
Participation in A Meets may vary from week to week, as it is generally based on which swimmers post the top times in their age category for each competition event. However, illness, vacations, and other matters may come into play in determining the A line-up each week.
It is important to swim in the B Meet if you are not in the prior week's A Meet, because the coaches look at times from all meets (A and B) to determine the subsequent week's line-up.