The VSY Marlins Swim team has two seasons - the Short Course Season (Fall-Winter) and Long Course Season (Spring-Summer).
The Short Course runs from September through March, in 25-yard pools
The Long Course runs from late April through July (with most meets in May and June) in 50-meter pools. The VSY Marlins, like many other Y-teams, do not have a 50-meter pool so Long Course training will continue in the 25-yard pool.
During both the Short and Long Course seasons, the VSY Marlins Swim Team competes in two different swim leagues: The Connecticut YMCA League and Connecticut Swimming Inc. (USA Swimming). Connecticut Swimming Inc. (CSI) is the local governing body for competitive swimming in the state of Connecticut. CSI is one of 59 local swimming committees of USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States.
Connecticut YMCA League
The team competes against other swim clubs in other YMCAs in Connecticut. (VSY Marlins vs. one other team, also referred to as a “dual-meet”). Every swimmer in each swim level (Marlins, Age Group I, Age Group II, Seniors) is expected to participate. Swimmers will compete in age groups: 8 and Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (also sometimes referred to as 15/over). There is also occasionally a 12/under or 10/under category. In these meets, the coach decides and enters each swimmer in event where he/she can best benefit the team. The events are divided into heats so each swimmer is competing with another of “near equal” ability.
CSI/USA Sanctioned Swim Meets
All age group swimmers (Age Group I, Age Group II, Seniors) will participate in USA sanctioned swim meets. Swimmers are not required to meet time standards for entry and events are divided by sex and age group. (10 and Under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18). Swimmers from many teams are entered in each event. The events are divided into heats so each swimmer is competing with another of “near equal” ability.
CSI/USA Championship Meets
The team will participate in USA Swimming Championships at the end of the season. These include Regionals, Age Groups, Seniors, and Sectionals or Zones. These meets are open to Connecticut registered swimmers only. Championship meets have time standards for entry. Only “official” times where the swimmer participated in a CSI/USA Sanctioned Meet will count against the entry requirements. Selection for Regionals, Age Groups, Sectionals and Zones (these are two distinct meets -- see below) is divided into age groups (e.g., 10/Under, 11-12, etc.) based on the swimmer’s birthday on the first day of the meet. Swimmers also must have swum in at least one regularly scheduled CSI-sanctioned meet in that season. The specific rules for individual championship meets do vary somewhat and can be a bit tricky, so you and the coach should ensure you read the individual meet requirements carefully. (click here for detailed information on Sectionals and Zones)
YMCA Championship Meets
The team will participate in YMCA Championships at the end of the season. These include Y-States, Y-New Englands, and Y-Nationals. These meets are open only to swimmers that participate in Y-sponsored swim clubs. There are many competitive swim clubs that are not affiliated with a local YMCA and swimmers from these clubs are not eligible to participate. Eligibility is a little different from the USA/CSI Championships. While time standards are still applied by age group, the swimmer’s age as of the first day of the meet (with the exception of Y-States and Y-New Englands) is used to determine eligibility. For Y-States, the swimmer's age as of the first day of the Y-States championship meet governs eligibility -- even if the 12/under meet is a different weekend from the 13/Over meet. In 2012, for example, the 13/Over meet was January 7/8 while the 12/Under meet was February 11/12. Therefore, January 7 is the date that governs eligibility (so if a swimmer turned 13 on February 1, as example, he/she would swim as a 12/under since he/she was still 12 as of January 7. For Y-New Englands, the swimmer’s age as of December 1 of the prior year governs eligibility (for example: for the meet in March, 2012, the swimmer’s age as of December 1, 2011 will govern eligibility). In addition, “official times” would include dual-meets between local YMCA swim clubs. Swimmers also must have swum one or more regularly scheduled Y-sanctioned meet in that season -- but the specific rules for individual championship meets do vary somewhat. For example, Y-Nationals has much more stringent requirements in terms of the number of meets), so you and the coach should ensure you read the individual meet requirements.