Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes Parent Handbook
Welcome to the Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes! We are so excited for the upcoming season and all our new swimmers and families. The DASH Board of Directors recognize that being a new swimmer and new swim parent can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. This handbook is meant to be a tool in answering some of those questions and clarifying confusion. Please feel free to contact your swim mentor or DASH Board member with any questions or concerns. All of the information in this handbook can be found on the DASH website at www.teamdash.org
What is DASH?
Dubuque Area Swimmin' Hurricanes, aka DASH, is a non-profit educational corporation, whose primary focus is to provide a high quality, competitive swimming program for the youth of Dubuque and surrounding areas. Founded in 1991 to establish a year-round competitive swimming program in the greater Dubuque area. We are a member of USA Swimming and affiliated with both Iowa Swimming, Inc. and USA Swimming. DASH trains its swimmers according to age, gender and ability with encouragement to compete in swim meets throughout the year. DASH is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which are elected at a yearly meeting held in September.
DASH swimmers and coaching staff are members of USA Swimming which is the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States. USA Swimming is divided into 59 Local Swimming Committees (LSC’s), which administer USA Swimming activities in smaller geographical areas. Iowa Swimming Inc. is the LSC that serves as the governing body of USA Swimming for the State of Iowa.
DASH has two seasons: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.
The Fall/Winter season begins in September/October and concludes in February/March depending on swim group level. Gold, Silver and Bronze practice groups all start within the month of September and the Green I, Green II and Blue groups start in October. Competitions are short course yard meets, which are held in a 25-yard pool. The Fall/Winter season is also referred to as short course because training and competition occur in yards. The season concludes with championship meets: Iowa Swimming Regional Finals and 8 & Under Championships, Age Group (14 & Under) Championships, Short Course Championships and SPEEDO Sectionals. These meets are typically the last weekends in February and the first weekend in March.
The Spring/Summer begins in late March or early April and concludes in late July and August depending on swim group level. Gold, Silver, Bronze practice groups all start within the month of March and the Green I, Green II and Blue groups start in April. During the spring/summer season an additional group is offered for high school students called Stay Fit which starts at end of the Dubuque school year. Competitions during the spring/summer season is referred to as long course because most competitions are done in 50 meter pools. Fifty meter pools are not always available in every community so training and some competition is completed in 25 yard pools during the season. The conclusion of the spring/summer season is a series of championship meets which include the Bronze Championship Meet, Silver Championship Meet, Iowa Swimming Regional Finals and 8 & Under Championships, Long Course Championships, SPEEDO Sectionals, Age Group Central Zones and national level meets for those who qualify.
Swim Group Descriptions and Recommended Practice Frequency
The Green II Group is for beginning (very beginner) competitive 10 year old and younger athletes (ALL swimmers seven years old and younger are in this group). Green II swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards of Freestyle (Front Crawl) and 25 yards of Backstroke (Back Crawl).
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: 2 - 3
The Green I Group is for beginning (advanced) competitive 10 years old and younger athletes. Green I swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards of all four competitive strokes - Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, & Butterfly w/legal technique.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: 2 - 3
The Blue Group is intended for beginning and novice swimmers who are middle school age and older. Blue Group members are interested in making the necessary strides to reach the Gold Group.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: 3 - 4
Stay Fit (Summer ONLY)
The Stay Fit Group is intended for high school swimmers who do not want to commit to the requirements of the Gold Group. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 on 1:40. The Athlete must have achieved at least one 13 & 14 Iowa Swimming Qualifying time or have the DASH Head Coach’s permission. NO competition beyond Iowa Swimming Championships. Begins following end of the DBQ Community Schools school year.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: No recommendation
The White Group is intended for high school swimmers who do not want to commit to the requirements of the Gold Group. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 on 1:40. The Athlete must have achieved at least one 13 & 14 Iowa Swimming Qualifying time or have the DASH Head Coach’s permission. NO competition beyond Iowa Swimming Championships.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: No recommendation
The Bronze Group is for novice team members. Bronze swimmers are middle school age and younger and have the ability to swim all four competitive strokes and are competent at starts & turns. Additionally, they must be capable of successfully completing 10x50 Freestyle on 1:10 interval. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Regional Finals and / or LSC Championship. They should aspire to reach the Silver Group and above.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: 3 - 4
The Silver Group is for intermediate team members who are upper elementary and middle school students (minimum 10 years of age), who are willing and able to train* and compete at their highest level in the interest of reaching and succeeding as a member of the Gold Group. Silver Group swimmers must have the ability to perform all four competitive strokes. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 Freestyle on a 1:50. Silver Group members must have achieved at least one 11 & 12 Iowa Swimming State Qualifying time or have the Head Coach's permission. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Regional Finals and / or LSC Championship.
Recommended Practice Attendance each week: 5+ per week
The Gold Group is intended for serious year-round swimmers (who are a minimum 12 years of age), who are willing and able to train* and compete at the highest level possible. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 on 1:30. The Athlete must have achieved at least one 13 & 14 Iowa Swimming State Qualifying time or have the Head Coach's permission. High school athletes who compete at the Junior Varsity level must have their high school coach's recommendation to train with the Gold Group. Athletes must register and attend practices from the beginning of the season*. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Regional Finals and / or LSC Championship.
REQUIRED Practice Attendance each week: All offered
College Gold (Spring/ Summer ONLY)
The College Gold Group is intended for serious year-round swimmers who are returning home from school and competed on a collegiate swim team during the preceding winter season, who are willing and able to train* and compete at the highest level possible. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 on 1:30. The Athlete must have achieved at least one 13 & 14 Iowa Swimming State Qualifying time or have the Head Coach's permission. Athletes must register and attend practices from the beginning of the season*. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Regional Finals and / or LSC Championship.
REQUIRED Practice Attendance each week: All offered
Platinum (Spring/ Summer ONLY)
The Platinum Group is intended for serious year-round swimmers (who are a minimum 13 years of age for girls / 15 years of age for boys), who are willing and able to train* twice daily and compete at the highest level possible. Primary events should include 400 and up. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 yd. on 1:20. The Athlete must have achieved at least one Iowa Swimming 13 & 14 State Qualifying time in a race 400 yds/m or longer OR have at least one Speedo Sectional qualifying time OR have the Head Coach's permission. Athletes must register and attend practices from the beginning of the season*. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Iowa Swimming Championship, Zone, Speedo Sectionals, Nationals.
REQUIRED Practice Attendance each week: ALL offered
College Platinum (Spring/ Summer ONLY)
The College Platinum Group is intended for serious year-round swimmers (who are a minimum 13 years of age for girls / 15 years of age for boys), who are willing and able to train* twice daily and compete at the highest level possible. Primary events should include 400 and up. Minimum training ability: 10 x 100 yd. on 1:20. The Athlete must have achieved at least one Iowa Swimming 13 & 14 State Qualifying time in a race 400 yds/m or longer OR have at least one Speedo Sectional qualifying time OR have the Head Coach's permission. Athletes must register and attend practices from the beginning of the season*. EXPECTED to attend end of season championship meet(s) - Iowa Swimming Championship, Speedo Sectionals, Nationals.
REQUIRED Practice Attendance each week: ALL offered
* TRAIN - instruction, skill development, strength, endurance, speed, & conditioning
As a vital part of every child’s life, parents are the central figures in the growth and development of their children. Parents are the primary example after which children pattern their own behavior and beliefs.
1. Provide a stable, loving and supportive environment regardless of performance and achievement level.
2. Encourage good diet and sleeping habits.
3. Demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents and teammates.
4. Volunteer!! It’s important to the sport of swimming. Unlike most sports where the “coach/manager does everything”, participation in the swim team is a family effort. DASH relies on parent volunteers to help run swim meets, to help with team activities and to serve on the Board. It takes everyone’s help to ensure DASH runs smoothly. Please serve with enthusiasm and willingness to help DASH realize its goals!
1. Respect your coaches, your teammates, the pool facilities and equipment, as well as, yourself and your abilities.
2. Develop and maintain the essential qualities of good sportsmanship both within the team structure and while representing DASH at meets.
3. Be responsible for your actions, words and swimming. - Attend practice regularly. - Be on time. - Be prepared by remembering all equipment.
4. Swim with pride. - Give an effort in which you can be proud. - Maintain an attitude of which you can be proud. - Develop team pride by encouraging teammates to do the same.
*Maintain a “safety first” attitude which includes refraining from doing anything that might cause injury to yourself and others. - Report any unsafe actions taken by others to the coaches.
1 - BE ON TIME and READY to PARTICIPATE!
- Plan to arrive about 10 minutes before practice begins.
- The coaches want the kids getting in the water at the start of the practice time, not just walking in the door
2 - Pay attention, be a GREAT teammate, work hard and have fun.
3 - Please have your ride pick you up within 20 minutes of the end of your practice time, unless you are waiting for other carpool members or siblings in a later group.
4 - DO NOT go into areas of the Hempstead High School that are not authorized by your coach(es).When waiting for your ride, stay in the Event entrance or poolside cafe.
- Practice times can be located on DASH's website in the Calendar tab to the right of home page. Click on "Practice Times" for the date you want. They can also be found under the Season team info tab.
5- Coach Doug will send out emails regarding practice time changes or cancelations due to bad weather **Do not contact Hempstead High School or Dubuque Community Schools; practice may be held despite school being cancelled
6- Locker rooms: due to other high school activities during the evenings the lockers rooms attached to the pool may not be available; swimmers will use a bathroom down the hall instead.
6 - What to Bring to Practice
- Suit, goggles, cap, towel, water bottle
- Swimmers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle to practice to stay hydrated. Swimmers are discouraged from sharing the contents of their water bottles with other swimmers.
- Swimmers are not required to wear caps during practice, but may if they so choose. It is strongly recommended that anyone w/hair below base of the skull wear a cap.
- DASH recommends that all swimmers carry an extra cap, suit and pair of goggles, just in case.
- Coaches do not carry extra items to loan for practice and the facilities do not regularly have extras to loan. Clearly label all items.
- Swimmers should bring their bags, clothes, etc. onto the pool deck with them. DASH is not responsible for items lost or left in the stands or locker rooms during or after practice.
- No cell phones will be allowed to be out or in use during practice and should be kept inside the swimmer’s bag once practice has started
Parents at Practice
Practice is time for swimmers and coaches to concentrate on improving the swimmers’ abilities in the water, developing a strong coach-swimmer relationship and fostering cooperation and unity within the group. It is important that parents allow this development to occur with limited interruption. Therefore, DASH requests that parents remain off the pool deck and talk to their children or the coaches during practice only when necessary. The coaches respect parents’ interest in their children’s activities and invite them to observe practice from the bleachers or in a designated area. Parents are always welcome to ask questions of coaches before or after practice, as well as contact through email or by phone.
Swimmer Drop-off & Pick-up and Waiting at Hempstead
Please do not drop off your child(ren) more than 20 minutes prior to their practice time, but, please make sure they are at practice and ready to participate AT their start time.
Encourage them to dress quickly after practice! If they are to wait for someone in a later practice group, they should change and return to the poolside cafe area until the latter group is finished. Make sure they know when you arrive so they are not walking around in the school or parking lots.
The other areas at Hempstead High School are off-limits to swimmers without direct coach supervision. Also, waiting or playing in the locker rooms is not allowed.
Swimmers should enter the building using the “Event” entrance at Hempstead High School. Swimmer should walk directly to the pool area.
Swim Group Mentors
GREEN 2 - Jennifer Duehr: email@example.com
GREEN 1 - Bob Wuebker: firstname.lastname@example.org
BLUE - Jody Pfeiffer: email@example.com
BRONZE - Mark Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org
SILVER/WHITE - Lisa Kemp: All6kemps@yahoo.com
GOLD/PLATNIUM/COLLEGE - Carrie Welbes: email@example.com
Swimming is a volunteer intensive sport and we appreciate your willingness to support our swim team! Team hosted meets are completely run by DASH parents.
Jobs and Hours
Each family is required to work a certain number of work sessions, depending on which swim group your most advanced swimmer is in. Work sessions are offered during our home meets and can be signed up for on DASH’s website. You will receive an email when the job sign up is available on line. Each job on the sign up page will show the number of work session credits you will receive for that job. Meets will have two or three sessions per day lasting approximately four hours long. Available work sessions are scheduled in either 2 or 4 hour increments. A team credit of $25 per session, up to $100 per season, can be earned for Officials and Computer Operators once certification is complete.
Job descriptions can be found on the DASH website under the Parent tab
How to Sign up
Log into your DASH account on the website, then click on the Job Signup tab next to the Attend/Decline tab for the meet. This will take you to the signup sheet. The jobs listed below will be broken down into each job, what time the job starts and ends and how many work session credits they are worth. Click on an open line (one without a name on it) under the work session you would like to work and fill in your information.
Work Hours required and Penalties
The number of work sessions required is determined by the group your most advanced swimmer(s) is in. Requirements are per family not per swimmer. For example, if you have a Gold swimmer and a green swimmer you are only required to work the Gold work session requirements not the Gold plus Green session requirement. Requirements can be found on the DASH website under the Parent tab
While the majority of our families do the work sessions they commit to, there are some who do not. We therefore have no choice but to assign penalties for jobs not worked.
- If a worker signs up and does not show, the penalty will be $50 fine applied to your account for the billing cycle immediately following the meet. If a true emergency arises, you need to find a substitute or, if it is too late, call the administrator listed on the job sign up page.
- If families do not satisfy their work session requirements by the end of the season, they will be assessed $50 fee per work session not fulfilled.
We will work with you to help you find ways of fulfilling your work session requirements. Please reach out to us early and do not wait. Please remember that we prefer to have your time and not your money!!
“Dry side issues” covers questions such as how to sign up for a meet, fundraising, work session or really anything that has to do with on-land activities can be directed to your child’s swim group mentor found on the website under Parent Info tab or fundraising, work session coordinator.
"Wet Side Issues", which covers swimming related needs such as placement, training, progress and meets. Questions regarding these types of issues should be directed to the primary coach of the swimmer's group.
Modes of Communication
www.teamdash.org is updated regularly and contains general information about the club, team registration and contract information, as well as meet information, practice schedules, links to ISI Swimming, USA Swimming, Splash Multisport and other information and updates.
Virtually all of DASH news is published and sent via email. The practice schedule, upcoming meets, communications to specific practice groups, practice changes, inclement weather notices, meet entries, reminders and last-minute information is usually sent to families via email. Text notifications are also available.
Follow DASH on Facebook; the link can be found on the right hand side of the DASH website
Will be available before and after practice on a table in the poolside café. Family folders are kept in a file box where ribbons and other hard copy materials are distributed, such as picture envelopes and pictures. Fundraising information packets will be found in either a file folder or alongside the family folders.
We would love to have your feedback regarding the program such as concerns and/or suggestions. If you would like to share your thoughts login into your Team Unify site and under System is Feedback Zone; click on Feedback Zone and a comment box will appear.
DASH participates in many different types of swim meets. The team hosts several meets a year and will also attend other in-state meets as well as out-of-state meets. Swim meets provide an opportunity to show off the skills learned and perfected at practice. Meets also provide motivation and incentive for practice. Individual improvement, goal achievement, and the development of a championship attitude are the goals of DASH swimmers at meets. USA Swimming sanctions all meets DASH participates in. This ensures certain standards of officiating, safety, and fairness are observed. All swimmers attending these meets are members of USA Swimming.
Attached to this handbook is a recommended meet attendance list for the season.
Types of Meets
Most meets take place on weekends and may be one, two, or three days long. The type of meet being offered depends on the swim season (short and long course) and time standard.
Fall season is called Short Course because the kids race in yards. 1 lap = 25 yards. This is how Loras' pool is designed.
Summer Season is called Long Course because the kids race in meters. 1 lap = 50meters … it is much longer than Hempstead’s pool. Some of the pools during the summer season are meters and some are yard pools. Race times still count if swam in a yard pool during the long course season; these times are convert to a long course or meter pool time.
Time Standards: meets that have time standard requirements are more selective in what swimmers may be eligible. These types of meets set time standards and in order for a swimmer to participate in the meet, the swimmer must have the required time standard in the event that he/she would like to swim.
"Q" times - is the time a swimmer must get for an event to be able to swim it at State. State is the championship meet held at the end of the season at which all USA swim teams in Iowa compete against each other. Throughout the seasons, each swimmer’s goal is to try and make a “Q” time. Once a swimmer achieves a “Q” time, this time is good for the entire time that a swimmer is in that specific age bracket.
Each event has their own qualifying state time. These “Q” times are available on the ISI website www.isiswim.org.
"Q" times only: this means that your swimmer must have at least 1 state qualifying time in order to compete in that meet; they may then sign up for any additional events whether they have a “Q” time or not
Non-Q meets: anyone can sign up for these meets.
Q minus: are for those swimmers without a Q time.
Prelim/Finals: 13 and over State meets as well as several meets throughout the season are Prelim/Final meets. This means that a swimmer will race their event in the morning of the meet. The top 24 swimmers from each event will than qualify to return that evening to race the same event for the “final” race. Finals consists of 3 heats but only the top 8 swimmers will have the ability to score/podium. If your swimmer qualifies to swim their event at finals they must scratch within 30 minutes of it being announced if they do not plan to attend to avoid being penalized.
Fall: Short course season championship meets are divide by age groups: 14 and Under Championships and 15 and older Championships. These are usually held on different weekends, and hosted by different clubs.
Summer: Swimmers of all ages will compete on the same weekend for Long Course Championship meet.
Bronze Championships: this is an end f season meet for htose swimmer who do not have a Silver Championship Q time and/or a Long Course Championship Q time.
Silver Championship Meet: Swimmers must have a Silver qualifying time to participate in the meet. Qualifing times are slower than the Long Course Championship times.
8 and Under State Championship: all 8 and under swimmers may participate in this meet. There are no qualifying times.
Long Course Championship meet: swimmer must have qualifying times to participate
All swimmers who have qualified for the state championships are expected to attend these meets and represent DASH. This is beneficial for both the team and for the individual, for it is at the end of the season, when swimmers are best prepared for the final competition of the season.
In addition to state meets, there are other meets which require tougher time standards than “Q” times. Zones is the highest age group meet with a time requirement of AAA in any event swum at Zones. The Zone Meet is only offered in the summer and usually the weekend after Long Course State. Sectionals and Nationals are non-age group meets that have even higher time standards than Zones
How to sign up for a meet
Sign up for meets is done on the DASH website. The list of meets is located under the blue header labeled "Events" on the DASH home page. If the meet name has a box to the right of it that says "Attend/Decline" it is open to sign up for or to decline attendance. In order to sign up you will need to sign into your DASH account then you can click on the "Attend/Decline" tab to sign up or decline attendance to the meet. If you are signing up it will list all the events in your child's age group that is being offered at the meet.
Meet information can be found by clicking on the meet name. It will take you to a page that will tell you who can sign up (Q or Non-Q), where the meet will be held and links to other "forms and documents." Under "forms and documents" will be a PDF file with the name of the meet on it. If you click on that it will give you ALL the meet details such as: event line up (which events are being held on which day), cost to sign up for each event, if they will have concessions (not every meet does), etc…
Coach Doug will send out an email with meet entry information (the list of events your child will swim at the meet), a relay list and a fee report. All 3 of those reports can be found under the "forms and document" section on the meet's page. Your Team Unify account will be billed and will either be automatically withdrawn on the 1st of the following month or you may log in and pay it manually. Payments must be received by the 15th of the month. Meet fees are not refundable after sign up is closed
If your child gets sick and you are unable to make the meet contact Coach Doug.
Warm-up times for meets will be sent out in an email. Unless you have talked to the one of the coaches, or a coach has contacted you about not being there at the designated warm-up time, the time for warms on the email is the time your child needs to be at the pool.
What to Bring to a Meet
$$$ - You will need money for a program and concessions. The program will list what event your child is swimming including which heat and in which lane.
Drinks and snacks. - Water, juices, chocolate milk, sport drinks, health high carb easily digested snacks are recommended.
2 towels per swimmer per session per day - Wet towels tend not to dry in hotel rooms so if you are going for the weekend keep this in mind.
Sweats, robes, sweatshirts etc… - Something for your swimmer to put on to keep warm in between their events - even during the summer the swimmers can get chilled
Some meets will have a "crash site" - This is an area outside the pool (sometimes a gym) where you can set up blankets and chairs you can "crash" at in between your child's events. This info is on the meet PDF.
Highlighter!!! - This is to highlight your child's name in the program so you can find it easier. The programs can be like a small book sometimes. It does help to have the list of what your child has signed up for including any relays.
A Sharpie in a dark color! You will need this to write your child's event number, heat and lane on either their arm or leg. This helps you, your swimmer, the coach and sometimes the timers behind the blocks to know where your child is suppose to be. This is the format: E H L: E = event H= heat L= lane
CAUTION: Do not try and write on your swimmer while they are wet … it will ruin your sharpie!
**See last page for example of meet sheet and how to write your child’s events on their hand
You can purchase apparel from Splash Multisport in two ways. You can click on their icon on the DASH website or the sub-tab under Parent Info called Team Apparel and it will take you to their site. Splash Multisport is also at many of the meets and will have apparel there.
At the end of each season, DASH designs a t-shirt for the Championship meet. Anyone can purchase a shirt, whether they qualify for state or not. An email will go out about the shirt, how to sign up, cost and which DASH folder to put your payment in.
Team policies can be found on the DASH website under the Parent Tab
DASH Board of Directors
The DASH swim club is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who are elected at the DASH Annual General Meeting held yearly in September. The head coach is a voting member of the board. The board of directors determines swim club policies, develops and approves the annual budget, determines financial policies for the club and provides direction and leadership for the club per the bylaws. DASH is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to improve the club. All parents are welcome to attend DASH board meetings. They are held monthly and information regarding the date, time and location can be found on the DASH website calendar.