FAQ

Apparel/Equipment

How do I know what training equipment my child needs?

There are required equipment lists for each practice group. You can see the equipment lists on our website by clicking HERE

Where do I go to get equipment? Suits? Caps?

For suits, apparel and training equipment we use Swimmers Edge as our primary vendor. Swimmers Edge is the only place you can purchase team suits and logo apparel. You can view some of our items on the team's Online Store.

Billing

How do I change my credit card information online?

To change your Credit Card or ACH payment information on our website, you must login to your account using your email and password. Once you have logged in to the site, click the Setup Auto Pay link and enter the updated information.

How do I know if I owe anything on my account?

To see any current or existing charges on your account you must login to your account using your email and password. Once you have logged in to the site, click on My Invoice/Payment on the left side of the home page. On the screen that loads, click on Account Balance next to the most recent invoice for your account. Only the most recent invoice listed will show up to date information.

When do I pay for meets?

Our club bills for meets through your team account. Meets are typically billed right after they conclude.

How do I cancel my membership?

You have 30 days after the first practice of the season to request withdrawal from the team. Written notification of withdrawal must be made to the Head Coach and the Team Administrator. Swimmers who choose to withdraw from the Bullets prior to that time will be expected to pay all monthly fees thus far, any outstanding meet fees, and a $50 processing fee.

Swimmers choosing to withdraw from the team after 30 days are responsible for all team fees, meet fees submitted thus far, and all fundraising obligations. Remaining fees that are owed will be collected upon withdrawal from the team. There will be No Refunds for swimmers choosing to leave the team after the 30 day period.

If a swimmer leaves the team at any point in the season, they will not be allowed to rejoin the team that season.

What kind of charges are posted to my account?

The Academy Bullets Swim Club will bill you for registration fees, team fees, meet fees, travel fees (if applicable), fundraising fees (if applicable), and unfulfilled worker commitments (if applicable).

How and when are payments processed?

The Academy Bullets Swim Club requires payments be made via the Online Payment System. Either ACH Transfer or Credit Card payment is available. The ACH/Credit Card system will transfer any fees due to the Academy Bullets Swim Club on the 1st of the month following invoicing. Other fees (such as meet fees, travel, etc.) will be billed at a date communicated to the membership.

If an electronic payment does not clear, the full balance is due within 14 days, and a $20.00 failed payment processing fee must be added.

What does it mean when I receive an invoice email notification that says I have a balance due?

This means you have outstanding fees on your account and a payment is due.

When and how do I receive my bill?

You can always view the balance on your account once you are logged in to the website. You will receive notification before the 1st of each month that automatic billing will take place. This is a good time to go online and view your account and any outstanding charges.

To see any current or existing charges on your account you must login to your account using your email and password. Once you have logged in to the site, click on My Invoice/Payment on the left side of the home page. On the screen that loads, click on Account Balance next to the most recent invoice for your account. Only the most recent invoice listed will show up to date information.

Fundraising/Worker

What are the fundraising and worker requirements for each member of the team?

You can view all our Fundraising and Worker Information for each of our loctaions on the Fundraising/Worker Info page.

General

What's the difference between long course and short course?

Long Course and Short Course refer to the length of competition pool used during that part of the year. In the United States, the primary course used in the fall and winter is a 25-yard pool. In the spring and summer months in the US, we use the international standard distance of 50-meters for competition. We refer to Long and Short Course to differentiate between the two.

Who is my swimmer's coach and how do I contact them?

Each practice group has assigned coaching staff members. All of our coaches are identified on the website by location and group and can be found on the Coaches Page. All contacts should begin with your Group Coach, but the Head Site Coach and Head Coach are also available when you have questions and concerns.

What kind of business structure does the Academy Bullets have?

The Academy Bullets Swim Club is a coach-owned swim program. Bill Schalz is the founder and owner of the club since its formation in 1994.

When is the best time to ask my coach a question?

The best time to contact your coach is outside of any practice. The best way to contact your coach is via email or phone. If you need to see your coach face to face, you can arrange this in advance or you can try to see your coach immediately after practice. Please realize that your coach will be more focused on the swimmers than on parents before, during, and after practice, but will do their best to find time when you need it.

How do you organize your practice groups?

All of our practice groups are organized by age and ability level. Visit your location's homepage for more information.

How do I contact my coach?

The best way to contact your coach is via email or phone. Coach emails are available on our Coaches Page.

Meets

What strokes do competitive swimmers use?

There are four competitive strokes for all ages of swimmers. The strokes are Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. In addition, swimmers compete in Individual Medley races that incorporate all four strokes in one race.

What are the age groups (8&under, 9-10, etc.) in competition?

Generally competitions are divided in the following age groups: 8 & Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15 & Over. You will also see some competitions where events are labeled 10 & Under (open to any swimmers younger than 11), and some have Open events which are open to all ages, but generally refer to senior swimmers 13 & Over.

How often should my child attend meets?

Competition is an integral part of our team and what we do. We believe that swimmers need to have enough time between competitions for training so each meet will be a good opportunity to show improvement. Ideally, meets will only be scheduled every couple of weeks or twice a month. There are times when our meet schedule offers more than two meets in a month. This provides all swimmers with flexibility in scheduling, but no swimmer should compete more than twice a month.

Can I watch my child swim in meets?

Parents are strongly encouraged to watch their swimmers compete in all meets. Parents providing support and encouragement throughout competition is a vital part of the swimmers growth. You are also encouraged to volunteer at meets as a timer or official or in another capacity where available. This teaches your child that you value what they are doing as a member of the team and helps them develop the courage to succeed and fail in competition.

Who enters my child in events?

The coaching staff enters all swimmers in events in each meet. Decisions on event choice belongs exclusively to the coaches. We believe meet entry is an integral part of the educational process for the swimmer. The coaches make the decisions as part of the overall development of the swimmer and plan entries on a season long basis rather than just meet to meet.

How long do meets last?

Meets are broken into sessions. Some meets are one day/one session, while others may go 2 or more days, offering multpile sessions. Generally, each session of a meet is between 3-4 hours long. Dual meets or Intrasquad meets may be shorter, and some championship meets may be longer. Some meets offer one session per day for each age group, while others offer a prelim/final format where the fastest swimmers in preliminaries each day come back later that day to compete in finals and swim their events for a second time.

When should we get to the meet?

Each meet session has a listed start time for warm-up for that session. Swimmers should be on deck, ready to swim at least 5-10 minutes prior to the listed warm-up time on our web site.

What should we bring to the meet?

Each Academy Bullets Swim Club swimmer is required to wear a team suit at all meets, so that is the first piece of equipment that is needed for any meet. You also need to pack at least two pairs of goggles (they do break at the most inconvenient times), one or more towels, sufficient clothing to keep your swimmer warm and comfortable throughout the day, 1-2 water bottles or sport drinks, and appropriate snacks for your swimmer while they are at the meet.

Will my swimmer be on a relay?

When a meet offers relays, the coaches will enter a certain number of relay teams. All decisions about relay swimmers are made by the coaches the day of the meet. Any swimmer signed up to swim in a session that includes relays is expected to be available to swim on relays if asked to do so by the coaches.

What is a disqualification and what should I do if my child gets disqualified?

A disqualification is a technical breaking of the rules for that particular event. DQs are an important part of the learning process for each swimmer. While it may seem like a tragedy in the moment to the swimmer, it is an expected part of the learning process for every swimmer. As a parent, when talking with your child after a DQ, simply ask what they learned from that event and reinforce that this is a normal part of the learning process.

Where do I find information about times/events/sessions?

Meet Information for every meet in which we compete is posted on our website on the page for that meet. To view the meet information for any meet, click on the Events/Meets tab at the top of our website, find the meet for which you are interested, and click on the meet name. There you will find all start times, event lists, and all currently available information about the operation of the meet.

Should my swimmer compete year-round?

As your child becomes more desirous to learn and excel at this sport, they will be telling you that they want to do this more and more. In any sport where you put more focus and energy, you will see a faster rate of improvement, but you should allow your child's level of desire to guide your decisions on their level of participation. A highly motivated swimmer can?t stand to be out of the water.

What is the difference between "Invitational" and "Championship" meets?

Invitational meets refer to meets where the meet host invites specific teams to participate in the meet. An example of this would be the Speedo Invitational hosted by our club every January. We invite teams to participate and only those teams are allowed to enter swimmers in the meet.

Championship meets refer to meets held by a governing body (state, regional, national or international) in order to crown a champion for their members. An example is the Illinois Swimming Senior Championships. This meet is held by Illinois Swimming for any swimmers registered within the state of Illinois. Individual state champions are crowned in each event, as well as team champions.

What is an IM?

IM refers to Individual Medley, which is a race that includes all four competitive strokes. - Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. Different age groups compete at different distances ranging from 100 to 400 yards or meters.

At a meet, how do I know which event we are on?

Most meets include an announcer who will announce each event or heat as the meet progresses. In addition, the pool may have a scoreboard that will state the event or heat as it swims. Finally, many meets offer the opportunity for spectators to purchase a heat sheet or meet program that will list each heat of the session so they can follow along as the meet progresses.

What is a bullpen?

For younger swimmers, host parents may operate a bullpen to get all swimmers lined up and ready to go to the blocks for their event. It is a way for meet hosts to efficiently serve dozens of young swimmers without delaying the meet.

How do I know for which meets to sign-up?

Any meet that is on our schedule for your practice group and location is a good meet to go to. Swimmers should typically compete in 1-2 meets per month. If you have questions about which meets are best for your swimmer, you should talk to your group coach.

How do I cancel a meet sign-up?

To cancel a meet registration you have already completed before the entry deadline, you simply reverse the process you used to register for the meet in the first place.

Once the entry deadline for a meet has passed, you cannot withdraw from the meet. Immediately following the entry deadline, coaches select events and submit the team entry including entry fees to the meet host. Once that entry is submitted, you are responsible for any entry fees incurred on behalf of your swimmer even if your swimmer does not attend the meet.

Meet entries are generally submitted 4-6 weeks prior to the meet. If you know your swimmer will not attend a meet and the entry deadline has already passed, please email your group coach or Head Site Coach so he/she is aware your swimmer will not attend the meet.

How much do meets cost?

Meet hosts set their own entry fees. In Illinois, some entry fees are standardized but can still vary depending on the type of meet. A typical three day meet will cost an individual swimmer $40-50 if the swimmer attends all days of the meet.

How do I find out where meets are held?

Meet information is available weeks in advance of the meet. This information includes start times for all sessions and any special rules or requirements for that meet. This information is always posted on our website on the page for each meet. To view the meet page, click on the name of the meet on our website.

What are time standards? Do all meets have time standards? How do I know if my swimmer has certain time standards?

Certain meets have time standards that a swimmer must have achieved in order to be entered in that meet. Time standards are published in advance with the meet information for each meet. Not all meets have time standards. You can check for time standards in the meet information available on the home page of the meet.

Check out our Time Standards page to view standards for upcoming championship meets.

When do I pay for meets?

Our club bills for meets through your team account. Meets are typically billed right after they conclude.

How can I get more feedback on the meets and events my child should swim in the season?

Your group coach is the best person to ask about the most appropriate meets for your swimmer. Your group coach has the sole authority to select events for your swimmer in any meet in which he/she swims. If you have questions about the events selected for your child, please contact your group coach.

Website

How do I find my swimmer's best times?

To find your swimmer?s best times you must login to the website using your email and password. Once you have logged into your account, click on My Meet Results on the left hand side of the homepage. On the My Results page your swimmer is listed in the box next to Member and you are given a variety of choices to filter the results you want. If you have more than one swimmer, they will each be listed in a drop down member next to Member. Complete your selections of the filters available and click on Search to see your swimmers best times.

How can I get a member directory?

View our Team Directory here.

How do I easily navigate around the team Website?

There are three primary menus for most things you will need to access on our website - Communication, Events/Meets, and Locations. Additionally, the top navigation bar includes menus for About Us, Membership Info, Parents, Swimmers, and Top Times. Coach Information and a Site Map can be found at the very top of our site. Along the left side of the home page are links for your account information, meet results and invoices. You can address questions to coaching staff using the Contact Us page on the website.

Do I need a username/password for each family member?

Each family has a single login for their account. The login information consists of the primary email address associated with the account and the password for the account. You can change the primary email associated with your account at any time by clicking on My Account on the left hand side of the homepage once you have logged into your account with your current email and password. It is not possible to create additional logins for other family members.

Why require a username/password to use the website?

The Username/Password allows you to access information specific to your swimmer and your account. This includes financial information as well as meet entry and result information.

How can I change my email address or other contact information?

You can change your account information at any time by clicking on My Account on the left hand side of the homepage once you have logged into your account with your current email and password.

Can I change my password?

You can change your password at any time after you have logged into your account with your email address and current password.