Helpful Terms and Definitions
Hopefully this list of terms, definitions, and equipment helps our swimmer's family members who may not have a swimming background understand a little more about the sport and clear up some confusing points. As always if you ever have a question please ask!
Cap- All swimmers with hair long enough to touch their shoulders must wear a cap, but all swimmers are welcome to wear one. A cap keeps hair off their faces when swimming and allows the swimmer to breath more easily. Caps also reduce drag in the water. There are two types of caps, silicon and latex. Both are similar, swimmers may chose based on personal preference.
Goggles- All swimmers must have goggles! It does not matter what brand but they may not be snorkel goggles that cover the swimmers nose. Prescription goggles are available through D&J Sports in Coopersburg.
Team Suit- Team suits are to be worn for competition only, NOT for practice. Suits can be purchased at D&J Sports. Our team will also have a fitting here at the Y.
Distances- 1 length of the pool- 25 yds, 2 lengths- 50 yds, 3 lengths- 75 yds, 4 lengths- 100 yds, etc.….
Races- The race types and lengths differ depending on the swimmers’ age. Coaches select swimmer’s races for meets depending on ability level and the needs of the team. The events will be posted at each dual meet for the swimmers and two copies will be in the hallway for parents, one by the snack stand and another by the family locker rooms.
Relay- A relay is comprised of 4 swimmers of the same age group and gender. The 8 and unders swim 100 yd relays so each swimmer swims 25 yds. The 10s, 12s, 14s, and opens swim 200 yd relays so each competitor swims 50 yds. Opens also have the opportunity to swim a 400 yd free relay, in which everyone swims 100 yds. The Medley relay is the first event of the meet. The first swimmer does back, second breast, third fly, and fourth free. The Free relay is the last event of the meet and everyone does freestyle.
Start- A start is typically done off of the block. Free, breast, and fly start by diving off of the block. Back starts are done in the water using the backstroke bars or the edge of the pool. For new swimmers or swimmers uncomfortable with diving there is also the option to dive/jump in off of the wall for free, breast, and fly.
Turn- A turn is done when swimmers need to complete more than one length of the pool. Swimmers will learn the correct turn to do with each stroke in practice.
DQ- A DQ is a disqualification. This just means that the swimmer did something illegal in their stroke during their race. Coaches get DQ sheets at the end of each meet so that they can go over ways to correct the mistakes in practice.
Qualifying Times- For meets like Charlie Hartley (CH), Districts, and Nationals. Swimmers must meet the qualifying time. If they meet or go under the required time then they have earned the opportunity to attend the next level of competition. To qualify for States a swimmer must place in the top 6 over all in their event at districts or be one of the next 6 fastest in the state.
Post Season Meets- This includes any meet that occurs after Championships including: Charlie Hartley (CH), Districts, States, and Nationals. Not all swimmers may attend these meets, if they do not qualify they do not go.
IM- An IM or Individual Medley is a race in which the swimmer must swim all 4 strokes in the following order; fly, back, breast, free. There are 3 IM distances that swimmers may be put in depending on their age group. 10 and unders swim a 100 IM. 12’s, 14’s, and opens swim a 200 IM and may also compete in the 400 IM if they choose to.
K-Tape- Kinesiology Tape or K-Tape/Rock Tape is not allowed to be worn in any YMCA meets even with a Doctors note. YMCA swimming follows USA swimming rules. The 2017 USA Swimming Rule book says “No swimmer is permitted to wear or use any device, substance or swimsuit to help his/her speed, pace, buoyancy or endurance during a race (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, power bands, adhesive substances, etc.). Goggles may be worn, and rubdown oil applied if not considered excessive by the referee…” p. 30.
Pendel- This is our league, they are in charge of scheduling, rules, and overseeing the teams/divisions in general to make sure we are doing things correctly.
When in doubt ask!!!