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FAQ

How do I register?


Registration is easy! New families need to come to our pre-registration night.  See website for times and location.  Be sure to bring your swimmer and have them ready to swim for the coaches. They will be evaluated and placed in the appropriate training group.  All families will register online.  Fees vary depending on practice group level.  These fees will be posted prior to registration.

What is the USA Swimming Membership?


It is required that all WEST swimmers have a current USA Swimming membership. This membership not only supports swimming throughout the country, it also provides accident and medical insurance for every swimmer and every club. Each swimmer is covered at any organized practice of WEST Express and at every competition that is USA Swimming sanctioned.

What forms of payment can I use?


Cash/Check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or E-check.

How well does my child have to swim to join West Express?


Because West Express is not "swimming lessons" we ask that a child can "swim" one length of our 25-yard pool safely and without assistance. The stroke does not have to be perfect or even pretty. We will fix that!

Do I have to "try out" for the team?


No. West Express holds in-the-water evaluations for level placement to ensure swimmers are put in a practice group that best suits their age and ability.

How long is the swim season?


West Express swimmers swim all year, but there are two "seasons". Short Course season starts in mid-September and ends with the State meet in early March. During the Short Course season, the swimmers compete in 25-yard pools. Long Course season starts in April and ends with the State meet in early August. During Long Course season, the swimmers will practice at the CMSE pool and also at the 50-meter pool in Bloomington a couple mornings a week. Many of the meets during Long Course season are held in 50-meter pools. We register swimmers for one season at a time.

How many days a week does my child have to practice?


West Express understands that families are busy. We offer practice for each level as shown below. Coaches encourage swimmers to attend as many practices as possible in order to make the most progress throughout the season. Monthly practice calendars are posted on the website.

  • Dolphins (Level 1): 3 nights for 45 minutes
  • Sharks (Level 2): 4 nights for 75 minutes
  • Age Group (Level 3): 5 nights 90 minutes
  • Seniors (Level 4): 5 nights for 2 hours

What volunteer opportunities are there for me as a parent?


WEST is a parent-run, volunteer organization. We rely on families to participate in our fundraising activities throughout the season. These can include:

  • Hosting swim meets
  • Volunteering at our home swim meets
  • Fundraisers.  More info during seasons.
  • Obtaining sponsorships from area businesses

What equipment will I need for practice?


You will need a swim suit. We recommend a one-piece suit for girls and tight swimming shorts (jammers) for the boys. You will also need a pair of goggles and a swim cap. After the season starts, coaches may ask swimmers to purchase a set of fins and a special swimming snorkel.

Are swim meets required?


Swim meets are not required, but they are strongly encouraged. They are the best way to measure your improvement, and they are lots of fun.

How do I know what swim meets are coming up?


The season meet schedule is posted on our website.

How do I sign up for a swim meet?


Click on home page and select meet you want to sign up for. Most meets are Saturday and Sunday. You can choose to swim one or both days of any meet.

Do swim meets cost extra?


Yes. Fees vary by meet. Posted meet information includes meet fees.  WEST also charges each swimmer attending a meet a $5.00 surcharge to cover meet related expenses.

How do I know my child is ready to participate in a swim meet?


Your coach will let you and your child know when he is ready to swim at a meet. Meets are a learning experience and kids are encouraged to participate as soon as they feel comfortable.

Do I get to choose the events my child swims at a meet?


No. Coaches will enter swimmers in appropriate events.

What is the required team uniform?


WEST requires a team cap, a team suit, and a team warm-up jacket. Caps can be purchased from the coaches. Suits and jackets will be purchased from Elsmore Aquatics at the beginning of the season.

West Express Swim Team, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization. Donations made to our organization may be tax deductible. West Express has made an application for Non-Profit Status and has received an Advance Ruling. This information is available for public inspection by request.