Swim Team FAQs

What is the NVSL?  The Northern Virginia Swim League is the largest summer swim league in the U.S.  There are 17 divisions and over 100 teams.  The NVSL determines which teams are in each division every year and ranks them accordingly.  

What is an A meet?  An A meet is the official NVSL sanctioned meet between two teams in the same division, held on Saturday mornings.  It is a scored meet and counts toward the team’s league standing.  All Saturday morning meets, as well as the Divisional Relay Carnival and Divisional Individual Championship meets, have NVSL A meet status.

How does a swimmer qualify for an A meet?  Swimmers are entered into A meets based on Coach selection.  These selections are based on placing swimmers in events with the underlying goal of our team winning the meet.  Typically, each team sends their fastest three swimmers for every event.  Since each swimmer is limited to two individual events plus relays, there are usually openings for many swimmers in each age group at A meets.  Fastest times swam in both A and developmental meets are considered for placement in subsequent A meets.  If a swimmer disqualifies in a stroke, that time will not be considered for A meet eligibility. Being the fastest is not a guarantee of placement: DQ risks, failure to attend practice, or misconduct are factors that may result in the fastest swimmer not being entered.

Does a swimmer need to be at practice during the week to swim at an A meet?  Woodley’s policy is that a swimmer must attend at least one practice a week to be considered for the A meet unless the absences are cleared with the Head Coach and Swim Team Rep.  One example of an approved absence would be absence due to illness.

Why is a younger swimmer swimming in an older age group?  When we do not have enough qualified swimmers within an age bracket to fill our allotted lanes at an A Meet, we will attempt to fill those lanes with the fastest available swimmers from younger age brackets. The term for this is called “swimming up.”  Swim Ups are eligible for legal times and points.

How are A meets scored?

First Place = 5 points

Second Place =  3 points

Third Place = 1 point

Relays are scored differently with First Place receiving 5 points and 0 points to Second Place.

What time do I need to be at the A meet?  Team warm ups generally are at 8:00 am for home meets and 8:20 am for away meets.  Swimmers should arrive in time for warm ups for every meet.  All swimmers must be present at the pool before the 9:00 am start of the meet or he/she may be scratched and another swimmer put in his place. Once a swimmer is scratched, reinstatement at the same meet is not possible under NVSL rules.

How does a swimmer or relay qualify for All Stars?  Individual swimmers qualify for All Stars by swimming one of the top 18 fastest times in their event and age group at Divisionals, NVSL-wide.  Relay teams are selected for All Stars by being one of the top 18 fastest teams out of all the Divisions during the Divisional Relay Carnivals.  Only legal times achieved at Relay Carnival or Divisionals count for All Stars.  Qualifying to swim in Divisionals is the same as any other A Meet: swimmers at the very top of the ladder will be given placement priority. We are only guaranteed 2 lanes in each event at Divisionals (unlike a dual meet where we have 3 lanes).

What is a B meet?  Swimmers also have the opportunity to swim in developmental or “B” meets on Monday nights.  These meets are not scored but times count for placement in A meets.  Woodley belongs to their own B Meet League made up of 5 teams in our area.  We swim these same teams every summer; however, the teams in our NVSL division change every year, therefore we do not generally swim the same teams on Saturday and Monday.  All swimmers receive ribbons.  Swimmers will receive either 1st-6th place overall ribbons, participation ribbons for 7th place or higher, or a disqualification ribbon.

What time do I need to be at B Meet?  Warm-ups generally begin at 5:00 pm for home meets and 5:20 pm for away meets.  

What should swimmers wear at swim meets?  For competitive swimming, a good quality suit is all that is required.  Many swimmers also wear goggles and a swim cap.  Every two years, Woodley selects a new team suit.  Team swim caps and T-shirts are provided to all team members as part of registration dues. Only Woodley team caps are permitted in an A Meet.

What should officials (Timers, Stroke & Turn Judges, Referees, etc.) wear to swim meets?  The official uniform colors of the NVSL for deck officials are a white collared shirt and dark blue shorts or pants.  Jeans, while not forbidden, are discouraged.  Officials may not wear team T-shirts.  The rules are more relaxed at developmental meets.  NVSL logo apparel is acceptable and available for purchase on the NVSL website.

Where do I get my ribbons?  Each swimmer has a folder in the swim team box that is kept at the pool.  Ribbons from Saturday meets should be in the folders by Monday morning practice and ribbons from Monday night meets are available Tuesday morning.

How can I help? – VOLUNTEER!  It takes a lot of parents to run a meet.  We need help with concessions, timing, special events, set up for home meets, just to name a few.  Stroke & Turn Judges, Referees, and Starters need to attend an NVSL training session.  See the NVSL website for further info.  Older siblings not on the team are welcome to help.