Frequently Asked Questions

          How do I register?

          Where do I find information about Fees?

Do I have to be a good swimmer to join the team?

          Do I have to tryout?

          What if I’m involved in other sports?

          Are meets held every weekend?

          Is there a lot of travel involved?

          Where are practices held?

          Can I join anytime?

          Do the boys have to wear “speedos”?

          What is the cost?

          Who does the coaching and what are their certifications?

          What are the benefits of year round swimming?  

          What is the difference between Short Course (SC) and Long Course (LC)?  

          My daughter's relay has a zone time. Do I have to go?

          What should I bring to a swim meet?

          Why do people write on their hands?

          How do championships work?

          I have small children. How do I fulfill my volunteer obligations?


How do I register?

In order to register your son or daughter to the team, simply click on "Join The Tigersharks" on the homepage of this website. Follow the prompts then don't forge to turn in your payment form. (Back to Top)


Where do I find information about fees?

Fee information and the payment form (EFT) is contained within the "Registration Packet" found in the online registration system.  (Back to Top)

Do I have to be a good swimmer to join the team?

All you need to be able to do is swim 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke.  (This is the length of most pools) (Back to Top)

Do I have to tryout?

No. We hold swimmer screenings to help us place swimmers into appropriate groups.  We will have these in August or by appointment.  Please call Coach Mike at (513) 521-7112 to make an appointment.  (Back to Top)

What if I’m involved in other sports?

Most of our swimmers participate in other activities, too.  Our practices are usually offered five to six days a week to allow for more opportunities to participate. High School athletes who are involved in a Fall Sport might not begin their full practice schedule until the conclusion of the Fall Season. (Back to Top)

Are meets held every weekend?

No, and it is up to you how many meets you enter based on your schedule. (Back to Top)

Is there a lot of travel involved?

Most of our meets are in the Cincinnati area, although we do offer the opportunity for travel trips to other areas (ie: Louisville, Nashville, For Lauderdale, and more). We have several meets at Miami University each year (about 35 minutes). (Back to Top)

Where are practices held?

Practices are held at Powel Crosley Jr YMCA, Gamble-Nippert YMCA, and Clippard YMCA. (Back to Top)

Can I join anytime?

Yes, you may join the team anytime throughout the year. (Back to Top)

Do the boys have to wear “speedos”?

No, although they are popular with most of the older boys, many boys opt for the knee-length “jammer” suit. (Back to Top)

What is the cost?

The cost is based on the group your swimmer is placed in.  Payments are able to be spread out over a 6 month period and fundraising opportunities are available.  The PCY fee schedule is very competitive and affordable. (Back to Top)

Who does the coaching and what are their certifications?

We have a staff of professional, experienced coaches who love what they do.  They are all certified through YMCA and USA Swimming and are required to maintain CPR, Coaches Safety & First Aid plus other coaching certifications. (Back to Top)

What are the benefits of year round swimming? 
ach of our swimmers must learn good stroke technique at every stage of their development. We believe that swimming correctly needs to be taught before athletes move on to training. We also find that swimmers who learn better stroke technique will swim faster and smarter races.

Year round swimming will improve swimming ability, but it will also carry over to other aspects of an athlete’s life. Swimmers tend to take the listening, discipline, organization, work-ethic, time management, and goal setting skills they learn in our program with them to the classroom and thereafter to the real world. In addition, swimmers learn to handle successes and failures, which in turn creates superior sportsmanship and self-confidence. (Back to Top)

What is the difference between Short Course (SC) and Long Course (LC)? 
The easy answer is short course takes place in a 25 yard or meter pool whereas long course takes place in a 50 meter pool. Short Course is normally noted as SCY for Short Course Yards or SCM for Short Course Meters. Long Course is typically noted as LCM for Long Course Meters. Short Course season normally runs from September through March (April for National Swimmers). Long Course usually begins at the end of April and lasts through mid-July.

USA Swimming does not formally endorse any conversion factors between different courses. There are certain situations in which a time needs to be converted. An example of a formula that can be used is: (Meters Time) = (Yards Time) x 1.11 + 0.7 sec. USA Swimming also provides tables that can be used for conversions:
USA Swimming Conversion Tables (Back to Top)

My daughter's relay has a zone time. Do I have to go?

Any swimmer who has qualified in either a relay or individual event is expected to attend all championships. This does mean that some swimmers travel to Zones in order to swim a relay. Championships are when the true importance of being a part of a team demonstrated. Relays require 4 swimmers. If one doesn't attend, there are 3 disappointed athletes. (Back to Top)

What should I bring to a swim meet?

A swim meet provides a lot of "down" time for swimmers to relax with their teammates. Healthy snacks, drinks, cards or other small games are great tools for passing time. Flannel pants or sweatshirts are also helpful to keep the athlete warm. If we have a team area in a gym, a sleeping bag or blanket that can lay on the floor is great. Parents might want to bring portable chairs if we are sitting in a gym. We do not recommend that you bring expensive electronic games or music devices as they might get lost. (Back to Top)

Why do people write on their hands?

Younger athletes who are learning how to navigate a swim meet can keep track of their events by writing them on their hand. Include Event Type, Event Number, Heat and Lane. Older swimmers tend to follow the heat sheets that are posted around the pool deck. (Back to Top)

How do championships work?

Every athlete will attend at least one championship. Which championships you attend is determined by how fast you swim. Each championship beyond the first, "A" Championship, requires certain cuts, or time standards. The faster you swim, the more championships you can attend!

The first championship, which has historically been called "A" Championships is the meet that all swimmers, including new swimmers will attend. It has a preliminary session and the top 16 swimmers will swim in finals at night. This is also the only championship where the faster swimmers do not swim. If you have more than 6 "AA" cuts, you do not swim at the "A" Championships.

"AA" Championships, held at Miami University, is the goal meet of the season. We would like all our athletes to qualify to swim at these Championships. They are also a prelim/finals format. ALL athletes who qualify swim at this meet, including National swimmers.

Zones is the next level meet. It is for swimmers from 5 states who have qualified by time cuts. It is held at a college campus and rotates locations each year.

Nationals is the top level YMCA championship. Swimmers must be at least 12 by the start of the Nationals Meet to compete if they have qualified. (Back to Top)

I have small children. How do I fulfill my volunteer obligations?

Parents with small children at home have several options in fulfilling volunteer options. Some switch childcare at the meet with another parent, some hire Senior Swimmers to fulfill the obligation, some have another parent or babysitter stay at home with the children. Some volunteer positions can be fulfilled before or after a meet so that you can remain with your children during the meet. If you are having trouble, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator. (Back to Top)


AGE GROUP SWIMMING - Swimmers compete against swimmers in their own age groups; 8 and Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and senior (anyone 12 and over). The older the age group, the greater the distance a swimmer swims. The 6 and Under age group is usually offered at YMCA Invitationals. (Back to Top)


BACK - Short for backstroke. A swimmer must remain on his/her back during the race, never turning more than 90 degrees to one side or the other, except on turns. [ see "STROKES" below. ] (Back to Top)


BLOCKS - These are the platforms on which the swimmer stands and pushes off to start each race. (Back to Top)


BREAK - In a relay this is a bad start, meaning that one swimmer leaves the wall or block before the other swimmer in the water has touched the wall.  A relay start is also referred to as a "takeoff", and a break is more commonly referred to as a takeoff infraction or a "bad takeoff". (Back to Top)

BREASTSTROKE - Sometimes shortened to breast. Breaststroke is a stroke in which both arms and both legs move together. One complete stroke and one complete kick underwater is permitted on the start and on turns. As in butterfly, [see "FLY" below] a two handed touch is required on turns and finish. (Back to Top)


CLERK OF COURSE - A separate area where swimmers go to be pre-staged for the upcoming events. They are placed on benches in the order they will swim (and normally received a lane slip before electronic timing equipment became commonplace).  A Clerk of Course pre-staging area is more commonly used for younger (especially 8 & Under) swimmers. Dual meets and smaller meets normally do not have a Clerk of Course setup. (Back to Top)

DISQUALIFICATION (DQ or "Deke") - A disqualification indicates the swimmer involved has committed some infraction of the rules of either the start, turn or stroke of the event being swum. No points are scored, nor is a time recorded, for that swimmer for that event. (Back to Top)


DISQUALIFIED - A swimmer's race is declared illegal. As noted above, when disqualified, his/her time does not count. (Back to Top)


DUAL MEET - A meet between two teams. In a six-lane pool, each team gets 3 lanes only. (Back to Top)


EVENT - An event is a race that is defined by the stroke [ see "STROKES" below ] and distance (and usually gender/age group), e.g. Boys 13-14 100 yard Butterfly. (Back to Top)


FINALS - Are swum after the fastest times from the preliminary heats are grouped together. Often the fastest 16 swimmers qualify to swim in two finals heats (in an 8-lane pool).  These top swimmers are competing for the team points and awards. (Back to Top)


FLY - Nickname for the butterfly stroke. Butterfly (like breaststroke) is swum with the arms moving together in synchronization with both legs. The kick is similar to the flutter kick, but both feet are together and move up and down together. The hands or the feet may never move separately from the other. A two handed touch is required on the turns and finish. (Back to Top)


FREE - Short for Freestyle. Freestyle is the American Crawl or any other stroke a swimmer wishes to swim.  In medley events, "freestyle" means any stroke other than back, breast or fly. (Back to Top)


GREAT LAKES ZONES - The YMCA Zone in which the Tigersharks compete with other YMCAs in the states of Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana. (Back to Top)


HEAT SHEET - [see "HEATS" below ]  This is available to all spectators. It lists the event, heat, and lane each swimmer is in. (Back to Top)

HEATS - These are groups of swimmers all competing in the same event.  Example: There are 12 swimmers entered in the same event and only 6 lanes in which to swim. The 6 slowest swimmers will swim in Heat #1 and the next 6 will swim in Heat #2. [ see "SEEDING" below ]. (Back to Top)


IM - Individual Medley. One swimmer swims a minimum of one length of each of the following strokes in this consecutive order: butterfly, back, breast and free. (Back to Top)

INVITATIONAL - A competition in which any team may compete. (Back to Top)

LANE - The lanes are the divided sections of the pool designated l through 6 or 8 in which the swimmer swims his/her practice or races in the meet. The practice lanes generally remain the same. At meets the lanes vary for each race. (Back to Top)


LANE-SLIP - A slip of paper which identifies the swimmer, his lane, heat, event and time (generally not used with modern electronic timing equipment). (Back to Top)


LAP - It the length of the pool. At PCY the length of the indoor pool is 25 yards and the length of the outdoor pool is 50 meters. Most indoor pools are 25 yards in length. Most outdoor competition pools are either 25 or 50 meters. (Back to Top)

LINEUP SHEET - This is the coach's lineup paper that tells him/her who swims which events on what day of what meet and when it occurs relative to other events. (Back to Top)


LONG COURSE - In the summer, the PCY meets are long course meets - meaning they are held in a 50-meter outdoor pool. (Back to Top)


NT - No Time. No time means upon entering a swimmer in a certain event, that swimmer had not previously achieved a legal time for that certain event. (Back to Top)


NEGATIVE SPLIT - [ see "SPLIT" below]  On races from between 200 yards and a mile, it is important to maintain consistency. A negative split indicates bringing a race back (ending laps) faster than you started. (Back to Top)


PACING - On all long events a swimmer must realize that the finish is as important as the start. Pacing is knowing how much to save up at the beginning so as not to burn up all energy before the finish. Pacing is not used for sprint events. (Back to Top)


PLACE JUDGE - These people, usually one on each side of the pool at the finish end, would write down, in their opinion, in what order the swimmers finished.  These decisions were given to the runner and were used if the timing system failed or in case of ties.  With the widespread use of electronic timing equipment place judges are generally no longer used. (Back to Top)


PRELIMINARIES - The heats swum prior to the finals. The preliminary heats determine which swimmers qualify to compete in the finals.  [ see "FINALS" above ]. (Back to Top)

QUALIFYING TIME - A time standard for which a swimmer must swim at or faster than a minimum time to qualify and therefore be eligible to enter the event. (Back to Top)

RUNNERS - These people will collect cards from each head timer at the end of each race and run them over to the scorer's table; runners are generally no longer used with the widespread use of electronic timing equipment. (Back to Top)


SCORERS - These people score the meet, write out ribbons or medals for place finishes, and posts the scores and results after every few events. (Back to Top)


SCORING A MEET - Meets are scored according to what kind of meet it is. Teams are awarded points based upon the place finish of each race. The number of points and number of places awarded varies with each type of meet. Some meets are not scored. (Back to Top)


SEEDING - This means ranking or ordering the swimmers according to each swimmer's best previous times achieved prior to the meet.  When the swimmers are grouped into heats [ see "HEATS" above ] the fastest swimmers are in last heat. (Back to Top)


SHORT COURSE - Refers to a 25 yard or meter pool. This (25 yards) is the distance swum in the winter season. (Back to Top)


SPLIT - It is a segment of time for part of an event. Most common on relays where you have four individual times that equal the sum of the four participants final time.  Split times are also often tracked on longer individual events. (Back to Top)

SPRINT - A sprint is a high energy burst of speed for a short distance event. (Back to Top)

STARTER - This person will see that the crowd is quiet and then will start each race with a gun or auto starter system. It will be his/her job to determine a false start and to recall such a start (when recalls are used). (Back to Top)

STROKES - The four competitive strokes are butterfly, back, breast and freestyle. Each stroke has a proper execution. Failure to execute the stroke properly (as defined by the official rules) causes the swimmer to be disqualified for that race. (Back to Top)

STROKE AND TURN JUDGES - These people will see that the swimmer does each stroke and turn properly as stated in the official rulebook. If a stroke or turn is done improperly, the judge who observed the infraction will report it to the scorer's table (usually over a radio headset; prior to the use of headsets the judge would write up a disqualification card to be brought to the scorer's table). (Back to Top)


SWOYSL - South West Ohio YMCA Swim League, formerly the Southwest Cluster Swim League, is the YMCA league in which Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA is a member in good standing. (Back to Top)

"TAKE YOUR MARK" - This is the command that the starter gives the swimmers at the start of each race. It tells the swimmer to take his starting position. (Back to Top)


TIMERS - These are people who take the times of each swimmer. There are normally 2 or 3 per lane with each having a watch or hookup to the auto timing system. One timer also normally acts as a recorder - i.e., writes down the watch times of the event swum in that lane. (Back to Top)


TIMES - Throughout the season a swimmer will swim several events more than once. The time they swim is the final result of their effort. It will determine at which level they perform that event. (Back to Top)

TOUCH AND FINISH - These are important. For each event the touch for a finish or for a turn has definite rules. There is a specific legal touch for each stroke. (Back to Top)

TRI MEET - A meet between three teams. [ see also "DUAL MEET" above ].  In a six-lane pool, each team is allocated 2 lanes only. (Back to Top)


USA SWIMMING - USA Swimming, formerly United States Swimming. USS is a governing body, which has annexed itself from the A.A.U. This governing body directs competition. Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA competes in this league along with the SWOSL. To compete in USA Swimming meets, a swimmer must obtain a USA Swimming membership card.  (Most PCY swimmers also hold USA cards.) (Back to Top)


WARM-UPS - This is the pre-meet swimming that each swimmer should do to get a feel of the water, to loosen up their shoulders, arms, neck, waist, and legs, and to practice the events being swum that meet. (Back to Top)