ï»¿Central Area Aquatics Team
ï»¿Team Governance Documents
CAAT Bylaws can be downloaded from this link: CAAT Bylaws (October 2014)
CAAT Board meeting minutes can be found here (Mar 2018):
Welcome to Central Area Aquatics Team (CAAT). CAAT is a year-round swim club dedicated to providing swimming opportunities to members of our community in the greater Seattle area, and to all seeking a diverse, fun, challenging environment in which to learn and train. CAAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is a member of USA Swimming and Pacific Northwest Swimming.
Our mailing address is PO Box 22564, Seattle, WA 98122
1.Interested in joining CAAT?
CAAT swims at the Medgar Evers Pool, Seattle University, Mercerwood Shore Club, Meredith Mathews YMCA, West Seattle Health Club, and the City of Tukwila Pool. During the long course season, we also add 50 meter pool time at Colman Pool and King County Aquatic Center.
We have an age group program with swimmers range in age from 5-18 and compete at various levels at local, regional and national swim meets. We also have a masters program that is described elsewhere.
If you are interested in joining CAAT, please go to www.swimcaat.org and click on the Home Page link “Join CAAT”. We register all families online through our website, and we require automatic payment with a credit card or with bank electronic funds transfer for all payments.
2. CAAT Team Info & Communications
CAAT provides information electronically thru email and through our website, www.swimcaat.org. Almost any info you need about our team can be found here, including training schedules, training locations, contact information for coaches and others, calendars, and event information. Please visit this site often to keep up to date on team happenings. We also have a Facebook page where you can find photos and team related information.
Since email is the standard and primary mode of communications between the Board, coaches, swimmers and parents, please be sure to give us an active email address that you check often. This email address will also allow you access to your own online account on our webpage, and will allow you to sign up for meets, view your times and results, and even check the status of your bill. Make sure to enter additional email addresses to keep all parents or key contact people informed of CAAT schedules and information. We communicate schedule changes and other information through the email. We also use text messaging for last minute schedule changes such as unexpected pool closures. For this purpose, please make sure your email addresses (for all parents) are up to date and that we have current phone numbers.
3. CAAT Programs and Groups
CAAT practice groups are structured to support pre-competitive and competitively focused swimmers with a wide range of interests and abilities. The group structure and criteria for each group are described in detail under the tab “Groups/Schedules.”
We provide a progressive age group program designed to develop the athlete technically, physically and mentally in a systematic fashion. At the early levels, technique is the top priority and as each athlete matures more emphasis is placed on maintaining technique while progressively developing the athlete's physiological and psychological capacities. At each level of our program we continually try to evaluate and adapt to the multitude of factors that impact the growth and development of young athletes.
These groups represent broad age ranges and abilities. The practice sessions will span a range of swimming abilities with 2-3 coaches on deck to work with lanes in the practice session. The lanes for each practice session will be fluid, as swimmers progress they may move from one set of lanes to another. Based on the workout focus coaches may move the swimmers around even from one practice to another. Swimmers are evaluated for group placement at the end of each swim season when coaches re-evaluate group placement for the following year. Occasionally coaches may recommend movement to a different group mid-year.
4. Swim Meets
CAAT Coaches will select approximately 10-15 meets per year for the team to participate in as a group. Swimmers in the Age Group Performance, Senior, and Senior Performance groups are expected to swim in meets. Age Group and Stroke Development swimmers are highly encouraged but not required to swim in meets. Meets are also available for CAATFish swimmers. For some of these meets the team will select only one of two weekend days for meets. CAAT will also host in-house meets from time to time, encourage all swimmers to participate.
Each year, CAAT hosts a Swim-a-Thon. The Swim-a-Thon is our major fundraising event of the year, and raises money not only for our team but also supports the USA Swimming Foundation. All of our swimmer swim for two hours and swim as many laps as possible, up to 200. Our swimmers will work to receive pledges and donations from family members, friends, neighbors and local businesses. About a month after the Swim-a-Thon we hold a team event to celebrate and recognize our swimmers’ success in the pool and their fundraising efforts.
Five percent of our funds raised go to the USA Swimming Foundation to support their national mission to save lives and build champions – in the pool and in life. All (yes, ALL!) remaining proceeds from the Swim-a-Thon go to fund our Financial Aid fund and support our outreach efforts so that swimmers of all families, regardless of their ability to pay, are given the opportunity to participate and excel in USA Swimming. This is our chance to ensure CAAT continues to be the inclusive, fun, respectful, and diverse swim team and community that makes CAAT so unique.
6. Registration Information
The CAAT Swim Year runs continuously from September to the end of July, with monthly billing.
Registration will be accomplished online for all swimmers at www.swimcaat.org. Each swim group has a limited capacity and as the groups fill up, waiting lists may be set up. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.
There is a helpful, short training Webinar at our team site on how to register: http://www.teamunify.com/WebinarsRecorded.jsp?wtab=0&team=pnscaat
Scroll down the page to “Online Registration - A Parents Perspective” and click on the “VIEW WEBINAR” button. If you need to download the Adobe Plug-in, you will be prompted to do so.
You are responsible for determining whether swimming with CAAT and participation in other CAAT activities is appropriate for your child in light of any medical issues your child has. CAAT is not able to monitor your child’s medical issues while participating in CAAT activities and does not assume any responsibility for doing so (regardless of any information you have provided CAAT about your child’s medical conditions). If your child needs to be monitored while participating in any CAAT activities, it is your responsibility to do so.
Please contact the Team Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to complete registration online.
****Payment For Registration is CREDIT CARD ONLY****
Payment for ongoing monthly charges (after registration) is accomplished through CAAT’s “AUTO-PAY SYSTEM”. You must also set up auto-pay after receiving registration approval from the registrar by clicking on the “SET-UP AUTO PAY” link in the left border column on our home page. Only electronic forms of payment are accepted for monthly charges at CAAT. Your credit card information from the registration process can be transferred automatically into the monthly payment system.
Our Team Unify electronic registration system only confirms successful completion of the required electronic information. It is not an authorization to swim. Authorization to swim occurs via email from the Registrar after coaches’ swim assessment and Registrar review of all registration materials.
7. CAAT Board of Directors
CAAT’s official legal name is the “Central Area Aquatics Team Parents’ Association.” It is a team run by the Board of Directors. It is important to understand that CAAT is a non-profit, parent-Board run team (and not a for profit, coach owned team). We hire a very professional and highly skilled coaching staff, but the rest of the program (the non-water side) is powered by volunteers.
The Board members (and contact information) are listed under the “About CAAT” tab. Please feel free to contact any Board member if you have questions or concerns.
As a parent-Board team, we rely on our volunteer Board and the volunteer efforts of the entire CAAT community.
8. Annual Meeting
CAAT holds an annual parent meeting every year to fill any Board vacancies, to review the budget, and to address any questions of parents. It is required that parents attend this meeting. The specific date and time of the meeting will be announced via email. This is a good opportunity to meet other parents, meet the coaches, learn about swim meets, arrange carpools, organize volunteer tasks for the year, and express any concerns or compliments about team policies.
9. Financial Obligations and Policies
a. Payment: CAAT is a volunteer organization. We rely on timely payment of your fees to compensate employees, pay bills, offer scholarships and create reserves recommended by USA Swimming. We use an entirely on line payment system through TeamUnify. You may pay by submission of electronic funds transfer information (EFT) (also referred to as bank draft or ACH) or credit card (CC) information. All sensitive account information is encrypted and cannot be accessed by CAAT. If you choose to pay by credit card, we will add on the cost of credit card processing to your bill (currently, 3%). CAAT reserves the right to initiate a charge on any credit card or checking account that has ever been used in your account if you are delinquent in paying your bill.
If you are unable to submit an electronic payment for invoices (credit card or electronic funds transfer) contact the Treasurer at email@example.com . CAAT reserves the right to assess a service charge if you do not use electronic payment. This fee also applies to families receiving financial assistance.
****CAAT strongly encourages the use of bank draft/EFT/ACH transfer over credit card payment****
****If you pay by credit card, CAAT will add the credit card processing fee to your account****
Once your information is entered, your electronic funds source will transfer your invoiced fees to CAAT automatically every month.
Instructions to Enter Payment Information:
• Have your credit card or bank account routing information handy
• Sign In to www.swimcaat.org
• Under “My Account” at the left margin, click on “Setup Auto Pay”
• Follow the simple instructions
You will receive message at the end of the process, but remember your swimmers are not authorized to swim until you receive an email notification from the Registrar.
Families’ bills are generated on the 1st of each month or the upcoming month (e.g., invoices for October include October’s swim fees and other charges for the month, generated on October 1st) and email notification of upcoming invoices is sent around the 28th of the month prior. Payment is due by the second week of the month (electronic payment methods assure this will happen). If payment is not received by the second week of the month, the swimmer(s) may be removed from practices until the account is settled. If there is a second occurrence of late payment the family’s membership in CAAT may be voided, with no return of any payments or fees. In addition, for any invoices that are not paid in full by the 10th of the month, you will be charged a late fee of the greater of $10 or 1.5% of the amount.
While this may sound strict, the only way we can run CAAT on a balanced budget is to rigorously enforce the payment of fees. Remember that CAAT is a parent-owned, not-for-profit club, so these policies are designed by CAAT families for the benefit of all CAAT families.
c. No Pro-rata (partial) billing
No credit or refund will be given for workouts or portions of a month missed, nor will dues be prorated for portions of a month missed. CAAT is sensitive to family and medical issues which may affect a swimmer’s ability to attend, and families with unexpected serious difficulties may contact the Registrar or Treasurer for consideration.
d. Swimmers Leaving or Suspending CAAT
Families with swimmers not returning for subsequent months after initial registration or suspending for break during the seasons must notify the Registrar or Treasurer via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at least 15 days before the first swim day of the next monthly session. If notification is not received in a timely manner then the next month’s training fees will be billed and payment will be owed.
Philosophy of Fees:
Fees are set by the CAAT Board after a budgeting process and before the start of the first practice session. They reflect assessments of team composition and growth, other revenue sources, team expenses, and long term financial health of CAAT. Approximately 40% of your fees go to pay pool costs and 50% pays for coaching services, while the remainder pays for team administration and other functions. The Board reviews other area team’s fees and fee structures prior to setting CAAT fees. CAAT fees are divided into two broad categories: one-time fees and recurring fees.
CAAT Registration Fees help cover the overall administrative costs of running the team, such as team USA Swimming membership, website hosting, outside contracting, marketing, supplies, and equipment. The annual registration fee can be found under the "Register/Policies Tab" under "Fees." The registration fee is per family (regardless of the number of swimmers). This fee is charged automatically to your account on registration confirmation. Registration fees decrease on April 1st, coinciding with the decrease in USA Swimming fees (see below). In addition, we charge a one time fee per swimmer for Team T Shirt/Cap which is handed out at the beginning of the season.
USA/PNS Swimming Fees (Pacific Northwest Swimming) are required by our parent organization for liability coverage, meet participation, national standards and team development. Every club in the area charges this fee. USA/PNS Swimming fees are a non-refundable yearly per swimmer, with a pro-rated “seasonal” fee starting in the month of April following the beginning of a season the previous September. This fee is charged automatically to your account on registration confirmation. These fees are set forth under the "Register/Policies" Tab "Fees" Section.
Mandatory Fundraising Fee for Each Swimmer: Every swimmer is obligated to raise money at the Swim-a-Thon that CAAT holds each year as a fundraising event for team financial aid. CAAT is proud to raise sufficient funds to allow about 10% of our swimmers to be supported in part through financial aid. Swimmers who do not raise the required fundraising fee at the Swim-a-Thon will be assessed the balance of the obligatory fundraising fee soon after the CAAT fundraiser. Even if you do not swim in the Swim-a-Thon, or if you join the team after the Swim-a-Thon, or leave the team before the Swim-a-Thon, you are obligated to satisfy the fundraising obligation.
Volunteer Hours: Every family is required to volunteer time each year. There is a huge variety of tasks that we need your support—timing at meets, hosting meets, hosting team events, participating in team events, the annual Swim-a-thon, etc, etc., etc. The hour commitment varies based on the group your swimmer is in (the more senior the group, the more hours required). We also require each family to volunteer a shift at each CAAT hosted meet. If you do not perform these volunteer hours, you will be charged for each hour of shortfall. This more fully explained on the “Fees” page under the “Register” Tab.
Training Group Fees are listed under the “Register” Tab.
Charitable Contributions: CAAT is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. If at any time during the year you would like to make a charitable donation to CAAT (including any matching donation from your place of work), CAAT would be very appreciative of that donation. To donate, please contact any Board member.
Other Policy Documents