New Member FAQ
New to SMAC?  Here is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions for New Parents.  However, please make sure to check the "About SMAC" tab  for a complete contact list.
Q. How do we know what group my child swims with?
A. If your swimmer is returning from the previous season, coaching will place your swimmer with a swim group and notify you before the new season starts.
If you are new to SMAC or have been away for a while, a coach will evaluate your child’s swimming and then consult with the head coach to place your child in the appropriate group. Sometimes that evaluating coach has to leave shortly in order to coach practice. Feel free to ask any poolside parent for information.
For CAATFish, Stroke Development, Age Group and Senior, the group assignments are generally speaking age based (with CAATFish 8&U, Stroke Dev 9-10, Age Group 10-12 year olds, and Senior 13 & over).   Age Group Performance and Senior Performance have the placement being done by the Head Age Group Coach or Head Coach and require significant experience and commitment). 
Final placement in any group is done by the coaching staff based on a swimmer's particular circumstances, but the above guidelines should help you determine what your training fees will be and what practice schedule you should be considering when you are signing up.
Q. How do I talk with the coach?
A. During practice the coaches can’t talk with parents. The best thing to do is to send the coach an email and request that they call or meet with you. You can find the coaches’ email’s on our website in the top left corner
Q. You say I should get information from other families but how do I contact them?
A. You have a few options. 
1.         You can look at our family directory on our website (must sign in first though) and see if you know anyone already. 
2.         Contact your swimmer’s group parent. 
3.         Ask another parent sitting at the pool.
4.         Use the “Contact” button on the upper left corner of our website to send an email and we’ll direct it to the correct person.
Q. How do I get to the pool at Seattle U?
A. As of January 2016, we enter through the south door (in the middle of the parking lot on the southern edge of The Connolly Center).  Swimmers exit out of the main Rec Center entrance.  You will need to give your name/your swimmers name to the front desk/door attendant and tell them you are with SMAC.  You may be asked to show ID.  They have a list of swimmers and families and they will check that list.  The pool is on the second floor.  The pool and locker rooms are down this long hallway. 
Do not go anywhere else in the Connolly Center.  We are guests there and need to respect the Connolly Center.  PLEASE remind your swimmers to behave exceptionally well in the Seattle U locker rooms.  There are students and faculty using these facilities.  There is ZERO tolerance for horseplay in the Seattle U facilities and if your swimmer is found misbehaving, it will mean suspension of your swimmer but could also place our entire team at risk of not being able to use Seattle U.   
Q. Why do I need to order special individual equipment for my competitive swimmer? 
A. This equipment allows your swimmer to practice swimming in the proper physical “position” and makes a big difference.   By ordering it, you won’t have to share snorkels and are ensured that you are using the correct type of board. Equipment lists and discounts are found under the tab “Groups and Schedules”  
Q. How do I know how to sign my swimmer up for a meet?
A. Announcements of meets are sent out at the beginning of the season and reminder announcements will be sent out 1-2 weeks before the entry deadline.  The section “up coming events” and “meets” should tell you if your swimmer is eligible for the specific meet.  Meets are very confusing at first. Check the meet tab on our web site for details.
To swim in a meet, you MUST be an active swimmer (i.e. not suspended).  If you sign up for a meet, but then suspend before the meet date, you will not be able to swim in the meet and you will forfeit your meet entry fees.
Q. What do I need to go to a meet?
A. Again, ask your fellow team parents if you have questions. Again, here’s a great primer made by one of our team parents after they went to their first meet LINK FOR AMY’s DOCUMENT, PART II You can also get great information from USA Swimming here:  
Q. How do I get my obligatory volunteer hours done and what happens if I don't?
A. SMAC is run by our families. Keep your eyes open for emails requesting help and visit the "Volunteer"Tab & see what’s needed and how to record your hours. Sign up for volunteer jobs and hours early in the season at out Annual Meeting in October.  Each family is obligated to contribute at least a number of hours of volunteer time based on their most senior swimmer (see the handbook for details on the hours requirements)--regardless of how many months you swim with SMAC during the season.  Failure to satisfy your volunteer hours will result in a charge of $30 for each hour less than your required amount.  If you swim three months or less, your volunteer obligation is reduced by 50%.

Q. What is the Mandatory Fundraising Fee?

A. SMAC is committed to seeing the benefits of swimming made available to all kids who want to participate.  Therefore SMAC has a very long tradition of providing financial aid and making significant efforts to diversify the sport of swimming.  By swimming with SMAC, each swimmer (regardless of how many months you swim with SMAC) has a $125 fundraising obligation.  This is generally met by participation in the annual Swim Challenge (but can also be met by a donation to SMAC during the season).  If a swimmer does not fulfill the obligation by the conclusion of the Swim Challenge, families will be invoiced for the fundraising amount.  We use this money for scholarships, outreach efforts and other team development efforts.  If you swim for less than 3 months, the obligation is reduced by 50%.

Q. What if my swimmer elects to stop temporarily or permanently?

A. If you elect to stop during the season (either permanently or for a single month), you need to notify the registrar ( or the treasurer ( by the 15th of the month prior to your last month of swimming (so, for example, if you don't want to swim in March, you need to notify us by February 15, otherwise you will be charged for March).  We plan for pool time and coach time based on projected swimmers and we need advance notice in order to do this.


Q. What if I join mid-month?  Will you pro rate my fee? What if there is a holiday break during a month?  Do I get a reduced fee for that month?

A. SMAC bills fees monthly for September through July (no fees for August as there is no swimming in August).  Partial months (whether you join during a month or SMAC is on break for part of the month) are billed at the full monthly fee.  If you sign up to SMAC in the middle of a month, we will bill you for training fees for that month in which you joined.  If you want to wait until the first of a month to sign up, that's perfectly fine (assuming there is space available at that time).