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ASA FAQ

ASA FAQs

Programs

Which ASA program is right for my swimmer?  ASA offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. It is ASA's goal to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of THEIR abilities.

We offer two kinds of programs: Competitive (year-round programs for ages 6-18), and non-competitive (seasonal and year-round programs for ages 5-12). 

Competitive programs include: National Training Group (high school), Senior Training Group (high school), National Developmental Group (11-14 years old), Junior Training Group (11-14 years old), AG2 (ages 9-10) and AG1 (ages 6-8). 

Non-competitive programs include our learn-to-swim program Rising Stars (ages 5-12) which meets on Sunday afternoons.

Where are practices held?  During the school year, our practices are held at either Stone Ridge School in Bethesda, or the Bolger Center in Potomac.  During the summer, we also hold some morning practices at Twinbrook Pool (an outdoor, longcourse pool) in Rockville.  View more about practice locations here.

 

Team Practices

How do I find out my swimmer's most current practice schedule?  The most current practice schedule information can be found under the Group Calendars tab on our website.  We keep these calendars up to date for any changes related to meets, school holidays, etc.  Please check back frequently for updates, especially around major meets, school breaks, etc.  Emergency practice cancelations will be announced via email, website, Facebook and Twitter pages.  For inclement weather, we follow MCPS cancelations -- please note that ASA will not necessarily announce weather closings if MCPS has made their announcements.

When should my swimmer arrive for practice?  Please arrive early enough so that your swimmer is ready to get in the water at the start of practice.  However, please don't arrive more than 15 minutes before practice is scheduled to begin.

What about pick-up after practice? Please arrive to pick up your swimmer at the time that practice is scheduled to end.  The pool will be closed 15 minutes after the end of the last practice.  Please have an alternative pick-up plan if traffic is regularly an issue. 

What should my swimmer bring to practice?  A suit, a pair of goggles, a towel, a bottle of water, a healthy snack and warm clothes (when necessary) for the walk to the car.

What is the best time to speak with my swimmer's coach?  The best time to speak with the coach is before or after practice.  Please don't try to have a conversation with your coaches during practice as they are trying to focus on the swimmers.

What is your inclement weather policy?  To insure the safety of our swimmers, parents and coaches, ASA follows the Montgomery County Public Schools closing and delay schedule. 

  • If MCPS schools are closed, then all practices are canceled that day. 
  • If MCPS schools have a 2 hour delayed opening, then morning practice is canceled that day. 
  • If MCPS cancels after-school activities, then ASA afternoon practices are canceled that day.
  • If events at MCPS facilities are closed on a weekend day, then practice is canceled that day.

Please continue to check your email and our website if closings continue for more than a day.

 

Team Outfitting

Where can I get ASA outfitting?  Each registered competitive swimmer will receive an ASA Speedo swimsuit, an ASA T-shirt and ASA team caps from their coaches at the beginning of the season. Additional team items can be purchased from SwimOutlet.com at www.swimoutlet.com/allstaraquatics  Each family will receive an ASA car magnet.

What other ASA items are available? Speedo suits, Speedo backpacks, sweatpants, tshirts, etc. are always available at SwimOutlet.  When you order from SwimOutlet, ASA receives money back to help buy team apparel and equipment!

 

Swim Meets

How often can my swimmers participate in a meet?   Typically swimmers get the chance to swim in a meet about once a month.  We encourage all swimmers in our competitive groups (AG1, AG2, Juniors, NDG, Senior, NTG) to swim in all meets, and in fact require them to swim in one meet during the fall season and one meet during the winter season.  When they swim in a meet, the swimmers get a chance to measure their progress, and they have fun with their friends. 

How does my swimmer sign up for a meet?  About a month before a major meet, the ASA coaches "post" the meet on our website.  Our posting includes basic information such as the date, the location, and a link to the PVS Meet Announcement, where you can get more detailed information.  After you receive the email from ASA announcing that a meet has been posted on our website, you can sign up for it on our website.  To do this, sign in to your account, go to Meets & Events, select the meet of interest, and click on Edit Commitment.  Select the events you would like to swim. Often swimmers discuss the events they'd like to swim with their coach before they sign up.  After the entry deadline posted on our site has passed (usually about two weeks before the meet), our coaches will review and approve the entries, and then the entries will be submitted to the meet.  Only minimal changes can be made to the ASA entries after they have been submitted to the meet.  Please work through the ASA coaches and ASA website -- do not contact the meet coordinators directly.

Meet entry fees will be charged to the credit card on file at the time of meet entries.  Relays and national level meet fees are covered by ASA.

Can any ASA swimmer swim in a meet? 

  • All swimmers who swim in meets must be registered with USA Swimming, which ASA handles when you sign up for one of ASA's competitive programs.  However, please note that if your swimmer is transferring to ASA from another club, YOU must initiate the transfer form to update your registration with USA Swimming and PVS. 
  • Some meets require qualifying times for their events (e.g., JO Meet).  Your coach will notify your swimmer if they qualify for the meet.  Some meets have no-faster-than times (e.g., JO Qualifier Meet), which will be noted on the Meet Announcement.  In addition, ASA typically enters at least one invitational meet per year where the number of ASA entries is limited.  The coaches will announce the criteria for selection of swimmers before the meet sign up is posted.
  • Swimmers in our Rising Stars program are not eligible to swim in meets.

How do I find out additional information about the meet?  We post the basic information about the meet on our website when we set up the event for team entries.  You can find out more detailed information about the meet (such as the timeline, rules, etc.) by going to the PVS website's meet schedule page (http://pvswim.org/schedule.html), scrolling down to the meet of interest, and clicking on the name of the meet to get to the PVS Meet Announcement.  This is also where last minute schedule changes for meets are posted.

Before the meet, you can often find a Psych Sheet for the meet on the right side of the chart.  After the meet, you will find Meet Results posted here.

Do we have to pay extra to swim in a meet?  Yes, meet fees will be charged to your credit card on file once the coach has submitted the meet entries.  Families are not responsible for relay entry fees and meet fees for national-level meets.

What should my swimmer bring to the meet? Your swimmer should bring an ASA cap, an ASA Speedo suit, an extra suit, 2 pairs of goggles, a couple of towels, warm clothes for after the meet, healthy snacks and water, iPods, playing cards, books, etc. and a folding chair if there is room at the pool. 

What time should my swimmer arrive at the meet?  Swimmers should arrive 15 minutes before warm-ups for their age group are scheduled to start.  They should be on the pool deck, ready to go in the water, at the start of warm-ups.  At most pools, swimmers can be dropped off at the entrance, then parents can park in the lot.

What time can my swimmer leave the meet?  Your swimmer can leave the meet after they have completed their last event IF they are not scheduled to swim in a relay later.  The swimmer should let their coach know that they are leaving.  It's easiest if you make plans for a post-meet meeting place with your swimmer before you drop them off.

Are parents expected to volunteer at meets?  YES It takes a lot of people to run a swim meet, and PVS relies on parent volunteers to make it all happen.  For timers, PVS requires all teams to provide a minimum number (no training required) based on the number of entries in the meet.  Timing is a great way to get a front row seat to see your swimmer.  Please sign up to time for a session you plan to attend.  PVS also requires us to provide a certain number of trained PVS officials (Stroke & Turn judges, Timing system operators, Hy-Tek system operators).  We encourage any parents to become certified officials.  Please contact us if you are interested in going through the certification process for any of these positions.

What if my swimmer cannot make it to the meet at the last minute?  When a swimmer signs up for a meet, we assume attending the meet will be one of the family's top priority for those days.  You pay meet entry fees that cannot be refunded if the swimmer doesn't come to the meet.  That being said, sometimes swimmers cannot attend the meet due to illness or other emergency situations.  In that case, please try to contact your coach via phone or email.