Team FAQs

Who can join the Swim Team?

Family members belonging to Patton Hall (formally Fort Myer Officers’ Club) Pool under the age of 18 who can swim 25 meers freestyle unassisted.  Children of families not eligible for the Officer’s Club Pool membership may be able to join the swim team. Please see our web site for more info on eligibility requirements.


What happens if one of my children is registered for one age group, but my other child is wait-listed for another age group?

If one of your children is wait-listed in an age group, but your other is registered, the FMST Board may make a swimmer limit exception. Please contact the FMST Board with your request.


Does my child need to attend every practice?

It is okay if your child can't make it to every practice. The coaches would like to see your child at practice at least 2 out of the 5 practice days per week. However, the more your child practices, the more they will improve! If you do not have schedule conflicts, it is good to *try* to come to every practice. This will allow for misses due to illness or if your swimmer just needs a break. Let the coach know if your child will miss several practices in a row (e.g. you are out of town or they are sick), or if you'll miss a meet for any reason.


What is the purpose of Time Trials?

Time Trials enable coaches to place your child properly in relation to other swimmers in his/her age group. Being placed properly will allow your child to compete against swimmers of comparable ability/speed. Also, this will allow coaches to get times in every stroke for all swimmers for placement in upcoming meets. It also allows kids to get a feel for how a meet works.


How will I know if my child will Swim a Saturday Dual Meet?

Every Friday a team email will be distributed to announce the line-up on a Saturday Dual Meet.


What if my child is scheduled to swim on a Saturday Dual meet and they are unable to swim?

It is absolutely essential that the Head Coach be notified no later than the prior Tuesday if a swimme r cannot participate in a Saturday Dual meet. If your child wakes up sick on Saturday morning, text or call the head coach as soon as possible. This is extremely important so that we can make a substitution for your swimmer.


Will a meet be canceled?

Meets are sometimes delayed or canceled because of inclement weather. We will make notifications to the team as soon as we can, should a cancellation occur. See our web site for information on joining RainedOut for automated text messages about meet cancellations.


When should I arrive at a Saturday Dual or Wednesday night B meet

Swimmers should plan to arrive 1 hour before the start of the meet to set up and participate in warm ups. Specific arrival times will be provided by the coach in the weekly meet email.


How long will the Saturday Dual meet last?

Saturday meets start at 8:00am and end around 11:00am. After home meets, there is usually a post lunch meal in the Old Guard Lounge in the O’ Club by the pool.


How long will the Wednesday night meets last?

Wednesday night B meets start at 5:00pm and end around 8:00pm or until it gets too dark to swim.


How do I know if my child is swimming on a Wednesday night B meet?

Wednesday night meets are open to everyone. Swimmers who have placed 1-3 in an event on the prior Saturday A-Meet may not swim that event on a B-Meet. An email will be sent to parents (usually on the Sunday prior to a B-Meet with information on how to sign-up your swimmer for events for the upcoming meet.


Can my child train with an older sibling?

As a general rule, no. Swimmers receive the most effective age group-specific training when they practice within their respective age groups. In addition, ensuring that swimmers are at their appropriate practices means that all those participating get the attention and coaching instruction that they need. When a younger swimmer practices with the older swimmers, it usually results in one coach needing to be with the younger swimmer – that is not fair to the rest of those at practice.  The exception is when your younger child has been assigned to one of the developmental practice groups that swim during the older swimmers practice time.


How will I know if a DQ occurred?

Unlike in other sports, there will not be a whistle to announce a rule violation. When a swimmer has disqualified during a race either by start, stroke, turn or finish violations the judges fill out a slip that then goes to the Referee who verifies a violation did occur. That slip is then given to the team rep to make its way to the coach and in turn the swimmer at a later date.
Every official on deck will always give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer.
When the swimmer's times are posted, there will be a "DQ" instead of a time. The coaches will address the DQ during practice and will work to correct the problem.


Can I get a base pass so that I don't have to do a car inspection every time?

Yes, you will need to submit the paperwork for a temporary base pass. See this page for more information.