Saratoga Stingrays is a fun summer team, and also a competitive swim team. Team practices are not intended or appropriate as learn-to-swim lessons. We do offer separate learn-to-swim lessons in the "Little Rays" program, and many Little Rays have graduated onto the swim team. The minimum swimming skill to qualify for the regular team is the ability to swim one length of a 25 meter pool unassisted, using any stroke. That's a beginning, and we'll build from there. The team absolutely does teach swimmers the strokes and techniques required at swim meets. While stroke development and teaching is a very important part of what our coaches do, it is not fair to expect them to be teaching one on one every day. Coaches will be holding evaluations prior to the season and swimmer placement is at their discretion. Swimmers on the team are expected to participate in meets, but because this is a summer activity, absences for family vacations and the like are expected-- but the coaches need advance notice.
Swimmers are expected to wear swimsuits in team colors, and the team cap (caps are provided) to all meets.
Practice Attendance Policy
In the interest of fairness, the Saratoga Swim Team has created an attendance policy concerning practice attendance and meet eligibility. The team does not want to exclude anyone from participating though -- the coaches are flexible and willing to work with reasonable requests.
• Swimmers are expected to make at least three practices per week to be considered for the Saturday Meet lineup. Club swimmers are expected to make at least three practices a week; at least one has to be a Saratoga practice. The only exceptions to this rule will be for pre-approved absences that have been discussed with the coaches beforehand (ex. planned vacation, doctor's appointment, etc.).
• Please communicate vacation plans, camps, and any other scheduling conflicts as soon as you know them.
General Practice Rules
Arrive on time, have cap and goggles on and be ready at the start time. Caps are strongly recommended for those with long hair. Just as at school, the coach is the teacher. Please leave coaching to the coaches. Should you need to speak with the coach, please do so after practice. Parents should not sit in the area directly behind the coaches during practice, and generally should remain behind any roped-off area.
Swimmers who are at the pool during their designated practice time are expected to participate or they will be asked to leave the deck. Injured swimmers should make arrangements with the coach. Parents or guardians of swimmers 11 and under are required to remain on deck during practice as a safety policy.
Those on the swim team, who are not members of the pool (belonging to an HOA with pool fees elsewhere or own an in-ground pool and have paid their appropriate use fee) are free to participate in practice, meet, and team social events, but must vacate the premises after swim team practices and events.
Practice will proceed as scheduled in light rain. If thunder is heard or lightning sighted everyone is required to clear the deck for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder or flash of lightning.
Swim teams require a lot of volunteers in order to run smoothly. Approximately 26 adult volunteers per team are needed at each meet. Families will be required to volunteer 5 meets each season. See “Volunteering” for more information.