General Swim FAQ's



1.  The team posts announcements on the team website, emails and twitter. Schedules, departure times and other information will be delivered through these channels.  It is the swimmer’s responsibility to know in which meets he or she is competing. PLEASE READ THE WEBSITE AND EMAILS REGULARLY!   

2.  "A" Meets are seeded in advance.  Once heat sheets for "A" Meets are exchanged with the opposing team on Friday mornings, MCSL rules restrict coaches from changing entries.  Swimmers who cannot attend a given meet MUST inform the coaches at least by Wednesday before the meet.  In the event of last minute illness or other emergencies, swimmers must contact a coach or Team Rep.  When a swimmer does not show up or refuses to swim a designated event, coaches have the authority to replace that swimmer. This may also jeopardize that swimmer’s further "A" Meet participation for the rest of the season.

3. Swimmers and officials must report to the meets at the specified time, which is at least 30 minutes before the meet begins.


Q) What do all of the letters stand for (A-meet, B-meet, B-Division)?

A)  “A” Meets are for the top swimmers on the team as determined by the recorded times at time trials or swim meets during the year.  The “A” Meets are competitions between teams based upon their standings in the MCSL and will be swum against pools located all over Montgomery County.  All “A” Meets are held on Saturday morning at 9:00AM.  Generally swimmers must arrive by 8:00AM.

“B” Meets are for the remaining swimmers (and “A” Meet swimmers who want additional competition experience). “B” Meets are held on Wednesday evenings at 6:00PM.  Generally swimmers must arrive by 5:00PM.

Division: The Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) is divided into 16 divisions (6 teams/division) based upon the times of the swimmers in the “A” Meets.  The teams with the top times are in A-Division and the teams with the collective slowest times are in O-Division.

Q)  My child can't make it for practice(s) or a meet because we had made vacation plans earlier in the year. Is that OK?

A)  Yes, however,  please inform coaches of all known absences from meets well in advance.  Empty swimming lanes cost points in competition and can cause the team to lose a meet.

Q)  This is the first swim meet for both my child and me. What do I do when we arrive at the pool for a meet?

A)  If the meet is a home meet, make certain your child arrives at the pool on time (check the website for the posted times).  Either way, check-in with the coaches so they know that you are present.  Have your swimmer place their personal belongings on a chair in the designated team area.  If you have a younger swimmer, make certain they stay within the team area.   For away “A”Meets, we usually meet at a local fast food restaurant to hand out place-ribbons immediately after the meet is over.

Q) What does my child need for a swim meet?

A)  Your child should bring a swimsuit, cap, goggles, sunscreen and towel.  Other good ideas include a  water bottle and hat.  Parents should bring a folding chair (they’re always scarce).  Most teams have snacks and beverages for sale.  These sales help raise money for the swim teams (both home and away) and your purchases are really appreciated.

Q: My child's time in a race during last week's B-Meet was faster than the qualifying times of the three children who were selected for that race in this week's A-Meet. Why didn't my child get selected to swim in the A-meet on Saturday?

A)  There are a few reasons that this could happen.  First, when a swimmer is developing they can be inconsistent in individual events and have a high risk of getting DQ’d (disqualified) at an “A” Meet. Second, while not typically the case, the stroke and turn judges can miss a call or be just a little more lenient in a “B” Meet when judging swimmers strokes.  The result being that a swimmer appears to be "legal" in a stroke when they are not.  In either case, the coaches are looking to see if a swimmer has developed a fairly dependable stroke when swimming with a time that would qualify them for an “A” Meet.  Finally, it is possible that the children who were selected had “B” Meet times this week that were faster than their previous qualifying times.  Since the “B” Meet times of the children are typically not published, you might not be aware of the new times of the other children.  Understanding that there needs to be some flexibility in how the roster selection process works due to these sorts of considerations, the official MCSL rules give the head coach the right to pick the swimmers that will swim at “A” Meets regardless of “B” Meet times.  Should a swimmer or family ever have a question about how this all works, please ask the coaches.  A good conversation about how the process works can really help to get swimmers focused on improving their strokes,  making it to “A” Meets on Saturdays and helping out their team with great times!  Also, please feel free to approach the team reps if you have any concerns about the overall process.

Q: What age group will my child swim in?

A) Age of swimmer. A swimmer shall compete for the MCSL season at the age he or she is on June 1.  There are five age groups consisting of 8 & Unders, 9-10, 11-2, 13-14 & 15-18.

Q: How is the decision made regarding who swims in a meet?

A)  The decision regarding who swims in a meet is made by the coach working within the rules established by the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL.) The goal of the coach is to maximize the number of points scored by the team.

The following factors are taken into consideration:

* Swimmers’ ability to swim a stroke legally

* Swimmers’ seed times (fastest time swum by a swimmer during the current season)

* The strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team

* Swimmer’s stamina

* Swimmer’s availability

* Pre-scoring of the event – the coach’s prediction of the meet outcome based on the anticipated lineup

* Any other factors relevant to the goal of maximizing the number of points scored by the team