Seven Locks Swim Team FAQs
Who can join the Seven Locks Swim Team?
Any child age 6-18 is welcome to join the team as long as they can swim a length of the pool in freestyle and backstroke without stopping, grabbing ropes or edge, or putting feet on the bottom of the pool. Those children who can't yet swim a length of the pool properly and consistently can consider joining our PreTeam for additional instruction. If you're not sure, bring your swimmer to a practice for assessment by the coaches. Families must be members of Seven Locks Pool & Tennis Club in order to join the Swim Team.
When does the Swim Team practice?
Before public schools end, practices are held weekday afternoons. After public schools let out, we add morning practices. We don't hold afternoon practices the Wednesdays of B Meets. Most Fridays, everyone practices 4-6pm, then all swimmers & divers join in the Pep Rally activities.
If your child can't come to a practice because of a conflict with another activity, no problem. Just come again as soon as possible.
If your child is on both the swim team and the dive team and the practices conflict, speak with the coaches about arranging times to practice.
What's the difference between A Meets and B Meets?
A Meets are held on Saturday mornings -- there are 5 during the summer season. The top 3 swimmers in each event (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and IM-older ages) and the top 6 in freestyle for each age group will qualify to swim in the A Meets. There are also Relay Events. Each swimmer can swim up to 3 individual events, plus IM and relays (up to a maximum of 5 events). Based on Personal Best Times and because of these league rules for individual maximum events, a swimmer with a Top 4-6 Time on our team may make an A-Meet Line up. All swimmers should check the A Meet lineup that will be made available on Thursday to see if they have qualified for that Saturday's A Meet. Please make sure the coaches know ASAP if you are NOT available to swim in an A Meet so other swimmers can be given the spot and given the opportunity to swim at these fun and exciting meets. The A Meet lineup is based on Personal Best Times and coach's selections. Too many missed practices without an excuse, a poor attitude or negative sportsmanship, or missed A-Meets that impact our line-up can prevent a swimmer from being selected to compete in future A-Meets.
Seven Locks Swim Team is a member of Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL). You'll find lots more information about A Meets and swim teams in general on their website: www.mcsl.org This year we are in Division H and we swim our A Meets against the other five teams in our Division. Each Saturday Morning Dual A-Meet, the A-Relay Carnival and the Divisional Championship meet are scored. These scores are compiled and used to determine our Overall Divisional Champion as well as to determine which Division our Swim Team is placed in for the next year. Meet losses and empty lanes negatively impact our team ranking and next season placement... so if your child is in an A-meet Line up, it is very important that he/she swim, unless an emergency prevents it. MCSL has 15 Divisions (A-O) with 6 teams in each Division... That's 90 teams!!! Teams move up and down based on their seasonal performances with Division A being the most competitive (Divisional placement is cumulative and is also based on total points scored throughout the history of team.)
B Meets are held on Wednesday evenings. Any swimmer can swim events in B Meets, unless they swam them in the A Meets the prior Saturday. (There are two exceptions to that rule: if you swam in the A Meet but finished 6th place or below, you can swim the event in the B Meet. Also, you can swim the same event in an older age group.) B Meets are run just like A Meets, except that the meet is not scored, and there are more heats to accommodate all of the swimmers who want to participate in an event. We swim B Meets with other nearby pools. B Meet times can be used to move swimmers into an A-Meet line up. B Meets do not impact our Divisional Rankings nor our placement for next season. Missing a B Meet is not recommended but does not negatively impact the team.
What are Time Trials?
Time Trials are when swimmers have the first opportunity to establish times in their events, and are held the Saturday before the first A Meet. We run Time Trials just like a regular meet (same order of events, starters, referees, but just our team) so that swimmers and parents can see how things work before their first real meet. All swimmers are asked to come and swim all of their events. (Parents are asked to come help work the meet - a great way to learn a new volunteer job.) From Time Trials, the coaches will select the swimmers for the first A Meet. If your child cannot participate in Time Trials, they can be timed individually during the next week of practice, but by Wednesday at the latest if they want to be considered for the first A Meet. If a swimmer can not make the Time Trials, the coaches may opt to look at last year's times to determine placement in an A-Meet line up.
What are Pep Rallies?
Friday evenings before A Meets, all swimmers have practice together, and it ends a bit earlier than usual. Then, the Swim Team and the Dive Team do some cheers, eat dinner at the pool, and hang out together at the pool getting ready for the weekend's meets. Each Pep Rally is sponsored by an age group (e.g., 8 & under, 13-14s) who bring pasta, salads, dessert, etc. Each week, we have a theme for the meets and the Pep Rally. All swimmers, divers and their families are invited to attend and join in the team spirit and dinner. If you have a swimmer in the age group that is sponsoring the Pep Rally, you should still contribute something to the Pep Rally Dinner. A non-perishable item, such as drinks, or a pre-made dessert is the perfect thing if you are unable to attend.
On the Friday after public schools end, rather than a Pep Rally, all swimmers and divers are invited to join the pool-wide School's Out Party.
Around July 4, we'll have our Pep Rally at the Red, White & Blue Breakfast after a morning practice.
Before our Divisional Meet, we'll have our Pep Rally after a fun Friday morning practice .
Is food available at A Meets and B Meets?
Yes. Parents will not be asked to provide food for A Meets and B Meets this year. Food for purchase will be provided by outside concessions at our home meets. At A Meets, breakfast items will be available. At home B Meets, dinner food will be available. A percentage of the food concession sales will be donated to the team, so please support our food vendors.
After all A Meets, swimmers and their families will get together at Seven Locks Pool or a local restaurant for lunch. Coaching staff will hand out ribbons earned at the meet and present fun spirit trophies. It's a good way for kids and parents to socialize.
Does the Swim Team have other activities?
Yes, we have social events all summer long. The Team may make a day trip to Six Flags with other MCSL swim teams. There's the world famous Red, White & Blue Breakfast, the Intra-team "Lollipop" Meet, the B Relay Carnival, the End-of-Season Team Banquet and lots of other activities. All Swimmers are invited to attend meets, even if they are not swimming. It's a great way to watch your teammates and coaches in action!
There are also several special invitational meets for qualifying swimmers, including the Divisional A Relay Carnival, Coaches' Longcourse Meet, Divisional Championship Meet, and the All Star Meets. Keep your eye on the Bulletin Board and your email for announcements of activities!
Our family is going to be away for part of the swim & dive season. Can we get a pro-rated fee for Swim & Dive Team or Pre-Team?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer prorated fees for Swim & Dive Team. It is a flat fee for the season. If after the first week, you decide that Swim or Dive Team is not going to work for your child or your family, you can withdraw for full refund (less at $10 admin fee). After that, the fees are non-refundable.
Are parents expected to participate in Swim Team?
YES! Swim Teams rely entirely on volunteer participation, both to run the meets and to coordinate the social activities. We expect you to volunteer to time or officiate at meets, bring food to each age group Pep Rally where you have a swimmer (even if you can not attend), and make sure your children come equipped and on-time to practices and meets. We encourage you to volunteer for a full-season job, or a one-off job such as setting up the team photo or coordinating the Team Banquet. Volunteering is also a great way to meet families at the pool.
Volunteer sign-ups will be handled online via the Swim Team website, so keep an eye out for emails requesting your help. Older children are also welcome to help with B meets. We can't do it without you!