Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the purpose and affiliation of the Southbridge Swim Team?
- The Southbridge Swim Team is a member of the Prince William Swim League (PWSL).
- The purpose of our program is to provide opportunities for swimmers 18 years and under to participate in a fun, competitive summer swim program.
How long is the season and when does it start?
- The season lasts nine weeks: First Tuesday after Memorial Day through the last Saturday in July.
- Our practices run Monday thru Friday in the evenings, weather permitting. CLICK HERE for the practice schedule. All practices are at the Southbridge Community Pool.
- Every Saturday from the second week in June through the last Saturday in July we have a swim meet: three at our home pool, three at another pool in the Prince William County area, and one final Divisional meet. CLICK HERE for the meet schedule.
- Our season ends with a Divisional meet on the last Saturday in July followed by our Annual Awards Banquet (location and time to be provided).
How do you communicate information to parents?
We have several methods of communicating and disseminating information:
- This website
- A closed group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/137817106233262/) - Please join!
- Weekly emails from the Coach and Board members
- Text message notifications (primarily used for weather and emergency notifications).
- Don't be shy - just talk to us! At least one board member and many veteran parents will be on the pool deck during practices. If you have a question or concerns, just talk to someone. We're here to help!
Where are practices and meets held?
- All practices and HOME MEETS are held at the Southbridge Clubhouse Pool at 17325 River Ridge Blvd, Southbridge, VA 22026. We always use the Lap Pool, which is located on the Lower Deck.
- AWAY MEETS are held at various outdoor pools around Prince William County.
How is the swimmer’s age determined/what is the age up date?
- The age of each child on June 1st of each swim season determines the age and age group in which they will swim throughout the season, regardless of a summer birthday.
What should my child wear to meets and practices
- Swimmers are required to wear an appropriate one-piece swimsuit for all practices and meets. The team will provide meet swimsuits and jammers for purchase, but while recommended, these are not mandatory. We do NOT recommend wearing the competition suits/jammers to practice.
- Swimmers should also bring a swim cap, goggles (bring a backup pair!), towel, and sunscreen.
- Meets can be cold in the morning! Bring warm clothes for your swimmer to wear between events.
How long is a meet?
- Meets start at 7am (and you'll need to arrive early for warm ups), and are usually over by 11am or noon, depending on the team sizes.
- If you need to leave early, please check with the coaches to make sure they do not need your swimmer for a relay. Freestyle relays for ages 14 and under are at the very end of the meets, and if we don't have enough swimmers, the entire relay won't be able to swim.
Does the team have official merchandise for purchase?
- Yes! Sport Fair is our official merchandise vendor this year. They sell Seals Swimmer clothing and accessories for both children and adults. CLICK HERE or click on the Spirit Wear Store tab to purchase. The merchandise will be delivered to the team and distributed during practice before the first meet. The store closes on May 27th at midnight. Personalized swim caps (silicone caps w/swimmer name) must be ordered by May 15th at midnight.
Does my child have to participate in all seven meets?
- While we certainly encourage 100% participation in all meets, we understand that life and plans happen and that isn’t always possible. Please try to be aware of any weeks your child will not be able to attend meets and provide those to the coaching staff as early as possible. If your child is sick the morning of a meet, please notify the coaching staff as soon as you’re aware.
What if I don’t live in Southbridge?
- Your child can still be on the swim team! We have many nonresident swimmers. There is a $25/child ($50 family cap) made payable to the Southbridge HOA. This fee will provide your child a nonresident swim pass that can be used for swim practice only (no passes are required for the meets).
What if my child has never swam before? What if I know nothing about swim?
- If you're child has never swam, come speak with our coaches and give us a shot. You’d be surprised how quickly kids pick up swimming.
- You don't need to know anything about it - our amazing coaches do! Just sit back and let them do what they do best.
Do I need to be at the pool during practice?
- For children ages 10 and under, the HOA requires an adult 16 or older be present (this can be a sibling or other adult in the neighborhood - we understand that even though we have evening practice, traffic and other factors sometimes impact being able to make it).
- Children ages 11 and over may pass a swim test (the lifeguards verify they can swim across the pool without assistance) and get a pass that enables them to be at the pool without an adult present.
- Lifeguards and coaches are present for all practices. Please wait until before or after practice to speak with the coaches as they need to devote their full attention to the swimmers.
How much does it cost?
- Summer swim is $140 per child, with a multi-swimmer discount and a $500 family cap (maximum amount a single family will be charged if they enter 4 or more swimmers).
- Meets are FREE to enter - there is no additional cost.
- There are no fundraising or monthly fees - $140 per swimmer - that's it!
- Practice equipment is provided, but swimmers must provide their own swimwear (suits, goggles, caps, towels, etc.)
What should I bring to the meets?
- Bring some chairs for you and your swimmer(s). Some families bring tents, but we only have so much space, so it's smart to find a buddy and share tents with a family or two.
- Bring warm clothes and extra towels as sometimes it's cold in the morning.
- Some families like to bring devices or games for the kids to keep them occupied between events.
- Bring an extra pair of goggles and if possible an extra cap for your swimmer(s).
- Printed out heat sheet (these will be emailed to you the night before the meet. Sometimes at away meets they sell them.) None will be provided at home meets so you'll need to bring your own.
- Sharpie - it's best to write your swimmer's events on their arms the night before, but wise to bring one just in case.
- Cash or credit cards for concessions
- Snacks if anyone has dietary restrictions
- WATER! Water will always be available for sale at concessions, but the meets sometimes get very hot and sunny and hydration is VERY important...for parents and children alike.
I'm nervous that volunteering will prevent me from getting my young child to his/her events, or keep me from seeing my kid(s) swim.
- Don't worry - we have a volunteer position to ensure that doesn't happen! Our 8 & under Coordinator makes sure all the young swimmers get to the Clerk of Course, who organizes them for their events. We have this down to a science!
- Regarding seeing your child(ren) swim, many of the positions put you right on the deck so you never miss an event. However, the volunteer positions are flexible, so even if you have a position that isn't within view, you can still be sure to see your kids.
Are there awards for the kids?
- For each heat, heat winners get a heat winner ribbon.
- Following each meet, 1st - 12th places for individual events, 1st - 3rd places for relay events, and all 6 and unders who successfully complete the free and/or backstroke get place ribbons. These are available at practices after the meet.
- Seals of Week - these are weekly awards that the coaches give out
- End of Season Awards Banquet - the evening after Divisionals, we'll get together and celebrate a great season. Each swimmer is individually recongized by the coaches and food is provided. Time and location will be announced at a later date.