Beta FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the team?

How much is the Registration Fee?

Why do new swimmers need to go through an evaluation?

When do the Betas practice?

How is the TSA (Tarheel Swimming Association) league arranged?

How many meets do we swim each season?

What are the age groups for our swim meets?

What time does a swim meet start/end?

What are the events/strokes included in the meet?

What is the order of events?

How does the scoring system work?

Why do we have time trials?

What process is used to determine who swims main events?

Why is it important to sign my swimmer up for swim meets and not just show up at the meet?

What are the TSA Championships and should my swimmer(s) compete?

What is Spirit Night?

How many parents does it take to run a swim meet?

What are my volunteer responsibilities?

What should parents bring to a meet?

What should swimmers bring to a meet?

What happens if there is thunder or lightning?

Who do I ask if I have a question?

 

What is the purpose of the team?

The purpose of the Heritage Wake Forest Betas team shall be first and foremost, to have fun. We will provide an environment that will accommodate all levels of swimming ability, as a positive and supportive environment for all swimmers and their parents to enjoy swimming and related competition.  We strive to promote physical fitness and a sense of pride through positive teamwork, team spirit, and sportsmanship.  These are values that the young athletes on the Team will take with them into school, life, work, family, and other aspects of life. The Team provides a positive environment for youth to engage in improving their swimming skills while having an opportunity to compete at a local level with other youths of the same age and relative skill levels. Finally, we also hope to further interest in competitive swimming, with the goal of growing the sport as both a summer competition as well as to increase interest in year-round swimming.

How much is the Registration Fee?

Registration costs $100 per swimmer, plus a cost of $25 per family.  If you have more than one swimmer in your family, you only pay the $25 fee once.  Registration fees are used to pay for coaches, equipment, league fees, TSA championship registration, college scholarships, and banquet costs.

Why do new swimmers need to go through an evaluation?

We have an evaluation night for all new swimmers on the team, and for all 6-under swimmers.  The requirement to be on the team is that the swimmer needs to be able to swim one 25-yard length of the pool, unassisted, without touching bottom, holding a lane line/wall or needing assistance from a coach.  This requirement is in place for the protection of the swimmers.  During practice, there may be as many as 40 children swimming across 4 lanes.  We need to make sure that the swimmers are able to participate in practice safely with minimal risk.  If the swimmer can't complete the 25-yard swim "test", then for their protection we cannot have them in practice.

When do the Betas practice?

Practice is held Monday through Friday throughout the season, except for July 4th and inclement weather. New Swimmer and 6 & Under swim evaluation will be Monday, May 22nd from 5:00 - 6:30 pm.  First Practice for all swimmers will be Tuesday, May 23rd.  Age Group practice times will be posted on the Heritage Beta’s website under Team Information tab under practice schedule.

How is the TSA (Tarheel Swimming Association) league arranged?

The TSA consists of over 80 teams throughout Wake County.  The league includes Northern and Southern sections.  Each section includes 4-team divisions.  Teams are assigned to divisions based on past performance.  The Heritage Wake Forest Betas swim in Division 2 of the Northern section.  The other teams we face in our summer meets are generally located within 20 minutes of our subdivision.

How many meets do we swim each season?

There are a total of 6 swim meets per season.  We swim against other subdivision and club teams in the northern part of Wake County.  There are 3 home meets and 3 away meets.  The first three swim meets are out-of-division meets, and the final three meets are against the other three teams in our division.  These meet results are used to determine the Division champion.

What are the age groups for our swim meets?

Swim meets are conducted based on the following age groups: 6-and-under (6U), 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18 years old. The swimmer’s official age for TSA purposes is determined based on the swimmer’s age on June 1. Swimmers do not change age groups during the TSA swim season.

What time does a swim meet start/end?

Swim meets are held on Tuesday nights (aka Tuesday Night Lights). Warm-ups start at 5:00 pm for home meets and at 5:30 pm for away meets.  Swim meets start promptly at 6:00 pm. Swim meets generally last between 2 and 2 ½ hours, depending on the size of the pool, number of swimmers, and potential weather delays.  Home meets typically end by 9:00 pm.

What are the events/strokes included in the meet?

Swimmers participate in individual events for their age group only. Age groups, distances, and strokes for individual events are as follows, separately for boys’ events and girls’ events:

  • 6-Under: 15 yards each of freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke, unassisted.
  • 7-8 and 9-10 years: 1 length of the pool each of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.
  • 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18: 2 lengths of the pool each of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

What is the order of events?

Events are swum, alternating between boys’ and girls’ events, starting with the youngest boys’ age group swimming the event, in the following order: Medley Relay, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle Relay.  Up to three swimmers may swim the main event.  No swimmer can swim all of the main events for their age group. The main event race is held first, with additional heats if there are at least two swimmers desiring to participate. Additional heats are held to provide an opportunity for all swimmers to participate in the meets and build their experience. Additional heats may be discontinued at the discretion of the team TSA Representatives as needed (due to late nights, weather, etc.).

How does the scoring system work?

Points are awarded for individual main events as follows: 5 points for first place, 3 points for second place, and 1 point for third place. For relay events, 5 points are awarded for first place, only.

Why do we have time trials?

Time trials are held the last Tuesday evening before our first swim meet.  This is a highly useful night for many reasons.  It provides an opportunity for parents and swimmers to participate in a mock meet and get a sense of the rhythm and flow of a swim meet.  It gives parents an opportunity to serve in a volunteer role with parents just from the same team and get a sense of understanding and comfort with these duties (they’re all easy! Really!). It gives the swimmers a first chance to compete against others and see how fast they can swim. Finally, the time trial results are used to assign main event swimmers for the first meet of the season. 

What process is used to determine who swims main events?

The time trials are used to assign main event swimmers for the first meet.  After this, main event swimmers are assigned based on swim times from main event and heat swimmers for each following meet.  Thus, swimmers who do not initially swim main events have every chance to move from heats to main events. Main event swimmers are assigned for all meets based on the list of swimmers who are signed up for the meet by 8 pm the day before each meet.

Why is it important to sign my swimmer up for swim meets and not just show up at the meet?

It is critically important that parents complete the signup process for each of the six meets. This information is used to develop the list of swimmers for the individual stroke main events and the relay teams. Without this information, coaches are unable to effectively perform their job and provide the best opportunity for our swimmers to compete.  Swimmers whose parents do not complete the signup process by 8 pm on the day before the swim meet will not swim main events that week, and will be assigned a lane for heat races. Coaches need to prepare the swim roster before the swim meet and same-day changes are unfair to the coaches’ time and to the swimmers who have been told they are swimming main events.

What are the TSA Championships and should my swimmer(s) compete?

The TSA Championship is a one-day event typically held on the first weekend following the last Tuesday night meet. It provides an opportunity for all of the teams and swimmers in the TSA League to compete heads-up in competition.  Dozens of teams compete at a large neutral swim facility (most often at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary).  We encourage all swimmers to participate and take part in one more opportunity for fun and friendly swim competition on a grander scale. 

What is Spirit Night?

Spirit Night(s) are a fun opportunity for parents and swimmers to get together, have some food, and build some team spirit.  Proceeds from Spirit Night activities are used to provide additional funds to support the swim team to meet short-team and long-term capital planning needs. Details on Spirit Night activities will be broadcast by email to the team parents and to swimmers/parents at practices during the season.

How many parents does it take to run a swim meet?

Depending on the venue, it takes between 30 and 38 parent volunteers to run a swim meet.  To run a successful swim meet we need many parents filling jobs such as place judges, lane timers, kid pushers, score keepers and recorders, ribbon handout and ribbon writing, TSA representative, stroke and turn judge, runners and clerk of course.   

What are my volunteer responsibilities?

The number of families that register for the swim team this season will determine how many times each family must volunteer.  At this time, we anticipate that each family will need to volunteer at 3 separate swim meets this season.  Volunteering is mandatory.  If you are unable to fulfill your designated volunteer assignment for a given meet it is your responsibility to find a substitute for that meet. 

What should parents bring to a meet?

Bring a chair, bug spray, a sweat shirt (it can get cooler on some nights), water, snacks, money for snacks, and a positive attitude! NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TSA MEETS: alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, firearms, weapons, fireworks, etc.

What should swimmers bring to a meet?

Bring your team suit, swim cap, 2 pairs of goggles (in case one pair breaks), and 2-3 towels.  Bring warm and dry clothing to wear home. Bring healthy snacks (pretzels, vegetables, crackers, cheese sticks, grapes, etc.) and water or sports drinks.  Remember, heavy foods and sugary treats are bad fuel for the swimming engine on meet night. 

What happens if there is thunder or lightning?

In the event of thunder, the pool must be cleared for 30 minutes.  In the event of lightning, the pool and the deck must be cleared for at least 30 minutes.  The 30-minute rule applies to the last observation of thunder or lightning; the clock restarts with each observation. A meet may not be delayed more than 60 minutes due to inclement weather. If the meet is interrupted more than once during an evening because of inclement weather, the meet will be stopped. Delays and decisions to proceed are made at the sole discretion of the TSA Representatives for each team.  In the event that meet cannot be completed on a Tuesday night, the meet will continue the following night.

Who do I ask if I have a question?

Ask a board member, send an email to the team website.  Board members receive those emails directly and will respond in a timely manner. Please DO NOT contact coaches directly regarding meet lineups, swimmer performance, etc. during practice.  We ask that you please reach out to a Board member first and appropriate follow-up will be determined.