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FAQs

FAQs & More


It can be challenging to be a new swim family. Like most sports and activities, swim has its own language and processes that can seem overwhelming for those new to the sport. Our goal with this document is to help with that learning curve.

Any Board Member is happy to help answer your questions. You can also contact our New Family Liaison, Kim Tompkins at: newfamilies@hoxswim.com


Q. Why can't I register for the new program?  TeamUnify(TU) says my account is not active but we have a TU Account.

A.  All accounts are deactivated at the end of each program.  To register for the next season or program, do not log in to TeamUnify. Instead use the short cut icon from the home page to go directly to the registration page.  If you need assistance, contact Helen Sweet (HOX Webmaster & Registrar) 

Q.  Are Fall, Spring and Summer run the same?

A.  Fall, Winter, High School Prep and the Spring Clinic are Blackhawk Country Club programs and and not part of HOX.  Only the summer swim & summer Mini HOX programs are run by the HOX (Coach Sean and the HOX Board).  Be sure to read the description of each program when open for more details.

Q.  How will I know which practice group my child is in?

A.  Approved registrations receive an approval email from the registrar with login instructions to TeamUnify.  Once you log in you can look up your child's practice group or Click Here for instructions.  If your registration is not approved, you will receive an email with a request to conduct an in-water observation conducted by coach Sean.  Practice groups are determined by the coaching staff, not parents or swimmers.  Swimmers must swim in the group that is specified by the coaching staff and not at families/swimmers discretion.

Q. Can my swimmer move up a group mid-season?

A. Ideally each group will improve and excel in ability together, but we will evaluate any swimmer that clearly demonstrates the skills for the next group and move them up as needed to ensure they match to the correct skill group.

Q. What skills determine each group?

A. Each age-group has a different set of skills that represent beginner, intermediate and advanced swimming and the coaches will use objective measures to evaluate and match each swimmer to the correct group. For example, 6 & Unders will not be evaluated for flip turns because they are not required for competition in their age group, however, for the 9-10 age group this is an important skill. Once the swimmers are placed in the practice groups, a skill set will be posted online 

Q. Why do upcoming meets drop off the website?

A.  While the coaches are working on placing swimmers into events at the meet, the meet is taken off line  temporarily in order to work behind the scenes. Once the meet program, relay report and check-in reports are complete, an email is sent to the entire team and the meet is viewable again on the "Meets/Events" tab.

Q.  I have a question about charges on my Blackhawk Country Club statement?

A.  All charges related to HOX swim team & Mini HOX:  Registration fees, swim festivities, splash fees and HOX apparel should be directed to Helen Sweet at: hoxwebmaster@gmail.comClick here to contact the appropriate Board or Committee member to direct your inquiries.  BCC accounting handles all other matters not related to swim team.


Meet Events and Meet Order

A typical meet has the following events, in the order listed:

  • Medley Relay 
  • Individual Medley (IM)
  • Freestyle
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Freestyle Relay

The order of the Medley Relay is Back, Breast, Fly, Free.

The order of the IM is Fly, Back, Breast, Free.

There are no relays swum at Time Trials.

Events run youngest to oldest, with 6& Unders going first, followed by 7/8s and so on. 

Within age groups, girls swim first, followed by boys. So, the 6& Under Girls would swim the Medley Relay first, followed by the 6& Under Boys. Then the 7/8 Girls would swim the Medley Relay, followed by the 7/8 Boys Medley Relay, and so on.

Each event has multiple heats. Heat 1 will generally be the swimmers with the current, fastest times and further heats will be ordered by time (fastest times first).

A typical meet runs 3 to 4 hours.


Starting from Low/High Blocks

All races END at the high blocks (this is where the Timers are). This means:

        Individual Races:

  • 8& Under races – EXCEPT for IM – start at the low blocks.
  • 8& Under IM starts at the high blocks.
  • 9& Up races begin at the high blocks.

       Relays:

  • All 8& Under swimmers meet at the low blocks. Lane Clerks will escort any swimmer who needs to start at the high block to that end of the pool.
  • 9& Up relays begin at the high blocks.


Meet Types

  • Time Trials

Time Trials gives every swimmer the opportunity to swim and set a baseline time for every stroke (only 7/8 and Up swim the Individual Medley (IM)). There are no relays at Time Trials.

Time Trials also gives our families an opportunity to experience a meet without the pressure of swimming against another team. It also enables us to work out any kinks in the way we set up and run a meet.

  • Dual Meets

A Dual Meet is a meet between two teams; it is our most common type of meet.

  • Tri-Meets

A Tri-Meet is a meet between three teams. Some seasons we host or participate in tri-meets and some seasons we do not. 

  • Invitational Meets

An Invitational Meet is a meet in which you swim only if you are invited to do so. There are “A” Invitationals (Woodlands, Springbrook) where the fastest swimmers in each age group are invited to attend. There are also “B” Invitationals (Summer Splash, Crossings) where swimmers must not have achieved too fast a time in order to be able to swim. 

  • VSA League

This is a 2-day meet where all teams in the Valley Swim Association (VSA) swim. It has a Trials/Finals format. This means that swimmers swim in the trials and then the top “x” number in each event (the number may vary) swim in the finals. 

  • County Meet

The Lafayette Moraga Youth Association (LMYA) Swim Team hosts a meet at the end of the Recreational Swim Season. They refer to this meet as the County Meet. To swim in the County Meet, a swimmer must meet or exceed an established time in an event. This is usually a very challenging goal to attain.

  • First Chance & Last Chance

These are fundraising meets that not only help support the team, but also times count.  


Number of Events

For a Saturday Meet, a swimmer will swim 2-3 individual events and may swim 1-2 relays. For a Wednesday Meet, a swimmer will swim 2 individual events and may swim 1-2 relays.


Meet Signups

To sign your child up to participate in a meet: 

  1. Go to hoxswim.com
  2. Click the Meets/Events tab
  3. Click the Attend/Decline button under the Time Trials Meet
  4. Click on your swimmer
  5. Click the Signup Record drop down
  6. Click Yes, please sign [swimmer] up for this event.
  7. Click the checkbox next to Day 1/Session 1
  8. Click Save Changes and repeat for any additional swimmers in your family.

If your swimmer won’t be swimming in a meet, choose No, thanks, [swimmer] will not attend this event.

Meets generally “close” 7 days prior to the Meet Date.


Swim Terms/Vocabulary

  • Pop-Times

A swimmer is said to have “popped” their time when they swim a race faster than they have ever swum that race. For example, if Gina’s current best time in the 25-Yard Freestyle is 22.44 seconds and Gina swims the 25-Yard Freestyle in 21.34 seconds, she is said to have “popped” her time.

  • Disqualifications (DQ)

It is the job of trained Stroke and Turn judges to watch for swimmers not performing a stroke correctly. When a swimmer exceeds the allowable threshold for incorrect stroke performance (the threshold varies by age and heat), the judge may issue a disqualification. Coaches may talk with an individual swimmer about their DQ or they may talk to the larger group if there were a large number of DQs for a single reason (for example, failure to touch with 2 hands on Butterfly by the 6& Unders).

  • Down Year/Up Year

Swimmers fall into age groups – 7/8, 9/10 etc. Because the age groups are mostly in 2 year groups, a swimmer is said to be in their “down year” when they are on the younger side of the 2 years and in their “up year” when they are on the older side of the 2 years. For example, a 7 year old is in their down year; an 8 year old is in their up year.

  • Meet Sheets

The day before or the day of a meet, the team will post the Meet Sheets. These documents list each event, the heats within that event, and the swimmers swimming in that event. 

The sheet generally starts with the Medley Relay and ends with the Freestyle Relay. You can browse through the sheet to see which events your child is swimming, in which heat of that event they will swim, in which lane of that event they will swim, and their current best time in that event. 

  • Clerk of the Course

At larger meets, Clerks assist with the "checking in" of all swimmers and the escorting of younger swimmers.

  • False Start

A False Start occurs when a swimmer leaves the start-position before the starter sounds.

  • Free Relay

Free relay consists of four different swimmers in one relay competition, each swimming freestyle

  • Individual Medley (IM)

 Individual medley consists of a single swimmer swimming equal distances of four different strokes within one race. The order of the different strokes: Fly, Back, Breast and Free. 

  • Medley Relay

 Medley relay consists of four different swimmers in one relay competition, each swimming one stroke. The order of the different strokes is: Back, Breast, Fly and Free. 

  • Two Hand Touch

Swimmers are required to touch the wall with “two hands” when competing in Fly and Breast Stroke Races.


Marking Your Swimmer for Meets

Swimmers MUST arrive at the lane with their shoulder and hand marked.

FOR ALL SWIMMERS: Write last name, first initial on the back of your right shoulder. Age group is written below the name.

ON YOUR HAND:  Event number, event stroke, heat, lane.

Relays on the LEFT hand, individual events on the RIGHT hand.

For example, if your child is entered in Event 7, swimming butterfly in the B medley relay in lane 7, Event 26: freestyle in heat 2 lane 3, Event 42: backstroke in heat 3 lane 5, and Event 77: going 3rd in the C free relay