1.0 What is Southern California Swimming?
Southern California Swimming (SCS) is a Local Swim Committee(LSC) and part of USA Swimming, the main governing body of competitive swimming in the United States. Within SCS, there are five committees. Canyons is the Costal Committee. In general, we compete against teams from within the Coastal Committee which incorporates the north western portion of Los Angeles County as well as Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Also in our committee are teams from as far north a Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo though we don't often travel up that far. In addition to Coastal, there are the Metro, Pacific, Eastern, and Orange sections as part of our LSC.
1.1 How often should my child compete?
Canyons competes year round. We average around one to two meets a month. Which meets your athlete attends depends on the group and level of achievements attained. Each coach reviews that groups meet schedule often via email. Meet schedules with lists of groups asked to attend are on our website.
1.2 What are the different kinds of meets?
There are numerous types of meets. The few listed below are the most common:
Blue and Gold Meets/Novice meets - These are the least competitive meets Canyons attend. Swimmers that have not achieved Blue times are usually asked to attend but sometimes we reach beyond that. In the Fall our Blue and Gold hosted meets at COC also serve as a parent orientation to our club and to how meets run.
Red/White/Blue Meets – Swimmers of all levels are invited to compete in these meets. Canyons often waits to send beginner swimmers to these meets until the coaches feel they are ready.
Blue/Red Meets – Only swimmers with Red or Blue times may compete in this meet. Swimmers with White times in a particular event or who have never swum a particular event (NT) may not compete (in that event).
Age Group Championships: Swimmers who have achieved a Winter Age Group (WAG) time or a June Age Group (JAG) time or better may compete in these championship meets (held twice a year). These are team scored championship meets.
Junior Olympics: Starting at the 10 & under level and ending at 18 year old, the season ending championship meet may be the Junior Olympics. Standards for Winter Junior Olympics and Summer Junior Olympics must be achieved to swim in the meets. Occasionally swimmers may be asked to attend the Junior Olympics without having reached these standards to participate in relays.
1.3 How do I register my child for a swim meet?
Each group handles meet registration differently. Your coach will email out details of that groups process at the beginning of the season as well as to anyone that is new to the group. Speak to your coach if you have any questions and make sure with each group promotion you are clear of the new groups process.
1.4 My child is new to the sport or is weak in a certain stroke does
he/she have to compete against the best swimmers?
No. When a child swims an event for the first time, he/she is listed as a NT swimmer. At the meet the children are seeded by best times. No Time (NT) swimmers will swim together. While it will not be clear who is competing at what level in the pool, when the results are posted, they will be sorted by level. Generally awards are given to the top 8 swimmers in all three levels.
1.5 How does a Southern California Swimming Swim meet work?
The swim meets are very organized events that run like clockwork. When you arrive you find your team, check in, and warm up. Once the meet begins you will hear periodic announcements about what race is in the water. Before your race, check in with the coaches and then again after the race.
2.0 Where are the meets?
Most of our meets are in a variety of coastal locations including: Simi Valley, Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Long Beach and here in Santa Clarita.
2.1 What are the parent’s responsibilities at a meet?
Each team is assigned a certain number of timing chairs based upon the number of swimmers their team has entered in the meet. It is expected that every family provide a timer for at least one hour of the meet. A sign-up sheet is always posted on-line week prior to the meet. Please sign up for at least one-hour stint. Timing is actually rather fun and gives you a front row view of the pool. Depending on the pool, your responsibilities will range from pressing a button, to using a stopwatch, to writing the swimmer’s time on a sheet. It’s easy and possibly the most helpful thing you can do for your team on race day and provide a great meet experience for all athletes.
2.2 What should my child wear?
Visible Canyons team clothing needs to be worn at all meets. The team has periodic sales of clothing. In addition, team suits, backpacks and parkas can be ordered from Conejo Swimworks all year long. For order information please see someone in the office. Remember to bring several towels to every meet.
2.3 How do I check in at a meet?
First, be sure to arrive early. Your child needs to locate his/her coach and begin warm-ups on time. Coaches will email out arrival time prior to the meet and/or post it on the website. Usually the coach budgets some time for check-in. A check-in table will be somewhere near the pool. Your child (not you) MUST check in. They will be told their event numbers and marked as present and accounted for. It’s not a bad idea for your child to write his/her event numbers on their arm. Not checking in can mean not swimming events.
Once a swimmer has checked-in they are committed to swim. If your child does not show up at an event, he/she or the team can be penalized. If you must leave or your child gets ill after you've checked in, return to the administration desk and “scratch” your child. If the event is about to happen, have your child speak to their coach immediately and receive direction from the meet officials as far as how to proceed.
2.4 How do I find out my heat and lane assignment?
When you arrive at a meet there will be a wall of information usually broken down by boy and girls. Here you will see a sheet (psych sheets) for each event. Locate your child’s events and make sure they are listed. If they are not or they are listed wrong, go to your coach. If they are listed correct, do nothing.
A few events before your child is to swim, a new sheet will go up on top of the psyche sheet. This sheet will have heat and lane assignments and will tell you what heat and lane your child will swim.
At this time he/she should report to the coaching staff and inform them of the heat and lane. The coaches will give them some last minute advice and send them off.
2.5 How does my child get to his/her event?
The coaches are very busy timing and prepping swimmers for their events and therefore cannot get your child to the starting blocks. We do promote that parents keep an eye on the pool and watch what events are in the water as well as the current heat. But we also promote parents sending your swimmers to the blocks alone and teach them to learn this process at a very early age. Swimmers usually need to be around the blocks or in the warm up pool at least one event (not heat) prior to theirs. It is best to have them check in with the timers of their lane to be sure they’re in the right place at the right time. Teaching your swimmer how to get to his/her event on their own is an important part of the process of developing our athletes. Swimmers may miss an event as part of this process. We see that as a learning experience and something all swimmers do at some point. It's learning from that experience that the coach will encourage at our early levels.
2.6 What do we do after a race?
Immediately after your child’s race, after you hug him or her and tell them something positive, send them off to the coaches who will review their time and discuss the race. Warm down will happen as well following the race either before or after talking to the coach. If that was their last race of the day and there are no relays planned, they are free to go unless otherwise instructed by your coach.
2.7 When does my child get his/her awards?
Ribbons and medals are usually placed in your child’s in the week after the meet.
2.8 The meet is outdoors and it looks like rain
Rain does not stop a swim meet since it does not impede the swimmer’s performance. The only exception to that would be an electrical storm. Any meet cancelation would be announced on our website as well as email as soon as a decision was made. If no message on our website or email from a coach, head to the meet.
2.9 Where do we sit at a swim meet? You are allowed to sit anywhere you like that is not roped off. Bring a canopy to stay out of the sun and folding chairs are a must. Tarps, heaters, blankets, sleeping bags are all advisable in cold weather. Some meets we have official team areas for swimmers only but not always.
GENERAL SWIM MEET QUESTIONS
3.0 Is there food and swim gear available at the meets?
Yes, most every meet has an extensive snack bar that serves breakfast and lunch at a very reasonable price as well as snacks. You may want to pack an ice chest with healthy snacks and a lunch. Bring plenty of water and sports drinks for your athlete. Swim merchants are also found at most meets selling goggles, suits, etc. We recommend you plan ahead though and pack extra goggles, caps, and suits.
3.1 How does a swimmer get disqualified?
Southern California Swimming supplies numerous official for every meet. Officials pay careful attention to every detail from the start to the finish of a race. Swimmers who false start or do an incorrect stroke or maneuver will, in all likelihood, will be disqualified. At the end of the race an official will explain the infraction. Getting DQ’d is upsetting, but it happens to everyone and should be used as an educational experience.
3.2 How long are swim meets?
Most swim meets are two day long events. However, they are split into two sessions, a morning and an afternoon. Each session is carefully planned not to exceed four hours (but sometimes they do). However, there are certain championship meets that have no time limit. These are very big meets and you can expect to spend the better part of your day there. Almost every meet we’ll attend will be at least two days long (Saturday and Sunday). Your coach will recommend the days you should attend.
3.3 What is long course and what is short course?
The swim season begins in September with short course. These meets compete in 25 yard pools (usually the width of a 50 meter pool). For 8 & unders these meets offer the 25 yard events that are great for entry level swimmers. Long course is a 50 meter (Olympic sized) pool. The minimum length of events in this pool are 50 meters (1 lap).
3.4 Do we hold any meets at our home pool?
Yes. Currently Canyons sponsors several meet a year. We host a Blue & Gold Series of 3 meets between September and January as well as one to two Blue and Gold meets in the summer for our newer swimmers. On a larger scale we host the Cranberry Classic Meet (the week before thanksgiving) and the Red White & Blue Memorial Day Meet. Canyons also makes an attempt to host one of the Summer Championship meets in June or July such as Junior Olympics or Sectionals.
3.5 Is swimming too competitive for my child?
No. Unlike other sports, USA swimming has taken pains to insure the swimming is both fun and inspiring. To that end not only do the swimmers compete against children of their own age, but due to the A/B/C system, they compete against swimmers of their own skill level usually as well.
3.6 When will my child be promoted to the next group?
Promotion is based largely on the swimmer’s skill levels combined with their ability to achieve time standards for their age group. Coaches make periodic evaluation and promote accourdingly. Please see our "promotions" tab or contact your coach if you have questions in this area.
3.7 How often should my child practice?
Each group offers a different amount of workouts a week and has different attendance expectations. The amount of time asked of your swimmers and you starts at a low level and increases as your swimmer progresses through our groups. The low impact nature of swimming and the carefully designed progression of our program are designed to improve your swimmer without adding stress to the body that can cause injury.
3.8 Where do I find out more about Swimming online?