Frequently Asked Questions
(For a complete overview of the Black Hills Gold Swim Team please thoroughly read the parent/swimmer handbook.)
1. How do I register my child for the Black Hills Gold Swim Club? To register your child for the swim club, you may print off all of the registration forms found on the website under documents.
2. What are the teams seasons? The Black Hills Gold Swim Club has two seasons. The fall/winter (short course) is active from late September through early March. The spring/summer season (long course) is active May through early August.
3. How many members does the Black Hills Gold have? The exact count varies with each season; however, we generally average around 60 swimmers.
4. When does the team practice? Practices are usually offered five days a week, after school during the short course season and in May, and in the mornings in June and July. Not all practice groups practice everyday. A practice schedule updated on the website for each month; however, is subject to change due to unforeseen interruptions.
5. Where does the team practice? Practice are held at the Donald Young Center on the Black Hills State University Campus.
6. Can I watch my swimmer practice? Parents/family are encouraged to show a great deal of interest in their child at practice. Parents are welcome, but not required, to observe practice from the balcony. The coaches request, however, that you refrain from talking or interacting with your child during practice. This can be disruptive and confusing for the swimmer and the other children on the team. USA swimming mandates a closed deck, so therefore only certified coaches and swimmers are allowed in the pool area during practices.
7. When is a good time to talk with the coach? If you need to communicate with the coach, please text, call, or email the coach or wait until after practice. Please remember that the coach's responsibility is to the swimmers in the water during practice.
8. What type of swimsuit and equipment will my child need? Girls should wear one piece swim suits with straps that are preferably connected in the back near the shoulders so that they do not slip off. Boys are encouraged, but not required, to wear stretch type suits “jammers”. (Note: 90% of the boys wear this type of suit in both practice and competition.)
o Goggles are required to allow the swimmer to keep their eyes open in the water during training for better awareness of other swimmers and the walls at the end of the lane. Goggles also reduce the amount of chlorine irritation. There are many types of goggles, however, competition type goggles are best and are available at local sporting goods stores. For smaller children, a junior size fits best. Young swimmers often lose goggles in the excitement of practice or a meet, so you may want to have more than one pair.
o Swim caps are worn by most of our swimmers, especially girls, to protect their hair and to cut down "drag" in the water during meets. Black Hills Gold Swim Team has a team swim cap. One will be given to each swimmer which they are required to wear at meets. This helps the coach identify his/her swimmers in the event. If the swim cap is lost or damaged, another may be purchased for $10.
o Swim sandals are encouraged for walking in the locker room and pool area to protect the swimmers feet and prevent slipping.
o Swim bag - to carry all this "stuff" as well as a towel and shower supplies
9. When are meets held? Swim meets are held on Saturdays and Sundays. The State Swim Meet and other larger meets may include events on Friday afternoon/evening. A meet schedule is available on the website at the beginning of each season and is updated as needed. There are several meets held that do not require overnight travel – Spearfish, Gillette, Rapid City, Newcastle and Deadwood.
10. Is my swimmer required to attend meets? Black Hills Gold Swimming does not require a certain number of meets each season, however competing is expected. The coaches strongly encourage all swimmers to participate in a meet at some point in the season. Attending meets gives the swimmer a sense of why he/she is practicing. Going to swim practice and never attending a meet would be like going to basketball practice and never playing a game. Every child is different and some need more time than others to be comfortable with competition. The coach is a good resource for helping you determine when your child is ready. Our team holds two meets per year, one in November and one in January. These home meets are an excellent opportunity for new swimmers to compete in a familiar environment.
11. How will my swimmer be competing at a meet? When competing, swimmers are divided into specific age groups. The age groups are: 8 & under, 9 & 10, 11 & 12, 13 & 14, 15 & over. Girls compete against girls; boys against boys.
12. How is my swimmer's age determined for the meet? The age of the swimmer is determined by their age on the first day of the meet.
13. How do I register my child for a swim meet?
o It is the parent's responsibility to sign up for meets. The parent will decide how many days and which days in which you want your child to participate. If swimmers are not registered by the deadline, with fees also paid at this time, than the swimmer will not be registered for the meet.
o Please be respectful of the entry deadline and submit your entry in a timely fashion. Team entries are usually submitted within 24 hours of the sign up. The best advice regarding meet sign ups is to monitor upcoming meets on the schedule and check the website frequently.
14. What if my swimmer wants to participate in a swim meet that I am unable to attend? Talk with other parents of the swim club to make travel arrangements for your child. Most parents are more than willing to help others out in transporting swimmers to and from swimming events.
15. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my account? If you have questions regarding your account you should contact the club treasurer.
16. Who makes decisions for the club? A parent, volunteer board, governs the Black Hills Gold Swim Team . The board is comprised of several members who do the day-to-day work of the swim club. The coaching staff are the only paid employees of the Black Hills Gold Swim Team. A complete list of the current board is included on the handbook page of this site. Board meetings are open to all members of the club. Parents who are willing to contribute their time and talents are essential to the successful operation of the club.
17. How do I become a member of the Board of Directors? If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors contact the Black Hills Gold Swim Team President.
18. How do I become involved with a committee? If you would like to become involved with a committee please contact any board member.
19. What fees are involved with becoming a member of the swim team? Swimmers can pay fees monthly or upfront for the entire season. All members of Black Hills Gold Swimming must also be members of USA Swimming and this fee is included with a seasonal payment. If paying monthly this fee needs to be included with the first months payment. A mandatory club fee is also required of each swimmer/family for the short course season. There are many ways to raise this mandatory fee.
20. How does the team communicate with its members? The main platform for communication is WhatsApp. All families will be added to this app when their paperwork is received. Each family can have multiple phone numbers added. Emails are also sent from Team Unify, our website. Emails about upcoming meets are automatically generated a week before registration is due. The website has a wealth of information on it and is an excellent way to keep organized with practice schedules, upcoming meets and team activities.