Below are a list of FAQs for the Mission Valley YMCA Seals Swim Team. If a question you have is not listed, talk to your coach or send an e-mail through the Contact Us tab of the site.

Q: What are the MVY Seals?

The MVY Seals are a year-round swim team that is run by the Mission Valley YMCA. The focus is refining strokes to become stronger, faster swimmers. The team is part of the YMCA Swim League and the San Diego - Imperial Local Swim Committee (LSC). To be a member of the team above mini-seals, the swimmer or family must have a YMCA membership.

Q: What do I have to do to become an MVY Seal?

First, the swimmer will have to try out. The try out days and times are listed under the Swim Groups tab. At this time, try outs are Monday at 7:00 PM. Just show up on deck and have the coach observe a swim test.

The coach will observe the swimmer perform the 4 strokes. Depending on the swimmer’s age and ability, the swimmer will be assigned to the appropriate swim group or asked to take further lessons if the swimmer is not able to complete the test criteria outlined below.

Mini-Seal Development: Full lap of freestyle and backstroke while side-breathing during freestyle. Legal kicks while swimming breaststroke and butterfly. This group mostly newer swimmer ages 10 and under.

Mini-Seal Competitive: Legally complete a 100 IM in a USA-Swim competition, or have completed Mini Seals Development for three seasons while participating in meets.

Development: Legally swim all four strokes. Active participation in meets optional.

High School Development: Legal in all four strokes; high school swimming preferred.

Competitive Levels (Performance, Green, Blue): Legal in all four strokes; active participation in meets

Q: Where can I get more information?

Please browse the website, especially under the Parents tab. If you cannot find the answer to your question, contact the director, head coach and webmaster through the Contact Us tab.

Q: How can I access the website?

Most of the sections of the site are public. For event signup and to receive team e-mails, log-in is required. To get log-in credentials, a website account needs to be setup. This account is separate from the YMCA account. Either ask your coach for a website information form, go to the Contact Us tab on the website and download/fill out the form under the Forms/Documents tab, or request access through the Contact Us tab. When e-mailing the request, please use the form as a guide for the information that will be needed to set up the account.

Q: I have a question about my swimmer or my account. Who do I contact?

Start by asking your coach after practice.  Some patience may be needed since the coach may be talking with other parents or swimmers.

For general questions, other parents can be a valuable resource.

Or drop an e-mail to the coach or webmaster.  Please allow 48 hours for a reply.

Q: Is my swimmer required to swim in meets?

The three competitive groups (AGPERF, AGGREEN, and AGBLUE) are expected to swim in meets, as that is the specific focus of these groups.

The HSDEV group is highly encouraged to participate but meet participation is not a requirement. The AGMINI group is encouraged to attend meets suitable to their swimming ability, such as YMCA meets, SI C level meets and Novice meets, when they are available. AGDEV swimmers are welcome to attend meets to determine if they would like to compete in swimming. If you are unsure, please talk to your coach to see if your swimmer is ready to swim competitively.

Q: What is the difference in the meets on the Events tab?

There are several types of meets.

YMCA meets tend to be longish meets with a wide variety of swimming abilities. The only requirement is the swimmer must be a member of a YMCA swim team. This is an excellent event to get the swimmer competing. At Novice meets, both SI and YMCA, the swimmers are not disqualified for stroke infractions. If the meet is not a Novice meet, swimmers will be held to the USA Swimming rules and regulations. The only type of YMCA meet that the swimmer has to qualify for is the end of season Championship meet. The only qualification is the swimmer must have competed in a YMCA League meet during the season.

The other type of meet are the SI held meets. These meets tend to range from more Novice "C" meets to much faster meets such at AB meets or Championship meets. Except for C meets and JOMAX meets, the swimmer must have attained a time standard to swim in events during the meet. These meets tend to run shorter than YMCA meets but are more expensive. These meets also require an annual or seasonal registration with USA Swimming to compete.

All meets are held at other YMCA branches for YMCA meets or hosted by other SI clubs for SI held meets. The meets are usually posted in the Events tab although you may also see the SI meet schedule on the SI Swimming website.

Q: What is the meaning of time standards?

Time standards are times that a swimmer must be faster than in an event to achieve the time standard. SI Swimming does not follow the USA Swimming Motivational Time Standards. They have their own time standards that are determined by SoCal swimming, the neighboring LSC to the north of us.

The SI swim standards are C, B, A, and JO. C times are all times slower than a B time or a No Time (NT). Usually the time standards are descending although with 12 and Under swimmers, some JO times may be slower than the A time. Most non-C meets require a time standard to be achieved in an event to swim in that event, although in certain cases, with the coaches approval, a fast C time can swim in a B event.

There are also USA Swimming Motivational Time Standards which are fun to follow. These standards are B, BB, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. You can see how your swimmer is doing compared to these time standards by your swimmer’s account on USA Swimming Deck Pass, by searching the Times Lookup on the USA Swimming website, or querying on the team website. These time standards are updated every three years.

Q: How can I volunteer?

Most of the volunteer opportunities involve meets. Both types of meets the Seals participate in are run through parent volunteers.

The primary “required” volunteer position is timing. The team will be assigned timing chairs for a meet that we are required to fill. These timing chairs have to come from the families of the swimmers.

The second volunteer position that is more extensive but crucial to the team is officiating. This is a bigger commitment but can be very rewarding. The team is required to provide officials for meets depending on the number of swimmers at the meet. The team incurs a penalty if the required number of officials cannot be filled.

If the Seals host a meet, there will be a wide number of positions that will need to be filled.

Lastly, there are ongoing opportunities for fund-raising, equipment procurement, team activities, etc… that the team is always in need. If you have any questions about any of these, please talk to your coach or send an e-mail through the website.