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FAQ

Here is LOTS of information about our team and how it works...but if you don't see your question answered here, just contact us at villagewestvikings@gmail.com.

Signing up and general info
How do I sign my child up for swim team?
How much does swim team cost?

Should my child be enrolled in regular Vikings, Little Vikings, or swim lessons?
Do I have to be a member of the pool to be on swim team?
Do I have to have a team suit?
What is the NVSL?
What is TeamUnify?
Practices
Do I have to go to every practice?
What if I can't practice in the mornings?
What happens if there is inclement weather before or during practice?
Meets
A meets, B meets, carnivals, Divisionals, All-Stars - what are all these meets?
What happens if there is inclement weather before or during a meet?
What are the different strokes and meet events?
What is the order of the meet events?
How do we choose swimmers for meets?
Why and when do you want to know if my swimmer is available to swim?
What is a DQ, and why did my child get one?
Ribbons
What do the ribbons mean?
Why did my child get a competitor ribbon instead of a place ribbon?
What do I do if my child did not get a ribbon for his/her event?
What do I do if my child's ribbon is wrong?
Volunteering
How do I sign up to volunteer?
Do I have to volunteer?
Do I need training to volunteer?
What are the various volunteer jobs?
Contact us
How can I contact the coaches?
How can I contact the team reps?

 

Signing up and general info
How do I sign my child up for swim team?
Click the "Register" button on the right-hand side of the home page. You can pay online or by check.

How much does swim team cost?
Both Vikings and Little Vikings follow the same fee schedule. Dues for members are $125 for the first child, $95 for the second, and $60 for each child thereafter. Swim lesson costs are negotiated with the individual coaches. Please note that to be on the swim team, you must have a family membership at the pool, which is a separate cost. For more information about pool membership, go to http://www.villagewestpool.com.

Should my child be enrolled in regular Vikings, Little Vikings, or swim lessons?
Regular Vikings are full-fledged swim team members and should be comfortable swimming multiple laps.
Little Vikings are developmental team members. They swim in special half-length and full-length events in certain meets, as well as at a Lollipop Meet just for them and their peers at nearby pools. They must be comfortable in the water, but have trouble with or cannot complete one lap. As Little Vikings improve during the season, they can begin to compete in regular Vikings events at the meets.
Swim lessons are available for children who are uncomfortable in the water. In addition, team or pool members at any level can arrange for private lessons with our coaches. See the Swim Lessons tab for details.
If you have concerns or questions about the level at which your child should swim, please email us at villagewestvikings@gmail.com.

Do I have to be a member of the pool to be on swim team?
Yes. Although each member of the swim team pays a separate fee in order to be on the team, to be a member of the swim team and qualify to compete in the NVSL your family must be a member of the pool. This is an NVSL regulation.

Do I have to have a team suit?
No. Swimmers should wear a swimsuit that will be comfortable for racing. For boys, this is form-fitting (no trunks); for girls, a comfortable one-piece with shoulder straps that stay put. The Vikings, like every other NVSL swim team, have a team suit. The wearing of the team suit is optional. You can purchase our team suit on a designated day during the first week or two of after-school practices; online; or directly from our vendor, Sport Fair, located in Arlington, VA. You should also consider buying at least one practice suit for your swimmer. Many swimsuit retailers sell suits discontinued by manufacturers at a reduced price as practice suits.

What is the NVSL?
In 1956, eight Northern Virginia pools founded the NVSL. Today, the NVSL has over 15,000 swimmers on over 100 teams and is the largest summer swim league in the United States. During the offseason, the NVSL ranks each team, based primarily on swimmers’ times and the previous season's win-loss records, and divides the teams into seventeen divisions of six teams. The fastest teams are in the lower-numbered divisions, and the less competitive teams are in the higher-numbered divisions. On the NVSL web site, you can find meet results, rules, team standings, records, and much more: www.mynvsl.com.

What is TeamUnify?
TeamUnify is the online platform we use for team management. It is used to collect full swimmer registration information, track swimmer availability for meets, contact swimmers and parents via email and text, maintain our calendar, coordinate volunteers, and more. TeamUnify is accessed through our website and also through the TeamUnify app, On Deck.

Practices
Do I have to go to every practice?
No. However, the more you practice, the better and stronger you swim. If you cannot make morning practices, or you would like to make up a missed practice, once school is out we offer evening practices for all ages on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8, with specialty clinics on Wednesdays from 8-9. When selecting swimmers for meets, the coaches reserve the right to choose a swimmer with a slower time over a swimmer who has not been to practice. For example, if a swimmer had a really good time at time trials but hasn't been to practice since, the coach must make a judgment call as to the effect of the absences on the swimmer's performance and on team morale, and act in the team's best interest.

What if I can’t practice in the mornings?
We offer evening practices for Vikings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8, and a specialty clinic on Wednesdays from 8-9. We offer evening practices for Little Vikings from 6:15-7:00 on Tuesday and Thursday. 

What happens if there is inclement weather before or during practice?
Rain
Practices continue as usual in the rain. Attending parents can seek shelter in the pavilion. If the rain is so heavy that the bottom of the pool is not visible, practice must be suspended until the bottom of the pool is visible again.
Thunder or lightning
The entire pool, including the deck and clubhouse, must be cleared in the event of thunder or lightning, and must remain cleared for 30-45 minutes after the last audible clap of thunder, depending on the individual pool management company’s rules. If thunder or lightning occurs during a practice, swimmers will be sent home. If thunder or lightning occurs shortly before a practice, parents will be notified of practice delays and cancellations via email.
Cold
At the coaches’ discretion, all or a portion of the practices may be dry-land practices. Socks and sneakers will be required. In addition, bring along sweatpants and sweatshirts.
Hot
Practices proceed as scheduled. Please stay well hydrated, and remember that being in the water is not the same as drinking water.

Meets
A meets, B meets, carnivals, Divisionals, All-Stars – what are all these meets?
Dual Meets (“A Meets”)
The six teams in each division swim each other, one at a time, on five consecutive Saturdays, in a series of dual meets (sometimes referred to as “A meets”), so called because there are two teams competing. These meets are scored, and at the end of the meet one team wins. We are limited to three swimmers per age group per event, and one relay team per age group per event. Click here for information on how swimmers are chosen for the meet. Based upon the results of these five meets, a division champion is named at the end of the season.
Burke-Springfield Developmental League (“B Meets”)
Village West participates with other local pools in a developmental league for the purpose of providing swimmers additional opportunities to compete in unofficial (unscored) meets, which are held on Monday nights. These are commonly referred to as “B meets.”
Although all swimmers can swim in a B meet, we limit the number of events for each swimmer. Swimmers may swim two events, and may not swim in any event that they swam at the previous Saturday meet. The idea is to enable as many kids to swim as possible while keeping the meet to a reasonable length.
IM Carnival
The IM Carnival is our last “B” meet of the season and offers a last opportunity for all swimmers to improve their best time for IM in advance of Divisionals.
Relay Carnivals
The division Relay Carnival takes place on the Wednesday between the third and fourth weeks of the season (usually the 2nd Wednesday in July), and is one of the biggest and most exciting meets of the season. All six teams in each division converge on one pool for an evening of relay races. These include freestyle relays (each swimmer swims freestyle) and medley relays (each swimmer swims a different stroke). The next night, the division coordinators meet and select the fastest relay teams to swim at the All-Star Relay Carnival the following week. The sole criteria for selection to the All-Star Relay Carnival is to have one of the eighteen fastest times in an event swum in the Division Relay Carnivals.
Divisionals
On the sixth Saturday of the season, each division has an individual championship meet, commonly referred to as "Divisionals." This is an individual meet and is not scored. The events swum are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and individual medley (IM). Each team is allowed to enter two swimmers in each event, and a swimmer can enter no more than two events. If a team does not have two swimmers for an event, the other teams can bid in other swimmers to fill the empty lanes. The strokes are always in the usual order, but each year the stroke that is swum first varies.
All-Stars
After Divisionals, the Division coordinators meet to select swimmers for the All-Stars meet the following week. The sole criterion for selection to All-Stars is to have one of the eighteen fastest times swum in an event in the Divisional meets. At All-Stars, approximately 600 swimmers, plus parents, coaches, and officials, converge on a pool for a meet that takes about six hours. If your swimmer is fast enough to be named an All-Star, it is a thrill they will never forget.

What happens if there is inclement weather before or during a meet?
Rain
Meets continue as usual in the rain. If rain is threatening, bring along rain gear for spectators and volunteers, and expect that swimmers’ towels and bags will be exposed to the rain. If the rain is so heavy that the bottom of the pool is not visible, the meet must be suspended until the bottom of the pool is visible again. The delay is generally brief.
Thunder or lightning
The entire pool, including the deck and clubhouse, must be cleared in the event of thunder or lightning, and must remain cleared for 30-45 minutes after the last audible clap of thunder, depending on the individual pool management company’s rules. If thunder or lightning occurs during a meet, swimmers will be sent to their cars to wait. DO NOT LEAVE until instructed to do so, particularly in the case of competitive meets. If the weather is threatening for a meet, it is a good idea for swimmers to bring along things they can do to entertain themselves in the car while they wait it out. If thunder or lightning occurs shortly before a meet, parents will be notified of meet delays and cancellations via email.
Cold
The meet proceeds as usual. Swimmers should bring along sweatpants and sweatshirts to keep warm between swims.
Hot
The meet proceeds as scheduled. Please stay well hydrated, and remember that being in the water is not the same as drinking water.

What are the different strokes and meet events?
There are four basic strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. A combination of all four strokes by a single swimmer is called an individual medley (IM). A combination of all four strokes by four different swimmers is a medley relay. We also swim several types of all-freestyle relays.
One pool length is 25 meters. The younger kids swim 25-meter events, while the older kids swim 50 meters. The length of the relays varies similarly.
Freestyle
Freestyle is defined as any means of swimming across the pool. Any stroke and kick are acceptable; what swimmers generally do for "freestyle" is actually the Australian crawl. There are a few don'ts associated with freestyle, specifically: (1) You cannot walk on the bottom or pull yourself along using the lane lines and (2) In a 50-meter race (two pool lengths), you must touch the wall at the 25 meter end before touching the wall at the 50 meter end (this may seem obvious, but sometimes swimmers miss the wall at the turning end of the pool).
Backstroke
Like the freestyle, almost anything goes in the backstroke as long as you stay on your back. Watching swimmers learn the backstroke is a perverse sense of fun as they bounce off lane lines and wonder where they are. Eventually, they will learn to guide off the lane lines, use the overhead backstroke flags and the lane line markings to know where they're at in the pool, and count strokes from the flags to the wall.
Backstroke starts are different from all others because the swimmer is in the water, with feet planted against the wall, and is hanging on to either another swimmer's legs or the lip of the pool awaiting the starter's signal. "Legs" must be grabbed below the knee. Persons serving in an official capacity (such as timers or coaches) may not serve as “legs.”
If your swimmer is a backstroker, he or she will eventually learn the backstroke flip turn. This is the one exception to staying on your back and can be used only as part of a turn (not a finish) at the pool wall.
Breaststroke
The breaststroke has two components, the kick and the arm pull. The pull and its recovery must both be under the breast and cannot extend further back than the waist area. The kick is a "frog" kick and the toes must be pointed outward during the propulsive part of the kick. The arm pull and kick must be in an alternating sequence and the elbows must stay below the water except for tagging the wall at the finish. Breaststroke turns and finishes require a simultaneous two-hand touch.
Butterfly
A well-executed butterfly (or fly) is the most beautiful exhibition of power you'll ever see in a swimming pool. The fly is the hardest stroke for most swimmers to perfect. There are two components of the fly; the arm pull and the kick. The arm pull must be an over-the-water recovery (elbows breaking the surface of the water) with both arms moving simultaneously. The kick is a dolphin-style kick with both legs moving simultaneously. Unlike the breaststroke, there is no requirement to alternate the kick and pull. Turns and finishes require a simultaneous two-hand touch at the wall.
Individual Medley
The individual medley (or IM) is each of the four strokes in the sequence butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle. We swim a 100-meter IM, which means that 25 meters, or one pool length, of each stroke is swum. In a 100-meter IM, every turn is a stroke change and stroke finish rules apply. This means no backstroke flip turns.
Relays
There are two kinds of relays, the freestyle relay and the medley relay. Both involve a team of four swimmers, each swimming one-quarter of the total distance. In the freestyle relay, each swimmer swims the freestyle. In the medley relay, the sequence is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Relays are either 100 M (for the younger age groups) or 200 M.
In all relays, each swimmer must wait until the previous swimmer touches the wall before leaving the deck. Running starts or pushes from teammates are not allowed.

What is the order of the meet events?
Below is the A meet structure. All individual freestyle events are swum first, then backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and finally the relays.
A meets and B meets follow similar event structures, but instead of relays, B meets have IMs. Because B meets are developmental, the age groups are somewhat different, usually 6 and under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-18.

Age group

Freestyle

Backstroke

Breaststroke

Butterfly

Freestyle Relay

Medley Relay

8 & Under Boys

25 M

25 M

25 M

25 M

100 M

8 & Under Girls

25 M

25 M

25 M

25 M

100 M

9-10 Boys

50 M

50 M

50 M

25 M

 

100 M

9-10 Girls

50 M

50 M

50 M

25 M

 

100 M

11-12 Boys

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

100 M

11-12 Girls

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

100 M

13-14 Boys

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

200 M

13-14 Girls

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

200 M

15-18 Boys

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

200 M

15-18 Girls

50 M

50 M

50 M

50 M

 

200 M

Mixed Age Boys

 

 

 

 

200 M

Mixed Age Girls

 

 

 

 

200 M


How do we choose swimmers for meets?
A Meets (Saturday Meets and Relay Carnival)
A Meets are competitive, scored meets. In addition to swimmers competing on an individual basis for ribbons, we are also competing as a team for a cumulative score. The guiding principle in choosing swimmers for these meets is to maximize our team's overall score.
The Saturday A meets consist of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly; freestyle relays for the 8 & unders; a medley relay for the remaining age groups (with each swimmer doing a different stroke); and a mixed-age all-freestyle relay for each gender (one swimmer from each age group from 9 on up). (The Relay Carnival, also a scored meet, consists of medley relays and all-freestyle relays for each age group, plus the two mixed-age relays; all six division teams compete at once.)
Every Tuesday, the coaches receive a printout of our swimmers' latest best times, up through their times from the previous day's B meet. In addition, once we have held the first Saturday meet, these printouts include times from our competitors' swimmers as well. The coaches use these printouts to try to compile the meet that will give us the best overall score.
A swimmer may swim in no more than two individual events plus two relays (one for their own age group plus the mixed-age relay). If a swimmer is fast enough to swim in more than two individual events, the coaches need to decide where s/he has the potential to score the most points, both individually and as part of a relay team.
If there are very few swimmers in a particular age/gender group, those swimmers will swim in practically every meet. Conversely, if we have a number of swimmers to choose from in an age/gender group, not all swimmers will be selected for an A meet.
If we do not have enough swimmers in an age group to fill our three lanes, we may "swim up" a swimmer from a younger age group. It can be daunting for a swimmer to be pitted against older kids, but it is always in our team's interest to fill our lanes whenever possible. An empty lane is a guarantee of zero points.
The swimmers chosen to swim in various events change from meet to meet based on the following considerations:

  • Swimmer times. We put in the fastest swimmers available, based on this year's times. These change over the season as swimmers improve. After every meet, the latest top times for each swimmer in each event are posted at the pool on the display board near the slide.

  • Swimmer availability. If a faster swimmer is unavailable to swim the meet, a slower swimmer will have the opportunity to swim. Lots of people go out of town during the summer, and sometimes swimmers fall ill, so this is a huge variable from week to week.

  • The other team's times. The coach looks at where our swimmers' times fall relative to the other team's swimmers and adjusts swimmer assignments accordingly.

  • Empty lanes. The coaches try to minimize empty lanes, take advantage of the other team's likely empty lanes, and have at least one swimmer entered into every event.

  • Other considerations that may affect swimmer performance. These are infrequent, but they do arise occasionally. For instance, if a swimmer is dealing with an injury, the coach will act first in the best interest of the swimmer's well-being, and then in the interest of the team's score. As another example, if a swimmer had a really good time at time trials but hasn't been to practice since, the coach must make a judgment call as to the effect on the swimmer's performance, team morale, and the team's best interest.

B Meets
B meets (Monday night meets) are developmental meets; they consist of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and individual medleys (IM, a combination of all four strokes). They are designed to give all swimmers the opportunity to swim, and to give swimmers an opportunity to swim new strokes in the meet environment and to improve their times. Any swimmer can swim in a B meet. Each swimmer can swim in two events. Swimmers may NOT swim in events that they swam at the previous Saturday meet.
Occasionally the coaches will override a swimmer's preferences because they need to get a time for that swimmer in a particular stroke. In addition, the coaches will deter a swimmer from swimming a stroke that the swimmer has not yet been able to swim legally at practice.
Divisionals
Divisionals are a special end-of-season meet involving all six teams of our division. They are NOT scored meets; swimmers compete on an individual basis. There are two 6-person heats of each event, and places 1-12 are awarded to the swimmers of each event. Places 1-6 receive plaques and places 7-12 receive ribbons.
Our team can enter a maximum of two swimmers per event, and each swimmer can enter a maximum of two events. The fastest swimmers who are available to swim are put in. We typically let the fastest swimmers (who often are the fastest in more than two events) choose which events they would like to swim, and go from there.
Any lanes not filled by a team are open to bid-in by the other teams. (There are no swim-ups in Divisionals.) Our team reps take a list of the available swimmers and their times to the divisionals seeding meeting, where the swimmer lists are finalized, and try to bid in as many as they can. Scratches the day of the meet also sometimes provide opportunities to swim for those present.

Why and when do you want to know if my swimmer is available to swim?
As a reminder, here's when we need to know about your swimmer and why, and how to contact us.
Meet availability declaration
You will receive reminders to declare your swimmer for meets in TeamUnify (go to the Events tab). For last-minute changes (after Monday noon for B meets, after Tuesday noon for A meets), see below for how to contact us.
Monday night meets (B meets)
Using the meet declaration function in the Events tab, please sign your child up for the Monday night meets by 12 noon Monday. We run the time cards Monday afternoon. It is much easier on the clerks of course (who designate the heats and lanes at the meet) to have all the time cards prior to the meet. 
You will also need to designate your child's stroke preferences. The coaches will solicit this information from your child at Monday morning practice. If your child does not attend the Monday morning practice, indicate your child's strokes in the Note field when you declare availability on the Events tab, or by emailing us at villagewestvikings@gmail.com. 
If your child is not signed up in advance of a Monday night meet, we may still be able to fit them in, but there is no guarantee. For entries after the deadline, please call Amy Meli at 703 395-2817 home. If you don't reach her, or if you are already at the pool, please check in with the coaches ASAP to get a manual time card.
Saturday morning meets
Please input your swimmer's availability for a Saturday meet as soon as possible, but no later than Tuesday noon. Even if your child is not a strong swimmer or has never swum in an A meet before, always enter your swimmer's availability, because the faster swimmers may be absent or may be assigned to swim other strokes.
We need to know Saturday swimmer availability by Tuesday noon because the coaches need to choose the swimmers Tuesday afternoon in order to verify the information with parents and then exchange swimmer lists with the opposing pool on Thursday. Once that exchange takes place on Thursday, we are limited in the substitutions we can make, and we cannot switch swimmers from one event to another. It becomes a real juggling act to try to fill all our lanes when we have last-minute cancellations.
When you receive the draft meet entries on Wednesday, please look carefully to see if your child is swimming and what your child is swimming, and let us know ASAP if there are any issues. Again, we are limited in what we can fix after Thursday evening.
Obviously, if your child falls ill or there is some other unexpected event, just let us know as soon as you are able. Whenever possible, we will substitute a swimmer, and sometimes that means contacting someone Friday evening or even Saturday morning to see if they can swim.
For Saturday meet changes after Tuesday noon but before Friday, you can email villagewestvikings@gmail.com, talk to the coaches, or call Jen Guernsey at 703 912 9242 or 703 887 6485. If you are notifying us of your swimmer's absence on Friday or on Saturday morning, please either talk to the coaches directly or call Jen.

What is a DQ, and why did my child get one?
A DQ (short for disqualification) is any violation of the rules observed by an appropriate official. In any meet, there are four Stroke and Turn judges, two from each team. These judges have been specially trained in NVSL rules and stroke mechanics. Their judgment is then certified by the referee. The swimmer is ALWAYS given the benefit of the doubt.
In addition to the Stroke and Turn judges, there are two relay take-off judges situated by the ends of the pool where relay swimmers will take off. These judges take note of swimmers who leave the side of the pool before their incoming teammate has touched the wall. Again, the swimmers receive the benefit of the doubt, and both judges must agree that the take-off was early.
Some of the more common reasons for DQing are:

Freestyle:

Failure to touch the wall at the turning end of the pool

 

Walking on the bottom or pulling on the lane lines

 

Exiting the pool before swimming the specified distance

Backstroke:

Past vertical towards the breast (i.e., not fully on back) at any time except during a flip turn

 

Leaving the wall after a turn past vertical towards the breast

 

Improper flip turn (older swimmers)

Breaststroke:

Incorrect kick, such as a scissor kick or flutter kick

 

Non-simultaneous two-hand touch or one-hand touch at turn or finish

 

Toes not pointed outward during the propulsive part of the kick

 

More than one stroke underwater with arms fully extended at start or turn

 

Arm recovery past waist except on first stroke after start or turn

 

Head didn't break surface by conclusion of second arm pull underwater after a start or turn

Butterfly:

Non-simultaneous or one-handed wall touch at the turn or finish

 

Non-simultaneous leg movement during kicks

 

Arms don't break water surface during recovery (judged at the elbows)

 

Non-simultaneous arm movement during recovery

Relay Races:

A swimmer leaves the deck before the previous swimmer touches the wall or deck

False Start:

A swimmer starts the race early. The rules require all swimmers to assume a starting position after the Starter gives the command “Take your mark”, then remain motionless until the starting signal is given.

When stroke-and-turn judges observe a violation, they raise their hand to signify that they have observed a violation, and then write up a DQ slip. The judge then takes the slip to the referee, who questions the judge to verify the rules violation and ensure that the judge was in the proper position to observe the infraction. The referee then gives one copy of the DQ slip to the team rep and another copy to the table workers. Another clue that a DQ has occurred is a stroke-and-turn judge writing and a longer-than-normal pause (often the announcer will put on music) between events.
Disqualifications for early relay takeoffs are done slightly differently. The referee receives all the take-off slips from all the judges. If both judges on a lane agree that an early takeoff occurred, the referee will stand over the lane that the team being DQ’d swam in and raise his hand.
Your child will probably know about a DQ before you do since the team rep tells the coach, who then tells the swimmer. The coach will also use this information at subsequent practices to help your child work towards swimming a legal stroke.
If your swimmer finished with one of the top three times but isn't announced later as one of the winners of the event, it is likely because your swimmer DQ’d. DQs are also indicated in the official meet results, which are posted at the pool after the meet, as well as on the NVSL web site www.mynvsl.com.

Ribbons
What do the ribbons mean?
Place ribbons (1st through 6th): This is the place your child earned in the particular heat of a particular event. The places do not always correspond to the order in which kids touched the wall. Swimmers who are disqualified and swimmers who are swimming unofficially (at Relay Carnival) do not get places. In addition, in mixed heats (only at B meets), in which different events are run at the same time, each event is placed separately, so if you have a mixed heat of three 9-10 boys and three 9-10 girls, the three boys will get places 1/2/3 and the three girls will get their own places 1/2/3. 
Personal Best ribbons: These are awarded when the swimmer's time in that event was their best yet for the season. These ribbons show their time and also how much time they dropped.
Competitor ribbons: These ribbons are issued to swimmers who swam in a B meet but were disqualified (marked with a DQ under the time). Competitor ribbons are NOT issued for DQs at A meets.
If you have any questions about ribbons or something on your ribbons seems amiss, contact the team reps or the data guru.

Why did my child get a competitor ribbon instead of a place ribbon?
We issue competitor ribbons when a swimmer DQ’d. Competitor ribbons are also given to Little Vikings who manage a supported exhibition swim across the pool.

What do I do if my child did not get a ribbon for his/her event?
Contact a team rep. Note that swimmers who DQ in A meets do not receive a ribbon.

What do I do if my child’s ribbon is wrong?
Particularly in B meets, the places do not always correspond to the order in which kids touched the wall. Swimmers who disqualify do not get places. In addition, in mixed heats, each event is placed separately, so if you have a mixed heat of three boys and three girls, the three boys will get places 1/2/3 and the three girls will get their own places 1/2/3. If you have a question about ribbons or think your child’s ribbon is incorrect, talk to a team rep.

Volunteering
How do I sign up to volunteer?
You can sign up to volunteer for an event through the Events tab. On the Volunteer tab, you will see links to the signups for the various meets and other events throughout the season.

Do I have to volunteer?
This is kind of a trick question. We do not mandate a certain number of volunteer hours, collect volunteer fees, or anything of that sort. And we certainly understand that families juggling infants and preschoolers are much more constrained than families of teenagers. However, it takes approximately 45 adults to run a swim meet, in addition to the numerous other jobs that happen behind the scenes. With 12-14 meets a season, a Bagel Café, fundraisers, social events, Spirit Wear, and an end-of-year banquet, there are myriad volunteer slots that need to be filled. If you have not been volunteering, you WILL be drafted. It truly takes a village to run a swim team!
P.S. Volunteering is actually a lot of fun – you get involved, get to know other families, and enjoy your time at the meets and practices much more because you are engaged and understand better what is going on.

Do I need training to volunteer?
For most jobs, no training is required other than a few minutes of instruction when you start the job. For some jobs, training and/or experience is recommended; for others, training is required. For a description of volunteer jobs and training requirements, to go the Volunteer tab on the website. Jobs that require training are denoted as such on the volunteer signup.

What are the various volunteer jobs?
The job descriptions are provided under the Volunteer tab on the website.

Contact us
I need to talk to the coaches. How can I contact them?
Please do not talk to the coaches during practice or meets unless absolutely necessary. They are busy keeping their eyes on dozens of kids and should not be distracted. If you have a concern for the coaches, catch them after practice or send an email to the head coach,
Emily Pope, at
popeev@mymail.vcu.edu. If you think the team reps should be apprised, copy villagewestvikings@gmail.com.

I need to talk to the team reps. How can I contact them?
Email villagewestvikings@gmail.com or talk to a team rep at practice. If you have an urgent matter, call or text Amy Meli at 703-395-2817.