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GNOAC

The GNOAC (Greater Northwest Ohio Aquatic Conference) was formed in 1971 to provide a formal organization for competition among swimming teams from small communities in Northwest Ohio. The current members of the conference are Bowling Green, Bryan, DAYS, Napoleon, Ottawa, and Wauseon. GNOAC competition consists of dual meets held between teams during June and July, ending with a conference championship (Champs) in which all the teams compete, held in mid-July.

Dual Meets: GNOAC dual meets are normally 3 hours in length. The swimming meets begin in late afternoon. Parents are responsible for arranging for the transportation of their children to and from meets held in other cities.

General Information: 88 events are run with one heat of each event for boys and girls in each age grouping. The distances for strokes range from 25 yards to 100 yards depending on age, up to a 200 or 500 free and 100/200 IM depending on age. Ribbons are awarded for all places (up to 8th) finishing a legal swim. Limiting events and distances allows visiting teams to return home at a reasonable hour. However, this may limit the number of events an athlete swims in a meet, since all swimmers in an age group will swim approximately the same number of events. Athletes will swim no more than 5 events, but depending upon the number of competitors in an age group, athletes may swim as few as 2 events. Therefore, it is very important to attend every dual meet, home and away, to give an individual swimmer an opportunity to swim every event during the course of the season. Coaches may agree before the meet to add exhibition heats to give more athletes an opportunity to compete. However, time concerns will limit these.

Home dual meets: Home dual meets are held at BG City Park Pool. Warm-ups for the swimming of the meet begin at 4:00 pm, and the swimming meet begins at 5:00 pm. Check the season schedule for the exact time of each meet. To operate BGSC home meets, it takes a minimum of 25 people for the swimming portion (16 timers, 1 head timer, 3-4 officials, 2 computer operators, 1 runner, 1 announcer). Typically, other than the officials, announcer and computer operators, we try and split the meets in 1.5 hour time slots instead of a whole meet. Therefore, parents need to volunteer for one of the many jobs. Grandparents, older siblings and friends are welcome to participate--this is a way to make the whole family feel a part of the Club and to learn how to do one of them. Awards are completed after the meet (something for parents to do during practice). BGSC team members should stay in the designated team area so that coaches can find them before events. Volunteers who can work at the meet should report to the announcer’s table during warmups. It is important that people who are not working stay away from the deck area behind the starting blocks. The coaches will supervise athletes as they prepare for and finish swimming events. The facility is open during the meet except for the competition pool.

GNOAC Championship Meet (Champs): The swimming portion of the GNOAC Championship meet is held on a weekend in mid-July. The host pool is on a rotating basis. Preliminary heats for each event are swum in the morning, and consolation/final heats are swum in the late afternoon/evening. The 8 and Unders swim timed final events that are all scheduled on Saturday morning. Medals are awarded for the 1st through 6th places in each event, and ribbons are awarded for the 7th through 12th places. This is a meet in which the team standing is very important. A traveling trophy is awarded to the 2 teams with the highest total points. Also, age-group awards recognize the teams whose members score the highest number of points within their own age group. The graduating members of each team are recognized by the GNOAC. Each team may enter a maximum of 4 swimmers in an event. The 4th place swimmer can swim in prelims, but not finals. Each swimmer may compete in only 5 events. A swimmer must compete in 2 dual meets during the season to qualify to compete in the championship meet. Usually, the swimmers who swim for BGSC are those who have the 3 fastest times in the event as determined by performance during the dual meets. This rule is excepted if one of the three fastest has already been assigned 5 events. The coaches will determine the events in which each athlete will compete. The coaching staff tries to swim every athlete in Champs. In order to accomplish this goal, younger swimmers may swim events (often relays) in older age groups (“swimming up”). In making such decisions, the coaches consider the strengths of the athlete so that he or she can be placed in the best position to have a successful Champs experience and to score points for the team. The Lee Relay is the last (unscored) event in which a male and female swimmer from each age group completes 25 or 50 yards to honor the memory of former BGSC swimmer and coach, Kurt Lee. The event recognizes team spirit and sportsmanship that is the goal of the GNOAC.

Champs Week:This is the week before the swimming Championship meet. During this week, the swimming routine is changed slightly--watch for schedules and other tips in the newsletter and the coaches’ emails. The swimmers should rest and will not swim as many yards as earlier in the season, i.e., taper. Attention should be paid to nutrition; special carbo-loading menus should be followed. The countdown is on! The parents’ picnic, the team picnic and poster session, and psych night arouse everyone’s enthusiasm for the Championship meet to come on the weekend.