1. HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO JOIN? We have boys and girls on the team from ages 4-18. Boys compete against boys only and girls compete against girls only in each age group. The age groups are 6 and under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18.
2. DO YOU HAVE TO SWIM WELL BEFORE JOINING? No, you can join as a novice swimmer; however, you must be able to swim one full length (25 meters) of the pool without stopping by the first swim meet using the freestyle stroke or receive special permission from the coach/coordinator to be on the team. The coaching staff will guide all swimmers with conditioning and learning correct strokes, kicks, and turns. The swimmer should be very comfortable in the water, know how to float, and be able to put their face in the water. If the swimmer is not able to swim one full length of the pool by the first meet or cannot participate as needed in practices, then there will be a review with the coach, committee, and parent to discuss the swimmer's options. In the event the decision is not to continue, a partial refund of registration fees will be provided.
3. HOW DO I SIGN UP? We offer safe, secure online registration. Just click the registration link above.
4. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Team membership costs $100.00 for the first swimmer in the family and then $95.00 for the second, $90 for the third and so on. This fee covers coaching salaries, Harford Swim League and Belcamp Recreation Council Fees, pool use fees, lifeguard fees, equipment maintenance, awards, and our end of season party. We are not a private, profit-making entity like most teams in the HSL.
5. WHAT TIME COMMITMENT IS INVOLVED FOR THE SWIMMER? Practices will be four days per week for approximately one hour per day from Memorial Day until meets start in mid-June. Practices will be held in the evenings until school ends, and then they will be held in the mornings. There will be two sessions of practices each day, one for the youngers swimmers and one for the older swimmers. After the meets start in June (once school is out), practices will be held four days per week with meets held almost every Wednesday night and Saturday morning. Regular meets will run through mid-July. The following weekend will be championships. Saturday of Championships is open to everyone, and Sunday of Championships is open only to the top swimmers in the League.
6. WHAT TIME COMMITMENT IS EXPECTED OF THE PARENT? The parents are expected to get their swimmers to and from practice on time. The coaches start promptly, and, if you child is late, he/she will miss the beginning instructions. At meets, we need help lining the swimmers up for their races, timing the races, handing out ribbons, helping with the concession stand, and cleaning up after our home meets. We need a miminum of 20 volunteers for each home meet and 15 for away meets. We try to get more so that our times only have to time half of the meet. There will be a volunteer sign up and schedule.
7. WHAT IS THE BEST FORM OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARENTS AND COACHES AND COORDINATOR? We have a large tote that has a folder for each swim family. Swimmers' ribbons from the meets will be placed in this mailbox. To communicate, email, the website, and our Facebook page work best.
8. WHAT DOES A MEET CONSIST OF? First, both teams will arrive about an hour before the meet starts. The swimmer will be responsible for obtaining the list of events he/she will swim for that meet. These list will be posted at the meet and may be sent out ahead of time. Each team warms up for about 20 minutes. The meet starts with the youngest age group and then progresses to the oldest age group. Girls swim each event first, and then the boys follow. For instance, 8 and under girls' 25-meter freestyle will be first, and then 8 and under boys' 25-meter freestyle will follow. Then we move to 9-10 girls, then 9-10 boys. The meet takes anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. There are individual events and also relays that the swimmers may compete in. Each swimmer is allowed to swim in up to 4 different events at each meet, either 3 individual events and 1 relay or 2 individual events and 2 relays. The coaching staff will use their best judgment to set the line-ups for the different events with the hopes of scoring th emost points.
9. WHAT IS A SCRATCH SHEET? If you are unable to attend a swim meet, you need to let the coaching staff know at least one week in advance. That is when they start working on the line-ups for the next meet. Removing your child from an event allows room for another child to swim. Also, the coaches need to try to get the best swimmers possible into each event so the team scores as many points as possible. There will be scratch sheets posted at practices (in the mailbox), and you may scratch via an email to the coordinator.
10. WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED? There is a team swimsuit and team cap with may be purchased. Each swimmer will also need goggles (along with a back-up pair) and a towel. It is suggested that each swimmer bring clothes to wear while not swimming, a chair, and a small amount of cash for the concession stand.