Frequently Asked Questions
Dual Meet? SSL? What's it all mean?
The Loomis Basin Dolphin Swim team is a member of the Suburban Swim League (SSL). There are 6 other swim teams included in the league (Broadstone Barracudas, College Greens Gators, El Dorado Tazmanian Devils, Folsom Sea Otters, Park Terrace Penguins and Sierra Sharks). We swim against each team once, during the regular season. These swim meets are referred to as "dual " meets. At the end of the season, all 7 teams come together for a three-day Championship series during which time all 7 teams compete simultaneously.
How do I figure out what age group my child swims in?
Age group is determined by the child's age on June 15th of the current year.
Age Group Full ? What does that mean and why does it matter ?
The Suburban Swim League organizes it's events by age group and sex (i.e. 7-8 year old girls, 7-8 year old boys, etc.). Each team within the league limits the number of swimmers in each group so that each swimmer gets the opportunity to swim more than one event in a meet. For this reason, it is conceivable that the Dolphins may still have "openings" in one age group (i.e. 15 -18 year old boys) but be "closed" in another age group (i.e. 9-10 year old girls). Swimmers who were on the team the previous year are offered an "Early Bird" opportunity to sign-up again the next year so as to guarantee that they do not get bumped by a new swimmer.
Evaluations? New Swimmers? What do we do? Why do this ?
All new swimmers wishing to join the team are required to participate in a new swimmer evaluation first. The purpose of this evaluation is to ensure that the new swimmer is water safe. If a particular age group has more swimmers wishing to join the team than there are spaces available, siblings of current team members are given first consideration, provided they are water safe. Any remaining open slots will be given to those swimmers who, in the judgment of the coaches are considered to be the best swimmers.
Coaches? Who are they? What if I want to talk to them?
Check out the Coaches page for information on this year's coaches.
All Dolphin swimmers who have been on the team for at least 3 years and are at least 16 years old are eligible to compete for the Associate Coach positions that we have available each year. The Associate Coaches assist the Head and Assistant Coaches in a variety of roles.
The coaches are more than happy to talk with you, but please… not during practices or swim meets. You can leave a note in their 'mailbox', addressing specific issues, or asking to set up a time to meet. They will either call you or reply with a message left in your mailbox. If your question is more general in nature, start by asking your age group rep or any of the other board members. Board members will be on the pool deck during practice times, and at swim meets.
Mailboxes? Bulletin Boards? Where? What for?
During practice and at each of the swim meets, you will find light blue file boxes on the ground in the spectator area under the team bulletin boards. These are family mailboxes and there is a file folder for each family. It is very important that you or your swimmer check this box each day before you leave the pool. If you are in a carpool, make sure the driver checks the bulletin board and your mailbox for you. The mailboxes are a critical means for getting information to you in a timely way. You will also find in the folders, colored tabs for Board Members and Coaches. If you need to communicate with them, feel free to leave a note in their folders.
Practice? Check-in? What happens? Do I need to say while my child is practicing?
Swimmers need to arrive at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start of their practice session. Upon arrival at the pool, your swimmer needs to 'Check-in' so that there is a record of their attendance at each practice. The check-in process is quite simple. The check-in coordinator (usually a Board Member) can be found sitting in a chair next to the Del Oro pool-side office with the check-in binder. Your swimmer simply walks up to that individual and tells them their name and age. If someone else is ahead of them, have them wait in line until it is their turn.
Different age groups swim at different times. See the schedule for practice times. During the month of May, practices begin in the afternoon. Once school gets out, practice times expand and shift to include the morning hours. Occasionally, we are required to move/adjust times. We'll give you as much notice as we can and will use the Poolside Bulletin Boards and/or the Swimmers Family Mailboxes to communicate the details.
In general, there is no reason for you to have to stay during practice. You are, of course, free to do so if you would like. If you do stay, it is imperative that you remain off of the pool deck (i.e. the area immediately around the pool). The best place to watch practice is from the bleachers just outside of the inner pool fence. If your child is young and new to the team, you may want to stay for the first few practices so that the coaches can call on you in the unlikely event that they need your assistance.
Can my child practice at a time other than their established age group practice time?
Unless specifically requested or approved by the coaches, you are required to keep your child in their pre-established age group. In this way, the coaches are able to ensure that each practice session focuses on the skills and techniques appropriate for that group. This policy also eliminates the possibility of over-crowded practice sessions. Occasionally, a swimmer may be asked by the coach to practice with a different group (usually a more advanced group) so as to better matches their skills with the techniques being taught. If this applies to your swimmer, one of the coaches will contact you to suggest the change.
Time Trials? What is this for?
The purpose of time trials is to establish a baseline time for each swimmer in each event. The coaches use this baseline to determine the placement order of individual swimmers during the first swim meet. The coaches also use this time to establish individual improvement goals for each swimmer. Time trials also serves as an excellent practice run to allow new families to see how a swim meet is run and to learn the specifics of whatever job they have signed up to help with. Bottom line... it is critical that you and your swimmer attend Time Trials held on a Saturday in May.
Check-in? First Meet? What do we do?
Please refer to driving directions for away meets and plan accordingly. The check-in time for each meet will be posted on the pool deck several days before the meet. As soon as you arrive at the pool, your swimmer MUST first check-in at the check-in table (usually located near the entrance to the pool or for away meets in the visiting team's setup area). Once you are checked in, find the Dolphin's team area
(known as the "lagoon") and locate the area designated for your age group (there will be visible markers). Setup your tarp and sleeping bag, etc. and wait until your age group is called for warm-ups. If you have not checked in by the end of the scheduled check-in period (usually 7:45 a.m.), YOU WILL BE SCRATCHED FROM THE ENTIRE SWIM MEET!
What does it mean to be scratched from the swim meet?
If you sign-up to attend a swim meet and then do not show up, you force the team officials into a last-minute process known as a scratch session in order to remove you from the meet. This is a very serious infraction with significant consequences (both short term and long term) and every effort should be made to avoid having this happen to your swimmer. When a swimmer does not show up for a meet in which they have signed up for, each event in which that swimmer was schedule to swim in must be rearranged. Because of complicated eligibility rules, if these events include a Relay, it is possible that the other three swimmers scheduled to swim in the relay will not be able to swim.
A swimmer who misses a swim meet in which they are signed up for, without first informing either their age group representative or another LBD board member, prior to the end of the swim meet's check-in period will be ineligible to swim in the next swim meet. A repeat offense will result in the dismissal of the swimmer from the swim team. Review the information in the section "SWIM MEET PROCEDURES" in the Loomis Basin Dolphins Swimmer's Handbook for more details.
Signed up for a Meet but can't attend after all? Last minute illness? What do we do?
Contact your age group representative, as soon as possible and let them know so that the meet sheets can be changed and your swimmer can be replaced. Failure to do this will result in your swimmer being ineligible to swim in the next swim meet. Even if you swimmer wakes up ill the morning of the swim meet you still MUST notify a team official during the check-in period that your swimmer will not be swimming. First try you age group representative and if not available contact LBD President at the number listed on our Contact Us page. Review the information in the section "SWIM MEET PROCEDURES" in the Loomis Basin Dolphins Swimmer's Handbook for more details.
Meet sign-up? What do I need to do and why?
At least two weeks before a swim meet, there will be sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board at the Del Oro swimming pool with all the age groups, their names and the date and location of the meet. Parents must initial this sheet next to their swimmer's name if they are or are not going to participate in the meet. These sheets will be taken down the Monday before a meet. The coaches take this information and make up the meet sheets assigning those available swimmers to their races. It is imperative that parents indicate with either a 'YES' or 'NO" for every swim meet.
Events? How do I find out what event my child is in on Saturday? Event Numbers?
The coaches will try to post the meet sheets on a bulletin board in the spectator area of the pool at a practice prior to Saturday's meet - (Thursday or Friday) but this is not often possible. In that case, the
meet sheets will be posted in the team area at the meet. Also note that the events posted at the beginning of the meet are subject to change. The swimmers need to check the bulletin board after the "scratch session". It is possible they may be added to an event if another swimmer is absent. Please realize that there are specific Suburban Swim League rules that limit the number of events that a swimmer can swim during any one meet. These rules are in place to help ensure that all swimmers participate in a swim meet. Each event has an event number.
Meet warm- up? What does the swimmer do after warm-up? Where do they go to race?
Warm-up occurs before the meet begins, and all swimmers participate. Swimmers are asked to stay in the lagoon after warm-ups so that the Lagoon Helper can find them when it is time for their event. If they are not where they belong (in the lagoon), they might miss their race. Even trips to the snack bar should be gauged so that it is long before their race. The Lagoon Helper will tell the swimmers (those entered in this event) to get ready. A the appropriate time, an age group helper will take the younger swimmers over to the ready bench. The Ready Bench Helper will tell them when it is time to move to the pool. When asked to move to the pool, the swimmer should go to their lane and be ready to swim. The Swim Meet Starter will announce each event by event number. When a swimmer's event is called, the swimmer should move to the starting blocks. A "Clerk of the Course" will verify that each swimmer is at the correct block. The Starter will instruct the swimmers to begin the race.
Sleeping bag? What else to bring?
At each meet the swimmers are expected to stay in the team area. Since the team areas are simply large areas of open field or grass (often still wet from the morning dew), it is necessary to bring something to sit on and have some way to keep warm after warm-ups and each race. Shade is essential (pop-up or tent). A tarp and an old sleeping bag are ideal. Two towels are a must as well. Folding chairs, snacks, games, and books are important as well. Label everything (including the towels) and encourage your swimmer to keep their things together in a bag.
Behavior at a meet?
Sportsmanlike conduct is expected at all times. This applies to how swimmers treat their own teammates as well as behavior towards the other team. Roughhousing, rudeness and violence of any nature will not be tolerated. If you witness any misbehavior and it is not stopping, involve the age group representative ASAP.
The race is over, why do they need to hurry when getting out of the water?
Swimmers are asked to get out of the water as soon as the last swimmer finishes so the meet can progress swiftly. There are 95 events (often with 3 or more heats per event). A fifteen second delay at the end of each heat can literally add more than an hour to the swim meet! During a relay, the swimmer must get out of the water as soon as they have touched the wall. Failure to do so is cause for disqualification by the stroke and turn officials.
Panic? Swimmer is scared and won't finish the race?
In most cases let the coaches handle the problem. They will encourage the swimmer to complete the event, thereby allowing your swimmer the satisfaction that comes from the finish. Normally when a swimmer is in the water it is best to allow the coaches the chance to solve any problem before getting involved. They will call you if they need your help. Your young swimmer will gain confidence faster if you allow the coaches to do their job.
Parent/Guardian Work Responsibilities? Why?
You may recall a large list of jobs to choose from on the Work Commitment form that you had to turn in as part of the registration process. It takes a lot of parents, volunteering their time in order to run an efficient meet. It takes a total of 36 parents (spread over two shifts and two teams) just to handle the timing for a 6 lane pool. It is important that you show up, on time, for any job that you have signed up for. The chairperson for each of the jobs that you have signed up for will contact you to give you the schedule for the rest of the season as well as the names/numbers of everyone else who has volunteered to work that job. Occasionally we get more people signing up for a position that needs help. Occasionally, you may get double-booked. We do our best to avoid this, but if it does happen, please contact one of the chairpersons to let them know ASAP. If for any reason, you are unable to work a scheduled job, please take the initiative on your own to contact someone else from the work list to replace you, then let the chairperson know of the change. As a last resort, if you can't find a replacement, contact the chairperson.
Can we leave a meet early?
The coaches have specifically requested that if you know ahead of time that you will need to leave a meet early, they would prefer that you designate "NO" on the meet sign-up sheet and not show up at all. If a last minute need arises that requires that you leave a meet before the last race, you must inform your age group representative ASAP. If is critical that you DON'T LEAVE until all of the events your swimmer has been entered into are done. It is especially important to verify that you swimmer has not been entered into the Free Relay (which is the last event of the swim meet). Missing a relay leaves three other swimmer unable to compete and is grounds for being disqualified from the next swim meet. Even if you swimmer finishes early in the meet, it is always nice to stay and cheer on other swimmers, it makes the Team more of a Team. Any swimmer age 6 & Under can leave when backstroke is over. This is due to the fact that all 6 & Under events are over after backstroke. Always clean your area before you leave.
Scoring? How are the meets scored?
Swim meets use a cumulative point scoring system... the team with the most points wins! During the dual meets, points are scored only in the first heat and only by the first three swimmers to finish. Second and subsequent heats within an event do not affect the scoring, however ribbons are awarded to ALL swimmers who participate. Points are awarded as follows: Individual Events 1st = 5 points, 2nd = 3 points, 3rd = 1 point. Relays 1st = 7 points, 2nd = 3 points, 3rd = 1 point. Age does not factor into scoring.
All swimmers are awarded ribbons, regardless of which heat and what place they come in. The back of the ribbon will record the date, event, heat, your swimmers time and what place they finished in the heat. They will be placed in your mailbox and will be available at the next practice session.
Picture Day and Ice Cream Social? What is it? What do we need to do?
On a designated practice day, there will be professional pictures taken of the team and individual swimmers. All swimmers must be in attendance for the team picture. After the pictures are taken, all of the swimmers and their families will be treated to an ice cream! As always, we can use your help to keep the swimmers flowing through the pictures or scooping ice cream!
Fun Night? What is it? What do we do?
Towards the end of the season, there will be a BBQ at the pool and then water games for the entire family. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, towels, suits etc. Check the bulletin board and your mailbox for more information.
Camping Trip? Family? Where?
This is a social event at a nearby campground each year. We reserve campsites and assign two families to each campsite. Each family pays a fee for the campsite and brings their own camping gear, food, etc. This is a very popular team event and a great way to meet other families in a more relaxed setting. Watch the bulletin board for sign-ups. Check the Schedule for the date.
At the end of the season, all eight teams in the league meet at Sierra College to have a final Championship event. Championships is VERY different from a normal dual swim meet. There is even a fun "Team Spirit" parade that all of the swimmers participate in.
Championships? Do we have to participate?
The coaches encourage each swimmer to participate in Championships. This is their last chance to demonstrate what they have learned through the season and to help their team win bragging rights for the next season. Your registration fees, paid at the beginning of the season already include the fees associated with Championships. But take note: there is a league rule that states that a swimmer is required to have competed in at least three of the first five regular season swims meets, in order to qualify for championships. In addition, a swimmer can only participate in an event which they have a qualifying time, i.e. they have swam the event at one of the dual meets or time trials. If you have a valid excuse, (i.e. extended illness, etc.) as to why you were unable to participated in three meets, you can obtain a waiver form for submittal to the League. The league does not consider conflicts due to other sports activities to be a valid reason for a waiver.
End of the Season Party? What and Where?
The purpose of our End of Season Party is to acknowledge the accomplishments of our individual swimmers and to elect board members for the next season. It is held shortly after Championships. Everyone brings a picnic if they wish. After we eat, the coaches will present awards to all swimmers. Any medal, ribbons, etc. earned at Championships will be passed out at that time. We also use this time to ask families to complete a simple survey so as to provide feedback of what they liked about the season and to solicit ideas for how to improve our processes and help make the team even better next year.
Are there any restrictions regarding swimming during the "off-season" (August - April)?
YES! The Suburban Swim League (SSL) is a 'recreational' swim team. As such, there are specific rules associated with how much organized swimming your swimmer can participate in during the off-season. The Suburban Swim League's policy with "off season" swimming is as follows: You need to stop swimming on a year-round team or any other swim program by January 31st in order to swim on our team in May of that year.