Atlantic CityAquatic Club

Coaching Staff

Head Coach; Platinum & Orange Coach:  David Wakeley

David Wakeley has been involved with the ACAC as either the Gold or Platinum level coach for 9 years and brings great excitement and enthusiasm to our swimming program.  Within the last 6 years, many of the swimmers under his tutelage have achieved levels of participation in the following events:  Junior Olympics, MA Zone Team, Top Sixteen, Sectionals.  He has also served 3 years as a MA Zone coach and Head MA Zone coach in the summer of 2007.  He has earned a reputation as a stickler for stroke mechanic detail and is a true student of the coaching profession.  He will leave no stone unturned to encourage our swimmers to improve at every level of their development.

Coach Dave graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from BucknellUniversityand brings his scientific, technical bent to his coaching.  He competed on the colleges swim and water polo teams and has achieved many swimming awards including the following:  Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior 200 Butterfly school records, Freshman Medley Relay school record (he swam butterfly),


Gold Coach:  Dimitar Petrov

Coach Dimitar has been coaching for the ACAC since the fall of 2005.  Under Dimitar's training, many of the Silver Group's swimmers have reached Junior Olympic qualifying times and have become winners at the MA Mini Championship.  Currently, Coach Dimitar works with our Gold Group swimmers who are at top Junior Olympic levels and have successfully competed in the 2007 Eastern Zone competition.

In the past, Coach Dimitar trained the junior and intermediate level swimming groups for Ocean City, NJ C-Cerpance.  He is from Bulgaria, where he spent most of his swimming career.  As a swimmer, he has achieved the following awards:  World Champion of Marathon Swimming (1996), World Master Champion (1998), 4th place at US Nationals-25K (1998), 5th place and 15 NCAA Division II All-American titles (2000-2003), 7th place at European Championship SCM(1989), Bulgarian National Record Holder (1988-93), and ranked as World Top 50 (1988).


Silver Coach: Ryan Gaskill

Coach Ryan has been working with our Bronze group since 2006, but he will be training our Silver swimming group in the fall of 2008.  He is a graduate of EastCarolinaUniversity, with a BS degree in history and teaches history at the Atlantic CityHigh School.  From 2004-2006 Ryan was an assistant coach with the Jersey Pleasantville Aquatic Club.  He also helped head up the “learn to swim” program for the Pleasantville Public Schools.  Along with coaching for the Atlantic City Aquatic Club, he also is an assistant girls coach for the Atlantic CityHigh Schoolswim team since 2007.


Bronze  & Minnows Coach: Erin Grant

Erinstarted instructing our Learn-to-Swim program the summer of 2008 and has done a wonderful job.  We will continue to have her on board teaching the Minnows and, starting the fall of 2008, she will be one of our Bronze group coaches.




Bronze  & Minnows Coach: Katie Sawers

Katie assisted her sister Erin in our Learn-to-Swim program the summer of 2008 and her valuable help and expertise has helped to make this new program a success.  She will continue to teach the Minnows and will also be one of our Bronze group coaches starting the fall of 2008.




Minnows Coach: Dante Braxton

Dante has greatly contributed at our Martin Luther King pool site and developed many of our finest young swimmers. He has participated in USA Swimming’s Outreach Coaching Program at the USOCTrainingCenterin Colorado.  He will join us at the ACHS pool in the fall of 2008 as one of our Minnows group coaches.



Atlantic CityAquatic Club
Contact Information





Head Coach (Platinum & Orange)

David Wakeley

H(601) 910-1917 C(862) 324-3662

Group Coach (Gold)

Dimitar Petrov

(609) 742-1515

Group Coach (Silver)

Ryan Gaskill

(609) 992-9771

Group Coach (Bronze)

Erin Grant

(609) 347-1303

Group Coach (Bronze)

Katie Sawers

(609) 347-1303

Group Coach (Minnows)

Erin Grant

(609) 347-1303

Group Coach (Minnows)

Katie Sawers

Group Coach (Minnows)

Dante Braxton


H(609) 348-0331 C(609) 385-6269

Interim Executive Board: Email: Phone:
President – Angela Cox H(609) 344-2807 C(609) 377-1434
Vice President – Lori Jackson C(609) 816-9018
Secretary – Linda Wakeley H(609) 910-1917 C(609) 576-4976
Treasurer – Chris Barber  H(609) 347-6269  C(609) 442-9304
Platinum Representative –    
Gold Representative – Steve Greenleaf   C(609) 703-5534 
Silver Representative – Beverly Foy H(609) 345-8382   C(609) 665-7195
Bronze Representative – Jessica Estlow H(609) 266-0926  H(609) 266-0926
Head Coach – David Wakeley H(609) 910-1917    C(862) 324-3662  W(609)485-7773


Welcome to the Atlantic CityAquatic Club.  We are pleased that you have chosen to be a part of our 2008-2009 ACAC swim team.  It is our hope that your swimmer(s) will have the satisfaction of setting and achieving goals, that swimming for ACAC will be a lot of fun (as well as hard work), and that the character developed in the pool will extend into their lives beyond their experience on our team.  This handbook explains our basic policies.  Please go over it with your swimmer(s), sign the form in the back indicating that you and your child(ren) have read this handbook and will abide by our policies and code of conduct, and return it to any of the Executive Board members as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact us with questions, concerns, and general feedback at any time during the season.  We welcome

you input.

In 1998 the Atlantic City Aquatic Club became AtlanticCounty’s first year round USA Swimming program in the area.  We owe this achievement to our previous coach, Sid Cassidy.  Since that time, we have taken great pride in following our mission statement and striving to obtain our primary objectives.  ACAC is a place “where swimmers achieve, with every stroke.”

Atlantic CityAquatic Club MissionStatement:
“Providing young people with a positive direction in life through excellence in aquatics.”

Primary Objectives:

·        Encourage youngsters to commit to the concept of teamwork and to build strength and character
·        Provide a graduated program that will allow swimmers to reach for the highest successes and accomplish them
·        Inform, educate, and encourage parents and swimmers to become active supporters of our club philosophy
·        Utilize all local pools and open water to allow for a maximum number of young people to participate at every level
·        Reach out to urban communities and provide swimming as a healthy outlet for youngsters of all backgrounds and cultures
·        Advocate water safety to all members of our swim team and the local community
·        Promote and acknowledge the accomplishments of our young athletes through local media and special ceremonies

USA Swimming
(USA-S) was established by Congress as the National Governing Body for competitive swimming in the United States. USA-S is a federation member of the international governing body of swimming, the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA).

The website for USA Swimming is

Middle Atlantic Swimming is an administrative arm of USA Swimming -- called a Local Swimming Committee (LSC), which supervises competitive swimming within established geographic boundaries. There are 59 LSCs in the United States.

The Middle Atlantic LSC includes New Jersey, south of Mercer and Monmouth Counties; Delaware; and Pennsylvania, east of and including Potter, Clinton, Centre, Huntingdon, and Bedford Counties.

The website for Middle Atlantic is

Middle Atlantic Swimming is part of the Eastern Zone of the US, which includes 11 other LSCs: Allegheny Mt. (Eastern PA); Niagara, Adirondack, and Metropolitan (NY); Maryland; Virginia; Potomac Valley; New Jersey; Connecticut; New England; and Maine. All four Zones (Eastern, Southern, Central, and Western) conduct All Star competitions and Sectional Meets for teams within their Zone.

Atlantic City Aquatic Club is a USA Swimming club participating in Middle Atlantic Swimming LSC.  The website for ACAC is


It is very important to communicate with Board Members and Coaches of the club.  There are many forms of communication in place within our team:

  • E-mail – See ACAC Contacts on page 3 of this handbook.

  • Suggestion Box – The suggestion box has been set up at the pool near the mail boxes located right outside the pool area.

  • ACAC Website – The ACAC website will have updated information about practice times, cancellations, and any important information or announcements, as well as the latest swimmers’ information (

  • Voice Messaging System – Periodically, you will receive automated voice messages on your phone from ACAC that will convey important announcements.  Please make sure ACAC has your latest contact information that includes the best phone number to use for you to receive these messages.

  • Bulletin Board – Near the mail boxes we have a bulletin board right outside the pool area.  Please check the bulletin board as often as possible for information.

  • Mail Boxes – Each membership family will have a mail box just outside the pool area.  Please check your mail box as often as possible for important announcement handouts and also for any ribbons your child has earned during a recent meet.

From time to time parents/guardians may find themselves in disagreement with the methods or philosophies of their child’s coach, the board of directors, or even have conflicts among themselves.  This is further complicated when these parents discuss their grievances with other parents rather than talking directly with the person with whom they are at odds. This leads to numerous problems that include team disunity, unfounded gossip and rumors within and beyond the swim team, and a general atmosphere of disgruntled negativity.  These situations can and should be avoided.  Here are a few suggestions that can be followed:

· If you disagree with your swimmer’s coach, please remind yourself that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart.  You will maintain a good relationship with your child’s coach as long as you keep in mind that he/she has the same goals for your child as you do.

· Please be reminded that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your swimmer with the needs of the team or training group that can range in size from 10-50 members.  On occasion, an individual child's interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group.  In the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short term inconvenience.

· If your child swims for an assistant coach, always discuss your concerns first with that coach.  If the assistant coach cannot satisfactorily resolve the matter, then ask that the head coach join the dialogue as a third party.

· If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about a coach, board member, another parent, or team policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the partly with whom they have a grievance.  He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem.

Each membership family is required to participate in fundraising at least once every season, and it is to your advantage that you participate in as many as possible.  Of the funds you collect in a fundraising activity, 60% will go to ACAC to offset expenses such as pool rental, coach’s salaries, and equipment for the swimmers, and 40% will go towards your family’s Meet Fees Bank.  These monies can only go towards your family’s swim meet fees. 

Each Atlantic City Aquatic Club membership family is required to establish a Meet Fees Bank (escrow account) for meets.  This account will be opened with a minimum of $50.00 per family.  Every time a swimmer is signed up for a meet, the entry fee will be removed from their Meet Fees Bank.  If an account falls below $10.00, the swimmer will not be entered into a swim meet.  This account will be required for all families.  No swimmer will be entered in a meet without this account being activated.  Please make a separate check saying “Meet Fees Bank” in the memo section, with your registration.

Should a swimmer leave the team, the original $50. deposited into the Meet Fees Bank will be refunded.

Swim practice times are posted on our website and copies are distributed at the pool.  Please check the website often to take note of any changes in the schedule.  Swimmers are arranged according to groups depending on their age, ability level, commitment to attending practices, and maturity.  The group that your swimmer is assigned to is determined by the coaching staff.  The swim levels within ACAC are as follows:  Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  PLEASE NOTE:  No swimmer will be allowed to participate in practices until they havecompleted a registration form and submitted the appropriate fee payment.

Practice at Martin Luther King Middle School Pool:  There will be times during the course of the swim season when the ACHS pool will be closed to our use because of high school swim meets or basketball games/tournaments.  When this occurs, practices for all groups will be moved to the Martin Luther King Middle School pool in Atlantic City.  A schedule for these practices will be posted on the ACAC website.

ACAC offers a learn-to-swim program called the Minnows.  Group sizes are limited to 12 swimmers.  Minimum age is 4 years old.  Instruction is 3 times per week for 4 weeks (12 total hours).  Upon completion of instruction, if the swimmer shows readiness, the swimmers will be invited to join the Bronze level swimming group of Atlantic City Aquatic Club.  

Parents/Guardians:  Please note that you are allowed to watch practices/lessons from the balcony.  However, no parent is allowed to be on deck during practices/lessons (for insurance reasons).  In addition, please refrain from talking to the coaches/instructors during practices/lessons.  The coaches/instructors must pay attention to the swimmers in the pool.  If you have a question or concern, we request that you contact the coach/instructor outside of practice/lesson times.

It is the expectation that all swimmers attend a set number of practices as determined by the coaching staff.  The minimum number of times a swimmer must practice per week are as follows:  Bronze—2x;Silver—3x; Gold— 5x; Orange—5x; Platinum—6x.

Swimmers need to arrive 10 minutes before practice times and 30 minutes before warm-ups for all swim meets.  They should be on deck with their equipment and ready to swim at the start of the scheduled practice time.  Swimmers are to remain for the duration of practice and will complete all sets during the practice sessions.  Proper workout habits will be monitored at all times.  Swimmers and parents/guardians are asked to please respect these rules and plan accordingly.

Regular attendance is very important.  Although our athletes establish and work towards success within their own individual goals, ACAC practices and competes as a team.  Regular attendance demonstrates an athlete’s respect for the team, the coaches, and his or her own goals.  Still, swimmers will complain from time to time about the hard work outs, and given our society’s current craze for packed schedules and early athletic specialization, you will hear about “burnout.”  First of all, ACAC does not believe that swimming needs to be our athletes’ only focus.  Second of all, commitment to training hard does not, in and of itself, lead to burn out.  As stated by Coach Michael Brooks of North Baltimore Aquatics Club:

For every one case of ‘burnout’ caused by a swimmer’s spending too much time in the water and working too hard, we still see a hundred cases of ‘pre-emptive burnout’:  in order not to be burned out, the swimmer comes to practice only when she feels like it, doesn’t work out very hard, skips team meets with regularity, and generally makes no commitment to the program or to the sport. Not surprisingly, the swimmer swims slow, makes little or no improvement, and sees her formerly slower competitors whiz right by her.  Then we wonder why she ‘just can’t get jazzed about swimming.’

In short, “To achieve great things, first show up every day!”

Finally, discipline and commitment are good things, not things we should downplay, hide, apologize for, or stop demanding just because they may be unpopular.

 (Please refer to the article, “What Does It Mean to Be Part of a Team?” in the Appendix of this handbook for more information.)

Please try to not to schedule vacations or breaks during the season not only for the reasons stated above, but because this disrupts the training process.  If a vacation must occur during the swim season, please let your swimmer’s coach know so that he/she can help make arrangements for your child to continue his or her training at another USA swim program while away.

Swim meets are mandatory for all ACAC swimmers.  Entries will be submitted at the beginning of each season, and all swimmers will be entered in events selected by the coaching staff.  This is done because it is very competitive to get in to the Middle Atlantic swimming competitions and many times, if we do not get our entries submitted early enough, our athletes get shut out of the meets. The ACAC’s swim meet schedule is posted on our website (, and the bulletin boards outside the pool area.

Please Note:  Mini-Meets are open to the 8 & under age group only.  All other meets (A/BB/C) are intended for 9-10's, 11-12's, 13-14's, and Senior’s.  Eligibility to compete in a particular age group is determined by the swimmer's age on the first day of the meet.

ACAC attends many meets during the course of the Fall/Winter season, as well as the Spring/Summer season.  Each of these meets provides the swimmer with a number of opportunities.  Bonding with fellow team mates, competing with fellow age group swimmers, as well as performing championship cut times, demonstrating positive character and good sportsmanship are among these opportunities. 

As indicated above, meets are mandatory for all ACAC swimmers.  We understand, however, that sometimes conflicts do occur.  If you are aware that your swimmer will not be able to attend a swim meet at the beginning of the season, please notify their swim coach immediately so that entry fees are not submitted.  However, if the coaching staff is not notified in time and your child is entered in a meet that he/she cannot attend, the meet fees will not be refunded to your meet fees bank.              

If something should come up during the course of the season that prevents your child from participating in a meet in which he/she is already entered, we ask that parents/guardians inform their swimmer’s coach as soon as possible.  Again, meet fees cannot be refunded.

Meet information and general announcements will be posted on both our ACAC website ( and the bulletin board outside the pool area throughout the year.

The Middle Atlantic website ( is another source for meet information.   We encourage all parents/guardians to visit this site as frequently as possible.

Attitude and commitment, as well as age and athletic skill, play an important role in determining to which training group the swimmer will be assigned.  The coaches spend a large amount of time and energy evaluating each swimmer.  We understand that athletes perform best when they are in high spirits.  It is our goal to ensure the swimmer’s continued happiness and growth. 

If a coach feels that a swimmer is eligible to move into a higher level group, he/she will discuss the transition with the parents and the swimmer before the group change.  Here is a list of the criteria coaches consider when determining a swimmer’s possible transition into a higher level:

· The swimmer displays a commitment to training and to the ACAC program.

· The swimmer maintains a positive attitude and the maturity to handle the increased expectations of a higher level swimmer.

· The swimmer meets the attendance requirements of their current training group.

· The swimmer is able to maintain the base intervals typically used at the next

level training group.

· The swimmer exhibits proficiency in stroke mechanics and the abilities required of their current training group.

· The swimmer is close in age and skill of the next training level to ensure he/she will fit in with this new peer group.

The following is a list of standards that each swimmer must meet in order to transition into an upper level training group:


· Must be 12 years old or be invited

· Must average 6 practices a week for a sustained period of time

· Displays maturity:  exemplary respect for coaches and fellow athletes in and out of pool, punctuality, demonstrate pace clock management skills as well as a sense of personal interval and distance swimming pace

· Performance: 20 x 100Free @ 1:30, 10 X 100IM @ 1:50

· Must be able to do all four strokes legally for 100 yards

· Must have A times to be considered

· Must have distance event experience i.e. 400m, 500, 800m, 1000, 1500m,

1650Free and/or 400IM

  • Interview with Platinum coach


· Must be older than 9 years old or turn 9 by that season championships.

· Must average 5 practices a week and have exemplary meet attendance.  9 and 10 year olds start with 4 practices per week

· Performance: 20 x 100Free @ 1:50, 8 X 100 IM on 2:15

· Must be able to do all four strokes legally for 50 yards in practice

· Must have BB times to be considered

· Must have distance event experience i.e. 200 IM, 400/500 Free


  • Must be 8 years old or older

  • Must be able to swim a complete lap of each stroke: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly

  • Performance: 10 X 50 Free on 1:30


  • Must be able to swim a complete lap (25 meters) free

  • Must be able to kick a complete lap (25 meters) of free kick

PLEASE NOTE:   ACAC reserves the right, if circumstances warrant, to move an athlete to a more appropriate training group.


Because ACAC believes that swimmers, regardless of their age, need to demonstrate respect for themselves, their teammates, and their coaches, both at practices and meets, we have implemented a formal “Code of Conduct” policy.  This is located in the Appendix.   Please read this to your swimmer, sign the contract and return it to an ACAC Executive Board member.  Swimmers will not be able to participate on the swim team until these contracts are turned in.

Hopefully this team handbook will answer most of your questions.  However, in order to further assist you with any questions or needs, each swimming group has an elected parent representative on the team’s Executive Board (see list of Executive Board members on page 3 of this handbook) These volunteers have made themselves accessible to you to help in any way that they can.  Please feel free to approach them with your questions.


SWIMMEETS:  ACAC team suits and caps (if your hair falls below your eyes) MUST be worn at all dual meets that occur during the spring and summer swimming season.  Swimmers who qualify for USA Swimming championship meets may choose to buy and wear Fastskins (or the equivalent), but the suits may be worn only at the championship meets.

PRACTICE:  Training attire must be worn for practices.  Girls should wear the standard competitive swimsuit.  Boys must wear one of three suits: a standard training or “workout brief,” a Jammer, or a traditional “Speedo.”  Drag suits for both sexes are also permissible.  It is recommended that you purchase practice suits that are 100% nylon or 100% polyester as these fabrics are able to withstand the harsh pool chemicals more than other suits.  Suggested brands are Dolphins/Ugglies, Speedo Endurance, etc.  At present, swim caps may be purchased from the Executive Board members, and a date will be scheduled for swim team suit (spring/summer season) and apparel fitting and ordering.  It is our hope to set up an ACAC Swim Shop where assorted swimming gear will be available for purchase.  This, however, is still in the planning stages.  In the mean time we suggest the following vendor for your needs:  Metro Swim Shop (1221 Valley Road Stirling, NJ 07980, Number:  908-647-8121, Toll Free Number: 800-526-8788, E-mail: , Website: ) provides one of the most complete selections of swimming merchandise at competitive prices in the area. 

Water bottles are required for practice and for meets.  Dehydration is the primary reason for cramps and fatigue.  A swimmer loses six to eight ounces of fluid every fifteen minutes.  It is very important to rehydrate, to drink during practice, and to rehydrate afterwards.  We also recommend deck sandals for locker room passage and meets.  Chamois towels are practical and do not take up a lot of room in swim bags or backpacks.

Coaches may require additional gear such as fins, snorkels, pull buoys, paddles, or kick boards for practice/workout purposes.  Check with your swimmer’s coach to find out what they will need.  Equipment bags are also useful for you swimmer to carry all of his/her gear.

General safety rules will be enforced strictly on deck, in the locker rooms, and throughout the facility.  Most notably:  Swimmers are not allowed in the water or on the racing blocks without permission and staff supervision.  Diving is restricted to the deep end and always must be supervised by ACAC staff members.  Horseplay in the locker rooms will not be tolerated.  The floors can be slippery, especially when they are wet. We ask that parents of swimmers who are not cooperating to please monitor the locker rooms to assist with correcting the problem.  Please remember to turn off the showers when finished and to treat both the locker rooms and our facilities with respect.

Parents, friends, and guests are welcome to watch practice from the balcony, but please do not bring food or drink (other than water) into the pool or balcony area.


SOCIAL EVENTS:  ACAC will strive to organize several non-swimming get-togethers/events such as Movie Night, Bowling, and an end of year picnic.  Information will be sent home and posted on the ACAC website at a later date.

BANQUET:  There will be an ACAC Awards Banquet at the conclusion of the Fall/Winter season.  Information for this event will be sent home and posted on the ACAC website at a later date.

USA TRANSFERS:  Swimmers from other USA clubs switching to ACAC must have a transfer form completed before they can practice.  There are no exceptions to this rule.

LIGHTNING & PRACTICE:  The ACAC pool is grounded and therefore safe during thunder and lightning—but our policy is to take all swimmers out of the water at the sight of lightening and close the pool.

MINOR MODEL RELEASE FORM:  From time to time ACAC will photograph swimmers at swim meets or other team activities.  These photos are placed on the website for all to enjoy.  Please take a moment to fill out this form located in the appendix of this handbook and return it to any board member, such as your group representative, as soon as possible.

It is our hope that this swim season will bring much enjoyment and satisfaction for a job well done to your family and our team.  With hard work and commitment, our swimmers will achieve their goals and grow in strength and character as they participate in a united swimming program.  GO ACAC!!!


“What Does It Mean to Be Part Of A Team?”

Written by: John Leonard

ASCA On-line.  Available:

To become a part of a team is a privilege. Few people ever get the wonderful opportunity to experience the support of teammates and friends in the crucible of the competitive arena.  A team lifts and elevates the performance of an individual to heights never before achieved.  Each individual must also recognize his/her responsibility to the team.

A team is a collection of individuals who have chosen to pursue one or more common goals. One of these goals, by tacit agreement of all concerned, is the improvement of each individual, which can result in improvement of the team performance. This is true in swimming.  We compete individually, but preparation for competition is best accomplished in a team environment.  No individual can create this environment for excellence on his/her own.  It takes a team.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. If an individual wishes to benefit from the team, they must give to the team. Successful teams nurture the individual, and expect the individual to respond by also nurturing the team. Individual sacrifices on behalf of the team are just as much a part of the team environment as team accommodation of the individual.

The most successful teams have some characteristics in common in terms of accommodating the needs of individuals:

1) They demand adherence to the core values of the team. Outside these core values, they allow freedom of individual expression. But the core values are absolute, and not to be modified or bent for the individual.

2) They recognize that not every individual’s every need can be met, but they bend over backwards to accommodate the most importantneeds of each individual.

3) They react positively to the idea in action that each individual first takes care of their own responsibilities, then assists others in their needs.

Individuals on successful teams also have some common characteristics:

1) They give back.  If they want to be cheered for, they cheer for teammates.  If they need special attention, they provide special attention to others.

2) They recognize that the fastest swimmer and the slowest swimmer on any team have unique responsibilities. The team will go no higher than the fastest, and will be limited by the efforts of the slowest. The individuals put special effort into assisting each to maximize their potential.

3) They know that rules do not make teams, but traditions based on what it takes to achieve group goals do make a team. The individual recognizes the power of peer pressure when the object is right behavior.

4) Individuals recognize that a rising tide lifts all the boats, and that it is better to make the pie bigger than to fight for their small piece of the pie.

TEAM has been described as "Together Everyone Achieves More".  Anyone who has been on a good team, will agree with that acronym.

If you are on a good team, be thankful. If you are not, what are you doing to create a good team from the one you are on today?

"The Team Takes Care of Me, and I Take Care of The Team"

"Each member of a team has a responsibility to be better today, than they were yesterday, as an athlete, and as a person. That's how teams get better."

"On our team, the fastest guys help the slower guys every day. Then when the meet comes around the slower guys do better, but they also cheer so hard for the fast guys that they'd bust a gut."

"Team means together. We do a lot of things outside the pool together. When you know your teammates as people, it makes it a lot easier to support them when it counts."

"A team is knowing other people care about you."

"We all commit easier to group goals than we do to our own.  We want to not let anyone else down....why else do we swim faster on relays than in individual events?"

"I love my team, because they give me so much. I get to follow five other fast women in practice each day, and that makes me faster. I get to spend time with five other fine women outside of practice, and that shows me how to solve problems and be a better person than I could ever manage on my own. What's not to love? I gotta give it back, and repay my debts."

"Its more fun on a team."

"Teams double the pleasure and half the pain."

"I know people who think swimming is an individual sport. They've never tried practicing alone."

"Swim teams are like families. It ain't always pretty, but it's much more rewarding to be in one."




“Swim Meet Etiquette”


Special Correspondent

USA  Swimming On-line.  Available:

Etiquette.  It’s a word you’ve probably heard only when your grandmother reminds you not to dig into your hearty serving of Thanksgiving turkey until everyone has been served.  However, etiquette is a word that every swimmer should know.  After all, just as there are etiquette rules at your grandmother’s dinner table, there are etiquette rules for swimming, both in practice and at meets. Following these simple guidelines will help you (and your teammates) get the most out of the upcoming championship season.

Meet Etiquette

  • Arrive on time.  Get to a meet early enough to settle down into a ‘spot’ with your team and be ready with your cap and goggles on when the warm-up session starts.  Meet warm-ups are often short and crowded, so it’s important to be on time.

  • Be prepared.  It is best to know what events you are swimming BEFORE warm-up.  This way, you can practice the appropriate starts, turns and sprints in the warm-up.  Also, make sure that you have everything you need – towels, swimsuit, water bottle, cap and goggles

  • Sit with your teammates and cheer.  Swim meets are the best time to get to know your teammates and build team spirit.  It is also easier for your coach and teammates (relay members) to find you if they need you. 

  • Stay positive.  If you have a bad swim, or you don’t want to swim the events you’re entered in, get over it and just do your best.  In her Road to Athens Journal, recently published on USA Swimming’s web site, Mary DeScenza writes, “Sometimes your coach puts you in an event you do not like. You just have to do your best and not complain.”

  • Bring plenty of drinks and snacks.   Know how much water you will need (about 8 ounces per event) and be prepared.  Bring light snacks to munch on, such as fruit, goldfish or string cheese.  You don’t want to be buying Skittles from the concession stand. 

  • Realize that relays are just as important as your individual events (if not more so).  Give it your all and help pump up your teammates (no matter which relay you’re on).  Swim in the relay order your coach gave you, and HAVE FUN!  Also, stay and cheer on your team until your last teammate is out of the water.

  • Talk to your coach and cool down after every event.  Make sure that you see your coach after each event to get input on your race.  And if you have time, cool down between events until your heart rate is below 100.  Cooling down will make a huge difference in your body’s ability to recover for future races.

  • Respect the meet officials.  Remember that these are volunteers who want to see you get the most out of swimming.  Go so far as to thank the person who DQ’d you for helping you to improve. 

  • Clean up ALL of your mess.  It is important to leave your area just as you found it.  Throw away your empty bottles and Power Bar wrappers.  If your teammates left a mess, go ahead and pick it up.  That’s what teammates are for!

See, etiquette is not just some stuffy word your grandmother uses.  Following these basic rules of etiquette will ensure that you and your teammates enjoy each and every meet.  So next time you see grandmother, tell her you practice etiquette at swimming all the time – She’ll be impressed.

“Nutrition and Hydration Are Important”

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Competitive swimmers need more energy than athletes in almost any other sport. Delivering peak performance throughout a long season is not easy. It takes plenty of practice, backed by solid nutrition that provides energy and endurance. This section will help you understand how the foods and fluids a swimmer consumes affect their performance.

Swimmers should take a balanced approach to nutrition. June Kloubec of the Health and Exercise Science Department at Gustavus College in Minnesota says there are no bad foods, just bad choices. Fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water are all major nutrients that must work together to regulate the body.

Carbohydrates: Used as fuel for intense exercise

  • During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, an important energy source used by muscles during exercise. Glucose can be used by your body immediately or stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, readily available as fuel for activity at a future time. Endurance is related to the amount of glycogen or fuel stored in your muscles. The greater the amount of glycogen, the longer a body can delay the onset of exhaustion.

  • Active swimmers should consume from 60-65% of daily calories in carb-rich foods. Male and female swimmers have different caloric requirements due to the difference in their metabolic processes. 6 to 7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight should be considered. However, these figures are only approximations, since requirements reflect age, sex, body size and the duration and intensity of daily practice and schedules

Examples of High-Carbohydrate Foods Moderate or Low in Fat

Food                                                                      Calorie                                 Carbs

Apple, Medium                                                81                                  21

Grapes, 1 cup                                                 58                                  16

Strawberry Yogurt                                           257                                43

Peas, cooked, 1 cup                                        110                                19

Applesauce, ½ cup                                          97                                 26

Banana, medium                                              105                                27

Corn, ½ cup                                                   88                                 21

Baked Potato, large                                         139                                32

Raisins, 2/3 cup                                              300                                79

Whole Wheat Bread, slice                                 61                                  11

Corn Bread, 1 piece                                         198                                29

Macaroni & Cheese                                         217                                 31

Noodles, egg, 1 cup                                        178                                 33

Cheese Pizza, one piece                                  153                                  18

Rice, 1 cup                                                   205                                  45

White Toast, 1 slice                                       64                                    12

Corn Tortilla, 6” diameter                                67                                    13

Spaghetti w/ Tomato Sauce, 1 cup                 179                                    34

Protein: Builds and maintains muscle tissue, enzymes, hormones and antibodies

  • The primary purpose of proteins is to repair and build muscle tissue, but they can also supply small amounts of energy for muscular contraction.

  • Recommended daily protein is between 20-25% of total calories or .7 to .8 grams per pound of body weight.

  • Recommended proteins include lean meats, eggs and beans.

Fat: Carries vitamins through the body and serves as a minor energy source

  • According to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, fats make up about 38% of the daily calories in a typical American diet, which is close to twice the amount needed for health and performance.

  • Swimmers should limit the intake of fat to 15-20% of daily calories, or less than 80 grams. Avoid high fat foods such as fried food, salad dressings, butter, sweets and chips

  • Concentrate on unsaturated fats like vegetable oils, nuts and fish

Vitamins and Minerals: Essential for balancing body processes

  • Swimmers in training may need more than the recommended daily allowances of certain vitamins and minerals. However, their large caloric intakes will usually supply the extra vitamins and minerals they need.

  • Swimmers should make sure they are getting enough vitamin A, C and E

  • Muscle cramps? You might be lacking potassium and calcium

  • Female swimmers are susceptible to possible deficiencies of iron and calcium. They can increase their calcium intake with low fat or skim milk, yogurt or cheese. Additional iron can be found in lean meats, raisins, poultry, beans, whole grains or cereals

Fluids: 60% of body weight is water

  • Dehydration can be a problem in swimming, especially if the air and water temperatures are warm. Sweating is the body’s main mechanism for cooling itself; even though practice takes place in the water, a swimmer can still lose a great deal of body water in the form of sweat.  Dehydration robs the body of its primary means to cool itself and generate energy.

  • Cool, natural water is crucial to fluid replacement and is also needed to aid digestion and energy production. A good rule of thumb according to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute is to drink 2-8oz glasses of fluid for every pound of weight that is lost.

Swimmers Diet Recommendations

 Early Morning Pre-Workout:

Competitive swimmers often face early morning workouts due to pool scheduling and availability. One of the common concerns is what to do with breakfast. Athletes are advised to eat 2 to 3 hours before exercise to allow for the stomach to empty. However, many athletes do not want to eat before practice, as the food left in their stomach may cause nausea. Swimmers will simply forgo food before early practice but this habit of skipping a meal before exercise can lower their store of energy and impair a swimmers ability to train or compete.

Many swimmers can benefit from a 100-200 calorie carb and protein snack before practice and then eat breakfast once the workout is over. Try these suggestions:

  • A glass of orange juice and 2 pieces of toast

  • Half a bagel with peanut butter or cream cheese

  • A Banana with 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter

  •  Applesauce and 2 Graham Crackers

  • Trail mix with nuts or dried fruits

  • A low-fat yogurt

  • Granola bar or Energy Bar

  • A small bowl of cereal with low-fat milk

Recovery Strategies:

Once the workout is over, swimmers should try to eat a regular breakfast. To recover from the workout, both fluid and fuel must be available to the body. If the meal can be eaten within 30 minutes after the workout, then the body can start the recovery process and should be ready by the next practice to provide a quality workout. Swimmers should try some of the following breakfast suggestions:

  •  A bagel with peanut butter and a banana

  • A bowl of Oatmeal with raisins and nuts

  • Low-Fat yogurt, a banana and orange juice

  • A Waffle with syrup and low-fat milk

  • Three Pancakes with syrup and low-fat milk

  • One breakfast egg sandwich with ham and orange juice


In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, swimmers that tend to lose weight easily should also consider eating a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. These snacks should consist of nutritious carb-rich foods.

 Pre-Meet Meal:

Contrary to popular belief, the pre-meet meal does not usually provide very much energy for competition. That energy should already be stored in the swimmer’s muscles from carb-rich meals eaten during the previous 2-3 days.  The pre-competition meal is really a “mini-nutrition period” that should occur 4 to 5 hours before the start of the meet.  Most of the calories should come from easily digested carbohydrates or foods that are efficiently converted to energy. Swimmers should try to avoid heavily spiced foods or large amounts of fats and proteins. Some examples of foods rich in complex carbohydrates include:

  • Pasta

  • Cereals

  • Baked Potatoes

  • Muffins

  • Vegetables

  • Fruit Juices

  • Low-fat Yogurt

Regardless of the techniques or products you use in your swimming nutrition and hydration programs, use common sense and good judgment throughout the season. The following tips should help a swimmer achieve a safe and rewarding season:

  • Eat three balanced meals a day, including foods from all of the major food groups

  • Avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods and snacks such as chips, soft drinks, mayonnaise, candy bars, and desserts

  • Emphasize foods that are rich in complex carbohydrate-cereals, pasta, baked potatoes, muffins and vegetables

  • Make sure your snacks are nutritious and good sources of energy. Fresh fruits, juices and other nutritional beverages are good choices

  • Good nutrition is something a swimmer should apply every day throughout the season-not just the day before a meet.


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 Swim training is extremely demanding physically.  In order to produce top performances at meets, the body needs rest.  Before an important meet, a swimmer will go through a training phase known as a taper. This means a reduction of work and an increase in the amount of rest.  During the season, a coach will be very selective in deciding which meets to taper for.  Normally, a coach will not rest or taper a swimmer more than two times during the short course season.  Sometimes, a swimmer will only taper for the season-ending championship meet. 

 The hard training of practices conditions a swimmer, but also produces fatigue. When the training load is reduced, fatigue subsides more rapidly than fitness, therefore, performance is enhanced.  It is for this reason that a taper is employed in the run up to a major competition. 

 An important ingredient of an effective taper is the work that has gone into swimming before the taper even starts.  The work done during the season is like money placed in a bank; at the end of the season a swimmer can go to the bank and collect all of his/her money, with interest as the pay-off for the hard work done in season.  In other words, you have to have done enough work to have something to taper from.

The length of the tapering period is very important.  Tapering for a suitable period of time will help improve performance, but if the tapering period is too long, athletes will begin to lose fitness and their performances will suffer. If the tapering period is too short, swimmers will not be rested enough,  and the physiological changes that take place in the muscles during taper will not have been completed. 

 The tapering period is a challenging time for the coach.  There is no one right way, or magic formula for a taper and not every swimmer will respond to a taper in the same manner.  Some require shorter tapers than others.  Some can “hold a taper” longer than others.  Determining how long an individual swimmer needs to taper is often a trial and error process.  It is essential that swimmers communicate to the coach how they are feeling during a taper.  If swimmers do not “hit their taper” during an early season meet, there will probably be another chance to make adjustments before the championship meet. 

 There are many factors a coach must consider when planning a taper: age, gender, body type and the swimmer’s primary event.  Older swimmers require more rest than younger swimmers.  Men usually require more rest than women.   Muscular swimmers need more rest and peak performance in shorter events requires more rest than peak performances in longer events.

 For young age group swimmers, a true physical taper is not usually necessary.   In most cases, the muscle mass of young swimmers is not large enough to require a great deal of rest.  Additionally, young people have an abundance of energy and recuperate rapidly from the stresses of training.  A true taper is not usually productive for young age group swimmers because their day-to-day training is not as intensive as it would be for older swimmers.  For young age group swimmers, there is a greater emphasis on stroke work, drills and fun in the training sessions.   These swimmers will usually prepare for a big meet with 1-2 days off, or, just a few days of relative rest, reducing their work by 25 –50%.

 As swimmers get older and experience the growth spurts of adolescence (12 year old females and 13-14 year old males), tapering is introduced.  The taper period can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks.  During the taper, coaches will often include “broken swims” of race distance in their training sessions.  There will be an emphasis on stroke technique and starts and turns.  There will also be an emphasis on teaching strategy and pace, rather than physical training.  There may be a moderate amount of true, “all-out” sprints, of 25 yards or less, with complete recovery between each repetition. 

 During the course of the taper, all types of stress should be gradually reduced.  As the taper progresses, the amount of high stress work is decreased and the quality of performance is gradually improved.  For optimum performance, it is suggested that swimmers curtail their outside activities as much as possible.  Most swim coaches realize it is not always possible to skip a little league baseball, softball or soccer game during a taper.  However, the neighborhood football game and overnight slumber parties should be saved for another time. Ideally, you would like the swimmers to store up as much energy as possible for the swimming meet.  When the workload is reduced, there is a noticeable increase in the swimmer’s energy level.  Swimmers must resist the urge to use this extra energy before the competition.  Resting is an important part of the taper, and expending the energy will only defeat the purpose of the taper. 

The final aspect of a taper, and by far not the least, is the mental side.  Many swimmers may feel as if they are under stress at this time.  Sometimes too much motivation, too much anxiety for results, or, pressure from parents or coaches can come into play in a negative way.  Experiments have shown that it is possible to improve performance by sitting in a chair, relaxed, for five minutes a day, visualizing one’s self performing the “perfect race”.  It will help to visualize every aspect of the race including, strategy, stroke technique, the finish, and even feelings of nervousness.  Some of the most important things that a swimmer must do during a taper are to believe in themselves, their abilities and the work they have done over the course of the season. They must also believe in their coach as a professional, with their best interest always in mind.


By Rose Snyder

USA  Swimming On-line.  Available:

1. Thou shalt not impose your ambitions on thy child.

Remember that swimming is your child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at

different rates for each individual. Don’t judge your child’s progress based on the

performance of other athletes, and don’t push them based on what you think they should

be doing. The nice thing about swimming is that every person can strive to do their

personal best.

2. Thou shalt be supportive no matter what.

There is only one question to ask your child. “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices

are not fun, your child should not be forced to participate.

3. Thou shalt not coach your child.

You have taken your child to a professional coach, do not undermine that coach by trying

to coach your child on the side. Your job is to support, love, and hug your child no matter

what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer

advice on technique or race strategy. That is not your area. This will only serve to

confuse your child and prevent a swimmer/coach bond from forming.

4. Thou shalt only have positive things to say at a swimming meet.

If you are going to show up at a swimming meet, you should cheer and applaud, but

never criticize your child or the coach.

5. Thou shalt acknowledge thy child’s fears.

A first swimming meet, 500 free or 200 IM can be a stressful situation. It is totally

appropriate for your child to be scared. Don’t yell or belittle, just assure your child that

the coach would not have suggested the event if your child was not ready to compete in


6. Thou shalt not criticize the officials.

If you do not have the time or the desire to volunteer as an official, don’t criticize those

who are doing the best they can.

7. Honor thy child’s coach.

The bond between coach and swimmer is a special one, and one that contributes to your

child’s success as well as fun. Do not criticize the coach in the presence of your child, it

will only serve to hurt your child’s swimming.

8. Thou shalt not jump from team to team.

The water isn’t necessarily bluer at the other team’s pool. Every team has its own internal

problems, even teams that build champions. Children who switch from team to team are

often ostracized for a long time by the teammates they leave behind. More importantly,

swimmers who switch teams rarely do better than they did before they sought the bluer


9. Thy child shalt have goals besides winning.

Giving an honest effort regardless of the outcome, is much more important than winning.

One Olympian said, “My goal was to set a world record. Well, I did that, but someone

else did it too, just a little faster than I did. I achieved my goal and I lost. This does not

make me a failure, in fact, I am very proud of that swim.”

10. Thou shalt not expect thy child to become an Olympian.

There are 225,000 athletes in United States Swimming. There are only 52 spots available

for the Olympic Team every four years. Your child’s odds of becoming an Olympian are

1 in about 4,300. Swimming is much more than just the Olympics. Ask your coach why

he coaches. Chances are, he was not an Olympian, but still got enough out of swimming

that he wants to pass on his love of the sport to others. Swimming teaches self-discipline

and sportsmanship; it builds self-esteem and fitness; it provides lifelong friendships and

much more. Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far outweigh any medals

they may have won. Swimming builds good people and you should be happy your child

wants to participate.




Name of Photographer: __________________________________________________________

Date: ______________

Location Address: ______________________________________________________________

I hereby irrevocably authorize the above Photographer, Photographer's legal representatives, assigns, and those acting under Photographer's permission and on Photographer's authority, to copyright, publish, and use in all forms and media and manners for advertising, trade, promotion, exhibition, or any other lawful purpose whatsoever, any depictions of minor model made by Photographer or Photographer's representative, in which the minor may be included in whole or in part, alone or in conjunction with other persons, or composite or distorted in character, or form, or based on or involving any stunt poses, in conjunction with Model's own or a fictitious name, or reproductions thereof in color or otherwise, or in derivative works made through any medium, where said depictions may include any or all of still, single, multiple or moving photographic images or pictures, video recordings or audio recordings (collectively hereafter the "Depictions.")

I hereby waive any right to inspect or approve the finished product or advertising or other copy that may be used in connection therewith or the use to which they may be applied. Model and Parent hereby affirm that all poses, positions and situations enacted in the Depictions covered in this release were entered into without force, coercion, or threat whatsoever I hereby warrant that I am of full age and have every right to contract for the minor in the above regard. I state further that I have read the above authorization, release, and agreement, prior to its execution, and that I am fully familiar with the contents thereof. This release shall be binding upon the minor and me, and our respective heirs, legal representatives, and assigns.

Minor’s Name ………………………………………………….............................................................

Father, Mother or Guardian Name……………………………………………..………….....................

Address …………………………………………………………………………………………….…........

Father, Mother or Guardian Signature …………………………………………..Date …………….….

Signature of Photographer ……………………………………...........................Date ………………..


 Whereas the Atlantic City Aquatic Club is established to promote the sport of swimming and in the process help to develop the character of the individual swimmer, whereas for the orderly operation of  ACAC certain rules and regulations and procedures for enforcing the same must be established, whereas it is the expressed intention of ACAC to set forth procedures that will aid in identifying behavior the club finds undesirable and define a process for addressing an alleged occurrence, therefore, be it resolved that the following shall be the Disciplinary Code and Procedures:

This Disciplinary Code shall apply to all behavior occurring during an activity or function that is associated with ACAC including but not limited to swim practice, swim meets, team trips, team outings or individual group outings and addresses objectionable behavior by members of the ACAC Program occurring outside of club activities as well.


The type of objectionable behavior shall be divided into two (2) classifications:

Class I      

      Shall deal with behavior that is considered very severe and disruptive, having a detrimental effect on one’s self, other members of the team, coaches, or the general public: causes significant damage to the reputation of the club or its coaches, and/or is in direct violation of governmental laws. These are actions so detrimental that it is not desirable to have such a person associated with the team.

Class II

Shall deal with behavior that is somewhat disruptive; does not portray the ACAC in a good light: and other actions that are not in compliance for good behavior as a member or a team or society in general.

Class I Objectionable Behavior

Description: Unacceptable behavior, including but not limited to possession, sale or distribution of illegal drugs, possession, sale or distribution of alcohol, conviction of a felony, actions that result in severe bodily injury of any person, as well as acts of theft or significant vandalism regardless of whether at a club activity or not. This includes functions such as practices or meets.

Disciplinary Procedure:

·       The Board shall send notice of hearing to parent/guardian and swimmer via certified mail.

·       A committee of three Board members will be chosen to participate in a hearing

·       The hearing will be held among the Board President or designee, the committee, the parent/guardian and the swimmer with the Head Coach serving in an advisory capacity.

·       The President and committee’s decision on the outcome will be mailed within one week via certified mail.

Recommended Discipline:

The discipline may result in membership termination of the swimmer or other action as determined by the Board and coaches.

A suspension from the team may be incurred for a period of thirty or sixty days during which time the swimmer may not attend any ACAC functions. These days may extend from one season to the next. However, during the period of suspension, all dues and fees must be paid and the swimmer will be reinstated to the team until all of their financial obligations are met.

During all investigations into allegation of Class I offenses, involving the questioning or interviewing of the subject swimmer, a parent/guardian of such swimmer shall be present.

Class II Objectionable Behavior

Description:  Unacceptable behavior at ACAC practices, competitions, and team functions that include but are not limited to: minor vandalism, being disruptive in practices or meets, abusive or profane language or behavior, insubordination of the members of the coaching staff, chaperones or others, littering, and other acts of misconduct as determined by the coaching staff.

Disciplinary Procedure:

·       Handled by the coaching staff (Parents will be involved if anticipated discipline will result in suspension)

Recommended Discipline:

As determined by the coaching staff including but not limited to extra laps, clean-up duties, suspension from practice and or meets. Repeated Class II offenses may result in the offense being considered a Class I Objectionable Behavior and subject to the penalties set forth.

 Atlantic City Aquatic Club Swim Team Contract


      Swim team members are expected to: 

·       Respect coaches, teammates, competitors, parents, and staff

·       Support and encourage teammates at practices and meets

·       Build and enhance team spirit

·       Be ready and on the deck for practices and meets

·       Maintain a positive attitude:

-     Accepting assigned practices without complaining

-     Refrain from being disruptive or using inappropriate language

-     Show good sportsmanship

·       Meet and possibly exceed the minimum attendance requirement for their level

·       Train to the best of their ability

Atlantic City Aquatic Club Acknowledgement of Receipt of Handbook and Contract

We, the __________________ family, acknowledge receipt of the ACAC Handbook and Team Contract. We have read the handbook, understood its contents and have explained and discussed the rules and guidelines for the team. Furthermore, we have read the Team Contract, recognize our obligation to the team as outlines in the document, and will to the best of our ability, and abide by its rules.

While this contract is not legally binding, we understand that by signing it we are agreeing to the above points and we are committing ourselves to the ACAC Swim Team in good faith. We, the coaches and Board members, recognize that the handbook and matters contained herein, while intending to be all-encompassing, may need revision and will be subject to periodic review and updating. Such updates will be posted and forwarded to all team members.

_______________________                   __________________

Swimmer’s Signature                                       Date

______________________                  ___________________

Parent/Guardian Signature                                Date



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"A" - Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Motivational Standard "A." "A" time is faster than the "BB" time standard and slower than the "AA" time standard.

"AA" - Time classification for a swimmer.  Faster than "A" time standard.

"AAA" - Time classification for a swimmer.  Faster than the "AA" time standard.

"AAAA" - Time classification for a swimmer.  Faster than the "AAA" time standard. This is the fastest time standard listed on the NAGT chart. Times faster than this are approaching National Reportable Times or Top 16 Times consideration.

A-Meet - Swim meet which requires swimmers to have previously achieved an "A" time standard in the events they wish to enter.

A-B Meet - Swim meet that offers separate competition for both "A" swimmers and "B" swimmers, usually with medals for the "A" swimmers and ribbons for the "B" swimmers. Swimmers compete in separate brackets against other swimmers of their own ability. Usually only "A" swimmers can score individual event team points.   NT (no time) entries are not accepted in A-B meets.

A-B-C - Swim meet similar to the A-B meet except that there are 3 divisions. This type of meet includes every ability level of swimmer from novice to very experienced. All swimmers "A" time or faster compete in the "A" division, and all swimmers "C" and down compete in the "C" division. The "B" division is the most limited with both top (slower than "A") and bottom (faster than "C") limitations.

Add Up Aggregate Time - Times achieved by 4 swimmers in individual events which are added together to arrive at a provable relay entry time.

Age Group - Division of swimmers according to age.  Some LSC's have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations: (i.e.) 8-under, 13-Over, 15-Over, Junior, Senior. 

Age Group Swimming - The program through which USA swimming provides fair and open competition for its younger members.  Nationally recognized age groups are 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18

Alternate - In a Prelims/Finals meet, after the finalists are decided, the next two fastest swimmers other than the finalists are designated as alternates. The faster of the 2 is first alternate and the next being second alternate. If a finalist cannot participate, the alternates are called to take their place, often on a moment's notice.

Anchor - The final swimmer in a relay.

Approved Meet - Swim meets conducted by organizations (other than USS member clubs or LSC's) that have applied to USS or the local LSC for approval. If approval is granted, swimmers may use times achieved as USS qualifying times. A USS official must be present at all sessions of the meet.  Approval does not mean Sanctioned.  Example:  Delaware High School State Championships

ASCA- The American Swim Coaches' Association. The professional organization for swim coaches throughout the nation: certifies coaches and offers many services for coaches' education and career advancement.

"B" - Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard "B." "B" time is faster than the "C" time standard and slower than the "BB" time standard. See the NAGT published chart.

"BB" - Time classification for a swimmer. National Age Group Time Standard "BB." "BB" time is faster than the "B" time standard and slower than the "A" time standard. See the NAGT published chart.

B-Meet - Swim meet which requires swimmers to have previously achieved a "B" time standard in the events they wish to enter. Some meets have no bottom cut time, allowing "C" swimmers also to compete.

B-C Meet - Swim meet that offers separate competition for both "B" swimmers and "C" swimmers, usually with ribbons for the "B" swimmers and smaller ribbons for the "C" swimmers. Swimmers compete in separate brackets against other swimmers of their own ability. Swimmers are not allowed to enter an event that they have an "A" time in.

Backstroke - One of the 4 competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is swum as the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the Individual Medley (I.M.).  Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)

Banner - A team sign that is displayed at swim meets. Banners are usually made from nylon material and carry the Team Logo and possibly the name of a popular team sponsor. Some size restrictions are enforced at certain meets.

Beep - The starting sound from an electronic, computerized timing system.

Blocks - The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.

Bonus Heat - The heat held during the finals session of a Prelims/Finals meet, that is slower than the swimmers participating in the Championship finals. The Bonus Heat may refer to Consolation Finals or an extra heat in addition to Consolation finals.

Bonus Event - At certain meets with qualifying times, a swimmer may enter a restricted number of events for which they do not meet the qualifying time standard.  For example, at the Speedo Championships (Sectionals) swimmers qualifying in one event may swim a second “bonus” event for which they are not qualified. 

Bottom - The floor of the pool. Bottom depths are usually marked on the walls or sides of the pool.

Breaststroke - One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is swum as the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the Individual Medley (I.M.).  Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd breast)

Bulkhead - A moveable wall, constructed to divide a pool into different courses, such as a 50 meter pool into two 25 yard courses.

Butterfly - One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed FLY) is swum as the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the Individual Medley.  Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, and 200 yds/mtr (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd fly)

Button - The manual Timing System stopping device that records a back-up time in case the touch pad malfunctioned. The button is at the end of a wire, plugged into a deck terminal box.  It is the timer's responsibility to push the button as the swimmer finishes the race.

Camp - A swimming function offered by USS, your LSC, or a USS coach. There are many types of camps for just about every level of swimmer. When selecting a camp, ask for your coaches' advice as to what will be the best for the swimmer, or call USS swimming for details on the many camps they offer.

Cap - The latex, silicone or lycra covering worn on the head of swimmers. The colors and team logos adorning these caps are limitless. National Caps, State Team Caps, award caps, plain practice caps, etc.

Carbohydrates - The main source of food energy used by athletes. Refer to a nutritional manual for more information.

Championship Meet - The meet held at the end of a season. Qualification times are usually necessary to enter meet.

Championship Finals - The top 6,8 or 10 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals; the fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held.

Check-In - The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded meet. Sometimes referred to as positive check in, the swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.

Circle Swimming - Performed by staying to the right of the center line when swimming to enable more swimmers to safely swim in each lane.

Clerk of Course - Retains names of all swimmers in all events including relay swimmers in the order in which they swim; swimmers must report to the “clerk of course” as soon as their event is called.

Clinic - A scheduled meeting for the purpose of instruction, i.e., Officials' clinic, Coaches' clinic.

Closed Competition - Swim meet which is open only to the members of an organization or group.

Club - A registered swim team that is a dues-paying member of USS and the local LSC.

Code - A set of rules that have been officially published.

Code of Ethics - A Code of Conduct that both swimmers and coaches are required to sign at certain USS/LSC sponsored events. The Code is not strict and involves common sense and proper behavior.

Colorado- A brand of automatic timing system.

Conforming time - A qualifying time standard that corresponds to the meet competition course.

Consolation Finals - After the fastest 6 or 8 swimmers, the next 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Consolations are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.

Convention - United States Aquatic Sports annual, week long meeting where all rules changes are decided and working committees are established. Representatives are sent by each LSC to make up the voting body.

Course - Designated distance (length of pool) for swimming competition, i.e., Long Course = 50 meters / Short Course = 25 yards or 25 meters.

Cut  - Slang for qualifying time.  A time standard generally necessary to attend a particular championship-level meet or event.

Deck - The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an "authorized" USS member may be on the deck during a swim competition.

Deck Entries - Entries accepted into swimming events on the first day or later day of a meet.  The fee for deck entries is often double the normal fee.  Deck entered swimmers may not score or receive awards.

Deck Seeding - A meet where swimmers must declare availability to swim prior to the scratch deadlines.  Swimmers report to a staging area to receive their lane and heat assignments for the events.

Dehydration - The abnormal depletion of body fluids (water). The most common cause of swimmers' cramps and sick feelings.

Developmental - A classification of meet or competition that is usually held early in the season. The purpose of a developmental meet is to allow all levels of swimmers to compete in a low-pressure environment.

Distance - How far a swimmer swims. Distances for short course are: 25 yards (1 length), 50 yards (2 lengths),100 yards (4 lengths), 200 yards (8 lengths), 400 yards (16 lengths), 500 yards (20 lengths), 1000 yards (40 lengths), 1650 yards (66 lengths). Distances for long course are: 50 meters (1 length), 100 meters (2 lengths), 200 meters (4 lengths), 400 meters (8 lengths), 800 meters (16 lengths), 1500 meters (30 lengths).

Distance events - A term used to refer to events over 400 meters/500 yards.

Disqualified (DQ) - A swimmer's performance is not counted because of a rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head.

Dive - Entering the water head first. Diving is not allowed during warm ups except at the designated time, in specific lanes that are monitored by the swimmers' coach.

Diving Well - A separate pool or a pool set off to the side of the competition pool. This pool has deeper water and diving boards/platforms. During a meet, this area may be designated as a warm-down pool with proper supervision.

Division I-II-III - NCAA member colleges and universities are assigned divisions to compete in, depending on the school's total enrollment. Division I includes the large universities and Division III includes the smaller colleges.

Double Dual - Type of swim meet where three teams compete in dual meets against each other, at the same time. Separate Meet scores would be kept for Team A vs. Team B, Team A vs. Team C, and Team B vs. Team C.

Dual Meet - Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other.

Drill – A teaching exercise involving a portion of a stroke which is used to improve technique.

Dropped Time - When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance they have "dropped their time".

Dryland - The exercises and various strength programs swimmers do out of the water that aids and enhances swimming performance; usually includes stretching and calisthenics, sometimes weight training.

Dry Side - That part of the Code book (rule book) that deals with the "Administrative" Regulations of Competition.

Entry - An Individual, Relay team, or Club roster's event list into a swim competition.

Entry Chairperson - The host club's designated person who is responsible for receiving and making sure the entries have met the deadline, or returning the entries, if the meet is full. This person usually will find discrepancies in the meet entries and notify the entering club to correct any errors.

Entry Deadline - The date meet entries must be "postmarked" by, to be accepted by the meet host. Making the meet deadline does not guarantee acceptance into a meet since many meets are "full" weeks before the entry deadline.

Entry Fees - The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.

Entry Form- Form on which a swimmer enters a competition.  Usually includes swimmer’s name, USS ID number, age, event numbers and event names.  DST uses paper entry forms and an on-line system available through our website.

Entry Limit - Each meet will usually have a limit of total swimmers they can accept, or a time limit they cannot exceed.  Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed and all other entries returned.

Electronic Timing - Timing system operated on DC current (battery). The timing system usually has touch pads in the water, junction boxes on the deck with hookup cables, buttons for backup timing, and a computer type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmers' times.

Eligible to compete - The status of a member swimmer that means they are registered and have met all the requirements.

Equipment - The items necessary to operate a swim practice or conduct a swim competition.

Event - A race or stroke over a given distance. An event equals1 preliminary with its final, or 1 timed final.

False Start - Occurs when a swimmer is moving between the time the starter says “take your mark” and the start signal is sounded.  One false start will disqualify a swimmer or a relay team, although the starter or referee may disallow the false start due to unusual circumstances.

Fastest to Slowest - A seeding method used on the longer events held at the end of a session. The fastest seeded swimmers participate in the first heats followed by the next fastest and so on. Many times these events will alternate one girls' heat and one boys' heat until all swimmers have competed.

Fees - Money paid by swimmers for services, i.e., practice fees, registration fee, USS membership fee, etc.

FINA  (Federation Internationale de Natation) - The international, rules-making organization for the sport of swimming.

Final - The championship heat of an event in which the top swimmers from the preliminaries compete.

Final Results - The printed copy of the results of each race of a swim meet.

Fine - The monetary penalty assessed a swimmer or club when a swimmer does not achieve the necessary time required to swim in an event and cannot prove they have done the time previously.

Fins - A rubber covering for the foot having a flat, flexible portion than widens as it extends from the toes.  Used in swim practice, not competition. Also known as “flippers”.

Flags - Backstroke flags placed 5 yards (short course yards) or 5 meters (long and short course meters) from the end of the pool.  These flags enable back strokers to execute a turn safely and more efficiently.

Format - The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted.

Freestyle - One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Freestyle (nicknamed Free) is swum as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the Individual Medley.  Racing distances are 50 yds/mtr, 100 yds/mtr, 200 yds/mtr, 400 mtr/500 yd, 800 mtr/1000 yds, 1500 mtr/1650 yds. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free)

Gallery - The viewing area for spectators during the swimming competition.

Goals - The short and long-range targets for swimmers to aim for.

Goggles - Tight-fitting eyeglasses worn by swimmers to keep their eyes from being irritated by the chlorine in the water.

Gun Lap - The part of a freestyle distance race (500 yards or longer) when the lead swimmer has 2 lengths plus 5 yards to go. The starter fires a gun shot over the lane of the lead swimmer when he(or she) is at the backstroke flags.  This signals to the heat that the race is near completion.   Sometimes a bell is used instead of a gun.

Gutter - The area along the edge of the pool in which water overflows during a race and is circulated through the filtration system.

Headquarters - The motel designated by the meet host. Usually, hospitality rooms and meetings relating to the meet will be held at this location. Many times this motel is one of the sponsors of the meet.

Heat - A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers' time swum, after all heats of the event are completed.

Heat Award - A ribbon or coupon given to the winner of a single heat at an age group swim meet.

Heat Sheet - The pre-meet printed listings of swimmers' seed times in the various events at a swim meet. These sheets vary in accuracy, since the coaches submit swimmers' times many weeks before the meet. Heat sheets are sold at the admissions table and are used mainly to make sure the swimmer has been properly entered in all the events they signed up for. Parents enjoy looking at the seedings prior to the race, and swimmers can tell how the order the events will be conducted and get a rough idea how long the meet sessions will last.  Unlike a program, a heat sheet has no cover, nor does it contain advertisements, time standards, etc.

High Point- An award given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet. All meets do not offer high point awards. Check the pre-meet information.

HOD (House of Delegates) - The ruling body of an LSC composed of the designated representative of each club plus the board of directors (BOD) of the LSC. One vote per club and board member.

Horn - A sounding device used in place of a gun. Used mainly with a fully automatic timing system.  (see Beep)

Illegal - Doing something against the rules that is cause for disqualification.

Individual Medley (IM) - A swimming event using all 4 of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race. The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle. Equal distances must be swum of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yds, 200 yds/mtr, 400 yds/mtr.

Insurance - USS offers "accident insurance coverage" which is automatic when swimmer, coach, or official pays their USS membership fee. Many restrictions apply, so check with your club for detailed information.

Interval - A specific elapsed time for swimming or rest used during swim practice.

Invitational - Type of meet that requires a club to receive an invitation to attend the meet.

J.O. (Junior Olympics) - An age group championship meet conducted by the LSC.  Swimmers must meet time standards of “A” or faster in order to enter.  The Junior Olympic Championship is the main focus of the age group swim season.

Jump - An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team. The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall.

Junior Nationals - A USS National Championship meet for swimmers 18 years old or less.  Qualification times are necessary.

Kick Board - A flotation device used by swimmers during practice.

Lane - The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim, i.e., Lane 1 or Lane 2. 

Lane Lines - Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.

Lap - Technically, 1 lap is equal to 2 lengths of the pool, (down and back), but commonly referred to as 1 pool length.

Lap Counter - The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers" only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.

Late Entries - Meet entries from a club or individual that are received by the meet host after the entry deadline. These entries are usually not accepted and are returned to sender.

Lead-off swimmer - The swimmer who completes the first leg of a relay.  Since the lead – off swimmer starts from an official start signal, sounded by a certified starter, the time achieved during his/her swim may be recorded as a sanctioned time for that event and distance.  This is not true for the remaining 3 swimmers in the relay.

Leg - The part of a relay event swum by a single team member.  Also, a single stroke in the Individual Medley.

Length - The extent of the competitive course from end to end. See lap.

Long Course - A 50 meter pool.  USA Swimming conducts most of its summer competition in long course pools.  The US Open and all National meets are conducted in long course pools.

LSC (Local Swim Committee) - The governing body for swimming at the local level.  There are 59 LSCs in the United States.  DST is affiliated with the Middle Atlantic LSC.

LSC Camps  - The LSC camps provide local age group athletes with camp experiences that focus on skill development and motivation.

Middle Atlantic Swimming Association (MA) - Our Local Swimming Committee (LSC)

Malfunction - A mechanical or electronic failure  (not a human failure by the swimmer).

Mark - The command to take your starting position.

Marshal - The adult(s) (official) who control the crowd and swimmer flow at a swim meet.

Medals - Awards given to the swimmers at some meets. They vary in size and design and method of presentation.

Meet - A competition comprised of series of racing events held in one program.

Meet Director - The official in charge of the administration of the meet. The person directing the "dry side" of the meet.

Meters - The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specs using the metric system. Long course meters is 50 meters, short course meters is 25 meters.

Middle distance - Term used to refer to events of 200 yards/meters to 400 meters/500 yards.

Mile - The slang referring to the 1500 meter or the 1650 yard freestyle, both of which are slightly short of a mile.

NAIA - National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

NAGTS - National Age Group Time Standards - the list of "C" through "AAAA" times published every four years.  Also known as “Motivational Times”.

Natatorium - A building constructed for the purpose of housing a swimming pool and related equipment

Nationals - USS senior or junior-level meets conducted in March/April and August. See Senior or Junior Nationals.

National Reportable Time (NRT)/Top 16 Time - Time standards set for both short and long course to give national recognition to the fastest 16 swimmers in each stroke, distance, gender and age group.  Achieving these standards allows a swimmer’s times to be submitted for consideration, but does not guarantee a Top 16 ranking.

National Team  - The “A” team comprises those American swimmers who are ranked in the top 8 in the world.  The “B” team includes those swimmers ranked in the top 16 in the world.

NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association

Negative Split - Swimming the second half of the race faster than the first half.

NGB - National Governing Body

Non-Conforming Time - A short course time submitted to qualify for a long course meet, or vice-versa.

Non-Team Meet - A meet not targeted by the coaching staff. Swimmers who wish to attend non-team meets must provide meet information to the DST office and register through the DST office.

Novelty Meet - A meet that does not fall into a specific category because of limited events, sessions, or age brackets.

Novice - A beginner or someone who does not have experience.

NSSA - National Swim School Association

NT (No Time) - The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not swum that event before.

Officials - The certified judges on the pool deck at sanctioned competitions who enforce USA Swimming rules.  There are stroke and turn judges, starters, and referees.  As a meet host team, DST is required to provide officials for our meets.  Training is available through Middle Atlantic at no cost.

Open Water Swims - A freestyle event conducted in a natural body of water such as a lake, river or ocean

Olympic Trials - The USS sanctioned long-course swim meet held the year of the Olympic Games to decide which swimmers will represent the USA on our Olympic Team. Qualification times are faster than Senior Nationals.

Omega - A brand of automatic timing system.

OT Official Time. - The swimmers event time recorded to one hundredth of a second (.01).

OTC - Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Open Competition - Competition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter.

Pace Clock - The large clocks with highly visible numbers and second hands, positioned at the ends or sides of a swimming pool used to check pace or maintain intervals in practice; may also be digital

Paddle - Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmers hands during swim practice.  Used as an aid to improve technique; sometimes used to add resistance to improve strength.

Place Judge - Stands on the side of the finish line and records the order of finish of all swimmers by lane

Positive Check In - The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded or pre seeded meet. Check In the swimmer must mark his/her name on a list posted by the meet host.

Practice - The scheduled workouts a swimmer attends with his/her swim team/club.

Prelims -  Abbreviation for preliminaries.  Sometimes called Trials.  Session of a Prelims/Finals meet in which swimmers qualify for the championship, consolation finals, bonus heat or semi-finals.

Prelims-Finals - Type of meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning session. The fastest 8 (A-finals) swimmers, and sometimes the next fastest 8 swimmers (B-finals) return in the evening to compete in the Finals.  Some meets have a Bonus Heat or C-finals (17th-24th ranked swimmers after prelims).  A swimmer who has qualified in the consolation (B) Finals may not place in the A – Finals even if their finals time would place them so. The converse also applies.

Pre-seeded - A meet conducted without a “bull pen” in which a swimmer knows what lane and heat they are in by looking at the Meet heat sheet, or posted meet program.

Program  -The order of events, including starting times and intermissions, sequentially listed by class of competition, sex, age group, distance and stroke as set forth in the meet announcement.  Programs frequently contain other information such as time standards, records and advertisements.

Proof of Time - An official meet result, OVC, or other accepted form. Swimmers/Coaches must supply proof of time with some meet entries, while at other meets, it is not required unless a swimmer misses a cut of time at the meet.

Psych Sheet - A listing of all entrants in a meet in order of ranking according to entry time.

Pull Buoy - A flotation device generally used by swimmers in practice for pull-only drills to eliminate kicking, isolate the upper body and help float the lower body.

Pyramid Seeding (circle seeding) - The top 3 heats in a prelim/finals format competition are seeded such that each of the three fastest entrants has equal opportunity to swim in the center lane (usually lane 4) in the preliminaries. The 4th-24th ranked swimmers will be distributed in the final 3 preliminary heats accordingly.  For example, swimmers ranked 4th, 5th and 6th will all swim in lane 5, swimmers ranked 7, 8th and 9th will all swim in lane 3, swimmers ranked 10th, 11th and 12th will all swim in lane 6 and so on…

Qualifying Times (Q-times) - Published times necessary to compete in a particular event and/or competition.  Also known as a cut.

Race - Any single swimming competition, i.e. preliminary, final, timed final.

Ready Room - A room pool side for the swimmers to relax before they compete in finals.

Referee - The head official at a swim meet in charge of all of the "Wet Side" administration and decisions.

Registered - Enrolled and paid as a member of USS and the LSC.

Relays - A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a team to achieve one time.  Each swimmer completes an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, one swimmer swims Breaststroke, one swimmer swims Butterfly and one swimmer swims Freestyle, in that order.  Medley relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr and 400 yd/mtr distances.  2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle.  Free relays are conducted over 200 yd/mtr, 400 yd/mtr, and 800 yd/mtr distances.

Relay Take-off Judge - Stand so they can clearly see the touch of the incoming swimmer and the feet of the departing swimmer; judges whether the departing swimmer is in contact with the platform when the incoming swimmer touches the end of the pool

Ribbons - Awards in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors, given at most swim meets for age group swimmers.

Safety - The responsible and careful actions of those participating in a swim meet. USS and each LSC now have a "Safety Coordinator" and each meet must have "Marshals" in charge of safety.

Sanction - A permit issued by an LSC to a USS group member to conduct an event or meet.

Sanction Fee - The amount paid by a USS group member to an LSC for issuing a sanction.

Schedule (USS or LSC) - List of meets with dates, meet host, meet location, type of meet, and contact's address and phone.

Scratch - To withdraw from an event prior to it being held in competition.  Some meets have scratch deadlines and specific scratch rules, and if not followed, swimmer can be disqualified from remaining events.

Seed - Assign the swimmer's heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.

Seeding - Deck Seeding - swimmers are called to report to the Clerk of Course. After scratches are determined, the event is seeded. Pre-Seeding - swimmers are arranged in heats according to submitted times, usually a day prior to the meet.

Senior - A category for competition synonymous with “Open”.  Any age swimmer may compete in an event designated “senior” or  “open”, providing they meet the qualifying time standard.

Senior Meet - A meet that is open to all ages but races are not divided into age groups.  Qualification times are usually necessary and will vary depending on the level of the meet.

Senior Nationals - Nationals are conducted long course in the spring (usually in late March) and in the summer (usually in late July or August).

Session - Portion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group.

Shave - The process of removing all arm, leg, and exposed torso hair, to decrease the "drag" or resistance of the body moving through the water and heighten sensation in the water.  Used only by older, more experienced swimmers prior to major competitions.

Short Course - A 25 yard or 25 meter pool.  USA Swimming conducts most of its winter competition in short course pools.

Simultaneously - A term used in the rules of butterfly and breaststroke, meaning at the same time.

Splash - 1) United States Swimming newsletter that is mailed bi-monthly.  2) Meet term used for counting number of actual swims.

Split- A time recorded from the official start to the completion of an intermediate distance within a longer event.  Also the time for one of the four individuals in a relay.  Under certain conditions, splits may also be used as official times, for example, the lead-off swim in a relay, or the lead off portion of an event.

Sprint - Describes the shorter events, 50 and 100 yard/meters. In training, sprint means to swim as fast as possible for a short distance.

Start - The beginning of a race; the forward dive used to begin a race in free, fly or breast, or the ‘back dive’ in backstroke.

Starter - The official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.

Stand-up - The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.

Step-Down - The command given by the Starter or Referee to have the swimmers move off the blocks. Usually this command is a good indication everything is not right for the race to start.

Streamline - The position used by swimmers when starting or pushing off the walls, designed to reduce water resistance

Stroke - There are 4 competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle.

Stroke Judge - The official positioned at the side of the pool, walking the length of the course as the swimmers race. If the Stroke Judge sees something illegal, they report to the referee and the swimmer may be disqualified.

Submitted Time - Times used to enter swimmers in meets. These times must have been achieved by the swimmer at previous meets.

Swim-A-Thon - The "Fund Raiser" copyrighted by USS swimming for local clubs to use to make money.

Swim-off - In a Prelims/Finals type competition, a race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals or an alternate, otherwise ties stand.

Taper - The final preparation phase, sometimes referred to as the resting phase of a senior swimmer at the end of the season; a slow, gradual reduction of workloads and intensities in preparation for a championship meet.

Team - USS Registered club that has the right to compete for points.

Team Meet - Meet targeted by the coaching staff. Anyone in the group targeted who qualifies for the meet should plan on attending. Coaches are present at these meets.

Team Records - The statistics a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmer in the club's history for each age group/each event.

Timed Finals - Competition in which only heats are swum and final placings are determined by those times.

Timer - The volunteers sitting behind the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for getting watch times on events and activating the backup buttons for the timing system.

Time Standard - A time set by a meet or LSC or USS (etc.) that a swimmer must achieve for qualification or recognition.

Time Trial - An event or series of events where a swimmer may achieve or better a required time standard.   Time trials are offered at championship meets after the completion of regularly scheduled events.  Swimmers may not use time trials to score or receive awards.  Time trials count toward the event entry limits set forth in the meet announcement.

Top 16 - A list of times compiled by USA Swimming that recognizes the top sixteen swimmers in each age group, in each event, gender and distance.

Touch Out - To reach the touchpad and finish first in a close race.

Touch Pad - The touch-sensitive, removable plate (on the end of pools) that is connected to an automatic timing system.  A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to register an official time in a race.

Transfer - The act of leaving one club or LSC and going to another.  120 days of unattached competition is required before swimmer can represent another USS club.

Tri-meet - A meet with 3 team competing for points to see who places 1st-2nd-3rd.

Trophy - Type of award given to teams and swimmers at some meets.

Turn Judge - Judge that stands at the end of the pool and ensures that when turning or finishing, the swimmer complies with the rules applicable to the stroke used.

Unattached - An athlete member of USS who competes, but does not represent a club or team. (abbr. UNAT)

United StatesSwimming (USS) - United States Swimming is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States.

Unofficial Time - The time displayed on a read-out board or read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race.  After the time has been checked, it will become the official time.

USS Number - A  number assigned to a swimmer upon joining USA Swimming. The membership card with this number may be required at any competition.  The USS number is the swimmer’s birth date (mmddyy) followed by the first 3 letters of the swimmers first name, followed by a middle initial and the first 4 letters of the last name.

USOTC - United States Olympic Training Center located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Warm-down - Low intensity swimming used by swimmers after a race or main practice set to rid the body of excess lactic acid and to gradually reduce heart rate and respiration.

 Warm-up - Low intensity or moderate intensity swimming used prior to a main practice set or race to get muscles loose and warm.  Warm-up gradually increases heart rate and respiration and helps prevent injury.

Watch - The hand held device used by timers and coaches for timing a swimmer's races and taking splits.  When totally automatic timing equipment is used at competitions, watches serve as a back-up method.

Weight training - A form of dry land resistance training.  Weight training involves various barbells / benches / machines and body-weight exercises.

Whistle - The sound a starter/referee makes to signal for quiet before they give the command to start the race.

Work Out - The practice sessions a swimmer attends.

Yards - The measurement of the length of a swimming pool that was built per specifications using the American system.  A short course yard pool is 25 yards (75 feet) in length.

Yardage - The distance a swimmer races or swims in practice. Total yardage can be calculated for each practice session.

Zones - 1.)  The country is divided up into 4 major zones: Eastern - Southern - Central - Western.   2.) Eastern Zone Championship Meet - Swimmers qualify to represent the LSC (Middle Atlantic) in competition against other swimmers representing other LSCs in the Eastern Zone.   Zone meets are the
 highest level of competition available to USA age group swimmers.  During short course zones, only the top two in each event qualify.  During long course zones, any number of swimmers achieving the qualification standard may compete.