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FAQ's

Welcome to STINGRAYS resource page.  We have tried to capture the most common questions asked by many swim families over the years.  If you have a question not addressed here, do not hesitate to reach out to one of Stingrays Board Members

Shortcuts to FAQ's:  Registration  Practices  Swim Meets  Parent Participation   Miscellaneous

REGISTRATION FAQ'S

How does registration work?
Online registration typically opens towards the end of February.   You can fill out all the necessary registration information as well as pay fees online. Although you are able to register through the the end of June, we encourage early registration, which gives us an opportunity to invite you to pre-season activities.

How long is the season?
Official swim team season begins with the pre-season practice from March 30-June 4th, 2020 and continues with the summer swim team from June 8-July 24, 2020.  Please note that the last week of July practice (July 20-July 24) is only for those swimmers committed to swimming in the League Championship Meet.  Summer Fitness swimmers will participate in swim practice from June 8th - July 17th.   County qualifiers continue with practice through the County Meet (July 31-August 2, 2020).

What are the overall costs/fees?
Please see the registration information page for details on registration fees.    Discounts are given for siblings.

Other additional fees may include entry fees into invitational meets, spirit wear ( all team members get a team t-shirt), attendance at certain social functions ( where there is an associated cost ) and job buy-outs / fine ( if applicable ).  

Equipment needed:  Practice competition-type suit ($30-40), team suit (encouraged but not mandatory -- $35-$70), tight-fitting goggles (i.e. Speedo or TYR $12-20), practice fins ($15-25), swim cap (silicone does not pull the hair as much as latex)

What is the refund policy?
If a swimmer decides not to swim for the given season and a registration refund is requested before Time Trials, a 50% refund will be made.  No refunds will be made after time trials.

Any cancelations prior to the start of the given season will be charged a $25 processing fee per swimmer.

Any checks returned due to insufficient funds will be charged a $25 fee


PRACTICE FAQ's

Where are practices held?
All practices are held at James Lemos Pool, 181 East J St, Benicia in a 25 yard competition pool.

When are practices held?
Please see the Season Calendar page for more information.

Can my child swim with a different age group?
In order to focus the age group practices appropriately to the attention span, abilities and requirements for each age group, the coaches ask that swimmers swim with their own age group for practices.  At meets, all swimmers need to swim with their own age group as well (as determined by their age on June 15 of the current year). Coaches MAY invite swimmers to practice with a different age group at their discretion.


SWIM MEET FAQ's

What are the different types of meets?

Dual Meets - meets with 1 or 2 other teams.  Either on a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening for 3 - 4 hours.

Invitational Meets - The Stingrays participate in several Saturday - Sunday invitational meets, including  ECI (East County Invitational ) and Battle of the Ages.  These meets are typically open to all swimmers on the team (except the Otter Invitational which is only open to swimmers 8 years old and under). There are no qualifying times for these meets and swimmers are encouraged to attend as each meet provides swimmers with the opportunity to swim all events. These meets typically have entry fees of about $15-$30 per swimmer which are paid for by the swimmer's family upon entering the meet.  These meets typically have a Clerk of the Course which is an organized method of lining up all swimmers for their events since there are usually many heats of each event. Coaches make up the relay entries.  Additional volunteer duties are required for participating families See each event for details.

End of Season League Meet - is a final meet with all the other members of our League: Hercules, Martinez,  American Canyon, Crockett and Pinole.  There are no qualifying times, ALL SWIMMERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.  Entry fees are included in your team registration fees.  Coaches form relay teams.

Contra Costa County Championship Meet - County is for swimmers who earned qualifying times during the 2020 season.

How do I sign up for meets?

See "Meet Sign In" under the Events and Meets Tab on the homepage

How do I determine which strokes to sign my child up for?

Since this is a recreational program, swimmers are encouraged to attend meets and try all strokes.  Your swimmer sets a baseline time for each stroke at Time Trials in May.  At each meet, s/he can improve upon that time.  About a week prior to an event, coaches will determine which strokes each swimmer will swim each meet.  Swimmers are assigned to heats and lanes based on best times within that event.  Sometimes there are restrictions on the number of swimmers entering certain events due to the forecasted timing of the meet.   At most meets, swimmers will be entered in up to 2 -3 individual events.  Based on swimmers’ availability, the coaches will assign relay teams.  Swimmers’ times may also be a basis for relay teams .  Relay team assignments are subject to change, so please confirm relay assignments upon arriving for warm ups.  

What are the Strokes?
Competition strokes or events include:  Freestyle,  Backstroke, Breast Stroke, Butterfly and Individual Medley.  Relays include a Medley Relay (where each of 4 swimmers swim a different stroke) and Freestyle Relay (where each of 4 swimmers swim the freestyle)

What are Time Trials?

Time Trials are like a practice swim meet with only our team.  Each swimmer can try each stroke in a low pressure, supportive environment.  The times you swim become your benchmark for further improvement throughout the season.  The team photograph is taken the morning of Time Trials.

What are Meet Sheets?

Meet sheets list who is swimming in each event.  Meet sheets are posted on the MEET SHEET page under the "Events and Meets" Tab.  Home meet sheets are usually emailed out by 6pm the night before each meet. Away meet sheets are sent to us by the other team and will usually, but not always, be posted the night before a meet (just depends when they get them to us!)  Read 'How to Read a Meet Sheet' for helpful hints.  The Meet Sheet will also be emailed to you as soon as it is made available to us.  It is a good idea to print out the meet sheet to bring to every meet with you.  

What do I bring to meets?
The weather can vary from very cold to very warm so come in layers.

Check directions to the pool on the TEAM BIOS page under TEAM INFO tab.
Swimmer’s gear:  team suit, cap, goggles, spirit wear, sunscreen, towels, dry clothing, parka, blankets/sleeping bag
Sharpie Pen :  for writing event #'s on your child's hand

Information:  meet program and/or meet sheet
Camp gear: Shade tent, lawn chairs, mats/blankets for setting up “camp”
Entertainment: Games, crafts, activities, books for entertainment between event
Nourishment:  water, healthy snacks, fruit.  Snack shack facilities are usually available at all meets.      
Stingray Spirit:  Sportsmanship, Team Spirit, Achievement, Respect and Success

    Please leave your pets at home as most meet locations -- including James Lemos Pool -- do not permit pets.

What time do I need to be there for a meet?

An email will be sent prior to each meet which will include a meet sheet , meet information such as location, warm up times, meet start times, worker check in times and team set up areas.  A good general practice is to arrive about 1 hour prior to the team warm up so you can get set up, check meet program and to allow your swimmers to get to warm-ups on time and organized/lined up for their first events.  

Swimmers and parents MUST enter the James Lemos Pool through the main entrance.  Parent volunteers always need to check in with the Volunteer Coordinator 30 minutes prior to the meet.  6 & under and 7/8 swimmers will be assisted to their heats/lanes by the  junior coaches.  Please assist the junior coaches by guiding your young swimmers to them about 15-20 minutes prior to their event.  

Why do 6 & unders and 7/8's need to check in with the junior coaches?  

The junior coaches serve as shepherds to make sure young swimmers are in the right lane at the right time for each race.  It is a parents responsibility to get their swimmers to the shepherds well in advance of each race.  Shepherds will NOT be coming to find your swimmer.  If you would prefer to take care of your own swimmer, please clear it with the Shepherd at check in so they are not waiting for your swimmer.

Where do I set up?

The meet sheet will indicate where team camp areas are to be located.  At the James Lemos pool, Stingray families set up on the grass to the north side of the deck, directly behind the lanes.  Visiting teams set up in the west grass area. 

What if my swimmer is signed up for a meet but cannot make it?

Since creating the line-ups for each meet takes a lot of time, parents MUST let the coaching staff know, at least one week in advance, if their child will be unable to attend a scheduled swim meet or invitational.  Swimmers MUST be signed out of meets online.  It is extremely helpful if you advise your child’s coach of vacation plans as far in advance as possible. If something comes up last minute, email Coach Steve or Coach Joe as soon as possible:  coach@bsrswim.org AND beniciastingrays@bsrswim.org.  If you entered an invitational meet with a meet entry fee that has been charged, we are not able to refund these fees as they are due with the entries to the host team.

What if I miss the entry deadline for a meet?

Please watch the entry deadlines closely and ensure you enter your swimmers in time. In most cases, entries will be available well in advance and can be changed up until the deadline ( 6 days prior to a dual meet ).  It is a good practice to enter swimmers upon a meet becoming available rather than waiting until the deadline.  Unfortunately, late entries are nearly impossible to accommodate – either because the entry files have already been communicated with the host team or because of the extra work required of our desk volunteers to accommodate last minute changes.


PARENT PARTICIPATION

What are the parent participation requirements?
Detailed parent participation requirements are described under Parent Participation on the website

Why are there parent participation requirements?
The Stingrays swim team is completely operated by parents ( with the exception of the coaching staff ).  Unlike other team sports such as soccer, basketball or baseball, it takes about 50-60 parents to run EACH meet.  Without Parent participation, we would not be able to run any meets or organize team activities.

How do I know what is expected for a certain job?
All job descriptions are on the Parent Participation page under the TEAM INFO tab.  If you are still unsure, please ask our Volunteer Coordinator, Cyndee Bogard, by emailing her at Volunteer@bsrswim.org 

How do I sign up for a job?
If you do not have  Core volunteer position, you must sign up for, on average, six volunteer shifts (30 units) over the course of the swim season.  Core and regular volunteers must also separately sign up for 2 volunteer shifts at team social events (lapapalooza, Family Fun Night, Awards Ceremony, etc).  There is much more information  under the "Team Info" tab; select "parent participation".  You sign up for your job the same way you register your swimmer for a meet.  FIRST MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOGGED IN TO THE SYSTEM.  Click on the "Events & Meet" Tab on the front page.  Under the desired meet, select Job Sign Up.  You can then sign up for the job of your choice. 

Who do I check in with for jobs?
You will check in with the Volunteer Coordinator, Cyndee Bogard.   At home meets we have a Volunteer tent on the pool deck.  For away meets please find Cyndee and check in with her to ensure she knows you are available for your work shift and  you get credit for fulfilling your shift.

 


 MISCELLANEOUS

Communication from and to the team
Stingrays families are automatically placed into a group email contact list.  A Stingray NewsSplash is an email which contains important information on upcoming meets and events.  NewsSplashes usually come weekly.  NewsSplashes will also be added to the News page of our website.

To communicate with a board member, please see the Contacts page for corresponding emails.  If you are unsure who to contact, please email beniciastingrays@bsrswim.org and your message will be forwarded to the applicable person

What are my parent obligations?

  • Check the News page on our website first and frequently
  • Check email frequently
  • Check your Family Folder frequently
  • Fulfill your Job Requirements
  • Support the coaches
  • Support your swimmer and fellow teammates
  • Support the snack bar and other fundraisers
  • Have fun!
Various announcements, entry forms, and ribbons will be distributed via the Family Folders. Each family will have a file marked with the swimmer's name, located in a filing cabinet near the shed at practices. Files should be checked on a daily basis. You can also leave our coaches notes or forms in their folders. 

Flyers being distributed through the Family Folders must have prior approval by a Stingrays Board member or Head Coach.

When should I speak with the coaches if I have a question or concern?
 During practice it is important for the coaches to concentrate on the swimmers.  Our coaches welcome your questions, comments, and concerns during non-practice times. Or, you can leave a note in the coach's folder or send an email to coach@bsrswim.org