The BEST Handbook is the best source of information for the  
Boulder Elks Swim Team.

BEST Handbook



• Does my family have to belong to the Elks to join the swim team? No. However, Elks members receive a price break and support the community service objectives of the organization.

• Do we need to join the Elks Pool/Elks Beach Club to swim at the Elks pool even if we are on swim team? Yes, everyone who swims at the Elks Pool (12pm-close, not including practices or meets) either has to be a Beach Club member, or pay the daily admission rate at the door.

• Since our family plans a vacation for a month in the summer, can we get a price break on swim team? No. Coaching staff is hired for the entire season and is based on the total number of swimmers registered.

• My child is new to swimming; can they still join the team? Of course! Their age and experience will determine if the pre-team program or age-group swim team is best for them. Ask the coach which option might be best for your child.

• Why do we have to complete so much paperwork to register? Some of the documents are team specific, and others are required by the BVSSL bylaws.

• If my child decides they don’t want to swim can we get a refund? If you withdraw before the first meet for any reason, there will be a $25 per swimmer surcharge. Please contact the registration coordinator for a refund. Note that there are no refunds after the first meet. Please be sure that your child will commit to the season before signing up.


• Why are volunteer shifts required? It takes a lot of people to run a swim meet. While most families gladly give of their time, making it a requirement insures that everyone contributes.

• Where do I find out what volunteer jobs are available and how to do them? The Team website has job descriptions under the job signup tab

• How do I sign up for jobs? All signups are online under the Job Signup tab.

• What time do I report for my volunteer shift?  Times vary, and in general you need to have checked in with the meet coordinator and be at your assigned area 15 minutes before the start of your shift. The Boulder Elks Swim Team Handbook, online volunteer job descriptions, and your volunteer coordinator are great resources if you need more information.

• Why do we have to send in a volunteer deposit check? It provides a financial incentive to complete your volunteer duties and conveys the importance of everyone's contributions to the team.

• What happens to my volunteer check at the end of the season? Checks are shredded or returned (by request only and with SASE) at the end of the season once volunteer requirements have been fulfilled. They are only cashed in the event of volunteer commitments not being met or by being a no-show for a volunteer job.

• Do I still have to volunteer if my child doesn't swim in meets? Yes. Everyone's time and energy are needed to help the team function. Several non-meet jobs are available. You can also work a meet shift even if your child is not swimming in a given meet.

• I am unable to do any volunteer work for the team; can my child still swim? Yes. Your volunteer deposit check will be cashed in lieu of volunteering. Sign up on the Opt Out of Volunteering under the job signup on the website.

• Do I have to sign up for more than 4 work credits if I have more than one child on the team? No. Each family is responsible for only 4 work credits regardless of how many children you have on the team. If you ONLY have Pre-team children, you only sign up for 2 work credits.  

• If my child attends Prelims, Finals, or the Pentathlon do I have to volunteer at these events too? Yes. Volunteer requirements for these meets are in addition to your volunteer jobs.


• Can my 8 and 11-year old children attend the same practices? Not usually, since coaching and lane requirements are tailored to the age-group needs and numbers.

• Does my child have to attend every practice? Of course not! It is summer, most children and families have other activities. The more practices your child can attend, the more benefit they will derive from the program.

• What is the difference between lessons, pre-team and age-group swim team? Lessons are designed to help young swimmers learn basic stroke techniques for the four competitive swimming strokes. Pre-team is for children who are comfortable in the water unassisted, have some basic stroke knowledge, and have some interest in competing. Pre-teamers should be able to swim a length of the pool (25 meters), but are still developing endurance and proper technique. The regular team is geared toward swimmers who want to continue to improve endurance and technique in all strokes with an eye toward competition. Curt will be able to help you determine which program best meets the needs of your swimmer.


• Does my child have to compete in meets? Swimmers are not required to compete in meets, but will be encouraged to do so by the coaches.

• Is there any minimum requirement for meets? No, unless your child chooses to swim in Prelims and Finals. In that case, they must have swum in at least two of the six dual meets.

• If my child has participated in a year-round swim team, can they still join the Elks team? Yes. However, they may not swim for points in summer league meets if they practiced at all with a year-round team after October 31st of the past year. They are allowed to swim "exhibition," which means they can swim at meets but cannot score points for the team.

• Can my child choose which events they swim? The coach will work with your child to swim events they can legally finish, is interested in swimming, and can best contribute to the overall success of the team.

• My child had the fastest time in their heat, so why didn't they get a ribbon? League rules specify that with the exception of the 50 Freestyle events, only the first heat of an event "counts" toward earning team points and individual awards. Each week the coaches review swimmers times and arrange lineups for the next week's meet. If your child has a breakthrough in a stroke or in an event, it is possible that they will be seeded in the first heat for the next week.

• Who swims on relays? In dual meets, each team is generally allowed two heats in a given relay, per gender, and per age group. Depending on the total number of lanes in the pool (6 or 8), that would be a total of 6 or 8 relay teams. Only the first heat scores points.

• What is the Pentathlon/Hot Shot-Long Shot/Relay meets?  These are optional meets throughout the season that you may choose to sign your swimmer up for.  Usually they have a separate entry fee, and include a t-shirt for that meet.  Coaches will attend these meets with the swimmers, and parent may be required to volunteer as timers at these meets.  This volunteering is in addition to your BEST volunteer requirement.  At the Pentathlon, swimmers swim in 5 events, no relays.  The Hot Shot-Long Shot meet focuses on short distances, and long distances.  The Relay meet is all relays with different mixes of kids--different age groups on a team, boys/girls teams, etc.  These meets offer high point scoring trophies.

• What are "Prelims"? Prelims are the end-of-season qualifying meets for finals. Prelims are age-group specific and are held on a certain day the week before finals. All swimmers may attend prelims if they swam in two dual meets.

• What are "Finals"? Finals are the season finale. The fastest 16 swimmers in each event for each age group compete for individual awards and the League Trophy. All 14 teams in the Boulder Valley Summer Swim League (BVSSL) compete.