Frequently Asked Questions about POSA

Additional questions?  Please email Head Coach Sam:


Does my child need to know how to swim to join POSA?

A POSA swimmer should be able to swim freestyle one full length of the high school pool (25 yards).  Our coaches immediately begin working on improving a swimmer’s skill and endurance.  Since beginning swimmers practice four hours per week, there will be great improvement very quickly

I am not sure if my child will like POSA, can he/she try it out before committing to joining the team? 

Yes. POSA offers a team trial period for any swimmer NEW to the team (have not swam with POSA before). If a swimmer wants to leave after the first two weeks of the season, a parent must contact the POSA Board at [email protected] and the registration fees will be refunded (minus a service charge for credit cards only). 

Does POSA offer a payment plan?

Yes. Within online registration, payment options are available.  Payment by check or credit card is accepted. If other arrangements need to be made, please contact the POSA President or Treasurer.  


USA Swimming: SWIMMING 101

USA Swimming: LEVELS OF SWIMMING (Swimmer Progression)

What’s the difference between the practice groups?

Swimmers are grouped by skill level not by age.  Each swimmer’s skill level is initially assessed during the first few days of the season.  Coaches then place the swimmer in the group and lane that best fits their swim level.  As the swimmer improves, their lane and group assignment will progress.

If I have a question about my child’s progress, who do I contact?

Any parent is encouraged and welcome to email the POSA head coach, Sam Kruzel:  ([email protected]) . We kindly ask that parents refrain from speaking with a coach while swimmers are practicing.    

What are the practice times for swimmers?

The “typical” season practice time for each group is:

Groups 1/2:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 6:00-7:00 pm

Groups 3/4:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 6:30-8:00 pm

Groups 5/6:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7:00-9:00 pm AND Wednesday 6:00-7:30 pm

Swim practice times are posted on website under “Calendars” tab.  Practice times are often adjusted to accommodate for high school events. 

Is attendance at every practice required?

Although attendance is not mandatory, a swimmer’s progression and performance will improve with each practice. 

Can I stay to watch my child practice?

Yes.  Parents are encouraged to stay and watch their child’s practice from the Sandburg HS pool stands.  However, due to USA Swimming (USAS) and Illinois Swimming, Inc. (ISI) insurance regulations NON-SWIMMERS (parents, siblings, etc.) ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE POOL DECK during practice.

Coaches, officials, and board members are registered members of USA Swimming and have had background checks as well as Athlete Protection certification, and therefore allowed on deck.

How will I be notified if practice is canceled or the time is changed?

When you register your child it is required to provide an email address.  We use our website, Remind App, and email to communicate with POSA families.  As our pool time can be changed due to many reasons, including events happening at the high school, it is important to check your email and the website calendar regularly.  


What are the different types of swim meets:

Intrasquad Meet - Swimmers from our own team compete against one another in a mock meet. This meet helps new swimmers and their parents become familiar with the workings of a dual meet. 

Dual Meet – Swimmers from our team compete against swimmers from another team.  Coaches determine which swimmers compete in the specific events.  These meets can be home (Sandburg Pool) or away (opposing team’s pool). 

Conference Meet - At the end of the season, each Conference division holds a championship meet. The team’s overall finish determines which division the team will compete in next season. Coaches determine which swimmers will compete based on best swim times during the season.  Please expect to pay an admission fee.

ISI Meet (Illinois Swimming, Inc. Meet) – During the season, POSA will participate in weekend meets hosted by swim clubs in the Chicago area.  Parents can sign up their swimmer for specific events of their choice.  Additional fees are charged per event.  Meet packets will be available for review in order to determine date, time, session, and event sign up.

The winter season is considered a "Short Course" season.  All meets will be swum in 25 yard pools.

The summer season is considered a “Long Course” season.  ISI meets will be swum in 50 meter pools.  The intrasquad and dual meets will be swum in 25 yard pools.

Can you tell me more about dual meets?

Throughout the swim season, POSA participates in “dual” meets against other swim clubs in the area.  The meets are during the week and run from approximately 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm.  Participation in a dual meet is encouraged, but not mandatory.  There is a maximum of 2 individual events and 2 relay events that each child can swim in a dual meet.  The coaches determine the event(s) that each child will swim based on their skill level.  

Sign ups for dual meets will be posted under the "Events" section of the website.

Can you tell me more about ISI meets?

An ISI meet is a meet that is hosted by a swim club, but is open to any registered swimmer.  An ISI meet takes place over a weekend.  An ISI meet would be considered more competitive in nature than a dual meet.  POSA does not require swimmers to participate in ISI meets.  

See also:   USA Swimming: SWIM MEET BASICS

Why should a swimmer participate in an ISI meet?

ISI meets give swimmers additional opportunities to swim competitively.  It also allows the swimmer to gain experience and achieve times for all strokes.  Due to the event limitations of a dual meets, a swimmer may not always be able to swim their favorite stroke in a competitive setting.  Whereas, in an ISI, all swimmers may enter as many or as few events as they desire.  

How do I sign up for an ISI meet or find out more information about the meet?

Sign ups and the meet packet  for ISI meets will be posted under the "Events" section of the website.
The event page for the meet on our website will provide sig up information, meet packet, location, fees, and a deadline date for entering an ISI meet.   Sign up for an ISI must be completed online through the POSA website.  
There is an additional charge to participate in ISI meets -- Fees include:  per event fee, ISI surcharge, and sometimes a facility surcharge.  Fees will be posted for each meet on the event sign up page.  ISI meet fees will be billed to your member account.  Once the registration deadline has passed, ISI fees will be non-refundable.

Each host club must submit a "meet packet" to Illinois Swimming.  The meet packet will give all the details about the meet (start time, admission fee, order of events, deadline dates to enroll, etc.)  The meet packets will be posted on the website so that families can be informed.

Is there a fee to attend a meet?

There is no charge for any POSA swimmer to participate in a dual meet. 

There is a fee to participate in an ISI meet (see above). 

There is usually an entrance fee for spectators to at an ISI as well as a charge for a “heat sheet” (which lists all the events and swimmers participating in those events).

What does “bullpen” mean?  

In most ISI meets, swimmers are placed in a "bullpen." A bullpen is where swimmers are assembled for their particular event and then guided to their assigned starting block. 

What does “positive check-in” mean?  If my swimmer is not checked in, can he/she swim?

Each swimmer MUST check in with the host club's registration table. Each swimmer needs to check-in by highlighting their name on a "check-in" sheet to confirm their attendance at that meet. If a swimmer does not "positively" check in before the specified time, that swimmer will be considered a “no-show” and WILL NOT be allowed to swim - no exceptions.

As a spectator at a swim meet, what should I be aware of?

First, as we all know, swimming pools offer everyone a warm and humid environment to watch a meet.  Some pools are more uncomfortable than others.  We suggest all spectators wear light weight clothing and drink lots of fluid to keep cool.  Some pools have large gallery areas that spectators can set up their own chair.  


What is the volunteer commitment for parents?

POSA cannot function without the help of family volunteers.  For instance, a home dual meet needs approximately 30 volunteers to run effectively.  Each family is required to volunteer for a set number of hours during the season.

There are many volunteer activities which will fulfill your commitment.  We host approximately four dual meets each season, which are run by parent volunteers.  Volunteers will be needed to time at the meets, help organize the swimmers, set up and sell concessions, clean-up and monitor the locker rooms.  We are always looking for computer savvy helpers at the head table at our home meets.  There are also other opportunities such as assisting in fundraiser activities, helping at an  officials clinic and organization of our end of the season parties. 

See the Volunteer/Fundraise tab for additional information.

Is the fundraiser commitment?

We host a swim-a-thon during our Fall-Winter season. Swimmers are expected to swim laps for donations. There can be a flat donation or per lap. Swimmers can swim for 2 hours or 200 laps, whichever comes first.

I would like to try the lane timing or writing position but I’ve never done it - is there training? 

Yes, before each meet, the meet official or Meet Director will conduct a “timer’s meeting” which will explain how to use the stopwatch and records the swimmer’s times.  Further training is only needed for the computer/scoring table and becoming a USA Swimming Official.  Please contact a board member if interested.

Lane timer and writer instructions


What equipment or uniform is needed?

For practice, each swimmer will need the following:  a practice swim suit (no two piece suits for girls), a swim cap, at least one pair of goggles, fins, hand paddles (Group 3 and higher swimmers only) and a pull buoy (Group 3 and higher swimmers only).  All swimmers should bring a water bottle to practice in order to stay hydrated.

For participation in a dual or ISI meet, each swimmer will need the following:  POSA team suit, swim cap, two pairs of goggles (in case one pair breaks), extra towel, extra bottle of water, healthy snacks and magic marker (to write their events on the palm of his/her hand)

Where do I buy my swimmer's swimsuit, goggles, and caps?

Team and practice suits, goggles, swim caps, pull buoys, fins, paddles, and backpacks are available for purchase at The Lifeguard Shop online.

A limited selection of practice suits, goggles, and caps are also available at local sporting good stores.

Where do I buy POSA spiritwear and other custom POSA gear?

POSA spiritwear (t-shirts, polo's, sweatshirts, and other items) will be ordered in bulk sales in the beginning of the season including items such as team warm ups, towels, and jackets, etc.