PAY New Parent Frequently Asked Questions 2018-2019

Oct 15, 2018


  1. What is PAC ?
    PAC is our "Parents Aquatic Club", which is the booster club for the swim team. All of our parents are encouraged to participate in this group by volunteering at the swim meets or social functions, fundraising, and cheering our PAY swimmers on at meets.  The Board Members and Parent Reps for PAC are available for any non-training PAY Swim Team questions!

Kate Baganski

Lauren Carnevale

Colleen Padilla

Alyssa Petrick

Jackie Brucker

Trevor Lewis

Karen Fuscaldo

Artemis Pappas

Carmen Mulhern


2. Where do we find information about the swim team?
The main sources for PAY Swim Team Info:

  1. The team website  is an interactive site and database that contains almost everything you need to know.  Our winter league website is also a resource for families to know club addresses and meet results, schedules, and officials’ training opportunities.  PAY is in PennDel’s Washington Division.
  2. The Swim Team Family Mail Boxes located in the Y hallway near the large window overlooking the pool will have folders alphabetically filed in the filing cabinet and plastic boxes with family names for any ribbons or medals received by swimmers at Invitational Meets.
  3. E-Mail – You will receive routine emails from coaches and parent volunteers on the PAC Board about weekly or monthly news items related to the PAY Swim Team.
    1. How can we contact a coach? Email head coach Anthony ( or an assistant practice coach to send and receive information.  Coaches are not available for long conversations during practice. The practice coaches are the ones who will know your child the best as the days and weeks unfold.  Contact info for the adult coaches is below:


Anthony Addlesberger-

Tracy Arnold-Merke-

​Jack Angeny-

Carrie Berg-

Melinda Borgnis-

John Carey-

Rachel Vagnoni-

Audrey Rittenhouse-

Kate Deeney-

Dan McGuigan-


4.  What is the difference between `practice groups" and "teams"?
"Practice groups" are usually designated by color or age - mini, bronze, silver, gold, senior, pre-nationals and nationals.  The swimmers are divided by age and ability for practices so that we can better meet the needs of each individual. With a whole practice group swimming at about the same level, the coaches can design a program specific for the group. Practice groups will usually contain swimmers from each of the "teams". The "teams" are the groups that compete together during the dual meet season.  We have the Washington Girls Team and the Washington Boys Team for dual meet competitions.

5.  How often do we practice?
Each practice group has different requirements for the number of practices to be attended to meet their fullest potential. Check the Swim Team web site for the Practice Schedules for your swimmer’s group for pool time and dryland under the PAY 18-19 tab. Have your swimmer communicate with the practice coaches if they can’t attend practice.  Communicate with Coach Anthony via email if there are days throughout the season that your swimmer will miss due to other commitments. 

6.  Can we watch practices?
Yes, although there is limited seating. Please remember to let the coaches do the coaching. Your support and encouragement are all that your children need.

7.  Do all swimmers need caps and goggles?
Yes, two pairs of goggles are recommended by all swimmers to protect their eyes because they are so easily lost.  Caps are needed if your child's hair is long. (PAC provides all swimmers with 2 personalized caps – they should arrive in November.) Please put your child's name on all caps and goggles and keep them in working order. Teach­ing your child how to adjust them would be helpful. If your child wears a cap, please have it on and ready when practice starts.

8.  What other things should we know about practices?
Be sure to have your child use the bathroom before practice starts. No clowning around, misbehaving, or rudeness will be tolerated.  There are a lot of swimmers on deck and in the water and safety is of the utmost importance.  NO Glass Containers on the pool deck, including glass containers covered in rubber.

9.  What are warm-up times described on the Meet Events on the website?
These are "warm-up" times. This is when the swimmers will go into the water. Therefore, you will need to have the swimmers at the pool at least 20-30 minutes before the stated time on the meet schedule to check in with coaches prior to the Scratch Meeting (when coaches meet to delete “no-show” kids from the meets prior to the start). Each coach will specify when he/she wants the team there. Please allow time for travel, parking, changing into suits, etc. When swimmers are late, coaches get worried and stressed due to the scratch meetings. Being on time is important- email or text a coach or fellow swim parent already at the meet if you are tied up in traffic, etc. so all know you are on your way.  Communication is key. The meets will generally start 45 minutes after the stated warm-up time.

10.  Where do we get directions for the "away" meets?
The address for any away Dual Meet will be detailed in the Event Description.  For Invitationals, the meet address will be in the Meet Invite attached to the Event Description.

11. What do we do if our child can't make a meet?
A. Previous Commitment
We ask that all swimmers commit to meets (either way) via our online event management system in our PAY website (Team Unify) by Saturday prior to the meet. This will allow the coaches to prepare the lineup for the meet.

B. Illness
If your child is sick any time during the week and there is a possibility that he/she may not be able to swim in the meet, PLEASE let the coach know. It is easier to adjust the line-up when the coach knows that your child may not be attending the meet or is not feeling well. Knowing that your child is not feeling 100% may change the events that the coach might enter him/her in. On Saturday morning you can contact the coach again to give the final decision.

If your child gets sick the night before a meet (or in the morning) please email or text the coach as soon as possible.

12.  Can we leave a dual meet when our child is finished swimming?
We require that all the swimmers stay until the end of the dual meet. Dual meets usually last 2.25 hours not including warmups. Swimmers should stay on deck to cheer their teammates in the ending relays.  This encourages team unity and team spirit as well as good sportsmanship. If your schedule dictates an early departure from a meet, please try to arrange for some other parent to take your child home from the meet.  Exceptions are always acceptable but shouldn’t be the rule.  FOR INVITATIONAL MEETS swimmers may leave after they swim their events.

13.  What do we pack in the swim bag for the meets?
First- LABEL everything! Coaches can return lost and found items that have names on them.
Here are some suggestions for the bag:

  • Towels (2) - Keep one dry for the end of the meet
  • Sweat pants and shirt to wear during the meet
  • Dry clothes for after the meet (Put in ziploc bag)
  • Cap and two (2) pair of goggles
  • Team swim suit (younger ones may want to wear suit to meet)
  • Drink in plastic container
  • Folding Chair (often allowed, depending on deck space)

Please do not pack the following items: balls, electronic games, small toys unless it is an Invitational Meet where families and/or swimmers wait in large gymnasiums.

14.  Do parents need to help at swim meets?
YES!   All families are required to volunteer time at our dual swim meets and some Invitationals require volunteers as well.  Families participating in Champs and post-season meets will also be requested to volunteer at those larger meets. 
There are many jobs that need to be done at every swim meet. "Home" meets require more helpers than "away" meets. Jobs vary widely, and there are many ways to help even if you don't know much about swimming. We can teach you how to time, record places, collect times, line up swimmers, set up, breakdown, or run the computer timing system. You can help with snacks or 50:50 sales. It's easy and fun, and you'll meet a lot of other great parents. Sign up online at the same time you commit your swimmer for the meet—there is a separate Job Signup Tab under each Event. In addition, there will be separate Events set up for families to donate food, ice, and drinks to our home meets for the swim team to sell at our snack bar.  We ask all families to contribute items for selling at our snack bar fundraisers.  All volunteers will need to complete the YMCA’s volunteer clearances.  A separate email will be sent with details. Thank you in advance!

15.  Can our child sit with us during the meet?
We require that our teams sit together at the dual meets. Your child will be allowed to visit with you when they need to. They must return to the team so that the coaches know where to find them.  Invitational Swim Meets are different- for those, swimmers and/or families are housed in large gymnasiums until they have to swim so families can sit together on their personal folding chairs.

16.  What are the Post-Season meets?
These are all the championship meets held after our last dual meet on the schedule. In our Washington Division Championship Meet all swimmers are encouraged to participate but they must swim in at least 2 dual meets this winter to be eligible for the early February Championship meet.  After Washington Champs, there are additional meets that have specific eligibility requirements based on age or qualifying times. 

17. What are "Invitational" meets?

These are big (and long) meets where many teams are invited to participate. There will be many "heats" of each race, with the places being determined by the swimmer's times. These are optional meets; you must sign-up by the individual designated deadlines and parents choose their swimmers events for them to enter.  Parents will be invoiced through their Team Unify PAC account for any meet entry fees associated with Invitational Meets.  Some invitational meets are for USS sanctioned swimmers only others are for any PAY/YMCA swimmer.  It is your responsibility to get to the meet on time. Coaches may or may not be present but our swimmers would sit together on deck or in gymnasiums depending on the facility’s size.  Your swimmer can leave Invitational Swim Meets after completing their events.

18.  What Is USS Swimming?
United States Swimming (USS) is the organization that governs amateur swimming in the USA. This organization holds many swim meets across the country for swimmers of all abilities. Membership is required for these meets. USS swimming is option for our swimmers.  More details on our PAY website under the PAY 18-19 tab.

19.  What snacks are good to have during a swim meet?
Your child needs a snack if the meet is going to be a long one like Championships and Invitationals.   For a regular dual meet, your child may require a snack.  PAY Swim Team hosts snack bars as to most other host team for away meets. If a snack is necessary, keep it simple, not messy, and small in amount! No chocolate or heavy foods should be eaten. Some good ideas for snacks are:

  • Dry Cereal                    
  • Fruit drinks or juice
  • Veggies
  • Fruit       
  • Granola bars                
  • Dry Muffins 
  • Crackers, Plain Bagels