Suburban Aquatic League (SAL)



SAL Overview

RAC is a member of the Suburban Aquatic League (SAL). We compete against other local aquatic clubs in a dual meet format, and the season concludes with divisional and league champs. This follows a similar model to summer swim leagues. SAL meets are team competitions, and the success of our team is dependent on full participation from our membership. 


Meet Commitment Expectations

As a member of RAC, it is our expectation that all swimmers participate in our SAL meets. Dual meets provide the opportunity for swimmers to compete in relays, individual events, and with swimmers in different varsity groups. It also provides the unique experience of age group swimming where we have swimmers of all ages on deck together. 


This year we are asking all swimmers to sign up for SAL meets on our event page hereYou can do this by clicking attend/decline next to the meet name, then committing your swimmer. Similarly, if your swimmer has a conflict, either with a USA meet or other activities, you can opt them out of the meet. We will use the list of COMMITTED swimmers to build the lineup each week. 


SAL Meet Events

The coaching staff will create the lineup for SAL meets.  SAL meets are TEAM events, and swimmers are placed in individual events and relays that will best support the team. Event selection for SAL meets are at the discretion of the coaches; we will not respond to event change requests. Events vary depending on the age, but generally consist of medley relays, 25s/50s/100s of all 4 strokes, IM, and freestyle relays. Like summer swimming, swimmers compete in age groups. Their age on 10/31/22 determines their age group for the season.  Your swimmer will find out which events they will be swimming when they arrive at the meet!


SAL - USA Meet Conflicts

In some cases, we will have SAL and USA meets on the same day. This is not ideal, but in some cases it is unavoidable.  In this situation, we ask families to make the decision that best aligns with your swimmer’s goals for swimming.  For some swimmers, that means competing in dual meets with the team, and for others it may mean competing at a USA meet to get experience in different/longer events.  At RAC we will support your swimmer in both scenarios. Depending on the timing and location of the meets, it is also possible to swim in both meets on the same day!


Types of SAL Meets

Dual Meets: These are head-to-head meets and boys and girls are typically swum in separate locations and/or times. Since we are unable to host meets at RHS this season, all of our meets will be AWAY. Some of these meets will be “double-dual” which means that boys and girls will be combined into one meet. There are 5 in-season dual meets, and 2 “playoff” meets against teams in other divisions. The locations and opponents for “playoffs” will not be determined until later this winter. 


Invitationals: Additional SAL meets typically held on Sundays that provide swimmers the opportunity to choose events and get additional times to qualify them for the championship meets. The NP Trophy Meet is an example of an invitational. In some cases, invitationals are also  USA swim meets. 


Championship Meets: At the conclusion of the season swimmers will have the opportunity to compete in A (League) or B (Divisional) Champs. Swimmers qualify for A Champs based on their times in individual events throughout the season. If a swimmer does not qualify for A Champs, they have the opportunity to swim in B Champs instead. A Champs is traditionally a very competitive meet, and the times count towards USA swimming as well! 


SAL vs USA Meets

The biggest difference between SAL and USA meets is the team atmosphere. In SAL meets, RAC is competing against one other team. The meet is scored and there is a team winner. In USA meets, many different teams compete at the same time and there is not usually team scoring. USA meets are more focused on individual swims and SAL is more focused on the team. Times from SAL meets do not count towards your swimmer’s USA times, and times from USA meets do not count towards SAL. The exception to this is in the event of a combined SAL/USA meet, such as the Trophy Meet or A Champs. 



We are not able to run a successful SAL meet without your help! In the coming days, you will be hearing from our SAL Reps, Jenn Breen and Brooke McDermott, about how to sign up for volunteer positions.  Volunteering is a great way to get involved, meet your swimmer’s teammates, and meet new RAC families!  


If you have questions about SAL, or are unsure of the best meets for your swimmer, I encourage you to reach out to your swimmer’s respective group coach. Another great resource is our parent board of directors. You can find their contact information on our website here