GPAC Travel Policy & Requirements

Meets designated as “Team Travel” are defined as meets where the coaching staff and designated team chaperones transport and supervise the swimmers for the duration of the trip.  Parents are welcome to attend the meet as spectators, however they must provide their own transportation, lodging (at a hotel other than the designated team hotel), and meals.  Furthermore, parents and others who are spectators are asked to provide distance from their swimmers allowing them to remain and bond with their teammates and coaches during the trip uninterrupted. 

The following requirements apply to ALL meets designated as Team Travel Meets:

1) Only swimmers ages 13 & older will be able to travel with the team to meets.  The stipulations for team travel only apply to those on the team travel trip.  Swimmers who are 12 years old or younger can still attend certain meets that have been designated as team travel, but they must travel, room, and stay with their parents.  Coaches of swimmers 12 and younger will supervise the swimmers during the swimming portion of the trip.  Parents/guardians are responsible for all supervision away from the pool.

2) All swimmers must abide by the rules for team travel.  No alternate accommodations will be given to anyone at any time.

3) All travel must be done with the team.  Swimmers cannot receive transportation to a meet from their parents; they must travel with the team.

4) When swimmers are given permission to travel home from the meet with their parents, the may do so ONLY after the final swim for our team has been completed for the entire meet.  No one will be permitted to leave the meet before all swimmers have completed their races.

5) Swimmers must stay with the team at all times.  No one will be given permission to miss a team meal or leave the team hotel (or the pool) for any reason other than the meet or unless there is an emergency situation.

6) All swimmers must abide by the team rules and travel code of conduct.  Swimmers in violation of any team rules or the travel code of conduct will be issued what the coaching staff deems to be the appropriate punishment.  THIS MAY INCLUDE IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL FROM THE MEET AT THE EXPENSE OF THAT SWIMMER’S PARENTS/GUARDIANS.  YOU ASSUME THIS RISK WHEN AGREEING TO ATTEND TEAM TRAVEL.  

7) All coaches and chaperones must sign and abide by the travel chaperone guidelines and code of conduct. 

8) All swimmers must abide by the team uniform policy at all times.

9) Swimmers of families whose team accounts are delinquent in any way will not be permitted to attend meets designated as team travel.

10) If a swimmer, parent, or guardian is unable or unwilling to abide by ANY of the requirements of or for team travel, the swimmer will not be permitted to attend the meet in any capacity (i.e., you cannot travel on your own to a meet designated team travel and swim as a member of Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club to avoid Team Travel Requirements).

Other Travel Requirements
To be eligible for Team Travel at different levels, swimmers must demonstrate the dedication to their swimming and the team in a number of different ways. 

Practice Attendance Requirements

Practice attendance requirements are set to ensure swimmers will be in peak performance shape for the Team Travel Meet or Training Trip.  They also represent what we believe is the minimum level of dedication necessary to attend these team travel meets.  Please note, this is the minimum requirement.  Swimmers should be striving to attend 100% of all practices offered at all times.  Also note that attendance percentages will not be rounded up, so 79.99% is not rounded up to 80.00%.  Practice attendance percentages are always taken from the first day of the season in September, unless otherwise stipulated by the coaching staff.  There are no excused absences for anything (travel, illness, schoolwork, etc.)!  All missed practices are considered equal.

The coaching staff reserves the right to alter attendance requirements for any meet deemed Team Travel with proper prior notice.


Attendance Requirements for each level of Team Travel:

Pittsburgh Christmas Meet:
Gold: 75% practice attendance
Jr. Elite, Elite, & Senior 1: 80% practice attendance

Senior Champs (or designated replacement meet) Spring or Summer
All swimmers: 80% practice attendance

All swimmers: 85% practice attendance

Grand Prix/Junior Nationals/US Open/Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials
All swimmers: 90% practice attendance

Team Training Trips or other in-season Team Travel Meet
All swimmers: 80% practice attendance

Dedication to Peak Performance
Swimmers attending a team travel meet are not permitted to attend practices or swim in meets with teams other than GPAC during the taper period for the designated team travel meet.  Swimmers who are found to be in violation of this rule will be pulled from the trip.  Any fees already paid will be forfeited.

USA Swimming Required Travel Policies:
(These policies are required addendums to our team travel policies by USA Swimming)

a) Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club.

b) Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-administered criminal background check.

c) Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete).

d) When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parents’ (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach. If the coach and athlete are of different genders, a parent must attend the meet.

Additional Travel Policies:

a) During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two-deep leadership and open and observable environments should be maintained.

b) Athletes should not ride in a coach’s vehicle without another adult present who is the same gender as the athlete.

c) During overnight team travel, if athletes are paired with other athletes they shall be of the same gender and should be a similar age. Where athletes are age 13 & Over, chaperones and/or team managers would ideally stay in nearby rooms.

d) When only one athlete under the age of 18 and one coach travel to a competition, the swimmer MUST be accompanied by at least one of their parents or guardians.

e) To ensure the propriety of the athletes and to protect the staff, there will be no male athletes in female athlete’s rooms and no female athletes in male athlete’s room.

f) A copy of the Club Code of Conduct must be signed by the athlete and his/her parent or legal guardian.

g) Team officials should obtain a signed Liability Release and/or Indemnification Form for each athlete.

h) Team officials should carry a signed Medical Consent or Authorization to Treat Form for each athlete.

i) Curfews shall be established by the team staff each day of the trip.

j) Team members and staff traveling with the team will attend all team functions  including meetings, practices, meals, meet sessions, etc. unless otherwise excused or instructed by the head coach or his/her designee.

k) The directions & decisions of coaches/chaperones are final.

l) Swimmers are expected to remain with the team at all times during the trip.  Swimmers are not to leave the competition venue, the hotel, a restaurant, or any other place at which the team has gathered without the permission/knowledge of the coach or chaperone.

m) When visiting public places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, etc. swimmers will stay in groups of no less than three persons.

n) The Head Coach or his/her designee shall make a written report of travel policy or code of conduct violations to the appropriate club leadership and the parent or legal guardian of any affected minor athlete.