Parent Information



Frequently Asked Questions 


What should I do if I would like to speak with my child’s coach?

Coaches are always available to speak to the parents of their swimmers.

Simply introduce yourself before or after a practice or swim meet and the coach will be glad to speak with you. If possible, please avoid doing this during a practice or a busy time during a swim meet. Our coaches typically have 8 – 12 swimmers that they need to keep track of during these periods.

Head Coach Carol Lockhart can also assist with your questions.


What is a swim-a-thon?

This is a national fundraiser that is mandatory for all swimmers. Everybody does the swim –on the correct day, if possible. The Dolphins, Belugas and Sharks swim one day and the Cubs, Bronze, Silver and Gold swim another day.

The pledge packages will go directly to the swimmers from the pool deck close to the event. The club requires every swimmer to collect Swim-a-thon pledges. Swim Alberta charges the club a flat fee of $25 (at this time) for every registered swimmer.  Everything the club raises over and above the Swim Alberta fee stays with the club and is applied dollar for dollar to the swimmer’s fundraising obligation for the season. This has a direct impact on fees from year to year.

Swim as far as you can in two hours, kids! Each swimmer is responsible to bring someone twelve years or older to count their lengths. One counter can usually manage two swimmers, if you want to make a deal with a fellow parent. 


Why is fundraising important?

The club cannot run on fees alone and fundraising is a club requirement. The majority of the fundraising and fees in an average season go toward the cost of the pool. We also pay our junior coaches (usually senior swimmers). It should be noted that they are contributing back to the club as they could make a higher wage as instructors for the city.  FYI, adult coaches are volunteers. The club’s fundraising information is in the registration package.

Fundraising and volunteering are different and are not to be confused. Each swimmer has a fundraising requirement and volunteers are required to make swim meets and time trials run.

Meet travel is self-funded.


What equipment does a swimmer need?

Dolphins I and II: enthusiasm and listening skills!

Dolphins III: kick boards, fins, and a net bag to carry them

Belugas and Sharks: net bag, kick boards, fins, pull buoys

Cubs: net bag, kick boards, fins, pull buoys

Bronze: net bag, kick boards, fins, pull buoys, exercise band, yoga mat, competitive swim snorkel

Silver and Gold: net bag, kick boards, fins, pull buoys, exercise band (either physio type or tubing), yoga mat, competitive swim snorkel, hand paddles (rigid)

Team caps are mandatory and team swim suits and warm-up suits are encouraged. These can be purchased from the club.

Equipment can also be ordered through the Team Aquatic website.  Get a discount by adding the discount code YEL301 at the end of your order. 


I notice there are 3 timers in each lane for time trials and swim meets, how is the official time for the swimmer determined?

The rules of swimming require that manual timing include at least two and preferably three timers for each lane. If two times are used, the actual result is the average of the two times rounded up to the nearest 100th of a second. If three times are used, the middle time is used unless two times are identical in which case that time is used. In Yellowknife, we always try and have three timers per lane just in case a watch fails.


Who can disqualify a swimmer and why?

Swimming is a very technical sport with specific rules on how each stroke must be swum in competition. Stroke and Turn judges are volunteer officials who are trained to watch the races to make sure that these rules are followed. Coaches go over these rules with swimmers regularly during practice but occasionally the pressure of a race will cause a swimmer to forget one of these rules. When this occurs, the Stroke and Turn judge is required to disqualify the swimmer.  Although this can be upsetting for a swimmer, coaches will use the occasion as a learning opportunity to help the swimmer improve. Stroke and Turn judges can use their discretion to only advise swimmers or their coach in these matters. This typically occurs with younger swimmers only.


Volunteer Officials: Timers, Stroke and Turn Judges, Marshall, Starter, Referee

Without volunteer officials time trials and meets can’t happen. It takes approximately 30 volunteers to run a meet session, the majority of them timers. If you would like to learn more about swim officiating check out the Swim Canada web site at or speak to the Meet Manager or Head Coach.

Timers: 3 per lane needed. This is easy, fun, and a great way to meet the other parents and swimmers in the club. Front row, seated viewing of all the action. Training on the watch (start and stop!) takes about 5 minutes prior to the start of the meet.

Marshall:  A big voice and a heat sheet are all you need. You move swimmers through the marshalling area (rows of chairs) in the order of the heats in which they swim.

Starter: There are a few rules and a little bit of pre-meet practice required. Consistency of timing is important.

Referee: This is a senior official who has officiating experience.

Meet Manager:  Coordinates time trial and meet sanction paperwork with Swim Alberta. Puts the race entries submitted by coaches into a software program and generates the meet heats. Records the results and prepares the ribbons. These jobs are usually done by a team of two or three and we train!


Can a swimmer change strokes during a course of a freestyle event?

Yes, freestyle means that the swimmer can swim any style of stroke although the traditional front crawl taught by coaches is the fastest.


What happens when a swimmer’s name does not appear on the Heat Sheets?

If a swimmer’s name does not appear on the heat sheets just speak with their coach and the swimmer will be ‘deck entered’ into a number of events. 


Can a swimmer choose not to swim an event? Can a swimmer ask to be added to an event that they are not entered in?

Coaches are responsible for entering swimmers in events for each swim meet. Coaches typically discuss these entries with the swimmer but sometimes they may be away or they are missed for another reason. At our Yellowknife meets, swimmers can be scratched (removed) from an event or added to another event at the discretion of the coach and the Meet Manager. Coaches often encourage swimmers to try out new events and push themselves to see what they can achieve.


What can a swimmer do if their goggles fall off or slip down during a race?

There are a number of techniques that can be used for a swimmer to make sure their goggles stay on during the start of a race. The swimmers should discuss this and what to do if their goggles fall off with their coach during practices and the warm-up for the swim meet.

If they do fall off of slip down in freestyle events the swimmer can remove them or leave them in place as long as they don’t stand on the bottom or pull along the lane rope. In backstroke events, the same rules apply plus they cannot turn on to their front. Both breaststroke and butterfly rules say that the swimmer must maintain symmetrical arm and leg actions throughout the entire length of the race. This makes it more difficult to take the goggles off during the race.


At time trials/swim meets do I have to stay until the very end of the meet, or can I leave after my last event?

Swimmers and their parents are encouraged to stay at the pool until the end of the swim meet to encourage other swimmers and help build that all important sense of team spirit. Sometimes we hold relays or do other, special things at the end of the day as well.


At time trials / swim meets do I have to be there at the start if my first event is not for an hour?

Swimmers are asked to be at the pool at the start of the swim meet or time trial so that their coach can lead a proper warm-up and spend some time with each of them to help prepare for the day. Parents are also asked to come along with their swimmers to help officiate or cheer. It takes about 20 volunteer officials to run a swim meet so parent help is always encouraged.


I notice that my 9 year old daughter is swimming in the same heat as a 12 year old boy, how are swimmers grouped for a heat?

The heats at Yellowknife swim meets are set up so that swimmers race against other swimmers who are the closest to their entry time regardless of age or gender. This allows for the best race possible for the swimmers and allows us to shorten the total length of time for the meets. When the results are printed all swimmers are ranked according to their age group and gender.


What are Heat Sheets?

Heat sheets are the ‘program’ for a swim meet or time trial. They are organized by event number, i.e.

Event # 1 = 25 meters freestyle

Name                                     Age             Gender           Lane          Entry Time

Devon Hall                             15                  M                      3                 :16.59

Jessi Casebeer                      14                  F                       4                 :17.76

Jenny Aitken                          10                  F                       2                 :19.24

Tanner Dolynny                       8                  M                      1                 :24.56

Kirsten Knutson                       7                  F                       5                 :26.55

The swimmers who have entered the event are listed by their entry time. Entry times are the swimmer’s best result in that event in a previous meet. If an “NT” is shown, it means the swimmer does not have a time for this event on file. Once the races have been completed the results are sorted by age and gender.

Heat sheets are available online at the club site a day or two prior to the trial/meet so you can follow along and get a sense of the flow, and be sure to catch your swimmer’s events.

The Meet Mobile App is a great tool. You can search for a meet by name, find your swimmer(s), and get up to the minute results. 


What are Time Trials?

Sanctioned swim competitions run by Clubs to give their swimmers a chance to measure their progress and potentially qualify for higher-level meets.


Time Trials/Meets

Time trials and meets are held periodically so swimmers and coaches can evaluate skills and conditioning training. 

What’s the difference between a time trial and a meet?  Not a lot in a practical sense-we usually have at least one visiting club attend our meets.  For younger swimmers in the developmental groups (Dolphins, Belugas, Sharks) time trials are important steps in “learning the ropes” about challenging themselves (at an appropriate level), the rules of racing, emphasizing fair play and team spirit.  For older swimmers in the competitive groups (Cubs to Gold), the range of learning is from learning to race (mental preparation, racing strategy) to racing to win (performance under pressure). 


What are Qualifying Swim Meets?

Swim meets run by sanctioned Clubs where the swimmers must have a meet qualifying time before they can enter.


What are Invitational Swim Meets?

Swim meets run by sanctioned Clubs with invitations extended to a group of Clubs, usually in a geographic area. 


Swim Travel

Travelling to swim meets is a valuable experience for swimmers whether it be to Hay River, Edmonton or the Canada Games!  Swimmers learn how to adjust to different pools, the excitement and fun of travel with the team, and the responsibility of being ambassadors for their club and city.

The Club has policies regarding travel which can be found on the web site.

Away meets have various criteria. Please discuss with your coach to see if your swimmer should be attend meets and which meets would be best suited for them.


What is a Meet Qualifying Time?

A qualifying time is a time that your swimmer has acheived which is faster than the time required by a club, Swim Alberta or Swim Canada to be able to attend a meet. These meets are for swimmers who have met a qualifying standard according to the Host Club Standard, Alberta Standard or Swim Canada Standard. If a swimmer achieves a qualifying time they are eligible to swim at the meet.  The qualifying times can be found on the web site under “time standards”.  These Standards are updated yearly after the Swim Alberta AGM.


What are Time Standards?

YKPB swimmers are affiliated with Swim Alberta and attend more away meets in Alberta than elsewhere so our swimmers are most familiar with the Alberta Time Standards.

Time Standards are used as a means to qualify for different types of meets and for swimmer goal setting.


What is Swim Alberta?

Swim Alberta is the sport governing body for swimming in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. They sanction events, provide training and funding (to Alberta Clubs), provide some insurance and generally look after and promote the interests of competitive swimming.


What is the NWT Swimming Association?

The NWT Swimming Association is the sport governing body for swimming in the NWT. The Association is part of the Sport North Federation and provides funding for coach and official training and championship events. It is also responsible for Team NWT swimmers at the Canada Games, the North American Indigenous Games and the Western Canada Summer Games.