Louisville Dolphins New Team Member FAQ



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Swim Meet Questions:

  • What time do meets start?

    • Most meets start at 8am sharp. When we swim against a very large team we will start at 7:30.  Your swimmer will be reminded of the start times during Friday practice.

  • How early should we arrive at a meet?

    • The first group of warm ups begin at 6:30am. Each warm up session generally lasts 15 minutes. Please visit the team web site to see the warm up times listed by age group.

  • What is the first thing we should do when we arrive at a meet?

    • Find a spot to spend the meet and tell your swimmer to check in with his/her coach.

  • What should we bring to a meet?

    • Pack your swimmer’s bag the night before. Be sure to pack/bring everything on the swim meet checklist.

  • Do I need to bring money to meets?

    • You don’t have to, but you may want to.  There is a concessions stand and a BBQ grill at the meets.  It’s a long day and you or your swimmer(s) will probably want to buy some food, plus this one way the team raises money to cover our costs.

  • How long do meets last?

    • It depends on the size of the team we are competing against, but plan for ending by 2pm.  It may end earlier but help cleaning up afterwards is always appreciated!

  • Do I have to stay for the entire meet?

    • Yes, unless otherwise worked out with a coach.

  • How do I know what events my child is swimming?

    • We use an online meet entry form. You will be able to log in and select the races your swimmer would like to swim. Swimmers may select up to three individual events for each upcoming meet. Coaches will try to honor the requests if possible but please remember that they have a limited number of entries in each event based on agreements made with the other team.  Confirmation of your swimmer’s entries for the meet will be emailed to you after the coach finalizes the lineup. Your swimmer will be told during Friday practice which events they are swimming. 

  • What is the heating area?

    • The heating area is where your swimmer goes prior to each race. They will be lined up in rows of 6 by lane number and those will be the 6 kids in that heat of a race.

  • Where is the heating area?

    • For home meets the heating area is under the large white tent near the pool house entrance.

  • What are pink and blue cards?

    • Pink and blue cards are given to the swimmers prior to each race and contain heat numbers and your swimmer’s name. Swimmers give their pink or blue card to the timers on deck just prior to their race and the timer’s write the race time on the cards after the race and it’s then taken to the scoring table.

  • Where does my swimmer get their pink or blue card?

    • When your swimmer’s event nears, a volunteer will call for all swimmers to gather near the heating area, and a meet volunteer will hand out pink cards (for girls) or blue cards (for boys).

  • What does my swimmer need to bring to the heating area?

    • Your swimmer should come to the heating area ready to swim!  He/she should have a pink or blue card, goggles & a swim cap.  There is no place for a towel so they should plan to grab their towel after exiting the pool deck.

  • How do heats work?

    • The first heat is the fastest heat. Each following heat is the next fastest except during League Prelims and League Finals where the order is reversed and the slowest heats swim first leading up to the final heat which is the fastest.

  • How are swimmers selected for heats?

    • Heats are set up by time.  We hold a practice meet at the beginning of each season to document times for each swimmer. If your child swam in a previous season and doesn’t record a time for a particular race at the practice meet, their best time from the previous season is used, as long as the distance is appropriate for their age group.

  • How many races can my swimmer swim at each meet?

    • Up to 3 individual events and up to 2 relays per meet. Your swimmer may occasionally swim in an extra race as an exhibition swim. Exhibition swims are great for practicing a stroke and for getting a time recorded. They do not count towards points or ribbons.

  • Is there any difference which lane my swimmer is in?

    • The fastest lane in the pool is the middle lane. For home meets the Dolphin swimmers will be in lanes 1, 3 & 5 and the opposing team swimmers will be in lanes 2,4 & 6 unless there are not enough opposing swimmers and then a Dolphin may be put in an empty lane  as an exhibition swimmer.

  • Do I need to keep track of my swimmer’s times & where do they post results?

    • No.  All times are recorded electronically and will be posted to the team website a day or so after the meet.  The times will also be posted in the pool area during the meet if possible. On the Dolphins website, go to Programs and Results page and enter user name and password emailed to you at the beginning of the season.

  • What is a DQ?

    • Disqualification or a “DQ” from an event in a meet is unfortunate, but is an important learning tool for developing swimmers.  Swimming a stroke illegally (e.g. wrong kick), turning illegally, or not touching the wall properly will cause disqualification from the race only (not entire meet).  DQ’s are not intended to punish, but to help swimmers become aware of things that need correction. It is important for all swimmers and families to recognize this!

    • Common DQ’s include: turning onto stomach during backstroke; relay member starting off blocks before his/her teammate touches wall; relay member staying in pool after touching wall; relay member pushing other teammate into water; two false starts; and touching with only one hand when turning or finishing butterfly or breaststroke.  8 and under swimmers are not scrutinized quite as stringently as older, more experienced swimmers.

  • How are kids selected for relay teams?

    • Coaches pick the lines ups based on current swim times, work ethic and practice attendance.

  • What’s the difference between the A, B, C, D, E & F relay teams?

    • The A relay is the fastest relay composed of the 4 fastest swimmers for that race. There is also some coach discretion depending on how the coaches want the race to go. Sometimes they will spread out the faster swimmers across the different relay teams.  In the first heat, relays A, B & C will swim against the A, B  & C relays of the opposing team. The A relay will always be in the middle lane or lane 3 in our home pool.

  • How can my swimmer move up to a faster relay team?

    • Coaches use individual race times to pick the swimmers for the relays. Sometimes your child’s attitude and work ethic during practice will also come into the decision.

  • If my child gets a speeding ticket or a ribbon, where do I collect that after a race?

    • Speeding tickets and ribbons are placed in your swimmer’s folder inside the pool house in the days following a meet. They are usually ready by Tuesday practice but sometimes it’s Wednesday.  We can always use more parent volunteers to help with writing up speeding tickets and ribbons.

  • How do scoring & ribbons work?

    • Each event has one or more heats per gender, per age group. All heats are scored, and ribbons are handed out to top six finishers, however, only the fastest three swimmers per team score and receive ribbons.

    • At League Prelims, swimmers are ranked by their times, the fastest 20 times continue to Finals.

    • At League Finals, swimmers in the first heat (consolation heat) are ranked eleventh through twentieth place. In the second heat (championship heat) swimmers are ranked first through tenth, based on times during Prelims. During Finals, swimmers can only move within their heat for placing (i.e. a swimmer cannot move up from eleventh place, or down from tenth place).

  • Is there a meet program?

    • A meet program will be posted to the Programs and Results page of our website usually late Friday night.  If you don’t see it before you go to bed, check the site in the morning before leaving for the meet.

  • Is there a numbering key to events?

    • Yes!  Each age group and gender ends in a different number. Once you learn the event numbers and your swimmers race numbers it will be easy to look thru the meet program quickly. *See program event key at end of this FAQ.

  • What are the extra meets and are they mandatory?

    • Extra meets are not mandatory but they are fun. The Pentathlon gives your swimmer a chance to race all four strokes and an IM in one meet. The Hot Shot Meet gives your swimmer a chance to swim sprints in all four strokes.  The Long Shot meet gives your swimmer the chance to pick their own races and is a good meet for seeing the competition across all league teams as many smaller teams that we don’t swim against until Finals participate in these extra meets.  For more details for each of these meets, refer to the individual meet under Meets/Events.

  • How much do the extra meets cost?

    • The Pentathlon in $38 and the Hot Shot is $25.  If swimmers enter both the Hot Shot and Long Shot meets (held on the same day) the total cost is $40. Email reminders will be sent with detailed information about cost and sign up deadlines.


TeamUp! Questions

  • What is TeamUp?

    • The TeamUp! program is a team building/bonding program for the different age groups on the team to get together and participate in an activity. This will help all the swimmers to get to know one another.

  • Do I have to sign up? 

    • No.  But it’s a fun program and a great way for the kids across different age groups get to know each other. More details will be sent out at the start of signs ups.

  • How many TeamUp! get togethers are there during the season?

    • Generally, three during the season and there is no cost.


How can I get more involved with the Dolphins?

  • What is the POD?

    • POD stands for Parents of Dolphins and is the group of folks who make the swim team function.  Louisville Dolphins is a private team, not run by the city and parent volunteers manage every aspect of making the team function. We always need more parents to help.

  • Can I join the POD?

    • Yes! We have some POD members who are getting ready to move on and we need new parents to get involved.

  • How much time commitment is required to be on the POD?

    • Depends on the position or role you take on. We meet once in the Fall after the season ends for about 2 hours and once again in the spring prior to the kick off of the season.  There are many different coordinator positions within the POD and job descriptions will be shared if you are interested in joining.  The busiest time for a POD member is during the summer swim season itself.

  • Who do I talk to about joining the POD or getting more information?

    • Seek out a current POD member and they will assist. POD members wear shirts during swim meets designating them as POD members and they also wear nametags.


Race program key:

There are 90 events in a BVSSL swim meet. The sequential order is always the same. Some BVSSL pools are meter (M) pools and some are yard (Y) pools.  Yard pools are slightly shorter than meter pools (about 10% shorter) so race times in yard pools are faster.


Races 1-10  100 and 200 Medley Relay

Races 11-20 100 and 200 Freestyle

Races 21-30 25 and 50 Freestyle

Races 31-40 25, 50 and 100 Butterfly

Races 41-50 25, 50 and 100 Backstroke

Races 51-60 50 and 100 Freestyle

Races 61-70 25, 50 and 100 Breaststroke

Races 71-80 100 and 200 Individual Medley or IM

Races 81-90 100 and 200 Freestyle Relay


Boy races always end in an odd number and girl races end in an even number


8 and under races – end in 1 for boys & 2 for girls

1 & 2 100M Medley Relay

11 & 12 100 Freestyle

21 &22 25 Freestyle

31 & 32 25 Butterfly

41 & 42 25 Backstroke

51 & 52 50 Freestyle

61 & 62 25M Breaststroke

71 & 72 100M IM

81 & 82 100 Freestyle Relay


9/10 age group races – end in 3 for boys & 4 for girls

3 & 4 100M Medley Relay

13 & 14 200 Freestyle

23 & 24 50 Freestyle

33 & 34 50 Butterfly

43 & 44 50 Backstroke

53 & 54 100 Freestyle

63 & 64 50 Breaststroke

73 & 74 100M IM

83 & 84100M Freestyle Relay


11/12 age group races – end in 5 for boys & 6 for girls

5 & 6 100M Medley Relay

15 & 16 200 Freestyle

25 & 26 50 Freestyle

35 & 36 50 Butterfly

45 & 46 50 Backstroke

55 & 56 100 Freestyle

65 & 66 50 Breaststroke

75 & 76 100M IM

85 & 86 100M Freestyle Relay


13/14 age group races – end in 7 for boys & 8 for girls

7 & 8  200 Medley Relay

17 & 18 200 Freestyle

27 & 28 50 Freestyle

37 & 38 100 Butterfly

47 & 48 100 Backstroke

57 & 58 100 Freestyle

67 & 68 100 Breaststroke

77 & 78 200M IM

87 & 88 200M Freestyle Relay


15 - 18 age group races – end in 9 for boys & 0 for girls

9 & 10 200 Medley Relay

19 & 20 200 Freestyle

29 & 30 50 Freestyle

39 & 40 100 Butterfly

49 & 50 100 Backstroke

59 & 60 100 Freestyle

69 & 70 100 Breaststroke

79 & 80 200 IM

89 & 90 200M Freestyle Relay