Pirahas 2018 Parent Flyer:  /reccslblva/__doc__/Piranhas Flyer 2018v3.docx

Volunteer Flyer/reccslblva/__doc__/Volunteer job descriptions.docx


Freestyle: This is the most common stroke and is also known as the front crawl or Australian crawl. In freestyle, the swimmer is on his or her front moving one arm forward at a time. This is called an overarm stroke. The flutter kick is used and the face is in the water but turns to the side to take a breath.

Backstroke: While lying on his or her back, the swimmer moves one arm at a time in an over-the-head stroke. Flutter kicks are used. On turns, the swimmer may rotate to the stomach and perform a flip turn and some part of the swimmer must touch the wall. At the finish the swimmer must touch the wall on his or her back.

Breaststroke: While on his or her front, the swimmer’s arms pull from in front of their heads to shoulder level while their legs do a frog kick. Their arm and leg movements push forward together and come back under the surface of the water. At the finish the swimmer’s hands must touch the wall simultaneously.

Butterfly: It is done on a swimmer’s front. The swimmer’s arms are brought forward over the water and pulled back together. It is often referred to as a windmill-like motion. The kick is usually an up and down motion similar to that of a dolphin. Any movement of the legs and feet must be simultaneous. At the finish the swimmer’s hands must touch the wall simultaneously.

I.M. (Individual Medley): All four strokes are swum in the following order – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Each stroke is swum one fourth of the total distance.


DQed means the swimmer was disqualified from a specific event (not the meet) for not following official swimming rules. When this occurs at a meet, a Stroke and Turn Official will raise his/her hand to indicate a swimmer has been disqualified. This Official will then tell the Meet Referee exactly why a swimmer was DQed and will turn in a form explaining the same. A copy of the form is provided to the coaches so they can help the swimmer correct the problem during following practices times. Meet protocols dictate that only Team Reps have the right to formally protest a DQ to the Referee if/when they believe an error was made. While rare, DQ’s may be overturned, so swimmers should always complete the race.

Every swimmer gets DQed one time or another. It’s a learning experience that helps the swimmer and coaches focus on the appropriate stroke skill training needed. While a DQ can be emotional for the swimmer, the coaches understand that it happens and will encourage the swimmer to get back in the water and work on the specific cause. Some of the most common causes include:

STARTS: False-start (entering the water before the starter light and sound)

FREESTYLE: Failure to touch the wall at the turning end of the pool. Pulling on the lane lines

BACKSTROKE: Not having toes below the surface before the start. Not touching the wall on your back at the turn and finish. Taking more than 1 freestyle pull when doing a flip-turn. Shoulders past vertical at turn or finish
*May turn on your stomach when doing a flip turn only

BUTTERFLY: Not touching the wall with both hands. Not keeping feet together while kicking. Not having simultaneous arm pulls. Arms not breaking the surface of the water Shoulders not facing the wall

BREASTSTOKE: Not touching the wall with both hands. Pulling past the hip line. Taking more than 1 pull and 1 kick during under water pull Scissor kicking

RELAYS: Early-take-offs (leaving the block before swimmer touches the wall) 
*All other swimming rules relating to individual strokes apply

*If the swimmer does not finish the race
*If the swimmer touches their feet on the bottom before finishing
*If the swimmer’s head does not break the surface before the 15 meter mark (about 2/3rds of a 25 yard pool) after a start or turn
*If you reenter the pool before the event is over. For individual events (other than relays), swimmers should always remain in the pool until the event is over. This shows good sportsmanship and prevents being DQed for reentry.



An 'A' Meet is a term used within the CSL for Saturday competitions between teams.  An 'A' Meet is competed for team points, team standing and age group champs within a given CSL Division. It involves strategy and gamesmanship by our Coaches to earn the most points for the team by selecting the most competitive swimmers available for the given meet.


An 'B' Meet is a term used within the CSL for Wednesday night developmental meets between teams. A 'B' Meet is conducted to allow all swimmers an opportunity to improve individual seed times in all strokes including the Individual Medley. There are no team points associated with a Wednesday night, only "official" individual times. Unlike the Northern Virginia Swim League, the CSL allows 'B' Meet times to count for qualifications for Divisionals. All Swimmers, except swimmers that placed in a particular event in the prior Saturday 'A' Meet are encouraged to swim and improve their personal times.



The answer is actually simple and not so simple all at the same time. At the most basic level, the Head Coach simply selects his or her top 3 seeded swimmers in each individual stoke.  The CSL has an eligibility rule that states a swimmer can only compete in 3 individual events and 2 relays at any given 'A' Meet. So if a top seeded swimmer in backstroke is not eligible to swim because he or she is already selected for free, breast and butterfly, then the 4th seeded swimmer in backstroke will be selected. What gets confusing to the uninitiated is that the coach will sometimes shuffle swimmers around in an effort to maximize points against the other team. Another selection option available to the Head Coach is a "swim-up". Suppose the team had an empty lane in the Boys 15-18 Backstroke due a lack of available swimmers. The Coach has the right to select a younger swimmers to "swim-up" in that spot. Typical of a summer swim program, vacations and other personal events do impact the swimmer eligibility to the point that swimmers seeded 4th, 5th or even 6th are sometimes selected for the Saturday Meet. But under all conditions, the fastest eligible swimmers have to be selected for a given individual event. Every attempt is made to get as many kids as possible to participate in a meet.


If your swimmer is going to miss a meet (either Wed OR Sat), you must tell us beforehand so we can give their lane to another swimmer. Never assume your swimmer won't swim in a Saturday meet; we try to give as many swimmers as possible a chance to swim in a Saturday meet, so please tell us if you know your swimmer won't be around on a particular Wednesday or Saturday. Here's how to mark your swimmer absent for an upcoming meet:

  • Log in at http://www.teamunify.com/reccslblva/
  • Click the "Team Event Schedule" button
  • Find the event(s) for which your swimmer cannot attend
  • Click on “Attend/Decline”
  • Click on your swimmer's name
  • Click the *Declaration pull-down menu and select “No thanks...”
  • Click the “Save changes” button

If your swimmer is unexpectedly unable to participate on the day of a meet, please email the Head Coaches ASAP and let them know that your swimmer won't be there.

1. Most important: team swimsuitcap, and goggles. Most swimmers will arrive at the pool with their suit on and wear shorts or sweats over it.

2. Towels: realize your swimmer will be there awhile and will be getting in and out of the pool several times, so pack at least two.

3. Something to sit on. During the meet your swimmer will be sitting in a “team area” that is usually located either on the pool deck or a near by grassy area. Most swimmers bring an extra towel or a small blanket to sit on in the team area.

4. Something to wear between swimming events. T-shirts and shorts are the norm when weather is hot. Warmer clothes, such as sweats are worn when the weather is cooler (especially the case for morning meets).

5. Sunscreen: some team areas will be located in a shaded area and your swimmer will not be sitting in direct sunlight, however, this may not be the case at every meet.

6. Activities to stay busy during swimming events: travel games, coloring/activity books, books to read, cards - anything to pass the time. Some swimmers do bring their video games and/or I pods. However, these are valuable items and we cannot be held responsible if such items are misplaced during a meet.

7. Money or food: Usually meets will have concession stands but swimmers are welcomed to bring their own drinks and snacks. Suggestions for items to bring:

Drinks: water, fruit juice, sports drinks.

Snacks: granola bars, fruit snacks, yogurt, cereal, sandwiches, and bagels.

FYI - it’s not unusual for items to get lost, so it would be beneficial to label all your swimmer’s belongings.


1. Attempt to arrive at the pool 5 -10 minutes prior to the start of warm-ups. Upon arrival, report to the Clerk of Course where a volunteer will write event information on your swimmer’s arm with a sharpie marker.

2. Once finished at the Clerk of Course table, proceed to find a place to put your swimmer’s belongings in the appropriate team area.

3. Once settled in, your swimmer should then prepare for warm-ups.


1. Your swimmer needs to pay attention to the events being called by the Clerk of Course volunteers. Throughout the meet these volunteers will be instructing swimmers when and where to line up and remain ready to swim.

2. Between swims, your swimmer is asked to stay in the team area. If your swimmer must leave the designated team area during the meet, he/she needs to inform one of the Clerk of Course volunteers of where he/she is going.

3. After each swim:

a. Your swimmer should wait until all swimmers are finished before exiting the pool. Also, attempt to shake hands with the swimmers in the lanes next to him/her.

b. Your swimmer can ask the timers for their time after exiting the pool.

c. Once a swimmer has completed all events, please clarify with the coach if he/she can go home. Make sure, you as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to verify your swimmer is not participating in a relay. Relay swimmers will be determined at the meet, depending upon the fastest swims that day.

FYI - Once you have attended one or two meets, this will all become very routine!!


Food choices can have a high impact on a swimmer's performance. A proper diet, including proper selection of foods from all 4-food groups, should lead to a good performance while also achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Since many swimmers practice 5 days a week and compete 1 to 2 times a week, proper nutrition is a must! Choose a diet high in carbohydrates. During the practices, the body burns mostly carbohydrate calories as its energy source.

The best way to replenish calories lost during practice is with a high carbohydrate diet. Eating foods or drinks high in carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes after practice will help restore lost energy.

To make sure your swimmer is getting the required nutrition, follow these nutrition do's and don'ts

Do -Don't
Do eat hot cereals like oatmeal or oat bran

Don't choose sugary children's cereals

Do select whole-grain or high fiber cold cereals

Don't choose fast food breakfast sandwiches & fat-laden croissants

Do eat breads, including muffins, biscuits and bagels

Don't eat doughnuts or pastries

Do eat pancakes, waffles and French toast with fat-free toppings like syrups and jams

Don't use too much margarine or butter

Do choose fruit, including fresh, canned and juices

Don't drink "Fruit Drinks" with little or no real fruit juice

Do choose eggs up to 2 or 3 times a week

Don't eat sausage, ham or bacon > 1 or 2 times a week

Do try skim or low fat milk

Don't skip Breakfast

Do choose lean meats like turkey

Don't eat fatty and salty luncheon meats too often

Do use mustard and ketchup as condiments

Don't overuse condiments like mayonnaise or salad dressings

Do pack a lunch when possible

Don't eat fast-food meals too frequently

Do eat pasta as much as you like, but choose tomato sauces rather than cream sauces

Don't choose prepared salads containing excessive mayonnaise or salad dressings

Do choose a hamburger over hot dogs

Don't skip lunch

Do choose a baked potato over fries

Do try pizza without fatty meat toppings

Do eat pasta dishes

Don't choose meals w/heavy cream sauces or gravies

Do choose pizza w/vegetable and lean meat toppings

Don't choose deep-fried meals more than 2x a week

Do try Chinese food w/ rice and fresh vegetables

Don't eat high-fat meals like hot dogs or sausages in excess

Do select fish often. Broiled or poached is best

Don't use high fat dressings or toppings

Do trim fat from meats & remove skin from poultry

Don't ruin a baked potato or bread w/too much butter

Do have soup, salads and lots of veggies

Don't have cakes, ice cream & pies every night

Do include potatoes, rice or beans when possible

Do choose fresh fruit, yogurt or Jell-O for dessert

During the hot summer months, it is essential to keep your swimmer hydrated. They need to drink lots of fluids, between 8 to 12 glasses each day - mostly water. Additional sources include milk, fruit juices (100% juice not juice drinks) and sports drinks.