Frequently Asked Questions

Many of the questions that new families have about swim team are addressed in the Las Trampas Swim Team Handbook.  Please familiarize yourself with the Handbook - you will learn a lot about recreational swimming and our team!  Please also see Swimming Terminology to learn more about the language of the sport.

What should my child bring to practice? 

  • Goggles
  • Swim cap (if your hair is long enough to cover your eyes)
  • Towel
  • Bathing suit appropriate for swimming laps
  • Avoid swim shirts, as they limit arm mobility

How can I prepare my child for practice? 

Arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled practice time. Arrive already in swimsuit.  Have cap on, goggles ready.

Is my child automatically signed up for each meet? 

No.  As soon as you know your availability for a given meet, please "Declare" your child as Attending or Not Attending.  Knowing this information well in advance helps our planning efforts.  Many families declare for the meets they plan to attend all at once, before the meet season begins. 
The deadlines for declaring swimmers are:
Wednesday at 11:59 PM for Saturday meets
Saturday at 11:59 PM for Wednesday meets 
How to Declare for a Swim Meet (with screenshots below the steps):
  1. Go to
  2. Sign-in to your account
  3. Click [Calendar & Parent Sign-up]
  4. On the home page find the list of swim meets
  5. Identify the swim meet you are declaring for – click [Attend /Decline]
  6. Click your [swimmers name]
  7. Use the Declaration dropdown to declare [YES] or [NO]
  8. Click [Save Changes]

What if my child gets sick or has a last-minute conflict, and cannot attend a meet?

Email the Directors as soon as you know - [email protected] 

May I choose the strokes my child swims? 

For all Dual meets, the Head Coach picks the events that your child will swim. For INVITATIONAL MEETS, you choose the events. You do that by committing to the meet, and selecting the events to swim as guided. The instructions will t ell you how many events your child may swim. Typically there is a maximum of 3 or 4 individual events.

What are Invitational meets? 

Invitationals are meets with more than 2 teams in attendance.  In these meets, you may choose the strokes your child swims. There is a fee for each event they sign up to swim (known as Splash Fees, typically $5.00-7.00 per event). Parents may be required to work job shifts at invitational meets, which are dictated by the host team and are separate from the standard Parent Job points required by LT.  

The following meets are considered Invitationals:

  • Battle of the Ages - June 25 and 26: (2 day meet where each child swims against ONLY their age) i.e. if you are 7 years old, you only race 7 year olds; while 8 year olds swim against 8 year olds). This meet sometimes offers different events that allow swimmers to try double-distance if they choose.

  • Scottsdale Invitational - July 20: This meet his hosted by another team in our League, Scottsdale Swim Team.  It offers another “last chance” to swim in a fast pool, earn pops and perhaps qualify for County, at Northgate High School.

  • Contra Costa County Championship (“County”) - July 30 - July 31: Swimmers must qualify in order to participate in this meet. There are specific times for each stroke and event needed to attend this meet. More information is available on the County website and on our LT Goal Times page.

What is the difference between a League meet and a Non-League meet? 

League meets are dual meets with the 7 other teams in our league (DCSL). Points are scored according to places earned. These meets take place on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.  The League season culminates with the DCSL Championship meet on July 16.  

We strive for 100% attendance by all swimmers at every League meet, as well as the DCSL Championship on July 16.

Non-League meets are dual meets against teams NOT in our league. Coach Andrew may assign kids to swim strokes they don’t typically swim in these meets with the goal of making them well-rounded swimmers.

How do I read the Swim Meet Program?

Meet programs your heat and lane assignments. These will be emailed to you, in PDF form, prior to our dual meets.  You'll want to print them at home and highlight your swimmers' names prior to arriving at the meet.  At invitational meets, you may need to purchase a meet program or find one posted at the meet.

The program is organized by event in the order that they occur at the meet. When looking at a particular event, the swimmers are then arranged by heat. Find your name in the program. Within your event, you’ll see that the swimmers are broken up into smaller lists of about 6-10 swimmers. Above that short list, you’ll see your heat assignment. To the left of your name will be a number. This is your lane assignment.

To the right of your name is your seed time. You can compare your time to others in your heat. This way, you can figure out who you can try to beat. Look to see who’ll be in the lanes next to you. Swimmers in the lanes near you will have similar times to you. Figure out who has a similar time to you —or someone who’s slightly faster —and think about how you want to race them.

Dual meets are organized in fastest to slowest seeding. It simplifies the organization of the meets and requires less preparation work than other types of seeding. Although bigger meets usually place the fastest swimmers in the last heats, there are a few different ways they can be organized. 

Once you understand what all the different numbers in a program mean, it’ll make a lot more sense. Glance over a program a few times and it’ll start to click. Soon, the numbers will no longer look like a math problem! Instead of trying to figure out where to go, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important: Your races and having a good time. (Above text adapted from this article.) 

Please reach out to the Swim Team Directors, or anyone with an "Ask Me!" button at the pool if you have additional questions about how to read the meet program.

Example: Medley Relays

How do race officials know what race and lane my younger swimmers are in?

Parents, please help us keep the meet on schedule by marking your 6-U and 7-8 swimmers on their hands with a Sharpie: 
See example below! 
Stroke Key
Medley Relay (heat, lane, stroke)
Individual Medley
Free Relay (heat, lane, position)
MR 1-3 BK  (for Medley Relay heat 1, lane 3, backstroke)
FR 2-5   (for Freestyle, heat 2, lane 5)
BK 1-1  (for Backstroke, heat 1, lane 1)
FRR 1-3 #4  (for Free Relay heat 1, lane 3, 4th swimmer)

What should I bring to Swim Meets?

  • Team swim suit and team cap (arrive dressed)
  • Goggles
  • Several towels (suggest one towel for each event being swum - it gets cold in the evenings!)
  • Flip-flops.  Some kids bring warm slippers for the evening meets.
  • Sweats (even warm days start out or end up cool)
  • T-shirt/hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag or blanket (PM meets) 
  • Winter jacket or swim parka 
  • Snacks, or money for snacks 
  • Cards, hand held games, books etc.
  • Folding chair 
PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING! And check the Lost and Found area on a regular basis.


My child was disqualified in his/her race.  How can I learn more about the technical infraction?

The following You Tube videos were produced by USA Swimming, the governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States.  They are a great resource for learning more about the technical requirements of each stroke.  Originally intended as training videos for Stroke and Turn Officials, these videos are also helpful and interesting to parents who wish to learn more about the specific details that Officials are looking for when judging races.

Freestyle / Breaststroke / Backstroke / Butterfly 


updated Feb 3, 2022