Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I contact the coaches or team representatives?

The best way is by e-mail. Contact information for the coaches is available from the top navigation bar under Coaches. For the reps or committee chairs go to the tab info and click on Reps/committee chairs.

Q: What is the practice schedule?

The swim practice schedule is found under the Swim tab. Scroll down to Practice. Dive practice schedules are found under the Dive tab.

Q: What is the difference between A & B Meets?

A Meets are the official dual meets between the other teams in our Division of the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL). These meets are held on Saturday mornings and score points that count towards our MCSL league standing. A meets have limited participation, one heat per event, except for freestyle events which have 2. This limits participation to the top 3 (or top six for freestyle) swimmers available for each event (see below).

B Meets have unlimited participation and are held between other teams in the league. B meets are generally held on Wednesday evenings and are open to all swimmers that have not met their weekly event limit (see below). For both types of meets, times count towards your personal best and ribbons are awarded for top finishers.

You must declare for both A and B meets.  Go to Meets and Events Sign up. Go to each meet and click on attend/decline. Click on your child’s name and then click on the declaration arrow and choose, “No thanks...” Click Save Changes. Or “Yes, Thanks”. Click Save Changes.

Q: How many events can a member swim in a meet?

During a swim week (defined as an A meet and the following B meet), a swimmer may swim a maximum of 4 individual events and the individual medley (IM). Each swimmer may also swim in 1 relay event. For example, if Tommy Tarpon swam freestyle in Saturday's meet, then he can swim backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly in the Wednesday meet. If Tommy is 9 or over, (or younger wish coaches' approval) he could also swim the IM on Wednesday.

Q: Who swims in an A meet?

A Meets are limited to the fastest swimmers available for each event. The 3 fastest swimmers in Breaststroke, Backstroke, Fly and Individual Medley and the 6 fastest swimmers in freestyle may swim in the A meet, subject to swimmer absences and the weekly event limitations above. Coaches make final decisions on the meet line up. All swimmers are assumed to be available for selection to an A meet. See below for instructions on how to declare for a meet.  Lineups for A Meets are generally posted on Thursday night or Friday morning before the meet.

Q: What if I can’t make it to a Saturday A Meet?

You must declare if you child is available or not available to swim in the A meets. If your child cannot swim, your coach needs to know.  The Deadline is Thursday by noon prior to the Saturday meet. If you miss this deadline please speak directly to the coaches before Friday. Failure to do so may prevent another eligible swimmer from participating and forfeit points for the team.

To declare your child, click on Meets and Events Sign Up on the home page, Click on the event category arrow and scroll down to swim meets, go to the meet you can’t make and click on either Attend/decline. Click on your child’s name and then click on the declaration arrow and choose, “No thanks...” Click Save Changes or “Yes thanks” and Save Changes. For A meets you are letting the coaches know you are available this does not mean you will swim. (see “who swims in an A meet” and “How do Coaches choose…”)


Q: How do coaches choose among the swimmers for the A Meet Entries?

Coaches determine meet entries based on the fastest 3 times (fastest 6 for freestyle events) for the swimmers available to swim each event (see A meet participation above). Automation keeps tracks of all times. The best times over the season are used. Remember, because of swimmer absences or due to event limits, it may not be the three fastest times for the team. Therefore, never assume your swimmer will not qualify for a Saturday meet and always check the posted line up.

Q: How do I know if my child is swimming in an A Meet?

The coaches will post the entries at the pool and on the website, and it is the swimmer's responsibility to check the list for their name. Line ups are typically posted by Thursday evening. Please note: lineups cannot be changed after being given to the opposing team the  Friday morning before an A meet. Therefore, please do not let your child be entered in a meet they are not planning to attend. This will cause the team to lose points and likely prevent another eligible swimmer from participating.

Q: How do I signup for a B meet?

The coaches hope that all swimmers, especially those not swimming in A Meets, will swim in the B Meets. Coaches make final event decisions based on your input and on their judgment that a swimmer is ready to swim a particular event. You select event preferences for swimmers using the web site. Remember B meet times are official and can place you in an A meet if you do well enough.

You must declare your intention for the B meets. To do so go to Meets and Event Sign Up, click on Attend/decline.Click on your child’s name and then click on the declaration arrow and choose either “No Thanks” and save changes or  “Yes, Thanks.  When you select “Yes” a screen will come up that lets you select those events that you wish to swim. If you don’t know just click yes and coaches will pick the events for you. All final entries are finalized by the coaches. The weekly swim limits apply, but the web site does not limit your entries. IF YOU DO NOT SIGN UP, YOU MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE LINE UP FOR THE MEET. The deadline is Monday, noon prior to the meet. If you miss this deadline, please contact the coach ASAP.

Q: How do I know if my child is swimming in a B meet?

Coaches will review your preferences and make final decisions on all meet entries. A swimmer may not be selected for an event that you selected for several reasons including exceeding the number of event that can be swum in a week, or because the swimmer has not demonstrated the ability to legally swim that event. The final line up is posted at the pool and on the web site by Wednesday morning.

Q: How do I sign up for a job?

Click on Meets and Events sign up, go to the event or meet you want to work at and click on job sign up. Put a check next to the job that you want to sign up for and click the Sign Up button. You will then be signed up for that job. For complete details on points and jobs go to Job sign up tab on top of screen.

Q: What are Time Trials?

Time Trials is a mock meet held at the beginning of the season. Only our team participates and the meet is run according to rules of a regular A Meet. Time Trails has many purposes. It allows children, many of whom are new to swimming, an opportunity to see what it's like to participate in a “real meet”. This includes: going through the Clerk of Course, listening to the starting instructions by the referee and starter, and legally starting their event. The swimmers will have times for each event to establish their baseline entry times for future meets. (Swimmers that miss Time Trails will be timed by the coaches during practice before the first meet.) In addition, this is a great opportunity for parents to learn what a meet is like and to learn about the various volunteer positions that are essential for an effective meet. First-time parents are encouraged to work as timers at the Time Trials so that they too can become accustomed to meet conditions.

Q: How Do I Sign Up For Time Trials?

Go to“Time Trials”, click Attend/Decline. Click on your child’s name. Either Say“No Thanks” and save changes or Click“Yes, Thanks”.  Time Trials are usually completed by about 10:30am. With spring sports, we understand many swimmers may not be able to attend Time Trials - if that is the case, swimmers will be timed at the next practice they attend.

Q: How will I know if practice or a swim meet is canceled due to weather?

The safety of our families is of the utmost importance. In case of inclement weather, it is the job of the pool operator to determine whether swimmers may safely enter the water. Meets and practice are not usually canceled because of light or moderate rain if there is no lightning and adequate visibility. If thunder is heard or lightening is

spotted then all in attendance must seek cover and the leave the pool area. Typically, there is a mandatory delay of 30 minutes from the end of observed electrical storm activity before pool activities can resume. For inclement weather conditions, the Pool Manager, Meet officials and Team Representatives will determine whether a meet is to be delayed, or rescheduled due to bad weather.

Q: What if my child does not want to swim in meets?

There are some children, especially young or newer swimmers, who do not want to participate in any meets. This is fine. The coaches will encourage swimmers to try a meet when they are ready for it. Usually, with some “meet-like” experience at practice and encouragement from the coaches, even our most reluctant developmental swimmers decide to try swimming in a B meet or two before the end of the season.

Q: How does my child get a swim ribbon?

Your child will get a place ribbon if he or she finishes in the top six in an A or B meet. A meet ribbons are typically given out at the team lunch after the meet. B meet ribbons are typically given out at the pep rally on Friday morning. Beginning with the second meet of the season, your child will also get a "Personal Best" ribbon each time they improve over their season best time for a particular event. Ribbons will be given out at the team pep rally or placed in your family folder at the pool for pick-up by Monday or Thursday after a meet if you are not at the pep rally.

Q: What is an IM?

Individual Medley (IM) is a swimming event for swimmers 9 and over. The 100 meter event consists of 25 meters each of butterfly, back, breast & freestyle swum continuously in that order.

The Medley Relay is a relay event that has a different swimmer for each of the 4 strokes, and is the order is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle.

Q: Can my child leave the meet after his/her events are completed?

Swim meets are a team activity. Everyone should try and stay until the end of the meet to cheer on their teammates. In addition, the two fastest freestyle swimmers in each age group swim a relay at the very end of the meet. Please do not leave because your child may be asked to swim in the relay. Due to duration of many B meets, swimmers may be excused to leave after their events or at the first intermission only after getting approval from the coaches first.

Q: How are the age groups determined?

A swimmer’s “swim age” is their age on June 1 of the current swim season. The age groupings are established by league rules and include: 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15 and over. Occasionally for a B meet, and for some pre-team events (for example a “mini meet”) additional age groups may be created.

Q: What if my child has to miss a practice or meet?

It is our hope that all swimmers will come to every practice and be available for every meet - then reality sets in!!! Of course families take vacations during the summer. As your child advances on the team, you will find that you'll be scheduling your get-aways for August, when the season is over. But in the meantime, it's not the end of the world if you are going away during the season. Remember, however, that your coaches and teammates are counting on you to come to practice and meets if you are in town. Be sure to communicate VERY CLEARLY with the coaches if you are going to be absent on a meet day. The Meets and Events Sign Up feature of the Tanterra web site provides a way for you to declare your intentions.  Please do so for all meets.

Q: What is the Relay Carnival?

A: The Relay Carnival is a special meet consisting entirely of relay events. There is both an A Relay Carnival, swim between all six teams in the Division, and a B Relay Carnival swum between all the teams in our B league. Each team in a relay carnival enters one team per event. There are a total of 22 events, so there are many relay events that the swimmers to not experience in a regular dual meet. This allows much broader participation in the meets. A tentative line-up is posted one week before Relay Carnival, and it is finalized the Sunday before. Again, coaches assume that swimmers are available to swim in the Relay Carnival unless you have explicitly indicated otherwise. Please edit your commitment under Meets and Events Sign Up.

For both Relay Carnival meets, the line-up are made by the coaching staff. As in all sports, coaches must sometimes make subjective decisions. The final meet line-up and make-up of relay teams is at the coaches’ discretion. Please consult the Head Coach regarding any questions you might have about line-ups. For A Relay Carnival meets, the coaches are selecting the fastest possible relay teams. The points earned by the team’s finish in the Relay Carnival are an important part of the final Division standings. For the B Relay Carnival, the coaches are seeking broad participation, especially by those that could not swim in the A Relay Carnival.

What are “Divisionals”?

“Divisionals” is the Division championship meet and is held after the completion of all 5 dual meets. The two fastest swimmers available for each event are entered in the meet. The events are the same as for a regular A meet. All six teams in the division compete. Since there are 2 heats of each event, the meet begins at 8 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. Although swimmers who qualify for Divisionals are among the fastest in their age group, it is never wise to assume your child will not swim. Swimmers’ times tend to change frequently as the season progresses, and vacation schedules or unexpected illnesses also change line-ups. You must declare your intentions for this meet. Line ups for Divisionals are posted during the week before the meet.

Q: What are Long Course and All Stars meets?

These are 3 different league invitational meets. The first, the Coaches’ Invitational Long Course Meet, is run by the league’s coaches. The fastest 8 swimmers in the county in each event are invited to swim twice their event’s distance in a long course (50 meter) pool. Qualifying for the meet is quite difficult and is considered an honor. The two other invitational meets are the Individual All Stars Meet and All Star Relays Meet, held the last weekend of the swim season. Generally, the first place relay team in each event at each division’s relay carnival is sent to the All Star Relays Meet. All Star Individuals are based on All Star nominating times. The fastest 16 swimmers and 3 alternates with All Star nominating times are chosen for each event from the entire MCSL. The nominating times are listed in the MCSL Handbook as well as the MCSL website at (