2021 Team Look- What to Expect

The All-City recreational swim team program offered by the Middleton Gators Swim & Dive, Inc. each summer offers the Middleton Community Youth an exciting, challenging, educational and FUN environment for swimmers and divers throughout the summer.  After a year away from the pool, we are excited to announce that we will be back in the water for 2021!   Although joining the team this year will be a different experience than in other years and will require the cooperation and compliance of all our athletes, families, and coaches.   We have outlined our Best Practices and Precautions and expectations of our Middleton Gators members. 

We have learned a lot about Covid19 over the past year, and as we all know it is ever evolving.   Our goal is to provide as much quality, in-water instruction as possible for every athlete.  The guidelines that follow outline the plans for implementing this program.  To keep our members safe, the Coaches and Board of Directors reserve the right to adjust these policies over the course of the season to be compliant with “Forward Dane” and the subsequent orders issued by Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC). 

Please consider these factors carefully and speak with your athletes to ensure that this is the right choice for your family in this unusual time.

The criteria laid out in this document and by the Middleton Gators Swim & Dive, Inc. are based on current public health guidelines to avoid the spread of Covid19.  We cannot guarantee that you or your athlete(s) are safe from possible transmission.


How the Team will look different in 2021:

  • The season is scheduled to run from June 7 – July 31, 2021
  • Practice Schedules will vary from past years based on the local ordinances, registration numbers, and available pool time at WBAC and will be finalized shortly before the season begins.
  • Once all registrations are received Practice Schedules more specific age-group practices will be developed.  A Tentative Outline Practice Plan is located on the website Under the Swim Team Info tab>Swim Practices and Dive Team Info Tab>Dive Practice to give families an opportunity to start planning their summers.  Modifications may include offering shorter, divided practice slots per day, or alternating practices by day of the week, including evening practices for both swim and dive. 
  • All Age Groups will be assigned Pods.   Once assigned, swimmers & divers will not be allowed to cross over to another pod at any time.  
  • The requirement for 8&Under swimmers to swim independently the full length (25ft) of the pool WITHOUT stopping will be reinforced in 2021.
  • 11&Up practices run alternating dryland and water training.
  • There Mini Gators Program has been suspended for 2021.
  • Beginning recommendations are to allow “6” swimmers per lane.  This number may be modified as we consult with the PHMDC and may differ among age groups.
  • Middleton Gators will not provide swim equipment as we have in the past years. Swimmers will need to bring their own kickboards, pull buoys and fins, swim caps and goggles.  Kickboards, pull buoys, and fins are not required but recommend.  All accessories and equipment are not to be shared unless within the athletes own family. (A list of equipment needed for each age group will be posted on our website).
  • Dive Team- Dive Team will combine all age groups; practices will be divided into segments of dryland and diving; pods will be formed to accommodate different skill levels.  The requirement that divers need to have taken dive lessons and be able to complete 3 basic dives will be enforced in 2021.
  • 2021 Gator Swim & Dive Team- If you choose to join both the Swim & Dive Team, please note that Athletes will need to choose which day to attend either a swim or dive morning practices, athletes will NOT be allowed to cross over in the same day from one to the other during morning practices.  Athletes that are in enrolled in both the Gator Swim & Dive Teams do have the option of attending morning swim practice and then attend the same day evening Dive practice. 
  • Many of the All-City Teams have large numbers of athletes and exceed the Forward Dane guidelines for gatherings when combined with other teams for Dual Meets.  We will follow the guidance set by the All-City League and the local ordinances.
  • At 2021 Dual meets Concessions will not be offered at Gator home swim meets, there will be no Awards Station, and the warm-up and cool down pool will NOT be available for 2021.   
  • The All-City Dive & Swim Championships events are currently TBD, as the structure for these large events will be influenced by the local ordinances.  As we receive more information, we will communicate with Team members.
  • All large social activities previously included with the Swim &Dive teams are currently suspended.  These include Survivor Sunday, Sundae Fundae, Food Drive parties, and Donut Days.  The late July End of Season Banquets are TBD. 
  • All Gator members, including Coaches, Board members and volunteers must be respectful and work in conjunction with the WBAC staff to ensure a safe environment for everyone.  

What will we expect from our Gator athletes in 2021?

  1. Each athlete must respect the social distancing guidelines and be willing to practice it with coaches and teammates alike.
  2. To create the safest environment possible, athletes must be willing to practice, and attend meets in ways that would be considered non-traditional (including but not limited to additional dryland, less swimmers per lane, written workouts).
  3. Athletes who demonstrate the inability to follow these rules will be asked to leave the pool grounds. If this behavior continues the athlete will be required to leave the team and join us in 2022 when hopefully we will be back to a “new normal”.

What will we expect from our Gator Parents in 2021?

  1. We will be asking for a limited number of parent volunteers at practices to ensure that entry and exit patterns are respected and that social distancing requirements are maintained.  Parents will be asked to sign-up for these volunteer slots in advance.  Practices will be cancelled as needed if there are not enough parent volunteers to help us ensure safety.
  2. MAAPP guidelines stipulate that practices and athlete/coach interaction needs to be ‘observable and interruptible’.   To follow capacity limits as set by the current guidance, we ask that only those Athletes that need special assistance be accompanied by an adult.  There will be a limit of 1 guest adult/caregiver per child. Each guest will be required to complete a guest form before entering the pool area.    All guests are requested to observe from the grass areas in front of the pool deck only and observe mask and social distancing requirements.
  3. When on-site, parents should view themselves as role models for all pool policies, including practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and demonstrating good hygiene practices.
  4. Parents (or childcare providers) who are picking up their athletes must be on-site immediately at the end of a scheduled practice and wait outside the entrance of the pool.  Athletes and/or siblings will not be able to hang out before/after practices as they have in previous seasons.  

Additional Guidelines

Before Leaving Home
Any athlete experiencing any of the symptoms below should remain home and seek medical treatment.
  • If anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or has had COIVD-19 symptoms in the past 10 days, please do NOT come to practice.   Any athlete experiencing any of the symptoms below should remain home and seek medical treatment.  CDC symptoms in more detail HERE .
    • A fever (100.4 °F or higher) or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Check Gator website, Facebook and/or email for any updates or changes.
  • Please have your Athlete shower and change at home.  Changing rooms will NOT be available for showering or changing- only urgent bathroom use.  Use bathroom before leaving for practice. 
  • Be sure your Athlete has ALL needed equipment packed and ready.
  • Practices will be either be run with no equipment, or with minimal equipment that swimmers are expected to own personally. We will NOT be sharing equipment or using equipment from the pool.
  • Fill water bottles at home – no shared surfaces or faucets or fountains.
  • Consider eliminating carpooling and only traveling with family members.
  • REMIND ATHLETES OF ALL THE GUIDELINES FOR BEHAVIOR AND CONDUCT AT PRACTICE.
Arriving at the Pool
  • If early, please wait in your car. Do NOT enter the facility more than 5 minutes before the scheduled start of your practice.  If you walked/biked to practice please do not congregate outside the pool building, follow social distancing guidelines and wait in a single line until indicated it is time to enter the building. If parents or childcare providers are dropping off an athlete, they must stay on the premises until the athlete is admitted into the building. 
  • Athletes should walk in independently, not as a group.
  • Wear a mask when exiting vehicle and leave on until hopping into the pool.
  • Doors will be propped whenever possible to lessen touches of shared surfaces.
  • Athletes will enter the building through the Pool House single-file and socially distant.  Locker/shower rooms will not be accessible for Team members when entering the building.
  • Athletes will be checked-in at the door before proceeding to the pool deck (Attendance). 
  • Place belongings in the designated areas distanced from other’s belongings and go directly to your designated practice group, which will be assigned by the coaches.
  • Always maintain social distancing from other athletes and coaches.
  • Keep your swim equipment and water bottles distanced from other swimmers AND their equipment.

Exiting the Pool

  • PARENTS
    •  BE SURE TO COMMUNICATE PICK UP WITH YOUR ATHLETE and arrive on time.
    • The goal of many of these guidelines and best practices are to minimize social contact at practice. Having a parent arrive late for pick up adds to those interactions.
    • Help your athlete to exit the pool area promptly.

 • ATHLETES

  • Social distancing will be maintained after practice until athletes have left the facility/parking lot. 
  •  Do not leave the pool deck together.
  •  Athletes should get dressed quickly and promptly replace masks after exiting the water.
  • Athletes should promptly retrieve any equipment to make room for the next group.
  • Athletes should leave facility within 5 minutes of practice ending.
  • Athletes will leave the facility using the designated exit and follow distancing guidelines.
  • Athletes will NOT shower after practice – shower/changing rooms are for “urgent bathroom use only”.  Shower thoroughly after getting home.

Coaches

WHAT TO DO AT PRACTICE

  • Coaches will follow guidelines to protect their own health.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing from parents, coaches, and athletes always.
  • Masks are always required.
  • Ensure athletes are maintaining social distancing THROUGHOUT practice.
  • Coaches & Volunteers will observe as swimmers enter facility.
  • Coaches maintain social distancing on deck for pre-practice instructions.
  • Coaches ensure athletes stay in assigned lanes and assigned pods throughout practice and dryland. 
  • Coaches encourage athletes to leave facility promptly.
  • Coaches will remain socially distanced with other coaches while socially distanced on the pool deck.
  • Double check that no one has any COVID-19 symptoms – ask athletes to leave practice if they do. 
  • Observe athletes throughout practice to be sure everyone is feeling well.
  • Guidelines and best practices need to be always enforced and adhered to within the facility.
  • Coaches are required to directly supervise athletes at all times.
  • Athletes not following best practices and guidelines will be asked to leave practice and may be removed from future practices.
  • Written workouts/sets will reduce the amount of time athletes spend on the wall listening.