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All of your questions about swim team - answered here!  

Gator Family Handbook

Welcome to all new and returning swimmers and their families!

The Ashbury Alligators Swim Team is a recreational swim team, providing a safe, fun, summer sport for the children of the Ashbury Subdivision. The swim team is open to children ages 5-18 with basic swimming ability and a desire to learn. 

The Ashbury Alligators is a member of the Naperville Swim Conferencea group of 22 Naperville area teams which participate in dual meets throughout the summer season. 

The swim season will begin with practices commencing after the pool opens on Memorial Day and will conclude with the Alligator Awards Ceremony scheduled the day after the City Championship Meet. Our season typically includes a time trial, ~8 dual meets, an invitational and the Classic and City Championship meets.

Our Mission

The mission of the Ashbury Alligator Swim Team is to create and maintain a neighborhood swim team supported by the Ashbury Homeowner’s Association and the Naperville Swim Conference that will provide the opportunity for:

  • Ashbury children to swim on a neighborhood team that promotes fun, friendly competition and camaraderie with their friends both inside and outside of their subdivision.
  • The children to better their swim strokes in an environment where support, respect and courteous behavior are modeled encouraged and expected.
  • Every swimmer to have the chance to succeed both individually and in a team format in order to help build self esteem and confidence.   
  • Every swimmer to better understand and appreciate the sport of swimming. 
  • Ashbury parents to support their children’s athletic endeavors and network with current friends and to meet new ones.

Eligibility Requirements

Swimmers are divided by age group according to their age as of May 31 of the current year. Age groups at a meet are divided as follows: 

6 & Under                     9 & 10                         13 & 14

8 & Under                     11 & 12                         15 to 18

                                                                                     

All children who are able to swim one length of the pool without assistance are eligible to participate. While we are a recreational swim team with swimmers of all abilities, we are nevertheless a competitive swim team, not a learn-to-swim program. If your child is able to swim one length of the pool without assistance, we’ll be able to make him/her a better swimmer and teach them some of the different competitive strokes. For safety reasons, if your child does not know how to swim and cannot swim one length of the pool unassisted, we recommend you enroll him/her in the swimming lessons offered by the pool or in the community.

Registration & Fees

All new and returning swimmers may register for the swim season beginning in late March (online registration) until April 15th. After April 15th, swimmers may register but will be charged a $50 late fee, After May 1st, there will be a $100 late fee assessed.

All information required for the Ashbury Alligators swim season is available on the Ashbury Alligators website www.ashburyalligators.com.  Online registration will not require a convenience fee.  

Fees are determined each year by the Swim Team Board to cover all necessary expenses in running the swim team.  This year our registration fee is $175 per swimmer. 

There will be a Parent Information Night in March in the Ashbury Clubhouse for those new and returning to the swim team.  This will provide an opportunity to learn about swim team membership and family worker responsibilities as well as ask any questions about the team.  Members of the coaching staff and the swim team board will be in attendance.

Refund Policy

A full refund will be issued to the swimmer that withdraws from the swim team prior to Time Trials.  A full refund will also be issued if the swimmer fails to qualify for the swim team.  After time trials, refund requests will be reviewed by the Ashbury Alligators Swim Team board on an individual basis.  

Swimsuits & Apparel

All swimmers are encouraged to wear team swimsuits and team swim caps during swim meets.  Goggles are also strongly recommended.  Although this is not mandatory, it encourages team spirit and unity, plus it makes it easier for coaches and parents to recognize our swimmers. Club suits and caps should not be worn as they do not represent the Ashbury Alligators.  Suits and apparel will be communicated on the website along with timing for placing orders prior to the season.  

Practice Times

Regular practices are held Monday through Friday in the mornings before the pool opens to residents. Times will be listed on the website under the Join Our Team tab, in the Practice Schedule submenu. Swimmers are encouraged to attend as many practices as possible, as improvement in technique and times is strongly linked to regular attendance.  If school is still in session, practices will be in the evening and a schedule will be posted.

  • Swimmers should arrive 5-10 minutes prior to practice time to warm up and be ready in their lane to swim at their practice time. If worn, swim cap and goggles should be on prior to entering the water, so to make the most out of your workout time.
  • Please exit the pool promptly when your practice is over, so not to delay the next group's practice. 
  • Practices are held rain or shine. Practice in the pool will be canceled if there is a thunderstorm in the area, or if the air temperature is below 60 degrees F.  Coaches may still have swimmers come to the pool wearing tennis shoes and warm clothing, so that dry land training activities can be done outside of the water. A coach will be present or a sign will be posted outside of the swimmers entrance to the Ashbury pool if practice is canceled due to weather.  

Help sessions will be available, outside practice hours, by arrangement with our coaching staff for an additional fee.

Alligator Time Trial

The Alligators Time Trial is a practice intra-squad meet before the competitive season begins, in which every swimmer is timed on every stroke. Results from the time trials give the coaches an idea of each swimmer’s ability level and help them determine your child’s practice placement. This also establishes a base time for each swimmer to use to gauge his/her improvement over the course of the season. It’s also a great way for the parents to practice running a meet.   

Meets and Positive Check-In

Swimmers are required to be at each meet one hour before the start time.  Each swimmer must check in at the Positive Check-In area in the team area upon arrival for warm-ups.  Failure to check in before warm-ups could result in the swimmer being scratched from an event.  Workers for the meet should check-in at the same time as the children so that you will receive credit for working the meet and help us establish if we have enough workers. 

Swim Meet Starting Times

Tuesday & Thursday Evenings Meets                                              Saturday Morning Meets

Check-in starts at 4:30 pm                                                              Check-in starts at 7:30 am

Warm-ups begin at 5:00 pm                                                           Warm-ups begin at 8:00 am

Meet starts at 5:30 pm                                                                  Meet starts at 8:30 am

Positive Check-In Procedures

Upon arrival, each swimmer must find their age group event list and highlight their name to confirm that they have arrived.  For example, on the Sample Below, Molly M. will be scratched from the meet because she did not highlight her name.  These lists will be collected by the home team for final placement of lane and heat assignments.  It is critical that swimmers correctly check in on time or they might be scratched from the meet. 

Swimmer Name

Event 3

Event 13

Event 23

Event 33

Event 43

Event 53

Event 63

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Heat

Lane

Amy A.

1

2

3

4

2

4

1

2

1

2

Molly M.

2

4

2

2

3

2

Susie S.

2

4

3

2

1

2

SAMPLE 

Often swimmers find the event/heat/lane numbering system confusing. It is recommended that you and/or your swimmers write the event, heat and lane assignment on their hand to help them remember their events throughout the meet. It is a good idea to bring a marker to meets for this purpose, as the availability varies at each pool.

For example, Susie S. would write the following on her hand:

Event          3           2-4

                   23        3-2

                   63        1-2

With this information, her coaches and parent volunteers will know exactly the events in which she is participating and her placement in each event. Although changes are occasionally made to heat and lane assignments, coaches and bullpen workers will assist your child with changes.

Ribbons, Stars, & Alligators

Ribbons are awarded at every dual swim meet to swimmers in first to sixth place.  Swimmers receive their ribbons at the morning practice following the swim meet. Swimmers should look in the file boxes for their ribbons. Note: Invitational and Championship meets will have different award standards. For example only top 8 receive awards.

Stars are awarded to swimmers who improve their time at a dual swim meet.  Stars will be placed in the file boxes.

Alligators are awarded to swimmers who improve their time at the Classic or City Meet.  

Celebrating the Championship Meet

A party at the Ashbury Clubhouse and a neighborhood parade will occur during the week prior to the Classic Championship Meet.  All swimmers are invited to join the fun, decorate their cars and celebrate the final meets of the season.  

Classic Championship Meet

Swimmers, aged 12 and under, who have not met the time qualifications for the City Championship Swim Meet or who have met the time qualifications for the City Meet, but choose not to swim in the City Meet, may swim in the Classic Championship Meet for any events without a city qualifying time.  The Classic Championship Meet will be held the week prior to the City Championship Meet. The time and location for this meet will be listed on the website. Many swimmers qualify for awards and it is an exciting way to end the swim season. Please try and arrange your schedule so that your swimmer can attend this important event. 

Parents have a responsibility to work a job at this meet if their child is swimming.   

City Championship Meet

All swimmers aged 13 and older, and those swimmers aged 7-12 who achieve a time equal to or faster than the City qualifying time in one or more stroke, may attend the City Championship Meet. This is the final meet of the Naperville Swim Conference season and includes all 22 teams in the Conference.  The City Championship Meet will be held the last full weekend in July.  At the City Meet, swimmers are eligible to swim in individual events in which they have achieved qualifying times, and additionally may compete in relay events in any stroke at the coach’s discretion.  If a swimmer who has achieved City qualifying times opts instead to participate in the Classic Meet, they may only swim in individual events or relay leg strokes in which they have not achieved a City qualifying time. A swimmer who has participated in the Classic Meet may swim in the City Meet at the coach’s discretion, but only as a member of a relay team.  

Parents have a responsibility to work a job at this meet if their child is swimming. 

Season best times for those aged 13 and older will be used to determine the tier in which they will swim in the City Meet.  

Swim Meet Rules and Regulations

All swimmers, parents/volunteers, officials and coaches will be governed under the Naperville Swim Conference Bylaws and Rules.  These rules are available for your review on the Conference website: www.napervilleswim.org.   It is your responsibility to familiarize yourselves with this code, and by signing the Family Commitment Agreement; you agree to abide by this code.

  • Team director will be in possession of and have available all swimmers’ medical release forms
  • There is to be no running, shoving, jumping, or any other inappropriate behavior during the meet. Pushing anyone into the pool is strictly prohibited.
  • Water slide pool, zero depth area of the main pool, ponds, retention areas, or any other pools are strictly off limits to all swimmers and spectators. All swimmers should remain near their team area.  In the event of a change to the line-ups, the coaches should be able to find you easily at all times.
  • Lifeguards and/or coaches should be notified in case of emergency.
  • A member of the coaching staff from each team must be poolside during warm-ups to maintain control and safety. Warm-up guidelines are to be adhered to. Diving is permitted only during designated times and in designated lanes.  Feet first entry to the pool is required all other times.
  • Food is allowed in designated areas only. There is no clean up staff, so everyone needs to do their part in clean up.
  • Swimmers with shoulder length hair or longer are required to have their hair secured and off the face.
  • Have fun and always do your best.

Bad Weather

  • If lightning is visible during a meet, any adult should bring it to the attention of the referee, and it is incumbent upon the referee to clear the pool for a minimum of 15 minutes. At Ashbury home meets, the referee will clear the pool for 30 minutes.  If there is no lightning or thunder during that time, the referee may resume the meet.
  • In the case of the above weather, swimmers will be directed to immediately clear the water and everyone should clear the pool deck and seek shelter in the locker rooms or in their vehicle.  Please follow the direction of the referee and the pool staff/guards. Do not remain on the hill area or in tents, and for the safety of everyone, please do not use umbrellas. If necessary, the pool staff will open the gates at the back of the hill to facilitate faster evacuation.  Please do not leave the meet until it is definitely called off.  If a meet resumes after a weather delay, swimmers must be prepared to swim the original schedule.

***REMEMBER SAFETY COMES FIRST***

Disqualification

Swimmers can be disqualified in any event for start, stroke, and touch-turn and finish violations.  If a swimmer is disqualified in an event, the time does not count as an official meet time, and the swimmer does not qualify for an award for that event.  When an official notes a disqualification, he/she will fill out the information regarding the reasons for disqualification and raise the card to notify runners for collection.  Note that all references are event, heat and lane assignment. Officials do not have access to lane assignment sheets and swimmer names during the meet.

Disqualification is common in the early age groups, especially on Butterfly and Breast Stroke and especially at the beginning of the season.  Please inform your new swimmers that disqualification is part of the learning process.  Every swimmer has been disqualified at some point in his or her career.

Sometimes officials do not see a stroke infraction.  If this is the case, the swimmer is not disqualified.

Swimmers can also be disqualified or removed from a meet for sportsmanship and behavior infractions.  Coaches and meet officials can evict swimmers for these offenses.  

Meet Attendance 

Summer is a time to take family vacations, and many families are involved in other activities besides swimming.  Thus, we ask you to check your calendars and indicate your availability to attend each dual meet.  You will be required to indicate your availability for each meet online at www.ashburyalligators.com, by signing in and visiting the Events page. Each event will have an “Edit Commitment” button with which you can change either “yes” or “no” for your swimmer’s attendance.  We understand children become ill or other things come up, so request that any changes within 5 days of a meet be communicated to the head coach as soon as possible.

Other Activities

The social committee is busy planning many exciting events.  Please check the website to see what events are planned this season. 

Parents’ Responsibilities

The reason we are all here is for the benefit of our kids; they are the heart of the team. However, it is the parents that keep it going. It takes approximately 45 parents to run a home meet and 30 parents to run an away meet. It is the parent’s responsibility to work their assigned jobs. Without you, the meet cannot happen. 

This year, worker sign-up will again occur online at www.ashburyalligators.com.  Please watch your email for details of this process.

If for any reason you are unavailable to work, it is your responsibility to trade with another family. If you are not going to be on time for the meet due to work responsibilities please find a substitute until you can arrive. If you have traded with another worker, please notify the committee chairperson as soon as possible and when checking in at the meet as a sub, state who you are subbing for to avoid the originally scheduled person being held responsible for a no-show.  

If your child swims in a championship meet (City or Classic) you will be required to work a job for that meet.

If your substitute does not check in and let the check-in person know about the substitution, the responsibility falls back to you, the original person scheduled.

If your child is not able to swim in a meet in which you are scheduled to work due to illness or otherwise, you are still responsible for finding a replacement. No exceptions! 

We will charge each family $100 deposit, in addition to registration fees, at swimmer registration. If you fail to work one of your assigned jobs, without finding a replacement, we will cash the $100 check as a penalty. If you fail to work one of your assigned jobs, without finding a replacement, for a second time in the same season, your swimmer will be removed from the team.  WE WANT YOU TO WORK YOUR ASSIGNED JOB; WE DO NOT WANT TO CASH YOUR CHECK.   Deposit checks that have not been cashed will be destroyed at the end of the Classic and City meets.  

Ashbury Alligator Worker Job Descriptions

With a team as large as ours, we need a lot of volunteers to successfully run a meet. Currently, each family is required to volunteer for (5-6) jobs throughout the season. If a parent cannot fulfill their obligation, they are required to find a replacement. 

All volunteers are expected to sign-in at the Ashbury Alligator worker sign-up table one hour prior to the start of the meet. Some jobs, however, require workers to arrive early or stay late. Committee Chairs will notify parents of any special time requirements.  Below is a brief description of what each job entails. 

Timer 

Timers stand behind their assigned lane and record swimmers’ times in that lane. Workers use a stopwatch to record the time, check to make sure the swimmer is in the correct event and lane, and then give the time to the runners. Timers must attend a poolside Timer meeting 15 minutes before the start of the meet.

Runner 

Runners collect the timer sheets and DQ cards from the timers after each event. Promptly deliver cards to the computer/scoring table. Runners must attend a poolside Runner meeting 15 minutes before the start of the meet.

Official 

Officials monitor the stroke of the swimmers, determine false starts, and determine proper turns & touches. Workers must attend an Officials training clinic prior to the swim season. The training clinic often counts as oneof the swim season’s required jobs.

While poolside, officials note any disqualifications by raising their hand & completing a swimmer DQ card. Officials must attend a poolside Officials meeting 15 minutes before the start of the meet. While working at meets, Officials should wear the Officials uniform of white shirt with khaki pants or shorts. 

Concessions & Hospitality 

Concessions workers may be assigned to take and serve food and drink orders, prepare orders, or grill entrée items. You mayalso be asked to help set-up the concessions area prior to the start of the meet, and help clean-up at the end. Hospitality workers provide water to timers, runners, computer table workers, coaching staff, announcers and officials during the meets.

Set-up/Breakdown

Workers arrive 1½ hours before the start of the meet to set up equipment. For 5:30 pm week-day meet starts, workers must arrive at 4:00 pm. For 8:30 am Saturday meet starts, workers must arrive at 7:00 am. Workers must also stay late, after the meet ends, to put away equipment. Set up equipment includes: Tables, chairs, umbrellas, flags, timing plungers, etc.

Marshall

Marshalls must wear a Marshall’s vest during the meet. Marshalls remain in the spectator/swimmer area maintaining order. At the Ashbury home meets, Marshalls must keep kids from climbing the back fence, running on the concrete, or playing in the bushes near the fence. Marshalls must stop swimmers and other children from conducting themselves in a manner that is disruptive to the meet, destructive to property, or dangerous.

Ribbons 

Ribbons workers at home meets affix labels onto swimmer’s ribbons and then file them into the swimmers’ folders. Ribbons workers at away meets actually work the morning after the away meet.The work is the same as the home meet work, but is conducted during morning practice the day after the away meet, at the Ashbury pool. For Saturday away meets, the Ribbon worker must work the Monday morning after that meet.

Bullpen 

Bullpen workers will be assigned duties & obtain heat sheets from the Clerk of Course (Committee Chairperson). Bullpen workers line Ashbury Alligator swimmers up according to their event & take swimmers to starting blocks.

Scorers

Scorers remain near the computer/scoring table gathering DQ cards from runners, sorting & separating those cards into teams. Scorers record the results following each race, and track the team scores. Scorers circle the official time, attach DQ cards to the back of the timer sheets, and write the team and swimmer’s name on the back of the DQ card. Work with computer personnel to review timing sheets.

Floaters

Floaters are extra volunteers who will be assigned to fill anyvacant positions as needed per meet. You must be flexible and willing to work in whatever position has last minute openings. After initial check-in at worker sign-in table, floaters must return to the table 20 minutes before the start of the meet to determine where they are needed & what their job will be.

*Bag Tags

This job is only available when a Swim Team sponsor has provided bag tags. Bag tag workers will have one individual at the edge of the pool observing the 1stplace finisher and another worker behind the blocks to hand a bag tag to the heat winner.  (Bag tags are NOT handed out to relay winners). Home meets only.

Coach Communication

Many of you may have questions regarding your child’s swim team experience throughout the summer. The coaches are more than happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Please use these guidelines for communication:

  • Email the Head Coach (see website for email address)
  • Speak directly to the coach after scheduled practices

If there is a need to communicate with any of the coaches, please do not do it while they are on the deck coaching. Their responsibility is to the age group in the water at the time. This is not only from a coaching standpoint, but a safety issue as well.

During practices, all parents/nannies/siblings MUST remain off the pool deck and within the gated concession area so as to not distract coach communication with the swimmers. (You do not have to stay for practice; this is only for the parents that are staying).  This is also a safety requirement from the Homeowners Association.

During meets, please do not speak with the coaches before or during the meet.  If you have a problem that is not being resolved, please contact a Board member.

Website & Other Communication

The Ashbury Alligator website is your direct link to the Alligator swim team. The website contains all the information you will need to have an enjoyable swim season, including such information as: Pool Locations and Directions, Frequently Asked Questions, and more.  All swim families will be issued passwords for the website.  These passwords will allow us to protect the privacy of our swimmers and families from the general public.  Families will be required to sign-in to view meet entries, results, and any photographs. Please check the Alligator website often for valuable information and updates: www.ashburyalligators.com.

E-mailwill be used extensively to provide up-to-the-minute information to swim families.  Emails will be sent about practice changes, meet cancellations, social activities, and much more.  Please make sure to provide accurate email information in your registration – your email address also acts as your ID for the team website.  In addition, both the coaches and board will be readily available via email.

Family File: Soon after practices begin, there will be files for each family at the pool. These files are typically out the day after each dual meet. It is the family’s responsibility to check your file for flyers, results and/or ribbons from the previous meet(s).