Dunn Loring Swim and Dive Team

 

DUNN LORING SWIM TEAM PARENT

SURVIVAL GUIDE

A guide for the bewildered parents of

prospective new members of the

Dunn Loring Dolphins Swim Team

 

Introduction

Every swimmer's parent has experienced that first day of swim practice or that first swim meet where they wonder What is going on??? We've all been there before and will be glad to enlighten you in your quest to understand the world of Summer Swim Team.

Although this pamphlet is explicitly written for use by the parents of a new Dunn Loring Dolphins swimmer, the fundamentals?are true for any area swim team. It will (hopefully) provide some information which will help you understand what is happening while your child swims.

Your Team Reps, Coaches and fellow swim parents all want you to understand and enjoy our summer swim program.

Welcome to the Dolphins, We're glad to have you with us.

 

Chapter 1: About the Swim Team

Our Philosophy The philosophy of the Dunn Loring Dolphins is that having fun is the most important thing we can do. Most of the kids don't care if we're in a top division or a bottom division. We'd all like to be division champions, which usually means going undefeated, but only one team out of six can usually claim this honor. Personal development is what is most important and for a swimmer that means improving their times. We believe that by establishing a healthy environment that encourages the kids to do their best, recognizes their contribution and is fun for the entire family, we will have met our goals.

Parental Help It takes a village to run a swim team...We've taken our kids to other sporting events and probably stood by a two or three parents ran the team. Swimming isn't like that. You can't run a swim program without parental help. In fact, it takes over 40 parents to time, officiate and score a typical swim meet and that doesn't include pool set up and tear down or running the Dolphin Diner (Concession Stand) or team social activities. We have asked all parents with kids in the program to volunteer for at least 5 volunteer responsibilities during the season. There are positions for all parental abilities and some require less than 20 minutes of help.

You can register for the volunteer positions on our Dunn Loring Swim Team website. This website is accessible through the Dunn Loring Swim Club website www.dlsc.net under the swim team heading. There you will find a complete list of job descriptions and information about how to sign up. Please consider helping out in whatever way that you can. The swim team is so much fun, but can only happen if everyone pitches in.

Expectations Although swimming is considered an individual sport, our summer league is structured with an emphasis on the team. Any team is only as good as the people on it. In keeping with our philosophy, our expectations are simple:

1. The Dunn Loring Dolphin Swim Team is not a swim lesson program. A swimmer should be able to swim a length of the pool to join the team. We don't care how fast or how ugly or how legal the stroke is or how long it takes to swim that length. We'll help your swimmer become a better swimmer, but in fairness to the other 200 plus swimmers on the team, we must insist that all swimmers be able to swim. Your child will feel better and his/her being on the team if he/she is competitive with most of the other kids of the same age. We do try to help the kids improve their strokes as much as possible during the practices but if you want your swimmer to really improve, you should consider lessons or private lessons.

2. Let us know if you're going to miss. We're planning on your kids being available for all swim meets unless you tell us you are not available. We will ask you to fill out an availability form for each swimmer and for each parent at the beginning of the season. If you say that you are going to come to the meet  PLEASE make sure you come. It causes a lot of headaches when people don't show up.

3. Respect for the coaches. Parents need to talk to the team reps if they have any questions during practice. Please do not interrupt the coaches while they are coaching. The swimmers are expected to pay attention and respect the coaches: with over 200 swimmers, disruptions aren't fair to the other swimmers.

4. Doing your best is a lot more important than being the best.

5. Have FUN!

 

Chapter 2: Important Swim Basics

Practices Practice times are posted on the website, the Swim Team Calendar and Handbook. Swimmers should come to practice regularly and be prepared to do their best.

Swimmer Apparel Swimmers should wear a swimsuit that will be comfortable for racing. The Dolphins, like every other swim team, have a team suit. The wearing of the team suit is optional. There is a culture shock for some boys who are shocked at the tight swimwear for boys. Usually, when they realize that this type of suit makes swimming so much easier and faster, and that everyone else is wearing one, their opposition breaks down.

You should also consider buying at least one practice suit for your swimmer. Sport Fair in Arlington and other area swimsuit retailers frequently sell suits discontinued by manufacturers at a reduced price as practice suits.

Accessories for the well-dressed swimmer  Every swimmer needs a towel (labeled with their name, please!) Other accessories to consider are goggles, a sweat suit (for cool days), a swim cap (especially for girls with long hair), a hat, sun screen, and a bag to carry everything. During swim meets, you should also have liquid refreshment (Gatorade type beverage or a water bottle) and a light snack such as fruit, granola bars or other healthy foods. Save the sweets at the concession stands as a reward for swimming a great swim.

Parents Handbook at the beginning of the season, each parent is provided with a Parent's handbook which provides information on schedules, social events, points of contacts, rules and guidelines for the team and meets. All of this information can be also be found found on the Swim Team website.

Dolphin Digest Every Saturday/Sunday, you will receive via email our weekly digest of the upcoming events. All that information will be available on the Swim Team Webpage that can be accessed through swim team tab on the Dunn Loring Pool website: www.dlsc.net

 

Chapter 3: Organizational Information

Dunn Loring Pool The Dunn Loring Swim Club, of which we are either members or summer users, owns the facilities that we use. Although each member of the swim team and dive team pays a fee in order to belong to the team, the pool membership also subsidizes these teams. The Club is governed by a Board Directors. To be a member of the swim team your family must own a membership or have paid to use the pool for the summer season (filling an inactive member's slot) and meet other Northern Virginia Swim League (NVSL) criteria.

Team Reps and Coaches the people you'll run into the most in your swim team dealings are the Team Reps and the Coaches. The Team Reps are volunteer parents who were new to swimming at one time just like you re today. The Team Reps are responsible to the Pool Board for running every aspect of the swim team and are the representatives of the Dunn Loring Team to other swim teams and NVSL. It's a job that is impossible to do without help from a great many parents. The Team Reps hire the Coaches (with the approval of the Pool Board), who are responsible to the team reps for the swimming portion of the swim team program. The Coaches that the Dolphins hire are past swim team members themselves. They too were once a new to swim team and know what swimmers go through.

Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL) In 1956, 8 Northern Virginia Pools founded the NVSL. Today the NVSL is the largest summer swim team league in the United States. Obviously, with this many teams, there has to be some division of teams. During the offseason, the NVSL ranks each team from 1-104 based primarily on swimmers times, and then divides the teams, based on these rankings, into 18 Divisions of five or six teams. This means that the fastest teams are in the lower numbered Divisions and the less competitive teams are in the higher numbered Divisions.? The other teams in our division and meet locations are on the schedule in the Parent's Handbook.? Directions to pools are provided prior to the meet or are on the website.? NVSL also maintains a website that is updated weekly of the teams and swimmers.? This is the website:? http://www.mynvsl.com/

Dual Meets? The six teams in each division swim each other, one at a time on five consecutive Saturdays, in a series of Dual Meets, so called because there are two teams competing.? Based upon results of these five meets, a division champion will be named.? These meets are also referred to as the ?A? meets.

Relay Carnivals? another NVSL event is the Division Relay Carnival, which takes place on the Wednesday between the third and fourth weeks of the season.? All six teams in each division converge on one pool for an evening of relay races.? These include both Freestyle relays (each swimmer swims the Freestyle) and medley relays (each swimmer swims a different stroke).? The next night, all the Division coordinators meet and replay teams are selected to swim at the All-Star Rely Carnival the following week.? The sole criteria for selection to the All-Star Relay Carnival is to have one of the eighteen fastest times in events swum in the Division Relay Carnivals.

Divisionals ? The sixth week, each Division has an Individual Championship meet, commonly referred to as ?Divisionals?.? Each team is allowed to enter two swimmers in each event; the other teams can bid in other swimmers to fill empty lanes.? This is an individual meet and is not scored.

All Stars? After Divisionals, all Division coordinators meet to select swimmers for?the All-Stars meet the following week.? The sole criteria for selection to All-Stars is to have one of the eighteen fastest times swum that day in an event in the Divisional meets.? All Stars can be overwhelming for the first time swimmer as approximately 600 swimmers plus parents, coaches and officials converge on a pool for a meet that takes about six hours.? If your swimmer is fast enough to be named an All Star, it is a thrill they will never forget.

Vienna B Meet League? The Dunn Loring, Cardinal Hill, Vienna Aquatic, Shouse Village, Vienna Woods,? Lakevale, and Hunter Mill?pools have joined together to conduct un-scored swim meets on Monday nights. ?The idea is to get ribbons to as many kids as possible, even if only participation ribbons.

USA Swimming? is the governing body for swimming in the United States, USA Swimming establishes rules for strokes and for the conduct of completion.? The NVSL swimming rules are USA Swimming rules with minor changes to accommodate the facilities and skill levels for in our league.

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Chapter 4: My kid says he?s supposed to swim like a Butterfly

If you?re not a former swimmer, the strokes and their rules can be a cause of bewilderment.? While the stroke rules are simple, most people do not have a copy of the USA Swimming Rules, so we?ll briefly describe the strokes below.? The rules are the USA Swimming rules as modified for use in the NVSL.?

Freestyle? The freestyle is defined as any means of swimming across the pool. Any stoke and kick are acceptable although most kids will do the Front Crawl stroke in the Freestyle race.? Many people refer to the Front Crawl as the Freestyle stroke.? There are, however, a few don?ts associated with this stroke, specifically:

1.? You cannot push yourself forward off of the bottom, walk or pull yourself along using the lane lines

2.? In a 50 Meter race (two pool lengths) you must touch the wall at the 25 meter end before touching the wall at the 50 meter end( this may seem obvious, but sometimes swimmers miss the wall at the turning end of the pool).

Backstroke ? Like the freestyle, almost anything goes on the backstroke as long as you stay on your back.? Watching swimmers learn the backstroke is perverse sense of fun as they bounce off lane lines and wonder where they are.? Eventually, they will learn to guide off the lane lines, use the overhead backstroke flags and the lane line markings to know where they?re at in the pool, and count strokes from the flags to the wall.

Backstroke starts are different from all other because the swimmer is in the water feet planted against the wall and hanging on to either another person?s legs (called ?Legs?) or the lip on the pool awaiting the starter?s signal.

If your swimmer is a backstroker, he or she will eventually learn the backstroke flip turn.? This is the one exception to staying on your back and can be used only as part of a turn (not a finish) at the pool wall.

Breaststroke ? The breaststroke has two components, the kick and the arm pull.? The pull and its recovery must both be under the breast and cannot extend further back than the waist area.? The kick is a ?frog? kick and the toes must be pointed outward during the propulsive part of the kick.? The arm pull and kick must be in an alternating sequence and the elbows must stay below the water except for tagging the wall at the finish.? Breaststroke turns and finishes require a simultaneous two hand touch.

Butterfly? A well -executed butterfly, known as ?Fly? is the most beautiful exhibition of power you?ll ever see in a swimming pool.? Quite frankly, the fly is the hardest stroke for most swimmers to perfect and while they are learning it many look like they are drowning.? There are two components of the fly; the arm pull and the kick.? The arm pull must be an over the water recovery (elbows breaking the surface of the water) with the arms moving simultaneously.? The kick is a dolphin style kick with both legs moving simultaneously.? Unlike the Breaststroke, there is no requirement to alternate the kick and pull.? Turns and finishes require a simultaneous two hand touch at the wall.

Individual Medley? The individual medley (or IM) is when an individual swims each of the four strokes in the sequence Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle.? We swim a 100 Meter IM, which means the 25 Meters, or one pool length, of each stroke is swum.? In a 100 Meter IM, every turn is a stroke change and stroke finish rules apply.? This means no backstroke Flip Turns.

Relays? There are two kinds of Relays, the freestyle relay and medley relay.? Both involve a team of four swimmers, each swimming one quarter of the total distance.? In the freestyle relay, each swimmer swims the freestyle.? In the medley relay, the sequence is Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle.? At the NVSL Relay Carnival, swimmers eight and under swim a modified medley relay where the fly leg of the relay is replaced with a freestyle leg.

In all replays, each swimmer must wait until the previous swimmer touches the wall prior to leaving the deck.? Running starts or pushes from teammates are not allowed.

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Chapter 5: Swim Meets

There are two basic meets you will encounter as a parent; Saturday ?A? meets, which are scored dual meets and Monday ?B? Meets, which are un-scored dual meets.

Saturday ?A? Meets? These meets consist of 38 Individual events and 12 relays.? The events swum for each stroke and age group are shown below.? Remember, each pool length is 25 meters.

Saturday Meet Events and Distances?

?

Age group

Freestyle

Backstroke

Breaststroke

Butterfly

Freestyle Relay

Medley Relay

8 & Under Boys

25M

25M

25M

25M

100M

?

8 & Under Girls

25M

25M

25M

25M

100M

?

9-10 Boys

50M

50M

50M

25M

?

100M

9-10 Girls

50M

50M

50M

25M

?

100M

11-12 Boys

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

100M

11-12 Girls

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

100M

13-14 Boys

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

100M

13-14 Girls

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

?100M

15-18 Boys

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

200M

15-18 Girls

50M

50M

50M

50M

?

200M

Mixed Age Boys

?

?

?

?

200M

?

Mixed Aged Girls

?

?

?

?

200M

?

?

?

Who Swims?- These A meets are to see who can score the most points, so the fastest swimmers get to swim.? Three swimmers can be entered in each individual event and no swimmer can swim more than two individual events.? Since swimmers take vacations and go places such as scout camp, and a swimmer can swim only two events (plus relays) in any meet, you don?t have to be the one of the three fastest swimmers to swim in a Saturday meet.? Who swims an event may seem to be a mystery.? However, after the first meet both teams know the other?s swimmers times and we try to position our swimmers to optimize our points and win.

Disqualifications (DQs) and False Starts ? A swimmer will be disqualified (or DQ?d) if he/she does not follow the rules of the stroke or false starts.? All DQ slips will be put in your family folder along with your ribbons so that the swimmers can see what part of the stroke they need to work on.? DQ?s should not be considered an embarrassment for the swimmer ? just an educational device for improving their strokes.

Seeding? In Saturday meets, the home team has lanes 1, 3, and 5 while the visiting team has lanes 2, 4, and 6.? The fastest swimmers swim in lanes 3 and 4, the next fastest in lanes 1 and 2, and the next fastest in lanes 5 and 6.? Swimmers are seeded based upon their fastest times attained in prior competition.? Lane 1 is always on the right side as you stand facing the pool at the starting end.

Meet Sheets? While all NVSL meets have an announcer, the best way to follow the meet is the meet sheet, which lists all the events,?and?swimmers.? Meet Sheets are usually found in the concession area and typically sell for $1.00.

Scoring? In the individual events, a first place finish earns 5 points for the team, a second place 3 points and a third place finish 1 point.? Relays are scored as 5 points for the winner and 0 points for the loser.? There are 402 points up for grabs in a Saturday meet.? Unless there is one or more places not awarded in and event due to DQs or lack of swimmers, you need 202 points to win.

In the event of a tie in an a individual event, the points for the places involved are squally split among the swimmers,? For example, a two way tie for second place, each swimmer earns 2 points (3 points for second plus 1 point for third equals 4 points, half for each swimmer).? No third place would be awarded because the next swimmer is fourth.? For a third place tie, each swimmer is awarded ? point.

Relay Carnivals? In Relay carnivals, teams are not seeded.? Each team?s lane assignment for the first event is based upon luck of the draw and the teams then rotate one lane to the left after each event.? The meet sheet lists only the team swimming in each lane in each event (except for All Star Relay Carnival).

Chapter 6: Who Are All These People Dressed in White and Blue?

Your first swim meet can be a bewildering experience as you encounter a vast horde of adults dressed in white shirts and blue shorts.? NVSL rules require white as the shirt color to be worn by all officials.? This is also practical as white is a good color to wear on a hot humid summer morning. There are many positions where certification from NVSL is required.? At the beginning of the season we will announce when those class sessions are and we encourage you to take these free classes.? Here is a listing of the different official positions.? Check to see if any would appeal to you:

Clerk of Course? the Clerk of Course is the ?gatekeeper? for all swimmers in our meets.? The people who perform this function get the swimmers to the right lanes for the correct race.? You can?t run a race without swimmers and the clerk of course makes sure the right swimmer gets to the right place at the right time.

Referee? This position requires certification.? The Referee is the chief official for each swimmer.? He is responsible for the conduct of the meets and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules.? Prior to the start of each race, the referee sounds two or three short blasts to advise the participants to get ready. After the event is announced by the announcer or starter, the referee sounds one long blast as a signal for swimmers to get into position for the start or to jump feet first into the water for the backstroke.? For the Backstroke events, a second long blast is given the swimmers to bring the swimmers to the wall for the start.? When referee sees that all the swimmers are ready, he extends his arm pointing towards the starter.? At this point, the starter takes control.

Starter? This position requires certification.? The Starter is responsible for insuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start the starter will instruct the swimmers to ?Take your mark?.? After all swimmers are ready and still, the starter will start the race, sing a ?Colorado System? (so called because it is built by Colorado Timing Systems).? This system consists of public address system, a horn and strobe light.

A race can be recalled only if it was a bad start by the starter (i.e. not all the swimmers were ready) or for a safety reason.? This is done using a recall signal on the Colorado System (you?ll know it when you hear it).?

Stroke and Turn Judges? This position requires certification.? Once the race has started, the Stroke and Turn Judges are responsible for insuring that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming.? These people are always at the ends of the pool for starts and finishes and walk the sides of the pool as best they can within the physical constraints of the pool.? If a Stroke and Turn Judge sees a violation of the rules, raises his hand to signify that an infraction has occurred.? A Disqualification is recorded on a DQ?slip, which the referee reviews and approves and forwards copies to the Table workers and the Team Rep.

Marshalls? Marshalls are responsible for ensuring that Warm-ups are conducted safely and that order is maintained during the warm-ups and during the meet.? Duties include insuring that diving starts are used in warm-ups only when a lane is ?one way? away from the starting end, stopping any horse play and making sure swimmers aren?t hanging or sitting on the lane lines.?They make sure that only authorized people?are on deck.

Relay Take-off Judges? This position requires certification.? During relays, you?ll see four Relay Take-off Judges at each end of the pool (two per lane).? Their job is to insure that each swimmer touches the wall prior to the next swimmer in the relay leaving the deck.? Each Judge notes on a slip of paper whether each swimmer in his lane left before or after the swimmer in the water touched the wall.? Relay Take-off Judges do not raise their hands when they observe an early take-off because a disqualification occurs only if both Relay Take-off Judges observed an early takeoff.

Timers? The timers are the most important people to every swimmer.? They are the people who determine each swimmer?s official time for each race.? Being a timer is a good entry level position for new parents to help out in.? Some parents have been timers for years and wouldn?t want to see a swim meet from any other view point.? If you can start and stop a stopwatch, you can be a timer.? We?ll even provide the stopwatch.? Timers start their watches on the strobe light from the Colorado System and stop their watches when the swimmer touches the wall there are three timers per lane and all three times are recorded.? The middle time is the official times.? The Chief Timer collects the time cards from the timers, reviews them for accuracy and completeness, and forwards them on to the table workers.

Table Workers? the time cards from the timers and any DQ slips go the Table Workers who determine the order of finish for each event, score the meet and prepare ribbons for the participants.? Several people from each team perform these functions to insure that errors are caught before results are announced.

Chapter 5:? Enjoy your summer!

We hope that you will enjoy your summer on the Dunn Loring Swim Team.?

Please remember that the Dunn Loring Swim Team webpage can be linked from the www.dlsc.netwebsite under the Swim Team tab.? Or you can access this website directly at:

https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?_tabid_=0&team=recnvdld

This website will allow you to:

Register

Pick your Volunteer Positions

Opt out of Swim Meets

Look at the Calendar, Team News, and register for certain team activities.

Order swim wear or swim products (but not the Team Suit)

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If you have any questions, please feel free to contact?Kathi or Paul Ayers, Melissa Paine, Deanna Heier or Jane Hwang ? the team reps- at swimteamdunnloring@gmail.com.