The Wellington Swim Team is a competitive team and we expect our swimmers to compete. This means participating in swim meets which are weekly on Saturdays for 7 consecutive weeks from mid-June through the end of July. 
The season cumulates with the Division Championship meet.  It is important that all swimmers work hard at practice and participate at regular dual-meets in order to qualify for the Divisional meet.  Being on the Wellington Swim Team is not a substitute for swim lessons.  We require all participants to be water-safe and able to swim at a level where they are eligible to compete.

It is understood that families have other commitments such as vacations and other sports, and participation in all meets, while encouraged is not mandatory. 

This page provides more general information about meets:

Meet Attendance

Meet Eligibility













"We swim because we are too good looking for a sport that requires clothes."  ~Author Unknown

Meet Attendance

All swimmers who are capable, are expected to participate in meets.  Under PWSL guidelines, you must compete in two meets to be eligible for Divisionals. 

Signing up for a meet and then not showing up is extremely detrimental to the team.  It causes unnecessary burden on the coaching staff, and parent volunteers, such as Clerk of Course, Referees, Computer Scoring, etc., not to mention is critical for the formation of Relay teams.  Bottom line, it is inexcusable.  If you have a true emergency such as illness, please do any or all of the following:

  • Email the team at  [email protected].  Even very early on meet days, it is very likely that someone will see your message.
  • Tell a friend who is on the team that you won't be there, and ask him/her to give the message to the coach.

Good attendance will help ensure that all members of the Wellington Dolphins are entitled to compete in the end-of-season Divisional Meet.  Prince William Swim League By-Laws require that in order to participate in Divisonals, the following criteria must be met:

  • A swimmer must have competed in two regular League-sponsored dual (or tri) meets.
  • A swimmer must have a valid entry time from a League-sponsored meet from the current season.

(Note: If a swimmer is disqualified in a race, then that time will not be considered a valid entry time.)

Swimmers who are absent from meets with no prior notice or no excuse or attempt to contact the team, may be suspended from competing in further meets as deemed appropriate by the Head Coach and/or the Board of Directors.

Meet Eligibility

The Coaching Staff determines the events swimmers are entered into for each meet.  Depending on the swimmer's capabilities, this can be as many as three individual events and two relays.

The overall team capacity is capped at 2530 competitive swimmers to ensure that all capable swimmers will be able to participate in the maximum number of individual events possible.

Swimmers who participate in the Wellington Mini Dolphin program are evaluated weekly to determine their readiness to compete.

In order to participate in the end-of-season Divisional meet, the following criteria must be met:

  • A swimmer must have competed in two regular League-sponsored dual (or tri) meets.
  • A swimmer must have a valid entry time from a League-sponsored meet from the current season.

Prince William Swim League rules expressly prohibit participating in a Divisional meet as an exhibition swimmer (times/scores don't count).


Swimmers on the Wellington Dolphins are expected to arrive on time to meets to allow for participation in Warm Ups. 

The on-time arrival should be considered 5:45 A.M. for home meets, and 6:15 A.M. for away meets.  This will allow for ample time to get settled in, check in with a coach to let him or her know that you are in attendance and be prepared to enter the pool on time for the scheduled warm-up for the team. 

Failure to arrive on time for warm-ups or simply not participating in warm-ups can result in being scratched from Relays, or further meet suspension as deemed appropriate by the Head Coach and/or the Board of Directors.

If you will be missing the meet due to an emergency, please follow one of the procedures outlined on the Meet Attendance page.


All individual races and relays are observed by trained referees known as Stroke and Turn Judges.  As the name implies, these officials judge to ensure that each race is swum fairly with proper (legal) stroke technique and turns.  If the Stroke and Turn Judge witnesses an infraction, he or she will disqualify the swimmer (DQ) and the time earned for the swimmer will not count, nor will he or she score any points.  Disqualification are necessary to keep the competition fair and equitable for all competitors.

Rules governing swimming strokes followed by Stroke and Turn Officials trained by the Prince William Swim League are the same as set by USA Swimming (USAS) the official governing body for swimming in the United States. For complete information on the rules of swimming as set by USAS, see

Disqualification are recorded on slips of paper known as DQ Slips.  These slips are married to the swimmers time card after a race is swum.  After the scoring process is completed, these slips and cards are returned to the coaches so they are aware of the reason for the DQ.  Coaches will use this information as a tool to help train the swimmer and master the stroke.

Disqualifying in a race is something even the best, most seasoned swimmers do.  It is just part of the sport, and as upsetting as it can be for both the swimmer and parents, it is a learning experience.  It is important that the swimmer understand the reason for the disqualification and work towards improving their stroke or becoming more conscientious of the potential for disqualification.

For specific language on any technical rules consult the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations book. Violations of the rules are reported to the Referee. The rules require that every reasonable effort be made to notify the swimmer or his coach of the reason for the disqualification. If your child is disqualified in an event, be supportive rather than critical. For beginning swimmers, a disqualification should be treated as a learning experience, not as a punishment.  A supportive attitude on the part of the official, coach, and parent can make a positive situation out of the disqualification.


 PWSL swim meets are comprised of 67 events: 19 relays and 48 individual events.  Swimmers compete in one of the following age groups: 8 & Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18, as determined by their age as of June 1. 

Swimmers earn points for their teams by competing in relay events and by being one of the six fastest finishers on their team in individual events.

PWSL Divisional Meet scoring is identical to scoring for regular season meets.  The specific scoring scenario is based on the number of teams competing at the Divisional meet.  Three-team Divisional Meets use tri-meet scoring, and a four-team Divisional Meet uses quad meet scoring.   The team with the most points wins the meet.

Specific scoring criteria is available in the Prince William Swim League Bylaws and the Wellington Dolphins Handbook.


Swimming is unique in that along with wins as a team as a whole, there is recognition for each individual swimmer.  Some of the basics are detailed below.  More information can be found in the Wellington Dolphins Handbook.

Meet Place Ribbons
Swimmers who achieve 1st through 12th place at dual meets will receive a ribbon. 
Swimmers who achieve 1st through 18th place at a tri-meet will receive a ribbon.
Swimmers who achieve 1st through 24th place at the Divisional Championship will receive a ribbon.

Achievement Ribbons
Presented to swimmers bettering their best legal time. (First legal time is acquired at the first dual meet.)

Blue Ribbon    Improvement of 4.0 seconds or more
Red Ribbon     Improvement of 2.0-3.9 seconds
White Ribbon  Improvement of 0.01-1.9 seconds

Time improvements of anything over 1 second at Divisionals will receive an achievement ribbon.

Heat Ribbons
Awarded to the fastest swimmer immediately at the end of each heat of individual events only. Relays don't receive heat ribbons, as there is only one heat, and the heat winner would (likely) be getting ribbons anyway.

Cyber Meet Ribbons
After all Divisional Meets are completed, PWSL-wide results are combined and the overall top twenty-four swimmers in each individual event are awarded special recognition ribbons.