This is a list of frequently asked questions about the team.  If you have other general questions about joining the team or need help, send us an email.

Q:  How much does it cost?

A:  Our registration pricing schedule for 2022 is HERE. Registration fees include, 8+ weeks of instructional practices (up to 5 hours a week), Prince William County Swim League registration fees, entry to weekly meets (Time Trials, 6 Dual-Meets, and Divisionals), weekly achievement awards, weekly placement ribbons, and an end-of-season participation award.  You'll find that this is one of the lowest priced athletic teams around, given the number of practices and meets offered, and swimming is a life-long sport and critical skill for anyone to have. 

Q:  How many kids can be on the team?

A:  In recent summers, we have averaged 180 kids on the Team with about 145 who actively compete in swim meets.  Because of PWSL rules that dictate the maximum size of a meet, we will cap the team at 230 competitive swimmers.   Meets only allow for 600 splashes per team/3 events per swimmer, so that number allows us to ensure that swimmers who attend a meet get to swim in the maximum number of events possible. Each week, we have enough swimmers who aren't attending, or are only able to swim one or two strokes, so we easily target the 600 maximum splash mark.

Q:  We don't live in Virginia Oaks.  Can we still join the team?

A:  Yes!  You don't need to live in the Virginia Oaks community to join the team.  Sea Devils team members generally come from the greater Gainesville/Haymarket area.

Q:  My child can swim, but doesn't know all four strokes.  Does that matter?

A:  No.  As long as your child is water-safe and is able to "swim" in that they are capable of going from one end of the pool (25 Meters) to the other without hanging on the lane line, walking on the bottom or panicking, that is all we need for the Competitive team.  Our Coaching staff will help develop the strokes and they will start swimming competitively with Free and Back and then move to Breast and Butterfly.  They won't be forced to swim anything they aren't ready for.  With daily practices and a dose of fun, the skills and stroke development come fast!  If you have a younger child (generally ages 4-8) we also offer a developmental program.  Here you will find kids who are just learning how to swim and we have a Head Dev Coach, Assistant Dev Coach and our volunteer peer coaches (generally middle school/high school aged Sea Devils) who will help your swimmer develop their comfort in the water and we hope to welcome them into the Competitive team in the future!

Q:  When is Practice? When do we need to come?

A:  The practice schedule is HERE. Note that practice times may change to balance groups and ensure that lanes are not overcrowded.  Practice is only in the evening until school is out, then we will shift to morning practice.  There is no required number of practices, but your Coach will want you to come to as many as you can each week.  Practice is what makes better swimmers and helps the team win meets!

Q:  Do Parents need to stay at Practice?

A:  YES-it is a good idea, especially for the younger swimmers.  Our Coaches are available for the swimmers, but their focus needs to be on the Practice.  They have many swimmers to coach, and may be unable to help if your swimmer becomes cold, tired, cranky, needs help with a cap, goggles or other issues outside of the water.  Parents should make arrangements to stay at practice or have another adult available for their needs.

Also, if the practice is canceled due to the weather, the pool deck must be cleared and swimmers will need a ride home as soon as possible.

Q:  Are Swim Meets Required?

A:  If you are swimming as part of the competitive team, yes, you are expected to participate in at least some of the swim meets. Summer is a busy time with family vacations and other plans, but please know that your child must swim in at least two meets to be eligible to swim at Divisionals. Our coaching staff won't put a swimmer in a meet until he or she is ready.

Q:  Where are the meets?  Where do I set up and what are warm ups like?

A:  All information about where to park, when to arrive, and pool location and set up for HOME meets can be found HERE.  When we have away meets, information will be sent out via Team Unify prior to the meet.

Q:  I am worried we won't be able to meet the Volunteer Commitment.

A:  Meets aren't like other sports.  We NEED our parents to help out.  There are lots of different jobs and many are very easy for the new family. Given the small size of our team we need ALL families to volunteer at every meet that their child is swimming at.   This may sound like a lot, but it is really quite easily achieved by helping at meets and other activities as needed.  A brief description of the Volunteer positions can be found HERE.  Of course, we are all doing this to be with our families and watch our children swim, so volunteering doesn't mean you can't watch your child swim!

If you are a Sea Devil parent with no swimmers competing, there is not a volunteer obligation, but once your child begins swimming in meets, you will be expected to help.  Of course, if you are willing, we are always happy to have you!

Q:  My child has a birthday during the Summer.  Does this mean he will have to change groups?

A:  No.  The age of your child on June 1 is the age used for the entire Summer.  So if your child is 10 in June 1st, but turns 11 on June 15th, he will still swim in the 9-10 group.  If you child is 10 on May 30th, and turns 11 on May 31st, then as of June 1st, your child is 11, therefore competes as an 11-12 year old for the Summer.

Q:  When and where are the Meets?

A:  There are eight meets total. Time Trials, six Dual Meets and then Divisionals.  Time Trials is held at our pool, with just our swimmers to get a baseline time. Three Dual Meets are at the Virginia Oaks Pool, three are at away pools, and the Divisional meet location will vary from year to year.  So in total, four meets at Home, and three Away, with Divisionals rotating each season.  To see the meet schedule, click HERE.

Q:  We are not Virginia Oaks Residents.  Can we use the pool after practice?

A: No. If you do not reside in the Virginia Oaks neighborhood, you may not use the pool.  You must be  a valid guest and accompanied by a resident to use the pool.  

Q: What about the Weather?

A: Summer storms are always an issue for us.  While they don't normally interfere with meets or morning practice, they can be a daily issue for evening practices.  Generally practices and meets will occur unless thunder/lightning is present and/or the bottom of the pool is not visible due to rain.  We will send communications through team unify and facebook to inform of any weather cancellations.

Q: I really thought my child would enjoy the team, but it turns out this is not for us.  Do you give refunds?

A: We will offer a prorated refund based on the number of weeks past.  Your registration fees will be refunded minus a processing fee to offset the PWSL registration fee (League policy is these fees are not refunded) and other administrative costs including the cost of the team shirt which is purchased after registration closes. 

Q: What does my child need in terms of equipment?  

A: For practice, a swimsuit, swim cap, towel, goggles, and starting in 2022, FINS!  We recommend two pairs of goggles, one clear and one mirrored.  The team swimsuit which is worn during meets can be purchased through the link HERE.  We recommend fins such as:  The Finis Long Floating Swim Fin, which you can buy at many places such as HERE or HERE

Q: For new families is there anything else I should know?

A: We have a parent information packet that can be found HERE.  

Lost and found is located in the entry to the poolhouse.  Items not claimed by the end of the season will be donated to a local charity.  Please mark all your swimmer's belongings with their name.