Please note the information below is assuming we have a "normal" 2022 season.  We are required to follow all city and county guidelines for COVID safety protocols.

Welcome to STINGRAYS resource page.  We have tried to capture the most common questions asked by many swim families over the years.  If you have a question not addressed here, do not hesitate to reach out to one of Stingrays Board Members

Shortcuts to FAQ's:  Registration  Practices  Swim Meets  Parent Participation   Miscellaneous

REGISTRATION FAQ'S

How does registration work?
Online registration for Spring/Summer opens February 1, 2022.  As in "regular" years (Pre-COVID), this registration will cover both Spring and Summer at the same time.  There is not the option to just sign up for Spring OR Summer as we had last year.   You can fill out all the necessary registration information as well as pay fees online. Although you are able to register through the the end of June, we encourage early registration to ensure your spot.  Early Bird registration will be from February 1-February 28.  Register early to save $50 per swimmer!  There is a sibling discount of $35 after the initial swimmer is registered.

How long is the season?

Practice begins for new swimmers only on Monday, March 21st.  Spring practice begins for returning swimmers on Monday, March 28th.  Time Trials will be Saturday, May 21st and the first official meet will be Saturday June 11th at Aquaknights.  The season ends for most swimmers on Saturday, July 23rd with League Championship Meet.  Swimmers who qualify for County Championships will swim for one more week with County meet being the last weekend in July (July 29-31).  Please note that for the last week of regular practice (July 18-22), ONLY swimmers who are signed up to participate in League Meet will participate in practice. 

What are the overall costs/fees?
Please see Registration for complete details.  

Early Bird Registration (Feb 1, 2022-Feb 28,2022):  $335 for the first swimmer (age 4-14); $175 for age 15-18 swimmers; $35 discount per sibling

Regular Registration (after Feb 28, 2022):  $385 for the first swimmer (age 4-15); $175 for age 15-18 swimmers; $35 discount per sibling

Volunteer Deposit:  The very first time you register, you will be required to pay a $100 volunteer deposit.  This fee will carry over from year to year so you only have to pay it once.  This volunteer deposit is to cover the cost of hiring job subs in case of missed volunteer shifts, unfulfilled volunteer hours, etc.  When you officially leave the team, you can have the $100 deposit refunded, provided all of your account balance is at $0.    

Other additional fees may include entry fees into invitational meets (regular season meets and League Meet are included in the cost of registration), competitive team suits, spirit wear (all team members get a team t-shirt included in costs of registration), attendance at certain social functions (where there is an associated cost) and job buy-outs / fine (if applicable).  

Equipment needed:  Practice competition-type suits ($30-40 each),  tight-fitting goggles (i.e. Speedo or TYR $12-20), practice fins ($15-25), swim cap (silicone does not pull the hair as much as latex)

What is the refund policy?
Any cancelations prior to the start of the first practice will be refunded in full, minus a $25 processing fee per swimmer.

Cancelations after the first practice, but by the Monday after Time Trials (Monday, May 23rd), will be refunded at 50% of the registration fee minus a $25 processing fee.  

Cancelations after Monday, May 23rd will not be refunded at all. 

Any checks returned due to insufficient funds will be charged a $25 fee


PRACTICE FAQ's

Where are practices held?
All practices are held at James Lemos Pool, 181 East J St, Benicia in a 25 yard competition pool.

When are practices held?
Please see the Season Calendar for more information.

Can my child swim with a different age group?
In order to focus the age group practices appropriately to the attention span, abilities and requirements for each age group, the coaches ask that swimmers swim with their own age group for practices.  At meets, all swimmers need to swim with their own age group as well (as determined by their age on June 15 of the current year). Coaches MAY invite swimmers to practice with a different age group at their discretion.


SWIM MEET FAQ's

What are the different types of meets?

Dual Meets - These are meets with 1 or 2 other teams.  They will occur on Wednesday or Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.  

Invitational Meets -  These meets are typically open to all swimmers on the team (except the Otter Invitational, which is only open to swimmers 8 years old and under). There are no qualifying times for these meets and swimmers are encouraged to attend, as Invitational Meets provide swimmers with the opportunity to swim all events. These meets typically have entry fees of about $15-$30 per swimmer which are paid for by the swimmer's family during registratoin for the meet.  These meets typically have a Clerk of the Course which is an organized method of lining up all swimmers for their events since there are usually many heats of each event. Coaches make up the relay entries.  Additional volunteer duties, beyond the regular season requirements, are required for participating families.  

End of Season League Meet - is a final meet with all the other members of our League: Hercules, Martinez,  American Canyon, Crockett and Pinole.  There are no qualifying times, ALL SWIMMERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.  Entry fees are included in your team registration fees.  Coaches form relay teams.

Contra Costa County Championship Meet - County is for swimmers who earned qualifying times during the 2021 season.

How do I sign up for meets?

See "How to Register for Meets" under the Events and Meets Tab on the homepage

How do I determine which strokes to sign my child up for?

For regular meets, the coaches will determine what events your child will swim.   Swimmers are assigned to heats and lanes based on best times within that event.  Sometimes there are restrictions on the number of swimmers entering certain events due to the forecasted timing of the meet.   At most meets, swimmers will be entered in 2 -3 individual events.  Based on swimmers’ availability and race times, the coaches may assign them to a relay team.   Relay team assignments are subject to change, so please confirm relay assignments upon arriving for warm ups.  

What are the Strokes?
Competition strokes or events include:  Freestyle,  Backstroke, Breast Stroke, Butterfly and Individual Medley.  Relays include a Medley Relay (where each of 4 swimmers swim a different stroke) and Freestyle Relay (where each of 4 swimmers swim the freestyle)

What are Time Trials?

Time Trials are like a practice swim meet with only our team.  Each swimmer can try each stroke in a low pressure, supportive environment.  The times you swim become your benchmark for further improvement throughout the season.  The team photograph is taken the morning of Time Trials.

What are Meet Sheets?

Meet sheets list who is swimming in each event.  Meet sheets are posted on the MEET SHEET page under the "Events and Meets" Tab.  Home meet sheets are usually emailed out by 6pm the night before each meet. Away meet sheets are sent to us by the other team and will usually, but not always, be posted the night before a meet (just depends when they get them to us!)  Read 'How to Read a Meet Sheet' for helpful hints.  It is a good idea to print out the meet sheet to bring to every meet with you.  

What do I bring to meets?
The weather can vary from very cold to very warm so come in layers.

Check directions to the pool on the TEAM BIOS page under TEAM INFO tab.
Swimmer’s gear:  team suit, cap, goggles, spirit wear, sunscreen, towels, dry clothing, parka, blankets/sleeping bag
Sharpie Pen :  for writing event #'s on your child's hand

Information:  meet program and/or meet sheet
Camp gear: Shade tent, lawn chairs, mats/blankets for setting up “camp”
Entertainment: Games, crafts, activities, books for entertainment between event
Nourishment:  water, healthy snacks, fruit.  Snack shack facilities are usually available at all meets.      
Stingray Spirit:  Sportsmanship, Team Spirit, Achievement, Respect and Success

    Please leave your pets at home as most meet locations -- including James Lemos Pool -- do not permit pets.

What time do I need to be there for a meet?

An email will be sent prior to each meet which will include a meet sheet , meet information such as location, warm up times, meet start times, worker check in times and team set up areas.  A good general practice is to arrive about 1 hour prior to the team warm up so you can get set up, check meet program and to allow your swimmers to get to warm-ups on time and organized/lined up for their first events.  

Swimmers and parents MUST enter the James Lemos Pool through the main entrance (NOT the side gate).  Parent volunteers always need to check in with the Volunteer Coordinator (Jessika Lee) 30 minutes prior to the meet.  6 & under and 7/8 swimmers will be assisted to their heats/lanes by the  junior coaches.  Please assist the junior coaches by guiding your young swimmers to them about 15-20 minutes prior to their event.  

Why do 6 & unders and 7/8's need to check in with the junior coaches?  

The junior coaches serve as shepherds to make sure young swimmers are in the right lane at the right time for each race.  It is a parent's responsibility to get their swimmers to the shepherds well in advance of each race.  Shepherds will NOT be coming to find your swimmer.  If you would prefer to take care of your own swimmer, please clear it with the junior coaches at check in so they are not waiting for your swimmer.

Where do I set up?

The meet sheet will indicate where team camp areas are to be located.  At the James Lemos pool, Stingray families set up on the grass to the north side of the deck, directly behind the lanes.  Visiting teams set up in the west grass area (shorter grass side). 

What if my swimmer is signed up for a meet but cannot make it?

Since creating the line-ups for each meet takes a lot of time, parents MUST let the coaching staff know, at least one week in advance, if their child will be unable to attend a scheduled swim meet or invitational.  Swimmers MUST be signed out of meets online.  It is extremely helpful if you advise your child’s coach of vacation plans as far in advance as possible. If something comes up last minute, email Coach Mariska as soon as possible:  [email protected] AND [email protected].  If you entered an invitational meet with a meet entry fee that has been charged, we are not able to refund these fees as they are due with the entries to the host team.

What if I miss the entry deadline for a meet?

Please watch the entry deadlines closely and ensure you enter your swimmers in time. In most cases, entries will be available well in advance and can be changed up until the deadline ( 6 days prior to a dual meet ).  It is good practice to enter swimmers for meets once registration becomes available, rather than waiting until the deadline.  Unfortunately, late entries are nearly impossible to accommodate – either because the entry files have already been communicated with the host team or because of the extra work required of our desk volunteers to accommodate last minute changes.


PARENT PARTICIPATION

What are the parent participation requirements?
Detailed parent participation requirements are described under the Volunteer Tab on the homepage, subcategory "Parent Volunteer Requirements".

Why are there parent participation requirements?
The Stingrays swim team is completely operated by parent volunteers (with the exception of the coaching staff).  Unlike other team sports such as soccer, basketball or baseball, it takes about 50-60 parents to run EACH meet.  Without parent participation, we would not be able to run any meets or organize team activities.

How do I know what is expected for a certain job?
All job descriptions are under the "Volunteer" Tab, subcategory "Parent Volunteer Requirements" and subcategory "Meet Volunteer Jobs".   If you are still unsure, please ask our Volunteer Coordinator, Jessika Lee, by emailing her at [email protected] 

How do I sign up for a job?
If you do not have a Core or Board volunteer position, you must sign up for four meet volunteer jobs and 2 social event jobs for the 2022 Spring/Summer season.  Sign up for your volunteer jobs the same way you register your swimmer for a meet.  FIRST MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOGGED IN TO THE SYSTEM.  Click on the "Events & Meet" Tab on the front page.  Under the desired meet or event, select Job Sign Up.  You can then sign up for the job of your choice. 

Who do I check in with for jobs?
You will check in with the Volunteer Coordinators, Jessika Lee or Wendy Buresh.   At home meets we have a Volunteer tent on the pool deck.  For away meets please find Jessika or Wendy and check in with her to ensure she knows you are available for your work shift and  you get credit for fulfilling your shift.

 


 MISCELLANEOUS

Communication from and to the team
Stingrays families are automatically placed into a group email contact list.  A Stingray NewsSplash is an email which contains important information on upcoming meets and events.  NewsSplashes usually come weekly.  NewsSplashes will also be added to the News page of our website.

To communicate with a board member, please see the Contacts page for corresponding emails.  If you are unsure who to contact, please email [email protected] and your message will be forwarded to the applicable person

What are my parent obligations?

  • Check the News page on our website first and frequently
  • Check email frequently
  • Check your Family Folder frequently (these will be in a cart on the pool deck, they will contain ribbons from meets, sign up forms, fliers, etc).  Fliers placed in the folders must have approval from the coaches/board.  
  • Fulfill your Job Requirements
  • Support the coaches
  • Support your swimmer and fellow teammates
  • Support fundraisers
  • Have fun!

When should I speak with the coaches if I have a question or concern?
 During practice it is important for the coaches to concentrate on the swimmers.  Our coaches welcome your questions, comments, and concerns during non-practice times. Or, you can leave a note in the coach's folder or send an email to [email protected]