Virginia Gators of Harrisonburg

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I register my swimmer for the competitive team?
Click on the registration button on the home page. You will be directed to sign several documents.  Copies of these documents on on the “Registration Docs” Tab on the homepage.  At registration, you will pay the registration fee only.  Dues will be collected on the first of each month by automatic debit to your credit card or bank account.

Q. How can I register my swimmer for a clinic?
A. Click on the appropriate registration button on the home page (high school, stroke and turn or summer prep).  You will pay the entire fee at registration.

Q. Is there a discount for siblings swimming on the competitive team?
A. Yes, the oldest swimmer pays full price.  Each additional sibling is at a 20% discount.  The discount is on the dues only.  There is no discount on registration.

Q. Is there a sibling discount for clinics?
A. No, there is no discount for the clinics.

Q. There are 6 practices offered for 10 & Over swimmers.  Do they need to attend every practice?
A. No.  There is no minimum of practices required per week.  See our coach’s attendance policy.

Q. We are nervous about committing to 8 or 11 months.  What if my swimmer decides mid-season that this is not for them?  Am I out the dues for the rest of the season?
A. No. According to the contract, you may stop at any time.  If a swimmer decides to leave the team prior to completion of contract, the parent must notify the head coach in writing by e-mail. In addition, the swimmer will be required to pay one month dues for the month immediately following the month of termination for breaking the contract early. For families that paid dues in full at the beginning of season, refund will be issued for the remaining balance after dues have been recalculated under monthly payment plan option plus dues for one month after contract termination date.

Q. My swimmer has other commitments in the fall/winter, can we sign up mid-season?
A.  This is something that should be discussed with the coach. Since this is a developmental program, a swimmer entering mid-season will miss some skills taught earlier in the season.  It is possible to start mid-season depending on the space availability in the swimmer’s age group and the coach’s assessment of the swimmer.  It is always advisable to start in September if at all possible.

Q. What is the difference between the competitive team and the clinics?
A. The team and the clinics have completely different practice days and times as well as coaches.  The team is a long term commitment and includes competing in meets.  The clinics are just a 10 week commitment and there are no meets.  Talk to the coaches about which program may be best for your swimmer.

Q. Can we have a 1 or 2 week trial period before committing to the competitive team?
A. Talk to the coaches about this.  We need to have every swimmer registered before they practice (for emergency and insurance purposes).

Q. What are the meets like? Do we have to go to every meet?
A. Swimmers are strongly encouraged to go to meets appropriate to their level.  We typically offer 2 meets per month (starting in October).  Usually one of those meets is a “local” meet with no hotel stay required.  We also have “travel” meets where a hotel stay is more convenient.  VAST hosts a meet at JMU in January and all swimmers are strongly encouraged to attend. Meets are on weekends and are usually spread over 2-3 days.  Swimmers do not need to attend every day of a meet. Swimmers should discuss with their coaches what meets are appropriate for them.

Q. When will you post the meet schedule?
A. Usually sometime in September.

Q. Why is short course 8 months long and long course 3 months long?
A. “Course” actually refers to the length of the pool.  The majority of the season is in a “short course”  25 yard pool.  During long course season practice and meets are held in 50 meter pools, often outdoors.

Q. What is an “A” time?
A. USA swimming has motivational time standards by age.  These times make great goals for swimmers to try to attain during the season.  The lowest standard is “B”, then “BB”, “A”, “AA”, “AAA” and “AAAA”.  A swimmer who does not yet have a “B” has a “C” time.  Some meets are listed as A\B\BB\C meets meaning any time qualifies.  Some meets might be BB+ meets where a swimmer needs a BB time or faster to compete.  Most of the meets that we attend are A\B\BB\C meets.