Frequently Asked Questions for AFC swim team families
1. Do I need to volunteer?
Yes, absolutely! We cannot have a swim team without your help. It takes 40-50 parents to set up, time, officiate, score and clean up a swim meet. We also have many fun social activities for the team that require parent volunteers. We require each family to earn a minimum of 12 volunteer points each season.
2. Do I need experience to volunteer?
Many of the volunteer opportunities do not require any experience. However, some of the officiating positions at the swim meets do require previous NVSL training. See the Parent Handbook for a description of each position entails and the calendar for upcoming NVSL training dates.
3. How do I volunteer?
You can volunteer right here on this website. Click on an event or meet in the calendar and you can signup to volunteer at that event. When you sign your child up for a meet, you will be required to sign up to volunteer at that time.
1. Will my child swim at time trials?
Yes. Time trials is a meet at which swimmers swim every stroke (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and/or butterfly) that they are able to and that the coaches have approved. This will give the coaches a baseline time for your swimmer in each stroke they are qualified to swim. As the season progresses, your child will probably "drop time" -- i.e., swim faster in a subsequent race.
The coaches also use the times from time trials, as well as times from all subsequent meets, to determine which swimmers will swim in the competitive "A" meets on Saturday mornings.
2. How long do time trials last?
Time trials usually last 3 hours to be followed by a cookout for the entire team and families. Once you are done volunteering at time trials (i.e. Timer - 1st half), you may take your swimmer home when he/she is done swimming all the strokes that he/she knows how to swim. Just tell one of the coaches before you leave so they know your child has gone home with you and is no longer expected to be in the team area.
The order of events are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Within each stroke, we begin with the 8 & unders, 9-10s, 11-12s, 13-14s, and finally 15-18s and within each age group and stroke, boys swim first, then girls (See the order of events here). Thus, many of our new younger swimmers who can swim only freestyle and/or backstroke typically leave before the meet is over but are welcome to stay to cheer other team members on!
3. What should my child bring?
For time trials and every other meet, your child should wear their swim team suit (or a race suit) and bring 2 pairs of goggles (in case one breaks) and an AFC swim cap (this will be distributed to every swimmer at the Pasta Dinner) or a plain cap to put on for every race. You should also make sure your child has sunscreen, plenty of water or sports drink to stay hydrated, a tee shirt or sweatshirt, and two towels (one to sit on and one to dry off with). Because the meet can get long, you may also want to send a healthy snack or money to buy one from the snack bar, and a book or quiet games or cards.
4. Where does my child sit during the meet?
In the AFC team area. The coaches and team area parents are there to supervise the children and help them get ready for warm ups and their individual races.
Developmental (B) Meets
*****New B Meet Volunteer Policy*****
The policy/ procedure is as follows:
The B Meet Coordinator will open B Meet registration on Tuesdays following the last practice of the day. All swimmer and volunteer registrations for B Meets will close on Sundays at 2 pm sharp. No exceptions will be made for any reason. No time cards will be written on the deck. Any volunteer slot still open at 2:00pm on Sunday will be filled by parents who have signed up their child (ren) to swim the meet and who have worked the least amount of meets/shifts. The Volunteer Coordinator and the B Meet Coordinator will work together to assign parents to the job vacancies. Those parents will be notified by email on Sunday night of their assignments. If for some reason you absolutely cannot work the meet, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator or B Meet Coordinator by 2 pm on Sunday, otherwise your swimmer(s) may be pulled from the meet. Numerous volunteers are needed to run a meet and we need everyone to volunteer. If you have a preference as to which job you would like to work, we strongly encourage you sign up quickly. This will eliminate the need for the extra emails requesting volunteers which we know can be frustrating to those who have already signed up to volunteer.
1. Will my child swim at Developmental (B) meets?
Yes. Every swimmer can swim at Developmental meets. These meets give swimmers the chance to practice in a race setting and to improve their times. Swimmers usually are allowed to only swim two strokes (you can sign up on Swimtopia by 2pm on Sunday). For beginners, that is usually freestyle and backstroke, but later in the season they may swim breaststroke or butterfly.
Saturday (A) meet swimmers are encouraged to swim at Developmental meets also, to continue to work on racing techniques and use the opportunity to swim other strokes. If a swimmer scores points in a particular stroke in an A meet (1st, 2nd or 3rd place) this season, they may swim that same event in a B meet, however they will be marked as an 'exhibition' swimmer which means they will not receive a place ribbon. They will be given a participation ribbon with their time.
2. Will my child get ribbons at B meets?
Yes. Every swimmer gets a ribbon for each event. For Developmental meets, ribbons are given for 1st-6th places, based on AFC swimmers only, excluding exhibition swimmers. All other swimmers receive participation ribbons with their times.
Ribbons can be collected from the family folder boxes located inside the Guard Room at AFC. You should also encourage your swimmer to look through the meet results, paying attention to the 'Improvement' column, which indicates time dropped from their previous best time this season. The Friday awards breakfast often acknowledges swimmers with the biggest time drops each week.
3. What if my swimmer is disqualified?
Swimmers are disqualified, or given a "DQ", for a violation of the rules, such as failing to touch the wall properly or doing a kick or arm movement that is not permitted in that particular stroke. (See the NVSL website http://nvsl.nvblu.com/plasma/fms/site/nvsl/file/5... for specifics or ask a coach). If this occurs, your child will still receive a participation ribbon, and a coach will work with your child at practice the following week to correct the mistake. Tell your child not to be upset. Every experienced swimmer on the team has been disqualified. It's part of the process of learning to be a competitive swimmer.
3. How long do B meets last?
About 3 hours, although it varies depending on the number of swimmers on both teams. But if you are not working at the meet, you may take your child home when he/she is done swimming. Just tell a coach before you leave so they know where your child is.
4. What if it rains?
Swim meets will go ahead as scheduled in light rain. Because B meets are in the evenings, we are sometimes faced with summer thunderstorms. In such cases, safety is our number one priority. If there is thunder or lightening, all people must leave the pool area, and the pool will be closed for at least 30 minutes. Make sure that you, or another responsible adult, are there to take your child in the event of a thunderstorm. Depending on the weather forecast, we may wait out the storm in our cars and resume the meet after the storm passes or we may cancel the meet.
"A" Meets (Saturday NVSL Dual Meets)
1. Will my child swim at "A" meets?
It depends on their times. Teams are only allowed to enter three swimmers in each event at A meets, but each swimmer may swim no more than two individual events. The coaches try to place the three fastest swimmers in each event, but sometimes changes are made because some of the fastest swimmers are out of town or already swimming two other individual events. The Team Reps or Coaches generally send an email on Thursday afternoon that lists the swimmers who will swim each of the events at the A meet the following Saturday morning and the swimmers are usually told during the Wednesday and Thursday practices if they will be swimming.
2. How long does an A meet last?
About 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours. Unlike "B" meets, these are usually fast meets with only one heat per stroke and age group. We ask that your child stay until the end of the meet to cheer on the rest of the team. Swimmers must check with the head coach if they need to leave early.
3. May my child attend an A meet if he is not swimming in any events?
Yes, absolutely! Come to one of our home A meets, they are so much fun to watch as the final score and winner of the meet is usually determined during the relays at the end of the meet! The swimmers love to have lots of fans cheering for them. The one exception is the start of the race, when everyone must be quiet so the swimmers can hear the starter.
We use our team email list serve extensively to communicate with families. Your email will be added automatically when you register for the team but if you find you are not getting any communications, please send an email to email@example.com.
Each family will also have a folder located inside the Guard Room at AFC. Ribbons for your child will be placed in this folder.
Swimmer Etiquette and Behavior – Please discuss these with your child
- Observe all safety rules - no running, no pushing, hitting, or inappropriate touching, no dunking or splashing, no horseplay, and no diving into a pool unless instructed by a coach.
- Be respectful of coaches. Address them as "Coach Ben", "Coach Julie", or “Coach”. Follow their instructions.
- Be respectful of officials and other swimmers. Booing, name-calling and foul language are not permitted.
- Cheer for and encourage teammates.
- Stay in the team area at a swim meet and follow the directions of the coaches and team area parent. As the meet progresses, the coaches will be calling the swimmers to go to the clerk of course area to line up for their next race. Team area parents are there to help the coaches keep order and help the younger children get caps and goggles on for their races. If your child must leave the team area to go to the bathroom, he/she must tell a coach or the team area parent so they know where your child is.
- At meets, swimmers must have an AFC swim cap or a plain swim cap. Swim caps with other team names or company logos are not permitted.
- At the start of a race, everyone must be quiet so the swimmers can hear the starter.
- At the end of a race, stay in the pool until all swimmers have finished the race, shake hands with the people in the lanes on either side of you, and congratulate them on a good race.
- At practice and in warm ups before a meet, the fastest swimmer in the lane goes first. Do not swim over the person in front of you. Do not hang on lane lines. Do not stop in the middle of the pool.
- During a practice, only swimmers who are scheduled to be at that practice may be on the deck talking to the coaches. Parents, siblings, friends, and swimmers in other age groups must stay off the deck and wait until after practice to talk to the coaches.
- Three strikes and you're out at practice. If a coach has to talk to your child three times at any one practice about his or her behavior, your child will be asked to leave practice for that day. Your child is welcome to return to practice the following day if he or she is ready to follow the rules and the coaches' instructions.
A Note to Parents
The AFC Swim Team practices are open for parents to observe their swimmers.
Swim practice, much like school, is largely a matter between coach and the swimmers. If you desire to observe the practices in the morning sessions, please observe from a distance, such as the picnic tables near the lifeguards' office or the snack bar area. Let the coaching staff do their jobs and do not interject yourself into the practice unless requested by a coach, or there is a health or safety matter.
If you have a question or a concern about something that occurs at practice, either bring it to the attention of the Team Rep or discuss it privately with the Coaches before or after practice