Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Swim Team FAQs

For any questions, always feel free to email us at: fersc.swim@gmail.com

 

Basic Swim Team Facts:

  • Our swim team competes in the Greater Charlotte Swim League, www.greatercharlotteswimleague.com. The league’s website contains rules governing meets, entries and scoring.
  • FXE’s swim team is a team, just like a baseball or football team is a team. It is not free swim lessons. All registered swimmers may participate in practices; but to compete in the swim meets, a child needs to be at least five years old and be able to swim 25 meters (across the pool) unaided.
  • Like any team, team practice is crucial. Your child is expected to come to practice and participate every day it is scheduled for his age group; if you have a major conflict, talk to the coaches. Arrive ten minutes earlier than practice is scheduled to start so that your child can be in the pool and ready to go once practice begins.
  • Only FXE members can belong to the swim team.
  • Most questions can be answered by our website.

General Information:

  • What does it cost to join the swim team? $70 per swimmer. Registration is online and available until Friday, May 27th. If you have problems signing up, contact fersc.swim@gmail.com for instructions.
  • When and where can I purchase a cap or team suit for my child? This year’s suit is a Speedo Endurance. The suit is sold online via Augusta Swim Shop. Augusta Swim Shop will be at Registration Day and available to do fittings. All orders are due by May 3rd. This suit will be used for next year as well. FXE caps will be sold at swim meets for $13 each.
  • Can my child wear a suit that is not a team suit for the meets? While we encourage your child to wear a team suit so as to feel part of the team, buying a team suit is not required. Your child can wear a dark blue, dark green or black suit instead as long as it does not have any other organization’s logo or name on it.
  • Do I have to do anything at a meet other than take care of my child? Yes. If you want your child to be able to be a part of the team, one parent needs to volunteer to work at two different meets. Volunteer signups are online. (Don’t worry if you have never worked a meet before. We will teach you what to do.) Check the Swim Team page on the club website for Volunteer Information.
  • How long do the meets last? This varies based on size of the teams, weather and other factors. A meet typically lasts 4 hours.
  • If we know we will be gone a week and miss a meet or practices, should we still sign up? Absolutely! Just fill out the Meet Absence Form so that the coaches will know not to schedule your child to swim. Please fill out this form at a minimum of 24 hours prior to the swim meet so adjustments can be made in time. 
  • How will the coaches know if my child can swim well enough or how fast he is? The team will hold an Intrasquad meet where the team members compete against each other. This allows the coaches to get times on each swimmer and know how to plan who will swim in which event.


What to do BEFORE a meet:

  • The day of a meet, the heat sheet will be posted on the swim team website. This document will show you which races your child is scheduled to swim.
  • Pack goggles, cap, several towels and a sweatshirt and pj pants; dress your child in his team suit or acceptable equivalent. Swimmers may not wear caps from year round or high school teams.
  • Do not have your child bring personal electronic equipment to the meet. Your child should be interacting with and cheering for teammates and focused on the events they have to swim.
  • Throw some folding chairs in the car; most swim clubs do not have enough seating for parents. Plan on providing your own seating.
  • Bring a highlighter, a black Sharpie and a pen as well as some cash to buy snacks.
  • Above all, if for some reason your child is unable to compete in that meet, call the FXE pool ASAP and ask the lifeguard to call Coach Tina ASAP about your child’s illness and absence. Also, please email us at fersc.swim@gmail.com. Otherwise, the Head Coach needs to know about your child’s scheduled absence at least 36 hours prior to a meet.


What to do AT a meet:

  • Get to the meet pool 20 minutes before warm-ups are scheduled to start. Immediately check in with a coach.
  • Buy a meet program (heat sheet) from the concession stand if available; the heat sheet is a list of swimmers and the events they will swim in that meet. Find your child’s name; the list follows the order of events, with the youngest children swimming first in each event and the girls swimming first in all events. Highlight the event number, the stroke, the heat number, and the lane number.
  • Write your child’s last name in black Sharpie on the top of his left arm.
  • Write the child’s events and other information from the heat sheet in a grid on his left thigh. It should look like this:
EVENT HEAT LANE Stroke
21 2 3 Free
30 3 6 Back
45 3 1 Breast

The grid will allow both you and your child to keep track of what events he will swim. Do NOT cover the sharpie writing with sun block as it will make the ink run. (You can take the Sharpie off with rubbing alcohol after the meet.)

  • Notify the coaches AT THE BEGINNING of the meet if your child cannot stay for the entire meet.
  • Deliver your child to the Bull Pen (Gator “Swamp”) and check in with the coach. Instruct your child that he is not to come and sit with you during the meet; having all children in the bullpen makes the clerk of course’s job easier and makes the meet run on time. If your child leaves the bullpen, you are responsible for ensuring that your child is in the Bull Pen, ready to go, at least three events before the one he is scheduled to swim. If he misses his event, he has missed his chance to swim that stroke in this meet.
  • Gator Bits swim first in the meet, the first heat beginning at 6:00 p.m. (freestyle only).
  • Check in with the volunteer coordinator if you are scheduled to work the meet. If you are not scheduled and can help out, check in to put your name on the list in case we need extra volunteers.
  • Find FXE’s section of the pool deck (each team will have a side), place your chair, and get ready to enjoy the meet.
  • You may stand and cheer for your child as he swims, but make sure that you don’t get in the way of the timers and stroke judges. Doing so can disqualify your child. Usually the best place to see is on the side of the pool. Absolutely no flash photography is to be used at any point during a swim meet.
  • After the heat, hand your child a towel, a snack if there is at least 20 minutes before his next event, and send him back to the bullpen.
  • Please remind your child that the Bull Pen is a busy place and we need swimmers to be on their best behavior so that we can get them to their events in an organized and timely manner.

Once your child has finished swimming his events, IF he is 6 or under, AND you are not scheduled to work the meet in any capacity, you may go. If your child is 6 or under, and you are working the meet, you will want to make arrangements for your child to be taken care of after he finishes swimming; many parents will work different meets so that one parent can take small children home while the other parent fulfills his volunteer obligation.

If your child is older than 6, check in with the coach before you leave; the coach may need them to swim in the relays that occur at the end of the meet. No swimmer over age six may leave the meet without the coach’s permission. If you know your child can’t stay for the relay, you must notify the coach before the meet. If your child is scheduled to swim the relay and you leave, the entire relay has to forfeit.


If Bad Weather is Forecast on Meet Day:
Come to the pool anyway (Home or Away). The Greater Charlotte Swim League bylaws require that all swimmers be at the pool before the team representatives decide whether to postpone the meet. Regardless of the prevailing weather the meet is “On” and you should attend.

We use "Rained Out" to text families of all changes to practices and meets.  Please sign up for text messaging. We send Team texts to notifiy families as decisions are being made during the meet. This allows our families to take shelter in cars and still know what is taking place. 


The Day AFTER the Meet:

  • Check the times you wrote on your heat sheet against the posted times, the “Meet Results” will be online.
  • Retrieve any ribbons your child may have won from his folder. The lifeguards can tell you where those folders are located.

HOW TO WATCH A MEET

  • A swim meet is a competition of swimmers who swim different strokes, called events, and compete as a team against the other team. The swimmers also compete against themselves to swim faster than they swam during the last meet. You will see the swimmers ask for their times; that is important not only to the team but to the swimmers.
  • Each individual event has what are known as heats, which are sections of events. Heats are seeded fastest to slowest. In each heat, the swimmers with the fastest seed times are scheduled to swim in lanes 3 and 4, which are the middle lanes.
  • Relay events could have an A, B, and C relay foursome. Only A relays are scored; the winning relay team earns 10 points for its team while the 2nd place relay team earns 6 points for its team.
  • Swimmers are initially placed into heat levels based on their performance at the intrasquad meet. This is why your child’s participation in the intrasquad meet is so important; it allows the coaches to place your child in the best position for both him and the team.
  • Swimmers are divided into age categories, based on the swimmer’s age on May 31st. The categories are 6 and under; 7-8; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; and 15-18.
  • Sometimes you will see a swimmer “swim up,” which means that the swimmer competes in an older age category. Most often you will see this occur in a relay, where the age group is missing one swimmer of that age group. In order for the team to enter a relay team in that age group competition, it must have at least two swimmers of the correct age swimming in the relay. Without two, the team has to forfeit, which again underscores the importance of your checking with the coach before you leave the pool.
  • If a swimmer swims up in an individual event, he must do so for every individual event for the rest of the season.


Meet Events (Events are numbered on the Heat Sheet in the following order)

  • Individual events are seeded fastest to slowest, with the fastest heat swimming first.
  • The youngest age group swims first, with girls preceding boys.
  • Except for the 100IM (Individual Medley), individual event distances are 25 meters (one length) for 10 and under groups and 50 meters (2 lengths) for 11-18 age groups.
  • Gator Bits (6 and under) – freestyle
  • Medley Relay (four swimmers each swimming a different stroke)
  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • 100 IM – Individual Medley (one length each of butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke, freestyle)
  • Breast stroke
  • Butterfly
  • Free relay (four swimmers each swim 25 meters freestyle)


Meet Scoring

Relays: Only the A team relay is scored. The winning relay earns 10 points; the losing relay earns 6 points.

Individual events:

  • 1st place earns 5 points for the team
  • 2nd place earns 3 points for the team
  • 3rd place earns 2 points for the team
  • 4th place earns 1 point for the team


Disqualification
Sometimes you will have a swimmer who is DQ’d which means "disqualified". In this case the Stroke & Turn judges saw and wrote up an infringement, which is usually an incorrect stroke technique, early start, or incorrect finish. The team rep and coach go through each DQ and work to correct the problem. If any member of the relay team is DQ’d, the relay team can earn no points.


Updated 4/12/16