T E A M 
Why be a Mighty Dolphin?
You can be part of a Towamencin tradition and join the best swim and dive team in the area.  Your child will learn what it is like to be a part of a team that dedicates a lot of time to practice and takes pride in their performance.  Our swimmers come back year after year because they enjoy it.

What is the Towamencin Swim and Dive Team?
The Towamencin Swim Team is supported by the Towamencin Swim Team Parents Association.  Our team is comprised of almost 200 swimmers and divers ages 5-18 and terrific coaches.  The objective of the Towamencin Swim and Dive Team is for the children to learn skills and team concepts while having fun. However, this is a competitive swim league and winning will be a factor.

Must my child belong to the Towamencin Community Pool to swim on the team?
Yes.  The Bux-Mont League requires team members to be members of the pool.

How old must my child be to join?
Pool members age 5 through the summer after high school graduation are invited to register and compete on the team.  Your child must be able to complete one lap of the pool freestyle or backstroke in order to join the team.

What are the swimming age groups?
8 and under = 8 years or younger
10 and under = 9 and 10 years old
12 and under = 11 and 12 years old
14 and under = 13 and 14 years old
Opens = 15 years old through graduation
Junior Diver = 12 and under
Senior Diver = 13 and over
The age cut off is June 15th.

Can my child be on both the swim and dive team?
Yes. Children can participate on the team as both swimmers and divers.  There is a limitation as to the number of events a child can be in per meet and is discussed further in this document. There are separate practices for swimmers and divers.

What league does the team compete in?
Bux-Mont Swim League (www.buxmontswimleague.com), which is comprised of 8 teams in our general area.  There are 7 dual meets during the season, two Diving Championships (Senior and Junior) and three Swimming Championships, which are divided according to ability (A’s, B’s, and C’s).

Stars - Every time a child improves their time, they earn a star.
Ribbons - every heat of every event, ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Award's Night - season awards and trophies are given.

My child loves swimming.  Where can they swim in the winter?
There are many quality swimming programs in the area during the winter.  Some of them include:  North Penn Aquatic Club, Methacton Aquatic Club, Norristown Aquatic Club and the North Penn YMCA.

Coach’s Notes    
The main purpose of this team and program is for the children to learn skills and team concepts while having fun.  However, this is a competitive swim league and winning will be a factor.  We will do the best we can. Swim team is a lot of work!  Be sure this is what your child wants, NOT you!
Be on time!
Go to proper practice (unless prior approval and big problem)  Must be there every day!  Parents please stay out in the pavilion area! (Less distractions for coaches and swimmers!)  Please stay away from upper pools when no guards are up there!  If you need to speak to the coaches, please wait until after practice or write a note and place it in the coaches’ box located by the family folders each day.  A written note will be responded to promptly each day and allow the coaches to concentrate on coaching during practice - unless it is an emergency.  After practice, children are your responsibility!
Coaches' Box (located next to the family folders) - provide a note about vacations ASAP, including champs!
Meet box (located next to the family folders) - fill out card as soon as you know you will miss a meet and put in the meet box!
Days of Meets
NO POOL!!!!  (Sun makes you tired!)
Eat a good dinner with carbohydrates – pasta, pancakes, etc. (no chocolate or sugar)

Must be on time!  (there for diving)
If you can’t get there find a ride for them.  Warm-up is very important!!!! May bring small quiet games and cards for 1-2 players
(No small pieces or expensive things) Unfortunately things are stolen and lost.
HEALTHY food – drinks in small containers and fruit or vegetables are acceptable.  That’s All!!!  (Causes cramps and creates a lot of trash!) Kids must stay in team area; discourage them from coming to you! You are expected to stay until the end.  Often very late, so take a nap! Encourage good sportsmanship to all swimmers.
We work on lineups night before or day of meet.  We try to get everyone in every meet.  Some little ones may only swim a relay.  Because we are a team and everyone participates, meets take a little longer.  Must know if not there and cannot leave early!  This really messes up lineups for coaches and other swimmers.  If not at practice on the day of a meet you need to let me know if they will be at the meet.  If child wants to swim something, have them write me a note.  Meet is ALWAYS on unless notified by email or hear cancellation on the radio 1440 WNPV.  We swim in the rain and wait out storms. It is too hard to reschedule 400 people.
Parent Behavior
Good sportsmanship! I am the only one allowed to talk to the officials!!!
Try very hard NOT to talk to the assistants or me at meets.  We are very busy trying to help your children.  You set the example for your kids as much as the coaches.  Stay in proper area.  It does reflect on our entire team when you or your kids break the rules.  Encourage good sportsmanship.  We work hard on this at Towamencin.  Encourage your children with the other team and our own.
All children are expected to be there.  MANDATORY! **IF YOU ARE NOT COMING PLEASE GIVE BETH A NOTE BY THE ASAP!** Each child will swim all 4 events except some of the little ones. Saturday  - see schedule  Warm up 7:00 am  Start 7:45 am
Strongly encourage you to go to these.  (Extra chance to swim) Times are official for champs.  Always posted on website and forms can be downloaded.  Coaches are at these meets.
Gator Run  “B” meet  click here to see schedule  --  great awards only “B,C” swimmers
Fanny Fest Odd Age Meet click here to see schedule  -- great awards any one can participate
Our team does give ribbons to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each heat.
Try not to overemphasize ribbons.  Stars are the most important awards! - given for personal time improvement (can not get for swimming in a relay of if disqualified (DQ)). Please encourage swimmers to work toward stars!
Swimmers qualify for champs A, B, C based on time standards set by the league.  They are posted on the league website www.buxmontswimleague.org.
Must go to championships you qualify for.  Near end of season I will meet with each child and tell them their options.  Then they can decide what they will swim.  There is a chance that your child will need to attend more than one championship meet based on his/her times.  At that time someone will write down what your child has chosen to swim and at what champs they will be expected so you know.  This slip will be put in your family folder.  After your child completes his/her championships, their season is over.  At that point, practice times may be changed to accommodate fewer swimmers and allow them a chance to sleep in.

R E G I S T R A T I O N  
How do I join the team?
Registration is available online beginning in the Spring.  One walk-in date TBD.  Check the team website, www.towamencinswimteam.org for dates and times.

The Bux-Mont League requires team memebers to be members of the pool.

What is the volunteer fee?
A  $100 volunteer fee will be collected from each participating family.  Your check will be returned at the end of the season if you have completed all of your volunteer obligations.  If you have any questions, please see any member of the board for clarification.

P R A C T I C E   
When are the practices?
Practices are after school until the conclusion of the North Penn SD school year, then practices move to the morning, with various practices divided by age group running from 7:30am – 10:45am.  Practice usually runs rain or shine.  If there is severe weather, check the web site for details.  Children are expected to be at the assigned practice 5 days a week.  If it is necessary to miss a practice, please notify the coaches ahead of time.

M E E T S     
What are Time Trials?
Time Trials are typically held before the first meet.  Time Trials is a mandatory event!  During the time trials, each child will swim each of the events and be timed.

When are the meets?
Meets are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings through the months of June and July.  The meets consist of two portions: diving and swimming.

Where are the meets held?
Home meets are held at the Towamencin Community Pool.  Away meets are held at the opposing team’s pool.  Directions to the away pools can be found on the TST website.

What if my child is unable to attend a meet?
Provide a note about vacations ASAP in the coaches’ box!  (including champs)
Meet box – fill out card as soon as you know you will miss a meet and put in the meet box!

Weather for meets:
Meets usually run rain or shine.  You should go to the facility no matter what and the team may try to wait out the storm.
If the weather turns bad and there is thunder and lightning, the coaches of the teams will make a decision to stop the meet.  Parents should gather their children and proceed to your car where you will wait for a coach or official to give further instruction.  If the weather clears, the meet will resume where it left off.  If the weather continues to be bad, the coaches/officials will make a decision to stop the meet and reschedule at a later date.

Meet Events and Scoring:
There are 50 swimming events and 4 diving events.  For dual meets and championship meets a competitor is permitted to swim in a maximum of four events including relays and diving events.  A swimmer may swim up in individual and relay events; a diver may dive up an age group in individual events.

There are a possible 466 points to be won in a swim meet. 
Diving competition – 36 points - 9 points each for Jr. Girls, Jr. Boys, Sr. Girls, and Sr. Boys - 5 points for first place, 3 points for second place, and 1 point for third place
Swimming - Relays – 70 points; the winning team in a relay gets 7 points.  No other points awarded.  Individual events – 360 points - 5 points for first place, 3 points for second place, and 1 point for third place
Note:  A team cannot sweep an event as long is there is a person from the opposite team competing.  In other words, if Towamencin has three swimmers or divers finished first, second, and third in an event, but an opposing team had a member finish fourth, the other team is awarded 1 point for third place and Towamencin is awarded 8 points for first and second place. (However we do reward our swimmer who placed third with the correct ribbon in that situation.)
The first heat of an event is the official heat (the only heat where points are scored).  In case of a tie, points are split (4 each for first and second place or 2 each for second and third place).  The middle four lanes of the relays are the only official relays.  The heats other than the first heat are called exhibition heats.  These times are official times and count toward Champs and personal best times for time improvement stars.

How are time conversions done between yards and meters?
The swimming pools in our league are different lengths.  Some are 25 yards and some are 25 meters.
Fanny Chapman25 yards
Pennridge25 yards
Souderton25 yards
Towamencin25 yards
Hatfield25 meters
Harleysville25 meters
Lansdale25 meters
Nor-Gwyn25 meters
To change a yard time to meters:  Multiply 1.11 x the yard time
To change a meter time to yards:  Multiply .901 x the meter time

What do I need to send with my child to a meet?
All children should have goggles and it is very highly recommended that girls wear a swim cap.  Send your swimmers to the meets with extra towels and warm clothes.  Also they need something to sit on and put their things on during a meet.  Label your belongings.  Please try to feed your child a nutritious meal at least one hour before warm-ups.  No candy or soda should be digested before or during a meet.  Carbohydrates are better.

Is there an admission fee to the meets or championships?
No.  At the invitationals and championship meets, programs and event t-shirts are available for purchase.

What are the invitational meets?
Invitational meets are optional meets that are held throughout the season.  These meets give children an additional opportunity to compete.  The children are able to select which events they would like to compete in so it gives them a greater opportunity to try out their skills.  There are entry fees for these meets.  Ribbons or trophies are awarded at these meets.  Information regarding the meets and the entry deadlines are posted on the team website.  Coaches do not go to all meets so if this is a concern for your child, please check with the head coach to verify if a coach will be present.

What are odd-age meets?
The age groups are divided up by even numbers.  Children are in their “up” year when they are the oldest in the age group and tend to have more success.  Odd-age meets are where the age groups are divided up by odd numbers (e.g. 7&under, 9&under, 11&under).  This gives children who are on their down year an opportunity to swim with children their own age or younger.

Link to TST Sign Ups
Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at
For the whole season, you are asked to sign up for:
  • 3 jobs total 
    • 3 "any" jobs within the MEET, TEAM or TIME TRIALS signups and
    • Families attending Champs B or C at the end of the season will be asked to volunteer as needed
Starter/Referee:Responsible for the start of each race and maintaining the flow of the meet. Head of all stroke and turn and finish judge officials.
Table/Computer:Responsible for using Dolphin System to download the meet and upload each race. Makes sure there are no discrepancies.
Score Table:Responsible for verifying the results are correct, recording times on meet sheet, and keeping paperwork organized. You must assist the computer people as needed.
Spirit Music:Responsible for sitting at table and playing music at the beginning of the meet, during “hot-heats” and when the timers switch from one end of pool to another.
Stroke & Turn:Responsible for monitoring each swimmers stroke and documenting on a DQ slip if the stroke is illegal. Information given to table.
Finish Judge:Determines the finish of the race for the first heat of each event only. Information given to table.
Announcer:Announces the name of the event and the heat during the meet.
Relay Take Off:Needed only for relays. Responsible for making sure there is no false start of any swimmer in the relay.
Ready Bench:Responsible for lining the kids up on the benches in preparation of their race. The coaches bring them over to the benches.
Relay/Split Timer:Responsible for recording the “split” time (or time it takes to get from one end of pool to other) of each swimmer in the relay. There are 3 people that do this job each meet.
Runner:Responsible for picking up any DQ slips from Stroke & Turn Judge, Finish Judge slips and the timer sheets after every 2 events.
Timer:Responsible for recording each swimmers time in your lane.
Back-up Timer:Must be ready to fill in for a timer during any race of the meet.
Meet Set Up:Responsible for arriving 30 minutes before arrival time to prepare pool area for meet.
Clean Up:Responsible for staying after the meet to put away the meet supplies and be the final check to make sure pool and team areas are trash free.
Security:Responsible for monitoring team area during the meet and make sure all swimmers are behaving appropriately. Must be willing to reprimand any inappropriate behavior or bring it to the attention of the coaches. Must be willing to walk around the whole time.
Team Store:Responsible for selling team items either at practices or during meets.
Snack Table:Sells food donated by the team in the pavilion area.
Donut/Pretzel:Sells pretzels and donuts at practice the day of or day after a meet from 8:45-11:00 AM.
Team Parties:Set up, monitor games and help hand out snacks. Must be there whole time.
Awards Night:Set up, pass out team gifts and clean up. Must be there whole time.
Swim-A-Thon:Set up, organize fundraiser slips/money and clean-up. Must be there whole time.

G L O S S A R Y     
What are the different strokes? - Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly

DQ - Disqualification.  Your time or place of finish does not count.

Down Year - A swimmer in the lower age of his/her age group.  For example a 9 year old in the 10 and under age group.

Event - A portion of a meet broken down by stroke, age, gender, and relay type.

Exhibition Heat - Any heat in an event after the official heat.  Also called an unofficial heat.  The number of these varies from event to event, meet to meet.

False Start - When a swimmer inadvertently leaves the blocks before a heat is started by an official (1 permitted per event, 2nd results in a disqualification).

Heat - Portion of the event.

IM - Slang for individual medley, an event in which the swimmer uses all four competitive strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.

Lanelines - The dividers used to designate the individual lanes.

Lap - The point from one side of the pool to the other (25 yards or meters).

Leg - A portion, normally one-quarter, of an individual event or relay event.

Medley Relay - An event in which the swimmers use all four competitive strokes in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle.

Official - A judge on the deck of the pool.  Various judges watch the swimmers strokes, turns, or finishes and are timers.

Official Heat - The first heat in an event.

Relay - An event in which 4 children swim individual legs of the race.

Seeding - The method of placing swimmers in lanes in order of their entry times.

Split - A swimmer’s intermediate time in a race.  Splits are registered every 25 yards or meters (depending upon the pool) and are used to determine if a swimmer is on record pace.

Time Trials - A “swim meet” before the season starts allowing the coach to get times for the swimmers.

Warm-up - Used by the swimmer before the race to get their muscles loose and ready to race.