TEAM

 
Why be a Mighty Dolphin?
You can be part of a Towamencin tradition and join the best swim and dive team in the area.  We have the trophies to prove it!  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?
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 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?
Swimming
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
Diving
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?
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?
The Towamencin Swim and Dive Team competes in the 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).

Awards
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.

REGISTRATION 
How do I join the team?
Registration is available online beginning in March.  
See calendar for suit try-on and team question/answer dates.   

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

If your child will be purchasing a team swimsuit (optional), it is recommended that your child accompany you to one of the try-on dates for proper sizing.

What is the volunteer fee?
At registration 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.

PRACTICE   
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.

MEETS     
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 Chapman 25 yards
Pennridge 25 yards
Souderton 25 yards
Towamencin 25 yards
Hatfield 25 meters
Harleysville 25 meters
Lansdale 25 meters
Nor-Gwyn 25 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.

GLOSSARY     
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.