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Frequently Asked Questions - Red and Blue Steiner Stars

When does weather affect our swim season?
Two weather events cause practice delays or cancellation: Lightning (sighted or possibly near) and/or hard rain. If a lightning strike is seen, or if thundering is loud overhead, practice will be called for about 30 minutes. Coaches will take the swimmers to the pavilion to wait. Light rain without lightning is no problem; hard rain that prevents a swimmer from seeing the bottom of the pool will cause practice delays or cancellation. 

What are the family folders? 
Family folders can be found under the covered area next to the front gate. They contain important information, ribbons, volunteer badges, etc. 

When do swimmers receive ribbons from meets? 
All ribbons will be in the family folders by Tuesday after the meet. 

How many events does a swimmer swim? 
Swimmers may only participate in up to 3 individual events and 2 relays (1 relay for 5/6). You may find your swimmer in fewer events. This is because it is not always possible to have all swimmers swim the relays and/or they are not yet able to legally swim certain strokes within a reasonable time. 

What is the order of the Medley Relay? 
(1) Backstroke (2) Breaststroke (3) Butterfly (4) Freestyle 

What does "INV" next to a child's name mean on the results page? 
The swimmer has qualified for the Invitational Meet. 

Practice 101

What do I wear and bring to practice? 
A competition style swimsuit. Swimmers should have goggles, a swim cap, a towel, fins and a bottle of water or gatorade. Put your name on everything you bring to the pool. 

What do parents do during practice? 
Parents need to check family folders. Otherwise, have fun watching your swimmer and getting to know the other Stars parents! 

What are fins used for? 
The fins are used to teach the swimmers form and to improve their leg strength. 

Where can I get more information, especially for my 5/6 year-old swimmer? 
If you need more information, please read our What to Take and Do at a Swim Meet document. 

Meets 101

Meet Day:

  • Get there early/on time. Check-in times for swimmers and volunteers will be posted for each meet. Coming late effects the entire relay team. Also, swimmers must warm up in the pool prior to the meet.
  • Swimmers and volunteers need to check in
  • Bring lots of water/Gatorade (no soda) and HEALTHY snacks. Concessions will also be available at all meets.
  • Bring something to entertain your swimmers (e.g. cards, hand-held games) when they are not competing (make sure their name is on EVERYTHING!)
  • Bring extra goggles
  • Bring Stars swim cap,extra caps
  • Bring 2 beach towels, blankets (swimmers will need towel or blanket to sit on and one to keep dry
  • Sunscreen (apply before coming to meet)
  • Warmups/heavy shirts for those cool mornings
  • Chairs for parents, blankets
  • Pack the night before
Time Trials 101

Time Trials is a simulation of an actual meet. It allows swimmers to get a feel for how a meet is run and for coaches to get swimmers' seed times for the first actual meet. 

Divisionals 101

There are four divisions within the Northwest Swim Circuit. The Divisional Meet at the end of the year consists of the three teams in the division. To be eligible to participate in the Divisional meet, a swimmer must have swum in two previous meets during the season. They must also have an "official" time in the event they sign up for. Points are awarded through 8th place for both individual events and relays. 

Invitationals 101

This meet is truly an invitational meet and is open only to those swimmers who equal or better the qualifying standards in a NWSC dual meet or in the Divisional meet. Age group invitational qualifying times are listed on the NWSC's website. Swimmers must swim in at least two dual meets to qualify. 

Tents 101

Tents Serve Several Purposes at a Meet:

  • Provide a safe place for swimmers to stay while parents are working various jobs during the meet.
  • Provide a fun place for our swimmers to pass the time while they are waiting for their events.
  • Provide a place where swimmers can gather to be guided to the ready bench when it is time for their events.

We all need to work together to make sure these items happen. 

Swimmer Safety:
While we like to think of our meets as family events, they are open to the public and as such present the same dangers to a child as being at a park or the mall when they are out of a parents direct supervision. As a result, swimmers must be reminded prior to the meet, that they should remain in their tent for their safety or abide by the following rules:

  • Younger swimmers (10 & under) should not be leaving the tent alone. We have 3 tent parents assigned, please check regularly to see if swimmers need to use the restrooms and escort groups there or to the snack bar as needed. Parents should not remove swimmers from the tent without first telling one of the tent parents they are doing so. Please escort your child back to the tent when you are done with whatever activity you are removing them for.
  • Older swimmers should not leave the tent without first telling the tent parent where they are headed. It is recommended that they do so in groups of 2 or more.

Swimmer Fun:
The tents provide a shaded area for our swimmers to socialize between events. Parents, please make sure your swimmer has activities to keep them entertained while they are there. Also please remind your swimmers that part of having fun involves that golden rule "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". They need to show respect for the tent parents and other swimmers in their tent. Each swimmer was asked to sign a code of conduct and they will be held accountable for their actions if they do not follow it. Foul language, back talk, spitting, hitting and other inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the tents. 

Tent parents, please stay tuned into the activities that are occurring in the tents. It is easy to get caught up in watching the meet, a good book or casual conversation. However if you have an eye and ear on the activities underway, you can often resolve any issues before they occur. With our younger ones to some degree, yes this is "kid watching", but it is a very important part of this job. 

Move Swimmers to Ready Bench:
It is the tent parent's responsibility to get swimmers that are present in the tent to the ready bench on time with their gear. This means watching for the age group that swims in front of you to get up to go to the ready bench and following along behind them. The order of swimmers for each event is girls then boys in the following age group order: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15 & up. 

Know where the tent of the group that swims before you is located so you can see them heading out. In each case as we move towards the completion of an event with the oldest groups, the 5/6 girl tent parents will need to watch for the 15 & up swimmers as their cue to line up. There are just a couple of exceptions:

  • After the initial freestyle races, the 5/6 and 7/8 swimmers sit out the IM races. The 9/10 girls tent parents must be on the lookout to line up.
  • After the backstroke races, the 5/6 girls and boys will need to line up for both breast stroke and butterfly.
  • After the break, the 5/6 swimmers will be gone and the 7/8 girls tent parents should watch for the older swimmers as the trigger to line up for the next event.
  • At our home meet, you will have a direct line of vision to the ready bench. While the announcer is set up so that you should be able to hear the calls, the visual cues from other groups should be enough to get your swimmers where they need to be even if you can not.

While it is the tent parent's responsibility to get swimmers in the tent to the ready bench, it is not the tent parent's responsibility to track down a swimmer not in the tent when it is time to line up. For our younger swimmers, if you remove your child, know when it is their next turn to swim and have them back in time to line up (this is several events prior to when they actually swim). For our older swimmers, our tent parents can caution them about how much time they have when they ask to leave the tent, but it is their responsibility to return on time. Please make sure they are aware of this. 

Lastly, please do not remove your swimmer from the meet for the day without first checking with the tent parent to confirm if they are swimming in the freestyle relays. Do not go by the heat sheet or even by what is on their arms. Tent parents have the actual relay cards with them and can confirm it for you. Relays lineups change due to last minute illnesses before or during the meet and parents who forgot to tell us their swimmers were leaving early or missing entirely. Some of this we know first thing in the morning when we make initial adjustments. These changes will most likely be reflected on your child's arm. However some of these we don't find out until later in the meet and they may not be reflected. The best bet is to stay through the free relays for your child's age group and support the team. Our goal is always to have as many swimmers as possible swim these relays so don't be surprised to see them pulled in last minute.

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