SWIM TEAM HANDBOOK
The Dearbought Devil Rays Swim Team is a member of the Frederick Summer Swim League (FSSL),
which includes teams from all over Frederick County.
This handbook includes:
• An overview of team goals along with swimmer and parent responsibilities.
• The practice schedule for the summer, as well as practice guidelines and expectations.
• Information about and schedule for swim meets.
• Descriptions of volunteer expectations and opportunities.
• Information about swim team apparel.
Dearbought Devil Rays Swim Team Goals
By far, the most important goal of the swim team is for every member to have fun. While swim
meets are indeed competitive, we want the kids to enjoy their time in the pool. The Devil Rays Swim
Team strives to instill an appreciation for the sport of swimming through a summer program that
promotes healthy competition, builds self-esteem, fosters friendship, and emphasizes fun!
• Provide a positive experience for swimmers, their families and the coaches.
• Offer training and competition opportunities for all swimmers.
• Help swimmers improve their strokes, build stamina and gain strength in the water.
• Attend practices and meets regularly.
• Be on time with goggles and caps ready to swim.
• Understand that each swimmer supports the team as a whole.
• Communicate with coaches about concerns, questions, and attendance issues.
• Congratulate fellow swimmers (team mates and opponents) after each race.
• Watch and encourage teammates.
• Help pick up all trash after practices and meets.
• Sign-up to volunteer for each meet.
• Ensure your child arrives at practices and meets on time.
• Check the swimmer folders (at the pool) weekly for announcements and meet ribbons.
• Be an advocate for good sportsmanship.
• Help teach your child the importance of active participation and community citizenship.
The practice schedule is on the website under “Swim Groups” tab. Practice is essential to improving
strokes and gaining speed; the team expects swimmers to attend practice regularly. Absences are
understood (e.g., for summer camp, vacation) when they are communicated to the coaching staff in
a timely manner. We still swim on rainy days, but cancel practices if there is thunder and/or
lightening or if the air and water temperatures are too cold. Please check the website for updates
on weather cancellations.
Practice sessions are broken into age groups with consideration given to individual swimmer’s skill,
speed, and stamina levels. Separating the team into smaller groups allows more effective coaching
and results in less crowding in the lanes. Swimmers should practice with their age group unless the
coach recommends they move to a different time slot based on the level of their swimming skills.
Swimmers are grouped according to swimmer age as of June 1st -the date used by the FSSL to
determine swimmer age for competition purposes. Swimmers need to be able to swim the length of
pool by the first swim meet. The coaching staff will discuss options if this occurs.
Evening practices are only for swimmers who are unable to attend morning practice due to work,
camp, or family obligations. Pool space is limited in the evenings because half the pool is still open
to the general membership and there are a reduced number of lanes available for the swim team.
The lanes are crowded. We strongly encourage swimmers to attend the morning sessions whenever
Swimmers should be on the pool deck and ready to swim at the practice start time. Parents need to
ensure that swimmers arrive at the pool in enough time to be in the water at the designated
practice time. Once practice begins, the coaching staff assumes responsibility for supervising the
swimmers. Parents of swimmers 11 years and older are not required to stay during practice, but
must be available by phone in the event of injury or discipline issues.
During practice, it is very important that the coaching staff be able to focus their attention on the
swimmers. Therefore, we ask that parents refrain from talking to the coaches while practice is in
progress. The coaches are available to discuss any concerns and answer questions either prior to the
beginning of practice or after practices have finished.
The swim team will participate in four dual meets, where the Devil Rays compete against one other
team and one Divisional Meet, where all teams in our Division compete to determine the Division
Champion. Additionally, individual swimmers may compete in one All Star Meet at the end of the
season if they achieve qualifying times.
We expect all members of the team to participate in the regular season meets and the Divisional
Meet. If your child will miss a meet due to vacation or family commitment, it is essential to
communicate this information as early as possible, but no later than the Tuesday before a meet.
If the coaching staff expects your child to be at a meet and your child does not show up, the
swimmer’s events are “scratched.” Scratched events result in penalty points for the team. Missing
swimmers may also cause cancelled relays, which unfortunately prevents other team/relay
members from swimming the event and affects the final outcome of the meet due to missed scoring
Swim meets on Saturdays officially start at 8:00AM, Thursday meet starts at 5PM. If we’re host at
Dearbought swimmers will warm-up from 7–7:30 AM. If the meet is away, warm-ups are from 7:30-
7:55AM-Saturdays and 4:30-4:55PM-Thursday. Swimmers should check-in at least 15 minutes prior
to the warm-up start times. Dual meets generally last 3-4 hours.
The Divisional Meet is a championship meet and we need as many swimmers participating as
possible! FSSL rules require that swimmers compete in at least two dual meets during the regular
summer season to be eligible to swim at the Divisional Meet.
The All-Stars Meet is after the Divisional Meet and is based on individual, not team performance. To
qualify for this event the swimmer will have to meet time standards for events. A swimmer may
qualify during regular FSSL or Divisional meet of the current year. The swimmer must swim in at
least two FSSL meets during the season.
DATE LOCATION OPPONENT ARRIVAL TIME
6/16/2012 Dearbought Holly Hills 6:45 AM
6/21/2012 Frederick High School Frederick YMCA 4:15 PM
6/30/2012 Brunswick-PVYA Brunswick-PVYA 7:15 AM
7/7/2012 BYE N/A N/A
7/14/2012 Dearbought-BH Host Braddock Heights 6:45 AM
7/21/2012 Dearbought Divisionals-BH,PVYA TBA
7/28/2012 TBA All Stars TBA
Directions to each pool in the league are posted on the FSSL website at www.swimfssl.org.
Several days before each meet, the coaching staff will prepare the “line-up” and determine the race
events for each swimmer. The coaches will make every effort to accommodate swimmers’ requests
to compete in particular events; however, the final decision belongs to the coaching staff. The last
page of this handbook contains the order of events for swim meets.
At dual meets, each swimmer may be entered in a maximum of five events with no more than four
individual events (i.e., 4 individual events plus 1 relay, or 3 individual events plus 2 relays). Not all
swimmers will swim as many as five events and not all swimmers will be in a relay. At the Divisional
meet a maximum of 3 individual events plus 1 relay.
For most events, there is more than one “heat.” When there are more than six (the number of lanes
available at the pool) swimmers in any given event, they are divided into smaller groups called
“heats.” There may be three, four, five or more heats per event. A swimmer may win his or her
heat, but that does not necessarily mean that he or she will win the “event”. The winner of the
event is the swimmer, of all the swimmers in all heats, who records the fastest time.
Dual Meet Scoring: Individual events are scored with 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place earning
points: 5, 3, and 1 respectively. Relay events earn 8, 4, and 2 points for the first three places.
Swimmers who finish in 1st through 12th place receive ribbons.
There are several things to keep in mind during a meet:
• Families and swimmers should stay in the team’s designated area. This makes it easier for the
Clerk of Course to find a swimmer when it is time for him or her to line up for an event.
• Swimmers should remain in the pool until all the swimmers in their heat complete the race.
• Many parent volunteers are required at each meet, every week! Please respect the need for
volunteers and help routinely.
• Concessions and meet programs are available for sale at every meet.
What to bring to a meet:
• Swim suit, cap and goggles
• Two or more towels
• Warm clothing (especially for the cool mornings)
• Something to pass the time between events (e.g., cards, a book)
• Water bottles to stay hydrated
• Sun lotion/hats
• Folding chairs
• Money for the concession stand, or your own snacks
Parent volunteers run the swim meets. Every family needs to share in the responsibilities to make
sure the meets proceed smoothly. This also allows the coaching staff to focus on the swimmers
instead of trying to recruit volunteers at the last minute. There are varieties of volunteer activities at
each meet and they all afford the opportunity for parents to watch their children compete.
Please sign up to volunteer so other families will not need to carry the extra burden for you. We
need the most help at home swim meets. You may sign up on the website for volunteer positions of
I have never volunteered for a swim meet before; what am I supposed to do?
Read the volunteer role descriptions and pick those that sound good to you.
Sign up for a position on our team website. Volunteer positions are filled on a
first-come first-served basis, so sign up early to get your first choice of roles! At
the swim meet, report to your role a few minutes early to get oriented. If you
are not sure where to go, check with the Volunteer Coordinator or another
How much time do volunteer roles take?
One parent from each family should volunteer to help for one shift (first half or
second half) during each meet. First half volunteers generally need to report
about 20 minutes before the meet starts. Second half volunteers are called
during the end of the first half. A few volunteer roles, such as “Meet Set-Up” or
“Heat Winner” take less time. In addition, there are also some positions that a
parent may be able to volunteer for more than one role.
Can I watch my child swim if I am volunteering?
Yes! Every role has enough flexibility that you can still watch your child
compete. Talk with the Volunteer Coordinator if you have questions about what
roles may be best suited to your particular situation.
I have very young children who require supervision. Do I still need to volunteer?
Yes. Please be aware that many of our families are in the same situation. We
still need your help and there are several ways to make volunteering possible. A
few suggestions are:
• Look for child-friendly volunteer roles, like “Heat Winner” or “Ribbon Writer”
(see descriptions below).
• Consider helping with “Meet Set-Up” for home meets, so one adult can come
Friday night and/or early Saturday morning to help prior to the meets (rather
than during the meet).
• Sign up for a volunteer role early so you can select the role and time that best
accommodates your family and your schedule.
• If you have two adults attending the meet (even if for just half of the meet),
have one adult volunteer while the other supervises the young children.
• If only one adult is available, try to team up with another family to trade off
child supervision while you take turns volunteering.
Whom should I ask if I have questions about volunteering?
Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.
Check-In (up to 3 needed per meet)
Check in swimmers and pass out individual event sheets. Assist swimmers with marking
their events on their arm. Notify coaching staff of absent swimmers. You must arrive 15
minutes prior to warm up time.
Timer (up to 24 timers needed per meet/12 per half)
This is a great position for new families or volunteers who want to be close to the
action! Three timers stand at the end of each lane and use stop-watches to time the
swimmers. The timers meeting occurs 20 minutes prior to start of each meet. The total
numbers of timers are dependent on pool size.
Head Timer (1 per half, home meets only)
Keep a spare set of stop-watches running in case any of the timers’ watches stop
functioning or don’t start. Prior timing experience suggested, but not required.
Clerk of Course (2-3 per half)
The Clerks of Course work as partners to:
• take swimmer attendance for each event.
• ensure swimmers are lined up in the staging area by event/heat/lane assignment .
• help locate any missing swimmers.
No experience necessary – we will team new volunteers with experienced Clerks of
Runner (1 each half, home meets only)
After all heats in an event are completed, the Runner collects the time record sheets
from the Timers and delivers them to the scoring table in the club house. No experience
Scorer and Computer Operator (2 per half at home meets; 1 per half at away meets)
Scorers review the time cards and record the times to “place” swimmers for the events.
This job is performed inside the pool club house where it’s cool and air conditioned!
New volunteers usually help identify the official time by circling the “middle” time of the
three recorded on the time sheet. More experienced Scorers may help with the
computer data entry and the printing of stickers for the ribbon labels. The Computer
Operator should attend the FSSL IT training. Scorers tend to work in small bursts, so it is
always easy to leave the scoring table to watch your child’s races. This is a great
volunteer position for anyone with physical limitations or those who prefer to be out of
Ribbon Writer (1 per half)
Work in the club house with the Scorers to place pre-printed stickers on ribbons and file
the ribbons in the swimmers’ folders. The first half shift usually starts a little later in the
meet because it takes some time for the first few race times to be entered and printed
on stickers. The second half Ribbon Writer may need to stay a few minutes after the
meet finishes, or take stickers and ribbons home, to place the final batch of stickers on
the ribbons. This is a fun job in the cool club house; young children can sit in the club
house with their parent. The youngsters may even enjoy helping place stickers or file
ribbons. No experience necessary. This is a great role for families with young children or
for those who prefer to be out of the sun. Also good for volunteers with physical
Heat Winner Ribbon Runner (1 per half, home meets only)
Be on the pool deck to watch each race and hand a Heat Winner ribbon to the swimmer
who wins each heat. This is an enjoyable role that allows up-close viewing for all events!
No experience necessary.
Stroke-&-Turn Judge (2 per half)
These important volunteers watch every race to determine whether or not the
swimmers are performing the strokes “legally.” To become a Stroke-&-Turn Judge, you
should have some familiarity with appropriate stroke techniques. A 2-hour training
course is required to review swimming regulations and proper stroke techniques.
Training courses are only offered in May and early June, so please consider helping with
this position and contact the Team Coordinator for details about the dates and times for
training courses. No prior experience necessary, but completion of training course
Relay Parents (2 per half)
You are in charge of lining up swimmers for relays at the end of each half. Make sure all
swimmers are lined up accurately. For the younger swimmers; assist with lane
placement at both ends of the pool.
Concession workers (3 per half at home meets)
Assist with setting up concessions prior to start of the meet for first half volunteers and
cleaning up at the end of the meet for second half volunteers. Assist Head concessions
with any duties. No experience necessary.
Meet Set-Up (4 per home meet)
Help prepare the pool for the home swim meets. This usually occurs Friday night at 8:00
PM. Tasks include setting up the staging area where swimmers are lined up prior to
their events, placing chairs, hanging the backstroke flags, arranging the scoring and
ribbon-writing tables, and setting up the concession. No experience necessary.
Meet Clean-Up (3 per home meet)
Help clean up the pool area by putting away chairs and tables and dismantling the
concession stand. Others do assist. No experience necessary.
Swim Team Apparel
Dearbought Devil Rays team swimsuits are sold, through our website dearboughtswim.org
under Gear Store. Our team gets credit for purchases done through our website. Another
alternative is Pools, Patios & Porches located at 179-D Thomas Johnson Drive (near Weis).
The store does not keep a full stock of all sizes; please visit the store for a fitting and allow
time to order the suit so it arrives in time for the meets. Purchasing the team suit is
encouraged, though not required for participation. If your swimmer will not be wearing a
Dearbought Devil Rays team suit during a meet, swimmers must be sure to wear suits
without logos representing other team names (red or black is preferred).
SWIM MEET ORDER OF EVENTS
Boys Age Event Girls
#1 15 – 18 50 Free #2
#3 13 – 14 50 Free #4
#5 11 – 12 50 Free #6
#7 9 – 10 25 Free #8
#9 7–8 25 Free #10
#11 6 & Under 25 Free #12
#13 15 – 18 100 IM #14
#15 13 – 14 100 IM #16
#17 11 – 12 100 IM #18
#19 10 & Under 100 IM #20
#21 15 – 18 50 Breast #22
#23 13 – 14 50 Breast #24
#25 11 – 12 50 Breast #26
#27 9 – 10 25 Breast #28
#29 8 & Under 25 Breast #30
#31 13 & Over 200 Medley Relay (co-ed) #31
#32 12 & Under 200 Medley Relay (co-ed) #32
#33 10 & Under 100 Medley Relay (co-ed) #33
#34 8 & Under 100 Medley Relay (co-ed) #34
Begin Second Half
#35 15 – 18 50 Back #36
#37 13 – 14 50 Back #38
#39 11 – 12 50 Back #40
#41 9 – 10 25 Back #42
#43 7–8 25 Back #44
#45 6 & Under 25 Back #46
#47 15 – 18 100 Free #48
#49 13 – 14 100 Free #50
#51 11 – 12 100 Free #52
#53 9 – 10 50 Free #54
#55 8 & Under 50 Free #56
#57 15 – 18 50 Fly #58
#59 13 – 14 50 Fly #60
#61 11 – 12 50 Fly #62
#63 9 – 10 25 Fly #64
#65 8 & Under 25 Fly #66
#67 18 & Under 200 Crescendo Free Relay #68
8 & Under 25 Free
10 & Under 25 Free
12 & Under 50 Free
13 & Over 50 Free (x2)