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OGC Swim Team

Old Georgetown Club is happy to offer a competitive summer swim team to its members. Our team's mission is to provide a fun, family-oriented and positive swimming experience for our members. This environment strives to promote lasting friendships, competitive spirit, and the joy of attaining one's personal best. The OGC Swim Team participates in the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) and will compete in Division C in the Summer of 2020.

OGC swim team is only for members of OGC. Please complete pool registration before attempting to register for swim and dive teams. No swimmers are allowed to participate in practice until their team registration is complete. You will receive a confirmation of your swimmer's registration.

All swim team members are expected to participate in Wednesday evening B meets.  These meets are friendly neighborhood dual meets intended to give swimmers an opportunity to attempt their legal strokes and enjoy an evening of fun with teammates.  Time trials are offered on Saturday, June 6, to give all swimmers a chance to experience the format of a meet.  The first dual meet is Wednesday, June 10.  Subsequent B meets will be held on Wednesday, June 17, June 24, July 1, and July 8.



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Everything you want to know about summer swim team....

'A' meets are on Saturday mornings, and participation is at the discretion of the coaches. 'B' meets are on Wednesday evenings, and are open to all team members who can swim a legal stroke. There is no 'A' and 'B' team - many swimmers swim at both A and B meets. Swimmers compete against other teams’ swimmers in their age group, based on age as of June 1. The age groups are 8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18.

Ribbons: For 'A' meets, ribbons are given to any swimmer who scores points - which is the first 5 places in the individual events. For 'B' meets, ribbons are given to all participants in most cases. Ribbons will say the place for the 1st through 6th place swimmer, and the other ribbons will say 'participant'. Times are written on the back of the ribbon. No times are given for a race in which the swimmer disqualifies. Ribbons may be picked up at the pool, usually kept in the ribbon box at the guard house.


Expectations at all meets: Swimmers should remain in the team area during the meet. If a swimmer needs to leave the team area for any reason, the swimmer should inform one of the coaches before leaving. We do not want any swimmers to miss the check-in time for their event, or cause the coaches to have to hunt them down. Parents should not be in the team area during the meet or attempt to talk to the coaches during the meet. The coaches are very busy watching each race so that they can give swimmers feedback regarding their race. Swimmers should NOT leave a meet for any reason without first checking with one of the coaches, as you could be scheduled to swim a relay at the end of the meet.

Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, etc. are all encouraged to watch the meets. Cheering is welcome, but spectators need to be quiet once “Quiet for the start” is announced so that swimmers can hear the starting equipment. Parents who are helping with officiating, such as timers, are not supposed to cheer - this is according to league rules, so that all officials can concentrate on officiating in a neutral manner.

The deck area around the pool and at the ends of the pool needs to be left clear for officials working the meet. Please do not stand at the end of the lanes to cheer or film your swimmer, or allow younger siblings to run up and down the side of the pool, since officials need a clean line of sight along the pool sides and pool ends to fairly judge the meet.

Please do not use flash photography during the meet, since the flash may be confused with the flash of the starting equipment. Cell phone ringers must be turned off, because again they may be confused with the sound of the starting equipment. No cell phones, cameras or non-officials are allowed behind the starting blocks at any time during the meet.


Looking for meet results from Saturday meets?  Results from all Saturday meets in Montgomery County Swim League are posted to the MCSL website, typically by Sunday afternoon:   http://mcsl.org/Results2.aspx#


Rules and disqualifications: There are four different strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Freestyle is the easiest to master, and most swimmers do not disqualify in freestyle races unless they start too early, pull themselves along the lane ropes, or walk along the bottom. The other three strokes are more difficult, and younger or less experienced swimmers frequently disqualify. Please help your younger swimmer understand that strokes other than freestyle are difficult to master, and that disqualifying is frequent at first. The standards for disqualification are the same at 'B' meets and 'A' meets. It can seem harsh to some people that the disqualification standards are the same at 'B' meets and at 'A' meets, but it is necessary because we do not want kids getting good times at 'B' meets because of doing the stroke illegally, and then get entered into an 'A' meet and promptly get disqualified there, which costs the team points. Meanwhile they may have displaced another kid from being entered into the 'A' meet, whose time might be slower but they were doing the stroke legally.

MCSL rules are used at all 'A' meets, and are the basis for determining whether or not the strokes are swum correctly. The rules are generally similar to USA Swimming rules, with a few exceptions. The MCSL handbook lists all the rules. The handbook may be read on the MCSL web site at www.mcsl.org, and there may be some copies available at the pool. MCSL highly recommends that the same rules be used at 'B' meets, but the implementation is up to the teams running the 'B' meets.

The MCSL handbook also details how meets are scored. At 'A' meets, the fastest five swimmers in the event earn scores of 6,4,3,2,1 respectively - so that having the second and third best swimmers is worth more than having the best swimmer. Relay events are worth more points.

'A’ Meets

The 'A' meets are against other teams in our division. We are put in a division with five other teams that had approximately the same strength swimmers as we did in the previous year, based on a computerized swim-off.

Here's how the swim-off works: The swim-off composes a team for each club based on taking a "theoretical" lineup from the times in the 'A' meets based on the median of all times from A meets, resulting in a meet entry list similar to the list that we make up for any A meet. It then takes our meet entries and runs us in dual meets against each other team in the league, and does the same for each other team - which means it runs 7832 meets (89 teams x 88 pairings). For example, for 2008 in the 88 meets that we swum in the swim-off, we ended up with a total won-lost record of 36 wins and 52 losses (we scored a total of 33,153 points - this is 376 points per meet - against our 5 opponents in our division in 2008, we averaged 366 points per meet). The teams are then arranged in order by the total number of wins, and divided into groups of 6. In our division for 2009, the teams had from 36 to 38.5 wins in the swim-off.

Team scores are kept at 'A' meets.

How to indicate you are available for an 'A' meet: Coaches will assume all swimmers are available to swim in a Saturday A meet unless they hear otherwise. Swimmers must notify the coach or team rep before Wednesday of the Saturday meet if they are not able to participate in that week’s A meet. Please note that telling a coach that you cannot swim is not enough - there are far too many kids to keep track of verbally. Please send an email to the coach or team rep.

How coaches select which swimmers to enter in an 'A' meet: The decision regarding which swimmers to enter at each 'A' meet is solely at the discretion of the coaches. The primary factor coaches consider is the best time achieved season-to-date at either an A meet, B meet, or Time Trials (coaches will have available the times from all the meets, including the 'B' meet immediately preceding the upcoming 'A' meet). Usually the coach decides who will swim based on these top times. But the coach may also take into account any other factors that he/she believes are relevant. Examples of such other factors include: 1) the coach may decide to limit the number of races in which a swimmer is entered if a swimmer does well when swimming in a couple of races but does not perform as well when in more races; 2) the coach may decide not to use a swimmer in a stroke where he believes the swimmer is likely to disqualify based on his observation of the swimmer's stroke; or 3) the coach may choose not to swim a child who has refused to practice when available, or otherwise has caused problems for the team or does not appear interested in contributing to team efforts.

The swimmers in 'A' meets will vary week to week, depending on the above factors and which swimmers are available that week. Many people may think the chances are low that their child would be selected - but sometimes faster swimmers are out of town on a given date, and there is a slot for the swimmer. This is why it is important for all swimmers, regardless of their standing, to notify coaches if they will not be able to swim in an A meet.

The coach evaluates the best strategy for maximizing the points scored by the team. The coach must decide which events to enter the swimmer in (a maximum of three of the four strokes and five events overall), and if there are not enough swimmers in an age group, which younger swimmers to 'swim up' in age. Swimmers are expected to be willing to swim all of the events that they are entered in, and to willingly 'swim up' when needed for the team gain.

There is a freestyle relay at the end of each A meet. The swimmers for this relay are not selected in advance of the meet. The general practice is to use the swimmers with the fastest freestyle times swum that day in the relay. There may be an exception: sometimes a fast swimmer will not be entered into freestyle at the meet (because they were entered into all the other strokes), and if they are clearly the fastest freestyler even though they did not swim the event that day, then they will still be used in the freestyle relay.

Checking to see if you are scheduled to swim: Announcements of who is swimming an A meet are made to the team practice groups the Friday prior, directly after practices. The list will also be posted on the pool bulletin board, and hopefully also on the team website. If for any reason you are not at practice on Friday morning, you must check the list to see if you have been scheduled to swim. You will not be called to inform you that you are scheduled. Failure to show up for an 'A' meet when you have been scheduled to swim may mean that you will not be scheduled to swim the following 'A' meet.

Checking in for 'A' meets:

'A' meets at home: Swimmers should be at the pool by the designated time ready to warm up, and must make coaches aware of their arrival so they can be checked in. All swimmers are expected to warm up with the team.

'A' meets away: Swimmers should check in with the coaches at OGC at a time to be named by the coaches before the meet (it will also be posted on the swim team bulletin board, and will be announced at the Friday evening psych event). Swimmers must check in with the coaches at OGC - do not go directly to the “away” pool!

A swimmer who does not check in on time for an 'A' meet risks getting scratched from the meet if we have other swimmers available.

Staying for the full 'A' meet: 'A' meets require a swimmer to be available continuously from the check-in time until the end of the meet. Meets generally last until about 12:00, and may last longer if there are weather or other delays.

Swimmers entered into an 'A' meet are expected to stay for the full meet - the coach may want to use the swimmer in the last race of the day, which is a relay event where the swimmers are not scheduled in advance. If a swimmer needs to leave the meet before the relay, he/she must tell the coach before leaving.

Sometimes swimmers have a schedule conflict where they are only available for part of the meet. In this case, the swimmer must specifically indicate the hours that they are available. The coach will then decide which events to enter the swimmer in.

Why it is necessary to have strict procedures for A meets: The coaches must turn in an electronic entry list to the opposing team by Friday morning. It takes a lot of effort and strategizing for the coaches to figure out which kids to enter in which events, and then takes a lot of time for the volunteer computer operator to enter the entries in the correct format, and for the coaches, computer operator, team reps, etc. to check that the entries are correct. This is why we MUST know who is available for an 'A' meet by the end of the day on Wednesday preceding the meet to have time to accomplish this time-consuming task.

What if there is an emergency preventing a swimmer from being in the meet? Please tell the coaches as soon as possible. If the coaches know before Friday morning, they will be able to change the entry list before submitting it to the opposing team (but the sooner the better, because it takes time and effort to change the list and rearrange the other swimmers). If the coaches are told after Friday morning but before the meet on Saturday, there is a limited ability to 'scratch' up to three swimmers and substitute other swimmers. If your situation is problematic (like a pending illness), please keep the coaches informed so they can plan accordingly, and perhaps line up another swimmer.

There are generally more swimmers who would like to swim at 'A' meets than there are entry spots. Please understand that it feels terrible to these swimmers to know that there are empty lanes that would have meant a spot in the meet for them, but they weren't entered because some other kid said they were available but later changed their plans, or got sick and didn't tell anyone in time. It is also unfair to kids to keep them in suspense about whether or not there is a spot for them, or to tell them at the last minute, because some other kid has said they are available when they just wanted to keep their options open about whether or not they would be at the meet.

Lunch after the meets: After away Saturday 'A' meets, many swimmers and their families traditionally go out for lunch at a restaurant that is convenient to the meet. It’s fun for the families, but is not required. The team will have a barbeque at the pool for swimmers and their families following all home A meets.

'B meets': 'B' meets are scheduled with other teams that we choose - based on location, past experience, available schedules, and teams that have similar philosophies. 'B' meets are supposed to be run similarly to 'A' meets, but are not official meets subject to the MCSL league rules, and therefore are slightly less formal than 'A' meets. Team scores are not kept at 'B' meets. Official times and ribbons are given at ‘B’ meets.

All swimmers are eligible for 'B' meets and the coaches will assign events to the swimmers. Generally, the coaches will enter a swimmer in all events they feel the swimmer can complete without being disqualified. If a swimmer swims an event in an A meet, he/she will not swim it in a B meet.

In order to swim in a B meet, swimmers/parents must indicate the swimmer's availability and desire to swim by designating the swimmer on the OGC Swimtopia site no later than 9:00 p.m. on the Sunday preceding the Wednesday B Meet. If a B Meet takes place on a day other than Wednesday (most possible when July 4 falls on a Wednesday), you will be notified of a different swimmer designation deadline. 

Because there is no limit on the number of entries in each event, in these meets, they can be quite lengthy. As a courtesy to your teammates and the opposing team, please notify the coaches or the team reps if you signed up to swim and subsequently are unable to attend.

Time Trials

This is just like a regular meet, but it is only for OGC swimmers. We encourage all swimmers to swim in this meet. It is great practice for the kids and the officials, and the resulting times determine who is selected for the first 'A' meet. Swimmers who do not get timed at Time Trials will need to come to a 'B' meet to get their first times and then be eligible for selection in an ‘A’ meet. Coaches do not individually time swimmers who miss Time Trials or ‘B’ meets.

Relay Carnival

This is an all-relay meet, using 4-6 swimmers from each age group. If you are likely to be in the meet, we will contact you a few days before to check if you are available. The final list of who will be entered will not be known until the afternoon before the meet (since any best times swum in the Saturday morning 'A' meet will be factored into the decision about who to swim). It will take the coaches a couple of hours after the Saturday A meet to figure out who to enter, and then you will be called if entered (we will try to find out how to reach you on Sat. afternoon, or tell you to call into the pool to find out). There usually is a practice at about 6:00 on Saturday night to practice the relay starts which is important for all entered swimmers to attend if at all possible - if it is not possible, please tell the coach.

Divisionals

This is the championship meet for the six teams in the division. Fewer swimmers are entered than in an 'A' meet, as each team may enter only two swimmers per event, rather than the usual three in 'A' meets. Divisionals starts an hour earlier than an 'A' meet.

For any swimmers who are likely to be entered in Divisionals, we will contact you in advance to see if you are available. The coaches use the same procedures for selecting swimmers for Divisionals as is explained above for 'A' meets, using primarily the fastest times swum in any A or B meet. Note that the times listed in the meet program for entered swimmers are only A meet times, due to league rules. So if you are looking at the entry lists and see times or swimmers that are different from what you expect, this is probably because only A meet times are listed there, but the swimmers have been selected based on both A and B meet times.

If you are going to be out of town in the week or two before Relay Carnival or Divisionals but would be back in time to swim, please tell us so we know how to contact you. If we do not know that you are available and cannot readily contact you, you will not be entered - so please keep us informed.

Long Course and All Stars

These meets are for the top swimmers in the county, or the winners of the divisional relay carnival. If you qualify for these meets, the coaches will let you know. You can track your chances by looking at the top times report for the entire league on the MCSL web site.

The Long Course meet is held in the middle of the season, and the races are twice as long as the standard races. Swimmers with the top times in the county are invited to this meet.

All Star meets are held at the end of the season, a week after the Divisional meet. Qualification for Individual All Stars is based on a swimmer attaining the 'all star nominating times' that are established by MCSL. MCSL then takes the top swimmers (16 plus alternates) of those who have qualified. Attaining an 'All Star' time at any point is an impressive achievement, but does not necessarily mean that the time will be fast enough to make it into the All Star meet.

The Relay All Star meet entries are the teams that have won a relay at the division's Relay Carnival (or, for the Open Medley or Graduated Free, the best time swum in the division during the season). We encourage team members to come as spectators to Long Course and All Stars, both to support our swimmers in those meets and for the excitement of seeing the best swimmers in the county.

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