DCAA USA Swim Team

Policies and Procedures for DCAA USA Swim Team

What is USA Swimming?

As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300+ member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events, and education.

USA Swimming Membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers.  Members can get involved through our more than 2,800 clubs across the nation.   USA Swimming is also responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympics Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives:  build the base, promote the sport and achieve competitive success.

Middle Atlantic Swimming (MA Swim) is an administrative arm of USA Swimming---called the Local Swimming Committee (LSC) which supervises competitive swimming within established geographic boundaries.  There are 59 LSCs in the United States.  The Middle Atlantic LSC includes New Jersey, south of Mercer and Monmouth Counties, all of the state of Delaware and Pennsylvania east of and including Potter, Clinton, Centre, Huntingdon and Bedford Counties.  MA Swim is DCAA’s LSC and we attend meets within these boundaries.   Middle Atlantic Swimming is part of the Eastern Zone of United States Swimming, which includes 11 other LSCs:  Adirondack, Allegheny Mountain, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Metropolitan, New England, New Jersey, Niagara, Potomac Valley and Virginia.  All four zones (Eastern, Southern, Central and Western) conduct All Star competitions and Sectional Meets twice a year.

 Courtesy of Middle Atlantic Swimming.   www.maswim.org

Why should my swimmer be a USA Swimmer?

USA Swimming provides swimmers the opportunity to compete against top swimmers beyond the Philadelphia area and provides broader exposure to the overall sport.  USA Swim meets offer more individual events per age group and will enable a young swimmer who may not get the opportunity in a SAL meet to swim in longer distance events.

How does my swimmer become a USA Swimmer?

During the first few weeks of the SAL Season, the DCAA Head Coach will watch all swimmers to determine if the swimmer is a good candidate for USA Swimming.  Our USA Swim Team is not intended for swimmers new to the sport.   Swimmers should be 8 or older and want to increase their focus on swimming as their primary sport and swim in events not offered in their age group by the SAL program.  DCAA's USA Swim Team is by invitation of Head Coach and will occur by the end of September. The Head Coach will meet with the swimmer as well as speak with the parents to determine the swimmer’s level of interest.  Some of the criteria that a swimmer needs to achieve before being invited to join the USA Team are being first or 2nd in your lane, working hard at every practice, being on time and ready to swim at the start of practice, completing all the sets, proficient and legal in all strokes, starts and turns, attend practice 3-5 times a week, and be a good listener.

What is expected of my swimmer if we choose to become a USA Swimmer?

Our USA Swimming Program is targeted for those swimmers who want to train and compete at a higher level.  Swimmers are encouraged to attend 3-5 practices per week.  Our USA Swim Team will attend one USA meet a month from October through July and that meet will be chosen by the Head Coach.   Although it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that a USA Swimmer continue to train during the Spring Clinics as USA Swimming is a year round program.  Due to the low cost of DCAA's USA Swim Team fees, fundraising is necessary.  Twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall), our USA Swimmers will hold a Sam’s Wholesale Club Fundraiser to raise money to enable us to keep our costs down.  It is required that a USA Swimmer volunteer at least one of these fundraisers….2 hour minimum time commitment.

What is the cost to be a USA Swimmer?

Registration for USA Swimming begins in October.  At that time, a Middle Atlantic USA Swim Fee of $60 is due.  Your swimmer's membership will begin in October and go through the following year from January to December.  On January 1st, the DCAA USA Swim Team fee is due.  That fee is $200 and there are no payment plans.  There is an additional fee of $150 due on January 1st as well…..a total of $350.  This $150 amount is to cover your swimmer through the months of February and March for training and tapering for championship meets.  Our SAL Season ends in the beginning of February, and if your child is not swimming in the Spring Clinics, he/she will likely have a difficult time swimming well in the March championship meets. If your swimmer will be swimming in Spring Clinic 1, this $150 is not required as you will pay for the clinic separately in the spring.  If your swimmer chooses at the end of March to continue to swim through mid-April (end of Spring Clinic 1), the balance of $50 will be due.

At USA Swim Meets, each event will cost $7/event.  However, if it is a qualifying meet, it will be $9/event.  Some meets may charge a $5 surcharge as well. If the coach does not attend the meet, the event fee charged is the event fee imposed by the meet director. Checks are to payable to DCAA.

Once a swimmer has been accepted into a meet by the Meet Director, there are absolutely no refunds for these events.  No exceptions will be made. 

Once my child is on the USA Team how do I sign up for a USA Meet?

The DCAA Head Coach will select one meet per month to attend. DCAA's USA Swim Coordinator will email the USA Swim Team 4 to 6 weeks prior to the meet to provide the link to the meet and also to give specifics about the meet i.e.…deadline, # of events swimmers are allowed to swim, price etc.   This deadline is very important.  It is your responsibility to submit your swimmers entries by that deadline to the USA Swim Coordinator.  In order for DCAA to avoid being closed out of a meet, the USA Swim Coordinator follows strict timelines.  The deadline will always be before the actual deadline per the Meet Director because it has been DCAA’s experience that meets fill and close quickly. Once the deadline has been set, there are no exceptions.  It is not the responsibility of the USA Swim Coordinator to follow up with any parents who have not gotten their swimmers entries in by the deadline.  A reminder email will go out a few days prior to the deadline.

If your swimmer would like to attend additional meets, that is allowed.  It will be your responsibility to review the www.maswim.org website to seek out the events and find out the specifics and contact the USA Swim Coordinator to enter your swimmer in his or her events.  Please be mindful of the deadlines set by the meet director.   It is not the responsibility of the USA Swim Coordinator to remind parents of deadlines or meet details for meets our coaches do not attend.  Once entries for all meets are confirmed by the Meet Director, payment is due immediately. 

Past the set deadline, the USA Swim Coordinator will send in one updated times file to the Meet Director, new swimmers cannot be added into the meet.  DCAA will not enter swimmers in a qualifying meet as one of our monthly meets.  Qualifying meets need to be approved in advance by the Board due to budgetary concerns. 

All of the USA meets can be found on www.maswim.org.  Click on the Meet Info and Results Tab and all meets for the season will be listed.  If they are highlighted in blue, you can click on the link to read all the specifics about that meet.   Approximately a few days after the meet, the website will list the results.  You can find the meet results on the far right under a highlighted blue HTML tab.

What is short course and long course?   What is a qualifying meet?

USA Swimming is divided into 2 different seasons, Short Course which runs from October through the end of March and Long Course which runs from May to the end of July.  Short Course is swum in 25 yards. For example, if a swimmer is swimming 50 Freestyle, the swimmer will swim 2 laps.  100 Freestyle is 4 laps and so on.   Long Course is swum in 50 meters. For example, if a swimmer is swimming 50 Freestyle, the swimmer will swim 1 lap.  100 Freestyle is 2 laps, etc.

USA Swimming offers a few meets that require qualifying times to attend.  Qualifying times can be found on www.maswim.org.  Examples of these meets are the TYR Cup and Elite Meet. Qualifying Meets provide goals for our USA Swimmers.  It can be helpful to set goals with your swimmers for each season.  These are prestigious meets and our USA Swimmers should work hard to try and achieve the times required to swim in these meets.  Both Short Course and Long Course offer championship meets. Junior Olympics is usually the 2nd weekend of March. Qualifying times are required to swim in this meet.  Mini Champs for our 8 and Under swimmers is in mid-March and does not have qualifying times.  Silver Champs, in late March, is for our USA Swimmers age 9 and older who do not have qualifying times. Long Course has these same championship meets in mid to late July.

Description of a USA Meet and what do I bring?

USA meets are split into sessions by age group.  These meets are held over the course of a weekend on Saturday and Sunday although some bigger meets add distance events on Friday night.   It is not mandatory for a USA Swimmer to attend. They may choose to swim both days, only one day or not at all. No DCAA swimmers are permitted to miss SAL meets for a USA meet. USA meets are crowded so come slightly early to find parking, get your swimmer on deck, and find seating in the balcony. It is recommended that you pack some food and water for your swimmer as well as a chair. 

Mini Meets are designed for swimmers 8 and under.  Most other meets are reserved for swimmers 9 and older.  The age of the child on the 1st day of the meet determines what age bracket they swim in. The DCAA Head Coach or another DCAA USA Coach will attend our chosen monthly meet.  There will always be a coach on deck with your swimmer.  Parents are not allowed on deck at USA meets.  Many of the meets sell programs or charge admission. After each meet, the USA Swim Coordinator will upload the results and all times will be updated to the swimmers best time.