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?

The DCAA Head Coach will determine if a 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, want to increase their focus on swimming as their primary sport, swim in events not offered in their age group by the SAL program, and attend practice almost every day.  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 3-6 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.   

What is the cost to be a USA Swimmer?

Registration for USA Swimming begins in August.  At that time, a Middle Atlantic USA Swim Fee of $85 is due.  Your swimmer's membership will go through the following year from January to December.  Practice fees are generally $150 per month. 

At USA Swim Meets, each event will cost $12/event.  However, if it is a qualifying meet, it will be $17/event.  Some meets may charge a $5 or $10 surcharge as well. 

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 2 to 3 months 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.

All of the USA meets can be found on www.maswim.org.  

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 September 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.  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.  Qualifying times are required to swim in these meet.  

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 events on Thursdays and Fridays. You 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 early to find parking, get your swimmer on deck, and find seating in the balcony. It is recommended that you pack food, water, and deck chair for your swimmer. 

Mini Meets are designed for swimmers 8 and under. Developmental meets age 10 and under. Most 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 unless timing.  Many of the meets do charge admission.