Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

How do I join the Swim Team?

To join our swim team, you must first become a member of the Ulmstead Swim Club, or be eligible for the Non-Resident Teen Membership. Our pool is privately owned and operated by Ulmstead Swim Club.  We require that all swim team members are all swim club members. For pool membership, please visit the Swim Club website or email them at pool@ulmstead.org.  After you are a member of the pool (or if you are ready to buy the Non-Resident Teen Membership), fill out the form and pay online here on our website.

What age groups are there?

There are 6 age groups: 6 & Under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. When/if needed, some older swimmers may “swim up” an age group. This does not happen very often and is only used by the coaches when there is a necessity to fill an age group showing.

How do I know if my child is ready for swim team?

We recommend that at some time prior to the start of swim team, or prior to the registration deadline, you may want to take your child to a public swimming facility (Anne Arundel County public pool at Riva Road, or the local Y club in Arnold if you are a member) and make sure they are comfortable “swimming” the length of the pool.  At the younger ages, and for their first exposure to swimming on a team, swimming can refer to a doggie paddle.  They do not have to have a perfected freestyle stroke to be part of the team – that will come with practice and guidance.

What is the practice schedule? When and where are the meets?

The team practice schedule is posted online here.

Information on the dates and times of the meets is available here.

Directions to the various pools is available here.

Who are the Coaches?

Head Coach:  Colleen Winans
Assistant Coach:  Matt Swensen

Do I have to purchase a team suit?  Do I have to purchase a team cap?

Yes to both questions.  A team suit is the required uniform for all registered swimmers.  We offer a number of ways to size your child and purchase a suit.  Visit our Team Suit Info page for more information.  A team cap is also required according to GASL rules.  We request that you purchase personalized caps so that we can all differentiate between swimmers (you would be surprised to know that it is close to impossible to tell your swimmer apart when they are all dressed alike with no hair and goggles on!  It also encourages team spirit when kids can identify who they are cheering for!)  If you miss the deadline to order personalized caps, our Team Merchandise coordinator will always have non-personalized team caps available for sale.

Does my child have to participate in the meets?

Yes. This is a competitive swim team and swim meets are the way in which we represent our neighborhood within the Greater Annapolis Swim League.  All swim team members are EXPECTED to swim in at least 3 swim meets of the summer season.

Do the parents have to do anything at the meet?

Yes. Swim Team is a family commitment.  Every family is required to volunteer their time to the swim team.  It takes MANY volunteers to run a meet efficiently and make it a successful event!  Although it is really important to have FUN at the meet, it is essential that all volunteers take their positions seriously and dedicate the time and effort needed to do the job right.  All families are required to fulfill approximately 2 or more volunteer assignments for the season (not including medal meets)

Do we have to stay at the meet the whole time, even if we are swimming only first half events?

That depends.  If you have a volunteer assignment scheduled for that meet, a family representative will have to stay for the duration of the meet to fulfill their assignment slot.  If you ask another family to cover your assignment at any point in time, please check in with the Volunteer Coordinator to make them aware so they can be sure all assignments are being covered.  If your family does not have an assignment for a particular meet, then although it is nice to stay to cheer your teammates on (many kids like to stay until the bitter end when the final score is announced!), you do not have to stay until the end of the meet.

What if my plans change and our family cannot be present for a particular swim meet?

Well, TWO THINGS have to be done.

  1.  Always be sure to sign your swimmer out of any swim meet they cannot attend by signing your child out in TeamSnap’s Availability tab.  Make sure to sign out each swimmer if you have multiple children who will not be attending!
  2. Always check to see if you have a volunteer assignment for the meet you cannot attend.  If you do, it is your responsibility to find your own replacement for the assignment and to notify the volunteer@ulmsteadswimteam.org of who your replacement is.  If you have a non-trained position, you may ask a fellow swim team family to fill in for you or you may hire a responsible teen or lifeguard to fill in for you.  Any replacement person must be at least 16 years of age.

What are medal meets, and how do you qualify to be in them?

There are three different medal meets; Bronze, Silver and Gold. All swimmers who have swum in two meets may attend a medal meet. The swimmer’s times in each event will determine which meet they qualify for as there are time requirements for each medal meet.  A swimmer may qualify for more than one medal meet depending on their times in each stroke, however, they may only attend ONE meet.  If this happens, the coaches will help you decide which meet will be best for your swimmer to attend.   Medal meets are optional.  Fees for medal meets are included with swim team registration.

What strokes do we do?

We have four strokes we compete in. They are Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle. We also have Individual Medley (IM), which is a 100 (four laps). To swim IM, the swimmer does a 25 (one length) of each of the above strokes, in that order. At the end of each meet, we have relays. We have one Freestyle Relay, and a Medley Relay (similar to the IM). There are girls’ relays and boys’ relays, respectively.

What do the terms “50” and “100” and “25” mean?

This is the way we measure distance. Pools are either 25 yards or 25 meters long. Most pools are 25 yards long. When the coaches tell you to swim a “25” it is one length of the pool. Two lengths are a 50, three are a 75, four are a 100, and so on.

Where do my registration dollars go?

The money you pay to register your swimmer pays for many things the team needs throughout the season.  It pays coaches salaries, league dues, swimmers insurance, meet fees, various department expenses, end of season awards, and other necessary facility improvements as they arise.

What is the refund policy?

As with any sports team, once the season has started we can no longer issue refunds.  The season officially begins when practice starts, however, if you change your mind about registration prior to the registration deadline, we will issue a full refund, less Paypal fees.  If it is after the registration deadline, we cannot issue refunds unless there are extenuating circumstance.