Practicing on a regular basis plays a large part in swimming and teamwork, as swimmers work to improve both their stroke techniques and their physical conditioning. Our practices are designed to continually refine stroke technique throughout the season as well as endurance, strength and friendship.

We practice according to age providing the swimmers with the best possible experience.

Practice will begin at the stated time. All swimmers should arrive early enough to be ready to swim at these times. This will make it easier to get the swimmers started, causing fewer interruptions in the practice. Swimmers should also bring a water bottle if they think they need one, and use the bathroom before practice begins.

Each swimmer has a folder in the YWCA hallway which they should check every practice for important information.

Swimmers are not required to be at every practice, but we recommend the following:

5 - 6 yr. olds: 2 times a week

7 - 8 yr. olds: 3 times a week

level 2: 3 to 4 times a week, depending upon age

level 3: 4 to 5 times a week

Competitive program

Dual Meets

The Sharks compete in two leagues; the Central Penn Aquatic League (CPAL) in the winter season, and the Capital Area Swim League (CASL) in the summer season. A dual meet is competition between two teams. The team with the most dual meet wins determines the league champion in their respective divisions. Meets are held at either our home pool or the opposing team's pool.

The swimmers will have a chance to swim in a large variety of events and strokes during these meets, depending upon league rules.

Invitational Meets

Several invitational meets are held during the season. Hose teams invite teams to send swimmers to participate. The large number of participants usually provides very challenging competition. Swimmers sign-up in advance for the events in which they wish to compete. A small fee is charged for each event entered, and the host team decides the rules governing the meet. These meets are optional.


At the conclusion of the dual meet season, all teams in each division compete in a meet known as Divisionals. Each swimmer must participate in at least three dual meets to qualify for Divisionals. The swimmers and coaches choose the events in which they will compete and are seeded according to event, age, and time. Swimmers' times at Divisionals determine whether they qualify to swim at All Stars.

All Stars

The top twelve finishers in the combined Divisional meet results qualify. (There are four divisional meets.) This meet is held the day after Divisionals.

Mid Caps

The top four-six finishers from each of two All star meets (East and West shores) advance to Mid-Cap Superstar Meet.

Anatomy of a swim meet

Dual meets are divided into the following age groups in order to offer better competition for the swimmers

8 & under

9 - 10

11 - 12

13 - 14

15 - 18

Individual Events:

Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle, and Individual Medley (using each stroke)

The distance of each event differs depending upon age.


Each of four swimmers swims an equal distance of the event.


Individual events: (6-lane pool)

1st place 6 points

2nd place 4 points

3rd place 3 points

4th place 2 points

5th place 1 point


1st place 8 points

2nd place 4 points

3rd place 2 points

One team may not earn points for more than two places in one event.

Parents' Association

We have a parents association that helps out with the team, the committee contains a:


Vice President



Team Representative

Assistant Team Rep.


We also have the following committees that parents can get involved with.

Please try to get involved.

Invitationals Merchandising

Nominating Publicity

Hospitality Statistics

USS Swimming Awards

Ways and Means

Parents' Association Meetings

Meetings are held three times each season in the community room at the YWCA at 6:00 p.m. Attendance at these meetings will keep you informed of team and league happenings. You will also become involved in decisions that affect the team's operation.


Team fees vary from winter to summer. Check YWCA publications for exact cost. Each swimmer must have a rec pass.


Official team caps are required for all swimmers on the team who wear caps in competition. Team suits are highly recommended for those swimmers who are in their second season and beyond. Each swimmer will need a pair of fins. Sweats, goggles, baseball caps, swim bags, shorts, T-shirts, and jackets may be purchased through the merchandise committee.

Questions or Concerns

We like to keep an open communication with the parents. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to talk to a coach after practice. During practice is a problem because the coaches need to be watching the water and swimmers.

You can also leave a message at the YWCA by calling 334 - 9171.

Parent Participation in Meets

Parent volunteers are very important to help meets run smoothly. Volunteers serve as timers, scorers, announcers, referee/starter, finish and place judges, stroke and turn judges and ribbon writers in both home and away meets. Experience is not necessary for many of these positions.

Home Meet Preparations

Parent volunteers are needed to help set up and tear down the timing system, scorer's tables, and the recall line before meets. Swimmers are assigned clean up duties at each meet. Parents are asked to make sure their swimmer does his/her job before leaving the YWCA.

Food Concessions

Food donations are needed for each event, as selling food is an important part of the team's fund raising efforts. Volunteers are needed to work the food stand before, during and at the end of all home meets.


The team statistician keeps records of all times swum by each member of the team and team records. Awards are presented in each age group at the end of each season.


One or more individuals submit information regarding meets and activities to the local newspapers.


Officials are needed at every meet. Yearly training clinics are offered by the league and United States Swimming. While we need more officials at home meets, we are also required to supply officials for all away meets and championship meets.

Ways to Help your swimmer

The role of the swim team parent

To have a successful age-group swim program, there must be complete understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers and coaches. The progress swimmers make and the feelings they have about themselves and their overall swimming experience depend to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to consider this section carefully as we begin the season.

The following are excerpts from Parent, Coach and Athlete by John Leonard. Chapter 9 "Do's and Don'ts for swimming parents":

Do applaud everyone's good swim -from your team and others

Do make sure that the physical needs of your athlete are taken care of (Fed, warm, dry, supervised.

Do promote the same philosophy for each meet that the coach does.

Do let them know that you love them.

Don't talk exclusively to your own child. This is a friendly sport.

Don't compare one swimmer's performance to another. Especially siblings

Don't either praise or reprimand your child extravagantly at a meet

Don't ever say, "you didn't try," even if sometimes it is true.

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