How long is the Winter Season?
The winter season begins the first week in September with a free 2 week stroke clinic. The season ends for most swimmers in early to mid-March once they have competed at the Maine YMCA State Meet and Maine Winter Junior Olympics, though a handful of swimmers will continue their season until early April, when they represent The Bangor YMCA Barracuda Swim Team at the YMCA Short Course National Championship.
How do I sign my swimmer up for meets?
Meet sign up sheets are posted on the team website, on the Meet Schedule & Information page. It is crucial that all swimmers sign up before the entry deadline. If your swimmer is not marked as attending, they will not be able to participate in the meet. This is because entries and meet fees are due to the host team well before the day of the meet. Parents and swimmers can check their sign up status for meets by following the link on the Meet Schedule & Information page. The log in information will be provided to all parents at the Fall Parents’ Meeting and in the email that will be sent following this meeting. Check the status of your meet and volunteer sign ups here.
Are there any additional costs associated with meets? If so, how will I know what I owe?
There are no fees associated with local YMCA meets; however, most USA-S meets do charge entry and meet fees. If you choose to sign your swimmer up for these meets, the fees will automatically be added to Daxko, the Bangor YMCA’s database. The Welcome Center Associates located at the Welcome Center will then be able to tell you what is owed. The fees for each meet will be listed in the meet packet, which can be found on the Meet Schedule & Information page of the team website when it becomes available.
What is the difference between the YMCA and USA-S leagues?
All swimmers are automatically registered for both leagues when they sign up for the team.
YMCA meets are primarily day long meets between one or two local teams. There are no qualifying times associated with these meets, with the exception of the YMCA Short Course National Championship. For most swimmers, the season culminates with the Maine YMCA State Championship. To be eligible to swim in this meet, all athletes must participate in a minimum of 3 YMCA meets during the regular season.
USA-S meets are often two or more days long and competitions are between many teams. These are also the meets that may have fees and qualifying times. This season culminates, for swimmers who have met the minimum qualifying time standards, with the Maine Winter Junior Olympics. This is also the league responsible for high level meets such as Junior Nationals, the Grand Prix Series of meets, and Olympic Trials.
Are there any time commitments/requirements for me, as a parent?
Parent meetings usually occur once a month and every parent is strongly encouraged to attend these meetings. This is the time when parents find out about the latest team news and events and is also a great platform to voice any comments, concerns, or questions. On top of this, it is expected that parents try to volunteer at meets and team functions. This is a great opportunity to meet other parents, learn about the sport firsthand, and give back to the team. Volunteering could mean anything, from timing and officiating at meets to running the concession stands, helping with the team bulletin board, setting up and tearing down before and after home meets, or taking photos at meets, just to name a few. Volunteer sign up sheets will be posted on the Meet Schedule & Information page for all home meets. Pizza/pasta parties are also held for the swimmers throughout the season and parents are always needed to pick up food, set up, serve food, and clean up. If any of these options pique your interest, or if you have other suggestions for ways you would like to get involved, find one of the coaches or veteran parents and they can provide you with more information.
I still have questions. Who should I talk to?
Though the coaches are always available before or after practice, veteran parents can often be just as helpful in answering questions, especially concerning team functions, volunteering, and general questions about how the sport of swimming, and specifically the Barracudas, work. Don’t be afraid to approach any returning parents during practice or when you are waiting to pick up your child! There is also a great deal of information in the Parent Handbook, which you will at the beginning of the season. If you can’t find your copy, email us for one. The coaching staff recommends that each new parent reads the handbook as soon as they join the team. If you have any remaining questions, the coaches will be able to assist you when they aren’t busy on the pool deck.