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Team Handbook

Here are some FAQ's, if you don't find the answer you are looking for please CONTACT US and someone will get back to you.

Who is eligible to swim on the Coves Swim Team

  • Participant(s) must be a child(ren) or legal dependent of a Coves or Coves North resident.
  • ALL returning swimmers from the previous year are eligible.
  • “Legacy Swimmers” – Swimmers of families that have 3 years with the team and become a ‘non-resident’ of the Coves or Coves North neighborhoods.   The legacy swimmer may return every year until they age out.  The swimmer must swim continuously every year to remain eligible.  Any siblings of the swimmer will become eligible to swim as a legacy swimmer.
  • Special Circumstances related to eligibility requirements will require review and approval by the board.
  • Grandchildren of Coves or Coves North residents are allowed to be on the team as long as the grandparent has met the same requirements. (HOA dues are paid)
  • In the event that the board acts upon the "Registration Addendum" in years where registration numbers are low - "Interested Swimmers" are allowed to join the Coves Swim Team pending board approval.
  • Swimmers who's 18th birthday falls after June 1st is eligible to swim.
  • The child must demonstrate the ability to swim the width of the pool in the deep end to be considered to be entered into a meet.

Other Requirements

Swimmers must have approved membership with the Coves Swim Team and meet the eligibility requirements stated above. Full payment of homeowner association dues (Coves & Coves North), swim team fees and a current USA Swimming membership are required before a new or returning swimmer can practice or participate on the swim team.


  • Coaching fees are 1st child $135 (includes NSC fee and a fee t-shirt).
  • Additional swimmers are $125 each (includes NSC fee and a fee t-shirt)
  • Coves Registration fee: $25 (per family)
  • USA Swimming Membership fee: $50 (This must be paid to USA Swim by each family.  We must have proof of this prior to your swimmer starting their 1st practice).


CLICK HERE for more information on text and email alerts

Spirit Wear

  • CLICK HERE to order caps, suits and apparel through our on line store.
  • Each swimmer will get a team shirt (thanks to our sponsors)

Parent Job Requirements

It takes over 90 volunteers to host a swim meet so every family is required to work one half of each meet.  If you do not work it means another family has worked both shifts, so it's important to do your fare share. 

CLICK HERE to see a list of jobs and their descriptions.

Working Swim Meets

Q:  Who needs to volunteer?

A:  Each family is required to work one half of each meet their child(ren) swim in.  PLEASE NOTE:  Your swimmer(s) will not be entered into the meet if you do not sign up to work.

Q:  Where do I report for my job?

A:  Most jobs require you to check in at the volunteers table.  The job description will have more info.

Q:  When is 1st / 2nd half?

A:  The 1st half starts about 20 mins before the start of the meet (typically 5:40pm), the 2nd half starts after the backstroke (event 40).  Be sure to listen to the announcer for 2nd half workers to report.

Q:  Do I need training for a volunteer job?

A:  Most jobs require minimal training.  There are some jobs (officials, computer, announcers etc) that do require training.  Please CONTACT US about these and someone will reply back to you.  We ALWAYS need new officials if you think you're up to it.  Best seat in the house.

Swim Practices

CLICK HERE for the current practice schedule

Q:  We both work full time, are there any evening practices?

A:  We do have evening practices, but space is limited due to the pool needing to be open to the neighborhood.  We ask the you attend these (Mon-Wed) ONLY if you cannot make it to morning practices.  These are not intended so your child can "sleep-in".

Q:  How are swim practices structured?

A:  Practices are intended to get the swimmers familiar with the strokes and improve on techniques and speed. The beginning practices will have more endurance work to get the swimmer's muscles remembering how to swim, whereas the later practices will have more specific stroke technique work to better their strokes.

Q:  Do I need to stay for practice?

A:  You do not need to stay, however, please be ready to get them in case of weather or other incident.  ALWAYS be on time to pick them up (or make arrangements for someone else).  The coaches are busy with the next group of swimmers and often can't wait for parents to show up.  

Q:  If I stay for practice, where do I sit?

A:  Most parents who stay usually sit on the patio outside the pool deck.  Parents are not permitted on the pool deck, that is the coaches responsibility.  Also, please avoid talking to the coaches during practice.  They have a lot going on and we don't want them distracted.

Q:  What if my swimmer is not able to dive off the block?

A:  Swimmers are allowed to start off the pool deck or in the water, but it doesn't take long for them to dive off the blocks.

Q:  Does my child have to wear goggles and a swim cap?

A:   Neither are required, but recommended.  They make it easier for them to see under water and keeps their hair out of the way.

Q:  When do ribbons and awards get handed out?

A:  The practice after each meet (typically a Friday morning) is Fun Day.  Here the swimmers will be awarded their ribbons from the previous night as well as other awards for each age group.  They include Swimmer of the Week, Swimmer of the Meet, Spirit etc.  We usually have donuts too.  YUM...

Swim Meets

CLICK HERE for more information about signing up for swim meets.

Q:  How do I sign up my swimmer to swim?

A:  Each family is required to log in to the team site (or app) and declare whether their swimmer(s) are going to be "Attending" or Not Attending" each meet.  (See link above).  The coaches will ONLY seed swimmers who have declared.  Also, if your swimmer will be late, or has to leave early (usually because of another sport) you can let the coaches know in the comments. 

Q:  What time should we arrive at a swim meet?

A:  For home meets warm ups start at 4:45pm.  If you can come earlier to help set up the pool deck that is always appreciated.  Away meets warm ups start at 5:15pm

Q:  Who picks what events my swimmer(s) will be in?

A:  The coaching staff will assign the events for all swimmers based on their ability to complete the swim legally and to get the most out of each swimmer.

Q:  What if there is inclement weather?

A:  CLICK HERE for our current lightening policy.  

Q:  Do I have to stay after my swimmer has swam their last individual event?

A:  Have your swimmer check in with the coach to make sure they are not in a relay at the end of the evening.  If you are done for the night you may leave. 

Q:  What are heat sheets?

A:  These cost $1 and are needed to see what event/heat/lane your swimmers will be in.  Most people bring a highlighter to mark up the sheet with their swimmers.  Most parents carry a sharpie to write the E/H/L on their kids arms.  

  • The EVENT – the stroke the listed swimmer will swim
  • The HEAT – The heat the listed swimmer will be swimming in
  • The SWIM LANE – The swim lane the listed swimmer will be swimming in

Q:  How are points awarded for the meet?

A:  The top 6 times for each event will score points for their team and each swimmer will get a ribbon with their time on it.

  • 1st = 7 points
  • 2nd = 5 points
  • 3rd = 4 points
  • 4th = 3 points
  • 5th = 2 points
  • 6th = 1 point

Relays are 7 points for 1st place only and only A relays can score for their team.  B & C relays may swim but they are exhibition only.

Heat Ribbons:  These are handed out to the fastest swimmer for each individual heat for all swimmers 10 & under.

Q:  What should I bring to a meet?

A:  CLICK HERE for a complete list of what to bring.

Q:  What is a DQ?

A:  When a swimmer does not swim the stroke legally they will probably get disqualified (DQ'ed) by one of the USA Swimming officials on deck.  The coaches will use this information to work on their technique.

Q:  What are Medley Relays?

A:  Medley Relays are arranged to have the fastest combination of 4 kids swimming 1 of the 4 strokes in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. The fastest swimmers are chosen by the computer, however if the swimmer cannot legally swim their fastest stroke on a regular basis, the coaches will rearrange the relays to the fastest LEGAL combination.

Q:  What are Free Relays?

A:  Free Relays are arranged by the 4 fastest freestyle times achieved by 4 swimmers. The head coach has the discretion of changing who will swim this event and the swimmers who swim this event may change on a weekly basis depending on time drops and meet attendance.

Q:  What determines the age group your swimmer will be in?

A:  Whatever age your swimmer will be on June 1st will determine their age group for the season.  Example:  Johnny turns 9 on June 3rd means he will swim in the 8&Under age group for the summer.  

Awards Banquet

At the end of each season (usually the Sunday evening before conference starts) we will hand out trophies and certificates to the swimmers.  This is also when the next years slate of officers for the swim board are voted on.  It's a fun night where we get to recognize the swimmers hard work and get ready for conference.  

CLICK HERE for awards page


  • NT = No time means the swimmer has never set a time for that event
  • DQ = This is the dreaded disqualification handed out by the officials.
  • IM = Individual Medley is a swim using all four strokes in this order.  
    • Fly, back, breast & free.
  • AO = Administrative Official
  • ATB = Across the board
  • COTC = Clerk of the Course
  • HC = Head Coach
  • AC = Assistant Coach
  • Team Acronyms
    • BT = Brooktree
    • CL = Clayview
    • CO = Coves
    • HW = Hills of Walden
    • KR = Kearney
    • NM = New Mark
    • OP = Old Pike
    • RL = Riss Lake
    • TO = Thousand Oaks
    • WC = Walnut Creek
    • WF = Woodneath Farms


Q:  Who qualifies for Conference?

A:  Swimmers must swim in at least 3 dual meets throughout the season to be considered a spot.  They must also beat the qualifying time set by the conference in order to swim.  It's a BIG deal...   

CLICK HERE for current Northland Conference qualifying times.

Q:  What are Conference Prelims?

A:  The Northland Conference Championship meet is a large meet consisting of all 11 conference teams.  Day 1 all boys 12 & under will swim and girls 10 & Under swim to try to get a spot in the top 16.  Day 2 is for all boys 13 & up and girls 11 & up will do the same.  Both days end with Medley Relays for each age group.

Q: What is Conference Finals?

A:  Conference Finals are held on Wednesday night and consist of the top 16 swimmers from the preliminary event.  Medals are awarded 1st thru 16th place.  There are 2 heats per event on finals night:

  • Heat 1 consists of the swimmers who qualified at prelims in places 9th thru 16th. The highest place this heat can achieve is 9th. Heat 1 swimmers cannot move up into the top 8 places even if their times are better than the 2nd heat.
  • Heat 2 consists of the swimmers who qualified at prelims in places 1st thru 8th. The lowest place this heat can achieve is 8th. Heat 2 swimmers cannot move down into 9th place or beyond even if their times are slower than the 1st heat.

Q:  Will the be Championship heat sheets?

A:  Yes they are $5 each and they have Day 1 and Day 2 meets on it.  There is a separate heat sheet for finals night.

Q:  Where is the crash area and bleachers?

A:  The conference will announce where each teams crash area and bleachers are the Sunday before the meet.  Teams MUST pick up all their trash and remove any tents, coolers, chairs etc after each night.

Q:  What jobs are there at Conference?

A:  Each team will be allocated certain jobs and they are required to fill these spots.  It takes 100's of volunteers to put on this meet so it's very important for all teams to step up.  We will post the jobs for all three nights as soon as we know what they are.  

Q:  What are conference shout outs?

A:  Each team pays for 2-3 pages for parents to send shout-outs to their kids and the coaches.  You will see an email about that closer to the event.

Conference Awards Night

  • This is our final event of the year, The Conference Awards Night is usually held on the patio of the Coves North Clubhouse on Thursday (the night after conference finals). This is for CONFERENCE SWIMMERS ONLY!  Our coaches hand out the medals and ribbons to the swimmer who achieved them at the conference meet. Everyone gets free ice cream!!

Coaching Structure

HEAD COACH - The head coach is responsible for the swimmers and coaches during practices and meets. Also, head coach is responsible for meet entries. The head coach will oversee 8&under swim practice to ensure a positive learning environment is provided to the swimmers.

ASSISTANT COACH(S) - The assistant coaches work directly with swimmers and coaches to help with stroke technique.

8 & UNDER Assistants - The 8 & under assistants are current Coves Crocs who swim on the team but are chosen volunteer coaches that help out the 8 and under swimmers at practice and at swim meets.

Coves Swim Team Board

CLICK HERE to see the current Swim Board members

Be a Good Neighbor...

We are very fortunate to have an HOA who supports the swim team and allows us the access to the pool like we have.  There are some rules that we MUST adhere to to maintain a quality team/neighborhood relationship.

  • Smoking Policy - Per USA Swimming and the Coves Swim Team there is no smoking or vaping allowed on the pool deck or patio during any swim practice or meet.  You may walk up to the parking lot away from the kids to smoke.
  • Alcohol Policy - Per USA Swimming and the Coves Swim Team alcohol is prohibited on the pool deck or patio during any swim practice or meet.  
  • Parking Policy - Please be courteous when parking, especially during meets.  Cones are placed along the street to allow cars and emergency vehicles to get through.  Please do not double park or block any driveways.  Cars will be towed at your expense.

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The Coves Swim Team part of The Northland Swim Conference since 1973

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