Frequently Asked Questions

Can our family miss some practices or a meet?  Will this take up my whole summer?

This is recreational swimming and, while we love to swim, we also embrace that this is a family affair.  Many (most) of our families take vacation throughout the season and miss practices and meets.  We only ask that you let us know and sign out of any meets that you are going to miss.

Advice for new parents is that our “league” meet is a big meet, and your kids would really enjoy it.

Are there activities outside of swim practices and meets?

Yes, yes, yes!  In fact, Ygnacio Wood is a very active community during the entire swim season (May – Aug) and we have fun during the off-season too.  Check out our “Year at a Glance” to get an idea of the family fun nights, the camp out, the dance night, the coach appreciation night and the many many other events we have through the year.  Attend some… attend all to fully appreciate our swim “family”.

Do I have to be present when my child has swim practice?  Can I drop off and pick up?

You can absolutely drop off and pick up.  The older kids often hang out after their practice time in a group and the teens may end up roaming around in a group (of well behaved kids!)

Why do we have to work so many jobs?

Our swim team (as all swim teams) is run by volunteers, and parents are the  primary volunteers.  We ask that each family work up to 10 jobs throughout the year.  We have jobs as simple as timing (where you get a front row seat to your kid’s swims), all the way to highly- skilled jobs. We manage the jobs carefully and ask that parents fulfill their job requirements.  We’ve reduced the number of jobs to the absolute minimum to successfully run the team.

You manage your jobs in the Parent’s Zone.  Sometimes we ask people to step in and help out on short notice, and we always appreciate those parents!  Join the board and see how the team really works. Being a board member fulfills your team job requirements but has other responsibilities as well, i.e., board meetings, planning, et cetera.

How far do we have to travel for swim meets?

We swim in the Contra Costa Valley Swim Conference with five other teams.  Valley Vista and Forest Park are close by.  Pinole, Brentwood and Antioch are between 20-30 minutes away.  We swim away dual meets with each team once per season.  We encourage you to attend all meets, but also understand that some families just can’t make them all.

What if my kid can’t swim well?

If your child isn’t afraid of the water, swim team is a great place to teach your child to swim.  The good peer pressure of seeing others swim is a powerful motivator.  Many children are coaxed into the water early in the season, and a few weeks later they are swimming the full length entirely by themselves.

If your child is afraid of the water or not the strongest swimmer, you may consider our Sea Pony Program as a way to get them comfortable and get the basics of swimming before they join the team.

Can I try Swim Team out?

If you are interested in trying Swim Team, please contact the team director at dir@ywst.org to arrange for a week where you can try swim team out.  Or talk to a coach during practice times.

Can I get a refund?

Occasionally, we are asked to refund fees.  We only consider refunds where the swimmer is injured and cannot participate in any swim team events.  If the swimmer has not swum in any meets and does not intend to attend any non-swim events, then a refund can be processed.

What do I bring to a swim meet?

You’ll figure this out quickly… a dual meet (the regular season ones on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings) is 3-hours long.  Bring a tent or pop-up to block the sun, a couple of towels, some food or snacks, water, sun block, extra goggles, and your swim cap.  For evening meets (especially in Pinole or early in the season), it can get rather cold… so a jacket for your swimmer after they exit the water.  All meets have snack shacks where you can buy food, snacks and drinks and many families share tents.

What is a swim meet?  I have lots of questions!

During the beginning of the season, we swim 10 “dual meets” with our swim conference rivals.  We also swim a few “friendlies” against local teams.  These dual meet (two teams) are usually Wednesday at 6pm and Saturday at 9am and last around 3 hours.

As we get closer to the end of the season, we swim invitationals – bigger meets with many teams.  These are one or two full days – yes, the entire weekend.  They are very competitive, but are divided to make sure everyone has the ability to win, regardless of their ability. (See “Our Starboard” for more details)  These meets are very fun, and the families sit together in “tent city” and then cheer on the kids on the pool deck.

How many times will my kids swim in a meet?

In almost all of our meets, you child can swim three individual events.  For a B-meet, your child is eligible to swim any event where they don’t have an “A time”.   (See “Our Starboard” for more details)

If your child has all A-times, they are ineligible to swim in a B-meet.  (See “Time Standards” to see what those times are).  In the bigger invitational meets, the meet is divided into A and B divisions within the single meet.

Some teams allow parents to decide what strokes your child swims.  At Ygnacio Wood, the coaches put the swimmers into the various events.

Who swims in relays?

The fastest four swimmers in an age group will swim in the “A relay” (the “A”  is completely unrelated to Time Standards, and is only a label).  In a B meet, only kids who have not yet achieved their A-time are eligible to swim in the relay (for the stroke that they will be swimming)

In some age groups, we create a second relay team….  a “B relay” of the next four fastest swimmers.  The coaches make these decisions and in some age groups, there is competition to be on the relay team.  Talk to a coach if you have questions.

Can my Sea Pony join the swim team?

The goal of our Sea Pony program is to create new Seahorse team members.  Yes, once the coaches think your child is ready for swim team, you’ll be invited to join.  100% of your Sea Pony fees are applied to your Swim Team fees.

What are the rules for meets?

We swim in the Contra Costa Valley Swim Conference and abide by CCVSC ByLaws.  Reading them will answer just about every question relating to how we score meets and why things are they are!

I am a new member and interested in joining after July 4th… is there a discount?

Yes.  We discount your TEAM fees only by 30% after July 4th.  This only applies to new members.  As a new cub member, you are eligible for a new family discount on full club fees.

I still have questions about jobs!

Team jobs include multiple “unskilled” jobs.

Timers – get a front row seat at the home and away meets by timing.  It is simple and the people sitting next to you can show you the ropes!  We can give you a break if you need, but it isn’t great for single parents of young kids at a meet.

BBQ & snack shack – at home meets only, we run a snack shack.  We run two shifts from 4:30-7 (or 7:30am -10 for morning meets) and then from then to end of the meet and clean up.  Help sell, or BBQ the food at the shack shack.

Ribbon writing is really just about putting stickers on ribbons during the last half of the meet.  Home and away meets.

Setup an takedown for home meets is just as you would expect!  We setup the home meet and take it down at the end.

There are multiple other skilled jobs (that require training and experience) such a Stroke & Turn (the judges walking the deck), the computer desk and the starter.

I have tons of other questions….

Read our YWST Handbook or attend our new family orientation event to find out more!  Feel free to ask any the board members as well.  If you aren’t a member yet, please reach out to dir@ywst.org with any questions.

Ygnacio Wood Swim Club & Team