Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:
 
When is practice?
Practice begins the Tuesday following Memorial Day and is held Monday – Friday of each week through the month of July.  Practice begins while public school is still in session, therefore, there is a schedule for after school practice times and morning practices.  For specific practice times by age group, please see Important Dates and scroll to the bottom.  Please see the "calendar" section of this website for specific themes/activities.  There will be days in which practices are not scheduled (ie July 4th).  That information will be posted at the pool and on the calendar.  While attendance is not mandatory, all swimmers are encouraged to attend as many practices as possible.  This will contribute to progress as a swimmer and foster great teamwork, team fun and friendship.  
What is a Pep Rally?
A pep rally is usually held the day before each meet, following each age group’s practice session.  The pep rally is a fun event to motivate swimmers and promote team spirit.  Pep rally information is included on the practice calendar and includes such events as a pancake breakfast and ice cream social. 
What do I bring for concessions?
During home meets, our team will sponsor concession sales.  This is made possible largely due to each family donating designated items.  The concessions committee will coordinate and communicate a schedule of items to be donated by each family per home meet.  This information will be distributed via email, family mailbox, posting at the pool and on the website under “concessions”.  This year, each family has been asked to contribute an item to the Inter Gator meet, as well as one regular season home meet.  In the event that our team hosts a post-season medal meet, each family will have an additional concession assignment.  Each family’s contribution to concessions is greatly appreciated.  Concessions revenue is vital to our swim team, contributing to such things as pool equipment (like our new lane lines) and the end of the season banquet.  The concessions committee will make every effort to insure that each family’s contributions for the season are of comparable value.  Questions regarding concessions should be directed to ncaconcessions.gmail.com.  
Where is my “Family Mailbox”?
Swim team information will be posted at the pool throughout the season, primarily on the board near the entrance of the pool.  Swim Team news is found on the back side of this board.  Coaches will write messages on the white board and important information will be posted.  In addition, the swim team binder with meet sign in sheets and lesson schedules is located there.  There is also a plastic bin with folders that denote each family’s name.  These folders serve as mailboxes.  Whenever hard copies of documents or ribbons or materials need to be distributed, mailboxes will be used.  Please try to remember to check your mailbox regularly.   
Are swim lessons available?
Yes, both Coach Sean and Coach Kevin offer swim lessons.  They create their own schedule, which varies by day and week.  Please check the appropriate section of the swim team binder to check lesson availability and sign up accordingly.  These private lessons are not part of swim team and payment ($20 per ½ hour lesson) needs to be made directly to Sean or Jenna at the time of the lesson.  
After practice can we wait for the pool to open?
Swim team practices end at 10:30 and the pool opens at 11am.  All swim team members and their families are required to leave the pool area during this time.  People may wait on the playground, volleyball court, etc.  The half hour is for the guards to get the pool ready for the day and they need to be able to do this important task without disruption.  In addition, the baby pool is closed during practices and home meets; again, for safety reasons.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding! 
What is the Gator Program?
The Gator Program focuses on the “team” part of swim team and is all about team spirit and camaraderie.  Participation is optional and is noted during registration.  The program pairs teammates, generally 2 but sometimes there are groups of 3, to encourage teammates  to get to know one another.  The idea is that Gators cheer for one another, help one another out and offer support.  Some times there is a Big Gator and a Little Gator.  Depending upon the composition of the team, there will usually be Gator Partners in which teammates are paired together and their age may be the same or comparable. The goal is to get to know one another and promote team spirit.  There will be weekly “challenges” posted, again to foster teamwork and fun.  Challenges include meeting your gator, a canned food drive for to benefit SPAN and much more.  Completing these challenges and demonstrating good teamwork at meets and during practice result in gators earning “raffle” tickets.  Parents, if you witness great “Gator” behavior and teamwork, please inform Chris Myers so that she can award raffle tickets.  Gator raffle days are included on the calendar.  While not everyone will win a raffle prize, the objective is that the excitement and the teamwork that results from the partnering, as well as the challenges and games and activities, will be a prize in and of itself from which the entire team benefits.  Your feedback and suggestions are welcome! 
Are Meets or Practices Ever Canceled?
Weather based cancellations do occur, but rain or cool weather does not guarantee a cancellation.  Practice and meets will be held in the rain.  If you have a question about practice cancellation, please call the pool.  (410-544-7918)  If a meet is stopped due to thunder, lightening or rain, please do NOT leave the pool are until official word has been received from the coach (the Referee, Team/League Reps, and Coaches work together to make the best decision for all).  Usually storms are waited out for a while to see if the meet can be resumed.  This is preferable; which is why everyone is asked to remain at the pool.  Otherwise, the meet may need to be rescheduled. 
What is SPY National Day?
During this designated practice, guest coaches will be on hand to offer guidance on their areas of expertise.  The pool will be divided into several stations and small groups of swimmers will rotate to each station during their regular practice time for this instruction.  These guest coaches are members of SPY Swim Team and compete on a national level.  There are many different and interesting practices on the calendar.  Some are self-explanatory, while others may leave you with questions.  Please email ncaswimteam@gmail.com with any questions about the calendar.   
What is Fun-Day Monday?
In recognition of the hard work and effort that the team puts forth at meets each week, the coaches often reserve Monday practices as a “Fun Day”, filled with fun pool games, such as Fox or diving for pennies.  The team still gets plenty of swimming in and the coaches discuss the meet with swimmers but it is not a traditional practice. 
What is Picture Day?
On the designated day each summer, all swimmers report for a team picture.  Following the group picture, individual or family photos are taken.  (A family photo allows for siblings to be grouped together for one picture.)  These are optional, as are any purchases, which are handled directly with the photography company.  Please click on “Forms” for the order form, which offers a variety of packages.  Payment is due on picture day and pictures will be distributed prior to the end of the season. 
What and When is the Team Banquet?
This event closes out the season and is generally held the last Sunday in July in the evening.  There is a dinner coordinated by the Concessions Committee.  News about this event will be distributed prior to the event.  Please RSVP so that the appropriate amount of food and supplies will be available for swimmers and their families.  There may be a cost associated with the dinner, or at least for family members (non-swimmers).  Following the dinner, the coaches host an awards ceremony and recognize the many accomplishments, fun and highlights of the season.  Trophies and other awards are distributed at this time. Trophies – NCA gives each swimmer a participation plaque the first year on the team.  Each year thereafter, a year plate (i.e. “2011”) is issued to the swimmer to be added to the plaque.  The ESP League provides a trophy to each swimmer who participates in at least 2 meets during the regular season.  These trophies will be issued at our team banquet.  Other team awards, for both swimming and general team participation accomplishments, are presented as well.  
SWIM MEETS:
 
How Do I Sign Up for a Meet?
There is a swim team binder kept at the entrance of the pool.  All meet sign up sheets are in the binder.  There is a roster per meet.  Each swimmer is responsible for signing up for or signing out of each meet by the Wednesday prior to that meet.  Each swimmer should select the event(s) (up to 3) that he/she would like to swim.  If a swimmer will not be at the meet, he/she should write that.  If a swimmer will be late or will need to leave a meet early, please note that so the coaches can plan accordingly. 
What Events will My Child Be Swimming?
The events that your child requests to swim via meet sign ups will usually be accommodated.  However, the coaches will use their discretion to schedule swimmers in events to balance the meet, insure that the team is appropriately covered in events for the meet as a whole, and of course, consider the individual swimmer’s preferences and abilities.The coaches send an email with the meet entries, usually on Thursday, for you to verify that your child is scheduled to swim the correct events.  If changes need to be made, simply email the coaches back with the details.  This needs to be done quickly, as changes cannot be made at the meet.  At the meet, programs will be available for sale and the price will vary by hosting pool (usually $1 to $2).    
How Do I Know When My Child Swims at a Meet?
Please read the previous question/answer for background details.The meet program details the sequence of events, listing swimmer’s event number, heat and lane.  It is helpful to circle or highlight your child’s events and/or to create a cheat sheet to details a swimmer’s event #, heat # and lane.  Many use a Sharpie and write this on the swimmer’s hand.  This is not required!  During the meet, an announcer will call for swimmers to report to the Clerk of Course for each event.   This is where swimmers are lined up for their races.  Please help your child pay attention to the progression of the meet.  Our swimmers work so hard at practice all week and we do not want them to miss their events because they lost track of reporting to the Clerk of Course.   
What is the Clerk of Course?
This is the area where the swimmers report to be lined up for each event.  There are volunteer Clerks (from each team) who organize the swimmers.  The location varies at each pool.  Please pay attention to announcements so that your child knows when and where to report. 
Must My Child Swim 3 Events?
No – that is the maximum of individual events a swimmer is permitted to swim per meet but it is not a requirement.  Please note when signing up for a meet whether your child will be arriving late or needs to leave early so that the coaches can place him/her in events that will work for your family’s schedule. 
Are There Directions to the Away Meets?
Yes!  Please click on “Directions to Pools” 
When are the Meets?
Click on “Important Dates” for a schedule of meets.  Most meets are on Saturday mornings and begin at 9am, weekday meets begin at 5:30pm.  Parents and swimmers generally need to arrive 30 minutes prior but specific instructions will be provided per meet regarding warm-up times and when volunteers for the meet need to report.   
What Should We Bring to a Meet?
It is helpful to bring your own chair(s), drinks/cooler, at least 2 towels, a change of clothes or warm clothes, food and/or money for snacks, and of course, team spirit!  Concessions will have plenty of food options at both home and away meets.  Prices vary by pool.  Children may also want to bring things to do during the meet, such as a deck of cards, a book, small games.   Please note, swimmers need to stay in the pool area during the meets.  We hope that they will watch the meet and cheer on teammates but understand that they will talk with friends, play games, etc.  However, they are not to go the playground or outside the pool area for safety reasons and to insure that they are aware of the meet so that they can report for their events accordingly.   
What Should We Wear?
While you are not required to wear a team suit or cap, you may not wear a suit or cap from another team such as SPY, Navy or a college.  The NCA team colors are red and black.  We do have a designated team suit that is available for purchase through Metro Swim Shop.  Just tell the staff  that you are from North Cape Arthur (NCA) and they will be able to identify the team suit for you.
(443) 891-0800
883 Airport Park Rd 
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
39.1727 -76.6444
Get Map & Directions  Team swim caps are available for $5.  In addition, we have created team Spirit Wear for kids and adults.  If you are interested in placing an order or learning more about these items, email ncaswimteam@gmail.com 
Where Should We Sit?
There will be a sign or person directing where our team is to sit at each meet.  Generally speaking, our team will be on one side of the pool (at home meets, we are on the far side, to the right of the lifeguard stand). 
What Should I Do If My Child is Disqualified (DQ)?  
Don’t worry and try not to over-react.  Disqualification happens at all levels of swimming and in all age groups.  Disqualification can be very technical.  Although judges (stroke & turn officials, referees) can make mistakes, it is more likely that you did not notice the infraction that the judge called.  If you want to learn more about the specifics of what happened during the meet OR you believe the call was invalid and you want to contest it, you need to speak with our team’s ESP (East Severna Park) League Rep, Kim Burton.  Explain the situation to her and she will pursue the matter on your behalf.  Please do NOT approach the coaches, judges or referee during the meet.  The role of the League Rep is to handle these matters so that your questions are addressed in a timely and complete fashion and the meet is not disrupted.  Please understand that disqualification is a necessary component of the sport and that the coaches will take that information and work with swimmers during practice in an effort to prevent future disqualifications. 
What Should I Do at the Meet?
Listen for your child’s event to be called, and if necessary, help him/her get to the Clerk of Course.  The coaches are not able to find swimmers for their events.  Enjoy the meet and cheer on the team – Go Gators!And if you find that you want a job to do because it helps the time pass, find Chris Myers because there is always something that can be done! 
What do the Coaches Do During the Meet?
Coaches are actively working during the meets.  They are getting swimmers’ times, giving technique tips, cheering, planning strategies for possible relay replacements, keeping score of the meet, talking to swimmers about the race they are about to swim or the one they just swam, boosting team morale, and many other tasks that are too numerous to count.  They are focusing on the meet and the swimmers.  Please keep conversations and comments with them to a minimum.  They are willing to answer any questions after the meet and work on specific concerns during practices and/or private lessons.
 
Post Season & Non-League Meets:
 
What are the Post Season Meets?
After the regular season meets (in which our team swims against one other team per meet), there are 3 optional championship meets:  Bronze, Silver and Gold.  These are individual competitions.  A listing will be posted as to which meet your child is eligible to swim.  The Silver and Gold meets have qualifying times that must be met throughout the regular season meets.  As a result, swimmers from ALL of the teams in the League will compete against one another because they all have comparable times, having qualified for the respective meet.  The Gold meet has the highest standards, then the Silver meet and the Bronze meet has no qualifying time requirement.  During the season, if/when your child earns a ribbon, the word “Gold” or “Silver” may be next to his/her time.  This means that the time achieved in the race reflects a qualifying time for either the Gold or Silver meet.  A swimmer must achieve at least two qualifying times for a single event or one qualifying time in two events in order to qualify for the Gold or Silver meet, respectively. 
When are the Post Season Meets?
A schedule of the Gold, Silver and Bronze meets can be found under “Important Dates” here on the website.  The information was also included in registration material.  Generally speaking, the Bronze meet is the last Thursday evening in July; the Silver the last Saturday morning in July and the Gold is on the final Sunday morning in July.  Locations vary per season. 
How Does My Child Qualify for a Post Season Meet?
To swim in a post season meet, a swimmer must participate in at least 3 regular season meets.  The swimmer’s event times from these meets will be used to determine which post season meet they will attend.  Qualifying times for the Gold and Silver meets will be posted at the pool and on the website.  To qualify for a meet, you must swim a time equal to or faster than the posted qualifying time once in two events or two times in a single event.  A swimmer must swim in the most advanced meet in which he/she qualifies. (i.e. If a swimmer qualifies for the Gold meet, he/she may not swim at the Silver meet.) 
Do I Need to Work at a Post Season Meet?
Volunteers will indeed be needed for these meets and as such, you will be required to work a post-season meet, if your child is swimming.  You will only need to work at the meet your child swims.  Sign up sheets will be posted when meet qualifications are determined.  Thank you for your help and understanding that meets are only possible due to volunteer efforts. 
What are the County Meets?
The County Meets are hosted by SPY Swimming and are held in mid-July.  See “Important Dates”.  Participation in these meets are optional.  Swimmers from various leagues and teams throughout the area are invited to participate.  There are several County meets, determined by age groups.  The meets are held at the SPY Pool (Severna Park Community Center).  There will be a sign up prior to the meet and there is a cost associated with participation.  You will be informed of the cost prior to the meet and it is basically a fee per event (therefore, a swimmer who plans to swim 5 events will pay more than a swimmer who will swim only 2 events).  Each team will have a designated seating area outside of the Community Center.  
Volunteer Information:
 
How Do I Learn About Each Volunteer Job?
Click on the “Volunteer Jobs” section under “Parents” on the homepage for detailed descriptions of each job associated with swim meets.  The League provides training for those roles requiring it (Stroke & Turn, Referee, Starter, Computer Operations) and our team will also help with training, led by experienced volunteers, for those interested in learning about these roles.  Our annual Inter-Gator Meet (in which we have a meet with just our team) is a great opportunity for training.  Our team requires that each family work 3 jobs through the regular season.  Yes, you are welcome to do more!  The meets are made possible due to the many volunteers who work at each meet.  THANK YOU for your understanding, support, time and effort!  You make all the fun of swim team possible for all of the kids.  THANK YOU!!!! 
How Do I Work More than 3 Meets/Jobs?
Talk to Chris Myers or email ncaswimteam@gmail.com  Keep a watch for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board for remaining openings and stay tuned as we approach the end of season for Post Season Meet assignments. 
What If I Can't Fulfill My Volunteer Assignment?
If your availability changes and you are not able to fulfill your role at a meet, it is your responsibility to identify a replacement and switch jobs/meets.  Please also send an email to ncaswimteam@gmail.com to keep the team coorindinator informed so that she knows who is working each meet. 
How Do I Know When My Volunteer Jobs Are?
Each person should have received an email confirmation of jobs for the season.  In addition, a reminder email will be sent in advance of each meet, and the volunteer assignments will be posted at the pool and on the website under “Other Information – Available Volunteer Jobs” 
Do I Check In at a Meet I am Scheduled to Work?
Yes.  Please let Chris Myers know you are present at both home and away meets.  At home meets, there will be a volunteer list at the announcer table that you can check in at.  An announcement will be made for all volunteers to report for instructions prior to the meet.  At home meets, we meet about 15 minutes prior to the start at the light post.  During this brief meeting, led by the referee, you will receive any necessary materials (i.e. stop watch, clip board). 
What Do I Do with Materials After the Meet?
All materials and equipment, such as clip boards and stop watches, must be returned to Chris Myers at the conclusion of the meet.  For home meets, report to the light post to turn in your supplies.  
Contact Information:
 Please share your comments, questions, concerns and/or suggestions with the committee members listed below. 
General Questions: Volunteer info, Gator program, pep rallies, etc.
Chris Myers  ncaswimteam@gmail.com 410-421-9009(h) 410-991-1729(c)
 
Coaches:      Swim technique, meet events, practices, etc.
Sean Brant         ncacoachsean@gmail.com
Kevin Huntley     ncacoachkevin@gmail.com
 
ESP League Rep:  East Severna Park League, DQs, Rules
Kim Burton     kkjt62798@gmail.com
                                                                                                                   
Concessions: Available at NCA meets
Debbie Gray & Linda Douglas
           Debbie Gray is the primary contact 
         for communications regarding concessions.
         ncaconcessions@gmail.com
 
NCA Pool:           410-544-7918