Meet Information: "A" Meets and "B" Meets explained
"A" meets are official NVSL scheduled meets in which we swim against other teams in our Division. All dual A Meets are on Saturday and begin promptly at 9:00 AM. For home meets, swimmers must be at the pool by 8:00 AM for warm-ups. For away meets, swimmers should arrive at the away pool by 8:15 AM. It is important for children to arrive before the warm-up and to check in with the coaches. Prompt arrival allows the team representatives and coaches to substitute swimmers if a change is necessary in the event of an unexpected illness or absence.
Dual meets are scored, with the first, second, and third place winners scoring points for the team. Individual swimmers earn ribbons showing their place and time for each stroke. Swimmers may only swim two individual events and one relay (boys or girls). Events include:
- Medley relays (9 years old and up)
- Freestyle relays (8 and under)
- Mixed-age relays
Seeding Swimmers for Saturday Events
Swimmers are selected for Saturday meets by the coaches and reviewed by the team representative. The selection process is based on several factors, but the primary factor is best time. These times may come from any official meet or practice time recorded by the coach. In general, the swimmers with the three fastest seed times in each event will swim that event on a Saturday. The needs of the team determine the strokes in which a swimmer will be entered.
Because we are a small pool, we are not always able to field 3 swimmers of the right age for each event. In these instances, some swimmers may be asked to "swim up" and swim in an event for an older age group. Swimming up is a great way to contribute to the team. Having a swimmer in the lane allows the team the possibility of earning points in an event that would otherwise be forfeited if no one from HH swims.
Mixed Age Relays
Eight swimmers (4 boys and 4 girls) are selected by the coaches and team representatives to represent the team in the mixed age relays. Swimmers chosen for the mixed-age relay may swim up to four events (two individual events and two relays) at that meet. No swimmer may swim up in the mixed age relay.
The Division conducts a Division Relay Carnival in the evening of the second Wednesday in July. The location of the meet can be found on this season's schedule. All six teams in the division participate in both freestyle and medley relays (where each swimmer swims a different stroke). Relay teams with the 18 fastest times across all 17 divisions then swim at the All Star Relay Carnival the following Wednesday.
Division Individual Championships
On the last Saturday of July, all six teams in the division compete in an individual championship meet (often referred to as "Divisionals"). The location of the meet can be found on this season's schedule. Each team may enter 2 swimmers for each event, and a swimmer may enter no more than 2 events. If a team does not have 2 swimmers, other teams may "bid" other swimmers to fill the empty lanes. This is an individual meet and is not scored. Selection of the swimmers depends on times swum in meets this season. Swim ups are not permitted at Divisionals. Within each age group, swimmers with the fastest recorded times during the season have their choice of events at Divisionals.
Division coordinators meet after the Divisionals to determine the selection of swimmers for All-Stars, held on the first Saturday of August. To qualify, a swimmer must have one of the 18 fastest times in the NVSL in that event. All Star qualifying times are based on a swimmer's time at Divisionals, not on times recorded in dual ("A") meets or any other events.
A DQ (Disqualification) is a violation of the rules observed by a certified stroke and turn judge, starter, or referee. Most young swimmers disqualify several times while learning how to swim the various strokes “legally.” Coaches expect this and will work with swimmers to help them overcome the reason for the DQ.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PARENTS: No child wants to DQ. Swimming, like so many things in life, requires practice. Children will often make mistakes, and it is from these mistakes that they learn. Parents should treat a DQ as the learning experience that it is. Our coaches will never embarrass or demean a child for a DQ. The child means much more to our coaches than points in a meet.
Some parents feel that the youngest swimmers should not be given DQs. However, it is when the children are young that they should learn the proper strokes. It becomes much harder to correct strokes when a child is older.
The following are frequent causes for a DQ:
Freestyle: Propelling by use of the lane ropes, pushing forward off the bottom of the pool, missing the wall on the turn
Backstroke: Turning over before touching the wall at finish, flipping over too early before the turn
Breaststroke: More than two underwater pulls at start, flutter kick, toes not pointed out, failure to touch the wall with two hands, one-arm pull
Butterfly: Flutter kick, non-simultaneous stroke, underwater recovery, failure to touch the wall with two hands
Relays: Leaving the deck before the previous swimmer touches the wall
False Start: Forward motion before the starting signal
How to know a DQ occurred:
When a Stroke and Turn Judge observes a violation, he/she raises a hand and then writes it up on a DQ slip. The S&T Judge takes the slip to the Referee, who questions the Judge to verify that a rule has been broken. Any explanation must begin with “I saw” and not “I think I saw”. Another clue that a DQ has occurred is a longer than normal pause between events.
Early relay take-off DQs are handled differently. Relay Take-Off Judges record each “start” on Relay Take Off slips which are passed to the Referee. If both Judges on a lane record an early take off for the same swimmer, the relay team is DQ’d.
A false start DQ occurs when a swimmer moves towards the pool after having assumed a still position (taking his/her mark) and before the Starter has started the race. If a false start is detected before the starting signal is sounded, the Referee will ask all swimmers to “stand” and will repeat “take your mark.” If a false start is observed but the starting signal has sounded, the race will not be stopped. The false starting swimmer(s) will be notified at the conclusion of the race.
Usually held on Monday nights, "B" meets are developmental meets. B Meets are not sponsored by the NVSL and results from these meets will NOT appear on the NVSL website. The meets are not scored by teams, but provide swimmers the opportunity to swim events under "meet conditions." Individual swimmers earn ribbons showing their place and time for each stroke.
B Meets begin at 6:00 on Monday evenings. Every swimmer is encouraged to swim at the B Meets. The events are the same as in the "A" meets with these exceptions:
- For freestyle and backstroke, a 6 and under age group may be added, and the 13-14 and 15-18 age groups may be combined.
- There are no relays.
- Individual medleys are added for 10 and unders, 11-12s, 13-14s, and 15-18s, time permitting.
- There may be multiple heats of each event, especially for younger swimmers.
Eligibility for B Meets
- Participation in B Meets is optional but encouraged for all swimmers who the coaches feel are "competition ready."
- Swimmers may participate in a maximum of two strokes plus the IM (Individual Medley). Order of the IM is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.
- Swimmers may choose the strokes they would like to swim; however, any swimmer who takes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in an event at the previous A Meet is strongly encouraged to swim other strokes at the B Meet.
"B" Relay Carnival
Hollin Hills participates in one non-NVSL relay carnival. The Fort Hunt Sportsmen Relay Carnival is held the last Wednesday in June. The location of the meet can be found on this season's schedule. The coaches will write the entries for the relay carnival and inform swimmers if they will be swimming.
IM Invitational (Individual Medley)
Multiple teams in the area compete in the Mt. Vernon IM Invitational on the fourth Monday in July. The location of the meet can be found on this season's schedule. Each swimmer swims an individual medley--swimming all four competitive strokes in succession (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle), except 8 and unders, who swim one length of butterfly. Each team is given three entries per event for this meet. Coaches will discuss with swimmers who will swim at the meet.