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Team Handbook




Summer 2021

**Seadogs since 1968**

Dear Swimmers and Parents:

We are happy to have you join us on the North Hills Summer Swim League Shaler Seadogs! We extend a warm welcome to both new and returning swimmers and look forward to another great season.

Summer league swimming is all about having fun while improving your swimming skills. It provides wonderful opportunities for making new friends, building character, working together as a team, and learning the value of working hard and being responsible.

Shaler Seadogs is a member of the North Hills Summer Swim League(NHSSL). This league, with16teams, is divided into two divisions, Gold and Silver. For more information,please visit their website:NHSSL.com where you can find a listing of swim events and a schedule for the league.

Please take the time to read this handbook. It includes important information about being a member of the Summer Seadogs swim team. You will find this handboo kand all team information on our webpage at https://summerseadogs.swimtopia.com/

Welcome to the team ! We look forward to seeing you poolside each day.

The Shaler Summer Seadogs

Parent Committee

Seadog Coaches

We are very excited to have such a great coaching staff. Each of our coaches has been or is a member of the Seadog swimming family. They have grown up in our team and know what it takes to be a Seadog.

Stephen Adametz- Head Coach

Jenna Stanton- Assistant coach

Jack Wiemann- Assistant coach

Emily Lewandowski- Assistant coach

Michael Giazzoni- Assistant Coach

Isabella Cercone- Assistant Coach

We also have a committee of parents who help run our swim team, Jamie Kozora, Erin Hollenbaugh, Melissa Lewendowski, Dianna Deweese and Kia Wirth. Please feel free to reach outt to any either of these parents if you would also like to be involved or if you have any questions or concerns.


Every swimmer’s participation is vital to the success of the team. Swimmers must do their best to attend all practices, so they are prepared to swim in meets .A swimmer’s dedication and winning attitude during team practice will determine his/her winning performance during swim meets.

This should be fun, while serving to improve the performance of each swimmer. Practice will beheld Monday through Friday from 9:45 am to 10:45 am beginning on the first full day of the Shaler School District summer vacation. This year that is Monday June 14th. We will try to start indoors at the Shaler Elementary school pool in the evenings starting June 7th. Swim practice is not cancelled because of rain unless there is thunder and lightning.

Swimmers should arrive a few minutes early for practice and be ready to swim at the scheduled start times, with all goggles and caps in place. All swimmers must behave responsibly during practice. Rough housing, horseplay, unsafe, distracting, rude, or disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated. Practice time each day is brief, and swimmers should be prepared to listen and follow instructions.

Tips for Success

Apply your sunscreen before arriving for practice.

Girls (and boys) with long hair need to use a hair tie or preferably a swim cap. Girls are expected to wear a team cap for meets. Boys are welcome to wear them, too. Caps reduce drag and allow you to swim faster.

Put your name on EVERYTHING with a permanent marker.

Pack a large trash bag in your swimbag for rainy days.

Parents are welcome to observe team practices. However, we do ask that you do not distract your swimmers during practice. If you have questions or concerns, please speak with a coach after practice.

Swim Meets

Every swimmer’s participation at swim meets is vital to the success of the team. We are counting on you to swim individual events and relays in this team sport.

How do the swimmers participate in swim meets?

Our swim season consists of swimming against each of the eight teams in our division in a dual meet,where all members of our team have the opportunity to compete. Our swimmers will compete in Championship Meets through the league (swimmers are invited by the coaches). Please check our website for our online calendar for those dates.

A NHSSL dual meet typically consists of 42 events,witha mix ofindividual and relay events. Swimmers are grouped by gender and age, giving everyone an opportunity to succeed. The coaches work tirelessly to put together the meet line-up,which is a listing of who swims in what events. They prepare event line-up to use the swimmers in the most competitive way. Points are scored for the first heat, or race, of an event. Subsequent heats are designated as alternate heats and give each swimmer the opportunity to swim in each meet, improve his or her skills, and build self-confidence and team spirit. Their progress and personal achievements are amazing to watch and celebrate year after year!

Swimmers are expected to be able to swim in all meets unless they have declared they will not be there through the website. If a swimmer is not regularly attending practice for any reason (camps, practicing with another team ,et.),the swimmer or parent will need to communicate with the coaching staff regarding that swimmer’s ability to swim in the meets. Swimmers who do not attend practice or do not communicate with the staff may not be included in meet line-ups.

The bulk of our events in each meet are relays and last-minute changes are very difficult to make.If a swimmer does not attend when they have already declared themselves as attending, three other swimmers are often eliminated from a relay event because of this one unreported absence. As a parent, if your swimmer becomes sick, it is imperative that you get in touch with the coaches as soon as possible.

What is required at swim meets?

All meets beginat 6:30 p.m. When we have a home meet, swimmers should arrive at 5:00.For away meets, swimmers should be at the host pool by 5:30.These arrival times allow swimmers to checkin with the coaches, organize their gear, review the line-ups, warm up in the pool with the team, and work out any pre-meet jitters. If you are a volunteer, it is a time for checking in with the meet coordinator for your instructions.

During both home and away meets, it is very important for swimmers to stay in our designated team area. The parent seeders will let the swimmers know when it is time for them to report to the pool deck for their events. Please remind your child to stay in the team area during the meet–the coaches do not have time to look for them!!

Events at meets go very fast, but sometimes the time between a swimmers’ events can seem very long. All swimmers must behave responsibly during a meet. Rough housing, horseplay, unsafe, rude, or disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated. Seadog coaches, swimmers, and parents should always be models of good sportsmanship when representing our club during meets and league events.

All team members are expected to stay for the entire meet.If you must leave early, please check with the coaches before leaving to get permission.

What should you take to a swim meet?



Goggles: one pair, plus a spare

2 towels

Seadog t-shirt


Ha tor visor Sunscreen

Trash bag(in case of rain)

Healthy ysnack

Water or Gatorade

Deck of cards or small, inexpensive hand-held games

Loud cheering voice

Team Spirit

Winning attitude and good sportsmanship skills

Who officiates at the swim meets?

You do! Parent volunteers representing both teams serve as starters, announcers, timers, place finish judges, scorers, runners, and stroke judges. We must have 13volunteers to host a home meetand8 volunteers for each away meet. No special training is required. The positions(aside from stroke judge) are all very easy to learn. Working as a stroke judge requires additional training. We welcome all and any inquiries about becoming a stroke judge for summer competitive swimming. Check out the NHSSL website using the link on our webpage for detailed description about each position. Volunteering is fun and you’re in the middle of the action. Each family must volunteer for at least two meets,either home or away. Failure to signup and fulfill this requirement will result in a $50 fee . Take a minute to select a meet when you register to swim. You will be contacted to confirm your dates and choose your volunteer position.

A word about inclement weather and swim meets…

The summer swim season is a very short six weeks with very few dates to re-schedule meets. The league and coaches make every effort to swim each meet as scheduled at6:30.Coaches do not call off meets until they arrive at the scheduled pool. When fast-moving afternoon thunderstorms are in the forecast, weather delays are possible to ensure the safety of the swimmers, yet they are impossible to predict.We ask that you please arrive at the scheduled meet times even if the weather looks less than promising in your neighborhood. We do not want to forfeit a meet because enough swimmers do not show up to swim. Often during a storm, we will have to sit in our cars and wait for the storm to pass, PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE. We have set up a Remind to help communicate to swimmers and parents in case of inclement weather. Please either download the app and join Shaler Summer Seadogs or, to receive as a text message, text @summersu to 81010.

Pictures,Pictures, Pictures

We invite all parents and friends to share any informal swim team pictures with the team to use on our Facebook page. We are always looking for bright ,candid shots of our families and young members. E-mail your favorites to shalerseadogs@gmail.com.

NHSSL Championships. The coaches will ask the top 4-6 fastest swimmers in each age group to participate in this division relay meet. It is our last meet of the season where we swim and compete as a team.

NHSSL Individual Championships.This meet is an opportunity for the top 4-6 fastest swimmers in each age group to compete for individual honors. This is a purely optional event which caps off our season of Seadog swimming. The coaches will speak with eligible and interested swimmers.

Parent Volunteer Information


helps parents to meet other swim team parents

helps parents to understand what is going on

helps the meets to run more quickly and efficiently.

Meets start at 6:30 pm.

Home team: the home team warms up first from 5:30 – 6:00

Away team: the away team warms up second from 6:00 – 6:30

At about 6:15 an announcement will be made that all meet officials should meet in a designated place. This means timers, runners, place judges, stroke judges, scorers and starters. At this time, you will meet the officials (parent volunteers) from the other team and be assigned to your correct location.

The meet begins with the national anthem. Please remind your swimmer of the proper behavior to be used at this time: no hats, stand quietly!

Volunteers take their places. The starter usually checks the timers, judges, and scorers to make sure they are ready. And the meet begins!


(Home and Away Meets)

Scorers usually sit at their own table, one scorer from the home team, and one scorer from the away team. They are provided with four sets of meet sheets, two sets from each team. Before the meet begins, the scorers sit down and cut the other teams’ meet sheets and paste the opposing team’s swimmers’ names onto the lineup. The other team’s scorer does the same, so you both end up with one complete set of meet sheets, containing the list of all the events and all the swimmers’ names.

After each event, the runner deposits all the swimmers’ cards at the scorer’s table. The scorers take turns viewing the cards, writing down the information from first, second, and third place cards, and their times, and then recording the team points. Then, the team points are cumulatively added in its own column. The other scorer does the same, and in this way, you can check each other’s addition.

Meet Scoring

Individual Events:

5 points for first place

3 points for second place

1 point for third place


6 points for first place

3 points for second place

1 point for third place

When the meet is finished, each scorer keeps the cards from their team, in order, if possible. The cards are secured with a rubber band. At the end of the meet, the meet sheets are wrapped around the cards within the rubber band, and all the meet information is secured together to pass on to the coaches.

Sometimes, scoring gets confusing when there are many heats of the same event. But the scorer should remember that the first heat of an event is the only one that counts, even if later heats are faster. In this case, the alternate cards are just added to the other swimmers’ cards.

Scoring may also be confusing when swimmers are switched at the last minute, and swimmers’ cards do not match your meet sheets. Do your best to verify your information by asking a coach or the swimmer if you are unsure.

Scorers are not expected to broadcast the score throughout the meet, in fact, they are expected to be discreet, in order to discourage swimmers from requesting the score throughout the meet. Periodically, the starter will announce the standings of the score.

Scorers can leave the scorer’s table in order to see their swimmer’s events. Often, scorers have the best seat in the house!


(Home and Away Meets)


  • Are provided with stopwatches, clipboards, and event lists.
  • Should identify the backup timer, and know how to call for a back up time if they make a mistake.
  • Are assigned to a lane, hold a clipboard with a list of meet events and pen, and have a stopwatch around their necks.
  • As swimmers come up to the lane, they give the timer a card that has the swimmer’s name, team, and a space for their time.
  • Timers watch the starter. When the starter gun or whistle goes off, then they push the button.
  • Timers pay attention to the amount of laps the swimmer(s) swim. It could be one, two, four, or eight. 25 = one lap; 50 = two laps; 100 = four laps; 200 = eight laps

As the swimmer comes down to the finish, the timer leans over the edge, and watches for the exact moment that the swimmer touches the wall, and presses the button. It does not matter if the swimmer touches the wall with his hand, head, or other body part. The timer pushes the button at the exact moment that any part of the swimmer touches the wall.

The timer notes the time, and writes it down on the swimmer’s card.

The timer looks up to the place judges. If the swimmer has placed first, second, or third, then the place judges should let the timer know, and the timer writes the place down on the card, and circles it. If there is no place, then do nothing.

If a swimmer is an alternate, then the time is noted on the card, but the place is not.

If a swimmer is disqualified, the stroke judge should let the timer know. The swimmer’s time is still recorded, and the card is marked with a DQ and circled. If possible, the stroke judge should let the timer know the reason, and it should be recorded on the card, as well.

The timer then gives the card to the runner, clears the stopwatch and goes on to the next event.

The starter always stays at one end of the pool. Timers move to the different ends of the pool depending on whether the event is one lap or two or more. The starter will tell the timers and judges when to move to other ends of the pool.

Place Judges

(Home and Away Meets)

Three parents are required from each team. These volunteers decide the first, second and third place finishes after each event is run. This is how it works:

1) Before the meet begins, the three home team judges decide who will do first, second, and third place.

2) When called for the “Officials Meeting” before the meet begins, the home team will then introduce themselves to the opposing team’s judges, and learn who is doing the same place. There will be two people (one from each team) to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

3) The home team judges go to the finish end of the pool on one side. The opposing team’s judges go to the finish end of the pool, on the other side.

4) The event is run, and the place judge must note which swimmer/lane finished in his/her assigned place. For example, if you are doing first place, you must note which lane has the swimmer who finished first.

5) You hold up the same amount of fingers of the lane of the swimmer that finished in your assigned place, and look to the other’s team judge to agree. For example, if you are doing first place, you see that the first place swimmer finished in lane three, and you hold up three fingers, and look to the other team’s first place judge to hold up three fingers.

6) Once the place judges agree, they tell the timers of those first, second, and third place lanes, so that the timers can note it on the swimmers’ cards. For example, the first place swimmer finished in lane three, the first place judge tells the timer in lane three: “Your swimmer finished first”.

7) If place judges don’t agree, they must confer, look at times, and consult with the meet referee.

8) If there is a disqualification, the scorers will look at the times and figure out the places.


(Home Meets only)

The runner is an important part of making a swim meet run smoothly.

Each swimmer, or relay team is given a card before their event that lists all the swimmers’ names and leaves a space for the swimmer’s time and place after the event is done. When a swimmer is ready to swim, they give this card to the timer.

After the event is done, runners wait until the timers have a chance to record the times on their cards, and then collect all the cards from all the lanes and takes them to the scorer’s tables.

For the best efficiency, he/she will sort the cards before giving them to the scorers. (i.e.: so that the cards that list first, second and third place are on top of the pile.)

The only confusing part of this position is during the 25 yd. events. In these events, the swimmers are at one end of the pool, and the timers are at the other end of the pool. In addition, these events run quickly, there are many heats of the same event, and they involve the littlest swimmers who are often confused. Many of these swimmers are swimming as “alternates” which means that they are not swimming to count as points for the team, (it gives experience and an official time for the swimmer). In these cases, alternate heats don’t count, and there are no places given. Only the first heat counts for places and team points.

The runner must take the cards from all the swimmers, one event at a time, and take the cards to the correct lane/timer on the other side of the pool (again, this is for 25 yd events only). After the event is run, the cards must be collected from the timers and taken to the scorers’ table. Before the next event or heat is run, the swimmers’ cards must be collected from the next swimmers and taken to the other side of the pool to the timers. As you can tell, it is a good idea to have two runners during this time. (Events 9-12).


(Home and Away Meets)

We ask for 6 parents total for both home and away meets. This is one of the most important volunteer positions to be filled. These parents are responsible for getting the swimmers lined up and sent to the blocks for their races.

4 parents will be in the seeding area (2 for girls, 2 for boys) you will have their event cards and get the kids into their relays or lined up by heat for individual events and send to the deck for their race.

1 parent will be seeding behind the blocks. You are responsible for making sure the kids are in the correct lane and correct order for their relay.

1 parent will be seeding at the opposite (from the blocks or starting) end of the pool. You are responsible for making sure the kids are in the correct lane and correct order for their relay.

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