FAQ

Summer swim clubs and the British Columbia Summer Swim Association (BCSSA)
1. What is the Prince George Pisces Summer Swim Club?
2. What can a swimmer expect at practices?
3. What is the BCSSA fee?
4. How does a summer swim club differ from a winter club?
5. Are there penalties for not attending practices?

Swim meets
1. Is attending swim meets mandatory?
2. How are swimmers entered into swim meets?
3. How do swimmers qualify for Regionals/Provincials?
4. How are swim meets organized?
5. Who runs the swim meets?

Summer swim clubs and the British Columbia Summer Swim Association

1. What is the Prince George Pisces Summer Swim Club?

Our swim club competes in the summer (May-August) under the umbrella of the British Columbia Summer Swim Association (BCSSA). We hold a variety of local meets which culminate in the Regional Meet (Zone 8, Cariboo) and the Provincial meet. Our seasons run from the beginning of May until the following year, end of April. The season is usually broken down into three sessions: May-August, October-December, and January-April).

2. What can a swimmer expect at practices?

Swim practices are preceded by activation i.e. warm up of 15 minutes on deck prior to entering the water. The four competitive strokes are the focus of the club: freestyle, back, breast and butterfly. Additional skills taught include dolphin kicks, turns, dives (start of race for freestyle, breast and butterfly), breathing and timing.

3. What is the BCSSA fee?

The summer BCSSA fee covers insurance for the swimmer and regional fees for the administration and setup of competitions. The fee as of 2018 is $48; registrants are charged $25, with Pisces covering the balance. The fee only needs to be paid once per season. Fees for Fall and Winter are reduced. The BCSSA fee is valid until April 30th of the season.

4. How does a summer swim club differ from a winter club?

Summer swim clubs are restricted to two hours of coached swimming between October and April of any season if the swimmer is to maintain summer swimmer status (designated as an ‘S’ swimmer for competition purposes). Winter clubs do not have restrictions and generally compete… in the winter. Winter club swimmers may compete as an ‘O’ swimmer in the summer. More information about ‘S’ and ‘O’ categories may be found on the BCSSA website: http://www.bcsummerswimming.com/forms.html If you are uncertain of the correct status, please contact the registrar.

5. Are there penalties for not attending practices?

Active participation in the club is strongly encouraged, as improvement and team building is more readily achieved. There are no penalties per se. Swimmers in the competitive category are particularly encouraged to attend as many of the summer practices as possible, including morning swims.

Swim meets

1. Is attending swim meets mandatory?

No. Participation is strongly encouraged as a means of team building and building the confidence of the swimmer. Many new swimmers experience fear of competing. The coaches, Board and team members are here to offer encouragement and support, and parents/guardians are encouraged to speak with the coaches and Board members to voice any concerns.

2. How are swimmers entered into swim meets?

The head coach generally selects the events the swimmer participates in. The swimmer is registered in each event according to their age group, and are placed in divisions. The youngest division is pups (generally 6 and under and weaker young swimmers) where they may accompanied, if necessary, by more experienced swimmers. These are generally fun swims that allow young and new swimmers to compete in 25m swims. Older swimmers are broken into divisions 1-8, male/female. Swimmers spend two years in alternate years in a division (e.g. Div 1, 1 year; Div 2, 2 years, Div 3, 1 year, etc.). The swimmer’s division can be determined by looking at the Age Locator form on the BCSSA site: http://www.bcsummerswimming.com/forms.html

3. How do swimmers qualify for Regionals/Provincials?

To qualify for Regionals, a swimmer must have swum and successfully completed in at least one previous swim meet, regardless of final placement, without being disqualified. To compete in the 100m freestyle in the Regional meet, for example, the swimmer must have completed the exact same event at a previous meet that season, even if the swimmer finished last. Swimmers may compete in up to four individual events.
To qualify for Provincials, swimmers must have finished in the top 3 in the event in which they wish to participate. Should a top 3 swimmer decide not to attend the Provincials, the next placed swimmer will be contacted as an alternate. This is usually decided upon at the conclusion of the Regional meet in order to meet the deadlines for entry into the Provincial meet.

4. How are swim meets organized?

Zone 8 (Cariboo) holds one Try Meet as the first meet of the season, which is a timed final. This means that a swimmer swims the race once and the result of that race is their final placement. It is essentially a practice meet, which for Prince George, includes three clubs: Mackenzie, Quesnel, and Prince George.
Regular meets are scheduled over two days. Individual events include preliminary (qualifying races), whereas medley relays are timed finals. For 8-lane pools (Prince George, Dawson Creek), the top 8 swimmers may swim in the final; for 6-lane pools, the top 6. Swimmers are generally placed with the fastest two swimmers in the center lanes and alternating, according to fastest times, with the slowest swimmers in the outer lanes. Swimmers that have No Time (NT) are placed in the outside lanes. ‘S’ category swimmers are usually preferentially placed in the inner lanes. In some cases, divisions may be combined if not enough swimmers are registered in an event.
Variations in the schedule may occur depending on the number of swimmers in a specific category. The division a swimmer is in may affect the expected distance the swimmer can compete in for a particular event. Generally, events include (approximate order):

Day One

  • Freestyle (50m)
  • Individual Medley (IM; all four strokes)
  • Butterfly (up to and including Div 4)
  • Backstroke
  • Medley Relay (four participants each doing one stroke type; timed final)
  • Day Two

  • Butterfly (Div 5+)
  • Breaststroke
  • Freestyle (100m)
  • Freestyle relay (four participants; timed final)
  • 5. Who runs the swim meets?

    You do. The club and the swim meets are run by volunteers at every level. Swim meets require volunteers to help with organizing the meet (food, schedule, sponsorships, set up, take down, etc) to officiating (timing, stroke and turn judges, etc). Some officiating roles require special training sessions. If you are interested in a particular role, or would like to learn more about how you can help, please contact us. We will be able to organize training sessions for you (stroke and turn clinics, officiating). The more volunteers we can find for our swim meets, the smoother the meet runs for the swimmers-after all, it is about them! Note that at out of town swim meets you may be asked to volunteer for deck timing. No experience necessary!