Please feel free to email your questions to
. Perhaps other families on the team have the same question and can benefit from seeing the answer here. There is also a Mini-Ray specific FAQ.
Stingrays... Mini-Rays... What exactly is the name of our team?
To South Riding, both the Board of Directors and the Proprietorship, and the IRS, our team is "officially" known as the South Riding Swim Team (SRST). Yes we all make up the SRST. Within the CSL our team is popularly known as the "Stingrays". Within the ODSL our team is also known as the Stingrays. Within SRST, our developmental program is popularly known as the "Mini-Rays". So if you registered for ODSL or CSL you are a "Stingray". If you registered for the Mini-Rays you are a "Mini-Ray" who is part of the "Stingrays" team.
What is the CSL?
Our team is a member of the Colonial Swimming League (CSL), which was founded in 1962 to sponsor competitive swimming among community swimming organizations in Northern Virginia. The primary objectives of the league are:
1) To foster a high level of competition between the teams
2) To develop the potential of individual swimmers
3) To single out for distinction individual swimmers, age groups and teams
The CSL is comprised of four Divisions (Red, White, Blue and Gold) which consist of 5 or 6 teams that are competitively matched. The Stingrays are currently in the Red Division.
What is the ODSL?
The Old Dominion Swim League (ODSL) (ODSL League Home Page) is a swim league founded in 2004 to provide developmental competitive style swim competition between communities in the greater Loudoun County area. We will swim against many of our neighboring communities such as Brambleton, Lenah Run and Broadlands, as well as Belmont Ridge and Stone Ridge. The meet schedule is very similar to the CSL format; there will be Wednesday night and Saturday morning swim meets, a Relay Carnival and end of season Divisionals and All-Stars! Every swimmer is encouraged to swim three individual events and one relay in every meet. (Divisionals and All-Stars Meets will have qualifying times.)
I'm a parent of a Mini-Ray - What league do we swim in?
ALL Mini-Rays are by default registered in the CSL and ODSL. This means they enjoy the option of swimming in just the "Mini-Ray" Meets on the schedule OR they can also attend any CSL or ODSL swim meet, provided some conditions are met. Many Mini-Ray swimmers are ready for "bigger" meets and therefore are encouraged to swim with their Stingray counterparts in the CSL or ODSL programs. These additional meet opportunities provide a great initial meet experience for the Mini in preparation for their swimming up the SRST team chain. If you or your Mini-Ray wants to swim in an ODSL or CSL swim meet, please contact the appropriate coach to determine if there is time to accommodate additional swimmers for that meet. CSL and ODSL wish to encourage Mini’s to be excited about their progression and permanently joining our other SRST programs when they are no longer Mini’s.
I'm a parent of a Stingray - What league do we swimming in?
Well that depends... At the beginning of each season you and your swimmer have to make a decision to swim in either the CSL or the ODSL. This decision is voluntary but you can ask for the Coaches to recommend a program based on the coaches observations of your child. The CSL offers Wednesday night developmental swimming for all swimmers and Saturday morning meets that have time-based swimmer selection. The ODSL offers all swimmers the opportunity to swim in every event at every meet. Both leagues offer ribbons, medals, records, Relay Carnivals and end of season All-Star and Divisional Meets. Odds are your swimmer probably just wants to be with his or her friends so talk it over and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at
I'm a parent of a Stingray - How do I get my questions resolved?
Team Mailbox at
Who is behind the "
Both the President and the Team Representatives are copied on all email sent to "
. This is the focal point for all information, questions and team wide issues.
What is an 'A' Meet (CSL Only)?
An 'A' Meet is a term used within the CSL for Saturday competitions between teams. Applying only to the CSL, an 'A' Meet is competed for team points, team standing and age group champs within a given CSL Division. It involves strategy and gamesmanship by our Coaches to earn the most points for the team by selecting the most competitive swimmers available for the given meet.
What is an 'B' Meet (CSL Only)?
An 'B' Meet is a term used within the CSL for Wednesday night "developmental" meets between teams. Applying only to the CSL, a 'B' Meet is conducted to allow "all" swimmers an opportunity to improve individual seed times in all strokes including the Individual Medley. There are no team points associated with a Wednesday night only "official" individual times. Unlike the Northern Virginia Swim League, the CSL allows 'B' Meet times to count for qualifications for Divisional's. All Swimmers, except swimmers that "placed in a particular event" in the prior Saturday 'A' Meet are encouraged to swim and improve their personal times.
What is the selection process for an 'A' Meet (CSL Only)?
The answer is actually simple and not so simple all at the same time. At the most basic level, the Head Coach simply selects his or her top 3 seeded swimmers in each individual stoke. Our team has an eligibility rule that states an 'A' meet swimmer must attend three practices during the prior week to swim on Saturday. The CSL has another eligibility rule that states a swimmer can only compete in 3 individual events and 2 relays at any given 'A' Meet. So if a top seeded swimmer in backstroke is not eligible to swim because he or she is already selected for free, breast and butterfly, then the 4th seeded swimmer in backstroke will be selected. What gets confusing to the uninitiated is that the coach will sometimes shuffle swimmers around in an effort to maximize points against the other team. Another selection option available to the Head Coach is a "swim-up". Suppose the team had an empty lane in the Boys 15-18 Backstroke due a lack of available swimmers. The Coach has the right to select a younger swimmers to "swim-up" in that spot. Typical of a summer swim program, vacations and other person events do impact the swimmer eligibility to the point that swimmers seeded 4th, 5th or even 6th are sometimes selected for the Saturday Meet. But under all conditions, the fastest eligible swimmers have to be selected for a given individual event. Every attempt is made to get as many kids as possible to participate in a meet.
'A' Meets, 'B' Meets, Mini-Ray Meets... I'm still confused!
When we started the Mini-Rays in 2003, confusion existed because the CSL also calls 'B' Meets - Developmental Meets. We call the Mini-Ray program a Developmental Program because the team never competes against other teams for points like the Stingrays do. All the Mini-Rays Meets are in fact loosely patterned after the CSL 'B' Meets as Developmental meets where "all" swimmers are encouraged to swim to improve their stroke form and times. So Stingrays swim in Developmental meets on Wednesday evenings and for Mini-Rays all their meets are developmental.
Who is eligible to swim in Meets?
For Mini-Ray Meets, all Mini-Ray swimmers, regardless of attendance or vacation absence are eligible to swim in every meet. For ODSL meets, all ODSL swimmers, regardless of attendance or vacation absence are eligible to swim in every meet. For CSL Meets on Wednesday night, all swimmers are eligible to swim regardless of attendance or vacation absence. However, since the Stingrays Wednesday night 'B' Meets are official CSL events, swimmers that placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a particular stroke the prior Saturday are not eligible to swim in those strokes.
Do the Stingrays and the Mini-Rays ever swim against each other?
Actually no. The ODSL and CSL programs and the Mini-Ray programs are not compatible and hence have different goals and objectives concerning the sport of swimming. However Stingrays and Mini-Rays may now swim side-by-side at CSL or ODSL meets at the discretion of the CSL or ODSL head coach. Please contact the respective team coach to see if your Mini can participate in one of their meets.
So how do the Stingray and Mini-Ray programs relate?
The SRST Board of Directors manages all 3 programs under one big umbrella with one financial budget. Though each program has separate swim schedules the Social Events are for ALL swimmers to enjoy as one big team.
What is the relationship between the SR Winter Swim Program and SRST?
The SR Winter Swim Program is now called the "The Swim Club" and is fully autonomous entity from the SRST.
Why does the team have a Late Fee/Cutoff for Registration?
Due to the amount of planning required to prepare the team for a new season, the BOD needs to know how many swimmers to expect for the season. Planning involves requesting pool space from the SR BOD, making Coaching Staff decisions as well as ordering goods like T-Shirts. 2004 was the first season where the team had to halt registration because we ran out of pool space! Due to the growth in new families in SR please expect our Swim Program to have planning challenges for several years.
So Who is Responsible for Upholding the CSL Rules on our Team?
First and foremost the Team Representative is the primary CSL recognized position on the team responsible for operating the team in accordance with the league rules. As you read through the rules you will notice that only the Team Rep is authorized to conduct protests and communicate with the Meet Officials. Second in line is our Head Coach, who is officially recognized within the league and must operate within the league guideline. Lastly, we have a cadre of parent volunteers trained as USA Swimming certified officials (http://www.usaswimming.org) responsible for upholding the guidelines of USA Swimming under which CSL operates. These positions include Referee, Starter and Stroke & Turn officials.
What does it mean if I see a 'D' next to my swimmer's time?
The 'D' indicates that swim was disqualified or more popularly referred to as DQ'd. A Stroke & Turn Official or Referee made a determination that your swimmer did not conduct the stroke legally, as defined by the USA Swimming regulations. With each DQ is a "DQ Slip" written by a Stroke & Turn Judge which documents what the violation(s) was. As a parent you and your swimmer are encouraged to discuss the DQ reason with the coach after the meet or at practice. The actual time is kept in the team's computer records but it can not be used for "seeding" purposes.
What's the difference between Yard Pools versus Meter Pools?
Most of the pools SRST swims in are 25 Meter pools but occasionally some of the older pools, such as Sugarland Run or Barrington, are 25 Yard pools. A "yard" being shorter by 3 inches than a "meter" means a swimmer's time will be better in a "yard" pool than our own home pool. The computer uses a conversion factor of 1 Meter = 1.1301 Yards or 1 Yard = 0.8847 Meters. These factors are not the strict meter-to-yard distance ratios, but are derived empirically based on averages of published USA Swimming conversion factors for events of 20 to 60 seconds. Since our team predominately swims in Meter pools all of our reports are printed in Meters.
What does it mean if I see a 'C' next to my swimmer's time?
The 'C' indicates that time was converted by the computer from either "Yards" to "Meters" or vice versa depending on the the report. Most of the pools we swim in are 25 Meter pools but occasionally, such as at Sugarland Run or Barrington, we do swim in a 25 Yard pool.
What are Time Trials all about?
Time Trials is an official team event (not a league event) conducted at the start of the season for the purpose of establishing a "seeding" time for each swimmer for each individual stroke. For our CSL program this time is then used for swimmer selection for the first 'A' meet of the season. As your swimmer's times improve from either Saturday or Wednesday night meets the newer, faster time is then used for swimmer selection on Saturday meets.
What are Time Trials all about for the Mini-Rays?
Since Mini-Ray swimmers are always eligible to swim in every meet "seed" times are not used as they are on the ODSL/CSL programs. Time Trials for the Mini-Rays are used to capture a swimmers times at the very start of the season. The excitement with the Developmental program is measuring each swimmers individual improvement over the season as he or she learns the various swimming strokes.
What is the policy for gifts at the end of the season?
Every year the team budgets from operational funds an appropriate amount for "bonuses" for paid coaches and a "gift" for the unpaid Jr. Assistant Coaches. Bonuses for paid coaches are based on performance and the financial status of the team. The team does not provide gifts beyond small token gifts such as flowers for parent volunteers on the team. Any form of additional gift giving is purely on a personal volunteer basis and there is no actual or implied requirement by the team to engage in this.