Below you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions…and more importantly, the answers to those questions!
For even MORE helpful information about this wonderful sport we call summer swimming, we encourage you to also take a look at the FAQ sheet published by the British Columbia Summer Swimming Association (BCSSA).
Divisions are set by the BCSSA, are established solely according to age, and are how swimmers are organized for the purposes of competing at swim meets. There are 8 Divisions of “S” category swimmers. From youngest to oldest, these are: Div I, Div II, Div III, Div IV, Div V, Div VI, Div VII, and DIV O-8. To determine which BCSSA Division your child is in for the purpose of competing at swim meets, please see the BCSSA age locator here.
Please keep in mind that a Vikings swim group may include swimmers from more than one Division. For example, the JR (Junior) swim group may include swimmers from each of Divs I, II and III.
The most important swim meet of the season for the highly competitive summer swimmers is the BCSSA Provincial Championships, also known as “Provincials.” The 2018 Provincials will take place in Surrey, BC from August 13 through 19th. You can learn more about Provincials here.
In order to be able to swim at Provincials, swimmers must qualify at the meet known as the BCSSA Regional Championships, also known as “Regionals.” The Vikings are part of the Vancouver & District Region, and our Region’s 2018 Regional Championships occur in August (dates to be confirmed). All swimmers can attend Regionals – there is no need to qualify for this meet.
To qualify for Provincials, swimmers must finish top 3 in finals in an individual event at Regionals, or be part of a relay team that finishes top 2 in finals at Regionals.
Any swimmer who swims a Provincial Qualifying Time (PQT) in a finals at Regionals automatically qualifies for Provincials regardless of what place they finished in the race. You can find the PQTs for 2019 here.
For swimmers in the top groups, we recommend that you do your best to attend all scheduled workouts. Vikings Coaches understand that while school is in session, this can be challenging, and sometimes, not always possible. However, it’s important to remember that the summer swim season is only 3 and ½ months long, so we need you to attend as many workouts as possible, even during May and June, so you can get in shape and ready to swim fast! Once school is out, we expect swimmers in the top groups to attend all the workouts, unless they you have other commitments. The Coaches design each practice with a different purpose with respect to physical and technical improvement, so if you miss multiple workouts, it will make it more difficult for you to develop and improve as a swimmer.
For swimmers in the junior groups, we recommend that they attend as many practices as they can handle, but, ideally, at least 60% of the practices in a given week. New swimmers should not feel pressured to attend every practice right away. Also, for younger swimmers, more training is not always better, so attending every workout is not always necessary or even appropriate. Every child is different: if parents have questions about how many practices their child should attend, we suggest you talk to both your child and their Coach to get their input. At the developmental levels, fostering a love of swimming is key, so Vikings Coaches will plan workouts with this in mind. For younger swimmers who hope to move up to the Club’s top groups eventually, we recommend that you attend as many workouts as possible, and ideally, all of them. This will help ensure your development, and also show your Coaches that you have the dedication to swim with the more demanding senior groups. And for all junior swimmers, we suggest you attend at least one morning workout, to get used to getting up early (which will come in handy once meet season starts!).
Relay events typically occur at the end of each day of a swim meet. If a swimmer does not want to, or cannot, swim in a relay event, please let your coach know ASAP, and preferably BEFORE the meet. The absolute deadline to advise your coach that you will not swim in a relay is during warmups on the day of the meet.
If a swimmer is assigned to a relay team, he or she is expected to stay for the relay event. If a relay team member leaves the meet before the relay, this costs the rest of the team an opportunity to race, and also causes them to stay until the end of the meet with the expectation that they are racing.
Where a swimmer misses a relay, it will be up to the coaches’ discretion whether to enter that swimmer into future relays.