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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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).

What is summer swimming?

The summer swim season begins in May and ends in late August. Many parents choose to enrol their children in summer swimming because the competitive season is only 3 ½ months long, and occurs primarily during the summer months. This allows their children to throw themselves into the sport during the summer, and to participate in other activities during the school year.

What does it mean to be an “S” swimmer?

An “S” swimmer is an individual whose participation in any organized aquatic activity between October 1 of the past year and April 30 of the current year, has not exceeded two (2) hours in any calendar week (Sunday – Saturday) with certain exceptions set out by the BCSSA. For more information about the “two hour rule”, see the BCCSA Form Swimmer’s Declaration of ‘S’ or ‘O’ Status.

What is the Two Hour Rule?

The Two Hour Rule is explained by the BCSSA here.

What is the difference between a swim group and a Division?

The Vancouver Vikings currently have 8 different swim training groups: SR1, SR2, INT1, INT2, JR, MV1, MV2, Splashers. These groups are organized according to both ability and age, with SR1 being the oldest and most experienced swimmers, and Splashers being the youngest and newest to swimming. These are the groups in which Vikings swimmers will practice, both in the pool and on dryland.

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.

What are the competitive divisions for “S” swimmers?

A swimmer’s age as of April 30th each year is used to determine the competitor’s category of competition (i.e. Division) each year. See the BCSSA age locator located here to find out which Division your child will be swimming in this summer.

What is the difference between an A and B swimmer?

Summer swimming has 2 tiers of competition, ‘A’ & ‘B’. Swimmers compete in one of these tiers based on their times.

What are Regionals and Provincials?

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 2018 here.

Which Region are the Vikings in?

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 2017 Regional Championships occur in August (dates to be confirmed). All swimmers can attend Regionals – there is no need to qualify for this meet.

Who attends Regionals and Provincials?

Any swimmer who swims a Provincial Qualifying Time (PQT) in a final at Regionals automatically qualifies for Provincials regardless of what place they finished in the race.

How can I find a swimmer's best times and BC provincial rankings for the current summer season?

Click this link, choose the Rank button, in the Course dropdown box select SCM,  in the Div dropdown box select the relevant Division, select Male or Female, then click the various event boxes (e.g. 50 free) as appropriate to see the swimmer’s time and ranking for each event.

How many swim practices per week should I attend?

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!).

Can I go away to summer camp or on a vacation for a week or more?

Yes, you can go away. If you do plan to miss practice for camp or vacation, tell your Coach right away, and make sure all your meet sheets are handed in on time! Because the summer swim season is so short, those swimmers hoping to advance beyond Regionals should consider scheduling vacations for late August, to maximize their training and development. Also, remember that we expect all Vikings swimmers and parents to attend our Vikings meet on July 15 and 16, 2017 in Vancouver and Regionals in August so plan to be here for those weekends. For full details regarding the meets that the Vikings plan to attend this season, visit our Events page.

What is a development meet?

Development meets are meets available only to swimmers in Division 3 and under who have not yet obtained an “A” standard in any race. The meets are unsanctioned (i.e. times are not official), and there are no disqualifications. The purpose of these meets is to provide young, newer swimmers an introduction to the meet experience, and expose them to racing in an encouraging and low-pressure environment.

How many meets must a swimmer attend? At a meet, do I swim both days?

We recommend that swimmers attend as many meets as is realistic for their schedules. Experience racing at swim meets is valuable, so we encourage swimmers to attend as many meets as possible. If a swimmer choses to race at a particular meet, he or she does not have to attend both days. Remember, all swimmers are expected to attend the Vikings meet in July (this year’s meet is July 14 and 15, 2018).

Can I choose which events I will swim in at a meet?

Group coaches will choose the events for each swim meet, but may accept requests from swimmers to change events if there is sufficient reason to do so.

When will I know if I am in a relay? If I am in, can I NOT swim?

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.

What is dry land and why must I attend?

Dryland sessions are a supplement to the in-the-water work each group does. They are usually scheduled immediately before or after swim practices, and will last between 30-60 minutes. Dryland is meant to encourage physical literacy outside of the pool, with the objective of building athleticism that will help a swimmer’s progress in the pool. If a swimmer will be at practice for the water session but cannot attend the dryland session, please have them notify the group coach so that the coach knows he or she is not responsible for the swimmer outside of the pool practice.

Do the Vikings offer private swim lessons?

For the Vikings’ position on private swim lessons, visit our Practices page here.

What is the order of strokes for the IM (individual medley) event?

The individual medley consists of four strokes, swum by one swimmer in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle.

What is the order of strokes for the medley relay event?

The medley relay consists of four different swimmers in one relay event, each swimming one of the four strokes. The relay is swum in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle.
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