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Swim Team Handbook


Deerfield Swim Team Handbook

Table of Contents

1.   Welcome

2.   Parent's Handbook

3.   Lone Star Summer Swim League

4.   Eligibility to Swim

5.   Registration Fees & Refunds

6.   Equipment

7.   Swim Practice Schedule

8.   Practice Supervision

9.   Swim Meet Supervision

10. Sportsmanship

11. Team Organization

12. Volunteerism

13. Parent Volunteer Committees

14. Concessions

15. Communication



16. Meet Attendance

17. Mock Meet

18. General Meet Information

19. Heat Sheet (program of events)

20. Dual Meet Schedule

21. Championship Meet

22. Handling Disqualifications a.k.a. DQ's

23. Rain Out Days

24. Swim-a-Thon Fundraiser

25. Swimmer of the Week

26. End of Season Party and Awards Banquet

27. Code of Conduct - Children

28. Code of Conduct - Parent's


The Deerfield Dragon Swim Team welcomes you and your children to participate in approximately 6 weeks of neighborhood fun in the sun. Our goal is to provide a positive and rewarding experience by fostering friendship, team camaraderie, and good sportsmanship, while learning swim skills that will last a lifetime. The Deerfield Dragons is a neighborhood team comprised of children living in Deerfield and surrounding Deerfield neighborhoods (Deer Hollow, The Park, Waters, Woods, Fountains, Ridge, Reserve and Oakwood). Membership is limited to these neighborhoods for swimmers 10 years of age and under and is open to anyone 11 years of age and older regardless of where they live. All practices take place at the Deerfield Pool with two (2) home swim meets, two (2) away meets, and a Championship meet held at the Josh Davis Natatorium at Blossom Athletic Center.


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Parent's Handbook

Please save this handbook and refer to it for answers during the season to come. The information is basic to the team and its philosophy. Any corrections or additional information will be posted on our web-site. This handbook is an effort to acquaint swimmers and their families to the Deerfield Dragons Swim Team. We have opted to provide it electronically to reduce printing expenses and conserve paper.


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Lone Star Summer Swim League

The Deerfield Dragons Swim Team is a member of the Lone Star Summer Swim League (LSSSL). Its membership is currently comprised of 18 teams divided into four divisions (A, B, C, and D). Deerfield is in Division A. The League is dedicated to the swimmers and neighborhood teams that join the league. Its priority is to create a sense of cohesion, communication, organization, and dedication among its managers, coaches, and parents. Each team has a volunteer representative that is a member of the LSSSL Board and meets monthly throughout the year to plan a quality swim season for member teams and swimmers. Visit our league's website at for maps to pools, schedules, dual meet results, policies and procedures, etc.


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Eligibility to Swim

All swimmers participating on the Dragons' team must be from 5 to 18 years old on June 1st to join the team. Swimmers will swim the entire season in the age group determined by their age on June 1st of the current season. Swimmers who are not yet 5 years old when practices start but will be 5 years old on June 1st must wait until their 5th birthday to participate in any swim team activity.

If your child is 5 to10 years old, you must be a resident of Deerfield or the following communities (non-resident): Deer Hollow, Park of Deerfield, Fountains of Deerfield, Waters of Deerfield, Woods of Deerfield, Oakwood, Reserve of Deerfield. Our team is open to children ages 11 to 18 regardless of where they live.

The safety of our swimmers is of the utmost importance; therefore swimmers must have some basic skills to participate on our team. Before the first day of practice, they must be able to swim (dog paddle is fine) 12.5 meters unassisted and demonstrate the ability to safely control the depth of their dives from a starting block. New swimmers will be required to participate in a pre-season dive instruction/swim evaluation session.

If there is any question as to whether your swimmer should consider lessons rather than registering for the team, please speak to the Team Manager.


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Registration Fees & Refunds


*Deerfield Resident


Swimmer 1 $110.00 $120.00
Swimmer 2 $85.00 $95.00
Swimmer 3 or more (per swimmer) $75.00 $85.00
High School, Year-Round or Lifeguard Swimmers $60.00 $60.00

Fees are non-refundable after May 1st.

*Priority will first be given to the residents of Deerfield on a first come first serve basis, followed by residents of Deer Hollow, Oakwood, The Park, The Waters, The Woods, The Fountains, The Reserve and The Ridge of Deerfield on a first come first serve basis. All practice groups will be limited in size (capped) in order to ensure safety and a successful swimmer to coach ratio. The Deerfield Dragons Swim Team Committee reserves the right to accept or deny any family’s membership.

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Purchasing a team swimsuit is highly recommended. Swimsuits are one piece for girls and either a jammer (knee length) or brief for boys. Swimsuits will be made available for purchase by Swimfreak during registration and after that at their store located at 2250 Thousand Oaks, Ste. 206. If you choose not to purchase a team suit, a solid black or orange suit is acceptable. Swimmers may wear a swimsuit of their choice (girls wear one piece) during practice. Goggles should be worn during practices and swim meets. A Deerfield Dragon’s team cap is to be worn at ALL meets.


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Swim Practice Schedule

Practices are typically held Monday through Friday and begin early in May. The team is divided into 4 to 5 practice groups according to age. Practices are held after school usually starting at 3:30 p.m. The 6 & under group practices approximately 30 minutes and other groups practice for 1 hour. Morning practice begins the day after school has let out for the summer. The first group may start as early as 8:00 a.m. with the last group finishing by 12:30 PM. Times and age group assignments may change, so please refer to the web-site, e-mail, your family folder, and posted signs for any changes.


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Practice Supervision

Safety is our number one priority. There are no lifeguards on duty during practices. Please use your judgment when leaving your swimmer at the pool unsupervised. Children 10 & under should not be left unattended unless you have asked another adult to be responsible for your child. Accidents can occur suddenly and while we encourage kids to have fun, horseplay or rough housing is not tolerated. Please remind your child that running around the pool is dangerous and not permitted. For safety and optimum instruction, only swimmers in the group currently practicing may be in and around the main pool. All other swimmers, parents, and siblings should maintain a respectful distance from the main pool and refrain from talking to the coaches until their practice time.


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Swim Meet Supervision

Younger swimmers (10 & under) must sit with their age group area during a meet. "Dragon Keepers" monitor each age group and line up swimmers for the coaches 2-3 events prior to their scheduled event. Parents of all age groups should check with their swimmers 5 events prior to their event to make sure they are ready (goggles, swim caps, etc.). It is extremely disappointing for swimmers, parents and coaches when swimmers miss events. Coaches and Dragon Keepers cannot go in search of swimmers.


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Swimming offers a great opportunity to compete in a friendly atmosphere and promotes team spirit. Please encourage your swimmer(s) to focus on their individual progress and to congratulate those who have had a "good swim". If there is ever a question about a particular issue or call, the issue should be brought to the attention of a team manager or coach in an appropriate manner. Please remind your swimmer(s) that they are held accountable for their actions and behavior. Our swim coaches are to be given the same respect extended to any other coach, in any other sport.


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Team Organization

Coaching Staff: The Dragons coaching staff usually consists of three or four coaches; one Head coach and two or three Assistant Coaches. Coaches are responsible for conducting practices including disciplining swimmers when necessary, and entering swimmers in meets.

Volunteer Staff: All other staff is comprised of volunteers; these include a Team Manager, a Volunteer Coordinator, a Web Site Administrator, a Treasurer, an Equipment Manager, and a Concessions Manager. These positions may be consolidated and assigned to a single manager. These volunteers handle the business of the team, parent/swimmer questions and any other issues that may arise.

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During the regular season, every family is expected to sign-up for, and complete 4 volunteer assignments, regardless of the number of meets attended. If your child is selected to attend the Championship Meet, you will also be asked to volunteer for this meet in addition to volunteering during the regular season.

Your registration is not complete until you have signed up for your four volunteer assignments. Volunteers will be sent a confirmation email prior to their meet assignment and should check in with the Volunteer Coordinator at the meets.


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Parent Volunteer Committees

If you wish to offer your help with other areas beyond the standard volunteer assignments, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteer opportunities may exist for the Swim-a-Thon and the End of Season Party. We may also need someone to be in charge of Trophies & Awards, Spirit, and Team Photos.


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Our concession stand prides itself on offering a large selection of quality goodies. This is our major team fundraiser. We offer hamburgers, fresh fruit, raw veggies, snow cones, and other snacks. Our parent volunteers help at the concession stand in two hour shifts during our home meets. It's a great place to stay out of the sun and still be able to get away and cheer for your swimmer during his/her event.


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Every effort will be made to keep you informed. Please be sure you have provided an accurate e-mail address and phone number on your registration form. We will also post all information on our web-site: Please check this regularly for time changes, weather updates, etc. This will enable you to get up to the minute information. Additionally, each family has a folder that is kept in file box at the pool entrance. Please check your folders and the web-site daily.

We ask that parents refrain from communicating with coaches and swimmers during practice. Not only is it a distraction for your swimmer and the coaches but it also a distraction for the whole group. Leave a note, send an e-mail/text or call your team representative or Coach with questions or concerns.


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Meet Attendance

To let the coaches know that your child will be available for a meet, you must RSVP online. Please check the calendar on the web site for RSVP deadlines. Reminders will also be emailed as we get close to the RSVP deadlines. If you do not RSVP for a meet, we will assume you’re your swimmer(s) will not be attending. Instructions on how to RSVP can be found on the website in the "Meets" menu item.

***Special Note about the Championship Meet – We are limited to the number of swimmers we can take to this meet. Therefore, it is crucial for you to note your swimmer’s availability


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Mock Meet

Prior to the first official dual meet, there will be a timing meet with either Deerfield only swimmers or a mock meet with another team. The purpose of the "meet" is to get base times for the swimmers. These times not only help the coaches make decisions as to which swimmers should swim which events, but they provide your swimmer with their beginning times for the season. This is the time that your swimmer can work to better throughout the season.

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General Meet Information

The coaches decide which events your swimmer(s) will participate in. Each swimmer may swim a maximum of 3 individual events (freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, or individual medley) and 2 relay events (freestyle and medley relay). The 6 & under group only competes in freestyle and backstroke. The decision in assigning events is based on the swimmer's capabilities and practice ethic. Our warm-ups will be 1-2 hours prior to the scheduled meet start time. Please arrive on time and check-in at the Dragon’s check-in table as soon as you arrive. A volunteer will check your swimmer(s) off the list. Please be sure not to leave the meet until you have double-checked to make sure your swimmer is not swimming in a relay (see heat sheets).


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“Swimming Up”

The league permits swimmers to “Swim Up” two age groups. If we lack enough swimmers in an age group, the coaches may decide to swim someone up for strategic reasons. In some cases, even a swimmer placing last will score points for the team.


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Heat Sheet (program of events) 

A master copy of the heat sheet will be posted on the web site so that swimmers and parents know which events their swimmers will participate in. Please be aware that relay entries are always subject to change. Parents should bring a waterproof, permanent marker to the meet to write their swimmer’s event numbers, heats, and lanes on their forearm for quick reference. No other markings should be on the swimmers. Please print the heat sheet and bring it with you to the meet. Most teams will not have heat sheets available for purchase.


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Dual Meet Schedule 

The swim season starts out with a "splash" with the first meet taking place early in the season, so starting practices as soon as coaching is available is crucial. There are four dual meets against other teams, followed by a Championship Meet at the end of the season. Each event may have more than one heat of swimmers depending on the number of lanes in the pool and the number of swimmers entered in the event. Swimmers 10 years old and younger will receive a “heat” ribbon based on their finish at the end of their heat. The top three overall times from each team earns points for their team in that event. The team with the most points wins! The top six swimmers in each event will also receive a “meet” ribbon. The “meet” ribbons will be distributed at practice by the Coaches following the meet. Location, dates, and times, of all swim meets will be posted on the web site and at the pool.


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Championship Meet

Each of the four Divisions of the Lone Star Summer Swim League participates in a Championship Meet where all teams in a division compete against one another. This event is exciting, fun for all, and lasts approximately 5-6 hours. It is typically held on a Saturday or Sunday at the Josh Davis Natatorium. This event marks the official end of the swim season. While we want all swimmers to participate, we are limited to the number of swimmers we can take to this meet. Times, ability to compete legally in a particular stroke, attendance and work ethic are all considerations for those swimmers who are selected to attend. The final decision as to which swimmers will compete in the championship meet is left up to the coaching staff.

Consideration is given to all those eligible to compete. So, please consider making your vacation plans after the Championship Meet so that your swimmer(s) may have the opportunity to participate.

Individual swimmers may swim a maximum of 3 individual events and 2 relay events. However, each team is limited to a certain number of entries in each event so not all swimmers will swim the maximum number of individual events allowed.

If you RSVP’d that you will be attending the championship meet and your plans change, please email the Team Manager as soon as possible. If not, another swimmer will miss out on the chance to attend the championship meet.


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Handling Disqualifications a.k.a. DQ's

Every swimmer, novice or experienced, may be disqualified from time to time. The sport of swimming requires that each stroke be performed according to certain rules. At times, swimmers will make mistakes. Some will be simple and easily corrected with practice. When a DQ is observed, a Stroke & Turn Judge will raise their hand. They will write up a DQ slip which is sent to the scorer’s table. The DQ slips will be provided to the coaches for follow-up during practice.

Explain to your swimmer(s) that disqualification is a possibility and that they should give their coach their attention during his/her explanation of the infraction in order to learn from their mistake. Some children become very upset at getting disqualified. Remember that all officials are volunteers and parents like you. In the event of a disqualification, keep your cool. All questions concerning DQ’s are to be addressed to the Coaches in a calm manner. If the parents remain calm, the kids will too. In the sport of swimming, arguing with an official is not tolerated.


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Once a year, the Team hosts a fundraiser to help cover operating expenses and improvements to the pool. The event is on the last day of school during practice. It has been a fun and productive way for kids to increase their stamina. Come for the food, fun and games and let's help our swimmers reach their goals! 

We hope that each swimmer tries their best to make the goal number of laps set by the coaches, and that parents cheer them on.


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Rain Out Days

A news item will be posted on the website and emailed to the team to inform you of any cancellations. A sign will also be posted on the front door of the recreation center. Practices and meets will go on as scheduled unless there is lightning or it’s too cold. Unless otherwise notified, all swim meets are on!


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Swimmer of the Week

Two swimmers, one boy and one girl, from each age group will be acknowledged for their work ethic, notable improvements, good sportsmanship, etc. by the coaches. These swimmers will be honored with the "Swimmer of the Week" yard sign that can be displayed in front of their homes and their names will be listed on the website.


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End of Season Party and Awards Banquet

The Team hosts a party for the swimmers and their families at the pool with games, music, food, prizes, and awards for all swimmers. A rain date may be necessary in the event of poor weather. This has always been a fun event and all families are encouraged to attend to say good-bye to the coaching staff. Check the calendar on the web site for the date and time.


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Code of Conduct - Children’s Section

As a member of the Deerfield Swim Team, my swimmer(s) will:
  • Follow instructions given by coaches at practice, meets and other activities.
  • Display proper respect and sportsmanship toward coaches, swimmers, officials and the public.
  • Be respectful of other’s possessions and property and will refrain from activities that may cause damage to either (parents are financially responsible for any damage their children may cause).

My swimmer(s) will understand that:

  • Physical or verbal harassment of others is strictly prohibited.
  • The possession or use of alcohol, tobacco products, and controlled substances is prohibited.
  • Inappropriate public displays of affection are prohibited.

My swimmer(s) are expected to:

  • Show up for practice and meets on time.
  • Show up for their events at meets and if unable to complete events, notify a coach or manager.
  • Refrain from using inappropriate language.
  • Follow all pool and facility rules at practice and meets.
  • Refrain from disruptive behavior at practice and meets.


Failure to comply with the Deerfield Swim Team Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action at the coaches’ and/or managers’ discretion. This may include but is not limited to a verbal warning, removal from a practice or meet, ineligibility to participate in an event or meet, and dismissal from the team.


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Code of Conduct - Parent’s Section

As a Deerfield Swim Team parent, I am expected to:

  • Display proper respect and sportsmanship toward swim team members, coaches, officials and the public.
  • Refrain from disruptive behavior at practice and meets.
  • Be respectful of the coaches’ time during practice, meets or other events.
  • Follow all pool and facility rules at practice and meets.
  • Accompany and provide supervision to children 10 years of age and under.
  • Be financially responsible for any damage my children may cause.


Failure to comply with the Deerfield Swim Team Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action at the coaches’ and/or managers’ discretion. This may include but is not limited to a verbal warning, removal from a practice or meet, ineligibility to participate in an event or meet, and dismissal from the team.


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