Frequently Asked Questions
Last Updated: 18 February 2017
Q: When is the first practice of the season?
A: The first practice is the Tuesday after Memorial Day and will begin 7 PM.
Q: When is the first morning practice?
A: It is morning after the last day of school for Fairfax County Schools.
Q: When is the first meet of the season?
A: The first meet of the season is the second Saturday after swim team practice begins.
Q: When are IM’s?
A: IM’s are held the second Wednesday prior to the last dual meet of the season.
Q: When is the All Star meet?
A: The All-Star meet is the very last meet of the season, which is week nine.
Q: When are the team parties?
A: Team parties are held the Sunday after the team’s last dual meet. Sometimes the team having the bye during last week may need to have their party at the same time as the other eight teams depending upon the availability of lifeguards provided by the league.
Q: Why isn’t the schedule posted before we register for the season?
A: It takes a tremendous amount of time to prepare the schedule and must be approved by the RSTA Board of Directors before it can be sent to RA. RA can only approve the schedule once all summer activities occurring at all pools have been submitted which is normally not until April.
Q: How are byes determined for the season?
A: All teams will have the same bye week for the 2017 season.
Q: How does the league determine which teams do not swim during the July 4th weekend?
A: .There will be no meets on Saturday, July 1st, 2017.
Q:What is the process for a Deck Change?
A: A coach of a team wishing to have a swimmer swim an event the swimmer is not scheduled to swim must submit a deck change form to both a manager from their team and the opposing team to sign. The form is then taken to the clerk of course prior to the first heat of the Boy’s 8 and under for the stroke the swimmer is going to swim.
Q: Is the Meet Referee involved with a deck change?
A: The Meet Referee is NOT involved in the deck change process at all, other than to see that the RSTA Policy is correctly applied and that the heat is correctly seeded if there is confusion at the blocks.
Q: Why are deck changes needed?
A: Meets are not reseeded after the league computer coordinator submits the meet data to the teams on Friday of that week of the meet.
A swimmer was not available to swim in the meet or the event when coaches were required to submit their list of swimmers to the league computer coordinator by Wednesday of the week of the meet and the swimmer becomes available to swim.
A swimmer injures a part of their body needed to swim a particular stroke and is switched to compete in another stroke that will not cause additional injury to that part of the body.
Q: What happens if a deck change is submitted for a stroke after the beginning of the first heat of the boys 8 and under for that stroke?
A: The deck change will not be honored!
Q: What happens if a swimmer accidentally swims four individual events because the clerk of course did not realize the swimmer is scheduled for three individual events?
A: The swimmer’s results for the freestyle will not count
Q: Why must the meet starter, meet referee, and stroke/turn officials attend an official’s training session each year even if they attended previous year’s sessions?
A: This meeting ensures that all officials participating in these roles are knowledgeable of the current rules. This meeting allows veteran officials to provide insight to those who are joining their ranks. It allows officials to ask questions and clarify any questions they may have prior to the season.
Q: Why must a stroke and turn official serve as an observer for three meets before they can serve on their own for a meet if they have not officiated in that capacity for RSTA in the past?
A: RSTA wants to ensure that all officiating is consistent throughout the league and that all officials are confident in their role. The league owes it to its swimmers that all officials are experienced and qualified to officiate in that position.
Q: If it is raining outdoors, who will make a decision where meets will be held?
A: Reston Association (RA) makes a decision whether or not the pools will be opened.
Q: Why do all swimmers need to check in with the clerk of course?
A: By checking in with the clerk of course we can keep the meet moving instead of delays waiting for swimmers.
Q: Why is it necessary to disqualify six and seven year-old swimmers during the first meet in both the butterfly and breast stroke?
A: RSTA is a developmental league and therefore it is necessary for officials to ensure the swimmer is swimming the stroke properly. If the officials did not correct the swimmers, many swimmers would not learn to swim the stroke properly.
Q: Why doesn’t every swimmer receive an RSTA trophy as in years past?
A: At the end of the 2009 swim season, the RSTA Board received suggestions from a couple of team managers to do away with distributing trophies to every swimmer because the older swimmers really don’t want them. The Awards Committee sent out a poll to the team managers and the results came back that most teams agreed. In the 2010 swim season, the Awards Committee elected to allow teams to submit numbers to reflect the team’s preference. Some teams have elected to continue giving trophies to all swimmers while others have elected to give trophies to 12 and under only.
Q: My child was disqualified in the Individual Medley or the All Stars Meet. Will he/she receive a participant ribbon?
A: Yes, the ribbon may vary in style from year-to-year, but RSTA distributes participant ribbons to all participants in these events if they did not place or were disqualified.
Q: My child finished first in his/her heat: why didn’t he/she get a first place award?
A: RSTA dual meets may include multiple heats for a given stroke and age group. If your child swam in a heat and placed first in that heat, he or she may have a time that qualifies him/her to be in an A, B, or C swim category. All swimmers in a particular category compete against each other. For example, your child swam in heat 2 against other Category B swimmers, and placed first in that heat. However, his time ended up being an “A” time according to RSTA rules. If the swimmer's time placed first through third within the “A” group swimmers, he/she will receive a ribbon; if not, he/she will not receive a ribbon. Your child should then receive a heat winner ribbon.
Q: My child finished first in his/her heat, why didn’t he/she get a heat winner ribbon?
A: In the RSTA dual meets, if your child swam in a heat AND he/she had a time that qualifies him/her for a first through third place ribbon, he/she may not receive a heat ribbon as well. This may differ among teams. If you have a question about your team’s practice, please contact one of your team manager’s.
Q: What is an Individual Medley?
A: The Individual Medley is a 100-meter event — each swimmer swims 25 meter butterfly, 25 meter backstroke, 25 meter breast stroke, and 25 meter freestyle, in that order.
Q: What is the IM Finals Meet?
A: The Individual Medley (IM) Finals meet is a special RSTA-wide event held once each summer.
Q: Who can participate in the IM Finals meet?
A: RSTA encourages maximum participation in league-wide events. Swimmers who wish to compete in this event and who are deemed capable of doing so by their team coaches may do so. Swimmers must be able to swim four legal strokes and preferably haveat least "B" times in each stroke. Please note the 100-meter IM is a long and strenuous event and may not be suited to the stamina of all swimmers, especially younger and/or less experienced swimmers.
Q: How is the IM Finals meet seeded?
A: Swimmers will be seeded according to a composite time using all four strokes. We strongly encourage any swimmers who participate in the IM Finals meet to have legal times in all four strokes and preferably have no “C” times. If for some reason a swimmer does not have a time for a stroke (i.e., a meet cancelled due to weather, sickness, etc.), but their coach verifies that they have a legal stroke, then the fastest “C” time for that stroke, gender and age-group from the RSTA 2011 Standards will be used.
Q: What awards are given for the IM Finals meet?
A: Special IM Finals rosette ribbons will be awarded to swimmers placing 1st through 12th. All other swimmers will receive a participant award.
Q: What is the All-Star meet?
A: The All-Star meet is a league-wide event held once each summer and marks the end of the RSTA season. This year, the All-Star meet will be held on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 7:30am at Lake Newport Pool. The rain date is Sunday, July 31st, 2011 at Lake Newport Pool.
Q: Who can participate in the All-Star meet?
A: To the extent possible, the top 12 swimmers in each stroke by gender and age group are invited to compete in the All-Star meet, with the caveat that no swimmer will compete in more than two of the four individual events. This caveat is designed to allow for maximum participation in this league-wide meet. Swimmers may qualify for All-Stars up to and including the last dual meet of the season.
Q: How is the All-Star meet seeded?
A: RSTA has an automated software process to manage the seeding in a fair, equitable, and repeatable manner. The software process seeds the #1 swimmer in fly, back, breast, then free and then seeds the #2 swimmer in that same stroke order, with each swimmer only being selected for two individual events. Once a swimmer has been selected for two events, their name drops out of consideration for the other two events and other swimmers may move up in the overall rankings. Swimmers who are ranked #1 in more than 2 events are the only swimmers given the option of expressing a preference.
Q: Why can’t my child choose what events he or she wants to swim at All-Stars?
A: Allowing swimmers to choose their events complicates the seeding process immensely. Following a standard, automated seeding process ensures the seeding process is fair and equitable for all swimmers and also simplifies and streamlines what in the past was a very complex, error-prone, and labor-intensive method.
Q: Why does my team manager keep asking me if my child will be available for All-Stars?
A: In concert with RSTA’s desire for maximum participation in this special event, we want to see every lane filled at the All-Star meet. If for some reason a swimmer who is ranked in the top twelve is not able to swim, that opens up a spot for another participant. Swimmers ranked beyond #12 are frequently invited to swim at All-Stars. Please, don’t wait until the last minute to let your coach or manager know if you WON’T be available for All Stars -- re-seeding the meet is very complicated and time consuming!
Q: Are there relays at All-Stars?
A: Yes, there are relays at All-Stars. There will be Age-Group Relays as well as Mixed-Age Relays. Swimmers may swim in two individual events and two relays, if they are selected by their coaches for the relays. Note that some swimmers may only be selected for relays and might not swim in individual events.
Q: What awards are given at All-Stars?
A: For individual events, swimmers placing 1–6 will receive medals; those placing 7–12 will receive rosette ribbons. In the relay events, the top three teams will receive medals and places 4–9 will receive rosette ribbons. DQ’s will receive participation awards if the event is swum.