Thursday, April 01, 2010

2010 Season

It is with much sadness that I inform you that I will not be returning to my position with the YMCA this summer. This page will no longer be updated, however, I will keep all the old information stored here indefinitely, including the results from the last two years and the official's videos. Thank you for your past support and I wish you and your swimmers the very best!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Championship Warm-Up Schedule

The pool deck/lawn will be open for setup at 12 noon Friday July 31st.

Attention parents! Everyone should plan on arriving at the pool by 4:00 pm on Friday, and by 7:00 am on Saturday, regardless of which warm-up you are scheduled to be a part of. If your coach tells you to come even earlier, then you should follow their instructions. It is important that you give yourself plenty of time to park, check in with your coach, set up tents & chairs, buy a heat sheet, and mark your swimmer's event/heat/lane. I'll post more about this later, but I just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware that there is a lot more going on during Warm-Ups than just warming up. If this is your first championship swim meet, the most important thing you need to know is to be early!

Friday - July 31, 2009 - 8 & Under Championship

1st Warm-Up 4:10-4:30 pm

Lanes 1-3 Bell Road
Lanes 4-5 Wynlakes
Lanes 6-8 Southeast Y

2nd Warm-Up 4:30-4:50 pm

Lane 1 Deer Creek
Lanes 2-3 Grandview/Greenville
Lanes 4-5 Wetumpka
Lanes 6-7 Maxwell
Lane 8 East Y

1st call for swimmers will be 4:45 pm - Competition will begin at 5:00 pm

Saturday - August 1, 2009 - 9 & Over Championships

1st Warm-Up 7:10-7:30 am

Lanes 1-2 Deer Creek
Lanes 3-6 Maxwell
Lanes 7-8 East Y

2nd Warm-Up 7:30-7:50 am

Lanes 1-2 Grandview
Lanes 3-8 Bell Road

3rd Warm-Up 7:50-8:10 am

Lane 1 Wynlakes
Lanes 2-5 Southeast Y
Lanes 6-7 Wetumpka
Lane 8 Greenville

1st call for swimmers will be 8:05 am - Competition will begin at 8:20 am

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heat Sheet Ads

It's not too late to purchase space in the heat sheet for an ad or to show support for your swimmer or team. I must receive your copy by early Thursday morning in order to include it. Proceeds will go to either the Montgomery YMCA Barracudas or the Montgomery YMCA Summer Swim League, your choice. For more information contact

Full page $65
Half page $40
1/4 page $25
1/8 page or business card $15

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2009 Championship

The MYSSL 2009 Championship is less than two weeks away! Read the meet invitation for full details. If you are not attending, now is the time to let your coach know. Unnecessary entries can negatively impact your teams score, so inform your coach if you know your child cannot attend. We have some really cool new awards this year! I look forward to seeing everyone there.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Tonight's Meet @ East Y

There is a 25% chance of storms this afternoon, HOWEVER, the meet will not be cancelled unless thunder and lightning prevent us from getting in the pool until after 6:30. In other words, even if there is bad weather, we will delay the start of the meet until as late at 6:30 or 7:00.

If it is storming in your area this afternoon, please check here for updates. I will do my best to keep you informed on the status of any delay or cancellation. Remember, it may be storming in one part of town but beperfectly clear at the meet location. So unless you hear otherwise, plan to be at the East Y by 5:00 for warmups. If there is a delay we will notify you here as soon as possible.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tonight's Meet Cancelled

The meet tonight at Wynlakes Country Club has been cancelled due to bad weather in the area. Please contact your coach for rescheduling information.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tonight's meet in Wetumpka

Due to the threat of inclement weather and power outages affecting the setup of the meet, tonight's meet has been rescheduled. Please check the meet schedule to the left for details.

Thank you for your patience,


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Official Thoughts :)

There are two main reasons why we have officials at summer league swim meets. The first is the most obvious: to provide fair competition. Imagine a breaststroke race where one swimmer swims correctly while the other flutter kicks the whole way. It is only fair to the legal swimmer to disqualify the flutter kicker, especially if that flutter kick resulted in a faster time for the swimmer. Having officials on deck ensures a fair outcome for all swimmers.

The other reason for officials is less obvious. Because human reaction time can result in watch time variations of three tenths of a second (or more) we always have at least two officials recording the order of finish of each race. Without this, approximately 20% of the results are wrong due to variations in timer reaction time and the occasional timer error. Timers aren't perfect, and they sometimes don't notice that the watch didn't start until after the race is over. Without officials recording the order of finish there is no way to know what result to give that swimmer. Also, when races are really close the watch times do not always reflect the true outcomes, and the order of finish is necessary to determine the true winner.

I say all this because I think there is a misconception about the purpose of the official. If we care about the fairness of the competition, and more importantly the accuracy of the results then we have to have 4-6 officials at each swim meet. No experience is necessary, although a small amount of training is required. (I personally think that being an official is much easier and more fun than working in bullpen or clerk of course.) I will be happy to conduct as many training classes as necessary. There are links to training videos on the website. If you would like further information you may contact me at

Finally, a big thank you to those of you who have been to the training classes and/or worked at a meet. Every year I strive to make this program better and better, and your contributions are greatly appreciated!

See you at the pool...


Friday, June 12, 2009

A word about the weather...

I wish I had the power to control the weather. It takes myself and your coaches many, many hours of work to put together a swim meet, and I hate to see all that effort go to waste, but thunder and lightning are a fact of life in Alabama in the summer. Pools must close 30 minutes following each occurrence of thunder, and 60 minutes for lightning. This is for your safety, and is required by the facility's insurance company.

It is our goal for each team to be able to complete at least 3 of the 4 meets scheduled, so a meet that is cancelled early is not automatically made up. If your team is rained out more than once, we will fit you into another meet (or create a new one) later in the season.

Thank you to all the volunteers!


Timeline for Friday and Saturday Meets!

Friday June 12 @ East Y

5:00 pm Warm-up begins

5:00 pm Officials, Head Clerk, Clerk and Starter report for duty
5:30 pm Head Timer, Head Bullpen and Head Runner report for duty
5:40 pm Bullpen report for duty
5:50 pm Timers and Card Runners report for duty

5:50 pm Call for swimmers for first events
6:00 pm Competition begins

Saturday June 13 @ Southeast Y

7:00 am Warm-up begins

7:00 am Officials, Head Clerk and Starter report for duty
7:30 am Head Timer, Head Bullpen and Head Runner report for duty
7:40 am Bullpen report for duty
7:50 am Timers and Card Runners report for duty

7:50 am Call for swimmers for first events
8:00 am Competition begins!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Official's Training Workshops

Thursday June 11 4:00-5:00 pm @ Southeast Y

This workshop will give a general explanation of how swim meets work and the general duties of the various volunteer positions, but will mainly focus on the responsibilities of the official and finish judge. I highly recommend this meeting for all new swim parents and anyone who may work as an official, especially those attending the meets Friday night and Saturday morning.

Friday June 12 5:00-6:00 pm @ East Y (during warm-ups)

This is the second part of the official's training workshop. We will show a video that details all the rules of swimming, and your questions will be answered by a certified official. Anyone who works as an official should attend this class at least once.

Saturday June 13 7:00-8:00 am @ Southeast Y (during warm-ups)

This is the second part of the official's training workshop. We will show a video that details all the rules of swimming, and your questions will be answered by a certified official. Anyone who works as an official should attend this class at least once.

I look forward to seeing all of you!


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Officials' Training Classes

Dear Swim Parents,

The first swim meets of the season are days away, and I want to take this opportunity to welcome back returning families and introduce myself to all the new parents. My name is Emily Giles, and I have been coordinating the YMCA Summer Swim League for the past 5 or 6 years. It is a joy to get to know all the parents, coaches, and swimmers, and witness the growth and development of your precious children. It is a great honor to be able to contribute to their health and well-being. 

As you may or may not know, swim competitions require heavy parent participation. It is impossible to conduct a swim meet without the help of at least 20 parent volunteers each meet. Therefore, it is a league requirement that each family provide a volunteer at least once throughout the season. If every parent does their fair share, no one should have to volunteer more than twice per season. There are sometimes special circumstances that prohibit some parents from volunteering, and we truly appreciate those that help over and above what is expected.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to talk to your coach or team parent and find out how you can help.

Most volunteer positions can be learned in just a few minutes at the swim meet, but there are a few positions that require a bit more training. One of those positions is that of the official, or judge. This is a very important position, and helps ensure fair competition and accurate results. Many people are afraid to accept this role, but let me assure you that it is not difficult, and can be a fun and rewarding way to participate. 

Each team will need to have at least one trained official for every ten swimmers, so it is important that as many parents as possible are trained. Although we can train you during the swim meet, it is much more effective to do this ahead of time as a group. So, this year we will be offering training classes for officials and finish judges. I highly encourage these classes for ALL returning swim parents and new parents with previous swim experience, unless you are already committed to working another position such as Head Clerk of Course or Starter. Not only will you learn what you need to know to officiate our swim meets, but you will also be better informed about the rules of the sport your child is participating in. Remember, the more people we have trained, the less those people will actually have to work!

So far we have two classes scheduled, with more to follow:

Friday, June 5 @ Bell Road YMCA 6:00 pm
Monday, June 8 @ Wetumpka YMCA 5:00 pm

If you plan on attending one of these classes, send an email to with your name, phone number, and the team you represent. This class is also a must for coaches/assistant coaches/parent helpers who need to brush up on swimming rules.

If you cannot attend one of these classes, but would like to attend one in the future, please contact me to let me know when the best time/location would be for you. 

See you at the pool!

Emily Giles
MYSSL Coordinator

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New this season...

In past seasons, swimmers were able to swim 3 individual events and 2 relay events at each swim meet. Starting this season, swimmers 10 & Under may still swim up to 3 individual events, and swimmers 11 & over may swim 4 individual events at each meet. 

The 6 & Under Breaststroke has been removed. Also, the 11-12 Breaststroke has been changed to a 25 yard event. The order of events has also changed. Click here if you would like to see the full list.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Volunteers and our first meet...

Our first meet is about a week away! If you haven't done so already, please check out the links to your left under the heading "Volunteer Assignments." You will find specific volunteer requirements for each meet, as well as volunteer job descriptions and pool layouts to help you get a sense of where everyone should be and what they will be doing on the pool deck. 

Swim meets are not possible without parent participation. It is a league requirement that each swimmer be represented by a parent volunteer at least once. If everyone does their fair share, no family should have to work more than two sessions per swimmer. 

As you may or may not know, warm-ups begin an hour before competition, and during this hour last minute changes are made to entries and volunteers are organized and instructed. This hour goes by very quickly, especially during the first few meets when we have a lot of new parents to show the ropes! Therefore, it is very important that all swimmers and volunteers be available at the start of warm-ups, even if their team is warming up second. (When swimmers are not warming up, they should be with their coaches/team parents getting their event numbers and relay assignments.)

We will make announcements calling for volunteers at different times, so please listen up. Here is a tentative timeline for Saturday's meet at Bell Road:

6:30-7:00 AM Pool Setup * 7:00-7:20 AM 1st Warm-up * 7:20-7:40 AM 2nd Warm-up * 7:50 AM Swimmers begin lining up * 8:00 AM Competition

All volunteers (and swimmers) should sign in at Clerk of Course as soon as possible after they arrive to avoid any delay in the start of competition. They should then report back at the following times:

7:00 AM - Head Clerk, Clerk & Starter report for duty (at Clerk of Course)
7:20 AM - Head Timer, Head Bullpen, Head Runner report for duty (at Clerk of Course)
7:30 AM - Officials report for duty (at Clerk of Course)
7:40 AM - Bullpen report for duty (at Clerk of Course)
7:45 AM - Timers report for duty (at starting end of pool)

As always, if you have any questions about these procedures or would like to volunteer, please check with your coach.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Welcome back!

The 2009 season is about to begin! The meet schedule and order of events have been posted, and more information will be coming soon. Check back often...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

2008 Wrap-up

I want to thank everyone for your support at this year's championship meet. The volunteers this year were the best ever!

Congratulations to this year's record breakers:

Maxwell 8 & Under Girls 100 Medley Relay Team

Hayden Tipton (Wynlakes)

Reggie Patterson (Southeast Y)

Mary Stuart Tipton (Wynlakes)

Colton Smith (Maxwell)

Theresa Smith (Maxwell)

Ryan Mangum (Maxwell)

Anna Sedlak (Bell Road)

Perry Ann Copeland (Bell Road)

Winston Morgan (Southeast)

Morgan Lee (Bell Road)

Southeast Y 9-10 Boys 100 Medley Relay Team

Bell Road 11-12 Girls 200 Medley Relay Team

Bell Road 13-14 Boys 200 Medley Relay Team

Bell Road 15-18 Girls 200 Medley Relay Team

Amaris Smith (Maxwell)

Josiah Smith (Maxwell)

Bell Road 9-10 Girls 100 Freestyle Relay Team

Southeast Y 9-10 Boys 100 Freestyle Relay Team

The Montgomery YMCA Barracudas, Montgomery's only year-round swim team, will be hosting a stroke clinic and team tryout Monday through Thursday, August 18-21, 2008. The cost of the clinic is $40. For more information, call the MYB hotline at 273-8351.

If you haven't done so already, please join our Google Groups email list. This list will be the first to receive information concerning next year's season.

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know how much I enjoyed getting to know your families this summer. Seeing their faces when they win a close race or get a trophy or simply improve their time makes all the hard work worth it. I will be in Germany for the next couple weeks, so Terry Joye will be getting the last of the ribbons out to the coaches. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me and I will get back with you upon my return.

Once I'm back from my trip, I will be job hunting, so if anyone knows of an available position that I may be right for, please send me an email.

And again, thank you to all the swimmers, coaches, and parents for making this such a wonderful season!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Volunteer Schedule & Warm-up Lane Assignments

Championship Volunteers

Thank you in advance!

Warm-up Schedule

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

East Y Meet rescheduled for Tuesday 7/15/08

Due to multiple storms, the meet originally scheduled for Friday, July 11 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 15 @ the East Y, except for Greenville, who will swim Saturday the 12th (check with Coach Becky.) If you are unable to swim Tuesday, please let your coach know ASAP! I apologize to the inconvenience this caused our out of town teams.

Join our mailing list!

If you haven't done so already, please join our email list. On the left you will see a link under Google Groups, type your email address in the text box and click "Subscribe to MYSSL," then follow the directions.

This list will only be used to send information of interest to Montgomery area swim families, such as meet schedules, meet information, and upcoming stroke clinics or major competitions that are in the area that you may want to attend. Plus, you will be the first to know the details for next season!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

THANK YOU volunteers! and some notes...

Phew! We've gotten through the first round of meets! Everything is running smoothly so far, and a large part of that is due to you, the parents who volunteer. As you may have noticed, swim competitions require a large number of workers in order to make them a success. If every parent in the league pitches in, you shouldn't have to work more than once or twice. There are many parents who work almost every meet--they need your help! If you haven't volunteered yet, please talk to your coach. No experience necessary!

I also wanted to inform the swimmers and parents that as the season progresses, we will get stricter in our observance of the rules of swimming. This is to make the competition fair, but also to prepare them for the City Championship! We are still being lenient with the younger and less experienced swimmers, but will become less lenient in the next few weeks. Please support our stroke judges in their decisions as this is one of the most difficult, but necessary, jobs at a meet. We always need more stroke judges so if you are interested in being trained for this (it is not as hard as it sounds) please see your coach!

Also parents, if you know you are not going to be attending a swim meet, please let your coach know ahead of time. It takes a lot of time, energy and supplies to set up your child's races, so please let us know if they are not going to swim. Since everyone has now had the chance to swim at at least one meet, we are going to expect fewer errors in the meet entry process. This means that if your coach requires you to opt in for a meet, and you do not and your child isn't entered, your child cannot be entered late. The only changes we will make to entries at the meet are those that resulted from coaches or entry error. Parents, it is your responsibility to let your coach know which meets you will or will not attend. Especially if your child is on a large team! Please check with your coach if you have any questions about this.

Finally, I just wanted to let everyone know that since we are using meet programs this year, it is crucial that events/heats not be combined. The only exceptions are when they are already combined prior to the meet and listed as such in the meet program OR if only one swimmer is in a race ALONE. A lone swimmer may be moved to another race, provided his/her card is marked accordingly AND the starter is informed. I know it seems like combining heats will move things along faster, but it actually takes longer to get the cards corrected, and is confusing to the stroke and place judges. Also, if the cards are not corrected properly, moving swimmers makes it very hard to determine the results. We expect that swimmers will occasionally swim in the wrong heat/lane, but please don't add to the confusion by combining races unless absolutely necessary.


emily...who apologizes to the parents who help her again and again and she still can't remember their names...i promise i'll know all your kid's names, age, best stroke, and maybe even some of their times by the end of the summer :) but for some reason it takes me longer to remember YOUR names, so please be patient with me!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Swim Meets - What to Bring

Having the right equipment can make swim competitions less stressful. If you have any specific questions, any experienced swimmer, parent or coach can help. Here is a list of the basics:

Competition swimwear - you don't need to invest in expensive suits, but it is important that your suit fits well and doesn't create drag

Swim cap(s) - this is a matter of personal preference, but is helpful for girls or boys with longer hair

Goggles - always have an extra pair handy, and make sure that they have both been worn at practice so that they are properly fitted and don't come off when you dive in

Towels - more than one

Sunscreen - be sure to apply before you leave home so it has time to sink in before warm-ups

Refreshments - lots and lots of water and/or sports drinks and a few snacks as well (some pools have concession stands, but it is best to come prepared with healthy choices as well)

Lawn chairs - spectator seating is usually limited

Canopy - there is never enough shade

Sharpie marker - to mark events on the body (or body art)

Fun stuff - to pass the time between events

Miscellaneous - camera, money, comfortable shoes/sandals, umbrella

I hope this list helps. Feel free to comment if there is anything I forgot!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Meet Schedule - Revised

In order to accomodate pool schedules, the meet schedule has been revised slightly. Please make a note of the changes. Also, all Bell Road meets (varsity & jr varsity) will be held at the Bell Road Y pool.