Parent Handbook

Mission Marlins

Parent Handbook



Forward 3

General Information 4

Director positions on executive 4

Annual general meeting (AGM) 5

Apparel 5

Divisions 5

6 and Under division 5

The Coaches 6

Head coach 6

Assistant coach 6

Jr. coach 6

Communication 6

Director- parent coach liasion 7

Problem solving 7

Parents role & code of conduct 7

Volunteering 8

Staying informed 8

The swim meet 9

Timed finals 9

Heats & finals 9

Qualifying for the provincial championship meet 9

Category “o” 10

Relays 10

What to bring to a swim meet 11

Swimmers code of conduct 11

Definition of harrasment / bullying 12

Swim strokes & race proceedures 13

Freestyle 13

Backstroke 13

Breaststroke 13

Butterfly 13

Individual medley (IM) 14

Race proceedures 14

False starts 14

Disqualifications (dq) 14

Protests 15

Awards 15

Awards from individual swim meets 15

Divisional aggrigate Award 15

High point award 15

End of the year  awards banquet 16

Record of achievements  17

2015– 2016 Executive 18

2016 Swim Meets 19




The Marlins are dedicated to the development and promotion of excellence in competitive swimming. We believe this can be done not only through hard work and dedication, but incorporating fun into our everyday activities.

As a volunteer organization, everyone will be strongly encouraged to do his or her fair share towards ensuing a successful swim season.

You belong to a competitive swim club. Although we stress hard work and sportsmanship, we also expect you to have fun. Swimmers swim individually for their own success; they also swim for the Mission Marlins Swim Team, for the Club’s success.

This handbook is meant to be a tool both for new families and those already familiar to the club. New families can find information on all aspects of swim club function and activity. You will have information passed onto you throughout the season from both the executive and the coaches. Please use this handbook to keep all of your pertinent information in so it can be handy any time you need to review it.

Once registered in the Mission Marlins Swim Club, your swimmer will be part of the British Columbia Summer Swimming Association. This is our parent Association and all rules and regulations regarding summer swimming are laid out by the BCSSA. You must be registered with an affiliated club to participate in BCSSA swim meets and activities. The association governs approximately 6 -7,000 athletes throughout the season. You may purchase a rulebook through the BCSSA which will outline all technique rules and regulations governing all of our swim meets. You can reach the BCSSA office @ 604-437-9447, or visit their website @


General Information

The Mission Marlins Swim club is a registered non-profit association. As such, we must follow the rules and regulations set out for non-profit associations in the Society’s Act. You can request a copy of our Constitution and Bylaws from the Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Each year, we hold elections for interested parties to become members of the Board of Directors. It is essential to have an operating board to run the swim club. They are responsible for all aspects of the club from booking pool time, hiring coaches, and taking care of all the financial matters. One of the most important things the board does is fundraising so the club can continue operation. We must pay hourly for pool rental as well as for our coach’s time, so we must fundraise a lot of money throughout the year to continue operating.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A list of this year’s current Board of Directors and contact info is attached at the back of this handbook.

All of the positions on the Board of Directors are elected by the general membership of the club, except for Past President.


Positions on the Board of Directors
















Annual General Meeting

As part of the Society’s Act, we must hold Annual General Meetings where we go over things like our budget for the year, hold club elections etc. We must have a minimum number of club members present to conduct any business. It is very important that all club members attend each of these meetings.


All swimmers will have the opportunity to purchase and wear a club swimsuit at competitions. It makes it easier to identify our swimmers. There may be other team apparel that will be available throughout the year. Team t-shirts are a great way to bolster team spirit – even the parents can join it. See the Director of Apparel for all of the above items.


There are 8 different divisions your child could be slotted into. The cut off date for each division is different, so you must look carefully at the BCSSA age locator for each season to know which division your child will be swimming in. A copy of this is posted on the board at the pool.

6 and Under

To encourage the participation of younger swimmers – most likely siblings to an older swimmer the Fraser Valley Region has a category specifically for 6 and under swimmers. They do a shorter distance for each of their swims, and the swimmers are not disqualified for any of their mistakes. The emphasis is on fun and participation. This category is not recognized throughout the province, so may not be available at swim meets out of our region. For the purposes of the BCSSA, 6 and under swimmers are also Division 1. Swimmers eligible to swim in the 6 and under category are allowed to swim in Division 1 events as long as they do not exceed the limit of events allowed at that particular swim meet. When they swim Division 1 events they accumulate Division 1 points for-aggregate awards (see AWARDS section). A 6 and under swimmer’s time may be used to qualify them for a Division 1 relay team.


The Coaches

Each year, the Board of Directors hires the coaching staff for the season. We do so by carefully screening all applicants for knowledge, skills and ability. When the directors come to their decision, they have hired the coach for their knowledge, skills, and ability for the sport of swimming. We must all respect the fact that coaches are PROFESSIONALS. We did not hire them to have the parents dictate the swimming program to them.

The Head Coach

This person is responsible for the Coaching staff and establishing the overall club program in consultation with their coaching team. The coaches have received the BCSSA Coaches Code of Ethics and will be expected to adhere to this code. The coaches have authority over all aspects of the swimming program. This includes any groupings of swimmers. Some coaches may do so with only age in mind, others do so by age and ability, and others may do so only by ability.

The Assistant Coach

This person is the next -in charge- to the Head Coach. They will have their own groups to coach and their own duties within the coaching unit. If there were such time that the Head Coach cannot fulfill their duties, the Assistant Coach would step in and complete such duties.

The Jr. Coach

This position is for new and developing coaches. They will have their own groups to take charge of. This will be done with the supervision of either the Assistant Coach or the Head Coach. This position tends to be filled with younger coaches who are interested in working their way towards coaching with autonomy.


It is important that you get to know you child’s coach early in the season. Please feel free to speak to them about any concerns you may have or to relay any information pertaining to your swimmer. There will be times that the coaches will be available for questions, but please, we must not disturb them while they are coaching. It is unfair to both the coach and the other swimmers in the water to expect to have a discussion with the coaches during practice times.

You must ensure that you are not interfering in anyway with the coaches and their duties on the pool deck.

The Director – Parent/Coach Liaison

Any matters you would like to have brought forward regarding coaching policy should be done so through this person. This director is the one who is responsible for ongoing communication with the coaches to ensure their needs are being met, as well as communicating with the parents to ensure their need for information is being met.

Problem Solving

Sometimes disagreements arise, please try to distance yourself from the emotions you feel for your child and remember that both the club and the coaches must deal with the entire club. Although you may disagree with a particular situation, it may be better for the club overall. Remember communication is a two way street. The club will do their best to communicate all policies and issues to you, but if we do not know your concerns, or if you do not understand something, we will not know until you ask. There are many seasoned veteran parents around. Ask questions of them. Chances are they have faced a similar situation with one of their children in the past! Again, feel free to call the Parent/Coach Liaison with any questions or concerns you may have.


Parent’s Role and Code of Conduct

Parents are an essential part of the Mission Marlins swim club. You are asked to participate actively in the Club. We could not operate a club like this without the dedication of our parents.

1. To let the coach Coach

The coaches are up to date in the latest techniques and theories and have all the swimmer’s best interests at heart. Our coaches need to focus their attention solely on their swimmers’ during the practices.

2. To recognize you have ONE, the coach has MANY

While you are focused on your child, the coach is responsible for the entire program. Coaches care about each and every swimmer and they must do what is best for the entire program.

3. To make a contribution to the team

Do what you can to support the team. Your participation in fundraising, organizing social activities, assisting with travel arrangement, helping with equipment, running meets, and other support activities strengthens the program while letting your child know that you care and are there for them.

4. To promote the program

Say nothing but good things about your swimmer’s team, the staff, team members, other parents, and especially your children.

5. To applaud good performance

Applaud good performances and effort (meaning action toward excellence). Cheer any good race or good swim whether by your swimmer, his teammates, or anyone else. Draw attention to the pursuit of swimming excellence.

6. To stay off the pool deck

Parents are asked to stay off the pool deck area while their child is swimming. Please watch your children from the viewing areas.

7. Officials

Please refer any problems or disagreements that you have with the officials to the coaches. They are trained to deal with disqualifications, protests etc…



The club always needs volunteers. Volunteers are needed for fund raising projects, the awards banquet, social events, and the operation of swim meets. MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK. If it is only a select few people who will volunteer for the many activities, they will soon burn out and no longer help. The club is here for all of our children which means all must help. Everyone in the club is facing the same problems of having a busy life with our children – we understand not everyone has a LARGE amount of time to dedicate to the club – but all MUST dedicate some. Your contribution is greatly appreciated – it is also a great way to get to know others in the club!  Please watch for volunteers being needed. This can usually be found on the club board in the viewing area.

Staying Informed

IT IS THE CLUB’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO YOU. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO STAY INFORMED. Keep your handbook – it will give you a lot of information about the club and how it operates. We have a BULLETIN BOARD at the Mission Leisure Centre, which will be our central area for information once the summer season has begun. Regular information sheets will be kept there, signup sheet for swim meets, special event days, etc.


There will be a container that is set out at practice times and there will be a slot for each family. It is your responsibility to check that slot often for new information coming out. Our other form of communication is through club e-mails. Please make sure that you read your e-mails from the club on a regular basis.


The Swim Meet

Swim meets are a great experience, but they are different from almost any other sporting event you have probably attended. Depending on the size of the meet, there can be up to 700 competitors there. With this being the case, you never know when your Child’s race is going to be up!  No one can predict how fast or slow a meet is going to go. You should plan on being there for the entire day. There are different formats to swim meets. The Two main ways are “timed finals”, and “heats and finals”.

Timed Finals

Swimmers are “seeded” by their entry time and placed in “heats”. This means that your swimmer will most likely be swimming with others around the same time as theirs for that particular event. The heats are set up because the pool can only accommodate that amount of swimmers at one time. (6 or 8 depending on the pool). The automatic timing system at each lane end will time your swimmer. Their times are then electronically submitted and the swimmers will be rated by their official time. Ribbons are awarded based on the one swim for each event.

Heats and Finals

In this case the swimmers are seeded into their heats, but a method called “circle seeding” is used for the last 3 heats only. The fastest swimmers will be placed in the last 3 heats. #1 fastest will be in the last heat, #2 fastest will be in the second to last heat #3 fastest will be in the third last heat. #4 will then go back to the first heat, #5 to the second last and so on. This is done so all the kids will be challenged to come up with their best swim and hopefully be one of the top 6 (8 in an 8 lane pool) to swim again in the finals. They will be held on the afternoon of each day of the swim meet. Any entries over and above 3 heats will be seeded in heats as explained above. Ribbons will be earned only by those who make the finals.

Qualifying for the Provincial Championship Meet

The top 3 swimmers from each region in each event qualify to swim in the Provincial Championship meet usually held around the middle of August. There is one exception to that rule. There is something that is referred to as a PQT (provincial qualifying time). This is set by the provincial board yearly as well. It is an average of past years 8th place finishers at provincials in that particular event. If your swimmer achieves this in the finals at Regionals, they will be eligible for the provincial championship meet.

Category “0”

There is a limitation of 2 hours in speed swimming that your swimmer can receive training in during the non summer season which is covered by the BCSSA. There are 2 different categories of 0 swimmers, those up to Division 4 and those Division 4 and above. Most clubs do not have a large number of 0 category swimmers, so at many meets, they swim with their summer swimming counterparts, but are awarded ribbons based on their placing with the 0 category that they qualify for. Only at the Regional and Provincial Championship meets do they need to swim separately


There is nothing more exciting than a relay race!  This is when 4 swimmers from their appropriate divisions swim together for one race. There are 2 types of relays – the Freestyle Relay (all swimmers swim freestyle) and the Medley Relay (one swimmers does each stroke – backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and free). Throughout the regular swim meet season, the relay teams may change frequently or you may end up with the same swimmers every swim meet. Please remember to mark down whether or not you are available for relays when you sign up for the swim meet remember though – you are signing up for ANY RELAY that needs your swimmer. Relays count as points for the club during the swim meet. Your swimmer may be bumped up to a different division to help make 4 swimmers for another division.

Relays are always controversial. Remember – it is the coaches decision completely as to who will swim on the relays and where. Our club policy is that the combination of the fastest four swimmers will make up a relay team. One of the four swimmers must be from the division. The other three swimmers to join that swimmer is the fastest combination that is available. If you have any questions about how a relay was formed, or need clarification on the policy, please contact the Head Coach or the Director – Parent/Coach Liaison. They should be able to clarify things for you.

(Note: Please see 6 and under section for parents of 6 and under and Division 1 swimmers)

What to bring to a swim meet


Your tent or RVMost swim meets allow for overnight camping close to the facility. You may want to camp out there for the weekend, or just for the day! They will be full days you know! Most people bring their own tents for shelter and to keep their things in. As of right now we do not have a team tent for communal use but are looking to buy one.


FoodThere are concessions at most swim meets, but a good supply of healthy snacks for everyone will help. Most concessions offer your basic fare of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, pop etc.


Water – plenty of it!As the kids are usually active running around, playing and of course working hard in their swims, it is easy to forget to drink enough water. Keeping hydrated is essential to a good performance in the water and just to keep our bodies functioning properly. Remember, soft drinks etc. do not hydrate you. Water is the best!


Your patience!Swim meets usually start around 6-6:30 am with warm ups, continuing sometimes until 5 or 6 at night. The long days can get to the best of us sometimes.


Lots of clothes! – Even though we do swim meets in the summer months, we DO live in BC! Wet cold swimmers are unhappy swimmers. You want them to be able to keep warm with dry clothes and dry towels to warm up with. Remember – warm feet are essential as well! Please bring lots and lots of towels!!!! (Around 5 towels per swimmer per day!)


SunscreenJugs and Jugs of sunscreen!  Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, and slop on the sunscreen. Remember the UV rays penetrate the clouds. The kids (and parents) are outside almost from sun up to sundown in the outside pools. Protect your skin.


Minor first aid itemsAlthough all pools will have a first aid room and attendant on duty, you sometimes have to set up a fair distance from the pool area. Better safe than sorry!


More patience



Your volunteer timeSwim meets take many volunteers to run. There are many volunteers that work behind the deck area that you never see during the swim meet. Many hands make light work!  Each club is responsible for manning 1 lane (min) for timing for the entire meet. Please make sure you sign up to time at each swim meet. Sign up early to get the time you would like!  See the Director of Officials for the signup sheet for each meet.


Swimmers Code of Conduct

Swimmers are representing the Mission Marlins Swim Club at both practices and swim meets. Proper conduct is required at all times while on the pool deck or at swim meets. Co-operation with the District of Mission staff is essential for a good working relationship between the club and the District. Please note that the District has a strict policy regarding street shoes on the pool deck and according to Health Regulations they cannot allow people with street shoes to enter the pool deck area.


Swimmers who do not follow the rules and regulations set out by the District will be removed from the practice time. Swimmers must respect and obey the coach’s authority while on the pool deck and behave in a respectable manner. Those who display

such behavior will be disciplined in the appropriate manner for the behavior they have displayed. Although it is not common, there are some times that a child may be removed from participation in the activity, whether it be a practice or a swim meet.

1. Swim for the fun of it!

2. Never argue with official’s decisions, let your coach ask any necessary questions.

3. Work equally hard for yourself and for the club. The club’s performance will benefit    and so will your own.

4. Treat all competitors, as you yourself would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of any swimmer.

5. Co-operate with your coaches, teammates and opponents for without them you wouldn’t have a competition.

Definition of Harassment/Bullying

The following items are considered to be bullying

PHYSICAL AGGRESSION Spitting, pushing, tripping, hitting, kicking~ hair pulling, hiding personal possessions, damaging property attacking family or friends, coercion, threatening with a weapon.

VERBAL AGGRESSION Teasing, name calling, mocking, sarcasm, put downs, leaving nasty or threatening notes, threatening phone calls, swearing.

NON VERBAL – BODY LANGUAGE glaring, snickering, gestures and making faces.

INTIMIDATION Stealing, extortion, pranks, dares (public challenge), bribery, threats, locking in a confined space, swarming, anonymous phone calls, gossip , breaking confidence.

DISCRIMINATION Put downs about cultural differences, gender harassment, insults about appearance, racist/sexist/homophobic taunting and alienation.

ISOLATION AND ALIENATION Exclude from a group, spreading rumours, humiliation (public or private), undermining, telling secrets.


Swim Strokes and Race Procedures


In freestyle events, any style or stroke or combination of strokes may be used, although, the most common stroke to use is front crawl. At the start and at the turn, any part of the swimmer’s body must touch the end wall


The swimmers start on their back, gripping the blocks, toes on the wall and not in the gutter. At each turn and at the finish the competitor must touch the end wall. A swimmer is permitted to roll beyond the vertical only after the touch, and for the purpose of turning, otherwise the swimmer must remain on their back without the shoulders going past the vertical plane.


The swimmer starts from the blocks. After the start, the swimmer may do 1 dolphin kick which must be started after the initial pull and be completed before the pull is completed, then one breaststroke pull and one proper kick under the water. The head must break the water surface before another pull in started. During the swim, except for the start and the turn, the swimmers head must break the flat surface of the water during each stroke. Both sides of the body must remain symmetrical throughout the swim. After the turn, the swimmer is allowed to repeat the same kicks and pulls as the start of the swim. Swimmers must leave the wall at no more than a 90°angle. The swimmer must use a whip kick and their toes must be pointed out – no other kick is permitted. Swimmers must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously at, above or below the water level.


The swimmer starts from the blocks. Swimmers are allowed to dolphin kick under the water off of the start and the turn. Both arms must be brought forward over the water simultaneously and brought backwards through the water simultaneously. Swimmers can use either the dolphin or whip kick and may switch from one to the other at will. The flutter kick is not permitted. The feet and legs must move simultaneously – no alternating movement is allowed. Swimmers must leave the wall at no more than a 90°angle. At each turn and the finish, swimmers must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously at, above or below the water level.

Individual Medley (IM)

The swimmer does all four of the strokes during one race. They will do the strokes in this order, FLY, BACK, BREAST, and FREESTYLE. As the IM must be 4 different strokes, for the purpose of the IM, FREESTYLE is front crawl. The swimmers must abide by the rules of the separate strokes.

Race Procedures

Swimmers will be called by event to the marshaling area where they will be organized into separate heats. When their heat is called to the deck, the swimmers will give their name to the recorder seated behind their lane and wait behind the timers and recorders until their heat is ready to start. Most of the meets are now card less. You need to always make sure that your swimmer gives their name to the timers in their lane to make sure that the right swimmer is in the correct heat and lane. They will then be called to the blocks. Swimmers will be directed to -take your mark· and when all swimmers have done so, the starting gun is fired to begin the race. Do not feel uneasy about these or other procedures. The coaches will teach the swimmer what to do at a swim meet to prepare for events.

False Starts

Sometimes, one or more swimmers make an error, usually starting before the starting gun. In the BCSSA, there are NO false starts allowed. False start disqualifications are started in division 1. The false start rule is that any swimmer who commits a false start during an attempt to start shall be disqualified. There are three types of false starts:

1. Introduction of movement after taking their marks.

2. Leaving their mark early (jumping the gun).

3. Toes curled into the gutter on a backstroke start.


Disqualification (DQ)

A swimmer is usually disqualified for not turning properly, not touching the end wall or for doing a stroke incorrectly. It is the policy of the Fraser Valley Region to disqualify stroke infractions, from Division 1 and up, beginning with the first meet of the season.

If your child is disqualified in a race, a stroke or turn judge will explain the problem to them or the coach, immediately after the race. The child’s name will then appear at the bottom of the race results sheet, with no time indicated, and the initials DQ. The child’s coach will also explain to them the reason for the disqualification for future races.

If one member of a relay team does something wrong, the entire team will be disqualified as they are swimming as a team unit not individuals.

Disqualification for infractions of the rules is a reality in competition. They are designed as levelers so that no swimmer has an unqualified advantage over any other competitor. Look at it as a learning experience for your child. Do not look at it as a negative thing. Try to find the other positive things about the race.

You may also be disqualified for inappropriate behavior at the swim meet. Swearing, causing willful damage, and interfering with officials are a few of the examples of how behavior can lead to disqualification.


Protests affecting the right of a competitor to compete in any race shall be made in writing to the Meet Manager, or Referee. Any protest arising from the competition shall be made to the Referee verbally by the coach, swimmer or a team representative within 30 minutes of the disqualification. If the protest is not approved immediately by the referee than a written protest must be submitted to the Referee within 30 minutes of the Referee’s verbal decision.



Awards From Individual Swim Meets.

Ribbons from individual swim meets will be placed in your communication slot and will be available usually the Monday afternoon following the swim meet. Sometimes, as it must be organized through several people, they may not be available right away. Coaches usually hand out any aggregate awards earned by a swimmer. If you have any questions about awards that may have been missed, or about whether or not your child should have received an award, please contact the Director of Awards with your concerns or questions.

Divisional Aggregate Winners (Boys and Girls)

Awarded to the swimmer in each division with the most accumulated points. Runner up awards will be presented for each division to the swimmer with the 2nd most points for the season. For the purpose of the aggregate awards, 6 and under swimmers will be recognized only for the Division 1 events they participated in throughout the year. There will be no aggregate awards for the 6 and under division.

High Point Award (Boy and Girl)

Awarded to the swimmer who accumulates the most points during the swimming season including both the Regional and Provincial Championship Meets.

End of the Year Awards Banquet

At the end of the summer season, the club holds the Annual Awards Night to recognize the achievements of our swimmers. Many awards are at the discretion of the coaches. The following is a list of some of the awards that may also be chosen by the coaching staff: All swimmers receive an award, so please try to attend.

·Most Improved swimmer (boy and girl)

·Most Dedicated Swimmer (boy and girl)

·Rookie of the Year (boy and girl).

·Unsung Hero

·Coaches Award

The following awards are given according to points accumulated throughout the swimming season at all in region swim meets, including the Regional and Provincial Championship Meets.

2016 – 2017Mission Marlins Executive

Executive Position



 Charlene Saunders

 1st Vice President

Sonya Klatt

 2nd Vice President

Kody Saunders

 Past President

John Kapty

 Registrar/Meet Registrar

 Tamara Wiebe

 Director of Socials

Jennifer Friesen

 Director of Officials

Reg Wiebe


 Shelley Diewold


 Darlene Morton

 Director of Awards

Julie Buffett

 Parent and Coaching Liaison


 Director of Apparel and Equipment

Sue Potma

 Member at Large-Website/Social Media

Kevin Potma




For general inquiries, please email: