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Important Information

Introduction

Welcome to the Forest Oaks Swim Team (FOST) 2020 swim season!

Please take the time to read this section thoroughly. The purpose of the Handbook is to provide both Parents/Guardians and Swimmers with important information and participation guidelines.

Please

(1)Review and join us in fulfilling the three goals of our Mission Statement.

(2)Review all other information in this Handbook, especially dates and locations.

(3)Please make every effort to attend a FOST orientation meeting.

Mission Statement

FOSTer the opportunity to learn proper stroke, turn, and conditioning techniques to compete within the swimmer’s age group.

FOSTer a healthy competitive environment with the other teams in the Northwest Aquatic League (NWAL).

FOSTer the opportunity to set individual goals and to cooperate with other team members to ensure the team’s wholeness and success.


Eligibility

FOST is a competitive swim team organized to foster the development of our youth’s swimming abilities, skills, and sportsmanship. Every swimmer participating in the FOST program must do so with the intention of full participation in all practices and swim meets.

The Coaching Staff and FOST Board Members are committed to the encouragement of our swimmers who may need additional motivation to compete; however, FOST is not organized for swim lessons.

Barracuda Swimmer

A Barracuda is defined as a full member of the FOST. A Barracuda must:

  • Be able to safely swim the length of the pool (25 meters) unassisted.
  • Be able to follow all Coaches’ instructions, during both practices and swim meets.
  • Possess a willing attitude to participate in all practices and swim meets.

Returning swimmers who have previously competed in a dual meet will be considered Barracudas. The Head Coach and board have the final say on whether a swimmer qualifies as a Barracuda

If the swimmer is unable to swim 1 length of the pool safely and unassisted by the First Dual (May 16th), the FOST Board and Head Coach will require the swimmer to withdraw from team for this season, but we hope that you will return next season and try again. Refunds will be provided based on the FOST Refund Policy.

Forest Oak Swim Team Board

About your Board

The FOST Board consists of 9 members. A Board Member’s term is 3 years, and each year 3 Board Members retire. Please let a Board Member know if you are interested in taking up a Board position. If more than 3 people volunteer then an election is held, normally during the end-of-season party.

Board meetings are open to all members; however, please first contact the President if you wish to attend a meeting. Members wishing to address the Board at a regular Board meeting must submit the topic to be discussed (no less than 7 days prior to a scheduled Board meeting) to the President, in writing, or to any Board Member in the President’s absence. The Board will determine if any action will result. Voting rights are reserved for Board Members only.

Contact Information

If you have a concern regarding any issue, please direct all comments and/or questions to a  Board Member rather than to the Coaches.


Coaching Staff

FOST Head Coach

FOST is happy to have Coach Jessica Horst back for the 2020 season. 

Contact Information

Please understand that there will be times when certain coaching decisions, made to benefit the team as a whole, may or may not please an individual swimmer or parent. If you wish to contact a coach to ask a question or discuss an issue, please do not interrupt them during practice sessions. You can email them at  fost.coaches@fostbarracudas.org. The coaches are more than happy to contact you after the day’s practice sessions are finished. 

Forest Oak Swim & Racquet Club (FOSRC) Management

FOST is an organization independent of the Forest Oaks Swim & Racquet Club (FOSRC). The WCID#110 Water Board and FOSRC kindly allow FOST to use the pool facilities for summer swimming league. The user fee paid at registration allows the FOST registered swimmer to use the pool during practice times and meets only. If you or other family members wish to swim at the pool, including evenings when your swimmer may be attending FOST evening practice sessions, you must first join FOSRC. The only exception to this is at FOST Team Socials, when all FOST family members may swim in the pool without requiring FOSRC membership. FOST swimmers are not permitted to use the tennis court and gym facilities unless they are members of FOSRC. If you are interested in becoming a member of FOSRC please contact a FOSRC Manager. Contact information can be accessed by clicking on this link:  FOSRC Contact Information

Practice Information

FOST practice schedule varies. Swimmers will practice by age group. Click  here to access the practice schedule.

Please watch the FOST Website and the notice board for other details about the practice schedule and changes.

Guidelines

  • Parents, please have your swimmers come regularly to practice.
  • Swimmers are expected to attend at least 3 practices each week.
  • Prompt, regular attendance is the key to individual and team success.
  • Friday practice sessions are especially important for meet preparation and relay race practice; therefore, in order for a swimmer to be considered for a relay race, they must attend Friday’s practice session.
  • Please notify the coaches of any practice session conflicts. When pre-arranged with a coach, a swimmer may be allowed to temporarily swim during an alternate practice session. All swimmers must begin their practice at the start of one of the designated times available so as not to disrupt a practice session that is in progress.
  • During practices and meets, parents are asked to refrain from “coaching” their children. It interrupts the swimmer’s concentration and also interferes with the coaches’ job. Coaching of swimmers in a swim meet event is strictly prohibited by NWAL rules. Encouragement is fully endorsed.
  • All swimmers are asked to promptly leave the gated pool area once they have completed their practice session, unless cleared by a coach.
  • Please help keep the facilities tidy, including returning pool chairs to the pool deck after practices and meets.
  • A lost-and-found will be at the pool during practice. Please check for missing items. Any items that remain at the end of the season will be donated to charity or destroyed.

Parents and guests are encouraged to stay and watch during practices; however we must ask you to remain outside the fenced pool area. Please do not enter the fenced area of the pool during practices, except to collect/return chairs or use the restrooms. This is both for insurance reasons and to ensure coaches and swimmers are not distracted.

Parents/Guardians: Please pick up swimmers IMMEDIATELY after practice is over. Please plan to be at the pool before the end of your swimmer's practice time!

Practice Cancellation:

The FOST Board reserves the right to cancel any practice session where the pool area may be deemed unsafe.

When an unforeseen circumstance arises, and a practice session must be cancelled, the FOST Board will post a notice at the entrance to the pool, as well as on the team website, as soon as possible.

In the event of rain, practices may still be held unless it would endanger coaches and swimmers (i.e. lightning). If it should become necessary to cancel practice sessions due to thunder and lightning, the FOST Board will post a notice at the entrance to the pool, as well as on the team website, as soon as possible.

Disciplinary Action:

All swimmers are required to abide by the coaches’ and Board Members instructions during practice. Should a disciplinary problem arise, the coaches will first talk with the swimmer and ask for a change in their behavior. If the problem persists, a report will be sent home with the swimmer. This must be signed by a parent and returned to a coach on the next practice day. Informing a parent helps the coaches and swimmers bring swift resolution to any disciplinary problems. If the problem still persists, a Board Member will contact a parent to discuss the issue. FOST reserves the right to discontinue a swimmer’s membership if a problem cannot be resolved.

Where a swimmer’s membership is discontinued due to disciplinary action, no refund will be granted.

Meet Information

FOST swim meets are held on Saturdays and start at 8:30 am; however, you must arrive and check in by 7:00am. Click  here to access our meet schedule

Practice Meet:

  • The Practice Meet is very important because this is when we record each swimmer’s official time in every stroke. We cannot enter a swimmer into a dual meet without these times. If you cannot attend the Practice Meet, please inform a coach, and a time trial will be arranged for your swimmer during a regular scheduled practice session before the Practice Meet.
  • Swimmer’s times swum during the Practice Meet are for Dual Meet entry ONLY. These times are NOT official times and cannot be used to qualify for a Divisional or Invitational Meet.

Dual Meet:

  • A dual meet will end after the last relay race, and, as a guideline (only), this should be around 1:30 pm, depending upon the number of swimmers, any meet organization problems, and the weather conditions.
  • The swimmer entries list is posted on the swim team website one day before the meet. It is important that parents, particularly of younger swimmers, check to see the events in which their swimmers will swim. During the meet, please listen for the announcements and ensure that swimmers report to the ready bench area at the appropriate times. If a swimmer is late, they will be scratched from the event!
  • Note: Event line-up changes often occur for relays. Please stay through the entire meet in case you are needed for a relay.
  • The FOST pool is a 25 meter pool, while other teams may have a 25 yard pool.
  • A regular dual meet consists of 80 events, alternating between girl and boy events.
Order of Meet Events
10 & Under 50 Free
13 & Up 100 Free
6 & Under Free Relays
7 & Up Medley Relay
All Age Groups Free Style
7 & Up Breaststroke
6 & Under Backstroke
8 & Up Individual Medley
7 & Up Backstroke
7 & Up Butterfly
7 & Up Free Relays
Strokes by Age Group
6 & Under, 7-8 Free and Back (25)
6 & Under, 7-8 Free Relay (100)
8 & Under Breast & Fly (25)
8 & Under Medley Relay (100)

9-10

Free, Breast, Back & Fly (25)

9-10

Free Relay & Medley Relay (100)

10 & Under Free (50)
10 & Under Individual Medley (100)
11-12, 13-14, 15-18 Free, Breast, Back & Fly (50)
11-12, 13-14, 15-18 Individual Medley (100)
11-12, 13-14, 15-18 Free Relay & Medley Relay (200)
13-14, 15-18 Free (100)

  • Each event will normally contain several heats. Final placement in an event is determined by comparing the times of swimmers in all heats for that event.
  • In an event with several heats, the fastest swimmers are placed in the last heat. The swimmers in each heat are placed in the lanes based upon their times, with the fastest swimmers in the center lanes.
  • Three times are taken on each lane (by timers) and recorded (by scribes) on the event sheet. If two or more times agree, this is the official time. If there are three different times taken, the official time is the intermediate time.
  • In dual meets, scoring is as follows: 7 points are awarded to the first place swimmer, 5 to the second place swimmer, 4 to the third place swimmer, 3 points to the fourth place swimmer, 2 to the fifth place swimmer and 1 point to the sixth place swimmer for individual events. Relay teams finishing first are awarded 7 points, with 3 points awarded second place. If the same team finishes in first and second place, they receive only 7 points total. The team with the most points at the conclusion of the meet is the winner. If both teams have the same number of points, the team with the higher number of 1st place swimmers is the winner.
  • The Meet Referee has total responsibility for the conduct of the meet and will decide all questions concerning the meet and rules. The Referee can overrule other meet officials on a point of rule interpretation or on judgment decisions pertaining to an action the referee has personally observed.
  • Only a team’s official representative may discuss points of clarification with the Meet Referee. Note: The FOST Team Representative is also our FOST NWAL Representative; please contact our FOST NWAL Representative if you have an issue during a meet.
  • Only officials and other individuals directly involved in running the meet are permitted on the swimming pool deck.
  • Swimmers may participate in a maximum of five (5) events (including relays), but no more than three (3) individual events.

Meet Entries:

  • Parents are asked to confirm their swimmer's availability for each meet, no later than 12:00 noon on the Wednesday before the meet.
  • Individual events may be chosen by parents when confirming attendance at the meet. The coach has the final say in individual events swum at the meet. 
  • If you are unsure if your child will be available for a meet, please tell a coach “you are unsure.” We may still enter the swimmer into individual events, but, due to your uncertainty, we will not enter them in a relay.
  • Per NWAL rules, eligibility for an age group is determined by the swimmer’s age as of the end of the day on May 31st of the current year. A complete set of NWAL rules can be found at www.NWAL.org.
  • Based on NWAL rules, a child cannot be added into a meet after the Thursday “meet entries exchange” with the opposing team.

Check-in & Warm-ups:

  • ALL swimmers must sign-in at the team’s check-in table located at the front gate at home meets and in the Team Area immediately upon arrival. If you cannot find the sign-in table you must check-in with a coach.
  • Swimmers 12 & under must be signed in by a parent or guardian.
  • ALL swimmers MUST be on time for check-in and warm-ups. Warm-ups are very important; please do not miss the warm-up.
  • A scratch meeting is held at 7:45 am, please be sure to check-in on time to avoid being scratched (removed from the meet event list) from the meet!
  • Please plan to arrive at the meet regardless of the weather. The referee at the poolside will make decisions on delays or cancellations.

Individual and Relay Events:

  • Swimmers, please swim in all of the events that the coaches select for you and stay at the meet for all relay races. The relays count more towards the team’s final score and generate a lot of positive team spirit.
  • Please do not disappoint the other 3 people in your relay, as well as the rest of the team, by leaving the meet early!
  • All swimmers should check-in with a coach after each of their events.
  • Based on swimmer performance, attendance, and motivation, a coach may adjust relay line-ups at any time, even during a meet.
  • Please check with a coach before leaving the meet. Even if you have submitted a planned absence with a coach, each swimmer must inform a coach in person if they need to leave before the end of a meet.

Pool/Meet Etiquette:

  • Young children should be escorted to and from restrooms.
  • Pickup all trash and report any vandalism to a Board Member or one of the coaches.
  • Do not bring ice chests or chairs onto the pool deck during swim meets.
  • Bleachers are provided in the pool area for families to watch their children swim. Please make room for other parents to also watch their children.
  • Always behave in a friendly and sportsmanlike manner.
  • Never “boo” the other team. Do not go into the other team’s area.
  • Do not talk in an inappropriate manner to the other team’s members during a meet, especially while waiting on the heat benches.
  • Do not jump from heat bench to heat bench. Listen and follow instructions provided by the Heat Bench Volunteer
  • Any swimmer 12 years of age, or younger, must have a parent or guardian present at all times during the meets.
  • Swimmers should check at the end of each swim that the scribe has recorded their name and time correctly.
  • Remind other swimmers to listen for their event numbers being announced.
  • Watch what you eat between each swim. Fruit, water, and juice are fine. Candy and soda are discouraged.
  • Learn the Barracuda cheers and cheer for your teammates.
  • Be polite and smile. Have fun and swim your best!

Times:

  • Meet Results with swimmer’s times are posted as soon as possible either during a meet or soon afterwards. Results are also available on the FOST website.
  • A final score for the meet will be on the time report sheets.

Ribbons:

  • Place Ribbons will be awarded to the first six (6) finishers in each individual event (not each heat) in a dual meet.
  • For meets held at Forest Oaks, Heat Ribbons will be awarded to all finishers who are 8 & under in each heat. At away meets, other teams may award Heat Ribbons at their discretion.
  • First through third Place Ribbons are awarded in relays.
  • Place Ribbons, Pool/Team Record Ribbons, and Time Improvement Ribbons are handed out to swimmers at practices following the meets.

Team Suits:

*Swimmers are encouraged to wear FOST team suits to show their team spirit. Team suits can be purchased through Swim Shops of the Southwest located at:

5010-M Louetta Rd. 

Spring, TX 77379

Telephone: 832-698-4223.

FOST Day @the store

 You will get 20 % off on accessories

Swimmer Drop off and Parking:

  • Swimmer Drop off will only be allowed in the approve drop off zone in the lower parking lot. For everyone’s safety please do not drop off swimmers in any area other than the designated drop off zone.
  • Please be very careful and watch for pedestrians and cyclists when dropping off or picking up.
  • During a meet, parking in the pool parking lot is restricted to FOSRC Mgmt and the FOST Board only, please.
  • Please keep the entrance to the pool parking lot clear. Do not park close to the pool parking lot entrance.
  • Please park at Lemm Elementary, behind the FOSRC tennis courts or on the street. If parking on the street, please park only on one side of surrounding streets.
  • PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON CHISOS TRAIL, EMORY TRAIL OR SOUTH RIM TRAIL (i.e. STREETS NORTH OF THE POOL). YOUR CARS WILL BE TOWED AWAY FROM THESE AREAS AND ANY OTHER AREAS MARKED “NO PARKING.”

Parent Support & Participation:

  • Parent Volunteers are crucial to running a successful swim team. Parents are required to volunteer and contribute time in some way. A volunteer sign-up sheet will be available at registration and through the website. Please see the Volunteer Coordinator for questions and assignments and always help us by saying “YES” when asked for help during practices and meets.

Parents are required to:

  • Take responsibility for all arrangements regarding getting their swimmers to and from practices and meets and ensuring that their swimmers arrive on time and are collected promptly.
  • Sign in with the Volunteer Coordinator as they arrive for the meet.
  • Volunteer their help during the meets and during set up and tear down.
  • Ensure the safe and appropriate behavior of their swimmers.
  • Remain outside of the fenced pool area during practices and outside of the swimming area during meets, unless you are a Board Member, Meet Official or on-duty Volunteer (i.e. timer, scribe, runner, ribbon aid, computer aid, etc…).
  • Remain under control at all times and not argue with meet officials or coaches. Please find a FOST Board Member if you need to discuss a problem. Please do so calmly.
  • Provide positive encouragement to all swimmers.

Parent Volunteers are needed as NWAL Officials:

The swim team must also have NWAL-trained meet officials to perform such tasks as checking swimmer’s Stroke and Turn, Managing the Computer/Clerk of Course, Race Starter, Referee, etc… If you would be able to perform one of these duties then please contact our NWAL Rep. as soon as possible. NWAL provides training for all of these tasks. Volunteering for these positions counts toward your mandatory volunteer duties

Note: We cannot compete as an NWAL team without having people who are NWAL-trained and willing to perform these tasks! Please contact the Team NWAL Rep. for more information or to volunteer.

Equipment Set-Up & Tear-Down:

On Friday evenings (at approximately 6:30 pm, depending on pool availability) before a home meet, swim team equipment must be set-up at the Forest Oak’s pool. Please volunteer to help with these tasks. Also please reserve time to help with final setup before the meet starts on the Saturday, as well as clean up and tear down after the meet. Many hands make light work!

Divisional Meet:

The Divisional Meet is where all teams from our division swim against each other at the same meet. Please ensure that all swimmers are available for the Divisional Meet as this is the season’s Championship Meet and a strong TEAM presence is the key to our Team’s success.

Swimmers must have participated in at least two (2) dual meets to be eligible to swim at the Divisional Meet. To swim an event at Divisionals, the swimmer must also have swum a clean (non-disqualifying) race in that stroke during a dual meet.

Our division may, during the season, set a qualifying time that 10 & Unders must achieve in order to participate at the Divisional Meet. This will be posted on the FOST notice board if one is set. Please contact the FOST NWAL Rep. for more information.

Since the Divisional Meet is the Championship meet of the season, the Head Coach will organize the meet entries in order to try and field the strongest team. The coaches’ meet entry decisions are final. Relay line-ups may change during the Divisional meet depending upon the performance of individual swimmers during the meet. Please remember the Divisional meet requires a TEAM approach.

Invitational Meets:

 Summer Thunder, Pentathalon, Red-White-Blue, All-Stars and, Ponderosa are optional, two-day, Invitational Meets. 

Swimmers must QUALIFY TO PARTICIPATE, WITH SWIMMERS’ TIMES RECORDED AT A DUAL-MEET OR AT DIVISIONALS. 

Times recorded during a practice meet or during FOST practices are not recognized by these Invitational organizations.

For more information, including qualifying rules go to www.NWAL.org under Invitationals.

Qualifying times for these meets are only available when they are released by these organizations. Details will be posted on the FOST website on the Meets and Practices schedule, under each Invitational Meet.

Note: Times printed on heat sheets include practice times and may not guarantee eligibility for Invitational Meets. Those swimmers who have qualified for Invitational Meets will be listed on the team notice board. Please watch the notice board for updates. Please contact a Board Member if you would like your swimmer to participate in an Invitational Meet.

It is the parent’s responsibility to verify their swimmers times, enter them into their events and to make entry fee payments to the designated FOST parent volunteer prior to the specific Invitational entry deadline

Eligible swimmers are encouraged to make every effort to swim in these meets and participate in all events, including relays, as requested by the coaches. Please DO NOT leave an Invitational Meet if you have other races to swim. Please do not leave the Invitational Meet without notifying the FOST Coach and Parent coordinator.

Please let a Board Member know if you can volunteer to be the FOST coordinator for one of these events. We can help you with the forms and details but need a minimum of one volunteer per Invitational Meet to communicate details to and organize the interested families.

Policies & Procedures

Registration, User Fees

FOST is an “Open Neighborhood Team.” Membership is open to all residents of Enchanted Oaks, Cypress Forest Estates, Oaks of Devonshire, Woods of Devonshire, and any subdivision that does not have an NWAL team, or any other subdivision where you must pay a private club membership fee in order to swim on their team. If you live in a subdivision other than the 4 above, and that subdivision has an NWAL team, then you cannot swim with FOST unless you obtain a waiver approved by FOST and the other teams in our division. Please contact our NWAL Rep. if you have any questions.

FOST is a non-profit organization. All monies are used to assist with the running of the team and pay for coaches, equipment, ribbons, trophies, awards, etc. The 2019 registration and user fees are as follows:

Swimmer registration fee for Members of FOSRC: $125.00 per swimmer

Swimmer registration fee Non-Members FOSRC: $125.00 per swimmer plus a $10 one-time fee for clubhouse usage

Note: Please let us know if you are having any cash flow problems. Any check that you write that is returned by the FOST’s bank is subject to bank charges. It is your responsibility to provide FOST with a replacement check, as well as pay for any resulting FOST bank charges.

Refund Policy

8 & Under Swimmers:

Refunds of registration and administrative fees will be made only for 8 & under swimmers. This is designed for young swimmers who change their minds about swim team. The refund schedule is as follows:

100% prior to Black and Green Time trial (practice meet)

80% prior to the first dual meet

NO REFUND on or after the first dual meet 

Note: If a swimmer is unable to swim 1 length of the pool (25 meters) by the first dual meet it will be at the discretion of the coach to let the swimmer continue on the team.

No refunds are available for any swimmers that are dismissed from the swim program due to disciplinary action by the Coaching Staff or FOST Board.

Full Participation is counted for those swimmers who stay for the ENTIRE meet and swim ALL scheduled events. Swimmers who exhibit poor sportsmanship, purposefully disobey coaches’ instructions or otherwise engage in conduct detrimental to the team at a given meet may, at the discretion of the Board, receive no credit for participation in that meet.

Fundraiser and user fees are non-refundable.

Planned Absences and Vacations

If you are planning a vacation during the swim season, it is MANDATORY that you declare your swimmer not available for the meets they will miss. This is done by going to the Meets & Practice tab and clicking on the meet entry button for the affected meets. The coaches need to know about any meet absences no later than Wednesday prior to the affected meet. This allows the coaches to plan substitute swimmers. If absences are known in advance, time-consuming meet event changes can be avoided, and the meet will run quickly and finish in a timely manner.

If you have any absence during the season, please use communicate them as soon as possible by emailing fost.coaches@fostbarracudas.org or fost.computers@fostbarracudas.org. If you are not sure if your swimmer can attend a meet, please discuss this with the coaches. 

Special Events:

Individual and Team Pictures

The photographer will be set up to take individual pictures at 7:00 am at the Black vs Green Time trial (practice meet). Please have the appropriate picture forms completed before hand. The forms are normally available the week before the practice meet. The Team Picture will be taken after the individual pictures and before warm-ups. We strongly encourage swimmers to use the team suit or, at a minimum, team colors for these pictures.

Once the pictures are received from the photographers, they will be handed to swimmers or parents/guardians at the practice sessions. If you are unhappy with the photos, please contact the FOST Public Relations Representative by e-mail at fost.public-relations@fostbarracudas.org. The FOST Public Relations Representative will contact the photographer and try to resolve the matter.

Team Socials

FOST Fun & Fellowship Team “Potluck Dinner Social” will be held at the pool on Monday, May 6th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

FOST Pep Rally will be held at the pool on Monday, June 10th from 6:00pm until 8:30pm. Please come along and show your team spirit for Divisionals.

Please watch your Email a few days prior to each social, for what food item to bring. You will be asked to bring a main dish, a salad/side, or a dessert. In order for there to be enough food to feed everyone, your dish MUST be able to feed 12-15 people.

Cudathon

Our Cudathon will be held on Monday, May 20th. The Cudathon will be a fundraiser for Special Olympics of Texas. Swimmers will attend at their regularly scheduled practice times and try to swim as many laps of the pool as possible during their session. Awards will be presented at the End of Season Party on June 24th for the swimmers who swam the most laps in each age group. The

End of Season Awards

An Awards Night and End-of-Season potluck party is held at the end of each season. The End-of-Season party for 2020 will be held at the Forest Oaks Pool on Monday June 24th from 6:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

A swimmer must compete in at least two (2) Dual meets to receive a participation trophy. Special recognitions are decided by the coaches and awarded to those who displayed exceptional performance during the season. Trophies may be withheld if any monies are outstanding.

Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this page, please note that details, dates, events, and policies may change. 

If you have any questions or comments please contact a  Board Member.

Have a great 2020 summer swim season!

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