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    Senior Breakfast

    Senior Breakfast is a Tigershark tradition dating back to the begining of the swim team. Senior Breakfast is held every Thursday after practice for any swimmer or diver in the Senior Group.

    Senior swim practice on Thursdays will be from 8:30-9:30.

    A sign-up genius will be posted soon for parents to bring food and to help out with set-up and clean-up.

    We ask for a $10 donation for the food the team purchases each year for when we have Panera breakfast and Bob Evans breakfast.

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    Handbook & Policies


    • •Northwest Swim and Dive Team
    • •League Information
    • •Swim & Dive Team Practice
    • •Age Groups
    • •Meet Availability
    • •Regular Season Swim Meets
    • •Regular Season Dive Meets
    • •Team Suits & Apparel
    • •What to Bring to the Swim Meet
    • •What to Bring to the Dive Meet
    • •How to Decipher the Swimming Heat Sheet
    • •Regular Season Swim Meet Order of Events GCSL
    • •Regular Season Swim Meet Order of Events COSA
    • •Dive Meet: One Meter Diving Table
    • •GCSL Swim Championships
    • •Swim Championship Additional Information
    • •GCSL Dive Championships
    • •End of Season Swim and Dive Banquet
    • •Team Volunteering
    • •Northwest Swim and Dive Team Board
    • •Home Meet Concession Stand
    • •Swim Meet Volunteer Positions
    • •Dive Meet Volunteer Positions
    • •Picture Sharing
    • •Registration Fee Refund Policy
    • •Helpful Swimming Terms
    • •The Strokes
    • •Helpful Diving Terms
    • •The Dives
    • •Swim and Dive Team Website

    "Northwest Swim & Dive Team"

    The swim team was organized in 1972 and is a fun summer organization for children from beginners up to the age of 18. Anyone can be on the swim & dive team if they can swim 1 length of the pool without stopping. Many of our swimmers go on to join the Middle School and High School swim teams to competitively swim.

    The swim team is a member of the Greater Columbus Swim League (GCSL), which is made up of 8 local swim teams (Delaware, Gahanna, Highlands Park, Northwest, Westerville JC, Worthington, Annehurst, and Plain Township). The league’s web page can be found at http://www.gogcsl.org. Participants MUST be a member of NWSC as required by the league. Northwest Swim & Dive Team will also be participating in a COSA developmental swim league which will swim on Saturdays.

    The swim team is run by a board of volunteer parents in conjunction with NWSC, which provides the facility and supports the team. Team announcements and information can be found on the Tigershark Website at: https://northwestswimteam.swimtopia.com/


    When you join Northwest Swim & Dive Team, it encompasses both the GCSL and COSA as one team league. Both leagues are summer recreational leagues that focus on FUN and SPORTSMANSHIP

    GCSL - Greater Columbus Swim Association

    These swimmers and divers compete in four to five dual meets against league opponents. The dual meets will be very competitive every week. Diving scores are included in the overall meet scores. A championship is held at the end of the season.

    COSA - Central Ohio Swimming Association

    COSA is a developmental league that supports the GCSL. Swim meets are held on Saturday mornings. There is no diving or championship meet associated with COSA.

    Coaches along with parents will decide whether GCSL or COSA meets are best for each swimmer.

    Important GCSL Rules:

    • A swimmer must be a member of the pool whose team they are participating for.
    • A summer swimmer is only allowed to swim for one summer league (ie. GSCL/COSA, Country Club League, or Suburban East Swim League) at a time. Year-round USA swimmers are allowed to swim long course plus GCSL during the summer season.

    Swim & Dive Team Practice

    Swim team practice is held in the mornings before the pool opens to the public. Practices are held Monday-Friday. Thursday practice is our fun day and for the senior group senior breakfast day!

    Swim and Dive team practices are posted on the website.

    The coaches do their best to have all athletes enjoy themselves and also learn how to be competitive.

    Age Groups

    Per GCSL rules, a swimmer’s or diver’s age group will be determined by his or her age on June 15 of the current year. A swimmer or diver who is 19 on June 15 of the current year shall be allowed to compete in the 18 and under age group for the season, if the student was enrolled in high school just prior to the start of summer season.

    Swimmers’ age groups for meets are as follows:

    Junior Division

    • •Boys and Girls 6 and under (back and freestyle only)
    • •Boys and Girls 8 and under

    • •Boys and Girls 10 and under

    Senior Division

    • •Boys and Girls 12 and under
    • •Boys and Girls 14 and under
    • •Boys and Girls 18 and under

    Divers’ age groups for meets are as follows:

    Junior Division

    • •Boys and Girls 8 and under
    • •Boys and Girls 10 and under

    Senior Division

    • •Boys and Girls 12 and under
    • •Boys and Girls 14 and under
    • •Boys and Girls 18 and under

    Meet Availability

    To help determine if your swimmer will be swimming at each meet, the team uses SWIMTOPIA (our team website). Each swimmer and diver will have their own account and parents will indicate which meets a team member is available to swim/dive. This helps the coaches set up both the GCSL and COSA meets.

    SCHEDULES: Swim and dive schedules are posted on the Gator website: https://northwestswimteam.swimtopia.com/

    CHAMPIONSHIPS: If your swimmer qualifies for championships, your swimmer is expected to attend, and you are expected to volunteer at the meet.

    Changes of availability for a given meet will be closed as follows:

    Wednesday night GCSL meet - 6 pm the Saturday evening preceding the meet.

    Saturday morning COSA meets – 6 pm the Wednesday evening preceding the meet.

    Alert your coach via email, [email protected], of any changes as soon as they arise.


    Indicating that your swimmer is available for Wednesday night meets (GCSL) does not guarantee that your swimmer will swim in the Wednesday night meet.

    Wednesday night meets have limited spots for swimming entries. Your coach will determine if your swimmer is ready for Wednesday night meets.

    Divers participate in the Wednesday meets only (there is not a diving meet for COSA). The Dive Coaches will determine who will participate in the dive meets.

    If you have a swimmer new to competitive swimming, the coaches may recommend they compete in COSA meets (swimmers only, no divers) which are held on Saturday mornings in a supportive environment.

    Some swimmers compete in both GCSL and COSA meets. This is mainly due to wanting to improve during the season, preferring the level of competition in COSA (more ribbons!!), and Wednesday evening swimmers getting times in a specific stroke. Your coach will find the right fit for your swimmer.

    The Wednesday night GCSL league requires swimmers & divers to compete in 3 season meets in order to be entered into the Swim and Dive League Championships held at the end of the season. This is a League rule, and they will not allow any exceptions. Please alert your coach if you have a scheduling problem with your summer schedule or vacation plans.

    Our head coach will be making all decisions about what will be best for your child and can answer any questions you may have. Our goal is a love of swimming & good competition for every child, which is why we participate (as a team) in each league.

    Regular Season Swim Meets

    During the summer season, there are 5 GCSL dual meets held on Wednesday evenings.

    Meets begin at 6:00 pm and generally end between 8:00 and 9:00 pm. Swimmers will need to be at the pool by 4:30 to get ready for warm-ups, unless otherwise directed by the coaches. The maximum number of events a swimmer can participate in during a dual meet is five (5); three (3) individuals and two (2) relays.

    COSA meets are held on Saturday mornings. The meets begin at 8:00 am and finish before the host pool opens to the public. COSA meets do not have a maximum number of events a swimmer can swim. The COSA Head Coach will determine what is best for each swimmer. There is no diving at the COSA meet.

    Upon arrival at a meet, be sure to check in with the Swimmer Check-in Volunteer. This helps the coaches know that all team members have arrived at the pool.

    Below is a listing of pools and links to maps. Pool location information is also on the web page.

    Delaware DARTS Mingo Pool, 500 E. Lincoln Ave. Delaware 43015
    Dublin Dolphins 5660 Dublinshire Dr., Dublin, OH 43017
    Gahanna Swim and Racquet Club 148 Parkland Dr, Columbus, OH 43230
    Grandview Municipal Pool 1350 Goodale Blvd, Grandview Heights, OH 43212
    Highland Park Otters 245 S. Spring Rd., W esterville, 43081
    Lifetime Fitness - Dublin 3825 Hard Road, Dublin 43016
    Marysville 510 Park Ave., Marysville, OH 43040
    Northwest Swim Club 1064 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220
    Plain Township (New Albany) 7650 Swickard Woods Blvd, New Albany, OH 43054
    Westerville JC 200 Otterbein Ave., W esterville, OH 43081
    Worthington Waves 400 W Dublin Granville Road, W orthington, OH 43085

    Regular Season Dive Meets

    Dive meets are held immediately before the Wednesday night meets. Dive meets begin at 4:00 pm. Divers are expected to arrive at the pool at 3:00 pm for warm-ups, unless otherwise directed by the Dive Coach. There are 5 dive meets during the season. Age groups are the same as those used in swimming. The number of dives a diver must perform is dependent upon their age group.

    • •8 & Under - 2 dives from any group

    • •10 & Under - 3 dives from any of 3 groups
    • •12 & Under - 4 dives from any of 3 groups
    • •14 & Under - 4 dives from any of 3 groups
    • •18 & Under - 5 dives from any of 4 groups

    Team Suits & Apparel

    Northwest Swim & Dive Team will provide information on the web page each season about where parents can purchase team apparel and swim suits. Swim gear such as goggles, bags, and practice caps can be purchased from swim gear stores or local sporting goods stores. The team will provide team caps for purchase.

    What to Bring to the Swim Meet

    • •plenty of towels
    • •goggles (two pairs in case one breaks)
    • •swim cap
    • •healthy snacks and drinks (lots of water)
    • •warm clothes to put on after events (very important on cooler or windy evenings)
    • •marker for noting events on swimmer’s hand
    • •fun activities for your swimmer to do between events
    • •chairs (some pools do not have many chairs available for use during a meet)
    • •blanket (or extra towel) for swimmer or family to sit on
    • •sports umbrella for swimmers to sit under
    • •camera

    Prior to coming to the meet, each swimmer should have the following information printed on their hand as shown below:

    (E) Event number

    (H) Heat number

    (L) Lane number - this number will be blank until you get to the pool.

    Stroke - The swim coaches will email the swimmers’ events prior to each meet. With the exception of the lane assignment, the other information can be completed prior to coming to the pool. Permanent sharpie marker works best for this task.

    E H L

    333 3 5 100 IM

    39 4 5 50 Breast

    43 3 5 50 Fly

    47 4 2 50 Back

    What to bring to the Dive Meet

    • •plenty of towels
    • •healthy snacks and drinks (lots of water)
    • •chairs (outdoor meet - some pools do not have many chairs available for use during a meet)
    • •blanket (or extra towel) for swimmer or family to sit on (outdoor meet)
    • •camera 

    How to decipher the swimming Heat Sheet

    Regular season heat sheets are relatively simple, since there rarely are multiple heats. Each sheet contains the following information: Event number, event title, heat number, status of heat, lane number, swimmer’s name, swimmer’s age for season, swimmer’s team, and swimmer’s entry time. At the beginning of the season, each swimmer is designated an NT which stands for “No Time”. After they swim their first meet and earn an official time (not disqualified), a time will be shown in the last column. The seed time is based on their best time for the event, not necessarily the time from the previous meet.

    Championship meet heat sheets look different in that there are usually multiple heats for each event. In addition to the information provided in the regular season heat sheet, each heat is designated by its number out of a total number of heats (i. e. Heat 1of 4). The type of swim, preliminary or finals, is also noted. When swimming championships, it is very important to know which heat your swimmer is entered into so they are placed correctly in the bullpen.

    Regular Season Swim Meet Order of Events GCSL

    Meet Events

    Boys and girls generally swim each event separately.

    The events for each stroke go from youngest to oldest. The girls in a given age group swim the even first, followed by the boys.

    • 100 Meter Individual Medley
      • The first event of every meet is the 100 meter Individual Medley, aka the 100 IM. We use abbreviations for everything! It’s like learning a new language.
      • In the 100 IM, one swimmer swims one lap, one length of the pool, of each stroke in a specific order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
    • Medley Relay
      • All age groups swim the Medley Relay, including 8 and under.
      • It is a relay consisting of 4 swimmers.
      • The Medley Relay has a specific stroke order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Since the younger children only swim one lap each, those swimmers swimming the breaststroke and freestyle portion of the relay must be at the opposite end of the pool, not the starting block end. Those swimmers will start in the water.
    • Freestyle
      • After the Medley Relays come the freestyle events. These progress as the events above, from youngest to oldest, with the girls swimming before the boys in each age category.
    • Backstroke
      • Backstroke events follow the freestyle events.
    • Breaststroke
      • Breaststroke events follow the backstroke events.
    • Butterfly
      • Butterfly events follow the breaststroke events.
    • Freestyle Relay
      • The freestyle relays are the last events of the meet.
      • The children love relays and get a real sense of being part of a team by competing in them.
      • Unforeseen circumstances may result in a child being placed in the relay at last minute, so never leave meets early!
      • The relay team has 4 swimmers.
      • Ages 8 and under swim a 100 meter relay, which means each swimmer swims one lap of freestyle.
      • Ages 9-10 and up all swim a 200 meter relay, which means each swimmer swims two laps of freestyle.

    Quick Reference
    100 IM aka 100 Meter Individual Medley

    • Order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle
    • 8 and under does not swim this event.

    Medley Relay

    • Order: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle
    • All ages swim this event
    • 8 & U and 9-10 ONLY: one lap of each stroke
    • Breaststroker and Freestyler must be at opposite end of the pool!

    Freestyle Relay

    • For 8 & U only: one lap of freestyle
    • 2nd and 4th (aka “anchor”) child must be at the opposite end of the pool

    Regular Season Swim Meet Order of Events COSA

    Dive Meet: One meter diving table

    GCSL Swim Championships

    Championships follow at the end of the GCSL season and will take place at various league pools.

    Per the league rules, in order to be eligible to swim in the championship meet, swimmers must swim 3 regular season GCSL meets. If a meet has been cancelled due to weather and a swimmer was entered for that meet, the cancelled meet DOES count toward as one of their completed meets.

    No swimmer will be able to swim more than 5 (3 individuals and 2 relay) events during championships. The coaches will enter swimmers into events based on the times they achieved during regular season meets.

    The top 16 swimmers will receive awards. The top three will receive trophies, 4th-8th will receive medals and 9th-16th will receive custom ribbons.

    Swim Championship Additional Information

    Championship tee shirts and other swim apparel will be available to purchase at the meet. In addition, heat sheets are available to purchase for each session (morning and evening) of the meet.

    If your swimmer makes it into Championships, parents are required to volunteer at the meet sessions. Northwest Swim & Dive Team will be assigned an area of responsibility for the meet and a request for volunteers will be sent out to the parents of Championship participants. Volunteering for this meet is in addition to regular season volunteering. 

    The team will be assigned a designated area for the swimmers to gather during the meet. Parents should be prepared to bring their own chairs to championships for use in the Tigershark tent area. Bleachers are erected near the pool for spectators during events.

    GCSL Dive Championships

    Dive Championships are usually held on the weekend just before Swim Championships. In order to qualify for champions, divers must participate in 3 dive meets and be able to perform 3 or more dives. Each age group performs a specific number of dives. In addition, divers must dive within their age group and all divers must perform a three step hurdle and a forward dive.

    • •Required Dive: Forward Dive
    • •8 & U Forward dive plus one dive from any group
    • •10 & U Forward dive plus 3 other dives from 3 groups
    • •12 & U Forward dive plus 4 other dives from 3 groups
    • •14 & U Forward dive plus 4 other dived from 4 groups
    • •18 & U Forward dive plus 5 dives from 4 other groups

    End of Season swim and dive Banquet

    At the end of the year a banquet is held to honor the swimmers and divers and celebrate the season. The banquet is usually held in the evening on the Wednesday after championships. All swimmers and divers and their families are invited to attend. During the banquet, the coaches present the swimmers with any trophies, medals, or ribbons they earned during the championships. In additions, other awards are given to the swimmer by the coaches. Parents will be provided banquet details via email.


    Northwest Swim & Dive Team Parent Volunteer Policy

    In order for the swim meets to run efficiently and for the swim team to have a successful season, each family must put forth a “team effort”. Parent volunteers are an integral part in how successful our season will be. Therefore, each family is required to volunteer for a minimum of 3 times during the regular season at swim meets in order for their child(ren) to be eligible to swim in championships (if they qualify). Meets can be either home or away. All positions must be filled for meets to run smoothly, therefore, if you become unavailable to fulfill your volunteer assignment, you are required to provide a replacement volunteer (i.e. Grandparent, aunt/uncle, babysitter, etc.). Each family is expected to be a team player to ensure all positions are covered.


    To help with the team, each family is asked to supply food for home meets to be used at the Gator Concession Stand. Bringing food for the concession stand is VERY IMPORTANT. However, this is IN ADDITION to your 3 volunteer obligations.


    Volunteering for swim championships is coordinated once it has been determined which swimmers will participate. Each team is assigned specific tasks at each championship meet. These tasks change yearly. All parents who have children participating at Champs are expected to volunteer. The volunteer coordinator will work with the parents of swimmers participating in the championships to fill required positions.

    Northwest Swim & Dive Team Board

    The PTAC Board consists of the following positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Head Swim Coach and four (4) at-large positions. The dive coaches also sit on the board as a non-voting member. Each Board member has specific duties for the season. The parent of any swimmer can volunteer to be on the Board. Call-out for Board members takes place in the fall after the season is completed.

    Home Meet Bake Sale

    At each Tigershark home swim meet there will be a bake sale which will be located under the shelter. Parents volunteer to bring something for the concession stand.

    Dive Meet Helpers

    Score Table Volunteers: Two helpers are needed at each meet to work at the score table.


    A full refund will be given if requested during the first week of practice. A refund less 25% will be given if requested the second week of practices. A refund less 50% will be given if requested the third week of practice. After the third week of practice refunds will not be given unless there is a documented season ending injury or family relocation.

    First week of practice: May 31st

    Second week of practice: June 7th

    Third week of practice: June 14th

    Helpful swimming Terms

    • Beep, Whistle, Starting Pistol: This may be all that is heard for the swimmer to start racing the event. He/she will hear the announcer state, “Swimmers, take your mark.” Then the swimmer will hear “one of the starting signals (Beep, Whistle, or a Starting Pistol).” The swimmer should immediately begin racing. If there has been a false start, the swimmer will hear a continuous beeping or whistle sound or the starting pistol one additional time during the race. He/she should stop swimming and return to the starting block.
    • Bullpen: The bullpen is a designated area where all swimmers must report before they can swim an event. This is where they are organized in advance of their races, in order to keep the meet running smoothly. Failure to report to the bullpen on time will result in the swimmer being scratched from the event. Swimmers aged 13 and up do not have bullpen requirements.
    • Disqualification (DQ’d): A swimmer may be disqualified if they are not executing the stroke according to USA Swimming rules, if they dive in early, perform an incorrect flip turn or any number of other events. Although this can be upsetting to a child, “DQs” are very common and should be regarded as part of the learning process.
    • Dual Meet: Two teams compete at one location
    • Event: The race in which a swimmer will participate
    • False Start: Leaving the blocks before the sound of the starter's signal
    • Finishing: Finishing a race often relies on split-second judgment. A decision to start a new arm stroke or lengthen the current one, may need to be made. In breaststroke and butterfly, both hands should touch the wall together; in freestyle and backstroke you can make the touch with one hand.
    • Heat: Race within a single event
    • Heat Sheet: A listing of all swimmers by heat and lane assignments at a meet, seeding swimmers according to times submitted.
    • Individual Medley: This is when a swimmer swims four different strokes in one race. The order is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and then freestyle. Special turns are used because swimmers need to change from one stroke to another.
    • Relays: In relays, the swimmer is one of a team of 4 people each swimming an equal distance. There are 2 relays, the freestyle and the medley.
    • Scratch : When a swimmer, scheduled for an event, is removed by the coach prior to participating.
    • Seed: The placement within an event according to individual time
    • Seed Times: Time used to enter a swimmer in a meet. This determines a swimmer's heat and lane assignment
    • Starter: Official responsible for the start of each heat and for calling swimmers to the blocks.
    • Starting Block: Starting blocks are normally used to start an event where swimmers dive into the water. A swimmer may not take any stroke until he/she breaks the surface of the water. If a swimmer is not yet comfortable using the starting block, he/she may choose to start in the water or dive from the side of the pool. Backstroke is the only stroke where you have to start in the water.
    • Stroke Judge: The official that determines the legality of a swimmer's stroke or his/her turns
    • Time Standards: Qualifying times that have been set by Regional and National Committees for all events.



    This stroke must be done on the stomach with some part of the head surfacing during each stroke sequence, except on starts and turns when one underwater pull and kick are allowed, in that order. The kick must be a squeezing action with no downward thrust of the legs, all on the same horizontal plane, recovering forward from the chest. The swimmer must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously at all turns and the finish.


    Swimmers must remain on their backs until they touch the wall for a turn or finish. Any means of stroke or kick is allowed. The pennants hanging across the pool are situated to prepare the swimmer for the approaching wall.


    The leg kick(s) must be a downward thrust, which is simultaneous action. The arm pull must be simultaneous and the arms must recover forward over the top of the water only. Both hands must touch the wall simultaneously at all turns and the finish.


    "Free" means any stroke imaginable, but most swimmers choose the crawl, the fastest of the strokes. Any part of the body may touch the wall at turns and the finish. This is the first stroke emphasized and virtually all new swimmers will compete in freestyle events.

    Helpful Diving Terms

    • 1 meter: Height of a diving board used in GCSL meets
    • Approach: Three or more steps forward to the end of the board before the hurdle and takeoff.
    • Degree of Difficulty: Each dive is assigned a degree of difficulty depending on the type of dive and combinations performed. The rating ranging from 1.2 to 4.1 indicating the difficulty of executing a specific dive. The “DD” is multiplied by the sum of the judges’ scores to calculate the overall score for a dive.
    • Dive Judge: Diving official who scores each dive.
    • Entry: The conclusion of a dive as a diver makes contact with the water. May be either head or feet-first. Upon entry, the body should always be near vertical in a straight position with toes pointed. In a headfirst entry, arms should be stretched above the head, in line with the body with the hands close together.
    • Free Position: A combination of straight, pike, or tuck positions, to be used in twisting dives only as listed in the DD tables.
    • Hurdle: The final segment of a diver’s approach to takeoff. Consists of a spring to the end of the board, taking off from one foot, and landing on two feet at the end of the board.
    • Pike Position: A dive position in which the body is bent at the hips, legs straight at the knees, and toes pointed. Feet should be held together, while positioning of the arms is optional.
    • Scores: Dives can be scored from 0 (lowest) up to 10 (highest) points in half point increments.
    • Springboard: An adjustable diving board that regulates “springiness,” either 1- meter (3’3") or 3-meters (9’9") above the water. The springboard projects at least five feet beyond the edge of the pool.
    • Straight Position: A dive position in which the body is straight without bending at the knees or hips, with feet together and toes pointed. Formerly called the “layout” position.
    • Takeoff: A diver’s lift from the board prior to execution of the dive. May be done from a forward (running or standing) or backward approach, or from an armstand position.
    • Tuck Position: A dive position in which the body is bent at the waist and knees, with thighs drawn to the chest and the feet kept close to the buttocks. Feet and knees should be kept together and toes should be pointed.


    Back Dives

    • •Takeoff from the end of the board with back toward water. Direction of rotation is away from the board. Includes tuck, pike, or straight

    Forward Dives

    • •Takeoff from a standing or running approach, facing the water. Direction of rotation is away from the board. Includes tuck, pike, or straight

    Inward Dives

    • Takeoff from a standing position at the end of the board, with back to the water. Direction of rotation is toward the board. Includes tuck, pike, or straight

    Reverse Dives

    • Takeoff from a standing or running approach, facing the water. Direction of rotation is toward the board. Includes tuck, pike, or straight

    Somersault Dives

    • A movement in which a diver rotates the body on an imaginary horizontal axis through the hips. This move can be performed in a variety of combinations. Includes tuck, pike, or straight

    Twisting Dives

    • Any dive with a twist. There are four types of twisting dives: forward, back, reverse and inward

    Northwest Swim & Dive Website

    The website can be found at https://northwestswimteam.swimtopia.com/

    The site is continually updated during the season.

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