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Team Handbook


A. Hidden Forest Swim Team [HFST] 3 

B. Lone Star Summer Swim League [LSSSL] https://lsssl.swimtopia.com/

C. Hidden Forest HomeOwners Association [HF HOA] 3 


A. HFST Management 4 

B. Methods of Communication 4 

C. Registration 5 

1. Registration Party 

2. Team Dues 

3. Swimsuits, caps 

4. Spirit items 

5. Individual and Team Pictures 

D. End of Season Party and Awards Night 5 

E. Parent Responsibilities 6 

1. Volunteering for meet positions 

2. Cleanup duty schedule and checklist 


A. Practice Schedule 6 

B. Swim Meets 7 

1. General Information 

2. Disqualifications 

3. Season sign-up procedures 

4. Championship sign up procedures 

C. Survival Tips for Parents and Swimmers 9 

D. Meet Volunteer Job Descriptions 11 

E. Discipline Policy 12 


A. Hidden Forest Swim Team [HFST] 

The swim team is a neighborhood summer swim team with professional coaching and volunteer parent management. The swim team is open to all children ages 5 - 18 (age by May 31) who can swim at least one length of the pool with acceptable proficiency. Acceptable swimming proficiency will be assessed two weeks into the season by the coaching staff. Each swimmer ages 5-8 must be able to swim the length of the pool on their own and with no assistance to continue in the program. If they cannot complete that task, 75% of their enrollment fee will be refunded. Good sportsmanship, teamwork, stroke technique and the joy of swimming are emphasized. Practices are offered throughout the season at various times from May to the end of June. Attendance at all practices is not mandatory, although swimmers are encouraged to attend as many practices as possible. Swimmers compete with swimmers of the same gender and age group. Age group placement is determined by the swimmer’s age on May 31 st . 

B. Lone Star Summer Swim League [LSSSL] 

HFST is a member of the Lone Star Summer Swim League [LSSSL]. The league is composed of neighborhood teams located in North Central San Antonio. The league’s mission is to introduce competitive swimming, to encourage friendships and a sense of neighborhood community and to promote development of a lifetime recreational skill. Go to https://lsssl.swimtopia.com/ to view the LSSSL Policies and Procedures. 

C. Hidden Forest Home Owners Association Board [HFHOA] 

The HFHOA Board maintains the pool and sponsors HFST. In return, HFST is expected to leave the pool facilities and grounds in excellent condition after every swim team event. Parents, swimmers and coaches are responsible for cleanup including bathrooms and trash before leaving practices, events and meets. There is no other clean up staff. The HFHOA Pool Rules state: “As the pool is intended for use by all of the families in Hidden Forest, the use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products is discouraged.” As a sponsored organization by the HOA, the HFST will enforce this rule with a “no tolerance” policy for alcohol and tobacco. Anyone found to have alcohol in their possession will be asked to leave the premises. Anyone wishing to smoke may do so outside the fenced-in facilities which include the picnic area.


A. HFST Volunteer Management 

The survival of a neighborhood swim team depends on a comprehensive parent volunteer system. The only paid HFST staff is the coaches. All the planning, swim meet management, equipment maintenance, social activities and clean-up are coordinated and made possible by parents. The HFST Volunteer Management is made up of parent volunteers as follows: 

● Team Coordinators 

● Ready Bench Coordinator 

● Spirit Sales 

● Meet Software Operations 

● Volunteer Coordinator 

● Website 

● Concessions 

● Treasurer 

● Head Timer 

● Special Events 

If you are interested in helping with one of these committees, or possibly chairing it in the next year, please see one of the team managers. 

B. Methods of Communication Communication in HFST is through e-mail. You may want to provide both a work and home e-mail address to get updated info on emergency changes due to weather. We can be reached at: hfpiranhas@gmail.com 

Information will also be posted on the HFST website – check it often! https://lsssl.swimtopia.com/

Remind: A parent group will be set up at the beginning of each season. Parents/guardians can join to receive last minute alerts and weather updates. Class codes will be provided at the beginning of the season. 

C. Registration 

Registration begins the first week in April. Registration deadline will be 7 days after the Polar Swim Registration Party which is scheduled 2-3 weeks after registration opens. Registration fees are prorated if the swimmer disenrolls and the cut off for refund occurs in the first two weeks of practice. The team offers team t-shirts and swim caps for sale. These are not required. 

Team swim suits are purchased separately via Swim Freak LLC.

Hidden Forest residents are required to be up to date on their assessments in order to be a member of the swim team. 

1. The Polar Swim & Registration Party is the kick-off for the summer swim season. This is the time to register for the team (if you haven’t already done so online), purchase swimsuits, caps, t-shirts and any spirit items (spirit items can be purchased online as well). There are refreshments and the pool is open for swimming. 

2. Team Dues 

Team dues are: 

$100.00 for the first swimmer 

$90.00 for the second swimmer 

$80.00 for the third swimmer 

Each additional swimmer in the family: $25 

Current 9th -12th grade $25. 

If you withdraw after May 31st your registration will be forfeited. A child may not swim at practices or at a meet if they have not paid fees, submitted health insurance information, and (HF residents) if they are not current on HOA dues – no exceptions. This is for liability purposes and will be strictly enforced. 

***Fees will be incurred for the following situations: 

- Late registration will incur a $25 registration fee 

- Withdrawal fee before the first 10 days of practice will incur a $25 withdrawal fee. 

3. Swimsuits 

The swimsuits are not mandatory but are strongly encouraged as a member of the team. Club swimsuits and caps are prohibited during swim meets and Championship meet. 

4. Spirit Items 

The team creates and sells spirit items to include t-shirts, and caps. These will be on sale on our website and during the Registration Party.

5. Individual and Team Pictures 

The team uses one of their regularly scheduled practice days to pose for individual and a group photo. Your child will want to wear their team swimsuit and/or Team t-shirt on that day.

D. End of Season Party and Awards Night 

The HFST celebrates the end of the season by having a pool party and awards night. The pool is open for swimming and food will be provided. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the fun! 

E. Parent Responsibilities 

1. Volunteering at meets is a requirement of being on this team. Every meet requires, at a minimum, 40-45 volunteers. Parents are responsible for volunteering in some capacity throughout the season. Information about the volunteer needs can be found on our website. Additionally, the Volunteer Coordinator will have a list of volunteer opportunities during the Registration Party and during the first Parent Meeting. Each family must sign up to help at three swim meets during the season. The list of jobs available and the duties involved are included on page 11 of this handbook. You are responsible for finding a substitute if you cannot fulfill your slot for that week’s meet. 

2. Concessions at Home Meets 

This is our major fundraiser. We encourage you to bring concession items to the home meets to offset the costs and plan to make purchases at our stand. Information will be sent via email with items you can bring to supply our concession stand. 

3. Clean up at practices and home meets is expected by parents and swimmers. We are guests of the Hidden Forest HOA and should treat the property as such by picking up any trash around us and leaving the facility in excellent condition upon leaving. 


A. Practice Schedule 

Swim practice begins after school on the first weekday in May. Practice is after school Monday through Friday. After school ends, practice will be in the mornings Monday through Friday. Check the calendar on our website for exact practice times for each age group. 

The coaching staff conducts practices. It is important that your child attend every practice in order for the coaches to fully develop your swimmer's potential. Please let the coaching staff know when your child will be absent. 

Practice times are separated by age. Generally, the younger swimmers practice with their age groups that are, 6 and under, ages 7 and 8, ages 9 and 10, etc. Occasionally, a child might be asked by coaching staff to practice with an older or younger group because of his or her skill level. The coaches’ focus must be centered on the group and to help ensure equal attention be given to all swimmers.

B. Swim Meets 

1. General Information 

The swim team typically participates in four "dual meets" during a season. If the swimmer signs up for a meet, the swimmer may be entered into as many as three individual events and two relays. The individual events are butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley. The relay events are freestyle relay and medley relay. The freestyle relays are held at the start of the meet. The medley relays are held at the end of the meet. If your swimmer may be late for a meet, please let the coach know so that he or she will not be entered into the freestyle relay. Likewise, if the swimmer needs to leave the meet early, please let the coach know, so that he or she will not be entered into the medley relays. 

Swimmers compete against others in their same age group. Girls swim against girls; boys swim against boys. The age groups are as follows: 

5 and 6 11 and 12
7 and 8 13 and 14
9 and 10 15 and up

Coaches decide which events a child will swim and whether he or she will participate in a relay. This decision is based on the child's swimming abilities and practice ethic. Swimmers may want to talk to the coach about their preferences; however, the coaches make the final decision. Sometimes the coach may place a child into an event that he or she would rather not swim. Please support the coach when this happens. It may be that the coach is providing a child with an opportunity to develop or advance their competitive skills. Sometimes the coach needs to place swimmers in particular events as a part of an overall strategy for that particular meet. The coach will only place the child in events in which the child has demonstrated in practice that he or she has the ability to swim the stroke “legally.” (Read more about this in “Disqualifications.”) 

Please remember if your child does not show for his or her relay, three of your child’s teammates will not be able to swim. 

2. Disqualifications 

Do not argue with the meet official. If you have concerns about a particular call, email the coach. 

The LSSSL Policies and Procedures has specific information about how strokes and events are to be performed. 

Additional information about “Disqualifications” is available in the LSSSL Policies and Procedures. https://hiddenforestpiranhas.swimtopia.com/

3. Season Sign-up 

Procedures LSSSL rules state that the teams must have their roster complete and submitted to the opposing team 48 hours before a meet. For a Saturday meet, you must sign your child up by the Wednesday before the meet. For a Monday meet, you must sign your child up by the Friday before the meet. Your child cannot swim at the meet if we haven’t confirmed their attendance and placed them in meet events. 

4. Championship Sign up Procedures 

Only 105 swimmers from our team can be entered into Championships. It will be the coach’s discretion as to who will ultimately compete for the team. Therefore, signing up your child for the Championship Meet does not automatically mean they will swim. All swimmers who sign up and pay but do not get added to the coach’s list will have their money refunded. Please remember, a relay is composed of four swimmers. If your child is selected for a relay and does not show, the relay is disqualified. In order to compete in the Championships, swimmers must know how to swim the strokes correctly and be able to swim on the designated day. LSSSL produces an annual handbook that describes the Championships. Look for this handbook to be posted on https://hiddenforestpiranhas.swimtopia.com/

C. Swim Meet Survival Tips for Parents and Swimmers

Before the Meet:

●Write your swimmer’s name on all belongings.

●Print the “Heat Sheet” for the meet.

●“Tattoo” your swimmer with their events [with the exception of Championships]
(see example).

●Bring water bottle, sunscreen, an indelible, fine-tip marker and a highlighter.

●Participate! Timer, Concession Worker, Score Runners and Ready Bench parents are always allowed a break to watch their child swim.

●Sign up to bring concession stand items to the home meets.

Bring the Following:

●Water bottle



●Fine-tip, indelible marker

●Swim cap

●Light, healthy snacks




●Money for concessions

●Cards, games, books to help pass the time between events

At the Meet:

●Arrive by “check-in” time.

●Stay behind the deck area. It must remain clear for the officials.

●Please wait until the end of the meet to talk with the coach.

●Let the coaching staff do the coaching.

●Be supportive of the coaches

Be Sure to:

●Write your name on all belongings.

●Arrive by “check-in” time.

●Write your events on your arm or leg with an indelible marker.

●Check in at your “Ready Bench”

●Stay in the “Ready Bench” area

●Stay hydrated

After the Meet:

●Make sure your child takes all belongings home.

●Clean up the pool area after every meet.

●Return pool furniture to original positions and placements.

●All trash must be picked up and placed in the dumpster.

●Restrooms must be clean and trash cans emptied.

●Pick up after yourself

Sample “tattoo” for typical swim meet

On the child’s arm or leg, make a grid with the following information (E = event, H = heat, and L = lane):

Sample heat sheet by swimmer:

Doe, Jane - Female - Age: 13

#7 Girls 18&U 200 Medley Relay (1) NT 1/3

#35 Girls 13-14 100 IM 1:34.03 1/5

#47 Girls 13-14 50 Back 42.85 3/5

#57 Girls 13-14 50 Fly 43.92 2/3

#67 Girls 18&U 200 Free Relay (2) NT 1/3


7 1 3
35 1 5
47 3 5
57 2 3
67 1 3

Doe, John- Male - Age: 17

#8 Boys 18&U 200 Medley Relay (3) NT 1/3

#38 Boys 15-18 100 IM NT 1/5

#50 Boys 15-18 50 Back 40.23 2/4

#60 Boys 15-18 50 Fly 36.30 2/4

#68 Boys 18&U 200 Free Relay (4) NT 1/3


8 1 3
38 1 5
50 2 4
60 2 4
68 1 3

D. Volunteer Job Descriptions

Parent participation is critical to the success of the swim season. The only ones getting paychecks are the coaches – the rest is up to us! Please be willing to do your share of the volunteering. More volunteers mean less work for each individual and more time spent enjoying the meet.

✓ Check-in Table (2)

●Sets up check-in table

●Ensures swimmers check in at meets

●Ensures volunteers check in and receive name tags

✓ Concessions worker (6-8) [home meets only]

●Helps with setup, selling of concessions, and cleanup of concessions area after meet

✓ Ready Bench Parent

●Assemble and organize a group of assigned swimmers for their relays and events

●Escort assigned swimmers to the starting blocks before their events

●Hints: Bring a highlighter, sharpie, pen, water bottle, sunscreen and a hat

✓ Ribbon Writer (2)

●Starts about one hour after the meet starts

●Peel and stick labels on the backs of the Place ribbons; works with a volunteer from the other team (at home meets, works in air conditioning!)

●Sorts the ribbons and files them in “mailboxes” alphabetically by family name

✓ Runner (4) [home meets only]

●Pick up the Timers’ score sheets as they complete each sheet and “run” the score sheets to the Score Table

●Distribute bottled water to staff, coaches and volunteers from both teams

✓ Stroke and Turn Judges (4)

●Attends LSSSL training in May

●Watches Strokes and Turns for compliance with LSSSL Policies and Procedures

✓Meet Referee

●Conducts the home meets in accordance with LSSSL Policies and Procedures

●Verifies and signs results of each dual meet

✓ Timers (18)

●LSSSL requires three timers for each lane. Both the Home Team and the Guest Team are equally responsible to provide volunteers timers

●Operate a stopwatch

●Check the name of the swimmer at the end of the heat

●Distribute “heat” ribbons

●With enough parent participation, Timers will work half of the meet; Timers will meet with the “Meet Officials” 15 minutes before the meet begins

●Hints: Bring sunscreen and a hat

E. Discipline Policy

All swimmers are expected to follow directions given by coaches and conduct themselves in a safe and appropriate manner. Consequences may include time out from practice, parent notification, or removal from the team. 

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