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Team Info Packet for New Families

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Welcome new families! 

About the Team 

Welcome to the Preserve Swim Team! The Preserve Swim Team is a member of and regulated by the Rocky Mountain Swim League (RMSL). The Preserve Swim Team joined RMSL in 2007. 

We are excited for our upcoming season! We pride ourselves on bringing the neighborhood together by providing a sense of community through friendly competition and team building. We welcome swimmers of all skill and experience levels. The Executive Board is a group of dedicated parents who have volunteered a lot of time and effort into running a fun and successful program. We rely on every family to contribute for a successful season. 

Who Can Participate? 

All residents of the Preserve are encouraged to participate on the Preserve Swim Team. Non-residents who live in adjacent neighborhoods (without a neighborhood swim team, per RMSL regulation) are also encouraged to join, on a space-available basis. Non-residents must have a resident family sponsor them on their application and must abide by the Preserve non-resident pool policy. 

Our coveted Junior Piranhas program is also open to Preserve residents as well as non-residents, although priority registration will be given to Preserve residents. The RMSL rules that most directly affect our Piranhas team swimmers are: 

  1. The age category in which your child will swim is defined by your child’s age on June 1st. 
  2. RMSL requires swimmers to participate in at least 10 practices and 2 regular swim meets to be eligible for Prelims and Finals meets. 

What is the Cost and What Do These Costs Include? 

Registration fees:  You can find the current registration fees here.

We operate as a nonprofit organization with all our revenues coming from participant registration fees. Our major expenses include equipment maintenance, coaches’ salaries, ribbons and trophy costs, social events, computer software, and other supplies needed for meet operations. 

What is Expected of My Swimmer? 

  • Swimmers are expected to be on time for all practices, meets and events. 
  • Swimmers are expected to be polite, courteous, and respectful to all swim team members, coaching staff, and pool personnel at all times. 
  • Swimmers are expected to respond positively to all coaches’ requests. 
  • Swimmers are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship by being a good sport at all times and shaking hands after each race. 
  • Swimmers are expected to assist, encourage, and support teammates. 
  • Swimmers must attend at least 10 total practices and two dual meets during the season to be eligible for Prelims & Finals. 
  • Swimmers are expected to clean up during and after all practices and swim meets. 
  • Swimmers are expected to come to practice with a positive attitude and ready to have fun! 

What Does My Piranhas Swimmer Need To Bring To Practice? 

All swimmers need to bring goggles, team suit, swim cap, water bottle and fins. Swimmers 11 years old and up should bring dry land shoes and shorts (on certain practice days, TBA), and mesh bag with fins, paddles, and pull buoys. Don’t forget a towel and sunscreen! 

Where Can I Purchase Required Equipment and Apparel? 

Team swimsuits and other equipment can be purchased through our team store (see link on home page) or at MI Sports, 4025 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO 80222, Tel: 303-757-4674. Be sure to mention you are with Preserve Piranhas Swim Team! 

Swim Meets 

How Does a Swim Meet Work? 

Swim meets are a great opportunity for your swimmer to put all their hard work on display, hang out with their friends, and have fun! There is a learning curve with swim meets though - all meets have 90 events and will generally last until between 12:00-2:00pm. The four official strokes- freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly- are broken down into events of different distances and combinations of age groups. 

The different age groups at a swim meet are: 6 & Under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18 years old. Boys’ and girls’ events are separated. Swimmers are encouraged to try different events at each swim meet. This allows swimmers to build their confidence in a meet setting and build experience but remember this should always be fun for your swimmer! 

How Do I Declare My Swimmer For a Swim Meet? 

You must declare your swimmer’s attendance and desired events in advance of each weekly swim meet during the season. You can make these declarations each week through your account on the SwimTopia Mobile App..  The deadline to declare will be at 12 noon the Wednesday prior to each Saturday’s swim meet. The team will generally send out a weekly email reminder for this. Remember, if you fail to declare on time for a meet, you will not be entered for that meet

What Should I Expect at a Swim Meet? 

While a swim meet starts at 8:00 am, your swimmer’s morning starts much earlier! Swimmers should be in the water and warming up for home meets at 6:45 am and at 7:15 for away meets (unless otherwise instructed). When you arrive at the swim meet, please locate our team tent immediately and check in at our Swimmer & Volunteer Check-in table. Parents, It is very important that your swimmer checks in upon arrival and that you check in for your volunteer shift. Swimmers who fail to check in risk being “scratched” from their events for the day. 

The first race starts promptly at 8:00 am. Meets usually finish around 12:00 pm, although some may last longer (expect Prelims & Finals meets to last through mid-afternoon). Swimmers should bring extra towels, sunscreen, healthy snacks, water, and extra layers and footwear to keep warm). Many families bring umbrellas or shade tents, camping chairs, sleeping bags, and games for entertainment. Extra swimsuit, goggles, and caps are helpful in case of a last-minute break or tear. Concessions are available at all meets. The team will have a large shade tent available for swimmers. Please label all personal items with swimmer’s name! 

During the meet, the host team will have a heating area. This is where your swimmer goes prior to their event. The announcer will broadcast “First Call/Last Call” throughout the meet. “First Call/Last Call” are the events that are currently in heating. Volunteers will be present to help your swimmer line up in the correct event/heat/lane order. 

The coaches spend a great amount of time “heating” swimmers. Please be aware of the tremendous burden last minute changes put on the coaches and officials. We understand that things come up, but please try to give our coaches as much time as possible for any changes. 

How Are Relays Put Together? 

Relays are the most fun event at a swim meet because what’s better than swimming with your friends and kicking butt! Relays take place at the beginning and end of each meet. You have an opportunity to declare your swimmer available for one or all relays. Please know that declaring availability doesn’t guarantee your swimmer will participate on a relay. 

The coaching staff will create relay teams after individual entries are determined. This allows coaches to have confirmation of which swimmers will be at the meet. If your child is on a relay team, it is very important that they participate in the meet. There are three other teammates counting on your swimmer to be there in order for the relay team to compete. Throughout the season, coaches may create A, B, and C relays based on individual and relay team performance and the number of swimmers available per age group. Coaches may also look at individual swimmers’ practice attendance and attitude during practice. 

Our coaches do their best to accommodate all swimmers wanting to participate in relays. Swimmers may be asked to swim in a higher age group to form teams of four. Coaches will use their discretion to form relay teams that they feel will benefit the team as a whole. Relay teams will be announced with the meet schedule. In the event of last minute changes, we will do our best to give notice to swimmers and their families. If a swimmer has qualified for a relay event, 3 last minute changes may be made at the coaches’ discretion. Thank you for respecting and trusting these decisions made by our coaching staff! 

Junior Piranhas Swim Program 

For our younger, aspiring swimmers, we offer the Junior Piranhas swim program. This program is intended for swimmers who cannot yet swim a full length of our 25-meter pool but can be reasonably expected to do so by the end of the season. 

Here are a few details about the program: 

  • Junior Piranhas is a fabulous program where our little swimmers are motivated with fun, engaging, and challenging activities that will develop basic swimming skills and build a swimmer’s confidence in the pool.
  • Specifics regarding the program:
    • Current registration fees are published here.
    • Swim sessions will generally be held each weekday during June.
    • Practices are 25 minutes long each and held Monday-Thursday mornings at 9:00, 9:30, 10:00 or 10:30.
    • Instructors will group individual swimmers by ability and notify parents of assigned swim practice time.
    • There is a preferential registration for Preserve families. Non-resident families will be placed on a wait list.
  • Requirements:
    • Swimmers must be 4 or 5 years old to participate (exceptions may be made for children who are 3 years and are comfortable in the pool, with prior approval from the coach).
    • Swimmers must have previous swim class exposure and be comfortable in the pool (i.e., this is not a Water Babies or Parent/Child Introduction to Swimming)
    • Swimmers must have a basic understanding of water/pool safety.
    • A parent or guardian must be present at each practice and provide supervision of their swimmer (e.g., ensuring that their swimmer is following the pool safety rules, following the coaches’ instructions, etc.).
    • Swimmers must be able to stay in the pool during the practice and actively participate.
  • Goals for the swim season:
    • Build a swimmer’s confidence in the pool.
    • Develop underwater skills (e.g., blowing bubbles and learning to hold their breath underwater).
    • Learn appropriate arm and leg movements for both freestyle and backstroke, (with assistance, as needed).
    • For more advanced swimmers, swim one length of the pool (coach assisted).
    • While not required, we highly encourage all Junior Piranhas to participate in the “Minnow Race” during our home meets and swim one length of the pool (coach assisted). This is a great opportunity for the swimmers to get recognized for their hard work!!!
    • Develop swimming skills and work towards joining the Piranhas swim team!

What to Bring: Goggles, sunscreen, water, and a smile!  Make sure to come prepared every day. 

Have Fun: The overall goal of the JP program is to provide a fun atmosphere while young swimmers continue to develop proper swimming skills. We ask that you help us promote the positive, encouraging, and exciting atmosphere this program is all about! 

Piranhas Coaching Staff 

The coaching staff are the only paid positions on the team. Generally, they are all high school or college age students with competitive swimming experience. Each year coaches must sign the Rocky Mountain Swim League Coach Code of Conduct. Junior coaches will assist the coaching staff at practices and meets. 

Piranhas Executive Board 

The Executive Board is responsible for hiring the coaching staff each season, developing a budget for the team, and orchestrating the season details. These positions are all strictly volunteer positions and each member is dedicated to the success of the team. 

Additional Board Support 

Many parents have volunteered a great amount of time leading up to this season planning, organizing, and coordinating many of the moving parts that help make our team fun and successful. We are greatly appreciative of key roles such as our Social Chairs, Apparel Chairs, Concession Chairs, etc. Thank you to all who contribute! 


The majority of communication with our families will come through our website and email. Please ensure you have an updated email address in your profile on our website. The team website is www.preservepiranhas.com. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out via email at [email protected]

Piranhas Volunteer Policy 

Swimming is different from many other youth sports in that volunteers are needed to run a successful meet. It is therefore imperative that every family on the team volunteers time to help at the meets and behind the scenes. Below you will find the volunteer requirements. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a probationary period or loss of team registration the following year. This policy applies to Piranhas team families and does NOT apply to the Junior Piranhas program. 

  1. Each Family is required to work a minimum of TWO VOLUNTEER SHIFTS PER SWIMMER during the regular meet season. 
  2. If you have a child swimming in a Prelims meet, each family must work at least ONE VOLUNTEER SHIFT AT PRELIMS OR CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS. This is in additional to regular meet season volunteer hours. Swimmers must qualify to swim at Prelims and Finals, the dates of which are set by RMSL and will occur on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between the hours of 6:00 am and 4:00 pm. 
  3. Volunteer sign up will take place as part of preseason swimmer registration. Each family must register for and perform two volunteer shifts per registered swimmer during the regular season meets. 
  4. Once you sign up for a volunteer shift, YOU are responsible for fulfilling that volunteer shift. Please DO NOT ask the Parent Reps or Volunteer Coordinator to release you from your volunteer shift. THEY WILL NOT RELEASE YOU FROM THE ASSIGNED SHIFT. If you are unable to fulfill your volunteer shift commitment, it is YOUR OBLIGATION to find someone else to cover your assigned shift. It is not the responsibility of the Parent Reps or Volunteer Coordinator to make shift changes for you. Once you do so, you must notify the Parent Reps and Volunteer Coordinator in writing of the change prior to the event. If you show up for the wrong volunteer shift, this does not release you from fulfilling the previously committed shift. 
  5. Failure to fulfill a volunteer shift will result in loss of team registration privileges the following year. 
  6. Volunteer shift assignments for the season will be posted on the team website. A team roster will also be posted on the website. Weekly assignments will be sent via email. 
  7. Descriptions of volunteer job duties are posted on the team website. You will be expected to be familiar with and fulfill ALL the duties for your volunteer assignment. You will also be expected to cover the entirety of the shift period. 
  8. Volunteers MUST check-in at the Volunteer Check-In Table on the morning of the swim meet between 6:30 am and 7:45 am. Please check off your name on the volunteer shift assignment schedule and claim your name tag. 
  9. Please pay attention to any announcements during meets regarding shift assignments and volunteers needed. 
  10. Occasionally an event must be canceled and rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions. If you were scheduled to volunteer at an event which is canceled due to weather, you will be assigned to volunteer at the rescheduled event. 
  11. All disputes regarding volunteer issues will be resolved by the Executive Board at their sole discretion. Piranhas Practice and Meet Schedule Please see our website for the team practice and meet schedule and other important dates. 

Practice Cancellation Policy (Due to Weather) 

In the event the air temperature is 50-55 degrees and the water temperature is above 75 degrees, we WILL run practice with a skeleton coaching staff and participation by swimmers is optional. If the air temperature is below 50 degrees, practice will be canceled. Practice times may be delayed or interrupted in the event of lightning and/or thunder. 

We look forward to a terrific swim season!!! 

 - The Preserve Piranhas Swim Team Board

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