Does my child need to be able to swim to join the swim team?
Yes, DCST is not a learn to swim program. All swimmers 10 and under must be able to swim the length of the pool (25 m) and have a legal freestyle and one other stroke (back, breast or fly). All swimmers 10 and over must be able to swim 2 lengths of the pool (50 m) and have a legal freestyle and one other stroke (back, breast or fly). Please see the
Swim Groups for more information. Devon Manor Swim Club ( does offer a 2 week learn to swim clinic. Please check their website under links for more information.

What are the rules about practices and meet participation?
Swimmers are required to practice at least two (2) times per week. Swimmers must participate in 2 meets during the summer season to swim in Divisionals at the end of the swim season. Anyone who swims in 2 duals meets may go to Divisionals and swim what they think are their best strokes. The coaches will decide relay teams. The MPSL (Mid Penn Swim League) is divided up into three divisions (A, B and C).

How is information distributed during the season?
The team uses a “mail box” folder system, which is kept near the pool office.

Email and this website are also used as a communication tool.

Each family will have a folder in the mailbox and papers and/or ribbons are placed in each family's folder. Please check your folder at each practice.

What happens at a swim meet?
Swimmers bring towels or blankets to sit on and games (cards, legos, etc...) to play or music to listen to (with headphones). Bring a chair(s) to sit on. There may be permanent seating at a pool. In the case of bleachers, rotating seats to watch your swimmer is considerate when there are many spectators. Recreational pools or playgrounds will be closed so bring something for your swimmer and/or siblings to do.

Ten minutes or so before a scheduled race begins, swimmers will be seeded for their races. Line-up parents will call the names of swimmers and send them to the seeding area or to the blocks, where the coaches will get them ready to go.

There are usually 76 events at a regular swim meet. Medley relays are first then IMs (individual medley – a swimmer swims one length of each of the four strokes), freestyle races, backstroke, freestyle again (slightly longer race), breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle relays. Meets usually run four to five hours.

Warm-ups are usually within an hour of the meet start time of a regular dual meet. Warm-ups prior to the meet are a time to “wake the swimmer up”, stretch out their muscles and practice starts and turns in the pool where the meet is being held. Warm-ups are not optional. The coaches also take attendance at this time and need to make any changes to the line-up at this time.

For championship meets, like Divisionals, All-Stars and Mid-Caps, warm-ups can be two-plus hours ahead of the meet start time since there are so many swimmers to get in the water.

Dual meets usually begin at 8:00 am or 8:30 am. At championship or invitational events there is an entrance fee for spectators and a fee for the program. Meets will always have concession stands with reasonably priced drinks, breakfast, lunch and snack items. When Devon Crest hosts a swim meet, all families are asked to contribute a concession item. Workers are needed to staff the booth and help set up.

What is a dual swim meet?
A dual swim meet is between Devon Crest Swim Team and another team. No entry fees are required. The coaches determine who swims in what events and their lane assignments are based on times.

What is a live heat?
A live heat is the first heat of an event. It consists of a maximum of three swimmers from each team who compete against each other for points. Points are given depending on the place in which each swimmer finishes. These points are then added together and the winning team is  determined from the total points scored from all live heats.

What is an exhibition heat?
And exhibition heat provides an opportunity for each swimmer to participate in the meet and to improve their times. Points are not given for exhibition heats, but it does provide every swimmer with the chance to participate. Exhibition ribbons are given with the event information on them. Encourage your child; remind them that improving their time is the important thing and not what place they finish.

What is an invitational?
An invitational meet is one attended by many teams. All swimmers, regardless of the heat they swim, are eligible to place in the meet. Usually only the top 12 receive points and ribbons. Entry fees are charged for each event a swimmer competes in. Swimmers decide what events they wish to swim. Information on invitationals will be on the team website. All swimmers at any level are encouraged, but not required, to participate in invitationals.

What is USA swimming?
Swimmers must fill out a registration form and pay a registration fee to become a member. The membership is required to compete in a USA invitational. USA invitational meet are posted on the USA Middle Atlantic Swimming website at

What is the Devon Crest Novice Meet?
Each summer Devon Crest Swim Team hosts the Devon Crest Novice Meet. This meet is open to first-time swimmers or summer swimmers only. Information on this meet will be posted on the team website. This is our teams major fund raiser for the season and requires all hands on deck. Every family is required to provide a volunteer for the meet whether or not they have a qualified swimmer to participate in the meet.

Must each swimmer attend every meet?
That would be nice but the coaching staff recognizes that sometimes this is impossible. Parents are asked at the beginning of the season to provide information on which meets their swimmer(s) will attend. In order to be eligible to swim Divisionals, swimmers must compete in two dual meets.

What time are dual meets?
Dates and times for dual swim meets will be posted on the team website with directions to away meets. They typically begin by 8:30 am.

What are warm-ups?
Warm-ups are a short period of time before the meet begins that lets the swimmers get their muscles stretched out and “warmed up.” Each team is given 30 minutes to get their warm-ups completed. The home team gets the water first; followed by the visiting team. All swimmers are expected to participate in meet warm-ups.

What are medley events?
IM is short for individual medley which consists of one swimmer swimming a lap of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Medley relay consists of fours swimmers each swimming a different one of the four strokes listed above.

How many events may each swimmer participate in for a dual meet?
Each swimmer can participate in up to four events; no more then three may be individual events with the fourth being a relay. Parents, if you see that your swimmer is scheduled for more, please notify the coaches.

How do we know what events the swimmers will be swimming?
When possible the tentative line up will be sent out Friday night and the final will be posted on Saturday mornings at the meet following the scratch meeting.

How do we get answers to other questions?
An email to the parent liaison is a good way if your questions doesn't require a discussion. Email addresses are posted on the team website.  If you need to speak to a coach, please wait until the end of all practices. Do not interrupt a swim practice to speak with a coach. Parents are not allowed on the swim deck during practice times.

What does a timer do?
Using a stopwatch provided by the club you time the swimmer in your assigned lane, from the light flash starting the race until your swimmer touches at the end of the race. There are 2-3 timers assigned to to a lane. One of the timers writes the information (times from each stopwatch and swimmer's name) on an event sheet (a runner picks up these sheets). Timers work one half of each meet.

What does a runner do?
A “runner” picks up the timer's sheets from each lane and delivers them to the computer operators (scoring) after each heat. Runners work one half of each meet.

What does a Clerk of Course do?
The Clerk of Course lines swimmers up for their events.

What does a finish judge do?
The finish judge writes the order that the swimmers finish by lane.

What are Divisionals, All-Stars and Mid-Caps?
These are end of season championship meets that build off each other. If you swim at Divisionals, you have the chance of continuing on the to the other meets.

If you place in the top 16 for any individual event after all the times from all the divisions (A, B and C) are combined, you go on to All-Stars (the next day). The top 8 relay teams after the combined results are recorded also go to All-Stars. If you participate in All-Stars, you MUST be able to participate in Mid-Caps the next weekend. If you make the top 6 in an individual event at All-Stars or your relay places in the top 3, you swim again at Mid-Caps. Mid-Caps is the competition pitting the best of the West Shore against the best of the East Shore teams.

Where do the ribbons come from?
Ribbons have the swimmer's event and time attached. These labels are provided from the scoring computer and are stuck to both team labels.

Where does all the food comes from that is sold at the home meet?
Each family is asked to provide items that are to be sold. This list of needed concession items will be available on on the team website. This food donation helps keep costs down for each family.

What are invitational meets?
Invitationals are fun meets hosted by different swim teams in the area. They do not count on the team record but offer great opportunities as they are often targeted at specific groups, i.e., Novice (new swimmers or summer swimmers only), ten and unders or relays. You have to sign up and pay a nominal fee to participate. Swimmers can sign up for any strokes they want to and indicate participation in a relay. The coaches will decide relay teams. The coaching staff will attend every invitational meet that the team promotes. Invitationals also offer shopping opportunities for swim suits, goggles, etc...; There is also a full food concession.

How do you order swim suits, caps? What is a jammer?
Jammers are snug-fitting, knee-length suits worn by the boys. Suit and swim cap orders are taken during the registration process. A team suit is not required to swim a dual swim meet. We ask that swimmers wear a team cap to dual swim meets. Goggles are on your own and should be competitive goggles. Back-up goggles and swim caps are a good idea.