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2018 Team Handbook


Welcome to the Hammerheads! We’re glad to see the return of last year’s swimmers and we’re thrilled to welcome our new Hammerheads and their parents.

The main focus of the Herndon Hammerheads swim team is to ensure that all swimmers have fun, exhibit good sportsmanship and improve their swimming skills. If we are able to achieve these goals all season, then we certainly will be a very competitive team within our division and should expect to be successful in reaching our goals.

We’re all looking forward to a great season! GO HAMMERHEADS!

Herndon Swim Club Pool

The Herndon Recreation Inc. (HRI) Swim Club owns the facility that we use.A 9-member board of directors governs the club.One board member is designated to oversee the swim program.To be a member of the swim team, a family MUST purchase a membership for the pool.

Team Reps

The A Meet Team Rep is Ron Graham and the B Meet Team Reps are Aaron and Jill Vinson.Team reps are volunteer parents who hire the coaches and oversee the running of all aspects of the swim team, outside of coaching and training the athletes. The team reps report to the pool board and are the representatives of the team in terms of working with NVSL league officials, as well as volunteers from other teams in the league.


The NVSL has approximately 20,000 swimmers on 102 teams.It is the largest and most recognized summer swim league in the United States.The league is divided into 17 divisions with six teams in each division.The largest and most competitive teams are in the higher divisions starting with Division 1.This year the Hammerheads are in Division 15.

Current NVSL Handbooks will be available before the first meet and placed in your famliy folder.We encourage you to read the handbook to familiarize yourself with NVSL rules and meet procedures.The NVSL provides us with one copy of their handbook for each swim team family.

The NVSL’s website can be found at:

Dual Meets

Each team in a division swims against the other five teams in the division, one at a time, in a series of dual meets. They are called dual meets because only two teams compete in the meet.These meets are scored based on swimmer performance in each stroke and a winner is declared at the end of the meet. A division champion is named based on the number of wins over the course of the season. If mutltiple teams have the same number of wins and losses at the top of the division, multiple division champions will be crowned for that division.

Who swims?

Since these meets are scored, swimmers with the fastest times are selected to swim in these meets.Each team can enter 3 swimmers in each event.No swimmer can swim in more than two individual events, plus up to 2 relays.Since a swimmer can only swim in 2 events, and since some swimmers may miss a meet because of vacations, you do not have to be one of the three fastest swimmers in an event to swim in a scored meet.Swimmers are selected for events in an effort to maximize the potential points for the meet as a whole.

The A Meets consist of 42 individual events and 16 relays.The events for these scored meets are shown in the table below.

Age Group Freestyle Backstroke Breaststroke Butterfly Freestyle


Medley Relay
8 & Under Boys 25M 25M 25M 25M 100M
8 & Under Girls 25M 25M 25M 25M 100M
9-10 Boys 50M 50M 50M 25M
9-10 Girls 50M 50M 50M 25M
11-12 Boys 50M 50M 50M 50M
11-12 Girls 50M 50M 50M 50M
13-14 Boys 50M 50M 50M 50M
13-14 Girls 50M 50M 50M 50M
15-18 Boys 50M 50M 50M 50M
15-18 Girls 50M 50M 50M 50M
Mixed Age Boys *

Mixed Age Girls *


*Mixed age relays are swum in the following order:11-12 year old, 9-10 year old, 13-14 year old, and then 15-18 year old.

Monday Night B Meets

Herndon, Hiddenbrook, Pinecrest, Fox Mill Estates, Fox Mill Woods and Somerset Olde Creek have joined together to conduct developmental swim meets on Monday nights.All swimmers may participate in these meets and they are un-scored.In these meets, swimmers who swam an event at the previous Saturday meet cannot officially swim the stroke that event at a B meet.Only the 100 IM is open to all swimmers, as this A Meet event is only conducted on Monday nights. These developmental meets give all swimmers a chance to compete, earn ribbons, and develop their strokes in a meet environment.

Herndon Olympics

The Herndon Olympics is an annual event in which the Hammerheads have participated in for the last 25 years alongside swimmers from 9 different teams: Kingston Chase, Kingstream, Four Seasons, Hunters Creek, Herndon Swim Club, Herndon Halibuts, Hiddenbrook, Faircrest, Bradley Farm, Foxfield and Reflections.This meet takes place on Tuesday, July 10th for 2018 and it is essentially an all day meet.The meet will be the top swimmers in each age group and each event from each of the teams.This meet is not a NVSL event butis hosted by Kingston Chase and the Town of Herndon Parks & Recreaction in a combined effort.It is a great day of competition and fun!

Relay Carnival

Another NVSL event is the Division Relay Carnival.The relay carnival takes place on a Wednesday, generally the day after Herndon Olympics, as is the case this year.All six teams in the division converge on one pool for an evening of relay races.These include both freestyle relays and medley relays.Following the relay carnival, the NVSL division coordinators seed the All-Star Relay Carnival.The top 18 team times (league wide) for each of the 22 events, qualifies for the ASR.


Each division holds an individual championship meet the Saturday following the last or fifth dual meet.This meet is commonly referred to as “Divisionals.”Each team is allowed to enter 2 swimmers in each event.A swimmer cannot be entered in more than 2 events.This is an individual meet and is not scored.


The NVSL All-Stars meet is held on the Saturday following Divisionals and is always the first Saturday in August.NVSL swimmers with the 18 fastest times (throughout the league) swum in an event during the divisional meets are selected to compete in the All-Stars meet.Approximately 600 swimmers from all over the league compete in this 6-hour event.If your swimmer is fast enough to be named an All-Star, it is a thrill they will never forget.

Meet and Practice Attendance

Our summer swim season is nine weeks long from the first practice through Divisionals.Swimmers who qualify for All-Stars practice for an additional week.Attendance by every swimmer at every possible practice is essential.We realize that there are numerous end of school year activities, spring sports and other miscellaneous events which may overlap with swim team, however, it is important that you attend every possible practice session.If you have a scheduling conflict, please let the coaches know in advance.

For each Saturday (A) Meet, we have to finalize the list of eligible swimmersby Wednesday night so that we can pass it to the other team on Thursday evening.After this occurs, we can only replace missing swimmers with a swimmer who has recorded a slower time in the event where the seeded swimmer is missing.We cannot swap swimmers among events to optimize our swim selections. This is why it is critical that you provide the coaches with the most up to date information about which meets your swimmer (s) can or can not swim in, using declarations on our website. Please attempt to make all swimmer declarations (attending or not) at least 1 week in advance of a meet.


Although swimming is considered an individual sport, our summer league is structured with an emphasis on the team.In keeping with our philosophy we expect the following from swimmers:

  • A swimmer must be able to swim the length of the pool to be able to properly participate in a meet.We’ll help your swimmer become a better swimmer, but it is important that all swimmers be able to swim.
  • Each swimmer should be on time to practices and meets and come prepared to swim and have fun.
  • Inform us when you will not be at a meet.We plan on you being available for all swim meets unless you tell us you cannot make it.
  • Pay attention to the coaches.Everyone will learn more from the coaches when swimmers pay attention.Disruptions aren’t fair to the other swimmers.
  • Do your best.Doing your best is a lot more important than being the best.

Swimmer Apparel

All Hammerheads must purchase the current season team suit, which is available at Cassels in Herndon (information on website). Cassels will fit your swimmer on-site and you will leave with your suit that day.

Every swimmer needs a towel, goggles (purchase at Cassels), a warm-up type suit (for cool days), a swim cap (available for purchase in the online store), a hat and/or sunscreen, and a bag to carry everything.You should have a water bottle and a light snack at meets.

Spirit wear will be available for purchase through our Hammerheads online store.


Ribbons are awarded for first through sixth place finishes in all meets.In Monday night meets, ribbons are also awarded for winning a heat.Ribbons will also include a sticker every time a Personal Best time is swum in any event.Ribbons will be in the swimmer’s folder no later than Wednesday for a Monday night meet and Tuesday for a Saturday Meet.


Safety is of paramount importance.Observe all pool safety rules at both our pool and every other pool we visit.


The Hammerheads swim program cannot be run successfully without effective communication among all the participants.In an attempt to implement effective communications, we will leverage the built in broadcast messaging available through our website. You can reach our volunteers through the website too by using the Contact Us portal.

A folder has been assigned on a one per family basis for the distribution of written communications and ribbons.The folders will be at practice daily and will be kept in the pool office/guard shack so it will be available whenever the pool is open.Use the folder for hard copy information for the coach and/or Team Reps.

You can also contact the Team Reps via email –

If you have questions about swim team during practice – please talk to a Team Rep during practice or via Contact Us.They can usually answer most questions.If you have a question for the coaches, use their email or try to ask before or after practice.During practice the coach needs to concentrate on the team and questions should be directed to the Team Reps at that time


Please remember that we’re a volunteer driven operation and need everyone to volunteer and contribute to make a fun, positive experience for our children. Our swim program can’t run without parental help.We’ve been fortunate to have such great parental involvement in the past, but it takes so many adults to administer meets, that we can always use more volunteers!Volunteering is lots of fun and often affords the volunteers the best views of the individual races. Some areas where volunteers are needed are:

Clerk of Course




Stroke and Turn Judges

Social Event Coordinator


Relay Take Off Judges

Table Workers



Pool setup and breakdown for meets

Free training is available to all volunteers, just chat with one of your Team Reps: Ron Graham, Aaraon Vinson or Jill Vinson


Concessions will be sold at all “Home” swim meets. The Saturday morning “A” Meets will offer a variety of breakfast food, coffee and snacks. The Monday night “B” Meets will offer dinner fare, usually hamburgers, hotdogs and lots of other yummy treats. This is the PRIMARY way for the team to generate revenue for the season and is beyond critical to our operations. Lots of volunteers are needed to help with Concession sales, so please consider signing up to help with home meet concessions.

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