Team Competitions

Swim Meets

Each season will offer USA and YMCA meets. These meets predominately take place on the weekends at different sites throughout Fairfield County and the Greater New Haven area. A schedule will be available at the beginning of each season and meet information for each meet detailing events to be swum; start times, location, directions, etc will be available on-line and on the bulletin board located in the lobby of the YMCA.

The coaching staff decides in which meets the Team will compete. All swimmers are encouraged to attend all scheduled meets, unless told otherwise by the coaches. There will be sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board for all meets. It is the swimmer’s and parent’s responsibility to sign up for a meet. If a swimmer is signed up for a meet and fails to attend, he/she will be responsible for the meet fees. Meet fees only apply to USA and YMCA Invitational meets. Generally, there are no meet fees for dual meets. At the end of each season, USA and YMCA Swimming offer championship meets for all swimmers of varying levels of ability. There are qualification standards for certain championship meets.

Transportation to swim meets is the responsibility of each swimmer. The Team does not provide transportation to any YMCA dual meets or USA Swimming meets.

YMCA Swimming

The YMCA of the USA is the governing body of YMCA swimming. YMCA swimming offers the Piranhas its dual meet competitions (Piranhas vs. one other team) and invitational meets. As a YMCA team, Piranhas compete against other YMCA teams in the CT YMCA Swimming League. The short course season usually consists of 2 or 3 YMCA meets and there are usually no Y dual meets during the LC season. In March there may be a New England YMCA Championship meet for 12/unders offered at the end of the season. A swimmer must swim in at least two YMCA meets and meet a qualification standard to be eligible for the New England YMCA Championship meet. The age of the swimmer for Y meets is determined by the swimmer’s age on the date of the meet.

At the culmination of the winter season, Piranhas who meet the following qualifications will travel to the YMCA National meet (Y-Nationals). In addition to achieving qualifying time standards, a swimmer must be at least 13 years of age and have swum in the equivalent of four YMCA meets during the season. There are a sufficient number of Y meets on our schedule to meet this requirement. Swimmers are responsible for participating in these Y meets. Meets will not be added to the schedule for kids who neglected to participate in the required number of meets. Also, a swimmer must be in financial good standing, have shown that he/she is a dedicated “Senior” member of the Team and mature enough to handle an overnight trip. The coaching staff reserves the right to select which swimmers attend the Y-Nationals meet based on the standards listed above. We do not attend the Summer Y National meet. Swimmers travel as a Team to YMCA Nationals and other National-level out of region meets.

USA Swim Meets

USA Swimming is the governing body for Swimming in the United States. USA Swimming provides competition for swimmers of all ages, levels and abilities at the regional, Senior and international levels. Meets are offered throughout the winter and summer seasons, and both seasons culminate with Championship meets. In order to swim in meets, a swimmer must be a registered member of USA Swimming. Connecticut participates as a LSC (Local Swimming Committee) of USA Swimming. Our Club code with USA Swimming is PSDY.

USA Swimming Meets are conveniently held on weekends and meet locations are usually in the Greater New Haven, Middlesex and Fairfield County areas, as well as other areas of Connecticut. Swimmers are grouped by age for competitions, and the age group a swimmer competes in is determined by their age the day the meet begins. Usual age groupings are as follows: 8/Under, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/Over, Senior.

At the end of the winter and summer seasons, Connecticut hosts a variety of USA Swimming year end championship meets including Regionals, Age Groups, Seniors and 8/Under Championships (winter only). In order to compete, a swimmer must have swum in at least two USA sanctioned meets during that season. In order to swim in Age Groups and/or Seniors a swimmer must also meet a qualifying time standard. CT Seniors is a meet for 13/overs only.

In the summer the Piranhas may travel to the Speedo Sectional Championship meet and/or the USA Junior or senior National Championship Meet, dependant upon qualifiers. These are USA Swimming sanctioned meets hosted by USA Swimming. In order to swim one or both of these meets, a swimmer must be 13 years of age or older and meet a qualifying time standard. Also, a swimmer must have demonstrated that he/she is a dedicated “Senior” member of the team, mature enough to handle an overnight trip and in good financial standing with the Darien YMCA and Team. The coaching staff reserves the right to select which swimmers attend these meets based on the standards listed above. Swimmers will travel as a Team and room with other Team members at these meets.

Championship Meets

As stated earlier, each season culminates in a Championship meet. As members of the Piranhas we ask that all swimmers make time for their respective Championship meet. We post the meet schedule very early in the season to facilitate your commitment. Aside from the fact that we are a competitive swim team and all swimmers must compete, we view all meets, especially a Championship Swim Meet, as a Team event and the Team needs all swimmers that qualify to swim. We see this no differently than the Team needing it players to participate in the championship soccer game or championship lacrosse game. We understand that scheduling is difficult, but please make time for these meets as we need the swimmers to participate and the parents to volunteer. Please remember that in order for a swimmer to be eligible for any of these meets, his/her parents must have timed at two meets, minimum. Please see Parent Commitment page for more details about this policy.

Swim Meet Attendance

The Piranhas is a competitive swim team. Because we are a competitive Swim Team, all members of the Darien YCMA Piranha Swim Team will be expected to attend meets faithfully. The major difference between Piranhas and swim lessons is that Piranhas do compete in swim meets. All Team members will need to attend at least two CT USA in-season meets for the winter season (meets between September and the end of February) and one CT USA in-season meet for the summer season (April-July) to be eligible for any CT USA Championship meet, Piranha Intrasquad meets and Y meets do not count towards these requirements, but time achieved at those meet do count. Also, any swimmer who does not meet these criteria will risk losing his/her spot on the Team the following Fall.

Swimming in meets is a part of the developmental process for swimmers. Learning how to race, how to split races properly, how to ‘win’ and how to ‘lose’, is as much a part of swimming as learning proper stroke technique. A swimmer is missing a huge part of the sport if they do not compete. Please make time for swim meets.