I am new to swimming. How to I find out more about terminology and techniques?

The USA swimming website is a great resource for parents who are new to the world of swimming. Click here to find out more about the basics of competitive swimming.

Do I join SAL or US?

This decision should be made based on what is right for you and your swimmer. The Suburban Aquatic League season runs from September to February. Practices are 5 days a week. Meets are every Saturday beginning in November. There are 5 regular season meets, the Trophy Meet invitational, up to two team championship meets and one individual championship meet. For many families/swimmers that is sufficient; others need more.

Swimmers in the USA program swim more yards during practice and travel to meets throughout the mid-atlantic region. US swimming is the equivalent of a ‘travel team’ or ‘tournament team’ in other sports. If you are not sure if your swimmer is ready for our US program NPAC coaches are happy to help you make the decision. You can contact them at: [email protected] or [email protected].

If your swimmer would like to swim for the North Penn High School coach Faikish prefers that they enter the US program by middle school (7th or 8th grade).

How do I register my high school swimmer (9th grade plus) for NPAC?

Most NPAC high school swimmers are also on the water polo team. Water polo begins in September and runs until November. Any high school swimmer who is also a water polo player and wishes to participate in NPAC meets will register as ‘Meets Only,’ because they never attend an NPAC practice.

If your high school swimmer does not play water polo they will need to register with NPAC for ‘through November’ so they can practice until the high school starts.

If your athlete is a water polo player and does not swim for the high school, but would like to swim with NPAC for conditioning, pay the ‘November to January’ fee.

Finally, if you have a 9th - 12th grader who does not play water polo or swim for North Penn High School, but would like to swim with NPAC pay the ‘All Season’ registration fee.

Can you explain the middle school and high school practice schedules?

The North Penn High School swim team starts practice the second week of November. The high school team practices immediately after school and before school at 5:30am. North Penn High School swimmers must attend morning practice at least three times a week.

Busing to the middle schools is provided for 9th grade students. As a courtesy any US registered 7th or 8th grade swimmers who wish to attend the 5:30am practice and take the bus to their school afterwards may do so. Due to insurance coverage restrictions this offer is limited to US registered 7th and 8th grade swimmers. All other middle school swimmers will attend evening SAL practice only.

Note: Penndale will not allow students to remain in the building unless they are in the cafeteria eating breakfast. To avoid having your child left outside tell them to drag their breakfast out as long as possible.

How do I keep up with everything that is going on at NPAC?

We have several communication methods at NPAC. Use them all and never miss out on what is happening.

  • The Calendar! From your cell phone open the calendar (Click here for a link) and click the subscribe button. All NPAC events will be added to your personal calendar and changes will automatically be updated. We strive to keep the calendar accurate. You can rely on it being up to date.

  • The swimmers portal will provide you with information on upcoming events as well as results from meets.

  • Weekly emails are sent out to inform you about what is going on at NPAC on a week by week basis.

If we have a scheduling conflict is it ok to attend practice when it is convenient?

No! Your swimmer can only attend the practice that corresponds to their registration. This assures that there is a safe number of swimmers in each lane. But also proper insurance coverage for your swimmer is contingent upon the fact that they are attending the practice which corresponds to their registration paperwork.

Is it OK to approach the coaches with questions?

Yes, of course! However, try your best not to approach coaches during practice. That is their time to focus on your athlete. The best time to approach a coach with questions is at the end of the evening. If your child is in an early practice and it is not convenient for you to wait until the end of the evening you may email the coaches at: [email protected] (for girls) or [email protected] (for boys).

Coach Jeff Faikish is busy managing several swimming and water polo teams for the North Penn School District so he is not always easy to reach via email. You might be able to catch him for a brief discussion after he has gotten a practice session up and running. However, if you would like to schedule a specific time to meet with Coach Faikish contact the NPAC president ([email protected]) to make arrangements.

How do swim meets work?

First, coaches must know if your swimmer is attending a meet. You will use Team Unify to inform the coaches which meets your swimmer will attend. If you do not indicate your attendance for a meet your swimmer will not be included in the meet lineup.

The boys and girls head coaches put five or six hours and a lot of thought into constructing a lineup. Please be considerate of their efforts and do your best to inform them of any changes to your swimmer’s attendance as early as possible before the meet.

If you need to change your swimmer’s attendance status after the deadline, please email them directly at [email protected] (for girls) or [email protected] (for boys).

Are SAL members required to participate in all meets?

The North Penn Aquatic Club strives to develop competitive diving and swimming skills. To accomplish this, members are required to participate in the majority of scheduled meets. SAL requires a minimum of two meets (40% participation) during the 5-meet dual meet season to be eligible for championships .

Can I leave a meet after my swimmer is finished?

Never leave a meet early unless you have checked and received an OK from the head coach. NPAC's participation in Suburban Aquatic League dual meets is a team effort. Your athlete should be in attendance, as part of the NPAC team, for the whole meet. This demonstrates good sportsmanship and fuels a team environment.

All parents and participants must pitch in to cleanup after meets and assure that we leave the facility in good condition. The pool is used by many groups, NPAC is a guest at this facility. Please ensure that NPAC team and spectator areas are clean before leaving. Food & snacks from the snack bar should be eaten in the lobby (NPHS policy). Please place all trash items in the bins located in the corners of the deck and lobby.

I want to watch my child swim. Why do I have to work at meets?

We all want to watch our swimmers participate in meets. But meets would not even be possible without the 75 or so parent volunteers it takes to run them. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about the sport of swimming and to get to know other parents on the team.

To be able to volunteer at any function taking place at a North Penn school you must have criminal and child abuse clearances as well as an affidavit filed with the district. For information on how to get these clearances Click Here.

What is The Trophy Meet?

It is a USA sanctioned SAL invitational hosted by NPAC. It takes place on a Sunday (usually near Thanksgiving) and runs all day. Early age groups start at 8am and the older age groups end around 4 or 5pm. It is a very popular, well-attended event.

All NPAC members pay $25 to support The Trophy Meet and parents must volunteer to work one session of the meet. NPAC is proud of the reputation this meet has throughout the swim community and these contributions from our members insure that pride will continue long into the future. Thank you!

Every NPAC swimmer will be entered into The Trophy Meet. You will fill out a form to indicate which 5 events your swimmer would like to swim (they can swim fewer if they like). Please inform coaches and meet directors if you are unable to attend.

Is there an end of season championship meet?

There are a few, actually. There are team championship meets and individual championship meets.

Just like throughout the season, team championship meets are held separately for boys and girls. If either (or both) team record is good enough through out the season they will be eligible to compete in the Northwest Division Swimming Championship meet. If NPAC wins the North Division meet they will compete for the title of League Champs for the entire Suburban Aquatic League.

League and Division Championships are individual competitions (no team scoring, but there are relays) Note: Athletes must have competed in at least 40% of dual meets to be eligible for League Championships. There is a limit on the combined number of entries (3 individual, 2 relays) for League and Division Championships. NOTE: in past years, League Swimming Championships were designated as "A Champs" and Divisional Swimming Championships as "B Champs". SAL diving still uses the "A" and "B" designation.

Mike Kennedy Memorial League Swimming Championships is the league individual championships and only swimmers/divers with the top times/scores in the entire league will compete in each event (18 plus, 2 alternates). Coaches notify swimmers/divers of their entry after the league seed meetings, which occur following the League Dual Meet Championships and Last Chance meets.

How do I find out if my athlete will qualify for League Championships?

The SAL tracks individual times/scores and updates the "Top 50" throughout the season. (Click here for SAL Top 50 listings) Coaches attend a seeding meeting after the Last Chance swimming and diving meet to place eligible swimmers into the events (remember - only 3 events for any athlete, including swimming, diving events at Divisional and League meets). Many athletes that are not in the initial "Top-18" will make League Champs depending on how many are scratched from the event in front of them. NPAC coaches will contact those athletes entered for League Championships promptly after the SAL seeding meetings in late January.