February 3, 2004 > East Bay Swim League - Is it too early to start thinking of swimming?
East Bay Swim League - Is it too early to start thinking of swimming?
by Praveena Raman
The East Bay Swim League is a competitive summer swim league that has been in existence since the early 1970s. It was formed for the purpose of providing young swimmers with an opportunity for summer recreational swimming and competition, fostering sportsmanship, team spirit, cooperation and respect for other swimmers in the league. The league consists of teams from Fremont, Newark, Hayward, San Leandro and Castro Valley. It is organized, managed and run by volunteer parents with professional coaches, hired by the teams to coach the children.
The league consists of 12 teams divided into the northern division and the southern division. The northern division consists of 2 teams from Castro Valley (Chabot and Columbia), 2 from San Leandro (Washington Manor and San Leandro), and 2 teams from Hayward (Southgate and Treeview) while the southern division consists of one team from Newark and 5 teams from Fremont (Glenmoor, Misison Highlands, Mission Valley, Warm Springs and Kennedy). Membership in the teams is open to youth between the age of 5 yrs. old and 18 yrs.
The season starts in the spring with some teams starting practices in April while others start in May. Dual meets between teams start in the beginning of June and take place once a week, usually on Saturdays and culminate in a championship meet at the end of July between all the 12 teams. The Championship meet is held at Chabot College, where 1200 swimmers participate and determines the champion team for the league. The dual meets end a week before the championship meet determining the northern division and the southern division champions.
Each team is allowed only 100 swimmers in the championship meet who are called the "rostered" swimmers. Additional swimmers on a given team can participate in the dual meets as "complementary swimmers". Complementary swimmers cannot participate in the Championship meet. The numbers of swimmers are distributed in all the age groups.
Though the season starts in the spring, membership for the teams is determined in February and March of a given year. In February, returning swimmers are given an opportunity to register while in March, each team opens its membership to new swimmers according to the rules established in the by-laws and executed by the board of directors and members of a particular team. Most teams have a waiting list and it is advisable for interested people to contact teams in January.
Participation in a swim team and in the league is a rich experience for the whole family. The team spirit and feeling of family is not only true for the young swimmers but also for parents. Parties, socials and spirit events are organized by each team during the season for their members. Parents in each team have to volunteer for different jobs to successfully run a meet. The jobs vary from operating the snack shack, gathering the swimmers for each event, timing and recording events, preparing ribbons and other awards and filling positions on the board of directors of a given team. Representatives from each team form the Championship Committee who ensure smooth running of the Championship Meet. Swimmers arrive for the dual meets at 7:00 a.m. and the meet starts at 8:00 a.m. and finish by noon. Swimmers arrive for the championship meet around 6:00 a.m. with their families and camp out at Chabot College for the whole day with the meet ending around 5:00 p.m.
The Championship Titles have been held by different teams through the years - TreeView (1976, 1977, 1983), San Leandro (1978, 1979, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000), Southgate (1980-82), Chabot (1984, 1986, 1994, 1995, 1997), Kennedy (1989, 1992), and Mission Valley (2001 - 03).
For more information about the League or to register in a team please contact the team of your choice:
Castro Valley 881-9957
San Leandro Drowning Darryls
San Leandro 351-5087
Washington Manor Dolphins
Mission Valley Barracudas
Warm Springs Gators