Sunday, June 14, 2009

Get ready for the start of the season!

Hello TSA Reps,

As we prepare to kick off the first meets of the season Tuesday, I want to remind you all of a few housekeeping tasks you should take care of before then:

1) Log in to your account on the TSA web site. Doing this now will ensure that you don’t have a crisis the night of your first home meet when you suddenly realize that you have forgotten your password J. If you already had an account on the site, your password is unchanged. If you are a new Rep or Alternate, then the person who created your account for you (most likely one of your predecessor from your team) should have sent you your initial password. If you don’t know or can’t remember your password, email me and I’ll reset it for you.

2) Update your contact information. Once logged in, click the “personal” link and fill in or update any of your contact information that is missing or outdated. It’s very important to enter all your phone numbers, as another team’s Rep may need to contact your urgently on the day of a meet if, say, their pool had to close suddenly due to a contamination accident and they want to find out if they can switch the meet to your pool.

3) Enter your club’s information. From the “club” link, select “Update your club’s information” and fill in anything that is missing, especially your pool’s address and phone number. New this year is a “Number of Swimmers” field; please update this to reflect the number of swimmers on your team’s official roster (the one you must submit to the Scorer’s table at each meet in accordance with TSA rules). If you add swimmers to the team during the season, please remember to update the swimmer count field on the web site as well. Another club information field this year is “Mascot”; fill this in with “Sharks” or “Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches”, or whatever your team calls itself.

4) Enter your club’s roster (optional). Also on the “club” link, look for “Manage Roster”, “Promote Roster” and other roster related operations. This will allow you to enter your team’s roster, which will give you pull-down name menus for entering swimmer names in meet results (for new records and for triple- and double-winners). If you had your roster on the site last year, you can promote it and then remove the swimmers no longer on the team before you add swimmers who are new to the team this year.

5) Practice entering meet results. If you have never been a rep before, click the “results” link and play around with entering meet results for one of your three home meets. Remember to clean up from your practice by setting the meet status back to “Meet Not Held Yet” when you’re done.

6) Put a reminder in your schedules for entering meet results. The home team’s TSA Rep will need to enter meet results on the web site no later than 8:00 PM on the evening after the meet. If you can do nothing else by that deadline, at least enter the meet score and meet status, which should only take about 30 seconds of your time. You can then come back and enter the rest of the results (no more than 10-15 additional minutes) later. The reason we really want to get the meet score by 8:00 is because that’s the deadline for submitting our results to the News & Observer so that they can print them on the Scoreboard page of the Thursday sports section. If your meet is postponed due to weather, please indicate that in the meet status as well before 8:00 Wednesday.

7) Know your responsibilities as a TSA Rep. You should be familiar with the TSA Rulebook, particularly the sections concerning weather delays and postponements. You may also find this checklist helpful in remembering your duties before, during and after a meet.

8) Stroke & Turn Judges. The list of TSA-certified Stroke & Turn judges is available here. The list will be updated if there are corrections or additions.

On a separate topic, I wanted to pass along a free tool that my club has found useful this year for tracking which swimmers will be absent for which meets. It’s a website called, and it’s very easy to set up and use. Take a look at this example to see the type of interface we have for each meet. The password is “tsa”. If you configure your own similar signup pages, you can assign a password so that only families on your team get access. Signup results can also be downloaded to a spreadsheet if your coach doesn’t want to check the whole roster for “no” answers.

I wish everyone a safe and storm-free season!

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