COVID Guidelines

    COVID-19 Disclaimer

    ➢Membership of Bear Branch Swim Team (BBST) is required to acknowledge the COVID-19 Disclaimer as a part of the registration process.

    • Acknowledges that there are no guarantees that NWAL nor your BBST can completely prevent you and / or your children from becoming exposed to COVID-19.

    • Acknowledges that BBST membership accepts that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.

    • Attests that BBST members’ participation in any NWAL activity is voluntary and that BBST members assume all risks regarding COVID-19 and releases NWAL and BBST from any and all liability with respect to COVID-19, now and going forward.

    2. Self-Screen

    Prior to coming to the pool for any NWAL activity, everyone (swimmers, parents, guardians, volunteers....anyone) should self-screen by answering the following questions. If you answered YES to ANY question below, you should not come to the pool.

    Do I feel sick in any way, dizzy, have a cough, have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing? Do I have a fever, sore throat, chills, headache, loss of tase or smell or diarrhea?• HaveIbeeninclosecontactwithanyoneknowntohavetestedpositiveforCOVID-19?

    3. Swim Practice:


    • Masks to be worn by all coaches during practices
    • Masks to be worn by all swimmers when not in the water

    ➢Age groups will enter the pool area at staggered times and place their gear at opposite ends of the pool from the previous age group.

    ➢Younger Swimmers / Not yet “water safe” swimmers

    • Challenge for this practice group is swimming proficiency may not be sufficient for them to enter the water at the deeper end, where they cannot stand. The deep end may need to be excluded for this reason.
    • Additionally more coaches and / or helpers may be needed to appropriately supervise.
    • Should in-water instruction be required, masks should be worn at all times by coaches and / or volunteers.

    Dual Meets ➢General

    • Leveraged techniques and lessons learnt from USA Swimming and the UIL over the past 6 months of actively swim meets with COVID-19, where consistently two higher level, common problems have emerged;
      • Social Distancing drives the need to greatly reduce the total number of individuals at swim meets,
      • With modifications made to swim meets to incorporate social distancing, wearing of face masks and enhanced hygiene, how best to ensure that swim meet duration is maintained at a reasonable length.
    • For these reasons the Age Group Split-Alternate Weekends modifications were made to and voted upon by the full NWAL board for the NWAL 2021 swim season.

    5. Dual Meets

    ➢Age Group Split – Alternate Weekends

    • Age group split 10U and 11+
    • Division Finals weekend converted into dual meet weekend, making 6 weekends
    • Involves no other change to NWAL calendar
    • Accommodates considerably slower heat interval while keeping each meet length to approximately the same as prior years
    • Each swimmer will compete at 3 dual meets through the season
    • Swimmer Individual Entry and Relay entry limits do not change

    ➢Social Distancing Recommendations

    • Modified Ready Bench

    • Swimmers cannot be gathered for subsequent heats as in prior years or they will be too close
      together for effective social distancing
    • Recommend a linear ready bench which is marked by numbered rubber dots, located at least 6ft apart from each other. Swimmers would stand on their dot and move forward to the blocks

    • Only 1 heat at the blocks at one time

    • Swimming more than a 25 yd event, swimmers should exit the water and move off in the
      opposite direction to the next heat, BEFORE the next heat is moved to the starting blocks

    • Traffic Plan

    • All meets have a heat movement traffic plan so that swimmers can be moved from the linear ready bench to the blocks, swim their event, exit the pool and depart the pool deck area, visit the coach all without coming into contact with another heat

    • ReducedVolunteers

    • 2 timers per lane and no scribes. The heat turnover rate is slow and 2 timers can easily keep up. Times will be the average of the 2 watch times

    PPE Recommendations

    • Face Masks

    • Everybody at a dual meet should wear a face mask inside the gated pool area
    • Swimmers should wear a face mask until arrival at the starting blocks
    • Swimmers remove face mask at starting blocks and place in a Ziplock bag
    • A small plastic tote or storage crate will be used to store the bagged mask. For 25 yard events a volunteer will be needed to move the crates to the other end
    • After swimming their event, swimmers should re-apply their face masks BEFORE departing the area

    ➢Enhanced Hygiene Recommendations

    • BBST will have hand sanitizer at locations around the pool deck for use by swimmers and / or volunteers

    • Frequent handwashing is encouraged for all participants and it important a sufficient supply of soap and / or sanitizing liquid be available within restrooms. 
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