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Please also see VolunteeringSwim Meets 101Inclement Weather Policies, and our FAQ pages under 'Parents'.

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MAFD Team Handbook

Jump To:

Communications           Team Information

Policies & Procedures          Swim Practice            

Parents are Workers           Swim Meets             

Dual Meet Event Order           Additional Information  

You may click here to view the Team Handbook in a pdf that is available for downloading or read it online below.


Parks and Recreation

Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Recreation and Parks Commission Office sponsors the Flying Dolphins. Registration for the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins is accomplished through the Recreation and Parks Commission either in person or via their website.

  • Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission Office
  • 313 S. Everett High Rd. Maryville, TN. 37804
  • find: aquatic programs under recreation @ www.parksrec.com

Registration is then fully completed with the team itself through the MAFD website registration @  www.flyingdolphins.org/register


Keeping Dolphin families up to speed with information and announcements is a top priority for the Board. The Dolphins invest a great deal of time to keep our website updated with pertinent and last-minute information. Different ways you can access information about the season:

The MAFD Board of Directors values your input, and we want to hear from you. A board member is usually present at each practice. Please visit with us during practices or submit an email to our MAFD President, or utilize the Contact Us area of the website.

Should you have the need to communicate with the coaching staff, please do so before or after practice (not during). You may also email our Head Coach via the link provided on our website.

  • Head Coaches for the 2024 Season:  Will Dudley & JT Hinsley

Every family will have a folder created upon registration with the Dolphins. This folder will be used to hand out ribbons. The folder boxes are available at all Springbrook practices.

There is a Facebook group page for MAFD. This is not a primary source of information. The Facebook group page is intended to promote team spirit and enthusiasm. The MAFD board reserves the right to remove postings deemed inappropriate or inconsistent with the vision of the Flying Dolphins swim team .

If you are NEW to Swimming Competitively, please see the Swim Meets 101 page and the Volunteering page for helpful information.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to joining the team, please know the MAFD Swimmer Qualification Policy states:

  1. All swimmers 10 years of age and younger must be able to swim at least 25 yards unassisted
  2. Swimmers 11 years of age and older must be able to swim a distance specified by the coaches.

An annual evaluation for all new swimmers must be conducted by one of the coaches prior to starting the season. This evaluation is usually conducted at the Opening Party each summer.

MAFD is a team for swimmers who know how to swim and want to participate competitively; this is not a program to teach non-swimmers how to swim.

All swimmers who are registered and participate in practice can be entered to swim in meets, including the Blue & White Meet. MAFD and the coaches want to help your swimmer(s) develop proper stroke techniques, swim faster and promote fair competition in a fun and wholesome environment.

The Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins swim team takes pride in being a family-oriented environment. We strive to maintain the best interests of each swimmer. MAFD will not tolerate the following behaviors from swimmers/parents/guests/etc:

  • inappropriate language
  • bad sportsmanship
  • disrespectful behavior directed toward coaches or other swimmers
  • inappropriate behavior

Consequences for these behaviors are at the discretion of the coaches, MAFD, and/or Parks and Recreation. Such consequences include, but are not limited to, suspension from practice, suspension from swim meets, or expulsion from the team.

Parks & Rec Cardiac Arrest and Parent-Athlete Concussion Forms MUST be completed and turned in BEFORE your swimmer enters the pool with our team. Swimmers may not enter the pool until this form is turned in. This is a Parks & Rec rule!

Greater Knoxville Area Interclub Swimming Association (GKAISA) Registration Form and the Covid 19 Waiver MUST be completed and turned in BEFORE your swimmer enters the pool.

These forms are made available online at the time of registration.

If not completed online, four completed paper forms MUST be handed in to the MAFD Secretary, ([email protected]), before your swimmer enters the pool with our team.

  • Parks & Rec Cardiac Arrest Forms
  • Parks & Rec Parent-Athlete Concussion Form
  • Greater Knoxville Area Interclub Swimming Association (GKAISA) Registration Form
  • GKAISA Covid 19 Waiver

Parents are Workers

Everyone on the Dolphin Board is a volunteer. The swim team cannot operate without volunteers. Each family that has a swimmer becomes a volunteer member of MAFD. It is expected that each family provide someone to work at least one stage of every meet your swimmer attends. The success of every meet depends on the work and dedication of our parent volunteers.

Parents can sign up for a volunteer position under the Calendar tab for each specific meet. Parent Trainings will be scheduled at the start of the season. They are designed to help introduce new parents to the different jobs needed to run a successful swim meet. Dates and times of the training sessions will be posted on the website.

Before the season begins, Parents need to attend one of the following Required informational meetings:

    • both meetings will held at:
      • Grace Community Church Annex
      • 161 East Harper Avenue, Maryville TN 37804
      • (look for the blue balloons)

Most jobs require no experience. However, there are a few that require training and others require certification. To become a skilled official (Stroke & Turn Judge, Starter, or Referee) you will need to be certified by attending a short training class and taking an open-book on-line test. Information regarding all available dates and times for Officials Training is available on the GKAISA link in our website. One of GKAISA’s training sessions will by hosted by the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins.

  • GKAISA Certification Training @ MAFD:
    • Thursday, May 30th, 7pm
    • GCC Annex, 100 Court St, Maryville

The MAFD Board is always seeking new perspectives and insight, please let us know if you are interested in becoming a board member. Volunteers keep our Dolphins Flying!

Team Information

Team Suit

The 2024 team suit is the Blue Speedo Lane Game suit. Team suits can be purchased at Swim and Tri in Knoxville. Visit  www.swimandtri.com for contact information and store hours or follow the link under ‘Parents’ and ‘Other Resources’ on our website. Swim and Tri will be at our Opening Party on May 28th for suit sizing and other merchandise sales.

Season Kick-off Party

The season opening kick-off party is set for Tuesday, May 28th from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Springbrook Pool. All family members may swim. Board members and coaches will be available at the swim party to answer questions and parents can finish the registration process, as well as sign up to attend worker training.

Team Picture

Our team picture is taken during the Friday set up night for the Smoky Mountain Invitational.  See the SMI information found below under Swim Meets.

Swim Practice

Our swimmers do not get better without attending practice. Thus, we try to accommodate family schedules by offering many practices each week. We encourage your swimmer to practice as many times as they would like. Please see the attached schedule (also available on our website).

Swim practices will be always be held, weather permitting. Coaches will cancel practice only if pool conditions are hazardous or impractical. Cancellation of practices is uncommon - if you are unsure if practice has been cancelled, please do not just drop off your child at the pool! Please check the website/app for cancellations. Also check the pool where you drop your child before leaving.

All pool safety rules are posted and will be obeyed. Swimmers are expected to obey the directions of coaches, lifeguards, and other pool personnel.

Parents are not allowed on the pool deck during practices. For safety reasons, Parks and Rec requires parents to wait on the upper deck at John Sevier pool and the across the bridge from the pool at Springbrook. Exceptions: Scheduled GKAISA certification practice for those in Stroke & Turn Judge training.

Please note: Any communication to our coaches must be personally handed to them in writing or by email. Do not expect the coaches to remember verbal communications (i.e., “I won’t be at practice/meet tomorrow, coach”) from more than 100 swimmers. Remember, however, that coaches should not be contacted in person during practice. You may talk to coaches face-to-face before or after practice, but practice time is meant for our swimmers.

* Special considerations for our swimmers who are also employed as lifeguards: If your swimmer is a lifeguard, please have them keep practice time separate from work time:   If you are at the pool to practice, please participate fully. If you need to work as a guard during MAFD practices, please inform your coaches so they are aware of your alternate responsibilities.

Click here to download the above picture to your phone.

Swim Meets

**Sign-ups for Swimmer Entries and Parent Volunteer Jobs are available on-line one week prior to each meet **

New Parents should view the Swim Meets 101 and the Volunteering pages for helpful explanations of how swim meets are run.

Blue and White Meet

This is a special meet just for members of MAFD. The Blue & White Meet is held in early June. Its purpose is to familiarize swimmers with the format of the meet, teach parents how to run a meet, and get accurate seed times for swimmers. We need everyone to attend - experienced families, and new families as well.

  • B&W date for 2024:
    • Tuesday, June 4th
    • Arrive at 4:30pm

Smoky Mountain Invitational (SMI)

SMI is a two-day meet sponsored by the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins. The proceeds from this meet provide our team with the vast majority of the funds we use to operate. This meet is held at Springbrook Pool in Alcoa. SMI is intended to be both a fun meet and a meet to prepare the teams for the GKAISA City Championship Swim Meet. SMI does not allow competition entries by year-round swimmers who have competed in a USA swim meet in the past year .

The older swimmers (aged 11 and up) will be swimming on Saturday, and the younger swimmers (aged 10 and under) will be swimming on Sunday. We want to encourage our older swimmers to come back on Sunday to volunteer as seaters and guides for the younger swimmers. They can also cheer-on their fellow Flying Dolphin swimmers and attend the trophy ceremony for all ages at the close of the meet on Sunday.

EVERY parent is expected to work during SMI, even if their child is not swimming in the meet. In addition to workers needed to run the meet, we also need workers Friday evening to set up the pool for the meet. This meet is our primary fundraiser and the major reason we have the most inexpensive fees of any GKAISA team.

  • SMI Dates for 2024:
    • Friday, June 28th Set-Up & Team Picture
      • (every family must be in attendance)
    • Saturday, June 29th  - 11 & older
    • Sunday, June 30th  - 10 & younger

GKAISA City Championship Meet

GKAISA hosts a City Meet in Knoxville every year as a finale to the summer swim season. City Meet takes place at Alan Jones Aquatic Center on the UT Campus with all GKAISA teams participating. GKAISA requires that each swimmer has swum in at least two dual meets during the regular season to be eligible to enter City Meet. All swimmers may participate in this meet. There is a nominal fee to enter this meet for all Dolphin swimmers.

This is a three-day meet. The first two days are preliminaries divided by age groups. Thursday is for swimmers aged 10 and under. Friday is for swimmers aged 11 and older. The top 16 swimmers or relay teams for each event then compete on the third day: Saturday, for finals and consolation finals. The number 17 and 18 swimmers will also need to return on Saturday as the 1 st and 2nd alternates. If your child wants to participate in the City Meet, you must be sure your child will be able to attend both the first day of his/her age group’s preliminary heats and the final/consolation heats day. The Flying Dolphins team must pay a penalty fee to GKAISA for every swimmer who signs up and then does not show up on either day. There is nothing more frustrating to swimmers than to make it to the finals on a relay team and then withdraw because one swimmer did not show up for the finals on Saturday! Check with the coaches if you have questions about City Meet.

Workers are needed at the City Meet as much as any meet. Parents of swimmers participating are expected to work at least one shift. Our team will be responsible for certain jobs and we are penalized if the worker does not show up. Please work when called upon.

Dual Meets

MAFD is schedule for four meets with another team in our league throughout the season. These are either home meets (at Springbrook Pool) or away meets (at the opposing team’s home pool). Parents (or another family member) are required to work a portion of these meets as well!  They are held in the evenings, usually from 6-10pm. Swimmers (through their parents) are required to sign up no later than 72 hours prior to the start of each meet, using the Dolphin’s website.

If your swimmer has signed up to participate in a meet and then, for some reason, cannot make it to the meet, contact a coach immediately . If a swimmer signs up for a meet and then does not show up without having contacted a coach, the unexcused absence may affect what events the swimmer competes in at subsequent meets. If a swimmer is entered in a relay event and fails to attend, three other swimmers may be eliminated from competing if a substitute cannot be found.

Do not leave a meet until the last race (event #70). If it is necessary to leave early, make sure the coaches are informed of this need prior to the meet.

Meet ribbons for swimmers will be in the swimmers’ file folder as soon as possible after a meet (usually a volunteer parent can get them into the folders at the next morning practice. If your child participated in an event and did not receive a ribbon in his/her folder, please send an email to our MAFD Secretary, ([email protected]) requesting the required information to determine the ribbons your child has earned. Be sure to note the event and heat number your child swam in.

It is advisable to have your child’s name on all clothing, towels, gym bags, etc. This will help reunite missing items with their owners. Remind swimmers to collect all gear before leaving at the end of the meet. We will try to hold items left behind at Flying Dolphin functions for a few days. If your child’s name is not on any items left behind, the item will be disposed of at the end of the season.

Swimmers should arrive at swim meets at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time for swimmer check-in. If your swimmer will be later than this, please inform the coaches in writing, so they will not schedule your child to swim in the first events. All the swim meets are scheduled for different start and warm-up times. Please pay attention to the times listed for warming up and starting at each individual meet.

IMPORTANT! A Flying Dolphin Check-In table will be set up at every meet (home and away). As soon as they arrive at the meet, swimmers (and parents with younger children) should report to the Check-In table to find out which events each swimmer will be competing in at that meet. Parents should write the event numbers on the swimmer’s hand or arm with a sharpie as a reminder. Swimmers and parents should pay attention to the progress of the meet to know when to report to Clerk of Course. NOTE: It is the swimmer’s responsibility to find out what event(s) he or she is entered , pick up any correct entry cards available, and be in the correct heat and lane when that event is held.

** Parents: Please write your child’s name (LAST and first initial) and age on the back of their shoulder, if they are 10 and younger. This will help the parent volunteers on deck on ensuring your child is in the correct lane and heat for their swim.

Directions to away meets can be found on our website, www.flyingdolphins.org under the Parents Tab, Driving Directions, or under Parents Tab, Other Resources, GKAISA Club Pool Locations link.

More information regarding swim meet procedures is available on our website and will be the topic of new parent meetings held at the beginning of the season.

For the link to the Dual Meet Event Order click here


Equipment Needs for Practice

Each swimmer will need the following equipment. Make sure you put your child’s name on their equipment with a permanent marker. Some of the items are suggested because they will aid in stroke development. Ask the coaches what they prefer.

  • Practice swimsuit (suggested to preserve team suit)
  • Goggles (they will need a good pair)
  • Towel
  • Swim cap (helps lessen the effects of the chlorine on their hair)
  • Water bottle (keep them hydrated)
  • Swim fins (highly suggested)
  • Kickboard (MAFD provides if needed)
  • Pull buoy (MAFD provides if needed)

Equipment Needs for Meets

  • Team swimsuit (not required)
  • Team swim cap (first one is free; replacements are $5 each)
  • Goggles
  • 2 Towels
  • Sharpie
  • Sunblock (& Bug Spray)
  • Snacks & Drinks (See info below)
  • Blanket, sleeping bag, or chair (to stretch out on between events)
  • Entertainment (card games, book, Game Boy, CD player or iPod, etc.)

What Should the Swimmer Eat & Drink Before Swim Practice & Meets?

A swimmer needs lots of carbohydrate-rich foods spread out over the course of the day in small meals & frequent snacks.

  • Avoid high-fat choices & fried foods
  • Also avoid carbonated and/or caffeinated drinks
  • Some good choices are:
    • pancakes, waffles, French toast, bagels cereal, English muffins, fruit, juice, fruit smoothies, low-fat milk, water pasta, bread, pizza, soup, salad
  • Water, Gatorade, or PowerAde are especially good for practices & meets. Remember to keep your swimmer hydrated.
  • Some good snack choices for on the go, right after practice, or at the meets:
    • applesauce, fruit cups, yogurt, trail mix, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, muffins, carrot sticks, celery sticks, apples, grapes, bananas, oranges

-end handbook-

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