About the Team
FCST 2011 Handbook


Welcome to the "Killer Whales," the Ford's Colony Swim Team (FCST). We hope to have you as part of the team this summer and look forward to a fun-filled, competitive season.

The purpose of the handbook is to provide a basic reference to our swimmers and their families and to answer some of the more frequently asked questions.

Team Goal

The goal of the swim team is to offer all young people in Ford's Colony from ages 5 - 18 years of age the opportunity to learn new and improve existing swimming skills, enhance community spirit by meeting and socializing with other Ford's Colony children, teach and encourage sportsmanship and create a fun-filled yet competitive summer swim experience for each participant and their family. Our team will be competing in Division I of the Virginia Peninsula Swimming Union (VPSU). There will be three divisions consisting of swim teams from Williamsburg, Yorktown and upper Newport News areas. Qualifying members of each team will compete against other qualifiers in their age group in an end of the season VPSU Championship meet.


Membership is open to all young people 18 years and younger whose families live or own a lot in Ford's Colony. This would include those young people who reside in Ford's Colony with their grandparents during the summer. Those young people who are 18 or younger before June 10th are eligible to swim. Children must be able to swim, unassisted, one length of a 25 meter pool in any fashion.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is a group of volunteers who meet throughout the year and run the Ford's Colony "Killer Whales" Swim Team. The Board represents the team within the Virginia Peninsula Swimming Union (VPSU), hires coaches and sets team policies. Your input and ideas are essential to the success of the swim team. You are encouraged to contact the board with any information you would like addressed. The Parent Swim Team Board for the 2011 season is:

Position Board Member Phone E-mail
Chair Debbie Ramer (757) 564-7796 debbie.ramer@gmail.com
Vice Chair Debbie Huckins (757) 229-2982 thehuckins@cox.net
Secretary Kristy Hill Not Available bbhill2@cox.net
Treasurer Anna Kostelni Not Available akostelni@aol.com

Registration / Dues

The swim team operates as a separate entity from the Ford's Colony Swim and Tennis Club and the Homeowners Association. As such, we are responsible for generation of most of our own revenues and payment of expenses. Registration fees primarily cover the coaches salaries with fundraising providing most of the balance of the operational costs for a given swim season. The overall operation of the swim team is approximately $15,000 annually. Our goal as a Parent Board is to be financially responsible.

Due to decreased contributions and sponsorships the last few years, fundraising is essential and critical to maintain our financial status. Each family is expected to participate in and support the fundraising efforts of the team.

In order to plan for the year, we are implementing the following membership dues schedule to encourage early registration. Each registration will include a Ford’s Colony swim team t-shirt for each swimmer to wear to meets. In addition, new swim team apparel and merchandise will be available for both swimmers and their families. Support your team by proudly wearing team apparel at all meets!

Dues for the 2011 Swim Season

Registration DuesOn or before May 15After May 15
1st child $100.00 $110.00
2nd child $90.00 $100.00
3rd child $80.00 $90.00
Family maximum $270.00 $300.00
NOTE: It is required that an additional fee of $5 be added to each swimmer's fee for insurance.

Make checks payable to "Ford’s Colony Swim Team" or "FCST".

Please note that the above amount does not include the cost of the team swimsuit, or swim cap which should be purchased separately (see Team Swimsuits below).

You can reduce your registration fees by selling ads for the VPSU Championship meet program. See the fundraising section for further details.

Refund Policy

We encourage all interested to try the swim team. However, if an individual decides prior to the end of the first week of practice, not to swim anymore, all but $15 is returned (covers the cost of the giveaway plus an administrative fee), prior to the end of the second week of practice all but $25 is returned, and prior to the end of the third week, all but $35 is returned. After the first swim meet, no money will be refunded.

Practice Schedule

Practices will be held Monday through Friday. See Calendar link.


Parents may drop off children for practice time only. During practice, unless otherwise permitted by the coaches, no children except those in attendance for practice may be in any of the pools. Distraction from outside noise is a problem for swimmers training. Coaches and the FCST Board are not responsible for supervision os swimmers before or after practice times.

Team Swim Suits

Please refer to the Swim Gear link for ordering suits.

2011 Coaching Staff


The primary form of communication is e-mail. If you don't receive these e-mails, please send an e-mail to Debbie Ramer so she can add you to the list.

Mailbox: A blue storage container acts as the swim team’s mailbox. It will be available at each practice, usually on a table near the zero entry end of the Westbury Park pool. Each Ford's Colony Swim Team (FCST) family will have a file folder that will be updated as needed with important information. Please check these folders frequently.

Killer Whale Book: Debbie Ramer will have the sign up book for swim meets and work assignments. Please contact her at debbie.ramer@gmail.com to communicate important messages, including last minute changes, vacation schedules for missed meets, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Once the meet schedule has been made, if any changes must be made parents are expected to find work replacements for themselves and notify the meet director of the change and the replacement. As a last resort, they may contact Debbie Ramer by the evening prior to the meet (meets are usually, but not always, on Monday). Please remember that last minute changes cause chaos for swimmers, coaches and other parents.

Killer Whale Web Site: Our web site is www.fordscolonyswimteam.com. Check it often for swim team information and activity updates. If there are problems with the web site, or the information contained on it, please contact Paula Detweiler at kdetweiler@cox.net.

Swim Team Bulletin Board: Located on the wall by the storage room at the Westbury Park pool, this board will display qualifying times for the Championship meet, times achieved for each swimmer for each meet swum and general swim team information.

Swim Team Board of Directors: Please feel free to contact any board member with any questions and/or concerns you may have. Contact information can be found on the Contact Us page of the web site.

Volunteering/Parent Work Schedule

Swimming is truly a family sport. It requires active parent participation. For a swimmer to participate on the team, a parent is required to work in some capacity during each meet. Please be considerate of others and do your fair share to ensure that our meets run smoothly. We cannot run a meet without total parental support. It takes over 80 parents to run a Ford’s Colony home swim meet. Away meets require about 40 parent workers.

Parents need to sign up for swim meet work responsibilities. Parents are strongly encouraged to sign up for several different work positions for swim meets. Families that have not signed up to work will be assigned where needed. We will vary work assignments so each family can serve in different capacities. A parent work schedule will be generated each week on the Friday prior to the Monday meet.  It will be posted on the web site by noon that day. Once the work schedule is created, if you are not able to work a scheduled meet it is YOUR responsibility to find a replacement and notify Debbie Ramer of the change. All changes need to be reported to Debbie by no later than 6:00 pm the day before the meet (usually Sunday). This includes swimmer changes as well as parent work assignment changes.

Parents Needed

Home Meets

Away Meets

Meet Director / Referee






Sweep Judge



Head Timer









False Start Rope



Clerk of Course



Clerk of Course (younger swimmers)






Scoring Table



Stroke and Turn Officials



Set up Pool Deck



Clean up Pool Area



Set up Concessions









Recorder for Publicity



50//50 Raffle






         Note: 1/1 indicates one person for each half of the meet, thus providing relief.

Parent Work Positions

VPSU Certified Officials: Training is required for those interested in filling one of the following positions. The VPSU will determine the training schedule. Once the dates are determined, we will publish them on our web site and contact those who expressed interest.

NOTE: Training is offered in several locations around the VPSU. See their web site for details.

-    Referee: The official in charge of the meet; the final authority in all matters concerning the conduct of the meet.

-    Starter: The official who starts each heat of the meet.

-    Stroke & Turn Judge: Swim officials assigned by and working for the referee to judge the swimming conformance with the rules for the event being swum. Non-conformance, frequently referred to as "DQ" or disqualification, is reported to the swimmer and to the referee.

-    Scorer: Determines official swim times from score cards, keeps track of team records, and submits meet results to VPSU.

Non-Certified Positions: The following positions are open to all. Many positions, with the exception of meet director, scorer, starter, referee and stroke-and-turn judges can be learned "on-the-job" or with brief instruction.

-    Meet Director: Responsible for the set up, management and overall operation of home swim meets.

-    Clerk of Course: Assembles all of the swimmers into their correct lane/heat and distributes deck cards to each swimmer.

-    Announcer: The announcer announces the upcoming events at the clerk of courseďż˝s request.

-    Mother Hen / Father Rooster: (Young swimmers Clerk of Course). Gathers and delivers 8 and under swimmers to the clerk of course and to lanes for correct heats.

-    Lane Timers / Lane Recorder: (Three per lane). Uses a stopwatch to get accurate times for each swimmer. Reports to Head Timer. Additionally the timer who is designated as the Lane Recorder (one of the three timers) will, besides timing, record all times for each race onto the deck card and then give these cards to the deck runners.

-    Deck Runner: Collect deck cards from recorders after each event and deposits them at the scoring table.

-    Timekeeper: Determines official time derived from three times recorded per lane/swimmer and then gives the deck card to the computer representative.

-    Head Timer: Supervises Lane Timers during meets, signals to Referee when Timers have cleared watches, maintains watches are in proper working order, and helps schedule Timers for all meets.

-    Sweeps Judge: Determines visual order of finish of swimmers for each race.

-    Team Recorder / Computer Representative: Inputs all swim times for individuals and team for each event swum. Tracks qualifying times, pool records and best times.

-    Concessions: Works at the "Killer Café" concession stand during home meets.

Volunteer Committee Chairpersons

In addition to board positions, there are committee chairperson positions. These committee chairpersons are instrumental in the day-to-day operation of the swim team.

Position Volunteer Committe Chairpersons Phone E-mail
Concessions Chair(s) Michele Delaney Not Available Not Available
Merchandise Chair Karen Doherty Not Available karen.h.doherty@us.ibm.com
Membership Chair Kathy Coffey Not Available Not Available
Social Activities Chair Nancy Bennett Not Available Not Available
VPSU Rep. and VPSU President Jim Bennett N/A fcrep@vpsu.com
Webmaster Paula Detweiler (757) 645-4373 kdetweiler@cox.net

-    Membership and Registration Chairperson: is responsible for collecting swimmer’s registration paperwork as well as keeping a current list of swimmers and their families.

-    Concessions Chair: is responsible for organizing and securing food donations for all home meets. This person is also responsible for organizing parents to work at our concession stand.

-    Merchandising Chairperson: is responsible for selling swim team merchandise, providing information on how to order team suits, and developing new product lines.

-    VPSU Representative: attends VPSU meetings on behalf of the Ford’s Colony Killer Whales and handles VPSU matters for the team.

-    Webmaster: keeps the web site current.

Fundraising coordinates a team of parents to plan and implement various fundraising events.

In addition to dues, our budget is supported by various fundraising events. Our intent is not to overwhelm the family, but due to decreased contributions and sponsorships the last few years, it will be essential that we fundraise this year. Here is a sample of fundraising opportunities:

-    VPSU Championship Ad Sales: VPSU produces a brochure for the Championship Swim Meet. Advertisements are sold as a means to raise funds. These ads can be from business card size up to full-page ads. The ads are seen by 500+ families across Williamsburg, James City County, York County, and Newport News. Ads are inexpensive. Last year, a full-page ad ran $75. VPSU refunded 75% of the cost of the ad back to the individual swim team selling that particular ad. Ford’s Colony Swim Team will apply 25% of the total ad revenue against this year’s dues if the ad is sold prior to the first swim meet. A check will be issued to the swim team family selling that ad. If the ad is sold after the first meet, then 25% of the total ad revenue will be applied towards next year’s dues. For example, a swim team family sells 2 full-page ads at $75 each. 25% of the amount sold or 25% of $150 ($37.50) will be refunded to that family. What a great way to lower your family’s swimming expense, help your swim team, and advertise your business at the same time!

-    Apparel Sales: We have a number of different items for sale including t-shirts, swim bags, and car flags. Please consider purchasing some of these Ford’s Colony Killer Whale apparel and novelty items to support your community team!

-    "Killer Café" Sales: Please support your team by enjoying dinner and snacks from our home meet concession stand called the "Killer Café."

-    50/50 raffle: At all home meets we will hold a 50/50 raffle. The winner of this raffle will keep 50% of the "pot" and the swim team will keep the remainder. You do not need to be present to win!


Dual meets (swimming competition between two swim teams) are scored as follows with only the top three swimmers scoring points:

Swim Meet Awards

Swim meet ribbons will be passed out within two days of the meet if at all possible. If you are unable to make that practice, please check your family folder in the swim team “mailbox” (file folders) for those ribbons.

Special Swim Meets

-    Time Trials: We will hold a Time Trials Meet for the 2011 season on June 12, 2011. Please refer to the calendar as to view the scheduled date and time.

-    Summer Awards Meet: Swimming competition organized in the same manner as the Championship meet. Swimmers who have achieved a Champs qualifying time may not swim that stroke in the Summer Awards Meet. This is the last team meet for swimmers to obtain a time that would qualify them for the Championship meet.

-    Championship Meet (Champs): Swimming Competition held at the end of the swim season in which individual swimmers from all 19 VPSU swim teams compete for awards. A qualifying time must be achieved during the regular swim season at either a dual meet or Summer Awards Meet in order to swim in this meet. Additionally, a swimmer must have competed in at least 3 dual meets to qualify. Please check with the coach if you have questions about whether your swimmer qualifies.

Weather Policy

Meets: If weather is too severe to swim, the meets may be postponed or cancelled by agreement of the Team’s League Representatives. It is important that each family gets on the e-mail callout so that info on meet cancellations can be obtained. Send e-mail to debbie.ramer@gmail.com. Meets are held rain or shine and only delayed or cancelled during thunderstorms.

Practices: Our goal is to provide as much pool time as possible and coaches will be at the pool regardless of weather. Practices are held in light rain. Weather is hard to predict and summer is famous for thunderstorms. There might be times when practice is stopped 5 minutes after it starts. Your child(ren)’s safety is our utmost priority. For that reason, it is very important that we have a current emergency contact form on file.

Parent/Guardian Guidelines

The following may appear overwhelming. It is not intended to be but rather is for informational purposes and is intended to help things run smoothly.

  • Have your child(ren) to practices and meets on time and ready to swim (i.e., fed, well hydrated and in their swimsuit with goggles in hand). Swimmers must report to meet warm-ups on time, ready on deck to swim as each team has a pre-assigned warm-up period. Home team warms up first.
  • Be supportive of your child(ren)’s efforts and be supportive of their coach.
  • Please make sure your seating area at each meet is completely cleaned up before leaving that day. We do not have a service to clean up after meets-that is the responsibility of each and every family. Help is also needed prior to a home meet for set-up.
  • One parent from each family must work in some capacity for each and every meet.
  • Provide food as directed by the Concessions director for each of the home meets.
  • Be a good role model. Demonstrate good sportsmanship to your child(ren) by staying until the end of the meet and cheering on the other swimmers on the team. Encourage your child(ren) to do the same. Children learn good sportsmanship from their coaches, their peers, and their parents.
  • At least one parent must be present at the meet if her/his child is swimming.

  • Swimmer Conduct and Participation

  • Be respectful of your coaches and fellow swimmers.
  • Come to practice and meets on time, ready to swim, with swimsuit on and goggles in hand. Make sure to eat and drink something prior to practice. All swimmers, especially younger swimmers, should take a bathroom break before practice starts.
  • Give every practice and meet your very best effort.
  • Practice good sportsmanship during practice and meets. Support your teammates by cheering for them during their events.
  • Do not use profanity at any time.
  • No horseplay on the pool deck or in the water (no running, pushing, holding someone under the water, etc.)
  • During meets be at the Clerk of Course or the Relay Report Area on time for your events.
  • Regular attendance is encouraged. If unable to attend meets or practices, please let your coaching staff know in the "Killer Whale" communication book.

  • Swim Meet checklist

    Getting ready for a swim meet can feel like going on a camping trip. When getting ready for a meet, consider the amount of time you will be spending in the sun and what you will need to stay comfortable. There is a lot of "down time" between individual events. In addition to bringing your swimsuit, cap and goggles, the following useful items should be brought to the meets:

    Meet Schedule / Calendar of Events

    See our calendar on web site.

    Directions to all pools can be found here: Pools.

    Last Updated: April 26, 2011