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Spalding Woods Hammerhead Sharks

Huntcliff/Spalding Woods Hammerheads 2020 Swim Program

COVID-19 Swim Team Operating Plan and Rules

We are excited to announce that the Huntcliff/Spalding Woods Hammerheads will have a 2020 swim team season, although our experience will be quite different than prior years due to additional safety precautions we have adopted.

We have prepared these rules and procedures after consideration of Executive Orders issued by the Governor of the State of Georgia related to COVID-19, including rules specifically applicable to summer activities like our swim team, and also guidance from public health authorities, including the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, and from the Atlanta Swimming Association.

In order to mitigate risk in today’s public health environment, swimmers and their parents and guardians must comply with this Operating Plan and the Rules. Huntcliff Homes Association, Spalding Woods Club, and the Hammerheads’ coaches and volunteers cannot guarantee no risk of exposure to COVID-19, although we are taking what we believe to be reasonable precautions in this regard.

Use of the neighborhood pools by the Hammerhead Sharks will be suspended if the Plan and Rules are not followed. The team will not be resumed until we have an expectation of compliance. Thus, we expect the complete cooperation of both swimmers and their parents.

Practice Schedule

Our current practice schedule is to have 10 and under swimmers’ practice from 9:00-9:30 AM followed by 11 and up swimmers from 9:40-10:30 AM. Once we have a better idea of the number of swimmers we will have participating in each practice we will determine if we must stagger days as well. But we currently believe we will be able to accommodate our expected numbers with this schedule. We do not plan to have evening practices this year due to capacity concerns with the Huntcliff and Spalding Woods pools being open during these hours.

Lane Assignments

A coach will be stationed at the gate before each practice to welcome swimmers into the pool and assign swimmers to lanes. Swim lanes are by standard over 6 feet wide (normally 8 ft) and therefore assist with easy social distancing. When possible, we will group siblings into a single start location because they do not require social distancing and can help to increase our capacity. For younger swimmers each lane can have 2 swimmers (more if they are siblings), one swimmer at each end of the pool and lanes will be used as one directional. For older swimmers we are able to stagger 2 swimmers on opposite sides of a lane and the next lane staggered towards the middle of the pool. See the diagrams below. Swimmers will move from lane to lane as they transition directions. Swim practice schedule and capacities are below.

Practice Time Age Groups Maximum Swimmers (unless siblings)
9:00-9:30 am 10 and under 12 swimmers
9:40-10:30 am 11 and over 18 swimmers

Practice Layout- 11 and over

Practice Layout- 10 and under

Season Calendar (Tentative pending final plans from ASA)

  • Week of Monday June 22 (Practices Begin)
  • Week of Monday June 29 (Meets Begin on Tuesday Evenings)
  • Week of July 27 (Season concludes)

Daily Arrival and Departure from Practice

  1. Swimmers and parents must wait in their car upon arriving at the pool. They may not walk to the pool area until five minutes before your practice time. Everyone must maintain a minimum of 6 ft from other swimmers waiting to enter and be assigned lanes.
  2. Swimmers should arrive ready for practice (swimsuits, caps and goggles on as well as a water bottle in hand). Coaches must maintain 6 feet separation and therefore cannot help swimmers put on swim caps. If possible, leave towels and t-shirts in the car. If swimmers must bring a bag, it can be placed by the fence directly in front of the swimmers starting lane. Parents may walk their swimmer to the gate, but no parents may wait in the pool deck area and may not go inside pool gates. We understand that for small children this may be difficult and will consider exceptions only if we are below the capacity restrictions, but parents MUST be a good example to our swimmers and maintain appropriate social distancing of 6 feet from other parents. Parents waiting outside the gates must maintain such social distancing.
  3. Upon arrival, swimmers will be asked to use hand sanitizer and then assigned a starting lane and side. Each swimmer will place any belongings including shoes by the fence directly in front of the swimmer’s lane and enter the pool to wait for practice to begin.
  4. All swimmers must leave immediately after their practice; this includes pool members. If practice is at the swimmers pool of membership, re-entering the pool deck must follow the rules and guidelines of that given pool and cannot be done if there is another swim practice in session.
  5. If any swimmer feels ill or has experienced any of the symptoms associated by the CDC with COVID-19, DO NOT COME TO PRACTICE or THE SWIM MEET. If anyone in the swimmer’s family has been exposed to COVID-19, DO NOT COME TO PRACTICE OR THE SWIM MEET. We will follow the Governor’s Executive Order (related to Summer Camps) to determine eligibility for later re-admission. We are very excited to have a season this year, but NOT at the expense of our swimmers’, coaches’ and families’ health.

Coaching Restrictions

Swimmer-Coach interactions will be very different this Summer and it is important that everyone understands this before signing up. Everyone who signs up MUST be able to swim one length of the pool unassisted! Coaches will coach from the side and will NOT be in the water with swimmers. In normal times we are able to help the swimmers learn new skills by being hands-on (moving their arms and adjusting their heads). This Summer all instruction will be explained from the pool deck--we want everyone to be aware of this before you signing up as this will impact the experience. The coaches will try their best to verbally explain and demonstrate changes. Coaches will be wearing masks while welcoming swimmers and in the case of having conversations with swimmers and parents but will not be expected to wear a mask when coaching swimmers who are in the water.


We will NOT utilize shared equipment in any case this Summer-- no kickboards, flippers, pull buoys, or paddles. And swimmers should not share goggles and caps with other swimmers.

Swim Meets

  1. All swim meets will be swam virtually this year. That means each team can schedule when their swimmers swim their events and at the end of the week the results from the competing teams are combined to determine points. 
  2. We know that many parents work during practice times and believe having a separate “swim meet” even in the absence of the competing team will give our swimmers a much more “normal” experience for a swim season. Therefore, we plan to continue holding weekly swim meets on Tuesday evenings as we have done in the past. The bonus is that meets will go much faster! The start time for these meets are TBD based on approval from Huntcliff and/or Spalding Woods.
  3. We will not have age group bullpens this year. Between events, swimmers must sit with their families, who will be sitting in designated “pods” if at the Huntcliff Pool or in “numbered sports” if at the Spalding Woods Pool. The big unknown for meets is the total number of swimmers/families we will have this year. Each pool has limited seating for families and if our family numbers exceed these limits, we will make adjustments.
  4. We will announcing the upcoming events and coaches will help to ensure swimmers are ready on time. We will be on our own schedule this year, so as long as swimmers are with their families no swimmer should miss an event!
  5. We will need very few volunteers this year!
    1. Timers: We will need a total of 7 timers (6 Lane Timers and 1 Backup timer). We will have a marked spot for where timers will stand until swimmers are on the block ready to swim.
    2. Concessions: Our team is very small this year and we have been unable to obtain the same level of sponsorship as we have in past years. Therefore, if possible we would like to have a small concession stand (No fresh food, only prepackaged individual serving items). We will provide tape marking to create a socially distanced line. Once we have our team numbers finalized, we will decide if this is feasible.

Maintaining a Clean Environment

  1. We ask that swimmers and parents help to maintain a clean safe environment. If you bring anything with you to practice, be sure it leaves with you. There will be no lost and found this year and any items remaining at the end of practice will be disposed of.
  2. Be sure to clean up any garbage before leaving and wipe down any tables used during practice.
  3. If you use the restrooms, be sure to wipe down anything you touch, before and after use. This includes toilet seats, handles, and sinks. Use of any restroom is limited to one person at a time.

Required Waiver

Each swimming facility has a liability waiver. A parent or guardian of each swimmer must agree to these prior to their first practice, and swimmers age 18 and older must also agree. Also, all coaches and volunteers are required to agree as well. Here are links to the liability waiver of Huntcliff Homes Association (which can be agreed to online) and Spalding Woods Club : (Link coming soon)  and http://spaldingwoodsclub.com/HomeModule.aspx?id=1520

Both liability waivers need to be agreed to for each swimmer or other participant. We are required to verify to each organization that all of these are in place for our roster and coaches prior to our season, and for each volunteer prior to their service.

In Closing

It is our sincere hope that we are able to offer something for the kids to participate in and look forward to while mitigating for them and our coaches’ risk of COVID-19 exposure. To make that happen, we need your help! We understand so many are ready to be done with COVID-19 and throw your mask in the garbage, but to make this season a success, we need help from all of you to follow the procedures set in place and remind your children the importance of following the rules. Our coaches must maintain the required social distancing and therefore they must coach from a distance. If you know your child will not be successful in this environment, we understand if you wish to take the year off. We know this can be an amazing year for our children! And for so many of them, swimming meets against their fellow teammates will relieve so much stress they feel at normal swim meets, making them stronger and better swimmers for next year!

 2020 Virtual Team Schedule

In a "normal" summer season, our club has a Swim Team for 17 and under family members partners with the Huntcliff neighborhood. Our swim team meets are through Atlanta Swim Association (ASA) which coordinates and assigns swim meets with judges, trying to keep the competition as local as possible matching teams of the same size as best they can. It's a great tradition for our club going back decades. 

Knowing families have been in quarantine and with the recent State of Ga restrictions lifted regarding swim teams, ASA is offering a virtual swim team option for any neighborhoods who are interested.  Social distancing and safety concerns are top priority. Our swim team parents came to the Board Of Directors with a proposal to continue this summer with the Virtual Swim Team Option. The Board voted and passed the proposal. Regarding the safety of Swim Team members during this time of pandemic, there are specific guidelines with ASA the team will be following found here.The approval by the board is contingent upon the Swim Team following our 2020 SWC Pool Guidelines which they have agreed to follow.

The Huntcliff/Spalding Woods Hammerhead Sharks has been a team on the smaller side, practices will be able to accomodate our 2020 Member Guidelines for Covid 19 regarding maximum number of swimmers. Specific guidelines for 2020 Swim Team can be found here. That said, during practice and virtual swim meets, the SWC pool will be closed to anyone who is NOT on the swim team.  The majority of our swim team are Spalding Woods Club families, the balance are families from Huntcliff and families in neighborhoods with no swim team. 

Practices for 6 week Swim Team season will be split between SWC and Huntcliff pools starting the week of 6/22/2020 running through the week of    as follows from 9am to 10:30 am as follows. The weeks Swim Team practices at SWC, the pool will be open for members at 10:30 rather than 10:00am. Our website calendar will be updated to reflect this in operating hours.

Practice Schedule Week of/Location:
6/22 - Spalding Woods Pool - Open Monday through Friday at 10:30 for members
6/29 - Huntcliff Pool - SWC Open at 10am
7/6 - Spalding Woods Pool -  Open Monday through Friday at 10:30 for members
7/13 - Huntcliff Pool - SWC Open at 10am
7/20 - Spalding Woods Pool -  Open Monday through Friday at 10:30 for members
7/27 - Huntcliff Pool - SWC open at 10am

Swim Meets will be Virtual in that there will be no head to head competition between the teams, each team will time their own swimmers at their own pool and compare times for competition.

As with practice, SWC will only hold meets at our pool the weeks we have practice on Meets will be held on Tuesday nights and the pool will be closed to members and only open for Swim Team after 5pm. 

Meet Schedule (Pending final schedule from ASA):
6/30 - Huntcliff Pool
7/7 - Spalding Woods Pool - Closed at 5pm
7/14 - Huntcliff Pool
7/21 - Spalding Woods Pool - Closed at 5pm
7/28 - Huntcliff Pool

For all practices and meets we will require waivers for any non-members of SWC. 

We will update the calendar on the SWC Web Site this week so you can view hours of practices and swim meets when the pool will only be open to our Hammerhead Sharks..

If you are interested in joining it is not too late. You can view information here regarding signing up. This year because of social distancing, members 8 and under MUST be able to swim a length of the pool as our coaches will NOT be able to get in the water to aid swimmers as they have in a "normal" year.

Should anything change, we will update our members.

Questions? Concerns? Email spaldingwoodsclub@gmail.com 

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