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Team Handbook


The Lake Marion Swim Team (LMST) known as "The Lasers” was started in 1992 by a group of dedicated parent volunteers who wanted to provide a community swim program for their children. We swam our first season in B meets only, to meet the criteria for membership in the MCSL. In 1993 the Lake Marion Swim Team was admitted to the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL).

The MCSL is made up of 91 teams in fifteen divisions, A through O, with six teams in each division. Teams are placed in divisions each year based on a computer swim-off using swimmers’ times from the previous year. This year Lake Marion will compete in Division K.

In brief, MCSL dual meets are held on Saturday mornings and are known as “A” meets. The top three swimmers in each event will swim in the Saturday morning meets (top six swimmers in all freestyle events). Four relays are also swum at each A meet.

The Lake Marion Lasers also participate in weeknight meets with other teams throughout the Montgomery Village area. These are the "B" meets and are designed to give all swimmers, no matter what skill level, an opportunity to participate in a meet. Generally, if a swimmer does not swim in the Saturday morning meet, they will swim in the weeknight B meet.

Team Information

Swim Team Membership and Fees:

Lake Marion Swim Team membership is open to any interested and qualified child, aged 5 - 18 as of June 1, 2023, who resides in the East Village, Picton or Eastgate communities of Montgomery Village. Non-residents of Montgomery Village who purchase a Limited Annual Pool Membership (LAPM) from the Montgomery Village Foundation may also join the Lake Marion swim team.  Valid MVF pool cards are required for swim team registration.


The fees for each season will be posted each year when registration opens. Fees will be due at time of registration and the deadline date to request a refund will be posted each year at the time registration opens. 

Swimsuits will be available for purchase and while strongly encouraged, especially for meets, they are not required. Team spirit wear will also be available and while again is not required, it is great to be at a meet and have all our swimmers easily identifiable by their Lasers gear. Lastly, there is a teen gift (ages 13 and up) given out at Awards night at the end of the season. This is a Laser tradition. The cost is $20 for your teen to participate, payable at registration.

The Swim Season

All-Comers Meet Time Trials

The All-Comers Meet is held the week prior to the first MCSL dual meet and is open to all swim teams within Montgomery Village. This is a “time trial” meet used to provide coaches with official times for swimmers in all events. The times are then used by the Head Coach to “seed” swimmers in subsequent meets. All-Comers also gives swimmers a chance to experience how a meet is run as well as provide parent volunteers an opportunity to practice positions they would fill during a meet . All Lake Marion swimmers who can swim the length of the pool are expected to participate in this meet

Swim Ladder

The swim ladder is an event-by-event posting of each swimmer's best times swum during the current season and will be posted on the website as soon as possible after each meet. The ladder is used as a guideline in selecting swimmers for the "A" meets, which is discussed further in the next section.

Seeding "A" Meets

Using the swim ladder, the Head Coach decides who will swim in each event based upon times from the All-Comers Meet and subsequent meets throughout the swim season. The top three swimmers in each event are selected to swim in the MCSL dual meets (top six swimmers in all age groups for freestyle.) The Head Coach also takes into account other factors when selecting the lineups such as:

  • The needs of the entire team and which selection of swimmers may earn the most points against the opponent's lineup.
  • Consistency of the swimmer and whether it is reasonable to expect him/her to swim this time again during the meet.
  • Whether the swimmer's stroke is legal - disqualification means that the team loses points. A slower swimmer with a legal stroke is better than a disqualified swimmer.
  • Presence and participation of the swimmer at daily practice.

  • MCSL Meet Attendance

    Coaches must assume that swimmers will be available to swim in MCSL A meets unless otherwise notified. It is the responsibility of both the swimmer and parent to inform the coaches and A reps in writing if he or she will be unavailable to swim by signing the swimmer out by using Swimtopia. This is our primary sign-out notification method. This will help avoid entry errors and give another swimmer the opportunity to swim in that spot. Once a lineup is finalized, the team is unable to substitute a swimmer and an empty lane or “no show” at an MCSL meet causes the team to lose points. Parents may also email absences, or unforeseen issues/problems (i.e. illness) to the Head Coach and/or A rep.

    Eligibility for "B" Meets

    The B meets are designed to provide swimming opportunities for all swimmers who do not participate in “A” meets. The rules of eligibility are established by the Gaithersburg - Montgomery Village B League and are as follows:

    1. If you swim an event in the A meet, you are not allowed to swim the same event in the following B meet, with the exception of freestyle (see exception below). A swimmer MAY swim any of their off-strokes in the B meet, regardless of how many events they swam in the A meet.

    2. The A meet limit of strokes (3 + IM + relay) does not apply to B meets. There is not a limit to the number of events a B swimmer may swim in a B meet, e.g. if a B swimmer wishes to swim all five events, they may. This will ensure that each swimmer (A or B) gets ONE chance to swim each stroke each once a week.

    3. If you are a usual A swimmer who misses an A meet, you are not eligible to swim your normal strokes in the following B meet.

    4. Any swimmer who has an MCSL “All Star” time in a stroke is not allowed to swim that stroke in a B meet (even if it is the off stroke.)

    Freestyle Exception: A swimmer is eligible to swim freestyle in a B meet as long as they did not place 1st through 6th in the previous A meet (i.e. the swimmer is eligible if they finished 7th through 12th place).

    General Notes Regarding Eligibility: In B meets, as in A meets, a swimmer is expected to be legal in the stroke before being entered in an event. The head coach will have final decision making authority on whether a swimmer is ready or not to swim a particular stroke.

    No swim-ups will be permitted in B meets.

    Because the eligibility rules cannot capture every possible situation, and in order to provide flexibility and fairness to teams and swimmers, allowing swimmers with exceptional circumstances (e.g. disqualifications, etc.) to swim will be at the discretion of the B reps and coaches from BOTH competing teams.

    Procedure for B Meet Sign-Up

    No later than the Saturday before a B meet, the meet will be opened on the Lake Marion website.  Once a B meet has been opened, a swimmer/parent may sign-up to swim any event he/she is eligible to swim.  (NOTE:  See eligibility rules above.)  The sign-up period will close at 12:01 AM the day before the swim meet.  If a swimmer signs up to swim an event he/she is not eligible to swim, the swimmer will be removed from that event.  Please help communication by keeping the coaches informed and do not enter a meet you are not planning to attend.  If you have signed up but become unable to swim due to illness, etc., it is very important to inform the coaches and team B rep as soon as possible.  This will help the timeline of the meet by avoiding empty lanes and unnecessary heats. 

    Laser Pre-Team

    The Laser pre-team is a practice group designed to introduce young swimmers to competitive swimming. Pre-team is not designed to serve as swim lessons, but to assist swimmers in improving their current skills. Pre-team swimmers MUST be able to push themselves off the wall or the bottom of the pool unassisted for 5 meters in order to join the beginning group, and 15 meters for the advanced group. Laser pre-team swimmers should be five (5) years or older by June 1st. Swimmers who are not yet 5 but will start kindergarten in the fall who meet those requirements can be considered. The team will offer an evaluation before the pre-team practices start, and evaluations will also take place the first week of pre-team practice. If a family registers a swimmer for pre-team and they do not meet the requirements, the team will issue a refund through the first week of practice.  

    Meet Organization

    Swim meets, consisting of a series of events divided by age group and gender, are run by parent volunteers who perform a variety of functions. In order to run a meet, each team competing needs to supply approximately 30 or more parent volunteers (home meets take more than away meets). Among these volunteers are Certified Officials who have attended an MCSL officials' clinic to learn the responsibilities of a particular position such as:

  • Referee - responsible for running the meet and making sure that all applicable rules are followed.
  • Starter - responsible for starting the events and ensuring that all swimmers get a fair start.
  • Stroke & Turn Judge - each team supplies 2 Stroke & Turn judges who make sure that all swimmers perform legal strokes, turns and finishes during an event. If a swimmer uses an illegal stroke or performs an illegal turn or finish, it is the responsibility of these officials to disqualify the swimmer from that event.
  • Automation/Computer Operators (This position does not need certification but does require a training class from MCSL.) Each team in an A/B meet supplies a person to work as a computer operator to enter the times, as supplied by the timers, to determine the results of an event. The computer operators also keep track of points earned by each team. (B meets are automated but not scored.)
  • The following positions do not require certification but are the minimum required to run a meet:
  • Timers - Three timers are required for each of the 6 lanes during a meet. Each team supplies half (9) of the total timers required (18). In addition to the lane timers, the home team will supply a head timer and the visiting team will supply an assistant head timer.
  • Clerk of Course - Each team supplies at least one, preferably two, persons to act as a check-in point for swimmers prior to their event. The Clerk of Course is especially important in B meets due to the large number of swimmers, and the multiple heats of each event. Swimmers are arranged by lane and verified that they are in the correct event. The Clerk of Course, or an assistant, takes the younger swimmers to the starting end of the pool and positions them in the correct lane.
  • Awards/Ribbon Writers - The ribbon writers work alongside the computer operator and fill out the place ribbons for each event. In both A and B meets the position requires someone to verify and apply the stickers to the proper ribbons as they come out of the printer. Each team supplies a person for this duty. At mini-meets, the stickers may be computer generated, or may actually be written by hand, depending on team preferences.
  • Announcer - The home team supplies a volunteer to announce events, call swimmers to the Clerk of Course, play music, etc.
  • Meet/Team Representative - Each team has at least one parent volunteer who is responsible for acting as the team representative during the meet. At Lake Marion we have two A meet representatives and two B meet representatives. The meet representatives are responsible for organizing the respective A or B meets, lining up volunteers to work, welcoming the visiting team, and making sure the meet progresses smoothly from start to finish.
  • Meet Manager - The meet manager is responsible for helping to set up and run the meet in partnership with the team reps. The meet manager focuses on the equipment, volunteers, and pool set-up and take-down.
  • Help and support is needed in other areas such as:
  • Meet Setup – Before a meet, volunteers are needed to help set up the equipment and arrange the pool deck (tables, chairs, equipment, etc.) for the meet.
  • Meet Takedown - After a meet the pool needs to be returned to its original condition. This involves arranging tables and chairs, putting equipment away and making sure that trash is picked up.
  • Concessions Setup, Operation and Takedown- Our concession stand, The Laser Café, is a huge part of fund-raising for the swim team. Because the team can only take advantage of this fund-raising opportunity during home meets, both A and B, please give any help you can. A very needed and important position is that of concessions coordinator, who organizes the efforts of all the other volunteers. In addition to staffing the concession stand, volunteers are needed to shop for supplies, pick up ice, haul and load coolers and transport food prep equipment to the pool. After the meet, help is needed gathering the equipment, cleaning it and putting it away. Please be generous in giving your time.
  • Officials Hospitality – During home meets (both A and B), we welcome opposing teams to our pool from throughout the MCSL. We provide hospitality drinks and food to volunteering officials and those working the meet. Volunteers are needed to set up the hospitality, and to serve water and drinks to officials and timers during the meet.

  • Additional Types of Meets
  •  Divisional Championship - The Divisional Meet is an MCSL meet held at the end of the season in which each of the six teams in a division race their two fastest swimmers in each event.
    Relay Carnivals - Each MCSL division holds an ‘A’ Relay Carnival in the middle of the season. All six teams in each division race one another in special relay events. The winning relay team from each event represents our division at the MCSL All-Star Relays. The six teams that participate in the "B" league also hold a ‘B’ Relay Carnival during the season.
    Coaches' Invitational Long Course - This is an invitational meet for the eight fastest swimmers in each event from the entire MCSL. The meet is swum in a long course pool (one length equals 50 meters) so all events are twice as long as usual. The North Creek team also runs a long course meet during the season. Swimmers who do not swim in the Coaches Invitational Long Course Meet may swim in this meet.
    All Star Relays - This meet is set up identically to the divisional Relay Carnival except that it is made up of those relay teams from the entire MCSL that placed first in their events at their respective division ‘A’ relay carnivals.
    Individual All Stars - This is an invitational meet swum at the end of the season for the 16 fastest swimmers in each event from the entire MCSL.
    Mini-meets and Popsicle meet - Watch the bulletin board and your email for details about these special meets for pre-team and swimmers in our youngest age groups. 

  • Coaching Staff

    Please see the complete list of coaches under the Coaches tab at the top of the page. Coaches will be available to answer your questions, but not during practice. Interruptions, even short ones, make running a safe and effective practice difficult. A coach will be available after each practice session to answer questions.

    Laser Swim Practice

    The following policies have been developed to provide the best possible practice environment for all:
    1. Please let the coaches know in advance when your swimmer will miss a practice session. Commitment to a regular practice schedule helps everyone achieve personal goals and team objectives.
    2. Swimmers are expected to be on time and arrive prepared for practice. Swimmers should be on deck and ready to swim before 5 minutes before scheduled practice time begins.
    3. In accordance with the Montgomery Village Foundation regulations, parents are not allowed on the deck during practice unless it is an emergency. Please wait under the shade shelter while practice is underway.
    4. Coaches have the right and responsibility to maintain pool safety and to preserve team discipline. Therefore, the Head Coach may prevent a swimmer from practicing with the team and/or competing in a meet, or, in a worst case situation, expel a swimmer from the team. Please refer to Lake Marion Swim Team discipline policy for further information.
    5. Summer league swimmers are expected to attend practice on a daily basis. Year round club swimmers, after consulting the Head Coach, may continue practicing with their club teams and attempt to attend as many Lake Marion practices and team events as possible that are not in conflict with club team swimming.

    Meet Etiquette

    Swim meets are for fun. Everyone is encouraged to cheer for friends, teammates, neighbors and especially their children. However, there are several rules which must be followed to ensure fairness for all swimmers: 

    • Be quiet for the start of each race.
    • Do not talk to meet officials during the meet. Complaints or concerns should be brought immediately to the attention of the team representatives during the meet or to the coaches or swim team committee members after the meet.
    • Do not obstruct the view of the meet officials, especially Stroke & Turn Judges.
    • Smoking is prohibited on the deck, in the locker rooms, in spectator areas, and in all areas used by the swimmers during the meet. 

    Swimmer Responsibilities

    • Get plenty of rest before the meet.
    • Arrive at the pool and be ready to swim at least 15 min. before warm-ups.
    • Stay in the team area; avoid sitting in the sun if possible.
    • Know your event numbers and report to the clerk of course when called.
    • Avoid junk food. Re-hydrate often with water or sport drinks.
    • Follow directions and behave responsibly at all times.
    • Show your Laser spirit—Cheer, swim fast and have fun!

    After the Meet

    After every meet, at home or away, it is everyone’s responsibility to clean the pool area. Please check to be sure you have met your responsibility before leaving. Let’s set an example of teamwork by cleaning up and throwing away all trash, especially when we are guests at other pools. Please make sure you have all personal items before leaving - towels, suits, shoes, caps, etc. Pool personnel cannot be responsible for them if they are left behind.


    In addition to the Laser Handbook, several methods of communication are used to keep parents, swimmers and coaches informed. Please monitor these in order to stay up to date with upcoming events and to find out about any last minute changes. 

    Bulletin Board 

    In the pool area next to the ladies locker rooms is the Lake Marion Swim Team bulletin board. Current information and team calendars are posted. One of the best ways of staying informed and arriving on time at the correct pool is by checking the bulletin board, especially the day before a meet.


    Special notices and reminders will be delivered to you via e-mail every week, often times daily. Please be sure to provide us your mail address if you did not put it on your registration form. If you do not have access to e-mail, please pay special attention to the bulletin board at the pool where these bulletins will be posted as well.


    You will find a wealth of team information here including all updated news items, a team calendar, directions to other pools, meet results, swim ladder, and team records. We also feature links to photo pages and a gallery of team clothing and accessories. Check us out daily during swim season, and periodically during the rest of the year at https://lakemarionlasers.swimtopia.com

    Team Awards

    The Lake Marion Lasers believe that every team member's contribution is important. In addition to place ribbons and medals that swimmers may receive during swim meets, the Lake Marion Swim Team holds an awards night at the end of the season. At that time a Varsity Letter will be awarded to every swimmer. Goal Times Stars – At the beginning of each season, we will post a “goal times” poster for each stroke and age group (the goals can also be found under the Schedules Tab of the website). The various goal times are set by the Head Coach and the MCSL (e.g. All Star times, MCSL record). Swimmers have the opportunity to earn goal time stars to pin on their Varsity Letter based on their own personal best times achieved.Teens will receive a special team gift/award in addition to a Varsity Letter. Pre-Team will receive a trophy. 

    Special awards are also given at the annual awards banquet to swimmers that set team records as well as in the following areas: 

    Most Improved- Coaches determine the recipient of this trophy based on the swimmer's improvement in both time and ability throughout the swim season. A trophy will be given for one boy and one girl on the team.
    Spirit Award- This award will be given to one boy and one girl from the team. Coaches determine the recipient of this trophy based on the swimmer’s team spirit and leadership skills throughout the swim season.
    Sportsmanship Award- This award will be given to one boy and one girl from the team. Coaches determine the recipient of this trophy.
    Perseverance Award- This award will be given to one boy and one girl from the team. Coaches determine the recipient of this trophy.
    Coach's Award- This award will be given to one boy and one girl from the team. Coaches determine the recipient of this trophy based on the swimmer’s team spirit, sportsmanship, motivation and overall attitude throughout the swim season.
    Excellence Award- This award will be given to one boy and one girl from the team for general excellence in swimming. Factors that are considered in this award: serves as a role model swimmer, demonstrates leadership on team and/or in one’s age group, willingness/flexibility to do the harder events, and overall contributions to the team. Consideration may be given to the competitiveness of the MCSL age group the swimmer competes.
    Swim Team Committee

    The Lake Marion Swim Team consists of a dedicated group of families in Montgomery Village who bond together to provide a fun and exciting summer swimming experience for our children. The Swim Team Committee is a subset that helps to organize the various components of the swim team. If you would be interested in serving in a lead role, please do not hesitate to let one of the committee members know.  Current Swim Team Committee volunteers are listed on our Swim Team Committee page

    Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy

    Lake Marion Swim Team, as a participant in the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL), promotes the sport of swimming and encourages principals of good sportsmanship. We also strive to help to develop the character of all individual swimmers.

    For the orderly operation of the Lake Marion Swim Team, the recommended MCSL Code of Conduct will be followed for all swimmers, parents/guardians and coaches. This Code of Conduct shall apply to all behavior occurring during or at an activity or function that is associated with the Lake Marion Swim Team.

    The Lake Marion Swim Team reserves the right to refuse a swimmer’s or family’s application to the team due to previous actions that violate the Code of Conduct Policy.

    Code of Conduct Policy

    Parent/Guardian Code of Conduct

    Swimmer Code of Conduct

    Coach Code of Conduct

    Please see appendix and/or MCSL website for detailed policy language:


    Swimmer Progressive Discipline Policy

    It is our sincere hope that all swimmers will behave in a manner that is respectful of fellow teammates, coaches, families and Lake Marion pool and property. However, the following are the disciplinary actions that will be used should a swimmer conduct himself or herself inappropriately as generally described below.

    Level I - Deals with behavior that is: somewhat disruptive to the team; does not portray the Lake Marion Swim Team in a good light; or other actions that are not in compliance with appropriate behavior as a member of the team.

    Level II – Deals with behavior that is: considered significantly disruptive to the team; has a detrimental effect on one’s self, other members of the team or the general public; causes significant damage to the reputation of the Lake Marion Swim Team; or may lead to the injury of self or other persons.

    Level III –Deals with behavior that is: considered very severe and disruptive to the team; or likely to cause significant harm or injury to either the swimmer or others. These are actions that are severe enough that it may not be desirable to have such a person associated with the team.

    A. Level I Behavior and Disciplinary Procedure

    Examples of this type of conduct include but are not limited to: failure to follow basic direction; lack of respect for coaches, parents, teammates and/or equipment; insubordination; failure to act responsibly in the pool or on the deck or locker room; use of profanity; racial, ethnic or sexual slurs; inappropriate display of affection, excessive noise; or leaving the pool in a disorderly state.

    The coaching staff will handle Level I issues, and Parents will be notified if discipline may result in a suspension from practice or scheduled team activity. As determined by the coaching staff, the coach will verbally instruct the swimmer to stop the inappropriate behavior, and may require the swimmer to sit out of an activity after giving an explanation of the offense. Discipline may include but is not limited to extra laps,

    extra clean-up duties, or a suspension from practice, meets or other team activities. Repeated Level I offenses may result in the offense being considered a Level II Behavior.

    B. Level II Behavior and Disciplinary Procedure

    Examples of this type of conduct include but are not limited to: repeated Level I offenses; possession or use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco; significant vandalism; harassment, including verbal harassment or bullying or hazing (any form of intimidation or initiation) of a fellow swimmer; theft; destruction of personal property belonging to others; fighting; actions which jeopardize the safety of self and/or others.

    The coaching staff will verbally instruct the swimmer to stop the inappropriate behavior and will take such other disciplinary action as deemed necessary and appropriate.

    If requested by the swimmer or the coach, the following procedure may also be used:

    A meeting with the Swim Team Committee may be held

    The Committee shall send notice of the meeting to Parent/Guardian and swimmer with parent/guardian and swimmer being invited to be present. Typically, the coach involved and/or Head Coach will also be present.

    The Committee can ask for a summary of the alleged facts from those involved or those that assisted in the investigation.

    The Committee can take whatever action it deems appropriate (considering the offense and the discipline already leveled against or served by the swimmer) based on a decision by the majority of the Committee. The decision of the Committee will be communicated to the Parent/Guardian and swimmer typically within 3-5 days.

    Level II Recommended Discipline

    First Offense: Although the coaches and Committee retain full discretion as to the appropriate discipline, the recommended discipline for a first Level II offense is suspension from the team for a period of time, e.g. one or two weeks.

    Second Offense: Although the discretion noted above remains, the recommended discipline for a second Level II offense is suspension from the team the duration of the swim season. Refunds will not be granted.

    C. Level III Behavior and Disciplinary Procedure

    Examples of this type of conduct include but is not limited to: repeated Level II offenses; sale or distribution of alcohol or illegal drugs; physical and/or sexual assault; dangerous and deliberate acts that could affect the health and safety of self or others, including but not limited to false fire alarms, bomb threats, arson, possession of a firearm, knife, or other dangerous item; conviction of felony; or fighting that results in the severe bodily injury of any person.

    The coaching staff will verbally instruct the swimmer to stop the inappropriate behavior

    and will take such other disciplinary action as deemed necessary and appropriate.

    In addition a meeting with the Swim Team Committee will be required. The following procedure will typically be followed:

    The Committee shall send notice of the meeting to the parent/guardian and swimmer.

    A meeting with the Swim Team Committee with the swimmer being present shall be required.

    The Committee can ask for a summary of the alleged facts from those involved or those that assisted in the investigation and, if requested, the swimmer will be given an opportunity to address the Committee.

    The Committee can take whatever action it deems appropriate (considering the offense and the discipline already leveled against or served by the swimmer) based on a decision by the majority of the Committee. The decision of the Committee will be communicated to the Parent/Guardian and swimmer typically within 3-5 days.

    Level III Recommended Discipline

    The most likely outcome is membership termination. Refunds will not be granted. These offenses will be disciplined by the Lake Marion Swim Team and may also include the involvement of the proper authorities (police, Montgomery Village Association, etc.). The Swim Team Committee may be required to notify certain individuals or authorities depending on the nature of the offense.


    A. It is the responsibility of each swimmer and his/her parents to read, review, and acknowledge the code of conduct as written.

    B. It is the responsibility of all swimmers and coaches to abide by this code of conduct.

    C. The Swim Team Committee is to act on any discipline matters, or any grievance stemming from a discipline problem, in a professional and timely manner.

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