Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bonus newsletter: mini-meet edition

Hello families, here's a little mid-week bonus newsletter regarding this weekend's "mini" meet...
  • My favorite question: Which events will my kid run?
Athletes are free to participate in any events that they are eligible for, and we only register an athlete during the meet itself. Until that athlete is standing before someone with a clipboard, copying down their information, their participation is wide open.

That said, coaches do try to encourage athletes to try certain events, and to step outside of the comfort zone of always doing the short sprints and softball throw. Sooner or later, everyone seems to find an event that they're pretty good at, though it may take a season or two (or more) to find it.

* Athletes in 5th grade or younger may do the 50m (sorry, middle schoolers)

* Athletes in 5th grade or older may do the shot put and high jump (sorry, elementary schoolers)

Everything else is open to all ages.

Athletes may do two running events and one field event, or two field events and one running.
  • My second-favorite question: What about uniforms?
Our sorter has them, and I'm sure she's up to her elbows in shirts and sweatshirts right now. If for some reason we do not have them in time for Saturday, it's fine.

All registered athletes wear a sticker that identifies their parish, so we'll still be able to sort out who's who. If you want to be fashion-forward, you're welcome to wear red (CTK), blue (St. Catherine), or yellow (St. Stephen) but it's not required this week.
  • Saturday's events
In the interest of time -- and because I don't yet have all our equipment from the league -- we are going to drop all relays from this weekend's meet. There's a lot of moving parts to making relays happen, and I know we'll be busy enough without them. You'll get to experience the splendor in full next week.

That means this Saturday's event order is all the individual events:

50m (5th grade and under)

Girls always run in an event first, then boys, and we work from lowest to highest grade order. We combine heats for less-popular races, so pay attention to the calls!

We're planning to hold all four field events:

Softball throw
Long Jump
Shot put (5th grade and up only)
High jump (5th grade and up only)

There is no order to these events, though they should open to different grades throughout the day. Listen for the announcements.

Athletes must report to running events when their grade is called, which means they may have to leave a field event and come back later.
  •  Other differences
I don't have the timing system, so we're simply not going to worry about times this weekend. You may see coaches near the finish line this week -- and this week only -- timing their athletes, and if we can round up enough stopwatches, we'll arm our timer volunteers with them, too. The mini meet is about fun and learning. (In truth they all are, but this week especially.) We'll still do our finish-line ritual of placing athletes, and we'll still have timers and judges so you're familiar with the motions when we host the meet next week.

Please be patient with your fellow parents as they learn where to stand and what to do, and be understanding of the athletes, too, as they negotiate the complexity of the meet. We'll all be experts by the end of April, I promise.

We'll have a hard stop at 4:00pm, no matter where we are in the events. If that means that we have to sacrifice a late race, then so be it. I'm sure everyone will be eager to get home by that point.
  • Special guests
In addition to St. Perpetua, St. Ignatius is also planning to join us this Saturday. They provide an excellent lesson in humility for our sprinters. There will be a lot of new faces and lots of kids about on Saturday, so please help out with directions, and drive slowly and carefully through the parking lot.
  • Volunteers
The team volunteer reminders should be contacting you very soon if you've signed up to work a shift or two at the meet. There are always opportunities for families to sign up for a job at the meet; it's a rare day indeed when we can turn away able-bodied helpers.

Don't forget that you're trying to meet a minimum number of volunteer shifts this season: going above and beyond enters you in the team "super-helpful drawing" at the picnic for fabulous prizes.

If you are not working a shift or are a coach with a current CYO badge, you must stay in the stands  during the meet. For athletes' safety, only authorized adults may be "inside" the meet. Your kids will come find you when they're thirsty or hungry, so hunker down in the stands with a cooler full of snacks and enjoy the meet. Anyone wandering around the meet who isn't a coach or volunteer will be asked politely-yet-firmly to sit down.

No comments: