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Best Time Beads FAQ’s

Best Time Bead Information and FAQs

* BTBs encompass this season only, from October to March, for PennDel league dual meets, invitationals, Championships, Districts, States, & Nationals.

Times from USA meets will be used for BTBs; however, since we do not have a USA team, no beads will be awarded for JOs or USA records.

*Best Time Beads

-You can earn unlimited Best Time beads.

-The first time you swim each event this season is your base time.

-Each time after that is eligible for Best Time Beads.

-Base time is eligible for Team Records, CHSC qualifications, and District qualifications.

* Best Time beads are for individual events only.

* USA swimmers will have their BTBs calculated from both Y and USA meets, in chronological order.

* Relays are included only for Team Record Breakers, District Qualifying,  & States  participation. All four members of the relay will get their own bead.

-Relay split times are not counted as an individual time for BTBs. Except, a lead off leg split that is accurately recorded using an automatic timing system will be used for individual beads.

Note: a District Qualifying relay bead indicates you were a member of a relay that had a district qualifying time. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a participant in that relay at districts (that is the coaching staff’s decision).

*Qualifying (CH & DIST) Beads are awarded the first time your time falls within the league standards for that event.

If you later improve your qualifying time, you’ll earn a BTB, not another qualifying star.

*Team Record Beads are awarded the first time you break or create a record only.

Exception: if you lose your record and later regain it, another bell is awarded.

Relay Team Record beads are given to each of the four swimmers.

If the record is broken a second time, and you are the record/bell holder from the first record, you do not get a new bell. Exception is if a new member replaces another swimmer in the second record, only that new member will earn a bell.

If two swimmers beat a record on the same day, both will receive the bell (if applicable) and listed on the weekly Team Record report, but only the fastest swimmer’s time will hold the record.

*Coaches’ Decision categories: Excellence, Sportsmanship, and Team Spirit.

They will be awarded for Y Dual meets only (not for Invitationals, Championships, CHSC, Districts, States, or USA meets).

Coaches will generally pick one girl and one boy for each category, but can choose multiple recipients.

Some examples:

For Excellence:  more best times, most consecutive best times, most total time improved, most team records, most qualifiers for CHSC and Districts, etc.

For Sportsmanship: “take one for the team” = swim something you don’t like because coach needs you to, be courteous to your opponents- stay in pool until all swimmers are done, shake hands, say “good luck” and “good job” before and after, encourage your teammates, mentor younger teammates, etc.

For Team Spirit: show enthusiasm, rally your teammates, lead cheers, be creative-paint your nails blue, post signs, etc.

Invitational meets are included in the BTB awards for Best Times, CH Qual, Dist Qual and Team Records categories.

Generally, the age group of the event in an Odd Age Meet will be the age group that the event will fall in our team records.

Some exceptions:                                                     i.e. if you are 9 swimming in an 8-9 age group event, the record will be in our 9-10 records. i.e. if you are 8 swimming in an 8-9 age group event, the record will be in our 8U records.

-Swimmers can only break individual records in their current age group.  If you “swim up” you do not break the record for the older age group.

-A swimmer “swimming up” an age group CAN be part of a relay record.

*The Bead Report

-Each week, a summary of the BTBs will be posted on the team bulletin board.

-An explanatory Poster Bead Key is located in the Y lobby near the Swim Team Mailboxes.

-A photo of the Bead Key is on the team website.


Please place you little bead bags in the ALVINO mailbox after you have strung your beads.


If you compete in a meet that the team is not attending together, or go without a coach, please be sure to get a copy of the results sent electronically to Coach Drake so it can be included in our team software and beads can be awarded.

AND…..Don’t be shy…please speak up if you find a discrepancy between the beads you are given and what you think you should get.

Contact Deb Alvino with questions or concerns.

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