50 Years of Fun

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should we contact for questions we have? 
Please consult the website links for information about the program. Additionally, this list of FAQ may provide answers to some  questions. The FPYC Running Program Co-Directors, Geoff and Lynda Hymans, may be contacted as needed at [email protected].

What is the cost of registration?
Please see the link for “Registration Information.”

What is included in the registration price?
We provide a season of instruction, encouragement, guidance, and fun. The club covers meet fees, and participants receive a team practice shirt. Participants receive ribbons for top 10 finishes for each event at each meet. At the end of the season, we have a team award banquet. At the banquet, everyone receives a team participation trophy, and the coaches distribute several other certificates and awards. There is a suggested contribution of $5 per person to attend the banquet (to subsidize the cost of awards, food, and drink).

Are there any additional fees?
Please see the link for “Uniforms, Clothing/Shoes” and the link for “Extended Season/National Competitions” for other costs associated with meets after the regular season. See above question for suggested banquet contributions.

How can I become a coach?
The registration page has a link for “Adult Volunteers.” Adults who wish to coach should sign up here. Please see the link for “Coaches/Contact Info” for additional information.

If we have to or want to withdraw, can we get a refund?
Please click on “Additional Registration Information” under the main registration page.

Where and when are practices? 
Please see the link for “2016 Cross Country Schedule” for information.

What events are there at cross-country meets?
Please see the link for “Fall Cross-Country Events.”

What events are there for track & field?
Please see the link for “Spring Track & Field Events.”

What will practices be like?
Please see the link for “Practice Information.”

What happens if the weather is bad?
Please see the link for “Practice Information.”

Are parents required to stay at practice?
No. Please see the link for “Practice Information.”

Do we have to come to every practice?
No. We do not take attendance at practice.

What should my child wear?
Please see the link for “Uniforms/Clothing/Shoes.” Additionally, one practice shirt is provided to every registered runner at the early practices. These shirts are only for athletes, not parents or non-registered siblings. Athletes are not required to wear these shirts to practices.

What do we need to bring to practice?
Athletes should wear appropriate weather related clothing/running shoes and bring a labeled water bottle. Please see the link for “Uniforms/Clothing/Shoes.”

Is extra water available at practice?
Van Dyck Park does have a water fountain but its working function cannot be guaranteed. Other locations do not have fountains. Athletes should bring enough water for the practice.

Do we have to buy a singlet and shorts?
Yes. That is the team uniform for meets, and the cost is separate from registration costs.

How much does a uniform cost?
Please see the link for “Uniforms/Clothing/Shoes.”

Didn’t we order a uniform at registration?
No. The registration form asks for uniform information so that the directors know the number of sizes to order.

Can I buy a different size uniform than I put on the registration form?
Yes. If the uniform doesn’t fit, then you can get a different size. We try to order a few extras. It is first come, first served though.

How do we get the uniform?
Multiple days will be set up as uniform distribution days early in the season. We ask that parents make every effort to get uniforms on these days.

What is a bib?
Please see “BIBS”  under the link for “Practice Information.”

Why does my child have to turn their bib in after each practice?
We do this to decrease the chance that bibs will get lost. We use these bibs at meets to identify the runners.

What’s with the lollipops at the end of practice?
For a fun reward for practices, we provide a lollipop for each child at the end of practice when they turn in their bib. We ask that parents remind their children to only take one lollipop at each practice.

Why is my child in the 9-10 age group when he/she is only 8?
FPYC follows the USATF guidelines for age groupings. They compete in the age group determined by their age on December 31st of that year. Please see the link for “Age Groupings.”

What events and races am I doing at the next meet?
Participants choose the events in which they wish to compete. Most often there are not advance sign-ups or deadlines. Home meets are just show up, pick up your bib, and wait until the call for that event is announced. FPYC coaches will assist with team age group warm-ups. For regular cross-country meets, athletes report to the start line. Away meets are often run like home meets. We will have the bibs available for athletes to pick-up. All our athlete’s numbers are provided to the away meet director and then athletes need to have their bib to run. If athletes are required to indicate their intent to run beforehand, then we use the “Sign-Up Genius” website to indicate intent to participate. At away cross-country meets, there are at times stipulations that runners compete at their official USA Track & Field (USATF) age-appropriate distances. At track meets, there is occasionally an event limit (for example, any four events, or no more than three running events). Away meet directors may limit the age allowed for participation to keep the meet moving along. Please see the link for “Fall Cross-Country Events” for information related to cross country meets for the official events for the different age groups.

How do we know who the coaches are?
Coaches introductions will occur at the first practices/parent meeting. Coaches will wear FPYC shirts to identify themselves at practices. Additionally, all coaches are listed on our website. Please see the link for “ Coaches/Contact Info.”

Will my child always have the same coach?
Coaches often work with the same age groups at practices. Not all coaches can make it to every practice though, so some days it is necessary to move coaches around to have enough for each group.

Are spikes (special running sneakers with spikes in the bottoms) necessary for racing?
Spikes are not required for racing but some athletes do like to wear them for racing. These shoes are typically lighter than regular running shoes and for cross-country races where the courses are grassy and sometimes muddy, runners may feel a better grip on the ground surface. There are specialized spikes for different track events. Running specific stores can offer advice shoes and on sizing.

What if my child leaves some of their clothes or water bottle behind?
At home practices and meets, we will collect belongings that are left behind and bring them to practices. We typically have a lost and found bag/bin available near the bib pick-up location. We donate items that are not claimed by the end of the season. We highly recommend that your child’s name is on their water bottle.

I saw my child finish 1st. Why did they get a 2nd place ribbon?
At track meets, there may be  multiple heats for the same age group and event. Therefore, your child may have finished first in their heat but overall placed second based on their time.

What is the extended-season?
Extended-season includes races that are qualifying races that advance runners on to National meets. Please see the link for “Extended Season/National Competition” for more information. Our regular season meets typical go into early November for cross-country and through May for track & field. The post-season qualifiers begin in late October/early November for cross-country and in June for track & field.

What happens when it gets dark in the fall at late season practices?
FPYC typically secures other practice locations after the fall time change. This information will be made available when we have it. We have to get approval to practice at locations where other teams (soccer, football, etc.) may be practicing.

Where will the post-season Junior Olympic races be this year?
Please see the link for “2016 Cross Country Schedule.” When qualifying race information becomes available, we will post this and make the team aware via email.

How do I know if my child should try and qualify for Nationals?
The results from last year’s National Championships can be found under the “Extended Season/National Competition” link. Results can also be found on the websites for USA Track & Field (www.usatf.org) Amateur Athletic Union www.aausports.org, and Cross-country Coaches National Youth Championships (www.cccnyc.org). All athletes are welcome to run in qualifying races.

My child received a third place ribbon, but the results reflect a fourth place finish. Why is there a difference? 
When compiling results there are many factors that might lead to mistakes or inconsistencies. We do put our timers and recorders under a bit of pressure to keep heats moving. It is forgivable for occasional mistakes to be made with bib number or stopwatch readings, penmanship and writing interpretations, or keystrokes into the database.

There is also a need to get results and awards out quickly. We try to resolve as much as possible before putting out results, but at some point we have to move forward. The most important thing to us is to eventually get the results right, however, and it is not uncommon for issues to be resolved after rewards have been distributed. Corrected or amended issues, even for just one person in one event, may affect multiple awards categories with a domino effect. The more events we are talking about, or the more people, the larger the effect.

For example, when what was interpreted as #647 and credited to a 9 year-old girl should have been #641, which is a 13 year-old boy – or when a runner who usually wears #674 might grab #647 by mistake. If a time for #647 is scratched and then credited to #641, then all of the other 9 and 10 year-old girls placing after that time actually should have been credited with a finish one place higher than what their ribbon and the results initially reflected (third place becomes second place, fourth place becomes third place, etc.). Similarly, when that same time is now inserted into the 13-14 boys results, some finishers may be bumped down a spot from what their initial ribbon reflected (fifth place should now be sixth, etc.).

Results are posted as soon as all the results have been entered into the meet database and reviewed by the directors and meet coordinator. For the athlete that initiates the investigation, we will issue the correct ribbon(s). However, we do NOT rerun awards and labels for the rest of the age group. We put the burden on the parents to always check updated results and if you let us know we will always issue a corrected ribbon – this goes equally for visiting teams. It is never too late to change results, and we aim to capture the meet as accurately as we can.

Something parents can do is to be aware of which heat your child competed in and make a note of your child’s finish position and time or measurement. If you know the names of other competitors in the heat or your child can tell you which friend/teammate finished ahead of or behind them, this can help us sort out errors in the results.

Does FPYC Running participate in indoor track?
FPYC does not participate in training and entering athletes for indoor (winter) track & field. We will make families aware, via our email database, of local indoor racing opportunities that are sent to us. There is an indoor track at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning complex in Landover, MD. The USATF website does have a calendar of events and some of these opportunities can be found there. Additionally, the Potomac Valley Assocation USATF website (http://www.usatf.org/assoc/pva/) has information about around the year running events. www.coachoregistration.com is another website that lists many races throughout the year.