West Chester Henderson sophomore swimmer Tom McCormick showed recently he's up to the task even though older brothers Ken and Dave have set some tough standards for him.

In Henderson's 114-71 loss to Methacton on Dec. 12, Tom McCormick set a Methacton pool record in his specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke, with a time of 58.48 seconds. That time was .82 of a second better than the mark set in 1997 by Methacton's Dan Szilier, who went on to swim for Notre Dame.

"I aspire to be as good as my brothers," said McCormick, who comes from a family of swimmers. "My grandmother taught me and my brothers how to swim at a club pool."

His brother Ken swam for West Chester University, where he was a two-time athlete of the year. He placed second at the NCAA Division II championships in the 400 individual medley. Tom's aunt Bethanne and uncle Richard both swam for the University of Delaware.

Tom's father, Ken, is a graduate of West Chester East and is now athletic director at Henderson. He was not a competitive high school swimmer - he played football - but he taught swimming for club teams.

"We are a young team, but I think we have the potential to develop into a strong one," the youngest McCormick said of the Warriors this season.

Ratings experiment. District 1 field hockey coaches have decided to experiment with a power rating system, much like that used for basketball, for the 2012 season.

Although teams will be seeded in the playoffs just as they have always been, through discussion, the results will be compared against those using a rating system. A decision on implementing a rating system for future seasons then will be made.

The issue of a rating system was raised after three of the top-seeded teams this season were eliminated in the first two rounds of play.

"In the past, we've usually been on the money," District 1 field hockey liaison Sheila Murphy said. "I don't know if this season was an anomaly or not."

Villa Maria Academy coach Maurene Polley, whose team reached the PIAA Class AA final, echoed the sentiments of several coaches when she said she thought it was a good idea to try a rating system before formally implementing it.

"I'd like to see how it turns out before we begin using it," Polley said.

District 3 uses a rating system for its field hockey playoffs.

Volleyball added. Girls' volleyball will become an official Bicentennial Athletic League sport beginning with the 2012-13 school year.

Christopher Dock, New Hope-Solebury, MAST Charter, and Faith Christian will be the schools competing, according to Tim Ehst, athletic director at Dock.

Ehst said that Pioneer Athletic Conference school Perkiomen Valley, which had been an associate member with BAL teams in an informal volleyball league, will not be part of the Bicentennial group. He said the BAL hopes to expand the sports in the future.

A boys' Independents League for spring volleyball will include Haverford High, Lower Merion, Glen Mills, Avon Grove, Unionville, and Dock beginning in 2012.

Contact staff writer Don Beideman at 267-815-0733 or dbeideman@phillynews.com.