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Age Groups and Skills

Swimmers are divided into age categories, based on the swimmer’s age on May 31st. The categories are 6 and under (called Shrimps); 7-8; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; and 15-18.

To join the swim team, we suggest that:

8 and unders: swim 25 meters (1 length) of freestyle without stopping in under 1 minute and swim 25 meters (1 length) of backstroke without stopping. See specific details about Shrimps below.

9-10’s: swim 50 meters (2 lengths) of freestyle without stopping in under 1 1/2 minutes and swim 50 meters (2 lengths) of backstroke without stopping.

11-12’s: swim 100 meters (4 lengths) of freestyle (front crawl) without stopping and 50 meters (2 lengths) of backstroke without stopping.

Additional Skills:

Swimmers unfamiliar with flip turns, diving off the starting block, breaststroke and butterfly are strongly encouraged to attend our Skills Clinic to get a head start learning these skills.

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Shrimps (ages 4-6)

To join the Shrimps, a swimmer must be able to make it across the pool (25yards) unassisted (including grabbing the ropes, jumping in alone, and  pushing off the bottom).  Swimmers that cannot make it across during the pre-season assessment should try again the following year. Please understand that we are a swim team, not "free" swimming lessons.

If your swimmer is close to being able to make it, they can join the team with the understanding that they have to be able to make it across the pool by the first swim meet of the season.  If they are unable to make it across by then, they are still invited to practice with the team; however, they cannot compete in meets until they can make it (GCSL rule).

Shrimps with stronger swimming abilities may be eligible to compete in the 8 and Under events.  The final decision for which swimmers will swim in these events will be made by the Head Coach.

Because Shrimps are a developing swimmer group, they do not score any points toward the Team results (GCSL rule).  However, if a 4-6 year old swims in an 8 and Under event and places, then the team does receive points for it.

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Shrimps

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Many parents approach the  Coaches and Team Reps about "swimming up" "or "aging up" their Shrimp into an older age group.  This means that the parent requests the Shrimp be allowed to compete as a 7-8 based on the swimmers strong swimming abilities. This is a complex issue. Here are things to consider before you ask to have your swimmer evaluated.

If the Head Coach and Assistant Coach both agree that a Shrimps swimming abilities are strong enough to compete in the 7-8 group, then the Team Reps and Coaches will discuss the possibility of swimming/aging them up. However, we really try to think through all the complexities first. It is rare that we permanently age-up a Shrimp.

There are a couple of things to consider, though, as a parent.

*Once a Shrimp swims up as a 7-8, they are permanently “aged up” for the season into that group.  They cannot return to swim meets with the shrimps ever again. This is a league rule. So if they did poorly in 7-8s and wanted to go back to shrimps, they cant.

On our end, as Team Reps and Coaches, we have to consider:

*swimming/aging up strong swimmers, and not others kids, creates a perception of favoritism and inequality within the team. The Team Reps and Coaches then face a lot of “why does so-and-so get to swim up and my kid doesn’t? My kid is just as good”. Obviously, this isn’t great for morale. We already struggle to make sure the year-round swimmers and the summer-only swimmers are treated the same.

*swimming/aging up a shrimp means they may not do well with the older age group. So instead of summer league being a fun experience where they have the chance to “win” a lot as a shrimp, it turns into a not-so-great experience.

*if a shrimp ages up, they have to be swimming legal (aka will not be disqualified) in all strokes. May of the 7-8s may not be swimming legal, but we would hold a age-up shrimp to a higher standard. Why? Because that age-up Shrimp should not be moved up if they aren’t legal to swim the stroke.

The ultimate decision to allow a "swim/age up"  belongs to the Swim Team Reps.

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7-8 and 9-10 Age Groups

Swimmers in this age group will learn and compete in the following strokes: Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Backstroke.

Each swimmer can compete in 3 individual events and 2 relays. Ribbons will be awarded for the 1st - 4th place finishers with heat ribbons also awarded to all heat winners. If your child is an alternate for one of the relay teams, that counts as one of their two relay events. It is important for your child to stay for the entire meet if assigned as either an active participant or alternate on a relay team.

Swimmers in this age group may begin learning flip turns.

Swimmers competing in these Age Groups swim distances as follows:

  • Free, Breast, Back and Fly: 25 yards
  • Individual Medley (IM): 100 yards
  • Relays: 25 yards per person
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11-12,13-14, & 15-18 Age Groups

Swimmers in this age group will learn and compete in the following strokes: Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Backstroke.

Each swimmer can compete in 3 individual events and 2 relays. Ribbons will be awarded for the 1st - 4th place finishers with heat ribbons also awarded to all heat winners. If your child is an alternate for one of the relay teams, that counts as one of their two relay events. It is important for your child to stay for the entire meet if assigned as either an active participant or alternate on a relay team

Swimmers in this age group are expected to learn and execute flip turns.

Swimmers competing in these Age Groups swim distances as follows:

  • Free, Breast, Back and Fly: 50 yards
  • Individual Medley (IM): 200 yards
  • Relays50 yards per person
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Our Swimmers

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