Which program should my child be in? How much does it cost to be a member?
The best option to determine group placement is through an in-water evaluation. Please email Coach Jason to set up an evaluation time and date. More registration info.
When is a good time in the year to start swimming?
You can join Rice Aquatics anytime during the year.
Is the club a part of the University?
No. Although we are not formally connected to Rice University we do have a great working relationship with the university. Most of our programs use the Rice Pool and our coaching staff includes Seth Huston,the Head Coach of the Rice women’s swim team, as well as several students at Rice.
Do I have to be an Alumni for my child to swim?
No. While anyone is able to join the club, it is our goal to serve the inner loop and west university areas of Houston.
Questions about Practice
Where can I park?
Parking on the Rice campus is at a premium. You can pay as you go in the central parking garage across the street from the recreation center for $2 per 35 minutes or at the north visitor lot at entrance 20 off Rice Blvd. or at the west lot #1 in front of the Alice Pratt Brown Building. Parking at these spots is $1 per 35 minutes.
A better option is to buy an early bird/evening bird parking permit for $65 per semester or $115 for a year. Parking permits are available in the central garage offices across the street from the recreation center. Your name goes to the parking services as well and you may also present your Rice ID. There is a $25 proxy card purchase at the time of registration for a parking pass. Click here for a map of campus parking.
Does my swimmer need the RICE ID and lanyard at every practice? Yes. The ID and Lanyard are the essential identification piece that will allow access into the Rec Center for your swimmer. Once inside they will need to keep this on or attached to their bag so any staff member can identify them if needed. This badge will help ensure the safety for our swimmers and patrons of the recreation center.
Where do I go to get into the building?
If you are here for an evaluation you will need to contact the coaching staff ahead of time and set up a time and date. Your name will be given to the front desk for check in purposes. For existing swimmers your entrance point will be the turnstile to the right of the middle kiosk. Have badges visible when approaching the turnstile. If there is not someone there to allow entrance please ask the front desk for assistance. The exit turnstile is not an entrance.
Am I as a parent able to use the gym facilities during practice?
Your Rice Aquatics membership gives you access to the pool and locker room facilities for our scheduled practices. The recreation center has limited numbers of community memberships available for use of the whole center at anytime. Our use of the aquatic center is a privilege. We ask that you keep your use of the facility limited to our practice times.
When should my swimmer arrive for practice?
It is a good idea to arrive at least 10 minutes before practice. This way it ensures your swimmer has plenty of time to get their equipment set up before practice begins. Our practice times are for dive in times and not arrival times. Please have your swimmer at the pool and ready by our practice dive in time. The coaching staff will be at the pool 15 minutes prior to each practice if you are needing to drop your swimmers off. Swimmers should not be dropped off any earlier without first talking to a coach.
Are parents allowed to watch practice?
Yes. Parents are a huge part of the success of a swimmer’s development, however it is important that during practice times you only observe your swimmer. Parent interaction with the swimmers should be at a minimum during the practice; this way the coaching staff is able to keep the full attention of the swimmers in the group. The outdoor pool doesn't have a defined line for our closed pool deck policy. We ask that parents either enjoy a seat in our lounge adjacent to the pool or sit under the covered area in front of the lounge and coaches offices.
What if I arrive late or have to leave early?
We really encourage you to have your swimmer stay for the entire practice period; however. we understand this is not always possible. If you arrive late, please have your swimmer ready to swim as soon as possible. Once ready, send your swimmer to his/her coach for instructions on what the group is doing. If you need to have your swimmer leave practice early, make sure the coach knows before practice starts. This way we are able to account for every swimmer and ease any transitions of swimmers arriving/departing.
If I miss a class can I swim with another group as make up?
If a practice is missed for any reason (other than Rice Aquatics notice) have your swimmer attend their next scheduled class. Swimmers are not allowed to swim up or down groups to make up missed classes.
Questions about Meets
Where are meets held?
The majority of the meets are held in Houston and the surrounding areas. There are a few meets offered outside of these locations.
How often are meets held and do I have to attend every meet?
On average your swimmer will have a meet a month that they are able to attend. While swim meets are an important part of the development of a swimmer, the amount of meets attended and which ones varies from swimmer to swimmer. The coaching staff will assist each swimmer with which meets to attend.
How much does it cost to enter a meet?
The Host team sets the entry fee for their meets. These fees vary from $3.50-$5.00 per event depending on the host team. IF you are choosing to "On Deck" your swimmer at the meet the fees are double the entry fee.
What are Junior, Elite and Senior Meets?
In order to keep meet sizes small and to help prevent new year round swimmers from always swimming against a seasoned year round swimmer, GULF swimming breaks up meets by time standards. USA Swimming puts a list of Time Standards (AAA,AA,A,BB,B etc) for each age category and gender. Junior Meets are for swimmers 9-14 years of age who have two A times or below, including NT or No Time. Elite Meets are for swimmer 9-14 who have 3 A times or more. Senior meets are for swimmers 15 and Older. 8 and Unders will be designated to 8 and Under meets regardless of time standards.
What does it mean to "circle in".
At a deck seeded meet the host team will post a list of all swimmers who have entered each event. You must find your name on the list for EVERY event that you intend to swim and circle the number next to it. This tells the host team that you are there and you still intend to swim the event. If you do not want to swim a particular event then do NOT circle in for that event. The list for each event will be taken to the scoring computer about 45 minutes prior to the expected start time. If the number next to your name is not circled then you will be scratched from the event. If you DO circle in and then do NOT show up when your heat is called to the blocks you will be penalized by being fined $5 by the Gulf Board.