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Practice Groups


The Douglas Dolfins have 7 year-round and 1 seasonal group to meet the needs of all levels of young athletes.


The year-round Dolfins are made up of seven progressive levels with different practice schedules; in order these are the Dippin Dolfins, Silver, White, Red, Blue, Pre-Senior, and Senior groups. Group placement depends on several factors and the coaches' professional judgment - see more information here. Before placement in the next group, a swimmer must also pass all skills for the current group during the most recent testing cycle, and must have all equipment required for the new group.  Additional placement requirements may apply for some groups.

To join the Douglas Dolfins Swim Team you must try out. Tryouts consist of a 100 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, 25 Breaststroke, and 25 Butterfly. (Dippin Dolfins require just a 25 freestyle and 25 backstroke.) Swimmers will be evaluated on stroke technique, not speed. All strokes will be evaluated on body position.  Freestyle, Backstroke, and Butterfly must be done with over water recovery.  Breaststroke must be done with a "legal" kick which means, feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick according to USA Swimming.

Dippin Dolfins are a competitive option for 8-under swimmers who are past the swim lessons phase, and ready to work toward meeting full Dolfins tryout requirements.  To enter they must be able to swim a 25 freestyle and 25 backstroke non-stop. They practice 1 day a week for 45 minutes

Silver Dolfins are our full entry-level swimmers. They must pass the full tryout requirements above without assistance or stopping, and without nose plugs. This is a small, hands-on group, working on the fundamentals of the short-axis strokes (butterfly and breaststroke) 2 days a week for 45 minutes, with a some long-axis (freestyle and backstroke) work also. Swimmers also work on turns and become USA Swimming dive certified.

White Dolfins swim 3 days a week for 45 minutes and continue to develop novice swimming skills. A variety of drills help the swimmer with proper hand placement and body position.  The goal of this group is to legally compete in all four strokes.

Red Dolfins practice 60 minutes daily Monday thru Thursday. This group works on basic drills of all four strokes, and is introduced to Individual Medley (IM) structure, basic set structure, and a little clock work. In addition to the skills and equipment requirements, a swimmer must have attended several Friday Blue-group practices before advancing.

Blue Dolfins are our strongest elementary group, practicing 75-90 minutes daily 5 days per week. To be in this group you must generally be at least 9 years old, be able to understand more structured sets, and have good listening skills.  In addition to the skills and equipment requirements, a swimmer must be able to handle a 2-hour workout, have good clock understanding, and have regular practice attendance before advancing.

Pre-Seniors are a highly competitive group. They practice for 2 hours per day plus dry-land work, and have highly complicated sets. To be a part of this group you must first be going into 7th Grade, be able to handle a longer work out, and be at practice more consistently.

Senior Group is our highest level. This self-motivated group works out 2 to 2 ½ hours per day plus dry-land work, and some extra water time during the summer. They swim 6000-8000 yards each workout, typically with a mix of IM, stroke work, and freestyle pulling. Besides the skills and equipment requirements to be a part of this group, you must be at least 13 years old, be dedicated to the team and to your personal swimming goals, compete at most meets, and agree to the Senior Group contract. Those who qualify may attend Senior and National competitions.


Summer Swim Team is an opportunity for swimmers of all abilities ages 5-18 to stay cool in the pool over summer break and have fun practicing and racing with the Dolfins. Participants are also invited to join in the Dolfins' Fun Week activities in August. The single flat fee includes registration & insurance, pool fees, team cap and T-shirt, four fun 1 hour practices per week, and 2 practice meets at our home pool. Participants improve their swimming skills and confidence, make new friends, and have fun discovering the life of a Dolfin!