Rapids Youth Swim Team Frequently Asked Questions


New families

How do I find out more about the team?

There are many ways. This website has almost all the information you need about the team. While you are deciding to join please subscribe to our New and prospective email list to get timely information and important dates about the upcoming season. We have a parent's meeting TBD at the BJCAB adjoining the pool where you can get information about the team, and meet our coaches, board, and other parents. Our Join Us page has detailed instructions on how to join. If you want to contact us for more information, please email [email protected]. We would be happy to chat via email or we could give you a call and discuss if you would like.

Does my child need previous swim team or competitive swim experience?

Not at all. Some of our swimmers are year-round swimmers, but as a summer league team the Rapids have many swimmers that have never swam competitively before joining our team.

We do have minimum requirements for Rapids swimmers based on their age group. See the next question for details.

What minimum skill level is needed to swim meets with the Rapids?

For swimmers new to the Rapids, during their first practice of the season, we will do a quick tryout to ensure swim team is a good fit.

Our youngest swimmers (6 & Under age group) should be able to jump in feet first and swim the width of the pool (25 yards unassisted)

For swimmers in the 7/8 year-old age group, they should be able to dive-in head first and swim at least the width of the pool (25 yards) unassisted.

For swimmers in the 9/10 year-old age group, they should be able to dive in head first and swim at least the width of the pool (25 yards) unassisted using freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke

For swimmers 11 and up, they should be able to dive in head first and swim at least 50 yards unassisted using freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.


Should I register with the team now or wait until after tryouts?

Take a look at the requirements for each age group. If you are pretty sure your child can pass, feel free to register. If you are unsure, we would prefer for you to wait and see how the tryout goes. That will save time for everyone.

No other fees are required to swim with the Rapids; however, we do have an optional team suit every year and most swimmers want to have a team suit. Suits will about $53 for girls and $40 or $31 for boys depending on style. You will want to purchase some swim goggles if you don't have any. A typical range for kid's goggles is $12 to $20. We sell goggles at all team functions for your convenience.

Do we have to buy the swimsuit?

No, buying the team swimsuit is optional, but most kids will want to get one. You will have to wear a proper swimsuit to swim in the pool, though.

We can't make it to all the practices. Can my child still be on the swim team?

Yes! We understand that people can't make it to all practices and we consider practices to be optional. We encourage swimmers to come to as many practices as possible so they can improve.

We will be out of town for a meet. Can we still be on the team? Who do we tell?

That is no problem, we consider meets optional. For each meet, you will declare if you are going or not by the deadline. Please be aware that you will still have to complete your volunteer requirement even if you don't go to all the meets.


What is the difference between the IM and the Medley Relay?

The Individual Medley (IM) is an individual event swum in the middle of the meet. One swimmer performs all four strokes consecutively in a specific order. The IM is always swum in the following "IM order": butterfly(FL), backstroke (BA), breaststroke (BR), and freestyle (FR). Only 7& Ups swim IM. It is unclear why butterfly is first in IM, but it is the most taxing stroke, and since one person is doing all 4 strokes, it makes sense to do it first.
IM order is FL, BA, BR, FR

The Medley Relay (MR) is a relay event, always swum at the beginning of our meets, and consists of four (4) swimmers, each swimming a different stroke. The Medley Relay consists of the same strokes as IM, but the order is different. The Medley relay order is backstroke (BA) , breaststroke (BR), butterfly(FL) , freestyle (FL). Note that BA, BR, FL, FR is in alphabetical order. Only 7 & Ups swim MR. The reason backstroke is first in MR is because it is the only stroke that starts in the water.
MR order is BA, BR, FL, FR

How many events can my kids swim each meet?

The simple answer that applies to most cases is that league rules limit a swimmer to 2 individual events and 2 relays (one medley and one free) that score points for the team. This prevents a team from swimming their best swimmer in every event. A swimmer can also swim one exhibition (non-scoring) event.

What is the more complicated answer?

The more complicated answer is a swimmer may enter a third individual scoring event to fill all legal lanes provided all other swimmers from that team in that age group are entered in at least two individual scoring events. A swimmer may not enter in more than three individual scoring events unless all other swimmers in that age group are entered in three individual scoring events and so on. Therefore a swimmer may enter every event in the meet provided the required numbers of swimmers have been entered in the required number of individual scoring events. Coaches may enter swimmers in exhibition events with the following limitations: A swimmer may not be entered in more than one exhibition event unless they are only swimming exhibition events, and the maximum number of exhibition events that a swimmer can compete in is two events.

What should I bring to the meets?

We have an extensive write up of both home meets and away meets.