Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can my child try the Marlins without cost to see if he/she likes it?
Yes, a full refund is available if the swimmer decides not to swim before the “time trials” meet.   After the day of the time trials meet, no refunds will be offered. If the team requests that the swimmer drop from the team because of skill level, a full refund will be given.  Just fill out a team registration form so we have emergency contact information and include your registration fee.

2. What are the Marlins registration fees? What does the team do with the fee money?
For 2018, the fees are $160 per swimmer. High school swimmers aged 15-18 have a reduced fee of $50. The largest expense for the Marlins are the coaches.  Additionally, the Marlins use the money pay to purchase trophies, equipment, etc., for the team.

3. What if my child doesn't know how to perform all the strokes well?
Training intensity and duration varies by skill level, age, maturity, etc. The head coach and age group leaders will help make this assessment. Everyone was a beginner once. Our people remember that and will help your child improve his/her technique.

4. If I have children in different age groups, will I have to go to different practices?
Yes, each group has a dedicated coach during each set practice times at the practice pool for specific age groups. However, many parents with younger swimmers do have the option of allowing their child to swim with their older siblings.  A parent must realize the child’s abilities before making these decisions, and talk to the coach.  See below.  

5. Can my 9-year old swim with my 12-year old at practices?
As a rule, no; but it could change with the coach's opinion of swimmer's ability. A swimmer may be swimming below age group level, or above age group level. Swimmers normally receive the most effective age-group-specific training when they practice within their age groups.

6. Will my child be required to attend swim meets?
Yes. Participation in meets is the reward for all those practice hours! Swimmers must participate in two of the five regular-season meets to swim in the post-season Champ Series meets and receive a Marlins’ year-end trophy.

7. Will my child swim with others his/her own age? What will they do during the season?
The Marlins are a team of 100+ swimmers, ages 5-18. Your child will swim against his/her own aged swimmers. At practice sessions, swimmers will be coached to improve their swimming skills and endurance. Your child will practice with other swimmers of similar ability. At meets, there is the opportunity to compete against swimmers from other Clear Lake-area swim teams. The emphasis is on each swimmer's improvement, not on scoring points. In meets, girls swim against girls and boys swim against boys.

8.My child knows how to swim, but is not experienced as a competitive swimmer. Are the Marlins right for him/her?
We believe so. The Marlins are committed to teaching/developing talent and good technique in every swimmer, no matter what the starting point.

9. My child cannot swim currently. What can the Marlins do to help?
The Marlins require swimmers to be water-safe and to be able to swim the length of the pool without assistance after the first 2 weeks of practice. You and the coach should determine if swimming lessons would be a more appropriate first step.

10. How can I get involved with the Marlins as a volunteer?
Don’t worry, we’ll ask!! One of the Marlins’ greatest strengths is its large group of talented parent volunteers. We welcome new additions with open arms, and all parents are required to volunteer at the home meets. Just ask the Volunteer Coordinator about the meet volunteer positions.

12. Do the Marlins require fundraising?
No, our volunteer support and low cost structure allow the Marlins to thrive on modest registration fees and limited external, non-intrusive corporate fund-raising.

13. How long does the Marlins’ season last?
Practice begins in May. Practice sessions are held after school until school is out for the summer. During the summer, practices are held in the morning until the end of the season in late June.

14. Where do the Marlins practice?
We practice at the Bay Forest Neighborhood pool.

15. How often does my child have to practice?
No one ever has to come to practice; however, very few swimmers improve their techniques and times if they don't come to practice. Practices are held every weekday and swimmers are encouraged to attend as many as possible. We know there will be instances to cause a missed practice occasionally.

16. Who manages the Marlins?
The Marlins are managed by an unpaid board of directors consisting of swimmers' parents. The board hires the team's head coach, assistant coach’s and takes care of the administration of the team.

17. How do I find out if practice is canceled?
We do not practice if there is thunder/lightning, but DO hold practice if there is only a mist or drizzle and it is not too cold.  To sign up to be notified of changes, text @brooksbl to 81010.


18. Can my child be a member of the Marlins and still swim for a year-round USA Swimming team?
Absolutely! We are happy to have USA Swimming athletes as part of the team.

19. Do I have to be USA Swimming-registered to swim?
No, we do not require swimmers to be USA-registered. USA Swimming is an organization based in Colorado Springs, CO. It is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States and selects the Olympic swimming team and its coaches. Although the Clear Creek Swim League follows USA Swimming rules, joining that organization is not a requirement.

20. Can my child swim for the Marlins and still play soccer, basketball, do dance or gymnastics and play piano?
Yes! Many Marlins swimmers are active in other sports and activities. How much you decide to practice is your decision.

Questions About MEETS

21. Where are meets held?
Most meets are at neighborhood pools and high schools in the Clear Lake area.

22. When are the meets held and how long do they last?
Regular-season meets are held every Saturday late May through late June Post-season meets, the CCSL Novice/Reserve Meet and the Champ Meet, follow the regular season. Check in time is No Later than 6:30AM for Home meets.  Swimmers will be scratched if they are not checked in.  The finish times for the meets vary widely depending on the number of swimmers entered. Swimmers are usually allowed to swim three, but no more than four, events per meet.

23. How much does it cost to enter a meet?
There is no additional cost for regular-season meets. Meet entries are included in your regular-season registration fee. There are usually meet entry fees for the “Last Chance” meet, if one is scheduled, to be paid by individual swimmers.  This meet is a post-season meet sponsored by a non-CCSL organization as a fund-raiser, and as an opportunity for swimmers for a “last chance” to achieve champ/reserve times.  There may also be meet entry fees for the Reserve and Champ meets.  This is determined by CCSL. 

24. Where do my times come from that are on the meet entry sheets?
The team keeps a database of all times swum by each swimmer. When the events you’re going to swim for a meet are entered into the computer, it selects your best time for that stroke and distance to use as your seed time.

25. What is the meet called "Last Chance meet"?
This is the last meet of the season where you can get a reserve or champ qualifying time prior to the Champ Meet entry deadline. It's exciting to watch swimmers trying to earn their way to the Champ Meet. This meet is held before the Champ Series meets. The meet is held only if a sponsoring team comes forward to host. 

26. What are “reserve" and "champ" times?
The CCSL publishes a series of time standards for boys and girls by age group that are used as a scale to gauge a swimmer's level of achievement in each event. They are, from slowest to fastest, reserve and champ time. Trying to reach the next level in a particular event can be motivational to swimmers. If the swimmer has not swum fast enough to achieve a reserve time, then by default he has a novice time.

27. What are the Novice, Reserve, and Champ Meets?  Who attends? 
These are the post-season meets that allow our swimmers to compete against swimmers from all other teams across the CCSL in one meet. There are sometimes as many as 800 swimmers at these meets. The novice is meet is open to any swimmer that has not achieved a reserve or champ time. If a swimmer has swum fast enough to achieve a reserve time, then he may participate in the Reserve Meet. Only swimmers who have swum fast enough to achieve a Champ time may participate in the league’s championship meet, the Champ Meet, the last meet of the season. Frequently, novice or reserve swimmers achieve champ times at the novice or reserve meets and may then move onto the Champ Meet!! The Champ Meet is held after the Novice/Reserve meets. The three meets combined — novice, reserve and champ — are called the Champ Series and it is run as one meet.  A swimmer may only swim 3 individual events during this Champ Series.  However, it is possible to swim one, two or even all three of their events at the Novice, Reserve, and Champ meet or a combination of the three.

28. What is the “Time Trials” Meet?
The Time Trials Meet is a “Marlins-Only” meet held after the first week or two of practice.  This “meet” is held in order for swimmers to obtain some initial times if they don’t have any from the previous year.  It is also held as a “dry run” for volunteers to get a feel for how a meet is run.

29. How do I find out if a meet is postponed due to rain, etc.?

To sign up to be notified of changes, text @brooksbl to 81010.


30. How do I sign up for a meet?
  Sign ups will be done online only with an open and close dates for each week.  Each swimmer will sign up for a maximum of 4 strokes that they wish for that meet. Each swimmer may note one stroke that they do not wish to swim, and one stroke that they prefer to swim. 

32. What if it’s Saturday morning and I need to scratch?

Send an email to

33. If I need to leave a meet and I still have an event left, what do I do?
Check in with the Clerks of Course. They are set up at a table near the pool area.  It’s extremely important to check in with the Clerks of Course as the swimmer may be part of a relay.  Substitutes can be found if notification is made in time.