There are three types of swim leagues:
1) Summer League Swimming
2) High School Swimming
3) Year-Round Swimming
Each league provides its unique service in the swimming world. Below is a brief description of our high school swimming philosophy and the role it plays in the Columbia area.
High school swimming is not as popular a sport as other sports played at the high school level. It is not football, basketball or baseball. It is a non-traditional revenue sport that was added in the late 1990's to the high school league docket of official sports. South Carolina was one of the last two states in the country to recognize swimming as a high school sport. Since its emergence in SC high school sports, swimming has grown leaps and bounds among high school teenagers. It has kept kids in the sport of year-round swimming longer than before. One of the greatest aspects of high school swimming is the fact that swimmers are recognized, awarded and receive publicity for all their hard work. Among their peers, receiving respect for their sport and for the hard work put into the sport, is the biggest gain for high school swimmers. Another positive aspect about swimming on a high school team is it automatically identifies kids with a group of friends at school. It can either serve as another group of people that you know while going through high school, or it can serve as a group of friends that a swimmer can latch onto if there is worry about friendships going into high school. For younger swimmers, it’s always nice to know upper classmen when entering high school as a freshman.
At Palmetto Aquatics, we absolutely support high school swimming. Swimmers can join a SCHSL (public high school) team in 7th grade; they can join a SCISA (private school team) in 6th grade. We encourage swimming families to consider joining their high school swim team, and we believe the sooner, the better. It is not required nor is it a hindrance to one’s year-round swimming. However, it does accelerate the swimming growth process. It also breaks up the monotony of year-round swimming. For the year-round swimmer, it is healthy both emotionally and mentally.
The high school swim season usually begins around August 1st, and finishes the first or second weekend in October. While all high school aged year-round swimmers are required to pay and swim 12 months a year at Palmetto Aquatics, we allow swimmers to choose which practices they attend, high school or year-round. For middle school swimmers, we encourage the bulk of their practices be with the high school team, for bonding purposes. As the individual swimmer gets older, and as swimming ability reaches a certain level, there will come a point when high school practices are not enough. At that time, the majority of swim practices should be with PALM, not with your high school team. Most high school coaches are very friendly to work with. This means they will allow you to go to your year-round practices. In cases where that is not possible, we will work through it.
High school swimming is a GREAT sport! We highly recommend it. If you have any questions about high school swimming or about our expectations, please let the staff know.