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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to become a Ripon Sea Lion?

All residents of Ripon between the ages of 5 and 18, who have not participated on a swim program after October 31st of the prior year (high school team is an exception), are eligible to swim as a Sea Lion in the Mid Valley Swim League.  New for the 2018 season, swimmers who reside in a city with an MVSL team must swim for that team.  Returning Sea Lions and their siblings are grandfathered in and may continue to swim with the Sea Lions.  If a swimmer is from a city that does not have a team within the MVSL, that family may choose to become part of the Sea Lion family.

Where do I get information about joining the Sea Lions?

This FAQ page should answer many questions.  Our Facebook page -

provides information about the Sea Lions team all year long.  We recommend all our families follow the page for team communication. 

Our Parent Meeting is Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 pm at Colony Oak.  We will go over a lot of basic team information, and parents will have the opportunity to ask questions.  We highly recommend all new families come to this meeting.

How do I sign my child up for the Sea Lions?  

2019 Tryouts are Friday, March 15th, from 5:30 to 7 PM & Saturday, March 16th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM

New swimmers are asked to demonstrate one lap of freestyle.  The requirement is that a swimmer can swim one lap across the pool safely without stopping and being comfortable with putting their face in the water. 

NOTE:  Ripon Aquatics will be offering Swim Camp classes for those swimmers who need lessons in order to be "pool safe" for the swim team.  The RA Swim Camp is $35 per session.  Two swim camp sessions will be offered - March 18 through 22 and March 25 through 29 (please confirm dates at your tryout session).   

Upon successfully completing tryouts, the swimmer can join the team by going to our team website and clicking on "Start Registration."

What does my registration cover?

Team registration is $220 (discounts for multiple family members).  This includes coaching fees from April through July, pool use, meet fees, team cap, and a team suit.  Please note:  The team cap and team suit will be provided prior to our first meet.  Swimmers will need practice swim caps and practice suits.  The registration also includes swimmer participation awards both during the meets and end of year awards.  We feel our program is an incredible value. We might be biased, but we feel we have the best coaching staff and the best pool facility in the league.

What does my Sea Lion need to bring to practice?

All Sea Lions need to have equipment to help better train at practice.  Required:  Goggles, kickboard, fins, and practice cap.  Recommended:  Backup pair of goggles, backup practice cap, water for before and during practice, towel, and swim bag to carry the equipment.  Swimmers will also need practice suits.  We recommend polyester suits, as they will last longer against the chlorine.

We will sell equipment at tryouts. 

Do I have to attend all of the practices?

No.  We understand that people have other commitments. However, keep in mind that the more practices you attend, the faster/better you get, the better the coaches get to know you, the better you get to know your teammates, etc.

Do I have to go to all of the meets?

We do not require participation at every meet, but our team minimum this year is four league meets and Championships.  We will be taking a deposit for the minimum meet requirement.

How long are the meets?

Dual meets (two teams) will usually run from 8 am until 1 pm (earlier for smaller teams).  Invitationals will include all six league teams and will typically run until about 5 pm.  

Do the parents have to work at the meets?

Yes.  Swim is truly a family sport and takes everyone to run successfully.  All parents will be required to sign-up for a two-hour shift.  All workers are provided drinks and snacks, and you typically have the best view in the house to watch the races.  Working is actually fun at swim meets!

Once my child has finished swimming, including relays, may we leave?

If it’s an away meet, then as soon as your child has completed his/her relay, you may leave, once your camp area is cleaned up. At a home meet, however, all families must stay and help tear down the meet. This involves putting away chairs, rolling up electrical cords, taking down pop-ups, and general clean up. If everyone participates, this process takes under thirty minutes!

How are the relays determined?

The computer picks the relays, based on which combination of swimmers will produce the fastest swim. After the computer generates the teams, our coaches will review the relays and make changes if necessary.  

What’s the difference between a medley relay and a free relay?

On the medley relay, each swimmer swims a different stroke (back, breast, butterfly, and free), while on a free relay, everyone swims freestyle. Medley relays are the first events of the day, and free relays are at the very end.

What are Time Trials for?

Time Trials are to set baseline times for all of your swimmers’ events. For the first few meets, relays are determined using Time Trials times. Time Trials is also run like a meet, so our new Sea Lions and families get a trial run.