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Last updated: 6/18

7 Reasons to Join Riptide

  1. Your kids will become great swimmers
  2. Swimming is not only a sport, it's a lifestyle activity that virtually anyone can do
  3. Your kids will make lots of new friends and have fun
  4. It's a great way to meet other Northpark families
  5. Parties and social activities for not only kids but parents too
  6. Swim team will teach your kids courage, discipline, diligence and personal responsibility
  7. Competition encourages desire to improve and builds confidence and self-esteem which translates to other aspects in life

What is Riptide?

The Northpark Riptide Swim Team is a resident-only neighborhood team founded in 2003 and is a member team of the Irvine Swim League (ISL). The non-profit ISL is organized and operated exclusively for providing the various Irvine neighborhood swim teams with the opportunity to join and participate in a summer swim league, with an emphasis on water safety, stroke instruction, and individual improvement.

Currently over 2,800 Irvine children participate in 22 ISL member swim teams throughout the city of Irvine.

Who can join Riptide?

  • Northpark residents
  • Age 5 to 18 on June 1
  • Water-safe

How many swimmers are on the team?

130 is the maximum number of swimmers for each ISL team.

Is my child ready?

Kids must have achieved a certain level of water-safety readiness in order to participate on the swim team.

Any child who is NOT water-safe is not ready for swim team.

The five levels of readiness are:

  • Level 1 | Full Submerge – swimmer is able to go all the way under water and not be afraid to do so.
  • Level 2 | Front Float – swimmer is able to float face down for 5 seconds.
  • Level 3 | Back Float – swimmer is able to float on their back for 5 seconds.
  • Level 4 | Level-Off – when vertical, a swimmer does not move. The swimmer is able to get from vertical to a horizontal position. This is a key element of being water safe.
  • Level 5 | Entry Level Swimmer – child is able to demonstrate 8-10 yards of unsupported movement.

These 5 levels are the minimum levels of competence needed to have a safe, fun, and successful swim team experience. If your child cannot meet these levels, then private swim instruction is recommended.

When is the swim season?

The season typically runs from late May to August (10 weeks total).

When does the team practice?

Practices occur daily, Monday through Friday

The practices are held at the Northpark Forest Glen Pool managed by a head coach and 2 assistant coaches, who are Red Cross certified. The coaches are selected by the team and receive a salary.  Only a portion of the Forest Glen pool is used for practice, not the entire pool. Thus, non-swim team residents can use the pool facilities during practices. Practices are broken down into separate sessions by age group, thus there will be a dedicated session for 5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, and so forth on a given day. Typically there are about 15-20 kids in a session. The coaches will teach general techniques, and also given some limited one-on-one instruction as needed. Other teams do not practice at Northpark. They practice at their own pools.

What about swim meets?

Meets are held on Saturday mornings (8am to 1pm)

ISL swim teams compete against each other in head-to-head competitions called swim meets. A swim meet typically involves just 2 teams, the “home” team and the “visiting” team. The meets are held at the home team’s pool. There are 5 meets per season for each ISL team.

Thus, for Northpark, there would be 2-3 Saturdays per year when we would compete against a visiting team at our pool, and 2-3 times we would “travel” to another team’s pool for meets. Typically a visiting team drives into the home team‘s community for a meet. Currently, the visiting teams at Northpark are permitted to park inside the gate on the streets immediately adjacent to the Forest Glen Pool. At the end of the season swimmers can swim against all ISL teams at the ISL Championship Meet.

Is it mandatory to attend all of the practices and meets?

No, it is not mandatory to attend all of the practices and meets, although it is encouraged. It is not uncommon for families to miss a week or even two due to vacations or other special events. What is not acceptable is for a swimmer to attend practices but not attend meets. A swimmer should attend at least three of the five swim meets.

How much does it cost?

The yearly base membership fee is $295 per child, plus the cost of a competition bathing suit for each child (about $30 for boys and $50 for girls).

The membership fee is usually adjusted annually based on a projected income and expense budget. The team is a non-profit organization, and is operated by parent volunteers. All participating families will be expected to contribute their time as a condition of belonging to the team.

What Pool would the Swim Team use?

The Forest Glen Pool will be used for both practices and meets, due to its length, depth, parking, green belt access, existing pool safety features, relative distance from surrounding homes, and ability of non-swim team residents to use a significant portion of the pool during team practices. This pool was designed and constructed to accommodate swim competition. The swim team will use several lanes during practices, leaving the remaining pool available for resident use during practices. What has specifically been approved by the NP HOA Board for the Team? Only Northpark residents can join the team.

What is the ISL Championship Meet all about?

The Championship Meet is a special end-of-season meet held on the second Saturday of August. The meet is typically held at the Heritage Pool Complex (adjacent to Irvine High School). Invited swimmers from all 20+ ISL teams will compete at this Meet. Swimmers that have achieved a “qualifying time” during one of the 5 regular meets in any event will be invited to compete at the Championship Meet. Normally about 20-40% of a given ISL team will achieve a qualifying time. Participation at the Meet is optional, however most invited swimmers do attend. Additionally, any swimmer who does not achieve a qualifying time can select a favorite event and swim in that event only at the Championship Meet. Most of the Riptide Team participates in the Championship meet, and you are encouraged to do so. The practice regimen for the last two weeks of practice is modified to prepare for Championships. Kids who will be attending the Championship meet will undergo a slightly more vigorous training to improve their times. The rest of the team can optionally practice these last two weeks as well, even if they do not want to participate in the Championship Meet.

What is the refund policy if my swimmer drops off the team?

The yearly swimmer fee is comprised of two separate parts: the ISL fee ($45) and the NPST fee ($250).

The ISL fee is used primarily by the ISL to provide liability insurance for the member swim teams, coaches, and swimmers. The NPST fee is the major source of income to the team, and is used primarily for operating costs such as coaches’ salaries, supplies, equipment purchase and maintenance, etc. Virtually all of the team’s expenses are fixed, meaning that once the team commits to conducting another season then the expenses are the same regardless of the number of swimmers on the team. At Registration each swimmer pays the total of both fees.

NPST conducts its yearly registration around February and closes when filled or by June 30, whichever event occurs first. 

If a swimmer drops before June 1, all fees paid will be refunded less a $25 processing fee per swimmer. No refunds for the ISL fee will be made after June 1. After June 1, The NPST fee of $250 will only be refunded if there is a swimmer on the wait list that can fill the dropped swimmer's place.