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FAQ

Questions about the League City Barracudas

What are the Barracudas?

The Barracudas are a summer league swim team. We are NOT a year-round USA Swimming team. We are a voluntary, non-profit organization that exists to field and support a competitive team for the promotion, enjoyment and participation of young people who wish to compete in the Clear Creek Swim League (CCSL) summer league season. Our purpose is to encourage the development of good sportsmanship, teamwork and local aquatic skill.

The team consists of approximately 300 swimmers ages 6-18 covering all skill levels from beginners to some of the fastest swimmers in the Houston area. The Barracudas compete in Division 1 of CCSL. Current Division 1 members include: Friendswood, League City, Pine Brookwood, Deer Park, Pearland and Clear Lake City.

What is CCSL?

The Clear Creek Swim League, Inc. (CCSL) is a non-profit organization formed in 1964 for the purpose of sponsoring competitive and developmental swimming events and activities in and between the community swimming pools in the Clear Creek and surrounding areas of Texas. The Barracudas are members of the CCSL and are governed by its rules and regulations.

Member and Associate Member Pools of the league are listed at www.ccslswim.org along with more information on the league and results of competition throughout the season.

What is the Barracuda registration fee? What does the team do with the fee money?

The registration fee is $150 for each swimmer registered. The fee for high school swimmers and active (May – July) USA swimmers is $85. There is a $400 per family out-of-pocket maximum no matter how many swimmers are registered.

The Barracudas use the money to pay coaches' salaries, rent facilities, pay operating expenses and purchase trophies, shirts, equipment, etc., for the team.

Do the Barracudas require fundraising?

The Barracudas do not require fund-raising at this time. Our volunteer support and low cost structure allow the Barracudas to maintain competitive registration fees without fund-raising.

When and where is Barracuda registration?

Registration is primarily conducted on-line in March or early April each year. 

Can I mail my registration payment?

Yes, payment by check to LCST can be sent in by mail to PO Box 1260, League City, TX 77574.

How old does my child have to be to join the Barracudas?

Your child must be 6 years old by May 1st in order to register. We will be accepting five year old siblings of any returning Barracuda families.For new swimmers, you must either mail in a copy of the birth certificate or bring it to the try outs. There will be no exception to the age limitation rule.

Can I get a refund if my child doesn’t want to swim?

Refunds will be made through the first week of practice with a $25 service fee. After that, no refunds will be paid.

My child cannot currently swim.  What can the Barracudas do to help?

The Barracudas do not teach swimming lessons. Your child must be able to swim unassisted 25 yards across the pool without stopping in a manner determined by the coaching staff and team board members to be water safe.New swimmers will be tested prior to acceptance on the team. You should determine if swimming lessons would be a more appropriate first step.

What if my child doesn't know how to perform all of the strokes well?

Training focus, intensity and duration varies by skill level, age, maturity, etc. While our swimmers are water safe and can swim freestyle before joining the team, some may not perform all of the strokes legally or efficiently. The coaches will help assess your swimmers’ skill level and place them in an appropriate group. Everyone was a beginner once. Our coaches remember that and will help your child improve his/her technique.

My child knows how to swim, but is not experienced as a competitive swimmer. Are the Barracudas right for him/her?

We believe so. The Barracudas are committed to teaching and developing talent and good technique in every swimmer, no matter what the starting point.

Where do the Barracudas practice?

We practice at the Hometown Heroes Park Pool located on 2105 Dickinson Ave, League City

Will my child swim with others his/her own age?

The Barracudas are a team of approximately 300 swimmers, ages 6-18. At practice sessions, your child will be instructed by coaches who will strive to improve swimming skills and endurance. Your child will practice with other swimmers of similar ability and age. Practice is broken into the following groups: 8 & under, 9-12, 13-18.

At competitive meets, your child will swim against his/her own aged swimmers in accordance with these groups: 6 & under, 8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. Girls swim against girls, and boys swim against boys. Each event (IM, freestyle, etc.) will have multiple heats. To the best of our ability, swimmers are placed in heats where they swim against competition of similar skill level. As they drop time, swimmers are moved up to compete in faster heats. Our emphasis is on each swimmer's improvement, not on scoring points.

During regular season competition, ribbons will be awarded to each competitor within a heat in accordance with the order of finish for that specific heat. All swimmers get a ribbon. During the Champ Meet series, ribbons are not awarded for heat finish, they are awarded to the fastest eight finishers in the event. Therefore, only eight swimmers get a ribbon per event.

Can my 9-year old swim with my 13-year old at practices?

As a rule – no, but it could change with the coach's opinion of the swimmer's ability. A swimmer may be swimming below age group level, or above age group level. Your child will receive the most effective training when they are practicing within his/her own skill level.

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 where swimmers will receive instruction in the competitive swim strokes and will swim to build physical endurance. Technique and endurance are both needed to drop time. Swimmers can also keep up with the latest news as information is distributed at practice.

It is up to you to determine how often your child comes to practice. We know there will be instances that cause a missed practice, but please keep in mind that coaches observe swimmers during practice to determine whether a swimmer is “legal” in a particular stroke and to determine which events and heats they will swim at meets.

How do I find out if practice is cancelled?

With 300 swimmers, making that many phone calls is impractical. We do not practice if there is thunder/lightning, but DO hold practice if there is only a mist or drizzle. The coaching staff will decide whether a practice session is cancelled. You should use your own judgment when determining whether your child should practice.

How long does the Barracudas’ season last?

Practice begins in late April or early May. Practice sessions are held after school until school is dismissed for the summer, and mornings thereafter in June and the first week of July. A pre-season "time trials" meet may be held before the regular competition season begins for new swimmers to acclimate themselves to a meet atmosphere and for coaches to get an idea where to seed swimmers in regular season meets and relays. Regular-season meets are conducted every Saturday beginning late May and last through June. The CCSL Novice and Reserve meets then follow the regular season, with the CCSL Champ Meet held thereafter. The Champ Meet marks the end of our competitive season and is generally held around July 4th.

Will my child be required to attend swim meets?

No, but we are a competitive swim team and participation in meets is the reward for all those practice hours!  In order to swim in the post-season Champ Series meets, swimmers must participate in at least two of the five regular-season meets. Due to limitations placed on us by CCSL and other teams, swimmers may not have the opportunity to participate in every regular season meet.  So missing meets is something that should be avoided if at all possible.

Can my child swim for the Barracudas and still play soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, etc.?

Yes! Many Barracudas swimmers are active in other sports and activities. How much you decide to practice is your decision. And, because the swim meets have events only on Saturday, you can even swim one day of the weekend and do another activity the other day.

Does my child have to purchase and wear the team swimsuit?

The team has chosen competition swimsuits, which may be worn to practices and meets. These particular suits are NOT required; but they do conform to swimming rules, look great and provide less drag than commercial suits. While the team suit is optional, the team requires girls to wear one-piece swimsuits suitable for competition to all practices and meets.

Who manages the Barracudas?

The Barracudas are managed by a board of directors consisting of swimmers' parents. The board hires the team's coaches and takes care of the administration of the team.

How can I get involved with the Barracudas as a volunteer?

Don’t worry, we’ll ask!! One of the Barracudas’ greatest strengths is its large group of talented parent volunteers. All parents are required to volunteer in some respect, and we welcome new additions with open arms. Just ask a Board Member at registration or on deck about volunteer positions and opportunities.

 

Questions about Meets
 

Where are meets held?

Most meets are held at neighborhood and high school pools in the Clear Lake area. We have directions to the pools where we compete on our website.

When are the meets held and how long do they last?

Five regular-season meets are held every Saturday beginning late May and lasting through June. Swimmers need to report to the pool by 6:45 a.m. to check-in and warm-up. Meets start at 8:00 a.m. and generally last until 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. depending on the number of entries.

The meets follow a standard order of events. There are 80 separate events that begin with the individual medley, followed by the medley relay, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle relay.

Post-season meets, the CCSL Novice Meet, Reserve Meet and the Champ Meet, follow the regular season. The Novice Meet is held during the morning and the Reserve Meet is held in the afternoon of the same day. The Champ Meet starts at 8:00 a.m. and lasts until mid-afternoon. The Champ Meet series is generally conducted around July 4th.

What if my child has to miss a meet?

If you will not make a meet, you decline under the Event section for that particular meet.  It wil be very helpful to the coaches to see that you are not going to be at a meet instead of the coaches trying to find out if you just forgot to declare your status for the meet.  You must notify on the Event's page by Monday preceding any meet your child is going to miss. Individual and relay entries are developed for the coming Saturday meet on Tuesday. Entries are generally posted at the pool by Thursday.

What if my child has to leave a meet early?

It is imperative that the coach be notified of any absence or early departure. Please remember that if your child swims on a relay, his/her absence will affect 3 other swimmers. Please don’t leave 3 other teammates, who may have waited hours to swim, hanging. Also remember, sometimes your child may be placed in an individual or relay event as a replacement swimmer during the meet. Please check with the Clerk of Course before actually leaving. This information is also added to your "commitment" page.  Please leave a note in this section for the coaches if you need to leave by a certain time.

What is a DQ?

DQ stands for disqualification. Swimmers are judged according to the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations for competition. Swimmers are most often disqualified for executing a start, stroke, turn or finish illegally particularly in breaststroke and butterfly. They may also be disqualified for early takeoff in relays. It is important to remember that the meet Referee has the ability to disqualify individual competitors for poor sportsmanship and conduct as well.

When time permits, an official will seek out the swimmer or their coach to explain the reason for disqualification. Do not, under any circumstances, approach any official regarding a disqualification. By CCSL rule only an official league representative may do so. Disregarding this rule could cause the team to incur sanctions or prompt your removal from the competition. Please represent yourself, your swimmer and the team well by being courteous and respectful of officials as well as all other meet volunteers.

Who determines which swimmers swim on the relay teams?

The coaches, in their sole opinion, determine who swims on which relay team. They will often rely on statistics the team keeps on individual competitive performances when setting up relays.

What are “reserve" and "champ" times?

The CCSL publishes a series of time standards for boys and girls by age groups 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 very motivational to swimmers. If the swimmer has not swum fast enough to achieve a reserve time, then by default he has a novice time.

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. The Novice 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.

Frequently, novice or reserve swimmers achieve champ times at the novice or reserve meets and may then move up into the Champ Meet! The three meets combined — novice, reserve and champ — are called the Champ Series and are considered one meet for entry purposes. A swimmer in the large division under the age of 15 may only enter a maximum of 3 individual events between all 3 meets.

My 12-year old child made two reserve times (freestyle and butterfly) and two champ times (IM and breaststroke); can he swim the two reserve times and then swim whatever he makes champ time in at the Champ meet?

No. A swimmer under the age of 15 can only swim three individual events in the series (Novice, Reserve, Champ).           The Novice and Reserve meets are considered preliminary meets for the Champ Meet. Swimming the same event in a preliminary meet and at the Champ meet counts as swimming one individual event. Swimming different events in a preliminary meet and at the Champ meet counts as swimming two individual events.

If your child wants to swim the two champ time events, he can only swim one other event (either freestyle or butterfly) in the Reserve meet. Swimming two events at the Reserve meet means the swimmer is allowed only one other event at the Champ Meet to avoid exceeding the three individual event maximum. If he doesn’t make a Champ time in these strokes at the Reserve Meet, then he will not be able to swim those events in the Champ Meet.

My child is 6-years old and made a reserve time; can he swim in the Reserve meet?

Yes. Any 8 & under swimmer that equals or betters a qualifying time may swim with the 8 & under age group in the appropriate session of the Championship series in that stroke.

My 10-year old has more than three qualifying times; can I pick what he swims in the Champ Meet?

You may certainly specify your preference, but the coaches will decide swimmer entries that, in their sole opinion, benefit the team the greatest.

My child is 14-years old, but does not have a reserve time; can he swim in the Novice Meet?

No. All swimmers 13 or older are considered Reserve swimmers. They may swim in the Reserve Meet even if they do not have a time.

My child swam in one regular season meet and made three champ times; can he swim in the Champ Meet?

No. A swimmer must compete in at least two regular season meets before he is eligible to compete in any post season meets.