The Terra Linda Orca Swim team is dedicated to family fun and developing good swimming skills, sportsmanship and team spirit. The team's success depends on the commitment and active participation of the swimmers, the parents and the coaching staff.

The Orcas Mailing Address:
Terra Linda Orca Swim Club
PO Box 6838
San Rafael, CA 94903-0358







In 1962, a group of parents was approached by Harry Schrauth, the Pool Director of the Terra Linda Recreation Center regarding the need for a summer swim team for the children of the Terra Linda area. The efforts of these charter members resulted in the Terra Linda Swim Team getting established as one of the three original teams in the Marin Swim League. The other two teams at that time were Tiburon and Las Gallinas. The Orcas are now the oldest swim team in the league.

The Terra Linda area was annexed to the City of San Rafael in 1972. Since then the Terra Linda Swim Team has been sponsored by the San Rafael Recreation Department.

Thanks to the efforts of Jean Doyle, the Killer Whale or "Orca" was adopted as the team mascot and the team name was changed to the "Terra Linda Orca Swim Team".


Throughout the years, various perpetual awards have emerged to honor dedicated swimmers and parents involved with the Orcas. The first of these was the Derryberry Trophy given annually to the most "inspirational swimmer". Mr. Derryberry was a charter member and the original announcer for the Swim Team.

The Al Weatherhead Trophy

The Al Weatherhead Trophy is given annually to the "most coachable swimmer" and honors one of our past coaches.

The Jeff Kane Memorial Trophy

The Jeff Kane Memorial Trophy is given annually to the "swimmer of the year" and was dedicated by the Kane Family in memory of their son who was a swimmer on the Team.

TThe Flaherty Trophy

The Flaherty Trophy is awarded to the "parent(s) of the year" and was established to honor the unselfish, dedicated contributions of Dick and Carol Flaherty and their children K.C., Richie and Lori who gave us 25 years of support and involvement. The Flahertys were charter members helping establish the Swim Team and excelled in many areas including announcing and coaching.

The Jim Moon Memorial Trophy

Jim Moon was a popular and well-respected parent volunteer on the swim team for many years. This trophy is awarded to a non-board member whom the board feels exemplifies and demonstrates the Jim Moon spirit of selfless volunteerism.

The Mike Hoover Self-Starter Award

The Mike Hoover Self-Starter Award is named in honor of an extraordinary parent volunteer. Mike was our steadfast starter for seven years and he had passion for both the Orcas and the Marin Swim League. He would do whatever it took to make the overall team experience better and he did so completely under the radar, without complaining or asking for recognition. His generosity and kindness made him a beloved and well-respected figure within the Orcas community as he cheered on his daughter Olivia and the team. The recipient of this award is one who has tremendous passion for the Orcas and sets a wonderful example for his/her child(ren) and the entire community. This person has great enthusiasm and works behind the scenes in many instances to create an excellent experience for both the swimmers and their families. He/she is truly a well-respected self-starter.


The Orcas Swim Club is a non-profit organization sponsored by the San Rafael Parks and Recreation Department. The team receives no financial support from the city of San Rafael. The parent volunteers accomplish all needed functions, including all fundraising, except for coaching and life guarding.

The club operates under a set of written by-laws and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, League Representative, Meet Chairman, Computer Desk, Social Events coordinator, Newsletter Editor, one member who is a past officer (veteran parent) and one member who is not a past officer (new parent). The board usually meets monthly for the entire calendar year.

The team operates by Marin Swim League (MSL) rules along with other Marin County swim teams. The Orca League Rep attends MSL meetings and represents the team and its decisions in by-law changes, yearly schedules, etc.,.

There are at least two general meetings of the club each year. The first is before the start of the season and the second is the night of the awards banquet. Board members and officers for the following year are elected at this second meeting.

All parents are expected to participate in the team’s success by volunteering for committee positions, helping at the swim meets, social functions and contributing financially to the team during fundraisers. Volunteer forms are filled out at the first business meeting and may be obtained from a board member thereafter.


The Terra Linda Orcas Swim Team is a recreational swim club that teaches boys and girls, ages 6 to 18 how to swim competitively with the emphasis on having fun both in and out of the water. The goal is to become a skilled athlete in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly techniques and thereby enjoy fitness and good health. In addition to performing well in the water, the Orca swimmer develops a positive attitude as well as team spirit and sportsmanship. Swimming competition promotes a swimmer’s individual achievement, which in turn improves the team’s result. At the same time, the more your team supports you the better for personal achievement. All swimming achievements result from commitment to practicing and learning from your coaches.

In order to join the team a swimmer must be able to swim the length of the pool. If you are not sure if your child will qualify the head coach will make a determination on Splash Day or during the first week of practice.

Family involvement is a major asset of the Orcas with many parents volunteering to help run the swim meets. The social functions are a significant part of the swim season, allowing the team members the enjoyment of each other’s company as well as having fun at the various events. The development of friendships among the swimmers and parents is very much a part of the Orca family experience.


The Orcas Swim Team is the best youth sports organization in Marin County. Our coaches are there to help all Orcas improve their swimming skills. Practice is the time for skills to be improved, build strength and develop confidence. The meets offer an opportunity to test and monitor development, show good sportsmanship, learn about team spirit and have fun while you’re at it.

Orca Responsibilities at Practice:

  • Be ready to swim at your scheduled time.
  • Respect the Life Guards and pool rules. They are there to protect you and your friends.
  • Be responsible in your actions. No diving. No running.
  • Check the bulletin board and bring home any handouts distributed at practices.
  • Be careful in the locker rooms and on the deck and please keep the locker rooms clean.
  • The coaches are there to teach, encourage and challenge you to do your best. Please listen carefully to what they say.
  • Be positive and encouraging, to yourself and others.
  • You will be better athletes if you do what is asked. The coach has a plan. The plan is to help you be the best you can be. Take pride in what you can do!

Orca Responsibilities at Meets:

  • Heet sheets are posted at practice Friday night. Know what events you are swimming and remember to check relays.
  • Arrive Saturday morning on time to warm-up.
  • Recheck the line-up sheets after warm-up for last minute changes, especially relays.
  • Be positive, participate in the team cheers.
  • Do the best you can and have fun.
  • Check with the coach if you must leave before the end of the meet.
  • Finish with a thank-you cheer for the other team.
  • If you are going to be absent for a meet, tell the coach by the previous Monday and list your name on the "unable to swim" sheet. If you become ill or have a family emergency 12 hours before meet, please leave a message on the Orca Hotline that you will not be at the meet (455-5487).
  • Orca website: tlorcas.org
  • League website: www.marinswimleague.org
  • Personal calls cannot be received at the pool.


Remember the reason your child joined...


Be positive about your child's achievement and remember we all learn and improve at different speeds.

Support the team as well as your child by helping at the meets and the team social functions. Your involvement will make the experience more rewarding for yourself and your child.

Review the Orca Performance Code and assist your child in achieving the guidelines. Support the coaches and pitch in to help the Orcas remain the best team and family experience in the league.


Every parent must volunteer to make the Orcas function properly.

Swim meets are run solely by parent volunteers. In addition, each social event requires a chairperson and usually a committee. Don't be shy, you will meet a lot of people by participating and have a really great time.


The Board of Directors has adopted a standard of performance for the coaching staff entitled "Guidelines and Standards for the Head Coach and Staff". These standards were written to provide the coaching staff with a clear understanding of the goals of the Orca Swim Team, to insure the quality of the coaching that our children receive and to evaluate the performance of the coaching staff.



Friday night have a high carbohydrate meal to provide maximum energy and endurance for Saturday’s meet. Have a light breakfast such as toast, cereal and juice Saturday morning. During the meet, snack on muffins or fruit and drink plenty of water (No candy!)


Most meets start at 8:30. Always check your schedule because some pools start meets at 9:00. The home team warm-up starts one hour before the meet and the visiting team warm-up starts one-half hour before the meet. ARRIVE AT LEAST TEN MINUTES BEFORE WARM-UP to find a spot for your gear, check the line-up sheets and attend the team meeting.


Depending on the individual swimmer and the weather...

Team suit, goggles, Orca Swim Cap, 2 towels, sweat-suit, socks and shoes, T-shirt, sun screen, sun hat, sleeping bag and warm jacket on foggy mornings, Cheers and good spirit! Be sure to mark all items with swimmers name.


Counting warm-up, a swim meet takes over four hours. Be sure your swimmer gets a good night’s sleep before the meet. During the meet, he or she should rest to conserve energy between events and be protected from the sun. The sun will drain your energy so stay as cool and relaxed as you can.


Always try to stay to the end of the meet and cheer your team mates on. Show your support of your team by seeing the meet through to the finish. If you must leave early, check out with the coach. Join in the team cheer at the end of the meet. Before leaving, help pick up trash in the area at home and away meets.


There are usually three to five practice groups. Swimmers are placed in a particular group by the coach based on age, skill, strength and the number of swimmers on the team. Individual swimmers are constantly evaluated during the season by the coach and moved into a different group when they are ready. There can be as much as a two year age overlap between the groups.


The position of "8 & Under Parent" arose from the need to assist and support the large number of young swimmers on the team. At home and away meets, the 8 & Under Parents are responsible for organizing this particular age group of swimmers. Prior to the start of the meet (both home and away), the 8 & Under swimmers are gathered in a particular location at the pool which becomes "home base" for these swimmers for the duration of the meet. Equipped with the meet line up and heat sheets, the 8 & Under Parents line up the swimmers before their races based on the stroke they are swimming, the heat they are in, and their lane.

A particularly useful practice has been for the 8 & Under Parents" to mark the swimmers' hands with the appropriate event information. The hand has two numbers: the first number indicates the heat (or race) and the second number indicates the lane number. - For example, a hand marked 2/3 means the swimmer is swimming in the 2nd heat (or race) and is in the 3rd lane in that particular stroke.

A "9-10 Parent" has also proved helpful in keeping the swimmers from missing events.




Every swimmer should have two suits, a team suit for meets and one for practice. Our team suit can be purchased on Splash Day at a discount. Manufacturers change patterned styles every two years which is about as long as a well cared for suit will last. Lycra is the preferred material for racing. At practice, nylon is preferred. The team suit should only be worn at meets. After use the suit should be rinsed out with cold water and hung to dry.


Caps are required for swimmers with long hair so that hair will not interfere with proper breathing patterns and strokes. At meets the Orca Cap should be worn which is part of our team uniform. After use, rinse the cap, dry it and powder it with talcum for long wear.


Goggles are optional equipment but because the water at some pools may irritate eyes it is recommended that every swimmer have one pair available. Purchase a brand name such as Tyr, Speedo or Finals. The style should have a foam rubber seal around the lens. Be sure that the goggles are sized for the swimmer’s head. They should seal around the eye with light pressure.


Fins may be used for teaching and muscle building at the coaches’ discretion. The team has a few sets of fins available, but we strongly recommend that all swimmers bring their own fins to practice. Check with the coach at the beginning of the season as to fin requirements. Please mark the fins clearly with a very permanent marker and check periodically to see if it is readable. The chlorine in the pool will gradually bleach your swimmer’s name out of clothing and equipment.


The team has a lost & found equipment cabinet. There is very limited storage space and items not claimed in a reasonable time will be given to a local charity.


Time trials are held prior to our first dual meet. The purpose of the time trials is to establish a "time" for each swimmer in each event that he or she is capable of swimming. These "times" are then used as the basis for setting up the heats (or races) during the first meet.

A practice meet may also be scheduled to serve as an introduction to some of the meet procedures. Both time trials and practice meets are helpful to parent volunteers as well as to the swimmers to prepare for the regular season.

During regular swim meets, however, children are placed in heats according to their best times so that they will be competing against swimmers with a comparable level of skill and ability. Swimmers' times are continually updated throughout the season.


All regular meets are called DUAL MEETS, with one team swimming against another. The format of the dual meet is consistent. There are sixty events in the following sequence:


1-5 Medley Relay

6-15 Freestyle

16-25 Backstroke

26-35 Breaststroke

36-45 Butterfly or "Fly"

46-55 Individual Medley

56-60 Freestyle Relays

The Marin Swim League allows a child to swim in a maximum of 3 events (not including relays).

There are age divisions in each relay or stroke series in this order:

  1. 8 & Under
  2. 9-10
  3. 11-12
  4. 13-14
  5. 15-18

Swimmers move up into the next age division on their birthdays with the exception of the special All-Star and Championship meets. The age cutoff for these meets is one week before. For example, if you age up on the Sunday, one week before Championships you may swim in your old age group.

All girl's events precede boy's events. Relays are mixed with two girls and two boys required on each relay team.

Medley Relay: This is the first event series. Four swimmers from each age group form a team. Each of the four swimmers swims a different stroke in the following order:


The 8 & Under age group swims one lap of each stroke while all others swim two laps.

Individual Medley ("IM"): This is a medley swum by one swimmer who swims one lap of each of the following strokes in this order:


Freestyle Relay: Four swimmers from each age group form a team. Each swimmer swims 50 yards, for a combined total of 200 yards, with the exception of the 8 & Unders, who each swim one lap, for a total of 100 yards.

For the individual stroke events 8 & Unders swim one lap. All others swim two laps with the exception of 15-18 freestyle where four laps are swum. The home team swims in even lanes and the visiting team swims in odd lanes. At pools with five lanes, one is "complimentary" (not counting). Individual swimmers can compete in a maximum of three events and two relays.

Note: Some young swimmers may not be ready or willing to swim in a competitive swim meet. If your swimmer feels that he or she is not ready let the coaching staff know. Likewise, the coaching staff will not enter a swimmer into a competitive meet if they are not ready.


As of 2000, a swimmer may score from any heat. Only the top three times score, but these times can come from any heat.

Relays count for 7 points for first place only. Individual events are scored as follows:

FIRST PLACE 5 points



By Marin Swim League rules a team cannot score all three places. Sweeps are not allowed.


Each team at the meet furnishes a Stroke and Turn Judge who may disqualify a swimmer in an event if United States Swimming rules for strokes and turns are not followed. The most common reasons for "DQ's" are:

  • a flutter kick in the butterfly
  • making a false start for the second time in a heat.
  • not making a two-hand touch on the turn in the breast stroke and butterfly or at the end of the breast stroke lap in the IM
  • flubbed backstroke flip
  • an early take-off by a relay swimmer

For more info on the indiviual stokes and what officials are looking for please see these links from USA Swimming: Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, BreaststokeIndividual Medley.


Ribbons are awarded to all swimmers in all heats. Ribbons are awarded by heat i.e. there will be a 1st place, a 2nd place and so on for each heat. Most teams provide special ribbons for pool records and the Orcas also award ribbons for team records. Orcas' ribbons are distributed at the Monday practice following the meet. Each swimmer has an envelope marked with their name, which is used throughout the season to file their ribbons. The envelopes are kept alphabetically in a box in the coaches room. Please have your child pick up their ribbons (but not the envelope) on a weekly basis.


This meet is held on a Sunday at Indian Valley College at mid-season. The purpose of this meet is to give the best individual swimmers in the league recognition and the chance to compete against each other. Swimmers qualify for this meet if they achieve "Q" Times that are published at the start of each season. A swimmer may swim only in three events, not including relays, even if they have qualified in more. About sixteen swimmers swim in each event. The meet lasts about four hours. All swimmers receive All Star swim caps. Each team may have two relay teams for each age group, one medley relay and one free relay. If a team does not have enough swimmers to make up a relay, a swimmer who hasn’t achieved a "Q" time may swim on the relay.


The Championships are the Olympics of the Marin Swim League season. Every swimmer should make it a priority to represent their team at this festive event. The Championship meet is held on the last Saturday of the MSL swim season. All league teams participate and all members who have participated in a minimum of three meets during the season may swim. Sixteen lanes are used, eight lanes for girls and eight lanes for boys. The meet takes all day to complete. The results of this meet determine the final team standings for the year.

The format may change somewhat year to year. Currently, the meet is divided into two sessions. The 8 & Unders swim in the morning and the other age groups in the afternoon. Otherwise, the events are scheduled in the same order as in a dual meet, however, slower swimmers heats are first working up to the fastest swimmers in the last heats of each individual event. Points are scored for the teams by individuals placing first down through sixteenth place. All heats are considered counting. Medals are awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in individual events and 1st place in relays. Ribbons are awarded for 4th through 8th place in individual events and 2nd and 3rd place for relays. High point trophies are awarded for first place and runner-up in each age grouping for both boys and girls.

Because of the size and length of this event it is very important that parents insure their swimmers get a good nights’ sleep before the meet. During the meet it is very important that everyone pay attention and get the swimmers to their events.

Parking is very limited because of the large number of people involved. Only one car per family is allowed and families are encouraged to carpool if possible.


The club hosts several social functions during the season. These give both swimmers and parents a chance to become friends away from the pool, and promote camaraderie and team spirit. The following is a brief description of the events which may be held each season.

Wine and Cheese Party

This is an event you don't want to miss. Held at the TLRC on a Friday or Saturday evening, this is our only event for adults only. There is a silent auction of donated items. There is a modest entry fee which covers the food, beverages and entertainment at the party.

Pasta Power Dinner

This is held on a Friday night at TLRC right after practice before the first meet. Everyone gets a good carbohydrate dinner to fuel them for the meet at a modest price. The dinner is complete, but beverages are also sold..

Team Picture

A team picture is taken on a Saturday before or right after a home meet. The picture is a great keepsake. Individual photos are taken as well.

Picnic & BBQ

The team picnic is held on a Sunday during the season. Events or games are included for all ages. Over the last few seasons the picnic has been held at the Windsor Waterslides. There is always a large turnout for this event and its fun for the whole family.

Parents Meet, Bar-B-Que and Dance

This is held on the Friday or Saturday night towards the end of the swim season. The children run the meet and the parents swim. Immediately following we all enjoy a modestly priced Bar-B-Que dinner. Beverages are also sold. After the BBQ, we Dance! A disc jockey or other music provider hired by the team gets the team rockin’. It is held on a Saturday evening at TLRC.


The teams’ financial support comes entirely from registration fees and fundraising. Fundraisers are held as necessary depending on the funds available for the current year. Team sweat-shirts and Orca swim caps are sold for a modest profit. The Orca snack bar, Wine and Cheese Party, or the vacation raffle are the major sources of income. Sometimes a swim-a-thon is held if necessary. This is called the "Orcathon". No matter what the event or program we rely on all parents to make the fundraisers successful and, therefore, the team successful.


The annual awards dinner is held after school starts in September. It is the culmination of our efforts and achievements for the season.

The evening begins with a pot-luck dinner. After this the parents attend a general meeting where new officers and board members are elected for the coming year and any final reports are given.

In the awards ceremony all parents and children are recognized for their participation and achievement. For both boys and girls, high point trophies, gold medals, silver medals and bronze medals are awarded in each age group. Also, awarded from the team as a whole are most valuable, most improved, pool and team record trophies and the five perpetual trophies Derryberry, most inspirational, Al Weatherhead, most coachable, Jeff Kane Memorial, swimmer of the year, the Flaherty Trophy, parents of the year and the Jim Moon trophy, volunteer of the year.

The evening concludes with a slide show set to music in which swimmers and parents are seen having a great time at meets and social events.


Google Map of all pools in the Marin Swim League


Take 101 north. Exit at Ignacio Blvd. and head West. Ignacio Blvd ends at the college. Map


1201 Idylberry, San Rafael. Take 101 north and exit at Lucas Valley Rd. Go approximately 3 miles west and turn right on Mt. Shasta and to Idylberry. (6 lane pool) Map


Hwy. 101 north and exit on Lucas Valley Rd. Go west about 1/2 mile and turn right on Miller Creek Rd. Pool is in first block on right. (5 lane pool) Map


Novato High school, 625 Arthur Street. From 101 north exit at Rowland Blvd. Turn right on So. Novato Blvd. and left on Arthur St. (6 lane pool) Map


Take 101 north to San Marin Dr. exit in Novato. Go west to San Andreas and turn right, Follow to Rolling Hills Country Club. (5 lane pool) Map


50 Underhill Rd., Mill Valley. Exit at East Blithedale Ave. going west. Turn right at Camino Alto then right again at Vasco Rd., which turns into Underhill Rd. Club is at end of Underhill. (6 lane pool) Map


1317 Butterfield Rd., San Anselmo. Take Central San Rafael Exit. Turn west on 3rd. St. and follow to the San Anselmo "hub". Turn right on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. At the second light past Drake High School turn right on Butterfield Rd. Follow Butterfield for approximately 1 1/2 miles to the clubhouse. (6 lane pool) Map


118 E. Strawberry Dr., Mill Valley. Take 101 South to Tiburon Blvd. exit (heading East). Turn right on E. Strawberry Dr. (near Strawberry Town & Country Shopping Center). (5 lane pool) Map


Held at San Rafael High School, 185 Mission. Take Central San Rafael exit. Turn left on Mission and continue on until you reach San Rafael High School. (6 lane pool) Map


Held at Redwood High School. Take 101 south to Lucky Drive exit. Go 1 block past New York Fabrics and continue on Doherty Drive until you reach Redwood High School. Pool is on left. (8 lane pool) Map