For information on our tryouts, please click HERE


The following are guidelines.  All of these are taken into consideration, however the coaches will determine which group is best for the swimmers


  1. Our team is structured with four (4) bands
    1. Green:  Developmental group
    2. 10’s:  Athletes 10yrs and under
    3. Age Group:  11-14 yr olds, (through 8th grade)
    4. High School:  Athletes in 9th grade and above
  2. Our 10, AG, and HS bands are divided into groups based on Meet performance.
    1. White:  3 meets attended with AAAA-NS and slower than “B” times in 4 of the 5 events below:
      1. 10 yrs & Under: 100 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Fly, 100 IM
      2. 11 - 12 yrs: 200 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Fly, 100 IM
      3. 13 - 18 yrs: 200 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 Fly, 200 IM
    2. Gold:  3 “B” or better times
    3. Navy:  3 “BB” or better times
    4. Platinum (only HS):  6 “A” or better times


  1. Two (2) group moves will be made during the year (based on the school year August - June).
    1. Phase 1 - August (Start of the Short Course Season)
    2. Phase 2 - March (Start of the Long Course Season)
  2. Group Time Standards are from USA Swimming National Motivational Times (i.e., B, BB, A, AA, AAA, AAAA).
    1. These times are published every Olympic Year and are consistent for a four (4) year period.
    2. Swimmers will not be moved down if new published times no longer qualifies them for the group; However, they will have new time targets in order to move up.
    3. The best test set is swimming at a meet. Therefore, the best measure of how fast a swimmer can swim is their actual time from a race.
  3. Group Move into a new Band
    1. 10 → AG
      1. Phase 1 if swimmer turns 10 before September 1st
      2. Phase 2 if swimmer turns 10 before April 1st
    2. Green or AG → HS
      1. Phase 1 - Swimmers will start practicing in the HS group once they have started 9th grade.
  4. Group Move ups are not automatic. 
    1. Qualifying for a group allows for a two (2) week trial in that group to ensure the swimmer is ready and able to do what is required for the move up.
      1. If all goes well during the trial period, the move will become permanent. 
      2. If the swimmer is not ready for the move, the coach will have a talk with the swimmer and parent to discuss what needs to be worked on to be ready for the next move opportunity.
    2. Move downs, within a band, should be the exception.

As a final note of consideration, we would like to discuss the athlete-coach relationship. Here at Northside, we believe that teaching each swimmer the ownership of the sport is critical to self-development and success. Their swimming is their own and nobody else’s. A major part of that ownership is establishing a relationship with their coach built on trust and open communication. Therefore, any discussion about practice group placement must be primarily, if not entirely, between athlete and coach.

A face-to-face conversation with the coach can go a long way towards alleviating any concerns or misunderstandings a swimmer might develop. We ask that you encourage your athletes to communicate with the coach if they have questions about their group placement, even at a young age. It might not be an easy talk for them to have, but all coaches will have increased respect for a swimmer who comes to them directly with questions. Taking that step for a young athlete is empowering. Rather than acting as an intermediary between coach and swimmer, try to support and encourage your athlete to communicate with their coach on their own. Belief in one’s team, coach, and group is necessary to achieve potential. The staff will always welcome questions and concerns from parents regarding group placements; however, we want to allow the coach-athlete relationship to flourish.





  1. Practices:
    1. The expectation for every group is to attend as many practices as possible.  There is a strong correlation between attendance and performance.  This expectation also takes into account that life happens and other life/school factors pop up during the season.  Attending practices allows the swimmers to continually put racing principles into use, more often, allowing them to become second nature.
    2. Attendance will not be a primary factor used to determine readiness for a new group.
  2. Meets:
    1. Attend as many meets at the group expectation level as possible
      1. Green - Attend any meet that is hosted at one of the Northside venues.
      2. White - Attend any meet that the team is planning to attend in the San Antonio area. 
      3. Gold - Attend any meet that the team is planning to attend in the San Antonio/Austin area. 
      4. Navy - Attend all local meets & the highest end of the season meets you qualify for: STAGS, TAGS, Sectionals.
      5. Platinum - Attend all local meets & the highest end of the season meets you qualify for: STAGS, Sectionals, Futures, Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals, US Open, or Olympic Trials.
    2. If a swimmer is attending a prelim/final meet and qualifies for finals, it is expected that the swimmer participates in finals.



As members of AAAA, age group swimmers should expect to participate in a variety of swimming competitions throughout the year. The competitions in which your athlete will compete will most often be based on qualifying times established by USA Swimming. Below are the classifications of swim meets.

  • Unclassified - No Time Standards
  • “C” Level - Slower than National “B” Time Standard
  • “B” and Faster - At least a National “B” Time Standard
  • “BB” and Faster - At least a National “BB” Time Standard
  • Championship Meets: STAGS, TAGS, Sectionals, Jr. Nationals, Nationals, & Olympic Trials (All have separate qualifying standards)

During the High School Season, most Senior level swimmers will have an opportunity to compete in both High School and USA Swimming meets, including Championships at the District, Regional and State levels.



A list of swim meets will be posted on the team website:

The coaching staff selects the meets that the team will be attending for the season in advance. Meets not listed on the website schedule have not been approved for our team to attend. Swimmers must commit to each meet online in order to attend the meet. Swimmers can commit to meets on the team website:

Coaches will select their swimmers’ events once they have committed online to attend a swim meet. Online commitments must be received prior to the event deadline in order for your child to be signed up for the meet. We encourage swimmers to attend at least one swim meet a month in order for the coaches and swimmers to gauge their progress.