Group Assignments

How we do Group Assignments

We place athletes into groups based first and foremost on their meet results comparing common events within each age or age group. We believe this is the fairest and best way to group athletes together for several reasons:

  1. It is consistent and measurable

  2. It puts athletes of like speed into the same training group

  3. It supports our team philosophy of being part of a team, competing at meets and having athletes earn their place

Coaches are allowed an opportunity to look over the rankings and speak on an athlete’s behalf if they feel it is needed, if there is a mistake with the results or the rankings, before we publish the results.

When looking at comparing athlete results, below are the events and placement methods for groups Explore, Challenge, Achieve, Excel and Varsity.

Events used for placement:

  • For Explore groups- coach’s decision based on swimming skill level and listening skills

  • 10 and younger for the Challenge groups- 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 IM

  • 8 to 14 Year Olds for the Achieve, Excel, Perform and Varsity groups- 200 Free, 200 IM

Process used for placement:

  • We do group assessments three times a year: In August going into September, in December going into January, and in March going into April

  • We use the athletes age as of September 30, December 30 and April 30 for each respective assessment listed above

  • We take total time from the events used for placement and rank the athletes with the lowest totals at the top

  • Using those rankings, we place athletes with the lowest totals into the higher age appropriate groups first, until the group is full

  • We fill the higher level groups first and work our way down

  • Athletes who turn 11 in Explore or Challenge are automatically moved into one of the Achieve or Excel groups depending on their meet results

  • Athletes who turn 14 in Achieve 1 or 2 and are not on par speed-wise with Excel 1 or Perform are moved into our Varsity group

  • If your athlete has not swum all the events, in most cases we either keep them in the same group or place them into a comparative lower group (Ex. Achieve 2 to Achieve 1)

  • If an athlete does not have any meet results, they will not be invited back to swim the next season; this is true only following our August assessment


Q. What does my athlete need to do to move into a higher level group?

A. The easy answer it to attend meets and drop time in key events used for evaluations. To be more specific, we can give you a good idea based on our previous assessment, but understand that this is a moving target and your athlete will have to out compete his/her teammates.


Q.  How do I know my athlete will get a chance to swim key events that will help them move into the next group?

A. The coaches provide opportunities for all athletes at every meet by placing them into the key events. For some meets such as end of season meets we may deviate from that to give the athlete an opportunity in some other races especially if they have been given many opportunities to race the key events


Q. What if my athlete races an event, but they are disqualified, does their time count?

A. No. They must be able to complete the event legally.


Q. Do athletes have to advance in order of Challenge 1, Challenge 2, Achieve 1, Achieve 2, etc. or can they skip a group

A. Athletes do not have to advance in group order and they can skip groups. Their meet results will decide where they end up.


Q. If my athlete does not improve much due to being sick or injured for an extended time period, and other athletes pass them in the rankings, can they be demoted?

A. No. We will not demote them for things beyond their control.