Here's where you'll find answers to some of the most common questions we hear from our swim team families. More information can be found in the downloadable Parent Handbook (coming soon).
If you still have questions, feel free to find us on deck, or send us an email: [email protected].
Q. Who can swim with the Barracudas?
A. Boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 18 as of May 31 can sign up to swim with us. We take swimmers of all ability levels, but swimmers must already be comfortable being in the water with their faces under water. Get in touch if you have specific questions about your swimmer.
Q. How and when do I register?
A. Online registration is open starting April 1 through to May 31. We also host an In-Person Registration Rally at the South Briar Clubhouse in early April. Check the calendar for date and time.
Q. What neighborhoods fall within Barracudas boundaries?
A. Families residing in the neighborhoods of: South Briar, Shadowbriar, Southlake, Ashford Hollow and Ashford Village are in Barracuda territory. Plus, residents within the designated "open territory" covering the area west of Dairy Ashford, south of Westheimer, east of Wilcrest and north of Buffalo Bayou.
View Barracuda territory map.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. 2023 fees will be posted soon
Q. What's included in the registration fee?
A. Your paid registration includes a team t-shirt and swim cap (1 per swimmer), and covers all associated program and league fees (coaches, practices, facility rental, insurance, equipment maintenance, etc.)
Q. What's the refund policy?
A. All refund requests must be made in writing and are subject to review and approval by the board. Refunds are given based on when the request is made and the individual swimmers participation.
April 1 - 30: full refund, less $50 administrative costs
May 1 - 31: full or partial refund of fees may be given, less $50 administrative costs. Exact amount subject to coaches input and recommendations based on individual swimmer ability and readiness for the team.
Q. When and where do practices take place?
A. After school practices start at the beginning of May until HISD schools close for the summer, at which time we switch to morning practices. Swimmers are grouped by age into practice sessions - view the full schedule.
All practices take place at the South Briar community pool located at 1708 Crystal Hills Drive.
Q. Do swimmers have to attend all practices?
A. While it is not mandatory to attend every practice, swimmers are strongly encouraged to do so. Practices focus on stroke techniques, speed, stamina and overall proficiency in the water. The key to developing these skills is regular and consistent practice.
Q. What if we can't make practice or have to leave early?
A. If you know ahead of time, let the coach know between or after practices, or send us an email. Parents must NOT distract the coaches during practice to ensure the safety of all swimmers in the water.
Q. Can swimmers practice in the other age group practices?
A. Swimmers should make every effort to practice with their own age group, as they swim with their age group during meets. This is especially important for practicing relays. However, we will do our best to work with your family and swimmers' needs. Please discuss any specific requests with us as soon as possible.
Q. What happens to practices in bad weather?
A. Practices are held as scheduled, rain or shine. However, if we experience severe weather, including very heavy rains, thunder or lightning, we will cancel or delay practice. Notifications will be sent via Remind and email as soon as the decision is made. Take note, one practice cancelled does not necessarily mean all practices that day are cancelled. We watch the weather closely and determine before the start of each practice if it's possible to go ahead.
Q. What if I have questions about my child's swimming?
A. You are free to talk with the coaches about your swimmer, but we do not allow parents to distract coaches during practices, or to take coaching time away from other age group practices. Please wait until practices are over, or send an email and coaches will follow up with you at an appropriate time.
Q. Are private lessons available?
A. Private lessons are offered at the discretion of the individual coach. Fees are determined by and paid directly to the coach. All payments are due on the day of the lesson. Private lessons are NOT permitted during scheduled team practices, and may only be taken after team practices and only at the South Briar pool.
Q. Who gets to swim in the meets?
A. To be entered in a meet, swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards (1 pool length), in under 75 seconds, unassisted.
Q. How will my swimmer know if they can swim in the meets?
A. Swimmers are assessed during Time Trials, which takes place during one of their regular practices. The date of Time Trials is published to the team calendar so swimmers have plenty of time to prepare.
Q. When do the swimmers need to arrive at the meet?
A. Swimmers are expected to be at the pool 1 hour before the meet starts. This allows enough time to check-in, warm up, get marked for races, and apply sunscreen (this should be applied AFTER swimmers have been marked). When swimmers arrive, they should report to the Tent Monitor of their designated tent.
Q. What if a swimmer will be late or unable to make the meet?
A. As soon as you know you are not going to make a meet or will be late, let the coaches or team know. With enough time, changes may be submitted with little to no disruption to the team line up. This is particularly important for relays where multiple swimmers are affected. Please note, if a swimmer is late, they may be replaced with an alternate swimmer. This is up to the Head Coach and Team Manager and their decision is final.
Q. How do swimmers get to their races?
A. Each age group has assigned Tent Monitors responsible for rallying the swimmers and escorting them to the heating area. Once there, Heating Clerks get the swimmers lined up in the correct lane and swim order. While it's tempting to escort your own swimmer, it is important that parents do not compromise the safety of the other swimmers, or get in the way of the judges, timers and coaches working the meet. The best place for you to watch your swimmer and not miss a race, is in the spectator areas.
Q. What should swimmers bring to the meets?
A. Swimmers are expected to show up wearing their their team suit, team shirt, and equipped with googles, team swim cap, a towel, sunscreen and any other personal supplies as needed.
Q. Do I need to pack snacks or food?
A. Concessions are available during all meets offering water, Gatorades, drinks, and a variety of hot and cold snacks and sweets. Concessions serve as a key fundraiser for the teams and we encourage families to support their home and away teams. You are welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks as preferred. Remember, swimming burns a lot of calories, and you can expect to be at the meet for several hours.
Q. What happens with the meets in bad weather?
A. Meets will continue even if it's raining. In the event of thunder or lightning, depending on severity and proximity, a delay of meet may occur. This decision to delay a meet is made in collaboration with pool management and lifeguards and is not subject to negotiation. If a meet is delayed, swimmers may not leave the meet without first speaking to a coach or team representative. All of our teams will do their best to swim and finish the meet as long as it does not pose threat or danger to the swimmers. On rare occasion, it may be necessary to cancel a meet and in this case, the meet may or may not get rescheduled. Updates will be announced at the meet and also sent via Remind.
Q. Where can I find swimmer times and results?
A. During the meets, race results are published to Meet Maestro so you can track your swimmer's results. In the event Meet Maestro is not available, our volunteer scorers print the results and post them poolside.
Q. What does it mean that my swimmer was marked as DQ (disqualified)?
A. While no-one wants to see a DQ, sometimes it happens when swimmers are still perfecting new strokes and learning proper techniques etc. We look at DQs as an opportunity to further develop and refine swim skills. Our judges are volunteers and they work hard to provide a fair and balanced meet of races. Judges will always give the benefit of doubt to the swimmer, and when there is a need to, they will (begrudgingly) write a DQ slip. When judges submit a DQ, team managers are provided with additional information about the specific infraction. That information is passed to the coaches so they can work with swimmers to correct and adjust as needed. Visit the Parent Resources page to view the Tip Sheet on how to avoid DQs.