Frequently Asked Questions:
The Marlins FAQ
Hopefully the quick, first-pass questions will have an answer here. If we’re missing something, we’d appreciate a note to help us out!
Catalina Terrace Pool has operated a swim team every summer since 1961. The pool is a classic 25-yard “short course” pool with five lanes. Many of the older in-town pools are around this size. As such, we restrict the size of the Marlins swim team to around 140 to 150 kids, split amongst the different age groups who all train at different times. Practices are ideal with a certain amont of swimmers across all the lanes; too many, things become chaotic and there’s less workout time for everyone. To maintain the team at this size, we use a waiting-list.
Already on the team? New to the team but looking for more info on how we operate? Download a PDF (3MB) of our Parents’ Handbook here.
Q. How do can my child join the Marlins Swim Team?
A. The first step is to get on the waiting list: contact the team at this link, and our team manager will reply within a day or two. The team manager have some questions about your swimmer’s capability, and also up-to-date information on the status of the wait list.
Q. How long will we be on the wait list?
A. That is highly variable—conditions and summer plans in every family can change on a whim. A wait list that seems long at the start may quickly evaporate if families ahead change summer plans. Some age groups need swimmers more than others,and the wait list shrinks quickly.
Q. What if I swam for the Marlins two years ago and want to return?
A. Returning swimmers (up to two years out), and siblings of swimmers, have priority on the wait list, otherwise it is first come, first served. We fill from current swimmers, returning swimmers, siblings, then the wait list.
Q. I heard your team is always full. How can people get off the wait list and on to the team?
A. All swimmers must “graduate out” of the team at either 18 years of age, or when they graduate highschool, whichever comes first. So there’s a natural attrition in the older group. Sometimes families change plans for the summer and cannot swim. It all depends on the age group needs, not the total swim team size. The younger ages have a higher number of swimmers than the odler ages, so that list can get used up quicker.
Q. How do I know what age group my swimmer is in?
A. SAAA, our governing organization, sets the age at June 1 of the current swim season. Whatever age your child is on June 1 is that child-age-group. See our practice schedule page to see the rough grouping of ages by practice. Swimmers only swim against their own ages in swim meets.
Q. My child is very young & can barely make it across the pool! Is this a problem?
A. No! We will need an honest assessment of your child’s abilities, but if they can make it across the pool (25-yards), are enthusiastic and ready to have fun on a team, by all means join us! We work not just to teach kids competitive swimming, but also swim confidence and safety in the water. If your child does not know how to swim at all, it may be best to start this summer with some basic swim lessons, while you are on the waiting list. You’ll be that much more prepared for next summer. But contact the team for a discussion on your child’s ability. Catalina Terrace offers summer afternoon swim lessons for early and inexperienced swimmers for a nominal fee.
Q. OK—I’m ready to send an email requesting a place on the team/wait list. What information do I need to include?
A. Your swimmer’s:
- Age as of June 1 of the current swim season
- Swim ability—can they swim across the 25-yards? (Especially if young.)
- Swim experience? (which sounds like the above, but if an older swimmer, have they been on a team before, have they had swim lessons?)
- Does your child/children need or want swim lessons?
Q. Yay! I made it off the list and on the team roster, I am ready to register. Now what?
A. Registration occurs over two Saturdays in March for the coming swim season. Typically the first Saturday of Mach and then two or three Saturdays after that. We try to spread it across the various school spring breaks to give everyone a chance to register.
You will need:
- Your child’s birth certificate. A photo copy is ok. This is required by SAAA, our governing body, and we hold on to that photocopy. Returning swimmers typically do not need that, but it always helps to have a copy on hand.
- Your checkbook, cash or equivalent. You can see our prices for the current year here.
- expect to size your child for their team t-shirt (included with registration), and typically a swim suit fitting (price not included in registration that is an extra fee from the supplier).
Q. Yikes! Team swim suits seem very expensive—is there an alternative?
A. First of all, buy cheaper, comfortable suits for workouts, save your team suits for swim meets. The pool water is hard on suits, so be sure to rinse in fresh water every time, and allow to dry thoroughly. Using an inexpensive suit from a bargain store will save the expensive team suit for a couple of years. It turns out that outfitting a kid for swim team is cheaper than other sports: no gloves, uniforms, cleats, padding… just the team fees and the suit. We admit, it’s spendy, but in the scheme of things, not out of the ordinary. If the suit is a true hardship, let us know.
Q. WOW! I really like this pool! Can I just come here and swim myself if I’m not on the team?
A. Catalina Terrace offers memberships to the facility for use of the pool, tennis courts, half-court basketball, picnic and charcoal grilling. The pool is guarded afternoons until around 8:30 at night, but otherwise must close at sunset. See our membership page for more info.
Q. Tennis Courts!?!
A. Tennis was part of the original build of the facility in 1961. Many of our founding families have played tennis here right up to the current year. However, it is obvious they are in great need of renovation. In 2017, after a nine-year fundraising effort, we were able to totally renovate our decaying pool. We are next looking to do the same for tennis, with the goal of fielding some form of junior team to further our youth athletics mission. We are happy to invite anyone eager, enthusiastic and/or knowledgeable of such measure to our board!!
Q. What am I missing?
A. CT Athletic Program is an all-volunteer, parent driven community. It takes a lot to run a state-fo-the-art pool! Our pool was completely renovated in 2017 after a massive, nine-0year fundraising effort in the community. Our fees just about cover coaching lifeguards, supplies and materials. But the rest of the effort comes from volunteers just like you! Various small jobs and duties are outlined at registration, and discussed throughout the season. There’s plenty of opportunity to chip in and help, but if your new to the program and need to take it in for a month or so, we understand: Feel no pressure!
One of the hallmark attributes of Catalina Terrace is the community spirit and volunteerism that pervades the entire organization, and its history. Read more at our Parents’ Guide[LINK], and learn more about the entire facility and program. We not only encourage parents to pitch in and become part of the process, but as a youth athletics program, we see healthy child development as our primary mission. Community giving and participation is part of that healthy progress and we model that as parents.
If you really want to swim, maintain contact with our team and program. You’ll likely be on the team within a season or two at most, and if the right conditions exist, maybe the same season.