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What swimming level does my child need to be?

The Woodlands Marlins invites all swimmers to participate on our team as long as they are water safe.  We have a beginner and an intermediate group for our little ones and if your child has basic knowledge of freestyle and can make it down one length of the pool (holding on the wall no more than 2-3 times) then they will be fine.  We have instructors in the water to help the kids learn new strokes and correct technique.

Where do the Marlins practice?

The Woodlands Marlins practice at the beautiful, state-of-the-art CISD Natatorium. This is a high-tech indoor facility that maximizes the benefits of practice and minimizes the impact of the unpredictable weather in our area. For a complete practice schedule by age group, visit the Practice Calendar page.

How often should my child attend practice?

Swim practice schedules vary by age group and weekday.  Practices are offered at least 4 days a week for each age group.  We recommend that swimmers come to at least two or three practices each week.  For a complete practice schedule by age group, visit the Calendar page.

 Do I need to register my swimmer for each meet?
YES, for all meets your swimmer intends to swim in!!! Be advised, you must swim at least two (2) dual meets to be able to swim in the Divisional meet. Please note that the Meet Entry Coordinator WILL NOT call/e-mail you to see if you have forgotten to enter a meet. One suggestion: check your calendar and enter all of the meets at the beginning of the season. Swim meets give our swimmers the opportunity to put their skills to the test. Therefore, the Coaches encourage all swimmers to participate in meets. Please see the details in the section titled “Meet Entry Procedures” on page 7.

How many events can a swimmer enter at each meet?

Each swimmer may swim up to a maximum of five (5) events - three (3) individual events and two (2) relay events.  The relay team are selected by the coaches.

What is “Marlin Mania”?

After a few weeks of swim practices, Marlin Mania is our pre-season “intra-team” meet, at which all team members will swim each of their competition events for a time. This sets a swimmer’s base time to gauge improvement, and establishes seed times (a pre-requisite for competing) in future meets. Additionally, even though the races are only against our own team, it gives the swimmers and parent volunteers a practice run through for an actual meet, so everyone knows what to expect during the upcoming meets.

Marlin Mania is also intended to be an event where your swimmer establishes seed times for the various events they will swim during the season. A swimmer must have a seed time in order to participate in a dual meet. Seed times from previous years or other leagues cannot be used.

What should we bring to a swim meet?

Chairs, blanket, sunscreen, towels, extra pair of back-up goggles and swim cap, money for concessions, a cooler filled with water bottles and juice, fresh fruit & healthy snacks, entertainment for the kids between races (games, coloring books, cards, crafts, books, etc.). The swimmers are encouraged to sit in the shade, stay hydrated and conserve their energy between events.

Note: For home events, the swimmers will sit under a covered area. For away events, shade canopies/tents will be set up for swimmers and parents, but some parents may choose to bring their own shade tent.

Where are the meets held?

Home meets are held at the NAT. Directions for away meets will be available at the practice sessions and on the team web site –

What is a Medley Relay?

The Medley Relay is comprised of four swimmers, each swimming a different stroke, in the following order: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Freestyle.

What is the Individual Medley (IM)?

In the Individual Medley, a swimmer swims four lengths - one of each stroke - in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle.

How do I know which events my child will be swimming in at the meet?

The meet entries for the current week will be available on this website by Thursday evening the week of the meet.

"Heat sheets" are available for purchase at each meet. They show the order of the day’s events, the event numbers, swimmers’ names, seed times, etc. Our team sells inexpensive business and/or individual ads in the Heatsheets we prepare for home meets. See the Advertising/Publicity Chairperson or the Wet Shop if you would like to support the team, show your spirit and cheer on your swimmer with an ad!

How are points scored at the meet?


  • Individual Events: 7-5-4-3-2-1 (1st through 6th place respectively)
  • Relays: 7-3 (A team may only score relay points for one place. If one team wins both 1st and 2nd place then only 1st place (7 points) shall be awarded)


  • Individual Events: 14-12-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (1st through 12th place respectively)
  • 5 Team Divisional Relays: 14-10-7-5-3 (1st through 5th place respectively)
  • 6 Team Divisional Relays: 14-10-7-5-3-1 (1st through 6th place respectively)

For other meets, NWAL rules apply. See the website at

What distance will my swimmer swim in each event?

Lengths of course by age group are as follows:


Age Group(s)



6 & under, 7 - 8

Free, Back



Free Relay


8 & Under

Breast, Fly



Medley Relay


9 & 10

Free, Back, Breast, Fly



Medley Relay, Free Relay


10 & Under

50 Freestyle



Individual Medley


11 & 12, 13 & 14, 15 to 18

Free, Back, Breast, Fly



Medley Relay, Free Relay



Individual Medley



100 Free


1) Some pools we may swim at may be 25 meter pools and some are 25 yards. As a meter is longer than a yard, a conversion factor must be used to convert times from yard pools to meter pools. To convert yard times to meter times, multiple the yard time by 1.11. To convert meter times to yard times, divide the meter time by 1.11.
2) Heat sheet times should match the pool (using yard times for yard pools and meter times for meter pools). Do not be alarmed if you swimmer has a slightly higher time for meter pools - it is to be expected.
3) The coaches will be advising the swimmers during practice if they will be swimming in a meter pool. It is very common for swimmers to start “easing up” at the 25 yard point. Remind your swimmer to swim hard - ALL THE WAY TO THE WALL!!!

4) Relays are swum by 4 swimmers.  100 yard relays are swum by 4 swimmers - 25 yards each.  200 yard relays are swum by 4 swimmers - 50 yards each.

What is the order of events at a meet?

1st - 100 Freestyle
2nd -  6 & U Free Relay
3rd -  Medley Relay
4th -  Freestyle
5th -  Breast

6th -  6 & U Back

7th -  Individual Medley

8th -  Back

9th -  Butterfly

10th -  Freestyle Relay

Note: Boys swim first for all events.

What equipment does my swimmer need?

For practices 
Swimmers need a practice suit, swim cap, goggles and a towel. 

For meets
Swimmers should wear the official green and black team suit.  Swimshops of the Southwest sells these to our team.  You can purchase the suits at Swimshops of the Southwest’s store at inside the CISD Natatorium. Be sure to ask for the Marlins discount.
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