Team Levels

MSSC Level Advancement Guidelines


Polliwogs—8 Years and Younger (entry level)

Polliwogs must possess a basic knowledge of free and back and be able to swim 25 yards without stopping (or be “teachable”). In this group we work on perfecting the breathing pattern in free and teaching stroke work along with appropriate starts and turns.

When swimmers turn 9 years old, they automatically advance to the Piranhas.


Piranhas must have the ability to do 100 yards without stopping or be 9 years of age. This group is proficient in free and back and able to do breaststroke. Piranhas will be doing more yardage, more pool time, and the beginnings of butterfly. Stroke, start, and turn techniques will be taught in this group. Piranhas are expected to compete in conference meets.

To Advance to the Piranhas for an 8 and under:

Know all strokes, correct turns, and be able to do starts.

Pass a swim test of 3 x 100 @ 2:45 Freestyle and/or 5 x 50 free @ 1:20




Dolphins are our intermediate swimmers. Stroke, start, and turn techniques are emphasized and refined in this group. Yardage and pool time are increased. Anaerobic (without breath) work is introduced. Dolphins are required to attend one meet a season.

Dolphins should be in the pool a minimum of 3 days a week. Dolphins will be able to legally do all four strokes.

To advance to Dolphins:

Know all strokes, correct turns, and be able to do starts

Pass a swim test of 4 x 100 @ 2:30 Freestyle and/or 6 x 50 free @ 1:15

Be able to swim a 100 IM correctly and legally

Be able to alternate breathe (every 3rd stroke)

Be able to read a pace clock


Sharks- designed for 11 and up

Sharks are the more advanced swimmers. They have practices available every day, a minimum of 4 a week. They practice with more yardage and are constantly critiqued on their techniques and strokes. This critique is designed to enhance speed. Sharks will be introduced to hypoxic breathing (holding breath). Sharks should take every opportunity available to them to attend meets. A minimum of two meets are required throughout the season.

To advance to Sharks: (Must be 11 or over)

All above requirements

Be able to complete correctly a 200 IM and 500 Freestyle

Pass a swim test of 5 x 100 Freestyle @ 1:40 and/or 7 x 50 free @ 1:00

Be able to hypoxic breath 3-5 pattern


Seahorses- Must be at least 7th grade

Seahorses are the elite swimmers. They practice every day, swim longer yardage, and are worked to enhance their speed. A one-half second difference in a finishing time can mean winning an event or placing far down in the pack. A double workout is at the discretion of the Head Coach. During the summer season it is encouraged. Seahorses should make every opportunity available to them to attend meets.

To advance to Seahorses: (Be at least in 7th grade)

All above requirements

Be able to do 400 IM and 1000 Free

Do repeat sets of 8 x 50 each stroke on standard interval

Pass a test set of 6 x 100 Freestyle @ 1:20 and/or 8 x 50 free hold :45 on 1:00

All advancement is at the discretion of the Team Manager- He/She will take into account not only abilities in and out of the pool, but maturity level as well.