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Initial Skills Requirement

We expect our swimmers to be able to swim a length of the pool, even if occasionally grabbing the lane line or side, without someone having to jump in to rescue them. Should be able to make 25 yards around 1min 15sec.  You don't have to do it the first day, but we do expect you to be at that point in time for the first meet after the first week or so of practice. If a swimmer can't do that, then there's simply too much risk from a safety perspective as we aren't staffed for that level of attention.

Swimmers are not expected to be aware of any particular strokes, and if a 5 year-old wants to doggie-paddle across at first, that's fine, as long as they'll let us teach them in the coming weeks.

The policy applies to all ages - a new 12-year old doesn't have to know backstroke or have a killer butterfly any more than a 5-year-old. Most years, we have a very small number of 4-year-old little siblings, and then a pretty good number of 5-year-olds. 

We do not have a heated pool so we cannot offer early tryouts.  If the coach determines your child can't safely participate, you will receive a full refund less merchandise cost.  However, you must show up at practice to be eligible for a refund. If you do not show up the first week, there will be no refund and your child will not be allowed to swim for safety reasons.

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Swimmer Expectations

5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Barracuda

1. Be Responsible

  • For your swimming gear (caps, goggles, suit, towel, fins, etc.)
  • By being on time to practice and meets
  • Letting coaches know if you have questions or needs

2. Be Safe

  • By listening to your coaches' instructions
  • By not participating in horseplay in or out of pool

3. Be a Good Teammate

  • Encouraging each other during practice and meets
  • Setting a good example
  • Helping a friend

4. Be Respectful

  • To your coaches as well as your teammates
  • To yourself by staying positive and working hard to improve

5. Have Fun and Enjoy Learning to Swim

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Disciplinary Policy & Steps

A swimmer that chooses not to be safe or respectful can expect the following actions to be taken by their coach:

1st Offense:

Coach will tell the swimmer why he/she is talking to them and give them a warning to make a better choice.

2nd Offense:

Coach will ask the swimmer to go and tell parent what he/she has done and for the parent to speak to the coach. The swimmer will then sit out from practice for 3 minutes. If parent is not present, the swimmer will stand next to the coach for 3 minutes and have parent speak to coach after practice.

3rd Offense:

Coach will ask swimmer to inform parent of offense and will be asked to sit out for remainder of practice. Parent may wish to discuss with coach after their child’s practice time.

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Practice & Meet Expectations

We expect all swimmers will follow the expectations above and make practices a fun safe place to improve swimming skills and have fun with their friends.

How many practices should I attend?  Many kids attend nearly all of the practices, some are only able to make it 2-3 days a week.  We do ask that everyone tries to make at least 1 practice a week.

About those swim meets?  This is a fun, friendly community activity and are a big part of the fun swim team experience. We do expect kids to go in with the expectation of swimming at meets.

We also have the volunteer expectation.  Most of the shifts are at meets.

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Volunteer Policies

The BCW Barracudas are a member of the Austin Hills Swim League, which is a parent run and supported league. It takes many, many volunteers to run a home meet, and to do so successfully, participation is required from ALL swim families! In addition to the registration fee, your family is *required* to work FOUR (4) meets/shifts. This number may change depending on final number of families registering. Registration requires you to select the four meets and the job you would like to work at the meet.

Every attempt will be made to assign you according to your choices, but the Board reserves the right to make final decisions. We have a small number of non-meet jobs available for special circumstances, please contact us using the contact form.

If you are unable to work your assigned position at a meet, it is your responsibility to find a replacement for that position and notify the Board Member in charge as soon as possible. Please be aware that your child can be pulled from participating in a swim meet and the remaining season if you do not work your job requirement. You will not be allowed to return to the team the following year if you do not meet the volunteer commitment.

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Financial Policies


Overview: We are a volunteer run non-profit organization. All funds collected at registration pay for coaches, equipment, supplies, insurance and league dues. We also solicit sponsors to offset some of these costs.

Payments: All payments are due prior to the start of practice. We will not be able to order merchandise until payment is received. Space available, we can accept new registrations through May 10, however, they may not get their desired t-shirt size or a t-shirt at all.

Due Date: All payments are due on or before the first day of practice. For insurance/liability reasons, a swimmer will not be allowed in the water until payment is received.

Late Fee: A late fee of $50 will be added to any balance unpaid after the first day of practice. Please pay ASAP, it makes it easier for the the board members. Remember, we're all volunteers!

Refunds: The majority of our expenses are up front, covering league dues, shirts, liability insurance, etc. We also determine coaching staff size based on swimmer count. We make our commitments by April 15 to ensure the best deals. After payment, we will provide refunds on the following basis -

  • 50% refund on or before April 15 (***)
  • 0% refund after April 15. Sorry, we are all volunteers and neighbors, please don't even ask, it increases the costs for everyone.
  • We are unable to refund merchandise purchases or credit card fees.

(***) We do not have a location for tryout prior to season start. If the coach feels your child will not have the skills to safely swim in this program prior to the first meet, a full refund less $25 admin fee will be issued. Please be aware that for safety reasons, we need swimmers to be able to swim 25 yards unassisted by the first meet.

Extra Costs: Swimmers are responsible for purchasing their swimsuit, goggles, and personal equipment. There is also a scheduled team event (Hawaiian Falls/Schlitterbahn) that is self funded. Finally, if qualified and attending, they will be asked to pay for their individual entry fees for the All Star Invitational Meet at the end of the year ($7 per individual event, relays will be paid by the team).

Prorated Fees: Registration fees cover the complete summer season. There are no prorated fees for late start or not finishing the season regardless of reason.

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6 & Under Practice Policy

A responsible adult is required to remain in the pool area during practice time for children 6 & under. Children 6 & under may not be left unattended at any time during practice.

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Weather Policy

The safety of our swimmers and families is the top priority. We may hold practices and meets in the rain, but we will cancel practice for risk of lightning. Watch the home page for any weather related cancelations.

If the weather looks bad, please stay around or make arraignments to pickup your child if we have to cancel.  There is no lightning safe area on the pool deck, please plan on retreating to the safety of your car.

If you don't feel like it is safe, you may pickup your child at anytime (or skip the practice).

We will use the WeatherBug lightning tracker to determine lightning.  Lightning within 6 miles in the last 30 minutes will be cause to cancel or delay activities at the pool

In the event a meet is cancelled due to weather, it may be rescheduled if time is available. Any meet unable to be rescheduled within 2 weeks will be cancelled per league rules.

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Can My Kid Sign Up?

First-time prospective barracudas often have a bunch of questions about signing up, including whether or not their little barracuda is ready for swim team.   There's really two main things we look for to determine if someone can join our fantastically fun swim team:

1) Are you part of the BCW Barracuda community?

If you're a returning Barracuda or a BCW resident, the answer is really simple.   If you are a student or alumnus of Barton Creek Elementary or a student of WRMS, you're part of the greater community as well.   If you're still unsure at this point, ask a board member and make your case for being part of the BCW Barracuda community.   We exist primarily for the residents of Barton Creek West, which we extend to all the kids our residents see at school.  We do accept others, but must maintain priority for our local folks. See the registration page for details. After all, the HOA is providing the pool and the neighbors can't use it when the swim team is there!  If we can't find a spot for you, there are many great year round programs in Austin, if you'd like a recommendation, drop us a note on the contact us page.

2) Can you swim well enough to not be a major safety concern?

In the past, we've typically expected our swimmers to be able to swim a length of the pool, even if occasionally grabbing the lane line or side, without someone having to jump in to rescue them.   You don't have to do it the first day, but we do expect you to be at that point in time for the intrasquad meet after the first two weeks of practice.   If a swimmer can't do that, then there's simply too much risk from a safety perspective as we aren't staffed for that level of attention.   Swimmers are not expected to be aware of any particular strokes, and if a 4 year-old wants to doggie-paddle across at first, that's fine, as long as they'll let us teach them in the coming weeks.   The policy applies to all ages - a new 12-year old doesn't have to know backstroke or have a killer butterfly any more than a 4-year-old.   Most years, we have a very small number of 4-year-old little siblings, and then a pretty good number of 5-year-olds.   Some of the loudest applause is for the little 4-year-olds taking 90 seconds to get across the pool.

If you can answer yes to those two questions, then you're free to sign up and give it a shot.   See our "Financial Policies" section below for details regarding refunds in case things don't work out.   We want all the kids to have a good, positive, fun experience and to be as inclusive as possible.

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Neighborhood Swim Team

The BCW Barracudas Swim Team was created by neighbors in the Barton Creek West community many years ago for the benefit of their families, children and friends.  Registration priority goes to BCW residents and nearby neighbors first.  The team is family friendly and fun. We reserve the right to remove registrations if they don't meet the spirit of the team.

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Abuse Policy

The increasing incidence of reported child abuse is a special concern for the sport of swimming and the BCW Barracudas swim team. It is the duty of all BCW Barracuda coaches, volunteers, and parents to recognize and report child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is damage to a child for which there is no “reasonable” explanation. Child abuse includes non-accidental physical injury, neglect, sexual molestation, and emotional abuse. More information about recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse is available on the USA Swimming Safe Sport website (click here).

Our team’s official policy and reporting requirements are here.

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