Join Swim Team

General Information

  • Registration: $40 per swimmer, $80 max per family
  • Insurance: $10 per swimmer (required and purchased by the federation)
  • In addition to registering, Season Pool Passes must be purchased through Chinook City Pool.  Passes can be purchased at the pool and prices for those are as follows:
    Family (In-City) $90
    Family (Out of City Limits) $110
    Single (In-City) $65
    Single (Out of City Limits) $75
    Grandparent (Grandchildren must live more that 50 miles away) $70
Age brackets (determined by the child’s age as of January 1st of the current year)
  • Bantam: 8 and under
  • Midget: 9 – 10
  • Junior: 11 – 12
  • Intermediate: 13 – 14
  • Senior: 15 – 19
Other Information
  • Little Lions Program: Swimmers who are at the novice level will participate in the Little Lions program and pay an additional fee ($25). A novice swimmer is one who cannot swim across the pool and requires basic swimming lessons (as opposed to technical stroke instruction required by more advanced swimmers).  Some parents will know their swimmer fits into this description during sign-ups. During the first two weeks of practice, other swimmers may be identified as Little Lions. Parents will be contacted by the coaches.  Little Lions will practice Monday-Thursday, as a side program during the bantam practice. Little Lions are encouraged to take city lessons in addition to swim team.
  • Parents are welcome to watch practices, but they are required to stay behind the fence, not in the pool area. Parents should contact coaches outside of scheduled practice times to allow coaches to focus on the swimmers assigned at each practice.
  • Only swimmers competing at the Divisional Meet will be allowed to practice the week before the Divisional Meet. Only swimmers competing at the State Meet will be allowed to practice the week between Divisionals and State.
  • You do NOT have to purchase a team swimsuit – it is not a requirement. However, girls must swim in a one-piece suit.




  • If your child is just learning to swim, it is NOT a requirement to compete in swim meets. However, this is a competitive swimming program. If it is never your intention to compete, swim team is not for your child.  He/she would be better suited for city lessons and/or open swimming times at the pool.
  • All meets are on Saturdays and Sundays. (Exception maybe the 4th of July weekend.)
  • The coaches will enter swimmers in events for meets. Parents and children must communicate early in the week, so that the kids know whether or not to sign up for the upcoming meet. If parents want input on the races their children swim, they need to talk to the coaches early in the week. The volunteer sending the event file will take the coach’s list. Our team pays entry fees for every event in which swimmers are entered.
  • The meets usually begin at 9:00 am with a warm-up session for each team. Check your email or check with the coach before Saturday to see what time the Chinook warm-ups are. It is highly recommended your swimmer attends the warm-up sessions! Usually the teams closest to the host town warm up first, the farthest teams warm up last. The official start time of the meets is 10:00 am.
  • Warm-ups for the Divisional and State meets usually start at 8:00 am. Make sure you find out the times of these in advance!
  • All meets allow for tents and campers. Most pool houses open early and close late for people that would like to take showers.
  • Bring your lawn chairs to the meets.
  • There are always full concessions at the meets, but feel free to bring your own food and drinks.
  • Programs are sold at each meet for $1-2 during the regular season. There is a new program each day, and make sure you get them early, as they do sell out. These are usually sold in the concession area. You need these to see what events and heats your child is in. The price may be higher for programs at Divisionals and State.
  • You may wish to bring hi-lighters (or they are available at concessions) to track your swimmer and his/her teammates in the programs, and a pen or pencil to write down their times.
  • It is a good idea to bring extra goggles and caps to the meets, as they do get lost or broken.
  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
  • Bring chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, etc, for the swimmers to rest on between events and to stay warm.
  • Swimmers are NOT required to jump off of starting blocks in the meets.
  • There are two divisions in the state:
    • Eastern Division: Chinook, Harlem, Malta, Glasgow, Plentywood, Scobey, Sidney, Glendive, Roundup, Lewistown
    • Western Division: Big Sandy, Cut Bank, Shelby, Chester, Conrad, Bitterroot (Hamilton), Columbia Falls, Fort Benton, Sunburst, Plains
  • There are 3 pools in the state that are yard pools instead of meter. These are Cut Bank, Harlem, and Shelby. They are a little bit shorter than a meter pool.
  • To qualify to swim at the Divisional swim meet, the swimmer needs to swim in two Eastern Division meets throughout the regular season. It does not matter what place the swimmer finishes in those meets, or even if they were disqualified in their event, as long as they got in the pool in their entered event, it will count as an official meet. It is the Swim Team Board’s goal to have ALL swimmers to strive to swim at the Divisional meet.
  • There are four different strokes: breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle (during freestyle a swimmer is allowed to swim any stroke and will not be disqualified for using a different stroke, however, they must swim the alternate stroke correctly or they will be disqualified).
  • Swimmers can be entered in three (3) individual events at each swim meet. If the swimmer wants to swim in more events, they can enter the extra events as “Exhibition” events, meaning they can swim the extra events but their time will not be posted, they will not place, and they will not receive team or personal points for those events.  (Sometimes this is a good idea if your child wants to see how well they would compete in an event.)
  • There are two (2) different relay events consisting of four children on each team in each age level. The relays do NOT count as one of their three (3) events. The two relays are:
    • Freestyle Relay: ALL the kids swim the freestyle which is only held on Saturday mornings
    • Medley Relay: EACH child swims a different stroke backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle which is only on Sunday mornings.
  • Relay teams are put together at the discretion of the coaching staff, and swimmers will be notified prior to the upcoming meet about their relay assignments.
  • A child can be bumped up an age level for a relay, but cannot go down. Two members of a relay may move up one age bracket.
  • The “Individual Medley” event is when a swimmer will swim all four strokes in one event (freestyle, back, breast, butterfly), and it counts as one event. This race is held on Saturday and is considered a final.
  • A swimmer can touch and/or hold onto the lane rope during an event, but they will be disqualified if they pull themselves forward while holding the rope.
  • There are usually several heats in one event. The first heats are the slower swimmers, and the last heat is the fastest group.
  • Lane 3 is usually the fastest swimmer, the outside lanes (1 and 6) are usually the slower swimmers of the heat.
  • If there is a swimmer in the finals and they swim in the first heat (placing for 7th -12th place), and they swim faster than someone in the second heat (placing for 1st -6th place), even if their time is faster than someone in the second heat, the highest placing the swimmer can place in that event will be 7th. (Federation bylaw).
  • Saturday events are the preliminary rounds, and Sunday events are the finals.  The swimmer needs to place in the top 12 on Saturday to swim in the finals on Sunday.  There are always 2 alternates listed, and it is possible that the alternate will swim on Sunday.
  • If your swimmer qualifies in the top 12 on Saturday and is not going to swim in the finals on Sunday, that meet still counts as qualifying toward your two meets (but make sure you tell the coach ASAP so they can scratch you and move up the alternate).
  • You CAN cross over to the Western side during the REGULAR season 2 times during the season. However, these meets will not officially count toward the two meets needed to qualify for Divisionals.
  • If you decide to cross over and go to a meet in the western division, let the coach know early in the week before the meet so they can enter your swimmer in the meet. The team will still pay for the entry fees.
  • The State meet takes the top 12 swimmers in each event from both Divisional meets. The location of the State meet alternates each year between the Eastern and Western Divisions.
  • For the State meet, only the top 6 relay teams advance from Divisionals to State.
  • There is usually a dance or entertainment for the kids on Saturday night of the meet, with strict curfews for the different age brackets. There is usually a small admission fee. Curfews usually are: Bantams 9:00 p.m., Midgets 9:30 p.m., Juniors 10:30 p.m., and Intermediates & Seniors 11:00 p.m.
  • There is a “Hi-Point Winner” for each swim meet for the male and female, of each age bracket, that scored the most points. This is awarded at the end of each meet.
  • The Divisional and State meets will have t-shirts, hoodies, shorts and miscellaneous items for sale.

2020 Practice Schedule

To Be Announced