Rising Rays is a unique program designed to introduce young and/or inexperienced swimmers to the sport of competitive swimming.
Rising Rays have their own dedicated practice sessions, and rather than competing in the (often chaotic) Tuesday night dual meets again opposing teams, the Rising Rays have mini-meet scrimmages on Saturday mornings. These mini-meets are supportive, low-key environments. We are committed to ensuring that every Rising Ray finishes every race, even if it means a coach needs to jump in the water to help. Also attending the mini-meets are a troop of pre-teen and older mentors who provide guidance and encouragement to their younger teammates. Unlike Tuesday meets, for which ribbons are presented to swimmers the following day, at the mini-meets swimmers receive their ribbons immediately as they exit the pool from their swims, thus providing immediate positive reinforcement.
Please note that rising Rays need to be independent swimmers. In order to participate, children should be comfortable in the water and progressing toward a goal of swimming a length of the pool on their own (although it is not necessary that they have achieved that goal before the season starts). Some advanced 4-year-olds will be ready for Rising Rays, while some 4-year-olds may need to wait another year. Swimmers younger than 4 are not eligible for Rising Rays.
Your child may be ready for Rising Rays if..
...they can place their heads underwater
...they can swim unassisted for ~5meters
...they can float/roll onto their back
Mini-meets are cooperative affairs. Each Rising Ray must be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian who is willing to fulfill any volunteer role requested of them in the execution of the meet, such as serving as a timer or handing out ribbons. These roles are not difficult, and all necessary instruction will be provided to the parents. Rising Rays parents' contributions at these mini-meets reduce (or eliminate) their responsibilities to complete shift assignments at the Tuesday meets. Family volunteer requirements are usually calculated using the formula based on number of swimmers in the family, but Rising Rays swimmers are not included in calculating the number of swimmers in the family. So if you have only Rising Rays in your family, you will not be required to complete any other volunteer assignments for the team.
Rising Rays is intended to be a one year program. If your child has already completed one season of Rising Rays, it is time to move up to Ragin' Rays!