Differences between Summer League and Age Group Swimming

Sign ups have started for summer league, so I’d like to take a moment and talk about some differences between age group (club) swimming and summer league swimming.

For some swimmers one is a better fit than the other and some may swim both. Some kids may also swim age group in the fall, winter, and spring and do summer league in the summer.

My experiences and comparisons will be generalized from teams I coach in Central Texas – the Georgetown Aquadillos (summer league) and Texas Gold Georgetown Georgetown (age group). If you have anything to add, let me know!

Age Group / Club

  • Year-Round
  • Professional coaches, starters, and officials.
  • Less frequent meets for many kids
  • Summer meets are Long Course (50m). Winter is short course.
  • Most meets are against swimmers from many teams.
  • Local meets and travel meets.
  • Events have more focus on fitness and technique.
  • Relays only at special meets.
  • Monthly fee plus fees for meets
  • Kids usually have a stronger commitment to swimming
  • Parents usually don’t volunteer at meets, unless it is a meet the team hosts.
  • Focus on fun while developing swimmers over the long term

Summer League

  • Only about 10 weeks long
  • Typically younger coaches led by an experienced coach. Volunteer starters and officials.
  • Once meets start, a meet every weekend until the end
  • Meets are short course (25y)
  • Most meets are against 1-2 teams.
  • Local meets.
  • Events swam have more focus on sprinting.
  • Relays are every meet.
  • One fee for summer, no meet fees
  • Kids of all commitment levels
  • Parents are expected to volunteer at all meets their kids attend
  • Focus on fun while trying to swim fast for that season

If you haven’t seen it yet, here are some of my thoughts about an Aquadillos article I saw recently: Aquadillos Article.