Recreational athletes are to be dropped directly into the care of coaches on deck, just outside the changing area.
Coaches will greet athletes 12 years and under in the lobby a few minutes prior to the start of practice. Athletes 13 or older will either meet their team in the lobby or on the pool deck, as determined by their coach.
Please remember to arrive on time, wearing your suit and ready to start!
Athletes 12 and under must be picked up from the coach at the end of practice on the pool deck, or another agreed-upon location. Athletes 13 and older will be released from practice directly from the pool deck/facility.
Atlantis Artistic Swimming Club and our facility partners are not responsible for any lost or stolen items
Grab a coffee, run some errands, read a book. Parents are also welcome to come to the pool deck to watch practices. Keep in mind, there is limited seating on deck, and the pool deck temperature can be very warm. Please be mindful not to distract athletes while they are being coached during their session.
Spectators are encouraged at all competitions — there are several local meets to attend. Another great opportunity for family and friends to see athletes’ hard work is at our water shows. Most competitions feature both figures and routines.
Every new athlete receives one nose clip and swim cap at the start of the season. For replacements and other necessary equipment, most local sporting goods stores work well. Swimmers should always have at least one spare nose clip in case of breakage or loss. (This can be devastating mid-routine, so most athletes attach a spare to the side of their suit for easy access).
Competitive athletes buy these mandatory items in their first year and replace them as needed as they grow. Club uniforms are not required for recreational swimmers.
All competitive routines have custom-designed handmade suits. These suits are more fragile than typical swimsuits and require extra care. Routine suits cannot to be worn for anything other than water demos or competitions. It is difficult and expensive to replace custom suits.
Caps, goggles, and nose clips
Expect your swimmer to misplace and/or break these items throughout the year.
Athletes’ individual travel expenses
Individual travel costs such as flights to competitions and team outings are paid out of pocket. For more information, please see the Travel Guidelines.
All athletes are first placed on a team, based on our club’s team-first philosophy. Extra routines — solos and duets — are limited and based on club resources and provincial and national competition limits on entrants. Athletes are invited to express interest in extra routines during registration for the regular season. Fees for extra routines are in addition to regular monthly team fees.
The artistic swimming competition season runs January through May. The number and locations of competitions for each team varies from year to year and often includes travel outside the province — sometimes with parent/guardian supervision, sometimes with parent chaperones. Coaches outline competition schedules during their year-start parent meetings in September.
A routine is a choreographed program that is executed to timed music. It looks like a dance routine in the water. Routines can comprise solo swimmers, duets, teams from four to eight, or combos of up to ten. Solo swimmers synchronize their routines to the music; duets and teams to the music and each other.
For combos, swimmers “break off” and complete solo and duet elements in the water alongside the rest of their synchronized teammates. In all routines, swimmers maintain synchronization in part because they can hear the music through underwater speakers.
Figures are a succession of basic positions and transitions with names such as Kip, Ariana and Albatross. Athletes compete figures or technical elements individually in front of a panel of judges. Athletes compete figures wearing a black swimsuit, white cap, nose clip and goggles.
Provinces may combine athletes from different clubs within the same province to form teams, combos, or mixed duets (one male and one female swimmer).
The purpose of a mock meet is to teach young athletes what to expect at a competition. For first-time competitive swimmers, mock meets can be especially useful to help athletes understand the flow of meets and what the positive stress of competing feels like. Mock meets are usually held at most once a year. Scores are not recorded.
This athlete learns several positions on a team and can fill in for any missing athlete. Some alternates rotate in and out of positions over competitions, some stay in ready mode for every competition and only swim when another swimmer cannot, due to injury or illness. Alternates generally make teams stronger and less prone to emergency last-minute re-structuring of routines.
Scoring is incredibly complex. All artistic swimming athletes — of every age and ability — are scored based on the same rubrics. That means that early in their artistic swimming careers, athletes will naturally score on the lower end, and as they progress, scores will naturally rise.
Every practice is important in artistic swimming, in large part because many routine components cannot be practiced without every swimmer there. Please review our Attendance Policy to know how to appropriately deal with illness, injury or major life events.
If an athlete suffers an injury (either at the pool, or during another activity) the club’s injury protocol will kick in. Post-injury, coaches, athletes and parents work together to ensure a safe recovery and return to practice. Atlantis follows the 2017 Harmonized Concussion Protocols set by the New Canadian Guidelines for Concussion in Sport Committee.
Ensure your swimmer has what they need to be successful, including healthy routines (eating, sleeping, hydrating), stretching regularly, and arriving to practice on time. Remind your swimmer to respect fellow swimmers, coaches, and the club, as per the Athlete Code of Conduct signed as part of registration. Remind them to have fun!
Every swimmer brings different strengths to the team. Trust the coaches’ decisions on the position and role of each swimmer. Support the coach by reminding your child to respect the rules, and to come to practice ready to give their best. Please also remember that coaches are giving their very best each and every practice to every athlete, and any questions or concerns from parents/guardians should always be communicated in a respectful manner and in the proper forum, as per the Parent/Guardian Code of Conduct signed as part of registration.
The club is made up of a volunteer board, and always needs help to ensure a successful year for swimmers. Please volunteer! (See How to get involved.) Volunteering requires no experience, and is always very easy.
Coaches run testing throughout the season to help determine placement for returning athletes. New athletes are placed after the first few practices.
Provincial Stream athletes compete at provincial and regional meets. National Stream athletes compete at provincial and national meets.
Age categories in artistic swimming may be confusing at first.
Although the club practices and competes from September through May, the competitive season is technically considered the calendar year during which the season ends. For example, the Sep. 2023 - May 2024 season actually runs from January 2024 to December 2024.
Your swimmer's age is based on the age they will be on December 31st of the competitive season. A simple method is to subtract the ending year (for example, 2024 in the 2023-2024 season) from your swimmer's birth year to get their "artistic swimming" age.
Provincial Stream athletes can swim up or down an age category. For example, an athlete might be in the 13-15 age group, but due to physical ability or maturity, may swim up to the 16 and Over group or down to the 11-12 group.
A team can qualify to compete even if they have athletes swimming up or down, so long as the average age of all team members is within the stated age grouping. Athletes who swim up or down still must swim their own age grouping for figures or technical elements. For example, an athlete in the 13-15 group may swim their team routine with the 11-12 group but must still compete in 13-15 figures.
National stream athletes can swim up, but cannot swim down. All in all, swimming up or down is rare.
Our recreational programs are open for registration all year long. Typically, the cut-off for competitive registration is the first practice of the season in September. However, late registrations for new swimmers are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Many athletes share their wealth of artistic swimming experience by becoming coaches, volunteers or officials. To explore these options, find more info through Nova Scotia Artistic Swimming.
The Senior age category is for swimmers who are moving out of the 16 and Over age category and who have many years of competition experience. They may compete at provincial, national and international meets and be eligible for Canada Games.
Masters category athletes are passionate about artistic swimming but are not pursuing it at a high-performance level. They may compete at provincial, national, and international meets.
The Canadian University Artistic Swimming League (CUASL) is a great option for swimmers wishing to pursue their education while they compete. Every year more and more Canadian universities are forming teams, and the level of competition continues to rise.
NCAA artistic swimming is highly competitive. Some Canadian swimmers make the move to the United States to pursue high performance swimming, while also continuing their education.