Ridgewood’s Swim and Dive Team is one of the centerpieces of our pool – it has a long tradition of success but also builds lifelong friendships.


8 and Unders: swim 25 meters (1 length) of freestyle without stopping in under 1 minute and swim 25 meters (1 length) of backstroke without stopping.
9-10’s: swim 50 meters (2 lengths) of freestyle without stopping in under 1 1/2 minutes and swim 50 meters (2 lengths) of backstroke without stopping.
11-12’s: swim 100 meters (4 lengths) of freestyle without stopping and 50 meters (2 lengths) of backstroke without stopping.

​Swimmers unfamiliar with flip turns, diving off the starting block, breaststroke and butterfly are strongly encouraged to attend our Stroke Development Clinic (see below) to get a head start learning these skills.


The Ridgewood dive team is for divers who can complete the necessary dive and want to compete in the weekly meets.   For 10 & unders that is 5 dives, and 11-19 year olds it is 6 dives.  Our dive meets are on Friday nights with the occasional weekday meet.

If you want to try diving but don’t know the necessary dives, start with dive lessons.  The lessons are taught by members of the dive team.  Once you learn the necessary dives in lessons you are welcome to try out the dive team if you’re interested.  We regularly move divers up from lessons to dive team during the season.


New Swimmer/Diver Signup 

Friday, June 7, 2024 from 4-6pm

​Families with one or more swimmers new to Ridgewood’s Swim Team or Dive Team may stop by anytime from 4-6pm for a brief skills assessment of the prerequisite skills listed above.  Coaches will let you know if your swimmer is ready for participation on Swim Team and/or Dive Team, or if they may benefit from at least one more session of lessons first, plus answer any questions you may have.  Swimmers can join the team any time during the first month of the season once they have met the above requirements.

​Swimmers/Divers may participate in as many or as few meets over the season as they would like, but must participate in at least three regular meets in order to qualify to participate in the end of season All-City Swim and Dive Meets.

Stroke Development Clinic

May 28-31 & June 3-6

5-6pm: 9-10s   |   6-7pm: 11-14s

Ridgewood’s successful Swim Team Staff will conduct an 8-day Stroke Clinic in the upper pool before swim team starts from May 28-31 (Tuesday – Friday), AND June 3-6 (Monday – Thursday).  Swimmers ages 9-14 will learn stroke drills in each of the four competitive strokes, which they can incorporate into their stroke technique to become more efficient swimmers.  Swimmers will also work on their starts and turns, and there will be a small amount of conditioning work to get ready for the upcoming season.

Ages 9 & 10 swim from 5:00-6:00 pm, and 11-14 year olds swim 6:00-7:00pm.  There will be an enrollment cap of 30 swimmers per session, so sign up early!  Registration for our stroke clinic can be completed any time after your Membership dues are paid.

Swim & Dive Team Suit Fitting

Friday, April 26th, 2024 from 4pm-6pm

We will hold a Ridgewood Swim & Dive Team suit ­fitting at Simply Swimming (6649 University Ave. Middleton).  Come and order your child’s team suit*, and shop for goggles and caps with assistance from Simply Swimming’s awesome staff to ensure a proper fit before you order.  Watch for more details soon!

*Team suit purchase is not required for participation on swim/dive team.

Swim FAQs

Questions about Swim and Dive Teams?

New to swim team?  Wondering how meets work? And if you have to make all of them?  And what about the practices?  Answers to these questions and more can be found on the Swim Team FAQs page.


Still have more questions?
​Please contact one of our volunteer New Swim Family Support Parents!​
Jenny Han jlzoog2006@yahoo.com 608-807-8179
Rachel Kosoff  stewrachel@gmail.com 517-285-3223

Beginning swim team with your child and attending a swim meet with your new swim team member can be a little confusing. Here’s some extra info to help you get the hang of it!

When are the practices?
View each age group’s practice schedule here.

What if my swimmer can’t make all those practice times?
Your swimmer may attend as many practices as he or she wants to or is able to.  As with any sport, the more practices attended, the more progress made.  However, swimmers must attend at least three practices in the week leading up to a meet they plan to participate in, unless other arrangements are made with the coach.

When are the meets?
View the meet schedule here.

What if my swimmer can’t come to a meet?
We understand that summer means precious family time.  As much as we’d love to have each swimmer at each meet, we’d love it more if each family decided for themselves how they want to plan their  summer.  Because really, it’s summer after all.  But keep in mind your swimmer must participate in three regular meets to swim at All-City. If you can’t be at a meet, your swimmer MUST SIGN OUT BY WEDNESDAY OF THAT WEEK on the clipboard near the upper pool. If your swimmer needs to leave a meet early, you can also note this on the sign-out sheet. Coaches will remind swimmers to sign out by Wednesday, but please help your kid remember! It’s tough for coaches when they discover at the last minute that relays are missing a swimmer. Which leads us to…

What if my child is sick on Saturday morning?
There are circumstances that prevent a child from getting to a meet when they aren’t signed out. It happens!  But please contact someone. Call a teammate and have them tell the coaches at warm-ups. For home meets, call Ridgewood Pool (608-441- 0240) and get the information to a coach. Do your best to call someone!

What is “All-City”?
While the rest of our meets are dual (RW v one other team) or triple (RW v two other teams) meets over the course of the season, The All-City Meet brings all 13 pools in the Madison All-City Swim & Dive League together for one final meet against each other at the same time.  Swimmers from each age group compete in Relays and Individual preliminary and finals heats over the course of three full days during either the last week of July or the first week of August, typically on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after all other meets have been completed.  Any swimmer who has participated in 3 dual or triple meets with their home team is eligible to compete at All-City.  Ridgewood’s philosophy is to build swimmers’ skills throughout the season and show improvement each week, culminating in their very best performance of the year at All-City.  Whether or not they come home with an award for winning their heat or their event, our swimmers feel proud to have worked hard each week, always striving for a personal best.

What if my swimmer doesn’t want to compete?
It’s common for many new swimmers to be nervous about competing!  Most often, once new swimmers get a week or two of practice in with the rest of the team, they become confident that they want to compete.  Even if they’re still super-nervous about it.  Once they actually participate in their first meet, their confidence usually soars from there.  Childhood is the best time to face fears, learn that they can be overcome, and learn that success comes with diligent work!

What if my swimmer REALLY doesn’t want to compete?
We do have a few swimmers who are most interested in swimming for peer interaction and fitness, but are certain they don’t want to compete.  As long as they are willing to give coaches their full attention and best efforts at practices, we welcome all swimmers.  If at any point they decide to try competition, they can let their coach know, but will otherwise need to sign out for each meet.

What races will my child swim?
Most kids will swim four events at each meet — two individual races and two relays. The coaches will decide events, and they will often mix things up! Individual events include Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, or IM (Individual Medley). Relays are either Freestyle (all swimmers swim freestyle) or Medley (one swimmer swims each stroke). Race length varies with age group. Line-ups for meets are posted each week by Friday afternoon on the Swim Team bulletin board on the outside of the building, along the front sidewalk.

How do relays work?
Coaches will determine relay teams. There are two types of relays: Freestyle and Medley. Line-ups will indicate A, B, C, etc. for relays; typically, the A relay includes the fastest swimmers for the age group, and so on. Keep in mind that coaches mix things up every week. Planning line-ups is complicated, and coaches try different combinations of swimmers.

How do I read the line-ups?
Meet events are numbered, and stay in the same order at every summer meet. If you have a younger swimmer, please pay attention to their event numbers, so you can help get them to Clerk of Course at the right time. Which leads us to…

What is Clerk of Course?
Clerk of Course is an area where younger swimmers (8-and-unders and 9-10’s) must report prior to their events. Volunteers check the swimmers in and put them in the correct order so that the meet runs smoothly. There will be Clerk of Course at all summer meets, away and home; at home meets, the Clerking is done on the lower pool deck.

How do meets work?
Event order stays the same at every meet. Each event begins with the 8-and-under girls’ and boys’ races, and works its way up in age groups before going on to the next event. Each event, in each age group, will have multiple heats. The final heats will typically be the fastest. For the younger age groups, each heat winner will get a ribbon.

What’s a heat sheet?
Heat sheets are your event program. They are available for purchase at all meets, typically for around $2. Heat sheets show event order, record times for the event, swimmers participating in each heat, their lane numbers, and their seed times. (A seed time is their best time to date; some swimmers will have NT for a seed time — this means they have no time recorded yet this season.)

What’s written on my child’s hand?
Most younger swimmers will have their events written on their hands or arms, to help them keep track of what races they will participate in. Typically the 8-and-under coaches (and often some wonderful, helpful parents — feel free to pitch in!) will write with Sharpie the swimmers’ event numbers, heat numbers, and lane numbers. It might look like this: E1 H1 L3; E11, H3, L2; etc. This means Event 1, Heat 1, Lane 3 and Event 11, Heat 3, Lane 2. Please note: black Sharpie may take a day or two to wear off, but sunscreen may smear it or cause it to rub off on car seats after the meet!

I read about the New Swimmer Signup and the Simply Swimming Open House on the Swim/Dive Team page.  Ummm..
When you register for this year’s membership, you will need to decide if it makes sense to register for swim team and pay the fees for your new swimmer now, or wait until after the New Swimmer Signup skills assessment when you’re sure he/she is ready to participate on the team.  We recommend that if you are pretty confident your child has the prerequisite skills described on the Swim/Dive Team page, go ahead and add swim team to your registration and pay the fees now.  If, within the first two weeks of the season, your child will not participate on Swim Team after all, you may contact the Membership Coordinator for a refund.  If you’re really not sure or are doubtful, then wait until the assessment; you will be able to register and pay there.

​With regard to the Simply Swimming Open House and suit fitting party, if you/your child really wants a team suit, even if you’re not sure that they’ll pass the swim assessment, come to the Open House (or any time afterward if you can’t make it that day) and buy a team suit.  If for any reason your swimmer can’t participate on swim team this year, they will be happy to take it back and give you a full refund.  They would rather you for sure have the suit if you/your child wants it and can participate.  (Remember, team suit purchase is optional for participation on the team.)  If you are registering after the Open House has already passed, please call or stop over to Simply Swimming to check on availability; they sometimes still have team suits available until the first meet.  Even if they no longer have a team suit in the size your child needs, they have many other choices to offer which may be similar.

Who is Ed Nebbins, and what are Green Buns?
At some point, usually before the All City meet, Bill will tell the kids the story. He’s pretty good at storytelling!

Where are the meets when they’re not at Ridgewood?
Go to our Swim/Dive Team Scheduled page for this year’s schedule, along with maps and directions to each Away Meet pool.  And finally…

What’s the most important thing to do at a swim meet?
​Do your very best, and have fun!


A USA Swimming rule change was passed in Fall 2018, banning tech suits for 12 & under swimmers beginning Sept. 1, 2020.  Tech suits are made from water repellent materials and compress the body to make the swimmer more hydrodynamic.  These suits can cost several hundred dollars.

The All-City Board, which oversees the rules used in the All-City Pool League, voted in November, 2018 to phase in this ban over two years.  By summer 2019, tech suits were not allowed for 8 & under swimmers.  The following summer (2020), tech suits were not allowed for 10 & under swimmers.  By the summer of 2021, the All-City rule matched the USA Swimming rule (no tech suits for 12 & under swimmers).

Dive FAQs

Wondering about RW’s diving program and how kids move from that first nervous step off the board to flying through the air?  Want to meet the coaches?  Find out about scoring?  And what the heck is a “Crow Hop”?  Click the button below and Discover Diving the RW Way!

Home Swim & Dive Team Service Requirement

Ridgewood hosts 4 home swim meets and 4 home dive meets this season. Parents of all swim team members are required to work in some capacity for at least 3 half-meet sessions, or pay a preseason buy-out fee of $300 with your family’s registration. Dive Team families must work at a minimum of 2 dive meets. These requirements are separate; if your child participates in both teams, you are asked to fulfill both requirements. There are a variety of job opportunities, but each meet requires many workers – we’d much rather have your help than your money!

Fees and Buyout Policy
All volunteer shifts will be carefully tracked. Members will be assessed a $125 fee for each shift that is missed. The fees for not completing these requirements are invoiced after the season is completed, and must be paid prior to or concurrent with the next season’s registration.   A preseason buy-out fee of $300 is available in conjunction with your family’s member registration if you know ahead of time that you cannot meet the service requirement.