Swim Groups

Practices are held for all groups at our Primary Practice Pool:

Audrey Moore Recreation Center: 8100 Braddock Rd, Annandale, VA 22003

Swim Groups Within NVN

We encourage participation in all levels of competition sanctioned by USA Artistic Swimming and the USA Artistic Swimming Foundation. At the coaches' discretion, each swimmer is assigned to a practice/competition group within NVN based upon the swimmer's age and ability:

Age Groupings

Official Age. A swimmer's official age is based on how old they will turn during the calendar year of the spring competition season. For example, a swimmer born in 2013 will be considered 10 years old for the 2022-23 season, even if they will not actually turn 10 until later in the year.

Age Grouping Categories. The official age grouping categories are 12 & Under; 13-15; 16-17; and 18-19. A swimmer may be assigned to compete in an older age grouping if their ability justifies it, but no swimmer may compete in a younger age grouping.

Ability Levels. There are three groupings based on ability, with subdivisions within each for swimmers of different ages. All NVN swimmers are officially assigned to one of these levels with USAAS, and all NVN swimmers participate in the team routine for their level and age group:

  • Novice. Novices are generally first- or second-year swimmers, usually age 11 and under, who are working on basic artistic swimming skills. Some swimmers may skip the Novice level, particularly if they are older and/or have relevant experience. All novice swimmers learn figures, which are basic technical elements that are designated by USA Artistic Swimming. Some novice swimmers may do the team routine in another event, as a solo, duet, or trio.

  • Intermediate. Intermediates continue learning basic skills and begin developing more advanced skills. Like the Novices, all Intermediate swimmers participate in team routines and may also do the same routine as a solo, duet, or trio. Their figures become more complex, compared to the Novices.

  • Age Group. Swimmers advance to Age Group when they have mastered basic and advanced skills and are prepared to make a more significant commitment to the team and the sport. Age Group swimmers participate in regional and even national competitions.

  • All Age Group swimmers participate in a team routine. Those selected to do solos, duets, or trios will typically learn separate routines for each category.

  • Age Group swimmers in the 12&Under and 13-15 groupings learn advanced figures, while swimmers in the 16 and over categories (Junior/Senior) learn and perform a team technical routine in lieu of figures.

  • USA Artistic Swimming has established six level tests that Age Group swimmers must pass to qualify for certain major competitions, depending on their age. The tests involve increasingly difficult land-based strength and flexibility elements, general swim skills, and artistic swimming skill demonstrations.

Not sure which group is right for your swimmer? Email teammanager@nvnsyncro.com and we'll be happy to help!