~ FAQs

  • So what is USA Swimming? 

USA Swimming is the National Governing body that oversees competitive swimming within the United States. There are over 3,000 USA Clubs across the country serving nearly 300,000 athletes of all levels, from beginners to Olympic Gold Medalists. These teams are divided into Local Swim Committees (or LSC's) based off of geographic regions. ASA is a member of the Missouri Valley LSC, which oversees clubs in Kansas and the western 2/3 of Missouri. When you register with ASA, you must also register with USA Swimming. There is a yearly fee, which includes insurance coverage while participating at USA Swimming events (such as swim practice or meets). You can view the insurance policy by clicking here.

  • Where do you swim? 
The ASA Aquadogs train primarily at the Kirksville Aquatic Center. (Occasional practices are held at the Truman State University natatorium.) More information can be found on the Pools page.

  • How good of a swimmer do you have to be to join the swim team?
Aquadogs swimming is for swimmers ages 6-18 years who have either passed Level 4 of a Red Cross swim program or who have most of the skills to do so. Stroke technique does NOT need to be perfect! 
The ability to dive and/or do flip-turns is also not required (these skills will be team-taught), however knowledge of basic breathing techniques and the ability to swim under water for a short distance is important. (If swimmers are unsure of their abilities, Aquadogs coaches are happy to evaluate swim skills during a visit and to offer recommendations.)  For more information on team prerequisites, please visit the membership Join page.

  • How is your team organized for practice?
Our team is divided into practice groups, all based on skill level, age, commitment, and desire to either swim recreationally or train for competition. As a swimmer's ability, age, and interest advances, they are moved up to the next level. With each higher group there is an increase in skills required and expected commitment from the swimmer. More information on the group structures can be found on the Practices page. 


  • What should my swimmer wear? 
We do not have team suits but encourage swimmers to wear swimsuits made to withstand chlorine and heavy usage, and that allow range of motion without slippage (see our Apparel tab for links to manufacturers). Goggles are also necessary, and swimmers may purchase their own pairs or can purchase pairs at the Kirksville Aquatic Center front desk for around $5. There are a variety of good swim cap materials and styles to choose from, and, although caps are optional, it is helpful to have hair pulled back and secured in some way. Competitive swimmers generally wear caps, and we offer a team cap with the Aquadog logo for sale (see Apparel). Competitive swimmers are also encouraged to wear Aquadog colors at swim meets (purple, black & white), with a solid black swimsuit of their choice. Aquadog t-shirts and sweatshirts are offered for sale at times throughout the year for parents and swimmers.(see Apparel).
      • For specific rules governing swimwear at USA-sanctioned swim meets, click HERE.
(Please note, many of the swim meets the Aquadgos participate in are NOT meets offered through USA Swimming.  Some meets are intersquads, YMCA, River Country League, or other groups depending on the host team's affiliations.  Some host teams may also hold dual affiliations, such as both YMCA and USA, or may be located in other states such as Iowa or Illinois.)

  • Where and when are the swim meets? 
We divide the year into three swim seasons; Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring. Every year includes at least a few open invitationals, one or two intersquads, and some possible championship meets at the end of the season. Intersquads are usually held within our own club at the Truman pool, or we compete with another team nearby. The championship meets at the end of the season are qualifying meets. There are usually two championship meets with different qualifying times (one faster and one slower) to let different levels of swimmers experience a championship prelims/finals meet. During the summer season, we compete in the River Country League (Canton, Hannibal, Kahoka, Quincy). We also often compete with Centerville, Fairfield, and Ottumwa teams in Iowa from time to time.  (See the Swim Meets page for more information.)

  • Are any swim meets mandatory?
No. Swimmers are always allowed to choose whether or not to attend any meet. Many of our members prefer to remain recreational swimmers and thus do not attend meets, while others prefer to attend meets and frequently sign up to do so. Meets are scheduled individually, and a calendar of possible meets is put out at the beginning of each season so that swim families can choose which meets they wish to attend. Swimmers move up in practice group levels based on skills, attendance, age, and interest, as well as meet participation.  (See Aquadogs Swim Level Advancements for details.)

  • What are the costs of swim meets?
Costs for swim meets vary. Some are free, and some include a small ($5-$10) surcharge to the hosting team. From time to time, ASA also asks families for a small amount ($10) to help cover the cost of coaching an away meet.

  • How does insurance work at swim meets?
For more information on your swimmer's USA Swimming insurance coverage at swim meets, and the types of meets covered, please click here

  • Does my swimmer need a sports physical?
Although sports physicals are not required, they are always recommended. The Adair County Health Department offers free sports physicals year-round. There is a doctor on staff certain days to do physicals, although an appointment is needed in advance. The Health Department clinic is located at 1001 South Jamison (just east of the RIII school campus), and swim families can contact the Health Department at 665-8491 for more information. 

  • Do you offer swim lessons?
Not at this time. We expect swimmers to have a certain amount of swimming proficiency and comfort in the water before they look to join our program. If a swimmer does need more instruction before joining our group, we suggest checking into the lesson programs and/or private lessons offered through both the Kirksville Aquatic Center and the Adair Family YMCA organizations.

  • When can I join ASA? Do you have try-outs?
We do not hold "try-outs", but there are some team registration periods. Typically, you may register in April for the Summer Season, and during August for the Fall Season and in December or January for the Winter/Spring Season.  Although it is convenient to join the team during one of these set registration periods, swimmers may join the team at any time throughout the year by setting an appointment with the ASA Membership Coordinator. (See JOIN ASA for more information.)
  • I have more questions, who do I contact?
Check out our "Contact Us" page for names of ASA members who can help. See the "Task List" if you have specific questions about who does what, or ask our President to direct you.  For general questions regarding membership, you may email ASA.Aquadogs@gmail.com.