Frequently Asked Questions

ATAC Registration

Please see the steps for how to join ATAC. Annual registration submission is due by September 1 each year. USA Swimming registration is due annually and must be submitted with payment no later than December 15 of each calendar year.


Training Group Assignments

Coach Doug is responsible for all swimmers’ training group assignments. Questions or concerns regarding your swimmer’s assignment and/or schedule should be addressed to Coach Doug via email at Please do not interrupt a training session for this discussion.



How do I communicate with my child’s coach? Coach Doug is happiest when lines of communication to parents and swimmers are open. For brief conversations, Coach Doug is available on deck before or after each training session. For more in-depth discussions, please email Coach Doug at for an online discussion or to schedule a meeting. This is important so that all swimmers are able to have Coach Doug on deck and present for their training sessions. Please respect the training session schedule and do not disrupt coaching in session.

How do I find out about team items like meets, social events, entry deadlines, schedule changes? The weekly newsletter is distributed via email every Saturday and also posted on our team website. Any schedule changes or upcoming events are noted in the newsletter. The meet schedule is available on the website.

Should I tell someone if my swimmer will be late or absent? Coach Doug should always be notified in advance of planned workout absences. Also, if your swimmer will be leaving a training session prior to dismissal, Coach Doug should be notified prior to the beginning of the training session. Parents are asked to please not interrupt a training session to remove swimmers from the group to avoid disruptions and distractions.


Attendance: All ATAC swimmers are expected to compete in swim meets. All swimmers who are qualified for the meet will be automatically entered in the meet. Swimmers requesting to be withdrawn from a meet must submit this request in writing to the ATAC Secretary and Coach Doug prior to the meet entry change deadline to avoid being charged meet entry fees.

Entries: Coach Doug will assemble each swimmer’s entries. Please keep in mind that Coach Doug knows your swimmer’s strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. He will submit the meet entries based on current training and his long-term plan for your swimmer. Once meet entries are announced to the team, via email, swimmers may address any concerns with Coach Doug. However, Coach Doug has the final say on all entries.

Meet Fees: Once meet entries are final, meet entry fees will be applied to your account. These fees will include the individual entry fees, as described in the Meet Information file, and coaching fees. Coaching fees for in-season standard meets will be based on the length of the meet. Coaching fees will be $10 per day per swimmer for timed finals meets. Coaching fees will be $15 per swimmer per day for prelim/finals meets  Be advised that once meet entries are submitted and processed, no refunds will be granted. At the time meet fees are finalized, ATAC submits a check to the meet host team which is not refunded in the event that a swimmer does not attend the meet. Due to the host team not provided refunds upon scratches, ATAC is unable to provide a refund to a swimmer who does not attend the meet. There are no exceptions to this policy.

How early do I arrive at a meet? Coach Doug expects all swimmers on deck 15 minutes prior to the scheduled warm-up. If your swimmer arrives late for the team warm up, they will miss critical elements of the entire experience. ATAC trains as a team even at meets when warmup is down as a team and not individually. ATAC swimmers warm up together as a team and sit together as a team. Please join us in cheering for all ATAC swimmers throughout the meet.


Time Standards

What are Time Standards? Time Standards are event performance times set by either USA Swimming or the Texas Swim Association (TSA) that establish benchmarks for tracking progress in meets, qualifying for Championship type meets, and basically allowing an athlete to see how they “stack up” in the field of competitive swimming. The USA Swimming standards begin with “B” times, and as you climb up the ladder, next are “BB” times, then “A” times. From there it goes “AA,” “AAA,” and finally “AAAA.” You can access these time standards here.

What is “Short Course?” Short Course meets are held in 25 yard pools, typically from September through March.

What is “Long Course?” Long Course meets are held in 50-meter pools, typically from April through July.

When are “Championship” meets? We participate in the A Championship meets each season and these meets are referred to as STAGS (South Texas Age Group Standards). We also compete in the Texas Age Group Swimming Championships (TAGS), Sectionals, Junior Nationals, Nationals, USA Swimming Gran Prix meets, and other top end high level meets that require prequalifying times to enter. This means there are short course championship meets for all of these standards as well as Long Course Championship meets as well.

What is TAGS? TAGS stands for Texas Age Group Swimming Championships. It is the premiere age 14 and under state championship meet in the country. The TAGS time standards are updated each year, calculated on a formula that takes the 20th place time from the current meet and averages it in with the prior two years. If the 20th place time isn’t faster than the current time standard, then the time for that event remains unchanged when the next year’s standards are published. The Short Course TAGS meet takes place in early March each year, while the Long Course TAGS meet is in late July. The TAGS time standards can be found on here.


Team Withdrawal

A written withdrawal request must be submitted via email to on or before the 15th of the month. If the withdrawal is not submitted on or before the 15th of the month, you will be responsible for the following month’s training fees.