Becoming a Member

Minimum Skill Requirements

Generally, swimmers must be at least 5 years of age and capable of performing the freestyle stroke for one length of a 25-yard pool. All new and prospective swimmers must be evaluated and assigned to a practice group by a PTSC coach before registering with PTSC. 

A one-on-one evaluation can be scheduled by contacting [email protected]. Evaluations usually last 10-15 minutes and take place during a regular PTSC practice. No special equipment or attire is needed, but swimmers should wear goggles. Evaluations can also be done as part of other activities offered by PTSC, such as a learn-to-swim program or training clinic. 

The PTSC coaches welcome the opportunity to meet with and evaluate new swimmers. 

Becoming a Member

All swimmers must register annually with PTSC and USA Swimming to participate in any practices, swim meets, or other PTSC activities. The PTSC swim season runs from September 1st through August 31st, and swimmers must register for the entire season. However, membership dues will be prorated for any swimmer who registers after September and has not been a member of PTSC at any time within the previous 2 years from the anticipated registration date.

Registration with PTSC and the payment of all dues and fees can be done online from the Registration & Fees page.  PTSC will register each swimmer with USA Swimming after the swimmer is registered with PTSC. 

Before registering, prospective swimmers who have not previously been a member of PTSC may participate in a one-week free trial after being evaluated and assigned to a practice group by a PTSC coach.        

Swim Practices

Practices are offered 5-6 days per week, except on certain holidays and when the Peters Township School District’s high school and middle school swim meets are being held at the high school pool. Practice times vary between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, based on practice group, and also take place on Saturday mornings. For older swimmers, morning practices before school may be offered during certain times of the season. 

PTSC practices will be held at the Peters Township High School pool, which features a new, 8-lane, state-of-the-art, competition pool. During the summer months, an option to practice outdoors is also provided.

There is no requirement that swimmers attend a minimum number of practices each week or month, and swimmers are free to participate in other activities and competitive sports during the swim season. Although practices are completely voluntary at all times, swimmers who want to be more competitive are encouraged to practice more regularly, as suggested below based on practice group. 

PTSC also recognizes that many swimmers may want to participate as part of a healthy and social exercise routine, or as a means of cross-training, and that not all swimmers are interested in year-round competition. As such, PTSC offers a flexible training program aimed at providing meaningful skill development and accessibility to the sport. 

Practice Groups

There are five practice groups that vary based on a number of factors. The PTSC coaches determine each swimmer’s practice group assignment based on age and skill level, and advancement is based on stroke development, age, maturity, level of commitment, and attendance and performance at meets.​

Please note that there is no reduction or refund of membership dues or fees for swimmers who participate in other activities or competitive sports during the season or do not attend practices on a regular basis. For each practice group, the membership dues have been established by taking into account the duration of each practice session, the number of recommended practices per week, and the anticipated participation of certain swimmers in middle school and high school swim programs sponsored separately by a public school district. 

Swim Meets

Swim club competition takes place on a year-round basis and is comprised of the short-course and long-course meet seasons. The short-course season begins in September, ends in March, and takes place in indoor 25-yard pools. The long-course season begins in April, ends in August, and takes place in both indoor and outdoor 50-meter pools.

Swim meets are held on the weekends at various pools in the Pittsburgh area. There are also opportunities to participate in swim meets that require travel outside of the area.

Participation in swim meets is not required for any swimmer, but competing in meets allows swimmers to experience the results of their training and hard work, provides an objective measure of improvement, and promotes a sense of belonging to a team. Whether to participate in a particular swim meet and how often to compete is a decision that should be made by the swimmers and their parents, along with input from their coaches.

The PTSC coaches, along with parents, will determine when a swimmer is ready to begin participating in meets. Parents are encouraged to consult with coaches throughout the season to determine which meets are most appropriate for their swimmers and to select the events that their swimmers will compete in for each meet.

Parents will receive emails to notify them about meet opportunities and provide instructions on how to register.


For practice, swimmers are required to wear an appropriate practice swimsuit, a swim cap (unless hair is very short) and goggles. In addition, swimmers are required bring their own fins, pull buoy, kick board, paddles and snorkel. The same equipment can be used from year to year and purchased online at a discount through the PTSC team store. The PTSC coaches will circulate a list of recommended equipment for each practice group.

Team competition suits are recommended but not required and can be purchased through Swim Outlet. Optional PTSC “spirit wear”, such as personalized swim caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and towels are also available for purchase at various times during the season. Swimmers may also choose to purchase backpacks, parkas, and mesh equipment bags for their own convenience, but these items are not required for practices or meets.

PTSC Dues and Fees

The required, annual dues and fees for membership include:

  1. Membership dues, which vary based on practice group
  2. USA Swimming membership fee
  3. Registration fee

The membership dues may be paid in full at the time of registration or in two equal installments at the time of registration and January. The family registration fee must be paid in full at the time of registration. Certain dues are discounted for families with more than one swimmer. No dues or fees can be refunded at any time. Information on dues and fees is available on the Registration & Fees page.

Swimmers will receive two PTSC T-shirts and two swim caps at no additional cost. However, members may incur additional expenses throughout the season for some or all of the following:

  • Team competition suits, which are recommended but not required and can be purchased through Swim Outlet (approximately $65).
  • Entry fees for swimmers who choose to compete in swim meets (approximately $5-$10 per event; swimmers are usually limited to 3-4 events per day).
  • Practice equipment such as swimsuits and caps, googles, fins, pull buoy, kick board, paddles, and snorkels (approximately $100 in total, at minimum, but prices vary; the same equipment can be used from year to year and purchased online at a discount through the Swim Outlet team store). 


Communication among members, club administration and coaches is a vital part of PTSC.  To facilitate these efforts, all PTSC board members and coaches are available for by phone, email, or it to meet in person.  PTSC also maintains an email distribution list through which important messages will be circulated about practices, meets and other activities.  It is important for members to update their contact information through the PTSC website. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is an integral part of the success of PTSC, and parent involvement is highly encouraged. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Elected officer and board member positions;

  • Non-board member positions such as billing administrator, webmaster, learn to swim coordinator, fundraising program manager, ribbons and awards coordinator and communications coordinator;

  • Membership on committees to organize swim meets and meet registration, spirit wear and team apparel, annual awards banquets and social events, swim record boards and the nomination of officers and board members; and

  • Serving as a USA Swimming official or a PTSC representative for Allegheny Mountain Swimming.

Volunteer service at a rate of $10 per hour can be earned throughout the season to reduce the amount of the member dues that is collected from the member family for the following season, up to the maximum amount of the annual volunteer fee for the following season.  Volunteer hours earned in one season cannot be applied to reduce any volunteer fees beyond the next following season.


If you are interested in joining PTSC or have any questions please click here to contact us.