Age Groups & Proficiency


Age Group Definitions
  • Children are divided into Age Groups: U6, U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 and U14. Your child will be placed into an age group determined by the age of your child at midnight on 30 September.
    Example: If a child is aged 9 at midnight on 30 September this year, they will join the Under 10 age group for the whole of the season.
  • To ensure children can be in an age group with their friends during regular Nippers the children may (at the discretion of the Age Manager) join an Age group above or below their age. However, they will be required to meet the water proficiency requirements for that age group. During competition, Nippers must compete in their correct age group.


Nippers is open to every child, irrespective of swimming ability. There is no swimming proficiency required for U6 and U7 age groups however the following assessment will be undertaken during a normal Nippers session.

  • U6s From a standing position in waist deep water, perform a front glide and recover to secure position.  Perform a back or front float holding a buoyant aid and recover to a buoyant position.
  • U7s From a standing position in waist deep water, perform a front glide, kick for 3m and recover to secure position.

For U8s and above, a level of swimming proficiency is required for your child’s safety and to reflect the swimming ability needed to participate in age appropriate water activities. If your child is unable to attain the noted proficiency, they are still very welcome to participate in all beach and wade events but cannot join in any water events or competition. We ask you to work with your child to attain the required level.

  • All U8s are required to complete a timed 25m pool swim.
  • U9-U14s are required to complete a timed 200m pool swim.
  • Competition proficiency assessments are completed during competition training when conditions are suitable. See below for proficiency assessment information.
Proficiency Assessment – 2020. Note bookings are not required.  Please turn up at the age group timeframe.
When: TBC
Where: TBC
Distance: U8s – 25 metres, U9s – U14s – 200m.  U6s and U7s are not required to complete a water proficiency assessment
Cost: $2.00 per Nipper
Bring: towel, swim goggles and (compulsory) cap
Be Prepared: Bring the above items with you and please don’t bring the dog!
Proficiency Timing (Note: siblings can attend the same timeslot) TBC
U14 :   8:30AM
U13 :   9:00AM
U12 :   9:30AM
U11 : 10:00AM
U10 : 10:30AM
U9   : 11:00AM
U8   : 11:30AM

If you are unable to make your assessment timeframe (please try and make this assessment), assessments may be done each Nipper Sunday from 8:00-8:45am until December at the Avalon Beach ocean pool, but it will be cold.

Note, if your child attends regular swimming lessons and you would like to undertake the proficiency swim via your regular swimming instructor, this can be arranged provided the following:

  • Your instructor is willing & qualified to provide this written confirmation (via email).
  • The pool is 25m long.
  • If the following is able to be done please have your instructor send an email confirming this to the email address below together with child’s name and swim time.

Proficiency Questions: Contact the Nipper Water Proficiency Officer via [email protected]