What is Synchro?
Synchronized swimming is a combination of swimming, dance and gymnastics. Teams (groups of 3 to 10 individuals, or duets) perform synchronized routines of choreographed moves in the water, accompanied by music. Cruisers synchronized swimming teams are open to both male and female swimmers. Cruisers members have the option of training for and participating in synchronized swimming competitions throughout the summer.
Synchronized swimming includes two components, figures which is individual component and routines which is the team component. Synchro requires excellent water skills, as well as core strength, endurance, flexibility, artistry and precise timing. Participants develop exceptional underwater breath control.
Participants train 3 or 4 times per week throughout the season, choreographing and perfecting routines, as well as working on the technical aspects of the sport called “figures”. As choreography depends on the entire team learning the routine and working together with the correct timing, it is highly recommended that swimmers attend as many practices as possible.
Practices start in May, where participants work on the basics of synchro and conditioning. Teams are formed in late May according to age, and to a lesser extent, past experience. Swimmers with past competition experience may also choose to work with a partner and choreograph a duet.
Meets and Watershow
Synchro teams participate in a summer watershow in August. This showcases the summer’s work for family and friends without being judged! This is a great, fun club event for Cruisers. It is usually scheduled on the Sunday night of the long weekend in early August.
Cruisers will host their home meet called the Hootenanny in early July at Watermania in Richmond. This is a figures only meet for Synchro. This leads up to Regionals in late July, which then precedes Provincials in mid August. Since synchro is a team sport, swimmers unable to attend Provincials in August must let the coach know as early as possible in the season so that the routines can be adapted accordingly.
Figures is the individual component of synchronized swimming. Depending on the category of the swimmer, each swimmer will perform 4 different figures in front of a panel of judges. Each figure is judged based on a scale from 0 to 10. In most cases, the average score for summer swimmers will be anywhere between 3.0 and 6.0. In addition, each figure has a difficulty level which is incorporated into the score given. The Hootenanny in early July is the first figures only meet of the summer season.
Sometimes a feedback meet might be arranged by one of the summer Synchro clubs, whereby they invite other clubs to come and practice their routines midway through the summer, to gain ‘feedback’ from invited judges. The feedback given can be very helpful for swimmers and coaches in helping them improve and perfecting their routines before Regionals and Provincials.
Regionals is the first major meet of the summer; it includes the figures component as well as the routines. It precedes Provincials and is a good opportunity to perform routines and practice figures before Provincials. It is very important to know that a summer synchronized swimmer must compete at Regionals in order to compete at Provincials. Regionals is usually held in the last week of July.
This is our biggest meet of the season! Every swimmer will compete in both the team and figures events. For routines, each team will compete in their categories and will be judged based on two sets of scores – Artistic Impression and Technical Execution. Artistic Impression includes the presentation of the routine (appearance, expression, etc.), choreography, and the movement used to interpret the music. Technical Exec
ution includes things like synchronization, patterns, and how well the figures in the routine are performed. It is very important to know that every swimmer’s figure score will be incorporated into the overall team score. This is why it is mandatory that each swimmer competes in both the figures and team events.
Requirements and Expectations
To participate in synchro, swimmers must be at least 8 years old.
They should be able to swim 2 laps of the pool and be comfortable in deep water.
Swimmers must attend as many practices as possible as it is crucial that the team learns the choreography and timing together so they can move on.
There are three main categories in summer synchro: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
- The youngest synchronized swimmers that compete at Regionals and Provincials
- A swimmer’s maximum time in the Beginner category is two seasons
- Swimmers with some past experience in synchro
- This category is where most athletes compete
- Older swimmers with many years’ experience in synchro
Cruisers also offers a novice synchro program for younger members who wish to try out the sport on a casual basis. The novice group practices once per week and does not compete but can participate in the August Watershow.
Both figure and team events have required components made by BCSSA Synchro.
Therefore, every beginner will be competing the same required 4 figures, as well as intermediate and advanced. There are also required beginner, intermediate, and advanced figures that must be included into each routine.
All teams and duets have time restrictions. For example, the Advanced routines can have a minimum time of 2:45 and a maximum time of 3:15, whereas, the Beginner routines can have a minimum time of 2:00 and a maximum time of 2:30.