Junior Guard Tryout Information

If you are a new Junior Lifeguard participant, (i.e. have never participated in a State Junior Lifeguard Program before), you are REQUIRED to attend a tryout. Tryouts are non-competitive and are used to ensure a minimum ability in the water. You MUST be registered for a Santa Cruz State Junior Guard Program (Twin Lakes, Manresa, Rio Del Mar) PRIOR to the tryout. Only those who are registered in the program may attend a tryout. 

Tryout Requirements:

A continuous 100 yard freestyle swim (4 pool lengths) in under 3 mins
A 10 yard underwater swim
 Treading water for 3 minutes

SWIM TEST REQUIREMENTS: Age 6-8 years (Rio Del Mar ONLY)
A continuous 50 yard freestyle swim in under 3 mins
A 5 yard underwater swim
Treading water for 3 minutes

During the swim we expect your child to perform freestyle stoke without holding on to the sides of the pool or lane lines.
We will not accept breast stroke or doggy paddling

Tryout Location:


979 17th Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Tryout Dates and Times:

1st Tryout: April 27th @ 9:00am

2nd Tryout: May 11th @ 9:00am

Please note: Tryouts will only take 15-30 minutes depending on when you arrive. You do not have to be at the tryout the entire length.

When signing up for Junior Guards on Reserve California, you will be asked whether you are a returning Junior Guard or not. Upon answering "New Participant" you will be asked to choose a tryout date and will be signed up for the date chosen. However, if not able to make the original date chosen, you may show up at any of the tryout dates.

Date and/or location subject to change without advance notice due to unsafe weather or conditions. 

Out of Area Tryout Form

For Junior Guard participants residing outside Santa Cruz County or unable to attend tryout dates, follow these steps:

  1. Contact the Junior Guard Coordinator and request an Out of Area Tryout form if you cannot attend tryout dates.
  2. Complete the same requirements as regular tryouts.
  3. Have a local swim coach or lifeguard sign off on your participant's skills.
  4. Scan and email the completed form to sczstate.jrguards@parks.ca.gov.

This process ensures accessibility for participants beyond Santa Cruz County and makes remote tryouts possible.