The Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard Program is designed to instruct aspiring lifeguards (ages 10 to 16) in the basics of ocean rescue techniques. These student athletes in the program are provided instruction in water safety education, rescue techniques, identifying rip currents, and in the use of professional lifeguard equipment. Our mission is to provide participants with the training and education to eventually become one of the elite five hundred members of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps.
The Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard Program was founded in 1998, by Scott Riegel, Bob Adler, Jim Figliuolo, and Tom Curtin. These veteran lifeguards started the program so children could learn lifeguarding skills, while also having fun. The program began in 1998 with a team of 20 athletes ranging in age from 8-17.
Over the years the program grew increasingly popular among young swimmers. By 2005, there were 300 young athletes participating in the program. The program became very competitive and training intensified in 2006, as active lifeguards began to assume the coaching duties. That same year the Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard Program took over the Long Beach Lifeguard Competition from Long Beach. The Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard Competition is now held annually each July. Over 300 athletes from Jones Beach, Long Beach, Southampton and the Town of Hempstead spend a full day competing in events such as beach flags, rescue relay, distance swim and run-swim-run.
In 2007, the youngest age was changed to ten to join the program. Only the fastest swimmers were selected based on their time in a 100-yard swim. Prior program athletes are able to maintain their spot in the program with regular attendance and active participation until they turn 17 (eligible for Jones Beach Lifeguard hire). New athletes [ages 11 to 16] are able to gain entrance into the program only if spots become available in the respective age group.
In 2013, the responsibilities of the Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard program were transferred from Scott Riegel to veteran lifeguard, Captain Jay Liegey.
As we move forward, in 2019, Brooke Baldassare, Brad Hepworth, and Mike Scanlon were entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Junior Lifeguard Program for the season. Following that successful season, Brad and Mike were requested to continue overseeing the Program going forward. Additionally, Laura Baldassare has become a staff member of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, a role which she had previously carried out on a volunteer basis. Although the 2020 season unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the Program is currently being led by this exceptional team.
The Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard program is run under the guidelines of the USLA (United States Lifesaving Association). The Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard program is 8 weeks long starting in the last week of June and ending in mid-August. Qualified athletes are divided into four groups based on age.
U19 = 16
A = 14/15
B = 12/13
C = 10/11
To become a member of the Jones Beach Junior Lifeguard Corps, athletes must meet the following requirements:
- Ages determined as of July 1st of that year.
- Athletes must be age 10 on or prior to July 1st of that year.
- 100 yards swim (held at try-outs).
- 25 openings for 10 years old.
- There may be openings in selected age groups.
- If a group has no openings, then no new athletes will be selected. (NO EXCEPTIONS)
- Copies of a birth certificates required for any new athlete accepted into the program.
The session will run each Sunday from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. typically starting the last Sunday in June through the second Sunday in August at the East Bathhouse Ocean (EBHO).
Returning athletes & Tryouts: Forms
If you have any questions please contact Laura Baldassare. Please email both email addresses to ensure a timely response: