YMCA Swim Test

Each year, children ages 5–12 must complete the requirements of the swim test to be allowed to swim without a parent or supervising adult being within arm’s reach at all times. A parent or supervising guardian must accompany the child during the swim test to learn the needed areas of improvement if the child does not complete the requirements of the test.

Children may take the swim test any time the pool is open, but extra staff will be available during Sea Where You’re At Saturday events.

Swim Test Requirements

  1. Comfortably swim one length of the swimming pool (25 yards) without assistance—starting in the shallow end of the pool.
  2. Pausing is allowed for the swimmer to rotate and breathe.
  3. Type of stroke allowed: freestyle front crawl or breaststroke
    The swimmer must remain horizontal on top of the water and have some level of proficiency in the swim stroke. Underwater swimming is not permitted.
  4. At the end of the 25-yard swim, the swimmer must tread water for 30 seconds.
  5. The swimmer must exit the swimming pool either by steps, ladder or side.
  6. Finally, to test confidence in deep water—the swimmer jumps into the deep end of the pool, resurfaces and exits the swimming pool by steps, ladder or side.
  7. Upon successful completion, a complimentary swim necklace or wristband will be awarded, which notifies the lifeguards of the child’s ability to swim.
  8. Swimmers who have completed the requirements of the swim test must wear the neckband or wristband at all times while in the pool.
  9. For the safety of all children, neckband and wristband sharing is not permitted.

Please note: swim test may be taken once per day.

New changes in 2023:

  • All swim tests expire on 12/31/2023, and children will need to test again in 2024. Testing annually ensures that the child demonstrates their swim ability to stay safe each time they are in and around the water. 
  • After the swimmer has passed the swim test, when they check in, the membership team will ask if they have their swim necklace. If they do not, a membership team member will place a wristband on each child who has passed the swim test by the notation on the account.
  • Starting in 2024, only orange necklaces and wristbands will be the accepted marker of a proficient swimmer.
  • Lifeguards will allow children to swim beyond the arm's reach of a parent or supervising adult if they have either the necklace or wristband.