Water Sports

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Resources include the Water Sports merit badge worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.  Prev  -  Next  

Watersports merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 2008
Replaced: Waterskiing
BSA Advancement ID: 115
Requirements revision: 2015
Latest pamphlet revision: 2014


Water sports are a fun and exhilarating way to enjoy being outdoors while developing strength, coordination, and fitness. By developing experience with water sports and practicing good judgment, Scouts will gain skills that will serve them well for a lifetime and have extreme fun while they do.

Water Sports merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Aquatics.

Water Sports merit badge requirements

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in water sports, including hypothermia, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, dehydration, sunburn, minor cuts and blisters.
  2. Do the following:
    a. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    b. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
  4. Do the following:
    a. Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to Water Sports.
    b. Name the different types of life jackets, and explain when each type should be used. Show how to choose and properly fit a life jacket.
    c. Know the Water Sports Safety Code. Promise that you will live up to it and follow it in all water work for this badge. Know the safety precautions that must be used by the boat operator in pulling water-skiers and wakeboarders.
  5. Show the following skier signals to the safety observer in the boat: skier safe, faster, slower, turns, back to dock, cut motor, skier in water.
  6. Showing reasonable control while using two skis, one ski, or a wakeboard, do EACH of the following:
    a. Show how to enter the water from a boat and make a deepwater start without help.
    b. Show you can cross both wakes four times and return to the center of the wake each time without falling.
    c. Show you can fall properly to avoid an obstacle. Also, show that you can drop handle and coast to a stop without loss of balance.
  7. While on shore, show that you now how to properly adjust the bindings on your ski(s) or wakeboard to fit yourself. Then, in deep water, show that you can adjust bindings to fit. Recover and put on your ski(s) or wakeboard that has come off during a fall.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2017 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #637685)

The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Water Sports is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Water Sports requirements.
meritbadge.org has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks,
Webelos workbooks, and Cub Scout workbooks.
  1. Waterskiing was rewritten in 2008 as Water Sports.

Requirement resources

1. First Aid: Hypothermia - Heat Exhaustion - Heatstroke - Dehydration - Sunburn - Cuts - Blisters
2. CPR

3. BSA Swim Test: Diving also has the feetfirst jump in - Sidestroke - Breaststroke - Trudgen Crawl - Backstroke - Swimming Turns - Floating

4a. The BSA Safety Afloat policy you need is in the Water Sports Worksheet.
4b. Personal Flotation Device
4c. The Water Sports Safety Code you need is in the Water Sports Worksheet.
5-7: ExpertVillage.com Lesson Videos: How to Water Ski - How to Start Wakeboard

Related awards

Aquatic-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Guide to Safe Scouting
Personal tools