BSA swimmer test

From MeritBadgeDotOrg

Jump to: navigation, search

All youth and adult participants are designated as swimmers, beginners, or nonswimmers based on swimming ability confirmed by standardized BSA swim classification tests. Each group is assigned a specific swimming area with depths consistent with those abilities. The classification tests must be renewed annually, preferably at the beginning of the season even if the Scout has earned the Swimming merit badge.

The swimmer and beginner classification tests defined in Safe Swim Defense may be administered at the unit level following procedures specified in Aquatics Supervision, (No. 34346 621005 (4/17/2015)).

Swim classification tests for multiunit district and council aquatics activities, such as day or resident camps, are generally conducted on-site by supervisory personnel for those activities. Councils may arrange for swim classification tests conducted by council-approved aquatics resource people prior to camp as outlined in section V of Camp Program and Property Management, No 20-920B. When swim tests are conducted off-site prior to the camp session, the camp aquatics director retains the right to review or retest any or all participants.



  • Jump feet first into water over the head, level off, and begin swimming.
  • Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy resting backstroke.
  • The 100 yards must be completed without stops and must include at least one sharp turn.
  • Rest by floating…Long enough to demonstrate ability to rest when exhausted.


  • Jump feet first into water over the head, level off, and begin swimming.
  • Swim 25 feet on the surface.
  • Stop, turn, and resume swimming back to the starting place.


  • Did not complete either of the swimming tests.

Requirement resources

Related Ranks, Awards, and Merit Badges

Aquatic-related awards

External Links

  • Resource Material
  • Aquatics Leadership Training Programs
  • Responsibilities of Supervisory Personnel
  • Safe Swim Defense
  • BSA Aquatics Play Structure Policy
  • Classification of Swimming Ability
  • Distance and Competitive Swimming in Open Water
  • Snorkeling in Open Water
  • BSA Scuba Policy
  • Safety Afloat
  • Tow Sports
Personal tools