Purdue University, Division of Recreational Sports Website

Rec Sports
Youth Level Information
Updated 10/21/14

Youth Level Information

* Students must demonstrate competency in all skills presented before advancing to the next level.

Youth Level 1

Designed to orient students 5 years of age and up to the aquatic environment and gain basic water skills. Students will practice the following skills with the assistance of an instructor.

Course pre-requisite: Must meet age requirements. No swim skills necessary.

  • Enter and exit using the ladder, steps, or side independently
  • Blow bubbles through mouth and nose, 3 seconds
  • Bob 3 times
  • Front/Back Glide (with support, 2 body lengths)
  • Recover from a front/back glide to a vertical position (with support)
  • Back Float, with assistance, 3 seconds
  • Roll from front to back and back to front (with support)
  • Tread, using arm and hand actions in chest deep water
  • Alternating/Simultaneous leg and arm action on front and back (with support, 2 body lengths)

Exit skills requirements: Must demonstrate competency completing the following skills with the assistance of an instructor

  1. Enter the water independently, travel at least 5 yards, bob 3 times under water, and safely exit the water.
  2. Glide on the front for at least 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 3 seconds and recover to a vertical position.

Youth Level 2

Designed to assist students 5 years of age and up to develop upon skills learned in level 1.

Course pre-requisite: Must meet age requirements and pass level 1 exit skills test.

  • Bob 5 times
  • Float on tummy independently for 5 seconds
  • Back float for 15 seconds
  • Front glide and back glide
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front
  • Combined arm and leg action on front for 5 body lengths (is not specific to front crawl or breaststroke, just says the child has to be able to put arms and legs together)
  • Combined arm and leg action on back for 5 body lengths (is not specific to back crawl or elementary backstroke, just says the child has to be able to put arms and legs together)

 Exit skills requirements: Must demonstrate competency to complete the following skills without assistance from an instructor. Students exiting level 2 for level 3 must effectively pass exit skills testing, swim independently, and demonstrate the muscular endurance & maturity necessary to begin stroke development.

  1. Step from side into chest deep water, move into a front float for 5 seconds, roll to back, float for 5 seconds then return to a vertical position.
  2. Move into a back float for 5 seconds, roll to front then recover to vertical position.
  3. Push off and swim using combined arm and leg action on the front for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to the front then continue swimming for 5 body lengths.

Youth Level 3

Designed to assist students with stroke development of the following:

Course pre-requisite: Must meet age requirements, successfully pass level 2 exit skills tests, swim independently, and demonstrate the muscular endurance & maturity necessary to begin stroke development.

  • Front crawl
  • Back crawl
  • Elementary backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Treading water
  • Dolphin kick for butterfly
  • Rotary breathing (breathing to the side like in front crawl)
  • Diving
  • Scissors kick for sidestroke

 Exit skills requirements:

  1. Jump into deep water from the side, swim front crawl for 15 yards, maintain position by treading or floating for 30 seconds and swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards.

Youth Level 4

Designed for stroke improvement for strokes introduced in level 3 and to practice the following:

Course pre-requisite: Must meet age requirements and successfully pass level 3 stroke performance exit skills tests.

  • Headfirst entry from the side in a compact and stride position
  • Swim underwater, 3–5 body lengths
  • Feet-first surface dive
  • Front crawl/Backstroke open turns
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks, 2 minutes
  • Front Crawl/Elementary Backstroke, 25 yards
  • Back Crawl/Breaststroke/Butterfly/Sidestroke, 15 yards
  • Push off in a streamlined position, flutter/dolphin kick, 3–5 body lengths

 Exit skills requirements:

  1. Perform a feet first entry into deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.
  2. Swim breast stroke for 15 yards, change position and direction as necessary and swim back crawl for 15 yards.

 Youth Level 5

Designed for stroke refinement of all 6 strokes and to practice the following:

Course pre-requisite: Must meet age requirements and successfully pass level 4 stroke performance exit skills tests.

  • Shallow-angle dive from the side, then glide 2 body lengths and begin any front stroke
  • Tuck/Surface dive, submerging completely
  • Tread water, 5 minutes
  • Front Crawl/Elementary Backstroke, 50 yards
  • Breaststroke/Butterfly/Back Crawl/Side Stroke, 25 yards
  • Sculling, 30 seconds

 Exit skills requirements:

  1. Perform shallow angle dive into deep water, swim front crawl for 50 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim elementary backstroke for 50 yards.
  2. Swim breast stroke for 25 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim back crawl for 25 yards.