Amherst Recreation Department

American Red Cross Swim Levels


American Red Cross Swim Levels

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills
Purpose: Helps students feel comfortable in the water. Level 1 participants learn to:
 Enter and exit water safely
 Submerge mouth (head) independently
 Exhale underwater through mouth and nose
 Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object, at least 2 times
 Float on front and back with support
 Swim on front and back using arm/leg actions
 Rollover front to back, back to front w/support
 Treading – explore arm and hand movements in chest-deep water
 Follow basic water safety rules, helping others
 Use a life jacket
Level 1 Exit Skills Assessment: 1) enter unassisted, move 5 yds, bob 5 times to chin level, safety exit water; 2) Float on front w/support for 3 seconds, assisted roll to back, assisted float on back for at least 3 seconds.

Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
Purpose: Gives students independent success with fundamental skills. Level 2 participants learn to:
 Enter water independently, jumping from the side, in chest deep water
 Exit water safely using ladder or side
 Swim on side
 Submerge entire head, at least 5 seconds
 Rhythmic pattern of exhaling while head is submerged (bobs)
 Open eyes underwater, pick up a submerged object, at least 3 times in shallow water
 Float on front and back unsupported
 Perform front and back glide, unsupported
 Roll over from front to back, back to front
 Swim on front and back using combined strokes, at least 15 feet unsupported
 Treading using arms and legs unsupported in chest-deep water
 Water safety rules, helping others, swim while wearing a life jacket
Level 2 Exit Skills Assessment: 1) Without assistance, step from side into chest-deep water, move into front float for 5 seconds, roll over to a back float, return standing position, then move to back float for 5 seconds and return to a standing position; 2) Push off & swim using a combination of arm and leg actions for 15 feet on the front; push off and swim using a combination of arm and leg actions for 15 feet on the back.

Level 3: Stroke Development
Purpose: Builds on skills from Level 2 & develops strokes through additional guided practice. Level 3 participants learn:
 Jump into deep water from the side
 Dive from kneeling or standing position, in water at least 9 feet deep
 Perform front & back float at least 30 seconds
 Submerge and retrieve an object
 Bob with the head fully submerged, chest deep
 Perform front & back glide w/2 different kicks
 Use rotary breathing in horizontal position
 Perform front and back crawl, 15 yards
 Butterfly - kick and body motion, 15 feet
 Perform the HELP and Huddle position
 Change from horizontal to vertical position on front and back
 Water safety rules, perform a reaching assist
Level 3 Exit Skills Assessment: 1) Jump into chest-deep water from the side, swim front crawl for 15 yards w/ face in the water & rhythmic breathing (to front or side), maintain position by treading or floating for 30 seconds, swim back crawl for 15 yards.

Level 4: Stroke Improvement
Purpose: Develops confidence and strength to improve skills learned and introduces new aquatic skills. Level 4 participants learn to:
 Shallow dive or dive from stride position, in at least 9 feet of water
 Swim underwater, 3 body lengths
 Front and back float, survival float, 1 minute
 Perform feet-first surface dive
 Perform open turn on front/back using any stroke
 Tread water using sculling arm motions and various kick, 1 minute
 Use safe diving rules, water safety rules, perform a throwing assist
 Care for conscious choking victim
 Perform compact jump a height while wearing a life jacket
 Perform the following:
*Front and back crawl, 25 yards
*Breaststroke & Elementary backstroke, 15 yds
*Butterfly, 15 yards
*Swim on side w/scissors kick, 15 yards
Level 4 Exit Skills Assessment: 1) Perform a feet-first entry into chest-deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, maintain position on back 1 minute in deep water (float or sculling) and swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards. 2) Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, tread water for 1 minute and swim back crawl for 25 yards.

Level 5: Stroke Refinement
Purpose: Provides further coordination and refinement of strokes, swimming further distances. Level 5 participants learn to:
 Tread water w/ two different kicks, 2 minutes
 Learn survival swimming, 2 minutes
 Survival floating, 2 minutes
 Water safety, helping others, rescue breathing
 Perform the following:
*Standing dive, Shallow dive, glide two body l lengths and begin any front stroke
*Sidestroke, elementary backstroke 25 yds
*Tuck & pike surface dive
*Front and back flip turns
*Front and back crawl, 50 yards
*Butterfly, breaststroke 25 yards
Level 5 Exit Skills Assessment: 1) Perform a shallow dive into deep water, swim front crawl for 50 yards, maintain position on back for 2 minutes in deep water (float or scull), and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards; 2) Swim breaststroke for 25 yards, tread water for 2 minutes and swim back crawl for 50

Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency
Purpose: Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Level 6 is broken into two different classes each designed to focus on preparing students to participate in more advanced courses, including the Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training courses. These options include:
 Level 6 A - Personal Water Safety
 Level 6 B - Lifeguard Readiness
Both classes include these endurance skills & turns:
 Front and back crawl, 100 yards
 Breaststroke, 50 yards
 Sidestroke and butterfly, 50 yards
 Elementary backstroke, 50 yards
 All open turns and flip turns while using swimming strokes
Level 6 Exit Skills Assessment: For each class, a specific set of exit skill assessments are given, but both of the options will require a continuous, 500 yard swim.