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Test. Mark. Protect.

At the YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas, our number one priority is the safety of our members and guests. We are continually evaluating our protocols and best practices to ensure that everyone enjoys our aquatic venues and always remains safe. We especially strive to protect our youth in and around the water—"Test, Mark, and Protect" ensures the best level of protection and acts as our benchmark swim test.


Children ages 17 and under must take a swim test each year. Children ages 6-12 must complete the requirements of the swim test to be allowed to swim without a parent or supervising guardian 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 still needs to complete the test requirements.

 The swim test requirements are as follows:

  • Comfortably swim one length of the swimming pool without assistance—starting in the shallow end.
  • Type of stroke allowed: freestyle front crawl or breaststroke.
  •  The swimmer must remain horizontal on top of the water and have some proficiency in the swim stroke. Underwater swimming is not permitted.
  • At the end of the swim, the swimmer must tread water for 1 minute.
  • The swimmer must exit the swimming pool by using the side.
  • Upon successful completion, a complimentary swim wristband will be awarded, which notifies the lifeguards of the child's ability to swim.
  • Swimmers who have completed the requirements of the swim test must wear a wristband at all times while in the pool.
  • For the safety of all children, wristband sharing is not permitted.

Upon successful swim test completion, they will receive an identifiable reusable wristband, and their name, age, and completion date will be recorded in a binder.

Please note: swim tests may only be taken once per day.

Replacement wristbands cost $1 and may only be purchased once a year.

Swimmers 9 and Under

- All children that are 5 years of age or younger must have a parent in the water with them. 

- A child that is 6-9 years old and has not passed the swim test must have a parent in the water with them. 

- A child that is 6-9 years old and has passed the swim test must have a parent present in the pool area. 

Swimmers 10-11 years old

- If they pass the swim test, they may be allowed in the pool with an adult 18 or older in the building. 

- If they do not pass the swim test, then an adult 18 years of age or older must be in the pool area with them. 

Swimmers 12 years old

- May be allowed in the building regardless of passing the swim test or not.