Lifeguard Certification And Competitive Swimming

Lifeguard Certification

What is competitive swimming with Lifeguard Certification?

The word says it all, it’s swimming in a race. The aim is to be the fastest to complete the race distance and lifeguard certification. In this discipline, you can swim in different strokes or distances. This sport is the most practiced within the American Lifeguard Association.


Long ago, when man learned to swim, competitions were held among themselves. Even with the ancient Greeks and Romans evidence of swimming competitions has been found. It wasn’t until after 1800 that humans began to swim more. In the Middle Ages, the church was in charge. The church did not think swimming was a neat activity because you had to undress. Swimming developed more in the 19th century, especially in England. Swimming competitions were already being held in England in 1837. Also in the US, France, and Germany associations were involved in swimming competitions around that time.

Swimming has been an Olympic sport since 1896. Then only men were allowed to participate, with 2 different distances 100 and 1500 meters freestyle. Later in 1912, women were also allowed to participate in the Olympics with lifeguard certification. Today, swimming is one of the major sporting events of the Olympics. The Netherlands often scores well at the Olympics in swimming.


There are 4 different categories within competitive swimming namely: the freestyle, the butterfly stroke, front crawl, and backstroke. In the freestyle, you can choose which stroke you use in lifeguard certification. In practice, the front crawl is almost always chosen for this, because this is the fastest stroke.


This sport consists of 2 distance groups, namely the short course swimming in a 25-meter swimming pool, and the long course swimming in a 50-meter swimming pool. In the freestyle, distances have swum between 50 and 1500 meters and lifeguard certification. There are also relay distances of 4×100 and 4×200 meters. In the butterfly stroke, distances have swum from 50 to 200 meters. In the backstroke, the same distances have swum from 50 to 200 meters. Breaststroke competitions also include swimming in distances from 50 to 200 meters.

Swimming is also done in open water in the Netherlands. This almost always happens in freestyle. Distances that are swum in open water are between 2 and 10 kilometers.

Competitive swimming

The arranges the official competitions within this discipline. During competitions, the pool must meet certain requirements of lifeguard certification. For example, the pool must be 25 or 50 meters long, lanes must be 2.5 meters wide and the pool must be at least 1.4 meters deep. There must be at least 4 lanes for competition. The water temperature in a swimming pool should be between 25 and 28 degrees.

During the competitive swimming, several officials are present, they check whether the swimmers adhere to the rules. In competitive swimming, there is a regular umpire, a referee, a starter, a jury secretary, and a timekeeper/turning commissioner. So many people to judge at a competition. There are different rules for each trick. In general, it is checked whether you keep up and do not hinder other swimmers.

There are also special requirements for swimwear during competition and having lifeguard certification. For example, the legs of the swimwear may not come below the knee, the swimming trunks may not go above the navel and not past the shoulders, swimwear may not be transparent and not thicker than 0.8 mm and there may be no zippers in the swimwear.

Learn to swim competitively

Because it is a widely practiced sport, which does not require any specific requirements for the pool, this sport can be practiced in many different swimming pools. Children learn the different strokes from the regular swimming lesson and get lifeguard certification. After the swimming lesson, an attempt is made to maintain the enthusiasm for swimming in order to stimulate youth in this sport. After regular swimming lessons, many swimming schools offer the opportunity for children to progress to this sport. Of course, this sport can also be started at a later age.


From the age of 21, the swimmers within are called ‘master swimmers’. There are also special master swimming competitions for this group of adults. These are accessible and for every level. It is necessary that you are a member of a swimming club and have a license to participate. For the masters, an ‘Open Masters Championship’ is also organized twice a year.

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