What policies are in place when using the outdoor pools at the YMCA?

Our highest priority is providing the safest environment possible for all at the YMCA. Anytime our pools are open, they are staffed by trained lifeguards.

What policies or procedures do I need to be aware of when using the pools at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine?

  • General Rules & Regulations
    • Lifeguard instructions must be followed at all times. Unsafe behavior is determined by the lifeguards AND is not permitted.
    • To provide the safest environment possible, those 14 and under must complete a swim evaluation and wear a swim band at all times in the pool area. A lifeguard on duty or the aquatics director can perform swim evaluations.
    • Always walk on the pool deck. Running is not permitted.
    • Diving is only permitted in marked and designated areas. Diving blocks are only to be used during YMCA programming.
    • Only U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation devices may be used.
    • Games or exercises that include prolonged breath holding are not permitted.
    • Water guns and/or throwing balls in the water are not permitted at any time.
    • Glass is not allowed on the pool deck.
    • Alcohol, smoking, and/or vaping is not permitted at any time.
    • Appropriate language is to be used at all times. Vulgar or offensive language will not be tolerated.
    • Swimwear is to reflect the YMCA Core Values. We are a family-friendly environment.
    • Members and guests of all ages must change clothes in designated areas.
    • Sneakers must be worn on playgrounds and in Gaga ball pits, and parental supervision is required.
  • Children and Youth
    • Children who are not potty trained are required to wear swim diapers.
    • All children and youth 14 and under must be swim band tested and wear their band at all times in pool areas. A lifeguard on duty or the aquatics director at your local branch can perform swim evaluations.
    • Non-swimmers MUST wear U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets or stay within arms’ reach of their parent/guardian at all times.
    • You must be at least 16 years of age to be at the outdoor pool without a parent or guardian.
  • Lap Swimming
    • Lap swimming is available for those 12 and older--special age exceptions may be made at the discretion of the branch. Those 12-16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian, unless on a YGBW swim team during a swim team practice. NOTE: All swimmers 14 and under must be swim band tested, wear their designated band at all times and be a green band if lap swimming.
    • Lane sharing is expected.
    • Circle swimming is required when there are more than two swimmers in a lane.

    Test - Mark - Protect
    Color & Level Ability Protect/Support
    Red (Non-swimmer)
    • Cannot enter and exit pool independently
    • Has not passed yellow level swim test
    • Must stay in shallow end
    • Must wear life jacket unless parent/guardian is providing contact support - hands-on
    • Ages 0-5: must have parent/guardian in water
    • Ages six and older: may wear a life jacket with parent on side of pool
    Yellow (Intermediate)
    • Can enter/exit pool independently, swim 15 yards freestyle, AND tread water for 30 seconds.
    • Must stay in shallow end
    • Ages 0-5: Must have parent/guardian in water
    • Ages 6-11: Must have a parent/guardian on side of pool supervising
    • Ages 12-14: Without a parent/guardian must remain in shallow end
    Green (Proficient)
    • Can jump into deep water, tread water for 1 minute, float on back for 15 seconds, swim 25 yards, AND exit pool independently
    • Ages 0-5: Must have parent/guardian in the water if in deep end. Parent/guardian can be poolside at shallow depths
    • Ages 6+: may swim in any section of pool