Sport-Specific Information
Sport-specific information and Technical Packages are available above.


Sport Contacts
Artistic Swimming

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Artistic swimming combines techniques of swimming, gymnastics, and dance into a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water accompanied by music.  The sport developed from “water ballet” which was demonstrated at several world exhibitions at the turn of the century and grew in popularity with Esther Williams’ aqua musicals in the 1940s and 50s.  In 1954, Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) recognized artistic swimming as an official aquatic sport and it debuted at the 1973 World Aquatic Championship and then at the Olympic Games in 1984.

Artistic Swimming Facts

  • Eggbeater – kick used to tread water allowing stability and height above the water
  • Sculls – hand movements used to propel the body
  • Figures – positions performed individually without music
  • Gelatin is used to keep hair in place while performing

A typical competition consists of figures as well as solos, duets, and team routines.  The competitive rules and manner of judging are similar to figure skating and gymnastics.  Technical and free routines are judged on two dimensions, technical merit and artistic impression.  The marks for technical merit and artistic impression are averaged to create a routine score and then added to the figure score to obtain a championship score.

In Canada, development is based on the tier level system, where athletes must pass a certain skill level called a STAR in order to be placed in a level.  At the BC Summer Games, athletes are between 12 and 16 years old and have achieved a Level 2/3 or Level 4/5.  All athletes compete in figures which are a series of positions and transitions performed individually in front of judges.  Athletes can then compete in two out of three routine events including team (4-6 athletes), trio (3 athletes), or duet (2 athletes).  The BC Summer Games serves as a pre-cursor to develop athletes towards the Canada Winter Games.

Synchro BC is the provincial organization responsible for artistic swimming from the recreational to competitive levels in the province.