Water Sports Merit Badge Pamphlet Water Sports Merit Badge  

Water Sports


Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2008
(New pamphlet issued after release of Boy Scout Requirements 2007)
and the Merit Badge was renamed (from Waterskiing).

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To see the requirements, without the changes highlighted, Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here.


  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while waterskiing participating in water sports, including hypothermia, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, dehydration, sunburn, contusions, lacerations, minor cuts and blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth. Level off, and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops, and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
  4. Know the Water-Skier's Safety Code. Promise that you will live up to it. Follow it in all water work for this badge. Know the safety precautions that must be used by the boat operator in pulling skiers.
    Do the following:
    1. Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to Water Sports.
    2. Name the different types of personal flotation devices (PFDs), and explain when each type should be used. Show how to choose and properly fit a PFD.
    3. Know the Water Sports Safety Code. Promise that you will live up to it and follow it in all water work for this badge. Know the safety precautions that must be used by the boat operator in pulling water-skiers and wakeboarders.
  5. Show the following water-skier signals to the safety observer in the boat: skier safe, faster, slower, turns, back to dock, cut motor, skier in water.
  6. In deep water, show you can adjust binders to fit, put on skis, and recover skis that have come off during a fall.
    Showing reasonable control while using two skis, one ski, or a wakeboard, do EACH of the following:
    1. Show how to enter the water from a boat and make a deepwater start without help.
    2. Show you can cross both wakes four times and return to the center of the wake each time without falling.
    3. Show you can fall properly to avoid an obstacle. Also, show that you can drop handle and coast to a stop without loss of balance.
  7. Make a deepwater start on two skis without help.
    While on shore, show that you know how to properly adjust the bindings on your ski(s) or wakeboard to fit yourself. Then, in deep water, show that you can adjust bindings to fit. Recover and put on your ski(s) or wakeboard that has come off during a fall.
  8. Show you can fall properly to avoid an obstacle. Also, show that you can drop handle and coast to a stop without loss of balance.
  9. Show you can cross both wakes and return to center of wake without falling. Repeat three times.
  10. During a demonstration run, lift one ski clear of the water for two seconds. Then do the same with the other ski. Show that you are steady and comfortable on skis at all times.
  11. Ski on one ski for 30 seconds. Show reasonable control.

BSA Advancement ID#: 115
Requirements last updated in: 2008
Pamphlet Publication Number: 33348B
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2007

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.


Page updated on: May 20, 2013



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