Assessment of basic aquatic skills in children: Inter-rater reliability of coaches, teachers, students and parents

Tobias Vogt*, Ilka Staub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The process of learn-to-swim pursues the goal of comprehensive aquatic education. This results in extensive learning contents, even before a first in-water locomotion is possible. While there are different ways to quantify performance in swimming (e.g. time tracking), assessingbasic aquatic skills solely refers to the teachers’ or coaches’ experience, if not gut instinct. Therefore, this study aimed to develop an easy-to-apply assessementtool that quantifies basic aquatic skillsto help estimating the stages of development in children. To capture basic aquatic skills, 22 (pre)school children (non-swimmers) performed 19developed consecutive tasks according to physical in-water characteristics. Performances were video recorded and rated by four peer groups (i.e., coaches, teachers, students, parents) using standardized evaluation sheets. Peers (total n=809) comprised different levels of swim teaching qualification and experience. Using the peer groups’ ratings, inter-rater reliability was computed. Findings revealed that the presented easy-to-apply assessment of basic aquatic skills (ABAS) is reliable according to substantial agreement between the peer groups’ ratings.Thus, ABAS has benefit for educational concepts and learning-to-swim classes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar


  • Drowning prevention
  • Kill acquisition
  • Learn-to-swim
  • Motoric development
  • Movement learning
  • Physicaleducation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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