What is Artistic Swimming?

Artistic Swimming

Artistic Swimming (aka synchro) is an Olympic sport that was formerly called synchronized swimming until 2017 when FINA, the governing body of the sport, voted to change the name. It is a hybrid of swimming, gymnastics and dance. It consists of a solo, a duet or a team performing a synchronized routine of elaborate and dramatic moves in the water, choreographed to music. This style of swimming builds self-discipline, endurance, strength, flexibility, grace, and artistry.

Synchronized swimmers perform their routines to music. They are able to hear the music thanks to specialized underwater speakers which send sound through the pool water.

Artistic Swimming Events


These positions are performed individually, without music, and are adjudicated by a panel of judges, who score each figure from 1 - 10 (10 being the best). Figures are specific elements of a synchronized swimming routine. Judges look for control, slow or fast speed (depending on the figure), and overall skill. *Remember: Swimmers are never allowed to touch the bottom or sides of the pool!


  • Solos: 1 swimmer performs a routine synchronized to music;
  • Duet: 2 swimmers perform;
  • Team: 4-8 swimmers perform.

Routines are performed in front of 2 panels of judges who assess based on technical skill, artistic impression, and difficulty.

Age Groups

In Canada artistic swimming is broken down into different age groups and a swimmers age group is determined by their birth year (ie. age by December 31 of the competition year) to prevent anybody needing to switch age groups during the season. In Canada the age groups are as follows:

  • 10 & Under
  • 11-12
  • 13-15
  • 16-20 (Provincial stream only)
  • Junior (15-18 for National stream)
  • Senior (15+ for National stream)
  • Masters (19+)

Copyright © CBS Silhouettes