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The Modified Erbaugh Rating Scale–Front Crawl (MERS-F) (a rating scale for assessing stages of front-crawl swimming patterns) was used to measure performance change by 6-year-old male and female beginner swimmers participating in either 10 daily (Group D) or 10 weekly (Group W) lessons. The MERS-F was found to be a relatively objective (r = .98) and moderately valid (r = .78) assessment instrument. The maximal front-crawl skill rating of each lesson was subjected to a three-way ANOVA (Group × Gender × Lesson–repeated), which revealed that (a) the rate of improvement was the same for daily and weekly lesson schedules despite the higher performance rating for children in the daily lessons throughout; (b) front-crawl swimming skill increased significantly for both groups after the third of 10 lessons; and (c) there was no significant difference in the performance of boys and girls (p < .05).
Sacha M. Bradley, Helen E. Parker, and Brian A. Blanksby are with the Department of Human Movement at the University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia.