Breaststroke Rule Clarified in High School Swimming

April 18, 2012 3:45 am

Breaststroke Rule Clarified in High School Swimming


<p style="" margin-top:12.0pt;margin-right:-1.8pt;margin-bottom:.25in;margin-left:0in"="">FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               Contact: Becky Oakes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 18, 2012) — New language was added to the breaststroke event in high school swimming that will help officials judge the initiation of the arm stroke permitted by rule on the start or turn.

The revised rule will state that “the initiation of such arm stroke shall be accomplished by a discernible horizontal separation of the hands.”

This clarification of the breaststroke event was one of five rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee at its March 25-27 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“By stating that there must be a discernible horizontal separation of the hands, it should more clearly define the initiation of the arm stroke,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and staff liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “This change will help officials in more fairly judging the beginning of the arm stroke.”

In the backstroke, a slight change was made to Rule 8-2-1f to permit a swimmer to lift the head to begin the rotation necessary to start a flip turn. The addition of the word “upward” provides clarification for legality of the turn. Oakes said this change should help avoid unwarranted disqualifications.

In Rule 3-3-2, it now clearly states the penalty for wearing illegal attire, such as an illegally marked swimming cap. Previously, a specific penalty was not associated with illegal attire.

When an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire as described in Article 2, the official shall, when observed prior to the start of the heat/dive, notify the competitor to make legal the attire before becoming eligible to compete. If the competitor cannot comply without delaying the start of the heat/dive, the competitor is disqualified from the event/dive and shall not be eligible for further competition until in legal attire.

If the illegal attire is discovered after the heat/dive officially begins, the official shall disqualify the competitor at the completion of the heat/dive, nullify the competitor’s performance time/score and the competitor shall not be eligible for further competition until in legal attire.

One change in diving rules was approved by the committee. While rules provide two options for establishing the order of divers in championship meets (by lot or by seeding), the default method for determining the order of the diving competition shall be by lot in those cases where there has been no action by the meet director.

Swimming and diving ranks No. 10 in popularity among boys sports with 133,900, according to the 2010-11 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. The sport ranks eighth among girls programs with 160,881 participants.