Scoring

At regular meets in the Winter, scoring for individual races is as follows:

First Place - Blue Ribbon – 6 points
Second Place - Red Ribbon – 4 points
Third Place - Yellow Ribbon – 3 points
Fourth Place - no ribbon -  2 points
Fifth Place - no ribbon - 1 points

At regular meets in the Summer, scoring for individual races is as follows:

First Place - Blue Ribbon – 5 points
Second Place - Red Ribbon – 3 points
Third Place - Yellow Ribbon – 1 points
(no sweeps allowed)

At a regular meets, scoring for relay races is as follows:

First place - Blue ribbon - 8 points
Second place - Red ribbon - 4 points
Third place - Yellow ribbon - 2 points

Points are calculated for both teams and the ‘winner’ of the meet is determined by the highest number of points.

Personal Best ribbons are the white ribbons and they represent the swimmers best time. First time swims are automatically awarded a personal best. Each time the swimmer clocks a time better than the last (s)he swam in any given event a new personal best ribbon will be awarded. There will be a notation on the ribbon describing the event, the time, and the amount of time that was ‘taken off’ . For example : John Doe, Boys 9-10 , 50 Free, 34.15, (- 3.14). This indicates John’s time is 34.15 and he swam this event 3.14 seconds faster than his previous best. Personal Best ribbons are the most important ribbon your swimmer receives – this is their own personal time clock and a true indication of their progress.


Disqualifications

The following is a direct quote from the USA Swimming Website

Trained officials observe the swimmers during each event to ensure compliance with these technical rules. If a swimmer commits an infraction of the rules that is observed by an official, a disqualification (DQ) will result. This means that the swimmer will not receive an official time and will not be eligible for an award in that event. A disqualification may result from actions such as not getting to the starting blocks on time, false starting, performing strokes in an illegal manner, or unsportsman­like conduct. 

DQs are also a result of technical rules violations. They include but are not limited to:  

  • Freestyle: Walking on the bottom, pulling on the lane rope, not touching the wall on a turn, or not completing the distance.
  • Backstroke: Pulling or kicking into the wall once a swimmer has turned passed the vertical onto the breast. Turning onto the breast before touching the wall with the hand at the finish of the race.
  • Breaststroke: An illegal kick such as flutter (freestyle), dolphin (butterfly), or scissors (side stroke); not on the breast; alternating movements of the arms; taking two arm strokes or two leg kicks while the head is under water; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish. 
  • Butterfly: Alternating movements of the arms or legs; pushing the arms forward under instead of over the water surface (underwater recovery); a breaststroke style of kick; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish.
For specific language on any technical rules consult the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations book.