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Rules, Interpretations



Recent notice regarding BUTTERFLY RECOVERY
see 
Butterflyrecovery-7June2010.pdf  below


                          

Backstroke Finish (USA Swimming Rule 101.4)

 

There is apparently some current misunderstanding and confusion regarding the finish requirements for the Backstroke.  The backstroke finish rule (101.4.4) states that ‘…the swimmer must touch the wall while on the back.’  The stroke rules (101.4.2) include the statement ‘Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it is permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn, at the finish and for a distance of not more than 15 meters after the start and after each turn.’  The question becomes 'when is the finish?' and 'may the swimmer be submerged before the finish touch?'  

 

USA Swimming defines the 'finish' as the touch at the completion of the race.  Under the stroke rule for backstroke, the swimmer may not be completely submerged except during the initial 15 meters after the start and each turn; submergence prior to the finish touch is cause for disqualification. 
 

The officials should be instructed to observe the swimmers and to report a violation when the swimmer clearly becomes submerged before they have approached the end of the course.  A Stroke Judge can make this observation from the side of the pool or it may be made by a Turn Judge from the end of the pool when there are no side Stroke Judges.  As the swimmers approach the finish, the Turn Judges should be instructed to observe the position of the shoulders when the finish touch is made to confirm that the swimmer has remained on their ‘back’; when focusing on the position of the shoulders, the Turn Judge should not be concerned as to whether the swimmer has remained on the surface.  The side Stroke Judge should not make this call when there is any doubt as to whether the swimmer has touched the wall - i.e., can the judge clearly see the touch.  As it is difficult for a judge to observe the total body at the moment the touch is made, these procedures are intended to give the ‘benefit of doubt’ to the swimmer.  Although it may appear in some situations that a swimmer has submerged prior to the touch, it should be clear that there is no rules interpretation or exception that considers submergence prior to the touch to be legal. 

 

Please contact me at officials@maswim.org or call me at (302) 994-3389 if you have any questions or want to further discuss this issue. 

 

Fred Killian, MA Officials Chair

 
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Butterfly Arm Recovery (USA Swimming Rule 101.3.2)

There was discussion at a recent Official’s Workshop concerning the arm recovery in the butterfly stroke. Following the workshop, USA Swimming National Officials Chair Jim Sheehan sent the following note to all participant and LSC Officials Chair. From a practical perspective, the two key points are: (a) ‘over the water’ means some portion of the arm must break the surface of the water, but does NOT require that there be space between the arm and the water, and (b) if the swimmer’s wrist and elbow have broken the surface, that is considered a legal recovery. Please contact me at officials@maswim.org if you have any questions regarding this item.

Fred Killian, MA Officials Chair

From: Sheehan, James J

Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 3:46 PM

To:

Subject: Officials Training Clinic


I want to thank you for participating at the Officials Clinic earlier this month.

Without your participation and contributions, the meeting would not have been as

effective as I think it was. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I also hope your

travels home from San Antonio were uneventful.

 

During one of the sessions there was some lengthy discussion about the butterfly

recovery and there was clearly some misunderstandings expressed both during and

after the session regarding how to judge that portion of the stroke. After some

additional discussion with other senior officials, Bruce Stratton and I have put

together a perspective on how to judge this part of the butterfly stroke.

 

Article 101.3.2 requires that, in the butterfly stroke, “both arms” must be brought

forward “over the water" and pulled back simultaneously. It is the interpretation of

the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee that the “arm” is that portion of

the body which extends from the shoulder to the wrist. It is also the interpretation of

the Committee that "over the water" means the arm, as defined above, must break

the surface of the water.

 

An analogy to this might be a comparison between a submarine and a sail boat. One

operates under the surface of the water and one operates “atop” the surface of the

water (i.e. part in the water and part above the water). Clearly, if the swimmer’s

arms do not break the surface of the water it cannot be considered to be “over the

water” and would be cause for a disqualification. However, should both arms (as

defined above) break the surface of the water, that would be legal and no disqualification

should be called. From a very practical standpoint, if the swimmer’s elbows and

wrists break the surface of the water, the recovery would be considered

legal. It is not required that both arms be completely out of the water.

 

You will note that any reference to the calm surface of the water has been removed

as that seems to have caused a lot of confusion and has led to an inconsistent

manner in which the stroke is officiated. And always remember, when judging this

or any other stroke, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the swimmer. If you

need any further clarification, please let me know.

 

Again, thanks for your participation in San Antonio.

Jim



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USA Swimming - Rules:
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=95&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

USA Swimming - Rules Interpretations ( General* ):
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=95&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

USA Swimming - Officials Training Resource Materials
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=246&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

*Breast Stroke and Backstroke Interpretations ( and subsequent updates ) See All Attachments below:
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Oct 31, 2008, 6:35 AM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Sep 11, 2008, 6:38 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Dec 15, 2008, 7:34 AM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Sep 11, 2008, 6:38 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Jun 13, 2010, 2:20 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Apr 29, 2009, 4:36 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Apr 29, 2009, 4:36 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Oct 31, 2008, 6:39 AM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Sep 11, 2008, 6:39 PM
Ċ
Jim Wilson,
Apr 29, 2009, 4:36 PM
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