Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations 2017-01-27T10:52:12+00:00

SW 4  THE START

SW 4.1 The start in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Individual Medley races shall be with a dive. On the long whistle (SW 2.1.5) from the referee the swimmers shall step onto the starting platform and remain there. On the starter’s command “take your marks”, they shall immediately take up a starting position with at least one foot at the front of the starting platforms. The position of the hands is not relevant. When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal.

SW 4.2 The start in Backstroke and Medley Relay races shall be from the water.

At the referee’s first long whistle (SW 2.1.5), the swimmers shall immediately enter the water. At the Referee’s second long whistle the swimmers shall return without undue delay to the starting position (SW 6.1). When all swimmers have assumed their starting positions, the starter shall give the command “take your marks”. When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal.

SW 4.3 In Olympic Games, World Championships and other FINA events the command “Take your marks” shall be in English and the start shall be by multiple loudspeakers, mounted one at each starting platform.

SW 4.4 Any swimmer starting before the starting signal has been given, shall be disqualified. If the starting signal sounds before the disqualification is declared, the race shall continue and the swimmer or swimmers shall be disqualified upon completion of the race. If the disqualification is declared before the starting signal, the signal shall not be given, but the remaining swimmers shall be called back and start again.

SW 5  FREESTYLE

SW 5.1 Freestyle means that in an event so designated the swimmer may swim any style, except that in individual medley or medley relay events, freestyle means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.

SW 5.2 Some part of the swimmer must touch the wall upon completion of each length and at the finish.

SW 5.3 Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface.

 SW 6  BACKSTROKE

SW 6.1 Prior to the starting signal, the swimmers shall line up in the water facing the starting end, with both hands holding the starting grips.  Standing in or on the gutter or bending the toes over the lip of the gutter is prohibited.

SW 6.2 At the signal for starting and after turning the swimmer shall push off and swim upon his back throughout the race except when executing a turn as set forth in

SW 6.4. The normal position on the back can include a roll movement of the body up to, but not including 90 degrees from horizontal. The position of the head is not relevant.

SW 6.3   Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race. 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 metres after the start and each
turn. By that point the head must have broken the surface.

SW 6.4 When executing the turn there must be a touch of the wall with some part of the swimmer’s body in his/her respective lane. During the turn the shoulders may be turned over the vertical to the breast after which a continuous single arm pull or a continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to initiate the turn.  The swimmer must have returned to the position on the back upon leaving the wall.

SW 6.5 Upon the finish of the race the swimmer must touch the wall while on the back in his/her respective lane.

SW 7  BREASTSTROKE

SW 7.1 From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast. It is not
permitted to roll onto the back at any time.  Throughout the race the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg
kick in that order.

SW 7.2 All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.

SW 7.3 The hands shall be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. The elbows shall be under water except for the final stroke before the turn, during the turn and for the final stroke at the finish. The hands shall be brought back on or under the surface of the water. The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start and each turn.

SW 7.4 During each complete cycle, some part of the swimmer’s head shall break the surface of the water.  After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs.  The head must break the surface of the water
before the hands turn inward at the widest part of the second stroke. A single downward dolphin kick followed by a breaststroke kick is permitted while wholly submerged. Following which, all movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.

Interpretation:  A dolphin kick is not part of the cycle and is only permitted at the start and turn whilst the arms are pulling back to the legs or after the arm pull whilst wholly submerged followed by a breaststroke kick.

SW 7.5 The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or downward dolphin kick is
not permitted except as in

SW 7.4. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward dolphin kick.

SW 7.6 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water level. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during the last complete or incomplete cycle

 SW 8  BUTTERFLY

SW 8.1 From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast. Under water kicking on the side is allowed. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time.

SW 8.2 Both arms shall be brought forward together over the water and brought backward simultaneously through-out the race, subject to SW 8.5.

SW 8.3 All up and down movements of the legs must be simultaneous. The legs or the feet need not be on the same level, but they
shall not alternate in relation to each other. A breaststroke kicking movement is not permitted.

SW 8.4 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously, at, above or below the water surface.

SW 8.5 At the start and at turns, a swimmer is permitted one or more leg kicks and one arm pull under the water, which must bring him to the surface. It shall be permissible for a swimmer to be completely submerged for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and after each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface. The swimmer must remain on
the surface until the next turn or finish.

SW 9  MEDLEY SWIMMING

SW 9.1 In individual medley events, the swimmer covers the four swimming styles in the following order: Butterfly, Backstroke,
Breaststroke and Freestyle.

SW 9.2 In medley relay events, swimmers will cover the four swimming styles in the following order: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle.

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