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NFHS Swimming and Diving Points of Emphasis 2013-14

1. General supervision and coaching – With the introduction of the track-style starting platforms, this is a reminder to coaches of their responsibility to institute appropriate training protocols, educate the competitors on the proper use of new and existing blocks, and supervise as competitors become acclimated with the new blocks. The coaches are the primary school contact with the student athlete and, as such, must educate, train and supervise all aspects of practice (including dry lands) and competition to minimize the inherent risks of injury related to the student’s participation in swimming and diving.

2. Breaststroke starts/turns – NFHS Rule 8-2-2c was changed to permit a single butterfly kick following the start or turn at any time prior to the normal breaststroke kick. This kick may occur before the competitor initiates his/her first arm stroke. If the butterfly kick is used prior to the initial arm stroke, a second butterfly kick during, or at the completion of, the first arm stroke would result in a disqualification.

3. Electronic devices – Electronic devices, such as computers, notebooks and smartphones, may be used not only to record a competitor’s performance, but as a coaching aid other than while the competitor is swimming or diving. The information may be presented to the athlete prior to the competitor’s next race or dive. Attaching a camera to the competitor during their race or dive is not permitted. Team personnel using electronic devices shall not interfere with the responsibilities of officials or other deck personnel. Do not approach an official to contest/protest a call based on the recorded information.

4. Manufacturer’s logo on suits – FINA-approved suits continue to meet the NFHS requirements of Rule 3-3-3. The FINA mark/barcode is NOT deemed to be a logo. However, some suit models do contain two manufacturer’s logos. These suits are NOT legal. Manufacturers may be moving the FINA mark/barcode to a location on the inside of the suit. The coach should verify NFHS compliance of all suits worn by the competitors. This includes all logo requirements, e.g. size, included in Rule 3-3-3.

5. Taping/braces – NFHS Rule 3-3-4 regarding the use of devices that aid the competitor and use of tape are unchanged. Other than tape on the wrist of a diver, the use of tape must be associated with a documented medical condition and requires the signed statement of a health care professional (HCP). If an injury occurs during the meet (i.e. a cut or sprained ankle) and an HCP is not available, the coach can provide the required documentation to the referee. The use of braces is subject to state association authorization as has been the procedure.

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