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2013-14 Swimming and Diving Rules Interpretations

Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.
Robert B. Gardner, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2013

Corrections to Rules Book: Page 2, Editorial Changes, 8-3-8a. “unsporting” was omitted from listing in front of Rules Book; Page 58, Delete 8.3.8 SITUATION C

SITUATION 1: Team A arrives at a new facility that has the track-style starting platforms. As the swimmers position themselves on the starting blocks, the coach of Team A notices that some swimmers have a heel on the wedge and some have the ball of a foot on the wedge. Following the first race, Team A’s coach requests clarification from the meet referee if it is legal to have various foot placements on the wedge. The referee responds this is legal. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: The track-style starting platform is legal. There is no specific rule regarding what part, if any, of a swimmer’s foot must be in contact with the wedge.  (2-7-2b, 8-1-1)

SITUATION 2: Prior to the start of the meet, the coach from Team B asks the referee if his/her swimmers can have time before each race to adjust the wedge on the track-style starting platform, which may require the swimmer(s) to step up and step down from the platform until the wedge is placed properly. The referee responds that swimmers should determine the wedge setting during warmups so as not to unnecessarily delay the meet. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: If a team has never used this style of starting block, the meet officials should use preventive officiating and remind the swimmers during warmups to determine the wedge setting so they can adjust in a timely fashion once the meet begins. The wedge may have to be adjusted during the relay races for individual relay team member preference or may be moved back and not used.  (2-7-2b)

SITUATION 3: A head coach contacts the state association office to confirm that it is legal for his/her swimmers to wear new suits that display the FINA mark that are new on the market and just becoming available halfway during the high school season. The suits are in compliance with NFHS Rule 3-3-3. Response from the state association swimming administrator is the suit is legal, providing all requirements of Rule 3-3 are met. RULING: Correct procedure.  (3-3-3)

SITUATION 4: The split for the lead-off swimmer in the 400 freestyle relay will qualify the swimmer for the 100-yard freestyle at the upcoming state meet. However, the relay team was disqualified due to (a) the second swimmer contacting the bottom of the pool for the purpose of gaining an advantage; (b) the third swimmer taunting the third swimmer in an adjacent lane before stepping up on the starting platform. The referee invokes appropriate penalty in each situation and advises the split shall not be credited for the lead-off swimmer. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: If in a) the swimmer contacted the bottom of the pool, but gained no advantage, the lead-off split would be credited to the first swimmer.  (8-3-8, 3-6)



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