Swimming and Diving Comments on the Rules - 2018-19

By NFHS on July 17, 2018 swimming & diving Print

Rule 1 – Rule 1 has been reorganized and terminology has been added and removed to more accurately reflect and define meet specifications and organization.  The changes provide clarity while also consolidating the terminology used in the rules book.  Also, sections were re-ordered to reflect the order in which rules appear in the NFHS Swimming and Diving rules book.

2-4-5 - New wording clarifies that 16.4-yard/15-meter marks must be visible on both sides of the pool deck.  The 16.4-yard/15-metermarkings may also be integrated into each lane marker/lane line. However, because the position of such floats are often irregular, the marks on the sides of the pool deck are the uniform default marking for all lanes. 

2-7-2b – Backstroke starting ledges are not permitted to be used in high school swimming.  The NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee has consistently opposed the use of backstroke starting ledges because of concerns about athlete safety and risk minimization, which is one of the principal responsibilities of the Committee.  

2-7-2c, 2-7-2 NOTE -  Language regarding options for starting platform malfunctions are provided in this new provision and updates have been made with regard to the penalties.  PENALTY 2, which is applied in situations of improper water conditions, was removed because it is not applicable to the subject matter within the rule.  PENALTY 3 verbiage is now contained in Rule 2-7-2c ART. 2c, which provides directives when starting platforms are not secured non-compliant.  PENALTY 1 was moved to a NOTE ART. 3 and describes what occurs when water depth or distance from the starting platforms to the water are non-compliant. 

4-2-1d
– The pre-meet conference is now a requirement of the referee, the starter, the coach and the captain of each team.  This serves a risk minimization function and promotes positive sporting behavior.   Suggested topics to be covered include sportsmanship, illegal attire, medical issues involving tape, students with a disability, and any general concerns/comments. 


4-5-3, 4-7 – The responsibilities of stroke inspectors and turn/finish judges can now be combined by rule.  When the availability of officials is limited, it is important that the flexibility to staff the deck effectively and efficiently with the available officials is preserved. 


5-1-2a – In non-championship meets, thedivingeventmaybe held first, last or simultaneously with the swimming events, in addition to the traditional placement as Event 5 between the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.  Allowing for flexibility in conducting the diving event within the dual meet program will permit more options for the competing teams.  Regardless of when the diving event is conducted, there shall be a break of at least 15 minutes, with at least 10 minutes warmup in the water, prior to the 100-yard butterfly.

5-3-2, 5-3-6 NOTE – Section 5-3 has been updated to provide lane and heat assignment protocol in a logical fashion from the dual meet to the championship meet.  This change also clarifies direction for situations in which the number of teams and/or entries cannot be equally divided into the number of available lanes.  Meet hosts should have the responsibility/right of deciding between seeding and leaving lanes open, because that decision affects meet duration and facility constraints.

5-4-2 – New language provides scoring based on pool facilities with different numbers of available lanes.  It clarifies the use of finals and consolation finals heats and provides an opportunity to use more than 6 lanes for each and thus score more than 12 swimmers.  It also stipulates that when both a finals heat and a consolation finals heat are swum, the finals heat is to be full even if doing so leaves only 1 or 2 athletes in the consolation finals heat.

9-4-6 NOTE - The NOTE clarifies that it is permissible to conduct eleven dive competitions during dual meets, double-dual meets, triple-dual meets and other non-championship multi-team meets. This provides additional options for competitors to prepare for tournament series events.