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.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2018
RULES BOOK CORRECTIONS: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.) Page 2, Major Rule Change Summary 4-2-1d: The referee shall conduct a pre-meet conference with the starter, the coach and the captain of each team for all non-championship meets; Page 37, 4-1-2: In championship multi-team meets, a meet committee and a meet director shall assume responsibility for all aspects of meet management.
SITUATION 1: A non-varsity meet is conducted using events that are shorter distances than what is prescribed in Rule 5-1-1. RULING: Legal, provided the state association permits such modifications for non-varsity competition. COMMENT: NFHS playing rules are written specifically for varsity competition. Modifications for levels other than varsity are at the discretion of the state association. The policy permitting state associations to modify events and distances for non-varsity competition remains in effect. (5-1-1 NOTE 1)
SITUATION 2: A meet is being conducted in a facility that cannot physically accommodate 16.4-yard/15-meter deck markings on both sides of the pool (‘L’ shape pool, a 25-yard course in the middle of a 50-meter pool). RULING: The 16.4-yard/15-meter marking should be placed at the appropriate position on the deck, regardless of the distance between the deck and the lanes being used. (2-4-5)
SITUATION 3: During a non-championship/ multi-team meet, a swimmer from one of the participating teams is disqualified, and her coach asks that a meet committee be convened to discuss a misapplication of a rule. RULING: A meet committee is only a requirement of championship meets. As a result, the request should be denied. COMMENT: Other meets are administered by the referee or other officials appropriate to the type of meet. (4-1-2)
SITUATION 4: Prior to a triple-dual meet, the referee and starter determine that a pre-meet conference is not necessary. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: The pre-meet conference is now mandatory for all participating teams to review meet procedures, special instructions and any unusual pool conditions. A comprehensive list of items to be covered is included in Appendix G of the 2018-19 Swimming Officials Guidelines Manual. State associations may determine an alternative method of communication in situations where the size of the meet makes a premeet conference impractical. (4-2-1d)
SITUATION 5: A meet is scheduled in a five-lane pool involving (a) two teams, (b) four teams. In (a), the host team chooses to close Lane 1, and the visiting team chooses the odd-numbered lanes for competition. In (b), the host team determines that entries are to be seeded. RULING: Correct procedure in (a) and (b). COMMENT: In a dual meet, when the number of teams cannot be equally divided into the number of lanes, the visiting team selects lanes in which to compete, but the host team may choose when to close a lane. In a non-championship/multiteam meet, when the number of teams cannot be equally divided into the number of lanes, the host school meet management shall determine whether the entries are seeded or lanes are assigned by lots. Host schools are encouraged to notify participating schools of the protocol in advance. (5-3-1, 5-3-2)
SITUATION 6: A host team is conducting a championship meet in a sixlane pool and seeds the preliminary heats so that there are a minimum of three competitors/relay teams in each heat. Twelve places are scored for the finals. In the 500-yard freestyle, only eight swimmers entered the event and qualified for finals and consolation finals. The host team places the fastest five swimmers in the finals heat and the remaining three swimmers in the consolation finals. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: There shall be a minimum of three competitors or relay teams seeded in any preliminary heat or timed final heat. The fastest swimmers from the preliminaries of each event shall qualify for the finals and the next fastest swimmers shall qualify for consolation finals. If there are fewer competitors than the total number of scoring lanes, the finals heat shall be filled even if that leaves two or fewer competitors in the consolation finals heat. (5-3-5, 5-4-2)