Swimming and Diving Rules Changes - 2017-18

By NFHS on May 10, 2017 swimming & diving

1-3-12: (Definitions) State associations may determine meets that shall be considered as culminating meets, which utilize the championship meet format.  The championship meet format prescribes specific rules associated with team and individual entries, dual confirmation, declared false starts, and applicable penalties for violation of these rules.  Non-championship meets may also be conducted under championship meet format and are subject to all rules for a championship meet. 

3-3-2a: (Uniforms) Consistent language has been established for all NFHS sports that describe what information is permitted on the uniform.  A competitor’s name, school name, school nickname and/or the school logo can be placed on the uniform, which consists of the suit and the cap.   

3-4: (Lap Counters)Lap counters are now permitted to count the competitor’s laps by changing the number to the next higher or lower number, as the competitor makes each turn at the starting end. 

3-6, 4-1-8: (Conduct) Rule 3 was reorganized to provide consistency and clarity for penalties associated with various competitor and/or meet personnel conduct.  In addition, the rule pertaining to language regarding the prohibition of an official’s tobacco use at the competition site was moved from Rule 3-6 to Rule 4-1-8.

4-6-4: (Relay Takeoff Judges) Dual confirmation for relay takeoffs is now required for all championship meets. Dual confirmation can be accomplished either (a) by two side judges observing the entire field or (b) by a combination of side and lane judges.  The referee and the starter may serve as the relay takeoff judges as well.

8-3-5c, 4-6-1: (Relay Events) On relays, the second, third and fourth swimmers are prohibited from taking off from the top of the starting block wedge.  Competitors must have at least one foot in contact with the starting platform in front of the starting block wedge during takeoff.  The responsibility to observe this aspect of this takeoff falls under the relay takeoff judge’s jurisdiction, and does not require dual confirmation.

9-5-2: (Form of the Dives) The word “additional” was removed from the description of the forward approach and the hurdle, clarifying the intent for hops, leaps and/or jumps to count toward the three-step requirement.

Major Editorial Changes

3-3-2 NOTE: The phrase “if otherwise legal” was added to the note to clarify that suits containing a FINA marking are permitted to be used in competition, if the suit meets all other NFHS uniform criteria.

9-7-5: Language was added to clarify that a dive is failed if, in the diving referee’s opinion, the diver commits two balks on the same dive.

Minor Editorial Changes

2-5-1, 3-2-2 PENALTY 3, 3-2-3 PENALTY 2, 3-3-2 NOTE, 3-3-3a, 3-3-4a,b,c, 5-1-1 NOTES, 8-3-5a, 9-7-5

Points of Emphasis

1.  Suit Coverage                                       
2.  Accommodations for Disabled Athletes 
3.  Warm-Up Protocol 
4.  Valid Times With A Single Manual Watch 
5.  Responsibility of the Swimmer in Distance Events 
6.  Position Statement on Official’s Role