Swimming and Diving Rules Interpretations - 2017-18

By NFHS on August 08, 2017 swimming & diving

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 © 2017

SITUATION 1: A school hosts a “last-chance” meet to allow athletes who have not achieved a qualifying time/score an opportunity to qualify for the state championship meet. The state association wants to use the preliminaries and finals format, but not use the rules applicable to championship meets. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: State associations may determine which meets are championship meets. (1-3-12)

SITUATION 2: In a non-championship meet, Team A, which only has five eligible swimmers, submits an entry that provides for each swimmer to swim two individual events and, in addition, enters a team in each of the three relay events. The meet director informs Team A that its entry is inaccurate as there are not enough eligible competitors to fill all three relays without two of the competitors exceeding their permitted maximum number of events, and requests that the entry be corrected before the deadline of entry submittal. Team A does not modify its entry. The referee informs Team A prior to the start of the meet that the third relay team (the 400-yard freestyle relay) will be permitted to compete, but will ultimately be disqualified for exceeding the event limit. RULING: Correct procedure. To field a team of four in the 400-yard freestyle relay, two of the competitors would be competing in their fifth event. (3-2-1, 3-2-2, PENALTY 1)

SITUATION 3: At the regional meet where participants qualify for the state championship meet, School A’s 200-yard medley relay team wins the event and secures that region’s entry at the state meet the following week. Swimmer A-3 is unable to participate because the meet is held the same weekend as the state one-act play competition. The coach of School B, which finished second, requests that the team from School A be disqualified and the region entry given to School B because one of the swimmers who earned the School A time will not be at the state meet. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: Relay times belong to the school not the athletes who swam the event. Provided that there were other eligible athletes entered in the relay, and state association entry rules permitted, the relay would be allowed to advance. (3-2-3)

SITUATION 4: During the 500-yard freestyle, the lap counter inadvertently dropped the lap counting device into the pool. She takes no further action while the race progresses and makes no attempt to provide a verbal count to the competitor. The lane judge disqualifies the swimmer in that lane from the event and disqualifies the lap counter from her next event. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: No violation occurs
when the lap counting device is inadvertently dropped, provided that the lap counter does not enter the pool to retrieve it until after the race is completed and only after securing permission from the referee. (3-4)

SITUATION 5: During the 500-yard freestyle, the lap counter shows something other than the fluorescent orange card for the last turn of the race. The turn judge disqualifies the swimmer in that lane from the event
and disqualifies the lap counter from her next event. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: While the fluorescent orange card typically is shown prior to the swimmer’s last turn, it is not a requirement. (3-4)

SITUATION 6: In a dual meet, Swimmer A participates on the winning 200-yard medley relay team and places second in the 200-yard individual medley. Just prior to her 100-yard backstroke race, she is observed by the referee performing a deck change into a different competition suit. The referee immediately disqualifies her from participation in the 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard freestyle events, and also disqualifies the 200-yard medley relay and forfeits her place and participation in the 200-yard individual medley, making adjustments in the placing/scoring for both events. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: While the removal of the swimmer from the backstroke and relay events is correct, there is no provision in the penalty for unsporting conduct for nullification of previous performances. However, had this been a preliminaries and finals meet and the infraction had occurred during the preliminaries round, barring Swimmer A from participation in the finals round, including in events for which previously qualified, would be correct. (3-6-1 PENALTY)

SITUATION 7: In the finals of a championship meet, Swimmer A has competed in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard individual medley, scoring points in both events. Just prior to her 100-yard backstroke
finals, she is observed by the referee performing a deck change into a different competition suit. The referee removes her from the backstroke event and also the 400-yard freestyle relay but does not adjust her prior
performances. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: The offending swimmer is removed from the remainder of the meet. In the backstroke event, re-seeding should occur if possible (if the consolation heat has
not already been completed) to fill all lanes. In the relay, her team may compete if an eligible alternate is available to take her place. (3-6-1)

SITUATION 8: Swimmer C, who is competing in the finals of the conference championship meet, completes his event and looks up at the scoreboard and realizes he has won the event in a personal best time. He does a fist pump, shouts “YES!” and slaps the water before turning to congratulate the swimmers in the adjacent lanes. The finish judge raises his arm signaling a disqualification under the conduct rule, arguing that personal celebration is a form of taunting and thus constitutes unsporting conduct. The referee overrules the disqualification. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: NFHS rules define unsporting behavior as making insulting or derogatory remarks, gestures or acts. Celebrating a personal achievement in the manner described does not rise to the level defined. (3-6-1 NOTE)

SITUATION 9: In a championship meet, the referee raises her hand after the second relay exchange in Lane 4 and declares that the feet of Swimmer A-3 left the surface of the block prior to the touch of Swimmer A-2. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: Championship meets require the use of dual confirmation relay takeoff judging for which the protocol requires that no signal occur until after the last competitor in the heat is in the water. Only if the side judge and the takeoff judge have recorded the same takeoff violation shall a disqualification occur. (4-6-4)

SITUATION 10: When using electronic relay judging equipment, a relay exchange disqualification is called when the violation is confirmed by one official and the electronic equipment. RULING: Correct Procedure. (4-6-4, Appendix B)

SITUATION 11: In the 200-yard individual medley event, the swimmer, while finishing the backstroke leg, crosses his lead arm across his chest and, in doing so, before the lead hand touches the wall, the shoulders rotate past the vertical plane. An official disqualifies the swimmer for the position of the body during the finish of the leg. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: The position of the body for the backstroke requires that the shoulders do not turn over beyond the vertical plane except while executing a turn. The 200-yard individual medley requires that the swimmer finish each section in accordance with the finish rule that applies to that stroke. (8-2-1b, 8-2-5, 8-2-5 PENALTY)

SITUATION 12: Diver A, performing a dive requiring a forward approach from the starting position, takes two steps followed by a leap and a forward hurdle to the end of the board executed from one foot into the takeoff, which occurs from both feet simultaneously. The diving referee deducts two points from each judge’s score for a violation of the forward approach. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: The diver must take three steps, hops, leaps and/or jumps before the culminating hurdle. (9-5-2)