Swimming and Diving Rules Changes - 2021-22

By NFHS on November 23, 2021 swimming & diving Print

3-2-5: Changes protocol for declaration of the lead-off swimmer in a relay to be submitted prior to the start of the event.  
Rationale:  The lead-off swimmer must be declared at the specified time and place prior to the start of the event, which is consistent with entry procedures for identification of all relay participants. 

3-3-5: Permits competitors to wear suits providing full body coverage for religious reasons. 
Rationale:  Eliminates the need for state association authorization of suits providing full body coverage. Added language allows for exercise of religious practice without creating a competitive advantage for the athlete.     

3-3-6b,c,d:  Permits the application of temporary adhesives for divers. 
Rationale:  Allows divers to protect themselves from hand slippage, minimizing risks for the diver.    

5-4-3 NOTE: Clarifies protocol for conducting swim-offs and what purposes the time can be used.  
 Updated language clarifies the impact of the swim-off time on future seedings. 

9-2-1:  During championship meets, new language establishes when diving boards should be open for practice if breaks between sessions extend longer than ten minutes.
Rationale: Defines when diving boards shall be made available for practice during the break between sessions of a championship meet unless the meet director establishes specific guidelines prior to the start of competition.             

9-3-7 PENALTIES, 9-5-2, 9-5-5, 9-7-4f, 9-7-5k, 9-8-2c:  Permits standing forward takeoffs, clearly defining the proper procedure for performing a standing forward takeoff and the protocol for application of the mandatory two-point deduction.
The standing forward takeoff is a critical part of the educational process in teaching new dives. This provision allows divers to participate in competition sooner and encourages growth in the sport.     

9-5-4b: Clarifies that only four oscillations are permitted before the diver leaves the board.
Rationale: The removal of vague language clarifies the number of oscillations a diver may take while on the diving board.

9-6-4: Defines process to rectify announcing errors that occur during diving competition.
Rationale: Language establishes protocol when an announcer error occurs. The diver should not be penalized for the error of meet personnel; the referee retains broad discretion to resolve such problems in the most equitable and efficient way possible.

1-4-2, 4-1-6, 4-4-1, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 6-2-2, 6-4-1b(3), 8-3-3


  1. Suggested Meet Warm-up Procedures
  2. Responsibility of Official, Competitor, and Lap Counter in Distance Events
  3. Updating Diving Rules